Character Interview – Best Friends, Business Partners & Cyber Lords


Character Interview: Chris Camden and James Callahan, Best Friends, Business Partners and Cyber Lords

I recently caught up with Chris Camden and James Callahan, co-founders of LazerShark, the hottest gaming website in cyberspace. Their pictures have been plastered across the covers of every industry periodical in the country as two of the thirty biggest names in technology under thirty… and it doesn’t hurt that their smiles can melt the panties off any woman in their line of sight. I don’t know any female in her right mind that wouldn’t want to be sandwiched between these heartthrobs. But I digress…

Okay, back to business. I’m focused now.

Me: Guys, thanks so much for taking the time out of your crazy schedules to chat with me. Our readers are extremely anxious to find out more about the dream team that just scored one of the largest buyouts in Silicon Valley history. How does it feel?

James: Incredible, so rewarding. We’ve been working toward this goal for the past three years with the help and guidance of a great team of investors. But we still have a long way to go, and a lot more work to do.

Chris: Yeah, it feels great, kind of like driving my brand-new Bentley. <snickers> Seriously, though, this was a real partnership effort. You can only achieve this kind of success when you set common goals and work together to achieve them. Jay is the geek in this relationship and I’m the salesman. It’s a great mix of skills.

James: That’s right. We work our strengths to the fullest and compensate where each of us may be lacking.

Chris: Dude, speak for yourself. I’m not lacking in any area.

James: My bad. You’re the most modest, humble person I know.

Me: Inquiring minds want to know… now that you’ve taken over as the virtual gaming lords of the universe, what’s next on your agenda?

James: We’re starting a new project. It’s kind of early to discuss details but it’s going to be a winner.

Chris: Think revolution… light sabers, battletoads… and minions.

James: Dude, you’re giving everything away. You’re about as subtle as a hand grenade.

Chris: Oh come on, those hints were brilliant! You’ve got to give the people a little taste, Jay. Don’t be so neurotic.

James: Have we gotten to the question about how I’ve been able to avoid strangling my business partner yet?

Me: <laughs out loud> You guys are too adorable… er, um, I mean, entertaining. And you’ve also been best friends since kindergarten. How do you manage the friendship versus the business partnership?

James: It actually works well for us. We’re pretty much no holds barred. If there’s an issue, we put it out there and talk it out.

Chris: You can’t take things personally. We made a deal when we first started on this path that we’d always separate our work lives from our personal lives.

James: Yeah, I remember that deal. It was nice in theory. Too bad you couldn’t keep your—

Chris: Whoa! I’m talking about us here. Don’t go off-track.

Me: No, please go off-track…this sounds juicy.

James: Let’s just say my business partner made a pretty large error in judgment that could have cost us our future.

Chris: You’re being really dramatic, Jay. It’s all good. LazerShark was never at risk.

James: Your life sure was. Talk about wanting to strangle someone…

Me: How would you each describe one another?

James: Chris is the most loyal guy I know. He’d do anything for the people he cares about… I mean anything. I’ve never met another person so willing to put his own comfort and happiness aside for others.

Chris: I’d go to war for you, man.

James: I know you would. And I love you for it. <playfully punches Chris in the shoulder> He’s also impulsive, outspoken, cocky and can charm the skirt off any girl he meets… admittedly, a pretty impressive skill.

Chris: Aw, I’m blushing. Thanks for stroking my ego.

James: As if you needed it…

Chris: It’s only one of the things that can never be stroked too often…

Me: <fanning myself> Ahem, so Chris, any thoughts on James?

Chris: Smart. Sexy as hell. Socially inept but we’re working on that.

James: I like to think I’m making progress.

Chris: Always striving to improve. Kudos, man.

Me: Ever had your sights set on the same girl?

James: No, I prefer girls that can use more than one-syllable words in conversation. Actually, let me rephrase… I prefer girls that can actually engage in conversation. <snickers>

Chris: <rolls eyes> What can I say, Jay? Sometimes it’s better to have actions drown out the words. Talking’s overrated.

Me: Okay, so speaking of the ladies… here’s the question all the fangirls have been aching to ask two of the most eligible bachelors in the Bay area… what are your relationship statuses?

James: Um yeah, not so eligible anymore.

Chris: Reformed.

James: More like whipped.

Chris: Really? You sure you’re pointing that finger in the right direction? The first gift you ever gave Jess was the family jewels. And it’s been downhill from there. Yes Jess, anything you want Jess, sure I’ll bend over now Jess. <smirks>

James: I’ve always been a fan of monogamy, unlike this guy. His motto has always been ‘the more, the merrier’ at any one time.

Chris: Life is like tearing through a bag of Lays…can never eat just one.

James: A point you’ve proven again and again and again.

Me: But rumor has it you’re off the market…scooped up by none other than your former investment manager, Mia Bradshaw. So monogamy…?

Chris: It’s a new look for me. I’m digging it.

James: So is your fiancé.

Me: She’s a lucky lady. That news is going to be very disappointing to all your fangirls. Okay, last question. Silk or satin?

James: Either.

Chris: Neither. <smirks>


Book Blitz! Crashing The Wedding By Kristen Hope Mazzola

Title: Crashing: The Wedding (Crashing #0.5)
Author: Kristen Hope Mazzola
Release Date: Nov 2, 2015
Find on Goodreads
**This Book is a Standalone** It is a companion novella to The Crashing Series and takes place before Crashing Back Down (book 1 in the series).
Well this is freaking great…
Right when my best friend’s wedding was in full swing, the flowers were paid for, the dresses were being tailored and the bachelorette party was planned and nonrefundable, the bomb gets dropped right on my doorstep at four in the morning.
“The Wedding is OFF!” Mags yelled right as I opened the door to my apartment.
Oh hell no! We’re not canceling these plans. I will make this work. I will get her and Randy on track to walking down that freaking isle. I am getting to go on a bachelorette weekend vacation to party with my best friend! This is happening whether Mags and Randy like it or not.
That’s what a best friend is for, right?!
***18+ for sexual situations, cursing, and adult content.***
“May I have this dance?” Mitch extended his hand to me after throwing his napkin on his plate, and of course it was a twostep that came on.
I shoved out of my chair. “Why the heck not?”
The drinks had already started to go to my head as Mitch led me out onto the dance floor. The tent that had been set up in the yard was magnificent. There were twinkling lights strung up everywhere with a few chandeliers hanging about. The DJ had put beautiful lighting around the space to give it a nice purple hue.
“Try not to step on the shoes, they’re rented,” Mitch teased as he started to push me around.
I didn’t know if it was the alcohol or the wedding bliss that was swimming around, but as I looked up at Mitch as he twirled me around, I saw him in a completely different light. His dark hair, smoldering stare, chiseled jawline, beautiful tattoos, and smile that could last for days—it was all stunning to me.
Before my mind could overanalyze what my heart was doing, I was grabbing Mitch’s shirt and pulling his lips down to mine. Slowly, our lips connected. Smooth and soft at first, the sweet kiss then turned into hunger and lust. My tongue explored his mouth and his hand slid down my back to grip my ass.
Trying to catch his breath, Mitch pulled away from me. “Are you sure this is a good idea?”
Once his words registered, I took a step back. “Probably not.”
Mitch hugged me to his side. “If we are ever going to hook up, I don’t want either of us to be drunk when it happens.” He kissed my forehead and handed me off to Mags as she swished over to me. “Want a drink?” Mitch looked at both of us as we nodded.
Crashing Back Down (#1)
Mags McManus has just become a war widow in her mid-twenties. Her late husband, Randy, left for the Army right after their wedding. Instead of celebrating his homecoming and living in marital bliss with her soulmate, Mags finds herself living in constant agony. Dealing with the guilt of still living without Randy, are Randy’s best friends and parents.
Rising from the ashes of this tragedy, Mags starts to learn how to love and trust again, finally being able to find happiness. But sometimes things really are too good to be true and again Mags learns how cruel the world can be as she crashes back down.
Falling Back Together (#2)
“I don’t know if it’s fate, coincidence, or my curse, but I’m still breathing, and my breaths are for you.”
Mags McManus is far from a normal woman in her mid twenties. Being a war widow, a business professional, and a brokenhearted train wreck only skims the surface of the layers of who Margret McManus truly is. Waking up in a hospital bed, alone and confused, Mags once again has to pick up the pieces of her shattered heart. With her best friends by her side, Mags slowly starts to learn the answers she so desperately longs for. But is everything going to continue to spiral out of control? Or is there a light at the end of this dark, twisting tunnel where all the broken pieces can finally fall back together?

You want to know more about me? Well, let’s see…

I am just an average twenty-something following my dreams.  I have a full time “day job” and by night I am an author.  I guess you could say that writing is like my super power (I always wanted one of those).  I am the lover of wine, sushi, football and the ocean; that is when I am not wrapped up in the literary world.

Please feel free to contact me to chat about my writing, books you think I’d like or just to shoot the, well you know.

A portion of all my profits are donated to The Marcie Mazzola Foundation.

How to enter:
Read Crashing: The Wedding
Review it on Amazon
Fill out the form found here!
What’s up for grabs:
3 winners will win $20 Amazon gift cards!
All reviews must be posted and have their links submitted by 12/20/2015. Winners will be contacted through email and will have 24 hours to claim their prize.


Release Blitz! Mouth: A Steamy Anthology

Title: Mouth: A Steamy Anthology
Authors: Carter Ashby, Josie Bordeaux, M.C. Cerny, Christy Dilg, S.M. Donaldson, L.B. Dunbar, Roxie Elms, Mary Catherine Gebhard, Cassie Graham, Danielle Jamie, Lorraine Loveit, Kristen Hope Mazzola, Scarlett Metal, Katherine Rhodes, t. h. snyder, Kandi Steiner, Layla Stevens, Madison Street, E.A. Sutton, and Dawne Walters
Release Date: Oct 30, 2015
Find on Goodreads
20 authors bring you 20 brand new, steamy romances to help raise money for breast cancer awareness.
The Dark, Hot Night – Carter Ashby
Faking Love – Josie Bordeaux
Angel – M.C. Cerny
Vampire Escapade – Christy Dilg
Lesson for Lox – S.M. Donaldson
Paradise Tempted – L.B. Dunbar
Cherry Pop – Roxie Elms 
In Session – Mary Catherine Gebhard
The Trouble with Cowboys – Cassie Graham
Scandalous – Danielle Jamie
A Singer and a Solider – Lorraine Loveit
Rough & Tumble – Kristen Hope Mazzola
Second Chances – Scarlett Metal
Lessons – Katherine Rhodes
Lost Soul – t. h. snyder
Tag Catcher – Kandi Steiner
Tonight Only – Layla Stevens
Sea of Flames – Madison Street 
Sirens – E.A. Sutton
Commander’s Wife – Dawne Walters
Mouth Karaoke Bar and Grill was founded by Christy Dilg in 2013 in the Forbidden Series. Christy decided to have an auction event supporting breast cancer awareness and donating the funds raised to the cause after the fans expressed their interest. The Mouth Rocks for the Cause Facebook event went so well that Christy decided to continue the event every year and to add Mouth in all of her upcoming books and donate portions of her book sales to the charity in that story.  Writing has always been about making a difference to Christy and Mouth is sure to add to that.
This year Mouth Rocks for the Cause will hold its third annual Facebook auction supporting breast cancer in October. The event will last a week but Mouth will be doing other things during the month to raise for the cause such as this wonderful collection “Mouth, A steamy anthology” which will feature almost twenty amazing authors together in a box set of novellas. The proceeds will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Carter Ashby – Carter Ashby is a hardworking housewife and homeschool mother by day, and a romance reader and writer by night. She lives in rural Missouri with her husband, three children, and two dogs. Find Carter on Facebook | Goodreads
Josie Bordeaux – Josie Bordeaux is the author of the Alluring Promises series. Her romance novels revolve around friendships, sizzling attraction and steamy sex scenes. Lust, passion and love are all entwined with a lot of drama and fun-filled friendships. Josie lives in the sunshine state with her best friend (AKA – husband) and two sweet, and very creative daughters.
When she’s not driving her kids around town, she’s usually clicking her fingernails on her keyboard or down at the beach where her eyes are glued to her kindle app reading. Find Josie on Facebook | Goodreads
M.C. Cerny – M.C. Cerny first fell in love with books after experiencing her first real ugly cry reading, Where The Red Fern Grows. Her debut romantic suspense novel, Flashpoint was written in a series of post-it-note ramblings that would likely make her idol Tom Clancy blush. She is a post graduate of NYU, working fulltime, and calls rural NJ home with her menagerie of human and feline fur-babies. When M.C. is not writing, you’ll find her lurking in Starbucks, running marathons, singing Disney show tunes, and searching out the perfect shade of pink nail polish. Find M.C. on Facebook | Goodreads
Christy Dilg – Christy Dilg is a erotica romance author and also a full-time medical biller/assistant. When she’s not writing she spends her time with her husband and teenage daughter. She is also known as Radiation Girl after beating thyroid cancer and finally living life the correct way and embracing her glow. Find Christy on Facebook | Goodreads
S.M. Donaldson – S.M. Donaldson is a born and raised Southern girl. She grew up in a small rural town on Florida’s Gulf Coast, the kind of place where everyone knows your business before you do, especially when your Daddy is a cop and your Mom works for the school system. She married one of her best friends at the age of 20 and has one son. She is a proud military wife, has always had a soft spot for a good story, and is known to have a potty mouth. At the age of 31, she decided there was no time like the present to attempt her first book. Sam’s Choice was born and she hasn’t stopped since. If you are looking for a good, steamy, Southern set romance with true Southern dialect, she’s your girl. Find S.M. on Facebook | Goodreads
L.B. Dunbar – I’d love to say I’ve written for 10,000 hours, and that makes me a pro. But I can’t say that. What I can say is I had a story in my head that wouldn’t go away. I thought typing it in my computer would be the end of things, but it only led to another story and another. I love reading, so characters in my head isn’t something new. What is new is my creation of them. Hope you enjoy my favorites as much as I do. Happy reading! Find L.B. on Facebook | Goodreads
Roxie Elms – I’m a wild girl. I write about that. Sexy, steamy reads to enjoy at your leisure. I’m a world traveler from the UK and I’ve been everywhere. My mother was a Personal Assistant to a big star and it was an awesome life traveling with her. My stories will thrill, leave chills, intoxicate and bring you to pleasure.
Join me. It’s a wild world to savor. Find Roxie on Facebook | Goodreads
Mary Catherine Gebhard – Mary Catherine Gebhard bites off more than she can chew and sometimes calls herself Eva Natsumi. She’s lived in Salt Lake City, Utah her entire life, but occasionally goes on vacation from reality. Don’t worry, she sends postcards. Find Mary on Facebook | Goodreads
Cassie Graham – Cassie Graham is first and foremost, a wife and mother. She has one crazy daughter and a just as nutters husband that she loves dearly. She lives in sunny–all be it, scorching Arizona, where the summers are ridiculously hot and the winters are perfection. She’d pick winter any day. Obviously. ;)
Cassie has always loved to write and is so thankful that she’s able to do it full-time. She’s very lucky to have a husband who works his booty off working so she can live out her dream. Find Cassie on Facebook | Goodreads
Danielle Jamie – Danielle Jamie is a contemporary romance author who loves getting lost in a good book or writing a memorable love story. Her most popular works are her Bestselling Savannah Series, her heart wrenching standalone Tempt my Heart and her steamy new taboo novellas in her Stepbrother Series!
She lives in Upstate NY with her husband, two daughters and son. She loves traveling and seeing the world all the while meeting her fans along the way at Author Events. Find Danielle on Facebook | Goodreads
Lorraine Loveit – Even though Ms Loveit has a very busy life (wife, mother and secretary) she still manages to devote time to her passion for writing, and of course, reading.
Ms Loveit’s current story came to her in a dream and it just grew from there. It is an erotic relationship theme with bdsm elements. She started writing it just to “get it out of my head.” Lorraine has many more stories “in her head” just waiting for her to finish her current series. She also intends writing more short erotic stories.
She lives in the south west of Western Australia. When on holidays enjoys camping with her family and two dogs; always making sure she has plenty of reading material and, since she started writing, her laptop is the first thing packed. Find Lorraine on Facebook | Goodreads
Kristen Hope Mazzola – I am just an average twenty-something following my dreams. I have a full time “day job” and by night I am an author. I guess you could say that writing is like my super power (I always wanted one of those). I am the lover of wine, sushi, football and the ocean; that is when I am not wrapped up in the literary world.
Please feel free to contact me to chat about my writing, books you think I’d like or just to shoot the, well you know.
A portion of all my royalties are donated to The Marcie Mazzola Foundation. Find Kristen on Facebook | Goodreads
Scarlett Metal – Scarlett lives in the Midwest with her family. When she’s not busy writing steamy stories, she can be found reading, camping, or looking for an adventure. She loves Diet Coke, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and 80’s hair bands. Find Scarlett on Facebook | Goodreads
Katherine Rhodes – Author of erotica, light BDSM erotica and paranormal erotica. Expert in the profundities of bad movies and awful literature. Armed with her Bachelors of English, Literature she has set her mind to writing erotic romances which are kinky, dirty, and fun. A lackadaisical laundry goddess, Katherine resides in Philadelphia with her husband, three cats and a betta named Fishtian Grey. Find Katherine on Facebook | Goodreads
t. h. snyder – I was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania Sept 1979. For nine years I worked in the field of higher education while earning my Bachelor and Master Degrees in Management from University of Phoenix. I’m a single mother to two amazing children that are my world. I became an avid reader in spring of 2012 and since has read over 300 books. My genre of interest ranges from Romance to thrilling Paranormal.
This is more than just a hobby for me, it’s a passion to read the words of great authors and bring life to their stories with my reviews and character castings.
I started writing my first novel in June of 2013 and anxious to see where this journey takes me! Find t.h. on Facebook | Goodreads
Kandi Steiner – Kandi Steiner is a Creative Writing and Advertising/Public Relations graduate from the University of Central Florida living in Tampa with her husband. Kandi works full time as a social media specialist, but also works part time as a Zumba fitness instructor and blackjack dealer.
Kandi started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic (like most girls brought up on Disney movies).
When Kandi isn’t working or writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys beach days, movie marathons, live music, craft beer and sweet wine – not necessarily in that order. Find Kandi on Facebook | Goodreads
Layla Stevens – I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma but moved to Pensacola, Florida in 1996. I have a huge family who I shocked them when I told them I was writing my first book. I have had a love a reading since I was young. Reading has always been my escape. I can read and be a princess or a warrior. Reading for me was always something magical. And I hope to pass that on to you all.
I am blessed to be the mom of a little girl named Sage who is the light of my life. {I call her Olga, and she hates it} I did not give birth to her but I choose her. Find Layla on Facebook | Goodreads
Madison Street – Madison Street was born in New York City and was raised in the Bronx, where she resided until she was 17 years old. After 9/11, Madison joined the United States Navy to serve her country.
During the deployments, Madison constantly wrote short stories and she discovered her passion for writing. You will find Madison always on the computer, whether she’s on Facebook, designing websites, messing with Photoshop, or writing for her blog.
Besides writing, her second passion is music and dance. Even though she’s a terrible singer, she’ll still belt it out in the shower, especially if the song is her jam! She currently resides in Virginia with her husband of 8 years, 2 children, a dog, and a cat. She is so excited to start this amazing journey and is honored to be part of such a compassionate and loving community. Find Madison on Facebook | Goodreads
E.A. Sutton – Find E.A. on Facebook | Goodreads
Dawne Walters – I started writing in journals when I was seven or eight when I lived in Europe. Little short stories that were inspired by the many castles and historic places that evoke the imagination. I also kept a journal while deployed to ‘escape’. I would write short stories about military romance. So, some of those will become full length novels…some with a happy and not so happy ending! Be prepared.
I never started out to be an author. I always wanted to be a nurse practitioner. I’ll get there maybe, one day…
My hobbies are photography (yes, I have done weddings, a few CD covers, lots of family and couples sittings). My favorite band is Thirty Seconds to Mars…Give them a listen! Find Dawne on Facebook | Goodreads


The Venture Series Is On Kindle Unlimited!

Stilettos, Seduction, Steamy Shower Scenes, Startup CEOs…

Check Out The Venture Series on KINDLE UNLIMITED!




Happy Cover Reveal Day! Finding Forever By Linda Oaks

Title: Finding Forever
Author: Linda Oaks
Series: The Chasing Series
Genre: New Adult
Publisher: Blue Tulip PublishingReleasing: October 29

What if forever was never meant to be?
Kara Thorn had always been the confident one until the fateful day her heart was shattered. She lost the one person she thought would never walk away….
Devon McGraw, the man who had promised her forever.
When Kara returns to her hometown for a wedding, fate intervenes throwing her and Devon together once again. Their chemistry is stronger than ever before, but Devon is not the same guy that Kara fell in love with. The man he’d become had a past, and it was complicated.
He wanted a week, but Kara wants forever.
Will Kara forgive Devon’s past or will her own ruin any chance of her finding forever?
**Finding Forever is an Interconnected Standalone in The Chasing Series. Each book features a different couple.**
My heels clicked along the marble floor of the massive foyer as I followed the directions from the gold plated sign elegantly scripted with the names of Mulligan and Blythe. They even sounded like attorney names, I thought, smiling. I paused, standing just inside the doorway of the vast ballroom, trying to find my crew among the many people already gathered inside. It was definitely a party as the place was packed. I was so caught up in looking for them that I didn’t notice someone standing behind me until I wobbled unsteadily in my heels, taking a step back only to connect with a solid wall of muscle. As soon as those hands touched me, I knew.
“Have you already been drinking, Kara?” a voice asked.
Devon’s raspy timber assaulted my ears, sliding like smooth silk along the most intimate parts of my body. My reaction was instantaneous; a flash fire in high wind. My face flushed. My heart rate accelerated. My breaths grew shallow. He’d always had this effect on me. Trying not to let him sense how much his nearness distracted me, I stepped forward feeling the sensation of his calloused hands slide along my skin as his fingers slipped from my arms. I shivered and forced a bright smile as I bravely turned around to face him.
This was it. Game face in place.
“Not yet, Devon,” I replied, noticing the way his eyes leisurely drifted along my features. He had no business staring at me with that look in his eyes. I wasn’t his anymore. He’d thrown me away. I straightened my shoulders, standing taller as if preparing myself for battle, and noticed his smug expression. His gaze was momentarily distracted by my girls. It was good to know that he wasn’t as immune to my charms as he would have liked me to believe. “Eyes up here, buddy,” I saucily reminded him.
He didn’t even have the grace to look ashamed that he’d been caught checking me out. There was nothing shameful about Devon. Well, except for his behavior tonight and the way he filled out the gray suit that he wore. His full lips curved into a wicked grin causing the simmering warmth in my stomach to spread like molten lava throughout my entire body and sending a shock to my system. It would be so easy just to let myself get lost in those glacier blues of his, to let him cool the fire he’d started inside of me. I had to forcibly remind myself —he wasn’t mine anymore. He belonged to someone else.
Linda Oaks has always had a passion for books.  At the age of five, she was a book of the month club member.  Her love for books eventually led her to a love of writing. She resides in Eastern Kentucky with her husband, two children, three dogs and a pet rabbit named Dozer. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Wattpad and Instagram.  She can be also be reached by mail at  She loves connecting with her readers.

Why Authors Should Adopt The Mindset of An Entrepreneur

I’d recently guest posted on The Authorteers and wanted to share with you all here as well. =)

I don’t accept criticism well. Oh sure, I say I can handle less-than-stellar feedback. But then when it comes, I sit with my eyes open wide, nodding my head as the critiques pelt me like icy cold drops during a monsoon-like rainstorm, a tight smile stretching my lips so they won’t quiver… yep, I crumble like a house of sand. Worst poker player ever. You always know what I’m thinking… always.

I think this is attributable to a few different factors. First and foremost, I’m an approval seeker. I crave accolades, and positive reinforcement totally charges me. Second, I have an insane amount of passion for my endeavors, whether it be handbag design, writing, blogging, or my career in general. I work hard and when I really believe wholeheartedly in the quality of my efforts, I want them to be recognized. It’s not enough for me to be satisfied with the end result. And when people I care about are less than starry-eyed over something I’ve done, well, it’s a tough pill for me to swallow.

Such was the case this weekend. My husband and greatest supporter, read a book I’d recently finished. He is not a romance reader, but he loved my other books to the extent he could, as someone who much prefers reading Michael Creighton. I felt certain he’d love this one too and truth be told, I was excited for him to read it because I think it’s my best one yet.

But there were no kudos for this story. Instead, I got a boatload of Post-Its and an overall assessment of “it’s… okay.”

Young crying woman in depression drink drinking alcohol

Heartbreaking is the only word I can use.

So by now you’re probably wondering – why is she telling me all this?

Trust me, there is a point.

I took a chance with my manuscript. Publishing a story with a predictable plot isn’t going to send people flying to Amazon and elicit gasps as the scenes unfold on their e-readers. I chose to push the envelope and navigate outside the norm. Maybe it will be to my detriment but I wanted to give my readers something a little different. I took a risk that may turn people off or make them die-hard fans because I believe in myself and my work.

Criticism is tough to swallow but it’s not always a bad thing if it drives you harder and helps you perfect your end product. Don’t give in to self-doubt. Stay true to yourself. Embrace any feedback that will help you achieve your goals.

My advice? Think like an entrepreneur! Establishing an author platform is similar to launching a new business, so why not adopt the mentality that will help you sharpen your focus and build your brand?

Start Up Business Launch Success Office Desk Concept

Passion Is A MUST! – Trying to gain traction with any new endeavor can be extremely disheartening at times so the more you believe in your offering and your ability to sell it to the masses, the more effective your end product (and outlook) will become.

Listen To The Naysayers! – Don’t delude yourself into thinking your offering is the end-all, be-all.  You need a thick skin if you’re going to succeed as an entrepreneur. People will slam your ideas. Get used to it. Graciously accept criticism and feedback then figure out how to respond to objections. Figure out what your key differentiating points are and highlight those to everyone and anyone.

Never Be Complacent! – You’ll have to work harder than you’ve ever worked before to create momentum and then work even harder to KEEP it. I heard a really cool quote this weekend that totally applies. I was at a writing conference and a number of bestselling authors were presenting on sales strategies. They all said market yourself like you’re nobody EVEN IF you’re somebody. This applies to ALL business endeavors.

Be Restless! – Let your creativity flow! Don’t be complacent and accept the status-quo. Dig deep and figure out to disrupt. Take risks! It’s okay to incorporate new ideas into your offering. Make it as compelling as possible and if at first you don’t succeed…. well, you know the rest.

How Deviant Is Too Deviant???

I am most insightful while running. I don’t know why, but my mind goes into overdrive. I’m pounding the pavement, singing along with Metallica and BOOM! Enlightenment.

Maybe it’s because I can be alone with my thoughts. They don’t have to yell and scream to be heard because the competition is still at home, snug in their beds. Of course, said competition is usually the reason why my ideas never make it to paper. But today I refused to get sidetracked.

Do you know what it’s like, saying you want to be a romance author today? It’s kind of like saying you want to create a really awesome website, where people can connect with friends, make new ones, exchange messages, form common interest groups and share information, pictures and videos for feedback.

Um, dude, sounds great except…IT’S ALREADY BEEN DONE!!!!

You can’t approach this endeavor with the mindset that, hey, it worked for all those other big authors, why not for me? It’s a different world and if you’re not bringing something new and exciting to the table, nobody will join you for the meal.

As an author, I spend a lot of time on social media, which is how I find out about new releases. I read blurbs and I know within the first two sentences if something is going to piqué my interest. I occasionally buy a book solely because of it’s cover, but it’s rare. The last book I bought by cover alone (and LOVED) was Taint by S.L. Jennings. But it was Mike Thurston, could you blame me??

Before I was an author, I would go to Amazon and just click around until I saw something interesting. It always came down to the blurb. If it grabbed me, I one-clicked. Period. As an aside, somehow I’d always finish a book while running on the treadmill so my goal was always to find something good quickly so I could keep reading. Running at 7 miles an hour and clicking around a Kindle isn’t ideal, just saying. I didn’t care about price, I wanted to be entertained with anything that would keep me focused on something other than the running. Brand-loyalty had no impact for my buying preferences.

Woman doing make-up, beautiful young woman doing make-up and smiling while looking at the mirrorNow, on the other hand, I’m a total lipstick whore. It’s my very favorite makeup item and I sample pretty much every type of product – matte, sheer, lip stain, gloss, lacquer. Two things matter – how the color looks and how long it will last. I buy it all, with no regard for price. I don’t necessarily have brand-loyalty in this case either since my preferred brands can’t always help me accomplish my goal. It’s all about how the product makes me feel. If there is a chance it will take me look like a million bucks, I’ll give it a shot. What do I have to lose? I can always return it if it doesn’t have the desired effect.

I’ve spent way more on products that I’ve used once and stuck in a drawer, but that doesn’t require hours of my time. I can try it and if I love it, great. It lands in my makeup bag. If not, it goes back to the store. But books? They can be free and I’ll still hedge, because they require a greater time commitment. I rarely read beyond the treadmill because I don’t frequently find books that hook me. If I’m going to one-click, it had better be something special.

Murderous woman with very scary eyes licking the blood of her knifeSome authors have embraced the concept of innovation in their writing because they know being different,
gritty and edgy is a good way to set their names apart in the market. Menage and BDSM were all the rage not so long ago but now those books get lost in the shuffle of deviant sex tales. Fifty Shades opened up a whole new genre for readers but now there’s a glut and one has to wonder, what’s next? Let’s venture into the land of sex with prehistoric creatures and toasters and you’ve got a brand-new taboo subgenere for readers to sink their teeth into. Teeth…oh jeez, is cannibalism next??? Hot sex followed by dinner a la Hannibal Lecter, coupled with a nice Chanti and some fava beans? That would give a whole new meaning to characters tasting one another…wink, wink.


So what does all this mean if you’re an author trying to hit it big with your books, the ones you’ve poured your heart and soul into for months and months? What if you aren’t passionate about writing appliance erotica??? Are you destined for failure?

Here’s the truth. I don’t know. There are marketing tactics that have worked wonders for my sales and there are ones that have completely tanked. Unfortunately, no one tactic will launch a new author to NYT bestseller status unless you’re a Kardashian. There IS a magic formula but nobody knows exactly what elements are included and what worked even a year ago probably won’t have the same impact now because of the thousands of competing books published every week. So it’s mainly trial and error, and you have to be okay with that.

If you really are passionate about your writing, keep it up. You have to be able to look back and say, “I did it for me.” You may never win an award or hit a bestseller list but that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. When you give up on something you love because you’re frustrated with the outcome… that’s when you’ve failed.

So just keep calm and write. =)

Romance Spotlight – Chasing Rainbows By Linda Oaks

I can’t get my arms around the fact that this is a DEBUT. Seriously, it is that well-written and heartfelt. It’s a young adult, which you know is not my go-to genre, but the characters were so well-developed, mature and multi-dimensional, it didn’t feel like a young adult story. It was such an emotional read. I experienced the angst and anguish of Addie – the horrors of her past haunt her throughout the story and I felt her emotional struggle with the flip of each page. And Jake…talk about a swoon-worthy hero. His past experiences give him strength to follow his heart and pursue the girl who’s captured his heart. You can’t help but fall in love with him and everything he has to offer Addie’s wounded soul.



Chasing Rainbows, A Young Adult Romance


Linda Oaks


At the start of her freshman year, Addison Hayes’s world is tragically turned upside down and she finds herself spiraling into the darkness of destructive habits. Now three years later, she’s still battling the ghosts of her past.

With the start of her senior year, Addie finds herself entangled in a twisted game between twin brothers, Chase and Chance Logan. Their path of destruction leaves an already tormented girl feeling even more lost and confused. But sometimes out of complete chaos can arise a blindingly blessed insight whose name is Jake Riley.

Jake is like no other guy that Addie has ever met before. He doesn’t scare easily. Unfortunately for Addie, Jake wants her; darkness and all.

Will Addie lose herself in the darkness or will she be brave enough to finally set herself free?


***Buy Chasing Rainbows***

Amazon Barnes & Noble  iBooks Kobo  Smashwords

***About The Author***

Linda Oaks has always had a passion for books. At the age of five, she was a book of the month club member. Her love for books eventually led her to a love of writing. She resides in Eastern Kentucky with her husband, two children, three dogs and a pet rabbit named Dozer. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. She can also be reached by email at She loves connecting with her readers.

***Connect With Linda***

Goodreads   Facebook

***View The Trailer***

Chasing Rainbows on YouTube 



Hot Cars, Panty-Dropping Grins & A Giveaway

The trailer for “Nothing Ventured” is LIVE!!! Just so you all know, Liam Hemsworth has jumped straight to the top of my list. Prepare to swoon, ladies! And gentlemen, there’s a bit of eye candy for you as well… =)

ENJOY! I know I have…

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway to help me share the news about Nothing Ventured!

Sexy Stilettos, Steamy Shower Scenes & Silicon Valley…For FREE!

***Unlikely Venture By Kristen Luciani***

Read It For ***FREE*** Until 9/27!!!

Here’s the thing about keeping secrets…

After devastating news threatens her livelihood, Jessica Latham swears off men…until she meets Silicon Valley rising star, James Callahan. But when a vindictive frenemy exposes Jessica’s scandalous secret, James is forced to choose – his company’s future or his heart?

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ iBooks ~ Smashwords



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