Sunday, August 20, 2017

Excerpt from COLD HEARTED VAMPIRE


Excerpt from Cold Hearted Vampire. Ebook is available for preorder now at Amazon: http://amzn.to/2uMDy0A
Paperback and ebook availabe at all online book outlets  9/6/17
 
                                       ****

He’d just had sex, twice now, with a vampire.
Been inside the living undead. Even as the idea boggled his mind, he found he only wanted a chance to do it again. 

Because, vampire or not, he had feelings for the lovely and cool Dr. Michaela. From their first kiss, he’d known there was something about her. Something that drew him in. Not just animal magnetism, but the almost indiscernible vulnerability he’d glimpsed in her eyes. Anyone who thought her cold and unfeeling had obviously never looked below the surface—or had her in the sack. 

She was open in her lovemaking. Kept nothing hidden, and it made him wonder why she considered it so necessary to keep her passionate side hidden the rest of the time.
The front door suddenly slammed open. Hitting hard against Seth’s hip and almost knocking Michaela off of him. Their private time ended as three men clambered through the broken door. 

Seth instinctively reached for a weapon that wasn’t there. 

“Dad!” Michaela squealed and everything inside him froze solid as ice. Scrambling off Seth’s body, giving a flashing view of that lovely backside, she attempted to use his body as a shield. 

Even as he sat up straight, she was tugging at him and cowering behind his back.
Catching the look of pure venom in Andris Blautsauger’s eyes, Seth slapped a hand to his forehead and groaned. 

Things were about to get really ugly.      

                                                                                  
Other Books by R E Mullins: 
  What happens when you pray for an angel and get a vampire instead? This night shift phlebotomist is going
to find out.





  
After a spell goes horribly wrong, Morgan locks her powers deep inside her.
Now she must learn to use
her magic to save the 
vampire she loves.




 He was both her hero and enemy.
She was his best student and biggest regret.
Can they leave the shadows long enough to
admit their feelings?
Check out what I'm working on now at remullins.com
                                   

Saturday, August 19, 2017

A Special Book Signing by Alicia Dean

I have a book signing coming up, and this time, even if I have no attendees, I'll still enjoy myself. This time, the signing is in the town where my sister and brother-in-law live. My gothic mystery novella, Haunting at Spook Light Inn, is based on an actual phenomenon, a 'Spook Light' in Northeastern Oklahoma. I previously blogged about how I was researching and idea for an Oklahoma mystery and I ran across the spook light info, then discovered it was 15 miles from where my sister lives. Recently, my sister contacted me because a friend of hers knows the owner of a book store in her town of Miami. They put me in touch with the manager, who offered to display Haunting at Spook Light Inn in their 'local interest' section and invited me to do a book signing. 

Now the time has come. The signing is next Saturday. One of my other sisters (I have 4 total), is going with me to Miami on Friday and we are staying the weekend with Ruth and Tom. Even if the signing is a bust, I'll be hanging out with my family, and visiting an awesome book store/coffee shop. All in all, that will be a pretty great weekend.





It makes me sad that there are so few brick and mortar book stores left. I've done signings in places other than book stores, but it's just not the same. What do you think? Where do you like to do book signings?

Friday, August 18, 2017

New Book Covers and Branding by Jannine Gallant

A few months ago, I received the cover for the first book in my new SIREN COVE series, releasing in 2018. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I got the cover for the second book. They're all scenery and have a suspenseful vibe. I've been given permission to share, so...tada!!



What do you think? I love them! Not long after the first cover was finished, my editor emailed me to say they were giving my BORN TO BE WILDE series a new look. Everyone at Kensington loved the cover for BURIED TRUTH so much, they wanted a do-over for the current series.

I know lots of self-published authors who've gone through multiple incarnations of a book cover, making it more professional and going for a different look. But usually with a publisher, we only get one shot at a cover. So, why is my series being repackaged? The original covers are professional and eye-catching. They feature an attractive couple. They're upbeat. Romantic. Cheerful! I always thought they better suited contemporary romance than romantic suspense, even though they accurately reflect the story. They capture the content but not the mood.

I think there's more to this than going for a suspenseful look. I've always wondered about the mystery of author branding. I never could quite grasp the concept, but with these new covers, I'm beginning to see the light. Kensington is feeling their way with me, finding my specific niche in their company. My brand. I write suspenseful stories where rugged, outdoor settings are a focus of the plot. They're repackaging my books to give me an identifiable look. Currently, only the first two covers are finished. Until all four are available, the old covers remain up on retail sites. I'm giving you all a sneak peek to make my point!

I love this new look, this brand they're giving me. So here they are, the old...




And the new...





What do you think? For those of you who read my books, does this look more like me? I hope one day readers will pick up my books and identify me by the covers the way we do authors who have a brand we know well. For now, I feel like I've found my niche in the world of romantic suspense.

The final two books will get their face lift soon. Stay tuned... And if you haven't started this series yet, read WILDE ONE...with the old cover. Get your copy at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, or KOBO now. Or, pre-order BURIED TRUTH. The buy link is on my website. Happy reading!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Wait a Minute. You Want Me To Give a Talk? by Betsy Ashton

My last couple of posts have been about writing and publishing. I want to take up one more topic, one which can scare a writer more than anything else. Standing up in front of a group and giving a talk about your book. If you aren't in Toast Masters, or you haven't spent a career giving presentations to clients and management, here are a couple of rules to follow.

  1. Thank folks for coming. That's right. That your host, your audience, and anyone else who matters. It makes people feel you are honored they are spending precious time with you.
  2. Know what your book is about. By that I mean, tell me in 15 words or less what it is about. I'd suggest you think about writing it in a Tweet, but tweeting has taken on a different life lately. Still, if you can't tell me in a couple of sentences what the book is about, you can't expect your audience to wave a magic wand and divine why they want to read it. Most people call this the elevator pitch: how much can you say about your book in a ride between three floors. That should be your opening.
  3. Give the audience a slightly longer summary of the story. Keep it simple. Use as few names as possible. If you have two main characters and a host of secondary characters, focus on the interaction, the conflict, the romance, etc. between these characters. Secondary characters are, well, secondary for a reason. They matter in the book but not in a book talk.
  4. Be sure you know what your genre is. Mushy genre bending can confuse a reader. I have never know what a stand-alone romance in a series is. It's either a book in a series or a stand-alone. All books in a series should be able to be read out of order. 
  5. Prepare a couple of selections you want to read. These should be no more than 5 minutes long. One should be the hook at the beginning. One could be a teaser to draw the listeners in so they want to buy and read the book.
  6. If you are giving a talk at a library or a facility that has a collection of books for residents, offer to give away a copy. You are looking for readers, and libraries provide access to readers. Fear not, libraries will either buy more copies if they have a lengthy waiting list or readers will listen to their friends and not wait. They'll go to Amazon or their local bookstore and order the book.
  7. Ask if anyone has any questions. If no one volunteers, lead the discussion with your own questions. Pick some activity that is central to the book and ask if anyone has done it. A friend has a book where backpacking is important. She asks if people backpack. If she gets some comments, she continues. If not, she has other questions in her arsenal.
  8. Thank people for coming. Again.
  9. Tell people you have books for sale at the front or back of the room. Seat yourself at the table with pens at the ready. Have someone else handle the money. Assure your readers you take checks, cash, and credit cards. Get the Square or the PayPal app so you can rack up sales on your phone or tablet.
  10. Hand out book marks or business cards with your contact information.
  11. Be sure to thank each person who stands in line for coming and buying your book.
  12. Enjoy the hell out of the process.

There. That wasn't so bad. It's fun. You get to brag on yourself. After all, you have done something that many in the room haven't: you've written and published a book. And now you are an author.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Holiday Cowboys on PreOrder by Donna Michaels

Hello everyone,

I'm excited to announce the preorder of a holiday boxed set full of cowboys! This Amazon exclusive set releases October 12th, so reserve some heat today!






Rel. October 12, 2017
only .99 cents!
PreOrder HERE


New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Authors Donna Michaels and Hildie McQueen are joined by bestselling and award-winning authors Amanda McIntyre, Tori Scott, Gem Sivad, Kathleen Ball, Rhonda Lee Carver, and Victoria Vane to bring you eight sexy cowboys in this holiday collection that will warm you from the inside out.


Donna Michaels - Wine and Her New Year Cowboy (Book 4/Citizen Soldier Series) A Going no male resolution excludes cowboys.

Kathleen Ball – A Kiss at Midnight - Will Anora accept Maverick’s Heart? Only a long awaited New Year’s kiss at midnight will tell him.

Rhonda Lee Carver- A New Year's Cowboy- Charlie has suffered tragedy, but a Christmas package offers hope and a cowboy.

Amanda McIntyre - Lost & Found (and End of the Line novella) Fate gives first love a second chance.

Hildie McQueen- New Year with You- A modern Cinderella type story with a humorous twist.

Tori Scott- Cowboy Masquerade - A New Year's Eve masquerade party reveals more than anyone expects.

Gem Sivad- Cowboy Burn- She slides down an icy road and lands in the arms of love.

Victoria Vane – A Cowboy’s Midnight Kiss – He never dreamed his soul mate would stumble into his life in stiletto-heeled boots.



**Note** This is a republication with story enhancements and embellishments of the previously named Ring in a Cowboy set. We hope you enjoy this delightful celebration of the holidays and our love of cowboys!


only .99 cents!
PreOrder HERE
My contribution is Book 4 in my Citizen Soldier Series. If you'd like to read the first 3 before the set releases, you can find them all HERE.
Thanks for reading,


~Donna
www.DonnaMichaelsAuthor.com

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Dangers of Children and Animals by Alison Henderson

I've heard many actors refuse to work with children or animals because they're cuter and tend to upstage plain old ordinary adults. This could easily apply to books as well, so what do I do? I boldly step out on the tightrope and include both a precocious four-year-old and a monkey to my current manuscript!

This is not a groundbreaking technique. Many romance authors have featured babies and pets in their books for years, but it's new for me. The heroine in my first book was a widow with a newborn, but he was too young to play much of a part in the story. In Child's Play, the plot centers around threats to the hero's young niece, Grace, so she's front and center for a large part of the book. And then there's Balthazar. While most authors stick with dogs or cats, I decided to add a monkey--and he's not just any monkey.

 To give you an idea, here's the scene in which Casey, the bodyguard heroine, meets Balthazar:

“Oh, and I have to warn you…don’t leave any jewelry or valuables out in your room.”
She frowned. The university might not be located in the best part of town, but the up-to-date security system she’d noticed when she arrived should be sufficient to deter any garden-variety local thieves. “We’re on the second floor. You don’t have a problem with cat burglars, do you?”
Alec’s lips tightened. “Not cat. Monkey.”
She halted. “What?”
“Balthazar.”
“Who is Balthazar?”
He grimaced. “Follow me, and I’ll introduce you.”
He headed around the open center stairwell, past the bathroom and Grace’s room, to a smaller room that could once have been a nursery or servant’s quarters. In the center of the room stood a large kennel, the kind one might use to house a Great Dane—or a small polar bear. Standing on his hind legs and clasping the bars like a convict in a ’thirties prison movie was an angry-looking monkey in a diaper who shrieked the moment he spied Alec.
“Meet Balthazar.”
Casey took a couple of tentative steps, but froze when the monkey glared at her and shrieked again.
Alec walked closer to the cage. “You don’t have to be afraid. He needs a major attitude adjustment and will steal anything that’s not nailed down, but he won’t hurt you.”
Balthazar bared his teeth in a wicked parody of a grin.
Casey kept her distance. “What kind of monkey is he?”
“He’s a white-faced capuchin from Costa Rica. They’re exceptionally intelligent. I just wish this one could be persuaded to use his brainpower for good instead of evil.”
“It’s none of my business, but why keep him if he’s so much trouble?”
Balthazar coiled his tail around one of the bars like a snake and sent her a simian death stare.
“He’s only here for the term. He actually belongs to Tomas Huerta, a colleague of mine in the Anthropology Department. Tom adopted him after he was kicked out of a companion animal training course for being an anti-social little klepto. We agreed to monkey-sit this quarter while Tom’s away digging in Central America.”
“How does Grace feel about having a monkey in the house?” Casey knew how she felt.
“She’s the main reason he’s here. She’s crazy about him.” Alec gave a soft snort and shook his head. “Tom made sure to ask me when Grace was in the room. He knows how hard it is to say no to her.”
“Why would anyone want to say no to me?” a small voice interrupted.
They turned to see Grace standing in the doorway. She marched up to the kennel and stuck her fingers in to rub Balthazar’s furry cheek. The monkey nuzzled her hand then shot Alec a defiant so-there look.
Alec glanced at Casey with raised brows, as if to say See what I mean? then smiled at the back of his niece’s small, blond head. “I know it’s hard to believe, but on occasion, I do know more than you.”
      Grace turned her head and gave him a long-suffering eye-roll. “Oh, Uncle Alec, don’t be silly.”

So far, I'm managed to keep the child and the monkey from taking over, but I'm having lots of fun writing them both. Grace is adorable, and Balthazar is an incorrigible pain in the patoot, but ultimately, he saves the day. 

Alison 
www.alisonhenderson.com

Monday, August 14, 2017

A New Series by Christine DePetrillo

Wolf Kiss, Book One in my new series, The Warrior Wolves Series, will be releasing on August 17th. This is the first time I have written all the books in the series before publishing any of them. This afforded me some unique revision opportunities. I completed each book and went through my normal routines before moving on to writing the next one, but then I sat down and read the entire 5-book set in a week.

In doing this I was able to:
  • comb through and fix any inconsistencies, 
  • make sure the passage of time worked out correctly, both within books and between books, 
  • keep each story focused around the series theme while maintaining its own uniqueness, 
  • keep the action moving from book to book
  • check that all the paranormal "stuff" I made up made sense,
  • see the arc of the entire series from Book One to Book Five
  • change anything that wasn't working and make sure it got changed everywhere it needed to,
  • think deeply about cover design and how to make it consistent so readers know it's a series,
  • get excited about how everything tightened up nicely!
I read Jennifer Probst's writing book, Write Naked, right before finishing this series and used many of her tips to help me sharpen up the series too. I highly suggest this text. It's an easy read and full of goodies to get you thinking about your writing and career as an author. 

While this series is paranormal due to the inclusion of some supernatural characters and events, I think I still maintained an air of contemporary romance with the setting of good old Vermont. As I've maintained since the publication of my first series, The Maple Leaf Series, "love grows in the woods." I'm convinced that love does best when surrounded by a heavy dose of nature, maple trees in particular. 

The Warrior Wolves Series follows five Celtic warriors who have been banished from Ireland by Flidae, the goddes of wild things when they use their "gifts" to kill. They all end up in present-day U.S.A. While they don't all start out in Vermont, the Green Mountain State becomes their gathering ground when they find each other... and their one true loves. 

These books are about finding your pack and making a home. 
   
Here's the cover, which I LOVE. Many thanks to Dar Albert of Wicked Smart Designs. She always gets it exactly right.


And here's the blurb:

Warrior Reardon McAlator kills anyone’s enemies for the right price. Victory comes easy to him and his fierce army… until one day, they meet their match. Faced with the possibility of destroying their legendary winning streak, Reardon takes action. He makes his men more like him and angers the wrong Celtic goddess. Banished from her protection, he wakes up alone in a different place, in a different time, and in a world of pain. He must do something worthy to get home to Ireland, but maybe getting home isn’t where he thought it was.

Wildlife biologist Dr. Brandy Wendon cares for wolves—and her sister’s son, Dylan—at Silver Moon Wolf Sanctuary in the woods of Vermont. She loves everything about her work, including secretly researching clinical lycanthropy just for the fun of it. It’s what nerds do. Brandy stays busy, but in the lonely hours of the night, she can’t deny something is missing. If only she could find that soul mate people are always mentioning. As if one perfect match for her really exists.
 
When a pained howl echoes from the dark forest beyond the sanctuary fence, Brandy meets a wolf unlike any to cross her path. Why does she grow instantly connected to him? Why does he become so important to her? 
 
She’ll only get answers if she accepts a wolf kiss.

Check my website for preorder information and prepare to howl along with my warrior wolves!

Toodles, 
Chris

The Maple Leaf Series, Books One to Six, available now, Book One is always FREE!
The Shielded Series, Books One to Three, available now, Book One is always FREE!
Wolf Kiss, Book One in The Warrior Wolves Series, coming August 17th!
www.christinedepetrillo.weebly.com 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Old habits die hard, I guess

I am continuing my writing "experiment" by writing dialog then going back and filling in action and description. So that's new for me, in some ways.

But I've reverted to having my chapters be X number of words (approximately). I am so much more comfortable having an arc for each chapter and that usually ends up taking just about the same amount of words for each one.

As always, my characters are taking on a new life than that I planned on, which is always intriguing. I have even found a way to allude to my other time travel series with these characters, and have these characters reference some of the characters from my mysteries. Funny how that works out, isn't it?

I took a break this past weekend for some travel but I always get a lot of dictation done in the car as I drive, so I think I'll be able to zip through several more chapters  soon. Summer is winding down and so is my gardening, so I should be able to devote some time to writing -- fingers, don't fail me now!

J L
(jayellwilson.com)

Saturday, August 12, 2017

HELP! I’VE BEEN ABDUCTED! BY Vonnie Davis

I’m begging Leah to post this for me. You see I bought a new computer with Windows 10. The new version abducted nearly all my passwords. I can’t blog anywhere including my own place. I have an online charge account I can’t pay. And I can’t renew our drivers’ licenses. 

I’m trying to fix it all. I really am, but it takes time. Time when I’d rather be writing. When I need to be writing and promoting. I hate when life gets in the way and it has at our house recently.


I’ve got kidney stones. Calvin keeps falling and no doctor can figure out why. He lost his main hearing aid and I’ve yet to find it. And today he lost the other one in the garage. Thank goodness we found it. My sweetheart decided he’d make a frozen pizza so I could keep on reading over a galley. Ten minutes later, the house was filled with smoke and every smoke detector in the house was blaring. We had tomato soup and grilled cheese for supper while fans worked overtime.


But life is still good. We’ve got each other and our sense of humors. And I’ve got a fairly new release. It’s steamier than I usually write and there’s a scene in a BDSM club that is more comical than sexual. The novella is part of Kindle Worlds. It allowed me to bring to life a heroine I’ve been dreaming of for three years or more. A female coach of a male collegiate basketball team. 


Men coach women’s teams and no one bats an eye. Why can’t a woman coach the men? I did some Google research and found there had been a female coach of a men’s team. And I thought if there was one, maybe there was two or three. So my female coach, Gracie Luera, would work. She also writes erotic romance during off season and is working hard at her strong attraction to bad boys.


She travels to NYC to RWA and is mugged. Who comes to her rescue? Football bad boy Webb Mohanty. It’s laughter and pure steam as they fight their attraction for each other…even at the BDSM club where she’s gone with another writer to do research for a book. 


Buy link: http://a.co/6dS5zUH
www.vonniedavis.com

Friday, August 11, 2017

A Conference Worth Your Time by Margo Hoornstra



I know there are pros and cons about the merits of belonging to the writers’ organization, Romance Writers of America. Some feel RWA is a proprietary specialty group of haves and have nots. Whether you’re a member or not, or feel the organization meets your needs as an author, attending the conference they put on each year is something to experience. I just got back from their latest.

In my opinion, RWA2017, the 37th Annual Conference of Romance Writers of America, held July 26-29 in Orlando, Florida was a huge success. I attended as President of my local RWA group, Mid-Michigan Romance Writers of America.

Since its creation in the 1980s, if nothing else, this group does strive to support romance writers in their craft and their career. The Annual Conference is one way of doing that. A definite something for everyone affair, at RWA2017, there were events of interest for those members who are emerging as authors and pre-published to those seasoned, multi-published masters.

The conference included four plus days of networking, agent/editor pitching, spotlights on publishing houses, and workshops—lots and lots of workshops—focused on career, craft, research and wellness. You name it; rather them, in the publishing world and they were represented in some form or other, either through personal, one on one appointments, workshop presentations, or receptions.

Awards and awardees were there in abundance.

The RWA Service Awards honored six members, at both the national and local level, for their volunteer efforts on behalf of RWA. Two Chapters, Central Pennsylvania Romance Writers (with less than 50 members) and San Antonio Romance Authors (with more than 50 members) received Chapter Excellence Awards for exemplary programming, community outreach, membership recruitment and retention, chapter promotion, industry engagement, and professional development.

Awards also recognized the efforts of the authors themselves with their, pre-published manuscripts and current published works, the Golden Heart and RITA respectively.

Although there was no way to attend it all, I did take in a few workshops, and a publishing house spotlight. A real high note for me was when I met, for the first time face to face, a fellow Wild Rose Press author friend I’ve known on-line for close to ten years. It was great to finally connect with her up close and, well, personal. We at The Roses of Prose talk about having a member reunion. Let me tell you, it will be well worth the effort, if we can ever pull it off.

But, back to the Conference. There was so very much to choose from and, as I’ve said, something for everyone. For traditionally published authors, indie authors and everything in between, along a wide, wide, wide spectrum of genres within romance.

I plan to attend RWA2018 in Denver. It’s a great way to connect with authors, editors, agents and publishers. Maybe meet up with an old friend or two. Care to join me?

A side note bonus I just have to share - Yesterday, I got to enjoy another face to face meeting with an on-line friend. Our own Alicia Dean aka my editor extraordinaire Ally Robertson and I had lunch together yesterday. We talked and shared and talked some more. There's nothing better than sharing with a fellow writer.

My days to blog here are the 11th and 23rd. For more about me and the stories I write, please visit my