Sunday, April 21, 2013

Day #2 of ask Shandra whatever you want:

Over on Facebook author and marketing consultant JM Schroder is hosting a Lethal Obsession Book Blast for my novel, LETHAL OBSESSION. (Click on the link and come on over to join us).

One of the things I’ve offered to do there is to entertain questions about me or my writing, and now I’m going to extend that to my blog. For the next two weeks (or until the questions run out, whichever comes first), I’m going to answer at least one question a day.

From K.J. Partridge, who kinda cheated by asking three questions, but that’s okay, I’ll answer them all.

How tall are you, do you have pets, and what inspired LETHALOBSESSION.

Well, tall isn’t exactly the right word I’d use, but I’m 5’’4” – far from the shortest person in the word, but I wish I had about three or four more inches on that.

Yes, I have a pet. A solid white little kitty named Lilly. 

Here’s a picture of her – she’s hard to photograph because whenever I try to get a picture she runs toward the camera. Here I tried taking a couple of shots when she was sleeping -- she wasn't happy about it (and you can tell from her face). But she’s a wonderfully friendly, playful fur ball that I picked up from the local animal shelter.

As for LETHAL OBSESSION, I get into that some in an interview that, I think, is supposed to be posted at

Specifically for LETHAL OBSESSION, I saw some postings on Craigslist where people were advertising for a hook-up that night, or that weekend. I was a little surprised at how many people were just looking to get together with a stranger, just for the night (and NO people, I’m not looking – I was on Craigslist looking to sell something but then saw the personals, and was curious).

Anyway, I’d already been on some BDSM-related websites (again, I’m NOT looking), so I started thinking about what kind of story could I build around a woman and man, two strangers, getting together for a BDSM session. Then I started asking “what if.” You now, what if he had a fantasy that she would be blindfolded when he walked in, that she would never see him? From her perspective, what if she was really lonely, and they had grown to like one another a lot overtime by chatting online? Would a person really do that? It’s easy to say no, that would be stupid, but I found that it’s not all that unusual for people to put themselves in such dangerous situations. But I wanted something more than just a story about two people hooking up for some sex and bondage – so then I asked myself “what if she’s a police officer and after they get together a couple of times other women start showing up dead, tied up in the same manner he did to her?"

And I went from there.

Thanks K.J., great questions!

Shandra Miller is the author of the erotica/suspense novel LETHAL OBSESSION, available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

20 Questions, Day 1: Writing obstacles, depression, and why I am like I am

Over on Facebook author and marketing consultant JM Schroder is hosting a Lethal Obsession Book Blast for my novel, LETHAL OBSESSION. (Click on the link and come on over to join us).

One of the things I’ve offered to do there is to entertain questions about me or my writing, and now I’m going to extend that to my blog. For the next two weeks (or until the questions run out, whichever comes first), I’m going to answer at least one question a day.

And I’ve decided to extend that to my blog as well. So, if you have a question about me or my writing, put it in the comments here (or slip on over to the Book Blast and post there). I’m open to  most anything – how tall I am, my hobbies, how I write, why I write, my favorite color, if I have any pets, where I got the idea for LETHAL OBSESSION  or any of my other published stories (there’s a list at the right top corner of this blog)…go ahead and ask.

The first question comes from Travis Goldson, and he asks: What was the biggest obstacle your writing has faced and how did you overcome it?

Hmmmm…..that’s a tough one Travis. But I promised answers – honest and complete ones, too, so I’m going to be candid.

Over the years I’ve had a number of obstacles – I grew up in a less-than-ideal home, left home at 16 and bounced around for a few years, so I never finished school. But right now my life is a little more settled, I have a job and a little place that one day might be my own, so the biggest obstacle I have is – well, to be completely open and honest, I struggle some with depression.

I don’t want you or anyone to feel sorry for me, or think badly of me, but that’s a condition many people have – or will develop – and I struggle with it from time to time. In my case, it turns out I’ve suffered from it off and on for years, I just didn’t realize it at the time.

It comes and goes – there can be triggers that I avoid, and there are strategies to deal with it, ways to hold it at arm’s length, or to keep an episode from being as deep as it might be otherwise.

Sometimes, though, there’s little I can do to stop it. And honestly there are times I don’t try very hard. I have found find that it’s a double-edge sword. There are times when it comes on and it affects my writing, though I think in a good way. I’ve never published any of my non-erotica work, but I sometimes think I can mine deeper meaning from life and put that in a lot of my non-erotica work at times, or perhaps write in a different manner during that period.   Who knows, maybe it does show up in my erotica work as well – maybe a little in LETHAL OBSESSION.

The bad part of it is sometimes it becomes so strong I can’t write. It’s not what I would call debilitating – I still manage to get to work, come home, keep up a life (though even that can be quite difficult at times), but when I’m in those periods that’s about all I do. I can’t write, can’t really focus. (As an aside, that’s why I rarely take on commitments to do book reviews, or editing/beta reading work – sometimes I just can’t get it done, and I don’t want to miss a deadline or let someone down – of course I feel badly about this, about not being as helpful as I’d like to others – but that’s another discussion).

Then the depression will start to lift and gradually the writing comes back. And when it does, at least for a short while, it all seems fresh and new like I’m really accomplishing something.

As for overcoming it, I just try to learn to live with it, roll with it and, at times, use it. Overcoming, though, isn't a done-deal, it's a continual process.

So, there it is. The biggest single ongoing obstacle to my writing and how I try to overcome it. Hope that wasn’t too serious for you. But I did say I'd answer most anything!

More coming tomorrow...

Shandra Miller is the author of the erotica/suspense novel LETHALOBSESSION, available at and Barnes and Noble. Thus far the novel has garnered high praise by reviewers at Amazon (click here to see them), B&N (click here), and on various book review sites (click here to find a few of them).

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

LETHAL OBSESSION Book Blast, and a lady who'll bring new sales to your work

Friday is the big day for me – the start of the LETHAL OBSESSION Book Blast Tour, hosted by the incomparable J.M. Schroder.

The Tour will include some interviews with me, a few reviews of LETHAL OBSESSION, and some other highlights. Who knows, we might even manage a few giveaways’ along the way.

What’s LETHAL OBSESSION about? Well, if you’ve been reading my blog, you probably already know, but I’ll give you the short version here:

Angela Martin is like everyone else. She wants acceptance. Love. Passion.

For five years she’s lived with the pain of knowing her husband cheats on her. She’s dealt with the heart-rending rejection by rebuilding her life around her work, becoming the first woman detective in the history of the Moose Creek, N.C., police department.

Then she stumbles upon him. A man who reawakens desire, who makes her feel more alive than she believed possible by pulling her into a world of bondage and dominance, devotion and trust taken to a new level, fear mingling with desire, a craving stronger than any drug.

Soon women start turning up dead in Moose Creek, bound and tortured, tied in ways that Angela finds startling familiar. Angela’s heart tells her that her newfound love cannot be the killer, her detective instincts tell her otherwise, and her obsession with this new lifestyle draws her back to him, even at the risk of her life.

LETHAL OBSESSION is a tale of sex and bondage, love and fear, desire and suspicion, with an ending that will leave you breathless, craving more.

If you’d like to go ahead and download your copy of LETHAL OBSESSION at or get a version for your Nook.

Now, a little about J.M. Schroder.

I gotta tell you, she wears more hats than any person I know – mommy, wife, students, writer (check out her Daughters of Eden), and entrepreneur. I’ll say a few words on that last one. She’s working toward operating a marketing business for authors (and others, I hope), and I’m one of her first.

Yes, she’s been gentle with me, and oh so exciting! LETHAL OBSESSION is my first longer work, released at the first of March. I was happy with sales – I got a few out of the gate, and had one or two trickling in each day after that, until I met J.M.

She was gracious enough to take me under her wing a bit, give me a few ideas on marketing my work, and she even posted word of my novel at a couple of places. Let me tell you, my sales took a little spike immediately. One day I saw 15 sales in about eight hours, another day a half-dozen sales in a couple of hours, all because of a couple of little things she did.

I had to take a recent break from marketing and being online much, so my sales have dipped since then, but I am absolutely sold on what she can do. Now she’s putting together a Book Blast for me and I can hardly wait!

I don’t know if she has a lot of time at present, but I can tell you if you can work your way onto her schedule, it will be well worth the cost as an investment in your future.

And no, I’m not getting anything out of this – I’m just really, really sold on her ability to organize and carry out a marketing campaign, and I wanted to take this chance to thank her, and to tell you check her out! If you're a writer, you will not regret it!

Monday, April 1, 2013

LETHAL OBSESSION is a month old, and the response has been....

It’s been about a month since I published my first novel, LETHAL OBSESSION.  I had published a few erotica shorts, but this was my first novel-length work (although I realize it’s a little short for a novel). I’ll admit to being really nervous – I had no idea how it would be received, what reviewers would say, if it would sell.

Well, this month has exceeded anything I could have dreamed. First, I’ve met some incredible people who have been so encouraging to me. I hate to get into a list, for I know I’ll leave someone out, but I’m going to tell you about one person named JennieSchroder. She’s a writer (check out her Daughters of Eden series), but more than that, she’s been so kind, so supportive. She liked LETHAL OBSESSION, which is great, but even more she reached out to me and offered some valuable marketing advice and has been a major part of the success the book has already had.

I’ll tell you more about her later, in another blog, but I just wanted to say thanks Jeannie, and to all of her crew at the Thunderous Street Team. You ladies are the absolute best!

Now for the reviews.

I’ve been blown away. Let me give you a few lines from some of the reviews I’ve gotten (and please forgive the funky background on some -- seems blogger doesn't like me to copy and paste from other places):

From Goodreads (5 star): The erotic pieces of the book fit in nicely with what was actually happening in the story and not a single sex scene felt gratuitous, which I personally found refreshing…Miller does a superb job of making the powerful draw of the BDSM lifestyle an understandable one on an emotional level as opposed to merely creating a string of sexual scenarios that lack motivation. There's plenty of deviant steam here, but there is also an interesting, compelling story. And that is shizzle I can appreciate.

From Goodreads (5 stars): This was such a great book. I had a hard time putting it down and even though it is shorter book, it will keep you on the edge of your seat. Angela is thrown into a world she craves and doesn't understand why yet. With her job she is bond to find a killer, but with a killer on the loose, her obsession could kill her. This book will keep you guessing, and has some major twists and turns that will have you on the edge of your seat and your heart pounding.

From Goodreads (5 stars): I can actually say that I was drawn into the story and not just anticipating the hot sex scenes. Shandra did an incredible job with this book and other than being upset that I have to wait till this summer for the next book...I will definitely be recommending this to everyone!

From Goodreads ( 4 stars): I was pleasantly surprised with this book. Unlike some erotic material I’ve read, Ms. Miller is a stylish writer and her work felt like any other book I may have purchased by a big publishing : house in a brick and mortar bookstore - the quality totally holds up in comparison. Her lead character is nicely developed and even in instances when Angela herself didn’t understand her own motivations, the author allows us to experience that internal battle along with her as she navigates her questionable decisions. We get to invest in her instead of just taking on the roles of disconnected voyeurs. 

From Barnes and Noble (4 stars): Wow, I was so not expecting that! Ms. Miller took an already exciting genre, erotic romance, and gave it a fantastic suspense element that kept me guessing until the very end!

From Barnes and Noble (4 stars): Lethal Obsession is a BDSM book unlike any other I have ever read! Lethal Obsession is a BDSM book unlike any other I have ever read! This book has bondage, kinky sex, mystery, suspense, and shock!! I include shock because that is how the ending of this book left me!! I literally had to pick my jaw off of my lap when I read the concluding chapter!!

From Amazon (5 stars): OH MY GOODNESS. I could not put it down. I love this book from start to finish and I do mean that literally. I did not put it down from the moment I picked it up. I couldn't. I needed to know what was going to happen. It was absolutely amazing. 


Of course, those are merely excerpts. If you want to read the full reviews check out my book pages at Goodreads, at Amazon, or at Barnes and Noble

Better yet, go ahead and get your own copy of LETHAL OBSESSION at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. It's must $2.99 and it'll keep you on pins and needles with some hot BDSM and scintillating suspense. 

Check it out! 

And thanks for stopping by.