Ample & Alluring, so sweet

Ample & AlluringI love it when a man is not only sexy, but sweet. It’s even better when he’s both at the same time.

Excerpt from Ample & Alluring

“Jeez. If I knew you were going to be so bossy I never would have agreed to this.”

Wyatt barked out a laugh. “You definitely don’t like someone telling you what to do.”

“Nope. That’s why I own my own business.”

“Just one more thing to be impressed by. If only you enjoyed cooking, you’d be the perfect woman.”

“Again, what is it with men thinking we all belong in the kitchen?”

“And what it is with women thinking the kitchen is a punishment? I love to cook. I like having someone to cook with. Even if she is a whiny pain in my ass who won’t keep stirring!”

“Sorry!” I said, dragging the spoon along the bottom of the pan.

Wyatt took his shrimp away then dumped another spoonful of liquid in my pan. “Almost done,” he declared. “When that’s absorbed, we can eat.”

I stirred some more, enjoying the savory scents filling my nose with each slide of the spoon through the risotto. It looked good, and I was definitely hungry.

Wyatt came up behind me and wrapped his arms around my stomach. “What do you think?”

“About what?”

“Is it done?”

“How would I know?”

Wyatt chuckled, kissing the back of my neck. Goosebumps swept over my skin, lighting me up. I swayed into him involuntarily and felt his cock twitch.

“Peyton?”

“Hmm?”

“Are you okay?”

I nodded. “Of course. I just like it when you kiss my neck.”

“Good to know,” he murmured, doing it again.

Wyatt reached around me and turned off the stove. He took the pan from the burner and carried it to the counter on the other side. He scraped the risotto onto a serving dish then topped it with mushrooms he cooked earlier and the shrimp.

Then he turned back to me with a look I was beginning to understand well.

“Forget dinner, Peyton.”

“But I’m hungry,” I protested playfully.

“So am I.”

Get It Now!

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Print on Createspace | Amazon | B&N 

Q&A Sunday: Reviews, part three

I’m back again for my third of three parts on reviews! Click to check out parts one and two!

This week we’re talking about how I feel about bad reviews. Lupita asked…

Do you take bad reviews personally and let it affect you or do you simply take it with a grain of salt?

I think it’s hard not to take bad reviews personally. Many authors don’t read their reviews and early advice to authors is not to read them. I learned quickly that i can’t handle reading a review that destroys my book.

I mean, really, how many jobs allow anyone in the world to openly criticize what you do and have zero consequence?

As I said before, bullying in accepted when it’s disguised as a review. I don’t think that’s fair. I don’t think anyone should think it’s fair. But it happens.

If a review is bad because the book is bad, it hurts. It bothers me to read that my books have editing errors (funnily enough, I misspelled both those words!). Editing errors I can, and have, fixed. If the fundamental storyline is just boring, I can’t necessarily fix it, but it’s good to know. If the characters are frustrating, again, good to know.

But when a review goes on to say nasty things about me and assumes to know who I am, that’s going to just make me mad. I’ve read reviews (thankfully not on my books) that have attacked the author for one thing or another. I don’t know if these people know the author, or if they just think they know something, or saw something online, but I don’t think a book review is the place for that. A book review should be a review of the book, not the person who wrote the book.

Let’s face it, if we were evaluating the person, horror books would be blasted on a regular occasion. I mean, really, if you thought everything Stephen King put in his book was his true desire, he’d be locked up somewhere. Books are stories, not reflections of the author. 

But it’s still hard to walk away from a bad review without being upset by it. I want people to like my books. There are times I put things in my books knowing people won’t like it, but I know that’s the way the story has to be. Those things don’t bother me as much. Those I can take with a grain of salt.

The ones I can fix, like errors of any sort, I will correct and put the book back out.

A really bad review will ruin my day. It’ll make me question everything I write in the next book. It’ll make me question if I should be writing at all.

I love my job, but my job is dependent on finding readers. If readers hate what I write, I shouldn’t be writing.

Thankfully, my reviews overall are more positive than negative. I have emails from readers who’ve reached out to me because they loved my books so much. When I read a review that upsets me, I go through the emails I’ve save and read those. It makes me feel better, and gives me that spark to keep going.

And somehow, whenever I read a review that’s not that great, I always seem to get a new email from a reader who says she loved my book and can’t wait for the next one. That makes me forget about that bad review. And I love it!

Thanks so much, Lupita, for all your questions! It was a lot of fun to really think about reviews. No, I didn’t read any new ones of mine over the last few weeks, but it made me think about reviews, and I needed that!

If you have a question, about writing or anything else, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!

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#FiveOnFriday with Caroline Warfield

Please say hi to Caroline Warfield! She’s got a great story coming in a few weeks. You won’t want to miss it!

While visiting Venice not long ago I asked myself if I could set a Regency story there. I decided to find out. Here are five things I learned.

1. Lord Byron lived in Venice from 1816 to 1819 after he was forced to leave England over debts.

2. Young men of the Regency era regularly stopped in the city while on their Grand Tour, ostensibly a finishing touch on their classical education, but most often an excuse for wild living.

3. When Napoleon captured Venice in 1797 he ended centuries of rule by the aristocratic families, established democratic rule on the French model, tore down the gates of the Venetian Ghetto, and carted away many priceless works of art including the famous bronze horses from Saint Mark’s Cathedral.

4. He almost immediately gave Venice to Austria by treaty. Austria’s austere laws but a damper in Venice’s licentious customs. They banned Carnevale, In the opinion of many it became a dreary place.

5. The city was blessed with many physicians such as my hero, Salvatore. Many others were Jews, including Salvatore’s friend Judah Ottolenghi, because medicine was one of the limited numbers of professions open to them.

And so I discovered that I could indeed write a Regency romance set in Venice. The result was Lady Charlotte’s Christmas Vigil.

About the Book

It is 1818 and Byron is in Venice…

Lady Charlotte clings to one dream—to see the splendor of Rome before settling for life as the spinster sister of an earl. But now her feckless brother forces her to wait again, stranded in Venice halfway to the place of her dreams when he falls ill after attempting to imitate his idol. She finds the city damp, moldy, and riddled with disease.

As a physician, Salvatore Caresini well knows the danger of putrid fever. He lost his young wife to it, leaving him alone to care for their rambunctious children. He isn’t about to let the lovely English lady risk her life nursing her brother.

But Christmas is coming, that season of miracles, and with it, perhaps, lessons for two lonely people: that love heals the deepest wounds and sometimes the finest dreams aren’t the ones we expect.

Preorder now for an October 20 release:

Barnes & Noble   Amazon

Join us to celebrate the launch and holiday reading in general. There will be games and prizes!

About the Author

Traveler, would-be adventurer, former tech writer, and library technology professional, Caroline Warfield has now retired to the urban wilds of Eastern Pennsylvania, and divides her time between writing and seeking adventures with her grandbuddy and the prince among men she married. Her new series sends the children of the heroes of her earlier books to seek their own happiness in the far-flung corners of the British Empire. She reminds them always that love is worth the risk.

Find Caroline on the Web:

Website http://www.carolinewarfield.com/

Amazon Author http://www.amazon.com/Caroline-Warfield/e/B00N9PZZZS/

Good Reads http://bit.ly/1C5blTm

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/carolinewarfield7

Twitter https://twitter.com/CaroWarfield

Email warfieldcaro@gmail.com

Newsletter  http://www.carolinewarfield.com/newsletter/

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/caroline-warfield

Ample & Alluring, release day

Ample & AlluringToday is so bitter-sweet for me. I have absolutely loved writing the Big & Beautiful series, but I know it’s time to move on to new things. Today is a day to celebrate though. Today is a day for Ample & Alluring, Peyton and Wyatt’s new story!

I think these two are my new favorites. They’re definitely up there. They were so much fun to write! I love their banter and their spark and phew, are they hot! I hope you love reading their story as much as I loved writing it!

Excerpt from Ample & Alluring

“I’m the oldest.”

“Being the oldest sucks!” I blurted.

Wyatt laughed with me. “It kind of does. Of course, my brother and sister are both married. My sister has two kids. My brother said they’re trying for kids. Between them, there’s a little bit of pressure off me.”

“From your parents?”

He nodded, wide-eyed. “Oh, yeah. They’ve been asking when I’m going to settle down and have kids for twenty years.”

“No way.”

He snorted. “My parents were young when they got married. They were young when they had me. They think I’m wasting my youth by not being married already.”

“But you have to want to be married. It can’t just be something you do because they tell you to.”

“Trust me, I agree. I think it got worse after I broke off my engagement.”

“Whoa! You need to warn me before you drop a bomb like that.”

He smiled. “Sorry. I just figured everyone knew.”

I shook my head. “I live with my head in the sand. Or between a woman’s legs.”

He closed his eyes and fought his smile. “You know that’s killing me, right?”

I ate a bite of ice cream and grinned. “Yep.”

He took a breath. “Okay, getting rid of that fantasy image.”

“Ew! They’re my patients!”

“But if they weren’t?”

I rolled my eyes. “Not my fantasy. I don’t know how straight men do my job. I don’t think I could go home and have to look at a woman’s vagina and not have it appear clinical.”

“You’re crushing my dreams.”

“Well, that’s no good. Usually I make people’s dreams come true.”

“And you’re very good at it.”

Get It Today!

Ebook on Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | B&N | Smashwords

Q&A Sunday: Reviews, part two

Welcome back! If you missed my post about reviews last week, you can check it out here. We’re talking about them again today!

Lupita asked…

How do you feel about unjust reviews on your work? (I know we all have an opinion and don’t enjoy the same reading material, but I’m wondering about unjust reviews where you know it shouldn’t have even been posted. You know those reviews where they are just blowing smoke and clearly didn’t give the work a chance.)

Wow! This sure hits the nail on the head of a lot of my issues!

First, let me say, unjust reviews can be both good and bad reviews. Unjust reviews, in my opinion, are not only bad. Most of the time that’s what we thinking, but there are unjust good reviews also.

Confused? Let me explain.

Author X has a new book ready to come out. She gets in touch with all her friends and family and says, “Hey, my book is coming out tomorrow! When it’s live, go buy a copy and leave me a good review. I don’t care if you actually read it, just leave me a good review.”

Is that fair? 

Um, no.

Does it happen? 

Unfortunately, yes.

Lupita did a great job of detailing an unjust bad review so I won’t go into that one. In either case though, they’re frustrating, to say the least.

I think the best thing is to tell you when I, personally, think a review should be written.

  1. When you finish reading the book.
  2. When you read a book in a genre you enjoy.
  3. When you feel you can write it without being emotional.

How many of you are questioning number one right now? Be honest! You can write a review on a book that you hated because it was so bad you didn’t want to keep reading, right?

Here’s my opinion on that… it’s never going to be your favorite book ever. It’s very possibly going to be a book you’re frustrated for wasting your time on. But is it fair to leave a review on a book that you never even read most of?

Let me ask you this… Did you ever see Fight Club or The Sixth Sense or Collateral Beauty or Sliding Doors? I’m not going to give away any spoilers here, but did you love the movie even more after you saw the ending? Maybe it started out okay, but you hung in there. It’s only a couple hours. It was a good story and the longer you watched, the more you became invested. The more you were curious. The more you wanted to know how it was all going to be resolved.

Then the end comes, and the big reveal, and BAM! It shocked the shit out of you. You never saw it coming (or maybe that was just me). Every single one of those movies was made better because they did such an amazing job concealing the truth behind the entire thing. You didn’t know the whole point of the story until the end. You didn’t see it.

What if that book you stopped reading that you gave a one star review to was the same? You could have missed out on something life changing.

Maybe you still hated it, but I have a hard time saying you should leave a review if you haven’t read the whole thing. If you read the whole thing and still hated it, then let’s go to my second criteria.

Is it a genre you enjoy?

My husband is big into fantasy books. He’s actually read The Lord Of The Rings – long before they were movies. He read Game Of Thrones years before HBO made them into what they are now. He enjoys stories with lots of characters and fictional worlds with magic and mythical creatures and intricately woven storylines.

I can’t stand it.

I’ve watched Game Of Thrones and The Lord Of The Rings. I enjoyed both. But to read the books would be torture for me.

But that doesn’t mean they’re bad. They’re just not for me.

There’s too much going on in those books. Too many characters that I can’t keep track of. Too many storylines.

But that doesn’t mean they’re bad. They’re just not for me.

Do you get it yet?

If you read a book in a genre you don’t typically read, you don’t always know the ‘rules’ of that genre. If you’re judging a book based on something you don’t like about the genre, that’s not fair to that book.

I had a content warning on one of my earliest books. It clearly stated in the description that there was vulgar language and sex in the book. I got a scathing review that there was too much sex in the book. Honestly, I laughed, but it still hurts my rankings. Someone didn’t like my book because they didn’t read the description and didn’t know the rules of contemporary romance. Many of them have open door sex. The ones that don’t, I’d say, are in the minority. But I don’t feel it’s fair to leave a bad review when that’s one of the expectations of the genre.

We’ve covered the first two. If you finished the book and enjoy the genre, then let’s move on.

Can you write a review without being emotional?

I get it. You read a book and that little thing pops up at the end asking you to leave a review. It’s easy, and tempting, to blast the book for all the things you hated. There was too much sex. And the heroine was too stupid to live. And the hero was an alpha asshole. And you hate small town romance.

And your dog just died, and there was a dog that died in the story.

And your boyfriend broke up with you because he found someone new.

And the hero has the same name as the one that got away in college.

And any number of things.

Are you thinking clearly? Are you upset because of things that happened in the book and you made parallels to your own life?

Does that mean the book sucks, or that the author is an amazing storyteller who has the ability to evoke emotion in you, even if it’s emotion you don’t like?

When we’re emotional, we can’t see things clearly. So while I get that you’re crying and the story really upset you, was it the story, or something else, that bothered you?

Take a day or two and see if you’re still as upset with a little distance. If you still feel the story is that bad, you’ll still want to write a bad review (or a good one). Go back in and write it. Yeah, I’d love to see only good reviews on my books, but I know they don’t resonate with every single person. I just ask that you don’t blast me, or anyone else, for something we can’t control.

Lupita has one more question about reviews for next week. Come back by then and check it out!

If you have a question, about writing or anything else, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!

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