FIRST — ABOUT THE DEAD SHALL LIVE.
It’s on my editor’s desk. We spent hours on Skype freaking out over the ending and how omg-OMG-OMFG!!! it is. It is THAT FREAKING SHOCKING AND AMAZING AND PERFECT. Yes, I’ve said it. Myself. I felt that way about This Crumbling Pageant and I feel that way again. And we were freaking out over that, and over what is going on in the story into the next book, all the way to the end, and we were euphoric, and yes I am saying all this because I want you to know, yes, it is coming, and you’ll be so happy when you read it. You will say, this book was worth the wait.
And I’m saying that right now because I want you to know that the project I am about to tell you about will not delay or impact The Dead Shall Live in any way. As soon as it lands on my desk for the last time, everything else gets shoved aside. We are going to have a book and I can’t wait!
That said–this new project.
Are you a writer?
If you’re not a writer and don’t know any writers, you can skip this post. It’s about a book I’m writing for other writers.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to spend time here talking about this other than this announcement. We’ll get back to magic and danger and thrills and chills as soon as this is posted!
Yay! I was hoping some of you would hang around!
I’m working on something new these days, and if you’re a writer or know any writers, I’d appreciate you checking it out and maybe even sharing it.
I have taught creative writing–specifically classes on writing novels and screenplays–for [mumbledy mumbledy] years. A lot of years. I don’t really want to even do the math because harsh reality is harsh. [wink]
But one of my favorite subjects–and the one I’m most often asked to speak on or teach at writing conferences–is writing with passion. If you’ve read This Crumbling Pageant, you might notice I tend to do that.
My favorite books give me feels, lots of feels.
Patreon is a site where people can choose to support a creator while they’re creating. In the olden days only the rich could be patrons of the arts and help art get made. These days, with crowd-sourcing, we have Patreon where you can support a creator for only $1 a month, no contract, can stop at any time.
I have a strong history writing fanfiction and it wasn’t the money that kept me writing the epic stories I wrote there–it was knowing that people wanted to read them. These days with contracts and deadlines, I need a little more than reviews and feedback.
I need $1.00.
Yes. I’m writing this book on Patreon and I am looking for patrons to help me stay excited and on task. I am so much wanting patrons that I am offering patronages at only $1 a month. That’s all it takes to encourage me–$1 a month, and you can even stop that at any time.
And at the end? You get the book!
Maybe even more than the book because there are other patron levels, but even they are very inexpensive.
Right now, I’m asking for people to look at what I’m writing–a book on writing with passion–and if you feel so inclined, sign up to be a patron for $1 a month. Seriously. That’s it. That would be so freaking awesome. And you’ll get stuff in exchange, but to totally understand, go here and look!
There is free material you can read whether you are a patron or not.
Forget opening a vein—this is a book about bleeding emotion from your pores.
This is a book about putting a tight turniquet on emotion.
This is a book about analyzing the blood-spatter of emotion and learning from it.
This is a book about stealing emotion like the blood-sucking [something] you are.
This is a book about why and how and where and when and who, and how all of these things will impact your reader the way you want them to be impacted.
A blow to the gut that takes their breath away.
A hoot of laughter that embarrasses them in public.
Terror that makes them jump—even squeal—in fear at the sudden sound of a thermostat clicking in a silent room.
A tear in the eye.
But be warned… this is a book about digging deep into your own pain, your own fear, your own heart and soul to touch the passions and emotions you are writing about. It’s about being vulnerable to yourself and the keyboard and the screen and the page.
It’s about putting yourself into the skin of an axe murderer and feeling the rage—or the twisted joy?—that drives them to slice open a living being’s skull, so that whether in ten words or three hundred, you can take your reader somewhere they don’t want to go but can’t stop reading.
It’s about you putting yourself inside the eighteen-year-old being married to a stranger old enough to her grandfather because of politics and greed, so you can taste her fear, or swell with her pride, or suddenly experience the revelation she has for you… and your reader.
It’s about understanding that emotion isn’t analytical and it isn’t word choice and it isn’t cookie cutter.
Emotion is sensual and physical and the keys to the kingdom of a reader’s imagination and—let’s face it—willingness to shell out money for your next book?
Is in your willingness and ability to make them bleed with you.
If this doesn’t sound like your kind of book?
For the rest of you?
Come with me.
Yes, you read that right. Only 99¢ for a heartwarming and blood-stirring Christmas romance.
SCANDALOUS: A Holiday Romance
Paisley Vandermeir is alone and grieving this Christmas, but she has a mission: to right a wrong–and create a scandal, while she’s at it. Unfortunately for Christopher Quincy Maitland III, he’s the target of all her schemes. Can Christmas heal hearts and return joy to their lives? Of course it can.
Get your copy today!
Also available as an audiobook!
Cover design: Madmango Design
Coming just in time for the biggest game of the year: one box set that includes SEVEN full-length football romances!
I am so psyched about this, and am very happy that I was invited to be part of this box set. Some Enchanted Season is, for now, still an Amazon Exclusive, a program I am very happy with. And yet the timing is such that I can withdraw it just in time to participate in this box set which will be available everywhere!
But now? This box set is exclusively available for only .99 pre-order. The price will go up when the book actually launches.
ONLY ONE DOLLAR FOR SEVEN FABULOUS FOOTBALL ROMANCES!
So whether or not your team makes the playoffs, you’ll have the perfect accompaniment to your hot wings and potato skins.
Preorder NOW exclusively at iBooks for only 99 cents. This is a special preorder price only good until January 30th.
Some Enchanted Season Patricia Burroughs
The Sport of Seduction, The Art of Love
Blindsided Jami Davenport
A temporary marriage knocked him off his game, but love blindsided him.
The Rookie Ann Jacobs
Rookie quarterback sets his sights on Marauders cheerleader…
When We Were Us Tawdra Kandle
Three friends, two loves, one choice: Football hottie Leo is the guy Quinn’s always loved. But will he choose the game over the girl?
Bold Nicola Marsh
Aussie Rules? There are no rules in the game of love.
Guarding the Quarterback Liz Matis
Miss Congeniality meets the The Bodyguard.
Play Holly S. Roberts
Love scores when you least expect it and winning is everything.
I probably shouldn’t even ask.
But I’m kind of curious. If you decide to pre-order let me know. Especially if you’ve never used iBooks before. I’d like to know what you think of it. It does two things that I love. One–every time you open it to read, it shows you the cover of your book briefly before opening to the page you stopped reading. I love seeing the cover. It’s more like opening a real book. Two–when you turn the pages, they ‘turn.’ I think you can turn that off if you don’t like it, but I love seeing that quick flip of the page. Because I am easily amused.
I am having a very happy football season right now because as you may have noticed if you’ve known me long, I am a mad Dallas Cowboys fan. Don’t hate. I grew up here. It’s in my blood. Whatever team you follow, I hope you have some fabulous wins and thrills this year [although I’d really rather they weren’t against the Cowboys]!
This is not the entry you may think it is. Oh I could certainly rant about Christmas decorations for sale before Halloween, but hey–
Blah, blah, blah.
We’ve all heard it and said it before, and of course I hate it. But yeah, who doesn’t?
This entry is about replacing an old cover with a new cover.
First, let me tell you, and this hurts. Seriously hurts.
I said a very painful farewell to Paisley’s cover.
I love this cover. I couldn’t believe I found a Paisley–a real Paisely right down to the cigarette holder–to put on this cover. And MJ Butler did a splendid job of creating it.
Why did I say goodbye? Well, you might have known before I did.
Readers who saw it didn’t recognize it as contemporary romance.
Heck, they didn’t even know it was contemporary. Paisley, the wild child whose story this is, wears designer couture and the first time we see her, she’s in a marvelou jazz age black dress, holding an empty cigarette holder, crashing a society ball. She has Louise Brooks hair. This picture? Paisley.
Genre book covers have their own language that is recognized by that genre’s readers.
This true in science fiction and fantasy, in mystery and thriller, in all the genres. Their readers can spot ‘their kind of book’ by the cover. That doesn’t guarantee they will like that particular book, but check out the cozy mysteries and hard science fiction novels. See what I mean?
‘Sweet’ romance covers have sweet, romantic couples or images. They don’t have bare male torsos on them. But there are always nuances. And they are so easy to get wrong if you don’t have a pro handling it for you, or–as I did–a team of readers who volunteer to give cover feedback.
Do you want to be on my ‘cover team’ and give feedback on covers before they are made?
Okay, back to updating that cover.
I needed to update.
So, first I found an adorable contemporary romance image that fit my story because there is a scene where Chris has too much–oh, wait. That’s a spoiler. Okay, let me just say, this fits.
Okay, his hair would have to be blonded [which yes, can be done!] and it’s not exactly perfect to a specifc scene in the book, but it’s perfect for reasons, and I thought–adorable.
And I sent it to a friend who gave it the acid test–the one that I always forget to do. She went and looked at the 100 best selling Kindle contemporary romances and skimmed the covers and said, “I’m not seeing covers like this.”
People, that is always the place to begin.
What do best-selling covers in this genre look like today?
And be prepared to ignore covers for books by Stephen King and JK Rowling and other big name superstar writers whose names would sell a book on brown paper bag covers, and who often already have a ‘brand’ that is their own.
That stock photo would have been an impulse buy that gave me another cover I love that might not get readers to click to find out more. Do I want to go to the expense and effort of commissioning a new cover and then advertising it, to get a cover that might not work–and would be a wild throw of the dice? No. I do not.
Authors often want the wrong covers.
And often for the wrong reasons. Yes, you may look at those covers and think they’re too genre, and yes, you might want your cover to set a new trend.
But what is more likely to happen? The very readers you want to buy your book will never even give it a second glance because it doesn’t look like the books they love.
Hard truths are hard.
So I found two other potential images that I liked a lot, one more than the other. And I sent those images to my contemporary romance cover team, and they voted–and also gave me feedback.
Gotta tell ya. I love that couple on the left.
Also gotta tell ya, of the 35 readers queried, only 2.5 preferred the swoony, dipping couple.
[You are probably asking, how did .5 get in there? Because when one person who says she likes it best also says she’d click on the other cover first, just to see if the book looked good? That is not quite a full vote for swoony cover, if you ask me.]
What did they prefer?
Bare rippling muscles.
I thought all those torso covers were just because readers have ‘learned’ that they are on the books they prefer. But these readers made it clear, they love those bare torsos. Mrrrow.
Which is why I should never use my own opinion to choose cover art. Ever. Ever. Ever.
Well, Paisley had her cover.
Now I guess it’s time for Christopher Quincy Abbott III to get his.
It’s only October, and it’s way too early to be showing us a Christmas cover. [You do remember the title of this entry was Christmas in October, right?]
I have had this new cover for over a month. I sent it out to my newsletter subscribers with a special price of .99, because there are benefits to being a newsletter subscriber.
But then I decided to leave the price at .99 since Some Enchanted Season was about to return to full price.
So suddenly, even though I didn’t intend to officially ‘debut’ my new Christmas cover until November 1, I realized anybody who goes to Amazon already is seeing the nes cover and the special price.
People who don’t read my blog or follow me on social media are already getting the benefit of the special prica and cover and–what am I thinking???
I am supposed to let y’all be the special ones.
So here I am, telling you about my Christmas book in October.
And without further ado [which is about damned time since there has already been way too much ado] meet Christopher Quincy Maitland III, scion of an old New York society family, and definitely not looking to be involved in a scandal this Christmas.
Christmas in October?
Or, you know, go buy it.
It’s only .99!
I almost forgot to show you the original Scandalous cover!
The one I not-so-fondly refer to as ‘
the one with the Cadaver Ken doll on it.’
I know you’re wondering, and so let’s look at them one at a time, because The Dead Shall Live is being edited and time is getting tight and I don’t have time to do a longer post.
Today? I am putting the final touches on a short story set in the universe of the Fury Triad. This is a fun prequel where we get to see Cosmo and Greylund in their Oxford days, along with their friend Prince Al Tair, unintentionally wreaking havoc in Ordinary London. Let the chaos begin!
If you want to close your eyes and imagine three charming young rakes riding through Ordinary London leaving havoc in their wake, you can listen to what I’m listening to!
#BookQW is a twitter meme
Writers post quotes from their work–published or not–that use the word of the week.
Anyone is welcome to join in.
Each week, Mindy Klasky will choose a word for people to use on Twitter, in quotes from their books, using the hashtag #bookqw. If you’d like a weekly email reminder of the #bookqw, you can sign up at:
Some people just post a short quote as a tweet. Others make graphics. Whatever you want to do. Just use #bookqw as part of the tweet, and then anybody who follows the meme will see yours, too!
I post mine on Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest and Twitter. Once it’s made, why not? If you join in, tag me and let me know!
This week the word is VOICE.
Hey, even if you don’t read sports romances, maybe your friends do, so share, why don’t ya? Thanks!
I’ve got the best news: this week is the official kick-off of football season in the US–and with college football back, too, we’ve all got lots of chances to catch our favorite teams playing our favorite game.
So what makes this even better? We have EIGHT football romances for you to huddle with right here, each of which is a touchdown (and the extra point, too!).
Check out each one–and as a bonus, each author is giving you her own favorite sports romance recommendation.
Some Enchanted Season by Patricia Burroughs ON SALE for .99 at Amazon
Patricia recommends . . . Sosie Frost‘s Happily Ever All-Star, A Secret Daddy Romance. “She hooked me with the sizzlin’ guy on the cover, reeled me in with “Secret Daddy,” and totally delivered with laugh-out-loud funny and heart-tugging sweetness.”
A Tempting Dare by Cathryn Fox only $1.99 at Amazon
And sign up for her newsletter
If you’re interested in joining Cathryn’s Street Team, they’d LOVE to have you. They have a lot of fun over there, and lots of special prizes and contests for her lovely FOXY ladies!
Cathryn recommends . . .Dare to Love by Carly Phillips: “A hot, heartwarming story about family, love and trust. Oh, and did I mention it’s HOT and FREE right now??”
Game Changer by Ann Jacobs
Ann recommends . . . “Jaci Burton’s Play-by-Play series won’t disappoint you, no matter which pro sport you fancy! As a football fan and steamy romance lover, I have The Perfect Play high up on my keeper shelves—but there’s not a loser in the 12 hot novels and novellas. Check out Jaci’s website and get in the game!”
When We Were Us by Tawdra Kandle is FREE on iBooks/Barnes and Noble/Kobo/Google and Amazon/–if they get their act together! If you have problems, let me know in comments and I’ll make sure you get the book.
Sign up for her newsletter!
Tawdra recommends . . . “Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen. She’s my favorite hockey writer, and this book has it all: sizzling romance, hunky guy, sassy chick and all the right moves!”
Bold by Nicola Marsh
Nicola recommends . . . “Nobody’s Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, part of her Chicago Stars series. Cal Bonner is a seriously hot hero and this book got me hooked on SEP. It’s on my keeper shelf!”
Liz recommends . . . “Blindsided by Jami Davenport, the first book in Jami’s Seattle Steelheads subseries. So much hot fun with these hunky football players . . . and some old favorites from the hockey books, too!”
Sign up for her newsletter!
Holly recommends . . . “Diva in the Dugout by Arlene Hittle. Arlene is a riot to be around, and her stories are romantic comedy. Add baseball to the mix, and you’ll understand why I love this woman and her books.”
Liz recommends . . . “The Deal by Elle Kennedy, the first book in Elle’s sizzling and wickedly funny Off-Campus series: football players, snarky women and the bumpy road that leads to true love . . . eventually.”