Tag Archives: books

Giveaway: Enter to Win a Copy of Fearless!

Fearless CoverDiscover a new world of adventure and romance in the Survival Race series.

To enter the rafflecopter for a chance to win a copy of FEARLESS, click the link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fearless Excerpt:

Angry red streaks snaked through his aura. “What manner of trickery is this?”

“Get off of me, barbarian.”

Name-calling? Really? Had her father taught her nothing?

“Barbarian? That’s funny coming from a savage.”

She gasped. “Savage? You’re the one on top of me.”

“As I recall, I wouldn’t be on top of you if I hadn’t needed to protect myself from your tricks.”

“I am a spiritual healer. I only wanted to repair your soul. You must release my people.”

“They’re free to go at any time. They choose to stay.”

His weight was crushing her, making breathing difficult, but she refused to let him see her discomfort. If she could calm herself enough, her spirit could reenter his, and she could try healing him again. This might be the only chance she got before he…What would he do to her?

She didn’t sense anything evil, vile, or malicious. Murder wasn’t present in his aura. The only thing she perceived was arousal. Typical male. Perhaps she could use that to her advantage.

There were three occasions when a person’s spirit was the most vulnerable: during sleep, during illness, and during sex—so she’d been told.

“You’ve invaded our peaceful village and took our people against their will. Forgive me for not believing you.” Her words were angrier than she wanted them to be. What happened to her shamanic training?

“Seems we have a lot in common, you and I.”

“We have nothing in common, barbarian.”

“Did you not invade my body against my will?”

“To heal your spirit.”

“So you say, savage.”

Would he stop calling her that? She was not a fierce, violent person. She was tranquil and at peace with the universe, dammit.

Well, at least she strove for peace.

“However,” he continued, “you needn’t concern yourself. My spirit requires no healing.”

“So say you. But our spirits have met, and yours told me it hid a deep wound. Let me back in. Let me into your body to heal you.”

His smirk surprised her. What could he possibly find so humorous?

“If anyone enters another’s body, it will be me.” His warm lips pressed against hers. As if to prove his point, his tongue coaxed hers to open for him.

She’d been kissed before, but not from a man so dangerous and commanding, or so good at it.

Well, she wasn’t about to waste the opportunity to do what she came here for, especially since nothing in his aura indicated malicious intent. His spirit simply sought to demonstrate his male dominance in a kiss. Nothing more. Ha. He’d learn who the dominant one was when she connected with his spirit again.

She opened her mouth and kissed him back. His pause indicated surprise. He’d obviously expected her to resist. When she didn’t let up, his jaw relaxed and his kiss deepened. She couldn’t deny the freedom her soul felt.

But she’d come to heal his heart, and as much as she would like to give in to the pleasure she was receiving, she needed to heal him first.

Again retreating to that tranquil place in her mind, her spirit gathered energy and flowed from her body into his. Her spirit didn’t get further than the impenetrable stone wall before it was thrown from his body again.

His lips were off hers, the weight of his body disappeared. The influx of warm night air came as a relief.

“Savage,” he boomed. “Stay out of my body.”

“If you enter my body, barbarian, rest assured I will enter yours.”

Click to read Chapter One from FEARLESS!

Click to read Chapter One from CAPTIVE!

~K.M. Fawcett

What Are You Reading?

I’m in crazy writer’s mode this week, but I also need some downtime every night before I go to sleep. Reading something another person wrote is the best way to clear my head.  This week I’m lucky enough to be reading an advanced copy of Alone by Kendra Elliot (romantic suspense).  I’m only a quarter of the way thru, and I tell you, I’m dying to know who did it and why already!

Alone releases in January 2014.

Because I hate to waste time, I’m also listening to book on audio in the car and at the gym. This month’s choice is Shadow’s Edge by J. T. Geissinger (paranormal romance).  The gorgeous cover has tempted me  for a long time. I’m happy to say that the prose is simply beautiful, and the story is making me actually want to climb on the elliptical trainer – quite an accomplishment.

Now, tell me what you’re reading this weekend. Anything good?

 

Forbidden Love by Ellis Carrington

Forbidden LoveAs you all know, I’m a huge fan of gay romance. I love to read it and I write it. So, I figured I”d use my post today as a bit of blatant promotion for my my good friend, Ellis Carrington.  Ellis’s latest release is a novella entitled Forbidden Love (Amor Prohibido).  It’s a great story, in English not Spanish as the alternate title might imply, and it’s definitely worth checking out. Let me tell you a little bit about it.

Jacob Freehan has no job, no man, and no motivation. In pain both from ending a long-term abusive relationship and a severe back injury, he escapes to the sunny seaside town of Puerto Morelos, Mexico for a little yoga, a little R&R, and possibly a place to quietly end his own life.

Pakal is a centuries-old immortal Mayan spirit guide who has been charged with getting Jacob on the path toward healing. Romantic involvement with a spirit charge is strictly forbidden, and it has never been a problem…until now. Pakal sees something special in Jacob, but failure to keep a rapidly growing attraction at bay could result in Jacob losing his life and Pakal being condemned to the Underworld forever…

Now meet Ellis:

Romance requires a hopeful ending and that is why Ellis Carrington is driven to write it. She loves to create original stories that are gritty, witty, and a little unexpected, just like the heroes who inhabit them. Her guys come in both human and non-human form because spirit guides and vampires deserve love too. Her favorite things are great friends, great music, and books that make her laugh and cry like there’s no tomorrow. You can find out more about Ellis at her website, Twitter, or Facebook.

If you’re looking for a little man love mixed with your paranormal romance then check out Forbidden Love.

The End…But Not Really

The EndSomething really exciting happened for me recently. I got to The End of another book. Woohoo!! But as I’m sure my fellow authors out there know, getting to the end is just the beginning. There’s still a lot of work ahead. But before tackling edits, I like to have someone read the story. Generally, I pick someone who has never seen the story before because I like to get a fresh opinion.

I consider myself lucky because I have many writer friends that will be very critical beta readers.  But sometimes you get back those comments and you just want to go hide under the covers. When I got back my friends comments on this draft I had a minor freak out. It wasn’t because the comments weren’t expected, I sort of knew my trouble spots.  It was that I had no idea how to fix the issues, and I was dreadfully afraid I was going to have to star from scratch.

Have you ever been there? Maybe it’s because you’ve already spent too much time with the characters and their story. Maybe you’re just sick to death of your books, as I tend to be when I get to the end.  But whatever the reason, it’s like you’ve slammed into a wall and you just can’t see a way around it.

Some say take some time away and let it soak in. I’m not that patient of a person. I like knowing that I’m done and I’m free to move on to other things.  What worked for me to tear down that wall was hashing it out with my brilliant beta reader. With a fresh round of brainstorming I pulled that wall down brick by brick and found a solution to my story problems that was manageable.

 

Judging A Book By Its Cover

I’ve always thought a good cover helps sell a book, but recent events, have turned me into a believer. One day last week, I ran into a local beauty supply store I’d heard good things about, but had never visited. The owner stood behind the counter animatedly chatting with two women about the antics of her new kitten. As I took my merchandise to the check-out, the owner mentioned how her cat is so much happier now that she has a companion.  I nodded in agreement, because I’ve lived this, only with dogs, and know the truth in this statement.

The women’s smile widened in appreciation of my acknowledgement. As she rang up my sale, we spoke in more detail about her cats. The subject soon focused on my pets. I told her I didn’t have any pets right now, and that we’d lost our dog to illness a little over a year ago. All the women grew quiet. One blotted her eyes; another patted my arm and my heart instantly warmed. I love animal lovers. They are honest, sensitive people, and I adore being around them.

After paying for my merchandise, I mentioned my book that featured my dog. I pulled out a copy from the bag I bring along when I run errands. They asked me questions about the cover, and pointed to the coffee cup, the steam in the shape of a heart, the young couple gazing into each others eyes, and the little dog sitting proudly in the corner. These women commented on how much they loved the cover and how inviting they thought it was as we talked about how all of the elements on the cover related directly to the story.

Wow. That was an enlightening experience for me. I’d always thought a cover was important, but this interaction with complete strangers proved to me just how important a good cover design can be.

I sold five books that afternoon, and am so grateful for publishing companies like Astraea Press and The Wild Rose Press, who encourage their authors to communicate in great detail with their cover designers, allowing us to work hand in hand to create a beautiful finished product.

Before this experience, I’d never even thought to ask potential publishers how much input an author would have in their cover design. Instead I got lucky. I sold to two publishers that do believe an author’s input is invaluable and since there’s no guarantee to my luck holding out, I can assure you, how much author input goes into a cover design will be the first question I ask any potential publisher in the future.

Best,

Cathy Tully

What’s on Your Keeper Shelf?

At the moment, I’m in the middle of going through edits on my latest WIP. In between each draft I like to take a little time to clear my head so I can come back to it fresh. One of the things I like to do is go back to my keeper shelf. All of us reading fans have them. That collection of books you hold onto at all costs because they are autographed or maybe just because.

Recently, I spent sometime with Johanna Lindsey’s backlist. I remembered why I fell in love with Man of My Dreams and why Angel got me hooked on reading romance novels. Let me share a few others that I’ve got on my keeper shelf.

Forever Blue – Suzanne Brockmann
Public Secrets – Nora Roberts
Until You – Judith McNaught
Faith and Fidelty – Tere Michaels
Naked in Death by JD Robb
Conquest & No Fear – SJ Frost

In this day day and age of ebooks it easy to keep all of your books because they really don’t take any space so perhaps instead of asking what’s on your keeper shelf, the better question is what’s on your frequently reread list? I’d love to know because when I get to the end of this round of edits I’m going to read something new(to me, at least) and I’m open to suggestions.

Rayna

VooDoo, I Do by Sayde Grace

Hello everyone!! Thanks so much for letting me stop by today. The last two weeks have been insane around my house. My family and I have been sick, well, and sick again, plus I just started a new job. Totally crazy.

Today before I move to my post I would like to give a huge thank you to all men and women who have served in some way to protect our country. Men and women have been protecting us for years and sometimes I don’t think they get enough thanks for it. I also want to thank the families and friends of those men and women. I always think about my grandmother who after just getting married and having a baby was left in Owassa, Alabama with all the other women in the family to raise babies and farm while all the men went off to the Navy. My Aunts and grandmother held down the farm and homes during one of the worst financial times in our nation. Not only that but they raised happy families who went on to respect and understand the sacrifices that we make for our freedom. Strong people behind the scenes are just as important as the men and women on the front lines, so today I thank you all for your service.

While we are on the subject of strong women I would like to introduce to you all my heroine from my book, Voodoo, I Do. Don’t let the name scare you. It’s not all about voodoo. You see Josephine Doucet-Wade is a vampire, but not just any vampire, she’s also half werewolf. She’s the most powerful, badass, and most hated creature ever created. Both species love her and hate her, making her everyday life a fight for survival. Not only does she have to worry about what other werewolves and vampires are up to, she has her best friend who’s having a relationship melt down live with her, who just so happens to be a voodoo priestess. And of course when the going gets rough everyone wants to rain on her parade.

When her ex werewolf husband who’s not really so ex hears of all the trouble heading Josephine’s way he heads to River Road, Louisiana to help her in the fight of their life. But Braxton isn’t the only alpha looking to get back into Josephine’s good graces, her ex vampire lover and first love Etienne is also headed her way.

For the battle of a century Josephine will attack the page in ways that mere mortals have only dreamed of. And while doing so she will be forced to choose between a future with Braxton or Etienne, both Alpha’s who desperately need her power in their worlds.

Here are the official details of Voodoo, I Do. Today in honor of Veterans Day I will be giving away four books. Readers can choose between any of my backlist which includes, Voodoo, I Do, Untamable, The Harder They Buck, and Riding Double. If one commenter is all we have then that person gets all four.

Alpha female of both the werewolf and vampire species Josephine Wade has a problem–two, actually. The first is Etienne Bordeaux, her former vampire lover she hopes to seduce again. The second is her estranged Alpha werewolf mate, Braxton Wade, who wants to show her that she may be dominant, but he’s even more so, especially with her under him and his teeth marking her. Both powerful males want her back, but only one can have her heart, body and soul.

As Josephine tries to control the situation between her former lover and her husband, her world begins to unravel. What was once the truth is now fiction, and what was fiction is now truth. Only she can be the one to unite both truth and fiction to save those closest to her and take her place beside her true mate in both the werewolf and vampire worlds.

Book Cover INsert

STORY EXCERPT

Once upstairs, I lay down on the bed and stared at the ceiling. Braxton went to the car to get the rest of my father’s things. The smell of sugarcane drifted across the room to me, and a lazy tingle of awareness told me Etienne was coming up the hidden passageway to my room. I looked over at the hidden door then shut my eyes, hoping he’d go away. Of course he didn’t. Instead he eased toward the bed.

Ma chère, so many nights have I remembered the way you look stretched out in our bed. I’ll never forget the way your body moves,” he said huskily.

I sat up, rolled my eyes, and looked over at him. “What do you want, Etienne?”

He smiled, causing my heart to beat faster. An instant later he knelt in front of me.

“I want to be able to bury my cock into the woman I love. I want to taste the delicious flavor of her pussy, and hear her screaming in ecstasy from me, not some fucking dog. I want to taste you in all ways and have you taste me. I want that bastard out of your life and only me touching you.” His eyes glowed crimson and cinnamon closed around us.

“Etienne, you left me, haven’t contacted me in any way, shape, or form over the years, and now you’re married to the bitch who tried to steal my husband.”

As if a lightbulb went off, it all began to make sense. “You sent her after him—didn’t you? You got her to try to split us up?” My voice was about ten octaves higher than normal.

He shook his head vehemently. “Ma chère, as much as I want him out of your life I wouldn’t hurt you that way. I want you to choose me over him. Not force you into making the decision.” He spoke softly, staring into my eyes.

“If you want me so badly, why’d you leave? Why’d you marry Elizabeth?” I asked as the anger began to boil within.

“I left because I couldn’t stand not being able to hold you. I went after Melanie’s relatives and found none, so I gave up on any future with you. That’s when I met Elizabeth. I care for her, but no one will ever hold a candle to you, chère.

He reached up as if he were going to caress my cheek the way he had done years ago after we’d made love, but the invisible line from the curse caused him to stop. His deep longing to be with me touched the little soul I had left. I fought my instinct to lean toward him.

“You need to leave. Go back to the garçonnière, to your wife. Forget everything about me. When the deal with this property is over, I’m cutting you from my line. You can stay under Grayson if you wish, but we need to be free of each other for good.”

Braxton’s heavy footsteps marching toward me as well as the harsh scent of sulfur were clear signs he was pissed and just outside the door.

Braxton busted through the door, seething.

I silently begged Etienne to go away. He looked into my eyes, letting me see the hurt, longing, and love he held for me.

“I love you, chère. Always have and always will.” He made no move to get up when Braxton rushed toward us from the doorway.

Braxton raced across the room in a fit of rage. His scent smelled so sulfuric it turned my stomach sour.

“Brax, easy. You’re suffocating me with the smell.” Under normal circumstances I may not have tried his patience, but the smell was just too much.

He growled at me and I shut up.

He dropped the boxes onto the floor and rounded on Etienne, shoving him across the room. When Etienne hit the wall, Braxton grabbed him by the throat and lifted him off the floor. “If it wasn’t for the trouble it would bring on her, I’d kill you. I’d rip you apart here and now for talking to my mate like that. I don’t give a damn whether you think you love her or not. She is my mate. Mine!” Braxton launched Etienne out one of the windows. Glass shattered and cascaded throughout the room.

A muffled thump on the earth and a cuss from Etienne said he’d made it to the ground.

About Sayde:

A native of South Alabama, Sayde Grace was raised among the cotton fields and dirt roads of the south. She has a deep love and appreciation for the rural communities and uses her experiences of small town life in her books. A lifelong story teller, Sayde began writing full time three years ago and has written several full length manuscripts which range from romantic suspense to erotica.

Sayde is currently enjoying and loving life in beautiful South Alabama with her husband and two young children. Sayde’s first urban fantasy in her Moonlight Cravings Series was released in April of 2011 through Siren Publishing followed by her first paranormal suspense, Voodoo I Do.

To find Sayde on the web please go to http://saydegrace.com

 

Clearing the Creative Channels

It seems as though there is always something trying to suck the creativity out of you. Stress with work or family, the responsibilities of day to day living, in my case school all seems to build up and make finding the motivation and inspiration to write difficult. There is always something that tugs at you, pulling you away from your writing or simply draining the creative well dry. Still, if we want to get anything finished we have to find a way to push on, recharge, and  unblock the clogged creative channels so that the stories start flowing again.

One of the things I do is go to conferences. RWA’s National Conference is always very inspirational and gives my creativity stores a huge boost.  Although I will say the strength of that recharge was seriously challenged this year. I came home to discover I had tests due in both of the classes that I’m currently taking. This amounted to four tests in the course of one week since each class requires the completion of a pretest and the actual exam. Unfortunately,  school work had  to take precedence over writing productivity. Once I got through that I jumped back in and actually started making progress.

Another creative boost for me is brainstorming with friends. I love playing the what if game and seeing where it will take me. On a smaller scale a hot shower seems to be another way to help clear the cobwebs and help me focus in on the scene I want to write. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the solution to a plot issue come to me while I’m in the shower. Seriously, I need some sort of waterproof notepad so I can jot down these ideas when they come to me.

What about you? How do you keep those creative batteries charged?

Bookmarks, Blog Posts, and Book Videos! Oh My!

You spend weeks drafting, polishing, and perfecting your manuscript. Finally it’s ready for submission. With a little luck you finally get the call from your dream editor. Woohoo! You made it. Now the fun begins. We’re all professionals revisions from your editor are all part of the process, but once you get through that. You’re done, right? On to the next book.

WRONG!

Writing and editing the book is just the first step in the process. Next comes the publicity and promotion stage. While writing a fabulous book is the biggest most important part of any writer’s job, making the world aware of your awesome book is also a key to success.  How to do this, though, is always a quandary.

Obviously it starts with the publicity your publisher does for you, which differs from house to house.  Attractive cover art, an intriguing book blurb, and, for traditional publishers, key placement within the store are also important. Let’s face it many people do judge a book by it’s cover or at least the back cover copy. as to placement, the easier it is for readers to find your book the better. Working closely with you publisher’s marketing department is always a smart plan.

However, the burden is also on us as authors to promote ourselves. So what can we do to help build our brand and our presence? Authors try many different methods. We love our goodies and giveaway items. I’ll admit I like them myself, but I don’t know that pens, note pads, and buttons really sell books. Paper items and food items are disposable. One of the big rules of marketing is if you’re going to give something away make sure it’s something that will last and be a constant reminder of you and your books. Sure people always pick up candy, but within seconds the wrapped is in the trash and who it came from isn’t even a memory. At least with a pen or bookmark, readers are more apt to use them and have a constant reminder of your name. Does that generate sales? It’s hard to tell.

Other promo items authors use are book videos. Again, they are fun, but I don’t know that they actually sell any books. In fact, I think some readers find them annoying. However, they make a nice and interactive item to load on your website and various social media sites.

Personally, I think some of the most effect means of promoting your work is through interactive methods. Networking with booksellers, guest blogging on active blogs that are pertinent to what you write, interviews, chats, and especially book reviews.  All aid in introducing you and your books to the world. Building a mailing list is always a good plan. It is a tool you can use again and again.

I’ve shared a few of my thoughts. I’d like to hear from you now. What do you think? Writers, what promotional methods have you found effective? Readers, what entices you to buy a book? Have book videos, giveaway items, etc. ever lead you to purchase a book?

~Rayna

Summer Reading

Summer will officially be here as of June 21st. The summer months signify a couple of things for me. First, my birthday(July 26th)  is rapidly approaching. Second, the season for reading is here. When the weather turns warm, it’s time to break out the shorts and kick back in the air conditioning, in my favorite chair with a good book. I know most people think about beach/pool reading, but I so don’t do hot. In anticipation of lazy weekends and lengthier vacations, I’ve already started loading my Nook and my iPod with a books that I plan on reading over the summer months.  Some are from my TBR pile that I’m finally getting around to reading others are hot, new release for the summer.

So far I’ve got the following in my summer reading pile:

  • Treachery in Death by J.D. Robb
  • New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb
  • The Search by Nora Roberts
  • Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts
  • Smoking Seventeen by Janet Evanovich
  • Breaking the Rules by Suzanne Brockmann – Just finished reading this and really enjoyed it.
  • Bad Company by K.A. Mitchell
  • Finding Forgiveness by Dana Marie Bell

I’m sure this list will grow as summer passes. I’ll be sure to keep you updated. Now tell me, what’s on everyone else’s reading lists this summer? Any suggestion for books I should add to my list?

If you’re looking for a fun romance reading challenge for the summer, Book Chick City is hosting one. It’s runs between June 1st and Sept. 30th. The goal is to read eight romances novels in four months. If you’re interested in the details of the challenge click the link about above.

***Update on Virginia Kantra’s post contents. Janet Kerr was selected as the winner of a signed book. Congratulations! To collect you can contact Virginia through her website with your contact info. www.VirginiaKantra.com***