The Printed Fox: 2013

Monday, October 7, 2013

Author PSA Reblog

I'm reblogging this from over at Jeanette Vaughan's blog. You can read the original blog here.

When AgeView Press Indie pubbed the book FLYING SOLO in May of 2012, the author, Jeanette Vaughan immediately began tracking sales. She heard from excited friends and family who immediately emailed when ordering their copies. The first sales were off of Createspace’s e-store with the title ID number given to the author. Then, through Amazon, a week later, when the book went live on the site. Finally on Kindle, when the ebook format was completed.

Initially, things appeared kosher. People exclaiming that they had ordered the book, were showing up within a day or two on the electronic royalty reports with a reasaonable accuracy. But by June and July, sales descrepencies were noted by the author from customers claiming that they had purchased the book directly through Amazon, not an Amazon affiliate. Many of these sales were simply not listed.The author contacted Createspace customer support, who gave assurance that all sales were being accurately reported. FLYING SOLO was now also on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select, as well as expanded distribution channels, which included Amazon affiliates in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Sales were being reported to the author from readers and bookclubs in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

The first note of apparent discrepancy came when a dear friend of the author ordered three copies of the book from Amazon in June. These books were ordered all at the same time, from direct. Yet, that cluster of three sales was never posted as such. Another instance in early July involved the same issue. Again, a customer ordered three copies, yet no sales were trackable through Amazon’s channels for three sales purchased on the same day.

In the meantime, the author was making public appearnances, being featured on blogs and radio, and rounding with booksignings. During the months of June and July, no expanded distribution channel sales were posted on the royalty report, yet customers were emailing the author letting her know how much the book was being enjoyed overseas. More than 15 five star reviews for the novel were posted on Amazon.

What should have shown as a surge of sales, as the book peaked, never appeared on the royalty reports. The author was suspect. She contacted Ingram [Delena's note: the original post has a link, but it's broken, and I don't feel comfortable providing any other ones] directly, only to be informed that they were not supposed to reveal information to an author directly. So, the Indie publisher, AgeView Press made the call. Ingram showed 16 copies of the book ordered through their system total since May. Those sales never showed on the June or July royalty report. The author filed formal complaints with Createspace customer service, but received only canned letters in response explaining that indeed there was an issue with reports in Expanded Distribution and it was being investigated. Advice to the author from Createspace? Please be patient.

By August, it was clear there were gross inaccuracies. The 30 copies ordered from Barnes and Noble never showed up. Few, if any, sales were listed for August. Yet. the author had confirmation of over 4,000 copies in distribution worldwide. The crowning blow came in September. A plan was devised. A friend, agreed to help with the investigation. She ordered a copy of FLYING SOLO on September 7th, taking screen shots of her order and confirmation of payment directly from Amazon. She printed out her receipt showing date and time of purchase. The book arrived on September 13, to San Jose, California. Photos were taken. The sale was complete. Copies of all screenshots and receipts were scanned and sent to the author. By September 20th, no sales were shown at all on Createspaces report. Phoning Createspace, the author was informed that no sales were showing for Amazon for the month for that title. It was time for outrage! What had been suspected, had now been proven. Not once, but twice!

Time to climb up the foodchain. After many phonecalls and emails to Createspace, a Senior customer service “executive” phoned personally and stated he would investigate. Talk about a wacky result. Due to the print on demand status of Createspace books, sometimes they are one or two books ahead. Thus even though your book was printed in one month, but sold in another, a royalty might actually show up in the prior month for that sale. What???

No one expects to get rich off of writing a book. Few and far between experience the Oprah Bookclub golden orbs of success. But how are authors to trust a system, happy to take their money for assisting to create and publish a book, which does not thoroughly, detail accurate sales? Simply outrageous. What options does that leave the Indie publishers? How can they possibly track the success of their marketing efforts. Is the publishing world doomed to be controlled by the big six? Are small bookstores and Indie presses to be overrun by powerhouse chains which offer the Indie published writer no turf?

How can the press or the author be sure those sales are accurate with no detail? Rise up Indie authors! Repost this story! Tweet it, facebook it. Make it go viral. Print it and send it to your local newspaper and the Associated Press. This abject fraud is outrageous and MUST STOP!

John R. Clark, Managing Editor, AgeView Press

Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Some sweet reviews for Devil's Bitch

Since its release in the closing days of July, Devil's Bitch has received three 5-star ratings over at Amazon and Goodreads, and has an overall rating of 4.6 stars at Amazon.

Well, it only has five reviews right now, but still! That's pretty good for only a month out. I wanted to share the review Romance Junkies posted for Devil's Bitch, because it was really super exciting, and gave me chills, it was so stunning.

I won't post the whole thing; you can read it on the site. However, there were a few things I wanted to share because of how incredibly awesome I think they are:

DEVIL’S BITCH is a more brutal version of the Taming of the Shrew storyline. Norelia is intensely focused on her duties to the troops yet seems to have forgone any of her own desires in the process and has become insensitive to those around her. ...Delena Silverfox really impressed me with this storyline, I fully expected lots of battles and a woman stubbornly refusing to marry, what I hadn’t anticipated was the emotional impact her backstory would have.

Is that not just freakin' awesome?! Devil's Bitch got itself associated with Shakespeare. Now if that's not amazing, I have no idea what is!

Also, I got this nifty graphic from Romance Junkies.  =)

If you don't already have your copy of Devil's Bitch, you can get yours now from any of these online stores:

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Print) | ARe |
 Naughty Nights Press | Smashwords | Kobo


Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Review: A Portrait of Our Marriage

Portrait of Our Marriage by Martha Emms

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I finished this book yesterday and had to let myself sit and think about it before writing this review, mainly because it stirred up so many emotions in me that I had to wait for them to settle before I could approach this.

My background is in psychology, and I found Brett's years-long descent into porn addiction to be accurate in how it changes behavior, sexual performance, and how it slowly encroaches and erodes the trust and emotional connection within a relationship. The metamorphosis from charming, open, loving husband to secretive, defensive addict was painful to read, but so true. His emotional manipulation of Nicky was another thing that was painful to read about but so prevalent in certain dysfunctional relationships.

The way he villainized her whenever she confronted him, and how he would compare his severe transgressions to her healthy behavior based on minimal similarity is so typical of this behavior. The reasonable party, who is only trying to find common ground, often falls into the trap of admitting to the addict's accusations, the way Nicky does time and again, and is a phenomenal example of how there is no reasoning with a dysfunctional addict or emotional manipulator. They don't operate with any logic or reason, and anyone who engages with them is set up for failure. Nicky learned this time and again, and her resolve to continue believing in her husband for the sake of their marriage and the years of foundation they built together made me ache.

I don't understand the reviews criticizing the ending. Sometimes a happy ending isn't them living happily ever after. Not when one of them is blind to their own addiction and actively demolishing the relationship. Even if Brett had gone to therapy, I think it would have been too little, too late. Nicky fought for her marriage for too long, tried to be forgiving, understanding, tried to only focus on the positives, and lived with shame. The moment she came to the decision that she did, she started living again. Truly living.

THAT is the best happily-ever-after!

*I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review

View all my reviews

Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

There's no rules!

Okay, I know it's cheesy,but I've got that Little Caesar's commercial stuck in my head about the guy who tries to throw off his shirt right in the store.

Yesterday I thought I was beginning my second-to-last class before graduation (sooooo close!) and was having a really hard time mentally bracing myself. I've been in no-holds-barred burnout for the last year. The full gamut: depression, apathy, even entertaining suicidal thoughts occasionally. I've just been so damn tired, and I passionately hate the school I'm attending.

But when I went to log in for class --since the campus is in AZ and I'm here in IN-- I saw that my next class in fact started on the 26th! So I have two weeks where I don't have to worry about school and dealing with stupid people. I can focus on things that I actually care about for the first time in way too long. My spare time --where I can do something for myself, or relax, or just sit down-- has been relegated to Sunday evenings after around 11pm or so, for the last three years.

I don't think I need to tell you how that has affected me both physically and emotionally.

So it's been amazing just to have that damn monkey off my back for two weeks. I'm getting important things accomplished that matter to me, and I don't feel like I'm just standing still getting eroded by stress and overwhelm.

It feels so good. I know it's fleeting, and by the time class starts again, two weeks will have felt like the blink of an eye. But right now, it just feels so damn good.

So expect to see a little more from me here, and comments on blogs as I'm out and about being useful and productive for the first time since enrolling.


Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Devil's Bitch blog tour!

Hello, my lovelies!

The blog tour for the release of DEVIL'S BITCH is in full swing, starting today over at Bunny's Review, so stop by and say hello!

If you're eager for a review, you can check out this amazing review Devil's Bitch has already received. 5 stars right out of the gate!


Available at:

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Print) | ARe | Naughty Nights Press | Smashwords | Kobo

Also, Crystal over at Crystal's Many Reviews will be reviewing Devil's Bitch, as well, on August 16. So check back to see how she liked it!

For all of you participating in the blog tour, I'm giving away two copies of my first book, Of Hallowed Fiends and Darkest Fortune.

Enter the contest at each participating stop for a chance to win one (1) of two (2) eBook copies of "Of Hallowed Fiends and Darkest Fortune" from me. Contest is tour-wide, open internationally ends Aug 24. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For a list of all of the blogs on the tour, go to Coffee Beans and Love Scenes.

Good luck, and have fun!


Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Grab your torch and pitchforks! Psht.

The indies are up in arms.

 Recently there was a blog post over at this anonymous blog that I adore. The title was "Why Indie Authors Still Suck." Your computer screen will drip venom and vitriol by the time you get to the bottom.

The indies, understandably, are throwing a collective tantrum and the comments are exploding. However, they're exploding for all the wrong reasons. Judging from the comments, I think roughly 2% actually read the article and heard what was being said. The rest didn't get further than the title before having a hissy.

I had left a few comments trying to get people to just see what the blog post was saying, but the sheer avalanche of emotional immaturity, and author sensitivity, was overwhelming. So I gave up. Someone emailed me on my Facebook fan page to ask:

"Have a quick question. Was going through the blog post about 'Why Indie Authors Suck' and just wanted to say that your replies and posts have come off pretty hateful. I don't think that you meant for them to sound that way (or maybe you did) but I just wanted to know WHY you are backing the boat of all Indie authors sucking."

First of all, I deeply appreciate someone actually asking instead of making assumptions. So thank you, Facebook fan page follower --whom I won't name without their permission. It's refreshing. Thank you.  =)

I had started to reply, but my reply got so long that I didn't want this person to think I was overwhelming them with a huge rant, and I thought I'd just stick hit here instead.

I wasn't being hateful at all. At least not toward indie authors. Not toward anybody, in fact. I know I often come across that way, but I'm just blunt. Always have been. It's why you'll never see me at a speaking engagement. =)

What I do hate is emotional immaturity and people who shove words into someone else's mouth, and that's exactly what so many of these commentors are doing. Did they even READ the article? The claims made in the article, if you get past the raging aggravation, was that this author is an editor --both freelance and for a publishing house, which is mentioned on other posts-- and what comes across their desk is garbage. What these indie authors tell the General (him? her? no idea) is that they don't have to spend time on all the necessary things that make a quality book. They think self-editing, or a quick run through spell check, is justified as "enough." The General did say that there are some poorly edited traditionally published books out there, and there are some indie bestsellers. But think about it: those are the exceptions that everyone talks about. The other 99% is what the article deals with. And it's not that they're going out and buying all these indie books, but what they have to deal with as an editor. And I can imagine that a lot of what used to end up in the slush pile of a publisher's desk is now coming across the General's desk, hired as a freelancer to edit what is basically crap. THAT is what they're saying.

Most of the comments there didn't acknowledge any of that. They were so caught up in taking "indie authors suck" personally that they misconstrued everything in that article and then even made up other things and claimed the General said it! I can't stand that level of unreasonableness. Reading comprehension and analysis aren't that difficult.

Did they just find it impossible to put away their personal prejudices and ego? If someone is acting like a child, I will point it out. I enjoy conversations with reasonable grown-ups who can listen to a conflicting point of view and at the very least acknowledge its merit. This was a bunch of whiny children who stopped listening after the title, and then went on totally inaccurate rants or even made assumptions about the blog owner based on entirely nothing but their own prejudices. I find it amazing that fully grown adults can throw such amazing tantrums and be so hostile about something that wasn't even said. Who actually stopped to read the entire article without seeing what they wanted to see? A very few, and they had good points, but still made a heap of assumptions, or accused the blog owner of extremes that the blog owner never claimed.

Go back and read some of the comments, or the pingbacks. There are tons of assumptions made about the blog owner that are pulled entirely out of thin air. How do they know the blog owner is a man (or is that subconscious cultural sexism-slash-gender bias?), or that they're afraid of the indie industry, or is panicking, or is bad at their job simply because a personal blog isn't Chaucer quality? Where do they get this information, aside from their own imagination? And they feel justified in grabbing torches and pitchforks? Some commenters are even saying the exact same things the General is, but accusing them of having said the opposite, or ignoring that it was even mentioned at all. I find it amazing that so few people actually put aside their egos long enough to read the article and listen to what was actually being said.

The General has some very good points. Indie authors have to work really damn hard, harder than any other kind of writer. There are a lot of indie authors in my local RWA chapter, and they all say the same thing. I have a lot of respect for them. They also agree that skipping steps, feeling exempt from hard work, or ignoring quality in a book is not the way to be an indie author.

And please, go back and read the article a little more closely. Nowhere does the article say ALL indie authors suck. Only a good portion, represented by every bad manuscript to slide across the General's desk. And then the General lists why most do: and it comes down to the ones who feel they are the exceptions to the "work hard" rule. Recently, I had an indie author call me a fucktard on her fan page because of my review, despite how much I offered to help her because I respected her passion for writing. This is the kind of writer the General's talking about, and they represent the indie market every bit as much as Bella Andre and Aleatha Romig do. They outnumber the bestsellers because it's just the rule of percentages. That's something that I think indie authors just don't want to face.

Think of it like the auditions at the beginning of American Idol. How many awful performers come, believing they are star quality? Self-publishing means there is no panel of judges to find the ones who really can sing. It also means that there were literally tens of thousands of awful wannabes for the hundred or so truly talented ones. It's simple numbers. Yet somehow we're supposed to treat all the lazy wannabes as equally valid?

I don't back the boat of all indie authors sucking. C'mon, you've seen the few books I rave about here, and they are ALL indie! Logically, I can't do that and back the boat of all indie authors sucking, now can I? I couldn't even push my OWN books, if that were the case.

I back the boat of morons sucking. I back the boat of lazy, no-quality wannabes sucking. I believe they bring down the quality that we all work hard to bring to the industry. If you were in a car accident, would you want a trained surgeon working on you, or someone who just wanted it so badly that they put on the scrubs and ask you to believe in them? We are professionals and craftspeople. Why should I support the wannabes who think it's okay to skip out on quality and refuse to listen to why hard work is so important? Can you think of any good reason why I should?

I know this is long, and I'm sorry. But I really do feel strongly about this. While I'm "traditionally published," my publisher is considered an indie publishing house. So I have all of the limitations of a trad publisher while also having all of the responsibilities of an indie author. I know how hard I have to work, and I can sympathize with why so many indies don't like trad publishing. I'm in both worlds. It's hard. But that doesn't mean I blindly support indie, no matter the quality. The kinds of indie authors the General is talking about are the ones who make it that much harder to earn real respect.

Indie has sheer numbers, true. But think about that logically for a second. For every indie success story, how many bad-quality indie books are there? Even if you were generous and applied the 80/20 rule, that's still a ton of bad indie books out there. Again, think of it like the opening audition of American Idol. It's like all those awful singers you laugh or jeer at going to make their own records, calling themselves professional, and expecting to get top billing alongside Tori Amos and Andrea Bocelli.

Look at what happened at the RWA conference last month: the workshops on self-publishing were put in small rooms and ended up being packed to the gills and spilling out into hallways. Do you really think ALL of them are as dedicated to quality or unafraid of hard work, or are there going to be quite a few who think indie is the fast track to publishing? (Hopefully, since they all paid quite a sum for their entry fees, they take it seriously, but think about this: for every writer at that conference, how many do they represent in the wide world?)

Seriously, just stop and think about it for a second. Is it okay that some wannabe moron is churning out crap and running around calling themselves equal to what you look up to while you, or I, or any other indie that actually *does* put out quality is working their ass off every day? Is a dream really enough? All the really successful people in the world, did they get where they are on nothing more than dreaming, or did they kick their own ass to get there? I know what I want representing me as an author, and a lazy wannabe isn't it.

Please, just stop and think about that for a second: some lazy wannabe saying they're as good as your blood, sweat, and tears.


Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

It's time for another "Good Idea, Bad Idea"

How to Shoot Yourself in the Foot:

What do you do when someone leaves you a bad review on Amazon, or Goodreads, or any other number of product review book websites out there?

Do you:
A.) Ignore all reviews
B.) Cry, throw things, scream into a pillow, and then eat a tub of ice cream while wallowing for a day or so in self-doubt
C.) Take a deep breath and learn from it, since you know bad reviews are part of the business
D.) Call people who took the time to leave an honest review names like "fucktard"

I'm going to assume that most of you answered a combination of B and C. When I first started down the publishing journey, I had always thought I would do A. Reading a lot of authors' blogs and newsletters, I knew reviews were those bad train wrecks of the published world; they're generally awful to look at, are tragic, and the watching of such serves no purpose.

But I also had this macabre fascination. So I read my reviews. I have two that greatly upset me not because they're bad reviews, per say, but because there is no logic behind them that I can see. But did I go on my public Facebook fan page and call them fucktards? Hell no. Did I vent my frustration privately to my friends? You bet I did. They just made no sense to me!!!

Well you know what, me? Tough shit!


The thing is, they made sense to the people who wrote the reviews, and since it's their review, not mine, I have absolutely no say in what someone writes about my books. All I have is my writing ability standing there all alone with nothing but its own merit keeping it company. I've been writing for my entire life; I've been writing seriously since at least 1998. I've only been published with NNP since April of last year.

However, in that time I have put out two books, as well as had shorts in the exclusive Campus Sexploits anthologies as well as a Duo with the lovely Rachel Carling. And let me tell you, my editor is absolutely grueling, but I adore her. I love having someone that I can talk to late at night about the virtues of a clarifying comma in front of a non-independent clause because of a vague qualifier.

But that's the geek side of my Grammar Queen self coming out.


So I stumbled across this author on Amazon and the story blurb sounded kinda interesting. I was in-between books so I thought sure, I'll give it a shot.

It was awful.

Little to no character development. Verb tenses were inconsistent, and not just occasionally, but enough that it actually started to get offensive. There was no research on the smallest of details. It read like fanfic, like the author had a fantasy and was writing about herself, just ten years younger and with a different name.

But her passion for writing was really very clear in the book. At least, in what I read of it. In no way did I read the entire thing. It was just awful. I left an honest review in which I rated it 1 star, but I also offered to help her, to give her a list of resources I had found invaluable, and also offered to introduce her to editors I know. I could respect the passion, so I went to follow her Facebook fan page.

She said "fuck you" to the people who left bad reviews, and called them fucktards.

Really? I mean, really?

You're going to publish your book, and then go publicly throw a tantrum and call people vulgar names simply because they didn't kiss your ass? These were honest reviews. This is not how you behave in public. Crappy author or not, you're calling yourself an author and alienating your readers by calling them horrible names is not how to behave when your reputation is on the line.

Because as an author, your reputation is all you have.

The internet is forever, so be damn careful how you
treat the people who make royalties possible.
This is not rocket science.

But what really upset me, on a professional level, was how obvious it was that somewhere in this author's mind there was an utter refusal to hire an editor. That's kind of like in triage, with your femoral artery spurting everywhere, you refuse to hire a surgeon.

Why are you self-publishing if you don't have the ability to do everything for your book that a traditional publisher would? That's why you're self-publishing, right? Because --for whatever reason-- you've foregone the traditional route and have elected instead to be your own publisher, right? Well, that means having an editor on hand.

And if you can't afford an editor, you shouldn't be publishing. Seriously. It's like the great Elle Woods said:

Why let someone else do for you what you can do for
yourself? Except in the case of eyebrow maintenance.

I might add "editing" to Elle's very short list of "eyebrow maintenance" on things you should let someone else do for you.

Yes, I love Legally Blonde. Don't judge me.

After a while, you've looked at your manuscript for so long, read the same passages so many times, that you begin to see what you expect to see and not what's really there. You edit at 2am when your eyeballs are popping out of their sockets and the backs of your eyelids are covered in steel wool. You type "there" instead of "their," and you have two versions of one sentence in your head and don't realize that you've mashed them together so now your verb tenses are screwed up and you've inadvertently conceived a new word. Except it's a horrible word and should never be allowed to come to term.




If you have any respect for the written word, for books, for published authors, hire an editor.

If you want to skip the traditional publishing route and opt to self-publish, hire an editor. Self-publishing does not somehow lift you above the quality necessary to call yourself published. If anything, you have a higher bar to meet because of the unwashed masses self-pubbing simply because they suck so hard no publisher will touch them, and they don't want to pay their dues and learn how to write before becoming published. You want the instant gratification. You want everyone to kiss your ass because they wrote a book. You're rubbing elbows with them, and there is nothing to set you apart from the worst that can be dredged from the Riverbed of Wannabes except the quality of your writing.

Without an editor, you are every bit like the worst quality of wannabe hitting "publish" on KDP.

Lowest. Common. Denominator. I don't care what your excuses are. If you cut corners and crap out a shitty book that you then publish and expect to be called great, this is you.

If you attack your readers who actually went out of their way to donate time and write a review, this is you.

Be mature, suck it up, find the lesson in the feedback, and move on. In other words, be a real author instead of pretending to be one.

Stop fricking' giving us a bad name.

An editor is there to watch your ass so you don't make the kinds of writing mistakes that scream amateur like someone wrote it across your forehead when you passed out drunk at that massive frat party that you knew was a bad idea but went anyway.

Learn from Jacqueline Howett about why the internet is forever, and why bad grammar and a bad attitude make you look like a toddler who needs a nap, and out you for the hobbyist and delusional impostor you are. (You can read the disaster at ground zero here, and even though Ms. Howett has removed all of her replies, you can still tell a lot of what she said from the replies in the comments as well as a few quotes in the articles.)

Or learn from Kendall Grey. Because some of us take screen shots and let our fellow authors and readers know what you are.

And just in case you missed it before, I take screen shots, too. Because my fellow authors and readers deserve to know you call people "fucktard" and tell them "fuck you too" for leaving an honest review in which I even offered you help, resources, and access to my connections (meager as they are at the beginning of my career).

The interwebz. It's not just for porn anymore.

And if you're taking any of this personally and getting
upset, now might be a good time to ask yourself why.


Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

On body image

I usually refrain from mentioning anything remotely personal on this blog. Not because I'm secretive or some other vain reason, but because I had sincerely wanted to focus on writing: everything about it, all aspects of creating a written piece of fiction --from the fundamentals to the flourishes.

I love everything about writing. I could write a book about every letter in the alphabet, kind of like there are books about the history of the number zero. Personally, I think that's pretty fascinating, and I find the tools and technicalities of writing utterly absorbing. However, even when trying to push my blog and get readers, it turns out that no one gives a rat's ass about writing, really. That's what the analytics say when I check my blog traffic report, anyway.

'Kay, fine. I'm a grammar geek. I get it.

So I'll talk about something else a little closer to my heart. Something that still has to do with my writing, and my books: body image.

You see, as I sit here at my desk typing this, I am 230 pounds of self-hate. I don't know if I've always been heavy, but I do know I've always been made to feel fat. I remember being three years-old and having my mother pinch me and tell me not to wear something and to go change because I looked fat and ridiculous. Growing up, she would point out every little imperfection and make me cover it up somehow, so I got really good really fast at spotting them and hiding them before mommy dearest could come after me.

I think it was around the time I heard her whispering with my older sister (my svelt, beautiful, perfect older sister) behind my back about how atrocious and fat I was that it cemented in my soul that I wasn't quite human, that at a molecular level I fell short of what it was to be worth something, and that I would always be a fat affront to Existence. I was twelve.

Now you see why I love the written word so much. Books are, and have always been, my ultimate escape from my hostile and judgmental world.

Though my mother and I aren't on speaking terms any longer, I still have a psychological incarnation of her in my head. And in a twisted version of Stockholm Syndrome, my own inner voice has come to identify with her until it merged into this hybrid Me-Her, and you wouldn't believe how vicious I am to myself.

Or maybe you can.

I write in the romance genre. If you ask me, I write action/adventure or fantasy with strong romantic elements, which would disqualify my membership in the RWA (and certainly would exclude me as a candidate for the RITA Award), but hey. Most of my reader demographic is going to be married women, ages 35-54. And I honestly don't know a single woman who doesn't have body issues, or some insecurity about their looks.

If you do, you don't know how wonderful and rare you are. But I personally know none.

All of my heroines have some body issues somewhere. In Devil's Bitch, which was just released, by the way, Norelia is very insecure and self-conscious, though it only rears its ugly head in court, and around her classically beautiful and willowy cousin. Norelia will slouch, tuck her chin slightly, stand apart from her cousin so the comparison isn't so stark. Yet she has a beautiful body and is built like an Amazon. She's a warrior, with a warrior's body.

In Of Hallowed Fiends and Darkest Fortune, and its soon-to-be sequel Duchess of War, Anya feels she is plain and as un-special as a girl can get. In her own twisted dynamic with a harsh and judgmental mother, Anya internalizes the hostility as a sense of mediocrity. She believes she will never be beautiful or desirable, nor intelligent enough to tackle the duties that a noblewoman of her Province would be expected to perform. So she gallivants the countryside with the commoners because, in her mind, she will always be common.

In My First Fantasy, it's a little more subtle mainly because it's a short story. The main character has such a fragile and uncertain sense of self that events take place which make her wonder, "Is this what I like? Is this the kind of person I am? Is this all I truly am?" And she comes to believe it in the end. It's a wonderful story about the power and freedom in utter surrender, but also the tragedy inherent in it if there is no strong fundamental self to bear its weight.

For the last month, I've been working on changing my diet, exercising, and facing my health issues head-on. I haven't lost a single pound since my last weigh-in back in January, but I'm two sizes smaller, in marginally less pain, and as long as I am very strict about avoiding problem foods (processed carbohydrates, gluten, nitrates, sulfates, etc.) and making my green drink every morning, life is a little bit easier.

And...being a little forgiving of myself. Because, y'know, sushi. Fuck yeah.

Because of the way my mother's voice, coupled with my own emotional issues (growing up in domestic violence can make a kid kinda fragile), my own self-hate goes so deep it pops out the other side. It's bone-deep. Nothing can shake it, really. After thirty-one years of it --it started when I was three-- it's just part of my psychological makeup.

And I'm okay with that. I'm comfortable with it. I embrace it.

I hate hating myself, but I know that no amount of a changed outlook, or any other behavior modification therapy techniques or approaches will change it. And I will go on throwing the self-hate at myself as long as I am fat. Not that I hate fat people. No way. I love them. Back in Portland, I helped start up a group celebrating people of size, and the people who love them. And I'm a bit of a chubby chaser. But I have a double-standard with myself, and again, I am okay with that. I know it for what it is.

Can anyone else relate?

Of course, that doesn't mean that I am happy to simply remain fat and filled with self-loathing. It simply means that I know where I stand with myself and what I have to work with. Who was it that said something like, "You have to accept what is before you can change what is,"? Or something.

So I'm starting the change. And I don't want to hear anything about how my inability to love myself while fat is just me being brainwashed by socio-normative ideals of female beauty. Been there, done that, and it does not apply. I was taught I was fat and worthless from my own mother way before I ever encountered society's message. If anything, Vogue and Jessica Rabbit only proved what I already knew about myself.

If I can't love myself unless I fit my own definition of physical beauty, then damn it all, I will do what I can to fit it. And this time, I won't listen to the voice that says, "You will always be fat. You will never be thin," while flashbacking to that time in the kitchen when my dad was pinching my fat and telling me, "You will always be big. Your whole family is big. Be careful what you eat because everything will just make you fat."

That moment was the birth of my twenty year-long eating disorder, by the way. I was fourteen.

My relationship with food is, to say the least, dysfunctional. Eating every day is psychological warfare, trust me. Eating healthily leaves me prone to my food addiction, and I have nobody around me to help, or to turn to when my heart just hurts so badly I don't think I can go another minute trying to get better. And that's something I've never admitted to anyone, even myself. Trying to eat healthy, I've never felt so abandoned.

Honestly, without my comfort foods triggering their little dopamine trick in my brain, all of the fears, insecurities, doubts, and pain begin to awaken from the food-induced anesthetic, and I am outnumbered. I've kept them at bay with spaghetti, Taco Bell, and Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies for so long, y'know?

It's like being naked and alone with the monsters under the bed. At least before, I could feed my inner demons all them comfort foods and they'd be happy and go away for a while.

Why am I telling you all this? Because some of the best advice for a writer is to write what you know. And this is one thing I know. I know the fight against negative body image. I know how destructive it is, and how far back into early development it can go, and how many tentacles it can grow and embed themselves into other aspects of your life until it seems you can't even walk out your front door without a hundred of them slapping you upside the head. I know that no matter how you might hold your head high and say, "This is who I am, deal with it!" there are still days when you stand in front of the mirror, staring at your own personal imperfection and not quite loving yourself.

Because that's me, too.


Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

On Sizzlin' Hot Romance with Marsha Casper Cook

So I was on Marsha Casper Cook's radio show earlier tonight, and it was fun. Difficult, being on a show where I have to actually talk instead of just type. Anyone who knows me is well aware how much of a hardcore introvert I am; being surrounded by so many Chatty Kathys is difficult.

But still, it's a lot of fun.

If you're interested in hearing the playback of the podcast, you can find it here.

Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A naughty little blog hop

WELCOME TO THE NAUGHTY NIGHTS BLOG HOP and Kindle Fire Plus A Book-A-Day Gift Giveaway!

 NNP wishes to extend a warm welcome to all "hoppers" and we thank you for joining us in celebrating our

For those who may not know, Naughty Nights Press (NNP)  has chosen to host the Naughty Nights Blog Hop from June 27th through July 3rd, 2013 as our way of  celebrating our second year anniversary. 

We wanted a way to engage readers, writers and bloggers in our merriment time for this completion, of what we feel is one more of many expected milestones for NNP and our loyal readers and writers.

That, folks, is straight from the NNP blog, home of the amazing Kindle Fire + A Book-A-Day Giveaway! And I don't know about you, but I would freakin' love a Kindle Fire, so hells yes I'm going to be joining, too!

You might've already seen me mention it on Facebook, or tweeting about it earlier.

I'll be giving away a copy of Naughty Hot Shots - Double Shot - A D/s Duo Fantasy Story in which one of my shorts is featured. And honestly, I'd include an excerpt, but it's too hot for my own blog!

However, I can give you an excerpt of my short story "How Do You Say 'All Over Me' in Español?" in the newest anthology Campus Sexploits 4: Foreign Exchange Students, available now at NNP! I think --but I'm not sure-- it might be included in the Book-A-Day Giveaway.

So have fun! And if you just can't wait, go ahead and grab it for yourself. You won't be sorry!


My hand was shaking. God, if someone walked in right now, I would so lose my job. I tore my hand away and put it behind my back, rubbing the back of my wrist on my clothes to try and erase the sensation of his finger tickling my skin. All it did was send that shiver straight up my spine, and I shivered.

“What–” I mean, is there–? Can I, um, help you with anything?” I tilted my head and smiled, trying to be casual and failing miserably. I took an awkward couple of steps away and almost fell over Dicks' podium.

He was staring at me, and I would've bet money he was wondering exactly what kind of freak I was. “I want to buy dinner. You have hunger, no? All day you have no left this room.”

My eyes kind of bugged out at that. “You were watching?” My voice cracked there at the end.

He laughed and stepped closer. I swallowed hard. “Is not hard, no? All my clases are in this building today, and I don't see you.” He took a step closer.

What is it about those hot guys that make us look like total asses? I'm usually so fucking cool around people! My heart was bungee jumping with my uvula, and I coughed. “I really should finish working. Maybe another time?” I was dead certain someone was going to walk in on us, and the paranoia was killing me.

He took my hand, smiling. The tip of his middle finger caressed the length of my palm and I almost slumped against the podium. My knees were jelly. “Está bien. Sueños dulces, Yolanda.”

It's not until Eliseo was out of sight that I breathed a huge sigh and slumped into the chair. God, he was just way too damn hot for my own good. But if any of my dreams were of him, they'd be sweet dreams, indeed. Just like he said.

Come and join the bloghopping fun! I promise: you won't regret it!


Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Writing a Blurb Made Simple

This is a post that made its debut over at the Naughty Pages of the Phoenix, and I think it bears repeating. Plus, the links work in this one.

If you’re like most writers, the words “write a synopsis” make you feel a bit pouty and rebellious. Kind of like writing a synopsis, but maybe not as bad. If you’re like most writers, writing a blurb makes you get a little whiny.

Writing blurbs making you
a tad crazy?

Admit it. It kinda makes you want to throw a tantrum like a sissy la-la, doesn’t it? It’s okay, there’s no shame here. It’s just you and me.

Between you and me, I love writing blurbs. Love them! It’s the very first thing I write, actually, followed by writing my synopsis, which you can check out here: How To Write a Synopsis Made Easy.

So what is it about writing blurbs that I find so easy? Simplicity.

First I’m going to tell you about a writing technique that I will praise until the cows come home. Most people who have known me for any length of time have probably heard me talk about Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method. I get absolutely no compensation for sharing his tips or products; I just love what he has to share.

If you can afford it, I very highly recommend getting his program Snowflake Pro. Everything about the Snowflake Method you need in one easy-to-use little program, with some seriously kickass extras that are actually useful.

You can use the Snowflake Method whether you’re just getting started on your WIP or you’re halfway through. It works just as well for pantsers as it does plotters.

The idea is you take your entire story and condense it into one line, ideally 15 words or less. Lesser is better. If you can’t take the main idea of your own book and boil it down to a simple sentence, might I suggest asking yourself if you know what, exactly, it is you’re writing about, and why.

Brutal? Maybe. But we all know that you can’t be a nancy ponce and call yourself a writer, so buck up and hear me out.

After you take that first line, expand it into a five-sentence paragraph.

This is where we delve into the dissection of a story and the basic three-act structure. You have the beginning, and Plot Disaster #1 happens at the end of Act I. In a character-driven novel, the character’s choices and actions bring about Disaster #2 in the middle of Act 2 (this is usually considered the high point, as well). More character choices and action, plus some plot influence, brings about Disaster #3 at the end of Act 2. Everything comes to a head, forcing Act 3, which has the resolution and denouement.

How does that look in your paragraph form?
Your beginning: Sentence 1
Plot Disaster #1: Sentence 2
Characters making things worse, result in Disaster #2: Sentence 3 (usually it seems all is lost at this point, and your reader should be asking themselves, “Wow, how are they ever going to get out of this one?)
Character choice/action + some plot influence brings Disaster #3: Sentence 4
Resolution, falling action, ending: Sentence 5

Now you have a fantastic blueprint for the rest of your story. And don’t look now, but with a little tweaking, you have yourself a blurb.

Here’s an example from my latest MS, Devil’s Bitch, which will be released later this year:

Norelia, Imperial heir and zealous second-in-command of the Endless Army, is cornered by a wager against her father, the Emperor. The stakes? To marry the winner of the next Summer Games in order to ensure the continuation of the Imperial line. Confident she will win the Games and the wager, she is devastated when a mysterious contender named Reoth defeats her and claims not only the title of Champion, but claims Norelia as well. A misplaced note reveals Reoth and her father placed wagers on Reoth's ability to "tame" her, proving it was all a game after all. When her father is killed in a surprise invasion, the Empire stands on the brink of war and Norelia is thrust into the center of it with Reoth, a man she'd sooner kill than trust. As Reoth admits knowledge regarding who is behind this invasion, Norelia must determine where his true allegiance lies before the Empire, and her heart, are destroyed forever.

You’ll notice I tweaked the first three sentences to be more engaging as a back cover blurb. However, I assure you my plot-points paragraph has five sentences following the exact process I’ve described for you.

So go and give it a try! Once you get the hang of it, I hope you find it as useful as I have. And come back and leave a comment with your own five-sentence plot-points paragraph. Share your blurbs with me. I’d love to hear how this works out for you!



Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

And the winner is...

Congrats to June M.! She is the winner of The Printed Fox's "Who's Your Wicked Lover?" Giveaway, and wins a $10 gift card to the Naughty Nights Press online store.

Congrats again, June!

Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Who's Your Wicked Lover Giveaway

It's time for the Who's Your Wicked Lover Giveaway Bloghop!

There are some really fun things going on with this giveaway. The Grand Prize is a Kindle Fire HD 7" for one random, lucky commenter (see Rafflecopter below).

So who's your favorite book hero? Do you have a favorite in the Wicked Lovers series?  I've personally never read the series, even though it's on my to-read list, and I'm sure I'm not the only one with a to-read list that'd take me clear into 2016 even if I read a book a day...

I'm not sure I have a favorite book hero, to be honest. There are so many whom I love for different qualities. Honestly, though, even though it's not a romance, I would have to say that Peeta Mellark from the Hunger Games trilogy would have to be the one I'd pick, if I had to pick one. Why? Because his love is utterly accepting and unconditional. He harbors no illusions about Katniss, nor does he expect anything in return. So many heroes would be resentful and start treating her badly because she didn't return his feelings at first, and that childish male tantrum gets old, y'know? He just goes right on loving her, warts and all, and is realistic about his role in the greater scheme of things.

However, he also drastically underestimates his role in Katniss' life, which is such a humble thing to do. Wise and humble. I suppose that's what I'd take from him.


Ours to Love

Wicked Lovers, Book 7

Between two brothers…
Xander Santiago spent years living it up as a billionaire playboy. Never given a chance to lead his family business in the boardroom, he became a Master in the bedroom instead. His older brother inherited the company and worked tirelessly to make it an empire. But while the cutthroat corporate espionage took its toll on Javier, nothing was as devastating as the seemingly senseless murder of his wife. It propelled him into a year of punishing rage and guilt…until Xander came to his rescue.

Comes an irresistible woman …
Eager to rejuvenate Javier’s life, Xander shanghais him to Louisiana where they meet the beautiful London McLane. After surviving a decade of tragedy and struggle, London is determined to make a fresh start—and these sexy billionaire brothers are more than willing to help. In every way. And London is stunned to find herself open to every heated suggestion…and desperately hoping that her love will heal them.

And inescapable danger …
But a killer with a hidden motive is watching, on a single-minded mission to destroy everything the Santiago brothers hold dear, especially London. And as fear and desire collide, every passionate beat of her heart could be her last.


See? Who wouldn't want this on their to-read list? There's a virtual signing going on for this book as well as the first book of the series. You can find it here.

I'm also giving away a $10 gift card to Naughty Nights Press to one lucky winner. Just tell me in the comments who your favorite romance book hero is, and why. The giveaway runs from May 7 to May 12, and I'll announce my winner before the 15th.  So good luck, and have fun hopping!

Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Friday, May 3, 2013

To Blog, or Not to Blog...

I haven't been blogging lately because the few minutes I can squeeze in writing in-between everything else, I've done that instead of blog. In the long run, this blog is pointless if I'm not continuing to publish books. Sure, my viewership has suffered a little, according to the numbers, but I'm not worried. I have plenty of time to build it up again, and I'm fervently hoping that after school ends for me in November, things won't be so insane around here.

But when it comes down to it, I sit down to blog and my mind goes blank. What to write about? The best advice to succeed in blogging --and most of life-- is to just be genuine. My passion happens to be helping people to be better writers. I'm not quite the touchy-feely type about it, though. I'm more the, "You wanna be a better writer? You wanna see your stories up on the shelf at bookstores? Then quitcherbellyachin' and work!" 

Not a lot of people like that. But honestly, I think we need more of that than the, "Oh, but not everyone can be a great writer!" So what? Everyone can learn to be better, and the craft of writing is no less worthy of our best.

I literally spent an extra ten years developing my style, learning style nuance from my favorite authors, and exploring a genre that was true to myself despite the stigma attached to it. And writing in a new genre meant starting over from scratch. Ten extra years. Does it fill me with loathing and resentment to see these wannabe hacks throwing their crap on Amazon and calling it publishable? You betcha.

Not everyone loves the English language nor respects the publishing industry as much as I --and others like me-- do. Fine. But everyone who wants to be an author damn well better, and it better show in the quality of their writing.

Sometimes, though, I don't feel like handing over all of the knowledge I worked so hard to gain. I'd rather be using that knowledge to write more lovely stories for people to enjoy. And I get tired, and stressed-out by my mundane life. If to mine own self I must be true, then I'll choose writing every time.

Maybe next week I'll have more blogging time.


Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Book Spotlight: Kitten by Angelica Dawson

Kitten by Angelica Dawson

Hey, everyone!

I wanted to let you all know that Kitten by Angelica Dawson is available on pre-order at Naughty Nights Press and ARe, and is available for purchase tomorrow!

This is a fantastic prequel about Jocelyn, one of the vampires of the Blue Moon House (available for purchase). I think it's a fantastic idea for Ms. Dawson to be writing the origin stories of the different members of the BMH. And she's a fantastic author, and really nice, too!

About Kitten

Jocelyn considers herself sexually experienced, a leader and manipulator. She is looking for the next challenge. The rumors surrounding Blue Moon House sound like just the thing she's looking for. Losing her roommate to marriage, she also needs a new place to stay. Hoping to find both in the same entity, she follows the rumors to their source and finds much more than she bargained for, beginning with a discovery that defies her biological science background - vampires.

Available at


“You are sure?” The woman asked again, narrowing her eyes. Perhaps she hadn't passed scrutiny?

Jocelyn licked her lips and looked over the woman's hips and breasts again before meeting her eyes. “I'm positive.”

“My name is Sophia. Follow me, please.”

Sophia led Jocelyn to a parlor. On the other side, Jocelyn could hear some of the sounds she had expected. Shrieks and cries came from a hall lined with doors. There were others though. A cracking noise accompanied by an actual scream of pain made Jocelyn jump. Sophia indicated a chair for Jocelyn and moved to a writing desk in the corner, opening it and pulling out paper and pen.

“I shall have to find out who is spreading rumors of us. It is forbidden to speak of this place to those outside. Would you be willing to tell me who told you about us?” Sophia arched an eyebrow, regarding Jocelyn as she wrote.

“I would tell you, but I couldn't. It wasn't one person,” Jocelyn admitted. “I have...asked a number of people where to go next.” Jocelyn blushed at her tripping tongue. She didn't normally get embarrassed about sex. Taking another breath, she collected herself. “I've had many partners since coming to the University and we have done many things. When I asked if they'd tried anything else, Blue Moon House tended to come up. They do this in Blue Moon House. Or, I've heard that is done at Blue Moon House. I couldn't help but try to find you.”

“What is your full name, and how did you find us?” Sophia asked.

Jocelyn looked at her shoes briefly. “Jocelyn Mary Turner, and I followed someone.”

“Ah,” Sophia sighed.

“Mistress? Is there anything I can do for you?”

Jocelyn's mouth snapped shut as a naked man entered the parlor. His skin was a lovely olive shade and glistened very slightly in the lamplight, as though he'd been sweating. He didn't cover himself at all, giving Jocelyn a perfect line of sight to his manhood hanging between his legs. She smiled when it twitched and lengthened slightly.


That's one thing I love about Ms. Dawson: she's so tantalizing! If you want to read even more excerpts, there is a list of other blogs hosting Kitten that have a variety of excerpts for you. I requested an interview because, well, I'm a fan and I wanted to know more about her. Completely selfish, but you all get to benefit!

What’s your name and where do you come from?

Angelica Dawson from the Great White North. Thankfully, the snow is starting to melt.

Tell us a bit about your latest release.

Kitten is the first of a series of prequels to Blue Moon House. It focuses on Jocelyn, the youngest of the vampires in the first Blue Moon House novella. The series is about a group of BDSM vampires that trade unrivalled sex for the blood of their prey. No one has died in Blue Moon House in centuries, but a lot of people have found exactly what they are looking for and a few things they weren’t. The same is true of Jocelyn. She just came to find a new place to stay and some new sexual experiences. She didn’t expect to find vampires or one that would help her overcome the barriers that her past had erected.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Anger. Lol. So many stories do things I don’t like and then I get in a snit and have to do it my way. That’s how I came by the first Blue Moon House book. The sequels have been much easier (and less angry). I laid just enough groundwork to give me a frame and now I simply delve into each of those characters to uncover their story. I’m not inspired by my past or porn or anything like that. I’m very much character driven. These characters speak to me, and occasionally don’t let me sleep if I’m not listening.

Me too! I got so tired of not being able to find what I wanted to read, or having it be really rare, that I had to write my own just to keep myself entertained. Glad I'm not the only one inspired by snit, lol!

How do you go about creating the perfect "Swoon" worthy man?

By giving him a flaw. Will probably doesn’t seem swoon worthy. He is a beautiful black man, but he is brutal in his treatment of his submissives. He seeks out those with a real love of pain and that like to be degraded verbally as well. He actually has a lot of fun calling his partners all sorts of nasty things. There’s one scene in Kitten where Jocelyn turns the tables on him and the encounter ends with him laughing his butt off. In that scene, I think he is at his swooniest (that’s not a word, is it?)

Swooniest! Even if it's not a word, I'm totally adding that to my vocabulary! 

So do you have a favorite character from your books? Why are they your favorite?

Tough one. Will is right up there. He has such a dramatic transformation over the course of his story. Even in Kitten, he goes from being someone you want to hate to someone you start to respect. In the original Blue Moon House he doesn’t do much to redeem his horrible behavior, but in Kitten, he spends so much time with Jocelyn that you really get to see another side of him, the side that does care about his partner. Even when it seems he thinks them nothing more than object for his use and abuse, he is watching for signals, pulling back at the right moment, and tempering himself. He is one of the most complex characters in the series.

What trait do you find the sexiest?

I’m the opposite of Jocelyn, I have a thing for hairy guys. My husband has a nice full beard which he kept after I told him how good it looked on him when we were back in college. Nothing beats a soft beard against my cheek, unless it’s a full chest of hair.

Mmm, big fuzzy manly mans. I like them too.

Is there any erotic scenarios you wouldn’t write about?

I want to say no. I’ve had ideas for bestiality werewolf stories and written one character that had such an open mind for love and sex that she didn’t spurn incest. Obviously, those aren’t the stories I aim for. I’m not comfortable with them, certainly. Sometimes, though, when I follow my characters, they take me to some strange places and show me new things. How about this: I am willing to write anything, but would only publish certain things. Sometimes a story just isn’t meant to be shared.

What’s your idea of a perfect romantic evening?

A nice dinner with good wine, a fire in the fireplace, and an entire evening spent together without interruptions. Been a while since I had one of those. Time to call up Grandma!

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I spend a lot of time doing handicrafts, like crochet and cross-stitch. I also have a part-time day job. I’m an environmental consultant working in the oil sands of Alberta. It’s a huge area that will need to be reclaimed, and I’m doing my part to find solutions that will let them do that, when they’re finished tearing it up. A lot of people like to say, “no one cares,” or, “they aren’t doing anything,” but it’s not completely true. They might not be doing enough, and some of the people don’t care, but some people do. I’m one of them.

I think you totally just became one of my heroes. That's amazing! I so want to ask you more about that, but I'll restrain myself.

Tell us something that might surprise our readers.

My daughter read her second birthday cards. She likes to read over my shoulder. It’s very scary and I have to lock the door to my office sometimes. Usually, though, I just change windows and tell her what I’m writing is not for her to read. If I’m lucky, she goes off and plays. If I’m not, Dad comes and collects her.

When did you start to write?

I wrote my first novella, and started my first novel, in high school. I wrote a lot back then. At University, I got burned out. I didn’t write for a few years after that. In 2009, I started writing fanfiction. A few stories that I had read sparked crystal clear images in my mind and I was compelled to write again. I did fanfiction for a full year before writing my first original fiction in 2010 and it was another year before I published it under my real name in 2011. Blue Moon House was first written in 2011, when I was getting completely out of fanfiction. I wrote it in protest of “BDSM” fanfiction that was practically rape fiction, abusive, and written for shock value. I wanted shock value without losing the safety that can be found in BDSM. No one read it, and I didn’t expect they would. I didn’t expect anyone would want to publish it. I was wrong. Blue Moon House was published in September 2012 and since then I have written five of the seven prequel novellas. Kitten is just the beginning.

What dream or goal have you yet to realize?

To be read. When setting a realistic goal, I wanted each of my books to be read by a thousand people. I don’t think I’ve managed that, and it’s only the first goal. I want to be read by several thousand people, maybe a million. I want my stories to reach people. I know they aren’t going to be blockbusters or cultivate a host of fanfiction writers who want to spin off my stories, but I want people to read them, enjoy them, and take something from them.

Who has influenced how you perceive love? Why?

My parents were married for over thirty years before their marriage suddenly ended. I thought they were an example of love. I thought their marriage was one to emulate. Then I found out that it hadn’t been, not for years. What did that mean for my marriage? Was it intrinsically flawed by the same cancer as theirs? If I didn’t see it in them, would I see it me? I was really shaken for a while. My husband was very clear, however. He was also right. My marriage, while possibly based on theirs, is not my parents’ marriage. While I might be a lot like my mother, I am not my mother. Allen isn’t much at all like my father. We have our own problems and pitfalls that are nothing like theirs. We will have to encounter and overcome them in our own way. There is always that nagging doubt, though, when I see a happy couple. Are they really happy? Could it end any minute?

Available at

About the Author

Angelica Dawson is no stranger to blood sucking hordes. Unfortunately, in her day job as an environmental scientist, they aren't vampires but black flies and mosquitoes. Angelica is the author of Blue Moon House, a vampire BDSM story. She has also contributed to two anthologies, Campus Sexploits 3 and Serviced Vol. 1.


Thank you so much, Angelica Dawson, for stopping by The Printed Fox and telling everyone about Kitten. It sounds phenomenal, and I can't wait to read it!

Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!