Monday, July 28, 2014

Michal's Window De-Sexed and on sale for 99c #romance

Are there set standards for sensuality and heat levels in romance novels?

I don't think so. What's too hot for some may be bland as butter for others. Case in point: My first novel, Michal's Window has been called porn by reviewers. [Check out the ONE-star reviews on Amazon], whereas my latest novel, Whole Latte Love wasn't "Hot" enough for an old cougar.

Michal's Window does not name body parts or depict the sex act, whereas Whole Latte Love definitely shows more than it tells. So, what's going on here? Audience.

Michal is a character from the Bible, the first wife of King David. While they most certainly had sex during Biblical times, and King David was a very sensual man with his many wives and adulterous affair with Bathsheba, readers of Michal's Window do not expect the characters to have sex. Instead, sex has to be implied.

So, given the reader feedback, I went through Michal's Window and removed any words that could cause consternation: "impaled", "arousal", "torrid", "tented bulge", and any scenes implying masturbation or oral sex. I paged through almost 500 pages and could not find any really graphic scenes. The closest one took place after Michal rolled herself naked into a rug and had herself delivered to David's room. He decides to give it to her real good. I simply deleted two paragraphs and implied that he gave it to her good. The de-sexed version has been uploaded to Amazon, where the complaints were. However, the original is available everywhere else [Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple, etc.]

Meanwhile, Whole Latte Love is billed as a New Adult romance. It is full of sexual tension from page one. But there is a story there too, and Dylan and Carina are not acting like rabbits, but more like cat and mouse. They get close, then further, then closer, and are a real tease for the reader.

The cover is playful. Nothing too erotic, and most readers enjoy the game playing and teasing interplay between the two.

What would happen if a Michal's Window reader accidentally picked up Whole Latte Love? Or my latest, Played by Love?

Perhaps my writing is getting hotter and hotter. Because seriously, I'm not affected by any of the scenes I either read or write. My latest novella, Playing the Rookie, has 3-1/2 sex scenes, 2 make out scenes, 1 self-pleasure scene (almost), bungee jumping, a BFF and a b*tchy ex-fiancee, all packed in 20,000 words. [This novella won't be released until later this year. Sorry to make you wait!]

Anywho... Michal's Window is now on sale at Amazon for 99c. Only Amazon has the de-sexed version. Ebook at:  Amazon US INDIA UK DE FR ES IT Japan Canada Brazil Mexico Australia

The original is also on sale for 99c from Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and other online retailers. Pick yourself a copy today and see what all the hoo-ha is about. And if you want something sexier, I have plenty of heat for you in my other books.

#CharacterInterview INCANTATION PARADOX by Annamaria Bazzi #magic #fantasy

Hello Readers! Today I'm interviewing Dolores Reynard from Annamaria Bazzi's newest book, Incantation Paradox. It seems that after an accident, middle-aged Dolores wakes up and finds herself in a strange bedroom--not just that, her body is now that of a teenager (Mona), and everyone at the house believes she IS Mona. Imagine this happening to you! Well, I got a chance to ask Dolores how she coped with this strange phenomenon.

What were your first thoughts when you realized you couldn't get back to your family?
Dolores – I really thought I’d go out of my mind, but I realized early on I needed to be very careful because my life was in danger. If I wanted to get back to my daughters I had to be cunning.

Did you enjoy being in Mona's young body or were you too worried about not being recognized by your own family?
Dolores – Who would be crazy enough not to enjoy the look and feel of a young body! Even in my worry, trying to figure out how to get back to my daughters, the elasticity of Mona’s body was quite pleasant. But they were thoughts and feelings kept in the background because my first priority was to discover how such a thing could ever happen. In books anything is possible, but in real life…

When did you get suspicious of Eric?
Dolores – This is a hard question due to Mona’s feelings always coming to the surface, fogging my thinking. Even though she had problems with the scoundrel, her puppy love feelings would drown me at times. Eric was tricky and I never really trusted him, but when he started to babble nonsense, my suspicions surfaced.

Did you wish you could expose him?
I did wish to expose him, but when Jason stepped in everything changed.

When you started falling in love with Jason, did you wish you could stay in your new life/body and never see Ethan again?
Never seeing Ethan again always sounded good after he slapped me with divorce papers. Although I didn’t want to leave Jason, I still wanted to go home to my girls. Besides, the young body felt great, but, in Mona’s body I looked like Jason’s daughter and that would have been awkward. No matter what my feelings were for him, I still wanted to go home.

Obviously you're a good mother and wanted to go back for Ella and Chloe. If and when you were to see them again, what would you say to them now that you've spent time as a teenager again?
It’s not so much what I’d say, but how I would deal with them and their problems. The living example is always worth so much more than words. When teens act out it’s because they are asserting who they are as individuals in a world they are still trying to comprehend. In the past, there have been times when I’ve overlooked this fact, forgetting their inexperience and in many cases their innocence.

Thanks, Dolores, for dropping by. I'm sure there's a happy ending to your story, but I don't want to give it away. The journey, of course, is worth the telling. I'm sure you agree.

Book Description:

Magic is an illusion. It doesn’t really exist. Or does it?

A horrible car accident destroys Dolores Reynard’s life. But instead of waking up in a hospital bed, she awakens in a teenager’s body. Soon, she discovers she is at the heart of the murderous mystery surrounding the death of Mona, the young girl whose body she occupies. Caught between an evil greater than she ever imagined and a wizard who heals her tattered heart, she is forced to play a dangerous game of intrigue in the hopes of finding a way to return to her previous life.

Will magic be her ally, or will it lead to her demise once and for all.

Incantation Paradox is available from:

Although born in the United States, Annamaria Bazzi spent a great deal of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, in a town called Sciacca. Italian was the language spoken at home. Therefore, she had no problems when she found herself growing up in a strange country. Upon returning to the states, she promised herself she would speak without an accent. She attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computers with a minor in Spanish.
Annamaria spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years, she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates a good part of her day writing.
You can visit Annamaria at:
Check in on Kendíka’s facebook page

Two digital copies of Incantation Paradox is up for grabs! Be sure to enter and find out what happens to Dolores and all the strange things she encounters.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

#RomanceInAMonth #AuthorInterview Chantel Rhondeau on Happy Endings #romance #writing

Chantel Rhondeau is a romance/romantic suspense author who joined my inaugural Romance In A Month class. She completed her first draft within a month of writing and is busy revising and editing. Here's a sneak peak of her story, Happy Endings.

Happy Endings (McCallister's Paradise - 1)
Coming Early 2015
Contemporary Romance

Handsome, wealthy Quinn McCallister is the most eligible bachelor on McCallister’s Paradise. Making his family's island resort a success is all that matters to this workaholic. Everything changes when he meets the beautiful new massage therapist...

Larissa Benner may have survived cancer, but its aftermath left plenty of problems besides the ever-looming fear of relapse. Her family nearly went bankrupt paying for her previous treatment. She desperately needs the full-time therapist position on the island and the benefits that come with it. The last thing she wants is problems with her boss, or a complicated office romance.

It’s hard for her to resist Quinn’s charms—or his passionate side. However, Quinn is married to his job. The choice between love and work is tough for him to juggle and has Larissa scared. If the cancer recurs, would he leave her to face it alone?

Chantel's here to tell us about her new book and also her experiences in the #RomanceInAMonth class.

Tell us about your writing. What types of stories do you like to write? 
I have mostly written romantic suspense, but after taking this class, I’m really enjoying contemporary romance without the mystery line!

What stimulates you to write? How do you motivate yourself on days you don’t feel like writing? 
It’s tough. Having deadlines is the most effective way to get me to write. That’s what I liked about the class. I basically had a deadline every day so that I could tell everyone what I did.

Before Romance in a Month, how involved were you with other authors? How long did it take you to write a first draft? 
I have some friends I talk to regularly, but nothing like this. First drafts were taking me from 3-5 months. My fastest before this was 2 months.

What made you sign up for Romance in a Month? What did you learn and enjoy the most about the class? 
Well, I signed up because Rachelle is the bomb! LOL I learned a lot about archetypes and tropes and I most enjoyed interacting with all the other writers throughout the class.

Tell us about the story you wrote for the class. Was it something you would never have written without the class? What about the class made your story different from how you would usually write? 
I had planned on something like Happy Endings for a while, but I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen. I knew the setting and that my heroine was a massage therapist. Through the class, I learned a lot more about the McCallister family and was able to streamline the story and keep on target. I have been nervous about writing contemporary romance, sure it would end up being boring, but I’m really pleased with Happy Endings. I think it is a great novel.

What do you do differently now that you’ve written a story with the class? What was something you liked most about the class? 
The daily questions were a big help to me, getting my brain thinking outside the box about things I might not normally know about my characters. In a few cases, this lead to new scenes I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I think in-depth interviewing of your characters is a great idea. You don’t have to write about everything you find out, but it is good information to know so that if you ever get stuck, you have some material to work with.

Do you think it is possible to continue writing a romance in a month consistently now that you have taken the class? 
It gives me great confidence knowing this is possible. One of the reasons I’m not releasing Happy Endings until early next year isn’t because it’s not ready (I could release it anytime), but because it is a series and I want to have the next two books written and released at the same time. I’m also writing a book for another series that is due in October and so I have a lot to get done!

Fortunately, I know it is possible now. Happy writing, everyone! I’m excited to participate in the next class!

Chantel, thanks for the kind words and for doing this interview. I've read Happy Endings and it is a great story and makes me want to meet more of the McCallister family.

I hope we’ll meet many more classmates for the next #RomanceInAMonth class.

From Sept 1 to Oct 15, 2014, we're opening up the Romance In A Month group. There is no cost for the class. If you're interested in writing along with a group of friendly, fun, and slightly crazy romance authors, please contact me (Rachelle) at my Facebook page

The Romance In A Month textbook is available now on Amazon. It contains all of the lessons and slides [in bullet form], as well as resources for brainstorming, and a reading list. I hope you'll join us and share our adventure in writing a Romance In a Month [and every month after that].

Watch my blog for more author interviews and exciting news from the RomanceInAMonth authors or RIAMers - because writing romances are addictive.

If you're interested in joining us for the September-October class, please contact me at my Facebook page

Friday, July 25, 2014

Summer Sales Slump or #KindleUnlimited? A New Publishing Strategy #selfpublishing

It's Summer!

On July 18, Amazon unleashed KindleUnlimited, a brand new service for readers. For $9.99 a month, readers can borrow and read as many ebooks as they want, provided they are IN the Kindle Unlimited program.

Unfortunately, books can only be in the Kindle Unlimited program if they are also in KDP Select, which means they cannot be published anywhere else. On July 18th, my books were not in KDP Select and I saw an immediate drop in sales. My best selling book, Chance for Love: Boxed Set of Dangerous Romance went from selling 20-30 copies a day at 99c to single digits.

Darn! There went my steady sales going on four months straight. Incidentally, I have a blog tour going for Whole Latte Love and have had ZERO sales since July 18th. Before that, I was selling 1-3 a day, not big, but not bad either for a new book. My books were not exclusive to Amazon and I was unable to take advantage of all the readers on their 30-day free trial of Kindle Unlimited.

I immediately set about finding a Kindle Unlimited strategy that would work for me. My backlist is spread out on Amazon, Barnes & Nobo, Kobo, Apple, Smashwords, Scribd, Oyster, and other places. There was no way I could yank all those titles [ten in all] from the other platforms and leave my readers hanging.

So, I released two new books into Kindle Unlimited and pulled a naughty erotica title I had under a pseudonym onto KU on July 21. The results showed an immediate sales jump and borrows started trickling in. Of course, it's too soon to tell, and I complicated matters with a 99c promo of a non Select title, Knowing Vera, which has been pretty disappointing (sold 21 on July 22 while promoted by a big name promo site). I'll post the results next week, but either the book sucks, it's the summer slump, or Kindle Unlimited has sucked all the oxygen or book buying attention away from non Kindle Unlimited books.

So, if you're interested, here are my Kindle Unlimited Titles. Yes, I'm outing myself on the erotica title, but since my sales have dried up on my non Kindle Unlimited books, every little bit helps.

Played by Love (New Adult Romance) by Rachelle Ayala
Romance In A Month: Guide to Writing a Romance in 30 days by Rachelle Ayala
Under the Maestro's Hand (Erotica) by Lady Amati

Can I survive on sales of three books out of eleven? I don't know, but I'll be writing more novellas and shorter works more frequently and putting out these shorter works on Kindle Unlimited. My full-length books will continue to be placed at all vendors because I don't want to leave my readers high and dry, but for now, that's my Kindle Unlimited Strategy.

What's yours? Has Kindle Unlimited affected your sales? Or is this just the regular summer sales slump? [Update: I posted a thread to Kindleboards to see if other authors will share their results and what they're going to do about it. Read it here:,190607.0.html ]

If you're a reader, how does Kindle Unlimited compare to Scribd and Oyster? Are you more likely to read shorter novellas and serials on Kindle Unlimited as opposed to buying?

#NewRelease LOST AVALON by K. S. Thomas #newadult #romance


A New Contemporary Romance by K.S. Thomas

Fame, fortune and a future paved with rock and roll gold. Blaise Nolan has it all. With his brooding good looks, haunting voice and troubled lyrics of a soul gone lost, it's no wonder Finding Nolan has been climbing the music charts with back to back hits. Only Blaise didn't wind up brooding, haunted and lost by accident...

Avalon Jennison has been the girl next door since she was five. The best friend since she was eight. The band manager since she was sixteen and the keeper of his secrets always. Ava's been there every step of the way, helping him live his dreams and keeping his nightmares at bay. But the years of putting Blaise's needs above her own are about to be over.

However, Blaise has one secret even Ava doesn't know..and it could be the thing that breaks her heart completely, or finally puts it back together.


Note from Rachelle: I'm currently reading Lost Avalon and I'm telling you, it's really good. There's so much angst and drama, and I'm really pulling for Blaise and Ava to get their act together.



Royce and I just stood there staring at the closed door. Then we heard the water go on in the shower and realized she wasn’t coming back out anytime soon. “What are you going to do when you’re sober?” Royce was looking way too satisfied with himself. 
 “What do you mean?” 
 “I mean, what are you going to do when there’s no more reason to play pretend? Are you hoping she just gets so used to acting like your girlfriend that she’ll forget that she’s not?” 
 He wasn’t blocking the f*cking door anymore, so I was free to make my exit. Which I did. 
 “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” 
 “Sure you don’t.” Royce was following me out of the room and back into the kitchen. 
 “Look. I don’t expect you to understand my relationship with Ava.” 
 Royce shrugged. “What’s to understand? You’re in love with her.” 
 “This is what I’m talking about. Why do people always assume that when a guy and a girl are close friends, it means that one of them has to be in love with the other?” 
 Royce went to get the cup of coffee he had abandoned before shit got heated. “I don’t assume that.” He took a sip, made a face and stuck the coffee in the microwave. “I would have no problem believing that the two of you were best friends who had a completely platonic relationship…if I didn’t know for a fact that it was complete and utter bullshit.” His coffee was done and he took another drink, this time with better results. “If it makes you feel any better, she’s clearly in love with you, too. Although, unlike you, I don’t think she’s aware of it.” Then he took his cup and left to go out onto the terrace. 
 Unlike me? Where was he coming up with this…this ridiculous…truth. It was true. I was in love with Ava. And she felt the same way about me. Thing Royce in all his smugness had failed to see was that I’d made damn sure she stayed unaware of it.

Be sure to add it to your list on Goodreads and to get the behind the scenes pics be sure to check it out on Pinterest too!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

How Many Writers Are Writing a Romance In A Month #writing #romance

Do you wish you knew ...

How to crack the code of a modern, contemporary single plotline romance?

How successful authors write consistently and put out high quality work at regular intervals?

How a supportive group of writers can motivate each other to write faster and better?

How to keep your motivation going, book after book, and publish on a regular basis?

That's exactly what a group of romance writers set out to do this past spring. From May 15 to June 15, about twenty writers joined Rachelle Ayala's Romance In A Month Facebook group and started writing. [we actually have 40 people in the group].

We committed to writing on a daily basis and cheering each other on. Unlike other writing groups, we had ZERO focus on word count. Instead, our group went for storytelling as the main activity.

Each author had their own thread where they would post their story updates. This kept everyone motivated to write an update and comment on each others' stories.

I'm happy to say that this daily interaction resulted in eight authors crossing the finish line with first drafts written in a month or a little more. The sense of accomplishment was wondrous and many felt they could not have finished if not for the camaraderie and friendship of their fellow authors.

The authors finishing are: Ey Wade, Rachelle Ayala, K.S. Thomas, Lyssa Layne, Chantel Rhondeau, Michele Shriver, P.C. Zick, and Toshia Slade.

So... we decided to do it again! From Sept 1 to Oct 15, 2014, we're opening up the Romance In A Month group. There is no cost for the class. If you're interested in writing along with a group of friendly, fun, and slightly crazy romance authors, please contact me (Rachelle) at my Facebook page

The Romance In A Month textbook is also available now on Amazon. It contains all of the lessons and slides [in bullet form], as well as resources for brainstorming and a reading list. So, hope you'll join us and share our adventure in writing a Romance In a Month [and every month after that].

Hope you'll join us!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

#NewRelease PLAYED BY LOVE - when soccer and cosplay meet #comiccon #romance

The World Cup is over, but Comic-Con is coming up!!! If you've ever wondered what happens when a soccer goalie meets a cosplay girl, check out Jaden Sloup and Ella Kennedy in Rachelle Ayala's newest book, Played by Love.

Soccer goalkeeper, Jaden Sloup, has his eye on Ella Kennedy, a woman who won’t date jocks or frat boys. He dons a pair of nerd glasses and hugs a laptop to convince her he’s a techno geek, and she agrees to go to Las Vegas with him for a cosplay convention where his team’s playoff game happens to be.

Jaden must juggle sizzling in the sheets with Ella against a soccer match and hanging with his frat brother teammates. When a bully harasses Ella and challenges Jaden to a fight, he proves that even a goalie can score.

From the Author:
Played by Love is the first in a series of exciting sports novellas in my new #Played Series. They are fast, flirty, and sexy, a quick read at the beach or poolside, or in between running errands. I hope you enjoy Jaden and Ella's story because there's more to come. Look for Playing the Rookie heating up Spring Training in Arizona, and more.

WARNING: must be over 18 to read, so fasten your seatbelts, because sporty men and enthusiastic women make the very best lovers.

Played by Love is available from Amazon only and available through Amazon's #KindleUnlimited plan! Pick up your copy before Comic-con and see what fabulous costumes Ella comes up with.