Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Who Needs Facebook?

Each month I hold a giveaway exclusively for people on my private email list. Often I will use the contest as an opportunity for a little research. I'll ask readers to enter by sending me email with the answer to a simple question or two.

This month I asked the following question.

Based on your personal reading and book buying habits, how important is it that an author have presence on Facebook?

As some of you already know, "Lisabet Sarai" does not have a Facebook account, because I need to protect the privacy of my author persona. I know that if I was a FB member, it wouldn't take more than a few days for FB's data mining algorithms to determine the linkage between my real identity and my pseudonym.

However, I've obviously been concerned regarding how seriously this is impacting my sales. Some of my publishers organize events solely on Facebook, and because of my concerns, I can't participate.

Hence, I was eager to see how my readers responded.

I received 18 contest entries - not a lot, but then, any contest that requires effort or thought is going to have a low return rate! Of these 18 only three told me they thought Facebook was essential

Some indicated that they tend to frequent blogs or Goodreads more than FB. Several readers indicated that they themselves are not on FB or do not use it very much.

I was relieved. Of course, this is far from a random sample. Obviously, these are the readers who have already found me - through some channel other than Facebook.

I'm curious about other people who might read this post. How would you answer this question?

Thanks!

Oh, and a big congratulations to Sara, who won a copy of The Ingredients of Bliss in this month's drawing!

And if you'd like to join in the monthly contests - just email me at lisabet [at] lisabetsarai [dot] com. I'd be glad to add you to the VIP list.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Hometown Heros - Hotter Ever After

Featuring Sabrina Yorks Heartbreak On A Stick

Presenting a contemporary romance bundle of 16 novels with happily-ever-after endings, including previously published readers' favorites and brand-new material from USA Today Bestselling Authors: Melissa Schroeder, Lucy Monroe, and Nancy Warren, NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Sabrina York along with bestselling and award-winning authors: Allie K. Adams, Destiny Blaine, Cathryn Cade, Jami Davenport, Kate Davies, Taryn Elliott/Cari Quinn, Rachel Grant, Sandy James, Adrianne Lee, Hildie McQueen, Katy Regnery and Sandy Sullivan

All proceeds for this charity bundle go to Pets for Vets—saving unwanted pets and providing support to our troops.



They’re all hometown heroes, guys from small towns who’ve made a name for themselves, big or small, who’ve withstood the odds and risen to the challenge, who are heroes in their own right. Now, these sixteen stories are available in a single bundle for a limited time at the discounted price of $1.99. 



Heartbreak on a Stick by Sabrina York

When A-List movie star Jason Sherwood returns to the hometown that once rejected him, he has one goal in mind: Getting revenge on the woman who broke his heart so many years ago. But when he discovers his assumptions about her were wrong, he only wants to win her back. Hopefully, it’s not too late.

Gina Fox has always pined for her high school lover…and now he has returned, turning her world upside down. But life isn’t as simple now as it was then. And she can’t get over the fact that Jason walked away from her without a word. When he launches a sultry seduction, she tries, with everything in her, to resist…because at his core, Jason is nothing but heartbreak on a stick.

Read an excerpt:

“Gina.”

Hell. Even now, she heard his voice, dancing on the breeze.

“Gina.”

Louder now. More substantive.

Her heart lurched. Her head swung around. She stared.

Oh shit.

This was not a fantasy or her imagination or even a wish. He was here.

She scrambled to her feet and brushed off her butt, forcing her knees to lock, even though they wobbled. “Jace— Um, Jason.”

He was tall. Much taller than he’d been. And broad. His shoulders were breathtaking. And his muscles—muscles the boy had not had, honed through years of working out for parts, no doubt—filled his tight black T-shirt.
She ripped her gaze away from the tantalizing bulges to the lines of his face. Gawd. Tantalizing there too. His lips—which she remembered, tasted still—full and lush. His dark eyes were fringed with sinful lashes. The scar on his right eyebrow, the dimples, the curve of his cheek.

It was difficult to breathe.

“I-I didn’t expect to see you here.”

He smiled and something in her gut quivered. “I didn’t expect to see you.” He took a step closer. And another. “You… look good.” His throat worked.

“You, ah, you too.” Good was not the word.

She’d drooled over the TV screen Sunday nights when Blood Curse came on—the few times she’d dared to watch. Jason as a tormented vampire was irresistible. But his screen persona was nothing to his presence here now. He was like a beautiful spider’s web, luring her closer for one more glance when she knew, if she came too close, she would be trapped, consumed.

Her instincts told her to run.

She resolved not to. She resolved to face him. And be…civil.

To that end, she smiled. It was a light, flippant smile. It cost her. “Aren’t you supposed to be having a parade or something?”

A shadow passed over his features, as though he didn’t care for her blasé air. “Or something.” He shoved his hands in his pockets.

“You really shouldn’t miss it.”

“Shouldn’t I?” He got that tone, the one he used to get when he was feeling rebellious and truculent. He’d never used it on her before.

“Eden will be devastated.”

“Oh, well, God forbid I disappoint Eden Ames.” He strolled around her, taking her in, though she turned with him because it seemed the prudent thing to do. One did not turn one’s back on a petulant panther.

“She dislikes being disappointed.”

This seemed to annoy him. The muscle in his cheek tightened and bunched. 
He leaned in and hissed, “Fuck Eden Ames. Fuck all of them.”

She didn’t know why she lurched back. His vehemence, perhaps, the heat of his breath, or the vitriol. But she lurched back and kept going, as he followed, until she backed into a tree.

He loomed over her, far too close. And Lord, yes. He was much taller. He smelled the same though, like musk and man and Jason. She’d missed his scent. She’d missed it so much she was tempted to close her eyes and just breathe it in, fill her lungs with him until she could hold no more.

But she couldn’t close her eyes. Her gaze was riveted to his.

Tension crackled and spit between them.

When he edged closer, she set a hand on his chest. To hold him back. 
Probably. His heart thudded beneath her palm.

He was harder than he used to be. Oh, physically, certainly, but in other ways as well. There was a coldness in his eyes she’d never seen before.

It frightened her. And thrilled her.

She flinched when he lifted a hand and cupped her cheek. His touch was warm, gentle. He didn’t say anything, just stared at her, which was unnerving. But when he spoke, his words were more unnerving still, though whispered as they were. “Dear God, Gina, how are you even prettier?”

“I—”

He didn’t let her answer. His mouth closed over hers in a heated rush. A dizzying hunger snarled through her as she tasted him on her tongue. Yes, her soul cried, yes! Yes!

He moved closer, pressing her against the tree, sealing their bodies and their mouths and ravishing her with an unleashed passion.

She’d forgotten. Well, maybe not forgotten, but certainly released her hold on the memory. It was far too painful to live without him. To wake up every day knowing her life was devoid of the brilliance he brought.

Now it all came rushing back in a scorching tide, swamping her, spinning her about and sweeping her quickly toward the oblivion of the fall.

His kiss was a tumult. It was passion and need and wild frenzy. It was lips and teeth and tongues. It was murmured whispers and muffled moans.
He shoved his fingers through her hair to hold her still, then tipped her head and ate his way down to her neck, to nuzzle her there as he once had done. To make her wild and mad. To make her succumb when she really knew better.

She knew better now. She knew where this could lead, what catastrophe they taunted.

And the true tragedy?

She didn’t care.

She didn’t care that this could ruin her, devastate her, burn her up from the inside out.

She didn’t care.

Kiss me. Take me. Destroy me.

****

Read about the collection:

A LITTLE HARMLESS SEX by USA Today author Melissa Schroeder--When Anna falls for her best friend Max, it might be true love, or the biggest mistake of her life.

CHANGE THE GAME by USA Today author Lucy Monroe--Alex is looking for revenge. Isabel is looking for a relationship without those pesky things called emotions. Neither will get what they're looking for, but a whole lot more!

WILD RIDE (Changing Gears, Book 1) by USA Today author Nancy Warren--Trouble is piling up in the small town of Swiftcurrent, Oregon with hints of a treasure missing since WWII, a motorcycle riding bad boy history prof, a sexy librarian and a murder. It all adds up to a very Wild Ride.

HEARTBREAK ON A STICK by USA Today and New York Times author Sabrina York--When the man who broke her heart ten years ago suddenly returns to town—a hot shot movie star—Gina Fox is determined to avoid him. But for some reason, Jason Sherwood is pursuing her again.

MADRONA SUNSET by bestselling author Jami Davenport--Meet a wounded warrior suffering from paralyzing guilt and woman pining for her dead husband--both damaged souls craving comfort for a moment or a lifetime.

BRACE FOR IMPACT by bestselling author Allie K. Adams--Bush pilot Reid Cavanaugh’s life is turned upside down when he takes a fare that ends up driving his plane into the ground and him into the danger surrounding her.

HONORABLE SACRIFICE by bestselling author Destiny Blaine--Hired to protect an affluent family with embarrassing secrets, Audra McAllister doesn’t believe in love until she reconnects with a small-town hero willing to risk everything to win Audra’s heart.

SHE'S WORTH IT ALL by bestselling author Cathryn Cade--Mase Barnett is a hometown hero with a secret. Natalie Cusco has a broken heart only a strong man can heal. Will this wounded hero risk everything to show her she's worth it all?

DECEIVING DANTE by award-winning author Kate Davies—A stolen car on her front lawn. A sexy cop - looking to arrest her favorite student. A principal ready to fire her. Could Ellie's Monday get any worse?

ROCK, RATTLE AND ROLL by USA Today bestselling author Cari Quinn and bestselling author Taryn Elliott--A beachfront cottage, hours of alone time, and plenty of skin-on-skin action is just what the rock star and his new wife ordered—until the future comes much quicker than they expected.

GRAVE DANGER by Golden Heart finalist Rachel Grant--An archaeologist digs up a murder victim in a Northwest archaeological site and must help the hunky local police chief solve the crime before she becomes the next victim.

TURNING THIRTY-TWELVE by award-winning author Sandy James--Jackie Delgado didn't want a new man in her life until a dreaded blind date with police detective Mark Brennan turns out to be more exciting than she'd ever imagined.

HIS ONLY DESIRE by Adrianne Lee--Nick Rossetti married the wrong twin sister. Will the right one ever forgive him?  Not if her stalker has his way.

EVEN HEROES CRY by Hildie McQueen--War widow Tesha Washington slowly draws Adam Ford out of the shell that used to be a man, and learns there really is such a thing as starting over.

THE VIXEN & THE VET by bestselling author Katy Regnery--In a Beauty & the Beast reboot, an ambitious reporter tracks down a wounded war vet for a scoop and ends up falling in love with him instead.

TROUBLE WITH A COWBOY by Sandy Sullivan--Can some slashed tires and an ornery bull bring two hard-headed people together for some fun in the sun...and a little more?

Preorder Hometown Heroes now! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N06ORVE

Like our Facebook Page for Updates! https://www.facebook.com/hometownheroescharitybundle

LEARN ABOUT PETS FOR VETS
 
The Pets for Vets program is dedicated to providing a second chance for shelter pets by rescuing, training and pairing them with America's veterans who can benefit from a companion animal.

3 to 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year. These dogs can make excellent companion animals but never have that chance. Pets for Vets believes that companion animals can be a life-saving therapy that many U.S servicemen and women need.

About Sabrina York

Her Royal Hotness, Sabrina York, is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers. Her titles range from sweet & sexy to scorching erotic romance. Connect with her on twitter @sabrina_york, on Facebook or on Pintrest. Check out Sabrina’s books and read an excerpt on Amazon or wherever e-books are sold. Visit her webpage at www.sabrinayork.com to check out her books, excerpts and contests. Free Teaser Book: http://sabrinayork.com/home-2/sabrina-yorks-teaser-book/ And don’t forget to enter to win the royal tiara!

Like my Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/sabrinayork
Like my Facebook Author Page https://www.facebook.com/SabrinaYorkBooks
Follow me on Twitter @sabrina_york https://twitter.com/sabrina_york
Check out my Pintrest boards: http://www.pinterest.com/sabrinayork/boards/


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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Snog #143: Exposure (reborn!)

I spent all day editing and reformatting the manuscript for my erotic suspense novel Exposure, in preparation for sending it to Excessica. This is one of the books that was "orphaned" when I terminated my relationship with Books We Love, and I am eager to get it back into print. That should happen October 17th - complete with a brand new cover designed and executed by - yours truly!



Anyway, it seemed natural to give you a snog from the book. It's not romance (though it has romantic elements) but I was surprised to find how many kisses it contains.

After you've read my snog, be sure to head over to Victoria's place for more sexy Sunday kisses!
* * * *

Jimmy wants me to go to a hotel. But I’m not going anywhere. These bastards are not going to drive me out of my own house. So we go down to my father’s old workshop in the basement and find enough scrap wood to board up the smashed window. By the time we’re finished, it’s two a.m. We collapse together on my bed upstairs, too tired even to say goodnight.


The birds wake me at dawn. I’m surprised how alert I feel. Jimmy lies on the pillow next to me, dead to the world. Relaxed in sleep, his face looks even more boyish than usual. I remember him in high school, the skinny kid who was friendly but so shy he could barely talk to me. I never realized that he was secretly lusting after me, imagining incredibly lewd things.

Of course, his boyhood fantasies might be after the fact. Did we even know about oral sex, back in high school? Probably not. Back then, the guys didn’t do much but grope and poke. Still, it’s kind of flattering that Jimmy’s been using images of me to jack off to all these years. It’s strange to realize that if it hadn’t been for Tony’s murder, I might never have known.

I lean over and brush my lips against Jimmy’s. His mouth curves into a smile before he even opens his eyes.

“Good morning, sleepyhead.”

“Ah...” Before he can reply, I kiss him, a deep, wet kiss that I hope conveys my affection and my gratitude. He tastes good to me, even first thing in the morning. He grabs me and pulls me to him. His hands begin to wander over my bare butt cheeks. His tongue dances in my mouth. He’s still fully dressed, but I can feel the iron bar of his erection, pressed against my belly. My sex immediately melts; my juices make damp spots on his trousers as I grind my crotch against him.

“Mmm...I was going to make you some breakfast, but it seems as though you want an appetizer first.”

“Stella...Damn, what time is it?”

“Relax, it’s barely seven. Plenty of time to fool around a bit.”

I try to hold onto him, but he pulls away. “Damn, damn. Now I’m never going to catch the guy who threw that brick. The trail’s already cold. I should never have fallen asleep.”

“You didn’t have much choice, Jimmy. We were both totally destroyed. Speaking of which, how’s your hand?” I peel off the bandage and check the damage. It’s a long, nasty cut, running across his palm from his ring finger almost to the base of his thumb. However, it’s closed now, and looks clean, a bit red along the edges but not puffy. “You should stop off in the emergency room. That might heal better with a few stitches.”

“No time. I’ve got to get back to the station and see if we can find out anything about who did this.”

“Let me make you something to eat. I cook a mean feta omelet...”

“Sorry, Stella. I can’t.”

“Well, at least take a shower. You can’t go back to work smelling like pussy!” I show him the wet areas on his wrinkled pants. “I can probably find some clothes of my dad’s that would fit you. There are extra toothbrushes in the medicine cabinet. And you’d better borrow my razor, too.”

I point him to the bathroom. “Go, make yourself presentable. I’ll brew up some coffee for you to take with you.”

Jimmy grins apologetically. “Thanks, Stella. I’m sorry. This isn’t at all what I had in mind for our first time sleeping together.” 
 


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Screw Quickies

By Dany Rae Miller (Guest Blogger)

I wrote a four-chapter love scene. And I liked it.

Hey there. I’m Dany Rae Miller visiting with Lisabet and her fabulous fans.

Today, I want to share with you my thoughts on sex. Um, yes, I like it. LOL. To be more specific, I want to discuss the benefits of a well-described fucking.

Do four chapters to describe a love scene, especially a ménage love scene, seem excessive to you? To me, it doesn’t. It didn’t seem over-the-top when I wrote it, and it still doesn’t. But, judging from the stunned reactions I’ve gotten from readers and other authors, a four-chapter scene is unheard of, even for erotic romance novels.

What the fuck? (pun intended)

I mean, c’mon. Romance novels are about romantic relationships. Yeah, duh. And, in erotic romance, the bedroom door is open -- wide open in my case.

Being able to explore the entire relationship is one of the reasons I enjoy telling erotic romance stories. To me, the physical aspects of a romantic relationship are pretty damn important.

I like it deep, baby.

The chemistry when characters first meet, reactions to kisses and the tenderness, or not, of their touch -- all of those things only scrape the surface of a love story.

Fictional character or a real live person, how someone behaves before, during and after fucking, tells you a ton about that person. Everything from the words they use to how they respond to their lover are clues to where they are emotionally, and, most especially, the health of that particular relationship.

Uh, huh. The deeper the better.

When it comes to characters and story, I prefer detail. Now don't get me wrong. There's a time and a place for a passionate quickie every now and again. But too many of them make for a lousy lay in real life and a lousy love story in erotic romance. Just like a lover who finishes and rolls away before you get satisfaction, an abundance of under-described love scenes can leave you unsatisfied.

One thing I can definitely promise is that the four-chapter love scene in Soft Shatter exposes all. You get every wonderful detail: the foreplay, the ecstasy and the aftermath. And all of it relevant to the bigger story.



Here’s a short snippet.

I’m going to take you now,” he murmurs softly. “I’ll be gentle.”

He waits for her okay. With a subtle nod, she gives it. His dick breaches her opening and pushes in a few inches. Dilated eyes roll back into his head. Yeah. I bet it feels like heaven — he’s wanted her for so long. He advances another inch or so.

Shavone scrunches her brow. That’s not pleasure. He’s hurting her.

Stop, Nash,” I whisper, watching their joining. “Let our kitten’s channel adjust to you.”

Fuck.” Nash throws his head back. I scent the lust on him. Sweat beads on his brow with the effort to control his beast. He sits back on his heels. One hand on her thigh, he reaches with the other to lovingly thumb her clit.

What do think? Does the above give you some idea as to the personalities of three characters participating in the ménage? I hope so. That was my goal.

Would you like to read more? For free? For a limited time, you can! As I finish this round of edits on Soft Shatter, I’m sharing the chapters on my website. ClickClick here to request a password to access it.. Please don’t wait, because it won’t be up forever. :)

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic and your feedback onSoft Shatter.

XO,
Dany Rae

Friday, September 26, 2014

Sneak Peek: Galactic Treasure

[I've got a great M/M sneak peek for you today, from Theodora Marie Adams' scifi erotic romance, Galactic Treasure. There's a giveaway at the end, too! ~ Lisabet]




Blurb

Connor Masterson has finally managed to take some time off and go to Earth Con. For three days and nights, he’s going to get his geek on without worrying about work or the latest edition of his science fiction manga novel. He never expected to find two men who embody all his dreams and fantasies there and certainly not right after signing in.
Neither Valvik nor Zaraheed are looking forward to their current assignment: go to the Earth Con located in Austin, Texas and track down any and all rumors on the Ark scrolls, an ancient collection needed for the betterment of their dying people. Neither warrior expects to be drawn to a human, especially the same one.
The two men are determined to stay as low key as possible while searching for the scrolls, but that might be hard to do with an intergalactic killer wants the scrolls for himself.
Excerpt
Connor turned his head to the left to look into Victor’s lavender eyes. They appeared luminescent even in the dark bar. He swore they shined as though backlit with light. Whatever company made Victor’s contacts had done a wonderful job. If Connor didn’t know for a fact that nothing human could have that eye color, well, he would swear they were real. Though he knew they were fake, there was no denying what looking into those eyes did to him. His cock swelled, his heart pounded, and thinking became rocket science. “Uh,” he stammered out intelligently.

Victor’s lips tilted up just the slightest bit at the edge. Connor got the distinct impression Victor was trying very hard not to laugh at him. He should’ve been offended, but he wasn’t. Instead he found an answering half smile on his own mouth. Yeah, he was totally acting like a starstruck teen, but he couldn’t help it. These men perfectly embodied what he wanted in a man. Things he never thought he’d get in one -- or in this case, two -- packages.

Come. Join us. We promise you will not regret your decision,” Zack said.

He didn’t doubt, not after what happened just minutes ago in the back of the taxi. The question was should he keep going, allow this thing between them to go where it wanted. He could walk away, call it quits, but did he want to?

Connor tilted his head slightly to the right to look at him. His eyes were a dark amber color, no less alien than his friend’s.

When he was ten Connor realized he wasn’t like his classmates and liked boys. Since then he’d been blessed and cursed to meet some truly fascinating guys, men he couldn’t help but fall for, but he had yet to meet a person who called out to him as much as these men did. Not even his ex-boyfriend affected him as strongly as they did and he was with the guy for three years.

The attraction was exhilarating. Invigorating. Frightening.

Zack moved just a little bit closer and the heat from his body burned along Connor’s skin. “Give us this night. Let us provide your every need, fulfill your every desire. Connor, let us treasure you.” Zack’s breath tickled Connor’s nape and his words seared his ear.

Let us treasure you. Connor swallowed thickly and nodded his head. How could he say no to that?

[Theodora will be awarding a grand prize of a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour and five $5 Amazon GCs as runner-up prizes. Use the Rafflecopter widget at the end of the post to enter.]

About the Author

Theodora is an avid traveler who discovered Japanese manga and anime in her youth, closely followed by yaoi. She’s been in love with pretty boys who love equally attractive men since then. Theodora can usually find her in a local coffee shop drinking black tea and typing furiously.


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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Genre I've Never Dared to Attempt


Anyone who looks at my back list will realize that I love to experiment with new genres. Easily bored, I really don't want to write the same sort of book over and over again. Instead, I'll branch out and try my hand in a sub-genre that is different from anything I've produced previously.

Gay erotic romance? Sure, why not?

Science fiction? One of my first loves.

Historical? Tough to do well, but given how much historical fiction I read as a kid, how can I resist?

How about a vampire book? No problem, though don't expect my vampires to follow all the traditional rules.

Steam punk? A total blast!

Humor? I'll give it a try, though my siblings used to ridicule me when I tried to tell jokes.

I realize this is not the best way to build a brand. Indeed, I'm sure that my diversity - or lack of focus, to look at it from a negative perspective - is at least partly responsible for my lackluster sales figures. That's too bad, but I really can't force myself to stick to just one or two genres.

I realized recently, though, that there's a genre I've never attempted. And now that thought is niggling away at me, tickling my sense of perversity.

I've never tried to write sweet romance.

Could I? Could I really keep the bedroom door firmly shut and still generate that sense of being swept away by emotion?

Should I? Or do my fans only want the explicit heat for which I'm known?

Would it be a waste of my time? Or an intriguing experiment?

What do you think? I actually have a couple of characters I've been working on and a setting back in the golden age of  Hollywood. I'd write the story for my beloved 92 year old aunt, who despite her own rather colorful life (three husbands) tells me she finds my books embarrassing.

Is it worth the effort? Should I take up the personal challenge? Do I dare?

Or is this a totally silly idea for someone whose tagline is "Imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac"?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Getting Noticed




In the old days - by which I mean ten or fifteen years ago, before the ebook explosion -  getting published was tough. The number of slots available for new authors was limited by the costs of producing print books, as well as the cost of buying them (for readers). A typical reader chose carefully when a novel cost between ten and thirty dollars. Publishers were reluctant to gamble on books that weren't an obvious sure thing. They didn't want to lay out the cash for editing, proofreading, cover art, catalogs, promotion, sales teams, book fairs and of course, the printing of the book itself, unless they were pretty confident that they'd at least break even.

Slush piles were enormous. Author success stories were few and far between.

Ebooks and the Internet profoundly changed the economics of publishing. Most of the expenses listed above shrank dramatically or vanished all together, aside from editing and proofing (and, alas, some e-publishers don't seem to spend anything for those, either). The Internet made it cheap to advertise books, and its ubiquity justified pushing the marketing burden onto individual authors. Covers could be assembled from a $5 stock image with a couple hours of Photoshopping. Meanwhile, the price of ebooks dropped to a low enough level that readers could be comfortable impulse buying.

Book sales surged. Publishers needed to satisfy the reading public's seemingly insatiable appetite for fiction. As a result, getting published became much easier. Anyone with a halfway sensible story could find someone who'd publish it. Poor grammar, lexical confusions, spelling errors, were no longer a barrier to being an author. Many more individuals were able to fulfill that dream.

Then self-publishing arrived, and even the most minimal barriers to publication disappeared.

Now it's easy getting published. What's difficult is getting noticed.

You may have written a fantastic book, one you know could be really popular, but how do you let people know? How can you make your book stand out from the literally thousands of books that get published every day?

It seems like an impossible task. Indeed, it's terribly discouraging. I blog like crazy. I participate in email lists. I run contests. I guest at other people's blogs. And almost every time I get some comment like "This is a new author for me..."

I'm doing everything I can, given my other real world responsibilities. But it's not enough.

I'm pretty close to giving up. Not giving up on writing - that's too much a part of me to let go - but on pushing to market my work. I have a few fans whom I know will buy my books. Maybe I should simply be satisfied with that, along with the knowledge that what I write is better, at least from a craft perspective, than a large percentage of the books flooding the world.

The other alternative is to figure out some wild stunt, something totally off the wall that will get me some publicity. Since I'm a very private person - hey, I'm not even on Facebook - this is an unlikely path.

Of course, if I could get each of my regular readers to tell just one friend about my books, that would multiply my fan base by two. And then if those people would just tell their friends...

Maybe that's a ridiculous dream. Still, if you're reading this post, and you have a minute - why not send a link to my book list or free reading page off to one of your friends?

http://www.lisabetsarai.com/books.html
http://www.lisabetsarai.com/freereads.html

Thanks!







Monday, September 22, 2014

Sneak Peek: La Romance Torride

Steamy Romance. It sounds delicious in any language, but in the language of love it becomes exhilarating.

La Romance Torride...


From historical to contemporary, paranormal to cowboys, this collection has something spicy for every taste.



With TWO FULL LENGTH NOVELS and THREE NOVELLAS, La Romance Torride will warm your heart—and other places—for hours on end!


Marlow’s Revenge by KC Vixen

Hate had ruled Steven Marlow’s life for thirteen years.

It sustained him after false accusations had him exiled to colonial Australia. The thought of revenge kept him alive on the prison ship and on the chain gang. When he finally meets up with the woman who lied, retribution will be swift and deadly.

He will exact a terrible revenge.

My Destiny by JL Perry

Brooke

Brooke gave up her dreams, relocating to another state with her husband Jake so he could pursue his, but when he commits the ultimate betrayal against her, she’s lucky to escape with her life.

She moves back to her hometown, alone and runs into Logan, the man who had helped her months ago. From the moment they first met, Brooke felt that they had a connection, and now she finds it is stronger than ever.

What stops her from acting on her feelings towards him?

Logan

From the moment he saw Brooke, Logan knew that she was the one he’d been searching for his whole life. Can he convince Brooke to let go of her insecurities so they can be together?
What will happen when Brooke’s past comes back to haunt her? Will Logan still be around to help her, or will she be left to face it on own her own?

Playing House by Abi Aiken

Bookstore owner Lucy is still hurting from her ex’s cheating ways when her housemate drops another bombshell. She’s moving out, and taking her weekly rent money with her. To help pay the bills Lucy reluctantly allows the crazy-gorgeous Mark to move in. What will happen when their mutual attraction collides with Lucy’s trust issues?

Sojourn With A Stranger by Keta Diablo

A ghost haunts the halls of Stafford House. When Raine Brinsley arrives and accepts a position as a house servant, the ghost is determined to let Raine know who murdered her. Derek and Lyman Stafford race against time to produce the first male heir to secure the title toStafford House. The brothers will do anything to win…including murder.
A dark, gothic novel with romance, mystery, suspense and thrills.

Whispered Pleasure by Lacey Roberts

Blake Hunter is a tall, dark, handsome and sexy master of horses.

Lexie Jamison is a thorn in his side.He hasn’t seen the gorgeous, dark haired firecracker for four years.

Attraction is instant but Blake doesn’t have time for a contradictory pain in the butt. Within hours of arriving she has him so tied up in knots, he is hard pressed to remember his own name.

Will her lifetime wish finally be granted?



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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Snog #142: Necessary Madness (M/M)

I realized that I haven't posted a M/M snog in a long time. So today I have an excerpt from my M/M paranormal novel, Necessary Madness. In case you've forgotten what this one's about, here is the blurb:

Both power and love can lead to madness.

Nineteen year old Kyle sees visions of disasters, visions that tear his world apart. Everyone assumes that he is schizophrenic, but Rob, the cop who picks him up off the street, knows better. Rob's own experience has taught him that psychic powers are real, and potentially devastating.

Since his telepathic sister's brutal murder, Rob wants nothing to do with "gifted" individuals like Kyle. Yet he can't deny his attraction to the beautiful, tortured young man -- an attraction that appears to be mutual. When a brilliant, sadistic practitioner of  the black arts lures Kyle into his clutches, Rob faces the possibility that  once again he may lose the person he loves most to the forces of darkness.

***

Oh, and if you've got a minute, check out the video trailer. It is, quite frankly, pretty
amazing.

http://youtu.be/4fVZjWpvJEo

When you've finished with my snog, head back to Victoria's place for more sexy Sunday kisses.





Kyle! I’m back.” Rob pushed the apartment door open with such force that the knob slammed into the wall. It made an ugly dent in the plaster, but he didn’t have time to think about that now. “Kyle! Sorry I’m so late. There was another bank job, Washington Federal, and they needed me to take people’s statements. Kyle?” He scanned the empty living room, fighting down panic. What if the boy had gone crazy again? His bedroom door was open; he could see that the room was empty. The door to the guest room was mostly closed.

Kyle?” Rob flung the door wide and sighed with relief. Kyle lay on his stomach across the bedspread, wearing nothing but his briefs. The taut globes of the boy’s ass shaped the stretchy fabric. The sight made Rob’s balls ache. Kyle rolled over lazily, giving Rob an eyeful of the half-tumescent cock bulging inside his BVDs.

Ah! Rob! Sorry, I fell asleep.”

No, that’s okay. I was just worried.” Rob perched on the edge of the bed by Kyle’s side. The boy’s eyes were heavy-lidded. His mouth curled into a lascivious smile.

You missed me, then?” Kyle ran one finger along the seam of Rob’s uniform trousers, sampling the hardness underneath.

Damn it, you know I did.” Rob straddled the younger man’s prone form, grabbed his wrists, and claimed his mouth in a kiss that left both of them gasping. Still pinning Kyle to the bed, Rob nuzzled his way down the side of Kyle’s neck, then licked a slow, wet path to the boy’s nipples. “All I could think about, all day, was you,” he growled, catching one of the rosy nubs between his teeth and wringing a moan from Kyle’s lips. “I couldn’t get up from my desk because I had a constant hard-on.” He flicked at the other nipple, then swirled his tongue inside Kyle’s navel. Kyle bucked his hips, rubbing himself against the bulge in Rob’s pants. “You tease!” Rob hooked the elastic waistband and pulled Kyle’s underwear down until it caught under his balls. Kyle’s rigid cock shot up like an arrow. Rob painted the rosy bulb with hot saliva, then spiralled round the shaft.

First, I’m going to suck your impudent young cock until you’re right on the edge. Then I’m going to flip you over and ram my dick into your ass, as deep as it will go.”

Please, Rob—wait…” Kyle struggled futilely against Rob’s strength.

What is it? You don’t like my plan?” Rob sat back on his heels, loosening his grip on Kyle’s wrists. “You’d rather suck me instead?”

Kyle grinned. “Either way sounds good. But we have an appointment. It’s important.”

More important that fucking?”

Maybe. I found her. The woman who was helping Mary. Her name is Elspeth Holmes and she lives in Petersham. We’re supposed to visit her this afternoon.”

What time?”

She said to come before sundown. That it might not be safe after dark.”

What the hell?”

Kyle shrugged. “I didn’t know what to say. But I read Mary’s journal, about how Elspeth taught her to subdue the voices in her mind and to concentrate her talent on one person at a time. I really think that she might be able to help me, too.”

Rob sighed. Tackling Kyle’s affliction was, in fact, more important than satisfying their mutual lust. He checked his watch. “Okay, it’s three fifteen now. The sun sets around five these days, and it takes about an hour to get to Petersham. That might be too rushed for a decent fuck. But,” he added, peeling off his trousers, “I think we can manage a quick blow job.” 
 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Punishment versus Funishment

By Lynda Bailey (Guest Blogger)

I want to say a super big THANK YOU to Lisabet for hosting me! Leave a comment for the chance to win a copy of my newest release, Shattered Trust.

So what is funishment? It’s a term I learned when doing research into the BDSM lifestyle for Shattered Trust. Kim, a practicing bottom in the local leather community, was kind enough to offer me assistance to ensure I got the facts right about BDSM, given that I’m vanilla through and through… J

Case in point, I had one scene where my hero, Liam, penalized Kate (heroine) because she scoffed at his compliment. Kim pointed out that any Dom/Top worth their flogger wouldn’t set their sub/bottom up to fail like that. She suggested I turn the punishment into funishment. Below is the revised scene – please note, this is NOT a PG rated scene…

Excerpt:

“You have a splendid body, kitten.”

Kate blew out a sharp snort of air.

Liam stood in front of her, hands on his hips, frowning. “What’s the proper response when someone compliments you?”

“Um…thank you…Liam.”

“Correct. Now, say I’m beautiful.”

Her eyes widened. “Why?”

“Because I told you to. Now say it.”

Her tongue traced her parted lips. “I’m…uh…beautiful?”

“Are you telling me or asking me?”

Her shoulders stiffened. “I’m beautiful.”

“Yes, you are. And I think you deserve a reward.”

He landed a cupped, upward smack on her right ass cheek. She shrieked, but didn’t jerk away. He caressed where he’d spanked her. “Did you like that?”

She inhaled an unsteady breath. “Y…yes,” she stammered softly.

“Say I’m beautiful again and I’ll give you another reward.”

“I’m beautiful.”

He swatted her left cheek. “Again,” he growled.

“I’m beautiful.”

He spanked just below the first strike on her right. A low moan escaped her lips. He positioned her so her arms were braced on the couch, her reddening ass in the air.

He paused to stroke her skin.

“I’m beautiful.”

The words were hardly above a whisper, but he heard them and his dick swelled. He continued to reward her each time she uttered the words. Her voice became throatier and huskier with each spank. Her head dropped down as her hips swayed, seeming to seek out his hand. Her nails sank into the cushions.

He lost count of the paddles, but when his palm grew numb, he moved to the side, and angled her face to his.

Her eyes were glazed over, her complexion flushed. Moisture stained her cheeks. A spasm coursed through her. Then another. He recognized those signs and knew they were done for the night.

****

Originally, I envisioned the spanking to be a criticism—a scolding—for Kate because she dismissed Liam’s praise. She still enjoyed it, but the motivation for him disciplining her was all wrong. I believe the improved version is truer description of what happens between a Dom/Top and their sub/bottom. What’s your opinion? Remember to leave a comment for the chance to win a copy of Shattered Trust. Thanks again to Lisabet for letting me hang out today!

Blurb
 
Learning to love is the easy part…

As a young woman, Kate Landry trusted the wrong man, and she paid dearly for her naiveté. Alone, pregnant and destitute, she survived by the sheer force of her will. Now forty-two, Kate has made a good living for herself and her daughter as the owner of the Bluebird Saloon. But she’s forgotten how to live. That is until he comes into her bar…

Liam St. James loved a girl once. And only once. After an accident paralyzed her, she didn’t trust he would continue to love her. Brokenhearted, Liam left and soon discovered a world where women did trust him—to be their sexual Dominant. He plays out the scenes masterfully, but the unexpected request from the stoic bar owner will pose his greatest challenge yet…

Kate and Liam embark on a journey to uncover repressed urges and, in the process, they discover new desires. They also fall in love with one another. But when you’ve been shattered as badly as they have by mistrust, deceit and abuse, loving is easy. Trusting is harder, if not impossible, especially when the heart is involved…


About Lynda:

I’ve always loved stories, especially romances. For me the only thing better
than reading a romance is writing one. That and drinking red wine while eating dark chocolate.

My romances are full of passion, with heat levels that range from hot to sizzling! I’m proud to have been a 2010 finalist in the prestigious Golden Heart®. Please join me for laughter and love, and where the good guys always win in the end.

I live in Reno with her husband of thirty+ years and our two pampered pooches.

Stalker Links:



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Real Character

By Jana Richards (Guest Blogger)

In a recent interview promoting his new movie, a romantic comedy called “The F Word” (*See below), Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame was asked if he thought the rom-com genre was dead or dying. He responded with this:

Like everything now, there’s a lot of crap out there…And it’s always the same problem: People forget about characters. People forget that whatever you do or say in a script doesn’t matter if people don’t care about the character involved…without creating characters that people care about, they’re not going to be interested and it doesn’t count for anything.”

I couldn’t agree more, Daniel.

Coming up with characters readers will care about is one of the most fun, and challenging, things about writing. I want to create characters who engage with readers, who leap off the page make readers love them.

So how do I do that?

I’ve learned a lot about character building by reading other author’s books. I loved Lisa Kleypas’ strong heroines in her Travis family series. Ella Varner in Smooth Talking Stranger drops everything to look after her sister’s new born son, even though she knows nothing about babies, and is sure she doesn’t want children of her own. At first she’s just trying to find her nephew’s father and make him do the right thing, but she gradually falls in love with the two men who have wormed their way into her life, her nephew Luke and Jack Travis. I loved seeing Ella overcome a hellish childhood and grow into the woman she never thought she could be. I cheered for her all the way.

Another author whose characters I love is Mary Balogh. In Slightly Dangerous, everyone believes Wulfric Bedwyn, the Duke of Bewcastle is haughty and cold-hearted, a man with ice in his veins and around his heart. But in the skillful hands of Ms. Balogh, we discover a man who uses disdain to keep people at arm’s length to protect himself from being hurt. After being rejected as a young man by the woman he thought he was in love with, Wulfric believes love isn’t for him. But when Christine Derrick crashes into his life, she challenges everything he previously believed a well-brought up lady should be. Christine was not what he thought he wanted in a duchess but everything he needed. I loved seeing Wulfric loosen up and fall in love, and despite his extreme reserve, I loved him because I understood where that reserve came from.

Before I write a paragraph of a new book, I do a lot of character analysis. I fill out character sketches to try to figure out who these people are. Along with the physical descriptions, I devise a backstory for each character. I ask questions about their parents and siblings, about the kind of relationships they’ve had with the opposite sex, and about their greatest fears, and greatest desires. From these questions, characters begin to emerge. But I always find that my characters don’t take full shape until I start actually writing their story.

Novels are built around struggle between characters. To get that conflict humming from the very beginning of the book, I like to create characters with a built-in clash between them. For instance, in my contemporary romance A Long Way From Eden, I matched Zane Martin, a man who grew up not knowing who his father was, with Meg Evans, a woman who was forced into an abusive marriage by an unplanned teenage pregnancy. So when his daughter becomes pregnant with Meg’s son’s baby, Zane insists the two young people marry. But Meg will have none of it. She doesn’t want either of their children forced into a unwanted, loveless marriage. They are in opposition from the opening of the book, but as they learn where the other is coming from, understanding gradually turns to love. My hope is that Meg and Zane are characters that readers can really care about and root for.

Characters make a novel sing. Without strong and interesting characters, a novel will simply fall flat on its face. Like Daniel Radcliffe said, it all counts for nothing if readers don’t care what happens to its characters. So I’ll keep working hard to make my characters as interesting, funny, and complex as I can make them.

What makes a character likable for you? Who are your favorite literary characters?

*Incidentally, this movie is titled “What If” in the United States. Apparently the Motion Picture Association of America didn’t like the original title because of the possible double meaning (in this movie the F stands for friend). However, since the film was titled “The F Word” when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013, that title was retained for Canadian audiences. And we’re okay with that!

A Long Way from Eden by Jana Richards

Zane Martin's teenage daughter is pregnant. Meg Evan's son is the baby's father. Because Zane grew up not knowing who his father was, he'll be damned if he'll let his grandchild live with that shame. Meg was forced into an abusive marriage because of an unplanned pregnancy, so she knows that love is the only good reason to marry. Neither Meg nor Zane expects or welcomes the attraction that sparks between them. As they await the impending birth of their grandchild, old wounds open and long hidden family secrets come to light. The young couple build a newer, stronger relationship, while Meg and Zane reach for a love passionate enough to overcome the past--if they're strong enough to trust it...and each other.

Excerpt

I’m sorry.”

It was the last thing she'd expected him to say. Her head jerked up in surprise. 

"What for?"

He took a couple of steps toward her, stopping just short of touching her. "For pushing myself on you and scaring you. I behaved badly and I'm sorry."

He meant it. Meg was touched that he would take responsibility for what she'd done, but she couldn't let him think it was his fault. "No, Zane. You didn't do anything wrong. It was my fault and I'm the one who's sorry. I shouldn't have gone out to dinner with you."

"Meg--"

She put up her hand to stop him when he would have touched her. "You didn't push yourself on me. I wanted you to kiss me. But then when things got too intense, I couldn't handle it." She looked into his eyes, afraid she'd see pity or contempt, and was surprised when all she saw was concern.

"Don't blame yourself."

She shook her head. "I'm sorry Zane. I don't know if I could ever manage another relationship." She swallowed hard, determined to tell him the truth. "It's not fair to let you go on thinking there could ever be anything between us."
His expression registered a flash of sadness before he carefully wiped all traces of emotion from his face. Meg hated that she caused him pain.

"I see," he said. "Is that what you really want, for me to walk away and leave you alone?"

He watched her intently, like he did the night he took her to dinner. She couldn't look away from his gaze. The look in his eyes challenged her to tell the truth. She fought against it, forcing herself to look away.

"Yes," she whispered.

"I don't believe you. If you can look me in the eye right now and tell me you really want me to leave, I won't bother you again." He briefly touched her face with the tip of his finger. "You'll never have to talk to me, or play piano for me or dance with me ever again. Is that what you really want?"

She tried to say it was, tried to make the words come out, but they refused. "No, that's not what I really want," she whispered.

Zane stepped closer, placing one hand on her shoulder while the other stroked her hair. "What do you really want, Meg?" he whispered, his voice a caress.

"I'm afraid to want anything," she said truthfully, her gaze locked with his. Her body trembled under his touch. "At least that way I can't be hurt."

"Who hurt you, Meg?"

She shook her head, and to her embarrassment felt tears pooling in her eyes. Why did he have to make her feel so much?

"Please, don't push me on this."

Something changed in his face, and he dropped his hands. He averted his gaze for a moment and when he turned back to her, she saw the determination there.
"I don't scare easily, Meg. When you're ready to tell me your secrets, I'll be here."

He turned and went back into the restaurant, leaving her staring at the closed door, her hands shaking. A part of her wanted to trust him, to believe that he would understand what she'd done. She was tired of the lies and secrets. But the part of her that had spent the last seventeen years in hiding recoiled at the idea of trusting another man, even Zane.

About Jana

When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.

In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada with their Pug/Terrier cross Lou and several unnamed goldfish. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.janarichards.com





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