Saturday, December 31, 2011


I read so many good books this year! A few have really stuck out in my mind though.
These are really in no particular order.

Backstage Pass (Sinners on Tour #1) by Olivia Cunning

I think this actually came out in late 2010, but I read it in 2011, and LOOOVED it! Plus, I was not a fan of Rock Hard which did come out in 2011. Hey, it's my list!

Tender Mercies, by Kitty Thomas

I love all of Kitty Thomas' work. I usually grab her stuff as soon as it becomes available. Tender Mercies was no exception. Grace and Asher are wonderful characters.

Caressa's Knees, (Comfort Series #2) by Annabel Joseph

I loved how bratty Caressa was! The relationship between the two main characters was fascinating. They pushed/pulled each other throughout the book which made for a wild read.

Maid for It, by Lucy Rodgers

Maid for it is centered around a clever premise that makes the dubious consent storyline work well. I can't wait to read more of Lucy Rodgers' work.

The Perfect Play (Play by Play #1), by Jaci Burton
I'm a sucker for football players so this cover caught my eye immediately! The characters are so interesting that the story is much more than just steamy sex.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Here I Am!

I finished a work. Finally submitted it...and got the dreaded rejection. It sent me into a bit of a depression even though I told myself it was bound to happen. I know it happens to every writer. It's crazy to assume the first time I submit something it will be accepted. But, it still hurt. So, I took a break from writing. All my creativity seemed to flee my head.

I go to a writer's conference every year. This year, my heart wasn't in it, but since I had already paid in advance, I forced myself to go and was glad I did. I met a lot of other writers. The key topic was persistence. Persistence and hard work. You can have all the great ideas in the world, but if you don't work at your craft and keep going, you're not going to get anywhere. So, I have been trying to live by that ever since.

I just submitted a short story for an anthology. I'm hoping to hear back about it soon. One key piece of advice I have received over and over is to write what you love, write for yourself. Honestly, I have always tried to do exactly that. Sometimes I genuinely enjoy reading what I write, other times I cringe at what I've written.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

When do you know you're at "The End"?

It's a question I have been asking myself a lot lately as I wrap up my first novel. This is the furthest I have ever made it in a work. I'm at the editing stage and I keep adding things, or thinking of different ways to phrase this and that. I wonder, is there such a thing as fine-tuning a piece of fiction to death? Yes, there probably is! I want to make it all flow together nicely, but I also don't want to be tedious.
So, my editing process involves a lot of highlighters. Different colors for different things. Mostly, I am searching for typos/grammatical errors, awkward phrasings and consistency.
Some days I think it's better than I remember and I am amazed I wrote it. Other days I am amazed I would actually consider letting other people read what I have written!
How will I know when it's finally done? I guess I'll just know.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Perfect Play - Jaci Burton

The Perfect Play (Play by Play, #1)The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm a sucker for football players. This cover was almost too good to pass up. I actually found myself more interested in the characters than the sex, which doesn't always happen in this genre. That is a big part of the four-star rating. I genuinely liked the two characters, even when I found them annoying. Mick is almost too good to be true. He is depicted as a very likeable (if sometimes a little dense) guy with regular human foibles. I would have liked to see him give Tara a little more grief when she acted like a jerk.

My only issue was that the two characters would seem to make up their minds about where there relationship was headed and then next thing you know, they were agonizing about it and pushing each other away. Again. Especially Tara. The continued conflict/non-conflict got tiresome. The blatant toss-in of Liz and Gavin's story towards the end of the book is clearly meant to generate interest for the next story. It was obvious and aggravating.

I did like how Tara is always mindful of how her actions affect her son. Her son is not in the story just as window dressing, he's an integral part of the story and his well-being motivates Tara's choices time and again throughout the book. I also enjoyed the excessive porny dirty talk during the sex scenes. :)

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Tender Mercies

Tender Mercies Tender Mercies by Kitty Thomas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Comfort Food was one of the first books I read when I started reading bdsm themed erotica. I love Kitty’s work and followed the progress of Tender Mercies intending to snap it up as soon as it was available.

There are parts of the book that are difficult to read, but overall it’s a beautiful love story with very deep characters.

I’m fascinated by total power exchange and Kitty Thomas writes some of the most realistic Master/slave relationships. There a bit of non-con in Tender Mercies, so if you’re uncomfortable with that, don’t read it. The story is set on an island where true slavery is allowed, which is what allows this story to work so well. In less capable hands, this fictional land might have come across as hokey, but here it works.

I loved Grace and Asher. I loved how they carefully work through their issues together. I didn’t always like Asher, but he’s consistently firm and loving with Grace. He balances his ownership of Grace with the desire to take care of her, and help her overcome the trauma inflicted by her former owner.

After looking forward to reading this for so long, I have to say it exceeded my expectations. The story is beautiful and well written. I grew to love the characters, so much I didn’t want the book to end.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Backstage Pass, hot! hot! hot!

Backstage Pass (Sinners on Tour, #1)Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve loved hot rocker, metal-type guys ever since I can remember, so naturally this book appealed to me. There is a lot of sex in this book. A LOT. Somehow it never gets bored or trite. What was interesting, although the sex is all well and good, I really was interested in the characters and liked all of the characters. Probably the first time I have read a book like this and been more interested in the characters, what they were going to do next and how they would resolve their issues, than all the hot sex! I could not put this book down.

I loved Myrna and Brian. Also, loved the other Sinners. Although there are a lot of characters, the writer does an excellent job of giving them all a separate and distinct personality so you don’t feel like they are all just lumped in together. The parts about the band, touring and the concerts also could have been cheesy, but the writer does such a great job they aren’t. It comes across as real, believable – and fun! I also liked that she doesn’t try to sugar-coat and romanticize these guys. They’re rock stars, they’re horndogs, not chaste Prince Charmings. She manages to convey this without being disgusting. They guys are all amusing and likeable. Definitely looking forward to reading more books by this author.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Finding Inspiration

I do my best writing at night. Late at night. I seem to have trouble settling down to actually write until midnight to 2 a.m. The internet is of course a huge distraction.

I tend to have a couple of things "in play" at any given time. Right now I have four story ideas going. All of them are outlined. One I have about 86 pages finished, and I am really pushing and trying to focus on finishing this one. I like the characters a lot. I like the journey they take together. Another one (which was actually the first story I started in this group) has about 24 pages. I have an idea of where I want to go with it. The other two are maybe a couple of pages each.

Like I said, I have multiple things going at once. I'll come up with an idea. Little things inspire me. Things that happen to me during the day, and I say "what if..." But, I have never actually finished anything. I'm very focused right now I finishing this one story since I am so close. Naturally the closer I get to finishing it, the harder it is to find inspiration. I have all the "key" scenes and conflicts down, but now I want to weave them together so it flows smoothly.

Music is inspiring sometimes. Even though it tends to be a distraction, the internet can also be very helpful for ideas and research.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sweet Persuasion (Sweet, #2)Sweet Persuasion by Maya Banks

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm conflicted on this one. I enjoyed Maya Banks' short story in Four Play, which is why I picked this book up.

It starts off sort of like BDSM-lite. Damon is a little too over-the-top concerned and lovey-dovey for a Dom. The conflict seems overly manufactured, especially towards the end.

However, after lulling you into this sort of watered down fantasy relationship, there's a rather brutal belt whipping scene towards the end that was quite unpleasant given the rest of the story.

I enjoyed the friendship between the three women (I didn't realize this was actually book #2 in a series) but found some of their dialog (especially Julie's) to be kind of forced. There were also these strange short bits involving the friends that were not interesting, and did not move this story along (although I understand they were to set up the next book).

I had a hard time buying the HEA ending since both characters came from such different perspectives and I never felt like they actually resolved their different ideas of what their relationship should be.

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More writing…less thinking.

Some of my favorite authors advise to “write every day” to be sucessful.  You know “put your butt in the chair.”  So every night I usually sit with my lap top.  But I find it’s hard to just force writing or it comes out crappy.  I usually need to be inspired or have a “flow” I am following.  Unfortunately, this means I don’t get a lot of writing done.  I do a lot of staring at my computer screen.  A lot of reviewing what I have already written.  And I think…a lot.
I do a lot of driving for my “day job”.  While sometimes I find it annoying, I find myself rushing from place to place a lot.  I also find it a nice time to just let my mind wander and think.  Think about the story currently kicking around my brain.  Imagine it unfolding, working through plot points I have gotten stuck on.  I think I come up with some great stuff.  By the time I get home, and take care of things and sit down to write though, it’s gone.
So, I am hoping maybe by writing this blog, it will start to get my in the frame of mind to write.  Get the creative juices flowing.
What works for you?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hello World!

Autumn Jones Lake is a pen name I plan to use to publish erotic fiction under. I’ve been working on a number of projects and hope to have one ready for submission very soon. I am new to blogging, so go easy on me.  My journey won’t all that be interesting, but it will be a fun [...]

Monday, February 28, 2011

Swing by Opal Carew

SwingSwing by Opal Carew

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was fun...but it got to be a bit much. No one ever took a shower!

The ending was a little too neat and tidy. Overall it was a fun, quick read.

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