Sunday, 29 September 2013

New Release Triple Sneaky Peek - Yank plus Hussy plus Forbidden Fruit by Selena Kitt


David has been brightening up his gray Surrey, England days with the porn collection hidden in his parents' shed, but when he finds that their American foreign exchange student, Dawn, has discovered his magazines, things really begin to heat up. David's parents insist that he look for a job, but Dawn has the week off and is determined to work on her tan. Distracted David finds himself increasingly tempted by their seductive foreign exchange student, who makes it very clear what she wants. In spite of the Study Abroad program's policy that no "relations" are allowed between a student and anyone in their host family--not to mention David's mother's insistence that they treat each other as "brother and sister,"--Dawn's teasing ways slowly break down the barrier between them until they both give in to their lust. But what are they going to do about the feelings that have developed between them in the meantime?

NOTE: This story appeared in another book titled NAUGHTY BITS. Previously titled Foreign Exchange, this is a slightly less naughty, but no less sexy re-telling--updated and redressed for your reading pleasure.

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Excerpt - Yank by Selena Kitt

I woke up with a grunt, hearing my name being hissed from beside the bed. It was dark, but I could make out her outline in the moonlight coming through the window. She was on her hands and knees, crawling toward me.
"Dawn?" I felt her find the bed with a thud. 
"Ow." She whimpered. 
"Christ!" I reached for her, groping in the dark. My hand found her arm, helping her up into the bed. "What are you doing?" 
"Ta," she said, thanking me. I could smell the alcohol on her now. "It's a long way when you're legless."
"Shhhh!" I looked toward my door. I was listening for my Mum or Dad but didn't hear them. "C'mon, let's get you to bed."
"That's where I am." She crawled up against me in the dark and pressed me down, snuggling up against my bare chest. "Hey, you sleep naked! When did you start that?"
"Since I was fourteen," I whispered. "Keep your voice down, Dawn."
"I am." She kissed my shoulder. "You feel good."
"Okay." I tried to untangle her limbs from mine. "You are pretty well lashed, and I think this is a bad idea. C'mon, let's go."
"Noooo!" She slid her bare foot up the inside of my calf. She'd lost her heels somewhere, I noticed, but I could feel the skirt and blouse pressed against me, her body full and warm underneath, flushed from the alcohol. "Don't make me go."
"I think you'd better." I tried to sit, but she was clinging to me too tightly. 
"I'll scream," she whispered into my ear, her breath hot against my neck.
"You will not." I edged my way out from under her. 
I heard her intake of breath and knew she really meant to do it. What was wrong with her? Panicked, I rolled onto her, finding her mouth with my hand in the dark and pressing it there, hard. 
"Button it!" I hissed, feeling her wiggling and squirming underneath me. Her skirt was riding high up and I felt her bare thighs against mine, her skin like velvet.
"Unbutton it," she murmured when I moved my hand away from her mouth, her fingers working her blouse from top to bottom between us. She pulled her shirt open, sliding her breasts against my chest, back and forth. Her nipples were hard, her breath hot with alcohol against my face, her hands roaming over my back. Why was she coming onto me like this all of a sudden? I didn’t get it.


The Eskimos may have over a hundred words for snow, but that doesn’t even come close to how many words the English language has for “slut”—and Lindsey has been called them all. “Hussy” is Lindsey’s personal favorite, given to her by her own grandmother, who likes to pat her on the hand and whisper, “Don’t worry, dear—a hussy is just a woman with the morals of a man.”
But Lindsey’s not ashamed of her reputation. She knows she’s earned it—and she’s proud of it. After all, you only live once, right? In fact, she goes out of her way to make it known to every guy she comes in contact with, she’s available for the taking—the rougher, the better.
That is until Lindsey meets Lieutenant Zachary Davis, a man who refuses to treat her like the trash she believes she really is.
But can Lindsey change her impulsive ways and learn to value herself the way the Zach does?

Warnings: This title contains graphic language and extreme sexual situations as well as a girl with a slutty attitude bigger than Texas covering a haunted past, and a sweet, hot man in uniform dead set on rescuing her from herself.
Note to Readers: This novel was previously released as “Falling Down.”

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Excerpt - Hussy by Selena Kitt

“You're a very pretty girl.” 

She shrugged. “Yeah? So?”

He adjusted his white hat, still meeting her eyes. “So you don't have to do that to get attention.”

Lindsey frowned, snapping her legs together and sitting straight up. “Do what?”

“You know what.” 

“What are you all dressed up for—a parade or something?” Lindsey squinted at him and saw he was wearing a name tag: Lieutenant Zachary Davis.

“I'm a recruiter.” 

“For what?” Lindsey snorted, looking him up and down. Even the man's shoes were white! “The Pillsbury Dough Boy?!” 

He raised an eyebrow in her direction. “The U.S. Navy.” 

“So you're... what... a sailor?”

“On a nuclear submarine, but yes.” He cocked his head at her. “Do you have any interest in the Navy?”

She rolled her eyes. “Only if we're at war.”

“We are.”

“Yeah, well... not here we're not.”

“So what are you interested in...Lindsey?”

He'd obviously been paying attention. She leaned forward, putting her elbows on her knees and her chin in her hands. “Sex... Zach.”

“Is that all?” 

“No...” She glanced over at the secretary, who was rifling through papers at her desk, but clearly listening to them. “I also like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain.” 


Leah and Erica have been best friends and have gone to the same Catholic school since just about forever. Leah spends so much time with the Nolans--just Erica and her handsome father now, since Erica's mother died--that she's practically part of the family. When the girls find something naughty under Mr. Nolan's bed, their strict, repressive upbringing makes it all the more exciting as they begin their sexual experimentation. Leah's exploration presses deeper, and eventually she finds herself in love for the first time, torn between her best friend and her best friend's father.

NOTE TO READERS: This story appeared in another, now rather infamous book of mine (UNDER MR. NOLAN'S BED). This tale, previously titled Plaid Skirt Confessions, is a slightly less naughty, but no less sexy re-telling of those events--updated and redressed for your reading pleasure with an ending that may leave you a little more satisfied.

Warnings: This title contains erotic situations, lesbian sex, sex toys, and also makes mention of pornography, salmon, amusement parks, chocolate covered strawberries, brownies (as well as girl scouts), plaid skirts, naughty uses for confessionals and some sacrilegious humor.

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Excerpt - Forbidden Fruit by Selena Kitt

“Did she go home?” I whispered, conscious of Erica sleeping in the other room.
He swallowed and shook his head. His eyes were pleading with me, trying to tell me something, but I couldn’t understand. “No. She’s sleeping in my bed.”
“Why?” I felt tears stinging my eyes and I willed them not to fall. “What did I do?”
He sighed, closing his eyes and running a hand through his hair. “Oh Leah. Nothing. Everything. I don’t know.”
“Do you really like her?” I whispered, blinking fast and taking a step toward him. He didn’t move back, and we were almost belly to belly. “Is she…is she what you want?”
He opened his eyes and looked down at me, arms hanging at his sides, head down. He looked defeated. “No.”
“Then why?” I hissed, shoving at his chest with the flat of my palm. “You asked her out again! You cooked her dinner! You slept with her! Why?”
“I don’t know!” He shook his head. “Why did you do what you did? Putting the magazines and videos on my bed? Was it supposed to scare her off?”
I sighed, crossing my arms. “That was Erica’s idea, not mine.“Erica?” He frowned. 
I shrugged, acting like I didn’t care if he believed me. “This isn’t fair.”
“No,” he admitted, moving forward a little, lifting my chin. “It’s really not.”
“I just want to know why.” I met his eyes. I felt my chin quivering in his hand and tried to stop it, but I couldn’t. “Please just tell me why.”
“You want to know why?” His eyes flashed in the dimness, moving over my face. “Fine, I’ll tell you why. For the same reason I was sitting here at one in the morning, waiting for you.”
I stared up at him, eyes wide. 
He shook his head, looking pained. “I can’t stop thinking about you, Leah. Everywhere I go, everything I do, there you are. I can’t get you out of my head.”
My throat and chest tightened at his words and I nodded. I knew exactly how he felt.
“I thought…” He swallowed, his hand moving down my neck, over my shoulder, his gaze following the curve there. “I thought that if I moved on, I could stop this crazy thinking. This feeling I have for you…”
“What feeling?” I pressed against him. “Tell me.”
“Leah…” He whispered my name, using his thumb to rub over my lips. “I took her to bed tonight, yes, I did. I fucked her senseless, until I couldn’t see straight—” His words shot arrows into my heart and I felt the sting of them in my chest. “And every time I closed my eyes, I saw your face.” He pressed me back toward the counter with the weight of his body. “It wasn’t her I was touching or kissing or fucking—it was you, Leah. Every minute I was with her, I was wishing it was you.”
“Oh god.” I reached up and put my arms around his neck and pulled his mouth down to mine. 

It was like sinking into something dark and warm and soft, the safest place I’d ever been. 

About the Author

Selena Kitt is a bestselling and award-winning author of erotic romance fiction and erotica. OVER A MILLION BOOKS SOLD! Her writing embodies everything from the spicy to the scandalous.
When she's not pawing away at her keyboard, Selena runs an innovative publishing company ( She does bellydancing and photography, and she loves four poster beds, tattoos, voyeurism, blindfolds, velvet, baby oil, the smell of leather, and playing kitty cat.
Her books EcoErotica (2009), The Real Mother Goose (2010) and Heidi and the Kaiser (2011) were all Epic Award Finalists. Her gay male romance, Second Chance, won the Epic Award in Erotica in 2011. Her FREE story, Connections, was one of the runners-up for the 2006 Rauxa Prize, given annually to an erotic short story of "exceptional literary quality," out of over 1,000 nominees, where awards are judged by a select jury and all entries are read "blind" (without author's name available.)
She can be reached on her website at


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In the Barn
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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

New Release Sneaky Peek and Giveaway - Buried Secrets by Emme Rollins

Should some secrets remain buried?
Dusty has always been a hothead, far more impulsive than her twin, Nick, the calm, cool and collected one of the pair. But Nick is dead, found murdered in their local cemetery, and Dusty simply can’t rest until she finds out who–or what–has killed her brother.
Sure the local authorities aren’t being straight with her–or anyone else–about what’s been going on in their little upper Michigan town, Dusty delays going off to college for a semester, defying her father and stepmother and taking a job in the local bar to start doing some digging.
Her focus soon fixes on Shane, her brother’s best friend and the town bad boy. The tension and rivalry between Dusty and Shane has always been palpable and sparks fly as the two collide. Dusty finds herself sinking in deeper with Shane and the mystery of what happened to her brother–and a lengthening list of victims–grows even stranger.
When everything comes to a head, Dusty focuses on one thing: What happened the night her brother was killed in the cemetery? She’s sure Shane is keeping a secret and she’s determined to find out what it is, one way or another.

BUY LINK: (Kindle only)

EXCERPT: Buried Secrets

“Nick told me something the last time I saw him… alive.”
She closed her eyes, not sure why she was telling him. Maybe it was the way he turned his head toward her before inhaling deeply, like he was trying to breathe her in. Maybe it was the way he cupped her shoulder in his hand, like he was holding something delicate—a tiny field mouse or a baby bird—and he was trying to be careful not to startle it. But mostly she thought it was the memory of his kiss in the darkness, the way he had taken it, how he had groaned and given into her response in that one brief moment before his senses returned.
“What did he tell you?” Shane’s spine straightened slightly, breath catching in his chest. He went completely still, like a deer caught in the shine of a poacher’s flashlight.
“He said he saw the way you look at me.” She hesitated, hearing his intake of breath when her hand moved to his thigh. Leaving it there, halfway up, she rested her head in the crook of his shoulder, feeling him breathing again. “And he saw the way I look at you.”
“What, exactly, is that supposed to mean?”
“Nick said he had the feeling, if he hadn’t been around, we might have ended up together.” Dusty lifted her chin to see his reaction. He didn’t look surprised, not like she had been. They were very close now. Close enough she could see the reddish stubble on his cheeks and the gold flecks in the light blue of his eyes and that little divot above his lip. She had the impulse to touch him there and repressed it.
“You and me?” he asked, pondering it, lips pursed in thought, making her think about that damnable kiss. She didn’t understand why she was feeling this way. First, the funeral home. Now they were both sitting on her brother’s grave. What was it about her dead brother that revved up her libido around Shane? It went beyond crazy and slipped into the realm of the surreal.
“You and me.” She nodded slowly, fascinated by the shape of his mouth.
“I don’t know.” Shane blinked those striking blue eyes at her, both eyebrows raised. Her attention was drawn down to his mouth again when he licked his lips, drawing the lower one thoughtfully in before asking, “What do you think?”
“I don’t understand why…” She didn’t. She didn’t understand any of it. Her world made no sense anymore. Nick was dead and Shane was here, offering her comfort and something else—she didn’t even know what—after all the years they’d spent sparring and going after each other’s throats.
But he’d come looking for her, had known she would be in the closet. He’d known her temper well enough to hold her back when she would have gone after the idiotic sheriff with her bare hands. And he’d held her and rocked her and let her cry when she needed to, which was far more than anyone else in her life seemed to want to do.
She didn’t understand it, but she knew she was feeling it. And whatever “it” was, it was powerful. Magnetic. It made her want to act, to do something reckless, careless, shameless. It made her feel like she had in the closet of the funeral home, ready to strip down to nothing and give into the feeling. It made her feel like doing that now, right here, on her brother’s grave. It felt wrong and right at the same time.
“What don’t you understand?” he prompted.
Dusty took a deep breath, reaching out and doing it, touching that little divot above his parted lips. She didn’t stop there, tracing the delicious shape of them, feeling him go still again, but it was different this time. This sort of stillness was more predator than prey. It was like the watchful, waiting crouch of an animal.
“I don’t understand why,” she whispered, swallowing as she let her finger trail down over his Adam’s apple, feeling him swallow. “But I think Nick wanted us to kiss and make up.”
“Do you want to?” He turned more fully toward her, the question in his eyes.
“Kiss?” Her finger traced the V of his t-shirt, his jacket still undone.
His lips were slightly parted, wet. So were hers. They were so close she’d lost focus and longed to close her eyes. Her body thrummed, so very alive, and the irony didn’t escape her because they were surrounded by death. Everything else faded away, lost its shape, until all she could focus on was Shane’s presence, the heat of his body, the way his hands moved down the curve of her shoulders to grip her upper arms.
“I don’t know why,” she confessed, finally letting her eyes close in anticipation, feeling him drawing her closer by micro increments. “But yes. Yes. Yes.”
She whispered the last three words, her lips almost touching his. His breath was warm, fruity and sweet, fingers tightening their grip on her arms.

About the Author
Emme Rollins is Top 100 Amazon Bestselling New Adult/Mature Young Adult fiction. She’s been writing since she could hold a crayon and still chews her pen caps to a mangled plastic mess. She did not, however, eat paste as a kid.

She has two degrees, a bachelor’s and a master’s, one of which she’s still paying for, but neither of which she uses out in the “real world,” because when she isn’t writing, she spends her time growing an organic garden to feed her husband and children (and far too many rabbits and deer!) where they live on twenty gorgeous forested acres in rural Michigan.

She loves tending her beehives (bees are wonderful pollinators and Hello!? Honey!) and keeping up with her daily yoga practice and going for long walks in the woods with her boxer, Rodeo, who loves chasing squirrels almost as much as Emme loves writing!

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Monday, 23 September 2013

New Release Sneaky Peek - Grand Slam by Lily Harlem and Lucy Felthouse

Grand Slam (Raw Talent #1) 

California had seduced me with promises of a new life working at Los Carlos Tennis Academy. What I didn’t expect was the dark, brooding number one seed, Travis Connolly, resisting my help. He wasn’t interested in my psychology skills. Instead his attention was drawn to the edgy, sharper corners of my desires, proving that they existed, setting me challenges and driving me crazy to the point of combustion.
I’m the best tennis player in the world—officially—so why would I need a damn woman full of psychobabble to get me on form? Despite my irritation, however, I can’t resist pushing Marie Sherratt’s buttons even though doing that shows her the darkest shades of my lust, the parts of me I buried deep. So I set her a challenge, one she rises to, one that has me rising too, and before long my game relies on her calling the shots, hitting the target and bending to my will. One thing was certain, being not just master of the court, but also of Marie is seriously good for my soul.

Available from:

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Excerpt: Grand Slam

I looked into his eyes. Swallowed and tasted his cologne as it traveled into my nostrils and then laced my tongue. “Would you consider them to be good people, Travis? These individuals that like to hurt others.
“I’ve known a few people who like to give and receive higher sensations, and most of them I consider to be good friends as well as good people.”
I hesitated, felt his body heat radiating toward me, wrapping around me as I pondered his words. We were close, very close, and his consuming presence made logical thinking much harder than normal. “I’m not quite sure what you’re telling me.”
“You talk about pain like it’s a bad thing, Marie.”
“It is.”
He smiled but it wasn’t a sweet smile, more like one of a hunter who’d spotted prey.
“Pain is unpleasant for a reason,” I said. “Because it’s bad.”
“I disagree.” He raised his eyebrows and widened his eyes. It was a challenging, cocky gesture.
A tingle snaked its way up my spine and threatened to wreak havoc in my body by turning into a tremble. But I beat it down. I wouldn’t let a patient get to me this way. I was the one supposed to be holding the reins here.
“Maybe, Marie, you should open your mind to new ideas with a little more grace.”
“I fail to see how I haven’t been graceful in discussing your theory that pain is good.”
“Can we keep it that way?”
“I hope so.”
“In that case,” he flicked his attention from my eyes and looked at my hair, “would you like me to demonstrate?”
Damn, the guy made me feel tiny. Even though I was wearing heels, his broad chest and wide shoulders were looming over me. “Okay.”
He twitched the right side of his mouth into a half-smile. Now he looked like a hunter who’d captured his prey. A trickle of fight or flight seeped into my system. Which would be my best option?
“Now that’s the first rule.” He reached up and undid the clasp holding my hair on the top of my head. It tumbled around my shoulders as the clasp fell to the floor. “Consent.”
“Doesn’t consent require knowing what you’re agreeing to?” Fuck, with him this close and stroking my hair, spreading it out, I’d pretty much agree to anything. Who was I kidding? Fight or flight was not an option, the only thing that shot through my mind was giving myself over to him. Allowing him to do whatever he wanted, control my body, feed it what it needed.
Damn, it had been too long since I’d been with a man. It was making me desperate.
He slotted his other hand over the left side of my head, the sound of him sliding his fingers over the shell of my ear noisy. My breath hitched and I locked my knees to stabilize my stance. I stared up at him, noting the small shafts of black hair sneaking out of his skin on his chin and the way his bottom lip was a little plumper than the top.
“You see, some pain,” he said, gathering my hair up at my crown and tugging to create tension on the roots, “can heighten the awareness of everything else going on in the body.”
He pulled harder, forcing my head to tip back.
I gasped as discomfort shot across my scalp.
He increased the pressure a little more.
I reached out and clutched at his shirt, felt his hard chest beneath. “Travis, I—”
“Shh, I’m just showing you.” He slipped his arm around my waist, dragged me close and yanked my hair, really hard.
“Ow, I—” A barrage of sensations blasted through my system. The feel of him pressing up against me, hot hard male, all wide pecs and solid thighs. The pain from having my hair tugged with force, and the awareness that my belly was shoved right up against his groin. A groin that held a wedge of thick flesh.
“Just feel,” he whispered, hovering his lips over mine. “Endorphins are rushing into your bloodstream, giving you a natural high as pain alerts your nerve endings that something exciting is happening.” He slid his free hand up my back, tracing the outline of my spine through my blouse.
I breathed in the air he was breathing out, warm and sweet. The scream of hurt in my scalp made me want to wriggle but being held so firmly and confidently kept me still. The heat of the discomfort slipped down my nape and neck and over my shoulders, then combined with the lovely sensation of him stroking my back.
“Can you feel it?” he whispered. “Pain mixing with pleasure, the lines between the two blurring.”
I could feel it with every fiber of my being. My skin was alive with awareness, my breasts were heavy and desperate for stimulation, and between my legs I was buzzing for action. Good, hard man action, preferably of the naked, sweaty variety. “Yes,” I gasped.

About the Authors

Lily Harlem

Lily Harlem lives in the UK with Mr Harlem and a host of rescued animals. She is an award winning author of contemporary erotic romance and writes for publishers on both sides of the Atlantic including Ellora's Cave, HarperCollins, Total-E-Bound, Xcite and Sweetmeats Press as well as self-publishing. Her HOT ICE series regularly receives high praise and industry nominations and sportsmen who are talented both in and out of the bedroom often feature in her novels. But whichever book you choose of Lily's one thing you can be sure of is it will be wildly romantic and down-and-dirty sexy. Enjoy!

Lucy Felthouse

Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over seventy publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include Best Bondage Erotica 2012, 2013 and 2014 and Best Women's Erotica 2013. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies. She owns Erotica ForAll, and is book editor for Cliterati. Find out more at Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at:

Thursday, 19 September 2013

O.M.G...Is that an Editing Mistake?

I'm currently caught up in the sometimes frustrating world of editing my next book, A Tasty Little Treat, due out in October as part of Edible Delights Vol 3. Anyway, I've decided to start a discussion about it, not specifically my edits, but editing in general. 

A while ago I wrote this blog for Savvy Authors. It's a really great site if you are an author or aspiring one - but back to the topic at hand. As my edits drag on, I'm once again pondering the process, the finished work and in particular the language we use, in general, and how we use it. So, it seems only fitting to share the post with you all now.

O.M.G... Is that an editing mistake? 
Original post written by Jan Graham for Savvy Authors, August 3rd 2013.

I've noticed lots of comments and discussions on social media sites recently regarding how books are edited, particularly in the current e-book age. I've been reading for a long time and can actually remember the days when it was virtually unheard of to read a book with even one spelling mishap. Times have changed though. I know authors who have been writing far longer than me who say editing is not what it used to be. And I've sat in forums where readers have become outraged if there is even one minor mistake within a story.

As a reader I sympathize that some mistakes are so glaring, I wonder how they ever made it through the editing process unnoticed. One disastrous example comes to mind where a popular romance author’s book, released by the publisher with one vital scene missing. Now, when I say vital, I mean a portion of the cliffhanger ending. Unfortunately, it was the author left to clean up the mess and cop the fury of readers, rather than the publisher. The deleted portion was made available online for readers to print out, along with an apology and explanation. Apparently the scene was removed for editing and somehow never made it back into the book prior to publication. No blame was laid at anyone’s feet but the furor from readers included statements like - I’ll never buy one of her books again. 

Just to clarify what I’m talking about today, before I go much further, I’m not advocating we don’t need to edit our work, of course we do but what I am advocating is this. Do we need to be so pedantic about the occasional perceived error that slips through at the point of publication?

From a writing point of view, editing mistakes are one of my greatest concerns and recently I've begun to wonder if that concern is unfounded. I’m not talking about errors in regard to the monumental stuff up referenced to above, but the regular easily missed things. Spelling errors, misplaced punctuation, that sort of thing, and believe me they are picked up on once a book reaches the point of sale. The fact is, I don't know how mistakes can be eradicated and for those editors and publishers who pick up on every error, producing near perfect manuscripts for the writers who create them, I applaud you. It's not an easy task.

When I write I often get to the point where I don't see errors any more. My mind is so consumed with the story and characters, the manuscript has been read, re-read, corrected and reworked for what seems like a million times. I've changed sentence structures and made so many alterations that the words often appear correct even when they aren't. By the time a 'polished' manuscript (i.e. a book finished and self edited to the very best of my ability) gets to the publisher and then the formal edit arrives back to me I'm banking on two things. Firstly, I've taken long enough away from reading my work that's it's fresh to my eyes and mind and, secondly, the new set of eyes checking for errors and necessary changes (i.e my editor) will do their job and help produce a final product that's error free. After having seven books of varying sizes published, I realize it doesn't necessarily work that way and errors still slip through.

I take heart in the fact that even major publishing houses and best selling authors have trouble producing error free manuscripts and, for the reasons laid out below, I wonder whether we place too high an expectation on writers, editors and proof readers to produce perfect.

Education standards and expectations placed on literacy levels (and other disciplines) are sadly declining. Well, they are in Australia so I assume it's a world wide phenomenon. The English language continues to evolve and words that weren't included in dictionaries years ago are now appearing as the accepted norm. If you do an internet search for new words added to the Oxford Dictionary you'll discover that, for example, in February 2013 tweetable (which by the way is underlined in red by my spell check program) is now a recognized word. Go twitter, you really are changing our lives, lol.

I expect some of you have cringed at the text/chat speak above. For those of you wondering about using lol, it is also now in the dictionary. We need to move with the times I guess and I ask myself, if the Oxford Dictionary can adapt to evolving language trends, surely authors, readers and editors need to do the same. I read one author in particular who loves to include abbreviations and contractions in her books, and I accept why. They are now part of everyday speech. Her books are modern contemporary romances and in order for a realistic presence to the characters in her books, the SOB's need to be there. Still, in forums discussing her work there are often complaints about it.

Another issue that writers and editors face is the global nature of publishing. I'm Australian, educated under the rules of English usage, grammar, punctuation and writing style from a British/Australian perspective. Comma usage and sentence structure, for me, varies to that of writing styles in the US, as does spelling and the meanings of certain words. All of my books, bar one, follow US spelling standards, but there are still differences that an editor and I will haggle over when it comes to the final version of my books. Even within the US, there is variation in the style guides used to edit and format the written word. Add into the mix guides and practices from the author’s country of origin and I sometimes wonder how editors actually assist us to construct a coherent, grammatically correct, perfectly spelt manuscript for publication.  I mean let's face it, a reader somewhere in the world will find an error, you can't be all things to all people, especially when it comes to language.

Then there are the things all authors face, overused words... and, it's, she, he, that...there are too many to name and I hate every one of them. Again, the fact remains we need these words. Use of them is all about perspective. What I think is overuse may be perfectly acceptable to another author or editor and vice versa. Words like felt are sometimes frowned on, as are contractions, passive voice and the list goes on. Realistically, each author has there own writing style and ultimately we need to be true to that when we create. As I already said, you can’t please everyone because everyone has an opinion and in the current social networking climate those opinions are shared add nauseam.

We are a global society and as such need to embrace the difference that creates. Whether I type realized or realised shouldn't matter, they are actually the same word with the same meaning. When my first book, Finding Angel released I received comments from both readers and reviewers that they found the Australian spelling in the book distracting, the s in realized threw them off balance. Some reviewers even included a statement, a warning as such in their review that ‘this book contains AU spelling’, it really is laughable.

From a readers perspective mistakes can sometimes be annoying, yes I notice a misspelt word but it doesn't really make a difference to the final story, the plot, the characters, my enjoyment in reading it. I understand that US spelling and AU or UK spelling is different and in my view difference isn't incorrect, it’s just not the way I do it. As with the popular author who uses abbreviations I've heard readers in forums complain that 'it takes them out of the story.' Well keep reading and you'll get back into it or if the author’s writing style is that distracting, then don't read the books. The old adage 'nobody's perfect' is true for modern day editing. Authors, editors and publishers can try their best to produce a novel without error, but someone, somewhere in the world, will find a fault, even if it’s only a cultural difference and not an actual error.

The conclusion I reach from all this is…maybe we are just being too pedantic. We’re holding onto standards that no longer apply while neglecting the fact that the English language, for better or worse, is a beautiful and evolving creature that people from all around the world use, in their own way.

So what does everyone think? Are we too picky with the occasional error? As an author does chasing perfect when we write and edit add a level of pressure we don’t need? Have we, as a global society, become so critical that we can’t accept difference or even mistakes when they occur? Why can't we just enjoy the wonderfully creative story in front of us, knowing it's a world that someone has spent months piecing together for our ready pleasure?