Thursday, March 28, 2013

SM Johnson ~ Thursday Morning Coffee ~ Honestly

Well this is very strange. I wrote and scheduled Thursday Morning Coffee yesterday, and somehow the muddling thing disappeared.

Probably just as well, really, because I was having a total bitch fest,  deeply upset by the idea of people reviewing and rating books they haven't read. This is so one of my hot buttons.

Positive or negative, if the thing hasn't been actually read by you, personally, you really aren't qualified to write a review. This should be a no-brainer, shouldn't it? How can you have an opinion, particularly of a book, if you haven't experienced it?

All right. I'll jump off the box now, nobody's listening, anyway.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

SM Johnson ~Arrrggghh! Typos! ~

Oh. My. God. I finished reading this wonderful, terrible, beautiful, awful manuscript called Psychomotor Agitation: by the astonishing (legendary?) XIX... and am, for the moment, ruined for reading other authors.

Oh, it will pass, surely. As soon as I read everything by XIX (click the squares, then click "show this deviation anyway") that I can set my greedy little eyes upon.

In the meantime, I'm reading my new release on my kindle, and have found an embarrassing number of typos. And I mean a horrible, gut-wrenching amount of embarrassing typos.

Sigh. I do apologize.

I will be uploading a new file, probably sometime today.

If you've received a free copy directly from me, you'll have to suck it up.

If you've purchased it on Amazon, I'd advise waiting a couple of days before starting to read, because Amazon should send you a notification of an updated file. I think it takes up to 24 hours for the new file to go live.

That's it, I'm firing my copy-editor.

Self - you're fired.

Ha.

Perhaps one day I should HIRE one. Trouble is, most of the typos I INSERTED MYSELF while editing... because I can't ever stop tinkering.

Peace, darlings.

Thursday, March 21, 2013



***UPDATE***

Three in the Dungeon, available NOW, exclusively at Amazon! (For the time being).

Amazon status for Three in the Dungeon.... "Publishing." It shall be there soon, my darlings!

Meanwhile, there is an ugly orange truck outside my house, and some really cold guys cutting down our tree. I mean cold in a couple different ways - first because it is 14 degrees out there, and I'm sure they are COLD. Second because it is the only tree in our front yard, and the cold bastards are cutting it down. I could just cry. I love trees, and we only have 2 live ones and one dead one in our yard - and after now it will be 1 live one and 1 dead one. Damn it.

Monday, March 18, 2013

SM Johnson ~Three in the Dungeon ~ FRIDAY!

Here we go... Coming FRIDAY MARCH 22nd!





Is love enough to forsake power exchange?

Life is good for long-term partners Roman Preston and Jeff Johnson; living in Gigi's house in Minnesota, Roman's got his woodshop and cabinet contracts, and Jeff his writing, and they're building a loving egalitarian relationship. Everything changes when Vanessa and the baby move in, of course, but they all seem to be settling happily into family life.

But when Jeff's BDSM erotic fiction becomes the latest Amazon Indie success story, Roman can't help but wonder… if Jeff is still kinky in his head, what about his heart?






The synopsis is pretty simple, honestly not sure if I'll leave it like that or what, but the truth is SO MUCH happens in this book, that if I try to tease everything in the synopsis, it will be information overload. So I'm still sort of working on that.

Built the table of contents today. Added all my copyright stuff, including a credit to the AMAZING cover photographer, Karina Tischlinger, iStock.com... made sure the chapter breaks are in place... blah blah blah blah ***insert mind-numbing-ly boring formatting tasks here***

I will be uploading to Amazon Wednesday night, so if there aren't any glitches, it might be available slightly earlier than Friday.

If you buy, if you read, and if you find any typos, I would be ever so grateful to hear from you. Seems a few here and there always sneak through, or get in there fresh during the editing process. Drop me an email or a comment with the word, phrase, or sentence that contains the typo - that's all I need to seek and destroy. I'm a Virgo. I'd rather fix it than let them be out there embarrassing my perfectionist self.

Peace, darlings.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

SM Johnson ~Thursday Morning Coffee ~ Don't

I have been talking to beta readers and working diligently on getting Three in the Dungeon ready for release on March 22nd. It's going pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.

And I read something.

Well, I am always reading something, of course, but between yesterday and today, I read something remarkable. It was an ebook, but I have ordered the paperback because now I must hold it in my hands and flip through the pages and keep it on my bookshelf FOREVER.




Genre(s): Gay, Romance, Suspense, BDSM

"Don't... open me."

Three simple words that tease Jack, taking him places from his dark past. For Jack, BDSM is a way to resist his worst impulses. Yet, the stranger calling himself The Unknown seeks to use that to seduce him.

As Jack slips further down into the abyss, two men hold the power to save him. Will it be Gray, the Master who knows Jack's every secret? Or Jan, the first man to give Jack a reason to hope? With deadly ghosts coming out to play, Jack may lose everything, even his life.

Novel (120,000 words)
(M/M - For content labels and excerpt, see details on publisher's site.)





The author's site  (Jack L. Pyke) talks about a sequel in the works, as well as a collaborative project where two authors trade characters - wow, how fun does that sound? Can't tell you how many times I've wanted to borrow someone else's people and see how they fare in my demented world.

Anyway. Don't is freaking amazing. A-maze-ing. Couldn't put it down. Pretty much rocked my world. BDSM. M/M (and sometimes even another M in there)... suspense, scary bad guys... amazing good guys, really complicated main guy. Oh, yeah, and it's long - 120,000 words - you get a lot of story for your money. Yummy story.

Dang.

Finished reading it today, ordered the paperback, and started reading the ebook all over again.

So there's that. I love a new obsession. Here's a link to the book on Goodreads, where there are some reviews to read, if you want to check them out.

That's all I got for coffee this morning, cuz I am wrecked.

Hope you're all looking forward to an amazing weekend!

~SM


Saturday, March 9, 2013

SM Johnson ~Three in the Dungeon cover ~

available at istock photo
Oooh! I'm so excited! I've been working on a cover for Three in the Dungeon, and although it almost seemed too "easy" - I love the simplicity of what I came up with.

It was also the, hmm... maybe 5th cover I've designed using a free graphic design program called GIMP, and for the first time ever, I didn't have to refer to a tutorial! I'm very proud of myself, hee.

All right, meet Roman Preston! (okay, it's not actually Roman, just a model who quite beautifully represents my vision of Roman). Nice disclaimer, huh?

I had several ideas for the cover - I knew that I wanted some black and white contrast, to keep the 3 books looking like a cohesive set... I also initially wanted some BDSM symbolism, and at least a dash of the color red... so I spent a bunch of hours browsing Bigstock Photo and iStock Photo sites, downloading sample images (like the one above) that I could stare at and just... I don't know, get them dancing around in my creative brain. I'm much more of a word artist that a visual media artist, but sometimes just the browsing for images is inspirational.

At one point, I was looking for 3 or more models, to represent not only Roman, but Jeff and Jason, and even Vanessa... but, frankly, the learning curve of melding/merging three or more images - eeeek! I know I CAN do it (am capable), because I merged my own picture of the chain with an istock photo on for the Out of the Dungeon cover. But we'll get to that.

While browsing, I ran into some photos I hadn't seen before, but had the same model I liked for books one and two. Gotta say, I'm kind of a sucker for continuity. So... it just felt right to play with those pics first.

Because I was using downloaded samples, I put together a quick and rough mock-up, and....

Truth? Kinda loved it.

So late late LATE last night (4 am this morning, actually), I made the commitment and purchased the photo. Not the one above, but a similar one... and then today I put the sucker together.

Ready?  (drum roll, please....)



Yeah, I kind of love it.

I changed the font color of my name on Above the Dungeon, as well, so I might be uploading a new version of that one, as well. Unfortunately, I didn't keep a GIMP copy of Out of the Dungeon, so if I want to change the color of my author name, I'll have to re-build it from scratch, and it was the more complicated (merging 2 images), so I'm not sure when/ if I'll be motivated to get it done.

So here's books one and two, for comparison:




And now I'm off to bed, because I have worn myself out!

Hope your weekend is being awesome, darlings!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

SM Johnson ~Thursday Morning Coffee ~ the hardest part

[Edited post] Good Morning, Darlings, and happy Thursday!

I am here to tell you on this fine morning that the hardest part of writing a novel is writing the synopsis. Yeah, you know, when you pick up a book and turn it over to read on the back what it's about? Yeah, that. Absolutely grueling. And even though there's no 'back of the book' on an ebook, you still have to have some kind of concise description of what it's all about.

Describe your novel in 300 words or less... make it interesting, ask an intriguing question, put a hook in there so you can draw readers in 'hook, line, and sinker'...

I'm fairly certain I suck at this. I've devoted two days to stewing on it, and still don't have a synopsis that I'm happy with.

Let's see.... Book one, Above the Dungeon - two subs revolve around Roman.

Book two, Out of the Dungeon - Roman loses everything.

Book three, Three in the Dungeon - Roman regains those things most important to him and figures out the meaning of life.

HaHa. I know, nice try, right?

I want to shout out a RELEASE DATE but I can't write the damned book description. Arrggghhh! Oh yeah, I don't have a cover yet, either. Craptastic.

See? I thought the hard part was over.

I wrote the thing. I edited the thing. It pretty much makes sense. One early reader loved it. One... well, suffice to say, did not. And each of them loved or didn't love for very different reasons. Opposite reasons, really.

What I can tell you is this - if you came to hate Roman in Out of the Dungeon, you probably will not like him any better in Three in the Dungeon.

You remember all the Team Edward/Team Jacob insanity? Yeah. It's like that. If you're Team Roman, you'll love this book. If you're Team Jeff, well... you might not. That's pretty much all I can say at this point...

Playing with the synopsis:

Roman and Jeff are building a new life in Minnesota, even though Jeff's been insisting since the accident that he just wants to be vanilla. A funny thing, though, Jeff's BDSM erotic fiction is quickly becoming the latest Amazon Indie success story. So does this prove that inside his head, Jeff is still a kinkster? And what about inside his heart?

The local fetish community is a lot different in this town than in the club Roman created in New York City. Roman admits that he's a fetish snob, but still, an inexperienced local boy has managed to capture and keep his interest. Roman is determined to integrate his own controlling tendencies, Jeff's imagination, and Jason's submission into something that feels like home. But it would be a hell of a lot easier if the baby would stop crying.

I have about eight variations of the words above. As far as synopses go, I don't think it's great, but it isn't awful. Of course, it leaves out the whole Vanessa thing, and the whole Dare thing... and although  the series does revolve around Roman, Vanessa and Dare think stuff and do stuff and say stuff in this book, too.

In fact, some of the stuff they think and say and do might just lead to a 4th Dungeon book... (SM cocks her head and offers a fist-bump to her seagull muse).

Oh, yeah, release date. Um. Erm. Hang on a minute. I have to check my calendar and my work schedule...

Ready?

FRIDAY MARCH 22nd, Three in the Dungeon will be for sale exclusively at AMAZON. (And 90-95 days later, for sale in all e-reader format at SMASHWORDS... and 30 days give or take after that... all kinds of other places - like Sony, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

Whew. I'm sweating now. I'd better get to work on that synopsis.

I shall leave you with an excerpt - well, more of a tease:

From Three in the Dungeon, Chapter 2


There came the night Zach rented Mulin Rouge, telling Dare that watching Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman fall into impossible, tuberculosis-doomed love was a gay right-of-passage.

And anyway, Dare at first thought the film was ridiculous, but then ridiculously clever, and eventually found himself devouring Zach's lips with great abandon, and, a short time later, Zach's cock, as well.

"Dare…" Zach groaned, and he really did sound like he was in pain. "I want to fuck you. I want to fuck you so bad."

The words hit Dare's brain like a fuse on fire, and ignited his lust, sending fireworks through his brain stem. There was something so primal about the plea that all bets were off, no holding back.

"I want to fuck you, too," he answered, and it was heartfelt and true.

He found himself on his back in Zach's bed, towel-covered pillows propping up his hips, Zach kneeling between his legs. His whole body felt tight. He wasn't afraid of Zach, but had to admit to himself that he was definitely afraid of having a cock in his ass. Zach hadn't even touched him yet and Dare was a wreck.

 "Do you trust me?" Zach asked.

Dare felt completely vulnerable and exposed, and the soft question startled him. "Would I be letting you do this if I didn't?" He tried to laugh, but it came out more like a strangled cough.

"Don't be scared. I'll make it good for you. I promise. Just close your eyes and try to relax."

Dare tried to relax, but there was no way. He didn't know what to do with his arms, and his feet were flexing madly, trying to release tension.

Zach poured lube along Dare's cock, and it trickled to the crease of his thigh and dripped between his buttocks. Zach stroked him, whispering sweet, reassuring words, but when he slid one lubricated finger into Dare, Dare cried out and jerked away.

"Sorry, sorry," Dare breathed. "I'm just so tense that the pain startled me."

Zach crawled over Dare's left leg and stretched out on his side next to Dare, propped up on his elbow. The flat of his hand smoothed down Dare's chest, all the way to his dick, and then the fingers walked back up again, pausing to gently play first with one of Dare's nipple rings, and then the other. "It's okay, Dare. We don't have to do this right now. I don't want to hurt you."

"But it's going to hurt, isn't it? I mean, for sure the first time."

Zach shrugged, but then nodded. "Sometimes it hurts, especially the first time. More if you're scared and tense."

"I want to do it tonight. I want to get it over with."

Zach laughed. "Damn, Dare, that's romantic."

"You know what I mean," Dare said, and raised up from the bed so he could capture Zach's lips. Zach kissed him back, moaning a little in the back of his throat, the fingers of one hand tugging hard on the ring in Dare's right nipple, causing a sharp flash of pain.

Dare had an instant memory of the piercing chair, the handcuffs, and Roman sitting on his lap, holding him down.

"Tie me up," Dare whispered into Zach's mouth.

Now it was Zach who was startled. He jerked away, and stared at Dare, eyes wide with surprise, mouth half open.

"What are you talking about?"

"Tie me up and fuck me. Please. I can handle the pain if you tie me up."

Zach was shaking his head. "Aw, Jesus, Dare, it would be like raping you."
"No, it wouldn't."

Zach's voice came out cold then, stabbing into Dare like a dagger made of ice. "Is that what Roman would do?"

And what Dare felt then was guilt. Zach was all sunshine and warmth, and  here was Dare, trying to bring him over to the dark side.

"Well? Tell me, Dare. You want Roman to do this? Bet you could call him up and ask him. He'd probably be happy to oblige you."

"Zach. Please. It's not like that - "

Zach cut him off. "Oh, really? What's it like then?"

"I've never done this before. And I do trust you – I do," he made his voice insistent, seeing skepticism on Zach's face. "But I'm tense because it's new and it's going to hurt. You were pulling on my nipple ring, and that hurt, too, and reminded me that I was handcuffed when I got them pierced. The inevitability helped me deal. Made me less afraid."

Zach pulled away. "You are a kinky bastard, aren't you?" But now there was something besides anger in his eyes. Something closer to curiosity. "Are you sure?" he asked, and Dare could tell by his voice that Zach wasn't mad anymore.

Zach went digging through his dresser drawers and came up with two neckties. He knotted them tightly around each of Dare's wrists, then tied them to the posts of the headboard. It stretched Dare's upper body almost to the point of strain, but instantly made him feel more secure and grounded. He closed his eyes.

"Is it okay?" Zach asked.

"It's perfect," Dare answered, feeling himself dropping into submissive headspace.



Have a GREAT weekend, darlings!



Friday, March 1, 2013

SM Johnson ~ It's Not Thursday ~ (smile)

This is not the cover. This is the cover for Book 1
Good evening, Darlings...

I know. It's not Thursday. There has been no coffee, well, none to share, at any rate.

But I am writing to tell you that I have been drinking LOTS of coffee this week, and I just sent a (fingers crossed) final draft of Three in the Dungeon (3rd book in the Dungeon series) to my favorite early readers!

So now I await their approval, accolades, and highest praise of all the universe. Right?

What?  You're rolling on the floor, laughing your ass off?

Well shit.

I hope they don't hate it that much.

I am in love with this book, and have fallen for these characters all over again.

Three in the Dungeon works hard to repair the damage done to Jeff and Roman's relationship. It also gets Dare started on a new journey, with a new Dom... you'll meet Vanessa and Roman (and Jeff's) baby daughter, Cassandra, although similarly to P!NK's adorable li'l one, Cassandra spends much of the book off-stage. Well, you know, because it's a book about SEX, not babies. (wink, wink).

Oh, what else happens? Hmm.... you get to know the MN kink community a little better... eeek! Hope nobody recognizes themselves.... (giggle). Hmm... I'm hoping to include a bonus short story, kind of a squicky medical fetish thingy - I don't know if people will like it, though - kinda makes even ME cringe. And yeah, aside from pulling out teeth with pliars, that's a hard thing to do.

Okay. I'm a little over-caffeinated, I think, and very wound up to have this book done, dead-on the second deadline I set for myself. Go me!

So check back - once I hear from the early readers and check my calendar, I'll be posting a RELEASE DATE! (Oh, yeah, and creating a cover. Cuz that's sort of important).

Cheers. Have a GREAT weekend!

~SM