Things I Learned by Reading The Art of Social Media

Over the weekend I read The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick,  on my Kindle. I mention that I read this in ebook form only because I missed out seeing a few graphics and embedded screenshots clearly because my Kindle screen shows images like that in smallish grey scale. To get the full effect, I’m going to pick up a paper copy of the book as well.

I don’t consider myself to be a social media newbie by any means, so I was a bit skeptical as to how much I could actually learn. Just to play it safe, I checked it out from my library to see what I could glean from The Art of Social Media.

So, I started reading and right away…cue the DUH moment. This book is an Amazon #1 best-seller for a reason. Of course I learned a ton from it! I definitely recommend it if you’re trying to use social media for marketing or building brand awareness.

I talk about a few of the things I picked up from The Art of Social Media in this audio clip I posted to SoundCloud.

 

However, if you want to know more, you can do two things:

  1. Read the book yourself! You might take away something totally different from it than I did.
  2. Watch this space. I plan on putting a few ideas I have from the book to use on my blog and on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, so to get the whole scoop feel free to follow me!

#MSS100 We’re Sexy HOT #Saturday7 Minding the Boss

It’s that time again, time for My Sexy Saturday. This week’s theme is We’re Sexy HOT, which is so fitting for summer, plus, ya know, us authors are ;).

The weekly meme has been going for 100 weeks! And I’m so happy to be a part of this week’s hop.

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This week I’m sharing 7 sentences from my short story about a hot office romance, Minding the Boss.

Here’s the blurb

Minding the BossWhat is it about a man in charge?

Rachel Ellis has spent months fantasizing about all the things she’d love to do to her sexy boss Max Drake if given the chance. When the two find themselves alone in the office, on a Saturday night no less, she quickly realizes that all her naughty daydreams are about to come true.

Even though she’ll settle for just one night of passion with Max, Rachel finds out that anything is possible when you mind the boss.

Here’s my sexy 7 sentences

“I’m sorry I’m such a klutz. I-” whatever else I was going to say next died on my lips when I felt Max’s hands encircle my wrists.

My pulse raced at the nearness of him as he pulled me from my chair and toward his hard body. I closed my eyes when I saw him lower his sensual mouth toward my own. I was dreaming. Despite the copious amounts of caffeine I’d consumed, I’d somehow managed to fall asleep at my desk and I was having a deliciously sexy dream. But when Max’s lips met mine I knew I was wide awake.

Buy Minding the Boss for just 99 pennies at:

Keep this hop going! Visit the other authors taking part in this week’s My Sexy Saturday  http://www.mysexysaturday.blogspot.com/2015/07/were-sexy-hot-mysexysaturday.html

 

Celebrating the Freedom to Read Whatever You Want!

Celebrate the red, white and blue this weekend by staying inside where it’s cool!

I’m participating in The Freedom Hop, hosted by Romance Beckons, to celebrate the 4th of July and summertime reads.

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The hop runs from Thursday July 2-Sunday July 5 and as part of the festivities, I’m giving away an e-copy of Minding the Boss.

To enter, leave a comment along with your email address. I’ll use random.org and the winner will be notified by email by Monday, July 6.

Please keep the hop going! Visit the other wonderful blogs in the Freedom Hop by clicking here.

#MSS97 Our Sexy Best ~ Life of Privilege excerpt by @realamandabretz #Saturday7

This weekend I’m taking part in My Sexy Saturday, the weekly meme is a way for authors to share 7 words, 7 sentences or 7 paragraphs from published, soon-to-be-released or works-in-progress manuscripts.

20140322-052550.jpgEach week, there’s a new theme, this is the 97th week of the ultra-fun, ultra-successful blog hop and the theme this week is Our Sexy Best.

I thought about what that meant to me in relation to my latest release Life of Privilege and I came up with the “best time” or that time when couples (both real and fictional) realize that they’re really, really into one another.

For my excerpt today, I’m sharing a scene from Life of Privilege where my characters Katie and Royce are at a concert together and the experience helps them to see each other in a new light. And since this is a romance novel, it also shows them just how attracted they are to each other. Please enjoy my 7 paragraphs!

Blurb:

lifeofprivilege_800Living the life of a celebrity isn’t always as perfect as it seems.

Katherine Dawson was born into a life of privilege as the heiress to an apparel dynasty. Between judging a reality TV competition for budding fashion designers and having been the face of her family’s clothing line for most of her life, she’s one of the biggest celebrities in her field.

When she becomes engaged to up-and-coming television producer Nathan Taylor, she appears to have it all. To any outsider, she has a picture-perfect life, so when Katherine leaves her groom-to-be at the altar and disappears, the tabloids are full of speculation over her sudden departure.

Fleeing New York to hide out in Seattle, she quickly finds that living the life of an heiress in hiding isn’t as easy as she thought, especially after she meets a magnetic writer named Royce Reynolds. In her new life on the West Coast, she struggles to keep her anonymity, and experiences a relationship with a man who wants her for the person she is, not the celebrity she used to be.

Excerpt:

“I know you said you’re a huge fan, but somehow I couldn’t picture you in a mosh pit. No offense, but I just don’t think that’s a good place for anyone who gets claustrophobic. I got us these seats just to be on the safe side. We can still make our way to the pit at any time, if that’s what you want.”
“Um, hell yeah! I have a confession to make. I’ve never been in a mosh pit before. In fact, I’ve never been to a concert before, so I feel like I owe it to myself to have the full experience.”
“What? You’ve never been to a concert? You’re sure the mosh pit won’t make you uncomfortable?”

She bit her lower lip, feeling like a jerk for carrying on the lie that she suffered from claustrophobia. It wasn’t that crowds made her nervous. It was the fear of the paparazzi lurking around every corner—or worse, of someone recognizing her. Of course, she couldn’t tell Royce that, so she simply shrugged off his suggestion that the mosh pit might make her uncomfortable.
“I’ve led a sheltered life. What else can I say?”
Royce laughed at her joke, as she knew he would. The ironic thing about what she’d told him was that it was the truth. Her mother didn’t believe in attending pedestrian events like concerts or sporting events. Growing up, she’d had a front row seat at New York City’s iconic Fashion Week. That was one of the few venues Evangeline had allowed her daughter to attend and she’d attended it religiously, regardless of her displeasure.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the start of the concert. As the lights dimmed and the first strings of the bassist’s guitar sounded, the crowd went wild, screaming and clapping. Multiple hued lights flashed from the floor of the stage and a big spotlight shone on the four band members. The crowd jumped to their feet when the quartet opened the show with their current hit song Mayhem. Before Katie knew what she was doing, she began to move and lose herself in the song’s shredding guitar riffs and pounding drum beats. She closed her eyes and mouthed the words, thinking not for the first time that the lyrics could have described her life.
“I’ll never be the same
You really did a number on me
Sometimes I don’t even know my own name
What’s it gonna take for you to see
Your brand of love isn’t love at all, it’s mayhem.”

Royce wrapped his hands around her waist. His hard body swayed in rhythm with hers. She leaned her head back so it came to rest on his shoulder. They fit together nicely. He felt good—really good. With the pulsating beat wrapping around them like an aphrodisiac, she allowed herself to get lost in the moment and move with him. Her body hummed and buzzed from Royce’s touch. Her nipples hardened into stiff peaks. Their sensitive ends rubbed against the rough fabric of her lace bra with every movement. The friction made her melt inside.

The pleasure was tinged with just a hint of pain. Lust flowed through her veins, making her pussy wet and her legs tremble from desire.
After Mayhem had ended, Starfish played one of their first hits, a mellow song about sunny days and sandy beaches. By the time the band started their third song, she was turned on and ready to do something to give herself release. Instead, she delayed her pleasure and let her desire continue to build like the crescendo of the foursome’s music. She didn’t have to wonder if Royce felt the sensual pull between them. His desire was evident when he lightly pressed his erection into the small of her back. Even through his jeans she could feel that he was hard as a rock.
Taking him by the hand, she led him down the couple of steps into the sunken area that housed the mosh pit. At first they stood on the fringes of the area. She wasn’t sure what to do, but she enjoyed just being that close to the action. Despite the thousands of people in the venue, this was the first time since she’d been in Seattle that being in public didn’t make her fear being recognized. The arena was so dark that it was hard for her to even make out Royce’s features. Plus, no one was looking at her, of that she was sure. Everyone was laughing, dancing, singing and otherwise enjoying themselves. She could actually get right into the thick of the mosh pit and thrash about like everyone else.
Without saying another word to Royce, she stepped forward into the writhing bodies, the people jumping around, the others hoisting people up who were crowd surfing. She motioned with her hands for Royce to join her in the pleasurable chaos. Together they got lost in the madness.

Want to read more Life of Privilege?

Buy it at:

TotallyBound.com

All Romance eBooks

Barnes and Noble

Amazon

Amazon UK

 

Be sure to visit the other fabulous authors taking part in this week’s My Sexy Saturday by visiting: http://mysexysaturday.blogspot.com/2015/06/our-sexy-best-mysexysaturday.html

 

#AReBlast Celebrating the First Day of Summer!

Ah, summer. It’s a time for whiling away the hours, dozing in a hammock or swaying on a porch swing, book (or e-reader) in hand.

To celebrate the lazy, hazy days of summer ahead, All Romance ebooks is hosting a fantastic 25% off sale. The discount is good today only (6/20/2015). All of my books are part of the sale, so if you’ve been on the fence about buying one of my titles or you’ve yet to give me a read, now’s the time!

You can find all my books at ARe by clicking here.

Welcome Guest Blogger Author Elodie Parkes

Please join me in welcoming author Elodie Parkes back to the blog. Elodie’s here today to talk about her exciting new release A Dom for Patti, from Evernight Publishing.

To celebrate her new book, Elodie is running a Rafflecopter giveaway for $10 in PayPal cash. Details on how to enter are at the end of this blog post.

Blurb

ADomforPatti-evernightpublishing-jayAheer2015-3DrenderWhen a fleeting encounter with a handsome stranger ignites Patti’s repressed loneliness, she has to admit she longs for the love of a sensual Dom.

Luck is on her side when she goes out for the evening, and meets delicious Cameron in The Club—but is he all that he appears to be?

Cameron’s overwhelming attraction to Patti is tested when she inexplicably fails to show up for a date—just what is going on and will they ever get together?

An erotic romance, with Dom/sub and spanking elements—a contemporary, magical love story.

Background to the story

I wrote a story titled Rescuing Cade published by Evernight in February this year. In that story, Patti, the heroine from a Dom for Patti, is introduced to Cade. They are both visiting The Club, a select BDSM club. Cade is kind to Patti, but his heart already belongs to someone else and after only a few minutes he tells Patti he’s leaving. In that few minutes, he kisses Patti and she feels an instant attraction to him. Unfortunately, lonely Patti is destined not to be with Cade.

I liked Patti a lot and I decided to write her story. It’s an erotic romance with a twist. Patti is hoping for love as well as a handsome Dom to fill her lonely life, when she meets hunky Cameron in The Club, she thinks her luck is looking up … let’s hope so.

pocketbookExcerpt

The scene with her tonight enchanted him. He glanced over to where she was dressing.

Patti struggled with the zip of her dress.

Cameron went to her. He fastened her dress and ran his hand along the nape of her neck, turning her to face him.

Cameron’s heart filled with hope at Patti’s tender smile. He handed her shoes over. “Here you go.”

Patti took them. “Thank you, Sir.”

He watched her balance to put them on for a moment before scooping her up and helping as she laughed and clutched his shoulders. Walking with her in his arms, he deposited her on a barstool. “I’d like it very much if you’d call me Cameron.”

She nodded. Her thick blonde hair shone in the light from the bar. The white strip lights reflected in the mirror tiles at the back of the bar sent streaks glistening as she pushed her hair from her face and nodded in agreement. “Yes, Sir.”

Cameron hardened his expression. “I expect you to do as I say, even though our scene is over. I’ve asked you to call me by my name. It will be great if you’d do that.” He turned to the bartender. “Coffee for me, thanks.” He looked at Patti for her order.

She sat sideways on the stool, turned toward him. “For me too. Thank you, Cameron.”

Just how much he enjoyed hearing his name from her lips sent a spike of surprise through him. He stared into her chocolate brown eyes as he pulled the next barstool along and sat to face her. For a whole minute, he drank in the sight of her. With her small rounded nose, the pretty shape of her face, and those oh so kissable lips slightly parted as if she waited for his mouth on hers—she was just right. He gave in to the sweet temptation of her mouth and leaned over to kiss her.

Cameron breathed in the soft scent of her skin as his nose pressed against her cheek. Her response to his kiss sent him hurtling into desire so strong he pushed his hand up between her thighs and his fingertips traced the shape of her slit through the soft fabric of her panties.

A low groan escaped him. He broke away from the kiss. “If you have no Master or wish for a more permanent Dom, I’m inclined to apply for the vacancy.” He murmured the words as he gazed into Patti’s eyes. “I will expect your fidelity. I can’t share you, unless you’re desperate to have a ménage, and then I’ll choose the third partner in our sexual pleasure. I don’t do pain, so fair warning. I do spank when you really ask for punishment by continued disobedience and if it makes you wet…” He stopped talking for a moment as he saw a fleeting emotion in her eyes and knew it did make her wet, and then continued. “I will want some extended scenes with some restraint you’re comfortable with, so that I can fully appreciate your sexy little body and response to my attention—I will take care of you. What do you think?”

Copyright Elodie Parkes 2015 Evernight Publishing

ADomforPatti-evernightpublishing-jayAheer2015-banner1 - Copy

Find a #NSFW excerpt on Elodie’s blog

Buy the book:

Amazon US, Amazon UK, Evernight, Bookstrand, All Romance

About Elodie Parkes

Elodie Parkes is a British author writing romance, erotic, contemporary, and often with a twist of mystery, paranormal, fantasy, or suspense. Her books are always steamy. Her tag is, Cool stories: Hot love scenes.

Elodie lives in Canterbury with her two dogs. She works in an antique shop by day and writes at night, loving the cloak of silent darkness that descends on the rural countryside around her home.

Elodie writes for, Evernight Siren Hot Ink Press Eternal Press Secret Cravings

She has also released titles as an individual indie author.

Find Elodie online: Blog  Facebook  FB  Twitter Tsu  Google +  G+ Pinterest  YouTube  Amazon USA  Amazon UK Manic Readers

Elodie only ever wears boots. (Yes, even in summer) She has three bachelor degrees because she couldn’t make up her mind what she wanted to do, and even then she got two Grad Dips in different subjects, naughty Elodie.

Elodie loves:

Music (her nickname at work is Melody Elodie because she’s often singing), the countryside, the ocean, animals, gorgeous men, technology, art, stockings and garter belts, movies, and potatoes, in any order. Elodie is addicted to black leather jackets, and faded jeans, and owns so many she’s ashamed to count them.

Enter to win the $10 PayPal Cash Rafflecopter giveaway by clicking here or copy and paste the link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/ZGQ5ZTUzYmMxZGJlZjU1OGZkMjY5MmMxNTc5MzJlOjM0/?

Spend Five Minutes with Author Roya Carmen

1. What books or authors have influenced your writing?

I really enjoy fun contemporary romance: Sophie Kinsella, Helen Fielding and Jane Green. I also enjoy literary commercial fiction such as Jodi Picoult, and Anita Shreve. And in terms of erotic romance, I am a big fan of Christina Lauren, and Bella Andre. I like to think my writing incorporates a little bit of all these influences.

2. Do you write alpha or beta heroes, or does it vary with each story?

I enjoy writing alpha-beta heroes. They are powerful and in control, yet they have a sensitive, sweet side. And they can get a little playful too. Who doesn’t like a man who can make you laugh? In my trilogyThe Ground Rules, Weston is a tad peculiar – he’s a little nerdy and shy, but he’s also very sexy, powerful and mysterious.

3. What’s your favorite romance trope to read or write, (secret baby, marriage of convenience, big secret, enemies to lovers, etc.)?

I love the Cinderella theme, opposites attract, good girl/bad boy, friends to lovers, love triangle. My trilogy includes three of these tropes.

4. Can you tell us about your current or upcoming projects?

The Ground Rules is an erotic romance trilogy. It tells the story of Mirella Keates, a typical suburban mom and teacher who is happily married to her high school sweetheart. But one fateful night, her life changes when she and her husband Gabe meet a very beautiful and interesting couple.

Mirella is instantly drawn to Weston – he’s sexy, mysterious, and a little peculiar. And when he and his stunning wife make them an unthinkable proposal, Mirella and Gabe accept, driven by lust and desire.

The ground rules are clear, but as Mirella discovers the kind and gentle man hidden under Weston’s rigid exterior, she soon falls hard for him. And as Weston’s walls begin to crumble, he starts to break his own rules as well.

As Mirella falls deeper, she is torn between her feelings for Weston and her love for her husband. And she realizes her entire world is tearing at the seams.

 5. Last question. Just for fun, if you could have any super power, what would it be?

Time travel – to be able to go anywhere in the world instantaneously, in another era, would be so cool! First on my agenda would be Paris in the 1920s.

Learn more about author Roya Carmen and how to get a copy of her new release The Ground Rules on Kindle or in print.

TheGroundRules_CoverSMALLBLURB:

The rules are simple…until they aren’t.

I have everything I ever thought I could want: a nice home, a job I love, two beautiful girls, and my husband, Gabe – my high school sweetheart who still rocks my world. If you ask anyone to describe me they would say, “Oh, Mirella? She’s such a nice girl.” And it’s true… until a mysterious, peculiar man and his beautiful wife enter our lives.

Weston and Bridget Hanson are no ordinary couple—they’re stunning, enigmatic, and sexy as hell. During the course of one unexpected evening, my ordinary world is turned upside down. How could it not be when Weston and Bridget propose the unthinkable? And when the unthinkable is so very tempting, giving in becomes inevitable.

It sounds so logical and simple. Just five rules and we can all have what we desire. But the heart doesn’t follow rules, and now passion, jealousy, and confusion threaten to tear everything apart.

Two beautiful couples. Five simple rules. One hot mess.

Link to excerpt on my website: http://royacarmen.com/the-ground-rules/

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25521134-the-ground-rules

Contact info: www.royacarmen.com 

Twitter: @royacarmen

FB: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007361415244

royacarmen2AUTHOR BIO: Romance writer, mom, book junkie, manic doodler. There is nothing I enjoy more than sitting down at my laptop and making up stories – and if those stories should include beautiful men, a little romance, and a few steamy scenes, all the better!

Are you an author interested in being featured in my “Five Minutes With…” interview series? Send me an email: bretzamanda (at) gmail (dot) com or leave a comment below with your contact information.