Saturday, January 31, 2015

Marketing 102

The review is king (or queen).

Whether you're talking books or widgets (see my post 'Marketing 101'), a good review sells a product. A recommendation goes a long way. So my next step (already underway) is requesting honest reviews for my book. My publisher provided me with a list of sites and I've done some research through Facebook and Twitter. I've kept a list of my requests as well. Lesson learned: many sites have waiting lists and take 6-8 weeks for a review. If you get an 'ARC' (advanced review copy), my advice is send it to every reviewer you find ASAP.

A book review request is a little like a first date. You don't jump in and propose marriage before the salad arrives. You get to know the person and build a relationship. It's easy when there's a request form to complete online. It's a little trickier in an email. Think of it like a job application. You send a tailored cover letter and resume to a prospective employer and hope you get an interview.

If you take anything away from this post, please consider the importance of the review. The next time Amazon sends you an email asking you to review a product you just purchased, please spend the 30 seconds required to post a review.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00REOM11G



Saturday, January 24, 2015

For Sexy Snippets - January 25, 2015

A #SexySnippet from my current WIP A Vampire's Tale... between my heroine Marisa and her new vampire friend Corgan. I wish I could give you more... but I am limited to seven sentences... :)



"Have we established who is in charge here?"
"Of all the macho, melodramatic-"
He cut her words off with a hard kiss, gently scraping her lips with his sharp teeth. Whoosh. His kiss was as demanding and intimating as the man himself. She felt helpless to resist his allure as she gave in to his passionate assault. Keeping her pinned beneath him, he kissed her senseless. 



If you liked this, please check out my latest release Dream Hunter now available http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00REOM11G

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Dommes of Ballingal: Kristin Promo

Today I have a special guest joining me for an enticing peek at her latest release... Raven McAllan is talented author; her words never cease to paint amazing pictures in my mind. I could go on, but I'll let her own words speak for themselves. Welcome, Raven!


The Dommes of Ballingal: Kristin

Ballingal. An Island in the middle of a Loch. Where women rule, and hearts are saved—or broken.
I love the sound of the ladies of the loch. There are six of them. Kristin's is the first story to be told.

Kristin McCrory would never in a million years have thought her ex-husband would show up on Ballingal and profess his need to sub for her. Flynn is the ultimate stubborn Alpha male, and his refusal to even discuss her need to be in charge had already cost them their marriage. That, and his apparent need to seek out the most dangerous place to report on in his work as a television documentary reporter.

However, the Flynn she knew is not the Flynn who stands before her now. This Flynn is a broken man and she can’t just turn him away. As an Empath and mind reader, Kristin can sense his emotional and physical pain. It means Kristin feels even more drawn to the man she loves, and their connection is as strong as ever.
Love is worth fighting for after all, and Flynn finds new strength in his submission.

Excerpt

“Bring those, please.” She didn’t wait to see if he would do as she said, but turned her back on him and began to walk like a ship in full sail back up the path toward the cluster of stone buildings a few hundred yards up the hill. The dozen or so other visitors scattered in various directions as Flynn slung his bag over his shoulders, picked up the boxes, and walked three strides behind her.
Is this welcome to a sub’s paradise? Fuck that for a game of soldiers, or subs. I might say I’ll sub, but there’s subbing and subbing.
“There isn’t, you know.” Kristin had stopped and turned toward him. Flynn missed bumping into her by inches.
“Eh?” He rocked back on his heels and held on to the boxes for grim death. It wouldn’t be a very auspicious start to drop them.
“There’s just subbing where I’m concerned. One way.” She paused and ran one long pillar-box-red fingernail over his cheek. “My way.” She turned and carried on walking.
Flynn shook his head. Either he’d been talking out loud or she was a mind reader. Hadn’t he discovered in his research that really there were as many ways of kink as there were people?
“Mind reader,” Kristin called over her shoulder. “And I’m not other people.”
Fuck, and if you’re reading this be warned, Mrs. McCrory. Sub to you I may be, doormat I won’t.
There was no answer. So it was selective thought reading then?
“No, I chose not to answer.” Kristin stopped outside a bright yellow door, with baskets of spring flowers on either side of the porch. “You’ll submit to me and in my way, or you won’t, Flynn. The choice is yours. We’ll discuss it later. Here’s Nicole’s place.”
He blinked and raised his eyebrows. What was he supposed to say to that? “Very nice.”
Kristin dropped the post sack a few inches from his toes. He was glad he had sturdy shoes on, and he didn’t flinch.
“I hope you think so. It’s the bed and breakfast—guest house. Where, I assume you have a booking?”
Flynn shook his head. He loved the way her eyes glittered, and her fingers twitched. Green eyes, red hair, and a temper to match. Oh so stereotypical, and great fun to light the flare and watch the sparks fly. He was adept, or he amended to himself, had been, adept at ducking.
“A very nice lady called Justine told me it was full and I’d be stopping with you.”
Her mouth dropped open and Flynn grinned. It wasn’t often he had ever been able to surprise her. “Didn’t you know?” he asked in as innocent a voice as he could muster.
“No I did not.”
If she could conjure up frost, he reckoned he’d have frostbite, or icicles on his dick.
“And you are not stopping with me.”
Flynn put the boxes down, very carefully. He felt as if he was about to walk on eggshells. “I’ve paid my dues, surely? Three years I’ve given us. Now I’m ready.”
“You’ve given us?” Her tone was incredulous and her dark eyebrows disappeared under the carroty red fringe of her hair. The two colors should have seemed incongruous, but Flynn hardly noticed. She’d dyed her eyebrows and eyelashes ever since he’d met her.
Given us?” Her voice rose. “Get real and open your tight little mind, Flynn. You’ve given me fuck all, except heartache. I vowed when you walked away I wouldn’t cry one single sodding tear. And you know?” She poked him in the chest. The look in her eyes made it clear she would have preferred to use a knife, not her finger. “I didn’t. Not one.”
A lump wedged in Flynn’s throat. She hadn’t been upset? He’d gone on a misery-fest for a month, and eventually been dragged out of his bed by his Director. Was it all a mistake? Should he turn round and sit on the jetty until the boat came back? No, no not that. I need her.
“You know why, Flynn?” She poked him once more, and the pain hit his heart and shattered it into tiny pieces of guilt.
He shook his head, scared if he spoke his voice would break as well as his heart.
“I’ll tell you then, shall I? Because I shed fucking millions, that’s why. I was a mess, and if it hadn’t been for Justine, god knows where I’d be now.”
It might be horrible news, and he did feel awful, but deep inside, Flynn had a tiny glimmer of hope. Maybe, just maybe, something could rise out of the ashes of their relationship?
Flynn swallowed. “You’re—” He cleared his throat to try and make his cotton wool tongue work. “You’re too strong to do anything silly.”
She curtsied mockingly. “I’m glad you realize that, Flynn. Because if you’re serious about subbing to me, we’ve got a lot to talk about.”




Raven Bio…

Well what can I say?

I'm growing old disgracefully and loving it.
Dh and I live on the edge of a Scottish forest, and rattle around in a house much too big for us.
Our kids have grown up and flown the nest, but roll back up when they want to take a deep breath and smell the daisies so to speak.
I write in my study, which overlooks the garden and the lane. I'm often seen procrastinating, by checking out the wild life, looking—only looking—at the ironing basket and assuring tourists that indeed, I'm not the bed and breakfast. That would mean cooking fried eggs without breaking the yolks, and disturbing the dust bunnies as they procreate under the beds. Not to be thought of.
Being able to do what I love, and knowing people get pleasure from my writing is fantastic. Long may it last.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Marketing 101

I started this blog about a year ago or so to document my writing journey. I wrote a book, signed a contract, and now my book Dream Hunter has been published. The End. All done. I can wipe my hands clean and start writing the next book, right? Uh no. Now the hard part begins.

I thought editing was the hard part. Now I need to peddle my book daily as a virtual unknown author to a bunch of people who love to read, but are also being pursued by every other author out there. And, at the same time, I want to position myself to relationship build not outright sell. Sound easy? Try tiring. I don't want to continually send out the "buy my book" tweets and Facebook posts. But what else can I do?

I have a Commerce degree and I have taken a few marketing courses. So I thought I would develop a marketing plan. Unfortunately, all the marketing plans I studied/developed in school sold widgets not books. So if you have widgets to sell, give me a call! There had to be some similarities between selling widgets and books. I pictured the widgets being sold door-to-door. How to maximize sales? Sell every day. So I developed a daily schedule to market and promote my book. Every day I check my email and Facebook accounts. During the course of the week I update my website, post to my blog, tweet, and send out book review requests/set up interviews and promos. You have to be out there. Everyday. And it's not just about you. I often have guests on my blog and participate on other blogs.

Concurrently, I am finalizing another book, also a paranormal romance. How better to sell one book then by publishing another. Call it synergy, momentum, whatever. Writing has been a lifelong dream of mine and once I set my sights on something, I let nothing stand in my way. Ask my husband.

As for the marketing plan, I'm no expert. This is my first time around and only time will tell if I did things right. This is a learning process for me and I'm open to any advice.

Happy writing (and reading)! If you're in the Northern Hemisphere, stay warm this January...

Sunday, January 18, 2015

For Sexy Snippets

Dream Hunter for #SexySnippets

This week's snippet is from my latest release Dream Hunter. Seven sentences selected to give you a little taste...


He ought to resist—the possibility of mad men out there trying to hurt this sweet woman still looming. This absolute vixen, he amended as she grabbed his ass. He was going to stop the kiss in . . . uh, one more minute.

Pushing her against the building, he palmed her soft breasts and felt her breath catch under his hand. He gently squeezed and tilted his head to deepen the kiss. He groaned with pleasure into her mouth. With much regret, he broke off the kiss, briefly resting his forehead against hers.


Wanting more? Come meet Cynthia and Gabe in Dream Hunter.

__________________________________________________
Cynthia’s dreams are so real, they are actually coming true – complete with the prerequisite dream guy. But things are not as they seem.
Who said dreams are sweet?
Chicago businesswoman Cynthia Courtland is completely focused on her career when a sensual, reoccurring dream disrupts her orderly life. Then a threat against her workplace forces her to take time off. She is lost with nowhere to go--only her empty apartment.
Work is Gabe’s life too; he takes it very seriously and will do whatever it takes to succeed. He's been watching over Cynthia for a long time and he has her best interests at heart, but can he protect her from the danger she is blind to? When Cynthia insists on investigating the threat so she can get back to work, it makes Gabe's job all the more difficult.
When things settle, will there be more for them than a life filled with work? Will she give her dreams a chance to come true?

__________________________________________________


Now available.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00REOM11G






Friday, January 16, 2015

Identity

If you use a pen name, do you ever feel like you're two people?

Maya Tyler is me, but I sometimes feel like she's not. I have separate email addresses, Facebook accounts... Even Pinterest. She has a blog, a website, a Twitter account. I created her. I gave her an identity. My secret identity.

When Dream Hunter was released, I was so happy and excited (still am), but a part of it didn't seem real. I had compartimentalized Maya's life into a completely separate box. She was only sort of 'me' if that makes sense? Today at work I was signing reports and I had to stop and think - whose name did I sign? The lines between us are getting blurry.

I'm a very private person. Using a pen name allows me freedom to express myself, to be who I am without all the over analysis and worry of what others will think. I am no longer bound by society's opinion of me. Slipping into anonymity is comforting. I can be myself and finally explore and discover who I really am.

I am in my thirties and still asking the questions. Who am I? What do I want to be when I grow up? Are there ever any answers? I'm unbelievably happy with my life... Even if I still have uncertainty about my professional future, I have no such questions about my personal. I have been married for twelve years to my soul mate and best friend and we have two young sons... We live in a small town with lots of parks and playgrounds. We have an ordinary, fulfilling life. We're a good family. Almost every Friday night, we have family movie night. Tonight we got McDonald's takeout and watched The Incredibles. It was so much fun! I wouldn't change it for the world!

Still I constantly question who I am and where I'm going even though I am happy and satisfied with my life. Why? Maybe I need to gauge my progress, to grade myself. Am I on track? Or is there another reason? Am I truly being true to myself? Or am I hiding behind my secret identity?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Moon Dance Promo

Welcome, Michaela Rhua, thank you for visiting, and congrats on your book Moon Dance. What a beautiful cover... And an enchanting idea.

Michaela is here today to tease us with an excerpt from her latest release. I hope you enjoy it!




When The Pieces Don't Fit.

Have you ever had a go at doing a 5000 piece jigsaw puzzle? I never really had the patience for those. Some people spend hours and days engrossed in fitting all the pieces together to create the correct image.

But what happens when all the pieces don't fit? You get to the last section and you slowly plod away trying to fit them in, only to find some missing or odd pieces have found their way into the box.

Frustrating!

That’s the way with Raya. She meets someone awesome – Amari - but then there’s a bump in the road and the whole jigsaw flies all over the place. The trouble is when she puts them back together they just don’t fit. What she is told about her past does not make sense. Both the girls have to struggle to find the truth because they cannot move on together until Raya’s past is pieced together.



Blurb.

A quick pick up and a night of sex was just what Raya was looking for. Only meeting Amari set her insides on fire and she had to have more of this Indian beauty. Witches and shifters aren’t meant to bond only Raya and Amari can’t ignore the chemistry flowing between them. Trouble strikes the lovers when a past trauma hits Raya and Amari’s mother could be to blame. Finally Raya has a chance to get even with the old witch, who destroyed her life. When that revenge reveals that Raya’s  past holds secrets she wasn’t aware of, it throws into question everything she believes in. Can the lovers unite to help Raya find her true self or is it all too late?



Excerpt.

"Good morning Amari. Sorry I couldn't wait," Raya said. She pulled off her sneakers one by one, followed by her sports socks.
Amari held out her hand, inviting her across. Raya's eyes lit up and she began to walk across the shallow water. Suddenly she stopped and looked down at her feet, confusion written across her face. Raya backed away, out of the water.
"You okay?"
"Err…yeah. Why don't you come across here?" Raya suggested.
Amari did not hesitate, pulling up her dress to skip across the cool water, leaving her sandals behind. Once across, Raya grabbed her hand and pulled her into her. Both girls looked at each other. Raya’s deep green eyes shone back at Amari.
"You're beautiful…" began Raya, but she was silenced by Amari who pulled Raya's head down in a rough kiss. Instantly there was a connection, sparks of energy flew around them and Amari's body began to heat up. Lips meshed and tongues played, dancing and teasing. Their hands explored and grabbed each other's bodies to get closer, wanting no space between them.
Ray moaned into Amari's mouth. Amari pulled away.
"Sorry, did I hurt you?"
"Are you kidding me?" Raya said, pulling her back into a kissing that almost hurt with the fierce passion that was behind it. Amari's mouth sizzled against Raya's; never had she experienced something this strong straight away. She pulled at Raya's T-shirt, wanting nothing between them; skin on skin was her desire. Raya helped her out by holding her arms up and Amari pulled the T-shirt off. Underneath she wore a simple cotton bra that cradled her breasts. Amari slid  off one strap and kissed the soft skin of her neck, then shoulder. She felt Raya's hand massage the back of her head, keeping her in that position. So she likes to be kissed there. With a new lover, it was always a learning experience; what they liked and didn’t like was stored in your memory. She was enjoying learning about Raya. She pulled down one cup to reveal a perfect breast with an erect pink nipple. Raya wasted no time: she sucked it straight away and then used her teeth to bite gently. This released another moan from Raya's lips. Amari smiled, looking up at Raya.
"You like a little pain?" Amari carried on sucking Raya's breasts with gentle bites. She moved her hand down Raya’s front and edged it into her joggers and down to her panties, which to Amari's delight were a little moist. She rubbed Raya's mound, letting the tips of her fingers slide down further. Raya spread her legs a little; that meant Amari could reach further. Massaging that pussy was not enough, she wanted to taste. Amari grabbed Raya's joggers, pulled them all the way down and then knelt at her feet.
Raya's legs were long and toned, probably with all that jogging. Amari stroked them up and down, dragging her nails closer and closer to her bare pussy that glistened, inviting her to taste. Amari stepped back to look at Raya. She was amazing with flawless skin, breasts that fitted into Amari's hands and topped off with her red hair that looked like it was fire when the sun caught it.
"Lie down, Raya."
"No, I want you naked too," Raya replied.
Amari hesitated for a moment, her hands shaking, because not everyone appreciated her fuller figure.
"Go on, let me see you."
Amari took a deep breath and pulled her dress off. Raya's mouth opened and her eyes deepened in color. Amari could feel heat emanating from Raya's body; it was one of those gifts her mother said she possessed, reading people's feelings. Sometimes that was through the colors that surrounded them or the energy in the air, this time it was through the warmth of Raya's body that drifted to her and pulled her in.
"You are perfect, Amari." Raya stepped towards her and stroked her shoulder. More warmth filled Amari as she felt Raya's hands stroke her breasts, down her waist to her needy pussy.


Buy Links:



About Mik:
Michaela Rhua always dreamed of writing but this never happened until she met the lovely group of ladies known as UCW. Their passion for writing and encouragement inspired her to see if she could do it too. Now she is multi published and loves writing!

She has teenage children who also keep her busy. However, it is whilst travelling into work that she has time to create her characters and imagine other places in which they exist as her world skims by the window. Conversations overheard often lead to the birth of new ideas that she scribbles down in her trusty notebook.


Stalking Links:
Website       Blog       Twitter       Pinterest         Facebook   





Monday, January 12, 2015

Where am I going and how did I get here?

Do you ever think that?

Time is going by so quickly. I see the evidence daily in my growing boys. It won't be long before my oldest is taller than me. But am I the captain of my destiny or merely a sailboat caught in the wind?

There are so many things that need done on a daily basis. It doesn't leave much time for extras... Unfortunately writing falls into that category sometimes. We're obligated to go to work, buy groceries, do laundry, but there's no one enforcing the completion of our hobbies.

Hobbies are supposed to be fun! I love to write and it's one of the most relaxing hobbies I have. And for a Type A girl who considers 'relax' a four-letter word... Such activities are rare... To say the least...

When I thought out my resolutions, I considered my hobbies. I set myself some specific writing resolutions. The new year started off with a bang and I experienced a lot of momentum surrounding the release of my novella Dream Hunter! But I need to keep the momentum going! In addition to marketing and promoting Dream Hunter, I need to write! Which ironically gets my name out there and, indirectly, is marketing in itself.

My January goals were to enter a writing contest by the 16th (which I did) and completely self-edit and write a synopsis for my vampire book (which is in progress). I am on track. Sometimes with a resolution, or any type of goal for that matter, you need a little kick in the butt to get going! And keep going!

How are you doing with your resolutions?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Everything is Awesome

That's what The Lego Movie says.

We had our family movie tonight and we watched The Lego Movie. Just like every kids movie, this one had humorous material only the adults would get and a real home-hitting message - about creativity. As a writer, I am always looking for different creative avenues to explore. Watching a movie like this one inspires me to be creative. I think it's all the perky music and bright colors.

Plus it's a safe bet that my two little boys will want to play Lego tomorrow. :) And that's always a lot of fun. I like to make houses with furniture and a flower garden. My boys build space ships and monster trucks. But we can all create together.

Whether you build with Lego or words, I hope you have a creative (and awesome) week!


Check out this video on YouTube:

http://youtu.be/StTqXEQ2l-Y

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Book Spotlight on Hidden Passion

Hidden Passion
by
Summerita Rhayne


About the Book:

HIDDEN PASSION: The Story of Kamboj Princess Rukmani is a short historical read set in the Early Middle Ages in India. It is a sensual and passionate historical. The story is woven around Rukmani who is attracted to Deveshwaraya, a king. She finds that the path of desire and love is not easy, even for a princess who must face the hindrance of the imperial affairs.

Buy Links:





About the author

Summerita Rhayne loves to write sensual and emotional romance. There's no knowing when some quirky - or sometimes even not so quirky - happening in daily life might trigger her right brain and then she's off craving a new story. She loves writing characters who learn and grow and find their way out of their troubles and emotional hang-ups. Hot, sensual heroes and sassy but sweet heroines mostly fit the bill in her stories. She also believes that a touch of humor never goes amiss in a book.

She divides her time between family, job and writing - and loves winding down with music, movies and the internet!

Keep up with her news at www.summeritarhayne.com
Or follow via Twitter @SummeritaRhayne https://twitter.com/summeritarhayne

...........

Excerpt from Hidden Passion
As he had taught her to handle the spear, she’d felt his touch. Inflaming. Hot. The hard strength of his body such a contrast to her own. Curiosity and desire had triggered an excitement, a longing to unravel the secret that made her feel all these things. To give in to the urges imbuing her senses. 
Now touching him was like touching a hot furnace. She had no idea being in contact with him would feel like this. The sound of the spear falling to the ground was dull in her consciousness.
‘What do you think you are doing, rajkumari?’
‘I want you, Devesh. I want to touch you, feel your touch...’
‘This doesn’t classify under the hunting lessons.’
She ignored the cold jibe and she met his scowling gaze squarely as he half turned to look at her. ‘No, it doesn’t.  But don’t you think it’s time we acknowledged what’s there between us?’
‘And what is that?’ His lips curled contemptuously. ‘Put it out of your mind, princess. You’re too young to understand the implications of what you’re saying. It will be better for you to go back to the palace.’ He started to dislodge her spread hands from his body.
‘I don’t feel like going back. I want to be with you.’
He couldn’t have missed the change in her tone. Her voice had gone slightly husky. But far from responding to it, he chose to ignore it. He tried to draw away from her but she refused to let go. One hand lifted to trace the knot of the muscles. The indentation of the spine. All encased in firm silken flesh. He went as still as a rock. A heat wave ran through her, causing her body to tauten in need.
‘We are meant to be together...’
He turned to confront her. She was trapped in the dark glitter of his eyes, the predatory gleam that warned her even as it incited her.
‘You don’t know what you’re playing with.’
‘Then show me.’ The whisper hardly left her lips than he caught her in his arms and drew her close. She was pressed against him, hard body imprinting itself against hers. His arms banded her, strong like spear rods. Her legs felt weak, her lips parted and his gaze homed onto them. His head came down till his mouth covered hers.

This was what he tasted like. Honeyed sweetness and tangy passion. Spicy heat. Her thoughts lost coherency and all she could do was cling to him as he wreaked a magic she hadn’t dreamed was possible, on her senses. 


Sounds intriguing? Are you ready to find your Hidden Passion?