Sunday, May 26, 2019

Author Spotlight: Rachell Nichole!

Good morning book lovers! Today, we're focusing the spotlight on author Rachell Nichole. Don't forget to check out her books, and please show her tons of love!

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Thanks so much for having me stop by today. And hello readers, I’m glad you tuned in to hear what I have to say about writing a good Erotic Romance.

Writing a good erotic romance is equal parts really easy and really hard to do. First let’s chat a bit about the erotic romance industry in a post-Fifty Shades world. After the book blew up all over the place – hitting best-seller charts, spotlighting at many a book club, and being talked about everywhere – there was a huge change in the way erotic romance was shelved in bookstores, at least the ones I’ve encountered since then. Erotic romance was suddenly front and center in the middle of the romance section, right alongside paranormal, Harlequin’s lines, and behind closed door romances. That’s a big deal. But, as many readers will tell you, the Fifty Shades books are not the best books ever written. So now, we turn to how to enjoy this surge in the industry and produce excellent books!

This is the easy part… and the hard part. To write a good erotic romance, you have to do everything you have to do when you write a good book, no matter its genre or subject matter.

That’s it folks – write a good book, with lots of hot sex, and if it’s a romance, with a happily ever after!

Of course, that’s much easier said than done, so I want to share a few specifics. I’ll give some examples from my current book, Awakening Submission, which is a dark erotica with BDSM. There is a romance, but as this is a series with the same hero/heroine, the happily ever after comes a bit later.

1 – Plot – the book has to have a plot line. It can’t just be a bunch of love scenes connected by a few pages of dialogue and characters walking down the street for absolutely no reason. For Awakening Submission, there are two major plots going on – the first is Jacey learning to be a submissive. Learning what she likes or doesn’t like, learning how to be both a feminist and a submissive at the same time. That all leads to lots and lots of sex. There is then an external plot that drives things forward – Jacey’s practice as a sex therapist, and the deadline for her new book focusing on incorporating kink into the bedroom to improve your relationship. These two things tie together closely so that one can drive the other and vice versa

2 – Characterization – the book’s hero and heroine, or heroine and heroine, or hero and hero, or whatever iteration you have in your book, must be likable and they also must not be perfect. No one wants to follow along on the shoulder or in the head of someone who is perfect. Perfect people are annoying. Perfect characters even more so.  Jacey, the heroine in these books, is far from perfect. She’s contradictory in her own head. She’s a sex therapist who has hangups about embracing her own sexuality. That juxtaposition of her character really helps wit the overall push and pull of the novel. It works for her character growth, but also helps drive the plot forward, too.

3 – Conflict – this kind of goes along with plot (what happens in the book) but it takes that concept a step further. Without conflict, everyone can be happy right from the start of the book. As a professor of mine once said, “Only conflict is interesting.” Who wants to read a book where nothing happens? Conflict is all about putting what your characters want in opposition to each other. So for Jacey and Clayton, he wants a submissive, she doesn’t know if she wants to be a submissive, or once she does, how she can be one. What she wants and what he wants from one scene to the next can change, but having their wants pulling against each other can create fabulous conflict.  

4 - Love – the book MUST have a love story, an emotional element even among the hottest of scenes. It also must have a happy ending. This is where the line is drawn between erotica and erotic romance. An erotic romance must be a romance first and erotic second. If the people don’t get together in the end and stay together, the book is not a romance. So, confession time, Awakening Submission doesn’t quite fit the bill of a romance. This really is more of a dark erotica than erotic romance, simply because it takes Jacey and Clayton more than one book to reach their happily ever after. But they do reach it, I promise!

Those are really the big ones that every book needs, no matter the genre. Love is the only requirement added for romance. And sex is the only additional aspect for erotic romance, and while these scenes may have a lot of page time, they’re not the main part of the book. Past that, the book has to be well-written in terms of grammar, consistency, concision and all of that jazz, but all of those things happen during revisions and editing.

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Rachell Nichole is a contemporary steamy romance author, who loves writing sassy sizzling romances about memorable characters who have to fight to hold on to love.

Rachell is the author of more than a dozen romances. In addition to writing, Rachell loves travel, teaching, and foreign languages. She holds BAs in Professional Writing and French, along with an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University.

Rachell lives in Pennsylvania with a mountain of books and the love of her life.

$10 Amazon – 3 winners!
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Thursday, May 23, 2019

Kaidyn's Courage by Diana Waters - Guest Spot!

Good morning book lovers! Today, I'm featuring my friend and fellow eXtasy Books author, Diana Waters. She is talking about her latest release, Kaidyn's Courage, which was released on March 19, 2019 via eXtasy Books. Please show her some love, and go get a copy while you're at it!

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Book title: Kaidyn's Courage
Author: Diana Waters
Genre: M/M Romance / Fantasy
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Date published: March 15, 2019
Book length: Approx. 51,000 words

Blurb: Kaidyn is the son of the queen and a trainee officer in the kingdom of Sareen. He is also a Half-Blood—his father is from Iskandir, a neighboring kingdom which has been at war with Sareen for many years. Bitter and angry at the prejudice he faces, Kaidyn meets Sorin, a healer from one of Sareen’s most prominent noble families. As their relationship deepens, the war between Sareen and Iskandir grows worse. Not only will the pair inevitably become involved with the conflict one way or another, but Sorin is also hiding a secret, and time is running out for them both.

Note: This is the second book in the Wild Magics series (the first being the short novella, A Trust to Follow). However, both books are completely readable as standalone stories, as they take place in the same universe but feature different casts.


“Oi! The Watch, run!”
Kaidyn’s ears had caught it, too—the clinking of steel as a patrol wandered nearby, perhaps attracted by the sounds of their struggle. No others could walk the city streets openly armed, even by day. Not that Kaidyn wanted to stick around any longer than his attackers. He had no wish to be locked up for the night either.
The man directly in front of him seized him by the collar of his shirt. “Something to remember me by,” he muttered, and Kaidyn knew his mouth was open but couldn’t hear his own gasp as he was dealt a final blow. The hit wasn’t in his stomach again, as he’d been expecting, but at the side of his head. It felt like an object struck him, not merely a fist, but something blunt and hard. He felt the blood begin to drip from the base of his skull and trickle down his neck. The world wavered around him as the last of the men ran off. Cowards, all.
Kaidyn took an uneven step, then several more. He tilted toward the ground but did not fall. Luck. Where is Luck? I have to find him, before...
He was still so angry, but his thoughts were leaking out of him along with the blood, the dizziness beginning to con-sume them. If I don’t hurry...
The stars were wheeling somewhere above him. When did I fall to the ground? He tried to search for a familiar landmark, but his sight was failing him. Kaidyn had either drank too much or been hit too hard.
“Oh!” Kaidyn heard a gasp, but it had not come from him. It wasn’t Luck, either. He tried to get up, to defend himself once more, but his hands met only empty air.
“I’m not going to hurt you, I promise—”
Kaidyn growled, his tone low and furious.
“All right, all right,” the voice soothed him. “I’ll just wait until you’re ready to walk again, shall I?” The unknown per-son sounded sympathetic. Gentle, even, and impossibly, unbearably kind. But that must have been in his head, because surely nobody who saw Kaidyn in his current state could be anything but disappointed, disgusted, or a combination of the two.
“It’s going to be all right,” the voice continued, and to Kaidyn’s astonishment he felt a cool hand touching his brow, brushing wisps of hair from his forehead. He could not remember the last time he had been touched with such tenderness. “I have you. You’re safe now. I won’t leave you alone here.”
Kaidyn shook his head, forcing his sight to clear. A pair of eyes stared anxiously back down at him and drew him in, as though calling him on from somewhere. But from where? Where...
He had definitely imagined that part, because this stranger, whoever he was, could not have known his name, much less the one reserved for his closest friends.
But he could not think any longer, he was falling, falling... and running again, running away from the pain and the bile rising in his throat, escaping everything but the darkness that finally overtook him to swallow him whole.

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Author Bio: Diana is a New Zealander currently living in rural Japan. She has no idea where in the world she’ll be this time next year and is pretty okay with that. Other than reading and writing, her main passions include travel, amateur photography, and competitive swimming.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Three Star Island by Kat Caulberg - Guest Spot!

Good morning book lovers! Today, I'm hosting Kat Caulberg, and her debut novel, Three Star Island. Please give her a lot of love!

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Three Star Island
Kat Caulberg

Genre: Historical Time Travel Romance 

Stepping through a time portal into 1716, historian Penny Saunders didn't
expect to get stranded in the past. Five years later, now a pariah to
the townsfolk of Three Star Island, she endures solitude and ridicule
until a hurricane tosses a dangerous castaway onto her shores.

William Payne's history precedes him. Pirate, outlaw, and ruthless captain,
he's a monster among men . . . or so it seems. Desperately seeking
redemption for his blood-soaked past, he upends Penny's world by
showing her a passion she's never experienced.

But time is closing in on them; the governor of the Carolinas has
rescinded his pirates' pardon, the locals are growing suspicious of
Penny's new houseguest, and she can't keep her secrets from William
forever. When everything falls apart, she must use both wits and
weapons against lawmen and pirates alike to save the one man who
would tear down the world for her.

For as long as she can remember, Kat Caulberg has been obsessed with
history and the paranormal. Somewhat to the dismay of her parents,
her interests led her into both museums and graveyards as a child, a
trend which has continued into her adulthood. This has influenced her
reading tastes and her writing, whether it be a good ghost story,
thrilling tales of time-travel, or devouring endless volumes of
ancient warfare.

She signed a contract with Soul Mate Publishing in 2018 for her first novel, Three Star Island, a
time-travel story set in 1721. She enjoys writing strong, quirky heroines, and has a weakness for cheeky heroes who have as much compassion as they have flaws.

Kat currently lives in North Carolina with her Englishman and a few cats.

the tour HERE
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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Author Spotlight: Sara Butler Zalesky (Wheeler Series)

Good morning book lovers! Today, we're focusing the spotlight on Sara Butler Zalesky! She is the author of the Wheeler Series. Please show Sara some love, and don't forget to check out her books! ♥

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An Interview with Sara Butler Zalesky
Discussing Wheeler
Genre: Sports Romance

What inspired you to write this book?
It was June of 2015 and I was watching the Aviva Women’s Tour in England while working on an indoor cycling profile for my Tour de France classes. The idea to write a story about a character in the Women’s Tour caught fire and exploded in my brain.

What can we expect from you in the future?
I might take a break from writing, but probably not. I have two ideas bubbling in the back of my brain at the moment. One is a Fantasy/Thelma & Louise type story where two Searchers are on a quest for the Eye of Osiris. The other is a romance/suspense about a NJ State Trooper. Maybe.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Wheeler?
Loren Mackenzie is the main character of the Wheeler series. She’s reserved with a dry sense of humor, a good friend, and a teensy bit controlling. She’s a closet romantic with a big heart and sees her teammates as her sisters.
Graham Atherton is her current love interest (and minor antagonist). He’s British a Shakespearean-trained actor. Sexy but not your average romantic lead type. He uses the Bard’s words to make Loren go all ‘fangirl,’ and it works. 
Felix Lalonde is Loren’s manipulating first love and main antagonist of the series. He has been obsessed with her – the one that got away but also as a kindred spirit. They have lived through similar childhood abuse and neglect. Unfortunately, his fixation turns violent.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
There were times when I loved writing. The words flowed from my fingers to the keyboard, but then there were times when I didn’t want to write, I had to write. It became a compulsion that took me over.

Who designed your book covers?
My best friend, Bob produced my covers for me, but I came up with the design. There’s a little homage to Athena on them. Can you find it?

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Truthfully, I never would have published Wheeler in 2016 without first committing the money and hired an editor before anyone ever saw it. That is and forever will be my biggest regret.

Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned so much about how to write and how NOT to write. I learned I’m a total pantser. I tried to plot the third novel and it went way left, but in a good way, I hope.

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
My characters are based on real people but I’m not going to say who. I might get in trouble.

If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be?
It might surprise you, but I’d spend the day with Charlotte, Loren’s best friend. She’s full of snark.

Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
It’s the strangest feeling to have characters you gave mental birth to jump off the path you set for them. There have been times I’ve gone back and read something I don’t recall ever writing. Obviously, I wrote it … or did I? 

What did you edit out of this book?
I edited out almost 60k words from Wheeler, some of which I used the second novel, In Darkness, There Is Still Light.

Fun Facts/Behind the Scenes/Did You Know?'-type tidbits about the author, the book or the writing process of the book.

·         Loren is more me than I’d like to admit. While I didn’t have the kind of childhood she had, her reactions to situations are mine.
·         There are little references, jokes or pop culture sprinkled in each the novels that are about things I like or dislike.
·         I had to read every word Shakespeare ever wrote and comprehend the meaning of the lines before I could use them. Believe me, I dug deep to get the right ones, but I don’t remember a word of it.

Sara has never lacked for imagination, but it wasn’t until the Fates decided to give the string of her life a tug, bringing her romantic leanings together with her passion for the sport of cycling and Poof! A story was written down and completed, much to her surprise and chagrin.

She is a (self)published author of women's fiction/sports romance novels, Wheeler and Wheeler: In Darkness, There is Still Light. A third novel to complete the series is in development.

The author resides in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA, with her husband and their son. Sara is a paralegal for a law firm in Chester County, Pa, an avid road cyclist, and indoor cycling instructor at a national chain.

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$25 Amazon and handmade crochet bookmark
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Monday, May 20, 2019

Vivi's Leading Man by Emily Mims - GUEST SPOT!

Good morning book lovers! This morning, I'm hosting Emily Mims, and her book, Vivi's Leading Man, which is Book 1 of the Durango Street Theatre series. Enjoy!

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Leading Man
Durango Street Theatre Book 1
Emily Mims

Contemporary Romance 

A year after their divorce, Vivi and Miguel are forced to work together
to save the Durango Street Theatre, and learn they might really love
each other after all.


The marriage was one of convenience. She had status and he had money.
But... there was something there, and both of them felt it. After
three years of him working long hours and her spending too much time
at the Durango Street Theatre, Miguel Abonce and Vivienne Heiser
called it quits. One year later, they are forced to work together to
save or sell the theater. In the process they discover things they
never knew about each other and they learn there's more between them
than burning up the sheets. They might really love each other after all.

Author of eighteen romance novels under the pseudonym 'Emily Elliott', Emily
Mims combined her writing career with a career in public education
until leaving the classroom to write full time. 'Solomon's Choice' is
her first romantic suspense and the first novel she has published
under her own name. The mother of two sons, she and her husband
Charles split their time between Central Texas and eastern Tennessee.
For relaxation she plays the piano, organ, dulcimer, and ukulele. She
says, "I love to write romances because I believe in them.
Romance happened to me and it can happen to any woman-if she'll just let it."

the tour HERE
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Sunday, May 19, 2019

Defend Me by Ayden K. Morgen: GUEST SPOT!

Good morning book lovers! Best selling author Ayden K. Morgen returns, this time to talk about Book 3 of Her Best Friend's Father series, Defend Me. Enjoy!!

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Defend Me
Her Best Friend's Father #3
by Ayden K. Morgen
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Forget the rules.
Forget right or wrong.
Forget letting go.

When Roman Gregory's daughter caught him and Mila Lawson together in Santa
Cruz, he swore he would face whatever he had to face to keep Mila by
his side and win back his daughter. But now Talia isn't speaking to
either of them, and their relationship has gotten a whole lot more
complicated thanks to the violent gang gunning for the ATF agent.
Mila knows nothing good comes easy, but she never imagined being the
reason Talia stopped speaking to her father. All Mila wants to do is
fix what she broke before the man she loves loses his daughter for
good…even if that means she has to break her own heart to do it.
For Roman, bringing Mila to Los Angeles with a gang war looming on the
horizon is the most terrifying thing he's ever done. But now that
he's fallen in love with the gorgeous blonde, he can't let her go. He
will do whatever it takes to keep her safe and regain his daughter's
trust…even if he has to walk away from his career to do it.
But neither Roman nor Mila could have foreseen the news that will change
their lives forever.

When his worst fear becomes a reality and Mila is targeted, more than just
their hearts are on the line. To save Mila's life and guarantee a
future with her, Roman will do more than break the rules. He'll
rewrite the rule book entirely.
Nothing will stand in his way. Not even the law itself.
Defend Me is the third part of Mila and Roman's steamy story.
**Only 99 cents!!**

Destroy Me
Her Best Friend's Father #2
Two weeks.
No strings attached.
No messy emotions.
Those were the terms Mila Lawson offered Roman Gregory when they found
themselves living together in Santa Cruz. Now that the ATF agent has
his daughter's twenty-two year old best friend in his bed every
night, he's finding it more and more difficult to deny what he's felt
for her since the day they met.

With a drug cartel threatening to go to war and his daughter becoming
increasingly suspicious, the last thing Roman should be thinking
about is keeping Mila by his side. He's never wanted much, but he
wants her…and he's willing to break more than a few of his own
rules to convince the feisty little blonde to put her heart in his hands.
For Mila, falling for Roman might just be the most terrifying thing she's
ever done. Trusting him with her body is one thing, but with her past
still hanging over her, she knows all too well that the scary-hot man
who drives her wild has the power to destroy her.

As their time in Santa Cruz draws to a close and the world beyond their
little stretch of beach closes in on them, Roman and Mila will be
forced to confront the truth about their relationship and make
decisions neither could have imagined.

But who ever said falling in love would be easy?
Destroy Me is the second of three steamy novellas featuring Mila and Roman.
**Only 99 cents!!**

Devour Me
Her Best Friend's Father #1
Don't get caught.
Never fall in love.
And steer clear of his daughter's friends.
The rules were easy enough for Roman Gregory...until Mila Lawson set
out to break every single one of them.

When the twenty-two year old lands on the ATF agent's doorstep
after a nasty breakup, he knows all too well that she's off-limits.
At thirty-eight, he's almost twice her age, she's hurting, and the blonde
bombshell is his daughter's best friend.

Mila knows all about wanting what she can't have. For four years, she's lusted
after Talia McPherson's scary hot, terminally single father from
afar. After walking away from her cheating ex and what she thought
was her happily-ever-after, the last thing on her mind is
jumping into a new relationship.
Until she find herself living with Roman in Santa Cruz...
Now all she can think about is making all those dirty fantasies come to
life. With nothing left to lose, she makes him an offer he
can't refuse: Two weeks of no-holds-barred sex. No strings. No
commitments. No messy emotions.

Roman has no business agreeing to her insane proposition. He can't have her. He shouldn't even want her. But he's going to take her anyway… and he has no intentions of
stopping until she's his completely.

If there's one thing Roman knows for a fact, it's that he doesn't lose.

Devour Me is the first of three steamy novellas featuring Mila and Roman.
**Only 99 cents!!**

Ayden is the Amazon Bestselling author of the Ragnarök Prophesies series.
She lives in the heart of Arkansas with her childhood
sweetheart/husband of fourteen years, and their furry minions. When
not writing, she spends her time hiking, reading, volunteering,
causing mischief, and building a Spork army.
Ayden graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor of Science degree
in Criminal Justice and Forensic Psychology in 2009 before going on
to complete her graduate degree in CJ and Law. She currently puts her
education to use in the CJ and Social Services field.
Follow the tour HERE
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