Bad Grades: A Blasian BBW Romance Novel

Bad Grades: Chapter Two


There he was, again, unable to keep his eyes off of her. And, although part of him knew that it made her uncomfortable, he couldn’t bring himself to stop. Dark brown eyes met his briefly before she turned her gaze on the rest of the room, trying her best to ignore him and failing horribly. But, she’d looked at him. He’d held her attention for more than a second, and the thought of it alone made him feel like he was floating.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit,” Professor Lanh said, quoting Aristotle as she leaned against her heavy, oak wood desk. She was in the middle of yet another lecture that, despite his rapidly decreasing grade point average, he couldn’t bring himself to pay attention to. Was it his fault that he was much more interested in the woman herself? In the thick, wild curls she wore barely contained in a bun at the base of her neck? In the rise of her full bosom and the curve of her hips? The fact that she’d called his flirting pitiful still stung, but he could understand why she’d lash out at him in the way she did. He’d been nothing but a butthead since the term started. He deserved her ire but, dammit, he couldn’t get her off of his mind. It wasn’t often that he felt attracted to someone physically and mentally. Sure, there were plenty of women his age on campus who would gladly return his advances, but there was something about Professor Claire Lanh that made his chest tighten and his lungs seize. And he was desperate to find out exactly what.
Thickly rimmed, black-framed glasses sat on the end of her button nose, a dark contrast against the dusky red that colored her golden, freckled cheeks. Obviously of mixed heritage, she was a rare beauty that hid her natural charm behind a brick wall of disinterest and feigned bitterness. Daniel sat forward in his seat to get a better look at her, his brain unable to register the words she spoke, but picking up every subtle move of her fingertips, every bat of her long, dark lashes. Dressed in a baggy, beige sweater, knee-length skirt, and oxfords, she looked every bit as boring and pretentious as she pretended to be. He found it odd that such an obviously sensual woman did everything she could to hide her body from his gaze. And gaze he did. As often as possible.
“Which means, what?” someone asked from behind him, pulling him out of his thoughts. He reached for the textbook he hadn’t opened the entire length of class, absently thumbing through it to hide the fact that he really wasn’t paying attention. He’d almost forgotten they weren’t alone, that forty other students surrounded them in distraction and interference. The Professor shifted with unease, adjusting her glasses more out of habit than necessity.
“Which means that absolutely none of you should be failing my class. Philosophy is the study of the nature of knowledge, reality, and existence. It isn’t a math course, there is no one set way to do things; philosophy is discussion and thought. It’s the reasoning behind everything we say or do. So long as you just keep talking about it, studying it should be a habit and you should all excel,” she explained. The class groaned and he smirked behind his book. He’d never met someone so passionate about teaching, especially something as boring as philosophy, but every word she spoke on the topic was as if it would be her last. He wished for what felt like the hundredth time that he could delve into her mind, pick up her thoughts and devour all the thoughts and intricacies that made her unique. But he couldn’t. And that was what made her so infinitely fascinating.
“Or, it just means this class is fucking stu–!”
“–pendous,” Daniel cut him off, turning in his seat to stare up at him. If he remembered correctly, his name was Jarred something-or-other. They shared a criminal law class. “Just like our Professor here. That’s what you were going to say, right?”
“Whatever, Daniel, you do this shit every day and get a kick out of it,” he snorted. Daniel returned his playful look with a smile, watching his eyes flicker like dead pixels before fizzling out. The color drained from the man’s face when they locked gazes, his mouth going slack as gibberish bubbled forth.
“You were saying?” he asked. Jarred shook his head to clear it. He didn’t speak again, just gathered up his things and bolted for the door. Daniel turned in his seat to smirk at the Professor who looked just as confused as the rest of her class.
“Well,” she cleared her throat, “I guess I should let the rest of you go, too. It is getting rather late.”
“About freaking time,” someone grumbled from the back of the room. His classmates gathered their things and bolted from the room like rats freed from a cage. Daniel stayed behind, once again, watching her gather a stack of papers and head through a side door into her office. He grabbed his bag and followed.
“I enjoyed your lecture today, Professor,” he said once they were alone.
“Is that so?” she asked, stuffing her papers into an oversized canvas bag before turning to face him. “Forgive me if I don’t believe you. Now, I have some things to finish up so perhaps–”
“Oh, I’m not going anywhere,” he said, smirking to himself when she glared up at him.      “I spoke to Professor Cole again. She explained just how deep you are in the hole and urged me to help you with whatever I can. I know I’m not the best at philosophy but, I’m sure we can work something out in exchange for a passing grade. I’d even take a C minus if it means I’ll pass,” he told her. The Professor continued to glare up at him but it was obvious by the look in her eyes that she was weighing her options. On one hand, Professor Cole was very vague about what she needed help with but, through deductive reasoning, he could tell it must have been important. She was a new teacher at St. Lucia and he was well aware of how tough the school was on new faculty. From daily performance reports to monthly evaluations–it was hell. But, to be perfectly honest, regardless of his grade, he would have helped her anyway if it meant he got to spend even a minute of extra time with her.
“You tried this yesterday, didn’t you? What I told you then still applies. I don’t need your help,” she said pointedly. Daniel heaved a martyred sigh.
“Professor, if I have to chain myself to your desk in protest, leaving you to deal with me tired, hungry and smelling like God knows what every single day until I graduate, I’m not going to leave you alone until you accept my help. Seriously, save yourself the headache,” he said. Claire glared up at him. He was serious. He was freaking serious and she could see it in his eyes. He was just the type of jerk to deliver on his promise and if she didn’t give in she’d never be rid of him. But it was such a difficult situation! The logical part of her brain demanded she turn him down, that she insist he find someone else to bother. But, after having been yelled at by Dean Hughes yet again that morning, she couldn’t help but see the brat as her knight in shining armor. She needed his help but she knew it would kill her to take him up on his offer. What the heck could she do?
“And there’s nothing I can say to change your mind?”
“Short of a restraining order? No, not really. You see, Professor, here’s the thing, you need the help, I need the grade. Why not work together?”
“I don’t know? Why not do your classwork?” she retorted, folding her arms over her chest. Daniel shrugged a shoulder.
“Done,” he said and she gawked.
“What?”
“I’m serious. I’ll do my classwork. I’ll stop interrupting your lectures and teasing you during class. But you have to let me help out with whatever you need. Deal?” he asked, a tad bit more enthusiastically than he’d hoped. He didn’t want it to be obvious that he wanted this more than anything. He wanted the chance to get to know her, to explore her brain the regular way, without use of his…abilities. He just had to get inside that head of hers, no matter what it took.
“Well…” She took a deep breath and hesitated a full twenty-seconds before agreeing. She didn’t look too happy but, even she couldn’t really deny she was in over her head, even if she wanted to. Her office was a total wreck, filled with messy stacks of paper, books, class brochures and a months worth of Starbucks cups. She could pretend she didn’t need him, but the proof was in the proverbial pudding. “Fine. So long as you stop acting like an idiot in my class. When would you have time to help out?”
“I’m usually free after class, but for you–”
“No,” she cut him off. Daniel raised a brow down at her. “If this is going to work out you have to stop this stupid flirtation game. Do you know what would happen to me if Dean Hughes even suspected I was attempting to come on to you? Do you even know what the policy is here? I would lose my job. And with my already less than stellar reputation, I’d probably never work in academics again,” she said then gave him a pointed look. There was fear in her eyes. A fear he really didn’t understand. She would lose her job, so what? It was just a job, right? “So, stop it. No more pretending to flirt.” If only she would acknowledge the fact that he wasn’t pretending. Daniel regarded her for several long seconds. He was attracted to her, that was a fact he couldn’t deny and, even though he had ulterior motives for taking the position, would he really be able to simply pretend those feelings didn’t exist? He may not have fallen head over heels the moment he laid eyes on her, but surely she felt even an ounce of what he did?
“Deal. I’ll stop…messing with you. Is that good enough?” he asked. Claire frowned, not understanding the ire in his voice.
“Fine. So long as you adhere to those rules we can work together after day classes have ended.”
“Great. What do you have for me?” he asked.
“Why don’t you head home for today?
“But you just said I can help–!”
“Look around you, Mr. Kang, there’s literally nothing you can do until I get this mess at least partially sorted out,” she cut him off, her arms rising and falling against her sides in frustration. “We’d just get lost in here and need a rescue team. You can help me out tomorrow, alright?” Daniel gave her an indecisive look, heaving another sigh before finally caving in.
“Fine.”
“Fine,” she replied, watching the corners of his mouth turn upwards into a devious grin.
“See you tomorrow, then, Professor,” he said, his grin growing brighter as he tugged his bag higher on his shoulders and turned to leave. Claire sighed, the sound of the classroom door closing marking his departure, leaving her in silence.
“What the hell did I just get myself into?”

Find chapter one here!

Like what you’ve read so far? Why not grab the feature length romance novel for just 99c on Amazon Kindleor the anywhere else eBooks are sold?

Lillium Publishing House is accepting submissions! 3 reasons why I want YOU to submit!

 

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Those of you who’ve followed this blog or A.C. Greenlee for long know that I’ve been published since 2012. I self-published my first novel, Guardian of the Hellmouth, and was almost immediately picked up by a brand new indie publisher that was just getting its start in the industry. They took care of me–we took care of each other, growing together and learning the ins and outs of this business side by side. And I haven’t looked back since. Words can’t express how truly grateful I am to Lillium Publishing House nor can I express how proud I am to be amongst the ranks of some of the most beautiful, talented people on the planet.

Which is why I want you to submit.

I want every author to experience the love and satisfaction I’ve received from this brilliant company at least once in their lives. I’ve been completely taken care of for nearly five years now and I haven’t had a single regret. That isn’t to say that life didn’t have it’s difficult points in regards to my writing career, but Lillium, it’s editors, my fellow authors and even the owner herself were always right there to smooth things over whenever I needed them.

That’s just one of the many things I adore about these people; we’re a family first and foremost. There was never a time where I felt like a fool for inboxing or emailing someone to ask a question I thought was completely stupid. Because they made me feel like no question was too out there and that my career as an author, as a professional writer, was just as important as anything else.

I could go on and on, completely raving about my publisher, but for the sake of time and space, I’ve narrowed down the top three reasons I believe you should consider submitting to this company, or at the very least one like it.

1: The Publishing Industry is Ruthless

Whether you’ve been in and out of the publishing industry for twenty-years or you’re just getting started, you’ve no doubt heard how cutthroat this world can be. From authors sabotaging each other to reviewers and buyers blackmailing us; it’s extremely pertinent to find yourself a group of people who you can depend on if things ever turn down that dark path. Lillium Publishing is a small, indie publisher with no more than four employees, not including the authors themselves, that I’ve watched time and time again go to absolute war for us.

While they may be small, their presence is large and dominating. Our resident editor and creative director Anna Richards is a paralegal with over fifteen years in the legal business. When I found my novel Bad Grades on pirate sites this past month, she stepped right in and issued a perfectly worded letter on my behalf that had it pulled from the pirates sites within the hour.

With their social reach and reputation, Lillium has assisted many authors, myself included, in building social media profiles and keeping them active in order to further brand recognition and really get our names out there. Now I boast a thriving Facebook author page with over 3500 members, something I never would have been able to accomplish on my own.

2: Getting Your Voice Heard is Difficult

The world of writing is rife with competition, especially now that we’re firmly rooted in the era of self-publishing and DIY. Anyone can become a “published, best-selling author” practically at the push of a button. But building actual fanbases, communities and networking with other authors and people of influence is extremely difficult. It’s one thing to publish a book on Amazon or Kobo, but marketing and getting that book into the hands of readers is another beast entirely.

When I started writing, I had the mentality of “If I write it, they will come”. And boy, was I wrong. Some did come, mostly family friends, classmates and the occasional reader who stumbled upon my work. When I joined Lillium they showed me everything I was doing wrong and how to turn my non-existent marketing plan into one of action. They taught me about SEO, meta tags, book descriptions that sell, email marketing, pay per click advertising and a million other little things that made me the marketing fanatic I am today.

Lillium not only teaches you how, when and where to market your work, they assist you in setting up social media accounts, working out posting schedules and even automatic the entire process. You’re truly never alone when it comes to this company and you’ll NEVER feel like you’re stranded in open waters. They’re your safety net.

3: Lillium Publishing is Run by Real People

From the CEO, Marion Bradley, to the Creative Director/Lead Editor superwoman Anna Richards, Lillium Publishing isn’t a book mill. They don’t suck up your time and money just to leave you unsatisfied with your results. They’re real people with jobs, families and lives just like you and me. They just happen to share our love for the written word and have a special place in their hearts for independant authors.

When you join Lillium you’re joining a group of talented individuals who actually care about you, not just your writing endeavors. You’ll get friendly emails and direct messages. They remember and celebrate birthdays and book birthdays. When my beloved cat of twenty years, GiGi, passed away, they mourned my loss alongside me. You don’t meet very many people in life who are that caring. I have flesh and blood family members who didn’t care at all and told me to get over it, but both the company and my fellow authors held my hand through the entire ordeal. Lillium Publishing is a family that I am so extremely lucky and happy to be a part of.

So, if you’re on the market for an indie publishing company with any of the traits that I mentioned in this post, I challenge you to give Lillium Publishing House a chance. Even if you don’t go through with joining us, hit them up on Facebook or Twitter sometime just for a chat. I guarantee your understanding of how publishers are supposed to work will be changed.

Book Review: The Bounty by Author Ashlee Jay!


Author:
Ashlee Jay

Genre: Erotica, Romance, Interracial, Multicultural

Publisher: Lillium Publishing House LLC

Summary:

The Bounty is the first story published by Author Ashlee Jay under Lillium Publishing. It’s an erotic short that details the explicit sexal encounter between Lara, a young woman just getting home from work who inadvertedly stumbles on the murder of her beloved neighbor, and Lorenzo, a demonic bounty hunter who’s doing the murdering. After deporting her neighbor–who also happens to be a demon–back to hell, he sets his sights on the only witness; Lara herself. After she stops him in his tracks with a well placed command that feels more like a spell to the seasoned hunter, and she freaking STABS him, they head back to her apartment and the tables turn. Fear and lust are only separated by a thin line. And it snaps.

My Review:

I genuinely enjoyed this story. I collect short stories to read in my downtime or between work and this one didn’t disappoint. Ms. Jay’s writing style is crisp, clean, and easy to understand, and the erotic scenes leave you feeling both satisfied and craving more. My only complaint was the pacing and what seems to be a missing story arc. While this is only a short story and obviously isn’t going to have lots of details, I felt a little jipped that more of the story wasn’t included. I want to know more about Lorenzo, his history and his powers. Speaking of powers, whatever Lara is has to be tied into the story somehow. I really hope she does a sequal to this as The Bounty is shaping up to be a great start to a long writing career.

Excerpt:

“Lara Ferreira took one step out of the elevator and into the depths of hell. The pained cries of her neighbor, high pitched and guttural, sounded like a car dragging a box of helpless kittens. Her ears rang, but her feet refused to move. What on earth was going on in there? Glass shattered. Thump after painful thump vibrated the floor beneath her. Her body coiled as she backed away, only to be hit by the fast closing elevator doors. She sighed. How much crap would she have to deal with before she finally made it home? The sound of metal striking flesh came to a brutal halt around her. Someone was slammed into the metal apartment door, sending the six-inch slab of steel into the hallway and her neighbor tumbling after it.

Jackson, her neighbor, rolled off the door and promptly regurgitated his dinner on the hall carpet. His clothes were torn, his eye beaten shut and his once flawless jaw structure swollen beyond recognition. He was a complete and utter mess. Lara ignored her natural response to move forward and help him, choosing instead to stick as close to the elevator as possible. If he knew she was there, he didn’t show any signs of acknowledging her presence, and that was fine with her. His body shook violently as he raised a bent and broken arm over his face. The other, he used to try and push himself away from his attacker who stepped over the debris. Lara’s knees quaked as a silhouette appeared in the doorway. Large hands brushed at the fibers of his a dark blue suit. Her eyes were immediately drawn to blood dripping off of his knuckles to pool on the carpet below his feet.

She watched him step through the doorway, finally getting her first real glimpse of the attacker. Sweat beaded on her forehead, her treacherous heart betraying her stoic expression as it thud loudly against her ribcage. His head was close to the ceiling he was so tall, his body large and intimidating. She watched his equally large hands lift the door and toss it to the side like it was nothing more than paper. He tugged at the lapels of his suit, straightening, the Italian fabric and attempting to wipe the blood from his hands. His footsteps thumped loudly as he neared her hiding place and her breath caught in her throat but, luckily, he was fixated on his target and didn’t appear to notice her.”

Excerpt From: Ashlee Jay. “The Bounty.” iBooks.

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Grab The Bounty by Author Ashlee Jay here!

Write Like a Pro! 7 Key Ways to be a HAPPIER Writer!

If you’re a writer who’s been a part of any online writing community for ANY length of time, you’ve probably stumbled across posts that you found just a tad bit disheartening. For example, posts with titles like: 450 REASONS WHY YOU’RE NOT BEING PUBLISHED or 900 WRITING RULES YOU SHOULDN’T BREAK. We have a hard enough time just finding time to write, now we have to worry about pleasing cynics, critics, and elitists alike? Searching online for quick answers to nagging questions bread by writing anxiety can be majorly stressful for even the most seasoned writer. So, while bloggers and writers from all over the world are telling you the “do’s and don’ts” of being a sucessful writer, here are SEVEN tips on how to be a HAPPIER writer. Let the other guys worry about the technical aspects and leave your mental health and well-being to me!

1: Daydreaming is Pre-Writing!

If you’re anything like me, you love to fantasize about your characters. In fact, it probably comes quite natural to you. When you were a kid way before you caught the writing bug, chances are you used to dream up all kinds of fantastical characters and play out scenes between them in your head. Or, maybe you were a fan of role-playing games like The Sims or Dungeons and Dragons. Regardless of how you got your fix of characters and storylines, you probably spent more than one night laying in bed losing sleep while your creations run amuck and your parents wondered why you were giggling to yourself. Just because your childhood is over and you have bills to pay doesn’t mean you can’t take a little “cat nap” and hash out that scene that’s been bothering you before actually sitting down to write.

Relax in a comfortable position, preferably not in bed unless you really do need to catch up on sleep, and close your eyes. Visualize the scene. Where are your characters? Are they in an urban setting? The middle of the wilderness? What do they look like? What do they feel like? Smell like? Sound like? Become so use to seeing your own characters walking and talking that every time you close your eyes for more than a few seconds it becomes the silver screen. After you have a pretty good foundation of where the scene is going, get up and write it!

2: Write While You’re Laying Down!

This one may be a little tricky if you’re as sleep deprived as the rest of the world. Pick up your laptop, iPad or generally anything with a keyboard, and get some typing done while you’re cozy in bed. If you can adjust the angle so you’re laying on your back or if you’re more comfortable laying on your stomach, prop your writing instrument up on a pillow and get to work. Laying prone will trick your brain into thinking you’re resting, easing the anxiety of sitting upright at a desk and forcing it to remember what words are and which preposition goes where. Just like accountants need chairs with lumbar support and athletes need special shoes, comfort is crucial to a writer’s success and their general happiness. Besides, your back will thank you for it later. Just don’t fall asleep!

3: Writing Challenges Don’t Have to be Challenging!

Not every trick in your writers toolbox has to be used for keeping your mind and skills sharp. Gather up a few friends and your favorite writing challenge and prompt and challenge each other to a friendly game or two! See who can spin a prompt into the weirdest flash fiction story in the shortest amount of time. Have a friend that writes erotica but you specialize in Sci-Fi? Swap genres! Have fun with your writing period and soon you’ll start to see that it’s less of a chore and more of something you can’t wait to do when you wake up in the morning.

4: Find Friends Who Love to Write!

I’ve been extremely lucky to stumble upon a plethora of online writing workshops and Facebook groups where I’ve met a ton of amazing authors, readers, designers and everyday people who’ve pulled me out of a writing funk on more than one occasion. Search your Twitter mentions, Facebook, online forums, Google+ and even Instagram tags for other writers to join and form a community with. Books are our children, and like raising them it often takes a village of support. Support being the keyword here. For starters, here are a few groups I’ve found to be particularly supportive and friendly.

Author-4-Author: A Virtual Group for Writers
Insecure Writers Support Group
We Love Reading Books
Passion for Books

And don’t forget to hit up your #amwriting tags on major social media networks. Those hardworking writers can be lifesavers!

5: The Ultimate Taboo – Put The Caffeine DOWN!

I know, I know, every writer has to have their cup of coffee and their chocolate if they’re going to make it through their 1AM mad dash to finish their manuscript. But coffee and especially caffeine isn’t always the best option when it comes to your writing or your mental well-being.

  • More than 4 cups of coffee linked to early death. A Mayo Clinic partnered study found that men who drank more than four 8 fl.oz. cups of coffee had a 21% increase in all-cause mortality. However, those that reported that they consumed excessive amounts of caffeine were also likely to smoke and have poor fitness.
  • Caffeine may cause insomnia. Caffeine in a person’s system at bedtime can mimic the symptoms of insomnia.
  • Increased risk of heart attacks among young adults. A study conducted by Dr. Lucio Mos found that young adults who were diagnosed with mild hypertension had 4 times the risk of having a heart attack if they consumed the amount of caffeine equivalent to 4 cups of coffee [Caffeine Informer]

Let’s face it, writing is an extremely sedentary job. Writers, in general, don’t tend to get out much. Ask yourself, do you absolutely need that last cup of coffee? Or do you really need to just go to sleep, count your losses, and start fresh in the morning? Physical health and mental health are closely tied. I’m not saying you need to go get a gym membership, but small lifestyle changes could go a long way.

6: Whose Face is it Anyway? Why You Need Fan Casting in Your Life!

As a writer, finding “face claims” for my characters has become my favorite pastime. When I’m not writing I’m often crawling through Google Images and Pinterest looking for pictures of my favorite actors, musicians and models who best resemble certain characters. And when I’m not doing that, I’m ogling said models and daydreaming about my characters actually doing what I tell them for once and actually getting their book finished. Even better, if you have had the opportunity to build a community of fans or followers, why not leave the task up to them? Ask them to find the perfect actors to fill your imaginary cast and reward them when they do. Maybe give them a shoutout on your Facebook page? If they created an image with their fan-cast, share it around the web! There’s nothing more fun than seeing your brain babies through the eyes of others!

7: Put the Pencil DOWN!

That’s right. Put the pencil down. Don’t write anything at all, not even a grocery list. And I don’t mean that in a permanent sense. Everyone needs a break now and again, heck, billionaire CEO’s take vacations every other week and no one bats an eyelash. Writing is a job, whether it pays well or not, and just like with any other job your lack of progress may just mean you need a little time away. Don’t feel bad about stepping away from your writing for a few weeks. Just remember to always come back! Your characters miss you!

If all else fails in your search for the writer-happies, why not just sit back and read? You can find my latest Novelette Blood Fantasy as well as others at most major retailers and on Amazon.

Write Like a Pro! 7 Key Ways to be a HAPPIER Writer!

If you’re a writer who’s been a part of any online writing community for ANY length of time, you’ve probably stumbled across posts that you found just a tad bit disheartening. For example, posts with titles like: 450 REASONS WHY YOU’RE NOT BEING PUBLISHED or 900 WRITING RULES YOU SHOULDN’T BREAK. We have a hard enough time just finding time to write, now we have to worry about pleasing cynics, critics, and elitists alike? Searching online for quick answers to nagging questions bred by writing anxiety can be majorly stressful, for even the most seasoned writer. So, while bloggers and writers from all over the world are telling you the “do’s and don’ts” of being a sucessful writer, here are SEVEN tips on how to be a HAPPIER writer. Let the other guys worry about the technical aspects and leave your mental health and well-being to me!

1: Daydreaming is Pre-Writing!

If you’re anything like me, you love to fantasize about your characters. In fact, it probably comes quite natural to you. When you were a kid way before you caught the writing bug, chances are you used to dream up all kinds of fantastical characters and play out scenes between them in your head. Or, maybe you were a fan of role-playing games like The Sims or Dungeons and Dragons. Regardless of how you got your fix of characters and storylines, you probably spent more than one night laying in bed losing sleep while your creations run amuck and your parents wondered why you were giggling to yourself. Just because your childhood is over and you have bills to pay doesn’t mean you can’t take a little “cat nap” and hash out that scene that’s been bothering you before actually sitting down to write.

Relax in a comfortable position, preferably not in bed unless you really do need to catch up on sleep, and close your eyes. Visualize the scene. Where are your characters? Are they in an urban setting? The middle of the wilderness? What do they look like? What do they feel like? Smell like? Sound like? Become so use to seeing your own characters walking and talking that every time you close your eyes for more than a few seconds it becomes the silver screen. After you have a pretty good foundation of where the scene is going, get up and write it!

2: Write While You’re Laying Down!

This one may be a little tricky if you’re as sleep deprived as the rest of the world. Pick up your laptop, iPad or generally anything with a keyboard, and get some typing done while you’re cozy in bed. If you can adjust the angle so you’re laying on your back or if you’re more comfortable laying on your stomach, prop your writing instrument up on a pillow and get to work. Laying prone will trick your brain into thinking you’re resting, easing the anxiety of sitting upright at a desk and forcing it to remember what words are and which preposition goes where. Just like accountants need chairs with lumbar support and athletes need special shoes, comfort is crucial to a writer’s success and their general happiness. Besides, your back will thank you for it later. Just don’t fall asleep!

3: Writing Challenges Don’t Have to be Challenging!

Not every trick in your writers toolbox has to be used for keeping your mind and skills sharp. Gather up a few friends and your favorite writing challenge and prompt and challenge each other to a friendly game or two! See who can spin a prompt into the weirdest flash fiction story in the shortest amount of time. Have a friend that writes erotica but you specialize in Sci-Fi? Swap genres! Have fun with your writing period and soon you’ll start to see that it’s less of a chore and more of something you can’t wait to do when you wake up in the morning.

4: Find Friends Who Love to Write!

I’ve been extremely lucky to stumble upon a plethora of online writing workshops and Facebook groups where I’ve met a ton of amazing authors, readers, designers and everyday people who’ve pulled me out of a writing funk on more than one occasion. Search your Twitter mentions, Facebook, online forums, Google+ and even Instagram tags for other writers to join and form a community with. Books are our children, and like raising them it often takes a village of support. Support being the keyword here. For starters, here are a few groups I’ve found to be particularly supportive and friendly.

Author-4-Author: A Virtual Group for Writers
Insecure Writers Support Group
We Love Reading Books
Passion for Books

And don’t forget to hit up your #amwriting tags on major social media networks. Those hardworking writers can be lifesavers!

5: The Ultimate Taboo – Put The Caffeine DOWN!

I know, I know, every writer has to have their cup of coffee and their chocolate if they’re going to make it through their 1AM mad dash to finish their manuscript. But coffee and especially caffeine isn’t always the best option when it comes to your writing or your mental well-being.

  • More than 4 cups of coffee linked to early death. A Mayo Clinic partnered study found that men who drank more than four 8 fl.oz. cups of coffee had a 21% increase in all-cause mortality. However, those that reported that they consumed excessive amounts of caffeine were also likely to smoke and have poor fitness.
  • Caffeine may cause insomnia. Caffeine in a person’s system at bedtime can mimic the symptoms of insomnia.
  • Increased risk of heart attacks among young adults. A study conducted by Dr. Lucio Mos found that young adults who were diagnosed with mild hypertension had 4 times the risk of having a heart attack if they consumed the amount of caffeine equivalent to 4 cups of coffee [Caffeine Informer]

Let’s face it, writing is an extremely sedentary job. Writers, in general, don’t tend to get out much. Ask yourself, do you absolutely need that last cup of coffee? Or do you really need to just go to sleep, count your losses, and start fresh in the morning? Physical health and mental health are closely tied. I’m not saying you need to go get a gym membership, but small lifestyle changes could go a long way.

6: Whose Face is it Anyway? Why You Need Fan Casting in Your Life!

As a writer, finding “face claims” for my characters has become my favorite pastime. When I’m not writing I’m often crawling through Google Images and Pinterest looking for pictures of my favorite actors, musicians and models who best resemble certain characters. And when I’m not doing that, I’m ogling said models and daydreaming about my characters actually doing what I tell them for once and actually getting their book finished. Even better, if you have had the opportunity to build a community of fans or followers, why not leave the task up to them? Ask them to find the perfect actors to fill your imaginary cast and reward them when they do. Maybe give them a shoutout on your Facebook page? If they created an image with their fan-cast, share it around the web! There’s nothing more fun than seeing your brain babies through the eyes of others!

7: Put the Pencil DOWN!

That’s right. Put the pencil down. Don’t write anything at all, not even a grocery list. And I don’t mean that in a permanent sense. Everyone needs a break now and again, heck, billionaire CEO’s take vacations every other week and no one bats an eyelash. Writing is a job, whether it pays well or not, and just like with any other job your lack of progress may just mean you need a little time away. Don’t feel bad about stepping away from your writing for a few weeks. Just remember to always come back! Your characters miss you!

If all else fails in your search for the writer-happies, why not just sit back and read? You can find my latest Novelette Blood Fantasy as well as others at most major retailers and on Amazon.

Her General Knows Best: Short Erotic Fiction

Her General Knows Best Cover

The iconic businesswoman and world renowned Surgeon CHESKA IVANOV has no time for silly whirlwind romances or sexual encounters of the casual variety. But there’s something about First General NIKLAUS REID that leaves her unable to resist the flames burning in his eyes, or the heat of his hands against her skin.

Right hand to the President of the United States Niklaus hates being ignored and when he sets out to make something his, not even the leader of the free world himself can stand in his way. Cocky, egotistical and just a bit more sure of himself than any man should be, he knows that behind Cheska’s cold demeanor and workaholic ways beats the passionate heart of a woman just waiting to be claimed.

In a battle for dominance that is guaranteed to leave them sweaty and breathless, will Cheska give in to the heat her body craves? Or will Niklaus be forced to take matters into his own hands?

Buy it here now for only $0.99!