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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Rescue My Heart Romance Blog Tour With Special Guest Jean C. Joachim and Guest Post: Writing About New York City

http://www.fireandicebooktours.com/contemporary-romance-tour-giveaway-rescue-my-heart-by-jean-c-joachim/


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 1/6/15 – 2/3/15
Genres: Contemporary Romance








This pug picture was graciously provided by the author.



Blurb:


*Pug rescue is  a recurring theme in The Manhattan Dinner Club series. The author’s experience as a volunteer convinced her of the importance of saving dogs. To promote this cause, she has included website addresses for about 80 pug rescues across the country in the back of each book.*
While walking her pug in Central Park, Rory Sampson is run down by a bike. She presses charges against arrogant biker, Dr. Hack Roberts, veterinarian. Horrified at the surprising sentence from the judge, Hack plans revenge, only to find himself attracted to the sharp-tongued, soft-hearted writer, who rescues pugs. Will he ignore a previous commitment and go with his true feelings or will he guard his heart?
The judge turned the tables on Rory, thrusting the unwanted, smug Dr. Roberts into her life. Wary after a breakup, she protects her wounded heart from the handsome doctor with a barrage sarcastic come-backs, designed to keep him at arm’s length. Does she remain aloof or will loneliness force her to give in to her desires?
Meet the members of the Manhattan Dinner Club, four women, all pug owners, who meet for dinner once a week. This is the first book in the series.
Excerpt:
“Baxter! Stop!” Rory screamed. Shoving Bruce aside, she raced full speed after the pug. In her mad dash, she didn’t see the bicycle traffic whipping around a curve and speeding down the hill. She pounced on the dog right before a bike crashed into her, sending her and Baxter flying.
Rory landed hard on her arm. Pain shot through her body, freezing her. A loud yelp told her Baxter was injured as well. She tried to catch her breath, her gaze searching for her pet. She spied him nearby, spread out flat on the pavement. He was still breathing. “Baxter,” she called.
A crowd began to gather. A pair of concerned, dark brown, male eyes stared into hers. “Are you hurt?” he asked.
“No, idiot brain. I’m fine. Does it look like I’m fine?” Attempting to push to her knees from the pavement, she grimaced and let out a moan. A long scrape on her leg was bleeding, her shoulder ached, and gravel was embedded in her thigh. Tears clouded her eyes.
Bruce raced over. “Rory, you okay?”
“Baxter looks like he’s hurt worse than I am.”
A patrolman appeared and asked Rory if she needed an ambulance.
“I already called,” Bruce piped up. The wail of a siren in the distance drew closer.
“This numbskull was doing sixty, I swear,” she said, pointing to the tall, brown-eyed man.
“That’s ridiculous. I wasn’t doing sixty.”
The policeman turned to him. “Sir, can you confirm your speed?”
“There’s no posted speed limit for bikes. I did kind of lose control around that curve.”
“Kinda?” Rory muttered. She lay back down on the ground.
“I.D., please.” The officer put out his hand. The man handed over his driver’s license.
“Dr. Hanson Roberts,” the cop said, writing in his pad. “A member of the real estate Roberts family?” He looked up at the doctor.
“Yeah. A ticket? What for?” Dr. Roberts shifted his weight.
“Reckless biking, speeding, causing bodily injury to this young woman.”
Rory gave a half-smile. “Serves you right. What about my dog?” She turned worried eyes to Baxter, who lay still, whimpering.
“I’ll take him,” the doctor said.
“Over my dead body…which you almost have…”
“I’m a vet…”
“I don’t care if you were in Afghanistan…”
“A veterinarian. Hack Roberts,” he said, extending his hand.
“A vet? Save him.” She ignored his offer to shake.
“Without x-rays, I can’t tell the extent of his injuries, but he’s awake and alert.”
“Dr. Roberts, you’ll have to take some responsibility for this young lady…what’s your name, miss?”
“Aurora Sampson.”
“Aurora? What an odd name,” muttered Hack.
“Oh? Like Hack is normal?” she replied, hostility oozing from every pore. Bruce tried to help her up, but she crumbled under the pain.
“Miss Sampson, I’m giving you his contact information. He’d better make good on these injuries. My card, in case he doesn’t. I’m considering criminal charges, Doc. You can’t speed like that in Central Park. You messed her up.” The patrolman gave Hack a dirty look.
“Officer, would you mind helping with the dog?” Hack asked, looking away.
“Where are you taking him?” Rory asked. When the ambulance drew near, the siren drowned out his words.
He whipped out a business card and handed it to her. “Here’s the address. Call later to find out how he’s doing.”
“She’s going to be in the hospital, you jerk,” Bruce said.
“We’ll keep him until you can get him. Hey, I’m sorry about this.”
“Yeah? Sorry and a Metrocard’ll get me on the subway.” She turned an angry stare toward him. Before she could continue her diatribe, the EMTs approached. She answered their questions, craning her neck around them to watch Hack and the policeman as they picked Baxter up carefully and put him on the patrol car’s backseat. Her eyes, blinking back tears, connected with Hack’s as the car drove away.
“Want me to go with you?” Bruce asked. He combed her hair back from her forehead.
Rory shook her head. I wanted you to love me. But you don’t. Don’t drag this out. One sharp pain, and it’s over.


Buy Links:
Amazon
iTunes
All Romance Ebooks
Barnes and Noble
Secret Cravings Publishing




About the Author:
Jean Joachim is a best-selling romance fiction author, with books hitting the Amazon Top 100 list since 2012. She was chosen Author of the Year in 2012 by the New York City chapter of Romance Writers of America. The Renovated Heart was chosen Best Novel of 2012 by Love Romances Café, Lovers & Liars was a finalist for Best Novel of 2013 by Love Romances Café.
Her series, Hollywood Hearts was a finalist for Best Series of 2013 and Megan Davis and Chaz Duncan (from If I Loved You) finaled as Best Couple, 2013 by Love Romances Café. The Marriage List tied for third place from Gulf Coast RWA Chapter and, most recently, Lovers & Liars was selected as a 2013 Reader’s Crown Finalist in Contemporary Romance by RomCon.
Jean has over 27 works of fiction published. She prefers to write series. Find her books at all retail online sites, read about them on her website: www.jeanjoachimbooks.com.
Married and the mother of two sons, she lives in New York City with her family. Early in the morning, you’ll find her at her computer, writing, with a cup of tea, her rescued pug, Homer, by her side and a secret stash of black licorice. 

Guest Post:

WRITING ABOUT NEW YORK CITY

I’m blessed with one of the most interesting landscapes to write about. I love writing with New York City as my backdrop. RESCUE MY HEART and all the other books in the series take place in Manhattan, where I live.
Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it in New York City. We have acres and acres of parkland. Tons of history, with monuments of all sorts peppered around various places, from Cleopatra’s Needle, a 6,000-year-old Egyptian artifact to a statue of famous sled dog, Balto.
We have restaurants serving every type of food imaginable. From Japanese to Turkish, from Southern to Korean, you can dine on the exotic or the mundane. We have the theater, sports teams, the most expensive stores in America right down the street from dollar stores. My point is that we are diverse.
In a place as varied as this City, inspiration abounds. From news stories to charming, tiny townhouses dating back three hundred years tucked out of sight on cobblestone streets, to enormous monuments to technology built of glass and steel.
I have a friend who sells high end real estate and through our friendship, I have been privileged to see some apartments that took my breath away. These luxurious, spacious abodes in a city of cramped living spaces inspire their own stories.
Researching for me often involves simply hopping on a bus, staring out the window and visiting a neighborhood I haven’t been to in a while. RESCUE MY HEART is the first book in The Manhattan Dinner Club series. If you like the big city, this series will take you to the best places and make your mouth water for a weekend adventure in the Big Apple.
 

Connect With The Author:
Website
Amazon Author Page
Facebook
Twitter 

Giveaway:
Win a $25 Amazon GC on the Rescue My Heart Romance Tour & Giveaway! This giveaway will run 1/6/15 – 2/3/15. Open worldwide.


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Monday, December 29, 2014

Guest Post by Joan Ellis on The Killing of Mummy's Boy Book Tour/Giveaway #PsychologicalThriller

Joan Ellis is the author of The Killing of Mummy's Boy and I Am Ella. Buy me. Read on as she shares a special guest post with us and pick up a copy of The Killing of Mummy's Boy on Amazon for the tour sale price of $.99. 


Top tip for new writers. Write.

Joan Ellis


  1. Write. At least 1,000 words a day. Writing is like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets.

  1. Write. Don’t talk about writing. Do it! I spent two years boring anyone who would listen that I wanted to write a book. I had it all worked out in my head but I was so busy going on about it, I never had time to write it. Eventually, I got so sick of myself droning on, I shut my mouth and opened the laptop!

  1. Write about what you know. It’s a cliché for a reason. It works. Stick to familiar territory. It gives you something solid to work with. From a strong starting point, you can add your own magic. I knew nothing about the workings of a criminal mind until I met a murderer on a train. For the next two hours he gave me an incredible yet disturbing insight into what he’d done (slit someone’s throat), why he’d done it and what life was like in prison. Although I was terrified and repulsed by what he told me, I was enthralled to hear about a world I knew nothing about. That chance meeting forms the opening chapter to The Killing of Mummy’s Boy. Having survived the journey, I wanted to make the most of what he’d told me. Obviously, I never saw him again but researched key parts of the book with the police to ensure the information was as authentic as possible. Readers want to be convinced by what they read. Never try and fudge it. Someone will always catch you out!

  1. Write from the heart. We are all driven by emotion, both good and bad. Make people feel things. Be open. Be honest. Capture your reader’s heart.

  1. Write more when you get rejected. If someone turns down your work or gives it a bad review, use that disappointment, anger whatever you feel, to spur you on. Take all that negative energy and use it to fuel the next book. If the comment rankles because you know there is some truth in it, then learn from it. If it is a subjective remark and you don’t agree, ignore it and move on. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Putting your book out for review is always going to be risky. Never dash off an angry response. It will get you nowhere. Move forward. Write an even better book.

  1. Write and rewrite. Think of your first draft as a rough guide. Enjoy polishing each phrase, picking out the best words to convey what you want to say. Have fun playing with the characters, let them take the reins and see where they take you. In The Killing of Mummy’s Boy, I initially had Ben down as just a killer. Yet, the more I wrote, the more Ben showed himself to be very different to how I had painted him. It made him far more interesting, more believable, more shockingly real. Obviously, he knew himself far better than I did.

  1. Write what you believe to be right. Don’t listen to too many people. If you change your work every time someone makes an off the cuff comment, you will end up with a mess you can’t unravel. You know if something’s good. And you know when it’s not. Learn to trust your own intuition. Only listen to people whose opinions you respect.

  1. Write and read. Reading brilliant books is like playing a sport against a pro. It automatically ups your game Enjoy the work of great authors, let their words wash over you, lose yourself in the plot and fall in love with the characters. Then, when you come to write again, something magical will have happened. You’ll be an even better writer. Magic.



http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/psychological-thriller-book-tour-giveaway-the-killing-of-mummys-boy-by-joan-ellis-121014-1715/


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 12/10/14 – 1/7/15
Genres: Psychological Thriller
Tour Promo: This book will be $.99 during the tour!





Blurb:
‘I slit someone’s throat,’ the man told the woman on the 4.20 from Waterloo to Portsmouth.’
Two strangers. One shared interest. Murder. Ben slit a man’s throat. Sandra’s son, Carl witnessed a murder.
With Carl on a Witness Protection Programme, Sandra fled London to live anonymously in a remote village on the Isle of Wight where she becomes increasingly isolated and vulnerable. Terrorised by an unknown stalker, the police are unable to help and she turns to Ben. What makes a respectable, middle-aged woman want to sleep with a killer? More importantly, can the relationship give her the love she craves and help Ben find redemption?
Hate, fear and lies boil over in a page-turner with love at its black heart.
 
Excerpt:
Locking the door and flicking on the radio, she relaxed as the DJ’s silky smooth voice seemed to single her out from his millions of listeners and speak to her alone. It was an old broadcasting trick but she didn’t care. The mindless chatter was soothing and suited her just fine.

Do you ever get that?’ asked the DJ. ‘You’re walking along the street and someone says ‘Hi ya, mate. How’s it going?’ And you’re thinking ‘Do I know you? Or are you just some weirdo?’ Ha, ha. If that’s happened to you, tell us. Text the word, ‘stranger’ to …’

She quickly turned it off, her mind jolting back to the man on the train. What if he came back? What if he was here, hiding inside the cottage?

Sandra froze, her heart pounding against her ribs.

Dove Cottage, Shorwell, PO30 5AB,’ she could hear herself saying on the train. ‘‘B’ for bravo. ‘B’ for bravo.’

‘‘More like ‘S’ for ‘stupid’,’ she thought bitterly.

Cautiously, she crept upstairs and flung open her bedroom door causing the handle to bang against the wall. From the doorway, she could see the whole of the room, even under the bed. Nothing. Her wardrobe was on the landing. She pulled the door and it swung open. Her scant collection of clothes hung like husks on the rail.

As she approached the bathroom a wild face greeted her. She leapt back terrified before realising she was looking at her own reflection. Breathing heavily, she headed back downstairs and into the kitchen.

She sat at the table and told herself to calm down, there was nothing to worry about, the man had played his sick little joke, game over. Gradually, her heartbeat slowed.


She decided a cup of tea would soothe her nerves and she reached into the fridge for the milk. Spotting half a loaf of bread, she put two slices into the toaster before opening the cupboard where she kept her special plate.

Carl had spotted it in a junk shop in Brighton on one of their many excursions and had asked to have his pocket money early so he could buy it. It was one of the few gifts he had given her over the years and she treasured it.

It was not in its usual place but it was always in the cupboard above the sink, behind the casserole dish. She glanced across at the shelves and work surfaces. No sign of it. Frantically, she tried to recall when she had last used it. It had been just before she had left for London. Her cheese sandwich had tasted all the better for being eaten off such precious crockery. She remembered using the last of the washing-up liquid to wash it up. She checked the bin. Sure enough, there was the empty bottle.

As she turned back she saw it in the sink. She went over and picked it up. It was covered in crumbs and smeared with a dark, sticky substance. She sniffed it suspiciously. Marmite. She had bought a new jar recently but not used it. She opened the cupboard, found the pot and unscrewed the lid. Sure enough, the seal had been broken.

She clung to the edge of sink. He had been back to her house and this time he had been inside. He must have wanted her to know; just like before he made no attempt to cover his tracks.

How the hell had he got in? She was always so careful to lock up. She felt the vomit rise in her throat. She bolted upstairs and into the bathroom where she flung herself over the toilet. Looking down into the porcelain bowl, she was repulsed and shocked to see it was full of dark, foamy urine.

She knew it couldn’t possibly be hers. She had not used the lavatory that morning; she had peed in the shower.
 

Buy Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon 




About the Author:
Advertising copywriter, comedy writer, performer, lecturer – Joan Ellis has been them all. With a full-time job in a top London advertising agency and a new baby, she did what any right-minded woman would’ve done and set up a comedy club. She even appeared on the same bill as Jo Brand. Once.
A career highlight was casting a black and white moggie as Humphrey Bogart for her award-winning cat food commercial. Other great performers who brought her words to life include Penelope Keith and Harry Enfield.
As a lecturer, Joan taught comedian Noel Fielding all he knows about advertising before encouraging him to showcase his creative talents on a wider stage.
Working for The Press Association, she tutored Wordsworth’s
great-grandson in the art of copywriting: Buy a host of golden daffodils and get a blue one, free!
Suffering from swine flu and sweating like a pig, she moved from London to the Isle of Wight where she lives on cream teas with her beloved husband, daughter and two cats.
She recently launched her books at The Ventnor Fringe and the Isle of Wight Literary Festival.

 
Connect With The Author:
Website
Twitter

 
Giveaway:
Win an ebook copy of The Killing of Mummy’s Boy (ten winners, open worldwide) or a print & autographed copy of the book (one winner, UK residents only). This giveaway will run 12/10/14 – 1/7/15. Enter through Rafflecopter.

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New Adult Romance: Becoming His (His #1) by Mariah Dietz Spotlight & Giveaway

http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/new-adult-contemporary-romance-book-tour-giveaway-becoming-his-his-1-by-mariah-dietz-12114-122914/


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 12/1/14 – 12/29/14
Genres: New Adult Contemporary Romance, New Adult Literary Fiction









Blurb:
Sometimes life’s unforeseen paths lead us to discovering sides of ourselves we never knew existed.
Ace Bosse has always found solace at home, but when she returns for the summer from college she builds an unexpected relationship with the reckless Max Miller.
Three years ago, Max left for Alaska to find what he thought he’d lost, but now he realizes just how much he left behind.
Max teaches Ace that sometimes a little crazy is exactly what life needs while learning that some chances are worth taking, regardless of the risks.
But how do you know when you’ve met the right person? And will they be prepared to experience one of life’s biggest obstacles?
Falling in love isn’t easy, but holding on to it is where the real challenge lies.
 
Excerpt:
“Happy Birthday, Max,” I whisper against his ear.
A smile forms on his lips and his hand squeezes my thigh. “You’re the best birthday present I could’ve imagined,” he says softly, his voice deep from sleep.
I kiss along his neck, absorbing the heat of his skin that radiates his spicy, sweet scent. He gives a soft groan in response, his muscles clenching, notifying me that I have his full attention.
“Want to go do something crazy?” I whisper between kisses.
“With you? Yes.” He shifts, rolling over to face me as his beautiful blue eyes finally open with a gleam of excitement.
“You look like you already have a plan in that head of yours,” Max says, reaching forward with both hands and placing them on my thighs. I nod and give him a seductive smile that makes his eyes grow wider.
“Let’s go!” I whisper, quietly sliding off of the bed and making my way to the door.
“I need to get dressed,” Max says, sitting up and letting the blankets fall from him revealing a pair of dark mesh shorts hanging slightly lower than the band of his boxer briefs.
“No, you don’t.”
Max ignores me and grabs a T-shirt from his closet and reaches toward his dresser. I grab his hand before it closes around his keys and wallet and shake my head, indicating he doesn’t need them either. He looks reluctant but I tug his arm and he quietly follows me downstairs to the front door that I unlock.
“How’d you get in?”
“You really need to fix that latch in the sunroom,” I say with a grin as I lead us over toward the gate that goes into our backyard.
As I reach for the latch Max grips my arm and firmly pulls me to him so we’re chest to chest. His face is soft and he’s looking at me as though I’ve just done something significant and earth-altering.
“Thank you.”
“For what?” I push up on my toes so I can place a kiss on his lips.
“For choosing me.”
My face breaks out in a grin as I kiss him once more. “Always you,” I whisper and kiss him again.
“Come on.” I interlace my fingers with his and open the gate, leading him to the dimly lit backyard. We stop in front of the blanket I had laid out, along with a bottle of whiskey and two glasses, a crème brulee I had picked up at an Italian restaurant on Wednesday, and a small wrapped box.
“Come on, let’s take a drink. It’s necessary for crazy.”
“You did this for me?”
“I wanted to be the first to celebrate with you,” I answer, pouring amber liquid into each glass and handing him one.
“You don’t like whiskey.”
“But you do, and this day is all about you.” I throw back the shot and blink a couple of times to fight the burning sensation that always bites more than licks. I smile as he shakes his head and then takes his own shot.
“What are we doing?” he asks as I take his hand in mine and lead his further into the yard.
“Going swimming.” Max looks at me trying to read my intentions. “Naked.”
“Ace …” Max quietly starts in protest.
I smile and lift the black tank top I’m wearing and toss it in the direction of a patio chair, not waiting to see where it lands before taking a few steps back toward the pool wearing a royal purple lace bra. Max shakes his head again and I can tell he’s debating with himself about objecting as I start shimmying my jeans down my legs, tossing them over in the direction of my top.
“Ace, let’s go back to my room.” I hear the defeat in his voice as he says the words he thinks he should.
I shake my head, still smiling at him as I reach behind my back. My fingers tremble slightly as I finger the clasp of my bra. I’m thoroughly impressed that I’ve made it this far, especially since Max hasn’t moved a muscle since he saw my intentions. I’m not sure if he’s caught up in the moment, or just doesn’t believe that I’ll go through with it. I slowly let my bra slide down my arms and fall to the ground before I hook my thumbs into my matching underwear and push them down my legs.
People always say to enjoy your body when you’re young and it’s toned and in shape, before gravity, kids, and stress work against you. That’s much easier to say when you’re forty looking back, rather than twenty standing stark naked in front of your ridiculously hot boyfriend.
Max stares at me for a few long moments, and then a small smile flashes on his face and he pulls off his T-shirt and tosses it toward my discarded items.
I lower myself into the warm water that feels cool as it laps against parts of me that have always been covered and turn to see Max slide into the pool, completely naked. My smile grows in my first successful planned dose of crazy.
“Your dad is going to kill me!”
 
Buy Links:
Amazon
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Amazon AU




About the Author:
Mariah Dietz lives in Eastern Washington with her husband and two sons that are the axis of her crazy and wonderful world.
Mariah grew up in a tiny town outside of Portland, Oregon where she spent the majority of her time immersed in the pages of books that she both read and created.
She has a love for all things that include her sons, good coffee, books, travel, and dark chocolate. She also has a deep passion for the stories she writes, and hopes readers enjoy the journeys she takes them on, as much as she loves creating them.
 
Connect With The Author:
Website
Facebook
Goodreads
Instagram
Twitter
 
Giveaway:
Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card and a print copy of the book! Open worldwide. This giveaway will run 12/1/14 – 12/29/14. Enter through Rafflecopter.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 22, 2014

Guest Post by Shauna Roberts - Using Telling Details for Setting in Historical Fiction

Using Telling Details for Setting in Historical Fiction
by Shauna Roberts

In historical fiction, you can bring your setting to life best by choosing the most pertinent, most evocative details: the telling details, as Russian author Anton Chekov called them.
Why not just inundate your readers with all the details so that they can form a full, complete picture of the setting in their minds? Such details take up a lot of space; paper is expensive, so your book would cost more. Also, the readers may not be able to separate the unimportant details from the important ones if you provide too many. Finally, the human mind has evolved to see patterns and create wholes from a few pieces of evidences; as a result, two or three unique, vivid details can create a sharp image in readers’ minds.
To choose your telling details, imagine the scene fully in your mind (or look at your reference pictures) and consider what features might be most surprising or unusual to your typical reader. Think not only about visuals, but also about the other senses. That is, consider the unique qualities of what the character smells, tastes, hears, or touches in the scene.
Also consider how the point-of-view character of that scene feels about the setting. In describing the same hulking stone wall, for example, you might use different details in scenes with different POV characters if the wall evokes different emotional responses: feeling trapped, feeling protected, awe at its strength, awe at its age, contempt at its primitive construction, etc.
Three quick examples of a detail that changes the readers’ preconceived idea of the scene:
1. A dark-blue wedding dress. (Before Queen Victoria got married in a white dress in 1840, wedding dresses were of any color, usually a practical color so the dress could be worn again.)
2. Sheep with hair instead of wool. (Before domestication, sheep had hair. Early farmers in the Near East bred for fuzzy sheep, but the process took many generations.)
3. Farm animals inside the house. (In various cold places, people brought their animals inside in winter to keep them alive, to make it easier to milk cows and collect eggs, and to warm their houses. Imagine the smell! That would be a great telling detail.)
Now it’s your turn. Here are four pictures of medieval structures in southwestern France. What details might make scenes set here vivid for a modern reader? What emotions could you evoke with those details?
1. This pool, outside the city wall of St-Macaire, once was the communal laundry area:

2. This street in Périgueux dates back to the Middle Ages:

3. This 12th-century church in St-Émilion was carved out of the hill behind and above it.


4. I walked around this castle (I don’t remember its name or location, but it was in the wine country east of Bordeaux) and saw no other garderobe (closet containing a primitive toilet that empties directly into the moat) than the one projecting at the far right.

Telling details that occurred to me for these structures:
1. Laundry pool. Tinkling laughter as the women socialized while doing laundry. Their red faces and puffing breath from scrubbing. Their hands sore and red from harsh soap. Worry of attack by enemies during dangerous times. The monstrous weight of the wet clothes as the women struggled to carry them uphill.
2. Narrow street with steps. Can stretch out arms and touch both sides. People struggling not to fall going up or down the slick, icy steps in winter. A sore bottom from riding a cart as it bounces down the steps. No way to escape an assassin chasing you on this street. Children screaming with laughter as they chase each other up and down, earning curses from workers carrying burdens.
3. Monolithic church. I went inside this church, and it was dark, oppressive, and suffocating. Its high ceilings inspire awe and would have not even been visible by candlelight on dark days or in the evening. Despite (or because of) the under-floor drainage system, it probably smelled of fetid water in medieval times; with so little air circulation, it likely stank of sweaty bodies.
4. Single garderobe. Show of privilege: of everyone living in the castle, only a few had access to this facility. Icy-cold stone seat in winter. Cold gusts blowing up the privy hole in winter. Refreshingly cool seat in summer. Clothes kept in the garderobe stinking of urine and feces. Common for workers: seeing urine and feces drop from the garderobe, hearing feces plunk into the moat water.
I’d love to hear what details and emotions you drew from these images. If you have a moment, please leave a comment below.

Author Shauna Roberts writes fantasy and science fiction as well as historical fiction. Her latest book is Claimed by the Enemy, a novel of honor, love, and court intrigue in ancient Mesopotamia, the world’s first civilization. The Kindle version can be found at http://www.amazon.com/dp/1938125134. Her Website is http://www.ShaunaRoberts.com, and you can email her at ShaunaRoberts@ShaunaRoberts.com.



http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/11/06/historical-fiction-book-tour-giveaway-claimed-by-the-enemy-by-shauna-roberts-12114-122914/


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 12/1/14 – 12/29/14
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance







Blurb:
Crown Princess Nindalla knows the terrifying power of Sargon of Akkad’s army: Ten years ago, it destroyed her home city and killed her parents. Now the nightmare is happening again. The Akkadians conquer her new home, Susa; make her a widow; and strip her of her rank. Nindalla vows to protect her children from her enemies by any means necessary, including marrying whoever can shield them best. With plots swirling around her, can she trust her instincts to tell friends from foes?
Farm boy Ur-sag-enki was forced to become a soldier in the Akkadian army ten years ago after it destroyed his home and left him with nothing. When the Akkadians conquer Susa, he is awarded its governorship. He looks forward to settling down to the normal family life he craves. First, though, he must keep control of Susa despite enemies who exploit his inexperience, and he must gain legitimacy by persuading beautiful former princess Nindalla to marry him. But can he win her heart when it was his hand that struck down her husband?
 
Excerpt:
Ur-sag-enki forced his thoughts to cold, heartless strategy. General Qisim had sent him to find Crown Princess Nindalla for a reason. To hold the city, he would her child alive and healthy and in his possession. The boy was the last of the royal line of Susa. Marrying Nindalla would legitimize Ur-sag-enki’s governorship.
His liver twinged, rebelling at the governor’s orders. Demons could take the man and his cold plotting! Ur-sag-enki would marry Nindalla because she was his destiny. The gods had decreed it at his birth. The shiny black hair he yearned to touch, the beautiful eyes he longed to look into, the rare smile he wanted to coax out—he had known they would be his since the day of the New Year’s Festival. He had never loved another woman, never expected to.
He had been waiting for her.
His skin tingled from his feet to his scalp. He had looked for her in every conquered city, his heart pounding each time he caught a glance of long, heavy hair or a certain arrogant tilt of the head. He had been disappointed too many times to count.
Now his restless body long to jump around or dance. He grinned widely. I must look like a fool. But he didn’t care. At last the gods had brought him to her! I will protect her and keep her safe always. I will let no one, not General Qisim, not even King Sargon himself, harm her or her baby.
He untied the amulet from his neck. It was a baked-clay figurine of a goat, an animal sacred to the god Enki. He wound the leather thong around it and tucked it inside the baby’s bindings.
Nindalla looked up and smiled. “You have done well, soldier. Find Prince Humba. Learn what name I should give his son and successor. Then bring my daughters here.”
He squeezed his eyelids shut as his body suffered the pain hers know to feel. The woman had daughters in the palace, a palace overrun by soldiers drunk on blood and beer and victory.
“My lady—” He stopped. He couldn’t tell her, not yet. She deserved a time of happiness with her baby first.
 
Buy Links:
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About the Author:
Shauna Roberts writes fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, and romance. She currently lives in Southern California. She was a copyeditor and an award-winning freelance medical and science writer for 21 years before retiring to write fiction. A graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Workshop, she now serves on the Clarion Foundation Board of Directors. In 2011 she won the Speculative Literature Foundation’s Older Writers’ Grant.
 
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Giveaway:
Three Winners! Author Shauna Roberts is giving away a $30 Amazon GC, and two $15 Amazon GCs on the Claimed by the Enemy Book Tour & Giveaway! Open worldwide. This giveaway will run 12/1/14 – 12/29/14. Enter through Rafflecopter.

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Unknown Facts About Kindle Direct Publishing by Titus

Unknown Facts About Kindle Direct Publishing

Author: titus

Kindle Direct publishing has become extremely famous in less than half a decade. As suggested by its name, Kindle self publishing is a simple and direct way of publishing your eBooks. The strategy makes use of the Kindle reader. It is a service that portrays Amazon's cutting edge technology. With the help of Kindle direct publishing, you can eradicate the role played by many middle men and red tapes. Consequently, you will have the wit to save lots of cash. When compared against conventional publishing methods, Kindle direct publishing is cheap, readily available and user friendly. So, what should you do to publish an eBook in Kindle? Does the process involve many twists and turns? Read on, to find answers to these questions.

How to engage in Kindle Self Publishing?
1. Become a Legit Publisher
First of all, you must be a legit user of Kindle self publishing. Check if you are authorized to sell and buy eBooks through Kindle Direct. It is quite interesting to note that some authors are not allowed to make use of the service. If you have violated copyright permissions or unwittingly sold your publishing rights, you cannot exploit through Kindle self publishing. In such cases, you must ask another person to publish on behalf of you. Else, you should adhere to strategies that will reimburse your permissions. This will be a tedious chore. Nevertheless, remember that if you don't have the required permissions, you cannot engage in Kindle self publishing.

2. Have an account in Amazon
Moving on, you must become a member of Amazon Author Central. The bond between Kindle Direct Publishing and Author Central is indispensible. The services go hand-in-hand. You can make use of Author Central and Kindle services through a single Amazon account. Author Central is a comprehensive platform that will help you create, organize and store Amazon listings. Through Author Central you will have the competency to sell more eBooks.

3. Give your eBook a new title
Finally, you should give your eBook a brand new title. The title should give your eBook an upper handle. The title must describe at least a part of your book.

Benefits of Kindle Direct Publishing
With these important points in mind, why should you make use of Kindle Direct Publishing? Does Kindle Direct have many useful benefits? The next section will answer these questions for you.

1. Publish a Book For Free
Through the Kindle Direct Publishing Scheme, you can publish your book for free! This is an interesting program related with Kindle Direct. The program will upload your eBook into Amazon's prime library. When online readers borrow your eBook from Amazon's library, you will make lots of cash. Theoretically, individuals who are happy with your work will be likely to buy its paid version. This can be treated as a double-cash-back offer!

2. Using Kindle Direct Promotions
Likewise, you can make use of the Kindle Direct Promotions. This is an interesting program that will let lend your eBook for free, but for a maximum of 90 days. So, why would you give your book for free? According to experts, KDP promotions will increase your book's Amazon ranking. As you top the "Free on Kindle" list, more readers will turn towards your book. This is a vicious cycle that will give you an edge above other authors.

3. Make More Money
Last but certainly not least, you can make lots of money. Kindle Self Publishing cuts down the presence of middle men and directs money to the author's account. A recent survey states that eBooks worth 2.99 USD are like to make 30% more profits than the 5.99 USD ones! Hence, if you can offer high quality work at a low price, you will become a master of Kindle self publishing!

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/self-publishing-articles/unknown-facts-about-kindle-direct-publishing-7157934.html

About the Author
Writing is one of the best ways to get information out and to make a nice little living online. Kindle self publishing is tops among the writing businesses. It is easy to get started and all you have to do is write quality work. Kindle direct publishing is a key to wealth for many online entrepreneurs.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Author A.L Goulden Talks Erotic Romance & Writing on the December Rain Book Tour with Giveaway

The Complete Self Publishing Indie Author's Resource Site Interviews A.L. Goulden - Author of December Rain  and August Fog...

Thanks for stopping by our blog. Can you give our readers an intro into your currently released books? (You can format this answer how you see fit, i.e., multiple paragraphs, one long one)
Thank you for having me. The August Fog series focuses on a television editor named Monica Waters, her husband Alex, and an artist named Quinn Matthews. 

In book #1,  August Fog, we see that Alex and Monica have known each other since high school and have already had a rocky marriage, but they really do love and count on each other. Monica's life has just lost passion in and out of the bedroom. Well, until Quinn Matthews moves next door. Quinn is reserved and mysterious. He's talented and polite. He's almost always shirtless and she can't stop staring. The beautiful tattoo of a tree that wraps around one side of his body draws her in and his blues eyes take her. Right away you see that this man has an affect on her, and the feeling is mutual. Through the month of August they get to know each other and develop a relationship that's impossible to resist. Their hot affair is way too close to home and the lines between her two men start to blur as she struggles with guilt and lust. By the end of August Fog, Monica has to make a difficult decision before she falls too far. 

In book #2, December Rain, Monica and Alex are in therapy trying to get to the root of their issues. They head to Hawaii looking for a lasting spark, but just when things get fired up, they run into Quinn and their worlds crumble. Alex can't keep what he clearly no longer has and walks away. Monica doesn't deal with life change well and we see her spectacularly messed up, making bad decisions and finding that the only thing she can do is let go. This is Quinn's second chance. His recent success has spun a whole new life that's settled into the places Monica loves. Coincidence? Not likelyHis hearty sexual appetite only has one craving, but so does his heart, and falling in love is so easy. This book may tear your heart out in the storm, but it feels so good to drown.

Did you always want to be a writer?
Not as a career. No. I'm an artist and a designer first, but  I've always loved stories. That's why I got into film and television. That's why I went to film school. I fell in love with the visual art of story telling and followed it. When I was a kid I started writing short stories. In fifth grade I wrote a fifty page book about five boys at a sleepover who encounter an escape con on a stormy night. I remember binding it into a book and of course drawing a cover (my favorite part). In college I wrote scripts and worked with some amazing screenwriters to hone my skills. I always excelled at dialogue and structure more than finesse, so I'm working on that now. Through the years of reading and working on other people's scripts I just started storing away my own ideas. I think I got to a place where my head was so full, I need to purge on paper. *laugh* I know I have enough stories to fill a decade in and out of the romance genre. 

Can you tell us what led up to you writing your first book?
Some of the premise for August Fog is based in reality. I was laid up on the couch for a summer, forced to quit my job, because of three stress fractures in my ankle that wouldn't heal. I was reading a lot to pass the time and eventually started writing. There really was a sexy neighbor, he really is an artist, but there was never an affair. Luckily I'm married to a man that finds my overactive imagination amusing and he never once thought it was autobiographic. *ha!* So many of the books I was reading had a similar heroine who was "damaged" as well as the same alpha males. I wanted to build characters that were realistic and flawed to see if I could make them sexy as well. People you would know. Your best friend or coworker. Real life is complicated and real love is even worse. I knew Monica wasn't always going to be likable. As much as we'd like to deny it, most of us aren't when we're going through stress, but that wasn't a reason not to connect to her or even understand her. I set out to create a story that touched on the complications of love and commitment. I never thought it'd be a finished novel, much less multiple, but once I got into it I didn't want to stop. The challenges of writing are so addictive that I can't imagine ever quitting now. It's become my vice I guess. The reality is that I have another career still as a Production Designer and Art Director so writing still tends to be crammed into my nights and weekends or between shows.

Did you ever consider traditional publishing? 
Maybe later in my life. I would probably have to quit my other career to keep up with the schedule and travel a traditional publisher might require. I'm not ready to walk away completely yet.

Can you share some of your self-publishing journey?
Oh man... how much time do we have? I'll say in all honesty I knew nothing, nothing at all, about self-publishing. Once I had this series in mind I did a little research and went with BookBaby because they were supposed to be a "one-stop" publishing option. I was doing a one-hour drama series and didn't want to figure out how to upload different versions of my book to multiple outlets. I used peer-groups and beta readers as editors and then uploaded. It was awful. The first version of August Fog wasn't ready to be out there and BookBaby was a terrible fit for me as a newbie and evolving writer. Their system doesn't allow you to make changes to your book easily and charges $25 every time you want to change anything... that includes the price. You can't just go in and put your book on sale for a week without emailing them to ask them to change it, pay $25 and then wait for them to get around to it. It drove me crazy and I wasted time and money trying to navigate the process. To top it off, they didn't show sales until almost 3 months later. At first I thought that publishing was just the last dinosaur industry working on net-60-90 systems, but then I realized it's just that particular company. So I pulled my book and moved to Smashwords, Amazon KDP & Google Play directly. I felt like an idiot for wasting time, but in the process I learned so much about marketing, tracking sales, and how to anticipate what works.

In your experience, what have you found to be the pros and cons of self-publishing?
Pros - You get to decide everything yourself. Release dates. Cover design. Marketing plan. Promotion.
Cons - You have to decide everything yourself. Release dates. Cover design. Marketing plan. Promotion. There are times when I know having a team behind me to help through the decisions would make my life a lot easier. I just worry that my creative input would be stifled a bit by others.

Do you spend a lot of time researching for your books?
Yes. It's something we do in production too so it's instinctual to search for locations and motivations for everything. I love sinking things into reality. Someone reading the book may have a link to that place or subject that you could connect with uniquely.

One of the biggest differences between traditional and self publishing is the method of advertising. Have you found it challenging to promote and advertise your work?
Yes. It's so hard. Especially when you're just starting out. In this market there are thousands of writers cranking out stories. Some good, some not so much, but they've been around and built a following. The one thing I've learned is that no amount of advertising will replace time. You can spend thousands on ads or spam people with your newsletters, but if they don't know your work or know someone who raves about it, they're slower to come around and give you a try. There are also SO many avenues to suck your money away on promises of readers and sales. No one can deliver that, so be cautious about who you spend with. I'm still learning along the way what works for me. It may be different for you.

As a more experienced writer do you have any advice for new writers when it comes to researching, advertising, or editing your books?
Publishing still is a dinosaur in the sense that you have to plan way out in advance. If you think your book is ready to publish, then plan to do it six months from now. Not now. Take that time to build your marketing strategy. Get beta readers to post ARC reviews. Build buzz. Take the time to prep the launch with a base in place. Start a blog. Grab people's interest so you have a group to release your work to. Otherwise, you'll end up hitting that button and watching the sales graphs flatline. It's the worst motivation killer. Don't do it.

What has been the most rewarding moment of your writing journey? 
Fans who tell me they fantasize about Quinn or have had a dream about him. Or when they say they wanted to strangle Monica, but still love and root for her. Creating someone who becomes real to someone else is really amazing. There's no other art form that lets you share an idea quite like books do.





http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/11/06/contemporary-erotic-romance-book-tour-giveaway-december-rain-august-fog-2-by-a-l-goulden-112614-122414/


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 11/26/14 - 12/24/14


Tour Promotional Price: August Fog (the first book in this series) will be $.99 throughout the tour!

Genres: Contemporary Erotic Romance 






Blurb:
Monica and Alex Waters have spent that last few months working to repair a broken marriage and rekindle their passion. Just as they start finding their spark, Quinn Matthews and his escalating career resurfaces, but this time Alex makes the decision to let Monica go.
The devastation of losing her high school sweetheart, her home, and even her dog twists Monica down a destructive path that alienates her from her closest friends and lands her on Quinn’s couch. Despite her efforts to resist jumping into his arms again, the spark between them reignites and sweeps her away on a whirlwind holiday adventure. She finds that falling in love with Quinn’s family and lifestyle is as easy as falling for his ocean colored eyes. The problem is that it’s all too easy, and when she sees that Quinn’s reinvented life has completely shifted towards her dreams, she starts to question whether he’s too good to be true.
Quinn has a secret that was never meant to be kept this long, but will Monica be able to trust another man who’s lied? And now that Quinn’s got his happily ever after in sight, he’s not about to let her go or share her with another man.


 
Praise For December Rain:
Just like August Fog, December Rain had me feeling so many emotions; tears were shed, fists were clenched, and many smiles were spread. I cannot wait for the next book in the series. Until then, I will be happily rereading the first two. – Cheryl Schopen
 



Excerpt:
The outdoor style shopping mall is bustling with tourist and local art lovers. Rows of art galleries surround the courtyard where a stage welcomes a local reggae band. Monica settles into a groove and starts dancing with the crowd. Alex tries to hang in for a couple of songs before he starts feeling claustrophobic and looks to the galleries and shops around them.
Go ahead,” she says with a loving smile. “I’ll meet you down there… after one more song.”
He gives her a little kiss on the cheek and glides his hand across her behind before making his way out of the crowd. His attention is pulled by various pieces in gallery windows along the way. There’s a large glass sea turtle in shades of green and gold followed by a painting of an autumn forest with heavy texture. He stands daydreaming for a minute until he’s distracted by a reflection passing in the glass. It’s so brief he’s sure it’s his imagination. He barely catches a glimpse down the mall as the backside of the man disappears into another gallery.
Alex follows the ghost, dodging through happy couples and pushy salespeople trying to get his attention. Before he can see inside the gallery, a painting that’s prominently displayed on a front wall stops him. A cold washes over as he stands there staring at it. He slowly moves inside, mesmerized by the familiar vibrant paint strokes until he sees a few people gathered in the back. A man talking to two smiling women stills himself as Alex’s eyes freeze on the back of his shaved head. No words were needed as the tropical air takes a chill. Even the women sense a showdown, and step back to give Quinn room.
Quinn turns. What do I say? Fuck! I thought that was him. I hoped it wasn’t. Quinn moves very slowly towards Alex. Is he gonna hit me? I do deserve it. Might as well get it over with.Hey.” Quinn pauses near the center of the room waiting.
Alex swallows hard, his nostrils flaring and fist clenched. His jaw flexes as his breathing grows heavier, but the emotions just start to turn to mush. His eyes fill as thoughts of his new friend’s betrayal wash over and the painting draws his eyes again.
I’m sorry Alex,” Quinn says quietly.
Monica nearly passes the gallery on her way to see their friends when Alex’s shirt first catches her eye. She halts and shifts backwards until she sees the painting and stops. It’s a female figure bent forward reaching for her toes. The abstract form of her body in swirls of orange and reds is cradled by a man swathed in blues and purple. Oh my God! That’s me. That’s us, stretching. It can’t be. He’s…
She struggles for air as the tears swell, and she can already feel him. As she stands there, not crossing the threshold, the two men watch her. When her eyes finally land on Quinn, electricity fills the room. She can only see him and the deep tan that backdrops the pale oceany eyes reaching for her. A warm drop gently slides down her cheekbone as her breathing syncs with his. His lips move slightly hinting at words that he can’t find, and she struggles not to run into his arms.
Alex’s discomfort is audible as he clears his clogged throat to rattle her attention to his worried eyes. She steps in and touches his hand briefly. “I’ll be outside,” she says, turning without another glance at Quinn.
Her feet move quick as her thoughts try to keep up. What are they doing? Alex is gonna hit him. I can’t believe he’s here. What are the odds? Did he know we’d be here? No. Maybe he moved here. That painting was him and I together. Would Alex know that? It’s pretty abstract. Fuck! This can’t be happening. Before she knows it, she’s at the other end of the mall near the parking lot. She settles on a bench to wait for the world to stop crumbling around her. 
 
Buy Links:
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About the Author:
I’m a designer, author, wife and dog-lover living in the South Pasadena area of California. I got my BFA in Film Production from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, but my love of a good story came way before college. I remember writing my first full story in fifth grade on a typewriter. I cut and pasted it into a book, complete with cardboard cover and taped binding. Things have changed a lot since then. With the magnificent digital age I can produce books and give them to the world without a sticky mess.
In college numerous instructors and peers praised my dialogue pushed me to hone my storytelling skills. Of course the need to cut and paste was still there, so I went into the world of Production Design and Art Direction for films and television. It gave me the ability to connect design to storytelling in a way that no other career can. The past 18 years have spun a unique perspective on visually emotional tales of relationships and the thread that ties all things together. Now I’m shifting focus on the driving force that brought me here… stories. I hope that I can share a unique perspective on life, love and the pursuit in all of the above.
 
Connect With The Author:
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Giveaway:
Win a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card (winner’s choice), a signed paperback copy of August Fog, and bookmarks for both books on the December Rain Book Tour & Giveaway by A.L. Goulden! This giveaway will run 11/26/14 – 12/24/14. This giveaway is open worldwide. Enter through Rafflecopter.

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