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Some thoughts on success (as a writer)

Some thoughts on success.

If you want a concrete measure of how different this year was from every other year of my career, here’s one:

This was the first time I went to cons and did not worry about how much a burger cost.

I did a lot of cons this year. I went to romance conventions, science fiction cons, writers conferences, BDSM events, and more. And not once did I balk at ordering that overpriced but oh-so-delicious burger from room service, the one that makes my poor introverted, battered soul feel whole again after a day of being “on.” Sometimes it came with fries. Sometimes with sweet potato tater tots. Sometimes with avocado and bacon. It was always, always satisfying. And in that sense it was worth every penny. Maybe food tastes better when it’s not tinged with worry that I can’t afford it. Continue reading →

Slow Satisfaction BDSM Book Hooks! #MFRWhooks

No, I don’t mean suspension hooks, I mean delicious snippets from the book SLOW SATISFACTION! My latest BDSM romance, the final installment in the Struck by Lightning Trilogy, came out yesterday! Every week a group of romance writers all post a bunch of “book hooks” so check out links to all of them at the bottom of the post.

Spankings and bondage don’t make a person fall in love any more than candlelight and roses do.

    1. “Negotiation is fun. Contracts are dull.” (Said James while running a cane over Karina’s buttocks)
    2. “Spanking is only for those I love, not those I loathe.” -James
    3. “Spankings and bondage don’t make a person fall in love any more than candlelight and roses do.”
    4. “Any penalty he exacted if I failed would be as much fun as any reward for success. BDSM was win-win that way.”
    5. Karina: “So our safeword is ‘no?’” James: “It’s a perfectly good word, isn’t it?”
    6. “Oh fuck,” I said, and I meant it.

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It’s launch day for SLOW SATISFACTION! BDSM blog tour stops today:

slow_satisfaction_150pxWhew! It’s Day One of the Slow Satisfaction Blog Tour and there are a LOT of places you can read about the book, me, and enter to win copies:

Two hot excerpts (warning: spoilers) along with giveaways for 10 sets of autographed books (all three in the series!) are at Katiebab’s Babbling About Books and at Smut and Bon Bons.

And then a third excerpt (warning: spoilers) is up on a plethora of blogs. Thanks to the Mixed Emotions Book Blog, My Book Filled Life, Deal Sharing Aunt, Sapphyria’s Steamy Reviews, Confessions of a Librarian in Training, Buttontapper Press, and Jersey Girl Sizzling Reviews for blitzing the excerpt on launch day!

Eager Reader posted the first review!
“Soooo thankful that I got my hands on this book a little bit early since this has become one of my favorite series to date. We have been taken on such a roller coaster and the games that they play are so intricate that I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve been really excited to see where it goes… while i’m sad that the trilogy is over, I’m really happy with how it went!”

Read the full review here: Eager Reader.

And I wrote a guest blog for Rainy Day Reviews:

“I wanted to write a story about a kinky billionaire because I feel some of the books out there are, well, giving kinky billionaires a bad name.”

Read my guest blog on why I wrote Slow Satisfaction: BookjunkieMom’s Rainy Day Reviews.

Many more blogs, contests, and interviews are coming in the next 14 days!

Oh, also, did you see that the UK/Australia/NZ ebook editions of all three Struck by Lightning books launched today, too? From Piatkus Entice, an imprint of Little, Brown UK! Check it out: http://www.piatkusentice.co.uk/ebooks/slow-surrender/

SLOW SATISFACTION has finally arrived! BDSM romance trilogy wraps up.

Yes, I know you’ve been waiting a long time for this book! So have I! But release day is here! To celebrate, here’s a sample chapter, as well as easy handy links to where you can buy it online or find a local independent bookseller with it on hand!

Slow Satisfaction (#3 in the Struck by Lightning trilogy)

ISBN 9781455529285 • $10 paperback/$4.99 ebook

Click for high res


The conclusion of the saga of Karina and James! James has finally pushed Karina beyond her limit–not her limit for kinky sex play, but for his extreme secrecy. She has had enough and breaks things off. But James won’t give up on Karina and he will do whatever it takes to get her back. He’s ready to share his deepest, darkest secrets, but is Karina ready to hear them? When James is blackmailed by an unscrupulous music industry executive, he must give in to unreasonable demands or risk exposure of his and Karina’s secret sex life… a sex life that keeps getting hotter! Will Karina and James’s love be strong enough to withstand the many obstacles being thrown their way? More info: Hachette (publisher)

Buy SLOW SATISFACTION: Apple iBookstore | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo | Indiebound | Amazon (pb and Kindle)

SAMPLE CHAPTER: (***Spoiler Warning!*** This sample is from partway through the book!) Continue reading →

Authors After Dark picspam! Costumes, authors, etc! #aadchar

Under the cut, what it says on the tin. Picspam of lots of authors and costumes (often authors IN costumes) as well as some random sunsets and stuff, from the 2014 Authors After Dark conference. (Note: next year will be in Atlanta. Tickets go on sale soon!)

Includes: Andrew Grey, Tilly Green, Kallypso Masters, TJ Michaels, Leanna Renee Hieber, Sasha White, Yvette Hines, Siobhan Muir, Annabel Joseph, Stella Price, and many more (including me, Cecilia Tan).

Continue reading →

Report from Authors After Dark! #Romance readers rock. #aadchar

I’m writing this from my hotel room, where I’ve ordered a burger from room service and I’m hoping to recover my voice in time to make it down to the last hour of the Leather & Lace party at Authors After Dark!

This throat irritation started Wednesday night after I got here, with just a little pos-nasal drip, but I’ve been talking and talking so much at this con it’s been getting steadily worse! Just now while ordering room service on the phone I was basically down to a whisper, and I probably should admit defeat: I can’t talk AT ALL right now. Ugh.

As long as I’m stuck in my room waiting for sustenance and maintaining silence, I figure I may as well blog about how fantastic this conference has been. FANTASTIC. Continue reading →

Countdown to Slow Satisfaction by @ceciliatan ! Read a teaser scene

The official release day for SLOW SATISFACTION is coming on August 26th! This book is the big finale of the Struck by Lightning trilogy. To whet your appetites, there’s a sample chapter below! Plus handy links to where you can order it online or find a local independent bookseller with it on hand! The paperback started shipping out last week so look for it in the wild, and I should have copies at Authors After Dark!

Slow Satisfaction (#3 in the Struck by Lightning trilogy)

ISBN 9781455529285 • $10 paperback/$4.99 ebook

Click for high res


The conclusion of the saga of Karina and James! James has finally pushed Karina beyond her limit–not her limit for kinky sex play, but for his extreme secrecy. She has had enough and breaks things off. But James won’t give up on Karina and he will do whatever it takes to get her back. He’s ready to share his deepest, darkest secrets, but is Karina ready to hear them? When James is blackmailed by an unscrupulous music industry executive, he must give in to unreasonable demands or risk exposure of his and Karina’s secret sex life… a sex life that keeps getting hotter! Will Karina and James’s love be strong enough to withstand the many obstacles being thrown their way? More info: Hachette (publisher)

Buy SLOW SATISFACTION: Apple iBookstore | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo | Indiebound

SAMPLE CHAPTER: (***Mild Spoiler Warning!*** This sample is from partway through the book.) Continue reading →

Reviews: Reaching, Receiving, and Reacting to Them by @smartbitches at #RWA14

Reviews: Reaching, Receiving, and Reacting to Them
Sarah Wendell, of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

I wish I could have stayed to the very end of Sarah Wendell’s fantastic, funny, and much-needed talk on book reviews at RWA. Unfortunately, my publisher’s big book signing overlapped it, so I had to sneak out three quarters of the way through and sprint down to the next ballroom. (Signing went great, for 30 straight minutes I was mobbed and then I had given away all 50 books! Whoosh!) But I thoroughly enjoyed the candor, humor, and common sense presented in the 40 minutes I was able to stay.

“Reviews are something writers talk about a lot,” she began, “but it’s not common to talk to a reviewer about it.” The website she runs, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, is one of the top romance blogs. The site turns 10 years old this coming January. The popularity of the site (and Sarah) was reflected in the packed room, every seat taken and some sitting on the floor and standing in the back.

The first common sense point was that nowadays you can review everything you buy. Shoes, appliances, restaurants you eat in: everything is reviewable. “They’ve become an essential part of every transaction,” she said, “And books are no different.” Continue reading →

From #RWA14 writeup of Paranormal Romance: Dead, Soft, or Rearing Up to Bite?

Paranormal Romance: Dead, Soft, or Rearing Up to Bite?
With Kate Douglas, Rebecca Zanetti, and Cynthia Eden
RWA 2014 Panel

So one thing I think I’ve learned about panels and workshops at RWA. Very often the people teaching them are not just “bestselling authors.” Very often they’ve got book sales in the millions, and the number of novels they have published is 50, 100, 200… These are not lightweights.

On this panel alone, which intrigued me because the rumor that “Paranormal is dead” has been going around New York publishing for a while now, we had Kate Douglas, author of 53 paranormals, 38 with New York publishers, but also some with Ellora’s Cave and some self-published, Rebecca Zanetti, a multi-bestseller with Grand Central, Entangled and Kensington, and Cynthia Eden, a two-time Rita award finalist who has been on the NYT, USA Today, and Digital Book World bestseller lists.

Here are just a few of the pithy and relevant things they said that I noted for myself. They began by explaining that they put the panel together because they were at a previous conference where there was a panel that said paranormal is over, you should run away from it as fast as you can. All the paranormal authors were talking afterward and saying to each other, are you doing okay? And they found out that actually they were all doing pretty well.

“Look how crowded this session is,” Cynthia Eden pointed out. “I think that’s a sign how much interest there is in this genre. There is still a market.”

Kate Douglas put the rumors of demise in perspective this way: “I had 31 [paranormals] with Kensington and sales suddenly tanked. But now there are so many successful self-published ones. I did a series with Kensington where they did one, I did one, then did the third, I did the fourth. And sales are comparable.” (Speaking of the Dark Wolf series.)

Rebecca Zanetti: “I heard yesterday that you ‘had to’ self-publish if you do PNR. But I have two friends who just sold PNR debuts to major publishers. Those readers are out there.” Continue reading →

Nalini Singh’s #RWA14 workshop on Writing Paranormal Romance

I hurried out of the room this morning to try to get to Nalini Singh’s workshop on Writing Paranormal Romance after hearing tales of how some other workshops were so full that there wasn’t even standing room: people were standing out in the hallway trying to hear them. (The one on “How to Write Faster” was one of them: glad I slept in a little bit instead of trying to get there only to be shut out. Fortunately all RWA members can download the handouts from that class and many others through the conference app! Win!) Funny how the threads tie together in life: two weeks ago I was on a panel at Readercon on recommending romances to sf/fantasy readers, and of course Nalini’s praises were sung. Now here I am at a romance convention and I get to hear the woman herself impart wisdom. I love my life, did I mention that?

First, a little note about diversity. Yes, this conference is notably “whiter” than a lot of the conferences I attend. Many of the science fiction conventions I go to have actively recruited writers of color as speakers and fans of color as attendees. It’s really noticeable to me to go somewhere now where the small percentage of people of color stick out like sore thumbs. I don’t know if that’s part of RWA demographics or the fact that we’re in San Antonio (where I’ve never been) or that the hotel convention rate was a whopping $229 a night and maybe that skews the attendees base toward the most privileged. All I can say is this con seems very white. So it was interesting that at Nalini Singh’s talk, I felt like there were more people of color in the audience. I counted: out of 62 attendees in the workshop, 12 were visibly women of color. (There were only 4 men in the room, all white.) That seemed like a higher percentage than in the general population here, and I wondered if that was because Nalini herself is a person of color, leading to a greater comfort level? Or because paranormal itself so often deals with themes of integrating the “other” or embracing the “other”? I can only speculate, but diversity and representation are issues that come up again and again in my activist work and in the fandom communities I am part of, so it’s on my mind.

But now to the actual subject of the workshop, Writing Paranormal Romance. Nalini is witty, fun, and smart, and I didn’t write down even half of what she said, so let me assure you if you think you can just read my blog instead of attending a conference like this one and still get all the good stuff: you’re wrong. Here’s a tiny fraction of the wisdom imparted: Continue reading →

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