A Word of Warning…and a Few F Bombs!



Geez, where do I start?

It’s been a year since I’ve written on this blog. And it’s been about two years since I last marketed my books, anywhere. Some of you are aware of the reason why I’ve been relatively quiet, but for those who aren’t, I’ll try to keep the details short.

Firstly, I’d like to state for the record that this blog entry is not written out of spite for the now defunct company involved. I know quite a few of you are new or aspiring authors, so I feel it is my duty, as your friend, to warn you of the underlying fucktardary that can sometimes happen within the publishing industry.

Side note: I don’t think I’ve ever dropped the F bomb on here before, but if you’re still with me by the end of this post I think you’ll agree that it’s warranted.

Let me drop a few more to get it out of my system…


There we go. I’m feeling slightly better now.

I scored my first publishing contract with Ellora’s Cave Publishing and my debut novel, Starstruck, was released in February, 2013. My first short story, Count Me In, soon followed several weeks later. I was ecstatic. I never dreamed that a traditional publishing house at the top of the erotic romance genre would see potential in my writing, let alone offer me contracts. My books sold more than I expected in that first year and I was so grateful to Ellora’s Cave for giving me a shot.

Fast forward to late 2013, and my gut was telling me something was drastically wrong.
There’d been a few minor hiccups from the very beginning with regards to my quarterly royalty payments, but when I questioned why I’d only received a total of one statement and cheque that included payments for Starstruck, my main seller according to Amazon’s ranking, I was told that they’d mistakenly paid another author for my sales. I know admin errors can occur, so I gave them the benefit of the doubt…until it took seven months (yes, SEVEN months) of relentlessly emailing them before they finally rectified the problem and back-paid me what I was owed.

After that, the cheques kept coming in later and later than the contracted schedule, and I’d had enough of their excuses. I contacted a lawyer, who confirmed that EC had clearly breached their own contract. She sent them a certified letter demanding that I be paid in full and for the publishing rights to be returned to me, as stated in said contract. The response she got was unbelievable. In a nutshell, they refused, saying they didn’t breach the contract and payments had always been forwarded on time. Their suggestion was to obtain an independent auditor at the personal cost to me of $10,000. WTF! My only recourse was to take the legal matter further or grin, bear it and hope the situation got better. Considering I’m in Australia and EC is located in Ohio, USA, the financial burden of fighting my case in the States was out of the question. My books weren’t earning THAT much. I was stuck, and I have an idea EC was banking on that fact, figuratively and literally.

From that moment on I was in limbo. I no longer felt like writing. The joy had been sucked right out of it and my muse had taken an extended vacation. And I don’t blame her. If I had a choice, I wouldn’t have stuck around either.

Why didn’t you just approach another publisher with new works of fiction or self-publish, I hear you say? There lied yet another problem. Contractually, I was not permitted to do so while I was still with EC. They had first option to anything I wrote that was longer than 7,000 words, and there was no way in hell I was sending them one more word that I wouldn’t get paid for. Why not just breach the contract, considering they did it first? Because I have ethics, and because I couldn’t risk being sued, even if I knew I would win.

The last cheque I received from them was for my December 2014 royalties, then they stopped coming altogether. All I got for my countless emails was a computer generated reply telling me they were swamped and that I’d get a response as soon as possible. That response never came.

Little did I know, there was a major shit fight going on between a well-known blogger and EC, which ended up in court. I won’t go into that long story, otherwise I could be here for days. But it did get me talking to other EC authors and I discovered that I was not alone, we were all being ripped off. I also found out that, for several years before I signed with them, there had been many problems, on and off, with EC not paying royalties on time.

Almost two years passed and I didn’t receive one single royalty cheque. In that time, the story had hit social media and exploded off the charts. EC authors banded together and shared their outrage at the way we’d been mistreated. The owner of EC’s public response? We were all a bunch of bad apples and compulsive liars, out to witch hunt her and burn her at the stake.

Huh. Really? Again…WTF! I could possibly believe that if it was just a small handful of people stating they’d been wronged, but hundreds upon hundreds of authors all saying the same thing? I don’t think so.

Are we even in the same universe? Is my doppelganger out there somewhere claiming the royalties off my books?

On the 4th of October, 2016, I finally received an email from owner Tina Engler (aka. Jaid Black) stating that EC was closing it’s doors, and in order to get my rights back I had to sign a statement, forfeiting my two year’s worth of back-royalties. She also insisted that we keep our mouths shut and not hinder the sales of our books until 2016 came to an end. All EC books were to be taken down from third-party vendor sites by December 31st, 2016. It’s now January 4th and they are still being sold on those sites, all profits lining her pocket once again. Wasn’t two years-worth enough? I’m furious. Just one more slap on the face as a parting gift.

I’d intended to re-release my two books this week, but until I can send a DCMA to the many, many vendors, demanding they take my books down, I’m STILL in limbo.

Since I began to take writing seriously it’s been my only source of income (when I actually get it) and I’m so grateful for my husband, who has supported our family on his own since my publishing journey started. We had to drastically reduce our budget (which wasn’t huge to start with), but somehow we survived, even through this shit storm. Several times I’ve been so angry and frustrated that I just wanted to throw in the towel, be done with writing and get any job I could. It just wasn’t worth the spiral of depression I found myself in. But he believes in me and thinks I have more to offer the literary world. Yeah, he’s a keeper, for sure.

So, that’s where I stand at the moment. I only hope by sharing my story it will help other authors make wise decisions when considering which publisher to submit to. They can’t all be bad, surely. Do your research. Speak to authors who are with that publisher and ask appropriate questions. Google, Google, Google, for days if you have to. If I had, I wouldn’t be in the position I am now. And good luck!


*Flashing warning sign courtesy of http://bestanimations.com/



PT is back…Happy New Year!


Hello, my lovelies. Long time, no see! Hope you’ve all had a wonderful Christmas.

I’m making my New Year’s resolution early this year and vow to give it my best shot for as long as possible. I’m making this public announcement so I’ll feel liable if I don’t follow-through. And, if I’m really brave, I’ll even post my daily word count on Twitter and Facebook, just to keep me honest.

From this day forward, I will write at least 600 words every weekday, no matter if distractions come my way, or if I’m feeling ill, or if the words aren’t flowing freely. I’ve allowed myself to grow lazy. It stops. Now. Any amount of writing is better than no writing at all.

need to wipe off the dust and finish the projects I’ve started.

need to stop feeling sorry for myself and keep moving forward, even if I take the occasional step back.

need to forget about Ellora’s Cave and the sad predicament I’ve found myself stuck in.

need to forget about the wasted time of the past two years and all the negativity they brought with them.


will make this happen.

will remember why I started writing in the first place…and why I love it.

will remember that I’m not a quitter and no one can keep this statement true, but me.

will thank my husband more often for working so hard, every day, and for giving me the opportunity to follow my dream.

will not pick up a book to read before I’ve completed my daily word count, regardless of how tempting I know it will be. Reading will be my reward.

will not ignore my muse any longer. She’s chomping at the bit and needs my constant attention and adoration for her to survive and flourish. Without it, she will jump ship and leave me stranded with regrets and a bad taste in my mouth.



The bad-arse PT is back–out of hibernation–and she’s taking no prisoners. We aren’t in Kansas anymore, Toto.

2016…you will be my bitch, and you’ll like it!

Do you have any New Year’s resolutions? Care to share?

FRAMED – A Picture Tells A Thousand Words


I am a #PYB Wordy Warrior and I’m so proud to be part of this non-profit anthology. Cancer has taken way too many of my family and friends, so when I was offered this opportunity I jumped at it.

Framed is a book put together by Protect Your Breasts in order to raise money for Cancer Research, but rather than put the book on sale, it’s being given as a “Thank You” gift for donations made through their Just Giving Page.


Framed is a collection of twenty-eight stories–each one thousand words in length–written by one of twenty-eight writers, collectively known as the #PYB Wordy Warriors.


All the tales in this anthology are inspired by the picture above. Every story is different, every writer’s way with words unique, but they stand united for the cause. Fear, love, pain and freedom; you’ll find it all in this book, on a heartbreaking and uplifting journey through beautiful prose.

The team of Wordy Warriors and the team at #PYB want to say a huge thank you for all your support and we hope you enjoy this collection.

You can get the full list of #PYB Wordy Warriors and more details about this project here http://bit.ly/1j8BLNA

Here’s how you can help this cause and get your hands on this book step-by-step:

Protect Your Breasts is a non-profit campaign ran by Lisa Fulham and V to raise awareness for the importance of self-examination for the signs of Breast Cancer.

You can follow and support #PYB in the following places:

Twitter https://twitter.com/PYB_cancer

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ProtectYourBreasts?fref=ts

Blog https://protectyourbreasts.wordpress.com/

Together let’s make C stand for Clear, not Cancer

W.E.T. – Vol #2



Following on from W.E.T. Vol #1, here are some more tips you might find handy. Again, this is only my opinion, taken from the knowledge I’ve acquired since becoming a published author. Some of them you might already be aware of, some you may not. Regardless, I hope you find something helpful. I was fortunate to have an exceptional editor who I sincerely miss working with (she’s a full-time author now). This is my small way of paying it forward.

  • Omit all unnecessary words. Don’t fill your manuscript with unnecessary words for the sake of meeting your desired word count. It’s more important to produce quality rather than quantity. There are way too many examples I could list here, so I’ll just mention a few, which I find most commonly used:

Began – The overuse of this word drives me nuts and I see it in stories all too often. Characters should do things, not begin to do them. Delete the word and go straight to the action.

Incorrect: ‘He began to undo his shirt.’

Correct: ‘He undid his shirt.’

Of – A word often used unnecessarily.

E.g. Use ‘inside her’ instead of ‘inside of her’, ‘off him’ instead of ‘off of him’.

Was – In many cases it’s not needed.

E.g. Instead of ‘Barry was shaking his head’, use ‘Barry shook his head’.

In order to – It’s just as clear to merely say, ‘to’.

Made their way – This phrase is majorly overused and completely unnecessary. It’s gotten to the point that I cringe every time I see it in a story.

E.g. ‘She made her way into the room.’

Better to simply say, ‘She stepped into the room.’

Now – Try to use the word sparingly.

E.g. ‘She was now thirty-one.’

Just say, ‘She was thirty-one.’

E.g. ‘She’d been out of the dating game for so long now.’

Just say, ‘She’d been out of the dating game for so long.’

  • Not always, but generally speaking, the adverb goes before the verb it modifies.

E.g. ‘She was compelled to avert her eyes from his when he held her gaze intently for minutes at a time without distraction.’

In the sentence above, ‘intently’ is too far away from ‘held’.

Correct: ‘She was compelled to avert her eyes from his when he intently held her gaze for minutes at a time without distraction.’

  • Redundant words. Here are just a few:

‘He shrugged his shoulders’ – No need to include ‘his shoulders’, just say ‘he shrugged’.

‘She rose up off the chair’ – You can’t rise down so just say ‘she rose off the chair’.

‘The reason is because…’ – Leave off ‘because’, there is no need for it.

‘She pursed her lips together’ – Leave off ‘together’. To purse your lips means they are pressed together.

‘She waved her hand at him’ – Just say ‘she waved’.

‘Breathing in and out’ – You can’t breathe up and down. It’s enough to just say ‘breathe’.

  • Dialogue tags – Almost 100% of the time, if your character has an action which is connected to a piece of dialogue we don’t need the ‘he said/she said’ part. It gets repetitive for the reader. Below is an excerpt out of my book, Starstruck. Notice I’ve not used any dialogue tags because the actions tell the reader who is speaking.

‘The dark-haired man walked quickly back in their direction but stopped in front of Sam. “Is there anything I can get you?”

“Don’t happen to have a mailbox under that bar of yours, do you?” She unleashed what she hoped was a cheeky grin, picking up the envelope and waving it back and forth.

“No, but the airport does have a mailroom. I’d be more than happy to add this to tomorrow’s outgoings for you.” He plucked the envelope from her fingers and flashed a seductive smile before addressing Jesse. “What can I get you, my friend?”

  • Show vs Tell – A “tell” can be identified by the words, ‘he/she looked’, but also when the prose “tells” something rather than creating a picture, or “showing” for the reader.

E.g. ‘He sighed heavily, feeling sorry for himself, and closed his eyes, lazing back on the bed.’

The underlined part is the “tell” in this sentence and can be taken out altogether. It’s always best to just “show” and allow the reader to make their own assumptions about how the character is feeling.

E.g. ‘He seemed ashamed to be the bearer of bad news.’

To “show” in this sentence, you could try something like… ‘He slumped, shaking his head as if ashamed to be the bearer of bad news.’ Now the reader can “see” how he is acting ashamed.

E.g. ‘She looked confused.’

Think about what physically happened on her face to convey her confusion. You could say something like… ‘Her brow creased in confusion.’ Now we can “see” she frowned.

E.g. ‘He looked happy.’

How so? Try something like… ‘He grinned, happiness sparkling in his eyes like the sun breaking from behind the clouds.’

See the difference? We want to “show” as much as possible and create a picture for the reader instead of “telling” them. Your readers are smart; don’t assume they need to be “told”.


Happy writing…and editing!

W.E.T. – Vol #1



Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned writer, no one can get away without having to edit their manuscript. It can be a daunting process—if you let it—but a good polishing will do your book wonders, taking it from mediocre to something great.

Now, I’m not here to claim I’ve mastered the art of editing because that would be far from the truth, but I have a few tips to offer that others may find useful. Keep in mind that the information below is only my opinion, taken from the knowledge I’ve acquired since becoming a published author. Take it or leave it, but I believe it’s a good thing for writers to help writers. So, here’s Volume #1…I’ll try to keep them fairly short.

  • Find your crutch word/s and eliminate as many as possible. These are words that you overuse in your writing, repeating them again and again. A reader will pick up on them and, most likely, find it rather annoying, potentially discouraging them from reading your next book. When I wrote the first draft of my first novel, my crutch word was “that”. Not only did I overuse it, but the word is almost completely unnecessary in 95% of cases, and it’s considered a “junk word” in the literary world. Thank the heavens I had a wonderful editor who was quick to point it out to me.

  • Pay attention to which tense you are writing in. Whether it is past or present tense, choose one and stick to it throughout the story. The tense should be consistent.

  • Be careful not to repeat words within the same sentence, or even the same paragraph, wherever possible. Repetition annoys the reader, especially if you do this often. Here’s an example of what NOT to do:

‘His lips crushed hers with a ravenous kiss. Their lips moved with wanton desperation, their hands frenzied, exploring curves and muscles. He flicked his tongue between her lips and she opened for him, her lips and tongue matching his passion.’

  • Don’t flood your manuscript with large blocks of detail, space them out throughout the story. Stick to the important details which will move your story forward, not bore the reader. E.g. A full page explaining what a house looks like will make the reader skim your work, possibly missing that one line which may be detrimental to the plot.

  • Filters – Filters disguise themselves as the five senses. It is always important to write using your senses; however, the trick is not to use the words, saw/see/seeing, felt/feel/feeling, heard/hear/hearing, etc. wherever possible. These are filter words and they create distance between your POV character and the reader, reminding them that they are reading a story.

E.g. ‘Samantha heard the door slam.’

In the sentence above we have the information of what she heard, however, Samantha heard the door slam, not the reader. To make the impact immediate so the reader hears the door slam at the same time as Samantha, try:

‘A door slammed, the vibrations reverberating in the soles of her feet.’

Now the reader “hears” and “feels” the door slam right along with Samantha.

E.g. ‘She felt his hand slide up her back.’

That’s all well and good, and there’s nothing technically wrong with the sentence, but how did it feel? What was the sensation she experienced? Try something like:

‘His hand slid up her back, the heat of his palm warming her skin through her silk gown.”

Now the reader can “feel” it.

E.g. ‘He saw a white van in the driveway.’

Again, nothing technically wrong with this sentence, but to make this immediate and have the reader “see” it at the same time as the character, we could use:

‘A white van sat in the driveway, the moonless night hiding the license plate in shadow.’

In conclusion, remove the filter, make the information immediate and use a “show” rather than a “tell” so the reader can see, hear, feel the same sensory information as your POV character.

That’s all from me for now, but look out for future posts on W.E.T as I have at least one more up my sleeve.

Editing 1

Happy writing…and editing!

True Colours


I knew you were no good

Right from the very start

I told you both how I felt

But you still captured her heart

I saw the clear signs

Saw the damage you could do

I tried to shelter her

From the evil likes of you

You twisted every story

To make yourself glow

But I knew the devil you hid

Knew the nastiness below

You made her feel beautiful

At one point in time

But your true colours showed

Your true intentions, your crime

She gave you everything she had

Never deserving her devotion

You took everything for granted

Set the wheels of hate in motion

Now she sees those true colours

For they are dark and dim

You are no longer her saviour

No longer her whim

You not only abused her trust

But her body and soul

And there will be no forgiveness

There will be no self-control

You have done your last dash

I’ll stand by and watch no more

You hurt her again

And I’ll settle the score

She’s too good for you

And now she finally sees

You no longer lock her heart

For only she holds the keys

Be gone, bad choices

Be gone, cruel anomaly

She no longer wants you

She has us, her true family.

©Paige Thomas 2014

A poem… Decisions




Blatant lies and distrust

But I know the truth

False accusations?

Oh, I have the proof

I could stand up and shout

For all the world to see

But I’m not that vindictive

That just wouldn’t be me

I could seek further counsel

Let honor be true

Though I refuse to waste more energy

Even thinking of you

My head is held high

My smarts are on straight

Refuse to tarnish my heart

With this nonsense and hate

I’ll walk on my own

As my fate sees fit

And trust in the knowledge

I’ll survive with true grit

I’ll value the lessons

I’ve learnt on the way

Keep the good memories close

And the bad ones at bay

Goodbye to ill choices

Make room for the well

I’ve no time for the wicked

They can all go to hell

Bring on positivity

The good and the just

I’ll continue to mold stories

Of romance and lust

My soul’s full of purpose

My future is bright

I renounce all the politics

Leave me be, let me write

© Paige Thomas 2014