Poll Time

I’m working on a story I’m excited about and would appreciate any feedback about a title.

Here’s a nice, vague summary:

A desperate young executive crosses the line of professionalism to safeguard her career, but how far is she willing to go to get ahead?

I’ll be revealing more about this project later, but it’s erotica (obviously) and that description shows you where I’m going with the title. Besides, I can’t reveal too much. Isn’t the tease part of the fun in erotica? 😉

Thank you so many for your votes! This will help me pick a title for my upcoming story.

Source: Poll

Link

Map Making

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Is it cliché to say my body was a map and he searched it dutifully, seeking a path to the promised land? Probably, it’s trite, but I don’t care. It certainly felt like he was an intrepid explorer, carefully scaling down the ridge of my neck, placing kisses in precise spots to make me shudder.

He traced the planes of my body with questing fingers then his tongue, leaving no area untouched. I held his head in my hands and tugged on his silky, dark locks while he licked and lapped at the skin between my breasts.

My body curled into his, needing him close, but I became a geographical landscape again, a map unfurling as he worked his way down. Body spreading out and arching, throwing my head back, limbs flying away and clutching the sheets as his tongue delved into my wet cavern. He mapped out my most intimate area like a good surveyor should: with dedication and thoroughness, and a passion for his craft.

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Home Improvement

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Construction has never seemed particularly erotic before. Neon yellow hardhats don’t go well with most complexions, and sweaty men with beer guts toiling in sawdust isn’t especially appealing.

It’s different with him.

I walk my dog Lola, a loyal, exuberant black lab mix, dutifully throughout the neighborhood every day, sometimes twice a day. There was little fanfare when the house at the end of block finally sold. It was the crumbling, ramshackle kind of place that brought down property values, and a completely overhaul was needed. Instead of a construction crew pulling up with bulldozers and manpower and making a racket at all hours, there was just one man.

I doubted he was one of those house flippers who fixed up a bargain home and sold it for a profit. He was too methodical. They needed to flip houses fast, but he was in no hurry. He worked in the space in the front yard or on his porch as much as possible, crafting something with wood and a saw bench, before disappearing inside for stretches at a time.

I like when he’s out front. His sun kissed skin was hard earned, not artificial from a tanning bed or as simple as just laying out all day and lazing. He started in tank tops and jeans, already hard at work in the morning, but painting or working on the garden. Another sign he was going to stay in the house, he was a conscientious neighbor.

When we passed later in the day, the shirt came off revealing gleaming muscles, also gained by hard work and determination. I was suddenly very interested in home remodeling and renovation. I wanted to run my hands on the raw materials he was working with, feel the grainy wood and then see how he transformed it into something smooth and beautiful. Then, I wanted to run my hands all over him, already smooth and beautiful.

For now, I circle the block, exchange little waves. Lola’s as impatient and eager to meet the stranger as me, though she reacts that way to everyone. I keep her steady when she pulls, walk on the path instead of straying. There’s other single women in our neighborhood, and married ones, who saunter over with baked goods or low-cut tops. His steady eyes seem to see through them.

So, I wait. And imagine. Maybe when the house is finished he’ll invite me in. Maybe I’ll ask him for advice about one of the many home improvements projects my house could use that I haven’t gotten around to. Maybe I’ll just ask if he’s ever wanted to lick every inch of my skin the way I have his.

So many possibilities. I walk, and play them in my mind. Eager to see which one becomes reality.

 

via Daily Prompt: Grainy

Pleasant Dreams

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I was having a dream about mermaids. Slowly, the blues and greens of their underwater world were replaced with the oranges and yellows of the early morning as rays of sunlight broke their way into my room. The cool, flowing water rushing around my skin was replaced with silk sheets, bearing some resemblance to the water but warm from prolonged contact with my skin.

I drifted in between two worlds, a vivid dream becoming hazier as reality slowly snuck in while I edged toward wakefulness. I fought the tug of conscious thought, trying to retreat back into slumber. A prickling sensation on the back of my neck jolted me into the real world. I could feel your stare.

My body was warm, wrapped up in layers of bedding, but the weight of your gaze sent a shiver through me. I’m wide awake now, but getting up or speaking would waste a perfectly good opportunity. Instead, I kept my eyes closed. I stretched then settled, exposing the line of my neck. A patch of skin became visible around my midsection as my sleep top rode up and the covers were tossed aside.

You barely make noise when moving across the room, but your soft footfalls were the only sound in the otherwise quiet space. Your presence hovered over me until finally one finger brushed over my hip. I don’t react to the surprise touch, other than to push drowsily into it. Your hand sweeps over the skin of my stomach, a smooth touch that stirs the beginnings of lust low in my belly. I sigh softly, as if going from a normal dream to a very pleasant one.

The mattress dipped with your weight. You go slow, careful not to wake me, pressing light, lingering touches everywhere, my cheek, an elbow, my clavicle, followed by little kisses. I feel a heaviness return to my body and let myself drift, feeling the touches in a state of limbo. Your hand traces the elastic of my panties. This will be both a very good dream and a wonderful way to start the morning.

via Daily Prompt: Prickle

Another Free Story

I’m trying out free promotions through Kindle deals on Amazon, and this story is available for free from Monday until Friday.

For those fun, sexy adventures I’m using the Abby White pen name. However, the Kelly Whip pen name isn’t missing out on the deals as my Extracurricular Activities series is also FREE.

It’s normally $2.99, so get this complete two-story series for FREE right now!

 

FREE STORY

I don’t know if there’s anything especially transformative about August, but it feels like a new beginning to me. It’s a new week in a new month, and I’m trying several new things today. First, I’m releasing a story with a new pen name. And second, it’s FREE. All five stories in this collection are at least 5,000 words and full of fun, sexy situations and a little romance too.

Here’s Summer Love by Abby White

This bundle is 100 pages, over 30,000 words and free from 8-7 to 8-11.

I’ve seen lots of advice about pen names, and I’m still not sure what’s best. I’ve decided to try splitting up some of my content though. Kelly Whip is for more BDSM centered content. Abby White is for general erotica. White, get it? For vanilla? This bundle leans more towards romance but still has lots of explicit content.

I may be a little annoying while promoting this from Monday to Friday, but the best solution to that is to just get your copy, for FREE, and read it this week instead of reading the blog. 😉

Plus, another free story is available here.

Book marketing, hooray!

My general approach to marketing books is something along the lines of “Ugghhhhhhhh. Whyyy? Do I have to?” and then grudgingly telling myself, “Yes, you have to, just get it over with.”

The writing part I like, the selling part is less fun. However, I’ve been dipping my toe in the marketing world. I have a blog now that I post on somewhat regularly, yay!, and I’ve arranged for one book to be advertised in a few places like Awesomegang.

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This looks suitably fancy and professional.

I also created a Facebook account, but it got frozen pretty much instantly. I wasn’t even spamming or posting anywhere. I just tried to join multiple book groups at once. By multiple, I don’t even mean 20. I mean four. Doing that at one time seemed more convenient than, I don’t know, joining one group at a time every few hours or something.

So, I’m slowly marketing my works. More than once, I’ve seen authors talk about the benefits of releasing a book for free on Amazon when it first comes out. That might work for them, I always think, but I’m just starting out. Of course, starting out might be the best time to provide free books so that people figure out who I am, but as I’m just starting out, I also need cash.

Some authors don’t like releasing their work for free because they feel they deserve some compensation for their book. It seems like a trade off to me. You’re giving up a certain sum of money initially in order to gain more exposure and boost your sales ranking.

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This one is just pretty.

I was hesitant to give books away for free, and thought, yeah, once I have more coming in it won’t be a problem. However, I’ve seen enough people swear by give-aways that I’m curious, so I’m doing an experiment. Calling it an experiment makes it sound scientific and like I have a plan.

In reality, I’ll just be releasing a few books for free shortly. I guess in the science world they’ll be called the “control group.” I’m not going to do much promotion for them, just them into the wild for free and see what happens. Then I have a few other books I’m going to do more promo for.

Has anyone else had success with free books? Is anyone completely against doing a Kindle giveaway? Let me know your thoughts.

Guesswork

I’m not that old, and I say I’m even younger, yet I’m very technology illiterate. I grew up with the internet and computers and cell phones and whatnot, but that doesn’t mean I’ve ever had an in-depth understanding of them. I know I need to make this site look nice and pretty, but my thoughts on that are generally “do that later.” I like that there’s a bunch of free themes available, I just doubt my capabilities to spruce up my layout.

I even used to have a WordPress site, though it was infrequently updated.  Maybe that’s what’s throwing me off. If I’ve never been somewhere, I happily follow my GPS and get where I’m going. If I’m familiar with the area, I think I know what I’m doing and drive around in circles.

At first, I couldn’t even figure out how to change the site title.  I’m sure this is an easy, normal task for most people, but it quickly descended into madness with me. I ended up searching for “how to change the fucking site title.”

wpWhere it said Kelly Whip, it used to say Say Title. It mocked me. I tried to click on it and couldn’t, and nothing in my profile or account settings helped.

I found a page with old information, which didn’t help. I also saw something that said doing this small task was fucking ridiculous, so that made me feel better. I made educated guesses, I clicked randomly on things, and then I eventually tried to customize the theme. From there, it’s choices galore! You can click where it says “You are editing site title” or “site identity.” So, I clicked on site title and it actually let me change it that time. Success!

“This isn’t very accessible,” I thought. Then I realized I couldn’t even find the follow button at first. So maybe the user was the problem.

Grammar Woes

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I can’t guarantee that my stories are perfectly edited. I wish I could, but I can’t. I’m my own editor right now. As I’ve been writing professionally in some capacity for around three years, I’m not too shabby. I admit that I use language in a descriptive not prescriptive fashion, but I abide by all the basic grammar rules. Except when it comes to commas.

commas.jpgWith commas, I go a little wild. I go back and forth between proper comma usage and what feels natural, I know that, putting commas in where there’s a pause or break in thoughts, even if it’s not technically correct. I  also love me a run on sentence and comma splices. But when compared to some other self-published stories I’ve encountered, I’m practically the Strunk and White Elements of Style.

I only mean that I think my work is interesting and reasonably well edited. I don’t mean to disparage other authors, as I actually think I spend a little too much time editing. There’s a certain point when it becomes too much, especially as errors  can still slip through.

Imagine my horror at finding ‘hamulating’ instead of ‘humiliating’ in a published work. I was hamulated! The weird part is that spellchecker didn’t see it, so it got through. Is it a real word? Google offers several corrections, but an online dictionary tells me hamulate means “furnished with a small hook; hook-shaped.”

So when I wrote, “Cleaning up in the nude was hamulating enough” I meant that “cleaning up in the nude is a small hook,” of course.

Now I know not to ignore Amazon when it tells me my document has errors. I thought they were words I’d written as I wanted them like ‘wanna,’ ‘gonna,’ and ‘funishment,’ yet hamulated had found its way in too.

I’ve since made corrections, but the update hadn’t gone into effect the last time I checked. So if you hurry, you could get Her Hidden Fantasy in mint condition, complete with embarrassing typos! Act fact, supplies are limited.

 

Putting chapters in e-books

Amazon has a guide for publishing Kindle books that is very helpful, but I’m technologically illiterate. When looking at the instructions to put in chapter links, my eyes glazed over. I saw something about how a table of contents (TOC) will convert if it’s done in Word. I understood the words “table of contents” and “Word,” so I went off experimenting

In most of the books I’ve read with Kindle, there’s not a TOC. A TOC might not be needed with a short story but is helpful when you’ve got a long book or a bundle. Maybe it’s author preference to not include one, or maybe some people like me were just confused. I managed to figure it out, so I’ll share what I learned.

Inserting a Table of Contents

The TOC goes after the disclaimer section but before the body of the work (obviously.) You can create a new page or just insert a page break after you get the table.

1.Highlight the text you want to link, and a little box will come up. (I’m using real technical terms here.) Select Heading 1, 2 or 3. Put all the necessary text in one of these headings.

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2. Don’t insert a table, instead go to references and select Table of Contents. There’s a couple automatic ones and one manual. With the automatic ones, the text just has to be in one of the designated headers. After you select one, hit the update table button, then update entire table.

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3. Delete the dots and the page numbers, since they aren’t used in KU.

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That’s all there is to it!

When using this method, you can’t edit the text as far as I know, so you can’t align it differently or change the font or the color of the heading. There’s probably different ways to insert a TOC, but this simple way works for me. You can test it by holding control and clicking on one of the lines in the TOC. This transfers over when uploading your book to Amazon, and you can test it again in the book previewer if you’re OCD like me.