Having been to hell and back, the eager sisters from Ukraine - Natalia, Lena and Julia - decide to retire from selling sex and walk the straight and narrow path back home. But when an old friend calls them with an opportunity to make buckets of ‘easy’ money in South Africa, they find it impossible to refuse.
Return to the nightlife of the entertainment business brings along all the old familiar temptations - alcohol, drugs, and prostitution.
Can the girls resist their vices and stay together? Or will this industry destroy their sanity and their family?
Inspired by real life events, Craved is a fascinating story of addiction, survival and the art of making a living in the sex trade.
I get this question quite often – why did I choose to self-publish my books and what is the difference between traditional and self-publishing?
One of the fundamental differences between traditional and self-publishing is the time taken to get your work to the market. When publishing in the traditional sense, a manuscript can take many years to actually become a finished book. As an author you can expect to have to contact multiple publishing houses before it gains any traction; and what you must remember is that the larger houses are inundated with manuscripts, so you can expect to wait over six months before hearing anything back from any of them.
If you are lucky enough to get picked up by one of the houses you can expect to wait over a year for your book to actually be published; this is certainly the case with fiction, though non-fiction works can be pushed through a little quicker.
When it comes to self-publishing, you the author can have a finished book in as little as six months whether it be hardcover or paperback (or both!); in fact if you go down the eBook route with Amazon’s Kindle store for example, you can slash that timescale to weeks rather than months.
Self-publishing can be more expensive initially, especially if you choose not to go down the eBook route. Often you will have to pay hundreds of pounds upfront depending on the company or companies you choose to use. With traditional publishing you are paid in advance; new authors shouldn’t expect a huge windfall, but more experienced authors with established fan bases can expect six or seven figure paydays.
When publishing traditionally, the publishing house pays for everything, including marketing, distribution and design; they use their vast networks and all of their experience to actively promote your book to get the highest number of sales possible. When you self-publish, all of this is on you.
That said, with self-publishing you retain control over the whole process and, more importantly, you retain complete creative control over your work. Publishing houses have been known to completely destroy and rip up original manuscripts so they end up looking like a completely different book. Publishers often shy away from controversial works, books that they don’t think will “fit” or works which they think won’t meet their sales threshold.
With self-publishing you retain complete control over the design, market position and content of your work. And that is the main reason why I chose to go self-publishing way with my debut adult novel Twisted and the sequel to it – Craved. Of course, luckily I can afford it too. Currently I’m working on the third book in the trilogy, which I also plan to self-publish some time next year.
‘Harder!’ he screams in desperation. ‘Harder!’
But his voice breaks down, strangled and hoarse. His eyes are wide open in an all-out pre-orgasmic rapture. His red face is wrinkled and strained. His perfect pink designer shirt is now rumpled and covered with sweat stains. A few little white and pink buttons are missing – they are probably somewhere on the floor together with my dress and G-string. His shiny-to-a-fault patent leathers point at the ceiling, their heels digging convulsively into the floor. He covers my cramped hands with his, to strengthen my grip, making the pulsating veins on his neck swell even more. Then he utters a wild growl and shuts his eyes. His body goes limp under my thighs.
Oh crap. Why does it always have to be me?
His face looks deathly pale against the red velvet couch. His lifeless body is still. It seems he is not breathing. I roll my eyes, wiping the sweat off my forehead.
Shit! I hope I haven’t killed him for real…
I jump off the couch, grab his shirt, and start shaking him. The visions flash through my mind. The handcuffs tighten around mywrists, the red and blue flashes light my regretful face in the blackness of the night as the officer pushes me down into a police car, the Agent Evelyn Salt expression on my face mirrored in the one-way glass of the interrogation room…
Have I been watching too many action films? Instead of picturing myself as Angelina, I should be thinking about what to do with the weirdo... or rather with his body… Shit! Shit! Shit!
‘Hmm…’ he wheezes, his eyes still closed. I let go of his shirt and exhale.
‘Hey…’ Obviously, I don’t remember his name.
‘Hey… wake up.’
He frowns, still faint. ‘Mom… Don’t do it… Mom, please – let’s not do it…’
I open my mouth to reason, then stop short, take a deep breath and slap him instead. He opens his eyes. ‘Are you okay?’ I say, loud and slow. ‘Shall we have a break and get a drink, or…’
‘No! Please don’t stop, Julia.’ He clings to my shoulders. His face winces. ‘I’m good. I’m good. Don’t stop.’
Lola Smirnova is an author from Ukraine. Her novels are inspired by real-life events. They are meant for the open-minded readers who are not afraid of a little blood, sweat and semen.
Lola’s debut novel Twisted was released in 2014. The book placed as Honorable Mention in the General Fiction Category of The 2014 London Book Festival’s Annual Competition.
Lola released Craved, the highly anticipated sequel to Twisted, in August 2015.
Lola has fascinating stories to share about the experiences of women in the global sex industry. Her thrilling tales will surely shock and surprise you, with both the storyline and literary value.
Lola lives in South Africa, and is currently working on the third book in her trilogy. To learn more, go to her website.