It’s All About Permissions (Let’s All Thunderclap This Book!)

Now and then, I’ll explore a tag on my WordPress dashboard to learn about new things or places, and discover new-to-me voices — fellow storytellers like an erotica writer I’ll blog about in a future post, and Jane Hunt, an author I just discovered today who has a book launch in a few days.

This would have been just another book blitz if not for one social media tool that she’s using that’s been on my radar recently: Thunderclap.  Well, that and that heaven-help-me-but-he’s-so-hot-and-moody- cover-boy that was sure to catch ah-always-wandering-eye, and her post about the difficulty of self-promotion.

It’s easy to recommend the  work of others, not so much your own. Writers are by nature I think self-critical and introverted so ‘blowing your own trumpet’ is well out of their comfort zone.

That said overcoming your barriers to self-promotion is essential if your book is to get noticed. The biggest hurdle for authors is to get your book seen, by the people who would love to buy and read it. So with this in mind I have been promoting The Dangerous Gift across all my social media platforms and I have been touched by the support from my social media and blog followers.

Source: Why is Self-Promotion Hard? | Jane Hunt Writer

So, what IS Thunderclap?

Thunderclap is a promotion tool that “amplifies your message with the power of the crowd.”  But instead of me just writing it down, check out their video:

So while you and I aren’t exactly the White House or Beyonce, this campaign needs 100 supporters to announce Jane’s book launch.  When the campaign reaches 100 supporters, Thunderclap will post the following message on supporters’ Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr accounts on February 9th, at 12 noon:

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 4.34.37 PM

Then those 100 supporters’ social donation (you’re basically donating a Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter post) are magnified many times over.  In my case, when I started with just donating a Facebook post, the social reach was 97.


And by the time I added in the Tumblr post and the Twitter tweet, social reach was 861.



Add more supporters (one for each social media account you’re willing to donate a post), and her book’s social reach will be multiplied many more times, and her book can, as they say in many a self-publishing podcast I’ve been listening to, “garner more eyeballs.”

But this will only work if you GRANT Thunderclap permission to post that message on your social media accounts.

Now I used to balk at giving anyone permission to access my accounts but after some thought — and after looking at my iPhone Settings to see the many platforms I’ve granted permission to have some access to my accounts, like notifications and auto-posting — what makes Thunderclap different from Twitter or Facebook, or the many third-party twitter apps I’ve given permission to post on my social media accounts like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or Instagram?

So today, I signed up to be her 24th (Facebook), 25th (Tumblr) and 26th (Twitter) supporter to ‘thunderclap’ her book launch on February 9th.  If I change my mind, I can always opt out before then.


Having said all that, can you help do the same?

If you think you can, please visit her Thunderclap campaign for The Dangerous Gift.  And while you’re there, you can also lend your support for other causes that interest you.


A Collateral Attraction – Book Review | InkdIn

Thank you so much for this wonderful review!

“Billie, the heroine, is possibly the most real character I’ve ever read. She’s too damn proud, takes things to heart, is insecure and jealous and doesn’t have a proper sense of direction. She trusts easily and holds grudges for a long time. She’s incredibly self – righteous and doesn’t really listen to others. She hasn’t really moved on from the heartbreak she felt with her ex a few years ago and is afraid of relationships.

Yes, she is deeply flawed, but that’s what makes her so real. I was really able to identify with her in most of the situations, something that isn’t easy for me. When I thought about it, I was pretty sure I would react in the same way Billie did. And, that is really important to me. It’s the reason why Billie is one of the characters that I’m going to cherish forever.

Heath, the hero, is also extremely well written. For him, his work and his business are everything. He doesn’t have anything else in his life. He’s cold and calculating and for him, everything is a business decision. But, as he spends more time with Billie, his charade slips and we come face to face with a man who has left many things in his life and is looking for any semblance of control he can find. He’s sweet and thoughtful, absolutely in awe of Billie and her beauty, her strength and her heart. The way he loves her is so pure and deep that you can’t help but fall in love with him.”

Source: A Collateral Attraction, Liz Madrid – Book Review | InkdIn

Buy the Book


“Each and every word of this story is beautifully written” – InkdIn


“Loving Ashe is a really heartfelt story that will leave you reeling and wanting for more. The way that Liz describes her characters and brings them to life is amazing to witness. Each and every word of this story is beautifully written.

The characters are real, deep and flawed. People make mistakes. They lie and they manipulate. But, what matters in the end is that they try to redeem themselves and that they love.”

Rating – 4.5/5

Source: Loving Ashe, Liz Madrid – Book Review | InkdIn

While in the midst for edits for Loving Riley, I woke up to this wonderful review linked from my Twitter and just had to share it with my 5 amazing followers.  Click on the link to read her whole review and while you’re there, do  check out her other reviews and other book and writing-related posts.

You can purchase Loving Ashe from Amazon here.


A Flash Fiction Challenge: These Damned Insects

I just discovered Terrible Minds, Chuck Wendig’s blog where he posted a flash fiction challenge with 10 titles you can choose from.  I picked the one called These Damn Insects, and no, this isn’t anything close to the women’s fiction/romance stuff that I write.  Just something I did in 30 minutes.

But that’s what writing challenges are about anyway – push your limits and see how far it will take you.  Be warned: some foul language ahead.


Velvet Madrid © 2016

He couldn’t understand where they were coming from, waking him up from a deep sleep filled with dark dreams. But they were coming out anyway. Out of their cracked shells, their cocoons or whatever else people called them. He couldn’t remember the simple words, his head too wrapped in sleep still, still caught up in his dark dreams of blackness coming to life.

Co-coon, he said out loud, his mouth so dry he had to swallow just to get his salivary glands going again, yet feeling something scratching against the back of his throat. What did that even mean, he wondered as another insect burrowed out of its case, falling onto the pillow next to him.

God, they were so annoying. How did this happen anyway? One day he was going about his own business, doing his thing with the homeless idiots standing outside his building, and then the next, he was watching all these damn insects hatching out of their shells, some of them flying, buzzing about his head, driving him insane.

Wait! Was he going insane? That was it! He was going insane! Nah, couldn’t be. He was sane – that he knew. Maybe he was still dreaming. Maybe he hadn’t woken up yet. That’s why there was an insect wriggling on his pillowcase, joined by another, and another, each one getting bigger than the last. A dream! That’s it! He was just dreaming!  For what else could it be?

Fuck, now his head itched, strands of his hair seeming to move on its own accord, like something was caught in his hair. He sat up, scratching his head as hard as he could, his fingers pulling things, wriggly, moving things clinging to his scalp. Eh, you got crabs, dontcha? But crabs didn’t burrow in one’s hair, they lived in pubes; these had to be lice, only they were bigger, with a pair of hooks for mouths and hairy bodies. Gross!

Something buzzed against his ears and he covered them with his hands, shaking his head from side to side as if doing so would silence them. But they just kept on buzzing, like they were coming from inside his head.

Wake up! Wake up, you dolt! It’s a nightmare, that’s it! Just a nightmare! 

You’ll wake up and these damn insects will be gone – and your pillow will be spotless, no squirming insects, bugs, whatever else they’re called. Oh, there’s a beetle! Why were they on his bed now, spilling from his pillow to his bed, under the covers, over the covers, buzzing, moving, squirming about, making the covers undulate.

He blinked, feeling something moving on his eyelashes. Abandoning his ears, he brought his hands to his face, rubbing the pesky insects clinging to his eyelashes. He’d read somewhere that good bacteria lived in eyelashes – what were they called? – he couldn’t remember now, but they did. But if they did, they’d somehow grown bigger, clinging now and dancing on his eyelashes, strumming each eye lash with their claws like guitar strings.

He opened his mouth wide in a scream but something flew right in. Or did it fly right out? What the hell was happening? Wake up! Wake up, you idiot! Wake up from this nightmare and be done with it! You shouldn’t have cursed that old man standing under the stoop last night. He was only seeking shelter from the storm, wasn’t he? But no, you had to insult him, call him names because you were too fucking drunk to care.

What did the old man say? He couldn’t remember now, instead imagining hearing a curse, just like the ones he’d read in books when he was a little boy – before the drugs and booze took hold of him and made him the way he was now.

Black heart, black soul, one day the darkness will eat you whole.

That’s it! That’s what the old man muttered as he lay on the pavement, clutching at his belly. But he’d laughed at the old man, kicking him again in the stomach, hearing the crunch of ribs against his boot.

Black soul eating me whole, my ass, he’d laughed. Like this is some fucking fairy tale. Get out of my stoop and find someplace else to hang out, alright? 

The buzzing growing louder inside the room, the bed littered with damn insects that squirmed and wriggled and flew about him, and he began to weep. His windows were shut but they were coming from somewhere – had to! He began to wail, and when he did, he felt the flutter of paper-thin wings brushing against the inside of his cheek, and out of his mouth emerged the ugliest things he’d ever seen in his life. They filled the air before him with a fluttering blackness.

His skin began to burn, and he pulled his shirt up, exposing his belly, the skin bubbling from the inside as if something trapped within was dying to get out. Then pop! The once-tiny pores of his skin gaped open slowly as an insect made its way out, and then another, and another, some of them wriggling and squirming, some of them unfurling wings of paper and smoke. He’d lost count how many emerged, filling his room with a buzzing that now rose to a crescendo. He could barely hear his own screams but he screamed anyway, barely registering the insects emerging from inside his throat, working their way out, each one growing bigger against the lining of his esophagus, gagging him, choking him till he was on his knees on the floor, vomiting more wriggly, deadly things.

Black things.

Source: A Flash Fiction Challenge: These Damn Insects – Liz Madrid

anasimons | One of My Faves: Loving Ashe by Liz Madrid

This is an excerpt from Ana Simons’ blog yesterday, about Loving Ashe.  Thank you, Ana. This made my day!

lovingashe_3dThis book is special! When I found out about it, back in April or May, it was already one of the most popular stories on Wattpad with over 1,5M reads. Actually it was the first WP story I read, but when it hit the shelves some months later I immediately got my own copy –  which, now that I think about it, I could send to California and ask the author to sign and return to me!

Loving Ashe has it all: it’s a compelling story, it has an original premise, an engaging plot with the necessary right twists and interesting, well-developed characters that are quite realistically portrayed. The protagonists, Riley and Ashe, are above all human figures, like you and I, with all our virtues and our flaws; we immediately identify with them, we root for them.

Finally, Liz Madrid masters an awesome writing style and conveys feelings and emotions like only few can. She is indeed a very talented writer, who knows exactly how to hook her readers.   This is definitely one of those stories you need to read in one sitting because you just can’t stop! Very highly recommended!

Source: anasimons | One of my favs: Loving Ashe by Liz Madrid


Good Enough

“Did he really hurt you so much that every man has to fit the outline of the pain he left behind inside you?” Ashe asked. Wearing just his trousers, he walked to her side of the bed and sat down. “I told you tonight that I’ve fallen for you, and that was no lie. But I don’t intend to live in someone else’s shadow should we take it further.”