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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday quickies

I had ideas for two blogs this morning, but we’re going carpet shopping today so I don’t have time to explore them fully.  So here’s what occurred to me today.

First thought: I understand escapism. I saw a good quote on a bumper sticker: "Reality is for people who lack imagination." Imagination is my escape from reality, from judgment, and sometimes from plain old boredom. Writers choose to share their imagination with others and risk being judged for it, but if we don't share, we're not happy. I'm not anyway. I need an audience. My audience understands and that's why I write.

Second thought: Celebrate every success, large or small, and when you don’t have any successes, celebrate someone else’s.  So yay for book releases! Yay for impending book releases! Yay for book sales even if it’s just one or two! Yay for time to write! Yay for ideas when there’s no time to write! Yay for people who understand!

I was a cheerleader in high school so let me know what you have to celebrate today, and I’ll cheer for you.  Yay for new carpet!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Don't tempt me. Oh okay, go ahead.

I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it. ~ Mae West

I felt compelled to write about temptation today.  I have no will power. The best and worst part about working and writing at home is the refrigerator.  I can’t resist snacking so I don’t keep snacks in the house. When I get the munchies I usually end up eating something weird, melted cheese for example.  Not melted over anything, just melted.  Yum.  If I do for some reason have snack food available, I eat it all at once to ‘get rid of the temptation’. Yeah, sure. So I avoid food temptations by avoiding them or eliminating them.

One temptation I don’t bother avoiding or eliminating is men.  I’ve always been a lusty girl.  My first celebrity crush was Jon Baker from CHiPs. He was cute and sweet, an all-around good guy hero.  Then one summer my mom dragged me to a sci fi movie I never heard of and I abandoned my good guy crush in favor of my first bad boy—Han Solo.  (Han shot first!)  Wow.  The rest of my girlfriends liked Luke, but I wanted Han.  I’ve always been the different one. When I was in college, away from my mom’s no rock music rule, I discovered Richard Marx and Jon Bon Jovi and my long hair fetish was born. 
So what’s my point? I don’t really have one. This is just an excuse to daydream and post pics of yummy (to me) guys.  I could go on about Bruce Campbell  (told you I was different), Brendan Fraser (yummy mummy slayer), and Christian Kane (OMFG), or Drew Barrymore (I’m open-minded) but I gotta get something done. 
What was I doing again? ;) Who was your first crush (male or female)? 
Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Teacher judged for writing erotic romance

I don’t know where to start.  There are so many directions I could take. I’m trying to collect my thoughts on this subject, but my brain is fried from formatting all morning, so forgive me if I don’t make much sense.
As a romance author: my first thought was what if it happened to me?  I’ve blogged about my mom’s and my friends’ uptight, fundamental ideas.  If Judy Mays were a teacher in the community where I grew up, my friends and family would be among the first to ostracize her.  If they found out about me, I have no doubt they would condemn me just as quickly. How would I react? With my head held high, dammit.
As a mom: I will not shelter my daughter. I will do my best to protect her, but I will not forbid her to read things I may or may not agree with.  I will teach her to think for herself.  She can read my books if she’s interested in them. 
As a human being: this really is none of my business. Why does it matter what adults do in their free time? As long as she isn’t doing anything illegal or hurting anyone, I don’t need to know about it.  And no, erotica isn’t illegal or harmful.  Sex is a great stress reliever.  Maybe if more adults got laid more often, they wouldn’t need to take their frustrations out on other people.
As a romance reader: where can I get her books? Here’s one place: Amazon Kindle
And here’s more: Copia Romance All Romance
It’s good to see the romance community coming together to support one of our.  Maybe we can teach the world a thing or two about love. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Yeah, I'm a tease

I found these interview questions on Erotica for All. I don’t know when I’ll be featured on their site, so I thought I’d post a few of them just to get you excited. ;)

  • How did you start writing erotica?
    • I’ve been reading romance novels since I was in junior high.  My mom took them away from me, but that just made me want to read more.  After I got married, I got a subscription to Playgirl magazine and I spent more time reading the stories than looking at the pictures.  Really!  I wrote three short stories, sent them in and two of them were published, one as Fantasy of the Month.  I’ve been writing sex ever since.
  • What’s your favourite published work of yours and why?
    • My favorite published book is Tell Me You Want Me. It was my first novel and I fell in love with the bad boy hero (he’s a lot like my husband).
  • Who is your favourite character from one of your stories and why?
    • Jack Wheeler from Tell Me You Want Me and Secret Storm.  He’s a man with a dark past. On the surface, he’s charming and sociable, but underneath there’s a terrible secret haunting him.  He’s scarred physically and emotionally.  He intrigues me and he’s great in bed. ;)
  • How do you get yourself in the mood to write?
    • I daydream. 
  • If you get writer’s block when you’re writing, how do you get around it?
    • Two things: write stream of consciousness until I get the problem worked out, or take a shower.  I get great ideas in the shower.
  • If you could bring one of your characters to life, which one would it be and why?
    • Jack – I want to check out the scars on his body. 
  • What’s your favourite genre within erotica and why?
    • I like erotic romance. That’s what I write.  I write contemporary, but I read historical, especially Scottish historicals.  I love men in kilts!
  • What’s the biggest writing challenge you’ve ever taken on? Did you succeed?
    • Writing my first novel.  No, publishing and selling my first novel.  Writing was the easy part.  Selling it, especially when you’re self-published, is a HUGE challenge.
If you’re an erotica author, you can submit profile information to Erotica for All.

Friday, April 22, 2011

My mother told me to be a good girl

…but she never told me why.  All my life, I’ve always done what I’ve been told. Do your homework, Jane. Get good grades, Jane. Stay away from boys, Jane. 
Today I met this guy…Austin Sinclair.  I know who he is—campus heartbreaker, troublemaker—all around bad boy. He doesn’t know me, of course.  Why does that bug me?  It’s not like I’m looking for a guy.  It’s my senior year, and I’m focused on my career. I have no time and no need for men.
So why can’t I stop thinking about him?  He called me baby, sweetheart. God, that made me feel….  Anyway, I told him I wouldn’t go out with him unless he found out my name. I have nothing to worry about. He won’t bother.  Guys don’t chase after a girl like me.  I’m boring.  I’m plain. I’m a good girl.
But I don’t want to be good anymore. When Austin pressed his body up against mine (wow) I wanted to be bad—really bad—and somewhere, deep inside me, a bad girl came to life. Even if I never see Austin again, I’d like to know that bad girl better. But you know…I keep hoping he will find out my name. I’d love to see what happens then.
Meet Jane Elliot’s bad girl in Tell Me You Want Me available now on Kindle and Nook.        

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The bad boy appeal

I wrote the original version of this post while Lost was still on the air.
I watched the season premiere of Lost last night. Sawyer, the con man, is one of my favorite objects o’lust. He makes me hot in ways I can only begin to describe. Every week my husband asks me what I see in him (are you blind?) and other than the obvious fact that he’s gorgeous, the most appealing thing about Sawyer is that he’s a bad boy.
Yes, Sawyer and all bad boys can be pretty dangerous, but there is just something about them that makes many women wet, not just me. Let me see if I can explain why a bad boy appeals to me.
·         No strings attached. A bad boy is not marriage material. He’s not even relationship material. He is raw sex.
·         He’s dangerous. You don’t know what kind of trouble he’s going to start, but you can bet it’s gonna be a thrill ride.
·         You can’t control him. He doesn’t ask you what you like in bed. He tells you. Sometimes he doesn’t even tell you. Talk is overrated.
·         He doesn’t make love or have sex with you. He fucks you. He fucks you well.
·         He’s not afraid to get a little rough. A broken bed frame and a bruise or two means you had a good night.
Austin Sinclair, from Tell Me You Want Me, is a charming bad boy.  Playful and fun, his only threat to you is losing your heart.  His naughty personality was inspired by my husband.  Jack Wheeler, from Secret Storm, is a man with a secret past. Potentially dangerous when he loses control, he has a few bad boy moments—in the shower with Sara, for example.
Why is all that appealing? Bad boys appeal to my sexual nature at its most basic level. Primitive, animal, urgent.
I know there’s more, but I’m finding it hard to think straight at the moment. ;-) Who is your favorite bad boy?

Monday, April 18, 2011

The more sins you confess....

"The more sins you confess, the more books you will sell." Ninon de L'Enclos (1620-1705) French Author

Does that mean I need to confess my sins or my characters’?  Hmmm…I’ll start with my characters.
Austin Sinclair – charming star college quarterback who can’t keep it in his pants.  He calls his women baby or sweetheart because he can’t remember names and he doesn’t bother trying.  Even his name is sin.  Blames his father for his wicked ways.  But he’s about to meet the woman who challenges all that.
Jane Elliott – straight-A student, dedicated soccer player, and amazing softball pitcher who has no time for fun. Blames her mother for her repressed and guilt-plagued life.  But when she meets Austin, she makes time for fun. Is he worth the trouble?
Jack Wheeler – solid as a rock running back, dependable as they come best friend who won’t let anyone get close to him. Blames himself for a past tragedy he struggles to keep secret.  He wants to let Sara in, but he doesn’t know how to let the past go.
Sara Jensen – caring, comforting, giving woman who won’t take care of her own needs.  Blames her exes (including Austin) for her inability to trust men.  She knows Jack needs her, but why won’t he trust her?
Amelia James – author of melt-your-face erotic romance who keeps her genre choice secret from the people who know her best.  Blames her repressed upbringing for her current lustful ways.  She wants to tell her family about her books, but will they judge her?
So there you have it—sins galore.  I have lots more to confess, but I can’t do it all at once.  More stories to come—and I mean that in a good way. ;)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Who is this girl? And why do I want her?

I was just looking for a good time when she walked in and interrupted it.  Damn woman.  I’ve seen her before but I can’t remember….  She’s cute but she’s not the kind of girl who turns a guy’s head.  She’s got a body built for full-contact sports…if you know what I mean.  Dammit, what is her name?
I asked her out because that’s what I do. I’m Austin Sinclair, and I’m the campus heartbreaker.  I earned that reputation, I worked hard for it, and I’m proud of it.  But this girl wasn’t impressed.  That’s different.  Usually women do whatever I want, but she said no.  No? Are you kidding me?
Oh well. I can easily find another girl…if I want to. Hm. I don’t want to.  Dammit!  Why can’t I get her out of my head? I don’t even know her name so it should be easy to–
Wait. That’s it. She’s not easy. She’s stubborn, sexy, smart, stubborn. Yeah, I said that twice. She cringed when I called her baby, and those gorgeous green eyes burned right through me. Wow.  I asked her out again—I gotta get to know this girl—and she told me she would if I remembered her name.  Shit. I’m in trouble.
She plays soccer—that much I know. All I gotta do is find the team picture and…oh baby…. Sexy librarian glasses, messy pinned-up hair, gorgeous eyes—Jane Elliot. I’ll never forget her now. Janie, darlin’, I hope you’re looking for trouble because trouble just found you.

Find out how much trouble Jane and Austin get in: Tell Me You Want Me.

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004SCS4SG
Nook: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Tell-Me-You-Want-Me/Amelia-James/e/2940012295613

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Romance novels are good for women

I was reading various blogs yesterday and I came across a humor blog that showed a romance novel cover with questionable images.  I skimmed through the comments and found several disparaging the romance writing genre. Aren’t they just porn for women? Romance novels are trash/bad for women—the same BS I heard growing up.  That’s when I jumped on my sex-is-a-good thing band wagon (and ended up having a very interesting email conversation with another author, but I’ll keep that to myself).  I started thinking (I do that too much) and I realized it wasn’t just sex that has a bad image (depending on who you ask), but romance novels too (again, you gotta consider your audience).
So today I’m on my romance-novels-are-good-for-you! bandwagon.  I started writing the stories in The Devil Made Me Do It when I was in my 30s. Even though I was never taught sex was bad, I somehow thought it was, and the idea behind those stories is that I need someone else to blame (i.e. the 'devil'), so I wasn't responsible when I liked sex or wanted to explore my sexual nature. Today’s romance novels show women who have a healthy interest in sex and they’re not afraid to enjoy it or express it. This is especially true of Sara Jensen, my heroine in Secret Storm (shameless plug). Sara and Jack have some issues in their relationship, but sex isn’t one of them. 
I’ve been addicted to romance novels since puberty, and I couldn’t give them up even when I tried.  They provided a place for me to explore my sexuality when I had nowhere else to turn, no one to talk to.  Sometimes I call them mindless escapism, but even more than that, romance novels are my refuge.
These two blogs make my point better than I do:
Being a feminist romance reader I sent this one to my mother-in-law and she said it confirmed her position that intelligent women read romance.
Okay, I hope I’m done thinking now.  I gotta get some work done!

How do you feel about romance novels? Are they just mindless porn or have you learned something from them?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Why I write about sex

I look harmless. Everyone who ‘knows’ me thinks I’m a good girl. When I showed my sister my tattoo, she said, “Is that real?”  So if my family or high school friends ask me what I write about, the last thing they expect to hear is trashy romance novels.
I grew up in a very conservative and fundamental family and community. My mom dragged me to church every Sunday, I went to youth group twice a week, and in high school I was known as a holy roller.  I wasn’t taught sex was bad. I wasn’t taught about sex at all. I had to learn on my own and that wasn’t always a pleasant experience.
My mom tried to protect me from all the ‘bad things’ in the world. She wouldn’t let me listen to rock and roll, and she got music banned from school buses. She wouldn’t let me eat sugared cereals. She wouldn’t let me watch R-rated movies. So when I went to college—500 miles away from home—I lived on Lucky Charms. It was the best food in the cafeteria.  My MP3 is loaded with classic rock: Aerosmith, Van Halen, AC/DC (Def Leppard, Pour Some Sugar on Me, oooo naughty), and all the stuff I wasn’t allowed to listen to in high school. I’ve seen more X-rated movies than I can remember.
I write about sex because it was denied to me when I was growing up. I wasn’t allowed to experience innocent adolescent exploration.  I didn’t have a playful, joyful sexual awakening.  Mine was filled with guilt and shame, and I had no one to talk to so I found refuge in romance books.
(/rant) If you want to protect your daughter from something, expose her to it, carefully and with guidance. Let her learn why you think it’s bad and then give her the tools to decide for herself if it really is bad.  My mom and my church never told me why I had to wait until marriage. They just told me what to believe, and I was too shy to ask questions. (/end rant)
I write about sex because I believe sex was created for us to enjoy. I didn’t learn how to enjoy it until I was in my 30s, so there’s a lot of pent-up pleasure inside of me eager for release.  But mostly I write about sex because it’s a lot of fun, and I’m good at it. Sex is a pleasure I was denied for far too long.  I no longer have guilt about pleasure, but that’s a subject for another day.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sample Sunday: Halloween Treats

This story was published as Playgirl Magazine's Fantasy of the Month in November 1997. I added some detail, but the basic story is the same.

Boring, boring, boring.  Anna Jones stifled a yawn and tried to focus on the conversation around her.  It was the worst party in the history of Halloween.  The host was dull, the drinks flat, and the entertainment, well, less than entertaining.  When a sudden thunderstorm finally dropped the curtain on that so-called party, Anna took her cue and made an early exit. 
            The storm rumbled across town, but it wasn’t raining in her neighborhood yet, and the electricity was still on.  There was an hour of trick or treating left, so she rounded up some stray pieces of candy and put them in a basket in case any little ghosts and goblins came calling.  Catching a glimpse of herself in a mirror, she decided not to change out of her vampire victim costume.  Anna smiled, admiring her gown.  It was a great dress, something any bodice-ripper novel heroine would love to be ripped out of.  The full satin skirt trailed behind her just a bit, and the rich brocade bodice was laced up the front with a satin ribbon, shaping her full breasts very well. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

You will know my name

Yesterday when I was skimming through Twitter tweets, I found a post from the Indie Book Collective that said this: Bloggers, posting everyday is not a necessity. Make your post interesting and to the point. Quality over quantity.
While this is true about any kind of writing, my first thought was to disagree. I have some experience in business marketing, and what I learned was that you have to be persistent in getting your name in front of your customers—or in our case, readers.  I kept thinking (I tend to over think things), I realized it was a relief not to have to post every day.  I have enough to do already.
But I couldn’t get that thought out of my head, and I decided that for me, an unknown author trying to build name recognition, quantity is as important as quality.  Maybe J.K. Rowling and Nora Roberts don’t need to blog every day, but Amelia James (who the hell is she)? It couldn’t hurt.
So here I am again, writing my sixth post in three days.  I’ll do my best to keep them interesting and to the point, but until the name Amelia James equals well-known romance author, I’m going to post as often as possible. You will know my name.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Review: Tell Me You Want Me

I will admit, I haven’t read a romance novel in quite awhile, so I wasn’t exactly sure about what to expect. It has been said that a romance novel contains two elements: A basic love story and an emotionally satisfying ending. “Tell Me You Want Me”, by Amelia James, not only delivers these two elements brilliantly, but has the added element of amazingly hot, raunchy sex scenes.

“Tell Me You Want Me” centers on two characters: Jane Elliot, a brainy yet athletic college senior, whose focus on her studies leaves her little time for love, and Austin Sinclair, the studly football quarterback, who is simultaneously the campus heartthrob and heartbreaker. Their first encounter happens early on in the story and drives the point home that Austin is indeed a bad boy. Austin’s roommate and life-long friend Jack and Jane’s roommate Sara are also featured throughout the book.

At first glance, Austin seems like the typical “love ‘em  and leave ‘em” type of guy. However, a well-written prologue gives a background that informs the reader why Austin is the way he is with women. Keeping the reasons for Austin’s attitude toward women in the back of the reader’s mind instantly makes him more likeable. Ms. James doesn’t disappoint with her description of Austin as a love interest; he is “tall and strong with a smile like an angel and deep blue eyes that promised sin”. He has the boyish charm to accompany his good looks, he’s a (persistent) smooth talker, and he possesses a reputation of being amazing in bed. He has his pick of any woman he wants, whenever he wants.

Jane, on the other hand, is very much the opposite: Men are a distraction for her. She is a star soccer player and a scholar. Her mother didn’t let her date in high school, and even though Jane is away at college, her mother’s strict rules still apply in her mind. The reader finds out about Jane’s sexual history, which isn’t quite the same as Austin’s. Despite all of that, and despite the fact that Jane isn’t usually the type of girl that Austin would go for, Jane finds herself unable to resist Austin.  Perhaps it is because of his reputation…and his muscular body. Maybe her attraction to him is based on what he represents and what she desires: freedom.

The sex scenes in “Tell Me You Want Me” are hot to the point that they will make your face melt. Ms. James is very straightforward with them, although there are a few scenes with a bit of refreshing build-up. Descriptive and graphic language brings realness to these situations and avoids the cheesiness that one might expect from a romance novel.

The story and growth of Jane and Austin make this book a pleasure to read. As the book progresses, they change in many ways; some are obvious, but there are some surprises. Can Austin reign in his impulses? Will Jane finally be able to let herself go? Will Jane and Austin fall in love, or is this just a fling for the both of them? What happens when Austin’s father enters the picture? These conflicts and more are resolved quite nicely, and an epilogue ties everything together and wraps it up with a bow and a believable conclusion.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. “Tell Me You Want Me” delivers a light, fun, sexy whirlwind of a romance that required me to take a cold shower after I was finished reading it. The story balanced out the sex, and the ongoing tension between Jane and Austin kept me flipping the pages. I would recommend this book to anyone wishing to read a love story with a good amount of hot sex involved. Who wouldn’t want to check that out?

Lisa McFerren

Excerpt: Secret Storm

“No.”  Jack snatched the phone from Sara’s hand.  There was no way he was gonna let this conversation continue.  Not now; not ever.
“What the hell are you doing?” Sara gasped.  “I’m not done talking to him.”
Jack hung up the phone and tossed it across the room.  “You are now.”
Sara snarled and went after her phone, but Jack grabbed her arm.  “Let go of me,” she tried to jerk free.
“Not until you let him go.”  Jack tightened his grip but carefully so he didn’t hurt her.  “I thought you told me you were done with this guy.”
“I am, but he thinks–”
“I don’t care what he thinks.”
“Will you let me finish?”  Sara wrenched her arm free.  “He thinks we can work it out, but I told him I need to learn to trust him again.”
“Why bother?  He cheated once, he’ll do it again.  Guys like that don’t change.”
“Austin changed.”
“Austin never cheated on you.”  Sara was about to argue, but Jack cut her off.  “And you know that.  Austin is a good guy, but this David is a worthless piece of shit.  He knows he’ll never do better than you, and that’s the only reason he wants you back.”
Sara’s phone rang again and she searched for it, finding it on the floor just inside Jack’s bedroom.  She picked it up, but Jack was right behind her.  He grabbed it away from her and turned it off, throwing it under his bed.  Sara turned to face him and hissed.  “Why won’t you let me–”
“Because I care about you,” Jack shouted.  When Sara shrank back, he calmed himself and lowered his voice.  “I can’t stand to see him hurt you.  Do you have any idea how long I have stood by and watched you go out with all these losers?  I saw what Austin did to you.  I saw how much he hurt you.”
“Why didn’t you do anything?”  Those big blue eyes seemed to plead for help.
“I tried, but you always kept me at arm’s length.  Every time someone hurts you, you withdraw, you run away and hide.  You never let anyone take care of you.” To prove his point, Jack reached for her, holding out his hand for her to take.
Sara crossed her arms over her chest and backed away.  “I don’t need to be taken care of.”
“Okay, I get that.  You don’t need it.  But don’t you ever want it?”
“What?”  Sara stared at him, her eyes wide.
“Don’t you ever want someone to…I don’t know….”  Jack had no idea what he was trying to say.  He just wanted the pain and confusion in her eyes to go away.  “Sometimes when you’re hurting, you have to let someone else in to help take care of you whether you need it, or want it, or not.” 
 Sara looked at him, her eyes unreadable.  “Jack, I….”
He wanted to reach for her, to touch her and hold her, but Jack didn’t move.  If he was the one she wanted to let in, she would have to invite him.  “What do you want from me, Sara?  From anyone?”
“I don’t know.”  She turned away from him, looking toward the front door.  “What I want always comes second…if at all.”
“What do you need?”
“I need….”  Her head fell back and she covered her face with her hands, her fingers splayed across her forehead as if she was trying to ease some pounding pain.  “I need to feel close to someone.”
“I’m right here.”  He still didn’t move.  “I always have been.”
“I know.”  She turned and looked at him.  “I want to let you in, Jack, but I….  Oh hell, I just want you.  I have for a long time.  I know you’re not what I need, but I don’t care.  Take me to bed now and we’ll sort the rest out later.”  With three determined steps, Sara closed the distance between them and kissed him….

How I got started writing romance

To be perfectly honest, I don’t remember.  I started writing stories as soon as I learned how to print.  I didn’t know how to spell though, and that old witch always ‘thew’ me into her pot.  I gave up the horror stories pretty quick and started reading Harlequin romances in junior high.  The school library had a huge collection of them, and I read nearly every one. 
When I went to college, I started reading historical romances.  I loved reading fairy tales as a kid, and historical romances felt like fairy tales with a little something extra.  One weekend when I was home for a visit, my mom flipped through one of the books I was reading (back then they were called bodice rippers—and for good reason).  She had no trouble finding the ‘good parts’ since the spines were trained to open to the exact page where the action started.  She didn’t say a word, but I never saw that book again.  I hid my stash from her after that. 
I was an English Education major, but I really had no idea what I was going to do with my life.  I liked to read and after taking a creative writing class, I remembered I liked to write.  When it came time to start my student teaching, I was sent to observe a speech class.  Speech?  No, I wanted to write.  I dropped the education part of my major and graduated with an English degree and advice that I could do anything I wanted with it.
Fast forward ten years or so….  I was married, closing in on my thirties and working at one of many jobs I hated.  I was also starting to experiment sexually.  (At 30?  Yup, long story so I’ll save that for another time.)  I had a subscription to Playgirl, and I spent more time reading the stories than looking at the pictures. (No, really.)  Readers were encourages to send in short stories so I sent three.  Two of them were published.  One was chosen as fantasy of the month. (I’ll post that one later.)  I’ve been hooked on writing romance and erotica ever since.
My mom still doesn’t know….

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Short Story: Wondering What it's Like

A summer vacation in the desert southwest sounded like a good idea when Will and I planned it during a cold Colorado blizzard, but when we crossed the border into Texas, the heat slammed into me like a brick wall.  Sweat dripped down my body, and I complained about it while Will laughed at me.  He grew up here.  He’s used to the heat.  I’m not. 
We went to the hotel bar to have a drink and unwind a bit, but the hot and sticky air was making me lose my mind and I wanted lose my clothes real fast.  We went to our room and turned up the rattling old air conditioner as high as it would go.  I kicked off my sandals while he pulled back the covers on the bed, then he pulled me into his arms and kissed me. 

Tell me you like me....

Really.  I need to hear it.  I’m a romance author with two novels and a short story collection on my resume, but because I’m self-published, I don’t have publicists, marketers and reviewers (or fans…yet) beating down my door.  That’s okay though.  I chose to self-publish, and I’m glad I did.  Let me tell you why.
I can’t live without writing. I’ve been doing it since the third grade. I can still see my dad peering at me over the top of his glasses while reading my story about an old witch who ‘thew’ me into her pot.  My pen name, Amelia James, is one of the many nicknames he gave me.  I appear to be a good girl, but I love writing sex (I’ll explain that in another post).  I’ll share my short stories with you.  If I’m not writing a story, I’m writing in my journal. I’m always writing something.
I can’t live without an audience.  I grew up a shy girl. I had a few good friends, but I was afraid to reach out to new people.  I’ve overcome my shyness somewhat, but there’s still a lonely little girl inside me hoping to be noticed. Writing gives me the attention I crave both from the characters I create, know, and love and from the people who read my stories and enjoy them.  When someone tells me they like one of my stories, I get too excited for words.
I’m self-published because it works for me. I can write at my own pace and get my stories to my audience when I want to. I control what I publish…and I’m responsible for what does or doesn’t sell.  Succeed or fail—it’s all up to me. The one thing I cannot do is give up. (More on that later.)
But more important than selling books is knowing my audience likes them.  So tell me you like me. Tell your favorite author, whether they’re a self-published unknown or a worldwide best-seller, you enjoyed their story.  Believe me, it’s what we live for.