Tag Archives: fiction

New Book Trailer for the Vampire Territory Series

Now you can see the book trailer for my Vampire Territory series.

Vampire Territory in Trade Paperback

Now my complete Vampire Territory series is available in trade paperback. Get this hot collection for your bookshelves today, or download the e-books.

https://allieritch.wordpress.com/bookstrailers/#VampireTerritorySeries 

        

        

        

 

 

Out Now! Drinking Partners

My hot, action-packed vampire romance Drinking Partners is now available in e-book and trade paperback.

https://allieritch.wordpress.com/bookstrailers/#DrinkingPartners

Being the master vampire for the Mid-Atlantic Territory is a tough job. Between the Human Rebellion trying to kill him with poisonous suicide donors and snobby born vampires bucking his authority, Lucas Thane has his hands full. What he needs is a regular drinking partner to feed from and a bigger power block. He finds both in the form of Alexandra Gage, the master of the territory south of his.

Alex could use a little help herself, but she has no intention of letting Lucas take over. Turned into a vampire against her will, she has had enough control taken from her. She’ll never let Lucas usurp her right to rule, but will she let him steal her heart? Passion ignites between them, and it’s amazing what vampire bodies can do.

How to Find Great Books in a Glutted Market

For the purpose of this post, what I mean by a great book is two things: (1) A book that is reasonably free from misspellings, poor sentence structure, bad prose, and outright mistakes. (2) A book that speaks to the individual reader. This is entirely subjective, but we all have personal preferences as to genre, theme, and author voice. You can love one story and hate another even if both are well written, and only you can determine what kinds of books you really enjoy.

But how do you find the books that are good quality and that you personally would love to read? With the massive number of e-books out there, how do you sift through them all to find the right one? Most of us probably download a book within the first ten pages of results on the bookseller’s site, even though the most incredible book could be on page thirty. We simply aren’t going to scroll that far. So we have to find other ways to narrow the search.

Once upon a time, you could count on certain publishers for the books you wanted. As more publishers close up shop, however, and even big-time authors switch to indie publishing in order to offer readers less expensive books, this has become a far less effective method of focusing your search. But here are some other ways you can try to find the right book to read.

(1) This is a bit of a no-brainer, but one easy method is to keep reading books by authors you already know and like. In order to stay informed about the author’s catalog and new releases, you can do several things. If you don’t mind mail in your e-mail Inbox, you can sign up for the author’s newsletter if they have one. You can also follow the author on social media. For example, I’m always sure to announce my new releases as well as discounts and other promotions on Twitter (@AllieRitch) and Google+, and a lot of writers have Facebook accounts. You can also follow your favorite authors on Goodreads, Bookbub, Manic Readers, or The Romance Reviews.

(2) Eventually, you’ll want to try a new author. This is where all that scrolling comes into play, if you’re trying to find something just by browsing. Remember, though, that where you browse and where you buy don’t have to be the same place. If huge booksellers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble have you going cross-eyed, maybe you should browse on a different site. Be it Kobo, Inktera, or wherever, go to the site that offers you the browsing method you like best. Then you can either purchase the book there if you already have or decide to create an account (especially if there’s a sale going on), or you can head to your bookseller of choice to search for that title specifically.

(3) Sample an author’s work. Start with the blurb. Is it well written? Does it have you interested in the book? The blurb is your first introduction to a writer’s ability, style, and the book they’re trying to sell. If the blurb has you intrigued, then you can take the next step and read the excerpt. Many booksellers offer excerpts on their sites, or almost every author I know has an excerpt on his/her website. You can see here that I have a whole page on my site dedicated to excerpts from my books. Sites like Amazon also allow you to preview the first chapter on the book page. This is a great way to take the book for a test drive before committing to it. Most of the books I’ve purchased have been ones that hooked me with the blurb and/or excerpt, which I’ve come across at a TRR Party, blog, or on social media.

(4) These days, there are lots of free or low-cost e-books. That’s great for the pocketbook, but I think we all know how much chaff there is among the wheat. This is where you need to be a bit of a detective. If the authors are new to you, make sure you check out their resumes, so to speak. Are all their books free or $0.99? Have they written more than one or two titles? Are any of those titles longer than a short story or tiny novella? (I’m not targeting short-story writers here, but rather the huge proliferation of short works presented as if they were novels. You see a glut of these after every NaNoWriMo).

Professional writers who work hard to hone their craft and present readers with the best version of their books need to earn enough to cover the charges for editing, formatting, cover art, and advertising. Those writers might offer a couple of free or low-cost options to get readers to try their work. In my case, I offer Sexy Shorts for $0.99, so readers can try five complete short stories that include standalones and stories set in my Alien Sex Ed series and Children of Nanook series. This is basically a form of advertising for us authors—a gamble to try to get new readers hooked on our work. But serious writers aren’t going to undervalue their books to the point of giving all their titles away for nothing. If you see an author who has published very little and/or underprices their full catalog, your chances of getting a great book from them are incredibly slim.

If you’re considering a new-to-you author and the book is an indie title, I would also recommend checking if that author ever published through a non-vanity press before going the indie route. I’m indie publishing most of my titles now, but only after going through established online presses for over a decade. I can’t tell you how much I have learned about the writing craft and the industry from publishers like Loose Id, Liquid Silver Books, Cobblestone Press, and others. And that’s not even to mention the networking those publishers have afforded me with editors, cover artists, and of course, other authors. I believe writers who skip this step altogether and go straight to self-publishing are missing an incredibly important education. That’s not to say they can’t still write great books, but it’s my opinion that they’ve handicapped themselves. I can’t tell you how often I have an Editor-of-Novels-Past whisper in my head when I write now. If you’re browsing and trying to make a choice on whose work to try next, go with the writer who has more experience and has paid his or her dues.

How do you find a great book to read? Have any good tips for book browsing? Please share.

 

(Photos are free for commercial use, no attribution required, from Pixabay.com)

Lisa M. Owens and her book Damaged

My guest today is author Lisa M. Owens, who is here to share her book Damaged. Welcome, Lisa!

***

This story started out as a simple writing assignment. When I published my first book to LSB, I was required to attend a writing class. We had a simple assignment: write a short story about two people who meet on a flight to Texas. My imagination started working overtime and I turned in what I thought was a simple writing assignment. But before I knew it, Trisha and Austin were practically screaming at me to finish their story.

So I did.

***

Damaged Ebook Cover

Freedom isn’t free.

Staff Sergeant Austin Chandler learned this lesson well. Dealing with the devastating truth that his military career is over, he is discharged from the Marines and returns home from fighting the war in Afghanistan with battle scars he fears will never heal. But the truth is a bitter pill to swallow when he arrives at the airport and realizes his wife has abandoned him when he needed her the most. Broken in body as well as in spirit, Austin suffers not only from the slow-healing scars on his back, but also the wounds that her desertion has left on his troubled heart.

Until a chance encounter with a beautiful artist leaves him wondering if perhaps some things are meant to be. Trisha Morgan has secrets she desperately wants to hide. With a troubled past and abandonment issues of her own, she fears love only leads to rejection and pain.

But can two wounded souls break through the battered barriers of each other’s hearts?

***

Damaged Excerpt

Trisha had thought that she would never see him again. Even though he wasn’t hers, he had never been hers; she had always thought of him as her marine.

That airplane flight to Texas had changed her life for the better. It had opened her eyes, in more ways than one. Because of him, she had realized that she had never truly loved Ty and she never would have been good enough for him. Or for his family.

Trisha Morgan had often fantasized about what would happen if she ran across the tall, broad-shouldered, good-looking Marine again. They had had an instant connection, they had both felt it. But since both of them had been attached, nothing more than a new friendship could evolve between the two of them.

Austin Chandler walking in on her while she was as naked as the day she was born was not one of the many scenarios that she had envisioned.

Wet skin. Long legs that seemed to go on forever. Waxed bikini line. Delicately-painted red toenails. Pink-tinged, erect nipples. Large, full breasts still wet from a recent shower. Small droplets of water that he could lick off drop by delicious drop.

She shrieked with surprise, her hands drawing her towel even tighter around her shaking body.

A sudden thought occurred to her.

He wasn’t wearing a ring.

She screamed the sound sharp enough to shatter glass. Wrapping a fluffy, blue towel around her slender body, she paused, apparently not knowing what to say.

When Austin was finally able to raise his eyes from admiring her ass…ets, his dark brown gaze slowly travelled up her perfectly proportioned body before focusing on her flushed, embarrassed face. It was her. The girl from the plane over three years ago.

Their eyes met and time seemed to stand still. This was fate, destiny, kismet.

Trisha stood there trembling. She had imagined this moment for so long, yet when it finally came, it was nothing like she had expected. She had never been one of those girls who hopped into the nearest bed with a complete and total stranger.

But Austin wasn’t a stranger, she struggled to remind herself. She had met him before. He was her hero, her knight in camouflage. He was her marine. She smiled. She wondered how he would feel if she were to confess that little secret to him. Would he be upset or would he be flattered?

A small hint of a smile played on her lips and he dropped his duffel bag onto the ugly, stained orange carpet of the hotel room floor. He had dreamed of this moment, he had longed for it. He had longed for her. On the bed, against the wall, on the tile of the bathroom shower stall, any way he could have her.

***

Links to find Lisa

http://www.lmowens.co/

https://twitter.com/_lisamowens

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLisaMOwens/

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6884569.Lisa_M_Owens

 

Buy link:

https://www.amazon.com/DAMAGED-More-Than-Marine-Book-ebook/dp/B01K3QOO7A/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Re-Releases Are Exciting

New and shiny always draws attention, so we all know why a brand new book release is exciting. But what about re-releases? They are just as worth celebrating, and let me tell you why.

When you get a new hairstyle or a new outfit, how do you feel?  Pumped up? Happy? It’s still you under there, and you haven’t really changed, but it’s fun to freshen things up once in a while. And some people may not have met you before, so it’s a nice way to make a great first impression.

A re-released book works the same way. Does the book tell the same overall story? Yes. But it has been newly polished and updated, and it has slipped on a sexy new cover it wants to show off. The book is ready to attract attention and meet new friends, or maybe even get reacquainted with an old buddy or two. Re-releases not only went through rigorous editing the first time around; they’ve usually gone through revisions and re-edits yet again before their new debut. That means you’re probably getting an even higher quality book.

So let’s hear it for books undergoing a makeover. Re-releases are definitely exciting.

World Building vs. Relationship Building

One thing contemporary romance writers don’t have to worry about is world building. After all, the setting of contemporaries, by definition, is the world as it is today. The characters are regular human beings with no special powers, and the settings are identifiable. All I have to do is mention New York or Paris or London, and you automatically have a picture in your head, even if you’ve never personally visited those places before.

Those of us who write speculative fiction like SFR or PNR have a much more difficult time. I can’t just refer to planet Quixotok and expect you to form a mental image of it. Is it a desert planet? Jungle? Industrial? Are the skies blue or purple or red? Is there even any breathable air there? I have to describe this planet if I want the reader to visualize it. I also have to go into a certain amount of detail about the people/aliens, culture, and customs on this planet, the same as I would need to describe the special abilities and social arrangement of any group of paranormal creatures I might create in another book.

While I’m building this whole world for these aliens or supernaturals, I also have to make sure I spend enough time on the romance. The relationship between the main characters has to build too. It’s not always easy to balance those two elements, and there’s rarely a perfect 50/50 split. If there’s more world-building than romance, the book tends to get classified, for example, as romantic science fiction or science fiction with strong romantic elements.  If the romance is definitely the main focus, then the work gets classified as a Romance, but with the subgenre Sci-Fi or Fantasy or Paranormal.

What kind of balance do you like to see in your mixed-genre romances?