Sunday, October 28, 2012


Anna Campbell has won the novel up for grabs!

Stay tuned, though. Come next month, we'll do a giveaway for all three books in time for Christmas!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Romance Novel Thesaurus - Part I

As a romance editor and author, I come across many...flavorful words and descriptions of certain body parts, feelings, and sensations.

I thought I'd list a few euphemisms, adjectives and word choices...some good, some not, some just plain hilarious.

So, without further ado, let's get right to the gold, shall we?

Breasts: Bust, chest, breasts, cleavage are acceptable.

If you must use another term, soft orbs or mounds will get an eyebrow raise from me, but they're not bad enough that I'll stop reading.

Boobs are a no-no. I've never seen the word in a manuscript.

Stay away from from melons, hooters, bazookas, cans or any campy college-aged, high-fiving way to reference them. Obviously.

Jugs, knockers, 'the girls' all equal a big no.

Funbags is another inappropriate term. Hey, I'm just trying to save you from yourself, here.

On the opposite end, bosom only really works in historical romance, so keep that in mind.

Penis: This guy has so many euphemisms (including this guy). Most of them you really shouldn't use. Remember when you're writing to keep true to the tone of the piece. For instance, multiple references to cocks and dicks are seen more in m/m fiction than m/f. I don't make the rules, I just observe the patterns.

Acceptable terms: penis, cock, dick, erection, length, package, hard-on, bulge, and shaft.

Prick, rod, groin, hardness, and manhood are acceptable, but barely. Use sparingly.

Pecker, wiener and may as well be saying pee-pee. They're a no.

Baby-maker, twig and berries, fun stick...these are all terms I've seen and red-penned, because come on.

Dong was only acceptable for a short time in 1998 if you were under 15 or so. Keep it out of your book if you can help it. And that goes for schlong. Obviously.

Now, personally, I love meat injection. It's probably the funniest term I've ever seen used. Don't use it.

Pork sword? Really?

Please don't ever use heat-seeking moisture missile. I swear to God, people.

Now, I know, I're like, well, what can I use? Remember, you can always not use them. Him and her can always work in a pinch, and usually work better.

Example: "She took him into her mouth."

Nipples, balls and penis-head will get their own entries later, along with a lot of other terms. There are also common actions to go through, like kissing, or phrases for the way hair falls around the shoulders. However, there's only so much of this stuff I can stomach at a time without laughing like a ten year old, you know.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Body Combat just released last month, and I've been given license to give some copies away!

I thought I'd start right here with a giveaway. This is for an ebook copy, any format you would want or need!

So tell everybody! FREE BOOK, FREE EBOOK.

Here's the blurb:

"Charles Whitaker is taking his fall from grace hard. Once the top architect in San Diego, his business partner cooked the books and ran off with all his earnings. When the money left, so did his wife. To help Charles' re-focus his energy on the future, he's taken a Body Combat course. Only he
can't focus on anything but the beautiful instructor, Sammy Logan.

Sammy doesn't date clients. Even if she did, she's sure they'd run in the opposite direction as soon as they found out that she has no money and spends all her time protecting her mother from her drunken father. Still, the well-built man in the third row catches her eye and won't let her go without a fight. When her father crashes his car, Sammy has nowhere to turn and runs smack dab into Charles Whitaker.

Together they try to mend a 25-year family rift, caused by greed and stubbornness, by proving that love is more powerful than money.

But is it?"

Sign up. It's wicked easy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Find the Right Feedback for You

Editors, crit partners, beta readers...they all amount to the same thing: Someone who is going to rake over your manuscript, chop it up, mark it in red and throw it back to you with an email saying "Great job! Here are the billionity things I would fix!"

Are you ready for it? Can you handle it?

You must.

Authors shoot themselves in the respective feet by being too afraid to let an editor touch their work. Some don't want their words changed. Others have low self-esteem when it comes to their writing and don't think they could handle any blows. But if you won't let a beta reader take a look, how are you going to get an agent or publisher to take a look?

Here's an industry secret: Your first manuscript needs to be pretty damn perfect (unless you're very lucky) for anyone to even glance at it twice. Use the wrong its on the first page or use a sentence structure that goes off on tangents without backing up the original idea, and you're headed for the reject pile.


After that, you're golden. The more books you get out there, the less awesome they have to be. It gets to a point when you just have to type random words on a page that amount to nothing and you're just blindly accepted. Someone else gets to do the work of making it make sense and flow both grammatically and content-wise. (I'm not at that point yet, but I know a guy who knows a guy.)

Point being, as you agonize over the logical strength of your second paragraph, and you feel defeated because you have 45,000 more words to sift through that you thought you got right the first time, take heart. Do it well now, and you won't have to do it for long.

You only need to achieve perfection once (or just a few times). After that, they pay someone else to achieve it for you / help you achieve it.

So, how do you take that first step then? How do you find the right voice to edit your piece? Here's some advice.

1) Friends. Friends are tricky. If you're a writer, you probably have some fairly literate friends. They probably like to read. Use them. Ask them first. Anyone interested will let you know. But be wary. If you are the sensitive type, and you choose a blunt friend to look at your piece, you may get your feelings hurt. Editing ruins friendships. Before you embark on an editor / writer relationship with someone you know, make sure you are on the same page with the type of editing you want and the amount of criticism you can handle.

2) Figure out exactly what you are looking for and tell the beta reader up front. Some authors are looking for a quick readthrough just to make sure the major plot points fall into line and the text has consistency. If this is you, and your beta spends a week tightening your grammar and changing your specific words, you're both going to leave the table frustrated and angry. You wasted her time, and she didn't even give you the big picture, which was all you were looking for in the first place. If you want a partner who sees just the trees, sentence by sentence, say so. If you want a partner who sees just the forest, the piece as a whole, tell them. I've found the best editor is one who does both, but you've got to be willing to part with your genius phrasing and even some of your overarching themes and ideas if you choose that type.

3) Consider some kind of payment plan. I edit for money through a company. I edit for friends for free because, you know, friendship. I edit for my crit partner (who is now a friend) in an exchange program. She sends me her stuff, I send her mine. If the playing field is equal, you'll not have to worry about any feelings getting in the way of your stellar work.

4) There are two types of editors you can choose.

a) Choose a writer who writes like you do. These are good because you know you have a kindred spirit. This person will understand your turns of phrase. They enjoy your genre. They have a general knack for saying things in the way that you say them. Using them will preserve the purity of your work, in that they already 'get' you, so you won't have to waste time changing something for an outsider's opinion...someone who may or may not know what the readers of your work as a general audience will think.

b) Choose a writer whose style you admire. This is the tougher and, in my opinion, the better option. If you have an editor who writes as you aspire to write, they will make the sort of changes you wished you had thought of. They will improve your writing in the way you want it improved (whether you know it or not.) Your words might not stay the same, and you might have sweeping changes to make, and you might have to ignore some of it because the person just doesn't 'get' it, but overall, you'll get a thorough edit on things you otherwise wouldn't have seen.

5) Don't assume people know things. You would think it would be a common courtesy for an editor not to say something like, "wow, this character totally sucks, and I hate him." It's not. If you don't want that kind of language, or that negativity, tell your partner upfront. It probably wouldn't have been an issue, but in case it would have been, now you've covered it and no one gets hurt.

If you don't know where to find an editor, and you're looking for someone who does not know you personally, put out a signal. Join writing forums and groups. You can use Facebook, Tumblr, or even plain old google. Type in your genre and the word discussion. Goodreads is also great for this. Network among writers and readers and you'll find yourself a partnership before you know it.

Good luck and happy editing!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Feature Follow Friday (8)

It's time for another Feature Follow Friday!

The hop is hosted by Alison Can Read and are the rules!

First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools — keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them “hi” in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!

What sets this Hop apart from others, is our Feature. Each week we will showcase a Featured Blogger, from all different genres and areas. Who is our Feature today? Find out below. Just remember it is required, if you participate, to follow our Features and you must follow the hosts (Parajunkee & Alison Can Read) as a courtesy. How do you follow someone? Well, if you have a preference, state it in your #FF post. A lot of blogs are transitioning to WordPress in which they do not have the luxury of GFC, so an RSS subscription is appreciated or if you choose an email subscription. If you don’t have GFC please state in your post how you would like to be followed.

The question this week is about blogging. What do you hope to accomplish with your blog?

This blog is a place for me to review books I've read, keep people up to date with my own books, and give some insight into the background of the business. I also like sharing publishing opportunities and calls that I find for other aspiring authors. It's been a lot of fun so far!

Go ahead and link your blog below! This hop is worth it!