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:
 

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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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Stopping By

It’s certainly been a while since my last post, and please know that I’m still alive and kicking 🙂

This past summer, I was tugged in different directions that took me away from posting on my blog. Increased work in my day job was the main culprit.

Outside of my day job, I questioned if I should continue writing under my pen name. If I retired August MacGregor, that would simplify my writing life, allowing me to focus more on writing under my real name.

This question has popped up several times before, so it’s nothing new. The question visits me every so often, under the temptation of simplifying life.

However, the stories have a stronger temptation. Stories that fit under my real name’s writing, then more romantic and erotic stories that fit better under August. These stories have urged me to keep going, saying they want me to complete them.

I’ve listened to a couple of the stories, and I finished the initial drafts for two August MacGregor novels. That quieted down the urges a bit — and it felt good to reach that point with the stories. I’ve put the initial drafts to the side, and I’ll go back to them early next year. (Billionaire and River are their working titles.)

In the meantime, my attention turned to writing stories that fit under my real name. Which means the activity that has suffered is posting here on my blog. Unfortunately, it will continue to suffer as I keep putting more energy into my day job, family responsibilities, and fiction writing.

I don’t have a clear sense of when I’ll come back to being on WordPress regularly. I miss posting, and I miss reading posts from my blogging friends. I hope you guys are doing well.


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Why I Write Erotic and Romantic Fiction

I originally wrote this by a request from Elizabeth over at Just Add Tea, and I wanted to add it here after reading Emmanuelle de Maupassant’s post “Why Write Erotic Fiction?” that offers a wonderful variety of voices (I reposted it yesterday).

First, a little background in how I got to the point where I’m writing erotic and romantic stories. Several years ago, I saw an online contest for erotic short stories. I was writing general fiction at the time, and I figured, Why not? It’ll be fun to try something new. I won an honorable mention, and that was soon followed by an invitation to join other authors in contributing to Ruthie’s Club, a subscription website that offered erotica — with each story accompanied with an original illustration at the beginning. I enjoyed being a part of the site, and many stories came out of that relationship.

Unfortunately, Ruthie’s Club shut down around 2010. That left all those stories no longer published — and a lot of ideas in my head for more stories.

Then I learned about this little thing called “self-publishing.” You mean I could prepare an ebook and put it up for sale on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords? I figured, Why not? It’ll be fun to try something new.

Yes, that’s a recurring theme for me. It drives part of my writing. Because stories can come in forms of fantasies that I want to see played out and see where they go. I imagine that scores of people have fantasies, and authors move those from their heads to the computer screen (or typewriter if you’re old school like that).

And sex scenes can be electric to write. Sometimes, my fingers can’t type fast enough to get the action out. Thank goodness I can type fairly well, and don’t have to hunt-and-peck — which would’ve driven me bonkers from impatience.

However, my writing is not just about the sex. (Okay, you got me: that part of storytelling is fun.) Deeply satisfying is writing about people connecting on emotional levels — not just physical. I’ve noticed that my writing in the past couple of years has come to include this. Before, I was pretty single-minded on writing about people simply enjoying pleasure. Now, though, the characters also enjoy togetherness. And that has broadened my writing to involve scenes besides sex.

In turn, that expanded my stories from only the erotica category to romance. Which is something I never saw coming. I read a mixture of stories, including general fiction, thrillers, and erotica. I don’t come from reading a vast library of romantic books. So I feel as a newbie in the field. (By the way, the romance that I’ve read which has probably stuck with me the most is The Lover by Marguerite Duras. An exquisite book.)

Relationships and emotions are complex, and I probably capture only a fraction of them in my stories. I’m fascinated by relationships and emotions, so there’s plenty for me to explore. My most recent novel is The Sweet Taste of Revenge, in which the main character divorces her cheating husband and plans to get revenge on him. That’s been an interesting challenge. I’m not a woman, nor have I been divorced. But in writing the book, I hope I was fair to the character. It was quite a ride.

Speaking of a ride, I suppose that’s the reasoning behind why I write. It’s the rush that I get when I take an idea and turn it into a story. That can be with an erotic and romantic story — or tamer stuff. I use August MacGregor as a pen name for the Rated Mature content and my real name for the rest. Writing is way too much fun to commit to only one type of story.

With my August pen name, I try to tell stories of people enjoying the sensual things in life and connecting with each other — but making mistakes along the way. I find that to be another part that brings interest to writing. Because things don’t always proceed perfectly. When a character is in love with someone, the second character may not feel the same way in return. People cheat in relationships. Not every couple has simultaneous orgasms that are mind-blowing every single time.

Which brings the hope that a story with people making mistakes is more interesting for the reader. Because I’d love for my stories to be a ride for readers, just like the stories were a ride to put together.


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Eric Keys

Yesterday, someone found my blog with the search phrase “where can i buy eric keys writing,” since I posted about his short stories last year. That made me wonder what Eric is up to, as I hadn’t read a new post from him in a while. I had guessed he took a long break from blogging — something I’m guilty of, since I did it for six months to focus more on my day job and my writing. But I discovered that his blog, Blood Glory Grace, is no longer available.

That led me to check out Amazon and Smashwords to see if Eric’s stories are still on those sites. But they’re not.

I remember Eric had an older blog that he shut down, then he started a new blog after an extended break. Now he’s closed up shop again.

I can imagine the decision to remove his stories and close his blog was a difficult one. It takes a lot of time and energy to craft stories, and then it takes a courageous leap to put your writing in public, for others to judge. Eric had fans, as shown by the comments on his blog and the reviews for his books on Smashwords and Amazon.

Eric’s stories were under dark erotica, and they were a combination of horror and sex. They didn’t pull punches in confronting the reader in bold images of these. But they weren’t simply a shock-fest; they had greater depth than that. They had something to say about religion and relationships and family and tolerance.

I’m sad to see that Eric pulled out his e-books for others to experience. And I hope he’s still writing stories. Writers tell stories to get them from our head to the page (or screen). We’re our first audience. I hope he’s writing for himself and finding a creative outlet for his vivid imagination.


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Two Tree Branches

Inspired by fellow author Nicci Haydon, I tried writing a story of four sentences. It’s a good challenge, one that I enjoyed as I took a break from editing a novel. Quite a shift in speed to come up with a story in a limited amount of space…

Two Tree Branches

Travis thought of Denise from accounting as aloof until, at the office happy hour, they both complained about the soulless song playing in the background at the bar, behind their co-workers’ chatting. They launched into a tipsy conversation about U2 — with Denise firmly resolved that their finest album was The Joshua Tree, and Travis arguing the band hit more powerfully with War. They finally agreed to disagree and played three rounds of darts, all of which Denise won, then they called it a night — going their separate ways in Uber rides. The next Friday night, after dinner at a Thai restaurant then going to Denise’s apartment, they first kissed as “With or Without You” started, and Travis knew he wanted to draw out much more from Denise — but at a slower pace than he was used to.


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Happy with a Banana

gorilla in store, by Ian Broyles (Flickr, Creative Commons)

Ian Broyles (Flickr, Creative Commons)

The store is filled with sodas and rice and noodles in all kinds of shapes and loads of packaged foods with additives you can’t even pronounce, let alone know what they hell they actually are.

Forget all that. Give him fruit. Give him bright oranges and juicy pineapples and mangoes with colors of blending red-yellow-green that’re so beautiful you’re captivated by the look of them, and then, when you actually eat a bite, you fall to the floor in astonishment, and you have to eat the rest of the mango down there — because you dare not try to eat it while standing on trembling, unsteady legs.

But let’s skip that for today. Today, he’ll just have a banana, thank you very much. He’ll sit on the floor and peel away the yellow gift wrapping and smile because he’s happy.

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The photo above is used under the non-commercial Creative Commons license. Click on image to jump to photographer’s Flickr page.


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24 Ebooks at 99 Cents Each

Well, actually two of the ebooks are free: Etiquette at the Nude Beach and Everybody Wants to be in the Movies. Also, five of the stand-alone short stories are included in a single ebook collection — so you can get all of them for 99 cents in Orpheus Rising.

The largest savings are for the novel (Bavarian Beauty) and short-story collection (Orpheus Rising), each of which are typically $3.99. The novellas are typically $2.99, so the savings is still a couple of bucks.

This sale is to help celebrate February as a month of love, and these prices will continue for more than a month — until the first of April. So stock up your reading device with some sexy and romantic stories that’ll heat up these chilly winter days!

The books are organized by length (insert your own size matters joke here), and the categories below are based on word count definitions in Wikipedia, but I increased the word count of the novel definition from 40,000 words to 100,000 words, so that just one of my ebooks fits that criterion.

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POETRY COLLECTION

Read to Me of Love - poetry cover
Read to Me of Love: 70 Love Poems. The fire of passion. The vulnerability of opening up your emotions to someone. The warm comfort of having a partner for many years. The work that relationships demand. The pain of breaking up. Unrequited love. The longing for finding love. The love of family and friends. This collection of 70 poems explores various types of love — not just romance and lust, but beyond those to different areas of emotion. For the spectrum of love is wide, filled with rich, vibrant colors. Amazon | Smashwords

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Please note that the ebooks below are works of erotic fiction and are only meant for mature readers who are aged 18 years and older. All characters in the stories are older than 18 years old and participate in consensual sex.

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NOVEL (> 100,000 words)

Bavarian Beauty cover, 120 pixels wide

Bavarian Beauty. Simon Edwards has a fetish for dirndls (the traditional Bavarian dress), and since he is only turned on by this specific dress, he endures many disappointing dates with non-dirndl wearing women. These disappointments lead him to fly to Munich during Oktoberfest to immerse himself in dirndl heaven. This story is about people with desires that differ from what is considered mainstream, and their search to find someone they feel comfortable with to share those desires. The novel is mostly comprised of Simon’s entries in his journal, and a few other sections are transcripts from Simon’s sessions with his therapist to work on his fetish. Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

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NOVELLAS (20,000 to 100,000 words)

Covers of novellas

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? Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

The Strathmore Club. Derek is working in his tedious job at a toll booth when, one morning, a hot blonde in a sports car invites him to the Strathmore Club. This is a world completely different than the one he left: members indulge in hedonistic pleasures of public nudity and sex — all in a posh Floridian resort loaded with palm trees, pools, and a golf course. The club celebrates healthy lifestyles of exercise, nutrition, and sunshine. Derek jumps into this pool of decadence as a guest for one day, experiencing things beyond his fantasies. After this, he will do what it takes to become a part of the Strathmore Club. Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

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NOVELETTES (10,000 to 20,000 words)

Covers of novelettes

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 doesn’t show enthusiasm behind those words. And Henry is too timid to come right out and ask the reason behind this change. Frustrated, Henry turns to his buddies for advice — but they only make things worse by not taking him seriously. So he turns to studying books and meditating on his relationship with Alison, trying to find clues behind her lack of enthusiasm in the bedroom. But then, Alison takes Henry on a trip that changes everything in his search for answers. Amazon

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. Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Steakhouse Love. The steaks are thick and juicy. The ambiance is romantic. This story follows three couples as they dine in a steakhouse and act on their lust in different ways. Joy and Jason slips into the ladies room for some adventurous fellatio. Another couple (Malcolm and Samantha) gets frisky right at their table in the restaurant. In the third couple, Margaret does pick up on the sexiness afoot (and ahand), and it inspires her to fire up the passion with her husband, Hank. Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Etiquette at the Nude Beach. Kiera and Bridgette are lesbian partners enjoying a nude beach when a muscular guy asks them to help him put suntan oil on those hard-to-reach places. They decline and give him a lesson on proper etiquette at a nude beach. This interloper sets events in motion, as Kiera is disgusted by what she considers as rude behavior, and Bridgette is a little turned on, since she is bisexual. As they take a walk along the beach, Bridgette is determined to take her lover’s mind off the guy and onto more pleasurable things. After all, they’re naked and on a wonderful beach during a beautiful day. FREE at Smashwords!

Everybody Wants to be in the Movies. (Erotic horror) Dinner and a movie sounds like an ordinary date, but there’s nothing ordinary about this date between Margaret and Jim. He owns a theater, so they get to watch Roman Holiday all by themselves. The movie has technical difficulties, Jim has to go and fix the problems … and that’s when the date moves even further away from the ordinary. For Margaret is trapped in the theater. A new movie starts up. A creepy movie that shows Jim in a whole new light. FREE at Smashwords!

Maid Marian’s Missions. Characters from the Robin Hood legend as you’ve never seen them before! Maid Marian bravely approaches Prince John to persuade him to lower taxes for the people of Nottingham. But things don’t exactly go according to plan. Maid Marian could never have anticipated the events of the night with Prince John, and then the next day as she lays low in Sherwood Forest, in the worry of being pursued by the prince’s minions. Also, Beltane night looms — this is the pagan ritual at the end of April to celebrate the union of the Beltane God with the Goddess, to rejoice in spring and bless the land’s fertility. Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

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 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? Amazon

Gimme a B! Gimme a J! Like many men, Jake spends a great deal of time in front of the TV during autumn to watch his beloved football. His wife Emily, however, is fed up with it and wants him to spend more time with her on weekends in the fall. So Emily has a plan to jolt her husband out of his football addiction and look at her rather, than at the TV. She surprises him by wearing a sexy cheerleader outfit, but questions about his past keep nagging her, and she can’t help but bring them up. Amazon | Smashwords

The Old Ball Game. As the closing pitcher, you need intense concentration to get strikeouts and close down the game with your team winning. So it really doesn’t help when a fan behind home plate flashes one of her breasts at you. That’s what Ashley does to Joe as he pitches for his Charleston Dolphins against the Columbia Wrens (two fictional minor league baseball teams). Joe complains to his manager about the fan’s interference, and that gets Ashley in hot water with the stadium’s head of security. One thing leads to another … since, well, this is an erotic story — and it is a hot, sultry night in Columbia. Amazon | Smashwords

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SHORT STORY COLLECTION

Covers: Orpheus collection

Orpheus Rising: Erotic Stories of Hooking Up is a collection of six short stories that explore the hot moments when two people—strangers or friends—hook up to become lovers. These erotic stories cover a range of characters and settings, and the stories are listed below. Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Stories included in this collection are as follows, and are offered as stand-alone ebooks (except for the Orpheus Rising short story):

  • Orpheus Rising. Vittore is a blind violinist who plays his masterpiece, “Orpheus Rising,” before an entranced audience in a concert hall. Nobody is more entranced than Heather, who has gotten lost listening to Vittore’s CD many times before, and who works at a museum where Vittore visited to check out their Stradivarius. And when Heather is asked to escort Vittore back to his hotel, the evening of rapture continues.
  • Kama Sutra Sweetie. Two models pose in challenging sexual positions for a new book on the Kama Sutra: The positions — such as The Wheelbarrow and The Clasping Position — are complicated, demanding, and highly charged with arousal. But, as the models pose, they are not allowed penetration. Thus, their desire builds and builds … until their lust breaks, and they need to do the positions fully, without boundaries and without holding back.
  • Yielding No More. A blinding snowstorm brings traffic to a halt on the highway. Stuck in the traffic jam, two strangers meet in one of their cars and head to the backseat to get to know each other better find a sexy way to stay warm.
  • The View From Where I’m Standing. On a Wyoming ranch, the view of far-off mountains is spectacular… but so is the view of a cowboy’s butt in jeans. This view is very much enjoyed by Michelle, who is a make-up artist working on the ranch for a commercial photo shoot. She and that cowboy — Mark — find passion among the beauty of the American West.
  • Underwood. Katherine has made a living writing best-selling books of romance and adventure, but she’s not a great typist. So she’s hired Josh to type out her stories on an old Underwood manual typewriter. When Katherine needs help fleshing out a scene in her new book, she calls on Josh to role-play the sword-fighting scene … and then swords flash swiftly. But when the sword play is done, the author and typist continue the roles of the story, relinquishing to the passion that flames them.
  • Van Gogh’s Whore Never Saw Georgia O’Keefe’s Flowers. Donna is a struggling painter in New York City, and she takes a job as a human sushi tray to earn extra cash. People pluck morsels of fish from her stomach as they attend an art gallery’s opening of sensual art that, unfortunately, doesn’t include any of Donna’s paintings. The experience surges Donna’s arousal — however, her boyfriend won’t answer her calls. So she heads back to her apartment, figuring she’ll take matters into her own hands. But her roommate’s boyfriend stands in the way of her self-help mission.

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SHORT STORIES (<10,000 words)

Covers: short stories

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. But what does it mean? Laura puts it to the side, as she works hard in her office on a Saturday to finish a big project. When she returns home, she finds out that the warning leads to giving up control, feeling the danger and helplessness of giving into Grant’s commands. And by giving into him, feeling wondrous heights of pleasure. Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Meet Me in the Gym Sauna. Gay male erotica… the sauna at the gym is very hot, and the two men in there are sweaty and pumped up after lifting weights. When one of the men starts pitching a tent of the towel on his lap, he tries to cover it up. He’s being careful, since he doesn’t want the other man to know he’s turned on. But what if the other guy is also pitching a tent? Then an introduction must be made. And, because a third man walks in, plans must be made for meeting up later. That’s when their party moves to the townhouse that one of them owns. Amazon

Bikini Sunbathe. Becca comes back inside the house after sunbathing in the backyard, and she’s stunned to see her husband (Greg) lounging naked on the sofa. Also, she’s stunned to find out that he spied on her while she sunbathed, since he was so aroused by seeing her in the pink string bikini. He heats things up by acting on that arousal, warming her with his body and taking over for the sun that had warmed her outside. Amazon

Peep Show. Jason is gambling that his girlfriend, Carla, will enjoy a surprise that she never expected. 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 finally ending up at a peep show. When the couple enters a booth in the back of the sex shop, the peep show 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. Amazon

Saving Callie’s Christmas. Callie Skeffington had been good for many years — until she took a turn for the naughty the week before Christmas and tried anal sex with her boyfriend. With that, Callie jumped over to Santa’s bad list. However, Callie has a champion at the North Pole in Rayen the elf, who pleads Callie’s case to Santa, and is given the chance to tell Callie no more anal until after Christmas. Rayen’s wife, Livvy, isn’t thrilled about her husband going down to see this good girl turned bad. Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

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Thanks for making it this far into the post!