The Great Experiment, Part I

posted in: Book Excerpts, Various Musings | 0

Did I get your attention? 😉

I’ve been trying a few experiments, now that my sales have dropped, and one of the first things I did was try moving one of my books (Substitute Boyfriend) exclusively to Amazon for a three-month period as part of its KDP Select program.  For the first year and a half as an indie, I tried it out and made a conscious decision to avoid it for many reasons (which I’d outlined at the time).  Now, though, I’m trying new things as the market continues to evolve and change.  I’m dead in the water if I don’t adapt!

Anyway, that said, experiment number one is over and I don’t know that I’ve learned much of anything from it, in spite of the fact that on the three days when I offered it free, thousands of copies flew off the virtual shelves.  Maybe I got some new readers?  Maybe I earned some new haters?  No idea.  I do know a few of my regular readers picked it up free and thousands of people who probably haven’t heard of me snagged it.  Have they read it?  I have no idea.  I will tell you this much:  I’m going to keep trying, going to keep switching it up until I figure out what works.

Long story short, I wanted to let you know that Substitute Boyfriend is once again available on all other venues, its period of exclusivity over, so if it was one you wanted to read but you’re not a Kindle reader, you can snag it now.  It’s a lighthearted read, not one of my darker books, perfect for sunnier days.

You haven’t read it???  😉  Well, maybe the blurb and a teaser will entice you!  Here ya go!

~ Blurb ~

Elizabeth Slade, a college English instructor, has experienced success as a romance writer, but she has a dirty little secret: She can’t write sex scenes without a little help from Ridley, a gorgeous guy who plays her pretend boyfriend and makes a booty call whenever her imagination is flailing.

She’d like for Ridley to commit to be her permanent and real boyfriend, and she thinks that’s where they’re headed until she finds him getting way too cozy with another woman in a bar.

At that point, she enlists the help of her friend, fellow college instructor Roman Decker, who offers to temporarily take Ridley’s place while she sorts through her emotions. She grows confused when she realizes she’s also attracted to Roman. When Ridley comes back to her on bended knee, does she take the bad boy who broke her heart or try to convince her friend to make a real go of it?

 ~ Teaser ~

“I guess I’ll just do what I did before Ridley was in the picture—I’ll write strictly from my imagination.”

Roman was containing another smile when he said, “So let me get this straight. You would set up a scenario and then act it out, and whatever happened, you would just kind of transcribe?”

“Well, no, it wasn’t exactly like that. I would plot out the whole book. It was just the sex scenes…that we would act out.” My cheeks flamed again. “Sometimes it’s hard to imagine exactly how something feels or works until you try it.”

Oh, he was enjoying this way too much. “Can you give me an example?”

I sneered. “Not without another drink.” I grabbed the bottle and snatched my shot glass back from him, pouring the amber liquid to the rim. I drank it down fast. That one made me shudder, because I’d been sobering up quite nicely. Then I looked him square in the eyes. I wanted him to wipe the amused look off his face, because it made it harder for me to talk about it. “Okay, so, for example, I had been picturing this scene in my head where the hero and heroine are in the front seat of a car and he’s going to…” I looked down at the table. I really couldn’t look him in the eyes to tell him this. “…go down on her, but they’re still in the front seat, right? So I needed to work out if they could actually do it. You know, if you slide the seat back all the way and then lean it back too and the woman leans against the dash.”


I couldn’t help myself. I smiled. “It can be done.” Roman started chuckling. “But I wouldn’t have known it if I hadn’t tried it. And I’d often wondered if a guy could fuck me while holding me—without a wall to support me. You know, stuff like that.” Damn, that alcohol wasn’t working. I poured another shot.

But Roman touched my hand before I could drink more of the liquor. That forced me to look at him. “So your pretend boyfriend is gone.” He cleared his throat. “What if you had a substitute? You know, like a stand in?”

I blinked several times. Okay, maybe I had had enough liquor, more than enough, in fact, because I was being pretty thick. “You mean a substitute Ridley?”

“Yeah…a substitute boyfriend.”

“I guess that could work…but I don’t know if I’d be able to find another guy willing to do it.”

He laughed then, long and hard. “I could find plenty of guys willing to help you out.”

“Really? Name one.”

He moved his hand so that he could take mine in his. I swallowed as the implications washed over me, but he didn’t say anything until my eyes locked with his. “Me.”

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