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New cover reveal for TAINTED TOUCH & Sale

posted by Lucy V Morgan

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Isn't it pretty? There's a bit of a story behind this new cover.

When I started to write Tainted Touch, I thought it would be another smutfest like Twisted Summer. But it didn't work out that way. (Not that there isn't smut in the book, but it's one of many elements, rather than an overarching theme). The book ended up a bit more in the chick lit/women's fiction/contemporary vein. I really wasn't sure how to market that, but when the book went out to reviewers, it was obvious--in a positive way--that they felt it was more suited to these genres.

And so...here we are. In truth, I think this cover tells readers more about my personal style. I don't write cookie cutter coupley romances; there's nothing wrong with them at all, but I wouldn't want a reader to expect one thing and get another when they buy my book. That's not really fair. I write with a bit of darkness and a lot of quirk; I write with unusual narrative arcs, at times. They're more into the contemporary fiction or women's fiction veins. I was worried that would be a bad thing.

I'm not worried any more ;)

(And yes, that is a blurb from the amazeballs Kristen Callihan, who has some gorgeous new covers herself. Her Darkest London series will be in UK bookshops soon, so keep an eye out).

To celebrate the new cover, TAINTED TOUCH is on sale for $1.49 (or £0.81 in the UK) at all vendors. It won't be at that price for long, so tell your friends!

Rejected cover designs for TAINTED TOUCH

posted by Lucy V Morgan

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My cover designer puts up with a lot. ("Can we try a gnome of self pity in the corner? Yeah. Really." [Three hours of blood, sweat and tears later] "Oh. You're right. That looks like a bag of dicks, huh.")

So when I realised that I wanted a new cover for Tainted Touch, but I frankly had no idea what I wanted, I decided I'd save the poor bastard the hassle and just do it myself.

The new cover will be revealed on Tuesday 1st July (along with a 50% off sale, because I'm nice like that). But in the meantime, here are some of the many cover mock-ups I vetoed in the end, along with a little commentary--Lucy style.

1) Floating Dead-Eyed Cait

For: The Waves, right?

Against: nothing about this one really says "moments of genuine hilarity."

No, what I needed was something edgier...

2) The Misery Porn Edition

For: pretty water/waves relevance. EMOTIONAL TURMOIL

Against: it's all a bit "capture fantasy kink." Which is okay if the book involves capture fantasy kink, but this book doth not.

Perhaps I needed more than random body parts. I needed a concept cover...

3) Attack of the Flying Cupcakes

For: cute! Modern! Just a bit foreboding!

Against: "Lucy. It looks like udders." (Christa Desir, voice of reason)

Screw you, concept cover. What I really needed was...

4) Headless New Adult Ocean Smut Bonanza

For: screams "I'm a beach read. BEACH ME AT ONCE."

Against: bargain basement Okay Creations rip-off

Perhaps sexy covers are not my forte. You know, unless they're more subtle. Like...

5) Headless Cliche New Adult Subtext Blandtasy

For: pretty colours. Porkage obviously imminent, so subtext win.

Against: more forgettable than J-Lo's recent efforts.

Yeah. None of this was going so well. I gave up for a while.

After that lot, I imagine you have no clue what the new cover will actually look like. Funnily enough, at that point...neither did I. But I did figure it out, and while you can't see it until July 1st, here's just a teeny sneak peek...

This is nothing like any of my other covers. I can't wait to share it!

TAINTED TOUCH is getting a new cover...

posted by Lucy V Morgan

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...in about ten days. I've seen it; it's rather lush, if I do say so myself, and also very different from my previous covers. I love the Cait and Art original cover, but I'd like the book to stand out a little more with something unique.

So...see you soon with a new work of Art ;)

Shailene Woodley, Feminism, and the Leila Vaughn Problem

posted by Lucy V Morgan

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"I think the idea of ‘raise women to power, take the men away from the power’ is never going to work out because you need balance," Shailene Woodley, a twenty-two year old actress (and star of Divergent), told TIME magazine this week. "I don’t know how we as women expect men to respect us because we don’t even seem to respect each other. There’s so much jealousy, so much comparison and envy."

I write a lot about the culture of platonic female relationships.The underbelly of them, if you will. Leila Vaughn (of Breaking Leila), who saw success lead to her undoing at the hands of female colleagues, is one example of this. Every now and then, something crops up to remind me that beyond all our discussion of feminism, it's never going to gain the traction it needs if we're not able to confront the issues within female relationships that tend to hinder a call to arms.

Shailene Woodley is, in her own words, not a feminist--apparently because the idea of women aiming to be above men in the social hierarchy is distasteful and illogical to her. This is, of course, not what feminism is; feminism is the belief that women are equal to men, and are entitled to equal choice, opportunity and privilege. Woodley's assumed misinterpretation of feminist principle has caused uproar on Twitter and other social media outlets in the past twenty-four hours, and no doubt will continue to do so.

Do I wish that a person held up as a role model had a more uplifting or technically correct message to offer her audience? Yes. Absolutely. But let us take this opportunity to examine exactly what is going on here. Let's learn (if I can say that without sounding like a patronising toad).

We all do questionable stuff when we're young (some of my younger characters will certainly attest to this). We don't teach feminist principles or theory in schools (or at least, we don't here in Britain. Which is a damn shame), so I'm not entirely sure why we expect all young women to understand a fundamentally complex set of ideas. The media feeds young girls a steady diet of "girl power," a dumbed-down concept that sounds more like a call for supremacy than equality, and the fact that feminist literature is not readily available to all is a basic feminist problem in itself. But what is far more shocking to me than Woodley's unfortunate misinterpretation of feminist values is the amount of vitriol she has received....from women.

The response I've seen on Twitter is very sad. The cheap jokes, the looking-down-the-nose comments, the patronising tone of people's response to Woodley's quotes; it smacks of hierarchal coterie within feminism, which is intimidating and unpleasant. We're all entitled to our opinions, but there is a problem with feminism if some of those who seek to spread its message on social media are preaching one moment, and then bashing a young woman the next.

In Breaking Joseph, my female protagonist, Leila, states: "Women rule each other. They say that behind every great man, there's a great woman, and they may well be right, but behind that woman is a not-so-great one, bawling her eyes out. She's not crying because she didn't meet the man's standards; she's crying because the other woman made them too high." And she's not really talking about competing for men. She's talking about competing for success and opportunity. For privilege. Men are quite often gateways or lubricants to such things, right or wrong as that is; Woodley, a product of a similarly competitive environment, touches on similar subjects. None of this is to say that patriarchal society is absolved of any influence--of course it is there. But as a gender, we are sometimes blindly participating. And we must stop.

"I don’t know how we as women expect men to respect us because we don’t even seem to respect each other. There’s so much jealousy, so much comparison and envy," Woodley is quoted as saying. Men aside-- I want people to respect me, not genders--this whole debacle lies in the shadow of a great irony because Woodley is now the butt of many a woman's joke. We do indeed lack equality between our sexes, and countless injustices affect women every day that would not affect men, but this doesn't take away from the fact that sometimes, women are fucking horrible to each other. And this is a case in point. No, not everyone's response has been awful. Some have been understanding. But I have been troubled by the chorus of those who are not.

We're now talking to a whole new generation of young girls about feminism, but we're also just starting to emerge from an era where perfection is everything (see: every reality TV show made in the past ten years, the earlier and earlier sexualisation of young girls, and the increased acceptance of sex sold as commodity on television/the Internet. Then see increased career opportunities for women but without the safety net of Old Boys networks). This is an era where another woman is seen as competition--not for a man, but for success, in whatever form it may take. And success is, at its core, survival. This is primal stuff. To ignore it would be to do ourselves a grave injustice.

If feminism is off-putting to this generation of young women, and if it is misinterpreted by them as a result, we'd do well to ask ourselves why...and to stop proving their suspicions by taking the piss out of them. That would be a start.

Cover reveal: MAKE IT COUNT by Megan Erickson

posted by Lucy V Morgan

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I have known Megan via Twitter now for a while, and am delighted to share with you the cover from her upcoming NA romance. It sounds hot and funny--two of my very favourite things (besides Channing Tatum and cheesecake. Maybe they'll be in the next book in the series...?) Drumrooooll, please...

Kat Caruso wishes her brain had a return policy, or at least a complaint hot-line. The defective organ is constantly distracted, terrible at statistics, and absolutely flooded with inappropriate thoughts about her boyfriend's gorgeous best friend, Alec...who just so happens to be her brand new college math tutor. Who knew nerd was so hot?
Kat usually goes through tutors like she does boyfriends--both always seem to bail when they realize how hopeless she is. It's safer for her heart to keep everyone at arm's reach. But Alec is always stepping just a little too close.
Alec Stone should not be fantasizing about Kat. She's adorable, unbelievably witty, and completely off limits. He'd never stab his best friend in the back...
But when secrets are revealed, the lines of loyalty are blurred. To MAKE IT COUNT, Alec must learn messy human emotions can't be solved like a trigonometry function. And Kat has to trust Alec may be the first guy to want her for who she is, and not in spite of it.


Chapter One excerpt

Kat gathered her books and stuffed them into her plaid Burberry messenger bag, then headed toward the front doors, smoothie from the library snack shop in hand. Head bent, fiddling with the clasp of her bag, she stumbled into a wall of human on the pavement outside.
“Oh, I’m sorry—” Her voice dropped out when she realized the solid flesh belonged to Alec, Max’s best friend.
She’d only met him once or twice before he’d moved in with Max this semester and every time, he cocked his eyebrow with a half frown like he knew something she didn’t. Which he actually did, since he had brainy superpowers. Smarter than a speeding Einstein. Able to leap over C-minus students like her in a single bound.
She didn’t trust people that smart. And she didn’t trust a guy who didn’t ogle her ass or leer at her boobs like every other member of the straight male species on the planet.
Right now, that raised-eyebrow frown pinned her where she stood. His pale green eyes behind thick black frames roamed over her shoulder to the library and then back to her. With his pin-stripe button-down, dark jeans with Converse shoes and hair styled in a short, messy pompadour, he looked like a nerdy Elvis.
His frown morphed into a smile when he spotted the smoothie in her hand, and she definitely didn’t notice his full lips. “You know, you don’t have to venture into the forbidden zone just to get a smoothie.”
Oooh. The jerk. She glanced around surreptitiously, then leaned in and spoke in a low voice. “Just play it cool. Don’t let it slip someone like me snuck in the library.” She gripped his forearm and whispered. “Password today is rosebud.”
His face blanked and he looked at her like he’d never seen her before. Kat debated whether or not that was an improvement over his other look.
But then those intelligent eyes narrowed and a smirk curled his lips. “I know. We nerds get an e-mail every morning.”
See? He always needed the last word. She propped a hand on her hip and leaned in. “Well, sounds like you have a mole. Might want to look into that.”
He opened his mouth but she cut him off. “Just looking out for you guys. Anyway, see ya around!”
Before he could shoot back a snarky comeback, Kat skirted around him and bounded down the stairs. She chalked that up as Kat 1, Alec 0.


MEGAN ERICKSON grew up in a family that averages 5’3” on a good day and started writing to create characters who could reach the top kitchen shelf.
She’s got a couple of tattoos, has a thing for gladiators and has been called a crazy cat lady. After working as a journalist for years, she decided she liked creating her own endings better and switched back to fiction.
She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. And no, she still can’t reach the stupid top shelf.

Find Megan on Facebook, Twitter, or at her website

Coming August 2014: VIOLETTA

posted by Lucy V Morgan

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"May the best man sin."

My name is Hugo de Grint.

I'm the man in the expensive suit who steals your breath in the elevator. The banker. The one they call Filth in the boardrooms and bars. I am many questionable things, but a bad big brother is not one of them.

When Tomas wanted the manor we grew up in for his beautiful young wife-to-be? I said yes. When he wanted to remortgage to finance his ailing business? I said yes.

And then, days before they married, I met her.

Violetta, from nowhere. Like the sun shot her out and she landed next to me, wispy edges still smoking. I am her friend and confidante...but I ache to be more. Though I have run from my obsession, her skin haunts me.

I tell myself I am a good brother--as boys, I took on his horrors; as we grew, I took on his debts. But Tomas is too much like our father, and not the good husband he should be.

I can fight it no longer.

I am going to take his wife.

VIOLETTA is a dark and erotic contemporary romance, told from Hugo and Violetta's points of view.

TAINTED TOUCH is now available at Amazon, B&N and iTunes

posted by Lucy V Morgan

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Amazon UK
Add to GoodReads

Kobo will probably take about three centuries to upload it, but should you want a Kobo-compatible copy, you can buy one at Smashwords.  

Read the 5* review at Book Drunk Blog

Go forth and enjoy 366 pages of hot boxer awesomeness, complete with friends who use crap French, friends who wear mandigans, and roasted seagulls. Oh, and a 4000 word sex scene, just because you're all worth it. [L'Oreal hair swish]

Go on. He's looking at you...