In a nut shell

075bed98ccf9391784e25cecbbbc24d4Why do I write sex scenes in my books? Is it really just smut?

NO!

I found this this morning and it captures in essence why I don’t draw the curtains.

“If you don’t feel comfortable writing about sex, then don’t. By this, I mean writing about sex as it actually exists, in the real world, as an ecstatic, terrifying and, above all, deeply emotional process. Real sex is compelling to read about because the participants are so utterly vulnerable. We are all, when the time comes to get naked, terribly excited and frightened and hopeful and doubtful, usually at the same time. You mustn’t abandon them in their time of need. You mustn’t make of them naked playthings with rubbery parts. You must love them, wholly and without shame, as they go about their human business. Because we’ve already got a name for sex without the emotional content: it’s called pornography.”  (Author)

Cover reveal. Scar Tissue.

My cover has arrived from Evernight! This is a fraught moment for me. If you’ve read earlier posts from me you might have caught on that I’m not a fan of the bodice ripping, heavy make up or overtly erotic cover, so waiting for a reveal can be a little tense. What am I going to get, will I hate it, how much will I hate it? 

As you can probably imagine, I opened the image with my breath bated and my eyes half shut. I needn’t have bothered! There is so much I like about my new cover. The colours and look follow on in theme from the first book in the series, which I’m thrilled about.

No nail polish, no bright red lipstick! My girl is a warrior, not a beauty queen. I love the tattoo, it’s primitiveness and the blending that makes it look like it belongs on his skin. The models they have used have caught the gritty feel of my characters. The backdrop is perfect, letting the reader know that they’re in for a darker read. I love that it’s obviously a romance and obviously paranormal. 

Sour Cherry design and Evernight Publishing. Thank you. I wouldn’t change a thing.

SJ Maylee on how it began

I’d like to thank SJ Maylee for being my first debut author and for our chat messages that have encouraged me and given me someone to talk to who understands the in’s and outs of being an author.

SJ has shared with us her journey to publication. She is the first, hopefully not the last.

So thank you and very welcome SJ,

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Thank you, Evie for having me here today. I’d like to share with you my journey to publication. It’s a long and tumbling story. From a young age, reading was an escape for me. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had characters in my head and I played around with their stories. Insecurities got in my way and kept me from writing any of it down. A couple years ago, the drive to know my characters and finish their stories became such a bright light that I had no choice but give it a try.

Once I started, I devoured everything I could find on the craft of writing. I’ve never been so hungry for knowledge. Yes, I wanted to write, but I didn’t know anything about how to do it other than what I’d picked up by reading hundreds of books. Fortunately, reading is one of the best teachers. Without knowing it, I’ve been studying the craft all my life. However, this journey is a marathon and not a sprint. Nothing was going to happen overnight. I had to decide for myself over and over again to keep moving forward.

It’s a daunting task to sit and write and the zillion other things that go along with it. Discipline has been my friend and I’m still working on honing my focus and routine. My determination has been my best friend. I haven’t taken a day off of this journey since I started. Besides hard work it does take a certain amount of good luck, good timing, and guts.

Hitting send on a submission is one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. After spending countless hours with a story you care a lot about it and the waiting is the worst. I’ll never forget the day I received my acceptance from Evernight Publishing for TAKING CHANCES. I’ve read that email so many times. I still look at it often. I love that email. It tells my insecurities to be quiet. It’s helping me right now while I wait to hear on what I hope will be my second published story.

I love that I titled my debut TAKING CHANCES, because that’s what I did from day one. I took a chance.

Below I’m sharing a bit about my debut. You’ll find all the details, the blurb, an excerpt, links to where you can buy Taking Chances, a little bit about me, and all the places you can connect with me.

Thank you so much for having me today, Evie.

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Taking Chances

(The Love Projects #1)

by: S.J. Maylee

Genre: Erotic Romance with D/s

Length: Novella

Published: August 23, 2013

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-77130-533-4

TAKING CHANCES BLURB:

Lydia’s father walked away from her when she was eight. She’s struggled to not let him affect her, but fears she wasn’t loveable enough to make him stay. Jake wants to love one woman, but after scaring the last woman he met outside of the club, he doubts he has the right. She protects her heart by sticking with her fantasies, and he lives by a set of rules that excludes women who choose a vanilla lifestyle.

The two will be kept in a conference room working together until their special project is complete. If Lydia and Jake hold tight to their bland lives, they’ll always yearn for love that is out of reach. But together they can find common ground, passion, and a reason to take chances. Once they discover the grand possibilities of the love they desire, they find themselves in the very place they tried never to be again, facing unguaranteed love.

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18337826-taking-chances

TAKING CHANCES EXCERPT:

Look at me, Lydia.”

He pushed her. “Why?” She shifted her gaze and hit him with her direct stare.

Thank you. I needed to see your eyes.” He reached out and swiped a lock of hair from her face. He tucked the strand behind her ear, and let his finger drag down her face to her shoulder. All the while his gaze captured hers, not letting go. “How are you this morning?”

I’m okay.”

Okay? Hmm, maybe I should do something to improve your mood? What would you say to that?”

Here?” she gasped and quickly turned to look out the door.

He grabbed hold of her shoulders, lifting her slightly off the floor.

Yes, here.” He brought their bodies together, claimed her lips and swept his tongue through her mouth, awakening her sexual hunger.

She felt wanted. She felt claimed. Images from the night before swam in her mind. Silly challenges from the office mean girl were all forgotten. He set her down and nipped at her lower lip.

We have a lot to do today. Unfortunately we cannot go any further, now.” He stepped back behind his desk as casually as if he’d just greeted the mail man.

But you would want to?” Still looking at the papers on his desk, she didn’t think he heard her. She took a step closer. “You would repeat last night?”

Her words stopped him. His gaze searched her face. Placing his hands on the desk he leaned forward and said, “Lydia, I fully intend to further explore your body and mind. After all, there are a few places I haven’t yet completely inspected.”

Her mind ran through what he had done to her last night, and there was only one place she could think of. Warmth fluttered through her face.

Now, that is a beautiful sight.” He returned to his papers. “I’m going to have to keep thinking of ways to shock you simply to see you blush again.” With the papers properly sorted, his attention returned to her. “Is Gina a problem?”

Gina was a lot of things, but she’d never thought of her as a problem. “I don’t think so.”

Don’t be afraid to put her in her place. She likes that more than she lets on. She’s the type to push so she can be pushed back.”

I hadn’t thought of her that way. Interesting.”

Let me know if she becomes a problem.” His gaze drilled into hers, not letting her escape.

Okay.”

Okay?” His posture remained controlled, but the smirk couldn’t be missed.

She added her own version of the devilish grin, which ignited another blush before she even spoke. “Okay, Sir.”

Trouble.” He stalked towards her and ruthlessly swept his hand under the hem of her skirt to press firmly along her panties. His lips pressed to her ear. “Hot and damp.”

The palm of his hand pressed on her clit, and he bent his knuckles, sending the tips of his fingers past the edge of her panties to drag along her slit.

Be careful what you say to me, sweetheart, or you’ll shatter my control.” With one last drag of his fingers, he pulled away and walked from the room.

TAKING CHANCES BUY LINK:

Evernight Publishing: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/taking-chances-by-s-j-maylee/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Taking-Chances-Love-Projects-ebook/dp/B00EPWDHP4

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/taking-chances-sj-maylee/1116840328

All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-takingchances-1269898-147.html

S.J. MAYLEE BIO:

S. J. Maylee fell in love with storytelling at a young age and with it came a deep-seated desire for everyone to find their happily ever after. She’s finding the happy endings for her characters one steamy story at a time.

When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her caring for her garden, laughing with her two young sons, or dancing to her husband’s music. She’s a PMP (Project Management Professional), Nia instructor, and coffee addict.

As a writer she has a tendency to break hearts, but she always glues them back together.

Blog: http://SJMaylee.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SJMaylee

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/SJ-Maylee/339463696094996

Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/110475431453091174566/posts

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7224328.S_J_Maylee

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/sjmaylee/

Weekend Warriors

Welcome to my first installment of Weekend Warriors eight sentence teaser.

 www.wewriwa.com

This is from my current WIP, the 2nd book of the Dominion.

I don’t want this,” she said, appalled at how fragile her voice sounded. What the hell had just happened?

That predatory smile played across his face. “Baby, I may have been the lips, but you were tongue.”

Parry shrieked and flew at him, swinging a punch. He ducked and grasped her wrist, his fingers digging through her leather cuffs into her skin. He spun her and slammed her back against the building. Once again she was pinned in place by his huge frame. 

Dragon Kings by Lindsey Piper

 

 

In honour of the recent release of Lindsey Piper’s Blood Warrior, I thought I’d do a bit of a plug for this fantastic series.

I’m not much of one for reviewing other people’s work. I’m too much of a hard arse and far too judgmental, but these books and the intriguing characters sunk their hooks in and gave me the kind of reading shake up I love.

The Dragon Kings, an ancient race of demons, were once worshiped as earthly gods. Centuries later and facing extinction, they fight at the whim of human cartels for the privilege of perpetuating their bloodlines.”  Taken from Lindsey Piper’s website.

I picked up the first book, Caged Warrior, based on its cover. As I’ve said before, I don’t love a lot of romance covers and anything that has bodice ripping connotations is an instant ugh for me. The cover of Caged Warrior lacked that god awful cheese factor and seriously appealed to my aesthetic. The grittiness, the raw aggression in the heroines gaze and, lets face it, the heroes body is about as beautiful as a man can get.

After a quick read of the blurb I was in and boy am I so glad I did.

The story begins when Nynn is released from a laboratory where she has been treated as a lab rat for the last year. She is given over to Leto to train as a cage fighter. Their relationship begins as warden and prisoner in a violent confrontation that sets up an aggressive dynamic. As the time progresses their dynamic shifts to trainer and trainee, then cage fighting partners and eventually, friends to lovers. The journey is anything but easy, both characters are deeply affected by each others presence, both are woken to truths about themselves, their histories and their lives that they would rather not face.

I just love books that break rules and Caged Warrior sure does that. The heroine, Nynn, is staunch, stroppy and intelligent, as many good PNR genre heroines are. Her journey from broken woman to powerful Dragon Warrior is awesome, her devotion and commitment to her stolen son is something every mother can relate to.

Leto really breaks the hero mold. He is not a nice guy. He’s violent and abusive. He shames, degrades and hurts Nynn all in the name of training her to fight. You’d think this would put me off him as a hero, but his behavior is so in keeping with his upbringing and his position as a slave/gladiator that I couldn’t help but have compassion and empathy for his broken life. I really understood why Leto was doing what he did, could see how it damaged him, even when he couldn’t. To see him wake to the truth of his slavery was both beautiful and painful.

I think this is Lindsey’s skill. She is unafraid in her characterization and doesn’t shy away from her characters faults. She also doesn’t try and tidy them up or make them more appealing. It’s this fearlessness that I love. Her writing is unsanitized, gritty and brutally honest and I adore it.

In Silent Warrior, book 1.5,  we get to know Hark and Silence and are swept into the whirlwind of their meeting. Two characters could not be more opposed. Silence is, well, silent and Hark talks, thinks and moves at a mile a minute pace. Lindsey writes in my favourite style, switching POV between the hero and heroine and it couldn’t suit this book or these two characters any better. As Hark speaks the language speeds, becomes chaotic and cluttered. As Silence speaks it slows, becomes sharper more cutting. The effect is to leave the reader feeling as unbalanced as the characters feel, as bombarded, as ripped open, as ungrounded.  Perfect!

It took me a little longer to get into Blood Warrior, but once in I was immersed. So much about the Dragon King culture began to unfold as Tallis and Kavya began their journey towards each other. My god, talk about clash of the arrogant. I loved watching these two climb slowly down from their high horses as they learned about each other and their different cultures. I love that neither was toppled, that both retained dignity, and chose to climb down. So often in PNR the main characters are whacked down. Not Tallis and Kavya, they wake each other, lift each other, learn to move past ego and prejudice so that they can love each other as they are clearly meant to. Lindsey did it again. Two well rounded, complex, likable despite their faults characters who I just fell for.

The language in Blood Warrior is more poetic that in the previous two books and that is one of the things I love about Lindsey Piper’s writing. Her language is informed by her characters.

Leto and Nynn are cut and dry people, hard and edgy. The language of Caged Warrior is the same. Hark and Silence? Well I’ve already told you about the language in their story. As for Tallis and Kavya, they are a pair of dreamers and their books speaks in the language of their idealistic souls.

I have a very short list of favourite series/authors. The Dragon Kings takes pride of place among them.

I recommend this series for anyone who loves Stacia Kane’s Downside Ghosts series or the Black Dagger Brotherhood. While they are three distinctly different series thay all have a level of honesty and rawness that put them in the same category(in my opinion anyway.)

 

Introducing me

Well, here’s my first foray into blog land. Strange that it’s taken me so long really, considering how much I like to distract myself from my work with the internet.

This post will be a short hello and why I’m here.

So, first off, hi! I’m an author, just in case my banner didn’t make that clear. On the 7th of September Evernight publishing will release my first novel, Lunacy and the Vampire.

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