Asrai Devin- the Maven of Mischief

Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

Category Archives: books

What if’s and writing

I was thinking about What Ifs and writing from last week.

Writing is about examining the what ifs. We see a situation and add a what if … spin and come up with an original idea.

Or we find a character we love and throw her into a situation and ask what does she need to grow and change, and what force would be the one to force her outside her comfort zone.

I read once that Tori Amos wrote “Jackie’s Strength” to examine her fears about getting married and what it would be like if she just disappeared.

It’s part of why I wrote Colors of the Rain. I once went to visit a boy who I thought was the love of my life.  He turned out to be terrified once he had gotten what he wanted, me to love him and sleep with him, and I spent two weeks in hell with him. I imagined while I was wandering around some town in South Dakota, can’t recall the name, anyway, I imagined just disappearing. What would it be like? And that question haunted me for years. Until I wrote that story, then it went away.

What ideas do you have that you’d like to explore? Would you, could you explore them through writing, through photography or another form of art?

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FML: Too much to do


Damn it.

For readers who want more hockey- you are in luck. My brain figured out the next novel. I know it’s YA for everyone. because I get the feeling i”m going to love this one. (I know I say that EVERY TIME).

but at the same time, I have all these other awesome ideas I want to write.

I had this fairytale romance I started writing. It derailed, but I love the idea. The heroine is the daughter of a high ranking noble, set to marry a Prince, whom she’s never met, when she meets his illegitimate half-brother. I’m not sure where it derailed. This was a lesson I did with Holly Lisle‘s How to Think Sideways, I’ll have to pull out my notes and work through it. I love the idea.

I am mostly finished a May-December romance. And now the new hockey novel wants to run that way as well. I’ll try to resist.

I noticed that one thing I love to write about is a rekindled romance from the teenager years.  Maybe I never got over the boys I loved as a teenager. (Also, despite  wishing to write erotica, this last romance I wrote has ONE sex scene and it doesn’t even need to be in the book. I am writing less sex!!)

Back to the May-December, I-loved-you-since-I-was-a-teen that is not quite finished. When I write a novel I do the first draft and then I plot it out and look for holes. I think there may be holes, but now that I wrote the HEA my muse is washing her hands of the project.

I was going to force it a bit more, but I think I shall leave it sit for a few weeks, and I’ll go onto HOCKEY.

While I was looking up hot redheads, I stumbled on some gorgeous pictures of Eddie Redmayne. He’s taken up permanent residence my brain people. I’m sorry that you are tired of hearing about him, I am not tired of thinking about him.

I was trying to work his image into a story, and then my brain managed to morph it into a hockey novel. While you are waiting for that to get onto paper, I am going to release a new Corey Porter story. I forgot about this until I was cleaning up some files. I’ll hopefully run it through the editor and get it out shortly. I think you’ll be surprised. Like Where the Path Leads, it will be free on Smashwords. deets later.

There are a few other projects I’ve abandoned over the last few months, maybe years, that I’d like to see finished. Somedays I wish my brain had an off switch, or I had a nanny. If I had a nanny maybe I could get all this shit done.

Let me know what is up in your life.


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Letting it Go

My personal philosophy is to just let things go. There are few things I get worked up about. Not throwing stuff away ranks high on my list of things to get worked up about. It can be a big issue in my relationship. My husband would just rather throw stuff out. I’d rather donate it, give it to someone or sell it.

This has been my philosophy when it comes to publishing as well.

Right now I have a review for my book Love Can’t Wait on Amazon KDP that says the book is horribly edited. It says words are missing, the book needs to be spell checked. I panicked because this book was professionally edited. I formatted it and I’ve looked at it (not on a Kindle because I do not have one) on my tablet. It looks fine to me.

When I read the review I panicked. I opened the file and ran a spell check. I was going to comment back, because I think it’s a formatting issue. I don’t know. I decided to just let it go. I don’t know if it’s the right or wrong thing to do. The other review is positive. If there were several comments on the formatting problem, I’d reformat and re upload. (If anyone has read the book and notices similar problems please comment here or email at asrai.rd@

I also noticed that despite my price being changed EVERYWHERE my book, Complications Over Coffee, is sold to 2.99, Amazon has it discounted to 2.99. Annoying? yes. Worth my time to email them? Maybe. Worth their time? Not likely. I checked ALL my others sales channels, it’s 2.99. I don’t know where else it’s discounted. I’ll watch it for right now, if it doesn’t go up, I’ll ask where their data is coming from.

The last thing I’m forced to let go but is really irritating me is Smashwords distribution lag. Any book that’s distributed already goes up fairly quickly. But my last two releases Love Can’t Wait and When Love Knocks claim to have been distributed the last three weeks. They are not up on Barnes and Noble, Apple (Apple doesn’t have Second Chance Romance either) or Sony. The latter two aren’t a big deal, I don’t sell much on either. But I sell a lot of books on B&N this delay is costing me tons of sales. TONS and therefore Smashwords is losing out as well. I have people waiting for it.

I wrote Smashwords an email, but they say they have a backlog for service help. They are hiring more staff it says, but expect to wait 2 weeks to hear from them. I told them I didn’t expect to hear back, but that I wanted my frustration noted. I’ve heard of people waiting 4 months for distribution. Frustrating. Especially if you are a non-US resident, Barnes and Noble won’t let you in without Smashwords.

I love all that Smashwords has done and I’m not going to abandon them during these growing pains.

All of this reminds me that I need to write a letter to the editor of my local paper telling him that I’m thankful he doesn’t get to make the laws on abortion. (I’m very pro-choice and if that alienates you- GOOD. One woman, one brain, one choice what to do with it.).

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Shades of Enjoyment

So I’m nearly done the first book of the Fifty Shades Trilogy.

I like the story. The base story, is good. Boy meets girl, boy likes to tie girl up, girl resists her own sexuality and enjoyment. Some of the discussions after a “scene” are great. Ana’s confusion over her feelings regarding being spanked for the first time. She enjoyed it, but that confuses her. Christian encourages her to enjoy it and just try to sit with her feelings. All good stuff.

Ana annoys the living shit out of me. Her inner goddess and subconscious talk to her so much, I’d swear she has multiple personalities. Her inner goddess is a crazy bitch, by the way, doing the meringue with salsa steps and then a cheer leading outfit with pom poms. And her subconscious is a judgemental bitch. Calling her a ho and a hooker for accepting a car, a computer and clothing. It’s distracting me.

If Christian talks one more time about her biting her lip, I might delete the book. WTF? I know he’s some kink master of the business world, but seriously, how hot can it be? Why does it have to come up every five pages? The book is very repetitive. The lips, his mercurial moods, her worrying about how Christian might react to her speaking with a male. I know it’s supposed to make him look extremely possessive, but he just looks like an ass. No one wants to be with an insecure partner like that. I know, I’ve been that insecure. You just wind up making your partner really unhappy and ultimatly yourself. Maybe this is why none of the fifteen have stuck around?

And I dunno, how does he have this much free time on his hands if he has that much money? Doesn’t he have like a hundred companies to oversee? Shouldn’t he spend a little more time at that? I know CEOs make an obsecne amount of money, but I think they also read an obscene amount of reports and tell lots of people what to do. Instead he flies on a whim to see Ana while she is visiting her mother (which she asked him not to do, ass) and then buys the company she works for.

The sex is so-so. The build up is sad. Heat and/or dampness grows in her belly or down there, which I take to mean her knees.

The other thing I don’t get is why Christian doesn’t warm her up to S&M. She’s a virgin, never dated anyone  and certainly never been tied up and spanked. He’s a really crappy Dom if he thinks the best way to secure her is to go full out crazy S&M on her ass (literally). Introduce her slowly to the ideas and the rules, and then once she knows what is going on THEN give her the contract. Not hand her the contract, a laptop and say “research this online”. The Internet is full of crappy advice and half-truth and a lot of opinion.

Story good. BDSM has it’s moments and I like the idea. Characters; annoying as hell. Which stands to reason, they were based on Bella and Edward, who annoyed me as well. For the most part, it does not live up to the hype.

Are you or have you read 50 Shades of Grey? What did you like? What did you dislike? What did you love? Did it turn you into a blushing, damp eighteen year old?

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The state of the world

Well, I am still busy catching up on my RSS reader backlog. Under 400 now. Not a lot to report.

The Damn Fine Words writing contest is open again. You have until Sept 3rd to submit your entry. This time they highlighted this is geared towards business owners who need to write better for their business. I might throw my hat in. I haven’t decided.

I am still waiting for Love Can’t Wait to show up on B&N. Come on Smashwords.

Problogger had a series recently on niche blogging. And it brought it up in my mind again. I love the idea, but I find it hard to tie myself down. What do I chose? They had 3 suggestions video gaming (love, but I don’t have the money to spend buying a new game every week, nor the time to play a new game every week so I could review it. Maybe I could just have a Bioware focused blog?), pets (nope, I can’t wait til I have no pets) and weight loss (I’m underweight from nursing but I eat like shit so I could go that direction).

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Self epublishing: the good and the bad

So my newest book featuring Amy Black (if you recall Doug Black from previous books, this is his younger sister) and Scott Jones. Amy is in the middle of a messy divorce from her professional hockey cheating bastard of a husband. She meets Scott Jones at the bar and they have a one night stand.

The following morning, Amy discovers he’s not her ex’s team mate, but her brother’s best friend. When she needs a favour to board her cat temporarily she turns to Scott. And when he gets injured, he asks her to pay in kind. Before long Amy is wondering if moving back to Ontario is in her best interest.

Before I get to the rambling and cover, I give you ze links. Smashwords:



It is a bit higher on Kobo because of my paranoia about Amazon price match, I set a bit higher price so I wouldn’t have an issue. If you want the 2.99 price go to Smashwords.

Everywhere else, I don’t know yet. Keep looking for it.


So the good is that I can now upload directly to Kobo and have it appear in 72 hours instead of sometimes a month or longer. Amazon takes 12 hours to approve.

The bad is, being Canadian, I still can’t upload to B&N. Which actually is my biggest source of sales. I got a review back from Smashwords premium catalogue and the cover wasn’t right, so I’m  hoping it’s good now and I can get approved ASAP. I’ve heard of people taking over a month. I think Complications over Coffee took ages. Anyway, I digress.

The delay with Smashwords to sony, apple, and Barnes and Noble, makes me wonder if I should send out a newsletter announcement right now or wait til it can be found more widely.

Really drives me crazy because I suspect I have a large percentage of my tiny email list who is B&N buyers, who will have to wait if they want a copy from said retailer. And then I have to rely on them remembering to download me. I dunno about you, but if someone tells me do something later, I forget.