Monday, May 22, 2017

When you have to start all over...

Once upon a time I had 8 books (full-length, novellas, and shorts) published and out alive in the world.

I had a publisher I loved, and I got to talk with readers about my stories.

Well...my publisher closed.

Damn. But it was okay, because I had my books. Then I decided to try and gain traction with some bundles...

...that crashed and burned due to unforeseen circumstances.

Which meant I had NADDA.





After a lot (and I mean a LOT) of cursing, and kermit flailing around, I realized I have an opportunity to put these books out exactly as I want them. Market them exactly as I want, and own all of it myself.

They say you should start small. So...I figured I'd start TINY. I've got the ebook for Love Shack locked, loaded and ready to re-release all over the interwebs on June 6th.

Available for Pre-Order on Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and KOBO

And you know what? I'm just as nervous as I was releasing it the first time!! How? How is that a thing? More seasoned writers can chime in here, but my heart is trying to crawl out of my throat, and I think I should get a pass from the nerves since this is the second time.

My obsession with Tiny Houses and all the imagery/reality TV blended with my adoration of the close proximity trope in this book where a banker and minimalist meet each other in the middle of a crazy idea.

And yes. I'm nervous, but I'm also excited. I'm trying to do one new thing in the publishing process with each book I re-release. I'm learning all the things, and working toward that hybrid author status I'd dreamed of. I'm just working from the self-pub side first this round. 

They say you should always do the thing that scares you the most, well...come along on my "tiny" terrifying journey. 

I love this book, and I hope you'll all give it a chance. 

What are you doing to chase your own dreams today?

~Roxy

To find Roxy's books with buy links and what she has coming up next check out her website at RoxyRocksMe.com

Monday, May 15, 2017

Cheap Date with Dani Morgan! (And wine)

This bottle was picked out for my by the fabu Dani Morgan. (Who needs to get her story finished… Yeah. I called you out. ;p)

"Aconga" was the result of a night out with friends. It was $3.99 on sale at the nearby Kroger. It may have been picked 90% on the packaging. Because really…this thing looks a little like a filigree gun barrel. With the black bottle and seal, it really has a badass vibe.

Hubby saw me taking pictures of the bottle and grimaced. “Am I going to have to taste it?”

I wasn’t sure I was going to make him, but then he asked if he was an official part of the Cheap Date review and smiled. Awww. He feels included. (Still won’t read a thing I write, but hey…at least the man will drink with me.)


FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Is it sad that even all these years after college, one of the first things I look at is the percentage of alcohol? 

You’d understand after the helacious harry buffalo we made. That sucker was potent.

But the Aconga isn’t like the Everclear we used in college (thank god.) This wine is 13% alcohol.

The back of the bottle reads “An ancient Incan word meaning “Stone Sentinel”, Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the Americas, towering over Mendoza. It is this great mountain’s name that inspired “Aconga,” A symbol of grandeur and the celebration of a land steeped in history. Argentina, known as the land of silver, embraces artisans well known for their unparalleled silver craftsmanship.”

Huh. Who says alcohol makes you stupid? This wine just taught me something. And I feel mildly proud of myself for catching onto the silver link. *pats self on back*

There isn’t a whole lot of sweet/dry info on it, and despite the very long flavor description, “soft and supple” doesn’t tell me much.

We’ll just have to test it out. At least, I learned the where the highest mountain in the Americas is!



I have learned something through this whole cheap date process. If you have a foil seal over the cork, there is no need to take it off before putting the corkscrew in. The cork will usually break the seal when you yank that bad boy out. Then I just peel back the foil until it pours without spilling everywhere. I’ve only dropped a few pieces of the seal into the wine. It didn’t kill me. Think of it like finding the wishbone. Make it a game!

Well…look at that. The cork has a map on it, highlighting Argentina. This wine is teaching us all kinds of things!




THE SMELL

Definitely more than fruit here. This has a few different flavors going on. It’s got a spicy scent that reminds me of either coffee or chocolate, along with dark tart berries. I’m down.

THE POUR

A few bubbles collected at the top as I poured but quickly dissipated. It’s a deep ruby color and hugs the glass as I swirl it. A couple little pockmarks interrupt the smooth flow of the drag on the glass, but not too much.

Now that it’s in the glass, the smell is all smoke and spice. I can smell very little fruit.
 

FIRST SIP

Oooh. That’s different. It’s not sweet, but it’s got a soft tart flavor that I can’t quite place. The wine coats my mouth and has a fantastic warmth to the drink.

The bottle recommends this be paired with beef or red sauce on pasta. It reminds me of eating at an Italian restaurant where you order the red because that’s the house wine and the only one under $10 a glass.

I can also smell it without another sip. This stuff invaded my sinus cavity. Good thing I already ate, because I doubt this would pair well with McDonalds.


HUBBY VERDICT

I woke him up to make him take a sip. I’m an awesome wife.

Him: “It tastes like fermented grapes.”

Me: *eyeroll*

Him: “It’s more bland, I guess, but it’s not sweet, so eh?”

Me: “Bland? So if someone put it in front of you for free would you drink it?”

Him: “If there was no alternative, yes.”

FINAL VERDICT

I get what they mean by the word “soft” now. It’s not super dry, and it’s not super sweet. This is a wine that would go well with dinner. Not so much with a chocolate mousse.

It’s something to sip while writing or watching a movie, and at $4, I can see myself buying this again.

Two wino thumbs up.

And it taught me something! If I start buying wines from around the world that teach me about the place they are from, imagine how smart I could be in a year.

Furthering my education one bottle at a time.

Not bad for a cheap date. 

 ~Roxy

Monday, May 1, 2017

Pec or chest? Bicep or Biceps? And just what the heck *is* a trapezius?

Capcom's Human Anatomical Reference for artists
Steamy romance isn't as easy to write as some folks think. You have to be part doctor, part wordsmith, part matchmaker--and still love to put your couple through hell before they get their heaven, lol. But the biggest challenge is making detailed body descriptions both easy to understand and sexy.

Here's an example.

Biting Nixie by Mary Hughes – Smoldering hot vampire alert
     In the center of the room, naked to the waist, was Julian Emerson.
     He stood like some latter-day Goliath, his fists raised over his head. Muscles bunched and strained in his arms and chest. Loose black trousers hung low on lean hips. He slid one bare foot out, legs bent. Crossed powerful wrists in front of him. Pivoted and punched both arms up in a fluid harmony of motion.
     My breath punched out as well, like I’d been hit by a truck. Julian’s body was beyond gorgeous. His abs were cut like diamonds, his chest was chiseled marble. He turned and his back…stars above. His back made me want to wrap my thighs around him and ride him like a horse.
     Twin wings of pure, hard muscle flared from his narrow waist to his immense shoulders. I could see individual muscles work as his fists spun out in a ballet of power. A thin sheen of sweat slicked his skin. I wanted to lick it off.
     He turned again and I was overwhelmed by color. Bronze skin, deep bronze nipples. Short black hairs feathered up the center of his abs and over his broad chest. Black glossy hair curled around his ears as his two-hundred-dollar haircut absorbed the sweat of his exertion. Laser-blue eyes, made even more startling by his black sweeping lashes, stared—
     Julian Emerson was staring straight at me.
So what I'm describing here is Julian (a lawyer) doing the second blackbelt form in Taekwondo (Keumgang (금강)) - second dan ("diamond", symbolizing hardness, unbreakable)).  Specifically his pectorals are chiseled marble and his latissimi dorsi (lats) are flaring, and certainly I could have named particular muscles as they contracted and released, but that wasn't the point of this passage. The point was to let the reader experience Nixie's stunned reaction to her first sight of Julian.

In Nixie and Julian's honeymoon story, Biting Christmas (free as part of Biting Holiday Honeymoons on Amazon, Nook, and others) Nixie does mention more specific muscles. She's mounting him in a hot tub.
I grabbed the tops of my husband's broad shoulders. He lifted them slightly, making his trapezius muscles two convenient handholds.
Since Nixie had identified the "tops" of her husband's shoulders, I was pretty confident the reader would know the trapezius was the neck-to-shouldertip muscle without being disrupted from the story.

The more erotic books gained traction in the marketplace, the more confident I was using anatomical terms. In Passion Bites, first published in 2015, Alexis was using pectorals by page 14. Then again, she's a doctor, so she'd know her body parts, lol.
Passion Bites by Mary Hughes – Steamy vampire kiss alert
     I stood, palms on his chest, and pressed flush to him.
     A thin layer of cotton shirt covered hot boulders beneath my palms. I’d touched well-built men, toned muscles and warm skin. I’d never felt a man like him, like scaling bare rock cliffs. A moan tore from my throat.
     His groan twined in. “You taste amazing. All hot and wet.” His head slanted, his tongue beginning to plunge. Angel wings became angel fire.
     I gasped. That driving tongue pistoned with intense male power. His heat rushed in, waking every bit of my mouth. Like biting a cinnamon red-hot, my lips, then my whole body flushed with desire, a flame spiraling through me like a coiled, lit fuse.
     Luke might look like an angel, but his kiss was hotter than sin.
     Hunger rushed through me, dark and powerful. Suddenly I was the most excited I’d been in my life. Ready to hop up on the exam table, pull out the stirrups and play doctor. My fingers curled, digging into iron-hard pectorals, and I swirled my hips against him.
     As if my hip bump was a cue, something unlocked in him. Strong arms wrapped me, pulling me into an inferno of lust. He wasn’t playing anymore. He kissed me in a flurry of lips and teeth and tongue, driving me mad with desire. I pressed into his hard body. He embraced me so tightly, we melded.
     Against my belly, a hard length grew enticingly.
     I was two seconds from suggesting we put the exam table to good use when the door clicked open.
Kotaku.com
The important thing is for the author to know exactly what body part she's picturing, then express it in such a way as to  make it clear without breaking the reader from the story.

So I was pretty chuffed when I found out comic book and video game designers are just as exacting with their art. Check out these amazing drawings from Capcom for warriors.

The reason this whole thing came up is a book up for preorder now.  Bad-Boy Billionaire's Lady is part of Billionaire Ever After, 22 all-new Billionaires ripe for love.

Landon "Rebel" Lovless has a ragged scar on one round, powerful biceps. My darling husband pointed out that's confusing, as it sounds like two muscles. That's the correct term, though, it's a single muscle with two heads. I left it in. Was the right or wrong call? Let me know in the comments below!


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Monday, April 24, 2017

Cate Picked My #CHEAPDATE

This Cheap Date was picked by Cate Beaumont! I was lucky enough to hang out with a lot of my writer friends this past weekend so the next two reviews will be hand-picked for me by some fantastic ladies.

Cate, picked this one because “Momma needs a juice box”. I couldn’t agree more.

**IMPORTANT NOTE** I didn't wear makeup for this. So yes. Those are my bags. I earned those after all my hard work at the con yesterday.

Tonight’s juice is another boxed wine. This time by a company called Provisions. It’s a Cabernet Sauvignon. And the box says it’s “No 3061”. Sooooo…is this a limited edition? It does have cursive on the box.

They don’t even teach that in school anymore. Maybe they’re making it in cursive so the kids can’t read it, and won't know it's booze.

This drink is 12.5% Alcohol, and has red berries on the front of a recyclable package. We paid $4.99 from the nearest Kroger, and it was on sale. According to the box, this thing has three glasses of wine in it. They obviously pour wine very differently than I do.



FIRST SNIFF

The good part? Screw off top. This is a great bit of wine to travel with. No need to worry about finding a cork screw. Although with the folks I visit, that’s not usually a problem.

It smells very strongly of fruit. The side of the box says it’s “generous with blackberry and cassis flavors”. What the hell is cassis? Dammit. Now I have to google shit. This wine might be too damn fancy for me.

Wait…according to Wikipedia, Cassis is a tourist destination. Sooo…my wine tastes like tourists in France? Tourists are covered in sunscreen and sweat. That does not sound appealing. Or do French tourists taste different? Do I want to know what French tourists taste like?

Let’s travel a little further down the google page. We should give page 4 a chance every once in a while, right?

Wait…Cassis is a hashtag? I need to see this. Also…squirrel!

I don’t need to know what this stuff is. I like the idea that I’m drinking tourists. Let’s see how they pour.

FIRST POUR

These little boxes pour in an odd rhythmic piddle. It’s a deep ruby color and has nice drag on the glass. Still smells very strongly of fruit. And apparently French people.


FIRST SIP
NOT as sweet as it smells. Does this mean French tourists aren’t sweet?

But it does have a full-bodied flavor, and has the nice tummy warming slide down my throat. It’s got a great bite to the end of the sip, and I really enjoy it!







HUBBY TEST

Since I’ve had my hubby taste almost every wine, I figured I should have him try them as part of my review process going forward. He's free labor. 

Hubby sniffed the glass three times and grimaced before taking a drink. So basically he was a kid who knew he wasn’t going to like it from the beginning. Punk.

But he did try it and my sweet-drink loving hubby immediately demanded a palate cleanser and guzzled some mountain dew.

So…for my sweet lovers…this is not your jam.

FINAL VERDICT

I really enjoyed this one. And ya know what? Cate wanted me to have a juicebox. So…I’ll have my juicebox. Put this bastard in my lunch any day.

Just pack a straw and you're all set!


Thanks to Cate Beaumont for picking my Cheap Date for tonight, and if you want to enjoy more of her good taste, you can check out her book. Lucky Strike, Book 1 in the Lucky, Kentucky series is available now.

Congrats on the release, my friend. And thanks for momma’s juice box!


To find Roxy's books with buy links and what she has coming up next check out her website at RoxyRocksMe.com







Monday, April 3, 2017

Coloring in the lines?

Here's a real April Fools trick on me. As part of the second billionaire set I'm in, I'm required to get a coloring book page made for my story, for a giveaway prize.

I know they want beautiful artwork, so for me "get" translates into "pay someone else to draw it."

I never really got good a coloring in the lines.

Don't get me wrong--I love a well-colored page. My next door neighbor could color dragons and butterflies that looked ready to leap off the page. Those pictures made my heart sing.

Me? As a kid, I was more into scribbling the brightest colors I could in the general direction of the middle. Later, I took to drawing naughty parts on the models, lol.

What about you? Love to color? What are your favorite types pictures to bring to life?


Check out this great set! 7 stories, 99 pennies.
AmazonB&N