Bookstuffers, #IndieResistance, and #GETLOUD

Well! Looks like there’s been a lot of positive reaction to . Everyone who is supporting Suzan Tisdale, Heather C. Leigh, David Gaughran, Ivy Quinn, and the other authors on the front lines of this fight, you rock SO hard.

I’m a latecomer to this fight, BTW. Those people I mentioned above are the true leaders in this struggle. I’m just an indie author who’s trying to make an honest living slinging words. But when I see bookstuffers using loopholes to drain money out of KU, yeah, I’m pissed. And to the sock puppet accounts who are trying to debate real indie authors with some laughable tactics (logical rigor is not their strong suit) and generally stir up trouble — ain’t gonna work, pumpkins. We’re on to your tactics. So are readers. So is the media.

Although if I’m honest, I have to laugh — one sock puppet account called a debut author out for her comments on bookstuffers, saying that she knew nothing about the business. I replied that I’ve been in it for twenty-three years and the debut author was right. I got a snide response of, “Well, a lot of things have changed since 1995.” Actually, yes, they have, which is how we wound up in this current situation. But you know one thing that hasn’t changed since 1995? The drive to tell a good story. That’s what separates the writers from the packagers (if they’re so pissed off about being called bookstuffers). A writer is in this field because they want to tell stories. They want to entertain, enlighten, make people think. Whereas a bookstuffer wants to load as much ghostwritten material into a book as possible and siphon off as much money from readers as possible, often guilting them into being human click farms in the process. See the difference? Anyone who says, “Getting into the Amazon top 100 is expensive, but you can make money if you can do it” — folks, that’s not a writer. That’s an opportunist. It’s all about the money with them. They don’t care about entertaining you. They just want you to make it rain $ on them.

As I’ve said elsewhere, writers know that writing isn’t a way to get rich. It’s a way to do the thing you love, and hopefully make enough money to pay your bills. Sometimes, you get lucky and you make a bundle off your work. But believe me, that’s not common (Lord, I wish it was). Would I love to get rich off my work? Oh, hell yes. But if that ever happens (hey, Hollywood, I have a romcom that would make a GREAT movie), I can take pride in knowing that it happened because *I put in the work.* I busted my ass to become a good writer.

And that’s what every other legitimate indie author is doing right now. Suzan Tisdale is putting in the work. Heather C. Leigh is putting in the work. Ivy Quinn? Working. David Gaughran? Working. Bianca Sommerland, oh, hell yes, she’s working. Indie authors are sweating bullets to tell you a damn good story, all putting in the work. Not one of these folks are packaging up unedited ghostwritten material, slapping a sexy cover on it, and convincing/tricking/begging people to click to the end so that they get unearned page reads. A real indie author knows what it means to be a writer, a teller of tales.

So, to bring this around, bookstuffers know that their cash cow is drying up, and they’re running scared and trying to stir up trouble to hide their tracks. That’s not going to work. Too many people know about their tactics, now. The balance is shifting. But as Bianca said, it’s going to take time to put things back on a level playing field. Hang in there. Tell Amazon to do the right thing. Keep supporting legitimate indie authors. Be excellent to each other. And stay awesome.

Another open letter to Jeff Bezos

I’m sure that many of you in Romancelandia have been hearing about the michigas surrounding bookstuffers and how they’re leaching money out of Kindle Unlimited at an astounding rate. This is something that will affect readers as well as writers, because if enough authors can’t make a living with their books and have to take other jobs to pay the bills, it means less books to read apart from yet another variant on The Dirty Billionaires Next Door And Their Secret Baby (A Compilation).

Christ, I hope that’s not a real book.

Anyway, it turns out that anyone can write an email to Jeff Bezos, the head honcho at Amazon, and so I have just sent off the following letter. If you’re an author tired of seeing your KU income dwindle in favor of some faceless businessman using underhanded tactics to pimp their “compilation” on KU, or you’re a reader tired of wading through acres of prettily covered crap in hopes of finding a decent book, you might want to write him, as well. There’s strength in numbers, and if Amazon realizes that this could hit their bottom line they will take action.


Dear Mr. Bezos:

My name is Melanie Fletcher. I write SF under my own name and romance under the name Nicola Cameron, and since November 2015 I’ve also been able to self-publish my work using the Kindle Direct Publishing system. At first, I was absolutely delighted with KDP; it gave me an opportunity to publish novels that weren’t easily marketable by the Big Five publishers in NYC, and I was able to build on my readership with my first self-pubbed novel, Empress of Storms. Empress wound up earning a little over $16,000, mainly via Amazon, and that gave me hope for a viable career as an independent author.

Except that Empress’s sequel, Palace of Scoundrels, didn’t do nearly as well as the first book. Sequels rarely match the success of the first book in a series, but Palace’s sales were unusually lackluster considering that there had been numerous requests for a sequel and I performed all the same promotion activities that I used for Empress. The reviews for Palace were uniformly good, from Amazon reviewers as well as from professional review sites, so its drop in sales puzzled me.

But I shrugged it off as a learning experience and wrote a SF romance, thinking that putting out a separate title might help. It didn’t sell well. I went back and wrote another sequel for Empress. It didn’t sell well. I then wrote a contemporary romantic comedy, one of the most popular subgenres of romance there is. You can guess how the sales went for that. I’ve done due diligence on all my books with regards to promotion — purchasing advertising for them, sending out review copies, haunting social media to talk them up, appearing at romance conventions to advertise them, everything that a legitimate indie author needs to do in order to get the word out about their book.

But despite uniformly good reviews, both on and off Amazon, my sales were getting increasingly worse despite a growing backlist. I spoke with other indie authors and they all complained about the same thing—their sales at Amazon were plummeting. When an indie author such as Sam Crescent, who has a huge, loyal fanbase and can produce titles monthly, was seeing her sales dwindling, I didn’t have a shot in hell of saving my career.

And then I learned about bookstuffers who were gaming the KU system. I’m sure you’ve well aware of the situation by now and how they use scam tactics such as adding extra books to a title and instructing their readers to flip to the end in order to have all the pages register as having been read. Not only are they driving out legitimate authors from KU, but their tactics then gamed Amazon’s ranking algorithms and pushed them into bestseller slots that, frankly, they didn’t deserve. This hijacking of Amazon’s ranking system has had a number of unfortunate knock-on effects — it’s rendered Amazon’s ranking system is no longer a reliable tool for readers searching for new titles and authors, and it’s pushed legitimate indie authors like me completely out of the spotlight. As for KU, I can’t afford to put my books in it anymore. I would have to have tens of thousands of page reads of my titles just to match a bookstuffer’s “compilation.”

Mr. Bezos, I don’t want the KU system to shut down. Not only does it makes you money, but it allows a LOT of readers who don’t have extra cash for books to read as much as they like, and maybe even find a new favorite author. I’ve included my titles in KU for that very purpose before I realized it was losing me income and had to stop. I would love to be able to put my books in KU again, but for that to happen it needs to be made equitable. Changing your terms of service to forbid more than 10% of “extra” material in a book will not stop bookstuffers—they’ll just find another way to game the system, as they already have by labeling their stuffed books “compilations.” I am begging you to have your programming team take a good, hard look at KU and come up with a robust method of monitoring it and preventing such abuses. Pattern analysis that recognizes extra material already in KU as a standalone title, or repetitive use of extra material in multiple titles (where a bookstuffer publishes Book A with BCDEF extra material, Book B with CDEFA extra material, Book C with DEFAB extra material, etc.) and flags a title for removal is one way of doing this. I know this would be a serious undertaking, but sir, I’ve heard from numerous readers who are now saying that they’ve been burned too many times by KU scammers and are cancelling KU or will only read Big Five books or titles from trusted authors. This is what the bookstuffers have done with their rampant abuse of KU; while they’re only hurting my bottom line at the moment, if they keep driving people away from KU they’ll eventually start hurting yours as well.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Best,
Melanie Fletcher/Nicola Cameron

The one where I’m on USA Today’s HEA blog

Or as I like to put it, SQUEE!

USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog has me on today with an interview talking about To My Muse, where I get my ideas from (everywhere), what distracts me (five cats), and what I looked like back in the 1980s (there’s a picture. I warn you). So if you want to know what makes me, me, go on over and check it out!

In other writing news, the rights to Storm Season have reverted to me and I’m bringing out a re-edited edition of it next Tuesday, including a spandy new cover! I’m also distributing ARCs for reviews tomorrow, so if you’re a blogger/reviewer and you’re interested, DM me with your preferred ebook format/email or fill out the form here.

And finally, I’m putting the finishing touches on Shifter Woods: Snarl. The plan was to have it out by 6/12 but it got bumped by Storm Season, so you can expect to see it on 7/4. I’m experimenting with the common wisdom that Amazon promotes you more widely if you bring out a title every 30 days, so that’s what I’m going to do for the rest of the year. Right now, the schedule is:

  • June: Storm Season (Olympic Cove 1)
  • July: Shifter Woods: Snarl (Esposito County Shifters 3)
  • August: Behind the Iron Cross (historical MMF)
  • September: Uncertainty Principle (Pacifica Rising 2)
  • October: Shifter Woods: Scream (Esposito County Shifters 4)
  • November: King of Blades (Two Thrones 4)
  • December: Two Thrones holiday novella

It’s not as insane as it sounds — Storm Season is already done, SW:S is a novella and almost done, Behind the Iron Cross is 80% done, and I have the plots for all the other books and novellas already worked out. Let’s see if I can pull this off!

Wicked Wednesday Reads: Bull

Whee, it’s Wednesday! Never fear, for today I’m here with Harley Wilde and her hot new MC romance Bull (Dixie Reapers MC #4), now available from Changeling Press and other online sellers. Take it away, Harley!

Have you always wanted to write?

I’m not sure that “want” is the correct word to use. It’s more like I “have” to write. If I go too long without putting words on the page, I get a little squirrely. Creative writing assignments were my favorites, even as far back as grade school, so getting to write full-time is a dream come true for me. I never set out to be a published author, but I’m glad I took a chance and submitted that first manuscript.

You write Contemporary Erotic Romance. Is that what you read, too?

Sometimes. I read a little bit of everything, as long as romance is the central theme. Contemporary, Western, Science Fiction, Paranormal…even Young Adult. When I go to the bookstore, the YA section is actually my first stop. For some reason, I prefer my YA books in paperback and my adult romances in ebook.

Do you write long-hand or only on the computer?

I actually have Lupus and osteoarthritis, so writing by hand isn’t really an option for me. Most days, I can barely hold a pen. My handwriting, which was once quite pretty, is now the absolute worst chicken scratch. Typing is easier on my hands, and I type a lot faster than I write.

About how many words a month do you average when you’re writing?

Around 50,000 to 65,000 on average. I’ve written as much as 90,000 in a month before though. It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes inspiration strikes and just won’t let go. I really enjoy those months!

Dixie Reapers MC is your current series. Can readers expect more from you in 2018?

I’ll have more Dixie Reapers books out, but I’m also starting a spinoff series called Devil’s Boneyard. I’m hoping book 1 in the new series will be available in July of this year. If all goes according to plan, I’ll alternate between the two series through the end of the year.

Tell us about your current book.

Bull is book 4 in the Dixie Reapers series, but readers met him in book 1 (Venom). I had quite a few people express an interest in Bull getting his own story, and I hated that he’d never found love. Despite the fact he has a grown daughter, he’s never had a meaningful relationship, and I wanted to fix that. I hope readers will enjoy Bull and Darian’s story as much as I loved writing it.


Darian:

When the guy I’d been seeing turned out to be a rapist sleezeball, I ran…and it let me straight to him. They call him Bull, and I can see why. The guy is massive, and I do mean everywhere. He’s so much older than me, but I can’t seem to care. The way he holds me, murmurs softly to me, I feel safe. No one’s ever cared what happened to me, but he does. I can tell he wants me, even though he’s fighting himself. But he doesn’t have to…because I’m his. I’ve held onto my virginity all these years, but I want him more than I ever thought I’d want someone. I want his hands on me, his body over mine. And for once, I’m going to get what I want. And I want Bull.

Bull:

Darian’s younger than my damn daughter, but there’s something about the sweet girl that draws me closer. When I look in her eyes, I see that she’s a fighter, but I can also see that she’s been badly broken, and I want to be the one to put the pieces back together. I have nothing to offer her. There’s more than twenty years between us, and I know I need to walk away. I’m just a dirty old man who wants her under me. I’m hard as a damn post anytime she’s nearby, and I have to fight the urge to spread those creamy thighs of hers and drive into her, claiming her body and making her mine…until I have no fight left in me. I wanted to be a better man, to walk away, but I can’t. She begs me so sweetly, and soon I can’t resist anymore. She’s mine. And any fucker who tries to take her from me is going to die a slow and painful death.


Story Excerpt

Bull didn’t hesitate when he entered the house, but strode into the living room and eased me down onto the couch. He flicked on a lamp and as the room flooded with light, I was surprised to see that he seemed much older than my twenty-one years. There were lines at the corners of his eyes, but he was a very handsome man. As I took in the details of his face, I felt this intense pull toward him. I’d seen attractive men before. Well, mostly boys. But there was something about him, something different. The look in his eyes said he’d seen shit I couldn’t even fathom, and yet the way he watched me… it made me feel all warm and gooey inside.

He pulled off his leather jacket and tossed it onto a chair, and I felt my eyes widen as I took in his broad chest and large biceps. There was some sort of leather vest over his T-shirt, but I couldn’t read the writing. Even if the lines on his face hadn’t belied his age, there was no mistaking his body for that of a boy. He was definitely all man. The T-shirt he wore was stretched tight across him, and my fingers itched to see if his chest was as hard as it looked. I could understand now why they called him Bull. The man was huge. My gaze dipped down below his belt and my cheeks flushed when I saw his cock straining against his zipper. Yeah, he was big. Everywhere.

“What’s your name?” he asked, drawing my attention away from what was hidden in his jeans.

“Darian. Darian Crosse.”

“You don’t sound like you’re from around here.”

I shook my head. “I’m from Georgia. The guy I was seeing told me about this awesome party and brought me here.”

Bull’s eyebrows rose. “And where is he now?”

“Probably still looking for me.”

Bull rocked back on his heels, shoving his hands into his pockets. I was too busy admiring him again to say anything more. I couldn’t say he was beautiful, but I’d never met anyone like Bull before. I felt like I could look at him all day.

“Is he the one you’re running from?” Bull asked.

“Him and the others,” I murmured, still admiring him.

His eyes narrowed. “What others?”

I tipped my head back and closed my eyes a moment. Their faces flashed in my mind, with their leering smiles. Bile rose in my throat as I thought about the words I’d heard, their intentions toward me, and their complete lack of humanity. Fear and revulsion rolled through me, and I knew I was damn lucky to have gotten away.

I focused on him again, trying to shake free from the horror of what had nearly happened to me. “The party Leo took me to expected me to be the entertainment, even though I hadn’t known that at the time. I’d confessed to Leo a few days ago that I was a virgin and was waiting for the right guy and the right time. I thought he was understanding and might be the one. I didn’t realize he was excited about my virginity for another reason.”

“That doesn’t explain the others you mentioned. Who were they?”

“Leo tried to drug me earlier, but I didn’t take the pills. When we got into town, we drove to some rundown place. I think it’s a few miles from here, but I honestly don’t know how far I ran. It was a house full of guys. Some looked younger than me and some looked older. Maybe late twenties or early thirties. When we stepped into the house, I realized quickly I was the only girl there. The guys weren’t quiet about their plans. They were going to take turns with me. All twelve of them and one said he was willing to pay Leo to be the one to take my virginity. Thankfully, it looked like they’d already been partying pretty hard, and they were either drunk, stoned, or both.”

A chill entered his eyes and his hands clenched at his sides. Suddenly the protective man who had been so tender with me looked more like a Viking warrior about to go off to battle. With his long blond hair and beard, I could easily see him with a sword, or whatever Vikings had used in times of war.

“They were going to gang rape you?” His voice sounded calmer than he looked. Anger poured off him in waves.

My throat tightened and I swallowed as tears filled my eyes. I hadn’t admitted to myself yet that that’s what they’d planned. Oh, I’d run the moment I’d realized what they were going to do, but I’d pushed it to the back of my mind and not used that word, breaking it down into pieces I could stomach instead of looking at the whole picture.

Bull noticed my distress and sank down onto his haunches in front of me. Some of the anger had faded from his eyes, and the tender guy who had picked me up off the pavement was back. He reached for me slowly, brushing tears off my cheeks that I hadn’t even realized I’d shed. That was enough to make the dam break and I started crying in earnest. Bull gathered me in his arms and sat on the couch, settling me in his lap. Cradled against his broad chest, I felt like nothing could harm me. I clung to him, my hands twisted in the fabric of his shirt, as I soaked him with my tears. He didn’t seem to mind though, murmuring words of comfort to me.

Despite my distress over what had nearly happened to me, I felt completely safe in his arms. Being held by him was almost like coming home. That sense of rightness, of belonging. I’d never had that before, and it startled me that I would feel it now, with a complete stranger. I’d tried to always trust that inner voice though, and mine was saying that Bull was different, special.

“If they come here, will that guy at the gate tell them I’m here?” I asked as I got myself under control again.

“No. Johnny won’t say a word to anyone about you being here. Except maybe to Torch.”

I sniffled. “You all have weird names.”

Bull chuckled. “They’re road names. I’m part of the Dixie Reapers MC. Bull is what they call me.”

“MC. Like in Sons of Anarchy?”

He snorted. “Not exactly. Oh, our hands aren’t clean, but most of that show was strictly drama meant to entertain people.”

“So, if Bull is your road name, what’s your real name?” I asked.

I could see the hesitation in his eyes, and I wondered if it was taboo to ask him that. I didn’t know anything about the way of life in an MC. I hadn’t even been around bikers up close before, except watching them pass by on the freeway. He was the first I’d ever spoken to.

“Michael. My name is Michael, but outside of this house, I’m Bull and only Bull.”

I nodded. “I understand.”

He softly caressed my cheek. “But you can call me Michael if you want. When we’re here, by ourselves. No one’s used that name in a really long time.”

I felt the bulge in his pants pressing against my ass, and I didn’t think it was possible, but it felt like it was growing even larger. Holy hell! My breath caught in my throat at the unmistakable desire in his eyes. No one had ever looked at me like that. Oh, boys had told me I was pretty and said they wanted to fuck me. But the way Bull — Michael? — looked at me… it was like he wanted to devour me. My nipples pebbled and as his hands shifted, I felt a sudden jolt in my core.

This is wrong, Darian. What the hell is the matter with you? You were almost raped and now some stranger is turning you on? Are you just going to give it up to some random guy?

Despite my inner pep talk, my body didn’t seem to be listening. Desire curled through me, heating the blood in my veins. Even if his arms hadn’t been around me, I wouldn’t have gotten up and walked away. I’d waited so long to feel like this. Was the timing all wrong? Oh yeah. But I couldn’t ignore the way I felt, didn’t want to ignore it.

If you missed the first three books in the Dixie Reapers series, you can check them out here.


Where to Buy

Changeling Press | Amazon | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | Kobo


About the Author

Short. Erotic. Sweet. Harley’s other half would probably say those words describe her, but they also describe her books. When Harley is writing, her motto is the hotter the better. Off the charts sex, commanding men, and the women who can’t deny them. If you want men who talk dirty, are sexy as hell, and take what they want, then you’ve come to the right place.

Harley Wylde is the “wilder” side of award-winning author Jessica Coulter Smith. Visit Jessica’s website at jessicacoultersmith.com or Harley’s website at harleywylde.com. Want to be notified of new releases or special discounts? Sign up for her newsletter!

For fans of Gay Romance, Harley/Jessica also writes as Dulce Dennison.

Marvelous Monday Reads: Return to Me

Welcome to another edition of Marvelous Monday Reads, angels! Today I’m featuring L.M. Spangler and her marvelous new Romance On the Go™ Return to Me. Take it away, L.M.!


Her secret tore them apart.

Naida Bouche foolishly thought she could live as if she was only human. Her true nature hung over her like a thunderhead, driving a wedge between her and her husband.

Cooper Martin had no idea why his ex-wife divorced him. He’d treated her like a goddess. And they had no problems in the intimacy department.

Fate brings them together again. Old emotions flare to life. Can Naida see beyond her self-perceived faults and allow the flames to reignite the love she and Coop feel for one another?

 

 


Story Excerpt

Water cascaded off her nude body. Small rivulets ran over her breasts and down her slightly rounded stomach, disappearing into the surface of the lake.

She was one with the water.

She could, literally, become one with it.

Moonlight reflected off the mirror-smooth surface, adding a soft glow to the night.

Crickets serenaded her with their chirping song. The cicadas added their buzzing to the symphony. There were a lot of cicadas, hence the name of the lake. A wolf howled in the distance. Nature cocooned her.

She grinned and dove under. Liquid embraced her, still heated by the sun’s rays from earlier in the day. Her body became insubstantial, fragmenting into molecules of H2O. Disorientation left her bewildered, but the feeling came and went. Weightless warmth enveloped her, and the ebb and flow of the tide lulled her into blissful relaxation.

The moon slid across the sky. Hours had passed. Her body became corporeal with a single thought. After regaining her human form, she cut through the water with powerful strokes and rose to the surface in a rush of bubbles.

The night air chilled her damp skin, raising goose pimples along her flesh. She pushed the long fall of hair from her face and glanced into the deep, lush woods that ringed the lake. Soon the leaves would change to shades of gold, orange, red, and brown. In would come the autumnal chill. Her time in the waters would decrease, and then winter would set in and freeze her out.

When that happened, she’d resort to the swimming pool located on the basement level of her large home. Even with the greenery she had sprinkled about, it never fully replaced the exhilaration of the lake, the feel of fresh air against her skin, and the scent of the wilderness.

She repeated the cycle, year after year. The monotony had long since worn short on her nerves.

She had someone in her life, someone to break the monotony.

More accurately, she would only have him until the end of the day.

Tonight would be the last night they would be together. She’d tell him that they were over and done with. The sad part of the whole shitty deal was she couldn’t really give him a reason why.

How could he understand? Hell, she’d have trouble believing the truth, if it wasn’t her life.

The root of their problems were otherworldly, as her father was human and her mother was a water nymph.

The nymph side of her heritage presented two problems. First, she needed daily contact with water. The more the better. Like her pool in the basement. Second, she also needed sex … a lot. Preferably once or twice a day. After all, the term “nymphomaniac” had been born of a nymph’s sex drive.

They had a lot of sex, but there were times when their hectic lives interfered with his libido. He was human and his sex drive was human.

She couldn’t guess how he’d react if she said, “I’m a nympho which means we have to have sex all the time. Day and night. Over and over and over.”

He wouldn’t understand it and she’d allowed it to build a wall between them.

No, he had never known the truth of her desires.

She had pushed him away, afraid of exposing her real self.

And that fear, that uncertainty, would leave her alone … and needy.


Where to Buy

Universal


About the Author

LM Spangler lives in South Central Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, three dogs, a cat, a rabbit, and some fish. Her son serves his country in the US Navy.

She is a fan of college football and any kind of baseball and likes to watch the Discovery, Velocity, HGTV, DIY, Science, and any channel showing a college football game. She also watches old game shows like $25,000 Pyramid and Match Game.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Google+

Fabulous Friday Reads: A Thorned Rose in the Sand

TGIF! Let’s kick off the weekend with Lea Bronsen’s hot new interracial romance A Thorned Rose in the Sand, now available from Evernight Publishing and other purveyors of fine online romance. Take it away, Lea!

Hi, and thank you for hosting me on your blog!

I got the idea for this story after watching a video of French “globe cooker” Fred Chesneau visiting nomads in the Moroccan desert. They generously shared their food, home, and wisdom with a stranger, and I thought it would be cool to write about a female rally driver having the same experience.

A Thorned Rose in the Sand is set in the beautiful, quiet dunes of western Sahara where the sun is so hot you can’t walk barefooted and you could go miles and miles without seeing a single soul. In this story, you’ll meet a badass 450cc rally motorcycle, an opinionated but gentle dromedary, and two highly strong-willed young persons from opposite sides of the planet who get off to a bad start then can’t keep their hands off each other 😊


When life in a big U.S. city becomes too much, Stevie Jones decides to live her wildest dream – compete against the tough guys in a motorcycle rally across Morocco. But the real excitement is found away from the race track, in the shifting sands of the desert.

After his studies in London, Ragab has returned to the nomadic lifestyle of his Bedouin family and the majestic silence of the Sahara. He dreams of the perfect wife, until a beautiful but feisty biker stuck in a sand dune turns his quiet world upside down.

 

 

 


Story Excerpt

The girl screamed behind him. “Eeeeee!”

Too hard to resist. Until now, Ragab had had a difficult time respecting her privacy, but surely, a scream called for attention. What kind of a gentleman would he be if he didn’t check on a woman in distress?

He spun and found her kneeling on her jacket, nude and wet, arms outstretched in shock. He bit down a laugh. Yes, the deep well water was cold, but one got used to it, and in the extreme heat of the desert, it was a blessing.

She turned, caught him staring, and even though he couldn’t see anything inappropriate, she hurried to cover her breasts and pubic area. “Look away!” she shouted, voice panicky.

The laugh bubbled inside him, but he obediently turned back to the motorcycle—then stood in such a way he could see her reflection in one of the side mirrors.

Oh, it was like watching a porn scene. Her long, red curls hung wild over her back and round, white butt cheeks. Every time she moved, a portion of her breasts appeared in the space between her ribs and arms. Such perfect feminine curves, all over. Imagine if he saw the front…

Blood rushed to his groin. Stiffening, bothered, he tore from the sight, walked over to the well, and leaned against its waist-high wall, hoping the hardness of the bricks and coolness from the water below would temper his arousal before it became a full-blown erection.

So silent…

He strained to hear.

Splashes. Muffled squeals. More splashes.

He turned slowly and stole a glance from the corner of his eye.

She washed her panties and black top in the bucket and leaned forward to spread them in the sun. Her position exposed the dark pink lips of her sex, from the tiny hole in her butt to the end of her slit, where her clitoris hid.

Ooh!

Shocked to his core, he turned back and groaned low, his cock hardening again.

He closed his eyes, drew long, slow breaths to calm the painful throbbing and counted minutes, trying to think of something else.

His dromedary, for example. It would be cool to show her how to ride it. What if he rode another one, and they both galloped on the dunes together, she laughing, ecstatic…

Then they’d roll in the sand, and he would tease her thighs apart and slide his hungry hardness into her dark pink lips, to the wet bottom of her. Oh, yes.

She called, “Ready?”

He risked a glance in her direction.

Wearing one of his sisters’ dresses and looking divine with her red curls floating behind her—and her face white and clean—she strolled to the motorcycle, carrying a bag and her clothes. She stuffed everything on top of the fuel tanks, got up, lifted the dress to her knees, and started the motor.

Not once looking at him.


Where to Buy

Evernight | Amazon.com | Amazon.uk | Barnes & Noble | Bookstrand | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

Add the book to your shelf on Goodreads

See photos that inspired me to write the book on Pinterest


About the Author

Lea Bronsen likes her reads hot, fast, and edgy, and strives to give her own stories the same intensity. After venturing into dirty inner-city crime drama with her debut novel Wild Hearted, she divides her writing time between psychological thriller, romantic suspense, and dark erotic romance.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon | Pinterest

Mid Week Tease: Shifter Woods: Snarl #MidWeekTease #MWTease

MWTease15Hello, lovelies! This week I’m teasing you with some more from the third installment in my Esposito County Shifters series, Shifter Woods: Snarl. Some background: Jack Hawthorne is a ex-SEAL and wolf shifter who shows up in Esposito County looking for work at his former commanding officer’s ski lodge. He never expects to find his mate there as well — except that Kate Chandler is a cougar shifter, can’t smell due to a childhood accident (and thus can’t recognize Jack as her mate), and is the daughter of Jack’s former commander. As I like to say, hijinks ensue!

Many thanks to Angelica Dawson for hosting us, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!

Jack shook the worst of the snow from his parka, stamping his boots to dislodge more of the cold white stuff on the back porch before closing the door. “Getting a little deep out there,” he said laconically.

Kate smirked. “You think this is deep, you should be here during one of our blizzards.” She leaned against the mud room door frame, trying not to ogle as the hunky wolf shifter peeled off more of his outer layers. “You’d have a problem getting through the snowfall.”

He grinned as he hung up parka, hat, and scarf. “You’d be surprised. We get bad winters in North Carolina, too. I’m pretty good at dealing with snow.”

She wondered how he was going to deal with the news that her father would be staying in town overnight. It left them alone together in the house, with a nice little snowstorm blowing outside, and if that wasn’t a recipe for falling into bed and fucking their brains out she didn’t know what was–

Her next thought fled as Jack finished stripping down to a thermal T that outlined his broad shoulders and rock-hard pecs. His battered old jeans fit like they had been tailored for him, and she couldn’t help staring at the large package under the fly. Oh, yum.

Even with him fresh from outside, the heat from the big wolf shifter’s body drifted across the space between them, warming her skin. What would it be like if she moved closer, put her arm around his neck? Would he take it as the invitation it was, or would he back off on orders from her father?

I am an adult. I make the decisions in my life, dammit. And if I want to go to bed with Jack, I will.

She allowed herself a wry smile. Assuming he wants to, of course. But she was ninety-nine percent sure that he would be more than happy to visit her bedroom and relieve the growing desire that had been hitting her with increasing frequency since the day he showed up.

Use your words, Chandler. “So,” she said after clearing her throat, “Dad’s decided to stay in town and ride out the storm there, which means we’re on our own tonight. What do you want to do?”

He glanced down at her, and she was sure she saw a flicker of desire in those blue depths. And then he smiled. “Can we watch a movie?”

She wanted to growl in frustration. “Seriously?”

“Yeah. I like movies. Haven’t been able to see a lot of them recently.” He shrugged. “But if you don’t want to, that’s okay.”

Her cougar yowled in protest. Bed! Now! Before the Alpha gets back!

She pushed it back, thinking. The wall of the Chandler great room was one huge DVD collection, and that didn’t include all the films they had in streaming format. If she played her cards right, snuggling up on the couch with Jack while they watched something could definitely turn into something more. “What kinds of movies do you like?”

He considered it. “Believe it or not, I’m not big on action movies,” he admitted. “I like comedies, SF, and fantasy, given my choice.”

Fantasy. A brilliant idea popped into her head. “We have the extended versions of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Plus I have popcorn. We could make it a marathon.”

He grinned, teeth white against the tan of his skin. “Ma’am, you had me at popcorn.”

****

Jack tossed a buttery popcorn kernel into his mouth as Bernard Hill magically changed from an aged husk back into a vigorous Theoden on the Chandler’s huge flatscreen TV. “I love this part. I’m a total sucker for a redemption story.”

Kate sat cross-legged on the couch next to him. In a soft moss sweater and brown leggings, she looked like a gorgeous little forest sprite, and keeping his hands off her was becoming more and more a test of willpower. “Yeah,” she agreed. “Wormtongue was a sleazy bastard. And I had such a crush on Theoden when the movie first came out.”

That surprised him. “Really? You must’ve been a kid at the time.”

“Mm, no. I was fourteen. Just the right time for puberty to strike with a vengeance.” She stole a handful of popcorn from the large bowl between then. “All my friends were crazy about Viggo or one of the hobbits, but I thought Theoden was seriously sexy. Must have been all that angst and leather armor.”

“I guess.” A gleam of hope flickered to life. She liked brave, strong leaders who weren’t perfect. And you’re a packless Alpha. Lucky you, you were pretty much made for her.

He ignored the snarky voice. “Hey, don’t eat all my popcorn,” he said, grabbing a handful for himself.

“That’s our popcorn, specialist, and I can always make some more,” she teased, pushing his hand aside with her own. The contact was platonic, but it still sent warmth rushing over Jack’s skin and nerves. He was grateful for the throw pillow he’d casually arranged over his crotch, camouflaging the semi he’d been sporting on and off since Kate had sat down next to him. Her proximity and the heat coming from the fireplace filled the air with her scent, locking onto every pheromone receptor he had and urging him to claim her. Watching an extended cut of the Rings trilogy with her sitting next to him had somehow become a strangely enjoyable form of torture.

As long as he didn’t have to stand up at any point. “So Viggo didn’t do it for you?” he added.

She shrugged. “He’s handsome. But he’s not my type.”

The words left his mouth before he could stop them: “What is your type?”

He winced, worried that he’d overstepped his bounds. But Kate smiled. “Someone who’s capable, confident, but not a macho Alphahole. A little vulnerability is nice. He doesn’t always have to be the strong one. I like to be leaned on once in a while, as long as I know I can do the same thing when I need help. And he has to have a good sense of humor.”

Jack ignored the sudden cascade of dirty limericks and jokes tumbling through his head. “Okay,” he said, readjusting his pillow. “In that case, I guess Aragorn is a little humorless.”

“Exactly. He’s so damn driven. But you can imagine Theoden having a beer and relaxing with some shield maidens once all the fighting was done. It also helps that I saw the outtake where Viggo cracked Bernard up by reminding him about being turned into a LOTR action figure.” She dropped her voice into an accented growl. “‘They’ll make ten thousand at least, for children to play stupid games with.’”

Jack grinned. “Now that has to be weird, knowing that someone made you into a doll.”

“Right? I mean, think of the potential for voodoo misuse.”

They both laughed at that before settling back, watching as the Fellowship persuaded Theoden and the rest of the Rohirrim to help out Gondor. But Jack couldn’t help mulling over what Kate had said. Since the moment he’d learned that she couldn’t smell him as her mate, he’d been worried that there was no way he could attract her, especially with his packless status. But it seemed that the sexy cougar shifter was far more open minded than he’d thought. And she likes capable, confident men. If that’s not a SEAL, I don’t know what is.

He reached for more popcorn and once again met her hand doing the same thing. This time the contact send a burst of heat through him, raw and hungry for more contact with his gorgeous little cougar. Underneath the throw pillow his cock surged up, tightening painfully against his jeans.

Kate left her hand touching his over the nubbly kernels. “Maybe we should talk about the elephant in the room?” she said slowly.

He took in a breath and wanted to groan at the deliciousness of her scent. “Yeah, maybe we should.”


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Marvelous Monday Reads: Mia’s Wedding

Welcome to another edition of Marvelous Monday Reads, darlings! Today I’m featuring Lucy Felthouse and her delicious new reverse harem Mia’s Wedding (The Heiress’s Harem: Book Two). Take it away, Lucy!


Planning a wedding is stressful enough, and that’s without a harem of gorgeous men to deal with.

Mia Harrington has had a difficult time of it lately—her father’s illness and subsequent death, then finding out she must get married if she is to inherit what’s rightfully hers. Fortunately, she’s tough and resourceful, and has emerged relatively unscathed from this period, as well as finding herself a suitable husband.

However, things are far from simple. Mia might be planning to marry investment banker Elias Pym, but she’s also having a relationship with his best friend, Doctor Alex Cartwright, and is in love with her gardener, Thomas Walker. Add to that broken dates, flashy proposals, a sexy Asian tech billionaire, and a nosey housekeeper, and you’ve got a situation hectic enough to drive even the most capable person to distraction. Can Mia juggle her men, her job, and the wedding arrangements, or is her happily ever after over before it has even begun?

Mia’s Wedding is the second book in The Heiress’s Harem reverse harem romance series.


Story Excerpt

Mia locked up and put the key in her bag, then took Elias’s arm. They walked down the steps and out into the chilly January night to the waiting black cab.

“I’m afraid,” Elias said, once they were settled into the back of the car, “Alex isn’t coming.”

“What do you mean, he’s not coming?” she squeaked.

Elias looked apologetic, but gave a one-shouldered shrug. “There was an emergency at the hospital—as their nearest surgeon, he got called in. Couldn’t very well say no, could he?”

Mia shook her head and sagged back into the seat, her heart sinking to her stomach. “No, of course not. I’m very sorry he won’t be joining us, but although we’re scintillating company, we don’t count as a life or death situation.”

He reached out and squeezed her hand, then kept hold of it. “No, we certainly do not. I hope, though, that I’ll be entertainment enough for you by myself this evening.”

She squeezed his hand back, then leaned over and kissed his cheek, pulling in the scent of his delicious cologne at the same time. “I’m sure you will. Besides, this was part of what you two meant when you were talking about being able to give a woman the attention she deserves between you, wasn’t it? Alex unfortunately can’t make it, but because I’m dating—or whatever the hell we’re calling this—both of you, it means I’m not left high and dry. I’m sure at some point you’ll be the one who has to cancel. These things happen.”

With a smile, Elias said, “They sure do. Though I don’t really get emergencies at work—and if I do, they’re all about which person gets to line their pockets the most, rather than saving lives. But enough of that!” he added brightly, clearly eager to change the sore subject of his chosen career. Though she still didn’t understand why he was so embarrassed about it. And if he hated it so much, why was he still doing it? She wasn’t going to broach that particular topic, though, not tonight. She already had one potentially hairy subject to discuss.

But then how could she, now? How could she talk about the situation with Thomas without Alex present? She stifled a sigh. Fuck it. Looks like it’s going to have to wait.

“So,” she said, “where are we going?”

“You’ll have to wait and see,” he replied with a smirk.

She jabbed him in the ribs. “Seriously?”

“Yes, seriously. Patience, woman! We’ll be there in…” he peered out of the window, presumably to check where they were, “in less than ten minutes, traffic permitting.”

“Hmph.” She folded her arms and pouted. “Guess I’ll just have to wait, then.”

“Don’t sulk.” Elias tapped the end of her nose. “We haven’t seen each other in a little while, so I want smiles and laughter, not pouting. Even though I know you’re faking it.”

She gasped. “I never fake it!”

“I should hope not,” he shot back, his grin turning wicked. “My future wife deserves nothing but the best, and that includes orgasms. Real ones.”

Her tummy flip-flopped. Bloody hell, she’d almost forgotten about that. She’d been so focussed on working up to telling Elias and Alex they weren’t the only two men to be sharing her that there hadn’t been much capacity left for thinking about her impending wedding. But then, technically speaking, she wasn’t engaged yet. They’d discussed it and informally agreed to it, but there’d been no proposal, no acceptance, no ring.

There was plenty of time left for all that, though. If she and Elias had to grab a couple of witnesses and go to a registry office at the last minute, it would still count—her father hadn’t specified a type of ceremony, thankfully. But that wasn’t how she wanted to do things, and she suspected Elias wouldn’t be too keen on that idea, either.

“Ooh, your future wife, am I?” she teased, figuring that since the topic of Thomas was off the table, she might as well put the topic of their engagement on the table, instead.

Elias frowned. “Of course you are. I know we haven’t sorted a ring yet, but we still know we’re engaged…”

She shrugged, hoping it appeared more nonchalant to him than she actually felt. “Well, not exactly. We never made it official, did we? More of a loose verbal agreement.”

Elias groaned and screwed up his nose. “When you put it like that, it sounds bloody awful. I know to all intents and purposes it’s a practical arrangement, but I want it to be much more than that, Mia.” He cupped her cheek and brushed his thumb over her skin. “I’ve missed you.”

Warmth bloomed where he touched her, and radiated across her entire face and down her neck. She smiled and placed her hand over his. “I want it to be more, too. And I’ve missed you, as well. It’s been a long month, hasn’t it?”


Where to Buy

Amazon


About the Author

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight and The Heiress’s Harem series. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 170 publications to her name. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter and get a free eBook: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter

Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.

Nicola’s Sunday Shoutout: Doris O’Connor

Today’s Sunday Shoutout goes to Doris O’Connor, whose hot new BDSM menage romance Her Husband’s Army Buddy is now available from Evernight Publishing and other purveyors of fine erotic romance. And now, here’s Doris!

Thanks so much for hosting my new release today. Her Husband’s Army Buddy is out now, and the first in a new series called McLeod Security.

Like so many of my stories, this one started as a flash on my blog. Little did I know then, that it would evolve into a series. When I expanded the flash, it was to be a short story in honor of one of my reader’s birthdays. The Sandy in the story J

As I wrote it took on a life of its own, side characters popped up demanding their story to be told, and hey presto a new series was born. Book two is already completed and the next two are in the planning stages, so watch this space as they.

I should add that all stories will be Standalones, loosely connected through McLeod Security, some darker than others, with different pairings and D/s dynamics, and familiar characters will pop up throughout.


There should only ever be two people in a marriage…

Sandy McLeod has been perfectly happy in her D/s relationship with her husband Zane for the last ten years. Until his old army buddy re-enters their life.

Sean Manson is altogether too handsome, too virile, far too much of anything. The man oozes dominance, danger, and leashed aggression, and Sandy can’t help but respond to him. Neither can Zane. He walked away from Sean once. Now, he’s back, long suppressed feelings bubble to the surface and cannot be denied. When Sandy agrees to a threesome, happiness seems within their grasp. Sean’s demons, however, threaten to destroy everything they hold dear.

Sean never meant to come between husband and wife, let alone hurt either one of them. Surely, the only solution is to walk away from them both. When you’re the missing piece, however, walking is simply not an option.


Story Excerpt

“We need to get her out of this dress, Sir.”

Hearing her husband address Sean like that gave her a secret thrill, the likes of which she wouldn’t have thought possible. To know that she was at the mercy of two Doms, one of which was an unknown entity made this whole thing extra exciting. Whether it was the perceived danger Sean represented, the not knowing how far he would take things, her befuddled brain couldn’t quite figure out. She stopped thinking altogether when Zane unzipped her dress at the back, followed by the snap on her bra and slid his hands around her ribcage to cup her freed breasts.

“Let her go a minute so we can lose these contraptions.” Zane’s grumbled command pitched her need even higher.

Sean stopped kissing her, the pressure on her wrists ceased, and in the next instant she was naked, barring her soaked through thong, hold-up stockings, and the heels she still wore.

“Fuck, you’re beautiful.” Sean’s deep voice showed his admiration of her body as much as his perusal of her as he stepped back and let his hot gaze roam all over. “Spread her for me, so that I can look my fill of our sweet cunt.”

The dirty words turned her on almost as much as her husband’s immediate response.

“Your wish is my command, Sir.”

Zane kicked her legs apart and held her wrists firmly behind her back. Sean, in the meantime, shrugged out of his shirt, and kicked his shoes and trousers off with a speed that left her dizzy. As did the size of his erection straining against the damp confines of his boxers. To know she’d done that to him was a heady aphrodisiac indeed, as was her husband’s erection pushing against her ass.

Sean divested himself of his boxers, too, and she gasped when his thick shaft bobbed up to his navel. She’d been right. He was huge. While his girth wasn’t as thick as Zane’s he had a good half inch in length, and Zane wasn’t exactly small in that department.

Heavily veined, Sean’s magnificent cock looked ready to explode all over again, the broad tip already glistening in pre-cum.

She wanted to taste him so badly, yet Zane’s grip on her wrists stopped her from reaching out. As though Sean had read her thoughts, he groaned and, taking his shaft in his hand, pumped a few times along its length.

“Soon, you get to suck my cock, sweet girl, but for now, I need to taste you properly.” With that he got to his knees. As tall as he was that action brought his head level with her breasts, and he wasted no time in taking full advantage of that fact. Sean held each breast in his large hand, and grinning up at her pushed them together, before he took both nipples into his mouth and sucked hard.

Sandy tugged at Zane’s restraints, and her knees would have buckled had Zane not pushed his thigh between her legs to keep her upright. Her head fell back against his shoulder, and she gave herself over to the intense sensations Sean’s talented tongue subjected her to. Her nipples had always been sensitive, a livewire straight to her clit, and with the dual sensation of Sean’s sucks and the gentle friction Zane’s leg created between her thighs, she climbed the rungs of arousal in record time. Her hips bucked against her husband’s leg as she sought to increase the friction she needed to go over.

A sharp bite to her shoulder coincided with Sean releasing his hold on her nipples with an audible pop.

“No coming without your Sirs’ permission, baby girl, or we’ll leave you hanging.”

Sure enough, Zane withdrew his thigh, while Sean grasped her hips to keep her steady. He kissed his way down her soft belly, interspersing kisses with little bites that left her hovering on the precipice. He bypassed her pussy and, flinging one of her legs over his shoulder, nibbled along the edge of her stocking.

“Hmm, as much as I love these, they need to come off. Look at me, pet.”

Sandy’s eyes flew open, and the sight of Sean between her legs made another gush of moisture trickle past the elastic of her thong. He licked that trail away, and she groaned.

“Please, I need to, please.”

Grinning, Sean blew a stream of hot air across her still covered slit, and her clit contracted in need.

“What do you need, sweet Sandy? Do you need to come?” He nudged his nose along her vulva, inhaling deeply, and Sandy jerked. Not that it got her very far because Zane’s hold on her wrists never lessened, and Sean’s fingers dug into her hips with so much pressure, she would surely be left with bruises. The thought of carrying his marks made breathing even more difficult, and she groaned her reply.

“Please, so close, I … God…”

She wasn’t entirely sure what pleas were spilling from her lips, and in truth she was far too gone to care. With Zane’s harsh breaths in her ear, and Sean’s dirty words she was a goner.

“So very eager. I can see your little clit push against this lace. You’re close, aren’t you, sweet thing? Such a turn-on. What do you think, Zane, should we let her come or torture her some more?”

Sean let go of her hips briefly to tear her thong clean off of her, and then he looked his fill.

“So very wet, and pink. Your hole is clenching, begging to be filled. What do you want in there, pet? My tongue? My fingers? My cock? Or Zane’s? Tell me, or I’ll leave you hanging and fuck your husband instead.”


Where To Buy

 

Evernight | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Nook | Kobo
Smashwords | iTunes | Bookstrand


About the Author

Doris is a writer of sensual, sassy, and sexy tales involving alpha heroes to die for, and heroines who give as good as they get.  From contemporary to paranormal, Sci-fi, BDSM, M/M, and Ménage, haunting love stories are guaranteed.

Stalk her in these places:

Website | TwitterFacebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Evernight Publishing
Amazon | BookStrand | Barnes & Noble

It’s been a busy few days, kittens

Between the promo for To My Muse, getting ready to head down to Houston for Comicpalooza (I’m on the writer’s track), filling out a very exciting Author Q&A (more on this when I get it), and being on Coffee Time Romance & More to talk about my debut novel Storm Season, yeah, I’ve been kinda swamped.

And that doesn’t including some very sweaty hours spent in the garage trying to finish a pair of earrings that, to paraphrase Khan Noonian Singh, have been tasking me. Last week I made two sterling silver settings for a pair of mother of pearl and opal earrings and screwed them up. Made two more settings and screwed one up. Made a replacement setting and used the wrong size silver balls for decoration. I’m currently on my sixth earring setting and praying that this one will work, otherwise I may set the garage on fire.

Oh, part of that Author Q&A asked what I was currently working on, so I thought I would pass it along here, as well. Right now I’m about 3/4 of the way through Shifter Woods: Snarl, and in June I plan on starting Uncertainty Principle (Pacifica Rising 2). Once that’s done, it’s on to King of Blades (Two Thrones 4), and if I have enough spare time I’ll do the last Shifter Woods novella to round out the year. Three full length novels and two novellas should be good enough for one year’s production, right?