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#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

BLURB

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?

GREAT EXCERPTS
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

BLURB

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?.

FABULOUS EXCERPTS
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

FIRST CHAPERS AVAILABLE OF EVERY BOOK IN THE SAGA – FREE PDF DOWNLOADS
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

DOWNLOAD FREE WALLPAPERS AND BOOKMARKS
The Sex and The Festival BookmarksThe Leader Wallpapers and BookmarksThe Pledge Wallpapers and BookmarksThe Princess Wallpapers and BookmarksThe Lord Wallpapers and Bookmarks

How to Organize an Author’s Computer

If you’re an author, you know that one of the hardest things to do is stay organized. There is so much to keep track of, and we use our computers for so much more besides our writing that it’s critical to keep things on your computer organized. Otherwise, you spend most of your time hunting for things rather than writing, editing and promoting. Here are some ideas for keeping your computer organized so you can find what you are looking for when you need it.

1. Figure out what you actually have saved on your computer. Then decide where you want to put it so you can easily find it. In my case, I have WIPs, E-books, excerpts, cover art, photos to help inspire me and for blog postings, lists of ideas for guest blogs and articles, promotional materials for different e-books, and completed e-books of my own. You name it I have it and it was all haphazard in all different places on my computer. So making a list of what you actually have is crucial.

2. Make a list of folders that you think you’ll need in order to get organized. Here’s what I came up with when I organized my computer:

a. A folder for each published book. Inside that folder, I have one folder each for excerpts, cover art, articles and guest posts, stock photos for articles and guest posts related to the book in question, book trailer(s) if I have them, and one for promotional materials I and others have created. I also have a folder for royalty statements by year in each book folder and when I receive a royalties statement, I file it accordingly.

b. A folder for each WIP with the tentative title. Inside I have one folder each for the WIP in question, promotional materials I’ve created, excerpts, stock photos to inspire me of my characters or for guest posts and articles I’ll use to promote, and finally one that has articles and guest posts that I’ll use to promote.

c. A folder for e-books. I love to read, so I have a lot of e-books on my computer. Inside this folder, I have a folder for each author and then inside that folder if the author has a series I have a folder for the series. Then I organize my books accordingly within that folder.

d. A folder for Taxes. I have a folder within that for each year. I also like to scan my W2’s for each year and then add them to the year they belong to. That way I don’t have a bunch of paper hanging around.

e. A folder for my receipts, and I put a folder for whichever year it is inside as well. Within each yearly folder, I have a monthly folder and I scan my receipts that are related to my writing business and file them accordingly.

f. A folder for story ideas and pieces of stories and scenes that I’ve started writing but don’t really know what I’m going to do with. That way, when I’m stumped later for ideas or what story I want to write next, I can go there for inspiration. I also like to keep a folder within this one with images that inspire me for future stories.

[image:image-1]Now of course you can add other folders as you think of them, and this by no means is an even one day job, especially if you’ve just been haphazardly saving things all over on your computer. A final tip I have is to go slow and easy with organizing your computer. Take your time. You don’t have to do it all in one sitting, you’ll just frustrate yourself. Especially if, like me, you’ve been saving stuff to your computer for years! Start with creating the file folders on your desktop that you think you’ll need. Then pick one folder to start filling and spend time searching your computer for the files you’ll need and adding them to that folder as you find them. It took me a couple of months in my spare time to actually get my desktop completely organized and I found a lot of duplicates so I was able to delete a lot of stuff off my computer and gain more computer space.

This alone was worth the time it took to organize my computer.

Good luck!

WIN FREE BOOK!
Free copy of Bondage Slave For Hire, my acclaimed BDSM novel, to a lucky winner who leaves a comment on this blog and shares his or her organization style!
—————————————————————————–
ANNOUNCING THE WINNERS OF MY BONDAGE SLAVE CONTEST
4 lucky winners. 4 great comments! Here are my winners.

Name: G.D. Ogan
Internet website
Message
: Bondage Slave for Hire sounds hot! As for my (dis)organized research files, I’m pretty well versed in the areas I write into my “Immortal Relations” novels (medical/military/political/and psychological – having worked in or around those fields in my 71 years of existence). Of course the “paranormal” part of the novels is mostly my “muse” speaking through me and, as currently writing a time-travel novel back to the age of dinosaurs (I bought a book describing some of the lesser known dinosaurs). It’s to be read to my six-year-old granddaughter who loves dinosaurs.

Name: Christina Strigas
Internet websiteVote: 5/5
Message: Hi, I am also a MIU newbie. I found your blog so interesting. I haven’t gotten that far yet, but great points for an author. Thanks Chrissy

Name: Helene
Message: depending on just what I need to organize I do color coding for can goods fruits , soups then vegs but for my print books (over 300 )always looking for more it’s A,B,C and the order in which they were released , I have to be OCD because I live in a 1bedroom apt LOL but never fear I will ALWAYS find room for another author lol

Name: Alicia S.
Message: Hi & thanks for sharing your organization tips. I’ve really been procrastinating in e-organizing my computer mainly because it seems overwhelming. But your suggestions helps me put in perspective & gives me easy & efficient foundation to get crackin’ on it & not dread starting it.

Tasting Leon’s Mark, ReScue Series #2, and The Sex, Virtus Saga #1: 5 Tips for Handling Bad Reviews of Your Book

Contrary to what many newbie authors think, all authors even ones on the New York Times Bestseller list get bad reviews. Just because you have a bestselling book doesn’t mean that there aren’t going to be others who think your book is well not that great. One of the keys to being a successful author who keeps their readers is in how you handle bad reviews.

Here are five tips for handling bad reviews of your book. As far as I’m concerned, these are iron clad and authors disregard them at their own risk.

1. Wait a day before you respond in any way to a bad review. It’s very easy in the heat of the moment to fire off a super negatively charged e-mail to a reviewer who doesn’t like your book, and saying something you will regret in the morning. Don’t do it, step away from the computer now. Many a newbie author has ruined their writing career and alienated readers by writing a scathing e-mail to a reviewer.

2. Take several deep breaths, in and out, in and out. It will calm your upset and all you to think clearly before responding.

3. Remind yourself that not everyone is going to like your book, and in the case of bad reviews not speaking is the better part of valor.

4. Write a quick thank you e-mail. Tell the reviewer thank you for reviewing my book, and leave it at that. Nothing else needs to be said.

5. Forget about the bad review, bury it, plant a tree on it (virtually of course) and forget it exists. If you don’t promote it, no one else will either. And if you’re very very lucky, no one will ever see it. It will drop further and further into the reviewers’ archives and with luck will never see the light of day again.


That’s it! The more gracious and kind you are to a reviewer that gives your book a bad review, the better you are going to look. And finally, keep in mind some readers buy books that have bad reviews because they want to see what all the excitement is about!

So much for the theory. As for the real-life experience, my experience to be precise, I do have two books that have received very bad reviews. I’m talking about Tasting Leon’s Mark, ReScue Series Book 2, and The Sex, Virtus Saga #1.

About Tasting Leon’s Mark, I know why it didn’t prove to be so hot with the reviewer. It’s a sequel that was released before its prequel Re-Scue, ReScue Series #1! Small wonder the reviewer couldn’t get into the story. Or understand its focus. She was missing the whole first part, which is essential to understand the characters’ relationship and development. So I go a very poor review, but it was my fault for having submitted a book that should’ve never been submitted until its first chapter had been read. If you want to judge for yourself, click here for the reviewer’s opinion, then judge for yourself by reading a long excerpt. Scrolling down to the bottom of the excerpt, you’ll also find my personal note to the reviewer.

As far as The Sex, Virtus Saga #1. I’m still not sure what the problem was. But if you read the review, it’ll be abundantly clear the reviewer had certain expectations about how the saga should evolve, particularly when it came to the characters’ relationship. So, okay, neither of the two male characters falls in love with my heroine. Not in the first book anyway. Which is the first of EIGHT, so it might be fair to assume that, somewhere along the line, this might happen. But not in the first book, where characters are introduced, the world is presented, the plot starts to unfold. And the most important piece of this plot is the intense love between Chris and Duncan, the two male protagonists. Without getting the passionate bond that ties them together, the reader wouldn’t understand any of what follows in the other SEVEN books, so I couldn’t go and throw in another love affair that wouldn’t have been credible in the least. Not at that point. Love has to take its time to grow and build. And that’s exactly what happens between Chris, Duncan and Ylianor. So read the review, then judge for yourself by reading and excerpt. And if you reach the end, you’ll find the answers to all the reviewer’s questions in one brief excerpt!


And yes, regardless of all the rationalizations, I was mad and hurt by both reviews for not having understood my books!

Between the tips and the hard facts, I hope this blog helps authors deal better with bad reviews. But mostly, I hope they never need this advice, which means they have no idea what a bad review is LOL

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:
ones:

(click on the covers for EXCLUSIVE HORROR/SHAPESHITER EXCERPTS)
              
                             Contemporary                                                                   Historical Celts
But if you’re looking for bloody sexy horror anytime, without necessarily theHalloween theme, I’ve got it, thoo:

5 Tips for How Authors Can Best Use Google

If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering how you can possibly fit one more social media thing on your busy marketing calendar. After all, isn’t Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn enough? I know I used to think “enough already!” It’s an unfortunate fact that most of us are so linked in to our computers and the internet these days that we’re probably looking for a way to spend less time on the computer rather than more. So the idea of one more social marketing network to be aware of and use to market our books is just one more too many. That’s what I used to think anyway. That is until I realized one fact, and this is a fact that bypasses Twitter, FB, and even LinkedIn. I’ll bet you’re wondering what it is. Well, it’s this teensy tiny little fact that makes Google+ different than just about every other social marketing tool out there; what you post on Google+ shows up in the results on Google’s search engine. So, if you’re key word, hash tag (yes, you can use those on Google+ too) and even slightly marketing savvy, then you can save a lot of time and energy if you use Google+. Now am I suggesting you shut down your Twitter, FB and LinkedIn accounts? No, not at all. Those social media serve their purpose, and you’ve probably already really built up followers on those and it would just be stupid to miss out on them.

So, how can you best use Google+ if you’re an author? Here are five different tips for utilizing Google+:

1. Make sure you set up Google+ so that it will link to any content you create. This can be articles you write for others, even non-fiction articles, blog posts on your blog and other types of internet content. You can learn how to set up Google+ authorship here.

2. Use Google+ Events to send out invitations to author events such as online chats, book signings etc.

3. Interact on Google+. While it’s true you may not have a ton of time to be on the different social media, you can do searches for information relevant to you and your writing, and books and then comment on those posts you think are relevant. The great thing about this is that others see the comment and then visit your Google+ page and if you’re lucky your website!

4. Use hash tags and key words sparingly. There is nothing worse in my opinion than a Google+ post that is mostly hash tags and key words. Don’t get me wrong, both are great and definitely have their uses, but use them sparingly for more pop and zing to your Google+ posts. One or two is fine since in most cases your posts are only going to be a sentence or four.

5. Use circles to find like-minded people. The great thing about Google+ circles is you can create them, as well as, join them. If you’re an author and want to reach readers then you should look for circles of readers to join. Yeah, I know this is pretty much a no-brainer, and yes it is that easy. That way whenever you post about your latest release, a book signing or online chat, readers will be seeing these posts. Since readers are your target, marketing this is a great way to create book sales!

If you keep these five tips in mind, you’re sure to use Google+ to your best advantage as an author, and make book sales too!

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

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!

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!

A Short History of the Tarot

There is much mystery surrounding the origins of the Tarot, and the truth is no one can be certain of its actual origins. That being said, there are a number of theories as to the beginnings of the Tarot. One theory suggests that the Tarot came from Egypt and is in fact
part of the lost Egyptian library. It was also believed that the cards came with the Gypsies from Egypt which was another reason they were thought to originate there because people believed the Gypsy’s ancestors were from Egypt. Another theory states that the Tarot originated in the Middle East from playing cards created by the Moors. And yet another states that they were playing cards created for the Nobles of Italy for a game called Triumph. Regardless, we will probably never know the exact true origins of the Tarot because they are shrouded in mystery.


According to most sources, the Tarot wasn’t used for divination until
the late seventeen hundreds when occultists got a hold of an Italian Triumph deck and decided there was more to the symbolism on the cards than met the eye. Regardless from that time forward, occultists began making their own tarot decks based on the original Italian Triumph decks. They changed some of the pictures/symbols to fit their own occult ideas. The Rider-Waite deck while not the oldest tarot deck available is now the standard that newer tarot decks are based on.

These days you can find a tarot deck based on just about any spiritual system you like.

There are Fairy decks, Goddess decks, recreations of the Rider-

Waite deck with the artist’s own interpretation of the original art, a Dream deck, the Mother Peace tarot, as well as the Thoth tarot deck

and many many more. The idea appears to be with modern tarot decks for artists to use symbolism that is easy for them to interpret

and which is based on their own spiritual system. While I doubt this is what the original creators of the Triumph deck intended, many of
these tarot decks are worth having for the art alone. Whether you choose to use the Tarot for divination is a personal choice only you can make, but the history of the Tarot is fascinating and well worth exploring. And who knows some day you may decide you want to create your own Tarot deck with your own symbols as many others before you have done!

How to Find the Perfect Graphic Designer for Your Book Jacket



Where to Start
Congrats! You’ve finished your collection of short stories, novel, novella, or any other manuscript musings! You’ve decided to self-publish since you’re just starting out and you know you don’t have the resources for a top-of-the-line graphic designer. So where do you go? What kind of skills are you looking for? Where do you find a great graphic designer at an affordable budget? Luckily, in today’s world there are tons of reputable websites with excellent freelancers who do superb work on time and on budget.

One of the first things you should consider as a writer is what kind of design you’re looking for. What does your book say with pixels? Many designers find it frustrating when their customer asks them to come up with several different designs and claim, “I’ll know it when I see it.” You want to work with your designer on an established idea. It takes quite a lot of time and effort for them to come up with various different ideas from your thousands-of-words book. Do yourself and them a favor and think up a general (or even better specific) idea of what you want before you contact a graphic designer.

Where to Go
The freelance marketplace is growing every day with more people having the ability to work from home and make a reasonable living freelancing. Take advantage of this change and grab a freelancer from a great database like oDesk, Elance or Mediabistro. Additionally, with the wealth of online writing resources, using the boards to reach out to other writers for advice is a great step to take.

  • oDesk:oDesk has a variety of freelancers that want to help you achieve your goals and make money at the same time. You can propose an hourly or fixed-price contract that will bend to any budget and you can search for specific attributes you want in a freelancer. oDesk has recently made updates to their system that make it easier for both freelancers and employers to find the jobs they want.
  • Elance: Elance is similar to oDesk (actually they just signed a merger and will official merge in April) in that it’s a cornucopia of freelancers available for work. Elance has skills tests and verification procedures that prove you are who you say you are and can do what you claim you can do. Also like oDesk, they have clients from all over the world so you can feel confident that the person you’ve selected is truly the right fit. Elance is a little different when it comes to payment as they send invoices rather than bill the client through the contract you’ve set up. Elance is yet another way for you to scan the marketplace for freelancers. Those available on Elance may not be available on oDesk and vise versa.
  • Mediabistro: Mediabistro has about 3 million visitors to their site daily and many are looking for freelancers. As a writer, you should invest some serious time into looking through all of the quality freelancers available on Mediabistro. Since their main focus is everything that has to do with publishing, writing, and media services, it may be easier to find a graphic designer there than oDesk or Elance because it does not include every discipline under the sun.
  • Grammarly: Grammarly is a superior hub for writers, editors, and anyone who wants to improve their writing. On top of that, they have excellent question and answer
  • boards where writers can converse about any topic they would like. For instance, you could ask the question, “Does anyone have a great
  • raphic designer they would suggest for a self-published book jacket?” You’ll get a response fast, know that it’s from a trusted resource, and you can query or research said artist.

How to Select the Right Graphic Designer
After initial contact with the graphic artist, make sure that they understand your idea and that you get samples of their work. They’re freelancing so they want to work for you and make money. They should always have samples available to allow clients to know what they’re paying for. You don’t necessarily have to become best friends with the freelancer but you want them to care about the quality of work they’re producing for you.

Talking to them on the phone or having a Skype interview will make it easy to see if you can work well together. No matter which site or freelancer you choose, make sure they have your ultimate goal in mind, that you communicate your ideas and expectations clearly, and that you always pay them well for their hard work.

By Nikolas Baron

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Bio
Nikolas discovered his love for the written word in Elementary School, where he started spending his afternoons sprawled across the living room floor devouring one Marc Brown children’s novel after the other and writing short stories about daring pirate adventures. After acquiring some experience in various marketing, business development, and hiring roles at internet startups in a few different countries, he decided to re-unite his professional life with his childhood passions by joining Grammarlr’s marketing team in San Francisco. He has the pleasure of being tasked with talking to writers, bloggers, teachers and others about how they use Grammarly’s online proofreading application to improve their writing. His free time is spent biking, travelling and reading.