My Write Club – Sprinting Tools – Part Two

 This is part two of my four part series on ‘sprinting’ sites for writers.

If you’re anything like me, you work better under a little bit of pressure, and if you’re even more like me you don’t have anyone hounding you for your next work of fiction to come to fruition.

With NaNoWriMo upon us, I decided to review handy sprinting sites, one, so you don’t have to and two, so you’re not reliant on finding another writer to sprint with!

Today, I’m bringing you something that’s completely different from anything else I going to show you in part three and four, so it’s a real contender depending on what you’d like from a sprinting application. My Write Club does not have a gaming aspect to it. I adore gaming and it spurs me to write so I can keep streaks and win items as part of a game. If you’re currently rubbing your hand together, thinking that you’ll wait for parts three and four, I urge you to at least take a peek of My Write Club, it truly is a very clean and functional site.

Click to sign up and then you can add a goal, this could be anything you like and a very nice feature is that you can choose how to measure your success in words, pages, lines and depending on how you work best! You can also set yourself a deadline, again, a great feature even if only to trick you into striving to smash it!

Note: If you’re British and you’re trying to in put a date, remember that Americans put the month first and then the day…

Okay, now onto the actual sprinting part. In the top left hand corner there is the ‘running person.’ At this point you can choose a custom or the global sprint. I think that the custom sprint maybe a private sprint between friends utilising the same site. I may be wrong and I admit I haven’t utilised this site enough to be aware of all the finer details. I have always opted for the global sprint. Sprints start every thirty minutes and last for twenty-five minutes. There is a handy timer at the top of the page so you know where you are in the sprint. Down the right hand side of the page you’re able to see the progress of your contenders. This is great, especially if you do have a real life friend to sprint with because they can’t cheat!

Please note, there is usually a list of names at the side with their live word counts, but I took the screenshot early this morning…

However, if you find the competition distracting you can hide it while you complete your sprint by clicking on the arrow on the top right hand side.

As you can see you can earn stars for your sprinting efforts, however, these don’t really do anything for you as far as I can see. I guess it’s sort of like getting a gold star when you’re at school, you don’t get a prize, only that warm fluffy feeling that you have done a job well done!

You’re words save in your account, if you move sprint, your words come with you which is a great function.

This is a great site for those who want to sprint in a more traditional sense, you, your words and a bunch of other people just trying to create. I highly recommend it to anyone who would like to do the aforementioned. However, if you love colour, flair and game playing, I think you’ll be pretty impressed with the next two sites I have to show you, so don’t forget to subscribe by e-mail!

Give My Write Club a go: https://www.mywriteclub.com

Sprinting Tools – Part One – Fighters Block

As NaNoWriMo looms upon us, I’m creating a series of blogs over the next couple of weeks with a recent discovery which has helped me achieve more words in a month than I have managed to produce in a very long time.

I’m quite competitive in nature and I adore a good old sprint. If you’re anything like me, you’ve shouted out on Facebook, Twitter and whatever other forms of social media where you have good connections with other authors and asked someone to sprint with you, the highest word count wins. It truly helps me to keep focussed on that task for the agreed time, usually 30-60 minutes.

That said, I’ve found it difficult to pin down a time and a person to sprint with me.

I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a reference to sprinting websites. I honestly knew nothing about them, but there are tons! Some free and some paid for.

This is part one of four I have used. Fighters Block is by far the simplest design.

You arrive at this page…

Select your character, the monster you wish to battle and your word goal for the ‘fight.’ I think there must be a minimum amount of words you can put in the goal box, because I’ve experienced issues getting in when I’ve placed a low number in that box.

We then move into the action. I logged in from this device and the work I’d previously done was there. I haven’t found a place to sign up or had to provide any details at all.

The next screen is ‘the battle ground.’

The green bars below the ‘fighters’ slide in real time depending on how fast you’re typing. It can either be a great motivator to watch it move, or a horrendous distraction depending on works for you! But luckily you can hide it and turn the screen into a blank writing space. Personally, I’m not entirely sure what the point would be in that case!

Talking of functionality, there is plenty of them which we can see in the picture below.

This menu is accessed by the cog in the top right hand corner of the page. I haven’t managed to work out the difference between ‘monster speed’ and ‘monster attack’ though they both appear to be able to slow or speed up you progress bar depending on how quickly you type.

There are a range of fonts available, mine is set to ‘roboto’ as well as an ample plethora of text sizes and themes as well as widescreen and thin screen. The arrow pointing upward is what you would use to hide the sliding scales and characters from view.

Admittedly, this is a nice, simple and functional site. Also it’s free.

I’ll be honest and let you know that this was my least favourite out of all the sites available out there. I thought there could have been a better visual cue on how you’re getting toward the end of your goal, such as your character moving toward the monster rather than the sliding scales! I’d love to hear your comments on what you think of the site, even better if you can suggest some for me to take a look at!

I have three more sites to present to you, so if you’re interested please make sure you sign up to receive e-mails when I post.

If you want to check it out for yourself it’s here: https://cerey.github.io/fighters-block/

Thanks for looking! 🙂

***NEW RELEASE*** Drunk Boy by Aubrie Lee

Drunk Boy, is LIVE and FREE with Kindle Unlimited!
Buy or Borrow on Kindle Unlimited
Was it a push from above, or just too many shots? 

We were both drunk, that’s my excuse.
He had just broken up with his fiancé, that’s his excuse.
But we both want to do it again.

Miguel Mancinelli isn’t anybody’s idea of a typical Daddy.
He’s twenty-two years younger than Dallas Coulter.
He’s physically bigger, but too rough around the edges to take care of anyone, but himself and his club. 
Yet, the day they meet everything changes… can they really blame it on the drinks?

Guest Post with Francine Beaton

Rugby meets romance

What has Fourth of July, rugby and romance in common?

The obvious answer should be, absolutely nothing. It was, however, what led to the writing of the Playing for Glory series. On 26 February, I’ll release the third book in the series, and the first I’ve ever written, Leading from the Front.

A chance meeting with a rugby player from Jersey on a Fourth of July boat cruise on the Hudson planted the seed although I didn’t know it then. Before, and even during that meeting I not even dreamed about writing a novel, so a rugby romance was out of the question. It was only on the long flight from New York to Johannesburg while struggling through another rugby romance, the seed was planted.

I’m not mentioning the writer or the book, but it was absolute garbage. It felt as if the author knew nothing about the game, fitting in sex scenes on every second page to cover for the bad storyline. I suddenly thought that I’m sure I can write a better rugby romance than that. When we arrived in Johannesburg, I already planned a series. I’ve never written a book before and never dreamed of writing one either. It was just a random thought. But it seemed that I unpacked my muse along with my dirty laundry. Two days after our return from New York, I started writing. That was the end of July 2016.

I wrote non-stop for the next six months, finishing about six novels during that time. The first ones were just as bad as the one I read on the plane. It didn’t stop me though. In May 2017 I attended a Romance Master Class in Cape Town with writing coach Sarah Bullen of The Writing Room. Just before that class, I’ve finished the seventh novel in the series I called Taming a Buffalo. I took that book called Under the Mistletoe along to the course. During the course, Sarah read parts of the novel and encouraged me to continue. Over the next three months, Sarah helped me to polish the book. She also advised me to change the names of the books and the series name to something that relates to sport. Under the Mistletoe changed to Eye on the Ball, which was first published in April 2019 by Roane publishers who had closed their doors at the end of 2018. Since then I’ve got my rights back and started to self-publish. 

The series Playing for Glory, as well as the prequel series called Kick-Off, consisting of three books, all deals with the players and management of a fictional rugby team based in Pretoria. Because rugby is a professional sport, I had no choice than to create my own team called the Buffaloes, playing in a fictional series called the International Club Challenge. 

The Playing for Glory series was supposed to be typical sports romances with sizzling sex scenes. It didn’t stay that way. My characters seem to follow their own destiny and it doesn’t matter how hard I tried, they stay true to themselves. I still blame it on Jakes in Eye on the Ball. Although Jakes had the looks, the physicality, macho male image, the intelligence and other attributes to make him an alpha male, Jakes wanted to highlight important issues that had nothing to do with his looks. With Eye on the Ball I wanted to show the readers that even though men like Jakes are physically tough, playing a hard and physical game, they may struggle with the same insecurities other people suffer from. They may be emotionally vulnerable and that is okay. It is, however, important to talk about it, and sometimes show your sensitive side before it is too late.

Leading from the Front is my ninth book. Two of those nine books are in Afrikaans, my home language, and the rest in English. Leading in the Front was supposed to be the first book, but again Jakes had a different idea.

 

LEADING FROM THE FRONT

Temptation can come in any form.

 

As long as it wasn’t Melissa Roux. Daniel Cooper had known that since the first moment he’d seen the new physio for the Buffaloes. As captain, he had to set an example and falling head over heels for the feisty blonde with the endless long legs wasn’t the way to do it.

 

Melissa knew Daniel was going to be a problem from the first day she walked into Buffaloes Stadium. There was no way she was going to risk her career for an arrogant chauvinist who called her a blonde bimbo. For that, she worked too hard to get her dream job.

 

Neither had reckoned with the undeniable chemistry between them and the famous Cooper curse. When he couldn’t hide it anymore, Daniel made a simple request which had more repercussions than he expected. In his quest to find the truth, he made another error in judgement, risking not only Melissa’s career but also the loyalty of his team and the Club.

 

Daniel and Melissa both had to make important decisions: what’s more important? Your career or love? 

 

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A Time For Change!

Hi to all of you lovely people…yes, you there, the one that has bothered to open this blog post and give it a read!

I’ve been posting plenty of reviews here over the past few years as well as my rants, usually about something that happened on FaceBook, aptly named by my step-father as ‘the book of the devil.’

Upon great reflection it has come to my attention that my rants have had far more attention, and therefore that’s what I’m going to do! JUST KIDDING! But, my posts will be more centred around my observations and experiences. You will not see me writing about the bloody casting of The Little Mermaid though, I mean…why is this even a thing?

I’ve recently become a reviewer for a lovely FaceBook page called Rainey Day Book Reviews (link opens in a new tab) and you can still follow my reviews by hitting the ‘like’ button. I’m joined by the lovely Lorraine Leatham, the pages original owner and Grace Coronado who joined at the same time as I did. If you’d like a review, please do get in touch by messaging the page or e-mailing us at raineydaybookreviewcrew@gmail.com.

I’ll also still be posting cover reveals, interviews, new releases…I’ve been offering, but strangely they haven’t been taken up. This must be a really rubbish blog! If you’re looking for content for your blog, you go right ahead and message me! I’d snap your arm off for the promo!

On a final note, and because I’m here, please don’t forget to enter my giveaway, share it around, for the love of all that’s holy…do something with it! L.T. Kelly’s Giveaway

Thank you!

Lucy

***Review*** A Slice of Sin

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Blurb

Who doesn’t love a little tasty erotica? Lick your lips and prepare yourself for a sensory feast!

The first in a series, A Slice of Sin is an anthology of savory stories guaranteed to make your mouth water and leave you needing a little privacy… or an audience.

Women drive these stories, taking the lead in sex, pushing the boundaries of their experience, and always enjoying themselves. From stories of casual sex to stories of the intimacy and enduring passion of established couples, these are stories that will whet your appetite and satisfy your cravings (and maybe leave you with some new ones…).

Act out a dirty little fantasy in Chase Morgan’s “The Stand In,” satisfy your late-night sweet tooth in Alegra Verde’s “The Bakery Boy,” or enjoy a night of romantic generosity in Autmn Tooley’s “Tonight Is For You.” Or step back to a time of long boats and Vikings in Michael Bracken’s “Saga of the Sailmaker’s Widow.”

From the romantic to the kinky, the suggestive to the explicit, this collection is sure to satisfy and keep you coming back for more and more.

This year’s contributors include:
Michael Bracken
Morrigan Cox
Paul Henry
Rachael Knight
Lynn Lake
Parker Lee
Aiden McKenna
Chase Morgan
Leah Mueller
Sophia Soror
Autmn Tooley
Alegra Verde
Cherry Wild

Review

I really needed something like this to get my reading groove back on. Which you’ll be glad to know I have! It’s just taken me longer than I expected to get on with writing this review meaning I’m halfway through a new read :).

This saucy anthology has something sliced between the pages for every reader imaginable. Some stories leave a lot to the hot under the collar readers imagination whilst others leave literally nothing, and I mean nothing for them to wonder.

As with every anthology out there, not every story provides sustenance for every reader. I reached the end of one or two works thinking, bloody hell, is that it? Whilst others truly fulfilled my appetite. I throughly enjoyed the vast majority of the work, even the tamer stories.

I devoured this gorgeous little book whole, though as I mentioned, some stories I knew wouldn’t be for me, so I skipped. I firmly believe that one readers trash would be another readers treasure in this case, making it a versatile and eclectic collection.

I award A Slice Of Sin:

Four glasses of fruity champagne and a banana (use your imagination 😉 )

That’s 4.5 stars to everyone else!

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Fifty Shades of Shit?

This blog post was originally intended to be my review of Fifty Shades of Grey, the movie. It will be, but after all of the internet savaging from both sides of the fence on the subject matter, I wanted to get my point across.

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I rushed to my local picture house two days after the movie was released. I wanted to love the movie and everything about it. I think most people were worried it wouldn’t have the right mixture of story and sex.

They were right to be worried, for me there wasn’t enough of both. I was astounded at actually how much nudity there was in the film. Now, I’m all up for nakedness, but I was a little sad at how much story we missed. I think most fans thought there wouldn’t be enough sex…

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Dornan as Grey was always the wrong choice for me personally, but I’m not sure they would have ever have got it right to suit everyones tastes. FSoG fans are nothing if not precious over who played the part of Mr. Grey whilst they were reading. Dornan has made his personal views on BDSM quite clear in the media, that has spoilt my ideology on who could pull off such a part. I feel he has held back from playing the role to the fullest.

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However, the casting of Ana made the film, she was perfect. My friend pointed out that the film was almost a dark rom-com in places…I couldn’t agree more. We were both a little taken aback that the word vanilla was never used during the movie, when it played such a big part in the book.

In summary, I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either. The producers have successfully pulled off a rather shocking film adaptation…I think that was probably their goal, they’ve achieved that much. In doing so they’ve skipped out rather a lot of story, a story that I rather enjoyed. I would award it three stars for shock factor at least.

I read the books at the peak of their hype. I was a field marketing manager at the time, and I’d never seen such a phenomena. We, as a company, were contracted to place books on shelves in the correct chart position for a leading UK supermarket, keeping them topped up. During FSoG’s peak phase this was impossible, we were only contracted to do so many hours a day on that task…those hours simply weren’t enough to keep that section of shelf even half full.

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I read all three books within a week, I can’t say I was wowed by the writing, okay not even a little bit impressed. I’d have to agree with the critics and say the language was childish, some sex scenes were unrealistically written, and the dialogue a touch unoriginal and repetitive. I couldn’t stand Christian Grey for the most part of book one, but there was something that kept me hooked. Maybe it was knowing that there was more to the story than met the eye? Perhaps, it was wanting to watch Anastasia catch the uncatchable man? Whatever it was, the author did most of her job by keeping me reading.

There are hoards of people out there that hate FSoG, they will tell you every time you mention it that Christian Grey is in fact a physically and emotionally abusive, rapist. I honestly think that’s subjective. I never got the impression that Ana was being raped or abused. I think if you stepped back and read every smutty book with a strong male character and a weaker woman you could say the same for each one, it’s down to how you view it.

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To say that FSoG promotes rape and abuse is down right ludicrous. That’s like saying that I promote biting, blood drinking, sleeping around, and murder in my books. Although, I do like a nibble every now and then ;). Or, if you want to go further you could say that any works of fiction containing evil, murder, and violence are promoting the contents therein. What I read when I read FSoG is clearly very different to what others have read. I saw a girl enraptured by a man, a man who most definitely and undeniably a control freak with some different sexual tastes. I didn’t see Ana resist his pursuits, I saw a girl who wanted a man enough to go along with it all in the hope she could change him. Guess what…I see that everyday.

To me, the FSoG series promotes compromise, Ana wants a ‘normal’ relationship, Christian wants a submissive. By the end of it all they both get exactly what they want somewhere in the middle. They are both consenting adults and I’ve seen people do stranger things in the pursuit of love.

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I’m not misguided enough to believe that FSoG portrays a true reflection of a BDSM relationship. But then again, I’m also not misguided enough to believe that there are helicopter flying, twenty something, multi-millionaire CEO’s hanging around the roof tops of Seattle waiting to usher young impressionable women into rooms filled with whips and chains either. Much the same with Ana…looks like that, is a virgin, and never masturbated? Get real.

I think it’s very important to keep things in perspective. I feel like people are losing their shit over this book/film more than needed. I’ve stared domestic violence/abuse in the face, it’s a very emotive and upsetting subject. I didn’t see that within the pages of this book.

I do welcome all comments on this blog, in a structured way. I will not allow petty, nasty behaviour. An opinion and how you arrived at it would be constructive for either side of the argument.