silicon valley sex scandal

Release Day: Silicon Valley Sex Scandal; Thierry Pepin Full Frontal Nudity

Release Day: Silicon Valley Sex Scandal

This book release took a little longer than we’d predicted, but it’s finally been released and here’s the link to the publisher’s web site. I’ll post more links as they become available (amazon link)…but the book will be sold in all/most places where people shop for e-books by the end of the weekend.

I was talking with a friend the other day about guiding readers to publisher web sites, and I’ve stopped doing this because of what I’ve seen with the reading habits of friends and family. In other words, most of the people I know shop for e-books on Amazon, Kobo, or places like allromanceebooks.com, and I think the reason they do that is because it’s the most convenient way for them to shop…especially my mom who is in her seventies and likes things simple. So if you do buy this book and read it, or any of my other books, I hope the place where you did buy them was the best possible place, and most convenient place, for you to shop.

I really had fun writing this book. I love where it’s set, in and around Cupertino, CA, a place where I think I could actually live if I didn’t live here in New Hope. In fact, I think that entire area of CA is one of my most favorite places in the world. I even love all the vintage Joseph Eichler homes that are now selling for way more than anyone ever expected. I also mention Eichler homes in the book.

Here’s the blurb, and I’ll post an excerpt over the weekend that hasn’t been published anywhere.

 Shannon Winn is known as the world’s most capricious gay billionaire and the owner of the world’s safest, coolest social media web site, lovemetender.com. When Shannon meets a guy named Terry on his own web site, he considers it fun and games, not looking for a relationship.

 
And that’s because Shannon already has an open relationship with his personal assistant, Justin. Although they aren’t committed to each other, Shannon’s not looking to meet anyone else for love. This bad boy just wants to fool around with Terry and forget all about him the next day.

It’s unfortunate for Shannon that Terry doesn’t realize this, because after their first and only time together Terry not only falls in love with Shannon, he begins to stalk him and imagine them as a couple. In the course of one week, Terry follows Shannon’s every move, showing up unexpectedly and seducing Shannon with great success.

When bad boy Shannon finally realizes the fatal mistakes he’s made with Terry, and he knows for certain he’s really in love with Justin, it just might be too late for them. Will Terry’s crazed infatuation with Shannon ruin Shannon’s chances of true love with Justin? And will delusional Terry finally snap and kill them all?
 
Thierry Pepin Ful Frontal Nudity
After I posted about the multi-talented male model, Thierry Pepin, last week I did some digging and I found that he’s broken the double standard for male full frontal nudity, too. Personally, I think this is a good thing because there is this double standard all the time where we think nothing of full frontal female nudity but always shy away from male full frontal nudity.
I won’t post the photos here for copyright reasons, but you can check them out here at this web site, and here’s a link to a photo shoot Pepin did that I think is more artistic where he’s modeling a line of high end underwear for Undergear. I know most people will think this sounds silly, but when I see models like Thierry Pepin modeling sexy clothing or underwear I always find it more erotic than when I see them completely nude.
Here’s what I posted about Pepin earlier this week. I think he would be the perfect cover model for a book, but he’s probably way out of my price range. And if I ever saw him in person it would probably be one of the few times in my life I was rendered speechless.
 

New Release: The Silicon Valley Sex Scandal



New Release: The Silicon Valley Sex Scandal

Here’s the cover for my new release with Ravenous Romance in the Bad Boy Billionaire series, Silicon Valley Sex Scandal. I like what they did this time. I see several key elements from the book in the cover, including the ultra modern home the main character owns in Cupertino, CA.

I get into a few interesting things in this book, like cyber-dating, online fakery, catfishing, and stalking. I took the liberty of using poetic license at times in a positive sense, because this is how I wish the Internet would be. But I think in time it will be more secure…after enough important people suffer the things others have been suffering online. In other words, when it happens to someone like Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg, we’ll see changes come fast. And that’s exactly what I wanted to point out in this book with the main character…as a sideline to the romantic plot.

Here’s the blurb…free excerpts to come when it’s released:

Shannon Winn is known as the world’s most capricious gay billionaire and the owner of the world’s safest, coolest social media web site, lovemetender.com. When Shannon meets a guy named Terry on his own web site, he considers it fun and games, not looking for a relationship.

And that’s because Shannon already has an open relationship with his personal assistant, Justin. Although they aren’t committed to each other, Shannon’s not looking to meet anyone else for love. This bad boy just wants to fool around with Terry and forget all about him the next day.

It’s unfortunate for Shannon that Terry doesn’t realize this, because after their first and only time together Terry not only falls in love with Shannon, he begins to stalk him and imagine them as a couple. In the course of one week, Terry follows Shannon’s every move, showing up unexpectedly and seducing Shannon with great success.

When bad boy Shannon finally realizes the fatal mistakes he’s made with Terry, and he knows for certain he’s really in love with Justin, it just might be too late for them. Will Terry’s crazed infatuation with Shannon ruin Shannon’s chances of true love with Justin? And will delusional Terry finally snap and kill them all?

MTV Catfish; Paula Deen’s Agent; Silicon Valley Sex Scandal

There’s an article in this week’s Time Magazine about the MTV show Catfish. I do subscribe to the print version of Time, and I will quote, but I can only link to part of it because Time Magazine makes you subscribe for fresh content online.

For those who might not know, a Catfish is someone who uses a fake ID online, mostly on social media to hook up with people, scam people, and basically screw around with their heads to fuck them up emotionally. (You won’t read that part in Time Magazine, but it’s really what Catfish do.) It can be both serious and painful, and ruin someone’s life.

The gist of the show revolves around helping some poor soul who is having an online relationship with someone who seems to be hiding something. The article in Time mentions Manti Te’o and his catfish experience, which I posted about here a few months ago. I’ve posted about catfishing here. And what I find most interesting is that so many people still aren’t aware this can happen to them, and that it does, indeed, happen way too often on social media, and not just in romantic relationships.

I’ve reached a point where if I have any doubts about anyone who sends me a friend request on facebook, I send them a personal FB message first and ask to know more about them. I don’t want specifics. I only want to know basic information that tells me they are legitimate. This past week someone with a name Mt. Snow Mt. Snow (I swear that’s the name) sent a friend request, but has yet to reply to my personal message. At this point, I have not accepted the request. I did notice that this Mt. Snow Mt. Snow had become friends with other familiar names in m/m romance…only m/m romance…which leads me to believe it’s another author with a fake name that resembles one of the four seasons. However, I’ve reached a point where I don’t take chances anymore.

In any event, Catfish: The TV Show looks like a fascinating show, and if you’re not familiar with the old wild west tactics of the Internet, I would recommend watching it so you know how to protect yourself against the scammers and liars of the Interwebz. And not just for romantic online relationships. I think this is a show that could help you vet who you can and cannot trust online these days with regard to all social media friendships. My rule is you can’t trust anyone on the Internet until they prove to you they can be trusted. Below I’m going to post about my new release in the Bad Boy Billionaire series. It’s titled, The Silicon Valley Sex Scandal, and it gets into catfishing and online manipulation.

From Time Magazine, link above:

The thrill of mystery isn’t new. Neither is lying. Catalina Toma, a professor at the University of Wisconsin who studies online dating, has found that deceptions are frequent but subtle: a 2008 study she co-wrote found that 81% lie about their age, weight or height. Big Fraud Catfish are outliers. (Schulman gets e-mails from people in healthy online relationships and people who have un-masked their Catish independently, but those folks don’t make it onto TV.) Even so, Fabrications are about psychology, not technology. “People lie about these things in face to face dates. They lied about these things in video dates back in the ’80’s,” Toma says. “I don’t necessarily expect those patterns to change.”

I only agree with this part of the article slightly, and I think Toma isn’t as familiar with the Internet as I am, and she’s underestimating the serious situations people are experiencing online. When you meet someone face to face you at least get the upper hand of putting a face and voice and personality together…even if that person is a liar. When you meet someone online, whether it be for romance of just plain friendship, you’re at a disadvantage in more than one way. The possibilities to scam are endless, and social media like facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads promotes this brand of fakery and anonymity to the point where no one can be trusted. I personally think there should be legal guidelines and laws that protect people from social media scams, and all the fakery we’ve seen since the early years of the Internet. If people who used facebook were forced, legally, to sign up with their real names, with proof, I think half the issues on facebook would disappear. Of course the membership would probably drop to a third of what it is now and stock would plummet as a result. But that’s the risk of running a business built on a proverbial house of cards.

As a side note, I’m wondering who this MTV show is being marketed to. Tony and I have a guest house on our property that we rent out. For the past ten years, consistently, we’ve rented to young college graduates in stable professions…new adults. In every case, none own a TV or watch TV. So I’m guessing that unless younger people are streaming this show somewhere, the show is more focused on an older crowd that still does watch TV…cuz we know they aren’t reading Time Magazine.

Paula Deen’s Agent

A good deal of Paula Deen’s fame and fortune came through her cookbooks, and while reading about her recent scandal I grew curious about who her literary agent is. So I did a quick search and came up with this:

JANIS A. DONNAUD & ASSOCIATES, INC. was founded over 18 years ago by Janis Donnaud, who had previously been Vice President and Associate Publisher of the Random House Adult Trade Group.

The agency represents, develops and packages a wide range of commercially successful properties. It negotiates publishing agreements with the top trade houses in the U.S., licenses all subsidiary rights, arranges foreign editions and translation rights, and licenses film and performance rights. The agency’s varied list is concentrated mainly on nonfiction, with an emphasis on the culinary, narrative non-fiction, memoir, health and medical books, and women’s books.


Paula Deen- the #1 TV Food Network star for which the agency has represented more than ten books, including the new Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible;

This article gives a more personal side.

 Knowing that a book’s success doesn’t depend only on New York or “East Coast-West Coast” reader preferences, Donnaud landed one of the least big-city clients around when Paula Deen signed with her.

And this one made me smile. Not because of anything related to Janis A. Donnaud. I’m sure she’s a fine agent and she’s in shock over the Paula Deen debacle. This is a link to Absolute Write that goes back ten years. I’ve always maintained that Absolute Write is the essence of online ridiculousness, and you can only trust about a fourth of what’s posted there. Some of these old comments are highly entertaining.

Here’s an example of the kind of amusing nonsense you’ll find at Absolute Write in any given thread:

The hot agents don’t need websites. They already have all the business they want, and can get more any time they feel like it just by letting it be known that their lists are open. Among the top agents, the ones who have websites at all do them as celebrations of their clients, not of themselves.

She’s hot because the editors who know her matter, she knows what house is looking for what kind of works, and she can tell a good/marketable manuscript from one that’s less good. Editors trust her. She’s probably also a good negotiator for contracts.

This is a classic example of what you’ll generally find on AW. Information that’s only partially true and needs to be taken with that proverbial grain of salt. I find it about as relevant today as Miss Snark, Victoria Strauss, Preditors and Editors, and agents who charge reading fees.

Bad Boy Billionaires: The Silicon Valley Sex Scandal

A good deal of the subplot in this book gets into social media, online scamming, and catfishing for romance. In fact, it becomes deadly this time. I’ll post more in the coming weeks. But this excerpt shows how the main character made his billions. I thought it would be interesting to have a character who is a billionaire bad boy with a slightly good side, too. And it’s my fictional version of how I would love to see things really happen with social media someday.

To create a relatively honest social media web site where everyone used real names and there were no sockpuppets or fakes wasn’t always realistic. Most of the time it seemed impossible. One way Shannon tried to do this was by only allowing users of lovemetender.com to sign up with one e-mail address and one password. In other words, the e-mail address used to sign up could only be used with one specific password, and users were not allowed to create multiple accounts with that e-mail address. He also stated in the terms of service that multiple accounts with fake names were not allowed and that anyone who did this was in violation of the terms of service and could atomically be banned from the site forever.

            Unfortunately, most people who know how to navigate the Interwebs have more than one e-mail address. And there was no way to battle the corruption one hundred per cent. The best they could do at lovemetender.com was to handle each complaint and do an investigation as they came in. Shannon had a department in one wing of the building that only focused on this kind of corruption. Each complaint was taken seriously, by trained professionals. Each person who lodged a complaint was treated with respect and they always received a prompt reply from someone at lovemetender.com. And each time a user with multiple fake accounts was spotted he or she would be banned from the web site forever. Or at least until they figured out a way to change their IP addresses.

Rosebuds or Lips; We Need Good Copy Editors; Silicon Valley Sex Scandal

I’ve posted about why we need good copy editors…as authors and readers…a few times before, but something interesting came up earlier this week and I wanted to post about it before I forget.

First, a good copy editor to a writer is one of the most essential elements in the process of creating a book. Those authors who work with publishers, either large or small, probably already know this, so this post is more geared toward self-published authors right now. It’s not always a magical experience, working with a copy editor. I always know immediately if I’m going to get along with him/her the minute I start reading copy edits. You can tell by the little things. Like when the copy editor questions something in erotic romance such as the “lips” of an anus and he/she suggests you change it to something like “ring” or “rosebud.” Neither of those two words work for me, so I reply in the comments. Sometimes I do it with a smile face and reply with humor: “Rings are for fingers and rosebuds are for vases. I’ll stick with lips on this one, thanks.”

But even in cases where I’m not always on the same page, so to speak, with the copy editor, I’ve still found that it’s better than not having one at all. And that’s because the copy editor picks up the little issues in a book that authors often overlook. Issues like spelling, grammar, and whether or not certain things in the book are consistent. And this past week something interesting happened that I would have overlooked completely had it not been for my wonderful copy editor, Jen Safrey, at Ravenous Romance. The issue she caught in my recent Bad Boy Billionaire book, The Silicon Valley Sex Scandal, could have been embarrassing for me. And I honestly would NOT have known this until a reader or reviewer pointed it out after publication.

Toward the end of The Silicon Valley Sex Scandal, there’s a scene where the main character, bad boy Shannon, is all alone at work and he’s reflecting on his life. The original scene read like this:

It always reminded Shannon of something his grandmother had once told him. “No one’s going to remember your name, your clothes, or the kind of car you drive. Most don’t care about how much money you have or what kind of luggage you carry. They won’t remember your phone number or where you live. They might not even remember what you look like half the time. But they’ll always remember the way you made them feel.

 That looks fine on the surface, and it actually is something my own grandmother used to say. However, the copy editor pointed out that author Maya Angelou had once made a quote just like this. So I checked that out and this is the quote Maya Angelou once made:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Now that’s just too close for comfort for me. And if my wonderful copy editor had not caught this, I’m sure someone else would have and it could have been extremely embarrassing. Although I had no intention of using a quote from Maya Angelou without giving her full credit, there are people out there who don’t know that and don’t care about that and I would have been slammed for it, and probably with an epic shitstorm.

So I immediately revised that scene to read this way:

It always reminded him of something his grandmother had once told him. “No one’s going to remember your name, your clothes, or the kind of car you drive. Most don’t care about how much money you have or what kind of luggage you carry. They won’t remember your phone number or where you live. They might not even remember what you look like half the time. But they’ll always remember the way you treated them.

It really was something my grandmother used to say, and she’d never even heard of Maya Angelou, trust me on that. But, just to play it safe, I even added this next paragraph in case someone decided to question it:

His grandmother wasn’t the most prolific woman, nor was she the wisest he’d ever met. She was no Maya Angelou, with tons of prolific quotes about life. But on occasion she came up with words of wisdom. Unfortunately, he hadn’t always listened.

So you see what I’m talking about with copy editors. Even though my quote in the book wasn’t exactly like Maya Angelou’s quote, I figured that if the copy editor felt it resembled Angelou’s quote that much so would someone else. And I changed it immediately.

If you are a self-published author and you have a small budget, I think the one thing I would suggest more than anything would be to hire a copy editor. You could get lucky and nothing huge could be wrong. I’ve had books come back from copy edits with nothing but spelling and grammatical errors. But you could also be taking a huge chance with something embarrassing.

Here’s the blurb for The Silicon Valley Sex Scandal It’s not on sale yet anywhere, but I’ll post more when it is. This one was fun to write because I get into some interesting current issues, like catfishing and sockpuppetry with a made up web site called Lovemetender.com.

Shannon Winn is known as the world’s most capricious gay billionaire and the owner of the world’s safest, coolest social media web site, lovemetender.com. When Shannon meets a guy named Terry on his own web site, he considers it fun and games, not looking for a relationship.

And that’s because Shannon already has an open relationship with his personal assistant, Justin. Although they aren’t committed to each other, Shannon’s not looking to meet anyone else for love. This bad boy just wants to fool around with Terry and forget all about him the next day.

It’s unfortunate for Shannon that Terry doesn’t realize this, because after their first and only time together Terry not only falls in love with Shannon, he begins to stalk him and imagine them as a couple. In the course of one week, Terry follows Shannon’s every move, showing up unexpectedly and seducing Shannon with great success.

When bad boy Shannon finally realizes the fatal mistakes he’s made with Terry, and he knows for certain he’s really in love with Justin, it just might be too late for them. Will Terry’s crazed infatuation with Shannon ruin Shannon’s chances of true love with Justin? And will delusional Terry finally snap and kill them all?