Sunday, September 10, 2017

Disney Halloween Fun!

Hiya Peeps!

My latest collection came out ten days ago, and I don't have anything else planned for the near future, as I'm in the middle of writing my next book, which I'll talk about at a later date. No, today I thought I'd just have a bit of fun! My husband and I headed to the Disneyland Resort yesterday for lunch. We avoided Disneyland itself and headed over to Disney's California Adventure. We weren't expecting to see any Halloween decorations (Halloween is my favorite time of year!) as the season doesn't officially start in the parks until next weekend, but we lucked out, as Car's Land had some neat decorations already out. I didn't take many pictures, but I thought it would be fun to share the six that I did take.

First off, if you've never been, Car's Land is set up to look like you actually stepped into Radiator Springs in the movie. The building placements are very close to spot on, and the first time I watched the movie after being in Car's Land, I was blown away! So these pictures would likely be right out of Radiator Springs if they had a big Halloween celebration!

This first picture focuses on the decoration which runs above the street. Mufflers, tires, and traffic cones make for a neat-looking monster strung across the street.






Here is the famous Cozy Cone Motel decked out for the season! Yes, those are spiders built out of parts you might find in an auto shop. How cool is that?







This is a Route 66 roadside souvenir shop decorated to look like it's in a haunted swamp. I don't know if the pic is good enough for you to see, but there are silly Halloween-themed signs all over the front. 





This undead car pinned down by the tree is outside the shop above. You might be able to sort of see it under the tree on the left side of the above photo. I certainly wouldn't want to run into this guy on a moonless night!





This is a billboard to the left of the souvenir shop and undead car. You can see the bottom of it in the above photo. If you're having trouble reading it, it says, "Get your hex on Route 66."






Here is the other side of the above billboard. "Trunk or treat" and a "scary" Mater. I giggled when I saw it, as I love Mater!










So there you go. Just for fun early September Halloween decorations. Though, to be honest, if Halloween stuff stayed up all year, I'd be happy. And if you're wondering about lunch, since I said that's why we went, we ate in the Fisherman's Wharf food court area. I had a Chinese Chicken Salad in a sourdough bread bowl and a Karl Strauss Mosaic Sessions IPA to wash it down with. (So good and tasty! A big-time grapefruit flavor.)

I hope you enjoyed this just for fun blog post! See you all soon!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Quick Reminder

Hiya Peeps!

We're a week away from the release of my collection of holiday erotica short stories. I wanted to give everyone a reminder! Six Contemporary Holiday Erotic Short Stories will be out September 1st. I have the pre-orders for the ebooks set at both Amazon and Smashwords (click on either of those to be whisked away!), and the paperback version will be available close to then as well. (I didn't see how to make the paperback version available for preorder on Amazon, so I decided to simply click publish on August 31 to have it ready to buy on September 1st.)

As a reminder, each of the six stories has already been published on Amazon, so if you've already read most or all of them, unless you want them all in one bundle (and I'm all for that!), you might want to pass on this collection. I will be charging $2.99 for the ebook on both Amazon and Smashwords, and $9.99 for the paperback, which will only be available on Amazon. I will, of course, have the link for the paperback for you when it's available. I will also change the link for the Amazon ebook when it's published so it'll go to your country's Amazon page when you click on it, rather than just the US version now. 

That's all I have for now. I hope some of you are excited for this release! If you know you want to get it, I'd be thrilled if you pre-ordered. If not, I'll have the links all over this blog, my website, and Twitter, so you won't miss out. Thanks again, everyone! See you soon!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Six Contemporary Holiday Erotic Short Stories

Hiya Peeps!

I've put down my first book for pre-order on Amazon. It's, as the title to this post says, Six Contemporary Holiday Erotic Short Stories. This is a collection of my six holiday stories that I've published over that last couple of years. It will be available as a Kindle book and paperback on Amazon, as well as an ebook on Smashwords and its affiliates (B&N, Kobo, iBooks, etc.) I've put it in to pre-order on Amazon on September 1st, the Friday before the Labor Day holiday in the US. (It is a book of holiday shorts, after all!)

EDIT: The pre-order has gone live. Find it on Amazon here!

I will be charging $2.99 for it as an ebook, and a price to be determined for the paperback. (I'll update this when I know.) If you were to buy each short story individually, that would run you $5.94, so the savings is about 50%. This collection will not be a part of the Kindle Unlimited program, as I am putting it on Smashwords, but each individual story will remain in the program. 

Anyway, here are the cover and the description, which lists which six stories will be in this collection. Thank you for reading, everyone! Have a great day/week!

Six Contemporary Holiday Erotic Short Stories

This bundle includes six tales of contemporary romantic erotica.

These stories have already been published on their own, but you can get all six in one handy book at a bargain price!

We celebrate Valentine’s Day with a girl who vows not to fall in love; a Halloween-themed frat-party in June where an innocent girl loses her virginity and soon after finds her true love; 4th of July at the beach where a young woman who thinks a sex tape ruined her life finds the one for her; a Halloween dungeon where pleasure is the word of the day, not horror; a young woman who reconnects with an old flame before her Thanksgiving feast; and a toy-store clerk who finds the true meaning of Christmas in the arms of a handsome hunk.

Happy Anti-Valentine’s Day
The Odd Costume Party Fiasco
Their Own Fireworks
Mad Merlin’s Secret Dungeon
She Thanks His Giving
The Hot Clerk


At almost 50,000 words, Six Contemporary Holiday Erotic Short Stories is the perfect collection for celebrating sexy holidays all year round! These tales are explicit and fun!

His Hard Rockin' Princess: Definitive Edition

Hiya Peeps!

A quick update here. I am removing the Bonus Edition of His Hard Rockin' Princess. Or, more appropriately, I'm removing the original version of the novel and replacing it with the Bonus Edition. This no longer makes it the Bonus Edition, but the only edition. The paperback will be replaced, too.

This means you now can read the epilogue and the three short stories that inspired the novel for $2.99 instead of $3.99. I'm also removing it from Smashwords (and, therefore, their affiliates) so you Kindle Unlimited members can download it for free! 

I will update this post when Amazon has informed me the changes are live. Same for the paperback. I'll also let you know on Twitter! I hope you will come and enjoy Elle and Moth Man's adventures in metal and (reluctant) Daddy-Dom play!

Update: Both the paperback and Kindle book are now live with the changes. Click the cover on the left of the screen to check them out!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

What's Going On With Me?

Hiya Peeps!

How is everyone doing? Me? I'm fine. Slinging smut. What could be better, right? Today's post is going to be all about what I have planned in the very near future, basically through the summer months (or for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere, winter months). I've been awful about blogging lately, though if you follow along on Twitter, you probably know I don't shut up all that often over there. I think I'm fine with this, only giving you blog posts when I have something to say rather than try to jam something (hey-o!) down your throat every week.

First off, what do you think about my new greeting? I think it fits my personality a bit better than my old "Hello Lovelies." Do you like it? Not? Let me know on Twitter (@ClaraZaynn) or right here in the comments. Also, some of you might have noticed the writing tips/experiences I've written in the past few months. They were about how I use 20-minute word sprints, how I plot my short stories, how I edit my short stories, and about reviews, that one focusing primarily on the erotica-writing and reading audience. I hope you've enjoyed them, either as tips/motivation, or simply as a look into my process. Do you have any more writing topics you'd like me to tackle? Let me know, again on Twitter or in the comments.

Okay, now onto the meat of the post. I'm still occasionally posting new Tumblr stories, quick reads at about 1500 words or so, complete with a sexy .gif or pic that inspired the story. I posted my latest, The Cheer Office, yesterday, so feel free to give it a look. Even if you're not on Tumblr, you can still read it and my other stories, and they are all free, of course. 

Next, I'm in the beginning stages of a new short story which may become a novella. I unveiled the cover on Twitter a few weeks ago, but then became distracted with non-erotic writing, so I had to take a break from the naughtiness. You can see it right here now (that's it to the left!). I'm hoping this story will be available to buy in early August, but since I'm still in the early stages of the first draft, it may be mid-August, depending on how easily the words flow. You'll see more about it, especially on Twitter, when it's closer to release. Feel free to let me know what you think about the cover here in the comments or on Twitter!

And, finally, I plan on bundling my six holiday-themed stories into one collection, a la The Babysitter Fun Series and Six Contemporary Erotic Shorts Volume 1. It will be priced at $2.99 and be available at Amazon in both Kindle format and paperback (though no idea on the price of the paperback yet), as well as Smashwords and their affiliates (B&N, iBooks, Kobo, etc.). The stories are: Mad Merlin's Secret Dungeon (Halloween), She Thanks His Giving (Thanksgiving), The Hot Clerk (Christmas), Happy Anti-Valentine's Day (Valentine's Day), Their Own Fireworks (4th of July), and The Odd Costume Party Disaster (Halloween in June - yes, that one is a made-up frat party holiday, but it fits!). I'll have much more on this as it gets closer to release, which I'm envisioning as Labor Day here in the States (1st weekend of September, I believe). 

So that catches you up on what I have planned for now. I'd love to hear comments about what you think of my two upcoming releases, my new Tumblr story (or any of the older ones), and your thoughts on future writing-based blog posts. Give me your questions/comments below in the comment section, or hit me up on Twitter, either with an @-mention or a DM. I'll be thrilled to hear from you! Have a great day!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Editing Short Stories

Hello Lovelies!

Today I thought I'd tell you how I edit my short stories. Feel free to use some or all of my techniques, or simply read and move on, happy with your own system. As long as you edit your stories, it's all good! (But, please, no matter how you do it, edit your stories!)

The first thing I do is simply read through the draft. I do this in one sitting, which, let's be honest, with short stories isn't too much of a time-sink. If I find typos, I fix them, but otherwise all I want to do is make sure the story, from front to back, is fresh in my mind. If I find any glaring plot problems during the read-through, or otherwise discover a way to make the story better, I fix it now. Otherwise, if I'm happy with the structure and how it plays out, I continue to my next read-through.

My second read-through is pretty much the same as my third, fourth, fifth, and however many I need before I'm happy with the story. (Usually by my fourth or fifth, I'm ready to move on.) I check word-usage, punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, and all that good stuff to make sure the prose sparkle. I want my dialogue to sound realistic, the story to not be too passive, and words to not repeat too much, or at all, if possible. If you get to a read-through where you're not finding many things to change, it's probably time to move on to the next stage. If you're not sure, another read-through won't hurt.

One thing to remember, though; you will be able to tinker with a story forever if you want to. You change and grow every day, so you'll find something else in your story with every pass. At some point, you need to say, "It's ready." When I find I'm at that point, I move to the next step.

My next step is a program called SmartEdit. No, it's not free, but I find invaluable. I use the stand-alone version, not the Word plug-in. I copy and paste my manuscript in, and it makes a number of checks for me. Personally, I have it check my adverb usage, possible misused words (ex. accept vs. except), redundant words, and my monitored words, which is a list of many words I know I use far to often (ex. that, was, up). There are other things it can check, as well, and you just need to click on an option for the software to add it to its compiled list. It helps trim up my prose, making it leaner and meaner. The best part is you can get a 10-day free trial, so you can see how well you like it. I'm sure you can also Google other programs, some maybe free, to help clean up your story.

If you don't want to use a program at all, you can make a pass where you focus on only adverbs, one where you check words which you know you know you use too often and eradicate them if you can, and so on and so forth. You can do the same thing as SmartEdit or other programs, but it's going to take a bit longer. If you don't mind that, or are good at focusing on more than one task earlier in the read-throughs, you're all set.

After I use SmartEdit, I give the story one more read-through to make sure I didn't jumble anything while removing words. Also, one more read-through is never a bad thing to make sure everything still flows. I then move onto my final (editing-wise) step. 

This final step is another program, but it's free, and you might already have one downloaded on your devices. I listen to my story with a text-to-speech program. Personally, my favorite is NaturalReader. You can download it at that link for free. Whatever device you edit on (laptop, desktop, iPad, etc.) may have a text-to-speech program built in, but I find the voices on NaturalReader are the easiest for me to listen to. There is a floating bar so you don't need to copy and past anything, simply highlight the text you want read, and push play. Other programs may work just as well, but I love NaturalReader. There is also a paid version, but for my purposes, and likely yours, there's no need to go to it. Every once in a while, the voice will stop so it can offer you a chance to upgrade, but it's an easy two clicks to get back to your work. 

Why do I suggest using a text-to-speech reader? First off, it's the best way to find pesky typos or wrong words. Often the eye skips over typos, but if you're listening at the same time, you'll pick them up. You can also determine if a sentence or passage sounds unnatural to the ear and fix it. It's also easier to tell if dialog sounds natural when you listen rather than simply read it. Basically, I highly suggest you don't skip this step for the hunting down typos reason, but you'll also benefit in other areas.

That's it. Once I finish listening to the story, I'm confident my story is ready to be published. I know it's a lot of steps, and my longer short stories (those running 10k to 15k words) often take a week or longer before they're ready. But, honestly, that's no time at all to make sure a short story is ready for the world to see. When I'm editing a novel, I often spend a couple of months to make sure it's polished to my perfection, but that's a topic for another time.

Once you've finished editing, you need to ready your manuscript for publishing or submitting, depending on what you're doing to it. I will talk about how I ready a story for Amazon in a future post, but for now, you see my editing process. As I said at the beginning, feel free to follow each of my steps, but if you don't, that's fine, too. We all do things differently! (But, for the love of all that is holy, don't finish your first draft and deem it worthy of publishing. Guess what, it's not ready!) 

Feel free to leave a comment if you enjoyed reading about my process, totally agree or disagree with it, want to let me know how you edit, or anything else! Thank you for reading!