2017: Looking back and looking ahead…

Hello, everyone!  I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and great holiday weekend.  My Christmas day turned out nice, but leading up to it was a bit meh.

Why the scrooge attitude?  I had high hopes for Christmas Eve Eve (Dec 23) and Christmas Eve.  What were my exciting plans?  On December 23 I had an excursion planned to use my free pass to Costco and then go see the new Star Wars movie.  (Yeah, I know.  It doesn’t take much to get me excited.  I’m low maintenance, what can I say!)

A lot of co-workers talk about Costco and how it’s this amazing utopia where you can get insane bargains.  So I got a one day free pass in the mail and I was excited to find new things.  While I’m not horribly thrilled at the idea of buying in bulk, I’m a sucker for new foods and flavors that I haven’t tried before.  I was a bit intimidated about doing the math for mega packs and giant containers, so I told my husband that all ounce comparisons fell on his shoulders.  Yes, I’m insanely cheap and also very terrible at math.  If you were to give me a math problem like, “Grace, if you usually buy 12 rolls of toilet paper for $4.99 and each roll is XX square feet of paper, would it be a good deal to buy 54 rolls at $$$ price where each roll is XX square feet of paper?” I think my eyes would glaze over like a deer in the headlights and I would have a massive panic attack.  That is why my husband was in charge of math.  It turns out that it didn’t even matter.  I went into the store with high hopes and an upbeat attitude after having warned myself not to spend money on crap I didn’t need.  That little pep talk also didn’t matter.  Not one thing in the whole store appealed to me.  Okay, that’s a lie.  Q-tips were super cheap, but I wasn’t going to stand in line for them.  Otherwise, I’m a superfreak about buying cereal, dog treats, and peanut butter.  I was totally shocked to find that Costco has like 2-3 varieties of things like Shampoo, Applesauce, etc etc etc.  So if I don’t like the two items they have to offer me, I’m shit out of luck.  My husband also proved his worth by doing the actual math and he informed me that the prices weren’t really lower than the stuff we usually buy on sale.  That was a major letdown and I left with nothing.  Oh well.  Live and learn.

On to Star Wars.  The movie was good, but there were a few parts that had me scratching my chin in a “What the hell just happened?” sort of confusion.  Obviously I can’t discuss it with you, dear reader, because I’d rather be forced to spend the afterlife in Costco purgatory than give away spoilers.  Let’s just say it had action, humor, and I enjoyed it overall, but I would like clarification on something that happened near the end.

Moving right along to our next topic.  I had plans to relax and chill on Christmas Eve, doing my usual routine of going to church and singing ‘Joy to the World,’ which is my favorite song.  However, fate had other plans.  I woke up at 6:45 a.m. to a sickly dog and stepped in one of two piles of…well…let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.  The poor thing didn’t eat all day long (and she usually has not 1, but 3 ½ meals a day).  I was worried about my little princess and didn’t want to leave the house lest she take a turn for the worse.  Thankfully she made a miraculous recovery overnight and went back to her usual self for Christmas day.  This is a double edged sword, my friends.  Her ‘usual Christmas self,’ involves running around the living room like the Tasmanian devil and trying to open every single present, no matter whether or not they’re hers.  Let’s add in the fact that her stomach wasn’t 100% fully recovered and a nice little gas cloud followed her around where ever she went.  Too Much Information?  Sorry.  I just want you to know the glamorous life I lead.

Okay.  I’m way, way, WAY off topic here.  This blog post is supposed to be some sort of melancholy review of the year.  Was it successful?  Do I need to work on areas of improvement? Resolutions?  What’s the bottom line here?

Why 2017 was awesome:

–I released a lot of stories and consider it a productive year book-wise. January brought the release of Ungranted Wishes, March was Unicornia, My Dirty Crown launched in April, May brought not one but two releases: My Dirty Vacation and Unexpected Treasure (co-written with Aidan Willows), September was my foray into BDSM: Teaching the Dom, and November brought The Christmas Present from my Past.  Lessons learned?  It’s too much work to release two books at once and short stories don’t sell as well as full-length, stand alone novels.

–I figured out how to do better cover designs (Pixlr is an awesome website and lets you use fancy font.  I’m all about downloading fancy font) and I also got a Mailchimp Newsletter and currently have 1900 subscribers.  Whenever I send out a newsletter, some of those subscribers actually hit ‘reply’ and it blows my mind when total strangers take the time to comment on my emails.  I feel important!

–2017 didn’t end with a Zombie Apocalypse.

Why 2017 kinda sucked:

–I accidentally gave myself a nasty concussion in September and it took awhile to heal.

–Donald Trump.  That’s really all I have to say about that.

–2017 didn’t end with a Zombie Apocalypse

Goals for 2018:

–Sell more books.  In order to do that, I guess I should write more books.  Moving right along to…

–Finish the books I have half-started but abandoned to write other books.  That pile is definitely adding up.  2018 should hopefully bring stories involving a princess whose ship gets sabotaged and finds herself on present day Earth trying to find love, the daughter in a large and loud Italian family finds love in a most unexpected (and somewhat forbidden) place, perhaps something with a werewolf hopefully something with some zombies, and maybe a military romance.  Not sure.  We’ll see where the mood takes me.

–Don’t injure myself.

–Win the lottery.

Sigh.  That’s quite the list.  It makes me tired just looking at it.

At least I have a few more days left of 2017 so I can slack off and be unproductive.

What about you, dear reader?  What are your goals or resolutions for 2018?  I hope you all have a happy, healthy, safe, and prosperous new year.  Sometimes life can be trying and difficult and massively get on your nerves to the point where you want to crawl under the covers and not come out.  But sometimes it can be beautiful and touching and full of wonder.  Cheers to the positive and to hell with the negative.  We’re all in this together, so be kind to each other.

Til next time…thanks for reading and Happy New Year!

Grace

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P.S.

Here’s some free stuff just because we all like free stuff…

This website will take you to 85 FREE or 99 Cent books…

Note: Please check the price before downloading as some may not be free in your country, and due to currency differences the price you see may not be exactly $0.99.

 fill your ereader

http://traceyalvarez.com/xmas2017-sale/

In case you were wondering, I one-clicked ‘Rock You’ by Candy Starr, Friends with Partial Benefits by Luke Young, Co-ed Demon Sluts by Jennifer Stevenson (No, you perverts it isn’t a sex fest.  Get your mind out of the gutter and read the blurb!).

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If you need MORE free stuff…check out this link:

https://www.instafreebie.com/gg/eqopFobW7lkuhnHKajY1

It’s a group giveaway on Instafreebie called Hot Sex Giveaway and there are about 67 freebies to bring some heat on those frigid winter nights.  Fair warning, these are not for the faint of heart.  Think ménages, orgies, alien stuff, gazillionaires getting people pregnant, some cheating wives, and a few ladies with daddy issues.  Proceed at your own risk…or maybe find a new kink.  I’m not here to judge.

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Fun in the sack or fade to black? Opinions needed!

As I write this blog post, it’s December 7.  My Christmas tree is not up and I’m only about 72% done with my shopping.  Therefore, it stresses me out to even think about the holidays fast approaching.  So I’m going to tackle a different topic today in order to take my mind off the fact that I’m falling very far behind in life.

Today’s topic?  S-E-X.

How much is too much?

Settle down, people.  I’m not Dr. Phil and I’m not going to examine what you do behind closed doors (or what you do sneakily in public for that matter…I’m not here to judge.).  I’m talking about steamy scenes in the books you read.  Since I’m pretty sure that 99% of you signed up for my newsletter/blog because you’re readers, I think it’s safe to assume that you all have preferences for your taste in books.  (As for the other 1% who subscribe…I don’t know how you found me, but thanks for subscribing!)

The reason the ‘How much nookie should go in books?’ debate is at the forefront of my mind, is because I’m currently 30,000 words into my next book and I have no steam at all.  Not even a kiss on the mouth.  Are you thinking, “What the royal fuck, Grace?  I need your porn!” ???   I sure hope not!

No, I’ve not gone soft on you, it’s just that my current characters have a bit of a “I’m getting on your nerves, but I secretly think you’re hot” vibe to them and it’s more of a slow burn, build-up kind of thing.  This story is going to be LONG, so I still have plenty of time to consummate the relationship…but I don’t think the sex is the prime focus of the book.

This leads me to my question of the day, dear reader:

How much sex do you want in your books?

Personally, I’m very nit-picky about the amount of lovin’ that goes into the stories I read.   Twilight?  Loved the story, but I wanted DETAILS of Edward and Bella’s honeymoon.  I didn’t appreciate the fade to black.  On the other side of the coin, I’ve read books where entire chapters were devoted to the 7th or 8th time the main couple had wild animal sex and I honestly skimmed them because I didn’t care how flexible she was or how many times he got off in one night.  I like REALISTIC sex in my books and I think this is hard to come by.

I guess, basically, I like to read about the sex when the couple gets together for the first time and then maybe once or twice more.   Otherwise, I skim the hell out of books with too much sex.

But enough about me.  What do YOU think?  What do you find most important in the books you read?  What makes a good book for you?

Just hit “Comment” on this blog post or “Reply” to this newsletter and let me know how you feel.  What makes you weak at the knees and tearing up with emotion?  What has you throwing your kindle across the room while you swear a blue streak?

I hate love triangles, cheating, super rich billionaire heroes that aren’t realistic, weak heroines that can’t survive one minute without a man to tell them what to do, stories that don’t have an ounce of humor in them, and plots that make no sense and totally ‘jump the shark.’

Okay.

Now that my oversharing of opinions is complete, let’s get to the part of the newsletter where I post some books, shall we?

These are all books that are part of my newsletter swap program.  You know the drill:  these authors were kind enough to put me in their newsletters and now I’m returning the favor.  The first story is FREE and the rest are only 99 cents on Amazon!

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1) Antonia and Sabrina Struck in Love by Chiquita Dennie…FREE on Instafreebie

 Description

When VP Executive Sabrina Washington goes out one night with her girlfriends to get over a breakup, she stumbles upon Antonio De Luca a man who is headstrong, dangerous, intimidating, and sexy. The cautious and by the book Sabrina is shocked by her sudden feelings that this man brings out of her despite his alpha behavior. She is constantly fighting to get away, and he’s fighting to keep her close. Unable to resist Sabrina’s sassy, sexy, and independent spirit, Antonio finally gets her to submit to him and stop running.
Scared and thrilled by Antonio’s erotic tastes, Sabrina learns more about what pleases her and him in the bedroom. Keeping his life as a club owner in the forefront and dealings as a mobster behind the scenes and away from Sabrina. Antonio is a man torn between his family’s lifestyle and the need to live his own life as a business owner. When the couple embarks on a passionate love affair, Sabrina will find all of Antonio’s good and bad sides, while discovering her own.

https://www.bookboast.com/link/5444/62664

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2) A Very Beary Christmas by Abbie Zanders….99 Cent Pre-order on Amazon

Blurb
For most people, Christmas is a time to celebrate with family and friends, but not for Chloe Lewis. She plans to spend it as she does every other day— alone, escaping the harsh realities of the world through her art. Painting mountainous landscapes reminds her of the one brief time in her life when she didn’t feel so alone. The hallmark grizzly bear she incorporates into each and every painting has the same golden-brown eyes as the only friend she’d ever known.

Sam Brown was only eight years old when Chloe moved to the small mountain town he and his family called home, but his bear knew right away that she was the one for him. In a cruel twist of fate, Chloe was taken away, but he’s never forgotten her – or what she is to him.

When Sam’s cousin comes home for the holidays and shows him a painting he’d seen of a very familiar looking bear and signed simply “Chloe”, it might just be the break he’s been hoping for. A winter storm is coming but nothing is going to stop Sam from finding her and bringing her home.

After all, Christmas is the time for miracles…

https://www.bookboast.com/link/5462/61539

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3) The Misadventures of a Dating Delia by H.C. Bentley….99 Cent Pre-Release on Amazon

Description

Day trader Delia Sinclaire was on a mission: Find Mr. Right. And find him fast.

If she doesn’t, it means she’ll have consider marrying Morty when they reach a certain age…and that age is fast approaching. They’d made a pact in college, and it didn’t matter now that his unemployed butt spent his days playing video games in his mother’s basement. So Delia, with the help of her best friend, sets off to tackle the world of dating, Desperate, she tries every kind of dating she can think of. Blind dates, speed dates, You name it, she’ll try it. Only each date ends up being hysterically worst than the last. Will a single’s cruise be her saving grace, or will she end up being Mrs. Mortimer P. Floyd?

https://www.bookboast.com/link/5545/62791

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4) Marriage of Convenience by Amy Faye………99 Cents on Amazon

Description

“I just want you,” she said. “However you want. There’ll be plenty of time later.”
Her tongue swirled around him, drawing away his entire concentration. By the time he regained control of himself he was trying to force himself deeper into her throat. He pulled his hand away and she pulled herself off and looked up at him with a raised eyebrow.

“You like that?”

He wanted to be a politician, and that meant getting married. It didn’t matter to him who he married. As long as she was presentable.

Well, I’d hardly call my messed up life presentable.

I just needed a way to keep my twins fed and warm, and away from their scumbag father.

He made me an offer I literally couldn’t refuse. It helped that I wanted to be touched, stroked, pleasured by him in every way possible.

A marriage agreement. We get married, we both benefit. It was smart. It was clean. And it was all going great, until our feelings started making the situation messy. Really messy.

https://www.bookboast.com/link/5555/63021

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5) A Flare of Power: Book Two by Elodie Colt        99 Cent Pre-Order on Amazon

Description

How would you feel if you could wield nature’s greatest power?

Ever since Haylie found out she was a Natural—the rarest human species in existence—she was determined to find out about the ability she should have.
The problem—she had no clue how to find it.
What made things worse was that Dylan, the man who’d dared her to come anywhere near him, was now her trainer and eager to push her to her limits. When he made her jump over that wall, it resurrected something inside her she deathly feared. She knew she needed to find out about her ability soon and get it under control before someone got killed.

Dylan was still avoiding Haylie as best as he could, but when they came up with a plan on how to find more information about her ability, he jumped at the chance to go with her. In the end, no one could have guessed what kind of ultimate power lay dormant inside of her. He was grateful they still had enough time left before her Awakening.
Little did he know that time was quickly running out..

https://www.bookboast.com/link/5452/61460

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That’s all I have for you today.  I look forward to hearing about your book likes and dislikes!  Have a great weekend and I promise to have my act together by the next blog post/newsletter….decorations will be up and presents will be purchased and wrapped!

Happy Holidays!

Grace

happy holidays