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How to make money – a naughty way

Hollywood Whore Book Cover Hollywood Whore
Volume 2 (The True Hollywood Lies )
Josie Brown
contemporary fiction, romance, humour
Signal Press
October 16, 2015

A TRUE HOLLYWOOD LIES Novel"

Previously published as "Impossibly Tongue-Tied"--All over Hollywood, men are dialing O--for orgasms. Her steamy naughty talk fills them with lust and longing, and helps them perform like the studs they claim to be.In truth, the industry's favorite "erotic phone operatrix" is Nina Harte, a struggling actress who has put her career on hold so that her husband, Nathan, can pursue his own dreams of stardom. When Nathan's career takes off, so does he, leaving Nina and their four-year-old son, Jake, for his diva costar, Katerina McPherson. Then "Kat 'n' Nat" are crowned the media's newest celebrity sweethearts, and Kat labels Nina an unfit mother in order to win custody of Jake, just so that she can have that highly-coveted celebrity accessory--an adorable child--sans any unsightly stretch marks.The one person who does care about Nina is Nathan's agent, Sam Godwin. In fact, he's in love with her. And because he has both a heart and a conscience, Sam feels guilty for having put Nat in Kat's path in the first place. Then again, how will he feel when he learns that Nina and O are one and the same?

Except she isn’t really a whore – just gets involved in the sex trade to keep food on the table, and her actor husband in acting classes as he doesn’t seem able to bring home any money to speak of.

I like Josie Brown as an author but I think I prefer her humorous books. This story is a morality play about Hollywood and the evils that can befall you if you go there – especially if you start off being good looking. It ends well for those who need it to, but but a lot has to be processed to get there – and I learnt a lot of new language myself on the way! Clearly need to read an urban dictionary…

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A goddess for the different city

Sin City Goddess Book Cover Sin City Goddess
Barbra Annino
Fiction, fairytale, occult, thriller, crime
Thomas and Mercer
2013
279

“It was hotter than Hades' closet in Las Vegas, and brighter than a Zeus-fueled lightning bolt.”Goddess Tisiphone, Avenger of Murder, spends her days playing poker in the underworld, far away from mortals - and all the terrible mistakes they make. But when her sister turns up missing, Tisi reluctantly agrees to bring her sister back from the most unholy place in the world: Las Vegas.Teamed up with Archer Mays, a recently deceased - and easy on the eyes - FBI agent, the anger-prone deity must keep her temper long enough to battle demons, save her sister . . . and unravel a plot sinister enough to destroy the realm of god and man forever.From the author of the enchanting Stacy Justice mystery series comes the highly anticipated first book in her new Secret Goddess series: a book that proves hell hath no Fury, because she's in Las Vegas.

            This story had some good ideas with new gods and goddesses and demons for me – not come across them but willing to believe they are in the pantheons.

But that said I found the story style was rather pedestrian and thus did not inspire me to research these gods etc.

I did rather like the idea of Dionysius being behind the idea of building Las Vegas in the desert, and some of the minor deities taking part in LV shows.

I thought it lacked humour and/or snarky conversation and characterisation.                              

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What happened in France: The author’s story

What Happens in France Book Cover What Happens in France
Carol Wyer
Women's Fiction
Canelo Escape
28th January 2019

Book Blurb: She stood and took her place in front of the camera... It was now or never”

Bryony Masters has been looking for her long-lost sister, Hannah, for years, but when their father has a stroke her search takes on new urgency. So when primetime game show, What Happens in France, puts a call-out for new contestants, Bryony spots the ultimate public platform to find her reality TV-obsessed sister, and finally reunite their family.

With the help of handsome teammate Lewis, it’s not long before she’s on a private jet heading for the stunning beauty of rural France. With a social media star dog, a high maintenance quiz host and a cast of truly unique characters, Bryony and Lewis have their work cut out for them to stay on the show and in the public eye.

Yet as the audience grows and the grand prize beckons they find that the search that brought them together may just fulfil more than one heart’s wish…

This heartwarming romantic comedy of friendship, family and laugh-out-loud adventures is perfect for fans of Kirsty Greenwood, Colleen Coleman and Marian Keyes.

  1. How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

I write in two different genres: crime fiction and romantic comedy and ordinarily, I’d say crime fiction requires a lot more research. I spend weeks on the internet checking details and facts and also speaking to experts in Forensics or those in the police force. However, given What Happens in France hinges around a crazy game show set in France, it required a substantial amount of research in the form of applying for auditions and then actually be selected to get onto a few televised game shows, as well as several weeks driving around France, learning about the regions in the book. It took almost two years in total to gather all the information I needed.

I met some extremely interesting characters during auditions and on shows who gave me the inspiration for some of those in the book although I never met anyone like ballet dancer Oscar, owner of the show-stealing pug, Biggie Smalls.

  • What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?

I use the internet all the time and am a member of various crime writer groups where I can post questions for the experts in the group, but for this book I drew on my own experiences. This is how I invariably write romantic comedies. If a character does something in one of my humorous books then the chances are I’ll have tried it out first. One book saw me doing a zip wire, belly dancing, eating locusts, zorbing, and diving with sharks, while another saw me take up stand-up comedy. This book was a breeze by comparison although I did have to go one those game shows and make an idiot of myself. (Again!)

  • How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?

Goodness, I could paper every wall in my house with all the rejection slips I’ve received over the years.

My first efforts were children’s stories aimed at teaching 3-5-year-olds French. It was back in the days, before you could do everything online, when you had to plough through the Writers and Artist’s Handbook to find agents or publishers you thought would be interested in your work, write an accompanying letter, then remortgage your house to pay for the printer ink and stamps so you could post your weighty manuscripts to them.

When I turned my attention to the adult market in 2010, things had changed and I submitted to various publishers online. After nuerous rejections, I gave up. I didn’t want to wait years to get it accepted. I’d only intended writing the one book, Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines, because it was on my bucket list. I had no idea it would be the start of a new career for me. I looked at self-pubbing and I was given the chance to self-publish it with FeedaRead for a very tiny fee, I chose that route. I also published it with Smashwords and Amazon and could never have imagined how well it would have performed. Five months after publication, I found myself featured in Woman’s Own Magazine as a best-selling author and following that, a small publishing house took me on. The rest, as they say, is history and I now write for Bookouture/Hachette and Canelo. What Happens in France is my 18th book to be published although I’ve managed to write a further four books since I completed it which are yet to be released. 

  • Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?

Although I chose the self-publication route, I wish in many ways I’d been more patient and waited for a lucky break with a publisher.

The workload involved in self-publication is huge. You not only have to write, edit, format, design covers and get your book published, you have to market it. I found marketing took up all my time and prevented me from writing further books.

I would agree it is imperative to build an audience before you self-publish or approach a publisher. I ran a humorous blog (like Amanda Wilson in my debut novel) for over a year, writing posts daily until I had several 1000s of followers. When I launched my debut novel, I held an all-day virtual party on the blog with games, competitions and jokes. I spent all day and night, chatting to the virtual guests. That party sold copies, got reviews and propelled Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines into the limelight and gave me the start I needed. Without my followers and the friends I made online, that wouldn’t have happened.

Publishers like to see you have an online presence – that you are committed to your brand, if you like, and are active on social media. It is something that every author should continue to keep up, no matter what stage they are at in their career. Your readers deserve interaction and social media gives them that chance.

  • Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?

If you’d asked me this 3 years ago, I’d have said an emphatic no. The first 7 years, I made a dismal amount of money, in spite of success with my first novel and my non-fiction humorous book, Grumpy Old Menopause which not only won The People’s Book Prize Award but saw me sitting on the BBC Breakfast red sofa, chatting to Bill Turner and Susanna Reid about it. Even with the air time and further magazine exposure, I still only brought in enough to pay for a decent holiday. The turning point came in 2016, when I signed with Bookouture. Because they’re a digital publisher (like Canelo) they can turn around books faster than a traditional publisher. So in theory, the more you can write, the more you can potentially earn. 2017 was the first year I earned sufficient to actually pay household bills. It came at the right time because my husband is now retired, and we live off his pension, so my writing income is a real boost.

  • What is the funniest thing that happened to you on a book tour?

Not so much on a blog tour but in my early days when I did my own publicity, I managed to secure several radio interviews during the launch of one of my books. I had all the times and dates written down in my diary (very professional) and had agreed to be interviewed on a popular radio show in the USA. The interview was to take place by phone and I was very excited about the opportunity to chat to new, potential readers in the United States. On the actual day, I suddenly realised I had agreed to be on a show that would be broadcast live at 2 a.m. my time not 2 p.m. as I had thought. It was too late to change the date and I didn’t dare tell my husband, Mr Grumpy, who goes to bed punctually at 9.30 p.m. every night and does not like being kept awake, so I stayed awake and tiptoed downstairs at quarter to two in the morning to wait for the phone to ring. I was frightened to talk loudly and wake up my family, so I whispered to the presenter who kept telling me to speak up and then halfway through the interview, Mr Grumpy turned up in a foul mood, shouting, ‘Who the f*** Is on telephone at this time of the morning. Tell them to f*** off’ Unfortunately it was a live broadcast and the listeners got to hear every word. To cap it all, he grabbed the receiver from my hand and shouted a few more obscenities before putting it down. I emailed my apologies but I wasn’t invited back on the show!

  • Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

Alison Kervin OBE and author of The WAGS Diary (2009) and WAGS at the World Cup WORLD (2010) I picked up her first book from a ‘living bookcase’ while on holiday and it had me in stitches from start to finish. When I finally put it down, I decided I wanted to produce something that entertaining. I spent the next few months writing my first novel and emailed Alison to tell her she had inspired me. She replied with a very encouraging email. Had I not read that book, I doubt I would have had the confidence to start writing.

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

Author Bio:

As a child Carol Wyer was always moving, and relied on humour to fit in at new schools. A funny short story won her popularity, planting the seed of becoming a writer. Her career spans dry cleaning, running a language teaching company, and boxercise coaching. Now writing full-time, Carol has several books published and journalism in many magazines.

Carol won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction (2015), and can sometimes be found performing her stand-up comedy routine Laugh While You Still Have Teeth.

Twitter: @carolewyer

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Love – Who’s Lucky?

Unlucky in Love Book Cover Unlucky in Love
A.J. Renee
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
AJ Renee
January 30th 2019

Lucky in Love.

That’s the name of the dating app I picked, hoping to find Mr. Better Than Average so I can hold off planning my future as a cat lady.

I’ve been distracted eyeballing a tall, dark, and handsome Latin hottie who works in the library with me. He is way out of my league, and a woman has needs if you know what I mean.

Finding a man shouldn’t be hard when all I have to do is swipe left or right. It’ll weed out the slimy men who have Bad Date written all over them.

Yeah, I’m learning quickly that I’m rather unlucky in love after all. The men I pick need warning labels, kissing lessons, and a good talking-to about manners.

Should I throw in the towel, or will this series of bad dates be exactly what I need to win Mr. Right?

A millenial love story? Or why dating apps cause havoc.. or provide you with bad dates or with males that are on the app for really good reasons! Beware.

So this a romantic story of finding love in your workplace – which is where most people used to find their partners before apps came along. And how getting to know someone slowly works better than the instant date from an app.

An adult theme about romance and dates with explicit scenes but very much in the milieu/trope.

I thought it quite sweet with some fun aspects, and the bad dates remind me of some that I had when young – the paintballing for me was pot-holing… even when I told him I was claustrophobic he didn’t believe it until I had hysterics deep in the ground! And as he was the pot-holing club leader it proved very embarrassing for him to have to bring up to the surface.. And then there was the Indian guy who insisted on showing me his wool vest and also insisted that all English girls had sex on the first date. I proved him very wrong.. Oh the bad dates we women have all had…

Author Spotlight

AJ Renee is the author behind the St. Fleur series, Beauty Unmasked, Winter’s Surprise, Surviving Paris, and Finding Love at the Falls…. She’s a military wife and mother to three young girls. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with her Master of Science in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology while working at the library.

She loves to write steamy romance with suspense and a happily ever after. When she isn’t writing or interacting with her readers, you can find her spending time with her family or reading. AJ enjoys traveling, researching family history, and all things New Orleans.

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What happens when the kids leave home

The Mum Who Got Her Life Back Book Cover The Mum Who Got Her Life Back
Fiona Gibson
contemporary fiction, romance, humour, women's literature
Avon
01 Mar 2019

When her 18-year-old twins leave for university, single mum Nadia’s life changes in ways she never expected: her Glasgow flat feels suddenly huge, laundry doesn’t take up half her week, and she no longer has to buy ‘the Big Milk’. After almost two decades of putting everyone else first, Nadia is finally taking care of herself. And with a budding romance with new boyfriend Jack, She’s never felt more alive. That is, until her son Alfie drops out of university, and Nadia finds her empty nest is empty no more. With a heartbroken teenager to contend with, Nadia has to ask herself: is it ever possible for a mother to get her own life back? And can Jack and Nadia’s relationship survive having a sulky teenager around?

A story for all empty nesters and parents of kids who have left home – or have they? As so many people are now finding, kids that left, come bouncing back, just when you least expect them (and at very inopportune times) and really don’t need them back. They disrupt this nice life you have (finally) managed to create for yourself – even a nice new romance. They become needy toddlers again as life has been unfair to them and because you feel guilty because you didn’t miss them as much as you expected, you cater to their whims – even to the point where your new life begins to unravel.
Or least this is what happens according to this book.
Personally, if our kids had behaved the way her son did with his clothes and loo and messes they would have had a sharp word or two despite everything. Do Mums really get walked over nowadays as is portrayed here? And they don’t teach their sons to cook? Who was this woman and why did she allow her kids to treat her like a limp door mat? This rang untrue to me. So though I generally enjoyed the book the story was not as realistic as it could have been.
Overall, this works as a romance between single parents trying to find a new life for themselves and juggling the demands of work and family, but…

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