Why Content Edits Matter by Liana Brooks

editing-ad-3Writing a book is hard. It often involves late nights, early mornings, crippling doubt, and the looming sense that nothing will ever be right in the world again. But, eventually, anyone can put 80,000 words onto a page and write a novel.

Making the novel coherent, enjoyable, and memorable is a whole other matter.

A content editor is like a personal trainer. They come in, they note the novel’s weak points, and they focus on tightening and perfecting the plot. Just like someone timidly approaching the gym, most authors are inclined to stay in their comfort zone while editing. There’s a temptation to cheat the book and keep a beloved scene because it just means so much to you!

Your content editor keeps you from cheating on yourself. They can tell you when your characters are acting out of character, when the logic fails, and where the gaps in the plot are.

More importantly, content editors edit with the intent of improving the pacing and making sure the emotional highs and lows are dramatic and breathtaking. The difference is a book that’s OK, and book that develops a passionate fan base of fully immersed readers.

Which probably leaves you wondering… what does the content editor look at, specifically, when do I need one, and how do I find one?

First, let’s start with WHEN you need a content editor. If you are published by a press – big or small – the first round of edits you do with an editor are content or developmental edits. You may also do a round of these with your agent before shopping the book. For indie authors, you hire a content editor after you’ve done your basic edits (all the scenes are written, you’ve checked for typos, and it is edited as well as you can on your own). After getting your content edit back you’ll probably rewrite a few scenes, maybe cut a few scenes, and then your manuscript will go to a line editor who will look for spelling and grammar errors.

So, what is the content editor going to hammer you on? The most common mistakes I see are:

  • A lack of body language. Human communication relies heavily on tone and gestures. Without those in the text, the dialog can become confusing.
  • A lack of descriptive language, or too much description. Either is bad. You need to set the scene well enough that the reader can visualize what is happening, but not spend so much time describing the rolling hills that the reader falls asleep
  • A missing plot. Sometimes author write beautiful books but all they’re showing is vignettes, cute little scenes where things happen, but nothing really matters. There needs to be a risk of failure, an antagonist keeping the hero from their goal, and a ticking time bomb that keeps the whole book moving along.
  • Illogical or out-of-character responses to situations. A genius character makes an amateur mistake, a frosty character falls madly in love after a single glance, a detective ignores compelling evidence… if you have to bend a character to fit the plot, something is wrong, and a content editor can help get you back on course.

That leaves us with the last question: How do you find a good content editor?

Anyone, literally anyone, can hang up a shingle and say that they’re an editor these days. So before you hire anyone there’s a few things you need to do to make sure you are getting the right editor for you.

1 – Make a budget.Content edits can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per edit depending on how in-demand the editor is. If you’re planning on querying the novel it’s much more cost effective to get a partial edit (the first three chapters) and then make sure anything learn in those edits is applied throughout the book. If you are self-publishing, you need the full manuscript edit but you probably don’t need to pay $2000 for the edit and a skype session with a bestselling author who edits books on the side.

Side Note: If you can afford the $2000, by all means hire the bestselling author. The skype session will be informative and you’ll have a wonderful experience.

2- Find someone who knows your genre. If you write erotic horror you do not need someone who specializes in MG Fantasy editing your book. Shop around and find someone who knows your genre and market.

3- Ask for recommendations. Network with your other author buddies and see who they recommend. Even if the editor is booked solid, they can probably recommend another editor who will have an opening. Be aware that most editors book several months in advance, the better known they are, the fewer openings they will have. But, it doesn’t hurt to ask! Someone’s last minute change of publishing schedule could always make an opening for your book!

4- Ask for samples. Good editors will either be willing to edit sample pages for you, or will have permission from one of their other clients to share sample pages. Since every editor has a different style, and every author learns a different way, it’s important find an editor who speaks your language.

5- Don’t be afraid to make changes. Publishing is a very fluid industry and it is always changing. If an editor isn’t working out for you, can never fit you in, or seems to be giving bad advice… go shopping! Friendships are great, but this is first and foremost a business. You should always be learning, improving, and working for your next stretch goal. If you’ve outgrown a business contact, that’s okay. Send them a thank you note for all their amazing help, and move on to the next stage of your career!

BIO:

Liana Brooks writes science fiction and sci-fi romance for people who like fast ships, big guns, witty one-liners, and happy endings. She lives in Alaska with her husband, four kids, and giant mastiff puppy. When she isn’t writing she enjoys hiking the Chugach Range, climbing glaciers, and watching whales.

Before jumping into the wonderful world of fiction Liana was a newspaper editor for a local paper. She’s a hybrid author with experience prepping books for Big 5 publishers, agents, small presses, and self-publication, and she knows what the publishers are looking for right now.

You can find Liana on the web at www.lianabrooks.com or on Twitter as @LianaBrooks.

To request a sample and see her editing style, contact Liana at liana.brooks1@gmail.com

Stock Photos and Covers by Victoria Miller

victoriaI have long been a fan of award winning cover designer Victoria Miller and I was thrilled when she agreed to let me republish her recent post about stock photos.

This is definitely worth a read regardless of whether you are self-published, published through a small Indie Publisher or through one of the “Big” publishing houses.

You can find her online here.

Facebook

Website

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PSA about Stock Photos.

There’s a lot of misinformation floating around that traditional publishers don’t use these for bestselling authors. This isn’t true. Many stock images are used on big pub books. A lot of the times they are edited to the point that they aren’t recognizable, but they start from stock. Likewise, indie authors can and have used custom photoshoots for their books—it costs more, which is why most stick to stock. However, what does this mean in the long run?

Indie authors may (and will) use stock traditional publishers have used on books. Sometimes they will have used it prior to NY pubs getting their hands on it. The difference is one has a farther reach in marketing so it will become more known as the NY pub’s work than the indie’s.

That doesn’t mean one is ripping off the other. In fact, there is a good chance they might not know the other book exists until after they have paid for their art and/or the book has gone out into the world. Cover Artists do look at a lot of art to see trends and what not, but there are so many books out there that they won’t know what every cover looks like, even in genres they prefer.

As an artist, I have accidentally created a cover using the same font for a book with the same title as another in the same genre. I’d never seen the cover before and had no idea. (Great minds though. You know the saying!) I have purchased stock that I’ve had to back burner for a year or more because a bestselling author released a book using the stock. I’ve made a cover using stock and then a bestselling author releases a book using the stock. I’ve used an image for a cover and another author later used the image as promotional material in paid promo that has out-marketed the cover that it was used on. It happens all the time.

Stock images can be used by any author or artist that pays to use them in the way the licensing dictates it can be used. Multiple authors can use it. There’s no rule against it. However, a good artist will try to change images as much as possible so that when the stock is used again it won’t be exactly the same. Of course, some authors prefer the original image and they have to pick their battles. What does this mean?

Don’t assume another author is ripping another off based on stock images. Because of popular genre tropes, images will be used by authors for similar stories. If you think there is plagiarism going on, you will need to read the book triggering this suspicion BEFORE making any accusation, no matter how innocent. Social media witch hunts are started for lesser things, and even if it is addressed privately it always starts the same way.

1. Addressing similarities without reading the content itself

2. Name calling the other author based on suspicion.

3. Passive Aggressive online behavior. Messaging the author to mention the other book. Some will do this publicly. Some privately. It spirals out of control from there.

4. It starts to get noticed because someone has mentioned it to the author. Other people discuss it.

5. People share it in groups, messages, pages, and other social media outlets. The torches are being lit.

6. Based on an assumption, the author is then under attack either publicly or privately on social media by people who have never read her work. Fan bases for both authors clash. Then it turns ugly. The both fan bases take it out on the authors. Negative reviews for no reason. Bad word of mouth. Etc.

The moral of the story: don’t assume. Yes, there is a chance an author might use an image because another author made it popular, but there is as much of a chance they didn’t. Don’t assume. If you read the book and there is a call for alarm, contact the appropriate sources.

We Host – The Lord’s Persuasion of Lady Lydia by Raven McAllan

I love having the talented and fabulous Raven McAllan to visit and I love it even more when she’s willing to write me a guest post to share with all of you!  Enjoy xx

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It’s always special when you have a book out. A red letter, chill the fizz, find the bar of chocolate you stashed and celebrate time.

I’m doing the chair swivel jiggle, happy dance because my latest Regency, The Lord’s Persuasion of Lady Lydia is now all set and ready to be downloaded to an eReader near you.

I know Regency isn’t to everyone’s taste. Well it would be a boring old world if we all liked the same things, wouldn’t it. But I love researching and writing stores set at that time. There’s so much intrigue and things going on behind closed door, the scope is endless.

As I wrote the story the people who read snippets gave it a nickname…

#TeamHarry

Take Harry for instance. He knows what he wants. There’s just the not so small problem of getting Lydia to see things his way… As the blurb says…

 

Blurb Skinny

lydiaSeducing the wallflower…

Over the years, Lydia Field has perfected the art of being a wallflower. It’s the only way to avoid the attention of unwanted suitors – and the perils of a convenient, loveless marriage! Instead, she dreams of the day she can leave London’s high society behind her, trading the glamorous balls and afternoon teas for a quiet life in the country.

But in an unguarded moment, she finds herself catching the eye of notorious rake ‘Handsome Harry’, Lord Birnham. Now that he’s glimpsed the wildness and fire that lurks beneath Lydia’s demure exterior, Lord Birnham will not rest until he has unleashed the full extent of her passion!

For if there’s one skill that Lord Birnham is known for, it’s the art of persuasion…

And a wee tease…

Excerpt skinny

‘Lydia my dear, everyone expects us to announce our betrothal on your birthday. The rumours are that is what we are waiting for. Plus.’ Oh how he wished he didn’t have to say it. ‘If you do not agree the rumours are correct and making it official your parents would be mortified and hardly dare show their faces. Think what that would do to your mama.’

Lydia blanched. ‘That is rubbish.’ She jumped up and began to pace the room. ‘I will not be coerced by you them or anyone else. Lord can’t you see how wrong it all is?’ she appealed to him. ‘I have not said yes. I will not say yes and this, this idiocy has gone on long enough. I will issue a statement myself and tell everyone it is so.’

‘You’ll ruin yourself if you do,’ Harry warned her. ‘As well as your parents.People will think you started the rumours yourself.’

She shrugged. ‘Let them. I do not care.’

His heart sank. ‘I do. Your parents would. If nothing else thinkagain how it would reflect on them. Yes I know your mama started it, but even you have to admit she thinks she has your best interests at heart.’

‘By forcing me into something abhorrent,’ Lydia asked passionately. ‘Incredible.’ She swung around so violently her skirts rocked the firedogs. ‘Parental love is very strange.’

Harry stood up and stopped her pacing by the simple method of pulling her into his arms. Lydia glared up at him as she stood stiff and unyielding in the circle of his arms. ‘What?’

He tilted her chin up with one long finger and looked at her anger filled eyes. ‘Ah, love, if only I had the answer you want.’

She sniffed. ‘You do but you choose not to say it.’

Her tear-filled eyes and woebegone expression was too much. Harry pulled her closer and put his chin on top of her head. ‘Do you feel the world is against you?’

She sighed, but didn’t pull back. ‘All of it. Is it too much to ask for peace to do one thing on my own?’

He firmed his lips and then gave into temptation to kiss her hair. ‘It’s our world, love. For good or bad we have to work with it not against it. Although, I suspect together we could change it if we had a mind to. What say you?’

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If this makes you wonder ohhh what if? …  #TeamHarry is available from

Amazon.com        Amazon.uk         Kobo          ARe

Happy Reading,

Love Raven x

We Host – The End Game by Kera Faire

 

the-end-game-evernightpublishing-2016-banner1

A Scottish-based author with the love of the unexpected, Kera writes stories to make your heart miss a beat. Living in the land of the spirits helps her to get in the right frame of mind and find light in the dark side of life.

Let’s hope you think The End Game does just that.

www.evernightpublishing.com/the-end-game-by-kera-faire

www.ravenmcallan.com

Blurb Skinny

the-end-game-evernightpublishing-2016-finalimageAs an undercover operative, your life is not your own and you can’t trust anyone.

Emma MacKay is only too aware of that, but it still sucks when you have to take out a friend’s fiancé, because he’s suspected of being a traitor.

Milo Dorn is more than an undercover operative. He’s one of the dispatchers, secret killers for the department.

When someone is feeding his pigs fresh meat he needs to find answers.

What he finds instead is the woman of his dreams. While the sex is mind blowing, and makes him want to throw away the rule book, he cannot forget the first rule of the game.

Trust no one.

When the truth comes out, can Milo and Emma find a way to each other, or are their jobs an obstacle to high to overcome?

The End Game is on.

 

Excerpt skinny

‘What sort of person accepts what’s going on and makes the best of it?”

“A horny one?” She laughed throatily. “And let’s face it, what else can I do? I’m a bit tied up at the moment.”

That made him grin. “Yeah. So go on, sweet cheeks, what next?”

She bit her lip and looked pointedly at her ankles where her trousers and underwear were in a crumpled heap. “Take off my shoes and trousers for me and I’ll show you.”

That seemed reasonable. Milo tugged and pulled where necessary until she was as near as dammit naked. Now he had a chance to look at her closely, he could see red patches where he’d rubbed his stubble over her soft skin. Her bra and t shirt were pushed up and her luscious breasts with puckered nipples called to him like a siren.

He traced one red patch gently. “Shit, sorry, I guess I was a bit rough.”

She nodded. “Just a bit, but did you hear me complain?”

Well, no, she has a point.

Okay so what next? “Over to you, sweet cheeks. It seems you’re the one directing the traffic.”

“You better believe it,” she drawled and closed her legs. Disappointment stabbed at him, until he saw the speculative expression on her face.

“Pity, pet,” he drawled. “That was a great view.”

She dipped her head. “Not pet, I don’t bark or meow, just purr on occasion.”

He laughed. “Sweet cheeks?”

She sighed, very dramatically. “If you must. Put your leg either side of mine, not too close, lean back and think of Scotland.”

“What?” Now he was puzzled. Excited, aroused, but puzzled.

She tilted her head “Are you chicken, Sir?” She clucked and he burst out laughing.

“Nope. Okay.” He did as she bid and found himself with his cock between her feet before he had a chance to say ‘what’s next?’.

Milo swallowed. “Ah and now?”

“Now this.” The soles of her feet encased his cock and slowly began to move up and down his hard length.

Milo swore his eyes crossed as she varied the speed and depth of her strokes. Why had this never happened before? Fucking hell her feet moved in such a way his pre-cum covered them within seconds.

Stroke, sigh. “Ah that is so good to do. Oh my.Better to fe… ah sweet jesus.” Somehow she’d nipped his foreskin between her toes, just enough to sting. “Bloody… sweet cheeks you’re killing me here.”

“No… not yet…  now more eh… like this…” Her words made little sense to him. Every fiber of his being was concentrated on those magic feet stroking his dick. Milo stopped thinking and let his climax roll through his overheated body.

He stiffened and she chuckled before tightening her hold on him, and he came in a roar. Cum spurted all over her feet, his balls and the grass beneath him.

“Sweet cheeks, you are a genius,” he said as soon as he had enough breath to speak. “I’ll never look at feet in the same way again.”

“I bet not.” Her toes tightened on him, and them she moved. “Sorry, Sir. I have no option.”

Milo didn’t even see it coming.

3 books the-end-game-evernightpublishing-2016series-VistaPrint-Mugs_Panoramic-Wraparound

 

 

 

 

 

We Host – Stealing Hearts by Sheri Velarde

Sheri Velarde AuthorSheri Velarde lives in New Mexico with her husband and their two dogs.

Being an avid reader since an early age, she has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. She has been writing all her life, but only recently started to actually try to pursue her dream of writing for a living. She specializes in all things paranormal and that go bump in the night. Her heart truly lies in exploring unknown worlds or adding the supernatural to our world. If it goes bump in the night or has magical connotations, Sheri writes about it.

She is constantly putting out new material with various publishers, so it is best to keep up with her on her website.

In her spare time Sheri is an artist, jewelry designer, independent comic writer/artist and freelance non-fiction writer. Hiking in the mountains, going to live concerts, art openings, museums, and hosting intimate dinner parties.

Website/Blog    Facebook      Twitter 

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Sophia had fled New York and the feelings that a certain detective had Stealing Hearts Finalstirred within her. Now she found herself alone in LA on New Year’s Eve, the former goddess of love reduced to having to look for a date. Hitting the Sunset Strip she finds the last thing she was looking for, but exactly who she was yearning for, Detective Bruce Stoker in the flesh. A night of passion leaves her with high hopes for the future, until an art heist threatens everything.

Bruce had followed Sophia across the country in order to rekindle the passion he felt during their one night together and to get some much needed answers from her about who he really was, what her really was. Just when he thought he would get his answers, Bruce begins to wonder if he can truly trust Sophia at all. Only time and a mystery will tell.

Grab the series now!  Looted     Lost Souls     Stealing Hearts

 

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Why Greek gods in modern times?

When I decided to try my hand at an actual book series, the first idea that popped into my mind was that it should be about Greek gods. That is where the idea for the Gods Behaving Badly series started. People since then have asked me why Greek gods? Why not? Not only are there plenty of gods to choose from, which means lots of potential characters for a book series, but they are fascinating to me. I believe that you should write what you know and love, so ancient gods from mythology just made me want to write them. Plus let’s face it, all those overgrown personalities make for some pretty good fiction! Talk about drama!

For my own personal deities of lore stories I chose to place them in modern times with diminished powers. Same egos, but more challenges. So far I am liking the results. Looted, the first in the series was pretty well received and I am hoping Stealing Hearts does just as well. I am loving writing this series and in the latest book have already brought in more gods and that means more stories to tell. Here is a little sneak peak from Stealing Hearts.

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The next morning Bruce awoke feeling happier than he could ever recall feeling. Suddenly he snapped open his eyes to make sure that Sophia still lay beside him. Sure enough, she slept peacefully next to him, a slight smile played on her beautiful features, her long auburn hair mussed, making her even sexier. Thank god, or goddess in this case. He had been afraid she’d disappear despite her promise the night before. Now that his need for her had been abated ever so slightly, maybe he could get her to answer some questions that had been eating him alive since their first meeting. His stomach growled; he forgot when his last meal had been and he had certainly worked up an appetite the previous evening. Quietly, he slipped out of bed, praying that goddesses kept a fully stocked kitchen. Maybe a little breakfast in bed would make her more talkative about the magic she seemed to have awakened within him. He still needed to know what an empath truly was, what he truly was, and what he was capable of doing. It seemed too farfetched to believe he was anything but human. However, he certainly felt different when with Sophia.

Making it to the kitchen, he was thrilled to see Sophia had all the makings for a fine breakfast. He turned on the small television on the counter as he began to get the eggs and bacon ready to cook. Mostly, he just wanted a little noise as he got to work, but something suddenly caught his attention.

“This is the highest profile art heist to hit Los Angeles in history. What is even more puzzling, there is no evidence as to who could have stolen the painting. All cameras and security systems are working properly, and the guards on duty didn’t see or hear anything. No alarms sounded, and the Getty’s systems show that no one entered or exited the premises last night. Van Gogh’s Irises is valued at over fifty-five million dollars, but many consider it priceless. If you have any information please contact the police. This is certainly not how we wanted to start off the New Year…”

Bruce’s heart sank. As he lay asleep last night, exhausted by lovemaking, it appeared Sophia may have been up to her old tricks. How could he ever learn to truly trust a creature such as her? She seemed to be getting bolder too, now she wasn’t just stealing from nefarious rich men, but from the Getty Center, and a high profile piece as well. He must not have provided her with enough excitement last night after all.

Gods Behaving Badly Series 3

We Host – Dominant Persuasions

Dominant Persuasions: Twelve tales of dominance and submission…where mastery meets passion.

12 Scintillating tales of Dominance and submission as told by your favorite Amazon, NYT, & USA Today Bestselling Authors.

In a world of power plays, and safewords, only the strongest can find pleasure in submission. From strangers passing in the night, to lifetime loves that spark with new life; join us in the intriguing world of BDSM. No is not a safeword, and this deal is only available for a limited time!

Featured Novellas:

Dom Persusions CoverSubmission Dance by Lori King

Out of Order by Bella Juarez

Surrender Her Inhibitions by Nicole Morgan

Make Believe Submissive by Daisy Philips

Under His Protection by Doris O’Connor

Broken by Julia Sykes

The Sub That Got Away by Amy J. Hawthorn

In His Hands by Raven McAllan

Indulge by Sherri Hayes

Submitting To Temptation by Jan Graham

Fire and Ice (An Excerpt from KNOTTED) by Juliet Braddock

Yes, Justin (Expanded Edition) by Michele Zurlo

 

Visit our Webpage: http://DominantPersuasions.wordpress.com

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://goo.gl/sfKnNu

Amazon UK: http://goo.gl/1tvvQl

Amazon CA: http://goo.gl/9DFjlm

Amazon AU: http://goo.gl/PJ0INF

B&N: http://goo.gl/CRmMDB

Kobo: https://goo.gl/AB0vbD

 

Blurb for Make-Believe Submissive by Daisy Philips:

When the Kinky Book Club relocates to the restaurant Maggie owns, she’s fascinated by the D/s lifestyle. When they offer her a chance to visit the club, she talks her fiancé Rick into going, thinking it will be fun for a night.

Rick gave up the lifestyle when he fell in love with a vanilla woman. Maggie may be playing the role of a submissive, but he is not pretending to be a Dom.

Will their visit to Club Hades reawaken a need he thought he’d buried? Can Maggie change from being a make-believe submissive to the real deal?

 

Enjoy this excerpt from Make-Believe Submissive by Daisy Philips

 

Daisy Philips“And there’s something we wanted to mention to you. Are you and Rick doing anything next Wednesday?”

Maggie thought for a moment. “Nothing special comes to mind. Why?”

“Next Wednesday is visitors’ night at Club Hades. Why don’t the two of you come by and check the place out?”

“Visitor’s night?” Maggie almost choked. Her heart started pounding so hard she was sure the others could hear it. Visit Club Hades? She wanted to say yes so badly, but she knew it wasn’t a good idea. She was trying hard not to think about living the lifestyle and seeing subs and Doms in action, which would just make it harder for her to ignore her own desires.

On the other hand, maybe a visit to the club would dispel some of her interest. Maybe… maybe she’d see it happening for real, and it would lose its fascination for her. That was possible…

“Yes. We have it once a quarter for people curious about the lifestyle,” Amanda continued. “If they like what they see, then they usually sign up for the training course. Visitors’ night starts with a short overview in the classroom that talks about what BDSM is and talks about the aims of the club. Then there’s a tour of the playroom. You can watch people doing scenes, even try out a few things, under close supervision, of course. If you like what you see, you could think about becoming a member… but you can’t become a member without taking the full training course I mentioned earlier. Remember, it’s all about safe, sane and consensual.”

“What’s safe, sane and consensual?” Maggie asked. “I gather you’re not just talking about a new book.”

Rick’s deep voice caused everyone to jump.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt.”

“Darling, we’ve been invited to visitors’ night next Wednesday at their club.” Maggie looked at his handsome, smiling face, and everything she loved about him came rushing back to her. She would not risk her relationship with Rick for anything in the world. Maggie turned from Rick back to Amanda, knowing what she had to do. “That’s so kind of you to offer—”

“We’d love to come.”

 

Blurb for Under His Protection by Doris O’Connor

Jacqui Page doesn’t know where to look when her birthday surprise turns out to be a visit to the local BDSM club. Especially when she spots the one man she’s been secretively lusting after for months. Lukas Markz can’t believe his eyes when his shy-goody-two-shoes-next door neighbor turns up at his club dressed as every Dom’s wet dream. The silly girl has no idea what she’s up against. Just as well she’s under his protection. If only he could keep his hands off of her.

 

Enjoy this excerpt from Under His Protection by Doris O’Connor

 

Doris OConnor“Why what, little dove?” he asked and she pushed against his chest, as though to put some distance. When he wouldn’t let her pull away, she sighed.

“Why do we have to go upstairs?”

“I did promise you a birthday spanking, and unless you want that to take place in full view of the club…” He laughed when she pulled away and frantically shook her head. “I thought not, so I secured us a room upstairs. It should be empty and clean by now.”

Releasing her, he stepped away and waited. The way she worried her bottom lip with her teeth again made his balls tighten in need, and Lukas shifted his weight to gain some relief. What he wanted, needed, was to have this delightful bundle of curves bent over one of the tables in the office themed playroom he’d reserved with him balls deep in her sweet pussy, but he was beginning to realize that may well not happen. Not if he allowed her to overthink this.

“Why me?” she finally asked. “I heard what Lance said, and I’ve seen you at your flat. I mean, I’m not your usual sort of woman.” When he gave a short laugh and raised an eyebrow at her, she blushed the most delightful shade of crimson.

“So that’s what Lauren meant by that neighbor, then? Ms. Page, have you been watching me per chance?”

He winked at her when he uttered those words, and if it was possible, her blush deepened. Her breasts rose and fell with her rapid breathing, and Lukas found himself wishing the corset would give up the fight to contain that bounty. Noble intentions be fucked. If she was willing, he would indeed fuck her tonight, and damn the possible consequences.

“And what type of woman do you think I go for, my sweet little dove? Do enlighten me.”

“It doesn’t matter. Forget I said that. Let’s just get this over with.”

She surprised him again by her immediate turn around and the way she all but ran to the stairs. Or as much as a woman could run in heels. To his certain knowledge he had never seen her in heels before, and while the strappy sandals she wore were by no means as high as most women in his acquaintance, they still gave her a fair amount of trouble. They also emphasized the length and shape of her pins, and Lukas amused himself with the view she provided, as she climbed the stairs in front of him.

He fell back on purpose as that gave him the perfect view up her tiny skirt. The flashes of purple lace he glimpsed covering her pussy only served to make him harder. They also confirmed what he already knew. His little dove was turned on, the tiny crotch of her thong soaked through with her arousal. She paused at the top of the stairs, seemingly unsure of which way to go, and the self-conscious way in which she pulled at the hem of her skirt made him grin. It also made him want to wrap her up and take care of her, and he didn’t have the heart to tell her that she had given him a most satisfactory peep show on her way up the stairs.

He chose not to ponder on the tender feelings that made his chest feel tight, and instead nodded his head in the direction he wanted her to take. He hid his grin when she took some tentative steps and promptly stopped as the first viewing window came into view.

All the rooms on this level afforded on lookers a view inside if their occupants so chose and the first room showed none other than Lauren and Jake engaged in having sex.

Their position so mirrored his own fantasies of doing the dirty with Jacqui that he had to reach into his jeans to adjust himself. Not that Jacqui noticed. She was too busy inching toward the window. Naked as the day she was born, Lauren was bent over the desk, hands cuffed behind her back, legs spread apart with a bar, rendering her completely helpless. An equally naked Jake was pumping into her cunt from behind. The desk shook with the force of their coupling, and while the room was sound proof, Jacqui clearly didn’t need the oral stimuli. He certainly didn’t. His imagination worked just fine and an unexpected stab of jealousy assaulted his gut out of nowhere.

While he didn’t envy Jake his Lauren, he did cosset their connection. There was something to be said for having your own woman submit to you so sweetly. To have that right to top her whichever way you chose to, secure in the knowledge that she trusted you implicitly, and gave her gift of submission freely. Not out of idle curiosity, or to simply scratch an itch, but, because she too, needed this.

Frowning at his thought processes, he placed his hand in the small of Jacqui’s back and gently nudged her closer to the window.

“Go, on, have a closer look. They can’t see you, and besides they like to be watched.”

Even to his own ears his voice came out hoarse, not least because he’d spotted the butt plug in Lauren’s ass. Damn it all to hell and back. Anal play was one of Lukas’s firm favorites. It was also on Jacqui’s soft limits, and thus off limits for now, but he sure as fuck hoped he got the chance to introduce her to it.

Judging by her reaction as they watched Jake’s interaction with Lauren, she was as turned on he was by what they were seeing. Jacqui’s cheeks flushed. She gasped for breath, and put one hand on the glass in a seeming effort to support herself.

Going on instinct and the very real need to touch her, Lukas stepped up behind her. Putting his hand over hers on the glass, he grasped her hip with his free hand, and kicking her legs apart with his foot, pulled her flush against him. There was no way on Earth she would miss his raging boner, and, sure enough, another one of those cock hardening groans came from her.

Lukas brought one of his thighs up and between her legs, and it was his turn to groan, as the wet heat of her pussy seared his thigh even through their combined clothing.

“Naughty girl, you’re soaked through.”

 

Code Black by Sheri Velarde

Sheri Velarde, lives in New Mexico with her fiancé and their two dogs.

Being an avid reader since an early age, she has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. She has been writing all her life, but only recently started to actually try to pursue her dream of writing for a living. She specializes in all things paranormal and that go bump in the night. Her heart truly lies in exploring unknown worlds or adding the supernatural to our world. If it goes bump in the night or has magical connotations, Sheri writes about it.

She is constantly putting out new material with various publishers, so it is best to keep up with her on her website.

In her spare time Sheri is an artist, jewelry designer, independent comic writer/artist and freelance non-fiction writer. She enjoys hiking in the mountains, going to live concerts, art openings, museums, and hosting intimate dinner parties.

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Swirl

Last year I took the leap to becoming a full time author, scary and exciting at the same time! Taking the plunge and following my dream was extremely frightening. I still sometimes wonder if I should head back out and get a safety net day job, just in case. But what is life without some risks? I didn’t choose to be a writer, it chose me. It is my passion. I write whether I am intending on publishing a piece or not. So I decided to follow the old adage, do what you love and you will never work a day in your life! Ok, so that is hard to remember when neck deep in edits and you feel like crying because you have to be the worst author in the world, but overall I am so much happier now that I am putting my whole heart into something I love. Last month I was lucky enough to see one of my favorite bands, the Foo Fighters, live and got to see the joy on the face of their front man Dave Grohl as he performed. He has been in the Foo Fighters for 20 years alone, and Nirvana before that, and many bands before that. Yet when he performs you still see the love for music that he has. That is what writing is to me. This past year has been tough with some publishers shutting their doors. Is it sad? Yes. Is it discouraging? Yes. Am I going to give up my dream? No. The writing world is not an easy one, but it is one I love. There have been many good things this year as well. First paperback fantasy released? Check? First book signing about to happen? Check. Pushing myself as an author? Check. Code Black is my very first strictly horror piece and I can’t wait to see how it is received. I am planning on more horror and more genres in the future! Can’t wait to see where this writing journey takes me.

Blurb Skinny

CODE BLACK_HDA disease that can destroy the entire fabric of society, how can one face down such odds?

Sara lives on Key Largo, a place she knows she should have left after the last hurricane, but she can’t quite walk away from it. When warning sirens go off, she fears for the safety of her home more than anything else. That is, until she realizes that something much more than severe weather is heading her way.

When her own government blows up the only escape to the mainland and her neighbors begin to attack one another, Sara learns she can only depend on herself. With the aid of her uncle and Cameron, a National Guard soldier helping her along the way, she is on the run for her life. Harsh realities she never thought she would have to face are now part of her life. Can she do what it takes to survive, or will she always be on the run and wondering what might have been?

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Excerpt skinny

“What the hell do you mean ‘the bridge is closed’? Something odd is going on here. We’ve never had the National Guard here for an evacuation, and you are telling me that you just expect us to wait it out here on the island and not ask questions? I heard the warning sirens. We are supposed to be evacuating! Let us through!” Sara demanded, trying to push past the mass of muscle in a National Guard uniform blocking her way.

“I’m sorry, ma’am. We have orders that no one is to cross the bridge. No one is allowed to enter Miami,” the officer said, not budging an inch.

“I just told you that the evacuation sounded, e-v-a-c-u-a-t-i-o-n, and you’re telling me that we can’t leave? It’s probably a late hurricane, and you expect us all just to hope we make it through that here in the Keys? We need to get to the mainland!” Sara threw up her hands in frustration. The memory of the last hurricane which destroyed her family home remained clear in her mind. She should have moved after her family had lost almost everything, but something held her in Key Largo.

“It is not a hurricane warning, ma’am. Please go back to your home and you will be fine.”

Just then, the officer’s walkie-talkie went off. “Miami has been lost. Move everyone away from the bridge. We must prevent the spread and contamination. This is a Code Black. Repeat, this is a Code Black. All civilians must be moved a safe distance from the bridge. You have five minutes.”

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Author Bio:

We Host: Covet by Tina Traverse

Hiding in an isolated Newfoundland
outport, Scarlett Winters is the living bearer of the secret of immortality.
Sebastian Sinclair, vampire and stealer of souls, might be her only hope to
escape a deadly power struggle. But can she trust him? Caught between
sacrificing her morals and betrayal by those she trusted, Scarlett will risk
everything to escape…unless she dies trying.

Tina Traverse fell in love with writing at the age of eight when she wrote her version of the bible story, The Good Samaritan, for a homework assignment. This love grew into a passionate affair and has been ongoing for thirty years; and there are no signs of it waning. Though, she admits, when she was pregnant with her son Christian, the affair cooled.
Tina’s desire to write came calling once again when she needed to find a way to cope with heartbreaking news. Christian was diagnosed with autism in 2010.

Her method of coping was to write a story about his journey called Forever, Christian.

Tina likes to joke that a girl can only write about real life for so long without jumping back into the world of make believe. She loves to venture into the world of the supernatural; vampires and witches are her favourite! Tina enjoys all sorts of vampires but admits that she is fascinated with the modern romantic vampire (think Twilight and The Vampire Diaries). She is currently working on a vampire series based on her first published book, Destiny of The Vampire and has other projects in the works. When Tina is not at the computer creating her exciting, magical worlds, she is kept on her toes by her two sons, Christian and Brandon.

Sometimes the author manages to curl up in her favourite chair with a good book.

Covet combines many elements of the supernatural in a complex story covering a varied cast of characters. Scarlett suffers many hardships and is thrown onto a new path that will lead her towards her destiny. A destiny that will become entwined with that of twins Declynn and Sebastian. With a mix of fantasy, family and romance, this is a story that will take you on a wild journey.

Although this is book one of the trilogy, don’t worry, the story has a satisfying ending while still setting you up for book two.

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