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!

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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.

Revenant Character Introductions: The Black and White Edition

Let’s meet some characters shall we?

If you’re unfamiliar with any of the terms, check out this post.

Giovanni

Giovanni Maurizio Cavaletti – Living Vampire

Giovanni was born in Dublin Ireland to living vampires Niccolo and Lucretia Cavaletti. The youngest of seven children he was spoiled rotten while his siblings killed each other for the right to take their fathers coveted position in the house of Leviticus, a faction of the Triad which, along side the house of Judges and Exodus, governs all of the Vampire race. With only his brothers Micah, Lucio, and Giovanni himself left alive, their father chose the latter to take his place as the more responsible, and more powerful, child. Lucio, in a fit of rage cut his fathers heart from his chest, transforming him into one of the Undead. Giovanni suffered his elder brother the same fate before stepping into the role of Triginta, the third seat of power in Leviticus.

Richard

Richard Alistair Connell II – Werewolf

An informant of the SPPO who runs a prostitution ring to cover up his involvement with the Supernatural police. A kid at heart, he fell in with the wrong crowd as a child and almost lost his life in a Werewolf turf war.

Lucretia

Lucretia Cavaletti – Living Vampire

Mother of Giovanni Cavaletti and wife of recently deceased Niccolo Cavaletti. Quiet by nature but far from weak, she ruled her household like any woman of Italian blood and commands the love and respect of vampires both living and undead.

Dita

Dita Dixon – Faerie

Dita makes up one forth of the SPPO team Zeitgeist, an Anti-Terrorist/Espionage group that handle some of the most high profiled cases for the SPPO. Of Fae blood she tends to be scatter brained, but her amazing healing abilities are extremely useful in her field of work.

Sheila

Lieutenant Sheila Armstrong – Species Unknown

Lieutenant of the SPPO. Sporting a sharp tongue, wit, and even sharper claws she’s well respected in her line of work. Mother of Hale Armstrong, the newest member of team Zeitgeist.

Elliot

Elliot Cole – Witch

Co leader of team Zeitgeist and tech expert.

Alicia

Alicia Reagan – Witch

Younger sister of Adelaide Reagan. Raised mostly by her sister she hopes to follow in her footsteps and become a police officer, something that Adelaide is firmly against.

Lucio

Lucio Cavaletti – Undead Vampire

Elder brother of Giovanni Cavaletti. Responsible for the death of their father. After having his heart cleaved from his chest by Giovanni he disappeared but has recently resurfaced.

Hale

Hale Armstrong – Species Unknown

Son of Lt. Sheila Armstrong and the most recent addition to team Zeitgeist. His extraordinary physical strength is definitely an asset but he isn’t the brightest crayon in the bunch.

Nelo

Nelo – Undead Vampire

A dangerous bastard with an even more dangerous agenda. An extremist with plans for assuming political power he routinely starts uprising in the house of Exodus which has no set ruler. Responsible for bombing several buildings owned by members of Leviticus.

Lazarus

Lazarus Ward – Living Vampire

Younger brother of Marcellus Ward, one of the sanctioned five judges. A judge in his own right he’s somewhere between the personal lawyer of the Leviticus and political powerhouse for the judges.

Adelaide

Adelaide Reagan – Witch Revenant

Adelaide is proof that you should never judge a book by its cover, or rather, by its size. After surviving a brutal rape by ex partner Nolan and five of his favorite werewolf buddies, she went on to join Team Zeitgeist and take his place at the top of the police food chain. A no nonsense character, people are usually taken aback by the stark contrast of her ‘baby face’ and her bold personality. This petite powerhouse doesn’t mind hurting people in order to keep them safe and is known to bite off a lot more than she can chew while refusing to let anyone lend her a helping hand. Adelaide had always been significantly more introverted than others in her circle. But after her rape, rage, temperament and trust became larger issues in her life. Imagine spending the rest of your life looking over your shoulder, being suspicious of every single person that comes into your circle to the point where you’re willing to exile yourself just to escape the fear of being hurt again.