Monday, October 19, 2015

Self-Publishing: My Experience as an African-American Writer

Today marks six months since I self-published my very first novel, Deferred Consumption. So, I thought I'd mark the occasion with a quick blog post about what it's been like as an African-American author.  To put it mildly, it’s been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. But, it’s also been one of the most rewarding and most exciting.  When I first set out to write Deferred Consumption, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into.  I just assumed that everyone loved me and they would buy my book in record numbers.  Boy was I wrong.  Not that everyone doesn’t love me J, but that they cared enough to buy my book the moment I said it was available for purchase.

There I was around 11:00pm on a Sunday night, hands all shaking, as a hit "publish" at Amazon dot com, then proceeded to publish elsewhere around the internet (Barnes and Noble, Google Books, Smashwords, etc.).  Hell, I had such a high opinion of myself, I thought I’d wake up the next morning to find that hundreds, if not thousands, of random strangers who had never even heard of me had purchased my book.  I mean, why not?  I had already made a great living writing just about everything else, so why wouldn’t my books sell?  Oh, foolish, foolish girl.  I guess I figured some magical fairy was going to sprinkle some dust into the eyes and ears of every potential buyer out there and convince them that my book was the one they should get as they tinkered around on some website looking for a book to buy.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

T.I., Women and Romance Novels

Yesterday, as I pumped away at my gym, I looked up at one of the televisions to see a few talking heads discussing comments that rapper T.I. had made regarding women and their ability to lead the United States while on the Whoolywood Shuffle radio show.  I'm going to cut to the chase.  He said we shouldn't.  He made a number of ridiculous remarks about women being too emotional and too irrational to lead the free world, even going so far as to say he believed the Loch Ness Monster could be elected before a woman, then promptly apologized via his Twitter account (after his publicist and wife no doubt chewed him out) saying:
My comments about women running for president were unequivocally insensitive and wrong.  I sincerely apologize to everyone I offended.
There's a black man in the White House, right now, and T.I. said he believed the Loch Ness Monster could get elected before a woman.  What a sad, sad state of mind to live with.  NUMEROUS industrialized nations (still not in the United States...) have had females lead them, and yes, we could argue about their effectiveness while in power, but it is not women who have led the world into the vast majority of wars that have decimated the lives of countless individuals.  It is not women who created the A-bomb or the machine gun or any number of other atrocities that cause mass destruction.  So, who's really irrational and overly-emotional? 

T.I.'s wife Tiny reportedly said he was just an "old school" guy who believes a man should take care of women and such.  That's all well and good, but as a father with daughters in the 21st century, he should have known better than to say that crap on a live mic.  Men like T.I. are the reason why women read romance novels in droves -- looking for a man who wouldn't say such stupid shit.  Are most of the guys in romance novels mere figments of a writer's imagination?  Most likely.  But, so long as real-life men are saying and doing dumb shit like stating that a mythical creature could be elected President of the United States before a woman, women will continue to drop those credit card digits like they're hot. Do better, T.I. or at least don't say that shit on a hot mic.  --Shana James

Monday, October 12, 2015

How Are You Spending YOUR 28,000 Days?

A new Alicia Keys track entitled, 28 Thousand Days is starting to burn up the charts as listeners finally really ponder the message in the song.  As the fog of drunken, party-filled summers begins to lift.  In the song, she asks listeners what they'd do if they only had 28,000 days, around the average lifespan of Americans.  She asks:
If you had 28 thousand days
Who would you love? Where would you go?
What would you celebrate?
I'm telling you that life's too short to just throw it away
So have the time of your life, so have the time of your life
Those are some DEEP questions when you realize that a year is 365 days and you're pretty close to hitting the halfway mark on your allotment.  I mean, of course, we all want to live longer than 76 years, but it's those years that come well before you reach that stage that you're able to really make an impact in this world.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Get Even With a Player....NOW!

Tired of playing the fool?  Are you ready to get even with your ex-loser boyfriend? Do you need to burn off a little steam and find the right ending to your horror novel of a relationship? Well, if you answered yes to any of these questions you turned to the right blog spot and you are ready to dive into the right book.  Emergency Guide: Surviving a Player is the last book you will ever need in love.  Chock full of tips and strategies, this guide is easily turning into one of the hottest winter books for any jilted lover.  Written by one of the foremost experts on getting even after being made to look like a fool, this guide is designed for anyone needing a good page turner in "finding peace" and "getting even".

In a few short weeks, old man winter will pay every aching heart a chilly and lonely visit.  So, toss away the Kleenex, grab a cup of hot cocoa, mix in a shot of revenge and get ready for the right guide that will help you get even, for once and for all.  

J.A. Fraser wants to hear from you. Send in your comments and questions on love and she will answer them FREE of charge.  Need advice? Well, its only one click and download away.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Officer Bad Boy: SoundCloud Audio Excerpt

Would you rather sink your teeth into this 10 minute audio sampling of Officer Bad Boy on the go without some of YouTube's viewing restrictions?  Check out the SoundCloud video, below, then head over to my SoundCloud page and give those like and follow buttons a little tickle!  Smooches! --Shana James


YouTube Sample: Officer Bad Boy

Still not sure you're ready to make the move towards audiobooks?  Listen to the sample from Officer Bad Boy, below, and see if this isn't all the convincing you need. --Shana James


Officer Bad Boy: Now Available in Audiobook Format!

Everyday, I become more and more excited about self-publishing.  The liberation I feel when I see my work published, pretty much ANYWHERE, is unbelievable.  I published my short, Officer Bad Boy, a few months ago and, now, it's available in Audiobook format at Audible.com, Amazon.com and on Apple's iTunes!  I found a wonderful voiceover artist in Ms. Paige Turner and she worked efficiently and quickly to produce the finished product.  I'm eternally grateful to her and I will never forget it.  Her price was fair and she was the consummate professional.  


Breakup Relief in the Palm of Your Hands!

The fall season is here and that means men everywhere are beginning to make selections for snuggling up through the winter months.  But!  You don't have to be left out in the cold, desperate and lonely, wishing for relief for your agonizing broken heart.  

Pocket Pep Talk: Get Over that Breakup, Today! is a new title expressly created to offer quick, sound, comfort, peppered with a lot of tough love, for those suffering from a broken heart.  We've all been there and sometimes, your grief lasts well past the patience of your loved ones, leaving you feeling even more alone as you try to pick up the pieces on your own. No more!


Come on, Men! Get Romantic!

Love.  It's a many-splendored thing.  At least, that's what Paul Francis Webster told us in his song of a similar name.  The lyrics are so short and so sweet, yet so powerfully intriguing.  Check out the first verse:

Love is a many splendored thing
It’s the April rose that only grows in the early spring
Love is nature’s way of giving a reason to be living
The golden crown that makes a man a king

A KING?!  What man wouldn’t want to be a king? Not any I can think of and I’m sure most of you reading are loathe to think of one, either.  So, you’d think men the world over would be trying to get their hands on some of this love that Webster wrote about. Trying to get their hands on all resources and tools that will get them closer to this thing that eludes so many.  A thing that’s so huge, yet made up of just four little letters.  L-O-V-E. 


The KISS

If you’re searching frantically online for the perfect book to read in the soon to come winter months.  Something to get you all hot and bothered...look no further!  Peephole Press has four, steamy and erotic page-turners for you to sink your teeth into.  And, for a limited time, you can buy these books for under $1.00.  Now, that’s a deal! It’s the perfect gift for anyone searching for love….and a little kinky fun.

Authors Shana James and J.A. Fraser tell what makes their toes curl in the bed.  

Q&A:

What does it feel like to be kissed, passionately?


Backstage Pass: The Inconvenient Bride

The Romance Empire is big! Very big. So, why not take a bite out of that sweet tempting pie? I just did. Last night, I released my second tantalizing romantic novel entitled, ‘The Inconvenient Bride'. It’s a fast-paced, highly descriptive, emotionally-charged story that is sure to curl several toes in the hot, summer sand. So, here’s a short excerpt hot off the press! --J.A. Fraser

CHAPTER ONE

"Okay, I am almost ready. I just need a few more minutes." Carrie Heights shouted down the hall at her best friend Dylan McCray of nearly twenty years as she took one last look in the mirror. Her heart rate quickly accelerated followed by a wave of heat that ripped through her lean yet curvaceous frame. She wiped her sweaty palms on her conservative, thin, floral, polka dot blouse and tugged at her oversized, worn jeans.


Excerpt: Deferred Consumption

Below is a sampling from my novel, Deferred Consumption.  This steamy, wild ride into the dark side of banking will make your toes curl as you find out if a really bad guy gets what's coming to him.  The sample below is just a small taste of the HEAT in this one.  I hope you enjoy.

Hit me up on Twitter @ReachShanaJames and let me know what you think! Buy it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Books, iBooks, Kobo and Smashwords!   --Shana James

                                     
***

Brody used one hand to unzip the jacket to Heather’s sweat suit, revealing nothing but her plump breasts in a fitted sports bra. He used his tongue on her neck to give her a sampling of what he would like to do to her nether region.  Heather encouraged his kisses with a hand on the back of his head.  She tossed his hat from his head allowing her fingers to work magic on his scalp as he feasted on her neck. Driving her wild with passion.


Writing Sex Scences

So how hard can it be to write a deep engaging erotic sex scene? The answer is simple: extremely hard.  Painting a vivid image of what and how two consenting adults receive satisfaction isn’t an easy task. Each word, each movement, each touch has to be written as if you are actually in that satisfying moment.  The sentences must be quick and very descriptive. Readers want “real life” pacing and deep intense accounts of what it takes to be completely satisfied by a hero. Finally readers want… “real talk”! Each jaw dropping passionate scene, must include emotional and heartfelt dialogue.  So. I use authentic words in my novel. I think my readers appreciate words that “real” people use when they are in the throes of passion. There isn’t any vanilla talk from my characters.


Book Publishing: Why Not Do It Yourself?

For years, I’ve considered writing a book and attempting to have it published.  I majored in English Literature, after all, so why should I feel intimidated by the thought?  Year after year, I’d think about it, do a quick, cursory scan of the requirements on various publisher websites, then slink away feeling overwhelmed and give up the notion. 

Then, one day, a friend started telling me how “easy” it now was to self-publish. Well, electronically anyway.  But, I kind of let the information go in one ear and right out of the other.  Until one day, the urge to write became so overwhelming, I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to find out what this new, “easy” way of self-publishing was all about. 


Novel Writing: Taking the Plunge

In late November, 2014, I had an epiphany. You know an epiphany, one of those moments of striking realization.  An aha moment!  Well, actually, it really wasn’t some enlightening moment. It was essentially one of those moments that’s so unbelievably odd that you wonder why it popped into your head in the first place, type of moments. My thoughts were crystal clear, I was going to write a novel. And, not just any novel, an erotic romance page-turner. Yes, I said was going to write about two people caught in the deep throes of passion.

Sound simple, right? Wrong, when you are 39-year-old woman from the Deep South. The first thought that popped in my head, was what my southern pearl clutching mother going to think. The next thought that clouded my mind was what in the hell was I going to write about. Sure, for nearly 20 years, I’ve worked as communications professional, writing any and everything, but this was different. Essentially, I was going to sit in front of a keyboard and tell the world some of my most intimate sexual thoughts and, of course, my most desired sexual positions. Oh my! 


Self-Publishing: Get Up and Get Started, Already!

It’s hard to get up and head into the office every day when you’d really rather write.  But, imagine my shock and disgust when I first realized that I’d get home from said office too tired to even write in the evening!  The first time this happened to me, I was sad, I was afraid and I was angry. 

“How will I ever be able to finish this book?!”  I ranted and I screeched and I bitched and I moaned.  It all seemed so unfair.  Here I was, finally, giving writing a serious attempt, but my 9 to 5 was getting in the way.  I felt hopeless until I put on my big girl panties, took a deep breath and gave the situation some deep thought.  I could either suck it up and make time to write each day or I’d never finish.  That was, in fact, the reality.  It was something I wasn't willing to live with.