Released Today! BREAK THE CYCLE: An Anti-Bullying Anthology

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Featuring short stories by new and established authors:

Andrew Lynch

Anna-Maria Athanasiou

 Blake Rivers

 Cameron Lincoln

Carrie Elks

Charlotte E Hart

Cliona Woods

David E Gordon

Eleanor Lloyd-Jones

H. A. Robinson

LJ Stock

Muriel Garcia

Sarah Michelle Lynch

Victoria L. James

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OUR CHOSEN CHARITY IS

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 BUY LINKS

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

AMAZON CA

AMAZON AU

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BLURB

break_the_cycle_an__cover_for_kindleTo coincide with National Anti-Bullying Week in the UK, 14 writers have come together to write about bullying from a variety of perspectives. We think this is still an issue that needs more of a spotlight – now more than ever unfortunately. Forget what you read in the media, these stories will tell you what is really going on in schools, behind closed doors and in places you never thought to look. The pressures our social workers face when it comes to bullying and abuse are immense but it doesn’t stop there. Sometimes bullying gets brought to the attention of head teachers, or the police, then the parents (of both the bully and bullied). Maybe a friend steps in. Maybe a stranger steps in. Or even a family pet. So many people are affected by the malicious acts of one or more instigators and the cycle threatens to repeat.

Perhaps, bullying doesn’t stop though. Ever. Maybe it ends in death. Maybe we can’t break the cycle, or can we? Perhaps bullying isn’t straightforward; maybe it’s sometimes mistaken for jest. You really need to read on… because bullying isn’t an issue limited to childhood. It’s all around us and sometimes escalates into devastating abuse. Sometimes it’s verbal, sometimes physical, maybe even both, but whichever form it comes in, it always has an impact. These stories might make you reach out to a certain person in your life you’ve never really questioned until now – because most victims are still suffering in silence. This is for them.

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http://mybook.to/BTC

An Excerpt from Break the Cycle… 5 days to go!

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“Boys and girls. It gives me great pleasure to introduce a former student of mine to you. Alexander McCarron – Alex – is a successful businessman. His company keeps him very busy and he travels all over the country. But, he has come here today to speak to us about an important topic and I want you to give him your full attention.”

I took a swig of the water bottle in my hand and stepped out onto the stage. The room filled with polite clapping as I walked over to the podium, shook hands with the policeman and then with Mrs. Fraser. When I finally turned to face the crowd of people filling the small auditorium, I saw a sea of small faces looking back at me. I grinned, tilted the microphone up and then took one more long look around before I started to speak. As I had done dozens of times before in front of many corporate directors, I straightened my tie and the cuffs of my shirt. Then looked around the room again trying to decide where to start.

I chuckled. “My wife told me I should treat this morning as if I were talking to a group of corporate executives. But I am clearly overdressed today.” I paused while I removed my coat, folding it over a chair and then removing my tie. I pulled the microphone free and walked to the front of the stage. “As Mrs. Fraser said I came here today to talk to you about a very important topic. One that isn’t easy to talk about or even to think about sometimes. But that just makes it even more important to me.” I walked down the stairs. “If you will be patient with me, I want to tell you a story. It might take a while since my wife says I talk too much, but I hope you will listen.” I paused briefly as if giving them a chance to decide, then continued, “It’s a story of a young boy about the same age as some of you. This young boy was in the fifth grade and his father had just moved him and his older brother to a new town. You see his father was in the Army so they moved around a lot. And it was hard to make friends when you were always the new kid. They didn’t have a lot of money either, but the young boy was always dressed in clothes that were neat, clean, and looked they had been ironed that morning.

“From the first day this young boy showed up in school he had a look on his face. He always looked like he was mad at someone. And since he didn’t know anyone, it was assumed that he would be mean to everyone. As the days wore on he proved that he really could be mean to anyone and everyone. He didn’t just ignore the other kids – even those who tried to include him or be nice to him. He seemed to go out of his way to not be nice. Your teachers tell you about respecting others and being nice, but this boy didn’t respect anyone and he was rarely nice.

“We all remember the guidelines of being nice that we learn from our parents. Simple manners like holding the door, or saying please and thank you. This boy would close the door on other kids and he never said please or thank you. And when no one invited him to join in their sports games or just having fun, he seemed to get even meaner. He wasn’t a big kid, but he knew how to throw a punch. One that might not give you a black eye, but it would definitely take your breath away.

“He was always quick to pick a fight with someone, even the older kids if he thought he could win. I remember how he would wait in the park in the morning and if you happened to walk near, he would make you pay for it. And if you didn’t have lunch money then he would use his fists to remind you to have money the next time. There was one other boy whose family didn’t have a lot of money, but he was afraid of this boy so he started to make an extra sandwich or would just go hungry hoping food would be a good substitute for money. Some days it was, but most days he just got hit . . .

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Break the Cycle is an anti-bullying anthology of 14 stories by 14 different authors. Each story features a different scenario.

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Pre-order the e-Book:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Pre-order the paperback direct from SML (UK ONLY):

Google Form

Paperbacks will also be available direct from Amazon nearer the time.

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An Excerpt from Break the Cycle… 7 days to go!

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Excerpt:-

“Detention, again, Justin? That’s…” I shuffled my notes on my untidy desk, hunting for the report handed to me not ten minutes earlier by the headmaster’s secretary. When I finally alighted on her perfect script written in neat lines of violet ink, I all but pounced on it, shaking the wisps of loose hair away from my eyes and scanning it quickly. “… Three times this week. Are you going for a record?”

The teenage boy on the other side of my desk shrugged nonchalantly. His lips were tight and his brow was knitted into a frown that never seemed to leave his face, giving away the fact that though his shrug may have appeared not to care, his eyes told a different story.

I hadn’t had the job for long. Fresh out of college, I was still in the phase of my working life when I believed I could help to change the world one mixed-up teenager at a time.

School counsellor. The title sounded so grand to my young ears, the nameplate on the door of my office giving me a high each time I passed it. This was my chance to prove that not all kids who acted out were lost causes. I would put the world to rights one day, and I would start with St. Bartholomew’s High School.

I hadn’t quite admitted to myself yet that my plans for world peace might not happen quite according to the schedule I’d set for myself. It turned out that teenagers were much more complicated than I’d realised. Case in point – Justin Baines. Fourteen years old, with a string of detentions, suspensions and even a couple of police warnings under his belt already. He was the one that kept eluding me, the one they warned you about in college with their “don’t get too involved” speeches and warnings against caring too much. Despite having spent my entire life being told what a great listener I was, somehow every one of those warnings had fallen on deaf ears. He’d got to me. Without even trying, the kid had me awake at night agonising over how to get through to him . . .

*-*-*-*-*

Break the Cycle is an anti-bullying anthology of 14 stories by 14 different authors. Each story features a different scenario.

btc-instagram-sized

Pre-order the e-Book:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Pre-order the paperback direct from SML (UK ONLY):

Google Form

Paperbacks will also be available direct from Amazon nearer the time.

bookcoverpreview-do

Cover Reveal and Pre-Order – Break the Cycle

Introducing . . .

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Blurb:

To coincide with National Anti-Bullying Week in the UK, 14 writers have come together to write about bullying from a variety of perspectives. We think this is still an issue that needs more of a spotlight – now more than ever unfortunately. Forget what you read in the media, these stories will tell you what is really going on in schools, behind closed doors and in places you never thought to look. The pressures our social workers face when it comes to bullying and abuse are immense but it doesn’t stop there. Sometimes bullying gets brought to the attention of head teachers, or the police, then the parents (of both the bully and bullied). Maybe a friend steps in. Maybe a stranger steps in. Or even a family pet. So many people are affected by the malicious acts of one or more instigators and the cycle threatens to repeat.

Perhaps, bullying doesn’t stop though. Ever. Maybe it ends in death. Maybe we can’t break the cycle, or can we? Perhaps bullying isn’t straightforward; maybe it’s sometimes mistaken for jest. You really need to read on… because bullying isn’t an issue limited to childhood. It’s all around us and sometimes escalates into devastating abuse. Sometimes it’s verbal, sometimes physical, maybe even both, but whichever form it comes in, it always has an impact. These stories might make you reach out to a certain person in your life you’ve never really questioned until now – because most victims are still suffering in silence. This is for them.

Word length: 70,000 words +

Universal link to pre-order: mybook.to/BTC

Release date: November 14th

Sarah’s review (the editor):

Break the Cycle: An Anti-Bullying AnthologyBreak the Cycle: An Anti-Bullying Anthology by Sarah Michelle Lynch

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I read all of these stories, I was reminded how amid the hustle and bustle of life, it’s so easy to overlook those around us who are coping on their own and not telling us what’s going on in their lives. Each and every story presented here is individual, many of them set in the UK and some set in the USA.

Essentially, this is a book of hope. This is a book proving we can break the cycle. Maybe it won’t be easy, but we can do it. Some of these stories may send you into sensory overload and some may even leave you devastated. Some stories will lift you up, others might prompt you into action. Many will have you nodding your head or being taken back to a familiar scenario of the past.

The main message of “Break the Cycle”, is that children are what matters and as children, we are at our most vulnerable and most easily influenced. It’s those less fortunate than others that we really need to protect because among them are potential future leaders, policemen and women, teachers, poets, artists and icons.

Due to some adult language and upsetting situations, I would give this a recommended reading age of 12+ but parental discretion is advised.

ALL PROCEEDS WILL BE DONATED TO THE NSPCC. Visit their website: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/

This book will be available in paperback as well as e-book. Keep an eye on Sarah’s FB page for when you can order your copy direct from her: http://facebook.com/SarahMLynch

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*Now Live in Paperback*

THEY SAY“They Say I’m Doing Well” is a collection of blogs about overall mental health and it has now become a paperback. 29 authors came together, uniting in the hope of discussing matters often brushed under the carpet. In the process the book is supporting Mind, the UK mental health charity championing improvements to mental health services across the country. £1 from every copy will be donated to Mind.

From poetry to short stories, first-hand experiences to monologues and matters of the heart, “They Say I’m Doing Well” aims to reassure others they are not alone. You can read everybody’s words on this blog for FREE: www.sarahmichellelynch.net/blog

Words have the power to change lives; to educate and nurture, to help bring people together. The authors have put their hearts and souls into this project. Issues tackled include post-natal depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, stress, eating disorders, the strains of coping with physical illness, overcoming cancer, domestic abuse and suicide.

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You can reach the authors who contributed to the project by clicking through these links: Alexandra North, Amelia J Hunter, Andie M Long, Anna-Maria Athanasiou, Audrina Lane, Blake Rivers, Carrie Elks, Charlotte Hart, Claire C Riley, David E Gordon, EJ Shortall, Eleanor Lloyd-Jones, Francesca Marlow, Glenn Haigh, Grace Harper, HA Robinson, Hemmie Martin, Lavinia Urban, Lisa Fulham, Mandy Gibson, Muriel Garcia, Rachel Hague, Rebecca Sherwin, Sarah Michelle Lynch, Scarlett Flame, Stevie Turner, SJ Warner, T A McKay and Victoria L James.

To buy the paperback and support Mind, follow these BUY LINKS:

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1523952636

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1523952636/

Or to support our project with more than a £1 donation, visit our Just Giving page to give a little more: https://www.justgiving.com/Sarah-Lynch16 – your donation goes direct to the Mind charity.

Thank you x

#MondayBlogs – Why Write Serials?

Many modern authors (myself included) have been accused of writing serials and I quote “to earn more money” from eBook sales (I BLOODY WISH). So when my husband (and editor) suggested I write this blog post, I thought why not?

So, serials. Personally I’ve read quite a few erotic serials. I like them. It can feel a treat to download a series in one go because serials are quick to write and quick to read. Serials by nature are full of suspense and keep you wanting more. Good serials even keep you coming back to re-read them. I understand the appetite amongst readers for serials. Sometimes, a short is just what we want and need—a break from the heavy novels we might otherwise be absorbing ourselves in.

One of the most famous serials of all is Sherlock Holmes, serialised in various publications. There are many more short stories in the Holmes collection than there are novels. It worked! People still love Holmes to this day. My husband has the anthology and has read the whole collection. In winter on a stormy night, we often pull out the Jeremy Brett DVDs but I am also partial to a bit of Cumberbatch, too (aside from the last episode of the most recent series, but that is another matter…)

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Why did it work for Holmes, then? Well, he was/is a well-loved character and sometimes, people just want a short story to get their teeth into on a bus/train journey or over a nice hot cup of tea on a rainy afternoon. A short story can be a real treat because you know it won’t take long to read and it doesn’t feel such a commitment, therefore it’s more casually enjoyed. When the main character is already established, too, there is no need for the wider context to be expanded and therefore, a reader can get stuck in straight away.

I’ve always been told writing short stories is a great way to hone your craft. For years I avoided short stories though, because I felt I would be contained by them. What I realised when I finally sat down to write a short story, was that when you’re dealing with something in the 20 to 40,000 word region than say 100,000, you write tighter and neater. It’s a psychological thing. You also unconsciously strive to achieve more within that smaller word count. Over time I’ve come to appreciate that working on a few different projects at once can enlighten the whole process you’re going through as a writer. You can work on something else if your current WIP has come to a standstill. Different skills enrich the whole—and everything becomes so streamlined, the number of drafts you find yourself producing lessens and lessens.

1512754_578804148893013_2097469514533575279_nAs a reader, sometimes I want to be shocked and taken on an unexpected journey and I think short stories are the format for some of the more adventurous tales out there. Plus, short stories allow the reader so much input of their own. Personally I’m finding writing short stories liberating and the scope to take characters onwards and develop their back stories is so exciting.

Sometimes a writer just needs a bit of R&R, just like a reader does. Some readers don’t have time to dedicate themselves to a novel, some readers find staring at words for long periods of time difficult. Often, I put books up for FREE and I do so to engage a readership and introduce a character or a story.

Sometimes, we just want to write something fun and frivolous and sometimes, just sometimes, other people get onboard with a serialisation. The beauty of a serial is you don’t know where it is going to go and anything could happen. The series could develop into something beyond your wildest dreams, and all from a little seed you sowed with the thought, I’m just going to write this and have fun!

2328ea02b397fa3f8b59fd74a55ace49Why do I write? I ask this question all the time because I constantly need to remind myself (writing is genuinely hard, day in, day out, but a writer writes because it’s who they are). I write to be free and I write because I know each time I put my hands to the keys, I’m constantly finding more in the tanks. Sometimes you just don’t know the value of something until you embrace it. I just look at the likes of Sylvia Day and I can totally appreciate why even she wants to write serials, still. After all, why do marathon runners not bother with 26-mile training sessions? At the end of the day, whether we are very successful or have a small, loyal readership, we’re all just writers beneath and the writer we start out as is the person to some extent we will always remain. Pressure and expectation added, it becomes a whole new ballgame of course, but we’re still just writers. We embark on a writing life with nothing but a glint in our eyes and a hope in our hearts and in the beginning everything comes from the very earnest parts of ourselves, until we learn how to hone.

You give an animal a cage and one day, they are going to try to escape. You give them some toys, but one day they are going to get bored of them. It’s the same as branding a writer a novelist or an essayist or a playwright or whatever. Call someone a poet but be prepared to be shocked if they one day produce a novel instead. Readers and sometimes the hype machine makes an author, it is that simple. But make an author all about Harry Potter and she might have to use a nom de plume when she wants to write something else. Because at the end of the day, JKR is still that author she started out as with just a wing and a prayer and her love of words. Giving a writer success is beautiful and scary and something I deeply fear because I’m a writer at the end of the day and to be told I can’t write this or that, or being held hostage by a publishing contract… would be like clipping the wings from a bird and telling them to get used to walking. To be judged so heavily on what I’ve written before would probably shake my love of this altogether. The opportunity to experiment is a privilege and it’s why writers have pseudonyms. Many of us write serials or companion novellas or prequels or whatever, because many, many readers like to read the extra added details. Variety is the spice of life and without it, there really wouldn’t be any creativity.

Review and Interview

Thanks to Christina Harding for this… CLICK HERE … or read below for the interview …

What made you want to write erotica?

Story of O heavily influenced me but I have to say the reason I chose to write erotica was that I had a story in my mind to tell, and it was meant for erotica. Charlotte has chronic low self-esteem which she battles during a long, difficult journey. I talked to someone exactly like her who had the same issues and didn’t know how their behaviour came across until someone with the same thing turned around and said, “Hey, you have low self-esteem. You don’t have to suffer with it.” You may ask how does someone not know they have it? Well, you’d have to read Charlotte’s full story in A Fine Profession to find out – and discover how low self-esteem might wreck your sex life, which is obviously a very important aspect of any healthy relationship.

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

Oh yeah. I have done lots of jobs that didn’t involve writing and I think actually, they were key to developing me as a writer. I always knew I’d need a bit of life experience before I could class myself as anything of a writer. I’ve worked in professional spheres and the service industries and it has helped because variety in characters fascinates me.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published?

Meeting readers who say, “I rarely read a book I connect with so deeply. Characters I can relate to. Thank you.” This kind of response makes it all worthwhile. A writer’s work is never going to appeal to everyone, but for those it does, it can really make a difference to them.

Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?

Horror. It’s just not my thing, at all. I’d never get anything done because I’d be sat at my laptop with a pillow over my head, not typing!

Your thoughts on receiving book reviews – the good and the bad –

Of course every writer loves a five star review. We love our own books and love it when someone else loves it too. I also like reviews that are in-depth and perhaps point out what a reader did and didn’t like about the story or characters. If you find out what your writing strengths are, you can bear that in mind for next time. Then there’s the one-star review. If you look at Goodreads there are some people who place one-star ratings even on books that haven’t been published yet! Either because they just didn’t like the sound of the blurb or the cover or the author (often for no real reason). It’s not fair, at all. The one-star rating without any review doesn’t really explain the bad points about a book and says, to me, that the reviewer never read it at all. The most horrible thing a reviewer could ever do is spoiler a book. I had that once and it really upset me. Sure, they had issues with the book. However, other people loved it and the spoiler in question might have ruined it for them, should they check out the reviews beforehand. Spoilers are not for public areas, but for book clubs discussions and social groups. Fair enough! As a reader myself, some spoilers have put me off reading a book everyone else is raving about because I already know the twist. What’s the point after that?

What is the hardest and easiest part about being an erotica writer?

The easiest part (which leads onto the hardest part) is that I know what turns women on and I write it, and it works. The hardest part is looking your friends and family in the eye when they know you write such stuff.

How do you feel about your life as a writer now? Do you regret any past decisions you’ve made?

You can’t regret anything as a writer because writing is like life; you live it and learn it. My books reflect my journey and how I have developed as a writer and a person. I’m proud to share that journey with others.

Have you ever written anything else?

Yes, I’ve written four novels set in a dystopian world. I have also written plenty of poetry, short stories and journalistic material. I recently released a contemporary romance and also, I am currently working on a romantic thriller.

How hard is it to write a book?

It’s easy to write a book if you have an idea. It’s hard to edit it for an audience who need the words in some sort of readable order, without all your own writerly indulgences getting in the way.

What is your favorite or best thing about being an Indie writer?

As an Indie, I have total control over my work. I don’t have a rule book that I have to stick to and I can write whatever I want. For an artist, that is the dream. I started out in this being very aware of how hard it is to be an Indie but I feel some of the stories I wrote were very cathartic for me – and the best thing is that I’ve met loads of other Indies who have enjoyed my work, recommended it to others, and even have let me read their stuff too. I’ve read an awful lot of good Indie books I wouldn’t have known about unless I was part of this network too.

FREE erotic short stories

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UK Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00F2RRHXO
US Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F2RRHXO

FREE today, tomorrow and Saturday.

You do not need a kindle. Download your Kindle app for free and read on the go. Perfect for short journeys or a little lamplight reading!

Enjoy!

New eBook Available Next Week…

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Eight Erotic Short Stories

The Chambermaid learnt her craft within the secretive confines of The Lodge, hidden deep within Nottingham‘s Sherwood Forest.

In the hotel she worked in, she used her skills as a domme to teach men lessons they took home to their wives.

Word of her service spread and she became renowned; synonymous with enriching the sex lives of so many.

But something happened… she fell in love. She left the Master of her heart behind… for some reason.

As she turns to professional domination as a dominatrix, she recalls her adventures both in a professional and personal capacity.

What’s clear is – this is a woman of complexity. But perhaps, her innermost thoughts – those of her true self – may answer some questions about why she does what she does. 

**Content for adults only**