Freebie Friday #5

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I usually only showcase 1 to 3 free novels on Friday, but today when I was searching I found so many that looked good that I decided to post them all. Below is a list of titles and their links.

Beauty Dominates the Beast – Hannah Hale

Once Bitten, Forever Burned – Eve Langlais, Stacey Kennedy

The Princess’ Dragon Lord – Mandy Rosko

She’s Gotta be Mine (Cottonmouth Series, Book 1) – Jennifer Skully

Once Bitten (Alexa O’Brien Huntress, Book 1) – Trina M. Lee

Sunrise at Sunset (Sunset Vampire Series, Book 1)Jaz Primo

Wereslave (Were Legends, Book 1) Lia Slater

Initiation (Xylon Warriors, Book 1)Ruth D. Kerce

Vampire Cursed (Vampires Destined, Book 1)Rachel Carrington

Wicked Desires (Wicked Affairs, Book 1)Eliza Lloyd

Immortal Coil (A Dragon Spirit Novel, Book 1)C.I. Black

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Ties That Bind is Now Available

Everyone please slide on over to T.A. Grey’s blog and congratulate her on the release of her third Bellum Sister’s novel, Ties That Bind. It’s available now at Amazon, and other retailers I’m sure.

Six Sentence Sunday #4

Six sentences from Let Me lie.

“What do you have against vampires?”
“It’s not personal,” Brannon answered without turning away from his computer.
“Then why do you kill them without a trial?”
“They’re a walking disease. If we let them live they’d infect the whole damn planet.” He shrugged as though damning all my kind to eternal suffering was nothing.

Alpha Male Monday: Jericho Barrons

Jericho Barrons is the epitome of alpha male. He is unapologetically strong, intelligent, and demanding. He is who he is. He can’t and won’t change that. As Barrons himself so eloquently put it, “Stop pining for the man you think I could be — and take a good, long, hard look at the one I am.”
Species: Unknown
Occupation: Owns B&B
Weaknesses: Mac (maybe)
Special Qualities: Immortal (seriously immortal), can fuck for days without tiring, fiercely intelligent, and he can do any kind of magic known to mankind.

Dangerous Curves

Draumr Publishing deserves a pat on the back for their Dangerous Curves line, featuring beautiful big women as their heroines. These stories do not focus on women losing weight to gain acceptance or to win the heroes attention, but rather on big women being loved for who they are. Dangerous Curves sells sub-genres of romance including, but not limited to: erotica, paranormal, contemporary, chick lit,  lesbian, adventure, science fiction, historical, fantasy, suspense and horror. It’s about time a publisher realized that not all women are built the same, and neither are all heroines. Big is beautiful, too.

What truly impresses me is that Draumr is accepting genres outside of the normal “humorous” take on curvaceous romance. I like that the book can have a Gothic or suspenseful atmosphere. It’s books like these that will help beat stereotyping, and build the average woman’s self-esteem.

Draumr Publishing is actively seeking stories for this imprint. For more information on the Dangerous Curves imprint, and other themed submissions, check out my page, Open Call For Submissions.

Can’t Resist Covers

I love Samhain’s cover art, but today I ran across two publishers that could give them  a run for their money, Carina Press, and Lyrical Press.

 

Written Right Wednesdays: Darkfever

Since we’ve been on the topic of hooks this week, I thought I’d share with you one of my favorites. The Fever series by Karen Marie Moning is superb, and in my opinion Darkfever has one of the best hooks of all time.  (Click on the quote for a full excerpt of Darkfever)

“My philosophy is pretty simple–any day nobody’s trying to kill me is a good day in my book.”

Beautiful! There is a reason this book is a bestseller, and it’s Moning’s ability to suck you into the story. Her writing is suspenseful and intriguing. When writing your hooks–scratch that, when writing your entire manuscript, you should incorporate this same atmosphere. Readers want to feel the tension. Make me want to read more. If your first sentence isn’t good enough grab my attention, chances are, neither is the rest of your story. I’m not saying this to be cruel, but you need to realize that first impressions last the longest. Think of Twilight. Why do you think so many people made it through the insanely slow pace of that book? The prologue! It catches your attention.

“I’d never given much thought to how I would die–though I’d had reason enough in the last few months–but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.”

Whether you love or hate Twilight doesn’t change the fact that that’s a good opening line, because it makes the reader curious. Who’s going to die? Why? How? What reasons did the narrator have to think he/she would die?

Your hook should create questions, so that people have a reason to move forward.

Alpha Male Monday: Adam Hauptman

Adam Hauptman is alpha of the Columbia Basin Pack. He has a strict moral code, and a hot-temper. Anyone who knows him knows where he stands on any issue, and how he will react to a threat. Adam is loyal, brave, and a complete control freak.

Species: Werewolf
Occupation: Owns a security company
Weaknesses: His daughter, Jesse, and a hot temper
Special Qualities:immortal, ex-military, raised in the south, and he’s fourth in line to become Marrok (the lead alpha position).

 

 

I am eternally indebted to Patricia Briggs for brings me the Mercy Thompson Series, and if you haven’t read it yet, shame on you! It’s wonderful. Adams great, but Mercy is better. She’s my favorite heroine of all time. She’s not whinny or overly feministic. She has that balance.

Cover Love

I’m fascinated with beautiful cover art, and like all beautiful things, it needs to be shared.

Everlong

The most damaged heart can fly with the right pair of wings.

Madelyn’s life is far from fairytale perfect. She is second in line for the throne of a corrupt, brutal monarchy. Or at least she was until her dark guardian sacrificed his life to hide her safely in a realm of infinite possibilities.

For years she’s lived among a colony of escaped slaves as her guardian’s widow. Even in this simple life, though, nothing is as it seems. Her hero kept a secret—a younger brother named Clayton Delaney. Warrior, winged demon…and the man who now wants to lay claim to her heart.

No longer cast in his brother’s shadow, Clayton meets all obstacles head on, including one named Maddie. His infatuation with her reaches the breaking point when she undergoes a royal rite of passage, going into heat and pushing them both over the edge.

Just as Maddie learns that some risks are worth taking, she discovers that her guardian may be alive. And she’s forced to make a choice between the man she’d thought she loved, and the demon willing to lend her his wings.


Product Warnings

This book contains virginal angst, a hero who’s too nice for his own good, wings, claws, and convenient use of glamour. It contains heartbreaking loss, conversation with a woodland creature, and sweet, sweet demon loving.

I had the pleasure of beta reading Hailey Edward’s Everlong, last year and I was very impressed with it. Hailey is an amazing writer and I can’t shout enough praises for this book–and I read the draft! I just placed my ordered for a paperback copy, and I plan to reread it this month. If you’re in the mood for a sweet romance that is both suspenseful and satisfying, then you should grab a copy, too.

Attention Romance Writers

Breaking into the romance market seems impossible at times. There are so many wonderful, published authors that it feels like there is no room for newbies, especially those of us who are unagented. Well, I have good news for you!

There a few online/small press publishers looking for manuscripts from writers like me and you. Anything from full length novels to fun-sized novellas, are accepted regardless of your credentials. No, this probably isn’t your shot at becoming the next New York Times Best Selling Author, but it is the foundation. Any previous publications look good in your query letter, and having something like this on your résumé just might make the difference to that agent you’ve been dying to snag.

So check out my Open Call for Submissions page, and see if there is anything there that interests you. I’ll update this page monthly for those of you who are interested. Also, I’m compiling a list of romance publishers and their criteria. I plan to have that page published July 10, 2011.

Drink Deep Excerpt

Chloe Neill Has posted the first two chapters of Drink Deep, and Ethan has made another ghost appearance. All I’ll say is, Neill better bring him back permanently, and soon, or I’m giving up the series for good. I like Jonah, but he’s nothing when compared to Ethan. Clink here to read excerpt.

Eye Catching Covers

Here are some covers that caught my attention during my last browsing section. If you know of any noteworthy cover art, leave a comment with the title of the book and the author.

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Written Right Wednesday: Dead to the World

True blood premiered Sunday, June 26, and I missed it. We don’t have HBO here because no one in this house is a big fan of television. It’s hard to sign a twelve month agreement for channels I’ll only watch once per week for three months. However, True blood is worth it, so today I threw my frugal common sense out the window. Tomorrow, I’ll be able to watch the first episode of True Blood and I’m ecstatic!

In honor of the True Blood season four premiere, I thought we’d discuss Charlaine Harris’ Dead To the World. In my opinion, it was the best book in the entire series (so far ;)). One of the things I admire about Harris’ writing is her ability to use the first-person point-of-view without using “I” in every sentence. It’s a skill very few writers have and as we can all see, it pays off. Just imagine what Mrs. Harris’ bank account looks like.

Moreover, I love the originality of Harris’ characters. They all have serious character flaws that are realistic and funny, at the same time. You have to admire an author that is willing to make her heroine hot-tempered and prudish, while having a hero who wears red bikini underwear and admittedly gets on the heroine’s nerves.

Below is an excerpt of an excerpt of Dead to the World:

Under the overhead light in the kitchen, Eric looked pretty pitiful. His bare
feet were bleeding, which I hadn’t noticed before. “Oh, Eric,” I said sadly, and
got a pan out from the cabinet, and started the hot water to running in the
sink. He’d heal real quick, like vampires do, but I couldn’t help but wash him
clean. The blue jeans were filthy around the hem. “Pull ’em off,” I said,
knowing they’d just get wet if I soaked his feet while he was dressed.

With not a hint of a leer or any other indication that he was enjoying this
development, Eric shimmied out of the jeans. I tossed them onto the back porch
to wash in the morning, trying not to gape at my guest, who was now clad in
underwear that was definitely over-the-top, a bright red bikini style whose
stretchy quality was definitely being tested. Okay, another big surprise. I’d
seen Eric’s underwear only once before—which was once more than I ought to
have—and he’d been a silk boxers guy. Did men change styles like that?

Without preening, and without comment, the vampire rewrapped his white body
in the afghan. Hmmm. I was now convinced he wasn’t himself, as no other evidence
could have convinced me. Eric was way over six feet of pure magnificence (if a
marble white magnificence), and he well knew it.

I pointed to one of the straight-back chairs at the kitchen table.
Obediently, he pulled it out and sat. I crouched to put the pan on the floor,
and I gently guided his big feet into the water. Eric groaned as the warmth
touched his skin. I guess that even a vampire could feel the contrast. I got a
clean rag from under the sink and some liquid soap, and I washed his feet. I
took my time, because I was trying to think what to do next.

“You were out in the night,” he observed, in a tentative sort of way.

“I was coming home from work, as you can see from my clothes.” I was wearing
our winter uniform, a long-sleeved white boat-neck T-shirt with “Merlotte’s Bar”
embroidered over the left breast and worn tucked into black slacks.

“Women shouldn’t be out alone this late at night,” he said disapprovingly.

“Tell me about it.”

“Well, women are more liable to be overwhelmed by an attack than men, so they
should be more protected—”

“No, I didn’t mean literally. I meant, I agree. You’re preaching to the
choir. I didn’t want to be working this late at night.”

“Then why were you out?”

“I need the money,” I said, wiping my hand and pulling the roll of bills out
of my pocket and dropping it on the table while I was thinking about it. “I got
this house to maintain, my car is old, and I have taxes and insurance to pay.
Like everyone else,” I added, in case he thought I was complaining unduly. I
hated to poor-mouth, but he’d asked.

“Is there no man in your family?”

Every now and then, their ages do show. “I have a brother. I can’t remember
if you’ve ever met Jason.” A cut on his left foot looked especially bad. I put
some more hot water into the basin to warm the remainder. Then I tried to get
all the dirt out. He winced as I gently rubbed the washcloth over the margins of
the wound. The smaller cuts and bruises seemed to be fading even as I watched.
The hot water heater came on behind me, the familiar sound somehow reassuring.

“Your brother permits you to do this working?”

I tried to imagine Jason’s face when I told him that I expected him to
support me for the rest of my life because I was a woman and shouldn’t work
outside the home. “Oh, for goodness sake, Eric.” I looked up at him, scowling.
“Jason’s got his own problems.” Like being chronically selfish and a true
tomcat.