NOVEMBER 7, 2016

Straight From Arrow


Strange Encounter -- The Life and Loves of Ariel Jones coverStrange Encounter -- The Life and Loves of Ariel Jones coverThe Life and Loves of Ariel Jones—A New Series by Candy Caine

Ariel Jones: Sassy, stunning, sexy. A long-legged, sophisticated black woman who knows what she wants and goes for it. She is sexually adventurous and indulges her libido with whomever and wherever she likes. Okay. So sometimes this gets her into real trouble. Ariel just chalks it up to experience and moves on down the road to the next adventure.

The only adventure she avoids like cheap shoes is marriage. Too much trouble. Too much heartache. Too little freedom. But when she meets her match, she’s got to reassess. Because he’s to die for and he’s got his own agenda…

Episode 1—Strange Encounter
Episode 2—Secret Lives
Episode 3—My Personal Date from Hell
Episode 4—Got ‘Til It’s Gone
Episode 5—A Role to Die For
Episode 6—Slip Slidin’ Away
Episode 7—Nearly Swept Away

The Life and Loves of Ariel Jones Series is available exclusively on

The Earl of Ice CoverThe Earl of Ice

by Helen A. Grant, Author of In Pursuit of Miriam

“Another romantic charmer from Helen A. Grant
with Regency characters that intrigue.”
— Romance Addict Book Blog

The Earl… with coldness in his eyes and ice in his heart. He will never surrender to love.

Rollo Stannington, the Earl of Brockwood, is considered a wonderful catch by the mamas of the ton. He is young, handsome and extremely wealthy. What mother can resist having him as a son-in-law? If only their daughters didn’t pale and tremble in his presence and beat a hasty retreat as soon as they could! Rollo, nicknamed “The Earl of Ice” because of his frigid demeanor, welcomes this reaction. He has no intention of marrying. Ever.

The Lady… young, vibrant and alive. She will keep his secret, but only to free his heart.

Dianna Wells, a young debutante, is immune to Rollo’s coldness. Where other ladies stand tongue tied before him, she chats gaily and comfortably with him. She even enjoys dancing with him. No one knows that Rollo and Diana share a devastating secret. One that draws them together yet will ultimately test their growing attraction to each other…

The passions of the Regency period smolder in this new romance from Helen A. Grant.

Available in paperback from and and in e-book format from, and All Romance eBooks.

Read an excerpt at

Binge CrazyBinge Crazy Now Available at Caversham Booksellers in Toronto, Canada

To all our friends and book lovers in Toronto, Canada, we excited to announce that Caversham Booksellers is now carrying Binge Crazy: A Psychotherapist’s Memoir of Food Addiction, Mental Illness, Obesity and Recovery, by Natalie Gold. Caversham specializes in providing books for mental health professionals both through their store at 98 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S 1G6 Canada and by mail throughout the world.

“I'm very pleased that Caversham is now carrying Binge Crazy,” said Gold. “Caversham is well-known and respected. It is the place where all people in the therapy community—social workers, therapists, psychiatrists, counselors and others in the field—buy their books. It's great that it will be even more convenient for those in the community to pick up a copy.”

Binge Crazy is also available in paperback and e-book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever books are sold. You can also ask for the book at your local library and local bookstore.

For more information on Binge Crazy and its author, visit Natalie Gold’s author page on


Claire ThompsonWe are happy to announce that Claire Thompson's books are now available for sale at Claire has been writing for nearly two decades, and has published over 70 novels. She writes BDSM romance and non-con abduction tales, spanning both m/f and m/m genres. Her darker works press the envelope of what is erotic and what can be a sometimes dangerous slide into the world of sadomasochism. Ultimately her work deals with the human condition, and our constant search for love and intensity of experience. We recently had a chance to talk with Claire about books, writing and the BDSM genre from the romantic/passionate point of view.


First off, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I have been writing erotica and erotic romance since 1996. I’ve published over 70 novels, most of them exploring the sensuality and power of erotic submission and BDSM. I also write what I call my “dark ‘n dirty” abduction tales—pure erotica with a strong non-con element. I have also penned a number of gay m/m love stories, many of them also with a BDSM theme.

Can you tell us something that not a lot of people know about you?

I used to work in administration for a school district in a small town in the Lower Hudson Valley in New York. No one there knew I was secretly a writer of dirty books!

No Safeword by Claire ThompsonWhere did the idea for No Safeword come from?

When people do scenes at clubs or within the context of negotiated play with BDSM partners, it’s important to have a “safeword”—a word that stops the action immediately if the submissive/bottom is not able to cope with whatever is going on, or is in distress, and the Dom/top doesn’t seem to be getting it.

In No Safeword, Jaime, our heroine, wants to go deeper into her exploration of erotic submission. When she joins The Enclave for training, she discovers there is no safeword there—that is, she has to fully trust that her trainers and Doms there will be the ones to guide her, and to decide if/when the action needs to stop. She must give herself completely in order to find herself.

I wanted a title for this novel that would capture that idea right away—this is not a typical “safe, sane, consensual” setup. This is something darker and far more intense. Readers, beware. This is a not a hearts and flowers romance, though it is a romance and there is, of course, an HEA!

How is Mark similar and/or different compared to other heroes in romance books?

Mark is similar to classic romance heroes in that he’s gorgeous and seemingly unattainable (at first). He’s perhaps different in that every person is different/unique. He’s learning on his own terms how to be a good Dom/Master, and he has to get there first before he can truly love/own another.

Read the complete interview with Claire Thompson on MyBlog at Look for her books at

Also, read Claire's article, (Cane + Rope) x Erotic Pain + Passion = Peace. Really??, about the essence of erotic submission and, more specifically, the notion of “flying” on MyRomanceStory's blog.


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Benefits include:

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For more information visit our Sell on MyRomanceStory section or contact us at

Wedding Dress For Sale - Bought By Mistake

We're told these classified ads were actually placed in a U.K. newspaper.

8 years old. Hateful little bastard. Bites!

½ Cocker Spaniel. ½ sneaky neighbour’s dog.

Mother is a Kennel Club registered German Shepherd. Father is a Super Dog, able to leap tall fences in a single bound.

Also 1 gay bull for sale.

Must sell washer and dryer.

Complete set of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 45 volumes. Excellent condition, 200 pounds or best offer. No longer needed, got married, wife knows everything.


Spring Romance Writer Finds Inspiration Driving Uber

By Maggie Gordon

You never know who your Uber driver is going to be—or how what you say inside the car will live on. Rita Clay Estrada spends her days zipping around Spring (Texas) in her SUV...With 52 books published, she isn't just any romance writer. She's the woman for whom the genre's most prestigious award, The RITA, is named. She's the co-founder and first president of Romance Writers of America. And when she's not tapping away at her computer, she's one of the tiny black-car icons on your Uber app, circling the Houston area's streets...

Read the full article at the Houston Chronicle.



Save the Date

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)
Nov. 1-30, 2016

It's NaNoWriMo time again. Are you ready to write a novel in a month? Keep us posted on Facebook about your goals, your progress and your success throughout the month.

If you need a little guidance to keep you going, see our How to Write Romance Fiction series.

What else is happing this month?

Nov. 7–11, 2016
Annual The Writer Unboxed UnConference
Hawthorne Hotel
Salem, MA, USA
For fiction writers not romance specific

Nov. 10, 2016
KissCon Cleveland
Hosted by the Cuyahoga County Public Library, South-Euclid Branch
For more information, or to reserve your ticket.

Nov. 11–13, 2016
9th annual Readers & 'ritas
Hilton Garden Inn
Allen, TX, USA
for romance readers


Available December 2016

At First Sight by Candy Caine
At First Sight

by Candy Caine

When Autumn Stiles lands the advertising job of her dreams, it’s the happiest day of her life. She doesn’t count on the tall, handsome, dreamy-eyed Stuart Tanner doing this best to get her to quit.

When Tanner learns the latest employee at the advertising agency where he works comes from a privileged background, he makes it his mission to get rid of her. She’s obviously just another pampered rich girl playing at a job she thinks is easy and glamorous.

But soon the heat sizzles between them and he determines he will never give in to his desires.

Read an excerpt at's Free Reads section.


Look for these Romance Graphic Novels at

Love Campaign cover

Love Campaign

Written by Nic Anders & Taylor Ashley Subrosa and illustrated by Enzo Pertile

Top Secret Romance cover

Top Secret Romance

Written by James Watson & A.J. Neale and illustrated by Enzo Pertile

The Hunted

The Hunted

Written by Jennifer Savage and illustrated by Italo Ahumada


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Send your questions, comments and news to



As the leaves start to fall and the temperatures dip, we caught up with several of our favorite authors to ask about how they spent their summer.

From Candy Caine, author of The Life and Loves of Ariel Jones series


Oh, The Joys of Moving

Once my husband, Robert, and I decided to move to Arizona, we planned everything carefully. I’d fly out to sign the lease, my car would be transported the following day, and the pod containing our clothes, dining room set and Select Number bed, would arrive two days later. Unfortunately, our well-made plans began to unravel almost immediately. My flight was delayed, my car came a day early and the apartment wasn’t quite ready for me.

With the help of my son, I kept it all together. I stayed with him until the apartment was ready and I purchased furniture and enough clothes to wear, since the pod was delayed. By the second week, all was well. Then my upstairs neighbor returned home with her daughter. The two of them stomped around and made noise as if there was no one living underneath them.

Robert arrived two months later and we soon saw the futility of apartment life. We began to look for a house. It took only a month to find a fantastic community in which to have a new home built. With fantastic weather, wonderful neighbors, and with no one dancing on our heads, we’re happy.

From Gail Hamilton, contributing author to A Little Hot Chocolate for My Soul

Life is still lively here in the country. We are dealing with a 100-year drought this summer so water and grazing for the cattle are huge concerns. I am beavering away on the sequel of my historical novel, The Tomorrow Country. The thrilling new development for me is the discovery of the local photo club. With their help, I am learning to capture the romance of fall fairs, classic car meets and splendid autumn sunshine.  Combined with the newfound magic of Photoshop, I am beginning to create visual images that suggest all sorts of brand new stories I hope to build on over the winter. Such fun ahead!

Here's are three of Gail's photoshoped pics providing writerly inspiration.

Sexy trouble arriving in an old movie gangster or millionaire she's brash, she's fast

Sexy trouble arriving in an old movie. How many lives in the big house is she going to turn
upside down?

Gangster or millionaire, the owner of this sinister vehicle will cause far too many hearts to thump hard. And break.

She brash, she's fast, she has no patience. She's sure going to shake things up at the drowsy old ranch.

From Helen A. Grant, author of The Earl of Ice

Helen A. Grant in TexasI allowed myself a short break from writing in April 2016 to enjoy a vacation in Texas. I visited my sister, Dianne, and her husband, who have recently retired from work and now live in Montgomery, by Lake Conroe

Dianne, shares my love of reading, words and history. While I channel this into writing Regency Romance novels, my sister, at the time of my visit, was just preparing to write her dissertation for a Master’s degree in archaeology. She gave me lots of encouragement to keep going with the final touches of The Earl of Ice, which was published in August 2016, and we had lengthy discussions about the differences between American English and UK English language.

We had a wonderful two weeks with the weather being absolutely perfect. Golf for the men while I helped my sister with some unpacking at the house. We enjoyed some local sightseeing in the Bentwater area, attended a rodeo and visited the Space Centre.

The middle weekend we all made a road trip to San Antonio. I had been there before some years ago; it was just as I remembered and remains one of my favorite places in the USA. We not only visited the Alamo we went round the other missions as well.

One of the highlights of the trip was driving up into the hill country to look for the famed wild flowers. Eventually these were found and we all took turns in having our photos taken with the Texas Bluebonnets. We do not have these in the UK, we have bluebells in the spring but these are not the same. We had a quick stop at Luckenbach, which was fun and resulted in our singing country music songs for the rest of the trip back to Montgomery.

I cannot wait to visit again and hope to be there Easter and September 2017. Before that I must buckle down and continue writing my next novel, The Beloved Guardian.


New & Improved Graphicby Penny Sansevieri, Founder and CEO Author Marketing Experts, Inc.

Does your book need a little something extra to get going every day? By this I mean, once your book has been out for a while, you may be wondering if it's time to move on or keep marketing it. My answer to you would be "it depends." If you don't plan to write any other books and don't plan to update this one (if it's non-fiction) then I would suggest moving on, completely. But if writing is your passion and you plan to do more—or to update the book or books you have out—then yes, by all means keep pushing it.

If a book is relevant, there's no reason you can't keep promoting it. This varies to some extent for fiction vs. non-fiction, however many of the guidelines for these books do apply in a crossover sense. Marketing you can do for one, can also apply to the other.

  1. Keep Those Reviews Coming: Reviews can easily make an older book look relevant. People are still reading it, still reviewing it, so it must be worth reading. Even just a few new reviews per month can make a huge difference.

  2. Update content as necessary: As I mentioned above, if you have a non-fiction book that needs updating, you should update it. Even for fiction books that are older, I've known some authors to update things like switching a character's use of a Blackberry to an iPhone, or updating pop culture references. Most of this is pretty easily done with a few quick word searches and yes, it does mean that you have to reformat the book—but if you want to keep it fresh, or if you're planning to use this book as a carrot to draw readers in to your newer books, this may be worth it.

  3. Update your Amazon Book Page: One thing that shouldn't stay static is your Amazon book page. I always recommend updating it when you update the book, get an award, big new blurb, etc. Even sometimes just updating the copy can be helpful to refresh the page.

  4. Change your Book Cover: This is an odd trick, but it works. I've tried this a few times with books across fiction and non-fiction. What I've found is that changing up the book cover can often help to spike the book on Amazon. More than that, a new cover can really help attract new readers.

  5. Run Regular e-Book Promos: Running regular promotions for your e-book can really help to keep up your momentum. I recommend trying one promo per month. This doesn't mean you have to reduce the price to zero each time. One month, you can discount the book by $2, or make it half-priced, and then another month, mark the e-book down to zero. It's just a great way to keep the book top of mind with your audience. Plus, e-book promos done regularly can help trigger your Amazon algorithm.

  6. Play with Pricing: Pricing, much like e-book promotions, is also a great way to play with the Amazon algorithm. Pricing a book at .99 cents for a day can really help boost purchases. Make sure to share any promos/pricing changes to your social media fans. The needle won't move far if you change your price in a vacuum. A note on this: I've had authors approach me, concerned that this will upset their readers and I haven't found this to be the case. We all stumble on sale items after we've bought something.

    If you get a lot of flack, or find your readers are pretty vocal, offer them an Amazon gift card for $1 or whatever the pricing difference is (they have to show you proof of purchase). When I had an author offer this, she got no takers—the readers were just satisfied that she was willing to honor the sale price. I think you'll find that your readers just want to be heard—but unless you're doing hefty discounts like $10 a book, most of them won't be so upset that they never want to read your stuff again.

  7. Tie into Current Media Hook: While this mostly fits into the non-fiction category, it's a great thing when you can find a national (or regional) angle to your book that the media might love. I've known authors to do this for books that are going on five or more years old who have done very well. You can use it to pitch media, or you even on your blog and in social media. Finding a great book hook that has some national interest can go a long way to getting more current attention for your book.

  8. Keep blogging: I see a lot of authors who seem to leave their own promotion party as soon as the book hits a year old. They stop blogging, rarely show up on social media anymore, and forget pitching. What does this tell your potential readers? If you aren't interested in your own book, why should anyone else be? Stay active on your blog, even if it's just once a week—get into your social media and keep talking, your readers are listening and once you stop talking, they will move onto someone else. 
  9. Too late for a review? Try This: But what if it's just too late to pitch bloggers or reviewers for your book? Well, then what about offering to write guest blogging pieces, or suggesting a book excerpt or author Q&A. Or, better yet, maybe approach less-high profile bloggers who can still give you some nice exposure, but aren't so tied to book street dates the way some of the very high profile bloggers are. Exposure is exposure, whether it's a review, mention, excerpt, or guest blog. Don't just assume that because your book has aged, that it's aged out of the market as well.

  10. Every Update Deserves A Repitch: If you update the book in any way, you should consider a fresh repitch of it. The Amazon date may show that it was published in 2014 or 2015—if you have made specific, helpful, or significant changes and you just republish the book to the same page (a lot of authors do this to keep the reviews in tact). If this is the case, make sure that anyone you pitch knows that the book is newly updated and make sure your book description reflects that as well. For example, you could say something like: Newly updated as of October, 2016! In big, bold letters—so it's easily visible at the top of the book description. And, as I mentioned, if you are pitching it to bloggers or reviewers, make sure they are aware of this as well.

Ultimately, it's up to you, the author, to determine how relevant your book is at any given time. But, just because it's been a year or two, or even more (!), since your older book was published, doesn't mean that you can't breathe new life into its marketability.  Whether you draw parallels between topics presented in the book and current news, use it as a promo for new books, or simply update the content, you have the power to get the word out. Just like e-book promotions don't do anything in a vacuum, share any new information with your followers and in your newsletter. And maybe, giving your book a little kick will resuscitate it sufficiently to kick it to number one in its category!

About Penny C. Sansevieri
Penny C. Sansevieri, Founder and CEO Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. Her company, Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a full-service book marketing, promotion, and publicity company. They serve authors at all stages of marketing and promotion. For more information visit their website at

Reprinted with permission from Author Marketing Experts, a full service book marketing and publicity firm. Find out more at


By Susan Mary Malone, Developmental Editor—Fiction & Nonfiction at Malone Editorial Services

TSR-PanelLoved this from Literary Agent Lucienne Diver’s (The Knight Agency) recent FB post: You know when you hit that point in writing your novel where you just want to say, “And then more stuff happens, the end”!

Surging into the climax, the Supreme Ordeal, is not the time to feel that way. LOL. Rather, the energy you’ve built up while writing the bridge to this point should have your adrenaline surging like a mad rush over Niagara Falls. Because that’s what the climax of a novel is—plunging your reader over a thousand-mile-high waterfall.

It doesn’t matter in what genre you’re writing, whether Fantasy or Horror, Romance or Literary, Mainstream or Christian. This is the crux of your novel, where everything comes together, although not in a tied-up sort of way—that’s for the next section, denouement and resolution. But where all of the action and discovery, all of the angst and trials and tribulations and self-realization and, well, everything, merges into one big giant fat boom.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the boom is actually a bomb going off, though such may happen. It can be running the final race, attacking the enemy, surging over the falls in a hand-made boat, staring that bottle of bourbon smack in the eye and pouring it out. It’s the culmination of everything you’ve led your reader up to for seventy-plus-thousand words. It’s the raison d’etre for why said reader has followed your folks all this time.

TSR-Panel 2And, as with all things fiction, it’s both internal and external. The outer blowing-up-of-things mirroring the inner fight. But this does not mean analysis. By now, your reader knows well the Achilles’ Heel of your Protagonist, what the villain is after, and what happens if said Protagonist doesn’t save the day. What we don’t need here is any sort of pausing in the action to wax philosophical about how we got to this point, what it all means in the cosmic scheme of things, and the hero’s place in it. Remember, when the tiger is racing to pounce, we don’t stop and think of the history of tigers, or what sort of gun we’re shooting him with. Rather, we shoulder the gun, aim, and shoot. If successful, we have time for all that analysis later. No, right now what we need is for things to blow smooth up.

Even in Literary fiction, we can have a literal blow up. In my latest novel, I Just Came Here to Dance, we meet with a fiery climax. Who knew. Conversely, even in an action-oriented Mystery, such as Kevin Don Porter’s Missing, the climax can rather be scary-cold, that feeling in silence of oh-my-god, we’re all gonna die!

The main thing is this climax must fit the book you’re writing. All that painstaking time of carefully crafting your characters, plot, plot points, etc.; having the fortitude to push though that point of “and then more stuff happens, the end;” setting your hero up with his most supreme ordeal—the thing that requires all that he’s learned so far—requires a huge emotional happening.

And one where the reader says in the end, Wow.

About Susan Mary Malone
With a BS in Political Science and minors in English and Journalism, Susan Mary Malone’s professional background includes working as a developmental editor, columnist and reporter for newspapers and magazines. In business since 1993, her edited books have been featured in Publishers Weekly, and won numerous awards. Susan is also an award-winning book author of both fiction and nonfiction, as well as her short stories

Reprinted with permission from Malone Editorial Services. For more information visit

Images from Top Secret Romance (A Romance Graphic Novel).


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