Book Blast: Nicole Dennis & When in BLoom #mmromance #pridepromotions

When in Bloom

 Southern Charm # 4

Release Date: February 20, 2015

Author Name: Nicole Dennis

Publisher: Totally Bound

Cover Artist: Emmy Ellis

Will the personal challenges of a former Army doctor and a brilliant florist get in the way of a chance at life and love?

Fighting type one diabetes since childhood, Jude Sebastian runs to prove he can live a normal life, until epileptic seizures begin to change his life. Even with Dawson, his medical alert Golden Labrador, at his side, Jude finds daily life difficult. He owns the floral shop Flowers in the Breeze, and designs everything from simple bouquets to elaborate themes for weddings and celebrations.

At the Shore Breeze Clinic, Jude comes across a man clearly suffering with a PTSD episode. A new arrival in the small town, Doctor Elliott Sheffield, a retired Army Ranger doctor, is looking for a second chance after what he saw in the Middle Eastern deserts.

Wanting a normal relationship, Jude tries to deny his disorder, but something is happening. He can’t regulate his sugars and his disorder worsens. When he returns to the clinic, Dawson alerts Jude to an oncoming seizure.

Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance


Cursing under his breath as the sky turned orange with another incoming sandstorm, Dr. Elliott Sheffield hated the situation. Though they’d tried to tie down the damn tent, the ferocious wind tugged the straps, causing openings everywhere to expose the critical care unit to the elements. Why had he ever agreed to come to this desert hell in the Middle East?
After struggling through several storms like this one, he knew the clouds could turn the sky black for at least seven hours. Pushing out the noises of men calling out in pain and fearing for their lives, he concentrated to save the man on the operating table. His hands and forearms were covered in blood as he searched for the damned bleeder in the man’s belly.
“Come on… Come on… Where the fuck are you?”
As the winds howled, Elliott felt the grit of the fine layer of sand digging underneath the scrubs and within any openings of his uniform. Along with the sweat dripping down his nape, the sand mixed with the moisture and aggravated him. Damn stuff could get through any crack and crevice of tent, Humvee or building. This place sucked when it came to performing delicate surgery, but he didn’t have a choice. The soldiers were here. He needed to be nearby to care for them.
“Shit… Got it,” Elliott said and made the necessary stitches to close the nasty bleeder. He scrambled to put the soldier’s innards back in place, flushed everything with saline to cleanse, and stapled the exterior wound. “Cover him up tight. We’ll come back and make it nicer.” He stepped back to let the other physician and nurse finish. He peeled off and tossed the gloves. Removing the sweat-soaked mask, he left the curtained-off operating theater and went back to the main infirmary.
When the blasted Taliban insurgents had overrun the garrison stationed at the American base, Elliott had transferred with most of the surgical team to the Canadian–British combat hospital at the Kandahar airfield.
It wasn’t any better here.
Elliott shoved a weary hand through his hair. He scratched at the heavy bearded growth. Since his boots had hit the sand, he’d adapted to the crazy, never-ending situations, difficult in the best of conditions, but aggravated in the worse. He’d figured out ways to suture and clean some of the most devastating wounds he’d ever seen in his career. He could never get around the constant issue of infection from the damn sand.
“Fucking sand…”
The thump-thump-thump of helicopter blades surrounded them. Everyone within the base knew the meaning behind those blades. It was never good.
“We have incoming patients,” someone called out.
“They’re not friendlies! Take cover!” another soldier shouted as bullets flew through the sand and darkness.
Crouching, riveted as soldiers rushed around, Elliott thought about the patients. He knew their lives were at the most risk, unable to defend themselves. When dark figures invaded the tent, Elliott covered a nearby patient. Several loud blasts blew through the base as bombs went off in rapid succession. He called out when searing heat scored through his shoulder.
Blood and gore rose in front of his mind. Within seconds, all the time it had taken to save these patients was destroyed.
Elliott blinked. He tasted the fine grit of the sand.
“Dr. Sheffield? Are you okay?”
When fingers touched his wounded shoulder, Elliott screamed and pushed back until he hit something hard then plopped his ass on the ground. The intensity knocked Elliott out of the intrusive flashback from his five years spent in Kandahar. He was home in the States. Having left Afghanistan and his ten year military career, he had now lived and worked in Florida for the last nine months.
He lowered himself until his scrub-covered ass hit the floor. He pressed his hands flat on the cool tile of the emergency room to ground himself in reality. He looked around, goggled as other staff fought to save a patient with a vicious belly wound. Two others moved toward him. He held up a hand and hyper focused on the blood-covered blue latex.
“Are you with us, Elliott? Can you rise?” another doctor said in a calming tone.
“Yeah. Yeah, I’m here.”
“Where were you?”
“Do you know what set you off?”
“Insurgents overran the base and hit the clinic and caused so much destruction among the patients and created more. It was the appearance of the wound. I took care of so many of them. Most were ruined by the fucking sand.” Elliott knocked his head against the wall.
“Easy. Can you stand? I’ll get you back to the lounge.”
“I’m okay, Harry, take care of the patient.” Elliott pushed himself to his feet and stripped the gloves from his hand. He wobbled out of the room and down the hall.
“Dr. Sheffield?” a nurse called.
He held up a hand. “Taking ten.”
Something toppled with a harsh clatter. The broken glass caused Elliott to crouch again in a protective corner and cover his head.
“Dr. Sheffield!”
Lost again in the sand, heat and blood, Elliott stayed put in his cover position. What the hell was he doing here in civilian life? He couldn’t avoid the truth of how he suffered from PTSD.
“Dr. Sheffield… Major…”
He lifted his head at the sound of his Army title. Another doctor crouched in front of him. Through the haze of blood and sand within his memory, he almost didn’t recognize the fellow soldier. James was a friend, a psychiatrist and military officer with the Air Force.
“Major, are you with us?”
“Not an attack…” Elliott knew his gaze would be dead and haunted since he saw it so many times in the mirror after one of the dreams woke him.
“No, Major, a tray filled with containers crashed,” James said. “Major, I need you to stand and come with me. We’ll have a chat.”
“Yeah, guess I need to do that,” Elliott said as he looked beyond James. “I kinda lost it there.”
“Wouldn’t be the first time a soldier covered his ass,” James said as he rose.

Elliott followed James, who chose to find someplace quiet and separated from the chaos of the ER. 

Sales Links: https://www.totallybound.com/when-in-bloom

Rafflecopter Prize: ‘E-copy of When In Bloom’


32 - What it is like being in their head with all those characters?  It's crazy. Either I haven't gone to bed until I grab a notebook n write out a scene or something until it's out,
33 – Do you have characters who argue over whose turn it is next? All the time! *headdesk*
34 - What do you do to restore or refill when you need to recharge?  A catnap with the Fat Cat. A book of a different genre or pairing. A movie.

Author Bio:
Ever the quiet one growing up, Nicole Dennis often slid away from reality and curled up with a book to slip into the worlds of her favorite authors. Over the years, she’s created a personal library full of novels filled with dragons, fairies, vampires, shapeshifters of all kinds and romance. Always she returned to romance. Still, there were these characters in her head, worlds wanting to be built on paper, and stories wanting to be told and she began writing them down whether during or after class. She continues to this day. Only recently has it begun to become fruitful, spreading out to let others read and enter her worlds, meet her characters, and see what she sees. No matter what she writes, her stories of romance with their twists of paranormal, fantasy and erotica will always have their Happily Ever Afters.

She currently works in a quiet office in Central Florida, where she also makes her home, and enjoys the down time to slip into her characters and worlds to escape reality from time to time. At home, she becomes human slave to a semi-demonic tortie calico.

Where to find the author:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NicoleDennis.Author
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/nicoledennis.author/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/nicoledennisaut/books-n-promo/
Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/nicoledennisauthor

Tour Dates: February 20, 2015

Tour Stops:


Crawl in Bed With KC Wells's Ed Fellows #mmromance #characterinterview #crawlinbed

Crawling Into Bed With Ed Fellows

And a Good Book (Strictly Personal)

Important things first, are these sheets silk or cotton?
Silk sheets? Nah, those are for birds, not rugby players! Besides, Colin likes ’is cotton ones, bless ’im.
What are you wearing?
*grins* A smile. I ’ate wearing anythin’ in bed.
What are we snacking on in bed while we read tonight?
*sneaks a quick look at Colin.* Well, I keep a packet of chocolate digestives in me drawer, but don’t tell Col. He ’ates it when I get crumbs in the bed.
If I open this nightstand drawer, what will I find?
Oh, GAWD, don’t do that! NO ONE sees what’s in there, especially me rugby mates.
Do you roll up in the blankets like a burrito, or kick the covers off during the night?
Who needs blankets? Sleepin’ with Col is like sleepin’ with a permanently switched on electric blanket…he’s always mosty toasty. S’why I love spoonin’……
Can I put my cold feet on your calves to warm them up?
You can try…. *grins again*
What are we reading?
Some sappy Valentine’s story Col bought me. I dunno, though… Sounds a bit suspect to me….

I mean… Listen to this…

Ed laughed quietly. “You’d think it was my first lap dance, the way I’m goin’ on, wouldn’t ya?” He half turned his head to gaze at Colin. “Can you see where I’m comin’ from, though?”
Colin nodded. “You’re nervous, but there’s no reason to be. This is just something new, that’s all. And I’ll be there.”
“Hmmm. Think I’m more worried about what you’re gonna be up to.”
Colin cackled. “That’s ’cause you know me too well.”
He handed over the money and Terry wrapped a paper wristband around Ed’s wrist. “Okay, gents, if you’ll follow me.” He led them back into the main area of the club and then turned right to go up the staircase. Terry stopped outside the first door on the left and opened it. “After you.”
Ed stepped inside and took a glance around. The room was small, the corner of it having been made into a high, padded bench seat, which ran along two walls. A cocktail table stood in front of it, a stool next to it, lower than the bench.
“Go sit down, both of you,” Terry said with a smile. The music from the stage was clearly audible through a built-in speaker.
Ed went to sit down, but Colin stopped him. He sat in the corner of the bench, legs spread wide, and pulled the stool to place it in front of him. He patted the seat. “You sit here.”
Terry was watching them, grinning. “Oh, I like a guy who knows what he wants.”
Ed sat down and Colin’s long legs straddled his stool, his arms slipping around Ed’s waist, body snug against Ed’s back. “See? You’re gonna feel me the whole time.” Ed could feel Colin’s breath on his neck, feel his lips brush over the skin.
Oh fuck.
Terry quickly removed his boxer briefs and moved to stand in front of Ed. “What’s your name, big guy?”
“Ed.” He stared at the firm body in front of him. Terry wasn’t smooth like most of the strippers Ed had seen downstairs, and he definitely didn’t believe in manscaping. His dick was soft. Ed jerked his head backward. “This is Colin.”
Terry’s eyes gleamed appreciatively. “God, both of you are a real turn-on, y’know? All these muscles… ” The song came to an end and Terry straddled him, sitting on his lap. “Ready, big guy?” He waggled his eyebrows and rocked his hips, brushing his dick over Ed’s crotch.
“Before you get going,” Ed said swiftly, “just one thing. I don’t kiss, okay?”
Terry gave him a reassuring nod. “No problem, mate.” He arched his eyebrows. “But I do get to touch, right?”
Before Ed could say anything, Colin’s breath wafted against Ed’s ear. “That’s fine, ’cause we’ll both be touching him.”
The next song began and Terry put his arms around Ed’s neck and leaned in close to whisper. “This is gonna be fun.” Slowly he started to move, undulating his body against Ed’s, moving up and down, brushing his chest against Ed’s face. He flowed with the music, his movements sinuous and almost languid.
“He’s good-looking, isn’t he?” Colin said quietly, mouth at Ed’s ear. “What about that body? See how his abs ripple?” Ed jerked when Colin unfastened the button on Ed’s jeans and slowly lowered the zip. Ed’s breathing quickened when Colin slipped his hand under the waistband, under the fabric of his briefs, to wrap around Ed’s dick, which stiffened instantly. He loved it when Colin gave him a wank. Colin moved gently, pulling back the foreskin a little, making Ed moan.
Terry’s eyes glittered. “Fuck, you two are sexy.” He removed his arms and folded his arms behind his head, his body moving in a slow wave of lean flesh before Ed. Terry brought his hands down to Ed’s chest and began to unbutton his shirt, keeping the motion teasingly slow. “God, I love a man who’s furry.” He slid under the cotton and brushed his fingertips over Ed’s nipples.
“Bleedin’ ’ell.” The action went straight to Ed’s cock, which hardened even more in Colin’s fist.
Colin chuckled and addressed Terry. “He’s very sensitive there.” Terry chuckled in reply and tweaked Ed’s nipples, making Ed gasp. Colin gave a patient sigh. “And you need to get into the swing of this,” he told Ed. He let go of Ed’s shaft and leaned forward, grabbing Ed’s wrists and moving them until they were positioned to the rear of Terry. Colin covered Ed’s hands with his own and pressed until Ed was holding Terry’s firm arse cheeks. “You can touch, y’know. Terry sort of expects that.” He let go.
“Terry was waitin’ for that, y’mean,” the stripper said with a grin. Colin let go and Terry reached back to cover Ed’s hands. “Come on, big man, squeeze that arse. Make me feel like I’m doin’ a good job ’ere.”
Ed guffawed. “Trust me, you’re doin’ a bloody good job.” He shook his head. “I’m as ’ard as a bloody rock ’ere.” He stroked Terry’s arse, moving in slow circles.
“This is what we like to hear,” Terry said, grinning. He rotated his hips, pushing back into Ed’s grasp even more.
“And I’m definitely having a good time,” Colin added, his palm wrapping once again around Ed’s cock, giving it a gentle squeeze. He kissed Ed’s neck. Colin shifted and now Ed could feel that hard body against his back, the erection that Colin rubbed slowly against him. “Feel how hard you’re making me?” Colin whispered.
“God, yeah,” Ed breathed.
In front of him, Terry stroked over Ed’s chest and then moved lower, letting his fingers drift over Ed’s crotch. “Does his hand feel good around your dick?” Terry asked, stroking slowly the bulge in Ed’s jeans. He pulled away and palmed his own cock, which thickened and lengthened. “Fuck, watching you two makes me wanna wank.”
“Then do it,” Colin said abruptly. “Let him see you make yourself come, while I work his dick.” Ed caught his breath at the words, but had no time to draw air into his lungs before Colin leaned close to whisper once more. “Want to see you shoot, Ed. Take the edge off. Then we’re gonna go all fucking night long when we get back to the hotel.”
His words lit a fire in Ed and he pushed out a long, low groan. “You two are gonna be the death of me.”

 Strictly Personal Available at... 


Story Orgy Presents: Like A Wolf Part Five #mmromance #storyorgy

Good morning all! Haven't you heard that there's a new Monday? I''m terribly sorry. I'm trying to get my s**t together, but I seem to keep missing Mondays. Welcome back to part five of Like A Wolf, my version of Little Red Riding Hood. Are you hungry?
I know someone who is!  

Like A Wolf

Feb 16: Damn it, he'd lost all track of time.
Writing his phone number on the whiteboard next to Hank’s fridge was pushy. Robert hadn’t done it easily, he’d stood with that purple marker in his hand, reading a three item shopping list over and over, trying to build his courage. Beef bones, cinnamon sticks, barley… 555-1789. Call Me. RR.
Robert wasn’t used to pursuing men. He’d dated a few, but they usually asked him out. He’d already made a bold first step, but that had been at Grandmere’s urging. Did he have the courage to pursue Hank Wolf? His beating heart and sweaty palms said no.
Grandmere. What would she say? She’s say go for it.
The memory of his octogenarian grandmother announcing that Hank was hot made him smile and gave him the strength to add his name and number to the board, directly under cinnamon sticks, barley and beef bones.
Once he’d added his name, he had to turn his back on the board. Those purple letters and numbers embarrassed him, chided him for b oldness and teased him with the impropriety of the things he wanted to do with Hank. He could no more stand in Hank’s pristine white and steel kitchen and look at that… practically a proposition, undeniably a plea for Hank to fuck him, than he could watch porn with his grandmother in the next room.
Fortunately the coffee maker signaled that freedom was within sight before regret could overpower desire and the message got erased.
After sleeping next to Hank- who’d been a regrettably perfect gentleman, Robby couldn’t imagine driving off and not seeing him again. He’d been attracted physically to Hank from the start, but last night… They’d had fun. Hank danced, which surprised Robby in and of itself, with a spare grace that drew the eyes of many other men. But His attention had never wandered. His eyes stayed on Robert, his hands caressed through clothes, this breath grew warm and moist when the dance brought them closer together. Damn it, they’d lost all track of time. They laughed, drank… enough to give Robby a few doubts about driving home, and all the while he never had the feeling that Hank wanted to be anywhere else, doing anything, or anyone, else.
Being the object of that intensity… It had been as intoxicating as the alcohol they consumed. Robert hadn’t wanted to say good-bye.
He hadn’t had to. That morning, Hank had driven him to the restaurant on his way to the farmer’s market, and come in for coffee, which had turned into an omelet, cooked of course, by Robert himself. After eating the meal with unrestrained, sensual pleasure, Hank had left and headed to the farmer’s market.
For the rest of the day, Robert was on cloud nine… his feet felt like they were floating above the ground. He went about his duties with a smile on his face and Hank’s dark eyes glinting wickedly in his memory. In the walk-in, he studied his supplies. He needed to come up with what Grandmere termed a “blue plate special” for dinner. What would Hank want for dinner? What in this giant cooler full of produce could be combined with the contents of his meat cooler to produce a meal worthy of Hank? Slowly, he reached for something green… a basket of zucchini… a bin of beets...the menu formed in his mind, an image of a plate full of home cooked, down home fare that Hank would never make for himself but Robby was sure he’d love.
And if Hank would love it, then why wouldn’t everyone else?
He set to work in the lull between breakfast and lunch, pickling sliced beets, sautéing mushrooms and zucchini, keeping mind his grandmere’s admonition that a meal should have something raw, something cooked, a starch, and a protein as well as a variety of color. Culinary school had taught him many things, but somehow, he’d forgotten the basics he grew up with. By the time the lunch rush began he had perfected a plate of seared pork loin, cornbread stuffing with golden raisins,
Hank’s phone call at lunch seemed natural.
“I want to cook dinner for you.”
Grinning widely at the unconventional greeting, Robert laughed into his cell phone. “Okay. I love your food. Aren’t you working tonight?”
“I am. But so are you. Come to my place at closing time. I found amazing things at the market this morning.”
Jealous. That was the clenching in his stomach and the fading of his smile for the first time that day.  He was jealous of the food? Jealous of salad greens and vegetables from a farmer’s market? Ugh. “Like what?”
“Everything.” There was a slight quiet. “You inspire me. I don’t know why, but when I’m with you… The creativity is amazing. I found mushrooms and baby carrots, a fabulous vintage of local red wine… Because of you, my food tonight is going to be amazing, and I want you to experience it.”
His glance dropped to the rag he was using to wipe the counter down, surprised to find it still moving. It felt like everything else in the world had come to a halt, especially his heart, as he absorbed the power of those words. Because of you, my food is going to be amazing. “Wow.” His voice shook. “I’m… how can I say no after that?”
“You weren’t thinking about it, were you?”
“Not really. I wanted to see you again, remember?”
“Then come to the house after you close up. There’s a key under the garden gnome in the azalea bed.”
“Beautiful.” Hank skimmed a hand over bare flesh. A swath of goose bumps rose in his wake, and the man on the bed shivered. Robert’s skin was as creamy white as he’d imagined...all over. No freckles or blemishes marred the expanse of white in front of him, just a few tantalizing red-gold hairs. “Are you cold?” He reached for a blanket even though he was reluctant to cover the sight before him.
“No.” Robert Arched, back bowing upward, wiggling as he settled himself more comfortably. “That feels good.”
“Good. I like it when you feel good.” He touched again, harder, stroking the muscles beneath the skin, liking the way Robert’s body was both soft and firm, yielding and resisting. “Did you enjoy dinner?” What the fuck? “I--” Am not used to seeking approval. He judged the success of his meals by the emptiness of the plates when they came back to the kitchen, and Robert Redding had cleaned every last drop of every sauce, every morsel of food from his plate with gluttonous joy. Just watching the man eat had turned Hank on, made him shift in his chair and adjust himself for comfort’s sake.
“It was wonderful.” Robert struggled, turning over with difficulty.  Hank eased up, rising on his knees slightly to give Red more room to maneuver. “Every bite of it seemed…” His creamy skin flushed and his gaze darted to the side. “To seduce me. To lead to this moment.”
“That’s what I hoped for.” It felt like a confession. It should have been a seductive nothing… the sort of thing you whisper into someone’s ear in order to get into their pants. But Red had shed his jeans easily enough, and given that they were poised on the brink of … getting off, he didn’t really need to be spouting sexy lines did he?
“You got your wish then…” Red looked up at him, big blue eyes intense and humid, moist lips parted. His chest heaved and his breath came rapidly. “I want you.”
Dismissing the strange intensity, the doubts, Hank smiled. “Good. Because I want this too.” He wriggled a hand in between their lower bodies, took Red’s cock in his hand and gave it a squeeze. It pulsed against his fingers. Red hissed, arching. “That’s good, huh?”
“Ve-ry.” Red responded shakily, clutching at his shoulders with one hand and grabbing for the sheets with the other. Pretty white teeth sank into the puffy bottom lip, Red’s eyelids slid to half-mast.
Hank tugged, sliding his palm up the smooth length, ignoring the throb of his own cock, the rapid beat of blood in his temples. “Is that how you like it? I want to please you.”
Red’s face showed clearly the struggle of comprehension, his lashes fluttering as he forced them wide. “Huh? I… ohhh.” His efforts to speak collapsed into a moan as Hank stroked him again.
The hand clawing at the blankets released, grabbed at Hank’s hip. “More. Come…” Red twisted, Hank stroked him some more, “God. Stop. Please. I… want…” He sagged down onto the sheets, gazing up at Hank with dazed, pleading eyes.
“You want to come?” He teased, squeezing the soft, spongy head of Red’s cock, soaking his fingers in the slick pre-cum. “Want me to make you explode?”
“No.” The hand on his shoulder pushed, the one on his hip squirmed between them. “I want you to come with me. I want us to come together.”
His thighs slid apart, creating a cradle that Hank slipped into easily. With a slight adjustment in his position, their cocks were aligned. Hank pressed down, Red thrust up, in a parody of the missionary position that created exquisite friction. Skin to skin, cock gliding against cock, moisture grew, lubricating their movements.
Faster, harder, Hank ground himself against Red. He let his eyes close, let the smell of sex and sweat overtake his sense. This was what it was all about. Pure, sensual movement. Growing, earth shaking pleasure. “Robert.” HIs voice caught… muscles tightened and released, a burst of sticky wet cum soaked them both.
“Hay-ank!” Robert cried out. His voice shook with effort, his body strained, fighting for more contact, more friction.
A flurry of movements followed, a sequence of events that Hank couldn’t separate from the welter of emotions that surged through him. Familiar physical pleasure… heat and tension and release that ebbed and flowed and shook him to his core. But also, sweet, tender… ice cream feelings that made him melt and shiver and blink in shock.
Soaking in the residue of sex, he blinked down at the sated Robert Redding, who gazed up at him with soft, glowing eyes and trembling lips. “That was amazing.” He whispered huskily.
Hank pried himself away before he got stuck forever. “Yeah. Lemme get something for that.” He mumbled, waving vaguely at their comingled semen on Red’s soft white belly. He walked… he made sure of that, to the bathroom for a rag, but it felt more like running. His heart raced like he’d just finished a marathon, and much as he wanted to blame it on the physical activity he’d just engaged in… he knew it was more like panic.
He breathed deeply, trying to get it under control, to gather some composure. For christ sake, they hadn’t even… Hank turned the water taps to hot, full blast and plunged a terry cloth rag into the stream. The pain of the hot water was the distraction he needed. He managed to keep his attention grimly focused on cleaning himself up by sheer dint of will power. Get cleaned up. Get Robert Redding out of the house… And grab a pad of paper because the ideas…
He could almost taste a salty sweet ice cream cake with dark raspberry brownies and a rich whiskey sauce… Glazed carrots…
Damn. “What are you doing to me Robert Redding?” He whispered to the man in the mirror, who looked as remarkably calm for a man whose insides were in turmoil.
From the front of the house a door slammed. Hank’s head jerked, the man in the mirror gave him a shocked glance.

“Honey, I’m home.” A deep voice called out, in an atrociously faked foreign accent. “Where are you? You moved the key from under Eghard.”


If you enjoyed my post, click on over to the rest of the Orgiasts and read more! 


Can I Call Myself a Writer Yet? Part Two #writerslife #directfromauthor

Can I Call Myself a Writer Yet?
Part Two

Some time back I wrote this post on calling myself a writer. Getting up the courage to do that? It isn't easy. But calling myself a writer is not the only pitfall or stumbling block in this career. (Because once I put that on my income taxes…that's what it became. A Career. Not a hobby or a pastime… Pardon me I have to pause to let that sink in. I am a self-employed writer.)
*gulps coffee* Some time ago, I began to self-publish some of my work. There were many deciding factors in this, and I don't mind admitting that some of them were financial. You see, along with calling myself a writer came the necessity of making writing pay for my living expenses. So I had to make money not just create art.
*sighs* I know. I'm crass. I've desecrated sacred art. I should starve for my stories… But I like food too much for that.
Art for art's sake. It's an interesting concept. I've no doubt that if people suddenly stopped buying, and I had to get an "evil day job" like so many other authors, I'd still write. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't rather be able to pay my way doing something I love. Putting a price on my work has always been one of the most difficult aspects of writing. I do believe that I deserve to be paid for my efforts. But how much? Should I compare the price of an hour or two of entertainment to the cost of a cup of fancy coffee? Or to an hour of television or a movie that you rent? Should it all be free so that as many people as possible might enjoy?
Right. Tell that to the dentist who fixes my teeth, the doctors who cure my illnesses and the grocers who supply my food.
They should do that out of the goodness of their hearts? The farmers throw their hearts and souls into producing a crop, and getting it to market. They don't let beautiful produce languish and rot on the vine.
Dentists, lawyers, doctors, farmers, all create a product or provide a service. And they are recompensed for that at rates they set. You have the option of saying, yeah that's too costly for a root canal. Or I'm not paying four dollars a pound for hamburger, and taking your business elsewhere.
The same is true with writers.
We write. We put our whole selves into a piece of work that consumes hours, days or even months of our time. And from all this effort emerges a thing. A story. A bit of entertainment for our readers.
But it's not free. It comes at a cost.
So, recouping that cost has to be a part of our writing paradigm. NOT ALWAYS. Sometimes, we write things as gifts, for our readers and fans. Free stories that we give willingly as rewards for loyal readers, or to entice new readers into sampling our wares. I have plenty of free stories, some perma-free, some free only at certain venues, and some free in regularly scheduled promotional events.
In order to call myself a writer, I have to make sufficient money writing that I don't need a second job. So, I self-publish some works because of the math.
A publisher- and e-book publishers are much more generous than traditional paperback publishers- will generally give an author 30-45% in royalties on books sold. That's after the vendors take their cuts. Amazon only pays 70% royalties on books priced at 2.99 and over. Below that price point, you get 35%. Pardon me, the publisher gets 35%. All Romance pays 60%. Smashwords pays more.
So follow the money.
Let's talk Amazon because they're the biggest e-book market. That 2.99 book with a publishing house will pay the publisher 2.09 per copy sold. Of that, the author receives 0.84. 84¢ per copy sold. Now, if the publisher prices your work at… say 1.99, putting you below that 70% rate right out of the gate?
At $1.99, the publisher makes 0.70 cents a copy. The author makes 0.28.
At $0.99, the publisher makes 0.35 per copy. The author makes 0.14.
Self-publishing buys more bread on the table, electricity to run the computers, gas in the car and health care than working with a publishing house.
You'll notice in the coming days that I have added a new option when purchasing my work. It's a Direct From Author Link.
Don't be afraid of this link. It's a Payhip link that takes you to a book page. I admit, it's not the sleek and pretty page that Amazon and ARe offer. It's succinct and to the point.
Payhip is a service offered by PayPal that allows authors to sell e-books online without going through a third party vendor like Amazon, All Romance, and Smashwords. What you're purchasing is the exact same product that is available at All Romance, Amazon and Smashwords. It was edited by the same fabulous editor, the cover was designed by the same talented artist, the story is identical.
The difference is, Payhip takes 5% of the sales and gives the author 95%.
And it’s the same secure, trusted Paypal system of payment that many of us use every day.
Currently, I have two books with Payhip links, but I do plan to eventually get all of my work up there.

The Librarian

With a name like Valentine Michaels, he could have been 
anything. A rockstar, a super spy...
a hairdresser. 

Pulp Friction 2015
Jack of Spades #1
Drawing Dead

In a world where mythical beings are real, love is still the most elusive… and treacherous myth of them all.

I'm not going to tell my readers where to buy my books- I'm still thrilled as heck that you all seem to enjoy my work at all, but if you want to try the Payhip service, I'd be interested in hearing how the experience was from your perspective. 

Be Yourself

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. ~e.e. cummings, 1955