Saturday, October 29, 2005

After a wonderful ego trip in Chicago...a dose of reality today. Let me start at the beginning....

Border's Books holds regional meetings with all the district and store managers of a particular area. Ellora's Cave was invited to the regional meeting for the upper midwestern states and EC asked Jaid Black, Tawny Taylor and me to attend with them and to help represent the company. Honored, all three of us accepted and Jaid (being the founder of the company) gave a speech. Unfortunately, I didn't get to hear it as my flight home was at the same time. :(

The trip, however, was glorious. We were treated like celebrities every the terrific staff of the Crowne Plaza (the one right near the airport in Chicago), by the Border's personnel, and by our own EC bosses...Patty Marks and Jeania Uplinger. I practically didn't need that plane to fly home!

And then...reality. Every once in a while I check my sales ranking at, more out of curiosity than anything else. Most of my readers purchase my books through EC (for the downloads) or brick and mortar stores (for the paperbacks). So yesterday, I go to and check the listing for SECRET SUBMISSION. Imagine my surprise to discover a new review! I'm always eager to hear what people have to say about my book and even if they didn't like it, I like to know why.

Well, there are two reviews of SECRET SUBMISSION (DIAMOND STUDS has only one and IRISH ENCHANTMENT and TABLE FOR FOUR have none). The one that's been there a while is glowing, and the new one...isn't. I got trashed. No, more than trashed. I got beaten to a pulp, stomped on, and left in the gutter.

Now, like I said, I know what I write isn't for all people and I don't expect everyone to like it. But her one comment, about the fact that "there was no romance, not even the slightest bit," got to me. You can read her whole review here.

I had to think about it a while to understand why her comment ticked me off so much. Like I said, I know BDSM isn't for everyone. And that's when it hit me. It's not just that she's dismissing me, she dismissing everyone who's involved in the lifestyle as well. There IS romance in that book...a ton of it. But it isn't sweet and pretty, it isn't all hearts and flowers. And it isn't vanilla. It's softly's the thorns instead of the roses (in fact, there's an incredible non-fiction BDSM book called SCREW THE ROSES, SEND ME THE THORNS that explores the psychology of D/s and a whole lot more). All my writings explore a different type of romance than the traditional.

I read through some of her other reviews and that became clearer...she's reviewed lots of books and I think it's wonderful that she takes the time to write down her thoughts. She admits this is the first BDSM book she's ever read...LOL...Secret Submission is rather tame compared to some of the online stuff...although it is pushing the envelope in print fiction.

To the readers of my books who also read this blog, I have a request. Take a moment and write your own reviews of not only my books, but of the books you read. Just a line or two is sufficient for I've read other's reviews there that are huge! LOL Your comments help writers to understand how the world views their work. Plus, it's a great chance to let the world know your opinions. my soapbox and off to write a whole lot more BDSM... with romance!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Eight books in three years.

Who'd a thunk? Of course, only three of them are full-length I guess that really comes down to a book a year, with five short stories thrown in for good measure. Except HOOKED is novella length, not short story....

Okay, so there's no rhyme or reason to my writing. I write what comes down the pike...tried my hand at two anthologies and might do a third, but only with Ruby Storm and Ruth Kerce...they're great partners to work with and we've already started discussing ideas for another set of stories. But it wouldn't come out for over a year, so I have no sense of urgency yet. And I truly think I write better...or at least more...when I have a deadline hanging over my head, self-imposed or otherwise.

I've been piddling at several stories, but none of the characters have yet grabbed me by the collar and screamed, "ME! Tell MY story!" That's sort of the only way they get page time. So I keep doodling, going from one started manuscript to the next (I think I'm up to five now) hoping that, this time, a character will step up to the plate.

In the meantime, I've been refreshing my batteries...or, going back to Stephen Covey, 'sharpening my saw' by scrapbooking with my daughter, playing solitaire (LOTS of solitaire...Spider is the current weapon of choice for idling away my time...), gardening and following hurricane news. I have relatives in Florida...Fort Meyers to be exact. So once again I've glued myself to the TV.

Today's a celebration day with the release of CABIN FEVER. So tonight, I'm going to kick back, relax and tackle that cast of characters tomorrow.

Till later, play safe!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I went to a terrific series of workshops today and learned a slew of 'stuff' about some of the new internet tools. Not only blogging, but RSS and podcasting and wikis as well. Lots I had heard of, but haven't yet had the time to play with. Guess I'll be making that time...although it will mean I need to set aside my latest story.

And what is the latest? LOL Depends on the day and my mood. I've thought about a sequel to Secret Submission...and actually written about 4000 words or so exploring Sarah and Phillip's move to a 24/7 relationship. Already have a title, too: Submission Revealed.

Then there's a Civil War historical novel I've been working on for several years. Thought I'd dig it out and give it another go. The story is a true one...about a man and his brother who enlist in the same Union regiment in August of 1863 and end up prisoners of war four weeks later. The story follows their first year in the army...from their capture at Harper's Ferry to the battle of Gettysburg a year later. I'm thinking of it for Cerridwen Press.

And then there's another one I haven't yet begun to write, but have been researching off and on for the past 6 months. More off than on. I had just about given up on it...but every time I do, the main character's name shows up in some odd place and gets me thinking again. We'll see where that goes.

Of course, I also have a fantasy novel I've been trying to start for two years...the synopsis is all set and I love the story, but can't seem to get the characters to sit still long enough to show me the opening scene. I've written about five starts...and not one of them is worth the computer space they take up.

See now why I might as well take some time to learn the whole RSS thing?

Till later,

Play safe!