Temptation … at no cost

 

Yes, hard to believe, I know. Temptation often comes with a price, however small—but not this time.

My next collection of short stories is due to be published next week, so I thought it would be appropriate to offer something at no cost for all you who like a short story. For three days, my anthology Temptation: and other stories is free to download.

Friday 14th June to Sunday 16th June inclusive

Contrary to what the title might suggest, there is no erotica, but the stories are connected by the theme; Temptation.

 

What’s inside?

1.   Temptation  – Dave has a long-standing weakness.

2.   A Grave Mistake – DC Jeff Clark cannot resist the chance of glory.

3.   Good with Words – Who is in control at this meeting of minds?

4.   Poisoned Ivy – Emma’s desire and potential were recognised early.

5.   The Reunion – Will Gerry feel the wait was worthwhile?

6.   Going Down? – Being impulsive sometimes has consequences.

7.   A Day of Reckoning – Lei Mei has a tight schedule to meet through choice.

8.   The Visitor – A remote island offers unusual opportunities.

9.   To Go Boldly – Was this where it all started for Jim?

10. Louise E Anna – Where there’s a will, patience, and understanding ….

11. Bewitched – In the 16th century, not everything was as it appeared.

12. One Good Turn – Wayne risks his life for a stranger. 

The twelve stories are supplemented by five bonus stories taken from other collections.

Debt of Honour – from Smoke & Mirrors: and other stories, by Tom Benson

Blood Brothers – from A Time for Courage: and other military stories, by Tom Benson

Stranger than Fiction – from The Welcome: and other Sci-Fi stories, by Tom Benson and guest authors.

Goals – from You’re Not Alone: An Indie Anthology, by Ian D Moore and friends.

Faith, Hope, and Charity Holes: An Indie Author Anthology, by authors of the IASD.

Amazon Preview/Buy

BookLinker Universal

There you have it … are you tempted to grab a book of seventeen short stories for free?

If you haven’t sampled my work before then this is an ideal opportunity to try it for nothing, and if you’ve never got into short stories—take the plunge.

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Perhaps if you like what you find you’ll be tempted once again in about a week when my next collection makes an appearance.

Watch out for, One Man, Two Missions: and other stories. The tales have been honed by using the valuable opinions and suggestions of several fellow members of the amazing Indie Author Support and Discussion group. They will, of course, be accredited in the new anthology.

Thank you for the visit.

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Erotica: The Long and Short of it … Part 3 of 3

 

Give & Take 150516

FREE  weekend on Amazon –  Sat 30th / Sun 31st July 2016

In Part 1, I wrote about the titles and general description of my work in this genre.

In Part 2, I moved on to how I found myself venturing into this area of creative writing.

I’d like to use this final article to go under the covers ….

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In the wake of Romance, the Erotica genre is the next big thing – in regard to sales. For this reason alone, it’s not surprising writers of other genres attempt erotica, and it might be why their trials are published with a pseudonym.

Many writers try producing this special genre. Having read widely in the indie and the traditionally published sectors, I’ve discovered a wide range of ability.

We all think we know what goes on behind closed doors, but how much of our ‘knowledge’ is actually supposition, imagination, or guesswork?

The first aspect of this topic to put to bed (pun intended), is about how wonderful other people’s sex lives are. We could look at examples, but in reality there are too many variables to examine sex life.

I’ll list a few examples to prove the point:

1. A person who has no sexual experience, but has read a few books which suggest sex should be enjoyed by anybody with anybody, doing anything. I remember a girl from my early 20’s who earned the nickname ‘Martini’. If you’re not old enough to remember the TV ad, the slogan was: ‘any time, any place, anywhere ….’

2. A person of limited sexual experience, but read widely, and is eager to try anything once.

3. A person who enjoys the early years of marriage, where there has been an occasional hot night between the sheets. Lifestyle calmed and the bedroom became a place for two things; frustration, or boredom – or both.

4. An older person who has been in a relationship for 50 years, had a lot of varied experiences before marriage, and has for far too long settled into a mundane ‘get it over with’ mindset.

5. A person in a long-term relationship, but is with a partner who has no desire to ‘experiment’. Opportunities may not have been taken when younger, and now one partner may spend time wondering about activities found in books, but never tried.SS2 - Coming Around 150516

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What must a writer consider when publishing erotica?

Instead of producing a text-book answer, I’ll list a few of my personal criteria.

1. It is erotica, but it should not only be about the sex – a plot should exist.

2. I avoid sexual taboos, which I don’t believe have to be listed. If you have any doubts what is considered ‘taboo’ in erotic literature – use a search engine.

3. Colloquialisms for body parts and activities read better than creating a biology lesson with an underlying story.

4. Consent – or a fair idea of what is ahead is my preference. If a character sounds as if they didn’t know what they were getting into – or what was getting into them – it’s not non-consensual or innocence; it’s naivity.

5. Exceptional hygiene standards and preparation are occasionally mentioned in passing.

I have other minor points I keep in mind, but the aforementioned are the main ones.

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Highland Games - 1 - CougarWhich erotica appeals to me?

I enjoy the tale if I find myself consumed by the story, embracing the characters (metaphorically), and reading for the story – not the genre.

Which erotica irritates or alienates me?

When the language used is stilted, and the body parts and activities are like a sex education class for those who speak English as a second language.

When the situation and dialogue is contrived and the ‘story’ goes from dialogue to action in an unrealistic time scale.

Two-dimensional characters usually combined with little or no back-story.

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Where do I go from here with my titles?

I have erotica poetry within my Love and Romance volume, short stories in Coming Around: and other erotic stories and my novel Give & Take: A Tale of Erotica.

Highland Games is the series title of my erotica novellas. My first tale is an introduction to the series and the main location. In each successive book I aim to explore a different aspect of sexuality. As I do with all of my work, I’ll be taking note of feedback, and I’ll adjust my writing if there is good reason.

Coming soon ...

Coming soon …

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Thank you for taking the time to read my posts, and particular thanks to those of you kind enough to leave your thoughts. I appreciate all feedback.

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As a reward for your kindness, I’ll remind you my novel, Give & Take: A Tale of Erotica is FREE on Amazon over the weekend Saturday 30th July / Sunday 31st July 2016.

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A Time for Courage …

 

Yes, courage is a strong word and conjures up a variety of images, but it can also be measured in different ways. For the purpose of this post it will be aimed at:

Free this weekend: 23rd/24th January

1. My latest marketing strategy.
2. My next scheduled collection of short stories.
3. Indie writer attitudes.

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My latest marketing strategy.

I’ve already published my first book of this year, A Life of Choice: Part One, and I aim to have the second part published by April 2016. All is going to schedule with my other projects.

I said in a post last year that I’d stopped giving things away, but on a recent update of my catalogue I realised a word which carries international appeal is ‘FREE’.

Throughout 2016 I will promote a FREE title every month. On the weekend 16th / 17th January 2016 I set up The Welcome: and other Sci-Fi stories as FREE. My idea behind the move was to promote the title and my six guest authors.

During the weekend 23rd / 24th January 2016 I am offering A Taste of Honey as my first monthly freebie. To make things easier and more tempting to the international readership, I am using the new Amazon ‘preview/buy’ link.

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My next scheduled anthology.

Collection - A Time for CourageApart from the heading of this post, A Time for Courage is also the title of my next anthology. It will contain my preferred number of short stories (12), in a collection which will be military-themed.

I had intended to open this new collection to guest authors, but with very little interest when I floated the idea last year, I went ahead with a selection of my own ideas. There may be one or two stories borrowed from another anthology, but I believe cross-pollination is good.

At the time of writing this article I have 10 stories completed and two more in the late stages of my editing process, so I’m confident of my target publication date of late March 2016.

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Indie writer attitudes.

As a member of the Indie Author Support and Discussion (IASD) group, I’ve been instrumental in coaching new writers. No, I’m not the be-all-and-end-all when it comes to advice, but sometimes a little nudge is all a new writer needs.

Yes, I’ve been known to suggest that a ‘writer’ either works harder or finds another outlet, but I only do such a thing when I’ve worked hard to read past the first few paragraphs. On odd occasions it stands out when the person in question has an urge best kept to themselves.

We may be known as ‘indie’ but I like to think it stems more from the publishing aspect than the selfish, keep-it-to-myself attitude of some. I’ve only been a writer since 2007. I am not an authority on our craft, but I recognise when somebody’s heart is in the right place, and I will do all in my power to help. If my private offer is refused, I’ll back off – no offence taken.

IASD - globe (2)I’ve noticed at the other end of the scale we have a great number of new authors who have great storytelling skills, but they have little or no confidence in their ability. It may surprise those reading this, but I started like that, before realising the only person who could shout for me with any conviction in the early days – was me.

Authors with several titles are always asked for a piece of advice. I’m always open to take advice, but if I could offer a piece of advice to my peers it would be to lean on the rest of us. Yes, the first and general idea is ‘don’t give up’, but importantly, I believe having your work read, critiqued and read again are essential requirements.

We can’t judge our own writing, and anybody who shouts about how good their own work is will put me off the idea of reading any. Self-promotion is not about how good you think you are, but about letting people know you have titles out there. There is a big difference between self-belief and marketing.

I’m proud to be a member of the IASD, which in my opinion is the best writing group I’ve associated myself with, and I’ve been with a few. An honest opinion is never far away, but by the same token, it has to be sought.

As I said at the outset, this is A Time for Courage. We must work hard to produce a good story, and then edit, edit, and edit, before we ask for another person to give their views.A Taste of Honey

If you haven’t already tried my writing, here is A Taste of Honey, the title which is FREE this weekend.

Click on the cover to preview before downloading – if you like what you see:

As always, thank you for reading.

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Laptop, PC or Tablet, but no Kindle ?

Screenshot from a PC using the Kindle App (an excerpt from my novel)

Screenshot from a PC using the Kindle App (an excerpt from my novel)

If you haven’t got a Kindle, but you do have a PC, Laptop or Tablet, why not take a few minutes to download the FREE Kindle App from Amazon. Click here to check it out: Free Kindle App for Laptop, PC and Tablet

Why should I promote this idea? Well apart from anything else, I hate to see people missing out because they don’t know about something – and this is a pretty simple ‘fix’ to check out the wonders of eBooks. A lot of them are FREE! It’s no accident that the word FREE is being plugged so much in this post, so in summary, if you haven’t got one of these wonderful machines, but you’d like a lot of the benefits of having one, click: Free Kindle App for Laptop, PC and Tablet  … and enjoy! 

My own Kindle is a Keyboard 3G. Displaying here the main shopping page.

My own Kindle is a Keyboard 3G. Displaying here the main shopping page.

It takes a few minutes and then you can download books, adjust the font size, etc., just like any of the family of eBook readers would allow you to do.  

Every day from Wednesday to Saturday (inclusive) this week, each one of five of my books will be FREE. For details check out my Amazon page:

Tom Benson / Author’s page – UK 

or

Tom Benson / Author’s page – outside UK

All my eBooks are listed with price, or the FREE indication. Thank you for checking out my blog. Feel FREE to comment.

FREE on Amazon for Kindle

The novel ’10 Days in Panama’ had a good run as a giveaway when I first published it on Amazon just a couple of weeks ago so with each of my poetry books so far I’ve promoted them with a two-day Free promotion. An Anthology of Poetry - Volume 5 3rd

The fifth volume in the series, Thrills and Chills is now published with Amazon and is Free during 1st and 2nd May 2013. In this volume I’ve included a lot of topics that don’t really fit into the genre-based volumes. For example there are titles like: ‘Assassins’‘Cop Killer’, ‘Bastions’, ‘ Chasing the Moon’, ‘Big Game Hunter’, ‘Jack the Ripper’, ‘One of those Knights’ … .

I’m already putting together Volume 6 which will be the first book dedicated to serial poetry. These series are best imagined as novels broken down into a set of poems. In Volume 6 there will be ‘Honey’ a young private detective, ‘Hawk’ a vigilante and ‘Augustus’ a slave forced into combat in the Colliseum. When the book is completed I’ll be giving it a shout here and promoting it for Free on Amazon.

At present I’m also working on my next novel, ‘Hawk – A Manhunter’ about an ex-Special Forces soldier who returns to his native Glasgow and establishes himself as a vigilante. The city then becomes a place where the crooks are not safe. Not surprisingly this novel is based on what was a popular series on the Starlite Cafe poetry site.

As usual, I’ve got more than one short story on the go. Reformatting and preparing my ebooks to go from Smashwords to Amazon has taken up considerable time so I’m going to feel content to be back to storytelling.

I’ve updated my website so if you haven’t seen it recently why not click the link on the homepage here and check it out.

Download ‘Thrills and Chills’ for FREE here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Thrills-Chills-Anthology-Poetry-ebook/dp/B00CK0A96I/ref=la_B00C9HTUTY_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1367435058&sr=1-6

Ten Days Selling!

Pacific Ocean viewed from Panama's west coast

Pacific Ocean viewed from Panama’s west coast

Perhaps I shouldn’t book my place on a luxury cruise yet, or buy a little place in the Swiss Alps, but since publishing my novel ‘Ten Days’, just ten days ago, I’ve now recorded ten sales.  I even have a review from one happy customer – so how good is that!

My marketing campaign is presently based on electronic warfare – my e-book against all the others that are out there.  I’ve sent out sample invitations to all my email contacts (yes all three of them), and now once again I’ll give it a mention on my Facebook page to jog memories.  Perhaps you are one of the people who is on the fence.  Why not follow the link to check out a sample or check out the review.  It might sway you into buying.  ‘Ten Days’ the novel: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/257906

What else have I got in the pipeline?  Apart from my second novel, I’m well on the way to producing what will be the first of five volumes of poetry.  Each e-book will be made up of a different genre: Humour, Natural History, Love and Romance, Military and Series poetry.  The Series poetry will contain a variety of topics, with some as short as 4 poems, whilst others are in excess of 20.

In an effort to promote some interest my intention is to offer the first volume, ‘Humour’ as FREE.  If all goes according to plan it will be available for download by as early as next weekend.  I will of course give it a few mentions on Facebook, just in case anybody misses it here.

There will be a slight change with the books of poetry, in that I’m intending to deal with the front covers and titles myself.  Now that I’ve passed all this on, I’m sure it will be no surprise that I’ll have to go now … press releases to write.