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It isn’t #TalkShitThursday but I needed to talk…

Tonight I was happily browsing through Facebook and posting in some groups when I came across this article titled “Indie Community, You’re Being Catfished.” Being an avid member of this community, with the intention of staying, I naturally was intrigued and clicked to read.

Well, to say I was unimpressed is a HUGE understatement. Appalled, ashamed and above all infuriated, this article has left me disappointed and completely let down by people I thought were like-minded, honest and above all supportive. All I’ve managed to take from this, is a whole lot of confusion, a serious desire to cause tension and to knowingly invite distrust between author and reader.

Ok, so let me see if I can summarise what has been said in the article:

  • Pen names are SOMETIMES ok.
  • One is  not allowed to have a profile picture of something else other than your face. In the article you show a photo of a six pack, stating if their profile is this, it is likely that they are not an indie author. It is safe to assume you are only talking about male authors?
  • It is mentioned that pandering to your audience and telling interesting stories about yourself to sell more books. And that it is dishonest if done at expense of others.
  • One is supposed to be honest and open with all their readers about their WHOLE life, inclusive of pictures, but the next point states that personal issues are also not allowed to be mentioned. Because authors obviously do not have a real life beyond the indie community and shouldn’t expect sympathy (Which one is it?)
  • Anyone that relies on a gimmick to sell their work doesn’t believe in their on work, so why should the reader?
  • The only reason you can have a pen name is because “you don’t want people you know to know about your alternative career.” And if you’re published your publisher expects you to show who you are.
  • And lastly, my favourite (NOT), the comparison between pen names and a decision to not show your face to getting raped.

Did I get that all correct?? There seem to be a lot of conditions on what requirements you need to be an Indie Author and even though I think the real gripe here is with male authors, I’m going to address what is mentioned issues with reference to both genders, because I believe in equality for all – that means rights, rules and expectations.

  • Pen names are ABSOLUTELY ok. Everyone has the right to privacy – it really is that simple.
  • I think the above response covers the need people have to use profile pictures that are not of themselves. PRIVACY.
  • Indie Authors are people and doing takeovers and promoting is a full time job. Like any other job, we as employees take sick days – so if your PA has to do your takeover because your family needed you, then so be it.
  • Maybe we have different understandings of what pandering to your audience is. Correct me if I’m wrong but as an author you are a sales person for your work and you sell it anyway that works. Like any salesperson that tries to sell someone anything. You emphasise the good and steer away from the bad. Hell, let’s even think of it as a job interview. The employee asks why do you think your best for this job and you respond with all the great things about yourself to make yourself seem interesting, available and successful. Am I wrong?
  • I don’t know if I agree that selling yourself and having “fake” profile pics can be defined as a gimmick. which makes it difficult for me to support your argument that this is dishonest and therefore means you do not stand behind your work or are not as equally passionate or talented. Now let’s delve deeper and give mention to some Indie Authors who do not show their faces on social media and indulge in the hype of the mystery: Max Monroe, Rae Lynn Blaise, JD Hawkins, Alex Lucian, Lucian Bane, Blake Austin, Cecilia London, AJ Compton, Cole McCade, Ava Harrison, Aria Cole… I could keep going but I decided that by now everyone has gotten my drift. There are best sellers in this list and both women and male authors – so do you still stand by the fact that indie authors who do not show their faces and use generic profile pics do not believe in their work and are not passionate about writing??
  • I can also give a list of published authors that do not show their faces, specify gender and are not breaking any rules or upsetting fans by deciding to remain anonymous, but lets just name two big names – M, Pierce and Sylvain Reynard. Do these two best sellers, both picked up by publishers, not have written words to be proud of?
  • Lastly, is your comparison of maintaining privacy to be consistent with rape. Honestly, this makes your whole argument invalid. Let me define it. Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration perpetrated against a person without that person’s consent.  (legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com. April 15, 2011). The trauma brought on by this is life changing, crippling and fear inducing. It ruins lives, relationships and is often responsible for PTSD and suicide. To compare the decision to not share bits of information to your readers as rape, is quite frankly, rude and insensitive to all victims of sexual assault.

So, I think I have made my point pretty clear.

Above all it seems that the love of reading has been forgotten and disregarded. The love of the written word, the ability to be sucked into a different world and taken on a journey of emotions is why we all read. To say that all readers only read based on a profile pic and personal information is undermining the passion of the reader. We don’t read because an author is attractive, male or female – we read because we are passionate, because living a thousand lives is better than one.


Note: ALL AUTHORS, BOTH MALE AND FEMALE HAVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE HOW MUCH INFORMATION THEY CHOOSE TO PUBLICISE. IT SHOULD NOT CHANGE THEIR STANDING IN THE INDIE COMMUNITY – THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HUNDREDS OF READERS CHOOSING TO OPEN UP BOOK ACCOUNTS UNDER DIFFERENT NAMES SO THEY CAN SEPERATE THEIR FAMILY AND FRIENDS. WE ARE ALL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO INDULGE IN WHAT WE ALL LOVE – BOOKS
* I would like to add that after posting another blog post called “How far would you go?” Was published, also supporting the previous article mentioned. My question to you is, if you need to pull apart the mystery to justify someone’s success, how far will you go? 

Cover Reveal: Caught in the Flames

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Kacey Shea

Caught in the Flames

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 22nd August, 2016

***

SYNOPSIS

Callie Gordon is more than a little obsessed…

I love firemen.

Heroic. Selfless. Brave.

Not to mention the uniform with those damn sexy pants…I can’t get enough.

Imagine my surprise when local fire captain, Chase Matthews, wanders into my yard on moving day. I’ve hit real estate gold. Hot as sin with that all-knowing smirk creates an instant spark. Welcome to the neighborhood never looked so good.

But dating a firefighter isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Chase keeps me at distance even when I attempt to break down his walls. A friendship with the nosy eccentric woman down the street reveals there’s more to Chase than he’s willing to share. I’m playing with fire and bound to get burned.

Secrets unfold.

Truths are brought to light.

Can I handle the heat? Or will my love for this man prove that sometimes even good girls have to burn down the house?

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PRE-ORDER LINKS

Preorder price of $2.99 only available through release week!

Amazon I Nook IKobo

iBooks: Coming soon

***

EXCERPT

I hate coffee.

Okay, that’s a lie. I just hate the way it’s impossible to jog and drink coffee at the same time. After tossing and turning alone last night when I should have been tangled up with Chase, I woke early and decided if I’m not getting lucky I might as well get in better shape. Besides, what else do I have to do on a Sunday morning?

I lace up my sneakers and hit the pavement with purpose. But that energy fades with each advancing step. My abstinent morning exercise plan messes with my normally caffeine infused routine. So when I turn the corner about a half mile into my jog and Kiki flags me down with a cup of java in her hands, I have to stop.

The cool morning air hits the hot brew and causes a swirl of steam to rise over the mug. She observes my infatuation and invites me inside to join her in a cup. I can’t not say yes. Not saying yes to coffee is like refusing Jesus. Okay, bad example. Lots of people refuse Jesus. I can still be friends with those people. But people who refuse coffee? I don’t trust those fuckers.

So, instead of running to stay in shape for my hot ass fireman boyfriend, I’m having coffee with Kiki at her kitchen table. Enjoying every second. I inhale the roasted brew before cooling it with my exhale to take a long sip.

Kiki’s interior décor is a mix between eclectic grandma and boho chic. Really, I wouldn’t expect normal from Kiki, so it fits her perfectly.

“So, what is it you do for a job, Callie?”

“I’m a graphic designer.”

“Oh, that’s lovely, dear. Do you make T-shirts?” She furrows her brows and sips from her mug.

I grin in response. “I actually do design for a firm that specializes in website development and company re-branding. Sometimes I get to design logos that go on T-shirts.”

“A creative mind. I knew we were kindred spirits.” She pats my arm. “Plus, you’re a coffee addict like me.”

“How did you know?” I sigh as I take another sip. She laughs, a throaty chuckle with a knowing look on her wrinkled face.

“It’s written all over your face. I’m what I like to call seasoned. I’ve been on this earth a while. I can tell these things.”

I bite my lip. She does seem to exceptionally intuitive. Maybe she can help me out. “What else can you tell about me?”

“You love yourself one of those fire boys,” she answers with a glint in her eyes.

“How do you know that?” I almost gasp. Maybe she’s psychic or a fortune teller. Oh, maybe she can read my aura.

“I just know.” She shrugs as Silas jumps onto the table. Kiki shoos him down and he complies with an irritated meow. “That, and the ladies at tai chi told me you’ve been dating the captain.” She smirks. When she raises her mug to salute mine I have to let loose a little laugh of my own. No special mind reading powers, just good old fashion neighborhood gossip at its finest.

“Yes, I’ve been dating Chase for a few weeks now.” Remembering the disappointment of yesterday and our missed date I have to resist the urge to pull out my phone to see if he’s called or texted. I’m sure he hasn’t. He won’t get off until nine and with this being his third shift in a row I don’t expect he’ll want to come over.

“Trouble in paradise already? That’s not good! You’re a beautiful woman. He’s hot as sin. What’s the problem?”

“No trouble. Really.” My lips pull into a frown as I remember the Evil Grocery woman. Maybe there’s more trouble than I’m aware of.

“I’m not convinced. Tell Kiki about it and I’m sure I can help. Besides, I know everything about everyone.”

I grin and consider her offer. I’m sure she does know everything. But I wonder how good she is with sharing secrets. I don’t have the time or energy to be involved in neighborhood politics. She scratches at her neck and it reveals a little of her weathered skin. I’m surprised at the colorful ink scrolled across her shoulder. This woman is full of surprises and there’s something in the way she smiles at me that makes me want to be her friend.

“Okay. I’ll tell you my problems on one condition.”

“Shoot.”

“You tell me the stories behind all your tattoos.” I smirk and she does that throaty chuckle again.

“You sure about that? That could take days. I have lots of ’em.”

“Stories or tattoos?”

“Both.”

“Yeah. I’m sure. What’s that one on your shoulder?”

“Oh, this ol’ thing? This is one of my favorites.” She pulls down the neck of her blouse and her bra strap so I can see better. It’s a bouquet of flowers. I recognize the violets, periwinkle, and lilies, but it’s the foreign words scrolling through the center in script lettering that captures my focus. It’s beautiful.

“What does it say?”

Il dolce far niente.” The words roll off her tongue in a soft caress.

“Is that Spanish?”

“Italian. It means, it is sweet doing nothing. This was my first tattoo. I got it the summer I turned eighteen. My friend and I took our life’s savings and flew to Europe.” She chuckles that rough laughter. “You can imagine our parents weren’t too thrilled. We had been raised to grow up and find a spouse. Maybe spend a few years in college first, but then find a mate. Instead, Bets and I took off for an adventure. My parents tried to keep me from going. Insisted I was doing nothing with my life.”

“So you got a tattoo about doing nothing?” I grin.

“Yes. Though it was far from the truth. I ended up doing my fair share of Italian men that summer.” She waggles her almost translucent brow and I lean forward over the table. This woman is fascinating. Her fingers stroke the rim of her mug, and light bounces off the diamond on her left ring finger.

“Did you marry one of those Italians?” Her eyes follow mine to her ring and she just grins.

        “My turn is up. Tell me about the captain.”

I can’t help the way my face pulls into a smile just thinking about Chase. I take a gulp of coffee and try to put my feelings for him into words. “He’s the most attractive man I’ve ever dated. And I’ve always been a bit infatuated with his profession. But I didn’t pursue him. He asked me out, and, well, it’s only been a few weeks but I’m a goner. He really is the most perfect man.” I know I’m gushing and sound more like an infatuated teen than a grown ass woman but I can’t seem to stop. Kiki smiles warmly and then pats my arm before standing to move to the counter. She brings back the coffee pot and motions to my cup. I nod with a grin.

“Beautiful men. They were always my downfall, too. And a man in uniform is difficult to resist. I’d warn you to be careful, but sounds as though you’ve already crashed and burned for this one.”

“Is there any reason I should be careful with Chase?” I ask because something tells me if there is, this woman would know.

“Oh, honey, there’s always a reason to be careful in love. Doesn’t mean the heart listens.” She smiles and I return it. I should excuse myself to leave now. It’d be polite after taking up so much of her morning, but I don’t want to take off just yet. I want to know more about Kiki—her tattoos, her stories, her life.

“Will you tell me about another tattoo?”

“If you have the time, dear. I’m sure you have other places to be than spending your day with an old woman.”

“I have time.” At my answer her grin pulls into a smile that fills her entire face. Her eyes crinkle so much they almost close.

“Well, how about this rose here . . .”

I get so wrapped up in Kiki’s tales that it’s hours before I finally jog home. The afternoon sun beats down on my skin and the humid air makes it difficult to breathe, but there’s a lightless on my soul and even in my steps as I trot the familiar path home. I’m glad fate crossed my path with Kiki today. Rather than spending the entire day obsessing about Chase I gained a new friend, one whose wisdom and life adventures fascinate me beyond measure. I can tell she’s a little lonely, and who wouldn’t be, living in that house alone with no career and no family. But today I think I needed her company as much as she needed mine.

***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kacey Shea is a mom of three, wife, and indie author who resides in sunny Arizona. She enjoys reading and writing romance novels as much as her son loves unicorns, which is a lot.

When she’s not writing you will find her playing taxi cab to her children while belting out her favorite tunes, meeting friends or family for food and to share some laughs, or sweating it out in the gym. Kacey finds that picking up heavy weights repeatedly is good for her mental health as much as it is for the physical.

She has an unhealthy obsession with firefighters. It could be the pants. It could be the fire. It’s just hot. On occasion she has been known to include them, without their knowledge, in her selfies outside the grocery store.

Kacey one day aspires to be a woman hand model in a sexy photo shoot. You know, the woman’s hand raking across the muscular back or six pack stomach of the male fitness model. Yep, that hand.

Until that day comes she will continue writing sexy, flirty romance novels in hopes to bring others joy!

Kacey enjoys interacting with her fans so please feel free to stalk her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Facebook I Instagram I Twitter I Amazon Author Page I  Goodreads Author Page

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Model: Shane Williams

Photographer: Eric Battershell

Designer: Perfect Pear Creative Covers

Release Blitz: Provocative (Tempting #3)

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Provocative by Alex Lucian
Series: Tempting #3
Release Date: July 21st

 

Provocative.eBook

Synopsis: 

Coming home to a quiet, dark house.
Meals by myself, because she was already done.
Excuses and apologies, they were never enough.
But even with that, when I touched her—when she arched under me and pulled me deeper— we couldn’t get back to where we needed to be. 
Where we used to be. 
It was all frustration.
Loneliness. 
Loss. 

Because even though she was no longer my student, the chemistry was always there.
Adele and I loved each other. 
We thought we were unshakeable.

But love isn’t always enough.

It wasn’t enough when I constantly disappointed her.
It wasn’t enough when loss cleaved us in two.
And when she left me, love was not enough.

She didn’t know yet that I’d never stop fighting for her.
But she would.

**Author’s note- Let’s be real clear that this is BOOK TWO of a duet, and you’re going to want to read Tempting before you read this one. Adele and Nathan started their story in that book, and you’ll get the same sex, fighting, and cursing that you did in the first. But if you want it to make sense, read Tempting first. If any of that offends you, please avoid them both.**

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AN (2)

***

MY REVIEW

Provocative, a sequel to Tempting, naturally starts off with ease and familiarity. Reminding readers of the fierce forces of nature that Nathan and Adele are, Provocative is an authentic depiction of the hardship and laboured reality of love. Alex Lucian’s writing continues to excel and exceed expectations. As he brings to life desperation, lust and pain, Provocative is a myriad of emotions that will set your soul on fire.

Adele and Nathan settle into the routine that is life, both focused on their futures, it seems that daily routine and responsibilities has eaten away at the honeymoon phase of their relationship. Caught up in school and work, Adele and Nathan are no longer on the same page. Filled with genuine concern, readers will be anticipating the worst for their favourite couple. And when life throws the biggest curveball, we see how hard it is to really let love conquer all.

Told in alternate points of view, Alex Lucian flawlessly captures the complex aspects of his characters’ relationship. Through their fights and their fears, Lucian excels at highlighting the strength of their love and the depth of their connection. As pain and passion is spread throughout every page, Adele and Nathan will make their marks on your heart; showcasing how Lucian successfully woo’s his readers with his writing style.

Committed to the whole Tempting Series, Provocative is a reminder of how memorable and enduring this series really is. Pairing scorching sex scenes with an onslaught of heartbreaking emotions; Whether it’s a trip down memory lane or the introduction of new and intriguing characters, Provocative, The Tempting Series and Alex Lucian are all undeniably an addiction that all book lovers must feed into.

***

OTHER BOOKS IN THIS SERIES

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My Review on Tempting

Amazon US I Amazon UK I Amazon CA I Amazon AU

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My Review on Beguiling

Amazon US I Amazon CA I Amazon UK

***

AUTHOR BIO

Alex Lucian is an author living on the eastern coast of the United States who appreciates being anonymous, for personal and professional reasons. Tempting is Alex’s first novel.

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