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Free for the Holidays

Free for the Holidays

Posted by on Dec 20, 2013 in Book News | 0 comments

Holiday fever is in full swing and this year I’m trying something new. I’m doing a special five day promotion where you can download the first book in the Sex, Life, & Hannah series on your Kindle for FREE.

For those of you that have been on the fence about diving into my chick lit series, this is the perfect opportunity to get your feet wet. For those of you that are still in a quandary about what to get that certain someone that loves books like Bridget Jones’ Diary and anything by Sophie Kinsella, and watches Girls religiously, look no further and send them this book. And for those of you that know you’re going to need some Christmas filler while sitting on planes and trains and sneaking away to the local coffee shop for some desperately needed alone time away from the family, have this book in your back pocket. If you’ve been with me for a while you know the Sex, Life, & Hannah Winter Season is about a girl desperately searching for The One after getting badly dumped on New Year’s Eve, and for those of you that have no idea what this book is about, read a few excerpts on my website.

OK, now it’s time to take my marketing hat off and say: Thank you. I’m another year into my author journey and I could not be keeping the spirit alive without YOU. It really is the likes, and comments, and retweets, and bursts of sales, and reviews throughout the year that inspire me to continue writing. Without you I’d have gone back to journaling my neurotic thoughts in private a long time ago.

Have a wonderful holiday season. Spend it with people you love. Support your local retailers and artists. And make room for a little alone time, curled up in front of the fireplace with a glass of wine, some gingerbread cookies, and a good book.

p.s. I would love to read your review on Amazon. Your reviews help me spread the word and also make me a better writer.

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The Need Places First in 2013 Golden Palm Contest

Posted by on Dec 10, 2013 in Book News | 0 comments

The Need Places First in 2013 Golden Palm Contest, Manuscript May Be Too Hot To Handle

Indie author Dorota Skrzypek, also writing as S.L. Hannah, submits entry into New Adult Romance Category of the 2013 Golden Palm Contest, beats out the competition, but agent judging the category is not interested in reading entire manuscript.

Los Angeles/California/USA – WEBWIRE – Thursday, December 05, 2013

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Need Places First in 2013 Golden Palm Contest, Manuscript May Be Too Hot To Handle  

LOS ANGELES, California (December 4, 2013) – Indie author Dorota Skrzypek, also writing as S.L. Hannah, submits entry into New Adult Romance Category of the 2013 Golden Palm Contest, beats out the competition, but agent judging the category is not interested in reading entire manuscript.

“The win is exciting, but the response a little surprising,” says author Skrzypek. “The contest doesn’t guarantee anything, but I really thought winning would mean getting through the sludge pile of a literary agency. Maybe this is just a sign of the times.” Big publishers having to compete against online giant Amazon and its record number of self-published authors are being more cautious than ever about investing in new talent and that’s affecting how agents screen their work. “The impression traditional publishers have left over the last few years is: prove yourself as an author on your own first, and then we’ll be happy to help you. Or maybe the story is just too ‘hot, hot, hot’ as per the judges score sheet,” adds Skrzypek.

In October of this year, Amazon, Kobo, and other e-book retailers cracked down on erotica by removing titles of works that depicted incest, rape and child pornography. Following in similar footsteps, the UK is banning pornography depicting rape and many authors fear books may be the next target. Even Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines video has been banned at over 20 Universities over fears the song glamorizes rape and its lyrics are sexist. While Skrzypek’s manuscript, The Need, does address some of these controversial topics the author argues there is a big difference between gratuitous sex in books written for shock value, and books exploring the psychological factors behind forced sex fantasies, the Madonna-Whore complex, and other studied sexual behavior.

Dorota Skrzypek, also writing as S.L. Hannah, is author of the Sex, Life, & Hannah book series. Her latest book, The Need, about a college-aged girl that falls in love with the woman holding her captive, is set for release in early 2014. With initial reviewers calling the book “one powerful piece of writing; well-told, honest and creepy as hell,” Skrzypek is anticipating the book to make a dent in at least one best-seller list.  The Need is based on a screenplay written by Scott Frazelle. To find out more, please visit www.sexlifeandhannah.com.

Click here for the original Press Release.

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An Abstract View of New York

An Abstract View of New York

Posted by on Nov 27, 2013 in Life and Style | 0 comments

I used to travel to New York City a lot. I was working in Syracuse and every weekend would set off to one of the many big city destinations within a four-hour drive. New York City was my favorite. There was something about the pulse of the streets, and the diversity of the people, or maybe it was just being in my twenties, single, and open to just about any adventure. I’d stumbled into so many parties, events, conversations, romantic escapades, and lusty flings. It was like the energy of the city could do me no wrong.

Fond memories never fade fast. They only seem to overtake you like a burden, a call to try to relive…of course, it’s impossible. Nothing stays the same; not you, not the cities. Or maybe the cities stay the same, but your view becomes layered with so much time and experience that it all ends up blending into an abstract image.

I learned a lot about myself during last week’s visit to New York City. It had been years, and it was as if the city was calling to me, or maybe it was just the lure of a cheap flight, and even cheaper accommodations, but I don’t want to turn into one of those jaded folk I used to write about in my journals. The older men with just a touch of grey in their hair, and a lot more sarcasm in their voices whenever the subject of relationships was breached.

But there I was. In some warehouse in Brooklyn, at 3AM, getting irritated at the “kids” bumping into me as they tried to dance to techno music that was far too loud to hold even a semblance of a conversation with anyone, thinking: This is so not me anymore. And maybe it never was. I don’t remember dance parties going down like this. Or maybe I was just lucky back then. Maybe I knew different people and different venues that had a much better vibe.

The next day I walked around Central Park trying to erase the experience and replace it with the New York City I had grown to love, but something was still missing. What was I searching for? What did I want? My husband there, holding my hand and our sex life back on track? A new lover to escape with regardless of how fleeting the tryst? Shopping? An art exhibit?

The manuscript of my next book hung from my shoulder like a pendulum on a clock reminding me why I had gone back to that city in the first place. I desperately tried to find a coffee shop or a private corner in a cheap, dingy restaurant. I wanted to write. I just wanted to write.

 

 

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The Need Finals in The Golden Palm

The Need Finals in The Golden Palm

Posted by on Nov 15, 2013 in The Need | 0 comments

This August I decided to do something I’ve never done before. I decided to throw the dice and enter The Need into four writing contests. I did this for a couple of reasons. One, I wanted feedback from people that didn’t know me and were not familiar with my writing, and two, I wanted to see if The Need was compelling enough to win.

Towards the end of September the results started coming in, and they were mixed. Some judges loved The Need, some didn’t care for it at all, most had complimentary and critical things to say about it. It reminded me a lot of the feedback I was getting from my beta readers, and it made sense. Not everyone is going to love what you write, that’s just a fact, but what you hope for as a writer is that your writing will stir something in people, whether good of bad, and they’ll get passionate about sharing whatever has stirred within them with their friends.

On October 21st I got an email:

Congratulations!  The preliminary round of judging has been completed for the Florida Romance Writers 2013 Golden Palm Contest.  I am happy to announce that your entry was a Finalist in the New Adult Romance Category.

Apparently I had stirred something, and this means a lot to me. Especially as I sit here, in New York City for the weekend, working on the third draft of The Need. Wish me luck, lovelies. I’m excited to get this book out to you.

Here are my favorite judge comments from all the contests I entered:

This is an extremely well written book by a very talented writer. You have an excellent voice and wonderful word choice and imagery. Definitely as good (or better) than many of the published works I’ve read. You should be extremely proud.

 

I think the female-female scene was unpredictable in a really awesome way. I usually don’t read scenes like this, but loved it just the same. Great stuff.

 

This is one powerful piece of writing. This story is well-told, honest and creepy as hell. You do a brilliant job of portraying the prey and the predator. I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything that made me so uncomfortable! Which means it’s very, very good. Excellent, in fact.

 

The author does a wonderful job of showing the inner conflicts and emotions of a woman who is unsure of herself and her place in the world.

 

The story is well paced, and it is very suspenseful, packing fine dramatic tension throughout the sample. High marks for originality, and highly intriguing, if not exactly appealing in the conventional sense. Dialogue is often strange, but remains plausible.

 

I must say I wanted to keep reading THE NEED when I hit the end of the excerpt. That says a lot. Once the story got going it really kept my interest.

 

Excellent title! Your characters showed various levels and types of need so the title is very apropos.

 

I applaud you for writing in first person. It’s challenging and not easy to avoid an over use of pronouns for sentence beginnings all the while keeping  the flow going.

 

 

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SLH 3.0

SLH 3.0

Posted by on Nov 7, 2013 in Book News | 0 comments

Those of you that have been with me long enough know that I’ve been through several iterations of websites. Trying to get things just right seems to be a continuous process of re-invention, even when it comes to cyberspace.

I’ve known that I’ve needed to go through another makeover for a while now. The blogging craze that reached its pinnacle a couple of years ago also took hold of me like a wild fire and before I knew it I was writing three different blogs…and working a lot less on writing actual books. That was definitely not my intention. It was time to take a step back and re-assess.

SLH 3.0 is my attempt at consolidating and putting forth an author website. A website where you can find info about me and ALL my books. Now I know, sexlifeandhannah.com is an unusual domain name to have for my main author site, and I’m sure during another makeover I’ll change that, but for now it makes the most sense. The Sex, Life, & Hannah book series has been the main focus of my writing since 2007 and it has defined me as an author. I’ve written a lot of content for that site and set up my social media pages for that book series…I didn’t want to start from scratch at this point. I also didn’t want to have to manage a fourth blog, so this is where I decided to land. I know, a bit unusual, just like S.L. Hannah.

If we’re linked up on Facebook and Twitter, you’ve noticed I’ve changed my name to S.L. Hannah. This is both an attempt to make those circles about more than just the Sex, Life, & Hannah book series, as well as potentially start using a pen name. I know. What am I thinking?! Everyone knows me as Dorota Skiysufhrrrkweifhfznpek. I swear if I had thought this through better I would have started using a pen name from the beginning because even though my name is super common in Poland, in North America, it looks like something the cat puked up. Not super suave for branding, but hey, I wasn’t thinking about branding back in 2005 when I published my first book.

There is a lot I like about S.L. Hannah. Hannah has been with me since I created my publishing company, The Adventures of Hannah. Then of course I wrote, Sex, Life, & Hannah. And I’ve been using the name Hannah as an alias since the days of being single and perusing bars and clubs and parties in the hills–WAY before Hannah Montana became a Disney pop sensation and EVERYBODY started naming their kids and main characters, Hannah.

Here’s the thing though: I’m not sure if I will ever actually use the pen name S.L. Hannah. I’ve been taking this online Amazon Sales course, and one of the many things I learned was this: the more books you write that you can attach to your author profile on Amazon, the easier it is be for people to find your books on Amazon and buy them–crazy Polish last name, or not. As I sit on the brink of publishing my fifth book, I wonder if a pen name even makes sense, although J.K. Rowling did it and it seems to have worked out for her pretty well.

Check out the new site: www.sexlifeandhannah.com and let me know what you think (all feedback is always appreciated). There may be a few things I’ll be able to tweak, but for the most part I’m going to focus on writing my next book. Stay tuned!

p.s. Those of you who bought the Sex, Life, & Hannah Book Club Membership will also notice that this feature is no longer available on my website. However, I will be honoring those memberships when Volume 4 of the chick lit series comes out (either late 2014 or early 2015). If you are a member, you will receive an email with a PDF copy of the final book.

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A Cloaked Figure Emerges

A Cloaked Figure Emerges

Posted by on Oct 5, 2013 in The Dentist and The Toothfairy | 0 comments

From The Dentist and The Toothfairy

As The Dentist pulled up to The Grand Winter Ball, two tall men in dark suits made haste to open the car doors. “They are waiting for you in the dining hall,” urged one of them politely, whisking The Dentist away.

Each year before the socializing and the dancing, the dictating gentry were invited to a private dinner. The Dentist’s attendance was especially regarded, his having played a critical role in the development of the land since his days as a young general.

And each year, after dinner had been consumed and discussions had concluded about what had been and would become, the men sat back to enjoy entertainment arranged especially for them.

As the lights dimmed, the dictating gentry could hear behind two closed doors the faint ringing of hypnotizing bells. The doors opened and seven temptresses from The Tribe of Dentalis appeared.

These were the temptresses who lived in the dark forests. There they ran the factories that produced all the tools required by the various practitioners of the land. The temptresses were seducers of minds who created anything by wielding their amorous powers over men and women. Their enchanting aura lured lost soles into the depths of the overbearing trees, where they cast spells with their captivating eyes and poetic tongues. These spells could only be broken when their quarries’ tasks were deemed complete.

The Dentist sat back to enjoy the show. One of the temptresses began to slowly curl her body in front of him. For a moment The Dentist allowed his eyes to escape past her, where he saw a shadow. But it wasn’t the temptress’s shadow. Instead, it was the shadow of a cloaked figure.

Startled and oddly shaken, The Dentist focused his attention back to the temptress.

Exactly two hours after he had been whisked to dinner, The Dentist appeared on the floor of the ballroom.

The Grand Winter Ball was already in full swing. The DJ invaded the ears of the guests with pulsing rhythms as the barmen poured exotic liquors into empty cups. The gaming tables were crowded with people throwing cards, dice, chips, and money. The dance floor was packed with undulating bodies.

The Dentist scanned the floor for his wife. Several minutes passed before he spotted her leaning against a pillar holding a drink. She was throwing her head back in laughter as a man whispered something in her ear.

The Dentist made his way over and placed his arm firmly around his wife’s waist.

“Mr. Colgate, this is my husband, The Dentist,” said The Hygienist politely.

Mr. Colgate tipped his head in acknowledgement.

The Dentist looked suspiciously upon a man he did not recognize. “I see you have met my wife.”

“She is the most captivating presence in the room,” Mr. Colgate said, his eyes returning to The Hygienist.

“Well, I thank you for keeping her company during my obligatory dinner.”

“Dinner comes once a year, but a beautiful woman like this only once in a lifetime,” replied Mr. Colgate. “You need to be careful how much time you spend in the circle of old men, because her company may be stolen for a lot longer next time.”

Mr. Colgate kissed The Hygienist’s hand and lingered over it. “I hope it is not an eternity until we meet again.”

Slowly he released her hand, then turned and strode away.

“Pay no attention to him,” said the Hygienist, an unbeknownst smile curling on her lips as she watched him fade into the crowd. “He’s probably had too many cocktails.”

“Much to your amusement, it seems,” said the Dentist.

The Hygienist glanced at her husband and became quickly severed from her odd feeling of elation. “Let’s check on Crown,” she said.

She put her arm around The Dentist and led him hurriedly towards the garden.

The Dentist and The Hygienist descended into a lush patch of greenery where a magician was entertaining the young children at The Ball. To neither The Dentist’s nor The Hygienist’s surprise, Crown was standing up front with the magician, helping him with a trick.

The Dentist laughed watching Crown jump in startlement as a white bunny leapt from his collar.

Briefly The Dentist glanced beyond his son to the green moonlit lawn of the garden floor, and saw a shadow. Except it wasn’t the shadow of Crown or the magician, but the shadow of a cloaked figure.

The Dentist quickly searched the area for evidence of a cloaked spectator, but couldn’t find one. He turned to ask his wife if she had seen what he had, but she was gazing lovingly at her son, laughing, so he decided not to.

The Dentist and The Hygienist returned to the ballroom. The remainder of the evening was spent catching up with old friends, making new acquaintances, and partaking in lighthearted merrymaking.

“One last dance, lovely lady?” The Dentist beseeched, sliding his hand around his wife’s waist and escorting her to the dance floor.

The Dentist and The Hygienist floated across the ballroom. They were an exquisite couple and pleasing to the eyes of all observers.

The Dentist buried his face in The Hygienist’s neck. “You have completed my life more than you will ever know.” He kissed her supple neck and slowly made his way to her tender mouth.

For an instant, his gaze drifted past his wife. On the wall he saw a shadow. Once again, it was the shadow of a cloaked figure.

The Dentist clutched his wife so suddenly she became worried.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

He caught his breath. “Nothing. It’s getting late—we had better get home.”

COPYRIGHT
The Dentist and The Toothfairy by Dorota Skrzypek.
Copyright 2005 by Dorota Skrzypek.
ISBN 0-9768869-0-1
All Rights Reserved.

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