Some do’s and don’t’s of selling stuff online. And people who suck.

For those of you that have met me know that I’m a fairly nice person. I’m friendly and welcoming even though I think the majority of humans suck. I’m terrible at small talk and it’s the one thing that makes me itch.  However, I will go out of my way to help you. I will do the right thing. However, my stance on the suckiness of the human race has been reinforced by having to deal with people while selling my furniture and cars online.

So here are some tips for you if you’re selling your belongings over the internet:

1. Don’t use your phone. Get a burner phone or buy a cheap sim card. The reason for this will become clear later.

2. If you’re a single woman (or a woman whose husband works overseas) pretend you’re married. Get your neighbour, who looks like a member of the Coffin Cheaters, but is actually a bearded, tattooed, and pierced softy, to act like your husband. (Thanks, John. You’re the best.) If you don’t have a John (or a Barry, Bruce, or a Brandon) tell potential purchasers that your husband is at work and will be home that afternoon or night. People will take advantage of a woman on their own. Not everyone, sure, but the potential is there.

3. If the potential purchasers make you uncomfortable for any reason, don’t let them in your house. Halt them at the front door and tell them sorry, but the bed, couch, TV, whatever, just sold 15 minutes ago. Do not let them in! You are under no obligation to sell them anything.

4. Stick to your price. People will try and talk you down, especially if they know you have to sell. Don’t be unreasonable with your pricing, but stick to your guns. You need the money. If they want it badly enough, they’ll pay for it. If they don’t, someone else will.

Some tips if you’re buying:

1. Firstly, and this is the biggest so listen closely: Don’t be a dick. Turn up on time, be polite, and if something happens and you can’t make it, let the seller know. Manners, people, manners.

2. The seller is under no obligation to sell you their item. If you demand stuff that is above and beyond, like insisting that the seller spends three hours of their time and a few hundred of their dollars getting a mechanical check on the car that you want to buy from them, before you commit to a sale, don’t be surprised when they tell you where to get off. If you want a check done on a car (that’s only 3 years old and has a full history) then get it done on your time at your expense. They have mobile mechanics these days that will come to the house. This is not the seller’s responsibility. Neither is it their duty to purchase a warranty out of their pocket for the car you want to buy, again before you commit to the sale. That’s just not on, peeps.

3. If you purchase some furniture on behalf of someone else, for example, a homeless man that you have put up in an apartment, and need some cheap but good stuff, don’t mistake the seller’s friendly personality as someone you can bully. If she feels like helping you help the homeless man by knocking some off the price and giving you a bunch of free stuff (lamps, pictures, etc) don’t change your mind and ask for a refund after you’ve picked the items up and left. If you change your mind, tough luck. The seller is not a shop. You can’t have a refund. If the seller doesn’t give you the refund you demand, don’t then insult her via numerous text messages and tell her what a horrible human being she is. You got a bunch of free stuff. She’s by herself with no husband to make her feel protected. Feeling like she needs to check all the doors and window locks in the house and go to bed with the phone in her hand in case you turn up in the middle of the night, is not fun for her. She’s probably blocked your number but she knows you know where she lives. You, Sir, are a dick.

4. If you purchase some furniture but don’t secure it in the back of your van and drive like a bat out of hell so the items fly around in the back and get damaged, it is not the seller’s fault. Don’t call her. She doesn’t care and neither does she have a friend that can fix it for you. Just because you have her number and she was friendly and helpful, doesn’t mean she gives a shit after you’ve left her driveway. Leave her alone.

Not everyone is like the examples above. Every once in a while – well, only once for me in this whole process – there’ll be someone who restores your faith in humanity. The couple who bought the husband’s car, Jerry the Jeep, were polite, funny, honest, and engaging. I could’ve talked to them for a few hours. If I had the time I and didn’t mind looking like a crazy old woman in their eyes, I would have invited them in for a wine or three. But that would’ve been weird, so I didn’t. These guys wanted a bigger car to transport their fur babies, and who wouldn’t buy a car for that purpose? I love people who are dedicated to their pets. It’s adorable, and makes me have a little faith in the human race. I like it when the Fates show me that not all people suck. Thanks, guys. ❤

So that’s it. Be careful who comes into your house, and if you don’t have a significant other that can provide that backup, I’ll send you John’s number. He doesn’t require payment but loves it when you turn up with a six pack and some neighbourhood gossip.

Jerry the Jeep is now named James. Here he is with his new owners, Bentley (the lab) and Benjamin (the sausage) I love how they’re all colour coordinated! (Photo used with permission of the new owners)

Till next time,
RJ

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Not long to go.

You’ll have to excuse my tardiness. When I started this moving-to-the-other-side-of-the-world journey, I had grand plans to blog about it each week and keep you all informed as to what’s going on. Back then I knew I’d be busy, but busy doesn’t begin to cover it. My limited interaction on SM should give you a clue.

The shit you have to do to move countries is enormous. I mean, it’s only 14,926kms. What’s the big deal? Turns out there’s lots of stuff like taking yourself off the electoral role so you don’t get fined for not voting. Oh, and suspending your health insurance so you don’t get whacked with a huge bill when you return. So many other things which I shan’t bore you with. But the list is loooong.

As of today, I have three weeks and five days left in Australia. Daunting, yes. Exciting, yes. I’m at the stage where I wish it was all over and I was sunning myself on a Portuguese beach already. But things are progressing smoothly. I’ve sold both cars and am now running around in my niece’s POS because she’s gone off to Canada for three months and won’t need it. All furniture that we’re not taking with us has been sold and I’m just waiting for people to come and pick it up. (Don’t ask me about selling stuff online, just know that I will NEVER do it again.)

The house has been leased and the tenants are moving in the day after we leave. Fatboy has had all his vaccinations and health checks and is cleared to fly as well.

My house looks like a bomb has hit it and that sends my anxiety spiking but there’s not much I can do about that, so I just breathe and pretend that being a dirty slob is my new normal.

I just look at this pic and pretend I’m there already. (BTW, my new home is a 2-minute walk from this beach. Not bad, huh?)

I’ll try and keep you updated as things progress and I’ll be sure to let you know when I arrive in Portugal.


RJ

Cleaning house and the things you find.

One of the things I have to do is clean out all my drawers and cupboards before we move to Portugal, and although I’ve moved many times around Australia, I’ve never had to cull so much of my stuff before. All previous moves I’ve done, I’ve just had to box everything up and move it, but moving countries means I can’t take everything. The shipping container is only so big.

So… ditching a lot of old stuff that doesn’t get used anymore is what I’ve been doing this last week. The charity bins near me are full!

When you go through drawers that haven’t been opened in a number of years, you’re bound to happen across things you thought were long gone. There are some good memories in my cupboards. And low and behold, I came across a ton of old photos. I suppose that was to be expected.

I found this one below, and realised I haven’t actually changed all that much.

On to the next cupboard.

RJ

The One That I Want and Hopelessly Devoted are back up for sale!

Just a quick note to let you know that The One That I Want and Hopelessly Devoted are now back up for sale at all good ebook retailers.

I recently had my rights returned from the publisher so I tidied the stories up and had them re-edited. The writing is tighter but no new scenes have been added, so if you’ve already read them, there’s no need to read them again – unless of course you want to 🙂 They’re now for sale at a much cheaper price than before – only .99c! so make sure you get your hands on them!

 

Jason escapes into the magic of a Broadway play every weekend. Musicals always have a happy ending and for a few hours he can believe there’s a happy ending waiting for him, too. When the tall drink of water who works on the top floor of Jason’s building, wants to take him on a date, Jason is surprised. After all, Jason is awkward and skinny, and sees himself as a boring accountant, while Paul is tall, dark, and incredibly hot.

Despite Jason’s reservations, Paul and Jason start dating and attending the shows Jason adores. But if Paul likes musicals as much as Jason, why does he always doze off? Is Paul leading a double life? Does he have a wife tucked away somewhere?

Jason knows Paul is hiding something and when the secrets come out, Jason finds his fantasy comes to life, right there on the stage.

 

One year on from Paul’s proposal, Jason is living a life he never dreamed of. As he fusses with his tie and readies to walk down the aisle, he reminisces about the previous twelve months. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for the happy couple in the lead up to their wedding, with obstacles big and small thrown in their way.

Marrying one of New York’s most eligible bachelors has Jason’s stomach in knots. Expectations of their society wedding are high, but out of love for Paul, Jason goes along with the grand plans because he understands Paul’s family has a reputation to maintain. But Paul has a surprise up his sleeve that just may see Jason getting the wedding of his dreams.

Follow Jason on his journey as he prepares to marry one of the most eligible bachelors in New York and find out just how Dave got his name.

Buy links:

The One That I Want

Amazon   Smashwords  Barnes & Noble

Hopelessly Devoted

Amazon   Smashwords  Barnes & Noble

 

 

Writing, moving, and plans. WTH is going on?

Most of you would have heard along the grapevine that the Jones’s are packing up house and moving to Portugal.

It’s true. As of today, I have 68 days left in Australia. Which means I have less than that to do a shitload of sorting out and pack up my belongings. I need to sell two cars, some appliances, various pieces of furniture, and take whatever is left (that isn’t coming with us) to charity. I have a big house and also plenty of years collecting a lot of useless stuff.

Who keeps empty boxes?

Turns out, I do!

Of course, I didn’t know I kept empty boxes until I started going through some cupboards. *sigh* Sooo much work.

So what does that mean for my writing? Well, unfortunately, not much will get done. Moving my family to the other side of the world has to take precedence, and I’m sure no one will disagree with me on that.

We’ll be moving to Praia de Galé (don’t click the link if you don’t want to be jealous) in July but then I have the big task of settling into our new life and getting the kids ready to start school in September. Even after the boys start their Portuguese education, I’ll be busy house-hunting (for more permanent accommodation) and generally finding my way around my new home.

I’ll keep you updated how things progress over the next few weeks. I’ll try and keep the writing up so I can release something this year, but no promises.

Wish me luck as I toddle off to tackle more cupboards.

RJ

Exclusive Excerpt! RUNAWAY by NIC STARR

I think most of you know by now that Nic is my bestie, so of course I’m going to have her on my blog. Especially when she has a fantastic new release!

Runaway

by Nic Starr

Part of Dreamspinner Press’ World of Love series.

Blurb

Dr Nathan Powell is ready to settle down near his family, and hopefully find the man of his dreams. He returns to the small coastal town where he grew up, but while life is simpler than it was in the city, there are also complications—like patients’ reactions to an openly gay doctor. And like running into Nate’s first love, Damien, an out-and-proud local business owner who is unwilling to be any man’s dirty secret. The reunion reignites old desire even while it stirs up Nate’s guilt over the way things ended with Damien.

When Nate’s nephew runs away, Damien accompanies Nate on his mission to find the young man. The drive to Sydney, and the search of the city, gives Nate time to reconnect with Damien—and to wonder if he made the right decision years ago—when he determined a future for them was impossible. Is a fresh start realistic for two men in their forties? But before he can ponder the second chance they’ve been given, Nate must locate his nephew.

World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

A big thank you to RJ for hosting me today as I celebrate the release of Runaway, part of the Dreamspinner Press World of Love collection. The World of Love stories are “contemporary romances spotlighting the unique features, qualities and attributes of a specific country as well as the universality of love wherever it’s found.”

Nate and Damien had only just started to reconnect after many years of being apart when Nate’s nephew, Jackson, runs away to Sydney. The men travel to the city so they can be closer when Jackson finally gets in contact. Here’s an excerpt from a scene in their hotel room where Nate struggles to sleep.

Long Excerpt

The digital clock emitted a dull light that flashed every time Nate lifted his eyelids. And that’s just what Nate did. Every minute or so he found his eyes opening and taking in the dimness of the hotel room and the annoying light of the clock. It only added to his frustration as he watched the numbers slowly tick over.

He rolled to the other side and pulled the sheet over his shoulder, to ward off the chill of the air conditioning. His thoughts swirled as he contemplated Damien’s words from earlier in the evening. No matter how he looked at it, Nate couldn’t deny there was truth in what Damien had said. Nate did hide himself from everyone except Trish and Damien, and the few friends he had here in the city. Why hadn’t he told Jackson and Belinda? Was he concerned they wouldn’t understand? Was he worried they’d talk and the word would spread like wildfire? He guessed it was most likely he was used to not saying anything, and on top of that, it pissed him off that he, or any other person, should have to make an announcement about his sexuality.

With a rustle of the bedclothes, he turned to the other side, opening his eyes to see another few minutes had passed. He looked farther past the bedside table to the raised mound in the other bed, envious that Damien was obviously asleep.

Damien.

Just thinking about him brought a smile to Nate’s face. He probably looked stupid grinning in the dark, but he couldn’t help the warmth that filled him from being so close again. And it wasn’t just because Damien was gorgeous, although there was no doubt his dark good looks pushed all Nate’s buttons; it was the way he cared so much. Damien’s concern wasn’t just limited to Nate either. He was worried about Jackson and sympathetic to what Trish was going through, having spoken to her earlier in the day when Nate had been in the shower and unable to answer his phone.

“C’mon here, Nate.” The words were whispered in the quiet of the hotel room.

“Huh?”

“I can hear you thinking from over here. Get your arse over here.”

“I—”

“I promise to be on my best behaviour. I’ll just hold you, I promise. No mucking around.”

Nate didn’t need to be told twice. He scrambled from his bed and crawled under the sheet Damien held up for him. They lay there for a moment, both of them on their backs, staring at the dim ceiling. The only thing visible was the tiny green blinking light on the fire alarm.

Damien reached his hand out and grasped Nate’s. “I know I said this before, but it’ll be all right. You’ll see.”

Nate squeezed Damien’s hand. “Why am I so lucky to have you as a friend? After everything we went through—dating in secret, then hooking up a few times a year—I can’t believe you want to have anything to do with me. Then when I told you I didn’t want to see you anymore….”

Damien propped himself on one elbow, and Nate turned his head to look at him in the darkness. “You’re going to have to find a way to get past this, Nate. I can’t say I was always happy, but we were kids. Relationships start and fizzle all the time, especially long-distance ones. We were lucky we lasted those years before you headed to the city, let alone any of the time after that.”

“Lucky you didn’t kick my arse to the kerb, more like it.”

Damien chuckled. “Obviously I liked your arse enough to want to have it around, even if you only wanted to be friends with benefits or whatever.”

“You liked my arse, huh?”

“I still like your arse.” Damien leaned in and placed a gentle kiss on Nate’s lips.

The touch was fleeting, but enough to leave Nate craving more. Without a second thought, he chased Damien’s retreating mouth, capturing it with a kiss of his own. He licked across Damien’s bottom lip, and their tongues met as Damien opened his mouth to Nate. Nate deepened the kiss and put all his emotions into it. The kiss felt new and exciting but familiar at the same time, and a warmth settled in Nate’s gut. Damien pulled him in tight, drawing their bodies together. When Nate’s hard dick pushed into Damien’s thigh and pleasure simmered in his belly, he couldn’t hold back the groan. Yes, this is what I’ve been missing.

Becoming aware of what he was doing, Nate flopped back onto the pillow, his hand going to his mouth and tracing his bottom lip where Damien’s touch had been only moments before.

“D? What are we doing?”

“If I have to tell you, I’m doing something wrong.” The chuckle was soft in the darkness.

“You know what I mean. This. You and me.”

 

I hope you liked seeing a little piece of Runaway.

Nic xx

Dreamspinner Press   Amazon US   Amazon UK   Amazon AU   Barnes & Noble   Kobo   iBooks   Google Play   Universal Link

Goodreads Link

 

Nic Starr lives in Australia where she tries to squeeze as much into her busy life as possible. Balancing the demands of a corporate career with raising a family and writing can be challenging but she wouldn’t give it up for the world.

Always a reader, the lure of m/m romance was strong and she devoured hundreds of wonderful m/m romance books before realising she had some stories of her own that needed to be told.

Nic loves to spend time with her family—an understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a cherished Cairn terrier. Nic is a foodie and wine lover who lives in the city but is a country girl at heart. When not writing or reading, she is often found indulging in her love of cooking and planning her dream home in the country.

You can find Nic on Facebook, Twitter and her blog. She’d love it if you stopped by to say hi.

Website & Blog   Amazon Author Page   Facebook   Facebook Page   Twitter   Instagram   Pinterest   Goodreads

 

It’s Fangirl Friday with K.A. Merikan! INTERVIEW and GIVEAWAY!!

It’s Fangirl Friday!

*dances* This month I couldn’t resist the opportunity to gush all over writing duo, Kat and Agnes Merikan. (I’m seriously kicking myself that it took me so long to find these two!) Most of you probably already know them and are rolling your eyes at me. Well, I’m here now and that’s all that matters.

Here’s the cover and blurb for book one – it’s guaranteed to get you hooked.

— Love is sour like a Sicilian lemon. —

The Family is always right.
The Family doesn’t forget.
The Family pays for blood in blood.

Domenico Acerbi grew up in the shade of Sicilian lemon trees ready to give his life for the Family. Ready to follow orders and exceed expectations. A proud man of honor.
When Seth, the younger son of the Don is kidnapped, it’s Domenico who is sent to get him back. The man he finds, though, is not the boy he knew all those years ago. Lazy, annoying, spoiled, and as hot as a Sicilian summer.

Seth Villani wants nothing to do with the mafia. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get a say when the Family pulls him right back into its fold after his mother’s death. Thrown into a den of serpents otherwise known as the Villani Family, Seth has to find a way to navigate the maze of lies. But when Domenico Acerbi, the most vicious snake of them all, sinks his fangs into Seth, the venom changes into an aphrodisiac that courses through Seth’s veins.

Domenico knows his life is about to change when he gets the order to train Seth up to the role of future Don. Seth isn’t made for it. He isn’t even made. But a man Domenico knows he would never have to fear might just be someone he’s always needed.

If Seth is doomed to follow in his father’s footsteps, he might as well enjoy himself—with the most intoxicating man he’s ever met. Maybe he can even fool himself into believing that Domenico isn’t a handsome sociopath who kills for a living.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS:
Themes: Enemies to lovers, mafia, homophobia, assassin, organized crime
Genre: Dark, twisted erotic romance / crime thriller
Erotic content: Explicit gay sex, coercion
Length: ~110,000 words

WARNING: Adult content. If you are easily offended, this book is not for you.
‘Guns n’ Boys’ is a gritty story of extreme violence, offensive language, abuse, and morally ambiguous protagonists. Behind the morbid facade, there is a splash of inappropriate dark humor, and a love story that will crawl under your skin.

(Just to add to this warning; it’s absolutely correct! I didn’t get it at the time, but these two will worm their seductive and dirty way under your skin. Just saying 🙂 )

Aaaaanyway, I’ve just finished binge-reading the Guns n’ Boys series, (and am hanging out for the next one) and have become totally hooked with Dom and Seth. Closeted, alpha mafia guys, who are brutal yet loving. I didn’t like either of them in the first installment, but I quickly fell in love. It’s a great mix. I’ve lost a lot of sleep with this series—no joke—so I felt compelled to contact the Merikans and asked very nicely if they’d like to come over to my blog so I can fangirl to all of you and get some answers to my questions. So, here we go:

RJ: Ladies, thanks so much for being my guests. I totally fell in love with Dom and Seth, even if I didn’t like either of them in the very beginning. Dom was a horrible arsehole and Seth was a whimpering doormat. However, I had to keep reading. There was just something about them that made me keep turning the page. Where did you find the inspiration for these two? They’re such a mismatched couple, yet they’re perfect for each other.

KA: Their story is very long and complicated ;D Seth was originally a side character in our first-ever story written together. His boyfriend was Peter, Seth’s ex in Guns n’ Boys. We decided to use him for a new project after Agnes watched some assassin-themed movie. In first drafts of the character, Domenico was a silent, brooding type, so obviously he got out of control very quickly. Their relationship developed organically, but when drafting out the currently published version, we added some more polish to its progress.

RJ: As an author, I’m always curious to know how other authors write. When you first started this series, did you know what would happen to Dom and Seth? Was it supposed to only be one or two books or did you have the entire series planned?

KA: We first started writing it in Polish and published it on our blog. At the time, our plans for the series weren’t concise and we came up with plot as we went along. When we decided to introduce this story to our English-speaking readers, we saw it as a chance to make it better, think of an arc for each book and improve the plot. The new version diverged so much from the original that despite sharing certain elements, it reads like a completely new story. It was when we were drafting book one in its current form that the rough plan for the whole series came about, but we keep adding new elements to make the story more interesting.

RJ: Any chance of getting Mark’s story? If not, what can I bribe you with?

KA: Yes, we love Mark too much not to give him one :D. His love story will be a part of the main storyline, but there will be up to 2 books focused on him.

RJ: Seth has grown so much over the series. Does he have any more lessons that need to be learned, and if so, will he keep hold of that sweetness that Dom (and me) loves so much. Seth seems to be hanging on to his innocence by his bloody fingernails.

KA: I cannot reveal too much with so many books still left to be written, but every book is a chance for a lesson for those characters. Each time they find out new things about each other, and they fall in love all over again when each conflict is resolved. What I can say is that after Bloodbath, Domenico will do everything in his power to spare what is left of Seth’s innocence, but will he?–we can’t tell ;D

RJ: How many more books in the series? Or is that a secret?

KA: At the moment, we are planning up to fifteen books, including spinoffs.

RJ: Can we expect to see more about Miguel? Will he get his own series? He’s so quiet but tough, he’s totally captured my attention so I’m more than willing to bribe you for his story too.

KA: You know what they say about the quiet ones. He’s definitely got some demons haunting him at night, and those will obviously (haha) be dealt with in his own book 😉 This one might actually come out before 2017 is over.

RJ: Okay, time for some quick-fire questions. No thinking!

Coke or Pepsi?
Agnes: Pepsi
Kat: Coke

Favorite colour?
Agnes: black and teal
Kat: purple, lilac

Favourite place to read?
Agnes: my room
Kat: Love listening to audiobooks on a walk

Cook at home or dine out?
Agnes: dine out – no cleaning ;D
Kat: dine out, hands down

Favourite non-alcoholic drink?
Agnes: elderflower cordial
Kat: fresh lemonade with mint

Favourite holiday spot?
Agnes: Croatia, Italy, and Cornwall
Kat: I’ll be copycatting Agnes on this one

Winter or summer?
Agnes: Summer!!
Kat: Summer.

Harry Potter or Twilight?
Agnes: Potter, obviously
Kat: Potter

Favourite author. (Both MM and non-mm)
Agnes: Currently, it’s KJ Charles
Kat: Lately I’ve been loving Kasia Bacon 🙂

If there were 25hrs in a day, what would you do with the extra hour?
Agnes: I would like to say “reading” or something reasonable like that, but it would probably be swallowed up by work ;p
Kat: Sport if I was being motivated, writing otherwise 😉 Nothing like some more words in the day

RJ: That’s it from me. A huge big thanks to Kat and Agnes for taking the time to indulge in my fangirling. If you haven’t checked out the Guns n’ Boys series yet, you are missing out!

And if you think this series sounds fantastic, it gets better because all books are on KU!

You’ll find the series buy link here.

 

Keep scrolling for the buy links and a chance to win your copy of the first two books!

K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are taken for sisters with surprising regularity.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.

To keep up to date with their new releases (and get a free book in the process!) sign up to their newsletter: http://kamerikan.com/newsletter

e-mail: kamerikan@gmail.com

More information about ongoing projects, works in progress and publishing at:
K.A. Merikan’s author page: http://kamerikan.com

FUN FACTS:
– We are Polish,
– We’re neither sisters nor a couple,
– Kat’s an artist, and Agnes is a psychologist but neither works in her field,
– Kat’s fingers are two times longer than Agnes’s.

One lucky person will win the first two books in this series. All you need to do is comment below and a random commenter will be drawn next Friday, April 21.

Good luck!