This week marks my second Thanksgiving as an author, and I feel as soft and squishy as the apples in my pie. I’m so sappy, I barely recognize myself.Read More
Excuse me for a moment because I'm about to get all sappy...it could just be that Hello Again by Neil Diamond is playing. OR not. It may be...a year and a few days ago, I hit publish on my first novel. With one stroke of a button, I put all my hard work, blood, sweat and tears on the line. My friends bought it, my mom read it, and soon...a small group of unknown-to-me readers read it. Some loved it, others abhorred it. My editor told me to strap on a thick skin (in a much nicer way); my husband assured me that if I didn't receive any bad reviews, I hadn't really gone mainstream; my mentors said to just write another book.
What did I do? I dried my tears and wrote another book. Well, actually two more in a year's time. I just kept typing, dreaming, and marketing. OH, the fucking marketing. It's 97 & 1/2% of my day. Marketing. There are fun parts of this like talking to readers––the ones who like your books––and meeting bloggers. Bloggers are hard-working people who actually do work-for-free most of the time. If not, they make pennies while helping us––authors––with marketing. All for the love of reading and romance in my case.
There are not-so-fun parts like ad placement and reading bad reviews, feeling the need to apologize that my book wasn't your cup of tea (I really do feel this way), blogging myself, running giveaways, etc. Most of these are not all bad just tedious and keep me away from writing. I'm not going to lie, reading a bad review hurts, but I get over it now. AND I have Nicole now. She makes everything better...are you reading this Nicole?
Anyway, I digress (a bad habit of mine). A year after publishing Electrified, it's still growing and gaining new readers/fans (?!?!) and sometimes I run to the mirror and check that I'm still standing...and this is happening. BTW, Pam is going to shoot me over the run-ons here, but it's my party, and I'll clearly run-on if I want to!
I continue to be shocked how Electrified is still moving and shaking. Sienna is special to me...Asher even more so––at times. Smoldered was my most emotional to write, and clearly polarizes audiences to the max. I was still a new & fairly dumb idiot back then, and I made Asher an absolute cheating prick with a heart of gold. I love him that way.
Redemption Lane brought a new set of characters and a less glitzy background. Lane and Bess made me cry, Jake makes me swoon...I'm writing him now. And then there's my soon to be released, Tiberius. He's not what you think, debunks all those preconceived notions you may have, and was totally new for me to write.
It wasn't planned this way, but somewhat ironic that the cover reveal for Vérité fell on the same week as Electrified's anniversary. Yesterday blew me away, toppled me over––and that's not easy when you're 5'10. Thank you so much for all the messages, emails, texts, posts etc - bloggers, readers, friends, enemies alike.
Bloggers who were on vacation reached out, new reviewers sent messages for my current books and wanting to be on the list for upcoming titles, and my mom forgot (I think she did, but she played it off). There's also the other authors I've met and fallen in love with...too many to mention. But they really have circled around me when this author stuff got too hard and celebrated with me when it's going well.
So, just thank you. Thank you so much for making this last year incredible. I look forward to the next few - Rachel XOXOXO
I've literally been holed up in my office or Coffee Tree Roasters writing Redemption Lane (Feb, 2015 release).
Today as I wrap up the epilogue––I've been hesitant to do this because I love these characters so much, I don't want to say goodbye to them––I'm so grateful and thankful for all of you.
You are more than readers. You are friends...extended family.
Thank you for all of your support, and I wish all of you a quiet Thanksgiving full of family, food, and sensual reads. :)
I am also thrilled to partner with the following authors, Christy Pastore, Salem Archer, Susan Ward and Fabiola Francisco, to bring you spectacular deals on aforementioned sensual reads.
All these books are 99 cents thru Friday, November 28, 2014.
AND for you, a GIVEAWAY!
Happy Thanksgiving! LOVE, RB
Over the last few months, I've had a lot of inquiries about what it takes to publish a book.
LIKE, "Oh, so you just slapped that puppy up on Amazon?"
A lot of work goes into publishing a book other than having a marvelously, fabulous, original idea that you purge from your brain.
Its not all glamorous and exciting.
The whole process starts with eeking out a little of your story and sending a small chunk to a beta reader or two or three. Not your neighbor or good friend or aunt to sister, but someone you trust to give you solid feedback that your story is shit or not.
Then, you wait to hear from your betas and sit on your ass, eating, telling yourself that they will hate your story and so you start dreaming up new ideas.
The process is repeated any number of infinite times: you write, you share, you wait on pins and needles, you gain five pounds while waiting OR drop five depending whether you eat or lose your appetite under stress.
ALL the while, you
waste spend countless hours on social media, pimping, chatting, stopping to look at pictures of your college roommate's bull dog (she is soooo freaking cute, I want one!), pimping some more, retweeting, hitting like a billion times, trying to engage with other successful authors for tips and advice, signing up for rafflecopter, looking at pictures of half-clothed men (inspiration, people), and obsessing over previews for SOA or the Bachelor or whatever show you love.
You sneak off to your "cave," which could be your kitchen table, closet, or the dingy coffee place around the corner every so often to write, rewrite, despise what you wrote and start all over. You write AH-mazing bathroom sex scenes that you then share with your other author friends (where is it? Christy...).
You incorporate feedback and thank your betas profusely, sending them emojis and x's and o's and hoping and praying they don't ever leave you like your ninth grade boyfriend did. THAT was devastating.
During all this, there is hunting for editors and cover designers and formatters and book trailer makers and blog tour peeps. HOLY shit! ALL of those people have FULL schedules and are booked until 2017! What the fuck? But I have to have a cover from so and so...You beg, plead, give up your dog and son for a slot. Just take them...I need my cover.
After securing your team, you are SO not done! NO way. There are first and second and third rounds of revisions and then you totally offend the cover person you gave up your child for because you want just a "tad more purple" in your cover.
AND, the worst is yet to happen. There is a never-ending pile of virtual forms, where you enter your tax information and electronic signature after you are unsure what you even just agreed to do so you can upload your book (after it is edited and goes through another round of "clean" beta reading).
Don't even get me started on the uploading because I need twelve or thirteen more degrees to be able to figure that shit out.
Finally, your book is up on the shelves and your mom buys a copy and it is the best feeling that someone wants to read you.
Until, you get your first bad review.
YET, somehow... we love it all so much, we do it again and again (like childbirth, you must forget all the steps of the process).
So, that is basically what I have been up to and although this post is funny, borderline hysterical, I could not do what I do without the help of many, many people. You know who you are. Don't make me call you out.
And, my fellow author babes, who have graciously entwined their success with mine. Love you.
AND, yes, I am releasing a second book soon.
Until then ... R
I'm not going to lie: Being a first time, debut author is scary. Its downright, flat-out nail-biting, hide-in-your-closet or underneath a blanket frightening. As an author, you're putting your words, characters, and ideas out there for everyone and anyone to read or see, and that is intimidating enough. BUT, then there is the added fear of no one, other than your mom or sister or sister-in-law, even picking up your brand-new, shiny novel.
Which is why I have been on a mission to check out as many debut romance authors as I can. On my adventure to read, I discovered Susan Ward, Terri Lyndie, Salem Archer, and Elle Michaels––AND their books.
Each story so distinctly different in feel and style, yet all of them compelling, I am crazy, run around naked, excited to be able to giveaway an ebook copy of each one this holiday weekend. LOOKS like one lucky winner, will have a very busy weekend of reading by the pool, lake, beach, or locked away in your bedroom.
The giveaway will run from 8 a.m. EST on 7/1/2014 through 8 a.m. EST on 7/5/2014 through rafflecopter, and then each author listed above will gift one lucky reader a kindle copy of their book.
Best way to wake up! Amazon recommendations. To read about some way more humorous recos - go here.
Oh, and come back next week for a giveaway with Electrified and four other titles! Just in time for the holiday weekend.
OR, you can subscribe right over there to get it straight to your inbox ---->
Over the last two months, I've heard "What does your husband think?" more times than I care to count. If asked, he will tell you he is the inspiration behind all my alpha men, even the ones who dwell in my head, despite the fact that I tell him to say "Its fiction" in response.
But, it is a work of fiction. A world of make-believe that came to me a long time ago––on a trip to Las Vegas. The characters in my story are a result of my overactive imagination, a little bit of wine, and yes, my background in psychology/human development/social work. [And, maybe just maybe, my husband.]
I've spent the better part of my life studying people, so in a way––that has helped me build my characters. Each and every one is a labor of love and intensity and focus. Your reviews of them, kind words, even the not so kind words, mean the world to me because you chose to spend time with them.
My husband knows better than anyone how much time, effort, attention that building characters takes because he has heard from me, "Shhh. I'm writing right now" about as much as I have heard "What does your husband think?"
Ultimately, I think he's proud. He thinks its great.
[He thinks he's Carson.]
Over at my other site, Back'nGrooveMom, I write pretty serious stuff. A blog mostly centered around the crazy lives of women, moms, and wives, and how we look for balance. Typically, we are unsuccessful. Anyway, when I decided to release Electrified (The Electric Tunnel) or actually well before that, I went back and forth on using my real name or a pen name. As you can see, I went with the former over the latter.
Recently, most of the conversations I've had start and end with "Aren't you so embarrassed to release such a steamy read with your name."
The answer is short: NO.
No way, nope.
Part of my mission over at Back'nGrooveMom or anywhere else I write––Huffington Post, Modern Mom, even StartUpNation––has always been at the core of whatever role we are holding is this: We are women, and part of being a woman is doing what makes us feel good. So, if you like romance, read it. Devour it in any way you like.
The best part of releasing the book has been the PM's and texts I have received. They have made me laugh, cry, smile and feel light in a time I don't think I normally would!
Can they have sex soon?
Love it. Ur a dirty wh#@$
I'm in love with Carson.
Shhh, I'm with Carson right now.
...and the best: [My college-aged daughter] said she can totally see how you write that stuff by looking at you.
OMG. So, maybe a little embarrassed by that last one, but honestly thanks to all of you who have messaged me nice things and reviewed the book. love, R
My mom: Who is this Mara on Facebook and why is she making you cry?
Me: Mom, she’s a fellow blogger, writer who read my book and she liked it so much, she read it straight through in one sitting. It was a good cry.
My Mom: Well, how did she get the book? Is it out?
Me: No, not yet. She got an advanced copy for review purposes.
My Mom: What do you mean?
Me: Well, I have these advanced review copies for bloggers, avid readers/recommenders, and such to read early, help get the ball rolling, stir the media. You know, when you think I am just f-ing around on Facebook? I’m doing a little work.
My Mom: What about family? Do I get a copy?
I think: You don’t have a kindle, nook or the like. Plus, it is a bit dirty. Okay, a lot dirty.
I say: Definitely. Of course, mom. You can proof my paperback copy.
The truth of the matter is, I’ve been dragging my feet a little in putting up my debut novel. I’m fucking petrified. Scared to death. Not about the dirty part. Everyone knows I can be a bit naughty.
I’m afraid of the whole thing. The sum of parts…is greater…
Writing a fiction novel has been a lifelong goal of mine, and now I wrote one. I don’t know if anyone will like it (especially my mom), and it is frightening.
So, the few of you who have read advanced copies and sent me kind words, I can’t thank you enough.
I have studied the calendar to find the most perfect time to slap the book up on the internetz, and there are so many awesome, well-established, better-than-me authors releasing today, tomorrow, next week, but I have to bite the bullet.
Electrified will be live sometime in the next few days (4/30/14 or 5/1/14) –– mostly determined by my upload capabilities, and let me say this: Thanks in case I forget to say it later.
Thanks for everything, nothing, whatever.
To make sure you are alerted to when the links are live, you can like here.
See you on the other side.
It was his own damn fault he was so desperate for a female’s attention or touch. He was the one tied in knots over a stripper—a beautiful woman with supple curves, all the right moves, and bluer-than-blue eyes so deep they revealed she was actually much more than who she appeared to be onstage.
A woman who was completely inaccessible to him and untouchable to everyone. Yet he was so hung up on her, he was about to head up to his hotel room by his lonesome without any intention of trying to find another woman or even take care of himself.
Carson shook his head, annoyed at himself and confused by his current disinterest in pursuing anything female. He knew it bore some type of significance. A meaning, perhaps, that he shouldn’t ignore.
©Rachel Blaufeld, Electrified, 2014
Well, this makes the whole, "I'm publishing a book" very real. Unbelievably freaking real.
Just a few weeks away from officially hitting publish on my first fiction novel, I'm faced with an interesting dilemma.
What? You ask.
My novel is a bit naughty. Actually, not as much as book 2 (preview included), but dirty nonetheless, and for a while, I was thinking my mom may be the only person who buys my book. Except, do I want her to read it? Yesterday, someone asked her about the book and her thoughts, and she BLUSHED.
Let's just say this...my mom is not going to need to wear rouge for a while.
In the meantime, I cannot stop loving and looking at my cover thanks to Sarah over Okay. Yeah, she's ignoring my IM's and all because she is SICK of me, but I don't care. She did a bang out job on this one, and she's stuck with me. forever.
Who wants a teaser? Hit like, comment, raise your hand. Let me know.
....I've been holed up with edits, putting the finishing touches on Sienna and Carson's story, and I haven't been able to even dream about writing anything else. In celebration of my FIRST manuscript heading for FINAL edits, I wanted to share another little teaser (cover reveal and links coming soon).
Meet Sienna - "Her curves and long lashes tease and taunt from her very own billboard where the desert meets the Las Vegas Strip. She’s the hottest stripper in town, known for her sultry and indecent moves coupled with her virginal eyes."
Down to her bra and panties, Sienna strutted to the front of the platform. She tugged her hair loose from the elastic band that held it, while bending over to shake her locks loose. When she flipped back up, hand to hip, dancing suggestively, swaying her middle while letting her hair fall down her back, she saw him.
He was staring. Not gawking or watching awkwardly, but gazing possessively at her. A mysterious warmth flooded her body, seeping out from her veins to her muscles, skin, and most private parts, making her want to touch, feel, and gaze openly.
That was all she could handle. Sienna turned and went back up the pole to finish the song, avoiding looking at the floor. She couldn’t stand another second of the heat between their gazes.
Twisting and wrapping her lean body around the pole, never breaking a seductive smile, Sienna had the crowd twisted in lust. She could feel it in the air. It was heavy; blanketing the audience in a fever. Unable to cool down, the crowd’s only choice was to take in more sensuality.
At the end of the song, Sienna didn’t wait to see if the man she’d already spent too much time thinking about left. She did a quick spin around, giving the crowd one more long look at her butt, blew kisses to her fans, and sashayed off the stage.
Electrified - Copyright © 2014 Rachel Blaufeld
Photo Credit: Ryan Connolly, tapwatr, all rights reserved.