NOT UNTIL YOU Cover Reveal & News!

I announced recently that the NOT UNTIL YOU e-serial was going to be released in a complete edition in November. Yay! But at that time, I wasn't able to tell you all of the news. So here it is. In addition to this being a complete edition, the PRINT version is going to have a bonus story in it!

I have been wanting to write the stories of a few side characters for a while now and didn't know exactly how I should go about getting those stories out in the world. But we've come up with a fun way to do it. In my next few print books, there will be a bonus story in the back about a previous character. 

Now, this is only for the print edition. I know many of you read on e-readers, so I'm sure you're asking the question--will the short stories be released in e-form? I don't have an answer for you at this point, but I imagine that eventually there may be an e-book bundling all the short stories together. For now, the print is going to be the special edition. And it will give those of you who've already read Not Until You in the serial form a little something extra. :) (And of course, you can still buy the complete e-version. It just won't have the short story in the back.)

So who is the first short story about? 

It's called "So Into You" and is about Bret--Foster's private investigator friend. If you've read Not Until You already, you'll know that Bret is a domme and she's kind of a badass. So this story is about her and her business partner at the PI agency. 

If you'd like to pre-order, you can grab it here: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

 

What do y'all think of the bright pink? : )

 


Most Popular Posts of 2012 and Introducing Must-Read Mondays

Putting 2012 in our rearview mirror (kidlet does this with a cape)Happy New Year!

First, before I get to today's post, I want to say thank you to everyone who helped me celebrate FALL INTO YOU's release yesterday even when you were busy doing your own holiday thing. *hugs* I hope those of you who bought it, enjoy it, and those of you who didn't--come on, get to it. Don't let those book gift certificates waste away! ;)  But seriously, I'm always indebted to each and every one of you who read my books. You rock. Thank you.

Now, on to today's post..

It's that time of the year to look back and evaluate what has gone right and wrong so we can decide how we want to move forward in the bright, shiny new year. So I thought it'd be interesting to see which posts were the most popular here on the blog in 2012. And though I knew which one would be number 1, the rest were a bit surprising. So here's what the numbers look like and what I'm going to do about it. :)

 

Top Posts of 2012

 

1.  Bloggers Beware: You CAN Get Sued For Using Pics on Your Blog - My Story - Yeah, this wasn't a fun situation, but the post went viral and seemed to resonate with a lot of people. So, though I'd prefer not to have gone through it, I'm very glad it helped all of us learn how to do the right thing with regards to pics on our blogs.

2.  What to Read If You've Read 50 Shades of Grey and Want More BDSM Romance - Not too surprising considering the 50 phenomenon, but I was surprised that people found their way here considering the glut of info about 50 out there.

3.  BDSM Romance: What To Read If You've Never Tried It Before - This one is probably here for the same reason as number 2.

4.  Want Private Inspiration Boards? Alternatives to Pinterest - I did this post before Pinterest implemented access to 3 private boards. Clearly, it was something a lot of people were looking for (especially after my photo debacle.)

5.  What Will Make An Agent Gong Your Pages - We all want to know, don't we? :)

6.  Zang...Best American Idol Performances Ever #atozchallenge - This one surprised me. It was kind of a random post.

7.  Readers Face the Slush Pile: A Few Hard Truths - This one talked about how readers are now going to have to sift through the slush since it's hard to tell what is good and what isn't now that the indie movement is so big. (I wrote this last May and since then, have read many indie books. I've discovered that how I sift through the slush is simple--I wait for recs from friends and reviewers I trust before I buy a book. And I read samples on occasion.)

8.  Author Websites: Layering Yours With Sticky Extras - I think this one was popular because sometimes we focus so much on our blogs that we forget that readers (especially non-blog-readers) might want a little more on your author website.

9.  Kink & BDSM 101 - What It Is & Why It's So Popular In Books  - I probably have to credit 50 Shades on this one too.

10.  Because Good Smut Should Be Shared...Book Recommendations

11.  The New Adult Genre: Here To Stay This Time? - This genre is on fire right now, so I'm not surprised a lot of people stopped by.

12.  Finding Your Novel's Theme and Your Universal Theme 

 

So what was pretty interesting to me in this list is how it's changed so much from years before. Usually, my writing posts have been the big winners each year. This year, after an effort to balance my site a bit more so that I could provide content to readers and not just writers, it seems to have shifted. I was surprised at how popular the book recommendation posts were. 

Therefore, since I love doing the book rec posts, and y'all seem to appreciate them, I'm going to continue those this year in a more structured way. I'm making Mondays - Must-Read Mondays. Now, if I don't have something to recommend, I won't do a post. But generally, I'm reading enough that I always have a good book to share. And this will NOT be a place for other authors to solicit me for reviews/guest posts/etc. I'm happy to host people on occasion on other days, but I don't accept books for review. Anything I review, I picked up on my own. Plus, I want y'all to know that if I'm recommending a book, it's with no ties or strings or author-is-my-buddy bias--it's just me loving a book as a reader and wanting to pass along the word.

Now for the rest of the days on the blog, I'm still going to cover writing and social media topics when I come across something I haven't covered before. And I'll continue Fill-Me-In Fridays where I round up all the best links. However, those round up posts may be spaced out instead of every Friday because I've been too busy with writing lately to surf the web and have enough links to share each week. Also, I'm not sure if people are still loving the round up, so let me know if it's something you want me to keep around. 

I'm still working on some other features, but that's what I'm changing for now.

Now, go buy FALL INTO YOU, and enjoy your New Year's holiday! ;)

Are you making any changes to your blog this year? What posts are you most likely to stop by for here?

FALL INTO YOU is here! Happy Smexy New Year!

Just popping it to say - woo-hoo! It's release day! Grant's story is finally here!

So your instructions for today are as follows:

1. Buy FALL INTO YOU (and receive my undying gratitude and adoration.)

2. Do whatever the heck else you want to today, as long as number one has been achieved. ;)

3. Stay safe and have a fabulous New Year!

 

Here are some early reviews coming in:

“DEFINITELY and WITHOUT A DOUBT my favorite Dom by Roni Loren to date. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite erotic romance series.  When I crack open a Roni Loren book I seem to always expect a very sexy read, characters with depth and a storyline that always keeps engaged while being a bit suspenseful.  And that’s just sexy suspense done right. --Under the Covers blog

From the first scene between Grant and Charli to the last, Fall Into You is an enthralling, edgy, sexy story. It makes you hope and root for a couple that deserves to find peace and happiness. The underlying theme of this story when all is said and done, is not dominance and submission, it’s not clubs and lessons, it’s not just sex and pleasure – It’s love. ~ Guilty Pleasures book blog

"4 1/2 Stars! Steamy, occasionally shocking, and relentlessly intense, this book isn't for the faint of heart. But with fiery, emotional characters and their blisteringly passionate relationship, it is also one that isn't easily forgotten." --RT Book Reviews magazine

 

*holds all of your hands and dances around in a circle with glee* Happy Smexy New Year!

UK Readers: Crash Into You & Melt Into You Are Now Available In Ebook!

Just wanted to drop in and let all of my UK Readers that the UK version of Crash Into You and Melt Into You are now available in ebook! And they have pretty new covers! The print versions will be in UK bookstores on Jan. 3.

       

Highly-charged and intensely erotic, Crash into You is perfect for fans of Destined to Play and Fifty Shades of Grey.

Sometimes the past can bring you to your knees…

Brynn LeBreck has dedicated herself to helping women in crisis, but things get personal when her younger sister goes missing. Having strayed on to the wrong side of the tracks, she is suspected to be hiding at The Ranch, a secret retreat where the elite escape to play out their sexual fantasies.

To find her, Brynn must go undercover. Unfortunately, The Ranch is invitation only and the one person who can get her in is from the darkest corner of Brynn's past. Years ago, she opened herself up to attorney, Reid Jamison, only to have him break her heart.

Now she needs him again. But as their desires and old wounds are exposed, the sexual games escalate – and so does the danger. Their hearts aren't the only things at risk. Someone else is watching, playing by his own rules and his game could be very dangerous indeed.

Order on Kindle | Waterstone's (epub format)


The thrilling erotic sequel to Crash into You - perfect for fans of Destined to Play and Fifty Shades of Grey.

Will she run from the past - or is it time to take control?

After running away from home and the boy who broke her heart, Evan Kennedy has kick-started the perfect new life with her celebrity fiancé. So what if it’s a marriage of convenience? She knew the deal.

With her ticket to The Ranch, the exclusive retreat where any fantasy can be played out, she knows she can find someone to satisfy her unconventional desires.
She just never expected that man to be Jace Austin, her old heartbreaker – all grown up and ready to join her on a journey of erotic discovery.

She knows it's probably a world-class bad idea to get involved. But if he can stick to the no-strings rules, so can she. Trouble is, Jace has never believed in rules and Evan doesn’t believe in forever. Can Evan and Jace leave their old hurts behind? Because both of them know this is much more than just a game…

Order on Kindle | Waterstone's (epub format)

Have a fantastic weekend!

Is Reading the Genre You're Currently Writing Dangerous?

Photo sent to me by the lovely Stephanie Haefner

There's this thought out there amongst writers that reading something too close to what you're writing poses danger. Why? Because you may lift some idea or concept from a book and incorporate it into your own writing without realizing it--subconscious absorption or something.

So many writers, if they're writing say fantasy YA may stay away from reading any fantasy while they are actively writing and stick to things a little further from home. I get that. It would suck to have someone else's story influence yours too much.

However, here's the thing, if that's the case, then it would be dangerous to read ANY fiction or watch a movie or TV show for that matter. By nature, our stories incorporate ideas we get from things we're exposed to. For instance, if I'm writing my erotic romance, but go see some action film set in Hawaii, it could inspire me to whisk my couple away to the island for a vacation there. There's a difference between inspiration and stealing an idea (whether subconsciously or not). And I think that's where you have to be aware.

 

 

 

But, having said all that, I still read heavily in my genre even when I'm writing it. Why?

 

1. I'm ALWAYS writing.

If you end up doing this for a career, there is very minimal non-writing time, if any. I write every day. I'm under deadlines at least through 2014. If I didn't read romance while I was writing it, I would NEVER get to read my absolute favorite genre. Not acceptable.

 

2. It's important to know what is going on in your genre and what is successful.

This industry is constantly shifting, tastes are perpetually changing. You want to write what you write and stay true to your style, BUT you also don't want to be stagnant or unaware of what is selling. For instance, if you write my genre, you probably should read 50 Shades. Regardless of whether you love/hate/feel indifferent about it, it's important to try to discern what about that book made it such a phenomenon when erotic BDSM romance has been around forever. Keep a thumb on the pulse of your business.

 

3. You learn what is cliche and overdone so you can avoid it.

If you don't read widely in your genre, you may not realize that your SUPER BRILLIANT IDEA has been done a thousand times or that SUPER CREATIVE SCENE is a big fat cliche. 

 

4. You have recommendations to share with your readers.

This is a small thing, but it really does come into play. Many of my readers are new to the genre and they want to know after reading my books, what else is out there that's like this? So if I'm well read in my genre, I can give them some of my favorites, which in turn, helps promote the genre and its authors as a whole.

 

So yes, be aware when you're reading that your mind may try to glom on to something from someone else's book, but don't deprive yourself of the books you love. You're writing this genre for a reason. If someone told me I'd have to give up reading romance if I wanted to write it, I would've found a different job. : )

What do you think? Do you steer clear of reading your own genre when you're writing a new book? Have you ever found yourself accidentally lifting some concept from another book?


The New Adult Genre: Here To Stay This Time?

Image via CollegeDegrees360 (flickr cc)A while back, I think in late 2009, there were rumblings of this new genre called New Adult. This genre would cover an age group often ignored in fiction--the 18-25 year old protagonist. In theory, it was supposed to fill in the gap between Young Adult fiction and Adult fiction. St. Martin's even came out with a call for that type of book. It felt like it was going to be a "thing". I remember all this distinctly because my friend, Julie Cross, had written a book that had college-aged protags (Tempest) and ended up publishing with St. Martin's.

But after that initial buzz about the genre, I didn't hear too much more about it for a while. Personally, I was kind of disappointed because I really like the idea of stories about that age group. So much happens to us in those years--it's rife with the drama of transitioning from childhood to adulthood, figuring out who you are, who you want to be, etc. All the good angsty things that can create good fiction. Plus, you can be a little more flexible with your characters because you don't have to worry as much about the rules that apply to YA fiction. So I was hoping it would get more traction than it did at the time.

Then, just when I thought the idea has faded into the background, 50 Shades happened. 

Yes, most of the buzz about 50 Shades is about the "erotic" parts. But honestly, that part was nothing new. Erotic romance, and specifically BDSM erotic romance, has been around for a long, long time. And has been a thriving sub genre for at least a decade. What was different about 50 Shades was that it was basically erotic YA. Yes, yes, the heroine is in her 20s but it READS like a teen character. (And that makes sense considering it was originally Twilight fan fiction.)

So back in March when I was chatting with agent Sara and YA author Mari Mancusi about 50 Shades at a conference, I jokingly predicted that the next big thing was going to be erotic YA. That's what I thought the book was tapping into.

And holy crap, you know what? I was kind of right. (That never happens.) Except it's not YA, it's New Adult. In the past, it's kind of been a touchy area--18-20 somethings having smexy times in a book, but now it's everywhere. It's a "thing". Look at the books that have done really well post-50 Shades: Bared to You by Sylvia Day (heroine is fresh out of college, starting her first job), Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire (college student I believe), Beth Kery's Because You Are Mine (heroine is right out of college), On Dublin Street  by Samantha Young which I'm reading right now (heroine fresh out of college.) I also read Sheltered by Charlotte Stein earlier this year and it was in the same vein. I know there are many more, but that's just the ones off the top of my head.

Of course, these also have another theme in common--the older, more experienced guy. But that's nothing new to the romance genre. Most historical romances have that dynamic. And even in my books, I usually have a more experienced guy (usually meaning more experienced in BDSM) even if the age difference between the hero and the heroine may not be big. 

AND by total coincidence (seriously, I pitched this idea before this trend started rolling), my e-serial tentatively titled NOT UNTIL YOU falls into this category. The story starts on the day my heroine graduates from veterinary school. And my hero, her neighbor, definitely didn't plan to get involved with some "kid". : ) Of course, his plan doesn't go so well.

So I, for one, am excited about this trend. I always say that erotic romance and YA are my two favorite genres to read. I even started out writing YA. And it's one of the reasons I did a dual timeline in Crash Into You. Half the story is ten years earlier when she's in college, so it's actually half new adult, lol.

So this genre kind of blends what I love most about both adult romance and YA together. When it's well written, I really enjoy that coming-into-adulthood story where we get to see the insecurity and angst of being young and unsure mixed in with the ability to explore and take some risks, to act like an adult.

And with all this momentum, I'm hoping the genre is here to stay. Not just in the erotic subset but in general. Bring on the new adult!

So how do you feel about this genre? Have you read anything you'd consider New Adult? If so, what's been your favorite so far?

Made of Win Monday: Reading Binges

This is going to be a quick post since it's Memorial Day and I know many of you are out eating barbecue and hanging out by the pool. But yesterday I had a glorious day of doing nothing but reading. I read an entire novel and a novella. I binged. And it was lovely and totally made of win.

I knew RT Magazine's list of 50 books for 50 Shades alternatives was going to get me in trouble. :) (Here's the list if you're interested. Crash made it on there too!)

And in case you want to know what books had me glued to my Kindle, here you go. These were both new to me authors. Both were fab...

Sheltered by Charlotte Stein

Adored this story. Such a sweet hero and sexual tension that will melt your e-reader. Ignore the cover, that's not how the characters were described. 

Evie has lived her entire life under her abusive father’s thumb. He controls everything. Where she goes to college, who she sees, what she does. But when she meets Van—a punk who shows her how different life could be—she realizes how much she’s been missing.Van offers her excitement, protection, love…and most of all, sex—even if he’s at first reluctant to give her all the things she’s been craving. She wants to explore this new world of arousal and desire, but Van is only too aware of how fragile she is, how innocent…And how much is at stake, when their love is forbidden.

 

Willing Victim by Cara McKenna

For the past couple years Laurel’s been coasting, hiding in the backseat while her life drifts off course. Then one summer afternoon a tall, built bruiser named Flynn strides in and steers her straight into an infatuation she never saw coming.Flynn introduces Laurel to things she’s never imagined—to the violent but exciting realm of the underground boxing circuit, to rough sex and even rougher role-playing, and to an attraction she craves even as it intimidates her. As Flynn invites her deeper into his world and his life, Laurel has to make a choice—let fear keep her holed up where it’s safe, or take a chance and fight for the man who makes her feel more alive than she’d dreamed possible. Reader Advisory: Although all sex acts are 100-percent consensual, Willing Victim contains role-playing scenarios that may upset some readers who are sensitive about rape, even in a simulated capacity.

 

So here's to days where you get so lost in a book you can't stop...and don't have to!

Anyone have a book binge lately?

Fill-Me-In Friday: Best Publishing Links of the Week

Did I miss the train?

Photo by Son of Groucho
  


 Need to catch up? It's that time of the week again--best links!

But first, I'm a guest over at the Save the Cat blog today talking about Why Your Writing Process Shouldn’t Be Sacred. Yes, I fangirled about Save the Cat so much online that they invited me over, lol. But seriously, that book changed my writing life. I'm a believer. :)
On Writing/Publishing:
On Social Networking:
Reading:
What You May Have Missed Here:
So that's what I've got for the week. What were some of you favorite links this week?

Xtra, Xtra: Best Writing Links of the Week #atozchallenge

 

 

It's that time of the week again--best links! (And yes, I'm stretching the a to z challenge thing today, but come one--it's X. Ugh.) So here we go...

On Writing/Publishing:
For Random Fun and Info:
What You May Have Missed Here:

(my post at Peanut Butter on the Keyboard)
Alright, that's all I've got this week. What have been some of your favorite links of the week? 
Have a great weekend!

Kink & BDSM 101 - What It Is & Why It's So Popular In Books #atozchallenge

This is a post I did a while back as a guest post on my blog tour, but with all the talk about BDSM since Fifty Shades of Grey has hit, I figured this was a good time to re-run this primer. 

BDSM 101: What It Is and Why It’s So Popular in Books

Photo by Latente (click pic for link)

When I tell people I’m a writer, I inevitably get the same basic questions—“Are you published?” and then when they find out I’m going to be…“So what’s your book about?”

Depending on who’s asking, I can answer that a few different ways. But if it’s someone who maybe isn’t overly familiar with my genre, the answer is usually something like, “It’s a sexy romance about a social worker who has to find her missing sister with the help of her ex.”  

And for a while, I was able to leave it at that. But as the book got closer and closer to publication and started showing up on Amazon and such, I started getting that other question. “What is BDSM? Is that like handcuffs and whips and stuff?” *insert judgmental, slightly wary expression crossing their face (or a saucy eyebrow raise depending on who was asking)*

To answer: well, yes, it can be about those things. But that’s a very small part under a very large umbrella. Throwing a pair of handcuffs into a story does not a BDSM book make.

So if you’re new to this subgenre, here are some basics:

BDSM stands for Bondage & Discipline, Dominance & Submission, Sadism & Masochism (some of the letters do double duty in the acronym).

  • Bondage – Physically restraining a partner in some way (tying someone down, handcuffs, etc.)
  • Discipline – Giving physical or psychological punishment to control behavior. 
  • Sadomasochism -- Sexual sadism is deriving pleasure from inflicting physical or psychological pain on someone else. But it’s not the same as pure sadism. A sexual sadist (especially the ones we write about in romance novels) only enjoy inflicting the pain because the partner is a masochist and derives pleasure from receiving it. It’s an exchange of mutually pleasurable activities. (As opposed to a sadist who would get pleasure from torturing an unwilling victim. That’s a different thing altogether.)
  • Dominance/Submission (or D/s): This is the power exchange between partners, whereby one partner (the submissive) gives over all the control to the other (the dominant). This may be only in their sexual relationship or it may be in all aspects of the relationship. Also, don’t assume that the submissive partner is always the woman. Though that’s the more popular theme in romance, men can be submissive too. (Read Joey W. Hill’s Nature of Desire series if you’re interested in reading some great female dominant BDSM romances.)

A few other terms you may run across:

SSC (Safe, Sane, Consensual) or RACK (Risk-Aware Consensual Kink) – These are the cornerstone philosophies in BDSM play.  All activities must be consensual and safe (or risk-aware if both parties are engaging in the edgier stuff). 

Safe words – A word is given to the submissive to signal “stop everything right now”. The words “no” or “stop” aren’t typically used as safe words because sometimes in BDSM play, someone may say “no” as part of the scene. So a word that easily sticks out like “Waffles” or something is chosen. When the sub says that word, everything stops immediately, no questions asked. 

Subspace – This is the trancelike or euphoric state for submissives. I won’t attempt my own explanation of the science since Wikipedia does a better job: 

“the intense experiences of both pain and pleasure trigger a sympathetic nervous system response, which causes a release of epinephrine…as well as a dump of endorphins... These natural chemicals…produce the same effect as a morphine-like drug, increasing the pain tolerance of the submissive as the scene becomes more intense. Since the increase of hormones and chemicals produces a sort of trance-like state, the submissive starts to feel out-of-body, detached from reality, and as the high comes down, and the parasympathetic nervous system kicks in, a deep exhaustion, as well as incoherence.”

So when people looking from the outside in wonder why the heck someone would want to be tied up, flogged, and bossed around---well, there you go, subspace is one enticing reason why. 

 

But why are so many romance readers and writers getting into BDSM stories? What need or desire are books like 50 Shades tapping into?

I can’t answer for everyone, but for me, the D/s aspect is really what drives me to write and read these stories. Romance readers have always enjoyed the very alpha hero. Think of all those historical romances where the duke/rake/etc. takes all the control. Or look at the paranormals that have all those alpha wolves going after the heroines. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely an I-am-woman-hear-me-roar kind of chick. But in a world where we are often weighed down with so much responsibility, it can be a nice escape to imagine having a break from that. Of imagining putting ourselves completely in the hands of a guy we love and trust—one that will keep us safe and also rock our world. ;)  

And that’s how I wrote Brynn in CRASH INTO YOU. She’s very in control of her life, very strong, and has overcome a lot in her past. She doesn’t *need* a man. But because she’s always had to be responsible and in charge, submitting to Reid gives her an escape, a place where she can just let go and feel. And I think on some level, we can all relate to that.

All right, hope this wasn’t too much like some whacked-out school report, lol, but I wanted to give anyone who hasn’t read BDSM an idea of what it’s about. If you have any questions for me or any of this is unclear, let me know in the comments! : )

And if you want some suggestions on great BDSM romances to try, check out my favorites here.

*This post was originally posted as my guest post on Riverina Romantics.

Fill-Me-In Friday: Best Writing Links of the Week #atozchallenge

 

Did I miss the train?

Photo by Son of Groucho
  

 Need to catch up?

If you're new to my blog, every Friday is reserved for rounding up the best links of the week. And the letter for the A to Z Challenge today is conveniently the letter F, so my normal Fill-Me-In Friday works! :)

Here we go...

On Writing/Publishing/Social Networking:

Julie James and the Art of Interviewing at Dear Author

Julie Anne Lindsey | GoodReads for Writers – A LESSON for you

How To Keep Your Inbox At Zero | Author Media

Case Study: How to Breathe New Life into Your Tired Old Blog | Copyblogger

How Cat’s Eye Writer Became a Top 10 Blogger

Andrew Shaffer To Write Fifty Shades Of Grey Parody, Fifty Shames Of Earl Grey 

Content Marketing Data Analysis: Is Pinterest Traffic Worthless? | Copyblogger

 

What You May Have Missed Here:

A is for...An Ordinary Girl

 

 

Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone

 

 

Channing Tatum - Boyfriend of the Week

 

 

Don't Be THAT Writer

 

 

E is for Easter Eggs Prettier Than Mine  #atozchallenge

 

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! I'll be flying to Chicago for the Romantic Times Convention next week, so remind why I signed up for this A to Z challenge again? Eek!

Catch Up Friday: Best Writing Links of the Week

 

Did I miss the train?

Photo by Son of Groucho
  

 Okay, so I know I said earlier in the week that I wasn't blogging for the rest of the week. But I've got a pocket of time tonight and have too many good links not to share.

But first, if anyone is in the DFW area, I'll be signing books tonight from 6:30-9pm in Irving along with a bunch of other authors. Proceeds go to charity so hope y'all will come by. (Deets here.)

Alright, on to the links...

Ten Things You Should Know About Endings via Chuck Wendig

5 Key Elements of Author Branding | Self Publishing Team | Duolit

Humor Writing for People Who Aren’t Funny via The Write Practice

So, You Want To Be An Author? Part Four – Ideas « Donna Newton's Blog

Attack Of The Blog | Writers In The Storm Blog 

50 Shades Overrated – Nina Badzin's Blog

The Other Side of the Story: Guest Author Tiffany Reisz : A Twitter-Sweet Love Story

How to Make a Living as a Writer, Part One | Rachelle Gardner

The First Steps to Building an Author Platform: A Guest Post by Dan Blank 

105 Author Blog Prompts: It’s Megapost Time! | Self Publishing Team | Duolit

Start Your Week Off Write: The Dangers of Self-Censoring, Avoiding Controversy, ...

10 Types of Killer Filler Content for Your Blog : @ProBlogger

How To Get Book Reviews Without Spending Too Much Money | The Creative Penn

50 Successful Blogs That Prove You Don’t Have to “Blog About Blogging” To Create a Winner via Sparring Mind

Interview: Book promo mavens Pamela Spengler-Jaffee and Nancy Berland - USATODAY Happily Ever After

Amazon Book Reviews: Democracy in action, ignorance or bullying? | GENREALITY

 

What You May Have Missed Here:

 

Boyfriend of the Week: Alex O'Loughlin via Sharla Lovelace

 

 

What Race Are We In Again? Parental Competition | My post at peanut butter on the keyboard

 

And April will be here in a few days. Thanks the heavens because March has been beyond nightmarish for me. But anyway, April is the month of the A to Z Challenge. I think I'm going to give this a shot because it will shake up my blog a bit and force me out of my normal schedule and comfort zone. Anyone else doing it?

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge: 2012 A to Z Challenge Sign Up List 

 

Alright, hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! I get to spend mine at a writers' conference with my lovely agent and some writer friends. I can't even tell you how much I'm looking forward to a weekend of fun writerly stuff.

Fill Me In Friday - Best Writing Links of the Week

Did I miss the train?

Photo by Son of Groucho
  

Busy week? Need to catch up? It's that time of the week again. Hope everyone has had a great one (and survived spring break with your kids!) This week's links list is actually a compilation from two weeks because I skipped last week. Hope you enjoy!
On Writing, Blogging, and Social Networking:
On the 50 Shades of Grey hoopla:
What You May Have Missed Here:
All right, that's what's I have this week. What were some of your favorite posts of the week? Anyone else ready for spring break to be over?

Parenting and a Chance to Get a Copy of CRASH INTO YOU

 

 Just poking my head out of my writer's cave for a few updates...

Today I'm over at the new parenting blog I've joined - Peanut Butter on the Keyboard - talking about a mommy fail: The Too Observant Child

Also, author Carly Phillips has given her take on the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy and is giving away a number of books from some erotic romance authors--including mine! So go check it out for a chance to win. : )

A Lesson in "Don't Write to the Trend"

By Joel Resnicoff (died 1986), showing mannequin he designed as artist. [FAL], via Wikimedia CommonsSo we hear it all the time in workshops and in blog posts from agents and editors--don't write to the trend, write what you love.

Why? Because at the rate publishing moves, that thing that's the trend now was bought probably two years ago. With the age of digital publishing and self publishing, this has a little more flexibility because stories can get turned around more quickly. But even so, most of the time when something "hits big", if you don't already have a manuscript close to finished, you're probably already too late.

We see it happen all the time. Twilight exploded then all of a sudden every book on the shelf was about vampires. Then we got a little burnt out on vampires, so "ooh angels!" that's totally different. And soon we tired of angels. Then shapeshifter werewolves, weretigers, werehampsters were popping up (okay, maybe not hampsters.) Then we're over that.

Same thing has been happening with dystopian. Hunger Games busted open the dam, then all these YA dystopians flooded the market. And now I'm hearing people say, love The Hunger Games but, ugh, I'm getting so burnt out on dystopian.

The market ebbs and flows and certain things are going to spike. The ones that get to ride that wave of a trend are usually people who were already writing that kind of book before the trend became a trend. Their books were already lying in wait, complete and ready to go once a publisher took interest. All the others who scrambled to start writing to the trend end up with a manuscript that's ready when the popularity is starting to wane.

We're on the cusp of a new trend as we speak. If you haven't been living in a cave for the last two weeks, the book Fifty Shades of Grey has been on all the major news programs and is popping up everywhere. This book is BDSM erotic romance. It's what I write. Now, had you told me a month ago that my little niche genre would all of a sudden become the talk on the Today show and Good Morning America and that an erotic romance was going to hit #1 on the New York Times, I would've laughed. I mean, are you kidding? Most people don't even know what BDSM is, much less that there are romances about it.

But wham, there it is, everyone is talking about it. My agent is getting calls from editors wondering if she has any BDSM romance to shop, audio rights people are calling to see if she has any BDSM books they can look at, film rights people are suddenly open to looking at those kinds of books. It's craziness.

Now I don't know how far all this exposure for the genre will go--I hope very far, obviously. But all of a sudden, I'm writing something "trendy". How the eff did that happen? I'm NEVER up with the trend for anything, lol.

But here's the lesson: I wrote the books I wanted to write. I wrote stories I was passionate about. I didn't write a BDSM story because it was the "thing". It wasn't the thing. But now when a trend is starting to explode, I have four books coming out right in the middle of it. Now, that may not affect my series' success at all, but damn, it can't hurt, right? : )

So write what you love. If that's something that's a trend right now (say you love writing dystopian), that's fine. If you are passionate about it, that's going to come through and hopefully stand out amongst a crowded shelf. For instance, there are still people writing about vampires and doing well because the stories are good and they are passionate about the topic.

But if what's "hot" right now is not your thing, don't try to write it to get a piece of that trend. You'll probably be too late and the lack of authentic passion will shine through. It will feel like an imitation.

And if what you love is not "trendy" right now, go for it anyway. Maybe you'll be the trend setter. (Ask Nirvana or Pearl Jam who started their style of music when all the other rock bands were wearing spandex and Aquanet). Or maybe you'll get lucky like me and something in your genre will break out unexpectedly, and you'll be ready to be part of the wave.

So what are your thoughts on trends? Do you write in a "trendy" genre or are you writing something not so popular? What trends have you grown tired of? 

What to Read If You've Read #50Shades of Grey and Want More BDSM Romance

So this week I've been in my writing cave, busting butt to meet an end of the month deadline. So I didn't get a chance to collect enough links for my usual Fill Me In Friday feature. I'll just save up the few links from this week and add them to next week's. 

Instead, I've decided to offer some suggestions to those who may have discovered the BDSM/kinky romance genre via the book everyone is talking about, Fifty Shades of Grey, and want to read more in the genre.

I'm not going to talk about the controversy surrounding it. I've vented enough about Dr. Drew on Twitter this week. And I'm not here to review the book. There are many respected reviewers doing that out there.

However, what I do hope all this talk stirs up, is interest in the subgenre of erotic romance. There are so many talented writers and great stories out there that I hope readers will check out. 

So here are a couple of suggestions:

BDSM romance with very alpha male Doms:

  • Shayla Black's Wicked Lovers series - starts with Wicked Ties

BDSM romance with the woman as the Domme but still very alpha heroes:

  • Joey W. Hill's Nature of Desire series - particularly Nature of Desire - Natural Law   (Believe me, even if you don't think you'd like reading about the roles being reversed, check these out. Joey Hill is fantastic. Though, warning, these will make 50 Shades seem very, very mild and vanilla.)
  • I have one coming out in October 2015 called Break Me Down.

BDSM Erotica (not necessarily a wrapped up happy ending):

Kinky Cowboys:

  • Any of Lorelei James's erotic cowboy novels
  • My book FALL INTO YOU has a kinky cowboy hero

Just Good Fun with some kink but not full-out BDSM:

 

There are so many more I could list including some m/m options (will save for another post) and some more envelope-pushing stories, but I think these are good ones to start with if you're new to the genre.

And I know there are so many more I haven't read that would be great options too.

So if you're an avid reader in this genre and have some suggestions to add to this list (I know I'm woefully under-read in the ebook market), then feel free to let me know your suggestions in the comments.

So what books would you suggest? Or if you're new to the genre, what of these appeal to you?