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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Saturday Excerpt: Pamela Stone's Undercover Heart




Today we get an excerpt from Pamela Stone's Undercover Heart


Blurb:

Hard-edged DEA agent Shayne Kelley grew up fast, shuffled from one foster family to the next. But it made him tough. And damned good at working undercover. But when an idealistic schoolteacher reunites him with the father who abandoned him as a child, his well-ordered world is shaken. He can’t seem to resist the naïve teacher and her reckless optimism. Can her sweet love crumble the wall of bitterness around his heart?

Raised by loving parents, middle school teacher Dani Cochran wants to make a difference in the world. She works with troubled teens during summer break, believing that everyone deserves a second chance. Especially Shayne Kelley. She sees through Shayne’s defenses and enlists his aid with her juvenile delinquents. Will he teach them his cynical view of life? Or will Dani convince her students--and Shayne--that love is the strongest force on earth? But can she risk loving a man who seems destined to break her heart?

Excerpt:

“I knew you could be a hard ass, but didn’t take you for a sexist!” she snapped. “Never mind.
It’s not your problem.” She spun toward the house.

He grabbed her arm. “Let me guess. You think you can love their problems away?” He shook his head, released her arm, and glanced at his car door. “You know what, you’re right. It’s not my problem if you want to risk your life with a bunch of juvenile delinquents.”

She leaned against the car door, preventing his escape. “You always have to have the last word, you couldn’t let me storm off.”

“I make a point not to waste my time arguing with people bent on making stupid mistakes.”

“I am going to help these kids.” Her pretty little jaw jutted out. “You could make a difference in their lives and you know it. Take Calvin for instance. He’s in a foster home and feels like nobody cares.”

“Nobody does!”

“Wrong!” Dani’s dark eyes snapped. “I care.”

“Maybe you should focus on your own safety before you get hurt. You can’t save the world, Dani.”

She stepped closer. “We have to try.”

Shayne closed his eyes and his nostrils filled with the scent of peaches. He opened them and almost drowned in her warm brown orbs. The tip of her tongue moistened her lips and he tried not to think about how incredibly sexy that one innocent gesture was. “Cut to the chase. What do you want from me?”

“I want you to be honest about your feelings. Why do you keep glancing at your car like it’s a lifeline? You aren’t running from your father, or Kyle, or the family. You handle them like you’d handle your job. Why do I make you so nervous?”

He gulped then slid a hand down her cheek. “I’m not a relationship guy, Dani. And you aren’t a one-night stand sort of girl.”

She covered his hand and held it against her face. “I think the attraction between us is too strong to just walk away. I think we owe it to ourselves to see where it leads.”

God, those eyes were incredible. “And I think you are way too innocent for your own good.”

She leaned forward and covered his lips, her mouth warm and inviting. Her breasts pressed against his chest. “I’m not nearly as innocent as you think.”

He gripped her shoulders and set her away. “Find someone else, Dani.”

Available at:
Amazon
iBookstore
Barnes & Noble


Bio:

One might ask how an accounting graduate who spent twenty plus years in the technology field became a romance writer. Well, it’s quite simple. I’m an only child whose classy mom put her energy into my wardrobe, dance, and piano lessons. Add an amazing father who added go kart racing, slot cars, water skiing, and a pony to the mix. Toss in a wild imagination and summers in the country: lazy walks on my grandparent’s farm and another grandmother with a shed full of Harlequin romance novels to while away hot afternoons and voila.

Writing is pure escapism. Childhood imaginary friends developed into teenage fantasies. Later as a mother of two young, rambunctious sons, I began writing to keep in touch with the adult world; at least it was worth a shot. I continued writing as a method to wind down in the evenings from long, exhausting days spent in Corporate America. Anybody notice a pattern here? Not enough adult socialization – write. People overload – write. Either way, writing keeps me sane. Cheaper than a therapist and tons more fun.

I still reside in Texas with my childhood sweetheart and husband of; well we won’t mention how many years. In my spare time I enjoy traveling. From Hawaii, to California, to Florida, to the Caribbean, if there’s a beach, I’m there. I also love spending time with friends and family, especially four adorable grandkids. I love writing romance and sold my first novel, Last Resort: Marriage, to Harlequin American on Friday the 13th, June 2008. How’s that for luck!


Find Pamela:
www.pamelastone.net
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Last Friday of the Month Recipe: Lentil Salad From Jana Richards and her Excerpt from There Goes the Groom





Jana Richard's Lentil Salad


Ingredients for salad:

19 oz. can lentils, drained
 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1 red pepper, finely chopped
2 green onions, sliced
1 clove of garlic, crushed


Dressing:

2 T. lemon juice
1 T. olive oil
¼ tsp. dried thyme
¼ tsp. salt & pepper

Mix all ingredients together, then toss with dressing. Let sit in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.


 

Blurb:

Eight years ago Tony left Olivia at the altar. He was sure she didn't really want to marry him. Now he's back, and they're forced to work together.

Coming home isn't easy for Tony, because his father wanted him to work at a trade instead of going off to college. Their relationship is still unsteady. Even before Tony's return, Olivia began questioning the depth of her love for her fiancé, a man she chose because he was safe and reliable. The last thing she wants is a loveless, faithless marriage like the one her parents suffered through.

When Tony, who never stopped loving her, insists her fiancé is the wrong man for her, Olivia sets out to prove him wrong. But the sexual chemistry between them is still strong, and so are her feelings for him. Even so, how can she break her engagement, hurt her fiancé as she was once hurt?
And how can she trust Tony not to abandon her like he did before?

                                                                If anyone does the jilting this time, she will.

To Buy:
http://www.uncialpress.com/there-goes-the-groom.html




Bio:

Nothing makes Jana Richards happier than pulling back the layers of her characters’ www.janarichards.net
psyche to see what makes them tick. Unless, of course, it’s creating a romance that makes readers laugh one minute, cry the next, and wonder how her hero and heroine will ever make it to their happily-ever-after. When she’s not writing, Jana works as admin assistant, and lives in Western Canada with her husband Warren and her Pug/Terrier cross Lou. You can reach her through her website at


Meet Jana:






 






Thursday, November 28, 2013

Book Signing at Barnes & Noble


I'm so excited. This is my first signing and it'll be fun along with at least 5 other authors

I'll have all three books, and remember, they make great Christmas presents.

Hope to see you there.



Local Author Extravaganza
Author Event
Join Barnes & Noble between 2:00 and 4:00 pm on November 30 as we celebrate local and upcoming writers. Authors include L.A. Sartor, LeAnna Shields, Audra Harders, Richard Lawrence, Jill Haymaker, Reid Rosenthal and more!
Saturday November 30, 2013 2:00 PM

The Promenade Shops at Centerra
The Shops at Centerra, 5835 Sky Pond Drive, Loveland, CO 80537, 970-663-9473


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Meet Author Pamela Stone: An Interview

Today I'm pleased to introduce Pamela Stone. Don't forget her excerpt from Undercover Heart will run Saturday.

LA: Hi Pamela, tell us about your current series.

PS: Undercover Heart is a single title romance about a 26 year old guy who grew up in foster care and comes face to face with his biological father. This book is darker than my other books, but I hope everyone loves Shayne as much as I loved writing his story.

LA: What’s next for you?

PS: I have a trilogy plotted out and ready to write. I call it the non-brother trilogy. A man is suddenly killed in a car accident and his three grown sons meet for the first time and discover that their father had three separate families. They have to get past their shock and anger and work together to solve the mystery of their father.


LA: How has your experience with self-publishing been?

PS: I’m a control freak so I love it. I love being able to write the story I want without the restraints of a publisher or line. I love the control over the cover. It’s great, but then again, I’m a little OCD.

 

LA: Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?

PS: Holding that book in my hands. It’s surreal.


LA: Which aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?

PS: I love all aspects of the writing process from rough draft to polished manuscript. The promo and marketing is a bit of a challenge for an introvert.


LA: Describe for us, if you will, your writing style, as in plotter vs. seat of the pants, and do you put more time into developing characters or plot or are they equal?
 
PS: Character - 100%. I start with a basic premise on plot, but my characters drive the story. I don’t sit down to the keyboard until I know at least my two main characters intimately. Luckily one of my critique partners is plot driven. We wouldn’t make it alone. We tell people that her characters do a lot, but she has no idea why until she’s almost done with the book. Mine on the other hand know exactly why they do everything they do, they just don’t always do much. Ha.


LA: What themes do you like to write about?

PS: I finally realized that the one thing that runs through most of my stories involves characters and their relationship with their parents. My characters are typically late 20s to early 30s and not all, but most are still struggling with one of their parents. The hero in my new release was given up for adoption by teenage parents when he was two and comes face to face with his biological father.


LA: Key advice for other writers?
 
PS: Write what you love to read. Never give up. Every time you get a rejection, celebrate. You eliminated one way that didn’t work, but you’re one step closer to the one that will.  There is a quote similar to that about life and I’d love to give credit, but I have no idea who said it.


LA: If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be, and what would you talk about?
 
PS: My dad. He passed in 1987 and I miss him every day. I’d use him for a sounding board to help get a handle on some of the family stuff going on in my life. He was a master at helping me figure out which battles to fight and which ones to let go.

LA: Do you have a favorite quote, quip, or saying? What is it?
 
PS: Writing, cheaper than a therapist and tons more fun.

 
BLURB:

Hard-edged DEA agent Shayne Kelley grew up fast, shuffled from one foster family to the next. But it made him tough. And damned good at working undercover. But when an idealistic schoolteacher reunites him with the father who abandoned him as a child, his well-ordered world is shaken. He can’t seem to resist the naïve teacher and her reckless optimism. Can her sweet love crumble the wall of bitterness around his heart?

Raised by loving parents, middle school teacher Dani Cochran wants to make a difference in the world. She works with troubled teens during summer break, believing that everyone deserves a second chance. Especially Shayne Kelley. She sees through Shayne’s defenses and enlists his aid with her juvenile delinquents.

Will he teach them his cynical view of life? Or will Dani convince her students--and Shayne--that love is the strongest force on earth? But can she risk loving a man who seems destined to break her heart?

Available at:
Amazon
iBookstore
Barnes & Noble

BIO:

One might ask how an accounting graduate who spent twenty plus years in the technology field became a romance writer. Well, it’s quite simple. I’m an only child whose classy mom put her energy into my wardrobe, dance, and piano lessons. Add an amazing father who added go kart racing, slot cars, water skiing, and a pony to the mix. Toss in a wild imagination and summers in the country: lazy walks on my grandparent’s farm and another grandmother with a shed full of Harlequin romance novels to while away hot afternoons and voila.

Writing is pure escapism. Childhood imaginary friends developed into teenage fantasies. Later as a mother of two young, rambunctious sons, I began writing to keep in touch with the adult world; at least it was worth a shot. I continued writing as a method to wind down in the evenings from long, exhausting days spent in Corporate America. Anybody notice a pattern here? Not enough adult socialization – write. People overload – write. Either way, writing keeps me sane. Cheaper than a therapist and tons more fun.

I still reside in Texas with my childhood sweetheart and husband of; well we won’t mention how many years. In my spare time I enjoy traveling. From Hawaii, to California, to Florida, to the Caribbean, if there’s a beach, I’m there. I also love spending time with friends and family, especially four adorable grandkids. I love writing romance and sold my first novel, Last Resort: Marriage, to Harlequin American on Friday the 13th, June 2008. How’s that for luck!

Find Pamela:

www.pamelastone.net
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
DON'T FORGET PAM'S EXCERPT ON SATURDAY
 

Friday, November 22, 2013

John Landis Rails Against Studios: 'They're Not in the Movie Business Anymore'


Wow, this is just an excerpt from The Hollywood Reporter, click the link to read the entire article.

At the Mar del Plata fest, the "Animal House" director decried "vampire" tech giants and the state of the industry: "Now if a movie doesn’t make money its first two days, you're f---ed!"




MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina -- "The studios are not in the movie business anymore," said filmmaker and producer John Landis to a group of reporters in the Mar del Plata Film Festival, which is holding a retrospective selection of his work. "Some of us were very lucky. I started to make movies for the studios in the '70s. They were dying, but at least they were still studios."

When asked if Hollywood's response to a lack of original ideas is to rely on remakes, the Three Amigos director replied: "There are no original ideas. What there is -- and this is something no one understands -- is that it is never about the idea, it is about the execution of the idea."
Click to read entire article.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/john-landis-rails-studios-theyre-659222


 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Book Formatting Class For Self-Publishing ... Don't Miss This!

"Your book is completed and you finally wrote the words “The End!” Now you have to publish it. This class will teach you how simple it is to format and upload your manuscript for self-publishing. We will go over advanced techniques in Microsoft Word, learn the basics of HTML to create a beautiful e-book, and format for CreateSpace. Join traditionally and self-published author, Meredith Bond, for this interesting class on what to do next." ~Merry Bond

Wow, did that blurb intrigue me.

But I had questions so I emailed Merry.  Here is her answer.

"Hey Leslie!
Actually, I've designed this class so that advanced writer/formatters will be able to get as much out of the class as absolute beginners.
 
I know that I love taking formatting classes just to find out how other people do it, so I've designed the class with such people in mind.
 
As I'll explain on the first day of class, I've got a teenage daughter who is always keeping me up to date on the latest "tech speak" and memes. Over the summer she told me about this thing that was popular -- tl;dr (too long; didn't read). It's basically a summary of everything that came before it (or after, in some cases). I make use of this and all of my lectures have a tl;dr section which allows people who know what they're doing skip the detailed explanations written for those to whom this is a whole new world. So you can read the tl;dr section and jump right into your formatting.
 
If you don't "get" something, you can then go back and read that section of the longer explanation. And if you still don't get it, I'm always around to answer questions, and I'm more than happy to discuss any and every aspect of the formatting process. :-)
In the class I'll teach you how to format your book into HTML to be converted into a mobi and epub document. KDP itself does not recommend that you upload your book in a Word document because they can't guarantee that it will look the way you want it to on all devices. HTML is the way to go. 
 
It's just a really intense one week with lectures every day detailing the formatting process for that day or discussing self-publishing (and I'm really hoping to make use of everyone's knowledge and experience to have a good discussion).
Because it is so intense, I make myself available afterward to answer questions (which reminds me, I need to check with Savvy to see how long they'll keep the bulletin board open for these discussions -- if they close it early, I'll ask people to switch over to a yahoo group I've got already set up).
If you have any other thoughts or concerns (or suggestions), please write back!
Thanks so much!
Merry"

Okay, I'm in, how about you?  Want to be truly independent?  Fix everything that needs fixing without waiting? 
 
Check out the link below, and hope to see you in class.
 


Saturday, November 16, 2013

As Promised, The Excerpt from Lisabet Sarai's Challenge To Him

 
Leave a comment on this post, with your email address, and you will be entered into a drawing to win a free e-book copy of Challenge to Him! 


BLURB:

All the wealth in the world can't buy willing surrender.

Andrew MacIntyre, heir to a vast empire of railroads, mines and mills, is the second or third richest man in America, and by far the most eligible bachelor among the society folk summering in Newport, Rhode Island. His mother has filled their opulent mansion with marriageable daughters of bankers and industrialists, but Andrew knows none of these callow young women can satisfy his perverse sexual needs. No respectable girl would ever consent to being bound and beaten, to serving and obeying him the way he craves. His money gives him the freedom to purchase anything except his heart's desire—a submissive partner to share his life.

Independent, progressive and well-educated, labour activist Olivia Alcott has dedicated herself to improving the lot of the workers who toil in the factories that have made Andrew and his class so wealthy. The strike she organizes triggers a confrontation between her and the handsome billionaire. Although their disparate backgrounds and values make them natural foes, something stronger draws them to one another—an intuitive recognition of complementary fantasies.

Andrew offers Olivia a bargain—better working conditions for the mill staff, in return for a weekend of her unquestioning obedience. Olivia will help him deflect the attentions of the potential mates assembled by his mother, as well as providing more intimate services. Given Olivia's origins, a more enduring relationship appears impossible—but Andrew is not the sort to give up something he wants.


EXCERPT:

Olivia, I have a proposition for you.” She did not resist when he led her to the automobile and installed her inside. As he breathed her lilac perfume mingled with her clean sweat, his erection grew more insistent. “There’s to be a ball this weekend at Wavecrest, my house in Newport. My mother has invited what she considers to be the cream of society, including every eligible—that is, single and wealthy—female she can think of. She’s determined to marry me off to one of these creatures, regardless of my wishes.” 

“What does that have to do with me?” Her frown of perplexity delighted him. He could practically see the wheels turning in her agile mind as she tried to understand his motives.  

“I need an escort, a woman to keep at my side all weekend so I can fend off the advances of all these would-be Mrs MacInytres. Come back to Newport with me. Spend the weekend. If you do, I’ll seriously consider the question of raising the workers’ salaries.”

Olivia laughed, a bright, clear sound that sent a stab of want to his groin. “Me, a poor professor’s daughter, at a society ball? I’d be as out of place as a Hottentot in the White House! I don’t have the airs and graces of a Rockefeller girl. And what would I wear?” She indicated her dusty brown frock. “I doubt very much this would be appropriate.” 

“No one need know who you are—we’ll invent some mysterious identity for you. You can be the illegitimate American child of a Hungarian prince, how’s that? As for clothing, I will supply everything you’ll need.” He gave her luscious body a frank once-over that brought the blush back to her face, to his immense satisfaction. “I suspect your measurements are quite comparable to my sister Ann’s. You could wear one of her dresses. But no, that won’t do—you must be the most resplendent creature at the ball. We’ll stop at Ann’s dressmaker on the way and have you fitted for a new gown. With adequate monetary incentives, I’m sure the dress can be ready by tomorrow evening. We’ll pick up a whole kit for you, tennis and boating outfits, morning attire, underclothes. With jewels to match each ensemble, of course…” 

“Mr MacIntyre, doesn’t the impropriety of what you’re suggesting bother you in the least?” 

Her critical tone brought him up short. What would people say about a single young woman, unchaperoned, in Andrew’s constant company? He’d hoped she was less conventional than the women of his regular circle, but, given the importance of reputation, he couldn’t blame her for her concern. 

“You’re essentially trying to buy my sympathies, aren’t you?” she continued. “You suppose that if you lavish enough money upon me, I’ll drop my support for the strike and encourage the workers to return to their looms, correct?”  

“Not at all…” 

“Well, it won’t work. I intend to spend every minute we are together reminding you of the plight of these poor women. I shall work upon your conscience, sir, until you have no choice but to do the right thing.” 

“What? Then—you agree? You’ll come to Newport?”  

“How could I pass up the opportunity to do so much good?” A smile played at the corners of her compressed lips and Andrew understood that she was teasing him. Yes, she was serious about her cause, but she wanted to join him for other reasons. Hope flared in his chest while desire hardened his loins. 

“Thank you, Olivia.” He clamped his hand down upon her smaller one. Her breath hitched with excitement she could not hide. He focused all the force of his will upon her, compelling her to meet his gaze. “There’s one more thing to which you must assent.” 

“Yes? What’s that?” She was brave, this woman. The girls on the lawn this morning would have wilted under that stare, but she held her own. 

“You must agree to follow my orders in every particular and without question. Otherwise, your charade may be unmasked and we’ll both suffer.” 

“In every particular? Even if you should command some indecency?” Her hand still lay beneath his. The pulse fluttered in her wrist like a captive bird.  

“In every particular, as I said, and without question.” Full of anxiety, he searched her lovely face. Would she change her mind? “I promise I won’t allow any harm to come to you, Miss Alcott.”  

She allowed the smile he’d seen her fighting to bloom. He released the breath he had not realised he’d been holding.

“I agree, Mr MacIntyre—Sir. Shall we be on our way?”
 
 
 

BIO:

Lisabet Sarai became addicted to words at an early age. She began reading when she was
four. She wrote her first story at five years old and her first poem at seven. Since then, she has written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles, marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and lots of erotica and erotic romance – over fifty single author titles, plus dozens of short stories in various erotic anthologies, including the Lambda winner Where the Girls Are and the IPPIE Best Erotic Book of 2011, Carnal Machines. Her gay scifi erotic romance Quarantine won a Rainbow Awards 2012 Honorable Mention.

Lisabet has more degrees than anyone would ever need, from prestigious educational institutions who would no doubt be deeply embarrassed by her chosen genre. She has traveled widely and currently lives in Southeast Asia with her indulgent husband and two exceptional felines, where she pursues an alternative career that is completely unrelated to her creative writing.

For more information about Lisabet and her writing, visit her website (http://www.lisabetsarai.com/) or her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com/). You can also find her on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/author/lisabetsarai) and Goodreads(http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/83387.Lisabet_Sarai) and at the group blog Oh Get a Grip (http://ohgetagrip.blogspot.com/). Join her announcement and contests list at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lisabets_list

Leave a comment on this post, with your email address, and you will be entered into a drawing to win a free e-book copy of Challenge to Him!




Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Meet Lisabet Sarai: How Has Erotic Fiction Driven the Success of E-Publishing? No Blushing, Promise :)


Greetings! My name is Lisabet Sarai, and I've been writing and publishing erotic fiction – erotica and erotic romance – for thirteen years. You don't have to blush or shut down your browser. I'm not going to subject you to anything off-color here on Leslie's blog. What I want to discuss is how e-publishing has opened doors for independent authors – and how erotic and romance fiction have driven the success of e-publishing.

When I submitted my first novel to Virgin Books' Black Lace imprint back in 1999, it was really tough to get published. You could be a fabulous talent, but given the limited number of publishers and their generally over-worked and underpaid staff, getting noticed was a serious challenge. Even if you managed to convince an editor to look at your book, the competition was fierce. A typical press could afford to publish no more than a dozen titles a year – maybe two or three dozen for the big name companies. The odds that one of those books would be yours were distressingly low.

Black Lace bought my first book on prospectus. I lucked out. That's my only explanation. For one thing, they rejected the next two proposals I sent them. I didn't blame them (too much!) since I understood they had to be selective.

Fast forward to 2013. Post-ebook-revolution, pretty much anyone with a book to sell can find a buyer. This is partly due to the lower costs associated with ebook publishing. Companies more able to take risks with unknown authors. However, the phenomenal popularity of ebooks is another important factor.

The New York Times reports (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/15/business/media/e-book-sales-a-boon-to-publishers-in-2012.html) that ebooks accounted for 20% of publishers' revenues in 2012 (up from 15% in 2011). Since e-books typically cost significantly less than print volumes, that implies that the percentage of units sold in electronic format must be much higher (though I wasn't able to find those statistics). FutureBook, which concentrates on electronic publishing news from the UK, cites an estimate of 65 million ebooks sold in 2012 in the UK alone (http://www.futurebook.net/content/e-book-sales-data-truth-out-there). By the way, this is more than double the unit volume from 2011.

Readers are hungry for new fiction in ebook formats. Electronic publishing companies seem to be cropping up like weeds, eager for submissions that they can turn around and sell to these potential customers. Any author who can spin a half-decent story now has a shot at publication. And if for some reason the author can't find a home for her opus, self-publishing has become a viable option. The stigma from the days of vanity publishing is gradually fading, because in fact readers do buy self-published books. According to the Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jun/11/self-published-ebooks-20-per-cent-genre), twenty percent of all genre-fiction ebooks sold in the UK last year were self-published.

What's behind the boom in e-fiction? Of course many factors have contributed, but the anonymity of e-reading plays a role, according to reader reports. Young adult fiction and romance (especially erotic romance) are the hottest e-genres (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/interactive-graphics/9190532/Guilty-pleasure-sales-soar-thanks-to-e-reader-anonymity.html). E-reading offers a new level of privacy. You can be reading Harry Potter or The Hunger Games or Fifty Shades of Gray or Bared to Him on the subway, and nobody will know you're engrossed in a book intended for kids or (heaven help us!) a book that includes explicit sex.

Amazon introduced the first Kindle in 2007. Barnes and Noble came out with the initial Nook model in 2009. My primary publisher for erotic romance, Totally Bound (formerly, Total-E-Bound) first opened its virtual doors in August 2006, putting out four books per month. These days, they're releasing six or seven titles per week, and continuing to grow. Ellora's Cave, one of earliest e-publishers of erotic romance, is now a multimillion dollary company that sells approximately 200,000 explicitly erotic books per month (http://www.ibtimes.com/elloras-cave-ceo-talks-fifty-shades-grey-and-rise-erotic-romance-751033). There are authors (not I, alas!) making six-figure annual incomes from their erotic e-titles.

Although some recent data suggest that years of double-digit growth in ebook sales may be over (http://www.publishingtechnology.com/2013/07/year-on-year-ebook-sales-fall-for-the-first-time-says-nielsen-research/), unit sales of ebooks are still expected to overtake sales of print sometime in 2014. Meanwhile the publishing landscape for authors has totally changed. It's far easier to get noticed by publishers these days. On the other hand, it has become increasingly difficult, given the growth in the number of titles released, to get noticed by readers.

I'm not sure what will happen next in the publishing arena. However, I believe that, despite the recent overreaction to some sexually-explicit content by Kobo and other e-vendors (see, for instance, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24533915), that erotic fiction will continue to drive ebook sales. Unfortunately, self-published authors were specifically targeted by this recent purge, which included many titles that were in no way illegal, offensive or immoral. Certainly, nobody suggested that the Fifty Shades trilogy should be banned.

E-publishing has been a boon for the independent author (especially those of us who produce erotic books). Now it appears that Big Business is trying to take control of the phenomenon, to wring as much profit from us as possible, while reducing competition. I wonder, though, to what extent they'll be successful.

The genie is out of the bottle. If you're an author, you don't need an agent anymore. You probably still need an editor and a cover artist (and more than ever, a marketing guru!), but you might not need a publisher. I expect the situation to change, with technology producing new formats and delivery methods for fiction. We small players need to adapt – and to hold on to what we have gained.

If you're curious about what I write, come back on Saturday the 16th. I'll have an excerpt from my latest release, and a chance for you to win a copy!




BLURB:

All the wealth in the world can't buy willing surrender.

Andrew MacIntyre, heir to a vast empire of railroads, mines and mills, is the second or third richest man in America, and by far the most eligible bachelor among the society folk summering in Newport, Rhode Island. His mother has filled their opulent mansion with marriageable daughters of bankers and industrialists, but Andrew knows none of these callow young women can satisfy his perverse sexual needs. No respectable girl would ever consent to being bound and beaten, to serving and obeying him the way he craves. His money gives him the freedom to purchase anything except his heart's desire—a submissive partner to share his life.

Independent, progressive and well-educated, labour activist Olivia Alcott has dedicated herself to improving the lot of the workers who toil in the factories that have made Andrew and his class so wealthy. The strike she organizes triggers a confrontation between her and the handsome billionaire. Although their disparate backgrounds and values make them natural foes, something stronger draws them to one another—an intuitive recognition of complementary fantasies.

Andrew offers Olivia a bargain—better working conditions for the mill staff, in return for a weekend of her unquestioning obedience. Olivia will help him deflect the attentions of the potential mates assembled by his mother, as well as providing more intimate services. Given Olivia's origins, a more enduring relationship appears impossible—but Andrew is not the sort to give up something he wants.

BUY LINKS:

Totally Bound;
https://www.totallybound.com/challenge-to-him?author_id=17

B & N:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/challenge-to-him-lisabet-sarai/1116872228?ean=9781781844458

All Romance Ebooks:
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-challengetohim-1294305-147.html

Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Challenge-to-Him-ebook/dp/B00F633SEQ/

Amazon UK
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Challenge-to-Him-ebook/dp/B00F633SEQ/



BIO:

Lisabet Sarai became addicted to words at an early age. She began reading when she was four. She wrote her first story at five years old and her first poem at seven. Since then, she has written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles, marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and lots of erotica and erotic romance – over fifty single author titles, plus dozens of short stories in various erotic anthologies, including the Lambda winner Where the Girls Are and the IPPIE Best Erotic Book of 2011, Carnal Machines. Her gay scifi erotic romance Quarantine won a Rainbow Awards 2012 Honorable Mention.

Lisabet has more degrees than anyone would ever need, from prestigious educational institutions who would no doubt be deeply embarrassed by her chosen genre. She has traveled widely and currently lives in Southeast Asia with her indulgent husband and two exceptional felines, where she pursues an alternative career that is completely unrelated to her creative writing.

For more information about Lisabet and her writing, visit her website (http://www.lisabetsarai.com) or her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com). You can also find her on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/author/lisabetsarai) and Goodreads(http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/83387.Lisabet_Sarai) and at the group blog Oh Get a Grip (http://ohgetagrip.blogspot.com). Join her announcement and contests list at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lisabets_list.


Leave a comment on this post, with your email address, and you will be entered into a drawing to win a free e-book copy of Challenge to Him!



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

DONNA FASANO'S RECLAIM MY HEART RE-RELEASE BY MONTLAKE



Sixteen years ago, Tyne Whitlock cut all ties to her past and left town under the shameful shadow of a teenage pregnancy. Now her fifteen-year-old son is in trouble with the law, and she is desperate for help. But reaching out to high-powered attorney Lucas Silver Hawk will tear open the heart-wrenching past in ways Tyne never imagined.

Forced to return to the Delaware Indian community where Lucas was raised, Tyne and Lucas are tempted by the heated passion that consumed them as teens. Tyne rediscovers all the reasons she found this man irresistible, but there are scandalous secrets waiting to be revealed, disgraceful choices made in the past that cannot be denied. Love is a powerful force that could heal them both—if the truth doesn't rip them apart.

EXCERPT: From Chapter Two

"Please, Lucas."

He couldn't dismiss the tone of those two small words, nor could he ignore the magnitude of emotion clouding her expression. He had no choice but to relent.

"Sit down," he murmured. He closed the door of his office and then returned to perch himself on the corner of his desk. He steeled himself before asking, "What's on your mind?"

She seemed to shrink a little as a thousand thoughts ran though her head. Seconds passed, and still she didn't speak. 

Lucas witnessed the phenomenon almost on a daily basis. The people who wound up in his office often felt as if they were carrying the world on their shoulders. He knew her anxiety would eventually discharge, and from the looks of it, he wouldn't have to wait long.

Finally, she pressed her hand to her chest. "I can't breathe."

"Relax. Do you want some water?"

She shook her head, a lock of her long, platinum hair falling over her forearm. "No. I need to get this out. I promised you I'd hurry."

He couldn't keep his brows from arching a fraction. She hadn't kept her promises in the past. Why would he expect her to now?

Tyne ran her tongue along her full bottom lip, hesitated another moment, then blurted, "I need a lawyer."

Lucas closed his eyes and stifled a sigh. He could have guessed as much, of course. He'd worked hard to get himself into the privileged position of being able to pick and choose his clients. The last person he wanted to represent was Tyne Whitlock.

"A good lawyer, Lucas."

Common sense told him Tyne wasn't attempting to flatter him. She was speaking purely out of desperation.

"Look, Tyne—" Something made him stop. He sighed, and then he stood, taking his time rounding his desk and sitting down. The leather-upholstered arms of the chair were cool and smooth under his fingertips.

"I know some of the best attorneys in the city." He plucked a pen from the cup on his desktop. "And many of them owe me a favor or two." He reached into his inside jacket pocket, pulled out one of the business cards he always kept handy, and turned it over, poised to write. "Let me give you some names and numbers—"

"I don't want just any attorney." Her chin lifted. "I want you. Why else would I have come here?"

His gaze lowered to the small white card in his hand. With much deliberation, he set down the pen and the card, and then he looked her directly in the eyes.

Every muscle in her body appeared board-stiff.

"Listen to me—" he kept his tone calm "—when people find themselves in trouble with the law, or victimized, or wrongfully sued, or unjustly accused, they tend to get lost in a strange, I don't know, franticness. A recklessness that they almost always regret. Believe me when I tell you that no situation is hopeless, and circumstances are rarely as desperate as they might be perceived. Whatever trouble you're in, don't let panic and fear haze your thinking."

"You don't understand."

"I think I do," he rushed to assure her. "I see it every day. Honest, hardworking people finding themselves in dire straits. And this unfamiliar territory throws them. They grasp at help from the first source that comes to mind."

"But—"

"Just like that old adage warning that only a fool acts as his own lawyer, it's also foolish to choose an attorney in haste. You and I have a past, Tyne, and even though all of that took place years and years ago, the fact remains that we have a history. I don't believe I would be the best person to represent you in a court of law. You need someone who'll be totally unbiased. Let me give you some names. I'll make some calls for you myself—"

"Stop!" She lifted her hands and scooted to the edge of the seat. "You don't understand. And I can't make you understand if you won't shut up for a minute."

His eyebrows arched and the frustration in her statement had him leaning back a bit. 

She frowned. "I'm sorry. Really, I am. I had to stew all day yesterday." She fisted her hands in her lap. "I didn't expect to reach anyone on a Sunday, but do you know that your firm doesn't offer an emergency number on the answering machine?" She exhaled with force. "I'm a nervous wreck just being here. Seeing you. But all that aside, I shouldn't have snapped at you. Please accept my apology."

He didn't react, didn't move. He just waited for her to continue.

"The thing is… what you need to know…"

Once again, she grew terribly cautious, and Lucas found that extremely curious. What the hell was it she found so hard to tell him? What kind of trouble was she in?

She blanched, but then her spine straightened. "I'm not the one who needs a lawyer. I want to hire you, yes. But I'm not the one needing representation. It's my son who's in trouble." A nerve at the corner of her eye ticked, but her gaze never veered from his as she added, "Our son, Lucas."


Paperback § eBook  § AudioCD

Other stops on the tour:     http://wp.me/p3OmRo-20L




DONNA FASANO ~ On becoming a Montlake Romance Author:

Let me tell you about my wonderful publishing experience! I have to back up a little bit… to this past spring. I self-published a romance titled Reclaim My Heart. The book received great reviews immediately, and it sold well from the beginning. Very well. In fact, during the first week of August I was enjoying a mug of coffee while perusing the USA Today Bestseller's List (my usual Thursday morning routine), and I nearly choked when I saw that Reclaim My Heart was sitting at #123 on the list. A couple of days later I was contacted by an editor from Montlake. She told me she'd read one of my books months before and had been keeping an eye on me. She said she'd read Reclaim My Heart and loved it. Now, what author doesn't love to hear that? She made an offer I couldn't refuse.

The Montlake editor and the design team loved the cover that was on the indie version of the book; however, Amazon had trouble licensing the rights to the image. So we searched for weeks before finding the picture that's on the current cover. I love it! And I hope my readers do, too.

I'm happy to be writing romance novels for Montlake. I feel wanted and appreciated, and it can't get much better than that in the publishing industry!


~Donna

WebsiteBlogTwitterFacebookGoodreads

Monday, November 11, 2013

Be Mine This Christmas Night is now Available

 
For me, Christmas  has always been the holiday that tops all.  It's believing that magical things happen and that peace is actually attainable, goodwill to all is possible.

Be Mine This Christmas Night is set in Boulder, Colorado where a star nestled on Flagstaff mountain is lit to honor the spirit of the holiday, and the peace of the season.  And this year it will be lit this very evening to honor all our service men and women on Veterans Day.

I hope you enjoy my offering to the spirit and wonder of Christmas.


BLURB:

The Children's Author …

Annie Hamilton's children's series Star Light~Star Bright is a mega hit. She loves kids and wants nothing more than a family of her own, but twice burned, thrice shy. When a gorgeous man with two young boys moves next door, Annie can't help but dream her impossible dream.

And The Widower Who Moved Next Door …
Cole Evans is a brilliant scientist, but finds fatherhood a challenge. When his son develops a bond with their enchanting neighbor, the boy’s favorite author, Cole discovers just how much he's lost—and how much he needs.

Will Their Wish Come True This Christmas Night?
Can Cole overcome family meddling and alleviate Annie's fears so they can be a ready-made family?

To Buy:


Review: (yes, already, pretty cool.)

Highest Christmas Romance Recommendation.

Very Enjoyable Christmas Story Showcases Author’s Expertise as a Screenwriter! 5 Stars!

“Be Mine This Christmas Night” is a very visual novel with real life characters, a beautiful winter location in Boulder, Colorado, and powerful dialogue strong enough to power a radio play.

From the very opening the story is a delight of lights and color. The heroine has a traditional of lighting her home up with thousands of lights! Her ‘lights on’ ceremony is attended by hoards of sightseers. This light show would make a great opening scene in a movie. From the first page the reader knows he or she is in for a visual treat. Everyone loves her light show for all the Christmas cheer it brings to those who see it
....read more on Amazon.
 ~ Vince Mooney


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Excerpt From Katya Armock's To Growl Or To Groan



BLURB:
Her gift could save a missing girl…or destroy her relationship forever.

After receiving a troubling Tarot reading, Chloe just knows something big and bad is about to happen. Her ability to communicate with animals and shape-shifters is going awry, and her growing psychic abilities are beginning to scare her. Despite her unease, she won’t let anything interrupt her trip to Scotland to spend the holidays with her shape-shifter boyfriend’s family. Jorge is everything she’s always wanted, and the fire between Chloe and the passionate panther-shifter burns hot. But meeting his family has her nerves in knots.

When Jorge’s sister goes missing, Chloe’s psychic abilities might be the only thing that can help them find her. But things don’t go as planned, and with confusing psychic visions clouding her judgment, Chloe makes a mistake and an animal is injured. And Chloe fears she might hurt Jorge as well…

EXCERPT:

Chapter One

“Which deck are you drawn to, Chloe?” The tarot reader lays out three decks before me and waves her hands over the decks. “Feel free to pick them up, look at the artwork.”

Her booth is toward the back of a new-age shop called The Abacus, not far from where I used to work. She wears jeans and a T-shirt that reads, “Tarot isn’t a matter of life or death. It’s more important than that.” I’d place her at about forty, wisps of gray intermingling in her near-black hair. 

I look over the decks of cards. The first has Renaissance-type drawings. Boring. The second is purple and features whimsical faery creatures. It’s pretty and ethereal. The third is dark. On the back of each card, two serpents eating their own tails are entwined on a black background. I flip the deck, thumb through the cards. The pictures are raw and vivid; they suck me in. 

“This one.” I hand the third deck back to her.

She nods. “Very good. What is your question? You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want.”

There is no reason for me not to tell her; she of all people should understand. “I want to know about my gift.”

There’s not an ounce of judgment or question in her eyes before she holds the cards to her chest for a moment and closes her eyes for a few deep breaths. I watch the rise and fall of her chest, trying to claim her calmness, but I remain fidgety and anxious.

She opens her eyes, looks at my hands tapping on the table. “It’s OK to be nervous, but there is nothing to fear. All is as it will be.”

Oh, platitudes. If I ever become a Zen master, hallelujah. In the meantime, I try to quell my inner cynic and smile at the card reader.

She laughs, as if she can read my mind. Perhaps she can. “I’m going to do a three-card reading for you. The first represents the past, the second the present, and the third the future.” She shuffles the deck, then lays it neatly on the table between us. “Cut the deck with your left hand.”

I do, and she lays out the first card. It’s The Devil, which can’t possibly be good. At least it’s my past card.

Her face is unhelpfully blank. “Tell me your impressions of this card. It can be the name, the artwork, whatever.”

I pick it up for a closer look. The drawing is in shades of purple. At the top, a face, featuring lazy yellow eyes and downturned lips, sprouts four horns. A web of string seems to be wound among the horns and crisscrosses to form a pentagram on the devil’s forehead. From the neck down, he appears to be submerged in water and wearing some sort of vest with intricately interlocking clasps. “It is a dark picture, but it almost appears as if the figure has an angelic halo. As though all is not lost.”

She tilts her head to the side, revealing a small black goddess tattoo under her ear. “That is interesting. The Devil represents the shadow side of things. It can be lies and illusion, but it can also remind us to focus on using our power for good—to make our fate.”

Well that certainly fits and is a whole lot better than my first impression that my past must be filled with evil. Until recently, I had repressed the little I knew of why my mother left my father and me when I was ten. Now I know she left to go back to her mother to get help. I am certain it had something to do with her having a gift, just as I can telepathically communicate with animals and shape-shifters. And that means that my gift was inherited. What I don’t know is how far back in the family tree the genes go or where these gifts come from. I’m not sure I want to know.

“Let’s move to the next card.” She flips Temperance. 

It is a tiger coming right at me, bounding through turbulent water. The sky is cloudy, and birds fly in the distance. If it had been a black jaguar, I might have started laughing. Jorge, my jaguar shape-shifter boyfriend, is certainly a prominent part of my present.

“The tiger is powerful. I don’t usually think of cats as being in the water, but tigers are one of the cats that swim, aren’t they?” Like jaguars. 

I look at the card again. “Even though the tiger is menacing, I don’t feel afraid. It’s as though it wants to give strength.”

She nods. “Temperance is a card of coming together, of regeneration or renewal. It is often seen as fertility restored. As a present card, it tells me that your destiny is before you now.”

Thinking of Jorge as my destiny makes me smile. But there’s more in my present that tells me I’m on the right path. Like my work with Gracie’s ghost to catch animal abusers and how far I’ve come in using my gift. I tried to rescue Gracie and four other dogs from a dogfighting ring, in part using my ability to connect with animals psychically. 

“Did you have any further thoughts about the card you want to share?” She stares at me passively, as if any show of emotion would somehow change the outcome of this reading.

I blink to bring me fully back to the room. “I can see that card making sense for my present...”

She nods, then flips the third card. The Ten of Wands.

It is an archer on a white horse. He is surrounded by fire. Yet the sky behind him is brilliant blue with puffy white clouds. “It’s a contradiction: this peaceful sky and a rider engulfed in flames. He means business.”

“Wands are generally our spiritual side, our life force energy. This rider is a hero. As a future card, it tells me that you will be tried and forged into a hero yourself. You must, through all trials, rise above and focus on the bigger picture to reach your potential. You have the capacity to be a great leader.”

I’m stupefied. My inquiry for this reading was about my gift, and it looks as though I’m in for a heap of trouble with it. And don’t even get me started on being a leader. I don’t want to lead anyone, thank you very much.

I’ve had the growing suspicion that my mother was somehow losing control of her gift and that was what ultimately prompted her to leave and never come back. And I’m afraid I’m headed for the same fate. I remember seeing my mother’s distraught face while arguing with my father on the day she left. She was afraid even to touch my father to kiss him good-bye before she fled back to her family. I don’t know what I’d be walking into going to my mother’s family. She never spoke of them and told my father it was too dangerous for him to go back with her to see them. For all I know, they are all dead—my mother included.

The reader takes my hand, her voice soothing and calm. “Do not worry. Rest with the messages and take what you can from them. Let them bring you insight and add to your own wisdom. They are not meant to tell you exactly what will happen, and whatever you imagine now may not be what the cards wish for you to know.”

I stare at her delicate hand over mine and try to relax. I don’t know what to think about this reading. Panicking will do me no good, nor will griping.

I meet her steady gaze. “Thank you for the reading. I’ll think about it all.” I pull my hand away, rise to leave.

She nods at me in farewell. “Take care of yourself, Chloe.”

Fuck. I walk to my car and pull my coat tighter around me to block the cold November wind. I have had a bad feeling that something was coming for the last few weeks, but I’d been studiously ignoring it. Why I had the brilliant idea to come get this reading right before Jorge and I fly to Scotland to meet his family, I have no idea. Obviously worry is somehow attractive to me.

The most pressing problem, though, is getting my poker face firmly in place before I get home. I don’t want to worry Jorge.

Buy links:

Amazon
BN
AllRomance
Amazon UK
Amazon.ca




AUTHOR BIO:I like books that are funny and fun to read (and hot!) but also make me think or look at the world in a new way

These days you’ll find me writing, pet sitting, juggling a number of freelance gigs, and reigning as my home’s domestic goddess. I live in the Midwestern U.S. with my husband, dog and cats. Alas, I have, as of yet, been unable to teach my husband how to purr.


Website: http://katyaarmock.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/katyaarmock

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/KatyaArmock






Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Meet Katya Armock and Learn How Beta Waves and a Rainforest Helped Her Write

I'm pleased to introduce you to Katya Armock.  Her excerpt from To Growl or To Groan will be here on Saturday, stay tuned.


How Beta Waves and the Belizean Rainforest Help Me Write

Early on in my writing of To Growl or to Groan, I found a CD on clearance at Half Price Books called Awakened Rainforest. It featured sounds from the rainforests of Belize. My hero, Jorge, is from Belize so I thought it might be interesting. The track even included some jaguar calls in the background, paying homage to Jorge’s jaguar half.

After I had it home, I read that it is designed to be in tune with certain brainwaves, in this case Beta waves. According to the literature with the CD, listening to the Beta wave track will make one more focused and alert.

Curious, I did some research into the idea behind this music. Beta waves are defined as those within the frequency of 12 and 30 Hz. I sort of remember what that means from my science classes back in the day. The salient point is that these waves occur when we are awake and are associated with actively thinking or concentrating. 

From here, the research just got more complicated and difficult for a layperson to understand, but there seem to be a number of studies that find that certain types of musical beats do stimulate the production of different types of brainwaves. Music is now being used to help people with a variety of ailments, including those with ADHD, insomnia, and speech impairment from strokes and Parkinson’s.

I will say that I did find I wrote quite productively while listening to the Awakened Rainforest, so I guess I’m my own study of one. Now if only the music that was supposed to make it easier to fall asleep worked as well for me.

Have you found that certain types of music affect you in different ways? I’d love to know your experiences.




BLURB:

Her gift could save a missing girl…or destroy her relationship forever.

 After receiving a troubling Tarot reading, Chloe just knows something big and bad is about to happen. Her ability to communicate with animals and shape-shifters is going awry, and her growing psychic abilities are beginning to scare her. Despite her unease, she won’t let anything interrupt her trip to Scotland to spend the holidays with her shape-shifter boyfriend’s family. Jorge is everything she’s always wanted, and the fire between Chloe and the passionate panther-shifter burns hot. But meeting his family has her nerves in knots. 

When Jorge’s sister goes missing, Chloe’s psychic abilities might be the only thing that can help them find her. But things don’t go as planned, and with confusing psychic visions clouding her judgment, Chloe makes a mistake and an animal is injured. And Chloe fears she might hurt Jorge as well…
 
BUY LINKS: 
 
AUTHOR BIO:

I like books that are funny and fun to read (and hot!) but also make me think or look at the world in a new way.

These days you’ll find me writing, pet sitting, juggling a number of freelance gigs, and reigning as my home’s domestic goddess. I live in the Midwestern U.S. with my husband, dog and cats. Alas, I have, as of yet, been unable to teach my husband how to purr.


Website: http://katyaarmock.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/katyaarmock

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/KatyaArmock

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