The Theme’s the Thing ~ Keeping It Blue with @MeganSlayer #writing #themes #authorthemes

When I started writing, I was told I needed a theme. Not just a general idea for what I wanted my author overall image to be, but a theme. I know, sounds confusing, doesn’t it? A very wise friend told me as I was setting out, I needed to have something that said, this is Megan Slayer every time someone saw it. Why’d she question my theme? Because back then I had a picture of racing on my blog. The photo was right at the top and to the right. It totally went with my passion, but had only a little to do with my writing because at the time, I’d only written two stories and neither had racing in them. So I set out to create a theme.

I had a few fits and stalls along the way. I knew what I wanted to write–second chance romance. A lot of authors write that. So what made mine different? Back when I started, the heat level was the thing, too. The hotter the better. But heat levels then and now are totally different. What was HAWT back then is hot now. What was ‘oh-my-gosh-scorching-the-page-gonna-melt-the-screen’ hot is now HAWT. Back then, there was dark erotic romance, but not as prevalent as now. So my initial theme of HAWT second chance romance is still viable, but the heat isn’t as hot as I once thought.

I’m still all about my second chance romance. I’ve always had a soft spot for characters who had a rough start in life or whose initial romance didn’t quite work. I want them to have happy endings. Sometimes it’s with the same people and most of the time with new people. When you pick up one of my stories, there will be a second chance romance in it.

But I’ve got another theme I hadn’t planned on. Pretty much from the start of my career as an author, I’ve had blue hair. Why? I wanted something fun to do with my hair and it covered the grays nicely. Plus…it was fun. Still is, to be honest. It’s been brighter at times and more muted at others, but it’s always been blue. Okay, there was that one patch where I had it red for a while… And you know what? People didn’t like it. They wanted the blue back. Craziness, right? Not really. They identified me with the blue hair. That’s you, they’d tell me. When I think of you, I think of Blue. Pretty nice, eh? I love it.

I had thought about a logo, but I’m not sold on one and how do you make a logo concerning blue or second chance romance? I’m not sure.

But I’ll keep plugging along. I’ll stick with the blue hair and the second chance romances. Why? They make my heart happy. The characters demand their happy ending and I’m not going to argue with them. If people think of me and think blue, then that’s great with me, too. I like to have fun. What about you? How do you see me?

We Belong Together by Megan Slayer 

Super Novel

Contemporary

M/M, M/F, M/M/F, M/F/M, Menage, Anal Sex, Voyeurism

From Pride Publishing

Art by Posh Gosh

 

When the broken road leads you home, we will find each other.

Dare Evans left the small town of Kenton for the bright lights of Hollywood. The moment he climbed on the plane, he missed his college sweetheart. Coming home was always in the cards and a chance sighting is the catalyst he needs. But he’s not alone.

Liam Turner never thought he’d find love so soon after his divorce, but then came Dare. He’s in love and the happiest of his life—but he’s a secret. Dare, the hottest man in the movies, isn’t supposed to be married and certainly not to Liam. Liam’s learned to live with the charade because he knows Dare’s heart…that is until he finds out about Sarah.

Sarah Morrison wants nothing more than to teach at the college, raise her son and live her life. Celebrity was never in her cards. Then Dare and Liam walked back into Kenton. She never forgot Dare…or as she knew him, Daryl. He’s been the only one for her. When she meets Liam, her thoughts change. What if Liam could be the one? What if both men could be? Is she strong enough to withstand the bright lights of fame intruding on her existence?

Can these three people find a way to be together when the rest of the world says they should be apart? When the past joins the present to make a future, love is possible.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of ménage featuring m/m/f and m/f/m pairings, voyeurism. This book also contains scenes of murder, references to abuse, rape, stalking.

Publisher Link: https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/we-belong-together

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/4AgqrK

Amazon Japan: https://www.amazon.co.jp/Belong-Together-English-Megan-Slayer-ebook/dp/B072PWQ2SH/

Amazon Austalia: https://www.amazon.com.au/We-Belong-Together-Megan-Slayer-ebook/dp/B072PWQ2SH/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/We-Belong-Together-Megan-Slayer-ebook/dp/B072PWQ2SH/

Amazon Germany: https://www.amazon.de/Belong-Together-English-Megan-Slayer-ebook/dp/B072PWQ2SH/

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/We-Belong-Together-Megan-Slayer-ebook/dp/B072PWQ2SH/

~ ~ ~ ~

Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and BDSM themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been the runner up in the Kink Category at Love Romances Café as well as nominated at the LRC for best author, best contemporary, best ménage and best anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. Find out more about Megan and Wendi at: http://wendizwaduk.com/indexMegan.htm Sign up for the newsletter here: http://ymlp.com/xgjmjumygmgj 

Website, Blog, Fan Page, Amazon Author Page, Bookbub, Instagram, Goodreads, and Twitter

Biting Love and Halloween Fun with @MeganSlayer

I love writing vampire stories and the season of Halloween. I’m not fond of gore and blood. I faint at the sight of my own blood. I know…it’s not fun. And I love to write vampires?

By Book Illustrator Charles F. Lester (The Project Gutenberg Etext.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 Don’t they drink blood and aren’t they a tad gory? They can be. I love the mean, scary vampires. Nosferatu and Dracula are favorites. I’m not wild about pretty vampires. Now let me clarify this. I want vampires that are alluring. The kind that draw you in only to bite the crap out of you. The ones who look sexy, but are scary as heck and will kill you. Those are my kind.

One thing I’ve struggled with when writing my vampires is the alluring factor. You might ask why or you may see the conundrum. I write romance. How can a vampire be romantic and still want to rip out your throat? Isn’t that an odd pairing? It is. Here’s the thing: vampires have to be alluring. They’re the undead. If you saw someone strolling up to you who has half of his face falling off and smells like death…you might not want to offer your blood up to him. He’s essentially a zombie. The walking dead. This is one of the genesis stories for vampires – they’re really zombies who don’t eat brains, but rather drink the life blood from living beings. Okay, so zombies on the whole might not be terribly sexy. So what’s a vampire to do to be alluring? Be sexy. That’s why vampires got the Dracula, handsome, but deranged count overlay. He’s handsome. His minions are pretty. Or her minions. One might be more attracted to a guy with money, nice clothes and something that draws you to him.

So that’s how I want to write my vampires. They can kill you, but they’re still handsome and sexy. They’re still something attractive, but they can turn on a dime.

By Joergsam (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

When I wrote Biting Love, I wanted Anson, my vampire, to be attractive. He’s got to win the trust of Parker. How can he do that if he opens with the line, I can and will kill you? Um, probably won’t work. Grin. So  he has to be charming. Has to be protective. I loved writing Anson and Parker because they’re very opposite, too. Anson is dark, kind of scary and sexy. Parker is a geeky kind of guy. They might not have run in the same circles to begin with, but once they find each other…it’s a whole new thing.

Part of the fun of writing Biting Love has been my getting to work with my dear friend, Madison Sevier, again. We wrote in her Rosie Peaks series earlier in the year when we wrote Faeries After Dark together. Biting Love is the next in the crossover world. Her book, Out Foxxe’d features her characters after Faeries. She went with a shifter and I have vampires. Hehe. And there will be more books in the crossover world. Vampires are like potato chips. I can’t have just one.

Want to know more about Biting Love? Then keep reading!!

Biting Love By Megan Slayer

A Rosie Peaks Crossover Novella

Megan Slayer Publications

M/M, Anal Sex

Vampires

Contemporary, Paranormal

 

Mix one vampire with one human who doesn’t believe in the paranormal and add some sizzle.

Anson wasn’t looking for a partner when he spotted the handsome human, but he’s not about to argue when the mood strikes. He’s got to bring a date to the Halloween bash and Parker fits his bill exactly. Now all he needs to do is convince Parker that vampires truly exist.

Parker is practical, intelligent and a little on the geeky side. He can’t believe his eyes—a handsome man has not only hit on him, but asked him out…to a masquerade ball. He doesn’t believe in vampires, but Anson wears his Dracula costume a bit too well.

Can these two find love and trust after all or will the sparks only last until the dawn?

 

Universal Link: https://www.books2read.com/u/3nOWlB

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075MHSXYL/

Amazon JP: https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B075MHSXYL/

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B075MHSXYL/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B075MHSXYL/

Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B075MHSXYL/

Amazon FR: https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B075MHSXYL/

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B075MHSXYL/

 

Now for an excerpt:

©2017 Megan Slayer, All Rights Reserved

“Okay, then where’s your boyfriend?”

“Don’t have one.” Not since Seth dumped him a year ago. Seth wanted to sleep around and Parker wanted monogamy. According to Seth, gay men couldn’t be monogamous. The asshole. Parker tried to get him back, but Seth never called him again.

“You should.” Anson grasped Parker’s hand. “But it makes this so much easier.”

“Me? I? What?” Oh Jesus, he had to stop talking. He made no sense and he could’ve sworn Anson wanted to kiss him.

“It’s rather difficult to ask someone out if they’ve already got a date or boyfriend.” Anson scooted he chair around the table until he sat next to Parker. “Right?”

“You’re asking me out?” He must’ve heard Anson wrong and understood the wrong vibes. “Really?”

“Of course…unless you don’t want to.” Anson trailed his fingers down the back of Parker’s neck. His eyes shimmered. “Not interested?”

“I…yes.” Christ. Start going for what you want, Parker. “I’d like a date. Yes. But I need some time. I mean—not tonight.” Shit. He was fucking up the plan. “I mean…”

“I’m pretty free. What works for you?”

“Uh…I need to get this paper down. But I’ve got time around lunch tomorrow. If I can get this turned in before tomorrow night, I’ll be free for Halloween. Would lunch work? Then if you don’t like me, we’re not committed to a night date?” He’d just talked himself out of a date. Shit.

“No good. I’m…in a class at lunch.” Anson draped his arm across the back of Parker’s chair. “I’m better at night.”

“Oh.” Anson didn’t strike him as a college student. “Which class? I could meet you at your building afterward.”

“Uh…it’s off campus at the sculpture building at the old farm.” Anson nodded. “You know, all of those power tools and bending machines. They can’t have it too close to campus in case one of the artists does something crazy.”

“I doubt that.” He turned in his seat to face Anson. “The worst you could do is burn down the building, but why? Performance art? Nah. You’re all careful. It’s a reason to be out there.” He wanted to touch Anson and prove to himself the man was real. He rested his forearms on his thighs instead. “I’ve never been to the arts building out there, so I wouldn’t know too much about it.”

“Oh? Why not?”

“No wheels.” Embarrassment washed over him. If his dorky personality wasn’t enough to push Anson away, his lack of a car would be the topper. “I had to sell my car to make my tuition payment. My job at the front desk at the student housing complex was cut.”

“That’s awful.” Anson didn’t pull away. He kept caressing Parker’s biceps.

“Unless I can find a sugar daddy or get some cash flowing from my writing, I’ll have to get a part time job over at the burger joint across from the student center. It’s not a bad job, but I’d rather be writing.” He smiled to hide how he felt—embarrassed, dejected, screwed over. He had to get more positivity into his life, but damn it. Life kept throwing him curveballs.

“You never told me what you write.” Anson wriggled his eyebrows. “Anything juicy?”

“No.” Here he wanted to be a writer and he hadn’t self-promoted. Bad Parker. “Science fiction with a little paranormal mixed in. It really depends on the day and my mood. I’ve got one about aliens invading the earth and this one is more paranormal.”

“Really?” Anson smiled.

Parker couldn’t read his expression. “You don’t like it? Too out there for you?”

“No, I’m fascinated.”

“You are?”

~ ~ ~ ~

Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and BDSM themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been the runner up in the Kink Category at Love Romances Café as well as nominated at the LRC for best author, best contemporary, best ménage and best anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. Find out more about Megan and Wendi at: http://wendizwaduk.com/indexMegan.htm Sign up for the newsletter here: http://ymlp.com/xgjmjumygmgj

Website, Blog, Fan Page, Amazon Author Page, Bookbub, Instagram, Goodreads, and Twitter

Author Interview and giveaway: Elia Winters

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Elia  Winters, author of Purely Professional.  Leave a comment or ask Elia a question for a chance to win a free copy.  Winner will be announced in the comments on Friday, January 31.

Elia told me that there are a lot of sex toys in Purely Professional.

“I just can’t help it; I’m a huge fan of toys, so naturally they’re going to show up in my stories,” she explained. “In the beginning of the book, Bridget is working on a magazine article defending the use of sex toys in relationships, and that’s a little nod to my own philosophy.”

Speaking of sex toys,  after Elia’s freshman year of college, she was living at home for the summer and…I’ll let her share the story.

“I stealthily ordered myself something new from Good Vibrations, which always ships in nondescript packaging from an inane-sounding return address. Even the catalogs come in nice envelopes. I intercepted the package successfully, but my mom accidentally(?) opened my mail one day and found a catalog. However, she didn’t come to the logical conclusion, that I was actually ordering toys. Instead, she thought I’d made it onto someone’s mailing list because I’m in college. She thought the catalog was so hilarious that she showed it to all her friends, all of whom probably realized why the catalog was addressed to me. I was mortified but I couldn’t tell her! Oh my god, I’ve never told that story before. My mom still doesn’t know about that.”

This was particularly embarrassing for Elia because she had a very conservative upbringing. Her parents didn’t allow her to watch R-rated movies at all, even when she was of age, even PG-13 movies were heavily monitored, and sex was only for marriage.

“I struggled quite a bit with my sexual awakening because of these standards, and it took a long time to become comfortable with myself as a sexual being,” she said. “Romance novels helped with that process, even though I had to sneak them from my mom. I obviously got over these limitations, but it took quite a long time. My fifteen year old self would not even recognize the sex-positive me now.”

Elia is a full-time teacher, but when she’s not teaching or writing, she also works part time as a zipline canopy tour guide, which keeps her pretty busy. She enjoys camping and would like to enjoy hiking, but doesn’t.  She still goes hiking though, because her husband loves to hike. Maybe one day the “liking” part will kick in.

“In the indoor sense, I’m a huge geek,” she admitted. “I read endlessly and trawl through social media. We also host weekly game night at our house, when friends come over and we play Dungeons & Dragons (really, I said I’m a geek) and various other tabletop games.”

She told me that she writes in bursts. Since she teaches and is involved with many other activities, she has to be a judicious steward of her time. She participates in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)  every November and Camp NaNoWriMo every July, where she produces a 50,000+ word draft in 30 days.  The other months of the year are spent editing previous work.

“I tend to sit down with the laptop in the evening before dinner and work for a half hour or so, just to get warmed up, and then return to it after dinner for a few hours or until I’ve met my daily goal,” she said. “When I’m writing, I keep off social media as much as possible, even though the siren song of Tumblr sometimes lures me away.”

Currently, Elia’s agent is shopping her steampunk erotic romance out to publishers. It’s called Combustion, and it’s the first of a series of books taking place in this world.

“I love the Victorian-punk combination of the steampunk genre, from the sexy fashion to the anti-establishment philosophies,” she told me. “Combustion pairs Astrid Bailey, a designer of high-end sex toys (I told you, I love writing about sex toys!) with Eli Rutledge, conservative business owner, as they partner up to try and win the World’s Fair. Stay tuned on my website for information about Combustion as it becomes available.”

“What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?” I asked.

“Well, first off, write as much as you can. Write what you love, without worrying about making it marketable. I spent a lot of time writing what I thought would sell or what was more ‘acceptable’ content, and when I finally let go and wrote a book just for me, that was the one that sold. If you’re always writing for other people first, the rejections will get to you after a while, But if you write for yourself first, then at the very least, you’ll be entertained.

“Also, don’t show anyone your first drafts. First drafts need to be written, then ignored, then revised a few months later. But after that first revision or five, find a beta reader and hold onto them with all your might. A good beta reader is worth their weight in… I don’t know, chocolate or bacon. Something more valuable than gold.”

For Elia, her characters come first and the plot arises from them. She doesn’t outline the plot until she understands her main characters, their hopes, and their fears.  She’ll often have some plot tropes in mind though.  In Purely Professional, she wanted to write a relationship where the characters practice BDSM sexually, but don’t have a Dominant/submissive relationship otherwise.

“Once I knew that, I began creating Bridget. As I got to know her better through planning, outlining, and writing some early scenes, I realized why she didn’t have a partner and what was holding her back from her submissive tendencies. Figuring that out led easily to the rest of the storyline,” she explained.

“What is something you’d like to accomplish in your writing career next year?”

“I have a goal of having 3 books released within 18 months. The clock is now ticking, as Purely Professional just came out on the 13th. My second book, a Steampunk erotic romance called Combustion, is currently in submission. I’m also just beginning to edit Playing Knotty, a BDSM erotic romance. Beyond that, I have two other first drafts to be edited. This summer, I’m planning to write a sequel to Purely Professional. It’s going to be a busy year for me!”

Something non-writing related that Elia is passionate about is bringing awareness to ending rape culture. Once she became aware of rape culture, it made her so uncomfortable that she can’t stop speaking out against it.

“I try to raise awareness in my own social circles when people are using offensive language, and in my role as a high school teacher, I’ve advocated for revised language in our dress code to put an end to the rampant slut-shaming that often occurs in such documents,” she said. “Dress codes often tell girls to dress ‘modestly’ so as not to be a distraction to their male classmates. No one seems to tell the boys to keep their eyes to themselves, and that a woman’s dress doesn’t justify their leering. Consent is huge for me: not implied consent, but clear consent, and I try to make that obvious in my stories, especially while writing BDSM.”

Finally, I asked, “What advice would you give an author who wants to write erotica?”

“Write for yourself, first. Don’t write the erotica that you think will sell; write the erotica that turns you on. Indulge your own kinks and fantasies. You might not know what does it for you, though, so that brings me to my second piece of advice: read a lot of erotica from many different sources. Letters to Penthouse, fanfiction, Kindle freebies, traditionally published books, self-published books. Read first as a reader, then read as a writer. Make note of what you like in other people’s work: are there terms you like? Sexual situations that make you all tingly? Once you identify your own hot buttons, it’s easier to translate those into an original piece. Have fun with it. Finally, don’t take yourself too seriously, but don’t undervalue your writing, either. There’s nothing shameful or wrong with writing erotica, no matter what our culture might say. Not everyone has to write Moby Dick. Sometime it’s fine to just write dick.”

1_24 elia_avatar_highresAbout the Author: 

Elia Winters has always been a New England girl, despite having spent much of her childhood in Florida. She holds a degree in English Literature and teaches at a small rural high school where she runs too many extracurricular activities. She balances her love of the outdoors with a  bottomless well of geekiness.

Elia dabbles in many genres, but erotic romance has been one of her favorites since she first began sneaking her mother’s romance novels. In high school, she kept her friends entertained with a steady stream of naughty stories and somehow never got caught passing them around. Her erotic fiction and poetry have been published online at Clean Sheets and Scarlet Letters under a different name. Elia currently lives in New England with her loving husband and their odd assortment of pets.

Website

Tumblr

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Goodreads

1_24 Elia winters book coverColumnist Bridget Hartwell agrees to write about BDSM to impress her new executive editor at Sultry, the “sex-positive magazine for sex-positive women.” Unfortunately, it’s a topic she knows absolutely nothing about…but if she ever wants that promotion, she’ll need to learn the ropes, fast.

 

English professor Max Harlow is active in the Dom/sub scene, but only for casual play—he’s never found his ideal partner: a woman who is his equal, but sexually submissive. When he’s asked to explain the lifestyle to his cute but obviously inexperienced neighbor, Max is certain it’s best to approach it academically—to keep things purely professional.

 

Until Bridget’s first article is a huge hit, giving her the perfect excuse to delve deeper into the naturally submissive side of her sexuality. But as their encounters intensify and each of her boundaries is skillfully pushed, Bridget must decide what this all means… for her identity, her career, and, most importantly, her future with Max.

 

August Book of the Month Poll Winners: Darlene Foster and Cheryl Brooks

This Month we have not one, but TWO winners!!

perf5.060x7.810.indd
Amanda in England: The Missing Novel by Darlene Foster
Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Action/Adventure, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (118 pages)
Age Recommendation: 10+
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Amanda Ross is visiting England and taking in all the sights. She gets lost in the maze at Hampton Court, does some shopping at Harrods, meets the ravens in the Tower of London, explores Windsor Castle, and rides the London Eye. When she discovers a vintage book is missing from a collection, she is determined to find out who stole it. Amanda befriends a pair of tough teenagers from the streets of London, an elderly bookshop owner, and a big, friendly, clever, Maine Coon cat named Rupert. Follow Amanda through cobblestone streets, medieval castles, and underground tunnels in her quest to find the missing novel!

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

AND…

CAT
Wildcat by Cheryl Brooks
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (372 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Only One Woman Can Tame Him

When horse breeder Sara Shield encounters Jerden Morokovitz riding naked and bareback, she’s stunned by the magnificence of both man and stallion. But Sara came to Terra Minor hoping to get away from all the men.

If She Can Give Up Her Fear…

The murder of Jerden’s lover by a deranged woman has left this former star attraction of the Zetithian Palace brothel shattered in mind and body. Jerden is sure that Sara can heal his anguish—but not unless he can find the key to her heart.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

CONGRATS LADIES!!

July Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ Wicked Beat by Olivia Cunning

BEAT
Wicked Beat by Olivia Cunning
A Sinners on Tour Book
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (399 Pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Anal Play, Toys, Voyeurism
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Foxglove

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

How Far Out Are Your Fantasies? When Rebekah Blake becomes the Sinners’ new soundboard operator, she has no idea that red-hot drummer Eric Sticks is the only man who can give her everything her dirty mind desires…

Read the full review here!