Monday, June 29, 2015

Extract: Trifecta

This extract is for a book by awesome author Kim Carmichael that explores the complication of a poly-relationship. Trifecta is the story of one woman and two men falling in love with each other.

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Blurb

Two men. One woman. It could ruin a friendship, or bring a satisfying twist to their lives. Artist, Jason Morgan, is used to making magic on the canvas. Now he hopes to do it in the bedroom. 
After a failed gallery showing, Jason decides the best way to cure his creative block is to act on his own personal fantasy, and enter into a sexual relationship with his two best friends. 
From the time they were in elementary school, Russell Sinclair has been a willing participant in Jason's adventures, but this one goes to a new level. He's intrigued by the idea of sharing one woman, but is challenged by how to fit this three-sided relationship into his traditional life. 
Lauren Redmond is no stranger to fantasy. As the aesthetic sales rep to the top Beverly Hills dermatologists, she is responsible for the majority of puffed lips and filled wrinkles in the greater Los Angeles area. She detours from her steady, secure path when she is offered the opportunity to live the dream with the two men who have occupied her heart since college. The fantasy fast becomes a powerful reality, and Lauren must decide if she is willing to give up everything she has worked for to have a bit of temporary decadence. 
Trifecta explores the boundaries of love, relationships and convention.

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Extract

Airports only held two paths, arrivals or departures. Before she made a move, she observed her surroundings. A man stood at the bottom with a bouquet of roses, and a woman holding a baby looked around for her match. Another group of women huddled together bouncing, pointing and screaming.
She wondered how many were there to tell their two best friends, the two men they loved that they were leaving.
“Laurie!”
She grabbed the railing, willing the escalator to stop because she was sure she didn’t hear right. Only one person called her by that name. The only homing device she needed to insure he was here in this crowd was to turn where every other woman within a twelve-mile radius stared. No matter if you were near or far, Jason Morgan was a sight you had to take in.
She made it to the bottom and headed straight for the beacon of blond hair. Today he was playing the role of someone between a rock star and a secret agent, with his tall frame draped in black pants, jacket and turtleneck. She had lived with this man for six years. Spent countless hours with him. Yet still, to this day, when he moved his hair aside and peered at her over the pair of black rimmed sunglasses he decided to wear even at night, her insides bubbled, every nerve-ending overflowing with excitement, need and yearning.
“We heard the flight was rough, and I decided to come in and get you.” He held his arms out.
“I hate flying.” She stepped back, resisting his hug. “They prepared us for a bad landing.”
“I know, but it’s better than your driving. How many promises did you make to yourself if the plane landed and you didn’t die?” He wiggled his fingers.
“Just one.” The biggest one yet. The longer she stayed, the longer she would never have her own family, her own home, stability. She would always be the third wheel on the bicycle. Unneeded, unfulfilled and wobbly. Still, she allowed his fingers to lure her into his arms.
Instead of being pulled into one of his big-brother hugs, he held her out by her shoulders.
She stumbled at being stopped, tripping on both her feet and her suitcase.
“I got you.” Jason caught her, startling her with a kiss on the lips before he helped her stand. “Let’s go, Russ is driving in circles.”
Again, she floundered on her feet. In the millions of kisses she received from this man, he never kissed her on the mouth, his lips lingering. The bubbles already throughout her body began to explode, leaving her tingling and terrified.
“Careful.” He grabbed her arm to steady her, kissed her again, and took the handle of her suitcase. “You okay?”
Another matching kiss left her without any strength in her legs. She needed to remember her resolve. “I need to talk to you guys.”
He put his arm around her. “Well it will have to wait. We have a surprise for you.”
The kisses alone surprised her enough. Caught in a stare, she didn’t notice they’d left the airport until the hot Southern California air, even in the middle of October, blasted over her. “Jason, I really need to tell you both something.” No surprises, no kisses,
nothing but her talking to them and taking charge. She needed to live like everyone else.
“There he is.” Jason lifted his arm.
The vision of living like everyone else dissipated as Jason guided her to a massive red monster truck with silver rims, huge tires and a step to get inside.
“What is this?” At first she backed away, but the door to the truck opened and she found herself staring right into Russell’s face. He wasn’t the freeway stopping traffic jam Jason was, Russell reminded her of a 1950’s leading man. The man with the dark tailored
suit, combed back hair and bursting brain who would come home with his briefcase of important work and still have time to help his children with their homework then make love to his to wife every night.
While Jason was unattainable, Russell was the kind of man someone could have if they were only a little prettier, a little smarter or a little better.
“My parent’s dealership got it. It’s fun.” Jason bent down and put her foot on the step.
The only word to describe the scene going on around her was surreal. Jason being the gentleman, kissing and helping her, coupled with Russell smiling at the airport, his own personal nemesis.
“We were worried about you. Come on, we can all sit in the front.” Russell offered her his hand. “But you get the middle.”
She put her hand in his, needing something normal. Russell would listen when she said she needed to talk to them.
“In we go.” Jason cupped her bottom using both hands, and lifted her.
She gasped at the way Jason touched her, it was unexpected but not unwanted. She couldn’t want it, and she went to say something, but Russell tugged her.
“Welcome home, you were missed.” He slid back to the driver’s seat with her in tow.
While Jason threw her bag in the back, Russell snaked his hand around her neck and brushed his lips against hers.
Something was wrong. Jason lived by his own law of physics, and she tried to chalk up his kisses to one of his creative experiments or artistic expressions, but Russell wasn’t the kissing type. Only simple hard pecks ever left his lips, but this kiss treated her to a
supple mouth made all the more potent by the fact he licked his lips right after. The shivers hiding underneath her skin after Jason’s affection took on a throbbing residence right between her thighs with Russell. “What’s going on?”
“I told you we have a surprise. We need to take your mind off your flight.” Jason moved in until their legs touched, and slammed the door shut.
As Russell drove away, she turned left then right and was met with nothing but visions of the men she wanted. Since college, the three of them had been best friends, and her own needs had gone unfulfilled because she couldn’t love them both or have them both.
Right now they needed to have a discussion, yet her words heeded a different plan.
“What is it?”
“Steve got an exhibition. We are going to see his show.” Jason handed her a bottle of water. “I know you’re thirsty.”
On any other day she would have taken the drink, swooning over the small gesture. “I don’t want to go the exhibit. I have to talk to the two of you.”
“We have to go.” Russell’s voice took on its normal dare-to-defy-me tone.
“No.” She double dared him and hit her fist on her knee. “I told you, we need to talk.”
“Okay.” Russell pulled over. The truck seized to a stop. “Are you sure you’re okay from the flight?”
Both Russell and Jason faced her. She kept her gaze forward, her mouth shut, concentrating on the lone drop of sweat making its way down her spine. “Yes.”
“Are you hurt?” Jason moved into her field of vision.
“Are you dying?” Russell tapped her.
“Not right now.” She frowned. There was no way she could tell them like this, here in some cartoon car with them playing some kissing game with her. “I can’t go looking like this.” She glanced down at her wrinkled grey business suit. “I look like I’m going to
work.”
“Yes, your corporate regalia.” Russell rubbed the fabric on her sleeve between two fingers.
“Oh, well if that’s what’s bothering you, we can help.” Jason reached into the small cargo space behind the front seat, pulled out a garment bag and unzipped it.
The glare of the multi-colored traffic lights coming into the car must have blurred her vision, because the short, deep purple dress with the V-neck and ruffle at the hemline she’d admired the last time she dragged them shopping somehow appeared.
“Are either of you dying?” This was the exact dress she pictured one of them taking her out in, only she couldn’t pick which one. Her heart made half a beat, and froze in the center of her chest, a swollen, aching organ.
“She’s upset we didn’t get the shoes.” Russell let out one lone laugh.
She jerked her head at the sound of joy coming out of Russell.
“Yeah, those shoes were cool, with straps and all that girl stuff.” Jason hung his arm around her shoulder.
“Good thing we got them.” Russell reached under the seat, handing her the matching footwear. “Now, do we still need to talk?”

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About the Author

kim

Kim Carmichael began writing eight years ago when her need for graphic sex scenes and love of happy endings inspired her to create her own. She has a weakness for bad boys and techno geeks, and married her own computer whiz after he proved he could keep her all her gadgets running. When not writing, she can usually be found slathered in sunscreen trolling Los Angeles and helping top doctors build their practices.

Facebook               Goodreads                    Twitter
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Buy Trifecta
Amazon UK                Amazon US               Amazon CA

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tips and Tricks 2: For Authors

There are a few things that you need to remember, when you're an author. Mostly, it's using what's available to you (see previous post). Sometimes, it's just about being prepared and knowing what you might need in the future.

Here's a few things that, as the author, you should be doing:

Read your own book, at least once, after publication.


Why? Because all the changes have been made. This is your final copy; the one that people will read and review on. As you read, mark off the quotes that really make an impact, without telling too much of the story. You'll need these later.

Stay active.


This is a no-brainer. If yo're not on FB or Twitter, or even Goodreads, that's millions of people you're not reaching with your books. Forget about the groups, for now, I'm talking about your Author page. You NEED a presence there, if you expect to gain an audience.

If a reader wants to contact you, what platform are they going to try first? The two three are: Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Goodreads is simple. Read a book and review it. Merge your blog with your Goodreads page. It's not hard and it will give people easy access to your blog, without having to sign up for a newsletter. A lot of people aren't comfortable with that option, so Goodreads is a no-commitment alternative.

You can schedule your blog, FB and Twitter, so that you only have to be on them maybe once a month. I've done that. I've spent one whole day scheduling posts for my blog, FB or Twitter (through Hootsuite or directly on the page) so that I don't have to be active on it any other day of the next 3 months. I can check in, when there's a comment or a reaction, share a new giveaway or a new release, but I don't have to be on there every minute, to make sure that it's up to date.

Have quotes.


This is what I was talking about earlier. You NEED to have quotes from your book, at hand, at a second's notice. Why?

1) TeaserTuesday. If you forget to schedule your page for one of these or you just forget to add a new one, because you're stressed/sick/on holiday/working, then all you have to do is open up your saved file of quotes, copy and paste and add the tag #TeaserTuesday

2) Goodreads. You should have at least a few quotes from your book up on Goodreads, even if you have to add them yourself. Sometimes readers get so engrossed in a book that they forget to mark off a favourite quote, or they go to click that 'like' button, only to realise that there are no quotes logged for your book. Most people either won't want the hassle, don't know how or can't be bothered going back to find their favourite quote. This can and should be your job. You want to make things as easy on your readers as possible.

3) Posters. Teaser posters are your best shot at Teaser Tuesday, because you don't have to type/copy anything. You just upload a picture and add the tag. This is especially useful for all those book blogs you want to follow on FB (see this post). Many of them have a special Teaser Tuesday or Sharing Sunday post, that you can attach your poster to. And, let's face it, people are more likely to click on a good looking poster, to read a long excerpt, than they are to read a massive 6-paragraph typed teaser. It's more eye-catching.

Share.


Sharing is caring.

To make it in the Indie world, we all have to stick together. If you see an author friend has just brought a new book out, spread the word. Share it on your personal/author page. If a friend is having some trouble getting feedback, ask for help. Recommend an author, share a quote, teaser pic, book trailer or send your fans over to another author's page to like it.

Contrary to popular belief, life isn't a competition. If we stand by and support each other, ALL of us will do well. Isn't that better than backstabbing, making snide remarks and asking our own fans to never read or like another author, just because they're in a competing market/genre?

Think about it. If another author recommends us to their readers, that could be one new hardcore fan. if we recommend another author to our fans, and they love them too, then what harm is that doing us? And really, don't you want to hit that #1 spot on Amazon, by being a fair player? Don't you want to beat your favourite author to that top spot fairly and know that it's because you worked your butt off to get there?

It doesn't mean you can't celebrate others when they beat you, either. If you're #2 and your favourite author is #1, then great for both of you!

As Indie authors, we're often looked down on by trad publishers and trad authors. It doesn't have to be that way. If we all help each other, we raise the limits that are imposed on us, removing the stigma that because we're self- or indie-published, it means we aren't good enough for a traditional publisher. That's not true and we need to show the world that we're kicking ass with the best of them. The best way to do that is to support each other.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Extract: The Black Lion

This awesome book 'The Black Lion' is by Elodie Parkes.

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Unleashed Love...

When Melissa fleetingly meets Sascha in a nightclub, she hopes he will approach her.
Sascha has secrets and it’s a long time since there was a woman in his life.
Unknown to both of them someone watches jealously.
Will this jealousy stop the budding romance between two people who both have something to hide?
An erotic, paranormal romance, full of surprises.

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Extract

Gnawing hunger forced him from his sanctuary. He traveled swiftly over the rooftops and down the alley to the nightclub on the outskirts of the city. Human scents swamped him in the warm summer night. Perfumes, dirty hair and clothes, fragrant food, desire, all mixed with the overwhelming lure of blood. He drifted to the paved ground a little way from the red lacquered door of The Black Lion. His boots made a muffled thud as he landed. He adjusted his jacket, ran his hands through his thick, dark hair, and approached the closed door.
A few promotional posters for former guest bands curled on the dimpled wood. The door opened to his push. Sascha knew it would. When the club closed, the door would be locked with bolts and a bar on the inside. He walked down the short corridor toward the swirling darkness, the thump of base, the promise of a meal.
“Evening, Sascha. You’re early tonight.” Gary, the bouncer, grinned at him from the arched entrance to the nightclub dance floor.
Sascha glanced at the closed hatch of the entrance ticket booth behind Gary. The club only charged after midnight. He pasted his charming smile on his face.
“Yeah, it’s been a boring day, thought I’d start early tonight.” Sascha sauntered to the bar. There were few people around. It would get busy later. Friday night usually was. A large group of young women danced in a circle to the thumping music. A couple propped up the bar at the far end. A young man lounged against one of the pillars, watching the circle of swaying breasts and asses. Sascha inhaled the delicious aroma of the barman. “Gin and tonic, Jeff, thanks.”

Copyright Elodie Parkes 2014, Hot Ink Press
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Contact the Author

Elodie Parkes is a British author writing romance, erotic, contemporary, and often with a twist of mystery, paranormal or suspense. Her books are always steamy, cool stories and hot love scenes.
Elodie lives in Canterbury with her two dogs. She works in an antique shop by day and writes at night, loving the cloak of silent darkness that descends on the rural countryside around her home.
She has also released titles as an individual indie author.
Find Elodie online: Blog  Tumblr  Facebook  Twitter 
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Buy the Book

Find ‘The Black Lion’ on Elodie’s blog. http://elodieparkes.blogspot.com

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Reblog: How to: Generate Awesomeness

This is a reblog of an article written by and posted on Elaine White's blog.

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Sometimes, when you're working on a new piece or trying to fix an old story, there's just one thing that you can't quite get right. Whether it's a name, a title for your story or some sort of fantasy object/spaceship/planet that you can't find the right word for. Whatever it is, there are lots of websites online, to help you out. Here are some that I've used and love:
Fantasy Name (Various)
Generator Land (Various)
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Please bear in mind that a lot of these sites offer more than just one generator. Go ahead and browse each website, looking for the perfect one, to fit your need. Why not try a Google search, as well? Just type in the kind of generator you want, into the search engine and check out the results, e.g. Dark Prince Name Generator will give you lots of different options suitable for your character.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Promo Tip: Book Blogs

Follow ALL of the book blogs on FB, that are relevant to your book. KEEP the notifications, so that they pop up on your feed. I know, sometimes, that it gets tempting to switch off the notifications on pages that you like, to 'unfollow' but still like them, to join an event and stop the notifications. There are times that this will save you HOURS a week, in scrolling through notifications, but don't do this to blog pages.

Why?

This week, one particular blog has popped up 6 times on my news feed and each time it's been a Pimp post, where I can post the buy links, name, tagline and a poster for my books. There's no guarantee that it will generate sales, but it WILL get you noticed by the readers who count on these pages to give them good recommendations.

Some have 'random swagging', where they choose a random comment, made across the week, to give a swag pack to. If you win this, as an author, it's great booty to give away at your next event.

Some also do competitions, where they pick the best teaser, book cover, of that thread and use it as their profile picture for the week.

A lot of these pages also do regular giveaways, so enter everything. As an author who is also a prolific reader, you could win some great books that you wouldn't otherwise pick up. Or, as I say, you can win some awesome swag to give away at your next event.

The other key thing to remember is this:
Helping others helps yourself.

We should all, as Indie authors, be helping out our fellow Indies. We all get help along the way and it takes no time at all to pimp someone else's book instead of your own, on one of these pages. Or, maybe, you can pimp your books but also take the time to pimp 1 or 2 others, who you know, like or thinks needs the helping hand.

The more active you are, the more people see your face, your name, your profile picture.

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So, here are some really active pages that you should be following, if you want to promote your book more:





Book Excursions Book Reviews


Paranormal Romance Trance









Triple A




2 Friends Pimp Your Books


Book-Lover bookblog

My Kindle Journey



Reading is Sexy Book Blog