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5 Reasons Authors Should Review Other Author’s Books

Many authors believe that other authors should not review books, and I’ve even seen a few review places not accept reviewers that were authors. It’s weird in my opinion because reviewing your fellow author’s books if done correctly, meaning you’re honest, you say both what you like, as well as, what you didn’t like if there was anything, and you’re fair, meaning you don’t use writing reviews as a way to “eliminate the competition.” Now this is of course the worst-case scenario but most of us who are authors have seen it at least once in our careers. The author who has low self-esteem and decides to use reviewing as a way to knock down other authors metaphorically speaking. As long as you don’t do that, then I don’t see any reason authors can’t review other author’s works, and I in fact encourage it.

Here are the reasons why:

1. Sometimes, authors are so appreciative they do a reciprocal review of one of your books, and then share them with their own readers and fans.

2. It fosters good will among authors, and can lead to extra promotion.

3. It gives you something to blog about. That’s huge in my opinion, as there is nothing worse than staring at a blank screen and not knowing what to write. If you’re writing a review of a book you read recently, it’s easy!

4. It gives you something to share with your readers and fans so you’re not always in promotion mode, which can be a turn off for said readers, and fans.

5. It brings new visitors to your blog and could introduce them to your books as well.

There are of course other reasons to review your fellow authors books such as it’s important to read what others are writing in your genre so you can stay in touch with trends. And of course, there is the fact that reading is just plain fun and relaxing and we all need a break from writing. So, if you’re not reviewing the books you read, you should be, for all of the reasons listed above.

5 Tips for Using Hashtags Correctly

Hashtags are just keywords with a # or hash in front of them, and they are all the rage. Everyone is using hashtags. If you’re an author, hashtags are important because they help readers find you and your books. However, if you’re new to the world of hashtags it can be very confusing. To learn more about Hashtags don’t miss my articles, Do Authors Really Need Hashtags, and 5 Hashtags Every Author Should Use.
If you’re a writer, and heck even if you aren’t, you can use hashtags. Here are five tips for using hashtags:

1. Don’t overdo it. If you’ve ever seen those twitter posts that are almost entirely hashtags, you know what I mean when I say this. Don’t let the message you’re trying to convey through your Twitter post be drowned out by the number of hashtags at the end of the post. Two to three hashtags per post is perfect.

2. Be creative when using hashtags. What I mean by this is if one of the keywords you want to use as a hashtag is already in your post, by all means plop a hashtag in front of that word. This saves you character space and you’re not repeating yourself by adding the same keyword with a hashtag at the end of your tweet. Here’s an example: “My new #BDSM #erotic #romance Re-Scue just released today!” See how I saved character space here? Now this doesn’t mean you can’t add other hashtags at the end of your tweet as long as you don’t go over the 140 character limit, but you get my idea. But again, don’t overdo it, you don’t want to put a hashtag in front of nearly every word in your sentence, and you don’t want your entire tweet to be hashtags.

3. Don’t just use hashtags on Twitter. The truth is hashtags can be used on any social media platform including Google+, and Facebook, and in fact you should use them there as well! This allows for consistency and you’ll reach more readers and fans. After all, not everyone uses Twitter, or Facebook or Google+ for that matter, but chances are most people use at least one of them!

4. Be careful when using hashtags. What I mean by this is that you should know what the hashtag you’re planning on using is being used for elsewhere on the web. You can research any hashtag before using it by going to a service like Tweet Deck signing up for an account and doing a search for conversations using your selected hashtag. Now this will just be on Twitter mind you, but it will give you an idea. After all, you don’t want to use a hashtag and then later discover the conversations around that hashtag have nothing to do with reading, or books for example. Which leads me to my final tip.
5. Research hashtags before you use them. It might seem like a no-brainer to use a particular keyword/ hashtag, especially if the keyword/hashtag in question relates to your book. However, there are thousands of hashtags that have nothing to do with books, or reading and while it may seem as if it would be a good fit, make sure you research it and that you’re reaching the audience you want to reach, and not just annoying a bunch of people who have no interest in say reading BDSM erotic romance books.
If you follow these five tips, you will be using hashtags like a pro in no time! Good luck, and post a comment if you have a question, I’ll get back to you!

5 Tips for Finding the Best Genre Hashtags to Attract Readers

Most of us as authors have more than enough to keep track of in the social media sphere without adding those dreaded hashtags. I mean what are they Just to recap, hashtags are keywords with a # or hash in front of them. Everyone is using them, but not everyone is using them correctly. To find out more about hashtag etiquette read my article 5 Tips for Using Hashtags Correctly. That being said, some of the most popular hashtags with both authors and readers are the genre hashtags. However, finding the best hashtags for your particular genre can be a problem. I know what you’re thinking, “but this should be a no-brainer, I know what genre my book is in and I can use that and put a hashtag in front of it right?” Well, yes, and no. Here are five tips to help you find the best genre hashtags that will attract readers to your books.

1. Create a list of keywords including the word for your genre. Make sure you include keywords associated with your genre. For example, YA and young adult. Both mean the same thing, but each one may be reaching a different audience. In this example, one of these keywords is used mostly by authors, promotions companies and publicists. It is used to get the word out to those people who will then hopefully retweet, or repost to their followers. This is all fine and good and yes you will reach some readers using this hashtag, but… and this is a big but, most of the people reading these posts are industry insiders, not readers. Industry insiders are great, don’t get me wrong, and yes, these people are readers too, but you want your core audience to your posts to be readers. So, the key is finding those keywords associated with your genre that are being searched for by readers. So, do a search for each hashtag on your list and then see who is using that hashtag and who is retweeting etc. See what other hashtags readers are using when they retweet and if it’s not on your list consider adding it and trying it out for new readers. There is no set way of finding the best genre hashtags but a little bit of research goes a long way.

2. Use sites like to find out if any of your hashtags are trending and how many tweets a day contain it. You don’t want to use a hashtag that no one else is using because no one will be searching for it. And that won’t sell your books! Use the hashtags from your list that are being used by others, particularly readers, which leads into my next tip.

3. Hang out online with readers and follow readers on Twitter, FB and Google+. You’ll discover which genre hashtags they use the most when tweeting and posting to their reader audience and you can use them too!

4. Find publishers that publish in your genre and check out their tweets and social media posts that contain books in your genre. See how they’re interacting with readers and what those readers are retweeting and what genre hashtags they’re using when they do it. You can use the same genre hashtags.
5. Finally, even when a genre hashtag  looks like a good one and one that is being used often, still check it on or another similar website to get an idea of the analytics before you start using it. This will help you to use genre hashtags that are going to reach readers, and maybe aren’t ones that a reader just instantly made up! Which by the way is fine, but only once it’s really being used by other readers.
If you follow these tips for finding the best genre hashtags, you will bring many more readers to your books. There are tons of articles on hashtags authors should be using, but one of the things I’ve noticed is that many times these are hashtags that are being used by industry insiders and not necessarily readers. Since you’re trying to reach readers and not necessarily other authors, publishers etc. at least not initially, you want the hashtags readers are using.

5 Free Online Graphics Resources for Social Media Images

Everywhere you go on the web these days, you will see beautiful images and graphics. Particularly on social media. Graphics are great because they catch the attention of anyone looking at your FB, Twitter, Google+ and other social media pages. I particularly love this trend because it makes sharing my book that much easier. The old saying, “a picture speaks a thousand words” is very true and you as an author can use this to your advantage.

Many authors think that you have to be a Photoshop guru to make beautiful images and graphics but it’s just not true! Photoshop is expensive and has a huge learning curve making many authors give up before they’ve started. However, there are several free online resources. And even someone who has never created a graphic before can use to create graphics and images just like the pros!

Here are five free online resources that you can use to create beautiful images and graphics to be used on social media, your blog or anywhere else on the web you can think of! Want to get your reader’s and follower’s attention, used images and graphics!

1. Canva. Canva is a really useful tool for beginners wanting to create beautiful images and graphics, and they have really good video tutorials, so even if you’ve never created a graphic in your life. Or opened a photo editing software. You can create a beautiful graphic in no time. Another nice thing about Canva is if you don’t have your own photo to start with, you can buy photos from them for $1 which is far cheaper than most stock photo places!

2. Picmonkey. Picmonkey is another great free photo and graphics editing and creating tool. And like Canva, they have a few tutorials as well to help you get started.

3. Quozio. If you love quotes and like to use them on your social media pages then this is the beautiful graphics tool for you! You get the functionality of finding beautiful images which they provide, along with sharing your own quotes, or someone else’s that you find meaningful. Since you’re an author, consider using this tool to pull quotes from your characters and sharing them with your followers!

4. Fotor. This is a truly great little online tool that allows you to do even collage which I found very cool! Not quite as tool heavy as Canva or Picmonkey but still very useful nonetheless.

5. Photovisi. This is solely for photo collages but it had such pretty layouts for them that I couldn’t resist adding this fantastic tool also. Even though it’s just for collages, authors should be able to come up with some pretty cool graphics for their social media using this.

So, there you have it five fantastic free online resources to create your beautiful images and graphics. Now go off and be creative, and don’t forget to share your

Writing the #VirtusSaga, the darkest and hottest erotic fantasy series on the web!

With The Lord and The Princess, the Virtus Saga comes to a close, ending right where it started. If it all began with Duncan looking for Black Rose, his and Ylianor’s heart-home, it concludes with Chris feeling finally at home. From the first home to the last, the circle is complete, especially for the character least interested in finding a home. Unlike his two lovers, for Christopher Templeton home has never been a place but a person, so it is all the more fitting he should find it with Ylianor, Duncan and their children. Now I’ll leave them to enjoy their well-earned victory on the overbearing computer that tried to reduce their world to a sex-starved planet. From now on, they and their people will be able to progress, their children especially, taking advantage of the new opportunities created by their parents. But this is another story, one I don’t think I’ll ever get to write, ‘cause these characters will have it so much easier than their parents ever did.

The beginning of this series dates back to 2006 when I wrote the first draft of what will become the Virtus Saga. At that time, it was a very long novel entitled simply Virtus, so long that I later split it up in three separate books—The Sex, The Gameand The Festival. Before I managed to find a publisher, I started writing Virtus 2, the rough basis for what will become The Leader and The Pledge. Then I moved on to Virtus 3, which turned out to be The Heat, The Princess and The Lord.

Through it all, I kept submitting Virtus to various publishers, all of which turned me down. Not that I blame them any. I was a nobody at my first experience in professional writing and with an extremely long and different kind of fantasy novel. One without battles or epic competitions. No dragons. No elves, dwarves or trolls. No wondrous creatures or wizards. Just three ordinary individuals struggling to grapple with the unexplainable mysteries that were their powers, but mostly their feelings, which were far more unruly and uncontrollable than any mystifying Virt they seemed to be endowed with. No wonder nobody wanted to take a chance on it, until eXtasy Books did at the end of 2007.

For this and for all the support, help and invaluable teaching, I’ll never finish thanking them. Once eXtasy accepted it, my life changed forever, which is another reason I cannot thank them enough.

I’ll never forget what inspired this particular story of mine. I’ve said it in a lot of blogs and interviews about seeing Duncan lost in a land that was as familiar to him as the back of his hand. If it didn’t make sense then, it didn’t stop me from reaching Ylianor’s shack and discovering a woman so similar to him she could’ve easily been his twin, a twin he had never seen before in his life! That he had no memory of her whatsoever didn’t make much sense, either. But again, it didn’t stop me from following them, as if they took me by the hand and led me. Their story unfolding the way it would to any reader approaching it for the first time. I was not the author. I was just a spectator. Nothing more. Up ‘till the very end, the characters kept me in the dark, revealing only what they wanted me to know when they decided it was the right time. Like with Duncan and Ylianor, how was I to know the prince’s insufferable lover had erased her from his memory way before their phase even started? Not until I was deep into writing Virtus 2 did Chris saw fit to share this itty-bitty information! Can you imagine it?

I’m just glad that genius husband of mine second-guessed them most of the
time! From the first reading of Virtus’s primordial draft, he had it all figured out, bless him! Unlike me, he understood the characters and the reasons behind their actions, to the point of knowing where they were going and how they’d get there. Like that bit about inferring Chris was in love with Ylianor after reading only their very first sex scene with Duncan, which was news to me. Not to him, evidently, and to his insightful analysis that made me understand what motivated my characters in a way I wouldn’t have otherwise, going as far as telling me how their story would unfold based on their personalities.

Oh, wow!

All the things that didn’t make sense to me became suddenly clear, but I’d have never figured it out without that emotionally keyed-in husband of mine. He and his precious insights have gone through the saga not for the story, for the emotions it conveys, bringing me to a whole new level of awareness. For this, I’ll never stop thanking him, same way I’ll never stop thanking my characters for coming up with a happy ending. To tell you the truth, I wouldn’t have stood for anything less.

Now I’d like to take a brief moment of your time to explain a few things I think are important about the Virtus Saga starting from the name. What does Virtus mean?

No, it’s not an imaginary name or an invented name, either. It’s a real term that comes from Latin, Virtus meaning Virtue.

Virtus was a specific virtue in Ancient Rome. It carries connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin vir, “man”). It was thus a frequently stated virtue of Roman emperors, and was personified as a deity.


Well, I think all my characters proved their undisputable valor, courage and more. So the name is quite suited for the saga and for the relation between Virtus and Virts. For Virtus is the expression of strength, something that must come from within before it can shine out. And since this is a fantasy series, I immediately turned these strengths into supernatural powers or Virts, as they are known on planet Sendar. But there’s more.

In Roman mythology, Virtus was the deity of bravery and military strength, the personification of the Roman virtue of virtus. The Greek equivalent deity was Arete.

Heshe was identified with the Roman god Honos (personification of honor), and was often honored together with him. As reported in Valerius Maximus, this joint cult led to plans in 210 BC by Marcus Claudius Marcellus to erect a joint temple for them both. This led to objections from the pontifical college that, if a miracle should occur in such a temple, the priests would not know to which of the two gods to offer the sacrifice in thanks for it. Marcellus therefore erected a temple for Virtus alone which was the only way in to a separate temple of Honos, financing them both with the loot from his sacking of Syracuse and
defeats of the Gauls. This temple was at the Porta Capena, and later renovated by Vespasian.

This deity was represented in a variety of ways — for example, on the coins of Tetricus, it can appear as a matron, an old man, or a young man, with a javelin or only clothed in a cape. Within the realm of funerary reliefs Virtus is never shown without a male companion. Often her presence within this realm of art is to compliment and provide assistance to the protagonist of the relief during a scene of intense masculinity or bravery.

Modern era

In 1776, Virtus was made the central figure in Seal of Virginia and the subsequent state’s flag which features the seal. The Virginia Four-Dollar Note, a Continental currency, had a similar Virtus pictured on its obverse.


This I find even more interesting. It relates perfectly to Computer Virtus’s feelings. It thinks of itself as a god, which is what stalls planet Sendar in its technological advancement. And then they say
computers improve our lives! Go figure! Then again, and the tribute is absolutely necessary, my Computer Virtus is too much like Computer Hal of 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke (and the rightly famous movie by Stanley Kubrick) for me not to draw your attention on the similarities.

Like Virtus, other terms in the saga have special significance, for instance Stella, Sendar’s sun, which is Latin for star, or the Nephis Valley. Sendar’s most sacred place—ironically also the seat of its most technologically advanced device—owes its name to the Arabic language.

Nafs is an Arabic word (cognate of the Hebrew word “Nefesh” נפש) which occurs in the Qur’an and means self, psyche, ego or soul. In its unrefined state, “the ego (nafs) is the lowest dimension of man’s inward existence, his animal and satanic nature.” Nafs is an important concept in the Islamic tradition, especially within Sufism and the discipline of gnosis (Irfan) in Shia Islam Tradition.

When I first heard the word during my visit of Jordan, I thought it was just perfect to describe the place I already had in mind. Then I went to Petra, and it literally blew my mind away. The long, winding passageway that leads to the city (the one also used by Steven Spielberg in the movie Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade) seemed to highlight the secretiveness and the depth one must reach in order to find one’s soul. This matched the name and concept of the Nephis Valley, like nothing else I’ve ever seen. So Petra’s hidden passageway became an integral part of Sendar’s Nephis Valley. And there’s not a moment I write of it that doesn’t throw me back in the magic of Petra.

My Jordan journey also inspired me as far as deserts and mountains went. The Wadirum Desert my characters have to cross on their first journey together is
in Jordan, and it’s also quite famous as Lawrence of Arabia’s desert.

In the 100 years since British army officer T.E. Lawrence traversed Jordan’s desert and the half century since David Lean set out to capture it for his cinematic epic “Lawrence of Arabia,” the blood red landscape that entranced both men has scarcely changed. Still “vast, echoing and God-like” — as Lawrence wrote in his account of his war experiences “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” — the desert’s hidden gems are now accessible to all.

Wadi Rum

When Lawrence, as a junior officer, was first sent out into the desert to locate the Hashemite rebels who he would join in revolt against the Ottoman Empire, he found himself in a vast gorge, where red rock monoliths rose more than 800m into the air around thin sand corridors.


Another place I frequently mention are the Jeruashi Mountains. In Sendar, this mountain chain connects the Hall to the Nephis Valley. In real life, it’s an Ancient Roman city, Jerash, founded in Jordan.

Jerash is famous for its ancient Roman architecture, with colonnaded streets, Corinthian arches, outdoor Roman Theaters and the Oval Plaza.

The names of the various estates have also special significance. Not just Black Rose, which is to homage the Caldwells’ dark beauty, or Fair Haven for the Templetons’ fairer one. Belleview, Carl Strepton’s home, where Chris and Duncan’s phase began, means Beautiful View, which is what a gorgeous pair like Duncan and Chris make whenever they’re together. No need, instead, to explain about Blue Oasis, Cecilia’s home. Set as it is in a desert and built with blue stones, the name seemed kind of a given. Or Darkley, the Lenz’s home. With a depressed weather controller for a master, the name seemed quite apt.

Finally, I’d like readers to be aware that the language used in these books is a rough translation of Sendar’s vernacular, particularly when it comes to dialogues. Some words just don’t exist on Sendar. Words like buy, sell, priceless, bet or similar have no place in a society that has no money, where economy is based on barter and that has no sense of private property. If I used them at times, it was because I couldn’t find a meaningful translation to what the characters wanted to convey.

Bastard is another word that has no place in a world where pledges control births, where no child can be born without knowing exactly who both his parents are. When I did use it within the story, it was just because I do not know how to translate the equivalent Sendarian insult. Also bitch has no place in the idiom of a society where sex is the highest form of achievement. Again, I just used it to convey Chris’s initial scorn of women in a way that would make it understandable to readers.

Similarly, words like shoot or anything relating to offensive actions have no place in a violence-free society. These I was very careful to avoid, even if at times nothing better came to me. My fault for living in a world that doesn’t condemn violence like Sendar does, but I hope readers understand I did it just to enhance their comprehension, not because these words actually exist on Sendar.

All right, that about covers it all. I hope you have enjoyed reading the Virtus Saga. I certainly did in writing it, and I’m real sorry my characters are out of my head. They’ve lived in it for so many years I really got used to their constant presence. But it was time for me to let them go, so I did. From now on, Duncan, Chris and Ylianor will live solely on the pages of my books and in the minds of all the readers who know them or will in the future.

The Celtic Origins of Halloween

Most researchers agree that the modern day holiday of Halloween originates from the Celtic New Year’s Festival of Samhain. Unlike modern day holiday Halloween that is on October 31st, the Celtic New Year’s celebration Samhain began on November 1st. The ancient Celts believed that on November 1st the veil was thinnest between the world of the living and the world of the dead and that those who had passed during the previous year would start moving into the afterlife or underworld.

Samhain––pronounced sow-in––is also referred to as All Hallows Eve, which is where we got the word for the current holiday Halloween, and most likely comes from the Celtic word “summer’s end”.

Unlike our current practices for Halloween, the Celts had different ways to celebrate Samhain or Halloween. One of those practices was to build huge bonfires in the hopes that sun would be encouraged not to disappear. Another practice was to dance around these bonfires, meant to keep any spirits of evil intent away. In an interesting twist of logic though, the Celts also left their front doors open in the hopes that loved ones would join them at their hearth. So, there was an understanding that not all spirits were evil, but the Celts made sure to protect themselves from this type as well.

The Celts believe that Samhain was the best time or most favorable time to perform divinations of all kinds. At this time, divinations occurred to determine who might die, when a great person might be born, or even who might rise in status, or who would marry.

While the Celts and their beliefs ruled much of Ireland, the United Kingdom and even parts of France for two thousand years, it wasn’t long before other cultures such as the Roman culture and the practice of Christianity came along to alter those ancient beliefs. In fact, the Romans were in control of Celtic lands for 400 years and influenced their beliefs during that time. For example, popular belief has it that the practice of “bobbing for apples” originates in the Roman holiday to honor the goddess Pamona the goddess of fruits, and trees since the apple was one of the symbols for the goddess Pamona. Another Roman holiday Feralia was a day to honor those that had passed and also influenced Celtic practices and beliefs about Samhain.

Christianity also influenced the Celts and their descendants. In 835, Pope Gregory IV wanted to replace Samhain with All Saints Day, but what actually substituted it was All Souls Day, which falls on November 2nd and began in 998 in a French monastery. From there, it spread throughout France, the UK and elsewhere. Another interesting fact is that in the 16th century, Christian children who lived in villages throughout Europe dressed up in grotesque costumes representing the horrific deaths of The Seventh Brethren. The story was from the second chapter of the second book of Macabees. There may be a correlation between this and children dressing up today, but it is also known that the Celts sometimes dressed as ghosts in order to prevent the dead to identify them as living. So, it’s possible that this was the original origin of people dressing up at Halloween.

While modern day Halloween bears little resemblance to the Celtic festival of Samhain, there is no doubt that it is the origin of our modern day holiday, plus it gives me a great excuse to write erotically dark stories. So I’ve made it a point to specialize in them, as you can tell from my selection of horror books on this theme, based in Celtic thimes as well as in the contemporary ones:

                             Contemporary                                                                   Historical Celts
But if you’re looking for bloody sexy horror anytime, without necessarily theHalloween theme, I’ve got it, thoo:

Avoid Holiday Book Marketing Stress in 7 Tips

The holidays can be very stressful for authors, especially when you have new books out during this time. On top of the whole figuring out what gifts to purchase, and who to buy gifts for, getting your holiday cards out on time, planning meals and visits, or vacation time, and the dreaded day job if you have one, promoting your books can put them over the top stress wise.

So, what can you as an author do to keep book marketing stress at a minimum during the holidays?

1. Create a holiday book-marketing plan and stick to it. Figure out exactly what you want to do to promote your books during the holidays. Choose up to three things you’re going to do every day to promote your books and then do them.

Tip 1: Use Evernote to create a daily checklist and then check off each item as you complete it.

Tip 2: Use Evernote to create a reminder for your daily checklist so you don’t forget to do the items.

2. If you’re offering a free holiday story on your website, hire someone on Fiverr to create the cover for $5.00 if you don’t know how to create a cover. Oh, and remember your holiday story can be as short as five pages, don’t think you have to write a fifty page novella to do this!

3. Set up mailers to go out once a week in November, December and January to your mailing list. All you have to do is add a cover, blurb, excerpt and buy links. Do this for a different book each week. If you don’t have a lot of books, then change up the excerpt each time and make sure you indicate in the subject line that there’s a new excerpt. You can also do other things with the weekly mailings such as offer free desktop wallpapers or bookmarks, or announce a new contest etc. If you have a WordPress blog, you can use a free plugin called MailPoet which allows you to schedule mailings!

4. Delegate, delegate, delegate! Ask family members, and or friends to help you with all the different holiday things you need to get done. Give your husband a shopping list for gifts for family members and send him to the mall or wherever. Or if you have teenagers, you can send them, as long as it’s not for their gifts of course! If you’re having a family dinner at your house, try doing a potluck where everyone brings something for the dinner so you aren’t required to cook and prepare everything!

5. Practice self-care every day. This means continuing to work out, eat healthy, getting plenty of sleep, drinking enough water and all the things that you do during the rest of the year rather than putting them off to market your book, or the myriad other things that you do during the holidays.

6. Learn to say no at work and at home. During the holidays there are always going to be those who are also looking for others to pick up extra work for them. As an author you have more than enough extra stuff of your own, so if you know staying after work for an extra two hours is going to put you behind and stress you out, then

say no to your co-worker. Don’t make excuses, just say no. This goes for anyone who may ask you to take on extra work that you don’t have the time or energy for and that is going to stress you out if you say yes.

7. Hire an author promotions company like HeartFelt Promos to

help you promote your books during the holidays so you can sit back, relax and enjoy! And life will be definitely sweeter and smile on you!!! Trust me LOL I know ‘cause I’ve been with HeartFelt Promos for more than a year now and haven’t had a worry in the world. Plus, my sales have increased, and that’s the best promotion possible!

These seven tips will help you to stay on top of all the stuff that

happens during the holidays and allow you to promote your books in a relaxed and easy manner as well. Remember, you don’t have to do everything (even if it feels like you do). Make your holidays more fun and more relaxed by taking advantage of these tips to avoid not just book marketing stress, but all stress during the holidays!

And don’t miss my very special Christmas offering: the Soulmate Series! Both books are the sweetest, most romantic stories you could hope for during this happy time!

5 Reasons You Need an Author’s Blog

Are you a published author? Want to be one? If you’re not blogging on a regular basis, you’re missing out on a prime opportunity to bolster your following and get more readers not just of your book, but of your blog. Think readers don’t care about author blogs? Then you’d be wrong! Readers want to know more about their favorite authors and having an author’s blog is a great way to give them what they want. These five reasons are not the only reasons you need an author’s blog, but they are certainly five of the most important in my opinion. So if you’ve thought you didn’t need a blog or that an author’s blog wasn’t important then let’s hope I can change your mind!

1. An author’s blog is a great way for readers who haven’t read any of your books and are not sure if they’re going to buy one of your books to check out your writing style. If you offer free short stories, or excerpts, or anything like that, then this gives these readers something to check out and hopefully to encourage them to buy one or all of your books.

2. Having an author’s blog gives you an opportunity to build a mailing list of interested readers. Make sure you have a way for readers to subscribe to your blog, that way when you announce new and upcoming releases on their blog they’ll be some of the first people to know!

3. Blogging is fun! Blogging offers much more than a way to interact with readers, it can be plain fun. The whole idea is to be creative. You don’t have to write a blog post every day. But do consider sharing fun videos and photos of you, your dog or even a cute video you found on YouTube. See how many comments you get and how many new people subscribe to your blog. That’s part of the fun of being an author, having fans, and followers, as well as, readers.

4. You can try out story ideas on your blog. Ever had an idea for a story that you just weren’t sure you could pull off effectively? We’ve all had them, the weird and strange, or peculiar idea for a story and the fear that maybe your reader base might not like it—especially if it’s a story that is unlike your others. So, post a few paragraphs of the story, or write out the blurb as you think it would be (this is also good practice when you have to write your own blurbs!), and ask for comments. See what your fans and followers think. Ask them questions like “would you buy this story?” You might be surprised, and you’ll probably bring in a few new people as well.

5. it’s an opportunity to share your other interests and hobbies. Do you also paint watercolors? Here’s your opportunity to share your art. Like to bead? Again, great opportunity to post photos and share. Did your daughter just graduate from college and you want to shout it to the world? Again, great opportunity, and the more you come across as a real person the more readers you’ll get for your blog and your book.

So, there you go, five reasons you need an author’s blog. If you aren’t versed in blogging or setting one up, Blogger is a great, easy platform and you can be blogging in mere minutes!

7 Things Authors Need in Their Virtual Media Kits

Most of us have heard of a media kit. I mean what reader hasn’t gone to her favorite big-name author’s website and looked at the media kit? I’ll bet you have! Here’s the thing, though. Publishing has changed drastically in the last five years and much of what we do as authors is virtually. It’s no different for your media kit. Every author’s website should have one, even if you have only published one book. Media kits make it super easy when you’re doing blog tours to have all of your information in one place and ready to send to blogs. This is especially helpful when you’re doing an Author Spotlight or Book Spotlight tour.

So just what should be in your virtual media kit?

1. Your author photo.
Got mine right HERE!

2. Your latest book covers in 200×300 size.

Got them all, but the latest are The Princess and The Lord, Book

7 and 8 of the Virtus Saga, and you can download them by clicking on the titles.

3. Your author bio.
I definitely have that, just click HERE to read it.

4. An excerpt from your latest release.
Uh, I got plenty of those! From the individual book pages, you can find excerpts all over. Here’s a list from The Princess and The Lord, my latest releases:
Chris needs a lesson!, Ylianor is back! Erotic MMF, Meet Mistress Ylianor! Erotic, Amazing Amazon, Download Pdf First ChaptersIt’s just a fuck sleeping beauty, Erotic MMF Chapter One, Ylianor steals the show, From now on, you are a slave PG, Proud to be your slave, This was so Chris! PG, Erotic BDSM Multiple Partners, Shall we tell our infuriating angel-demon what he means to both of us? Erotic MMF, Amazing Amazon, Download Pdf First Chapter

5. An excerpt or two from reviews for your latest release.
[image:image-0]Every one of my books has a review section that readers can check out for themselves. Click HERE to see the one for Bondage Slave For Hire, my latest Halloween BDSM release.

6. Graphics suitable for social media that contain photos and short quotes from your latest release.
Got plenty of those, too, and you can find them in every book’s webpage  like Virtus Saga banner,ReScue Series banner, Virtus Saga wallpaper and bookmarks, plus all the covers. As for the quotes, they’re kind of all over my website, together with blurbs, log lines and reviews. Check out the ones from The Leader, The Pledge, The Heat, The Princess and The Lord, for instance. In addition, the main quote readers can use is taken from The Lord, Book 8,, and it sums up the entire Virtus Saga like nothing else I wrote about it: “Because us is sex.” Lord Christopher Templeton.

7. A printable backlist of your books if you have published other books.
Got this, too! Just click on the print-preview icon that is on many pages of my web site.

Your virtual media kit should be available as a download on your website. You can add everything to a zip file. This makes it easy for anyone to download and share your virtual
media kit, but it also makes it easy for you to send out to blogs that you’re touring with!

Extra Tips:
Make sure that you have a page on your website labeled “media kit” and that you have a list there showing what is in the zip file as well as the link to download it.

I also suggest that in case of images such as the social media ready images that you have those visibly on your website so that readers can right click and save them to their computer to share on their own social media. Readers aren’t always looking for your entire media kit but this still makes it easy for them to help support and share your books!

Creating a virtual media kit is easier than you might think and will make your job of promoting your own books much easier!

#VirtusSaga: The Completion!

The dark fantasy series about The Making of a Trio  ends with the release of The PrincessBook 7 and The Lord Book 8
With the release of The Lord, Book 8, and The Princess, Book 7, the Virtus Saga comes to a close. Yes, it’s really over! From now on, Duncan, Chris and Ylianor will continue living in the pages of my books alone, out of my head and out of any new future releases. So this is really it!

In the blog below, you will find all about the Writing of the Virtus Saga, which has been a long and sometimes arduous task that has taken me the better part of eight years. But the important thing is that it has a definite ending. I just apologize with all my readers that it has taken me so long to finish it, but if you read the other blog, you’ll understand why. Safe to say, I wanted to give a credible ending, not an easy way out for Duncan, rather something that made sense in the logic I’ve built of planet Sendar. And without false modesty, I believe I’ve accomplished just that!

This was important to me. Virtus the Saga is not just a series of sex-filled books. It’s a true dark fantasy series that has its share of good versus evil, even if neither takes the form of dragons, elves, fairies, goblins or whatever else conventional fantasy manufactures. Duncan, Chris and Ylianor’s struggles are real fights for survival, even if they lack the epic connotations usually associated with fantasy battles. That’s why this particular ending is so very fitting with everything they worked for in order to insure a better future to their world and to their children.

Yes, their children—who you’ill know in the Epilogue of The Lord—will give you the measure of how life will be like on planet Sendar from now on. So don’t miss it, also because they are so cute and interesting, they almost make me wish I hadn’t decided to stop writing Virtus the Saga!

One thing I’m real glad is that the final two books are all about the two characters who are most dissimilar yet most attracted to one another. Like fire to water, such is the force of their magnetism, and I think readers will have no problem picking it up from these last two books, if they haven’t already. The BDSM scenes, in particular, give off their heat like nothing else I’ve written about them, just like Chris’s final acceptance of a love that has been in the making since the beginning of The Sex, Book 1 of the Virtus Saga. But please don’t take my word for it. Read the many excerpts I’ve taken from the last two books, The Princess and The Lord, and judge for yourself. You can also download the first chapters in PDF, just to set you on the right track of the last of the Virtus Saga, plus don’t forget you can download them also for all the previous books as well!

For all those who have no idea of what I’m talking about, look at the series trailer, and just go through the various pages on this website dedicated to this very unique gay LGBT, dark fantasy, paranormal and extremely romantic series. It might give you an idea of how structured and vibrantly alive this romantic saga has become, before you actually get to read the first word about it.

And for my fans and all the lovers of the Virtus Saga, don’t forget the exclusive wallpapers and bookmarks available as free downloads. Here are all the links:

The secret of the Virtus Saga? Us is sex! Don’t miss the explosive ending of the darkest and most erotic fantasy series on the web!

The Lord
AUTHOR: Laura Tolomei
SERIES: Virtus Saga Book 8
GENRE: Erotica, BDSM, Gay LGBT, Ménage à Trois/Quatre, Multiple Partners, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Series, m/m, m/m/f
ISBN# 9781487400781
HEAT LEVEL: 4 flames
PAGES# 359
WORD# 102.541
RELEASE DATE: 1 October 2014
PUBLISHER: eXtasy Books
COVER: Angela Waters


When Lord Christopher Templeton has to enter Cecilia Hurst’s Game of Masters and Slaves, he already knows he has to prove himself to the man he has adored since the age of reason, Prince Duncan Caldwell. And he can do it only with her, Lady Ylianor Templeton, his bewitching mate and the only woman who can make him reunite his two separate halves. Angel or Demon? No, not a question at all, for he is Angel and Demon! Two faces. One fucking gorgeous man! And only two people can switch him one way or the other. The past in his power. The present in his lust. The future in his temper. Because he is The Lord, and his Game will be unlike any his people have ever seen.
That’s just the beginning of Book 8 of the Virtus Saga, where nothing is as it seems, not since soul mates Prince Duncan Caldwell and Lord Christopher Templeton share a love that is unrivaled until a fateful knock on Ylianor Meyer’s dilapidated shack changes everything forever. This book picks up right where Book 7, The Princess, leaves off and ends it all—the fight, the unbalance and the denial started way back in Book 1 The Sex, then continued in The Game Book 2, The Festival Book 3, The Leader Book 4, The Pledge Book 5, The Heat Book 6 and The Princess Book 7. Not just the saga’s grand finale! This book also begins everything anew—life, love, passion and torrid sex but mostly the unique connection laced with a jealousy and violence that are unknown to their world. Because this isn’t just another erotic dark fantasy series. This is the making of a trio. Of three remarkable characters that have to overcome their uncontrollable lust to face the truth about themselves and their planet, in order to defeat the darkness about to devour them. To be as one whilst three! That’s their real challenge. Because, if they can’t learn to share power and love in equal measures, how will they be able to ensure their world’s survival?

Erotic MMF Chapter One, Ylianor steals the show, PG at the Game, Erotic BDSM Multiple Partners, It’s just a fuck sleeping beauty, Proud to be your slave, and I want everyone to know it, This was so Chris!, What do you say if we tell our infuriating angel-demon what he means to both of us?

Leave your review on Goodreads, Amazing Amazon

The book that reconnects it all—the love, the sex, the lust, but also the princess and her amazing power. Don’t miss the latest chapter of this ongoing dark fantasy series, the Virtus Saga.

The Princess
AUTHOR: Laura Tolomei
SERIES: Virtus Saga Book 7
GENRE: Erotica, Gay LGBT, Ménage à Trois/Quatre, Multiple Partners, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Series, m/m, m/m/f
ISBN# 9781487400415
HEAT LEVEL: 4 flames
PAGES# 479
WORD# 132.764
RELEASE DATE: 15 September 2014
PUBLISHER: eXtasy Books
COVER: Angela Waters


When Prince Duncan Caldwell finds himself alone for the very first time in his life, he cannot understand what has gone wrong. From his earliest years, he had been with at least one, if not both, of the two special people he had chosen and deeply loved. Christopher Templeton, his phase mate, and Ylianor Caldwell, his father’s heart child, have always been his reference points, the two fixed stars of his evolving destiny. His insane lust for both have further strengthened his bond to them during the apparently endless time they had already spent together. And yet…no matter how much he gets of them, it’s never enough. Not of Ylianor, his adored princess, born and raised in Black Rose, his own home. Certainly not of Chris, his beloved angel, met as a mere eight-year-old on the hills of the same Black Rose that had brought Ylianor to him. So why is he alone now?

That’s just the beginning of Book 7 of the Virtus Saga, where nothing is as it seems, not since soul mates Prince Duncan Caldwell and Lord Christopher Templeton share a love that is unrivaled until a fateful knock on Ylianor Meyer’s dilapidated shack changes everything forever. This book picks up right where Book 6, The Heat, Book 5, The Pledge, Book 4, The Leader, Book 3, The Festival, Book 2, The Game, and Book 1, The Sex, leave off and plunges it all—the lust and the sex vortex, but also the gossip and the multiple partners. Mostly the unique connection laced with a jealousy and violence that are unknown to their world. Because this isn’t just another erotic dark fantasy series. This is the making of a trio. Of three remarkable characters that have to overcome their uncontrollable lust to face the truth about themselves and their planet, in order to defeat the darkness about to devour them. To be as one whilst three! That’s their real challenge. Because, if they can’t learn to share power and love in equal measures, how will they be able to ensure their world’s survival?.

Chris needs a lesson!, Ylianor is back! Erotic MMF, Erotic Mistress,The day I’ll miss your sorry ass, Lady Templeton, has yet to dayn! BDSM

Leave your review on Goodreads, Amazing Amazon

FacebookVirtus Saga on Goodreads – Virtus Saga: The Completion on Facebook

The Sex, Book 1The Game, Book 2The Festival, Book 3The Leader, Book 4The Pledge, Book 5The Heat, Book 6The Princess, Book 7The Lord, Book 8

The Sex and The Festival BookmarksThe Leader Wallpapers and BookmarksThe Pledge Wallpapers and BookmarksThe Princess Wallpapers and BookmarksThe Lord Wallpapers and Bookmarks