Contract Sealed Week 4

Here it is week four of the second month and only yesterday did I get back to other work.

Editing Seed.

I also did a rough draft for my plans in 2018 for publishing. It’s a lot to do but my cats believe in me.

No, they don’t, actually. They don’t even believe I can keep the apartment warm.

Here I am at a bus stop in -26 looking like a crazy person, typing on my phone with bare hands. I’m in a sheltered area though so only my feet and legs are cold.

Okay, I have to stop filling an update with random stuff and get back to writing Crop because that’s all I can think about suddenly.

On Paying Attention

When you publish through KDP, your books default in the list to the most recently changed at the top. You can change that, but I don’t know if it sticks between visits. I’ve never played with that, as the most recently modified is usually what I’m looking for.

Two days ago, Contract Broken appeared at the top of the list. I foolishly thought it was in preparation for it being removed from KDP Select, but no. 

That was it being removed from KDP Select.


Me doing arts and crafts, and Contract Broken could have been through the Smashword’s vetting process by now. I’ve now got that on my list of things to do at work today (on my breaks) so there goes my fifteen minutes of wandering the Internet and just taking a freaking break from all the things.

If I had been paying attention, like I should have been doing, I would have actually investigated the change instead of making an assumption. Know what I’m constantly trying to get people at work to do? That. Exactly what I didn’t do for my own book.

I feel like a bloody moron!


Last night as I was trying to fall asleep, the next chapter for Death Mask started playing through my head. That’s great news, fantastic news.

How does chapter ten end, exactly, brain? You know, the one we’re currently writing?

Still haven’t heard from the betas. Super uncomfortable about that. I’ll just be curled in the corner, rocking back and forth and muttering to myself about how it’s not a completely terrible book, someone will like it.

Just Keep Writing 

Three weeks, I could not work. Which is now totalling about six weeks out of work. Driving me crazy, is what it is. 

Masked Intentions goes live in nine days and I don’t have the final draft up. Not because I have been lazy or because it needs more work, but because I haven’t been capable of work for six weeks. 

I think I had two days around Christmas before everything went to hell.

I haven’t been on social media or marketing or anything. My sales reflect that. And I can maintain that…

If I can work. 

So now I have to make that all a habit again. Get back to working on all the things.

The moment everything was fixed, I went back to writing. But I’m now six weeks behind on my plan. That really messes with everything. 

I couldn’t even write on my phone, so Death Mask isn’t written yet, it’s in a perpetual state of half-done chapter one. So I’m skipping ahead to chapter two and will return to chapter one later on. 

On the computer, I’m writing the Signed trilogy, which resides in the Contracted world. This is Nate’s story, so m/m and bdsm, and all that explosion of crazy. I completely blame Nate and his Master. They kept messing with me so I figured I’d start the world up again to torment them and it all just came spilling out. 

At Death’s Door will probably have to wait until March for release, so that I can do all the fixes that I was supposed to do over the last six weeks. It’s going to take longer because I can no longer remember what the fixes are. So now I need to read the entire thing before I can start edits so that I can get the bigger picture again and catch all the problems.

So annoying.

Because all I want to do is write. 

Sure, I could ship this work out to someone else, but that costs money I don’t have, and I’m not earning from the books themselves. In the last month I’ve only sold one book.

Probably because I couldn’t do anything or access anything or get my head to work. 

I’m on kdp select, and discovered that Contract Taken was up for free days. I’ve grabbed three and have moved a few free copies with the help of marketing and some from social media.

This morning the book was sitting at #9 on Amazon’s free-romance section. Suppose that’s good, but we’ll have to see how that goes.

A review blog somehow picked up my book and listed it. It’s weird because I don’t recall applying to them or anything of that sort. I’m not certain how I landed on that page, basically. They also made a “review” on Goodreads that was just the description.

I have no idea what their plan is, but I’m afraid to ask.

When everything was in the middle of breaking, Dorian did something stupid. He booked a trip to Cuba for the two of us at at five star resort.

I’ve never been to Cuba, and we all know I’m not comfortable being gifted expensive things. Hence why he’s stupid. 

I appreciate it, I will try my darndest to enjoy the trip, but accepting such a gift makes me uncomfortable. Even if I had purchased the ticket myself, I’d probably be uncomfortable. That’s money I could put into covers or marketing.

I’m starting to sound like Beth. While I’m not certain that’s a bad thing, it does sound a little crazy. If I had the money to go to Cuba, I should go to Cuba. Experience for an author is absolutely necessary.

Who knows, it could spawn a story. I could end up writing a best selling novel because I want to Cuba.

Oh, but think of the promotions I could have bought with that money… Bookbub and ENT and all the things. Such shiny things.

Suppose a beach and all inclusive resort stay will have to do. 

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered

Okay. Now I’m really frustrated. 

Nathaniel’s story has changed, which is fine. That’s why I don’t start writing right away. 

The frustrating part is Angel is now put off and I’ve got another book to write before Morgan’s Story. There are not enough hours in my day around the day job for all the things I want to do.

The plus side of that is that I have several books sort of ready to go. I’m going to take the next couple of days or so and plot it all out in my writing app, which creates text based documents for me to transfer if necessary and very easily edit on any computer.


Nathaniel’s trilogy would be Contracted books 4-6. I swear that’s the end of the world there. Honestly. You can totally trust me when I say I won’t write another book for a world. I’ve never said that and added sixteen more stories, honestly.

Need a sarcasm font…

Contracted 4-6 would be my first published m/m and is very much M/s with BDSM. Anyone who has read Izzy’s Story would probably know that. This series covers Nathaniel and his Master. 

So it’d go:

Signed : Nathaniel and his Master. Not how they met. This begins at the portion where their M/s relationship begins and goes over how in the hell that went. If they could kindly stop throwing sex scenes at me without context, that’d be fabulous.

Sealed : how the community was set up and an introduction to the Sadists. Nathaniel played at being Sadist while still serving his Master. This could also involve the threesome that Nathaniel mentions in Contract Taken as the time line is about right.

Delivered : This may be a two parter (in one book) with the first half dealing with Nathaniel’s time during Contract Broken, including his lessons in there for someone, and the second part would either cover Contract Renewed or would come directly after it and explain a bit about Mr. Wrightworth. The man is never really mentioned “in the future” and it’s creeping me out. 

Since exploring this new trilogy, I’ve been assured that he’s alive and well, but what happens to him keeps changing. I swear my characters are fucking with me. 

One explanation was he landed in jail, another that he didn’t land in jail, he landed in jail bait (yes, that’s the way it was put to me) another that he retired to an island and yet another that he stepped down from the Program and started work as a Contractee representative, living mainly off investments but under a new name.

Make up your mind, you guys. 

He can’t be all of those things.

I think.

Book One Launch

I will not look at reviews, I will not look at reviews.

Not because I don’t appreciate them, but because there’s a massive fear of failure and at some point, some place, people are going to have bad things to say about erotica and romance, there are always negative reviews.

Which readers are entitled to make. And other readers are entitled to read and make a purchasing decision on.

Reviews are not for authors, therefore I will try not to read the reviews and try not to get wrapped up in them or take them personally.

I have Contract Taken in hard copy sitting on my desk. Beth warned me, so I had actually lightened the cover front and it still came out mauled by the printer. There’s a second copy coming, but given the number of hard copies I’ll probably sell, I’d be okay with the cover as is.

However, I opened it up and spotted straight quotes almost immediately. To which I was going to shake my laptop, but it’s now in storage so I couldn’t reach it. The whole point of doing the entire story on the laptop was that it only had smart quotes.

You may be wondering what in the hell I’m talking about. I’m talking about quotation marks from dialogue and apostrophes from contractions. Some where curly (smart quotes) and some were straight quotes. Jumbled all together. Most readers probably wouldn’t even notice. It took seeing it in a hard copy form, professionally printed for me to spot them.

It is a matter of pride, however.

So I blew the cover into the brightness once more, in one more attempt to perfect it to show off the awesome cover, and reformatted the entire inside. Which meant that I had to go back through and redo chapter titles and the full lines of italics, which my word processor during reformatting decided were wrong, more wrong than the freaking spaces after the freaking paragraphs that it keeps insisting I need.

I am slightly computer savvy, but have yet to be able to find how to change this option and the one that keeps insisting that I need to write in 12pt fonts. Who writes in 12pt fonts besides high schoolers who think they’re getting out scott free on a five page essay?

While I’ve been talking to Beth and she’s been encouraging about what’s going on, I have no idea if the launch was great or not. No one’s screaming for my blood and my rank didn’t immediately tank. I suppose in the indie publishing world, that means things went well.

I think.

When I first placed Contract Taken up for pre-order I was told that I should just publish immediately, but I did not. I didn’t get to build a lot right before the launch either, due to illness. I spent my days sleeping and getting better instead.

If you are a new author, I do agree with everyone else, publish right away and start that ball rolling. But I had a small base to start from my free works. The point of the pre-order wasn’t actually to draw in more readers and get a good first boost, but to give my long time readers a chance to get the book on discount.

Without that base, I think I would have had two pre-orders in total. Which would have been a waste of the pre-order, two orders don’t give you a boost, which is the whole point of the pre-order… for most authors.

Beth has been muttering about genre differences. She didn’t have that initial base, however. Family and friends mainly, was her base. Which is great, they can be very supportive. However, she didn’t exactly tell them all at once or shout it from the rooftops. She kind of mumbled it under her breath and ran away.

That’s kind of what Beth used to do.

I, on the other hand, am now giving away two hard copies to bribe co-workers. The one person knew for a couple of months. The other one, I jokingly threatened to quit on because I was going to make it big on my BDSM erotica of course. Except I did it while the first person was there. So when they asked me if I was being serious about having written erotica, the other person responded in the affirmative.

I have done that several times and each time denied because no one knows. … Thanks, lady.

“Why wouldn’t you want people to know?”

“Look around you… now think erotica.”

“… Oh, oh.

“Yeah, I still have bills to pay.”

Holding the broken hard copy in my hands was the most delightful part of my week. I cannot wait for the second proof to come in, sometime today or tomorrow.


What have I been up to?

Well, Prototype in a month was a bust. I seem to be missing something to tell the story, even though I know how it all ends. That kind of sucks, but I’ll keep working on it and maybe do a re-write. That seems to work well for me recently.

I’ve almost written another book, At Death’s Door is part of a trilogy called Wraith’s Rebellion. All the writing is done on my phone. Isn’t that a nifty thing? More like crazy as could be, but I have long commutes and haven’t wanted to read anything. It doesn’t even feel like work because it’s doing a great job at distracting me from hours on a bus.

The Contracted trilogy is up for pre-order on Amazon, and I’ve reached out to the cover artist to do the wraps she had promised. Coming up with other options well, I know she’s very busy and might not have the time to put them together.

I’m considering getting Indesign as I’ve heard you can do the ebook formatting on there and have Amazon accept the fonts. I’ll believe it when I see it, but it’s kind of expensive. Its subscription based and would cost me the same to hire out for the work, and that’s a problem. So I’ll keep looking around.

My laptop was failing to the point where it couldn’t work with some web pages, WordPress included. It works on my phone, but I’ve been writing At Death’s Door on there. So that’s kind of why I’ve been absent.

I won’t accept large gifts from people. It’s never ended well for me even to accept gifts in general. Dorian knew that, and one day showed up with his brother’s old computer. He set it up before I arrived and absconded with my laptop. The act of it led to our first fight in months, because there were things on that laptop I needed.

Apparently, his brother upgraded to a full on gaming rig, and Dorian told his brother he’d recycle the old computer. His brother isn’t the sort to ask if Dorian recycled it or not.

So my computer issue was fixed, though the monitor is driving me batty. I may have to save up and buy a new one, but those are a great deal cheaper than getting the entire rig.

I’m thinking about working on an angel and demon story. Woooo scary.

Because it’s just not possible, and I should know better.

But then… I also said no vampires.

My list for October is simple. Finish Prototype, finish At Death’s Door, do the first edit for Masked Intentions, and get the final copies of Contract Broken and Contract Renewed up. Preferably, get the hard copies of the Contracted Trilogy settled so I can do a giveaway.

I am planning on resisting the urge to write. However, as I can now write on my phone, most bets are off.

I also have this nifty world building app, which I put At Death’s Door into before I started writing. It has helped immensely. I barely follow the plot I wrote up, but the few times I’ve gotten stuck, I’ve been able to refer to it. The chapters are broken up, and I’ve found it much easier to dart all over. No extra pulls or anything, all the chapters linked together and at my fingertips.

If there’s mention of Hitler or random insanity that’s inappropriate, that’s because I caught the person sitting beside me reading my screen. Most of them moved pretty quickly.

Except for the one woman, who is on the bus every day with me. The next day she also sat beside me.

People are weird.

Working and Working More

I had Tuesday off my day job and worked sixteen hours to get Contract Taken up on Amazon. I did a preorder in case anything went amiss … it did.

Now, I could have simply pulled the book and started again but I’m worried if I tried that, it’s never go up. So yes, I’m doing a preorder on my first book. This is not usually suggested. 

But at least the book will go up.

When Dorian found out what I had done, he scolded me.

About the long work day on my day off, not the preorder. 

I was up at 9am and didn’t get to bed until 2am. I did take probably 15mins every four hours to do chores, feed myself, and feed the cats. The last hour was spent trying to find a way to use fonts in a book on Amazon.

It looks so … unfinished without them. Unpolished, like I just don’t care. I’ve seen others use them, but I just can’t seem to figure it out myself.

Using a free epub converter (I discovered this morning) does the same thing! 

When I told Dorian that he scolded me again! 

Because I told him I wasn’t going back to work until next week. I will start writing today (get between me and writing, and I’m likely to bite you. In his case, literally) but I swore I wouldn’t do anything else.

It’s a long weekend, meaning Dorian and I are both off. I get the feeling I’m going to be … er … tied up most of the weekend and at this point I’m not sure it’ll be in a naughty fashion. I’m in so much trouble, he couldn’t even bring himself to threaten to smack me.

Someone asked a valid question though, and she’s willing to do a review on the book, but can’t use Amazon. So I was just trying to do a fulfillment now rather than next week when I’m running around like a crazy person before heading on “vacation” to a wedding across the country.

I don’t know what to do about the font and formatting thing. I don’t want to have to pay someone to format for me. I should be able to do it myself, but no one wants to tell me how.

I have just over a month to figure it out.

Dear ‘Zon… Just no.

I spent fifteen hours yesterday working over Contract Taken until the editing was done. Only to realize the whole thing was corrupted and I had to basically start over. Then I got it all nicely done up and found out that Amazon strips basically all the formatting out.

I know it’s not because your Kindles are incapable of displaying fonts. I’m looking right at them on my kindle, to which I placed a .pdf. It looks fantastic. It looks like I spend hours working on it (let’s face it, I spent almost a year on this).

So I’m a little peeved. Just a little. Okay, maybe I threatened to light my office on fire, but I was at the end of a sixteen hour work day and it was two in the morning. My Google-fu was also failing me.

I know others have used fonts in their kindle books. Beth was all, “of course it works!” so I grabbed her first book and now she’s also threatening to light her office on fire.

So it is up for pre-order with no inside visible because I desperately want to sort out the fonts before I do that. When it comes time, every other retailer will have the awesome copy and Amazon will have the one that looks like it’s a text book on boring topics.


Dreams are the Stuff of Inspiration 

Last night while in Dorian’s arms, I dreamed of Nolan.

That takes a back story. 

Nolan is Dorian’s friend from the BDSM community. He is a full on sadist, but he’s also an arrogant asshole.

He is oh so gorgeous though. You know how some erotica and romance authors will describe their male MC’s as painfully beautiful, or some other weird description like that?

Nolan is one of those guys. He’s attractive to the point where you just can’t look at him. Because you can see it in his eyes as yours lock with his. He knows he’s attractive enough to turn a woman on with a glance, he knows you’re attracted to him like most women are, and he’s wondering if you’re willing to risk a tumble with a sadist to see if the rumours of his sexual prowess are true.

My…method… of dealing with Nolan actually drives him nuts. I know he’s out of my league, but he also doesn’t like women ignoring him. He has to be the centre of attention at all times. 

He doesn’t often speak to women. We’re objects to him, I suppose. 

The types of women he draws in are model hot, lithe little things that are either masochistic or willing to be pushed to their limits because they heard that sex with him is painfully delightful.

In short, most women would do anything to be his toy for a night.

And last night I dreamed of him. We were at Dorian’s in the dream and he got called into work. So Nolan and I saw Dorian out and I went back in to lock up. Nolan followed me and halfway into the apartment physically picked me up and took me to bed.

He kissed, he teased, and then my mind kind of did a double take and I pushed him away as he tried to continue. My whole body told me to submit even as the words came out of my mouth.

“No, it’s not fair to Dorian.”

And I woke up as he smiled that odd smile of his. The little lopsided, completely evil, obviously plotting your slow, tortuous, orgasm smile of his.

So I woke Dorian up in a panic. I was still caught half asleep and didn’t even remember it until this morning when he reminded me. But apparently I confessed to having just been with Nolan moments before and how he had done everything and I was taken for a moment but only a moment. He patted my head and told me that if I saw Nolan again before morning, I should take advantage of his attention.

Oh Dorian, you are so cruel. Because I immediately fell into the same dream and went through my usual day and at the end of it, found myself somehow alone with Nolan once more. 

Who pinned me down and kissed me so that I couldn’t protest verbally. 

I woke with the desire to write. Dorian denied me that right, asking me about my dreams and then basically ignoring me. Well, not ignoring me so much as ignoring the predicament my body put me into. 

He likes to tease, but once every couple of months I get to explore being dominant. That day is today…

Why does Nolan matter, you might ask? Why do you care about a sadist who doesn’t even know he drove me crazy in my dreams? 

Because Nolan was… kind of… only slightly, the inspiration for Mr. Wrightworth. Of course Nolan is purely heterosexual and the base is very light. Very, very light. 

Like I would only say it goes as far as the two being sadistic. I just don’t think Mr. Wrightworth would have ended up a sadist if I hadn’t met Nolan beforehand.

For the longest time I’ve not touched on this because… well, Nolan’s a little scary in a hot sort of way.

Then when we met up with Nolan for coffee this morning, Dorian filled him in by starting with the dream and going from there. 

Because thats not embarrassing

Though someone had to explain that shade of red I went when Nolan sat down.

I’m never going to live this down.

Front and Back Matter

I keep thinking about formatting. I haven’t even done the final edit on Contract Taken and I’m obsessing about formatting. 

I like pretty things, so sue me.

Beth showed me the various stages of her ebooks. From just basically tossed up, to no real back matter but still a bit of a layout, all the way to the print version.

Mainly I’m obsessing about my back matter. What do I want to do for excerpts? Or do I want to do the MC talking to the reader? Which ones would I include? Daughters of the Alphas for certain. Maybe the working title Blood Bound as well. I’d like to finish that book or duo, might have a trilogy in it. Then there’s Prototype.

Mm, Prototype. I’d love to explore that world. Sex and magic, what’s not to love? It also goes full on fantasy, which is something that I haven’t got really. 

D.o.t.A is more alternate world so I suppose it might count as urban scifi. I’m not even certain to tell you the truth. I’m writing it, it’s fun. That’s all that matters to me right now.

So, okay, what if I did D.o.t.a, then Blood Bound, and then Prototype? 

All I’d need then is to wrangle Blood Bound’s MC and come up with proper names for Blood Bound’s world and then the first books. Shouldn’t take too long considering each ‘excerpt’ should fit on one page. Nothing more than a snapshot, really. 

Then to figure out hyperlinks in ebooks, which I’m sure there are ten to a thousand tutorials on. Maybe tweak my author’s bio.

Notice I’m ignoring front matter? 

Every ebook I get on my Kindle takes me right to the first page of the story. I don’t know how they do it, but they do! This has been on multiple classics and an ebook. Which I traced back to look at two pages of chapters, the legalese we all need to include, a description of the book (in the front matter? Which no one is apparently seeing anymore unless they go out of their way?) And… no effort put into the title page. 

In school, I was one if those crazy girls who carefully measured a third (or half at teacher’s request) down the page and penciled in perfect lettering before…

Yeah, the title page matters to me. Even if I don’t think others will see it. It’s even already done up!  Usually it’s created in the rough draft. Everytime I open the file, there it is, the first thing I see.

We all have our quirks, that’s one of mine.