August MacGregor

Celebrating Sensuality. Intended for mature audiences, 18 and over


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‘Lucky’ Excerpt

Following up on yesterday’s post about my new novel, Lucky, being free until Sunday, June 25, I wanted to post an excerpt from the novel. Here’s the start of chapter 1:
 

*******

Hugo Freeman stared in disbelief at the lottery ticket in his hand, then at the television screen. But the string of numbers had vanished from the screen, replaced by the guy with poofed-up hair and cheese-ball grin and shiny suit.

“There you have it, folks,” the TV guy said in his ain’t everything great voice. “Congratulations to the lucky winners! If you’re not one of those, be sure to try again next week. Who knows when your luck will turn on the Cloud Nine Lottery? Good night folks!”

Cut to a commercial for some kind of drug to alleviate some kind of painful symptoms.

Hugo’s attention was more on the ticket than the screen. Did he win? The numbers that were on TV had seemed to match those on his ticket. Maybe some of the numbers were close. Was there a 39 in the winning numbers, or had it been 29?

Impossible that he matched every winning number. The chances of matching were astronomically against him — and everyone else who played Cloud Nine every week with the hope of picking the five regular numbers and the Lightning Strike number. Thousands of people across the many states where Cloud Nine was offered. All those people handing over a dollar for each ticket, buying several tickets every time.

Hugo had seen it happen regularly. He played regularly, too. Five tickets each week, never the same number. Some people played the same numbers with meanings: birthdays, anniversaries, and such. Hugo didn’t understand the idea behind that strategy. As if luck was somehow bound to catch up with numbers meaningful to a certain person.

It was like driving the same car on the same road and thinking the road would end up in a paradise of sexy beachgoers who handed you a tropical drink and invited you to join the party. But, in reality, the road led to the same Goddamn places it had always did. Same bullshit houses, same bullshit stores.

He would find out the winning numbers tomorrow, at work. He’d wait until Darnell was in his office doing paperwork, then Hugo would pull out the ticket and compare his numbers against the official ones. The numbers had looked close on TV, but that didn’t win anything. No prize for close. Only right on the money got you the money.

Hold on. The Internet didn’t provide answers to everything, but it gave a lot of answers. Would Cloud Nine’s website have the numbers so soon after the little plastic numbered balls were lifted out of the glass box, where they swirled in a mini tornado? It was worth checking out.

Hugo turned on his old laptop and retrieved a Budweiser from the fridge while the computer woke up. Taking a drink of beer, he knew he didn’t win. He never did. He was used to the slowness of his laptop, but it irritated him as he sat on the couch and watched the computer on the coffee table. He wanted to be done with this chore. See that his numbers were close losers, then he could wrap up Friday night.

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‘Lucky’ Published & Free

Lucky cover

Well, plans don’t always unfold smoothly. My novel wasn’t published during May, as I hoped — but it’s only a little late.

Lucky is not only available, but free until Sunday, June 25. Afterwards, this ebook will cost $2.99.

This story grew out of the mention of a movie that two characters in my novel The Sweet Taste of Revenge watch in a hotel room. I liked the idea of the movie, so I decided to write the story behind it. The movie was described as a comedy, but the novel was written to be more romantic and erotic than humorous (still, I hope readers find some parts funny).

The plot:

Hugo Freeman has become an (almost) overnight millionaire. Lots of people play the lottery in the hope of quick riches, and Hugo is one of the very lucky ones, giving him the freedom to quit his job at a convenience store and not have to worry about working for the rest of his life.

Then come the big questions: What to do next? Where to live? Stay in the (fictional) small town of Linden, Ohio — or relocate to a more exciting locale, as benefitting a rich bachelor?

Lovely temptations lay in exciting Miami, and Hugo enjoys them during a vacation. On his return home, Hugo’s friends claim he’s become a stranger in town. But help to find his way is not far off — and it comes with delicious cupcakes.

Please note this story contains mature content meant for readers of 18 years and older. The story includes descriptions of sexual activity between consenting adults. Please do not read if that offends you.

Ebook is available from Amazon.


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May Plans

Once again, several months have passed since I last posted here. As before my previous post, I’ve been quite busy with writing, working, and family. But everyone I know is quite busy, so I’m certainly not alone with that.

One of the projects that’s been keeping me busy is River — the working title of a novel I finished writing last year, and I’ve been editing it this year. I’m pleased to say that I plan on self-publishing the novel in May. The editing process  seemed to take longer than it did, but I’ve grown to I appreciate the process of re-shaping of the story. Compared to the first draft, it’s more stream-lined and tighter. Hopefuly, making it a more enjoyable read.

I’ll give more info when the book becomes live on Amazon, as I’m still working on making it a little tighter. But it feels good to be almost finished. With the warmer temperatures of spring, it’s like the book is coming out of hibernation.


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Pre-Release Sale for Revenge

I’m excited to say that my new self-published novel, The Sweet Taste of Revenge, is now in a pre-release sale. I’ve never done a pre-order before, so we’ll see how it goes.

Here’s the blurb for the book:

 The blonde hair on her husband’s shoulder doesn’t belong to Michelle Brower.

Joe tries to explain that the hair got on his pajamas from a previous guest in the hotel room where he stayed during a business trip to Atlanta. But Michelle has her suspicions. Those suspicions lead her to a private investigator, one out of the mystery novels she enjoys reading.

This begins Michelle’s journey of discovery, pain, change, and the searing wish to exact revenge upon Joe. Give him a taste of his own medicine. But plans don’t always unfold smoothly and as expected. Ultimately, though, Michelle realizes that revenge doesn’t have to be an eye for an eye. It can be something quite different. And still taste very sweet.

The sale price is 99 cents, and this will jump to $3.99 after the novel is published on June 1. So you get to save a few bucks for a coffee to drink while you read. The ebook is available at Amazon.

I’ll share an excerpt from the book in another post, as I first want to say something about writing this book.

The last several months have been busy with editing the story, and I’m relieved that the doubts nagging me earlier (described here) have calmed. Doubt can be helpful in keeping me on my toes, rather than me becoming complacent. But it was nice for the doubts to simmer down in the second round of editing.

The general doubts of Is the story any good? and Will anyone want to read the book? will probably remain in the back of my mind for all my stories. Okay, let them be there. I can live with that.

However, this book carried the specific doubt of As a man who has never been divorced, can I appropriately write about a main female character who has?

After reading and editing the story a couple of times, I like how the journey unfolds. My imagination decided what Michelle Brower chose, and what happened to her. I hope I was fair to her as a character.

And I guess readers would have a variety of opinions about the events and Michelle’s choices, whether they are realistic or not. Reviews on Amazon have shown me that readers disagree widely on books. A book can have five stars with glowing reviews, then one-starred reviews where the reader said the book was a waste of their time.

Also, a few words on writing beyond sex scenes…

I developed a pattern in writing erotica where I believe I focused too much on sex scenes. Yes, that’s what makes erotica different from other genres. But erotica can expand beyond titillation and into other wonders and frustrations of relationships. How people treat each other outside the bedroom, with their clothes on. Stories can include emotional connections — and disconnections.

The Sweet Taste of Revenge is probably the most romantic story I’ve written. It has sex, yes, but it has moments of characters enjoying togetherness.

I feel that I’ve grown as a writer, and that’s a wonderful feeling. Expanding to include some of the complexities of how people treat one another. There’s a great deal in those complexities. Sources for more stories. Hopefully, many more.


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Ides of August: Free E-books!

August free e-books day

Julius Caesar was told to beware the Ides of March, but he didn’t listen. Amazon had their Prime Day on the Ides of July.

Now we’ve made it to the Ides of August, but you don’t have to beware it: because the books below are available today and tomorrow for FREE. And Brutus is nowhere in sight — I think he’s vacationing in the Caribbean, actually.

Please know that these are erotica and romantic stories, with explicit descriptions of sex, so these e-books are meant for readers who are 18 years and older. Maybe these aren’t the best stories for beach reading, but if that’s your thing, then go right ahead. Or, if you’re not on a beach, hopefully these stories would heat you up as if you were 🙂

If you like what you read, please write a book review on Amazon — reviews are valuable to us self-publishers. Actually, if you don’t like the book, feel free to write a review saying why. It’ll be feedback that helps me as a writer.

Click on the e-book title to jump to the book’s Amazon page. The books are arranged roughly by their size, from the first two being novels to the last few being short stories.

*****

Bavarian Beauty. Simon Edwards has a fetish for dirndls (the traditional Bavarian dress) which causes him to endure many disappointing dates with non-dirndl wearing women. But how far is he willing to go to deliver on someone else’s fantasy in return for receiving his?

An Eager Audience: A Cuckold Erotic Romance. Kim Rowland is stunned when her husband — Oscar — tells her that he is turned on by imagining her being with another man. Oscar explains that this is called a cuckold fantasy, which is also known as hotwife. This news comes as quite a turn-around, since Oscar used to be upset about Kim flirting with other men. When Kim gets over her surprise at Oscar’s sudden confession, she realizes that if they go down this road, she could achieve one of her fantasies: a threesome with two men. This story follows the path that Kim and Oscar take in discussing their fantasies, shopping for men on a dating website, and more.

Beltane: Night of Magic and Romance. Beltane is a Gaelic festival to celebrate fertility and the arrival of the warm season, rejoicing in the land as it awoke from the long slumber of winter. Katelyn is approached by a few men who wish to celebrate Beltane night by rolling in the woods with her, but she’s put off by their drunkenness and selfishness. Another man, Shandon, is much less cocky and drunk, but his conversation with Katelyn is interrupted by Queen Mab — queen of the faeries — and she whisks them to the spirit world, where Shandon is challenged to see what he is made of, and how much he cares for Katelyn in his budding love. Available for free only on August 15, as this book only has a day left for free promotion.

The Troll’s Bridge. A man dies across the street … A man dressed as a troll visits Sophie on Halloween… A man with piercing slate eyes appears in the house across the street. Strange things are happening in Sophie’s neighborhood. Will the man with the piercing eyes step up and give her the control — and the energetic sex that her mostly complacent husband doesn’t give her?

A Honeymoon For Our Lives Apart. Tabitha is an older woman whose husband has cheated on her for a while, and she has parried with affairs of her own. Including an affair with Ethan, but it grows serious when Ethan falls in love with her. With a heavy heart, Tabitha breaks off the relationship. But before they completely call it quits, she invites him to a honeymoon for their lives apart, to be spent indulging in a lush hotel.

Finding Her Rush. Henry doesn’t know what he’s doing wrong when it comes to the bedroom. Even though his girlfriend, Alison, says she enjoys having sex with him, she lacks the enthusiasm behind those words. Alison’s enthusiasm comes out in other ways: lively conversations, fun dinners, and dancing in a club. And Henry is too timid to come right out and ask the reason behind this change. But then, Alison takes Henry on a trip that changes everything in his search for answers.

Nurse House Call. Mr. Wombly is a donor at a sperm bank to earn extra cash, since he doesn’t have a full-time job and is working odd jobs to make ends meet. Rachel and Beverly are two staffers at the sperm bank who are impressed with the volume of his donation, but question if he’s actually offering fresh donations or, for some reason, is sneaking older donations and adding to his fresh stuff. So they barge in on him during one of his appointments to see for themselves. After they have some sexy fun with Mr. Wombly, is just one time enough for the two hot staffers?

Steakhouse Love. Where the steaks are thick and juicy. The ambiance is romantic. Yes, passion is in the steakhouse tonight. This story follows three couples as they dine in a steakhouse and act on their lust in different ways. Two of the couples pull off wickedly fun activities in the steakhouse itself, while the third couple carries their passion back to their hotel.

The Old Ball Game. As the closing pitcher in baseball, you’ve got to have intense concentration to get strikeouts and close down the game with your team winning. So it doesn’t help with a fan behind home plate flashes her breast at you. Joe complains to his manager about the fan interference, and that gets Ashley in hot water with the stadium’s head of security, Leo Mackey. But Ashley denies it all — as does her good friend, Lynn, who sat next to Ashley in the game. And when Joe is brought to Leo Mackey’s office, they argue about if the flashing even happened. That’s when things get sexy.

Peep Show. Jason promised his girlfriend, Carla, a surprise tonight, and he delivers with something she didn’t expect. Carla’s dressed up for a sexy night out, and she soaks in all the attention she gets as they hop through three bars to lubricate before they reach Jason’s surprise: a sex shop. When the couple enters a booth in the back of the shop, it’s the peep show that grabs a firm hold of Carla’s attention…. but she gives it right back as she follows Jason’s lead and gets into the sexiness of the place.

Beware the Ides of March. In Shakespeare’s play, it was the warning the soothsayer gave to Julius Caesar. And it’s the warning that Laura receives from her husband, Grant, in a text message. But what does it mean? Laura has no idea, but puts it to the side as she works hard in her office on a Saturday to finish a big job. When she returns home, she finds out what the warning means. How it leads to giving up control, feeling the danger and helplessness of giving into Grant’s commands. And by giving into him, feeling the wondrous heights of pleasure that come with it.


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Surprises and Surprises

I’m floating on cloud nine right now because my novel is on Amazon’s bestsellers of erotica for Kindle ebooks! This past week, Tara & Steve: A Tale of Swingers entered the top 100 list at #100, and it has fluctuated around the list. This morning, it reached #84! (The list is updated hourly, so the position will definitely keep changing.)

How the hell did this happen?

I haven’t written a blog post showcasing the book, and I’ve tweeted about it a couple of times. This was far from the strategy I’ve read that authors should do, in carpeting all available social media sites to get the word out about your book.

Because once the book was published on Amazon, I felt elated about finishing it — and then I went to work on another story. That’s been my mindset of late: not blogging and promoting as much on Twitter, but focusing more on crafting stories.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m delighted that something clicked with this book. It has easily out-sold my other two novels — Bavarian Beauty and An Eager Audience: A Cuckold Erotic Romance — as well as my various novellas and short stories.

Whatever the reason, I’ve been surprised to see my book among the list of bestsellers. To put it frankly, it’s a place I didn’t imagine being. I simply hoped people would buy my books and enjoy them. Enough to someday bring in an income where I could write full time.

Here’s the cover of the book:

Tara & Steve ebook cover

Another surprise is that my book isn’t selling thousands of copies a day to get on the bestseller list. The number is actually fewer than 60 a day — when you add in the Kindle Unlimited downloads to the actual sales.

I’m thrilled to sell that many. I certainly haven’t expected to sell thousands of books a day. That atmosphere belongs to E.L. James, whose Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy looks to be firmly in the top three slots of Amazon’s erotica bestseller list.

I have to mention one other surprise here, because I’ve been scratching my head about it for a while. Every day, the most popular post on my blog is How to Talk Dirty (and Romantic) in German. It’s caused me to ask the same question: How the hell did this happen? The post is from the two weeks of Octoberfest 2014, when I blogged every day about some of the landscape, music, food, and history of Bavaria — all to promote Bavarian Beauty. Out of those posts (and all my other posts), the one on talking dirty in German stands at the top of the heap.

Maybe the post’s popularity is due to a link at streettalksavvy.com, where I got a few of the phrases. Maybe, maybe not. But while I can’t figure out the reason, I have to hope that people out there are using the list to do some sexy talking in German 🙂

Until next time, meinen Lieblings!


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Beltane: Night of Magic & Romance

novel cover for Beltane: Night of Magic & Romance

FREE for 5 days! Starting today, you can get your hot hands on the ebook, Beltane: Night of Magic & Romance at Amazon.

This is a novella of romance and fantasy. Not necessarily a fantasy with tons of fighting, like in The Lord of the Rings. This story is much simpler and gentler than that epic trilogy.

Beltane is a Gaelic festival to celebrate fertility and the arrival of the warm season, rejoicing in the land as it awoke from the long slumber of winter. Of leaves appearing in their wondrous green. Of icy streams thawing and flowing swiftly once more, their lovely gurgling like music in the forest. Of flowers blossoming, their colors bursting with happiness, the joy of being alive once more.

On Beltane night, two bonfires were built in a field, with cattle led between the fires. Revelers — who wore crowns of intertwined flowers and herbs — danced around the bonfires and leaped over them.

And revelers emulated the union of the Goddess with the God of Beltane by joining together in coupling.

In this story, Katelyn is approached by a few men who wish to celebrate Beltane night by rolling in the woods with her. But she’s put off by their drunkenness and selfishness. So she tricks them in a way that allows her to sneak away from the two bonfires and have a rest by herself.

However, her rest is interrupted by yet another man. Shandon. Who is not like the other men in the village. He’s not cocky and sloppy from ale. Instead, he’s soft-spoken and gentle. And he appreciates Katelyn beyond simply wanting to have selfish sex with her.

But even another interruption crashes their conversation. Queen Mab — queen of the faeries — arrives on a tall horse and offers them a visit to the spirit world. A way to experience magic like they’ve never seen before.

In the spirit world, Shandon has to pass three challenges to see what he is made of, and how much he cares for Katelyn in his budding love. And with the three challenges, things get interesting — and fun 🙂

Please note: There are a couple of sex scenes in this story that include explicit descriptions. This is not erotica, as the whole story is not just about sex. Rather, it is erotic romance and fantasy. And it is meant for mature readers 18 years and older only.

Here’s a little more about the background of Beltane:

“It was a celebration of the sexual union of the God and Goddess, and the creative energies born from their love-making. These energies were thought to bless the land, animals and people, bestowing health and fertility on all. And so the people of the Celtic tribes, unencumbered by prudish morals, took the opportunity to emulate the gods and spent Beltane night in feverish coupling. According to many sources, it didn’t matter if the partners knew one another previously or not, for on that night, all women were the Goddess incarnate and all men, the God. But it wasn’t just sex; it was a holy union blessed by the gods.” (Quoted from Nicole Evelina’s Through the Mists of Time website.)

For more information about this festival, see its Wikipedia article, An Aussie Wytch’s post (which also offers advice if you wish to celebrate Beltane, too), and Nicole Evelina’s article. These were all helpful to me in my writing this story.