Welcome to the V-Spot…

So Unusual…

When it comes to the Vera Roberts brand, my hubby and I are part of a team that consists of roughly 5-7 people: I’m the writer, he’s the cover artist, we have an editor, and several beta readers. My husband’s job, if you can call it that, is pretty important; he’s responsible for what many would buy based on the ‘ooh, shiny’ factor.

Amongst authors and readers alike, there’s been a lot of discussion on if a cover truly helps a book sell well. The jury is still out. A sexy cover doesn’t automatically guarantee high sales. Contrarily, a plain cover doesn’t guarantee bad sales.  It really is luck of the draw.

I can present to you Exhibit A:

Wait for Love cover web

We kept going back and forth on whether to use a couple or an inanimate object for the cover. I usually try to pick models that look similar to who I wrote in the book. There have been times where I’ll actually change the look of a character to match the model on the cover if I’m certain that’s the cover I’m going to use.

Wait for Love is different.

As hard as I tried, I couldn’t find a model that looked like my muse, Scott Eastwood. In case you don’t remember what Scott Eastwood looks like, here’s a refresher:

eastwood18f-5-web

And I must say, I wrote his description pretty accurately. :)

So we brainstormed about it. I told Maks what the story was about and what both of the characters actually do for a living. The hero, Ryan, is the owner of several coffee shops. The overall theme of the story is going after love when you least expect it and even when you’re not entirely sure you’re ready for it.

Thus, the cover and title for Wait for Love was born.

The inanimate object cover is actually pretty common in the fiction world. In fact, it’s actually becoming more common in erotic fiction a la Fifty Shades of Grey. There are many covers that don’t even have objects, and just the words. It’ll be an interesting experiment. We’ll get to see if people will buy the book based on the fact it’s from me, it’s a well-written book, or that the cover (which I’ve dubbed as the ‘anti-cover cover’) will turn them off from purchasing.

Wait for Love is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and All Romance. A sneak preview of the book is available at goodreads here.

#SexySunday: Wait for Love

*Unedited*  

Ryan woke up to the smell of chocolate chip cookies. He briefly searched from Alyssa in his bed and quickly realized it was Alyssa in the kitchen and not a dream about his childhood.

Chocolate chip cookies? He knew there was no way they would be the typical gooey Nestle Tollhouse, still piping-hot from the oven and go great with a big glass of ice-cold milk. Alyssa was a vegan and a serious one at that. She didn’t do it part-time like some people he knew. From her hair and body products to the vitamins she consumed, Alyssa was very serious about her health and lifestyle. Ryan found himself oddly curious about how the cookies would taste.

He quickly grabbed a pair of lounge pants and put them on before he made his way to the kitchen. Bouncing her ass around as she danced to Bell Biv Devoe, there was the love his life. A cookie sheet of hot cookies fresh out of the oven was on the stove, while she was making another batch on the counter.

Ryan’s only thought was perfection.

“You always make cookies after sex?” He inquired.

“Jesus!” Alyssa dropped the spoon and turned towards him, grabbing her chest as her heart nearly beat out of her skin. She turned down the radio as Ryan offered a mea culpa. “Next time warn a sista when you’re about to sneak up on her like that!”

“Mmm, if I warn you…” He grabbed her waist from behind and nibbled on an earlobe. “…I can’t sneak up on you like that.”

Alyssa felt her knees become weak and her heart soaring up to the heavens. It was exactly like those sappy love songs she’d heard on the radio all of her life. She honestly thought the singers were just full of it and mainly wrote the songs to give hopeless saps something to fantasize about.

Now she was one of the hopeless saps. A bubbling, cheesy-grin, sore-between-the-thighs hopeless sap.

“Sooooo…” He buried his face into her neck and nuzzled against it. “….you’re going to explain to me how you made vegan chocolate chip cookies.”

“Now?”

He rocked her side to side. “Now.”

Alyssa felt Ryan’s erection poking into her. “Like this?”

Ryan pulled down a strap of Alyssa’s cami tank top. “Like this.”

“Well,” she swallowed and concentrated on the ingredients in front of her, “I make flax eggs.”

“Now what are flax eggs?” He kissed her shoulder.

“Flax eggs I construct with one tablespoon of flax meal and three tablespoons of water for each egg I want to use.”

“Got it,” he pulled down the other strap. “Then what?”

“Then,” Alyssa cleared her throat, “I beat the vegan butter and white and brown sugar together. Then I add in the vanilla extract.”

“Mmm…” Ryan lifted up Alyssa’s top and caressed her breasts, gently squeezing and cupping them. “…then what?”

Alyssa felt her pussy contract and leaned into Ryan as her eyes rolled to the back of her head. Electricity soared through her body and she was barely hanging on by a thread. “Then I add in the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.”

“Ooh,” Ryan placed a trail of kisses down Alyssa’s back until he reached the top of her underwear. He then pulled them down her legs as he kissed her ass, gently biting each cheek. “So when do you add in the chocolate chips?”

“They’re the last thing I add,” she whimpered, gripping the counter hard. “And then I get the tablespoon and scoop some up and drop them on the cookie sheet.”

Ryan nudged Alyssa’s legs apart and played with her wet heat.  He kissed the nape of her neck and gently sucked on it.  He turned her around and sat her on top of the counter, spreading her legs apart. His lips moved from her neck to Alyssa’s lips, devouring her as he continued to play with her pussy.

“Hold onto me, baby,” he murmured.

Alyssa wrapped her arms around Ryan’s neck as he played with her. She moaned into his mouth, silently begging not to stop as her hips moved to the rhythm of his fingers. She felt him insert two fingers in while his thumb circled her swollen nub. He moved his fingers inside her faster until she was shaking uncontrollably and climaxed all over his fingers, the same time the buzzard for the cookies went off.

“I’ll get those.” He smiled.

****

Wait for Love will be out the week of August 17th. It’ll be priced at $3.99.

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It’s interesting to take a look back at what many deem as my most controversial book to-date. Personally, I don’t find it that controversial; if anything, I think the S&M books are much more controversial (nigger bitch, anyone?) but that’s for another topic.

I fondly remember it – it was one o’clock in the morning and I just finished To Love and Obey. Donell Jones’s Where I Wanna Be came on the stereo and the idea hit me like a bolt of lightning. I ran it past my husband, Maks, and he said I should go for it. After a moment of silence, he said the following words:

“You know people are going to hate you for this, right?”

I’ve always played it safe in my life. I’m really the typical goody-goody nice girl you always hear about. In fact, if any of you personally knew me (and a few do), you wouldn’t think I’m a writer. And you definitely wouldn’t think I’m an erotica writer. Still, I don’t like playing it safe in my fiction. Drama happens in real life and drama sometimes happens to good people.

The reaction to WIWB was interesting. I had people say it wasn’t a romance but an urban fiction. I’m almost positive those same people have never read an urban fiction. I’ve had people give it a bad review because it simply reminded them of their own situations or someone they knew. I’ve had people tell me that they could predict what was going to happen in the sequel, despite me not having written a single word. Some people who cheer for Olivia and Fitz every week on Scandal, justifying their affair, slammed Eli’s and Simone’s. The same people…the same people…who want Mariana to cheat on her boyfriend with Scott.

Yeah, you read that right. How is one better than the other? Isn’t it still cheating? Oh, because it’s two people that they liked, it’s okay, right? Gotcha.

What saddened me about some of the negative reaction was that people were so heated about what Eli did, they failed to see the story for what it was worth – a man getting a second chance to start over. Really, it was a Coming of Age tale. There were many issues in the book – when an affair happens is it really the protagonist’s fault? What about the third party? What about the “innocent” party? The light skin-dark skin color issue that was clearly present and no one mentioned. How a parent’s actions can affect a child’s life much beyond their elementary years. How a wife can push her husband away little by little. Why being the side piece isn’t what it’s cracked up to be – both male and female.

The negative reaction was interesting and honestly, quite comical. So many people were angry at me for writing a book. But…they would watch this very story in movie theaters (Unfaithful, Temptation, Fatal Attraction, etc). They would watch this on TV (Scandal). They would watch this on trashy talk shows (Maury, Jerry Springer, etc.). But they don’t want to read about it.

Heh.

I still believe in my heart of hearts that the reason for the negative reaction is because I took a full-length mirror, placed it in front of you, and outlined all of your faults. Honestly, if you did that to me, I probably wouldn’t like you very much, neither.

On the contrary, many loved the book. Many praised that it was finally a real book that dealt with real issues. Many clamored and are hungry for the much-anticipated sequel due out this fall. This book is for you.

So what’s in store for Faith, Eli, and Simone? Well, quite a few things. The story picks up after Eli and Faith reconcile and Simone has moved back to Houston. Not all is kosher with the aforementioned parties. In fact, there is a lot of regret with everyone involved. A lot of tears. A lot of fighting. A lot of ‘What ifs?.’ Darren, the star quarterback, is still in the picture. And his role might be surprising to many.

The drama really starts when Simone re-enters the picture with Elena and all hell breaks loose. Many things are different – Eli is richer and more famous. Things between him and Faith are stable and stronger than ever. A lot more is at stake. Simone’s timing couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Expect guest appearances from the S&M characters – Scott, Mariana, and Sanora. 

And there you have it,

-V.

It’s always fun to create a new heroine. I usually like to base her on someone I know or gather parts of people I know. Sometimes I use a name of a good friend or borrow someone’s name that is pretty exotic (Nikkia, Liane, Zerrin, etc.).

Enter Alyssa.

Alyssa McHale is not your typical heroine. She may come off as a bitch but really, she’s just guarded. I guess her male counterpart would be Scott Reed without the BDSM. She doesn’t have the typical long, flowing hair that so many heroines seem to have. Nah, this sista rocks her natural locs. She’s also a vegan.

Yeah. Vegan. Not a typo.

She’s the first vegan heroine I have written. I’ve noticed in a lot of romance fiction, the heroine is assumed to be a meat eater. I don’t think I’ve ever read a vegetarian heroine, come to think of it. Anyway, back to Alyssa. She’s based on someone I know – a good friend, Natalie. At first I wasn’t going to write a heroine who was vegan or make her vegan lifestyle a key part of the story. Then I thought about it – if this is her, why wouldn’t this be a major part of her story? If I were a vegan, I would think everyone would know about it and respect my way of life.

It’s interesting doing research on a Black vegan. I found a few blogs (Thug Kitchen is pretty entertaining if you want to take a peek and BlackVeggieVegan is also another good source) and follow a few people on twitter. But there’s not a lot of resources for a Black person to research the vegan lifestyle if they choose to go down that path. And I’m not talking just clothing and food but also hair care. Needless to say, I have my work cut out for me.

In terms of Alyssa’s looks, I actually had one person in mind when I write her. I’m trying to imagine her with locs -

Gabrielle-Union-1432

Ryan’s character was a little easier to figure out:

eastwood18f-5-web eastwoodtwo

That’s Scott Eastwood, as in Clint Eastwood’s son.

The yet-to-be titled fic should be out sometime in July, hopefully. As with all fiction, this book is estimated to be around 50K words and will be priced somewhere between $3.99 and $4.59.

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Caliente was Jackson’s temper. Cream was his acute business sense. Vanilla was his innocence and lost childhood. Angel was his observation and eyes.

Then there was Liane. She was Jackson.

Cream and Vanilla trained her. Caliente rolled her eyes and scoffed at her. Liane came to find out it was a typical trait of Caliente. She simply didn’t like anyone.

The notebook of sin, she coined it, was full of what was expected of her. Weight limit and dress code were just the simple things. The more ridiculous demands—hairstyles had to be approved, all phone calls went to Jackson, and he had to know of her whereabouts at all times—solidified Liane’s case that Jackson was a pimp. All she needed was the smoking gun—going on a date with a john and servicing him afterward. Jackson would be brought to his knees in record time.

Then a stupid thing happened—she slept with Jackson.

It wasn’t by choice. Eve warned her every girl had to do it and Sienna wasn’t going to be an exception. Fine, she could handle sleeping with Jackson. She’d done it before on various missions, even going as far as slapping handcuffs on a perp just as he climaxed. Liane truly did not give two fucks.

Then there was Jackson.

He took her out to dinner, probably the same restaurant he’d used for all of the other girls. Over dinner, Jackson was charming and wonderful. They had a lot in common, rooting for the same sport teams and talking about horrible calls the refs made in past games. They’d read the same books and Liane was impressed by how well read Jackson was. While other people quoted Shakespeare, Jackson quoted Capote and Wilde. He boasted of his jazz collection that mimicked his wide whiskey and bourbon assortment.

He smiled a lot, showcasing his perfect white teeth. His blue eyes sparkled whenever he told little anecdotes about his past. His laugh was hearty and incredibly sexy. His simple outfit of a mock turtleneck sweater and jeans barely covered his muscular frame and broad shoulders. The way he walked, with a swagger and confidence that indicated he was quite comfortable with himself, implied any woman who was with him should feel privileged.

He was a walking, talking, breathing Ken doll.

He made no promises. He didn’t guarantee anything. He made Liane feel as if everything was her choice and her choice only. It was really easy to see why the other girls—Angela included—trusted Jackson. He wasn’t intimidating. He treated the servers as if they were long-lost friends.

He was every woman’s romance novel fantasy.

The first time they made love started out simply enough. She was watching TV in the living room when he decided to join her. At first, they were on separate ends of the sofa. Whenever Jackson briefly left, he returned to the sofa, sitting just a little closer to Liane. The last time he‘d returned, he was right next to her, cuddling with her.

Soon they were making out like horny teenagers. Liane’s shirt came off, then her bra, along with the rest of her clothing, then Jackson’s shirt and his pants. A condom was quickly found and rolled onto Jackson’s cock and he quickly entered Liane’s tight channel. They moved together as one, staring into each other’s eyes, daring each other to fuck harder and faster.

Jackson was insatiable and animalistic, pounding into Liane as if his life depended on it. His tongue alone brought her to orgasm several times and when she thought she couldn’t do it anymore, he showed her she could.

When Liane went down on Jackson, she showed him she was no rookie as her tongue twirled around his thick shaft and suckled on the large mushroom tip. Jackson climaxed in seemingly record time and couldn’t wait to sample Liane once again to show his appreciation.

He branded her with that nickname when she demonstrated how flexible she was. Her body became alive and willing with him, as if she had been waiting for him all her life. All of those ballet classes when she was younger and yoga sessions as she became an adult made her body incredibly lithe and flexible; able contort into different and illicit positions just for Jackson’s pleasure.

They made love throughout the weekend, only breaking for food and occasional sleep and rest. They spent the rest of the time christening the home: his shower, Jacuzzi, and in the pool.

That was a couple of days ago.

She officially moved into his bedroom and had to fight off the jealousy of the other girls. Caliente sucked her teeth and rolled her eyes. Vanilla wanted to be instant best friends. Eve was cordial. Liane simply smiled. She would be long gone by the end of the week; Jackson’s business would shut down, and he would be sent off to a prison to become the pride and joy of a sexually starved inmate.

It was simple enough. Then Liane did a stupid thing—she fell for Jackson.

Stupid, stupid, stupid!

****

The full book of Daddy’s Angel is currently available on Amazon, Smashwords, and All Romance. It’ll be on Barnes & Noble this week. The print version will be out later next month.

Being a writer is tough. And it’s certainly not for everyone.

You need a thick skin. You also need to learn how to ignore.

But sometimes when things are so obvious and blatant, it makes you wonder and question why you even bother.

For the first time in my writing career, I’ve experienced something rather unique – when a story sells well, but there are no reviews.

None. Zilch. Zero.

The book in question is the full book to Daddy’s Angel. There are reviews now, thanks to some loyal readers, but for a full 24-hours, there weren’t any. Normally I would chalk it up to being an odd occurrence, however, the last couple of books I’ve released had the same reaction; those books being All I’ve Ever Wanted and I Need You.

I don’t write very long books.

So I had to take myself out of the equation and really think about what is my true purpose of being an author – is it the storytelling? Is it the glory?

My books have never been big on reviews for whatever reason. The sales surpass the reviews and one could never tell that. In fact, my biggest selling story is not the S&M series but To Love and Obey. Yet, it only has 44 reviews on Amazon, along with reviews from some well-respected book blogs.

Yet, I find myself in a predicament…should I continue to slave over a story and characters just to meet with a resounding silence?

Let’s put it in another way – reviews generate sales and feedback. If a story does well, it makes me start writing another story, then another, and you get the idea. So if a story doesn’t do well, I can chalk it up to it just being that story and continue with another one. But if the reviews are slow coming in, or worse yet, none at all, I have no desire to write another.

Which brings us to S&M IV…

In the full version of Daddy’s Angel, I included a hidden (well, not so much anymore) sneak peek of S&M IV since three characters of the book appear in Daddy’s Angel (those who have read the story know who I’m talking about). I was excited, very excited and hoped that the feedback would drive me to finally finish IV and release it this fall instead of Christmas.

Oh how naïve I was.

I’ve noticed something – if I do something that many considered to be “wrong”, I will never hear the end of it (see Where I Wanna Be for an example). If I do something right, it’s silence. I don’t know why that is but I know it’s always been that way despite how hard I’ve tried to change it.

So what does this mean for S&M IV or any future books? I don’t know, to be honest. I need to take a few days and really reevaluate why I’m writing. Do I really want to write for a silent audience? Do I want to cater to a passive-aggressive audience? Do I want to write for the love of writing? Am I really okay receiving paltry reviews? Am I really okay with people giving me their silence and secret support but not open and vocal?

Do I really want to put my blood, sweat, and tears into IV…just to receive NO feedback at all? Because we all know, I will receive no reviews for that book if the past is any indication.

That’s where I’m at right now. I’m at a crossroads.

I’ll release the other books I’ve been working on with little to no fanfare. It’ll simply be a case of you’re on Amazon (or other sites) and see that I dropped a book.

So that’s it, really. I’m perfectly okay with how things ended with Scott and Mariana in I Need You.

And there you have it,

-V.

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Angela walked over to the bed and collapsed on it. She managed to kick off her heels and swore she would never wear heels again as long as she lived. She also made another silent note to listen to Enzo when he’d advised her to wear comfortable shoes. Had she known he was going to make her walk, seemingly to the core of the Earth and back, she would’ve brought her flats.

They walked around the museum and learned about the history of the island. They went on a food tasting, experiencing exquisite dishes that satisfied her palate. They watched the dolphins on another tour before heading back to the yacht.

She felt the bed move and didn’t turn to see Enzo lying next to her. She heard him take a large breath and he wrapped his arms around her. It was crazy to Angela how quickly she’d gotten used to Enzo’s embrace, as if she was waiting for it her entire life. No other man, or john for that matter, made her feel like she was the only girl in the world. Now Enzo made her feel like a queen tenfold.

She deeply inhaled his scent of musk, earth, and wood. His body, his soul, his entire being was pure raw sexuality and he proudly wore it. He had a confidence that was undeniably sexy, and as a result, she began to feel more self-assurance. Maybe Enzo was what she’d needed in her life all along.

He was definitely what she wanted.

Angela snuggled her body against his and felt his soft breath against the nape of her neck. She closed her eyes and exhaled again, letting go of just everything in her life—her past, Jackson, and worries about the future. Enzo said to trust him and it wasn’t a suggestion but a direct order. Angela decided she wasn’t going to question Enzo on anything any longer. Either she trusted him or she didn’t, simple as that.

She turned towards him and rolled over until she was straddling him. Enzo slowly opened his eyes and glanced up at Angela with a knowing smirk.

“Unless you’re too tired…” She began.

Enzo reached up and began to unbutton Angela’s sundress, exposing her lacy white bra. “I’ll always be hungry for you.”

****

Daddy’s Angel is now available on Smashwords, All Romance, and Amazon. It’ll be available on Barnes & Noble later this week.

 

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