Archive | Books

Spotlight + Giveaway of Amber Belldene’s New Release SIREN’S TOUCH

SirensTouchSmallI’m excited to feature my friend Amber’s new book Siren’s Touch, which releases today! Congratulations Amber!

In celebration, she’s giving away a copy to a lucky commenter, so just comment below to put your hat in the ring. I’ll draw names next week when I get back from the Romance Writer’s of America conference in New York.

Here’s a bit about the book:

Hitman Dmitri Lisko is determined to avenge his father. Once he takes out the man he believes is responsible for his family’s tragedies, he’s done killing for good. But a mysterious woman may tempt Dmitri to change his plan.

Sonya Truss was murdered in a Ukrainian village in 1968. Now she’s reappeared in San Francisco as a rusalka—the ghost of a wronged woman. And she’s thirsty for the blood of her killer. But she has to make things right before she’s trapped between worlds forever.

Sonya’s enigmatic siren powers stir Dmitri’s long-buried chivalry, and he finds himself compelled to help her. He also can’t resist giving her a taste of the pleasures she never experienced while she was alive. Soon they discover that touch has surprising consequences. Yet when their shared mission comes to cross-purposes, they must choose between deadly sacrifice—or surrendering to the one act that can save them both.

Doesn’t that sound cool? A bit of a twist on the usual paranormal…

Buy a copy at Amazon if you don’t want to wait until next week to see if you’ve won, or add it to your Goodreads shelf!

Comment below to win a free ecopy!

2

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Carolyn Crane’s Behind The Mask

BehindTheMaskI’m pretty excited to feature Carolyn Crane’s latest release in her Associates series! I first picked up one of them when she mentioned her hero was a linguist and I was immediately pulled into that book and her world, and read all the rest. These are great romantic suspenses with hot, tortured heroes and smart heroines. I started reading this on release day and am already enjoying it. At the bottom is information on a contest she’s holding during release week!

Here’s the Book Summary:

TO SAVE HER PROSTITUTE TWIN SISTER SHE HAS TO SWITCH PLACES WITH HER…

When her estranged sister is won in a card game by a brutal drug cartel, Zelda knows what she has to do: take her place. Save her. Focus on infiltrating the shadowy group–and try not to think about why she left the spying game years ago. She’s slept with dangerous criminals before; she can do it again.

Hugo Martinez is one of South America’s most lethal and wanted men, a legendary mercenary living on a windswept mountain. Even at the height of the war he wasn’t in the habit of taking women captive, but the American whore has seen his face. And he and the orphan boy need a cook. He shouldn’t want this woman, but there’s something so unusual about her…

Meanwhile, Zelda finds herself falling for her captor…but is he the killer she’s been hunting all these years?

Want more? I’ll let Carolyn introduce her excerpt:

Carolyn: This scene is when Zelda, posing as her prostitute twin sister, first meets Hugo. (They’re in South America.) Hugo has just killed a bunch of drug guerrillas who kidnapped her…using only blades and swords…because he’s super badass! Zelda is shocked at what he’s done, and she is trying to figure out if he had once been this legendary masked mercenary (Kabakas) she used to hunt years before while in the CIA. Supposedly Kabakas is dead.

The attacker turned his masked face to her.

His deep brown eyes met hers, invaded hers. She felt electrified by the darkness, the fury of his gaze, and its endlessness. His eyes were beautiful and terrifying, shining from the kill, or maybe pain or fury. Her heart pounded out of her chest, but she refused to look away or to freak out. She had the deep sense that she knew this man; that she always had.

She glanced down at those hands. He was near enough now that she saw a sunfire insignia on one of the barong swords, a small mark near the hilt.

The sunfire insignia. He was using street-corner mercado swords!

That decided it. This was not Kabakas. No way. He was an imposter. A pretender.

Kabakas’s swords had the ouroboros, an image of a snake swallowing its tail, the insignia of a blacksmith in Mindanao. The CIA kept that detail under wraps.

She stared him down as she tried to work herself free, using everything she had to picture the knot in her mind.

Still, attacking a guerrilla contingent with toys? She didn’t know whether to be impressed or disgusted.

“We will take on any army, any day. Do you understand?” the kid continued. “You will carry this message.”

Still the man looked at her. Her heart pounded. She didn’t know what to do with this eerie recognition of him, this connection.

Fuck you, she thought. You’re not Kabakas.

The boy was on the other side. He yanked open the door on the driver’s side and pulled a rifle and three revolvers out of the Jeep, then a lug wrench. He grunted and stepped back, casually spinning the weapon, eying her. He shot a querying look at his master, who watched her still.

The stars on the mask seemed to glitter. Probably also fake.

The man advanced on her, street-corner barongs shining with blood.

He was coming for her. She sat up, pulsing with anger, aliveness, that strange energy from when she’d heard his name on the plane.

This couldn’t be how it ended.

Time slowed as the barong blade came down on her. In that moment, she wondered if she’d died on that plane, if this was her mind’s weird way of replacing the death.

The blade banged down onto the bar atop the door, severing the rope the held her in place.

She tumbled back into the Jeep seat. Quickly, she scrambled over the door, thinking to run, but the attacker grabbed her hair and forced her to the side—in protection, domination, or ownership, she didn’t know, but all her fight came back suddenly and she rammed against his legs, wishing her hands were free so that she could hit him and loosen his grip somehow.

“Go!” he bellowed, glowering at the last remaining guerilla.

The man jumped into the driver’s side and sped away to spread the tale.

The kid looked up at Kabakas questioningly.

Kabakas stared back at him. The two seemed to be communicating.

Fingers tightened on her scalp. Her heart pounded as she struggled, but it was like struggling against a boulder.

The fighter looked down. Brown eyes speared into her core.

He had the same hair as his sidekick—short, dark, but it was those eyes that got her, seeing so much, containing so much. He seemed near, yet far. Drugged. In a trance. Something.

His voice, when he spoke, was a gravelly baritone. “Do you cook?”

Accented English. Valencian…but not quite.

“Do you cook?”

“Yes,” she said, blood racing.

“Did you graduate from high school?”

“Yes,” she said.

“Twenty-one times six. What is that?” he asked.

She gaped at him. “One hundred and twenty-six.”

He shoved her to the ground and walked off. “La puta viene con nosotros.” The whore comes with us.

Zelda stiffened. Had she heard that right?

The boy aimed his Uzi at her, eyes filled with disgust. “No la necesitamos.”

The man halted in his stride. Slowly he turned. The boy stiffened, slim limbs taut with fright.

Zelda’s heart pounded as the man pulled off his mask, as his wild and stormy gaze zoomed into the boy. He had those high Valencian cheekbones, gleaming with sweat, eyes sharp, dark hair sweaty and tousled. His features were large, like the rest of him, not smooth or polished, but jagged and proud, as though chiseled in stone, all crude power and beauty. “Cómo?”

The kid stiffened even more.

He addressed the child in Spanish, “Free her hands and help her find something to wear. Her outfit disgusts me.” Then he turned to her, eyes dark and expressive. “You run, you die.” A simple statement. He hardly needed to emphasize his willingness to carry out the threat.

The boy whipped off his mask, a small gesture of defiance.

“Nothing bloody,” the attacker added. He picked up a rag from the ground and began to polish a barong.

The boy gestured with his gun. “Up.”

So the boy spoke English, too.

Kabakas was from Valencia. Kabakas reportedly spoke English. But Kabakas would never show his face. Unless he meant to kill her.

The jungle chatter had started back up.

About the Book

Title: Behind The Mask (Associates, #4)
Author: Carolyn Crane
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Category: Romantic Suspense

Buy Links:
Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play | ARe | Smashwords

About the Author

Crane Author PhotoI am a RITA-winning author of romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and other tales of love and adventure (and erotic & dark romance as NYT bestselling author Annika Martin). My books have been published by Random House and Samhain, and I also go the indie route. I work a straight job as a marketing writer, I love to read in bed and run, I’m passionate about helping animals, and I make my home in Minnesota with my husband and two cats.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

Giveaway Information

(1) $75.00 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (winner’s choice & open internationally)
(32) Digital Copies of either Against the Dark, Off the Edge or Into the Shadows (winner’s choice & open internationally)

To enter, visit her Rafflecopter entry page!

0

Release Day for STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY + Giveaway!


Note: Stay tuned to the end for a giveaway!

To all outward appearances today, as I put out my second full-length novel, this is me at the start of this GIF, trying to be all cool and stuff, and then at the end, that’s me on the inside! This poor story had a rough start and I’m so excited to be able to finally share it.

Journey to Publication

I originally wrote it in May of 2012, all excited about the steampunk world I was imagining in Mobile, Alabama in 1890 and was eagerly revising it when I signed with my agent, who quickly shot it down, saying steampunk was dead. When New Adult started gaining in popularity, I tried to tell her this was New Adult, but it didn’t grok until a year later and then she wanted to see it right then, and I’d stupidly set it down and never revised it, so it wasn’t at all ready for my agent to see it. I delved into revisions and sent it out to Betas, but when I got them back I was also getting burned out and took a break from writing, so when I finally picked it up again last year, my agent wasn’t as keen to see it, which served me right. And then we amicably parted ways.

I had it in my head, even after I decided to self-pub Must Love Breeches, that I would seek new representation for Steam, but then luckily a lightbulb went off when I realized I didn’t have to shop it first. I looked at it objectively–did I love the story and hope others would too? Yes. But was it something that was sooooo commercially appealing NY would want it? No. I’d missed the boat on steampunk and according to what I was hearing from my agent and others, New Adult (from a NY perspective) wasn’t interested in NA that wasn’t contemporary, and after coming off of several years of waiting to see if they’d pick up Breeches, I just didn’t want to wait on something I knew they wouldn’t want. This doesn’t mean I won’t pursue a traditional deal, and I do have a project that’s in revisions that I think might stand a chance, but there was no sense putting Steam in the long queue for the inevitable rejection. This isn’t meant to be negative or sour grapes. On the contrary, I found it rather freeing, as it gave me options, which I love, and I think if one is to be successful, one has to look at one’s work in an objective, business-like matter. That’s what’s so great about indie publishing, as we’re able to fill a need for books of our flavors, but which aren’t in high enough demand to make it a viable business proposition for NY to take a chance on–NY can’t make a living catering to niches, whereas indies can.

So Steam got more revisions and Beta rounds and it went off to a developmental editor, who had fantastic feedback and made it much better (Thanks Jessa Slade!). Then it was off to my copyeditor, who I was really excited about bringing it to the next level. But luckily, I gave a launch date to Amazon that was a month later than I anticipated having it ready, because several days after it was due back to me, and I’m wondering what’s happening, I learn she’d been struck down by the flu, poor thing! So it was a mad scramble to find a replacement that could give it a good edit during that first week in December and Julie Glover did me a solid, thank you!

So what’s the deal with Steam?

  • it’s set in the Deep South, in a world where Lincoln doesn’t get shot
  • it’s got an armored pet monkey
  • it’s got a hot, well-intentioned, but bumbling hero
  • it’s got a Jack-the-Ripper style murderer terrorizing the good folk of Mobile
  • and a heroine who finds that less terrifying than marriage

I forgot to do a blog reveal of the trailer I made a week or so ago, so here’s the visual for ya:

Here’s the blurbage:

Jack the Ripper might be in town. But is marriage more terrifying?

In an alternate Deep South in 1890, society reporter Adele de la Pointe wants to make her own way in the world, despite her family’s pressure to become a society wife. Hoping to ruin herself as a matrimonial prospect, she seizes the opportunity to cover the recent Jack the Ripper-style murders for the newspaper, but her father’s dashing new intern suggests a more terrifying headline—marriage.

Dr. Phillip Rawley’s most daring exploit has been arriving at his new home in America in a hot air balloon. A tolerable sacrifice, if it means he can secure the hand of his new employer’s daughter in a marriage of convenience. But Adele works, she’s spirited, and she has an armored pet monkey running her errands. Not only does she not match his notions of a proper lady, she stirs up feelings he’d rather keep in tight control.

With Adele hunting down a headline and Dr. Rawley trying to protect and pursue her, a serial killer is spreading panic throughout Mobile, Alabama. Can Adele and Rawley find the murderer, face their fears, and discover true love?

I’m trying something new with this launch, and that’s pricing it at 99 cents for release week, so if you’re at all interested, pick it up before Monday, as it will go on it’s normal price of $3.99. Have no idea if this will help get it more exposure and find its audience, but I figured it was worth a try.

I’ve made some image quotes, which you’re free to pin or share:

SMUR_Quote3 SMUR_Quote4

Here’s some tweets, if you’re so inclined. Just click on the image or the text and it will prefill it for you:

Tweet: It's release day! Jack the Ripper might be in town. But is marriage more terrifying? STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY http://ctt.ec/buPlQ+ Tweet: It’s release day! Jack the Ripper might be in town. But is marriage more terrifying? STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY http://ctt.ec/buPlQ+

Tweet: STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY releases today, a #steampunk #romance at the release price of #99cents until 1/19 http://ctt.ec/2H91n+ Tweet: STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY releases today, a #steampunk #romance at the release price of #99cents until 1/19 http://ctt.ec/2H91n+

releaseblitz

Over 20 blogs are part of my release day blitz tour hosted by Twinsie Talk Book Reviews (thank you, Angie!) and some will be doing reviews, if all goes well. Also, there will be a 3 chances to win an ecopy of both Breeches and Steam over on twinsietalk.com! Here’s the tour participants:

Reviewers:

TwinsieTalk Book ReviewsStephanie’s Book Reports | Eyes on Books’ Next Favorite ReadLittle Shop of Readers

Blitz participants:

Rough Draft Book Blog  | Literary Treasure Chest | Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog | The Shadow Portal | Indies Steal Our Heart | Reading by the Book | Pinky’s Favorite Reads | Eskimo Princess Book Reviews | A Pair of Okies | author sandra love  | Writing Between Corsets and Bustiers… | D&S Book Blog | Musings by Mandy | Sweets Books  | Evocativebookreviews | Becca the Bibliophile | A Dirty Book Affair | Spreading The Word With Denise & Donna  | Imaginative Dreams | Verna Loves Books | Not Your Average Book Blog

Thank you!

Thank you bloggers participating in the blitz, and thank you to all who’ve followed me on here over the years and have supported me–the online writing community is truly amazing! This is me poking my head against the internets and saying:

Thank you

Oops

I set this all up last night so it’d be ready to publish when I woke up, and I forgot the buy links!

United States
 btn_kobo_48 btn_ibooks_48 btn_google_48 btn_bnnook_48
Amazon International
3

Trailer Reveal: Sophie Jordan’s Tease

jordan_teaseToday, I’m pleased to be one of the hosts for the trailer reveal of my agent-sister Sophie Jordan’s upcoming New Adult release, Tease!

TEASE by Sophie Jordan
Book 2 of The Ivy Chronicles
On-sale 5/27/2014
ISBN: 9780062279897 | e-ISBN: 9780062279903

A born flirt and good-time party girl, Emerson has never had a problem finding a willing guy. She’s always chosen her hook-ups carefully, and she’s never broken her three cardinal rules:

  • Never let them see the real you.
  • Never fall in love.
  • Always leave them begging for more.

Then comes Shaw. A hottie from the wrong side of the tracks, he’s immune to her flirtatious banter and come-hither smile. After rescuing her from a disastrous night at a biker bar, he doesn’t even try to take her to bed-he calls her a tease and sends her home instead. Unable to resist a challenge, or forget the sexy dark-eyed bad-boy biker, she vows to bring him to his knees.

But instead of making Shaw beg, she finds herself craving him. For the first time in her life, she’s throwing out her rulebook. Suddenly, she’s the one panting for a guy she can’t control. A guy who won’t settle for anything less than the real Emerson, who forces her to do things she’s never imagined, including facing a past she thought she’d buried.

A guy who just might leave her wanting more . . .

Sophie Jordan is an international and New York Times bestselling author whose books include historical romances and the Firelight series. When she’s not writing, she spends her time overloading on caffeine (lattes preferred), talking plotlines with anyone who will listen (including her kids), and cramming her DVR with true-crime and reality-television shows. She lives in Houston.

1

Sophie Jordan Book Trailer Reveal for FOREPLAY

My agent-sister Sophie Jordan has a New Adult release coming out November 5th and today’s the reveal for the book’s trailer, check it out!

MedForeplayForeplay Summary:

Before she goes after the life she’s always wanted, she’s about to find the one she needs.

Pepper has been hopelessly in love with her best friend’s brother, Hunter, for like ever. He’s the key to everything she’s always craved: security, stability, family. But she needs Hunter to notice her as more than just a friend. Even though she’s kissed exactly one guy, she has just the plan to go from novice to rock star in the bedroom—take a few pointers from someone who knows what he’s doing.

Her college roommates have the perfect teacher in mind. But bartender Reece is nothing like the player Pepper expects. Yes, he’s beyond gorgeous, but he’s also dangerous, deep—with a troubled past. Soon what started as lessons in attraction are turning both their worlds around, and showing just what can happen when you go past foreplay and get to what’s real…

Available for pre-order at:
IndieBound | Amazon.com | BN.com

Additional info:
website | Foreplay excerpts | Giveaway | Sophie’s Newsletter sign-up

0

Book Monday: Recent reads in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and spoof romance

seductionhyposthesisThe Seduction Hypothesis by Delphine Dryden (Erotic/BDSM)

(1 Curious Sub + 1 Dom in Denial) – Inhibitions = 4 Naughty Nights

Wildlife biologist Lindsey thought attending a fan convention with her new boyfriend Ben was a great idea—until their relationship imploded. Lindsey still lusts after her ex—but if he wants her, he’s going to have to prove he can give her what she needs.

Ben will do anything to win Lindsey back, and when he sees her in her skimpy black vinyl convention getup, he realizes what she’s been craving all along. And he’s inspired to finally give in to his own dark desire to take complete sexual control…

Lindsey is surprised by her reaction to Ben’s kinky new seduction techniques, and suddenly sees the brilliant but boring code guru in a different light. After several erotic encounters in hotel rooms and stairwells, she’s falling for him all over again. And wondering if the intimate connection will last once they head home…

This is the second book in Dryden’s The Science of Temptation series. I talked about the first book in this post, Some Geek Romances Old and New and so was eager to read the second one when it came out recently. If you read my erotic geek romance, Beer and Groping in Las Vegas, and you don’t mind reading about the BDSM lifestyle, you’ll enjoy this book too! It also takes place with a fan convention as the setting, and is rife with geek references and humor, including a, uh, creative use of Gandalf’s staff (I will not say anything more). I really enjoyed the hero’s earnest, but adorable, fumblings. If you’re picky about how accurate BDSM is portrayed, don’t look to me, as I have no idea, but this was a fun read!

dontbitethebridesmaidDon’t Bite the Bridesmaid by Tiffany Allee (Light Paranormal)

Alice Shepard needs one thing: a date for her sister’s wedding. And not just any date. A hunk who will make her fiancé rue the day he left her for her best friend. Her drop-dead gorgeous neighbor fits the bill—even if he is a bit quirky and never comes out during the day—and Alice has downed just enough appletinis to ask him. But she makes it quite clear that there will be no funny business.

Spending a week on a cruise ship full of humans while sleeping close to his sexy next-door neighbor sounds like a helluva bad idea to vampire Noah Thorpe. But his friends need time to get him out of a shotgun wedding—a vampire bonding that will tie his fate to a female vampire he’s never met. And Alice’s offer comes at just the right time.

What could possibly go wrong?

This was a fun, light read. I’ve been having a bit of bad luck lately with light paranormals and finally read one that I enjoyed. The previous ones seemed to confuse light, quirky and fun with bad writing, sloppy one dimensional characters and flat plots. Just because it’s light, doesn’t mean you get to skip all the craft! This had the right blend of humor, characterization and an engaging plot. NOTE: I received this book from Entangled Publishing, LLC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. However, I only post reviews for books I enjoyed, so if I got one from there that I didn’t like, you won’t see it on this blog. The formatting was off for my Kindle, but I’m hoping it was just that way for the NetGalley readers.

sealofhonorSeal of Honor by Tonya Burrows (Romantic Suspense)

It’s a good thing Gabe Bristow lives and breathes the Navy SEAL credo, “the only easy day was yesterday,” because today, his life is unrecognizable. When his prestigious career comes to a crashing halt, he’s left with a bum leg and few prospects for employment that don’t include a desk.

That is, until he’s offered the chance to command a private hostage rescue team and free a wealthy American businessman from Colombian paramilitary rebels. It seems like a good deal—until he meets his new team: a drunk Cajun linguist, a boy-genius CIA threat analyst, an FBI negotiator with mob ties, a cowboy medic, and an EOD expert as volatile as the bombs he defuses. Oh, and who could forget the sexy, frustratingly impulsive Audrey Van Amee? She’s determined to help rescue her brother—or drive Gabe crazy. Whichever comes first.

As the death toll rises, Gabe’s team of delinquents must figure out how to work together long enough to save the day. Or, at least, not get themselves killed. Because Gabe’s finally found something worth living for, and God help him if he can’t bring her brother back alive.

I don’t read a lot of romantic suspense, but oh boy–that cover! The chesticles and that stance! *grabs fan* This is the first in Burrows’ HORNET series and I really enjoyed it. It had me turning pages and Gabe was so opposite personality-wise from Audrey it was fun seeing them mix, but you could see why each needed the other. Presumably the rest of the wacky team will be featured in future books, which promises some great reading. NOTE: I received this book from Entangled Publishing, LLC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. However, I only post reviews for books I enjoyed, so if I got one from there that I didn’t like, you won’t see it on this blog. The formatting was off for my Kindle, but I’m hoping it was just that way for the NetGalley readers.

piratedave Pirate Dave and his Randy Adventures (Career Ending Romance Spoof) by Robyn Peterman

Free on Amazon, so you can’t beat that! Robyn Peterman’s novel How Hard Can It Be? had the heroine make up a crazy plot for a romance novel to foil a plot-stealing best-selling author and Peterman’s readers asked to have that story told in full. And this is the hilarious result! Not for the easily squeamish, this is an hilarious, profane romp featuring conjoined twins, a handsome but dirty pirate, and other zany characters and scenarios. Not to be taken seriously folks!

Have you read and enjoyed any of these? What are you reading right now?

Tweet: Recent reads in erotic, paranormal, contemporary & spoof romance. From a geeky Dom to a randy pirate @AngelaQuarles <–Click to Tweet

4

Monday Hunk Who Reads – Ryan Gosling

gdcgraphics [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

gdcgraphics [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Ryan Gosling

It’s the first of the month, and in an effort to get my old Hunk posts scrubbed of copyrighted material, I’m pulling up this one that had been taken offline and fixing it. So this month, it’s Ryan Gosling! He’s definitely a reader as there’s some photo documentation:

That book is so fucked up; that story’s the worst. I mean, at the end the tree is a stump and the old guy just sitting on him #8212; he’s just used him to death, and you’re supposed to want to be the tree? Fuck you. You be the tree. I don’t want to be the tree.

Is he keeping the tattoo though?

Tangentially related to reading, is his recent participation of Funny or Die’s Drunk History reading of A Night Before Christmas, also starring Eva Mendes and Jim Carrey.

It was hard finding out about his reading habits because of a certain meme we’ll explore below, but I did find out he was diagnosed with ADHD as a child which caused him to have trouble reading. He obviously conquered it. From that same article, he reveals this about Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, by Haruki Murakami: “You can’t put it down. All these movie studios are trying to buy his books and he won’t sell them.”

I gave up trying to find more about what he likes to read, however, because searching on Google for it was just too crowded with this phenomenon:

For some reason only the meme gods understand, he’s the subject of a number of “Hey Girl” internet memes that started with F*%kYeahRyanGosling where posters pretend he’s their boyfriend saying supportive/sexy things. There’s now a bunch of them (for computer nerds, museum loverspolitical junkies and many more) but the ones that relate to books I couldn’t resist sharing. This one for librarians, got a giggle from me:

And then one about reading YA books and I had to share this one because this seems to be the theme lately with my writing friends and me (*now going to post this as the blog post pic for my last writing post on internal dialog*):

And one where we pretend he’s in the world of publishing:

So that’s this month’s Hunk Who Reads. Reading is sexy people!

For further opportunities to idolize men and books:

Do you have any photos of male celebrities reading?

Come back next month to see the next Hunk Who Reads…

Past Hunks Who Read/Related Articles:

*previous Ovaries Exploding Award winner

2

Guest Post: Stephanie Lawton on The Art of Genre Hopping

blog button

Excited to have fellow Mobilian Stephanie Lawton on my blog today to talk about her new release, Need, which is the follow-up to her debut release Want! Take it away, Stephanie!

*****

Thanks, Angela, for the opportunity to say a few things about my new release, Need, genre-hopping and nontraditional publishing. Quite a mouthful, that, but I assure you they’re related and relevant to most writers.

In an ideal writing world, we don’t sit down and immediately conjure up the perimeters of a specific genre. Instead, we tell our story the way it needs to be written. Only when it’s finished do we begin to think of its marketability and where it fits in the pigeon holes of the publishing world.

Nine times out of ten, it’s easy to tell where a book belongs. Narrator under eighteen? It’s probably YA. Silk sheets and a red room of fun toys? Probably erotic romance or erotica (or perhaps comedy, but I’ll leave that one alone …)

So what happens when your story genuinely doesn’t fit a specific category, or doesn’t fit well enough to be a sure thing for an agent or publisher to be comfortable selling? Answer: You go indie.

For some, this means hitting up indie publishers, which are doing quite well in this changing market. They’re also generally more open to well-written stories that may not conform to what’s currently popular or projected to be so. The good ones still demand quality, but they often see the value in putting something out there that appeals to specific readers, or readers who are tired of the same big-house tropes.

This is where I lucked out with my romance series. The first book, Want, was published as upper-YA. The story hinges on the heroine being seventeen, but the issues she’s facing are very adult and all the rest of the characters in the book are adults. Is it YA? Not really. But is it adult? Most potential readers would automatically assume it’s not based on the narrator’s age.

A year after publication we’ve seen the rise of a category known as New Adult. Bingo. And guess who pioneered this wildly successful trend? Indie writers (many self-published) and indie publishers.

There were many demands from readers for a second book to find out what happened next to a certain character, so I penned Need. This time, I wrote from the main male adult character’s POV (I can’t call him a protagonist or antagonist and be completely accurate). He’s twenty-eight, beyond New Adult and well beyond YA.

Plus, when his story began pouring out, it was really adult, as in practically erotic romance. When I first sent it off to my indie publisher (right of first refusal and all that) I figured there was no way they’d let me get away with veering so far away from the first book’s genre. I honestly expected a big ‘ole “Hell no!” complete with finger snaps.

But guess what? They loved it. What’s more, readers are loving it.

The moral of the story, boys and girls, is to take a chance, write what you love, and trust that there are options for your story and readers who will jump at the chance to delve into something off the beaten path.

Happy writing and reading!

Need’s blurb:

NeedIsaac Laroche is cursed. All he wants to do is hide out and feel sorry for himself. Never mind that he got caught sleeping with his seventeen-year-old piano student, or that he abandoned her when the truth was exposed.

Isaac’s feisty high school sweetheart has different plans. Heather Swann has returned to their hometown of Mobile, Alabama, to regroup after breaking up with her troll of a fiancé. She’s restless and looking for a diversion, but she bites off more than she can chew when she sets her sights on rehabilitating Isaac with her unorthodox sexual, mental, and physical plans.

The two quickly reconnect, but their happiness is threatened by family secrets, old vendettas and the death of a beloved father-figure.

Can Heather handle Isaac’s baggage, or will her own come back to haunt them both?

Where to get your hands on it:

Inkspell Publishing (paperback and digital) | Barnes and Noble (paperback and Nook) | Amazon (paperback and Kindle) | All Romance eBooks (digital) | The Book Depository (paperback) | Kobo (digital)

Author bio:

photo 3After collecting a couple English degrees in the Midwest, Stephanie Lawton suddenly awoke in the deepest reaches of the Deep South. Culture shock inspired her to write about Mobile, Alabama, her adopted city, and all the ways Southern culture, history and attitudes seduce the unsuspecting.

A lover of all things gothic, she can often be spotted photographing old cemeteries, historic buildings and, ironically, the beautiful beaches of the Gulf Coast. She also has a tendency to psychoanalyze people, which comes in handy when creating character profiles.

Links for stalking!

Author website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Thanks Stephanie for giving us this peek into indie publishing! Visitors, have you found this to be the case too with indie books? Have you let a story take you where it needed to go and found acceptance? This is definitely an exciting time to be a writer!

5

Book Monday: My Angel Kick — Singh, Eden and Ward

I honestly didn’t mean to start an angel phase. It all started with Cynthia Eden. Next month on Paranormal Unbound, we’re going to highlight the paranormal authors who were nominated for the RITA, and since Ms. Eden is an RWA chapter-mate, and I’ve been wanting to read her series anyway, I waved my hand enthusiastically to feature her. And since I can’t start a series in the middle, I picked up Book 1 (Angel of Darkness) and 2, as well as the nominated-3.

And I enjoyed all three! Great world-building, great pacing, great writing, and loved the characters. I won’t go into it much more here and save it for next month on Paranormal Unbound.

And it was due to that blog that I picked up the other two authors. I’d been wanting to read JR Ward and as noted in an earlier post, got completely obsessed with the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. So when I saw one of her books for a different series at a library sale, I snagged it without reading what it was about. And because I’m an obsessive series reader, and the one I got was not the first, I filled out the series at used bookstores and online. Nalini Singh was also recommended by commenters on Paranormal Unbound, specifically the Guild Hunter series, so I snagged some at said library sale, and rounded it out in the same manner as the other Ward series.

Since I snagged a bunch of other books at that sale, I wasn’t paying particular attention to titles or blurbs, and happily added them all to my To Be Read Hill. So I picked up the first of Singh’s recently, having finished Eden’s series, and finally, you know, looked at the friggin’ title, and lo, it’s Angels’ Blood. And wow, folks weren’t lying about how great the writing is. Very fresh voice and unique world-building. I was immediately sucked in, and it didn’t hurt that Raphael was one hunk of an archangel.

I’m currently enjoying a 3-day beach vacation with family and so when I packed Saturday, I headed to my Hill, and grabbed the rest of the Singh’s and all the Wards (in case I finished Singh’s, LOL) and have been having a wonderful and relaxing stay, reading on the beach, reading by the pool, reading on one of they many screened in porches on the beach house. Yesterday I finished Angel’s Blood by the pool, and said to my cousin, “One book down, grabbing another!” I went to my pile only to discover I hadn’t successfully filled out my series and didn’t have Book 2. So thankfully I’d overpacked books (which is always wise to do on a vacation or trip) and grabbed the first one of Ward’s other series (Covet) and scampered back to the pool. And imagine my surprise when I saw it was about, yep, angels–in this case fallen angels, like Eden’s.

So I guess I’m on an angel kick!

And enjoying the ride…

What about you? Do you find yourself, either accidentally or planned, reading about one paranormal creature for a while? Do you find angels yummy too?

0

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes

%d bloggers like this: