Cover Art Reboot

One of the best things about being in control of your own books is that, when something clearly isn’t working, you can change it. It’s pretty clear to me at this point that the original cover of Maid for Pleasure isn’t working. It isn’t that it’s not a great cover. It’s just that it’s too similar to the cover of Maid for It, especially in thumbnail that I suspect people are confused and think it’s the same book. Take a look:

Granted, they aren’t EXACTLY the same, and when you see them side by side, the difference between them is clearer, but if you’re browsing Amazon or B&N or wherever and you see only one of the two covers, if you’ve read one, you might think it’s the one you’re looking at when it really isn’t. Since I’ve seen a steady decline in sales of Maid for It since Maid for Pleasure came out, and poor sales for Maid for Pleasure from the get-go, I think it’s safe to say these covers together are confusing and/or not enticing readers to click to read more. And I’m convinced if they clicked to read more, they would be buying. I know the problem isn’t the books themselves, although they are certainly niche books. After all, Maid for It sold well when it first came out.

So, I asked my wonderful cover designer, Robin, to “reboot” the covers for me and she came back with this stunning new design for Maid for Pleasure:

Brilliant, I think. The change in the color wash, as well as the different image (which, by the way, didn’t exist back when I had the original cover done or I would have chosen it; if you’ve read Maid for Pleasure, you know how perfect it is!), should make the two books much easier to distinguish from each other while still giving them a “series” look. I also think the red pops nicely in thumbnail:

As an added bonus, she redid the color wash on Maid for Submission as well:

I’m very excited about this new look for the series and I can’t wait to get the final files from my artist to upload them to retailers!


Summer Nights Bloghop

I’m afraid I’m a bit of an intermittent blogger (all right, a very intermittent one!) and rarely post anything here unless I’ve got news to report but…hey, this is news. I’m part of the Summer Nights Erotica Bloghop organized by the terrific Skye Warren. Over a hundred authors are getting together to celebrate the season–that hot, sweaty time of year when everyone’s running around in next to nothing and…well, things happen ;).

As it happens, my latest novella, Maid for Pleasure, is set on a tropical island where it’s pretty much summer all year round and things (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more) are always happening! Want to know more? Here you go:

Insurance actuary Libby Beckett is the epitome of a successful, independent, modern woman. With her six figure salary, she has a condo overlooking the beach, a BMW, and a closet full of fabulous shoes. So why isn’t she happy? And why do her fantasies always involve whips, bondage, and sexual slavery? Her desires are impossible to explain her buttoned-down accountant boyfriend, which is why when she stumbles across a website for a quasi-dating service for submissive women called Maid for It, she signs up. She’s quickly “matched” to Gavin Huntley, an engineer and inventor possessed of a small fortune and his own private island off the Caribbean coast. After carefully weighing the risks and rewards, as any good actuary should do, Libby breaks it off with her boyfriend and heads to Gavin’s island for what she promises herself will be two weeks to explore her darkest, dirtiest desires. When her time is up, she’ll say her safe word and, as outlined in Maid for It’s contract, Gavin will be required to release her.

But Gavin knows what Libby truly needs, and it’s not to be free. She’s made for pleasure—his pleasure—and he intends to put her to good use. Forever.

Intrigued? Post a comment below and let me know what island paradise you’d most like to be held captive on by a sexy dominant and you could win one of the following prizes:

  1. A $100 gift card to the fun online sex shop, Eden Fantasys
  2. A digital gift basket with over 40 erotica books to fill your Kindle

To visit all the authors in the Summer Blog Hop and get even more opportunities to win prizes, click here.


Maid for Pleasure Is Available Now

Outlets that receive ebooks from Smashwords like Sony, Kobo, and Apple won’t have it for a while, but you can now pick up your copy of Maid for Pleasure at the following retailers:

I’ll post links to other retailers as they become available. In the meantime, I offer this smutty little excerpt to whet your appetite:

He pushes his plate aside then eyes my still very full one. “You’ve hardly eaten anything. Don’t you like it?”

“It’s delicious.” That’s an honest answer. He’s an amazing cook, which is something I didn’t expect. But then, if you live on a tiny island with only a few hundred other people, there probably aren’t a whole lot of dining options other than cooking for yourself or going hungry. “I’m just…not that hungry.”

Also honest. My stomach—and regions south—are too tied up in knots to feel like eating.

He gives me a smile that is twenty degrees hotter than the sun in August and shakes his head. “Well, we can’t have that. You have to keep your strength up for what I have in mind for you, Liberty.” Scooting back from the table a few more inches, he pats his lap. “Come over here and bring your plate with you.”

I remember sitting in his lap last night while he fed me. Then I was too exhausted to either object or to be aroused by his touch. I can’t say the same tonight. If I sit on his lap now and feel his cock beneath my ass, his sculpted chest behind my back, I fear I might spontaneously combust.

“That’s all right. I’ll eat,” I say, forking a large bite into my mouth as proof.

His eyes narrow, and his jaw sets. “That wasn’t a request, pet.”

Oh. My heart flutters, and a fresh wave of lust washes down my belly. Sometimes, when he lets his guard down and talks to me like he has been, I forget what I’ve signed up for here.

Choking down my last mouthful, I get up from my chair, acutely conscious of the fact that I’m not wearing panties and that my pussy is wet and swollen with need. The second I sit down, Gavin will know just exactly how aroused I am. And there’s no doubt in my mind he’s going to use it against me somehow.

I drag my plate around the table as I walk to him. Knowing it’ll be easier to get through this if I don’t think about it too much, I deliberately don’t look down as I prepare to sit in his lap.

His hands are suddenly on my hips as I bend, and before I can question why, I feel it…the head of his cock against my entrance. I freeze for a second. I’ve waited so long for the moment of penetration that I almost can’t believe he means to go through with it. That he’s not teasing me yet again.


Next Up: MAID FOR SUBMISSION

The second Maids for It novella, MAID FOR PLEASURE, should be out by the end of next week. I can’t wait to get it into your hands (or your ereaders, as the case may be!).

I thought I was done with this “world,” but as I wrote a very naughty scene in MAID FOR PLEASURE, I realized I have one more “maid” in me. I’m thrilled to reveal the gorgeous cover (like all my covers by Robin at http://www.gobookcoverdesigns.com) and working cover copy for MAID FOR SUBMISSION:

Investigative journalist Ekaterina Tarasova needs to get out of Russia and fast. She finds her escape in the form of an online dating service called Maid for It. In exchange for her agreement to enter into a sexual relationship with one of the service’s clients, she can emigrate quickly and legally to the US. Desperate to put as much distance between herself and Russian authorities as possible, Katya jumps at the opportunity. After all, once she’s in the US, she can apply for political asylum.

As soon as her flight touches down in LA, however, she’s whisked to the home of her “mate”. Once she meets the handsome and compelling Lawrence O’Neill, Katya discovers she isn’t in a tearing rush to apply for asylum. After he introduces her to the pleasures of sexual submission, she’s even less inclined do so. That is, until Lawrence makes it clear he’s not the only person she’s expected to submit to. Katya knows she must leave or risk becoming nothing but a sexual plaything, but how can she now that she’s learned she’s made for submission?

I’m not making any predictions on when this novella will be ready for release, but I’m hoping by sometime in the fall, if not sooner.


Maid for Pleasure–Cover Proof

Be still my heart…


Update on My Next Project: Maid for Pleasure

So, after a few weeks of hemming and hawing and finding that I when I tried to write Damaged Goods, I was pulling my punches a bit for fear of censorship, I decided to table that book in favor of another novella set in the same “world” as Maid for It.

For those of you who are waiting for Damaged Goods and are excited about it based on the excerpt in Maid for It, trust me…it will be written. I simply think it makes more sense for me to write something shorter that I’m reasonably sure won’t cause any headaches with potential censors until this whole situation settles down and becomes clearer or new venues open up for selling my “edgier” titles. (The book I had planned to write after Damaged Goods is even more iffy from a censorship perspective.)

I don’t have cover art for the new novella yet, but I do have a draft version of the cover copy:

Maid for Pleasure

Insurance actuary Libby Beckett is the epitome of a successful, independent, modern woman. With her six figure salary, she has a condo overlooking the beach, a BMW, and a closet full of fabulous shoes. So why isn’t she happy? And why do her fantasies always involve whips, bondage, and sexual slavery? Her desires are impossible to explain her buttoned-down accountant boyfriend, which is why when she stumbles across a website for a quasi-dating service for submissive women called Maid for It, she signs up. She’s quickly “matched” to Gavin Huntley, an engineer and inventor possessed of a small fortune and his own private island off the Caribbean coast. After carefully weighing the risks and rewards, as any good actuary should do, Libby breaks it off with her boyfriend and heads to Gavin’s island for what she promises herself will be two weeks to explore her darkest, dirtiest desires. When her time is up, she’ll say her safe word and, as outlined in Maid for It’s contract, Gavin will be required to release her.

But Gavin knows what Libby truly needs, and it’s not to be free. She’s made for pleasure—his pleasure—and he intends to put her to good use. Forever.

I’ve already started writing and the words are flowing pretty easily. I hope you’re as excited about this project as I am :).


An Update on Damaged Goods and the PayPal/Smashwords Fiasco

First of all, I have to apologize to those readers who’ve told me they are waiting for this book with bated breath. It’s behind schedule. WAY behind. And it got even more behind in the past few weeks due to a health emergency in my immediate family. (Everyone is alive and relatively well, thank heavens, but it was touch and go there for a while.)

I was planning to dive diligently back into Damaged Goods now that the worst of the familial crisis is over but yesterday, as you may have heard, Smashwords sent out a notice to all erotica authors indicating that, due to PayPal’s terms of service, certain types of content will no longer be permitted in ebooks sold through Smashwords. Unfortunately, two areas that are prohibited feature in my books–dubious consent (which, to many eyes, is no different than rape) and, in Damaged Goods in particular, underage sex.

If you’ve read the blurb for Damaged Goods, then you know its heroine was sex trafficked as a child. There is no way I can tell this story without writing about her past. Her past includes child rape. I can’t just gloss that over or change that without gutting the story I want to tell.

Sex trafficking of children is a real phenomenon. It happens. More than most of us would like to imagine. As an author, I feel it’s my right and my duty to expose this dirty underworld and bring it to people’s attention. I have no intention of glorifying or excusing what happened to my heroine. But at the outset of the story, she doesn’t necessarily see herself as a victim, and a significant part of her character arc involves her coming to understand that what was done to her was wrong and deserves punishment. This undoubtedly means that some people will read the early parts of the book in her point of view as “apologistic.” That is not my intent, but it raises the specter that Smashwords will not permit me to upload and sell my book there and through the other outlets they distribute to.

And so, I have a decision to make. Is it worth my time and effort to complete a book that I might not be able to sell? This is a story I very much want to tell and one that I feel has real social relevance, but I am very concerned about running afoul of the censors.

I don’t yet know what my decision will be. Once I do, I’ll be sure to let you know.


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