Monday, March 24, 2014

My Third Book Is Out!

Just popping in once again to let you know that my third novel, Hold Still, a stand-alone set in my native Philadelphia which I hope to develop into a series is now available in ebook format. The print version will follow in the next week or so. It actually went live last week but I haven't officially announced it till now. So if you're interested, below you'll find the cover, description and buy links. It is as gritty as it gets, so if you could stomach my first two books, you'll probably like this one too! Not to worry, my next book will be a little off my beaten path.  Anyway, here goes!


After saving her three-year-old daughter from a car-jacking, off-duty police detective Jocelyn Rush ends up in the ER.  The last person she expects to run into is Anita Grant, former prostitute and an old acquaintance from Jocelyn’s days on patrol.  In spite of her obvious injuries—mutilated hands and feet—Anita refuses to talk about what happened. Reluctantly, Jocelyn backs off, and Anita's case goes to Philadelphia’s Special Victims Unit.

Before long, Jocelyn is pulled into the SVU’s investigation.  Anita is finally ready to talk, but only to Jocelyn. Her story is harrowing, even to a seasoned veteran like Jocelyn. Working with SVU, Jocelyn’s investigation unearths a series of similar crimes going back four years.  Three men are preying on local prostitutes, viciously assaulting and mutilating them. 

The police apprehend two of the suspects, but the third eludes capture. As the hunt for the most sadistic of the three intensifies, and his crimes escalate, Jocelyn and her colleagues have precious few leads.  Then a monster from Jocelyn’s past resurfaces.  She doesn’t want to be reminded of the terrible secret that destroyed her family nearly twenty years earlier, but the man offers her a lead that could crack Anita’s case.

To solve it, Jocelyn must connect her past with her present—before a sadistic attacker sets his sights on her.

You can get it here:

AMAZON
BARNES & NOBLE
SMASHWORDS
KOBO

What are you guys up to?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Shameless Promotion of My Fellow Authors: Carrie Butler's New Release: Honesty (and why it is super-freaking awesome)

Psst!  Over here!

I'm just popping in to let you know that one of my favorite authors (and favorite people in the world), Carrie Butler, has released a new novella in her Mark of Nexus series.

It's called Honesty.



It is only 99 cents right now.

It is incredibly awesome!!!!

It's no secret that I love Carrie's books. As I always say, that says a lot about her abilities because I generally can't get through anything that is either paranormal or romance--let alone both. But she is converting me one book at a time. I just love her work.

This book did not disappoint. If anything, it only made me fall more in love with this series. So here is the skinny:

Note: This title is best enjoyed after Strength (Mark of Nexus #1) and Courage (Mark of Nexus #2). 

Cole Blake is more than just a roguish ladies’ man. He’s also a dedicated worker—so dedicated, in fact, that he’s willing to blackmail his boss with a falsified sex tape in order to keep his job. And his proactive efforts don’t end there. After hours, he uses his Dynari abilities to moonlight as a vigilante, keeping his neighborhood safe from drunks, dealers, and would-be thieves. 

Until a mistake stops him dead in his super-accelerated tracks. 

Now burdened with the closest thing he’s ever had to a conscience, Cole struggles to justify his once-reckless actions. It’d be all too easy to give in to his darker impulses, especially with ERA making dangerous advances toward their goal of revolution, but embracing that hatred could jeopardize the few relationships he actually cares about—including his pursuit of the saintly Rachel Ranford. No, in order to keep everyone safe, he’ll have to come clean about his warring compulsions and ask for help... before his dark side takes over.

And here is my review:

I have long been a fan of these Mark of Nexus books. That's saying a lot considering I have zero interest in paranormal or romance. But these books are so darn good. They've got everything and I've been hooked from page one of book one. I really didn't think I could love any character(s) more than Wallace and Rena but holy awesomeness, Batgirl! Cole, the narrator of this one (Wallace's mischievous twin brother) is witty, irreverent, hilarious and entertaining as hell--and he shows a sensitive side in this one that will tug on every heartstring you have! I could not get enough of this book. I was so bummed out when it was over. I laughed out loud reading this book more times than I've ever laughed out loud while reading a book! This book has not only raucous humor but also tons of action, thrills and unexpected twists as well as a romance that is so sweet and so riveting that it rivals that of Wallace and Rena. Butler has outdone herself with this one. I mean these books just get better and better and better. DO NOT MISS THIS ONE!!!! I just cannot wait for her next one. This is writing at its absolute best. Do yourself a favor and read this book!

GET IT HERE!!!!


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Why You Should Read the Otherborn Series by Anna Silver

I connected with author, Anna Silver through SSP (my publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing). She recently released the second book in her Otherborn series, Astral Tide. She had approached me about reading and reviewing them. Normally, I don't read very far out of my genre, but I had heard from another writer that her work was quite good, so I thought I'd give it a shot.



I am so happy I did!!!!

I read both of these books in 3 days. I couldn't stop reading. So before I gush about how freaking awesome these books are, let me give you the skinny.





This is a kind of post-apocalyptic, dystopian story about a group of teenagers who live in a "reprocessed world". They live inside a walled city that is tightly controlled by the faceless upper echelon of society known as the Tycoons, where everything is rationed, everyone is issued cigarettes, and nothing is new. Even dreaming is extinct. But London, Rye, Kim, Degan, Avery and Zen have all been brought together by their ability to dream. It started with London and somehow infected the rest of them. In their dreams, they are different beings, beings they call their Otherborn. Because dreaming is considered an illness in this new post-Energy-Crisis world, they keep their secret to themselves. Until someone starts picking them off. When Avery goes missing, London, Rye, Kim and Zen venture outside the walls of the city to save her.

Things don't exactly turn out as they expected.

In the second book, we return to these characters seven months after all hell broke loose and things went horribly wrong. They are traveling outside the walls of the city, roving among camps of Outroaders--people who live outside of the city. As their dreaming abilities spread and begin to "infect" those around them, the Tycoons become hell-bent on capturing them and containing the sleeping sickness that is sweeping the land outside of the City. In order to survive and bring dreaming and new back to their world--to give the soul back to their soulless society--the characters have to delve deep into the Astral--a plane of existence or consciousness where their Otherborn dwell--and learn to hone their abilities.

There's lots of intrigue, suspense, twists, turns, and even romance. These books are like Hunger Games meets The Matrix. Beautifully, intelligently written with a fascinating and original premise. The characters are very easy to grow attached to and I really got sucked into this world and these stories. I especially like the way Silver slowly unravels the story so that you learn something new about the characters, The Astral, The Tycoons and other aspects of the world and story with each and every chapter.

I literally cannot wait for the third book. I'm so excited to have discovered a new series that I love.

ASTRAL TIDE has just been released, so I am going to give you a bunch of links for that one, but OTHERBORN is only 99 cents right now so you should get right on that!

Here we go:
Astral Tide book trailer on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbehpsKV4zA
Astral Tide excerpt on my website: http://www.annasilverauthor.com/astraltide.html#excerpt
Astral Tide  paperback listing on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/149599919X
Astral Tide ebook listing on Barnes & Noble:
Astral Tide ebook listing on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/411645
Astral Tide ebook listing on Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/astral-tide
Astral Tide ebook listing on iTunes:

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Guest Post: Top 5 Favorite Writing Tips by Elizabeth Seckman

I've asked the lovely and incomparable Elizabeth Seckman to join me today as part of her Fate Intended blog tour. I asked Elizabeth to tell me her Top 5 Writing Tips, so here she is! (It's really great stuff!)

Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there. Anton Chechov…the rule we know as Checkov’s Gun. All parts of the book, even the setting needs to have a use.

Imagine it, and then write it. Dixie Browning. We are a TV/movie culture. I often imagine my books opening as a movie…how would it start? Hint? No movie starts with a weather report…well, unless there’s a tornado coming that might be sucking a modern day Dorothy off to a revamped Oz.

Just tell me the damn story. My mother. I know we writers love our words and would wallow in the beauty of prose like a hot pig enjoys a mud hole, but readers are busy. They want to be told a story. They want to be entertained. Few want to be impressed with how well we write. 

Show, don’t tell. Every agent and editor you’ll ever meet. Don’t say the heroine is sweet…let her save a puppy. Don’t say the man is abusive…let him kick the dog. Readers are so freaking smart. Don’t insult them by telling them the obvious. Write it in and trust them…they will figure it out!

Finally…the best piece of advice ever? Buy Stephen King’s book, “On Writing”. Read it twice, once for fun, then again taking notes. That man figured out a way to make a how-to book thrilling. 

Man, I’d love to kidnap his muse!

(Lisa, you should help me, you know all about that sort of maniacal stuff!)




Fate Intended is the third book in the Coulter Men Series.  Trip is the last of the Coulter sons to find
love. He’s a handsome man with all the skills a young spy needs to succeed. But when it comes to love, he misses the target. Jane is a sweet beauty who may or may not be wanted for murder. She’s hiding out as a cleaning lady when chance brings her and Trip together. It looks like a happily ever after is in the cross hairs until reality tries to destroy what fate has intended.


Elizabeth Seckman is a simple chick with a simple dream…to write stories people want to read.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Post-Release Post #6: Signings and Events

I've been to a half dozen signing events in the last year.  The most successful one was the FCF launch where I unloaded 155 paperbacks.  The least successful one was at a farmers' market on the hottest day of the year when I sold 2 books.  Everything else was in between.  What I've found is that bookstores don't really want authors.  Our local, neighborhood indie bookstore, in spite of being touted in our local, neighborhood paper for their "outreach" with local authors, actually told me, "Authors aren't a big draw".  (I guess people only go to bookstores for the coffee these days.)  Unless you've been on television or you have some crazy gimmick or you can bring someone famous with you, bookstores are not author-friendly.  Some have restrictions on signings based on your book's return status.  Others want a larger percent of the sales than either you or the publisher get which doesn't make it worth doing for anyone except the bookstore.  Because of all of this, I've actually avoided bookstores which is kind of sad. However, I've found plenty of other opportunities to have signing "events".



Events are a mixed bag, but what I can absolutely tell you for sure is unless you are throwing a launch party and you've already got a known quantity of RSVPs, you don't need that many books.  At this point I wouldn't bring more than 20 books to any signing event.  Bring lots of bookmarks and swag though because 9 out of 10 people who stop to check out your book ask, "Is this available for Kindle/Nook?"  As my husband said at my last event, if they don't buy it here today, you want them to buy it somewhere, so send them on their way with a bookmark and assurances that the book is also available as an ebook. (I unload a LOT of swag at events.)



What I can also say, and this is something I've heard from a lot of authors, is don't say no.  Unless it is massively inconvenient for you and costly, don't say no to any opportunity offered.  Especially if you're just starting.  You never know what kinds of other opportunities will arise from going to things that seem to have no value at all.  Even if you don't sell any books, connecting with potential readers, reviewers and other authors is always worth it.  I have not said no to anything this past year except for one or two things where I was ill or I had a family obligation that could not be set aside, and I've always, always, always come away with another opportunity.


How about you guys?  Have you had any signing experiences?  What were they like?  Tips?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

My Next Book

I finally have a release date for my new book!  On March 25, 2014, I will release my third novel, Hold Still. The synopsis is below, but the real reason I wanted to talk about it is so you can see the freaking awesome cover which was designed by Carrie at Forward Authority Design Services.  I love this cover so much, I can't stop looking at it.  So here it is!  Voila!


Here's the synopsis (but don't go away because I want to tell you about how 2 of my favorite books are available in audiobook format now!)

After saving her three-year-old daughter from a car-jacking, off-duty police detective Jocelyn Rush ends up in the ER.  The last person she expects to run into is Anita Grant, former prostitute and an old acquaintance from Jocelyn’s days on patrol.  In spite of her obvious injuries—mutilated hands and feet—Anita refuses to talk about what happened. Reluctantly, Jocelyn backs off, and Anita's case goes to Philadelphia’s Special Victims Unit.

Before long, Jocelyn is pulled into the SVU’s investigation.  Anita is finally ready to talk, but only to Jocelyn. Her story is harrowing, even to a seasoned veteran like Jocelyn. Working with SVU, Jocelyn’s investigation unearths a series of similar crimes going back four years.  Three men are preying on local prostitutes, viciously assaulting and mutilating them.

The police apprehend two of the suspects, but the third eludes capture. As the hunt for the most sadistic of the three intensifies, and his crimes escalate, Jocelyn and her colleagues have precious few leads.  Then a monster from Jocelyn’s past resurfaces.  She doesn’t want to be reminded of the terrible secret that destroyed her family nearly twenty years earlier, but the man offers her a lead that could crack Anita’s case. 

To solve it, Jocelyn must connect her past with her present—before a sadistic attacker sets his sights on her.


Finally, check this out!  One of my favorite thrillers, The Mistaken by Nancy S. Thompson (and psst, that one is on sale for $2.99 right now!) and my only favorite paranormal, new adult romance, Strength by Carrie Butler are both available as audiobooks now!  Woot, woot!





What's up with you guys?


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Best Book(s) I Read in 2013

It's always hard to do a post on books I've enjoyed cause as you may know, I won't finish a book I'm not completely and totally into so basically, if I read it, I thought it was pretty awesome.  I don't suffer through books anymore--not even mediocre ones.  There's simply not enough time.  I read a lot of amazing books in 2013.  I discovered Dennis Lehane whose books spoke to my soul.  I read all of his Kenzie/Genarro series and cried when it was finished.  His books are like drugs.  All this time he's been out there, and I had no idea how mind-blowing his work was!  I also discovered Chelsea Cain whose books I marathoned over a 5 day period during which I did not sleep.  Naturally, me being me, I read Elizabeth Smart's book when it came out.  It was extremely well-written and gripping--and of course terribly sad and disturbing.  But it had a happy ending, and I think she is one of the most heroic people I've ever read about.







Two of my other favorite authors (and friends) released the second books in their series last year and I thoroughly enjoyed those and cannot wait for more!  Carrie Butler's Courage and Dana Mason's Precious Embrace.



Also my friend, Michael Infinito released his second novel, 12:19, which is a thrill a minute and extremely fascinating.



I did not read Karin Slaughter's new book.  Not because I didn't want to--you all know by now she is my favorite.  I mean I nearly passed out when I met her--but out of protest of the price of the ebook.  I don't mind spending $10 to $12 on a memoir like Elizabeth Smart's or the book I'm going to talk about.  Given what these women went through, the least I can do is fork over $10-12 in support of them telling their stories.  But for a regular old fiction ebook, I think it is absolutely appalling that a publisher would charge more than $7.99 for an ebook.  I mean really.  It's not like they have to produce it all over again every time someone orders it.   Luckily, some of the Big 5 have caught on and heavily discounted some of their older titles which allowed me to discover Lehane and Cain.  I got an Amazon gift card for Christmas so I will likely order Slaughter's new book in hardback which I can actually get cheaper than the ebook, unless the ebook comes down in price.  And for the record, it is KILLING me not to be able to read it. It's not that I don't want to support my favorite author.  I know she's not the one who sets the price, but I don't want to encourage all this $12.99-for-an-ebook nonsense.  (Also, I've seen ebooks priced as high as $14.99.  Yeah.  Total B.S.) So yeah, as a reader, I'm going to stop bending over for the Big 5.  That's just how it is.  They can take their overpriced ebooks and shove them . . . okay well, you get the point.  (By the way, I think more and more readers are going to turn to indie books for this same reason which I think is awesome.  Hopefully the Big 5 will figure out a way to compete without alienating all their readers.)

But the book I read last year that was so good, so poignant, so riveting, so disturbing, and so well-written that it was life-changing was a memoir by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett called A House in the Sky.  I didn't expect this book to be all that it was.  If you don't know, Amanda Lindhout was a Canadian in her 20s who routinely traveled the world. She was somewhat of a professional traveler.  After awhile she began dabbling in journalism.  In 2008, she and her ex-boyfriend traveled to Somalia for a story and were abducted and held for ransom for 18 months.  This is hands down one of the best books I have ever read.  Period. I don't read a lot of memoirs.  I don't read much outside of my genre anymore, actually, but I saw Amanda Lindhout on Dateline and the interview was so good, I simply had to read her book.  I was not disappointed.  It's not for everyone. As I said, there are parts that are deeply disturbing.  But if you think you can handle it, you should definitely check it out.


What did you read last year that blew your mind?