Showing posts with label giveaway. Show all posts
Showing posts with label giveaway. Show all posts

Nov 1, 2014

November Featured Author of the Month is Kayelle Allen

 photo KAllenMFRWAuthor_zps46f934a0.jpgFavorite Quote
"Why not?" the Marquis de Lafayette



Kayelle Allen is a multi-published, award winning Science Fiction Romance author. She was first published in 2004. In 2006, she founded Marketing for Romance Writers, a peer-mentoring group open to the entire literary community. The site is now the largest online author group of its kind, and provides no-cost training in book marketing skills as well as promotional services. In 2009, Kayelle opened her Romance Lives Forever blog for authors, publishers, and blog tour companies. The blog now has an online reach of over one million. In 2011, she launched The Author's Secret which offers editing, eBook conversions for manuscripts, custom and premade book covers, and graphics for authors. Kayelle teaches workshops online, and is an invited speaker on numerous online conferences. She has been a featured speaker at Outlantacon since its founding, is a former board member of Gaylaxicon, and a panelist at DragonCon. Kayelle's books have won multiple awards, including the EPIC eBook Award for Science Fiction Erotic Romance, and became an EPIC finalist in Fantasy. Her motto is "romance lives forever" and she is known for books with unstoppable heroes, uncompromising love, and unforgettable passion.

Social Media Links

Unstoppable Heroes Blog http://kayelleallen.com/blog
The Author's Secret https://theauthorssecret.com
Marketing for Romance Writers http://marketingforromancewriters.org

Life as a Writer
 photo romcmas200_zpsaa2ba60f.jpgI love telling the stories inside me and think I would burst if I had to keep them all inside. There are so many to tell! When a reader responds with laughter, tears, enjoyment -- it gives me such a great jolt of energy that I immediately want to run out and write more. I love creating an honest portrayal of characters, escape, adventure, fun, excitement, passion and something new. In fact, I wrote a mission statement for myself as a writer that embodies this. My mission is to give readers a great roller coaster ride of a story that brings excitement, fun, and takes them in directions they didn't expect.



A Romance for Christmas
By Kayelle Allen
A cop at the door on Christmas Eve brings an unexpected gift.
A sweet holiday romance showcasing love, loss, and the spirit of giving.
It's Christmas Eve, and the end of a year in which everything Dara loves has been lost. Everything but her little girl and a fierce determination to survive. When a cop brings Christmas to her door, he brings another gift she never expected to get.


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Buy Links

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/1wpYfL2
CreateSpace http://is.gd/gazeza

Giveaway

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This giveaway is for everyone. Click below to download an illustrated pdf containing an excerpt, the history of the story, the meaning behind the names, and more. A Romance for Christmas is a sweet holiday romance that makes you feel great about giving. http://is.gd/rom4cmaspeek Visit my website to download a free 22p Christmas cookbook you can share with friends. You don't have to sign up for anything, click anything, or register for something. It's really free. Early Merry Christmas! http://kayelleallen.com/exc-romchristmas.html

Sep 30, 2014

SpotLight on Featured #MFRWauthor of the Month Suz deMello @SuzdeMello



Things Go Bump in the Night in Suz deMello’s Vampire Stories

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It’s almost October, which means we’re closing in on Halloween. Suz will be featuring her paranormal stories in October but don’t worry—there will be lots of steam!


Here’s an excerpt from Blood is Thicker, a vampire tale set in northern California. A paranormal action-adventure, it features two vampires, one selkie and a kidnapped baby.


I cannot begin to describe the communion that’s created when two immortals connect. Kissing is like an orgasm not only of the body, but of the mind and soul as well. Yes, we have souls, unnatural though they may be.


I tugged him closer, frantic to feel his chest against mine, desperate for his cock to enter me. It had been so long… Besides, up close and personal, John’s sheer masculinity overwhelmed me. I’d forgotten how seductive lust could be. I could become addicted to his kiss, the hard planes of his body beneath my questing fingertips, his raw animal blood-scent.


If you like what you read, find the complete short story here:



About the author:

Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written seventeen romance novels in several subgenres, including erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and non-fiction articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s held the positions of managing editor and senior editor, working for such firms as Totally Bound, Liquid Silver Books and Ai Press. She also takes private clients.


Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.


A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.



find Suzie’s books here:



http://www.tinyurl.com/SuzDeMello (publisher’s site)







 Also-----


WIN a copy by commenting on this post.

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Kinky Toes is an erotic romance with Ellora's Cave by Suz deMello. 

Blurb:
Shelbie Nathanson resents Rick Saldano's ascension to C.O.O. of her family's shoe company, a job she's wanted all her life. But she can't resist his red-hot, sexy style of lovemaking... one that focuses on her passion: shoes.

Excerpt:
The moment they were alone in the elevator, she sprang at him and pressed her lips against his. His arms wrapped around her and held her tight as his tongue invaded her mouth. She sucked at him hard, shoving her hands into his hair. He tasted and felt divine.

Her body was aflame, all light and heat, and he picked her up as though she were made of unsubstantial fire, weighing nothing. She wrapped her legs around his waist, clinging to his shoulders. His big hands supported her under her ass, and he rubbed and kneaded the cheeks as he walked, continuing to kiss her hard and deep, the thrusts of his tongue presaging what she hoped his cock would be doing very soon.

He forced her against the wall, keeping her pinned with his solid, muscular body while he found his keys in his pocket and opened a nearby door. Dragging her through, he kicked the door shut.
She was trapped with him in the darkness. It was crazy, but she didn't care. At that moment, she didn't give two farts about the company or anything else except getting this man inside her.

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Favorite Quote

Why did Rick the number-cruncher have to be so pussy-clenching, nipple-hardening, clit-wetting, squirm-inducingly sexy?


Links to Suz

--Find her books at http://www.suzdemello.com
--For editing services, email her at suzdemello@gmail.com
--Befriend her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sueswift, and visit her group page at  https://www.facebook.com/redhotauthorscafe
--She tweets @Suzdemello
--Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/suzdemello/
--Goodreads: http://bit.ly/SuzATGoodreads
--Her current blog is http://www.TheVelvetLair.com

Give Away

FREE COPY of her new release! COMMENT for a chance to win.

Sep 1, 2014

Meet September's Featured Author of the Month Suz deMello

Life as an author

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"After an author’s first sale, she generally leaps to the conclusion that a thriving professional career is assured. Not so. I don’t know quite why, but my first editor (at Kensington/Zebra) treated me as though I was a smallpox carrier despite the book’s success—it sold out its print run, garnered great reviews and earned an award for the best historical romance of its year.
I found an agent and although she wasn’t very good at what she did, I managed to sell a book to Silhouette Romance, a line that folded a few years later (that was one reason she wasn’t good at what she did). Three more books to SilRom followed before the line shut down.
This was a very difficult part of my life. My father had died after a two-year bout of cancer. My marriage and my career were falling apart. My eldest brother was diagnosed with stage four cancer and one of my dearest friends committed suicide.
My writing tanked.
I’d sold four books and had written about eight additional manuscripts that my critique partners and my then-agent (different from the first) told me were wonderful. But they didn’t sell, and I didn’t know why. Still don’t.
The stress from the life-changes and the rejections gave me a writers’ block so heavy that most days I can’t write anything. Since then, I’ve published unsold manuscripts and struggled to eke out more words but believe me, it’s not easy.
And then what happened?
I hit the road. They say that “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” After my brother died—a whole saga in itself—I got going. I went all the way through Europe to Thailand, where I finally gained a measure of peace and a great deal of self-knowledge.
I learned that I don’t need very much. Big houses don’t do it for me. I lived in a room about 15x15 feet and was perfectly happy. I didn’t need a car, which made life even easier. I discovered that I don’t need a husband or a conventional life.
And I started writing again.
My friends had been telling me, “Write erotica for the online market. It’s booming!”
So I did. I took all my old manuscripts that hadn’t sold and revised them for the erotic romance market. They sold.
I’m back in California, and since I started my first simple boy-meets-girl manuscript in 1996, I’ve written seventeen complete novels—about one every year—plus a number of short stories and articles on writing. Though it’s still a challenge, my writer’s block isn’t as crushing as it once was.
But, being American, I’m an optimist.
And, being British, I maintain a stiff upper lip and carry on. "

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Author Bio

"Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written seventeen romance novels in several subgenres, including erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and non-fiction articles on writing.
A freelance editor, she’s held the positions of managing editor and senior editor, working for such firms Total-E-Bound, Liquid Silver Books and Ai Press. She also takes private clients.
Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.
A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip."


Links

"--Find her books at http://www.suzdemello.com
--For editing services, email her at suzdemello@gmail.com
--Befriend her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sueswift, and visit her group page at  https://www.facebook.com/redhotauthorscafe
--She tweets @Suzdemello
--Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/suzdemello/
--Goodreads: http://bit.ly/SuzATGoodreads
--Her current blog is http://www.TheVelvetLair.com

Favorite Quote

Why did Rick the number-cruncher have to be so pussy-clenching, nipple-hardening, clit-wetting, squirm-inducingly sexy?

Latest Release


 photo kinkytoes_msr_zps686afb4c.jpg
Kinky Toes
erotic romance
heat level: 3
Ellora's Cave
Blurb:
Shelbie Nathanson resents Rick Saldano's ascension to C.O.O. of her family's shoe company, a job she's wanted all her life. But she can't resist his red-hot, sexy style of lovemaking... one that focuses on her passion: shoes."


Give Away

free copy of new release


Make sure to comment for a chance to win.

May 3, 2014

Get To Know WENDY LYNN CLARK @MFRWorg May Featured Author

Meet Wendy

Wendy Lynn Clark is an award-winning author of romance, young adult, and science fiction. A lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, she graduated magna cum laude from Lewis & Clark College with a degree in philosophy and a minor in English, volunteered with AmeriCorps, taught English in Japan with the JET Programme for three years, and resided abroad in England and Greece. After completing a master’s degree at the University of Brighton, she returned to books and now works in an academic library. She loves learning about cultures, from how different families live in her local neighborhood to how astronauts live on the International Space Station. She is drawn to write about the needs that unite us all—survival, family, adventure, and love.

Wendy's Life as a Writer
No one is happier when I'm writing than my two cats.

One is a fat young calico who turned up pregnant on my front door last year - sounds like the start of a romance novel! - and one is a skinny old caliby (calico + tabby - it's a real word, I swear!) I adopted from a train station in Japan eleven years ago where she had been abandoned.

I draft story ideas in a notebook, but I "write" on a netbook on my couch. I have a big lap so usually the netbook leaves enough room for my old caliby to snuggle up. My fat young calico hasn't quite gotten comfortable enough to squish in, so she curls up next to us. Surrounded by purring cats, fuzzy throws, and a hot cup of sencha or Tetley's English tea, I finish a session of writing feeling like I've had a massage + float therapy + waking meditation.

Connect with Wendy
Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Blog  |  Website

Win with Wendy
Enter for a chance to win a copy of the print anthology or the e-anthology (your choice) $8.99 or $2.99 value; plus the Passion Planner (http://www.passionplanner.com/), $25 value


** LEAVE A COMMENT on this post for a chance to WIN! **

San Juan Island Stories Anthology
Release Date - May 15, 2014
Genre - Contemporary Romance/Chick Lit

The San Juan Island Stories Anthology (#1-5) is a collection of new short stories set around the crisp green San Juan Islands in Northwestern Washington. Light and sweet, they are perfect for a quick lunch break so you can return to the rest of your day with a feel-good smile.

Story #1 - “Fatty Patty” is the cruel nickname that followed Pepper to high school graduation. Five years later, she’s back at her reunion to prove it hasn’t defined her. In her slim Kate Spades, she’ll show them all — her underachieving classmates and especially the boy who broke her heart...

Apr 1, 2014

#MFRWorg presents our April Featured Author @AnitaPhilmar

Meet Anita
Anita Philmar likes to create stories that push the limit. A writer by day and a dreamer by night she wants her readers to see the world in a new way. Influenced by sci-fi programs, she likes to develop places where anything can happen and where erotic moments come to life in a great read.

Naughty or Nice?
Read her books and decide.
Anita's Writing Process
Funny, how what we believe a job to be and the actual demands of a job can be worlds apart.
As an author, I spend hours in front of a computer.  Stories read in a few hours can take days to write and that’s only the first step in the process.

My normal schedule starts around 6:30. I spend most of the morning checking and answering emails, stopping by my social sites like twitter, my blog, facebook, and other author venues. I’m never exactly sure how long it will take. Then once I’m satisfied or ready for a new task, I jump into my writing.

If it is a new story, I’m busy doing the first draft which can take days if not weeks to complete depend on the length of the story. Once that is done then I start the rewrite phrase of checking for flow, grammar, description, always making sure to add more to the story and remove the unnecessary parts.

After rewriting the story, I send it to my editor who comments and correct things that I’ve missed. While she is busy with this, I usually contact my cover designer and work with her on creating the cover.

Then when I have finished my editor’s corrections and the cover is ready, I work on formatting my book for amazon and smashword.

After the book goes live, I start the promotion tasks needed to tell my readers about my book and decide on my next project.

Before becoming a writer, I envisioned authors completing their stories in a few days, the painstaking fight for the right word, coming to them with ease. Now, that I know the true that it can be a hard process. It doesn’t change my love of writing. Instead, I believe I have a better understand of how wonderful it is to read a story that touches our hearts.

Connect with Anita
Facebook  |   Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Blog  |  Website

Win with Anita
Enter for a chance to win her two latest releases: “In Too Deep” and “In Deep Water”! LEAVE A COMMENT on this post for a chance to WIN!
In Too Deep
On the banks of the Trinity River, Sadie Pepperman is looking for a chance to escape the demands of her in-laws. With her husband’s dead, they want her to marry her brother-in-law so they can take control of her farm.

Suddenly, the peace of the day is shattered when her best friend steps too far into the river. Rushing to save her, Sadie meets a handsome stranger that ignites her dormant lust. She sees her friend rescued by a steamship and backs away from Logan Jansen, only to turn her ankle.

The agonizing pain leaves Sadie with the inability to walk. Needing help, she offers Logan a place to stay if he’ll help with the chores on her farm. With his agreement, Sadie adds another problem to her list. Now, not only does she have to worry about how to bring her crops in from the field and run her farm alone but she also has to fight her attraction to Logan.

Can Sadie end her in-laws’ interference in her life,  run her farm alone,  and give love another chance?

Feb 28, 2014

WINNERS! with MFRW Featured Author @DonnaJuneCooper

MFRW's February Featured Author, Donna June Cooper, ANNOUNCES the winners from this month's giveaway!

More Than Magic, Donna's paranormal romance, was released earlier this month with Samhain Publishing and she's treating some lucky winners to a FREE BOOK.

Books of the Kindling, Book 1
BLURB
A malignant secret could turn her mountain sanctuary into their tomb.

When DEA agent Nick McKenzie arrives undercover on Woodruff Mountain, the beautiful, edgy owner’s awkward attempts to scare him off tell him something’s afoot, and it’s not her secret patch of rare ginseng.

The last thing Grace Woodruff needs underfoot is a handsome, enigmatic writer recovering from a recent illness. Until an accidental touch unleashes a stunning mystical force and Grace senses the wrath of a malicious blight at the heart of the mountain. Now Grace must choose between her need to hide her gift from the world…and her desire to save Nick’s life.

Warning: This book contains a fiery redhead whose magic cannot be contained and a handsome DEA agent whose final case might give him a second chance at life.


Winners

William S.
Julie R.
Judy R.
Winners have been notified via email. Thank you to each of you for entering!

Feb 4, 2014

NEW RELEASE: More Than Magic @DonnaJuneCooper #MFRWauthor

It's Release Day!
MFRW's Featured Author for February, Donna June Cooper ANNOUNCES her NEW RELEASE. More Than Magic, a paranormal romance, is released today with Samhain Publishing.

Books of the Kindling, Book 1
BLURB
A malignant secret could turn her mountain sanctuary into their tomb.

When DEA agent Nick McKennitt arrives undercover on Woodruff Mountain, the beautiful, edgy owner’s awkward attempts to scare him off tell him something’s afoot, and it’s not her secret patch of rare ginseng.

The last thing Grace Woodruff needs underfoot is a handsome, enigmatic writer recovering from a recent illness. Until an accidental touch unleashes a stunning mystical force and Grace senses the wrath of a malicious blight at the heart of the mountain. Now Grace must choose between her need to hide her gift from the world…and her desire to save Nick’s life.

Warning: This book contains a fiery redhead whose magic cannot be contained and a handsome DEA agent whose final case might give him a second chance at life.


Excerpt
Nick’s face appeared above her, blocking the stars. “Are you going to pass out?”

She laughed and sat back up, nearly bowling him over. “No. Are you?”

He stared at her for a long time. “I think I already did.”

“Well, stop looking at me and look up. We’re here because I promised Pops I’d come here now and again to get my head straight.”

“That will take a lot of visits,” he quipped, then leaned back on his elbows.

“It’s a good thing you’re a guest and I have to be polite to you,” she said.

But Nick had gone quiet, his eyes on the stars.

“Amazing isn’t it?” she said.

He made a noise of assent.

“You should see this meadow in early summer when the rest of the stars show up.”

Nick looked at her. “The rest of the stars?”

“The ones that fly,” Grace said, smiling at the memory. “Pops caught me coming in one summer evening with a mason jar absolutely full of fireflies. I had punched holes in the top and felt as if I had my own personal lantern. I’m sure the fireflies felt differently about it.”

“Did your Pops tell you to let them go?”

“Pops never told us to do anything. Pops told stories. We had to figure out what they meant.”

Meet Donna
My name is DONNA JUNE COOPER and my debut novel, More Than Magic, has just been published this month by Samhain Publishing. I write contemporary paranormal romance with a very subdued and special magic and a definite emphasis on the romance. More Than Magic is the first book in the Books of the Kindling which focus on Woodruff Mountain, the ancient power beneath it, and the family that has hidden its secrets for centuries.

I love being walked by my Jack Russell Terrier (if you know Jacks, you understand). I also love belly dancing (excellent exercise and lots of shiny costumes), going to Renaissance Faires (more costumes!), reading way too much (romance, of course), spending time on too many social networking sites, and writing, writing, writing because I must!

Connect with Donna
Facebook  |   Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Pinterest  |  Website








Feb 1, 2014

#MFRWorg Presents our February Featured Author @DonnaJuneCooper


Meet Donna
My name is DONNA JUNE COOPER and my debut novel, More Than Magic, has just been published this month by Samhain Publishing. I write contemporary paranormal romance with a very subdued and special magic and a definite emphasis on the romance. More Than Magic is the first book in the Books of the Kindling which focus on Woodruff Mountain, the ancient power beneath it, and the family that has hidden its secrets for centuries.

As the granddaughter of a Virginia coal miner and great-great-granddaughter of one of the Muskogee people, I was raised in the shadows of the Appalachian Mountains, in the heavenly hills and valleys of East Tennessee – a gorgeous setting that plays a major role in my writing and my passion for the environment. But I was lured away from my green mountains by an admittedly gorgeous Italian guy, who married me and carried me off to Texas—very flat and very hot Texas. In spite of the heat, I love being walked by my Jack Russell Terrier (if you know Jacks, you understand). I also love belly dancing (excellent exercise and lots of shiny costumes), going to Renaissance Faires (more costumes!), reading way too much (romance, of course), spending time on too many social networking sites, and writing, writing, writing because I must!

Like any child of the Appalachians, I can't stay away from my mountains for long and visit as often as I can. In my books, I take my readers with me for some romance with a touch of magic.

Donna's Writing Day
My writing day starts when Cali says it does. Cali is my Jack Russell who seems to know that I work best in the early morning hours—like 5 a.m. early. So, she considers it her duty, as my co-author, to wake me up at 4:30 a.m. I know! But it actually isn’t a bad approach. It is REALLY quiet at 5 a.m. I can get a lot of mundane things out of the way over my first mug—huge mug—of tea. And then Cali knows she gets her daily walk when the sun comes up.

My daily walks with Cali are also part of my writing toolkit. I tend to come up with ideas, flesh out plots, and work out plot kinks while I’m walking. So I walk with a digital recorder and I probably look like I’m talking to myself a lot of the time, because I am.

Then it’s into my comfy writing clothes (no, not pajamas) and settle in front of my computer with yet another mug of tea. I love my desk. I was lucky enough to work at home during my corporate career and I invested in a huge oak corner unit for my office. Cali’s bed is in here too, of course. And I have one of those weird ergonomic split keyboards and an ergonomic chair (second-hand) that I cannot live without. Something else I can’t live without is music—mainly Pandora and iTunes. When I’m doing marketing things or applying copy edits or writing blog posts, I set Pandora on “Ambient Radio”. And when I’m actually writing, I start up the particular book’s soundtrack on iTunes and get lost in the mountains (and in the streets of Florence and anywhere else my stories take me).

But, as you know, the most important thing in a writer’s life is all the people (and dogs!) who stand behind you and support you in your writing life. Family, friends, beta readers, fellow writers, great editors like Noah Chinn at Samhain, other authors like Holly Lisle—who created a couple of great writing courses that set me on this path, groups like MFRW and others—who offer support and fantastic advice, and, of course, the readers—the most important people of all!

Connect with Donna
Facebook  |   Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Pinterest  |  Website







Win with Donna
Enter for a chance to win one of three copies of MORE THAN MAGIC, Books of the Kindling, Book 1.
A malignant secret could turn her mountain sanctuary into their tomb. 
DEA agent Nick McKenzie is sure magic exists—a dangerous drug called Smoky Mountain Magic that’s wreaking havoc in Atlanta. He’s also sure that locating and eliminating the source will kill him. 
When he arrives undercover on Woodruff Mountain, the beautiful owner’s awkward attempts to scare him off tell him something’s afoot, and it’s not her secret patch of ginseng. 
As her dream of seeking medicinal plants in the Amazon fades away, Grace Woodruff struggles to come to terms with a magical gift she didn’t want, and searches desperately for the meaning behind her late grandfather’s final, cryptic message. 
The last thing she needs underfoot is a handsome, enigmatic writer recovering from a recent illness. Until an accidental touch unleashes a stunning mystical force and Grace senses the wrath of a malicious blight at the heart of the mountain. Now Grace must choose between her need to hide her gift from the world…and her desire to save Nick’s life. 
Warning: This book contains a fiery redhead whose magic cannot be contained and a handsome DEA agent whose final case might give him a second chance at life.

Apr 5, 2012

Niche Marketing Tips - Contest Entry

Marcia James' 10 Favorite Niche Marketing Tips

            The audience for genre fiction, particularly romance, is vast.  And the promotion of a single author is easily lost among the thousands of authors working hard to catch readers' eyes.  So niche marketing -- reaching those readers especially interested in your books -- can make the most of your promotional dollars and time.  As a romance author myself, I call this "thinking outside the heart-shaped box."

            First, you need to analyze your books and your author brand to find elements that might appeal to specific readers.  For example, one of the elements in my books is Chinese Crested hairless dog characters.  So I joined an international message board about "crestie" dogs and Friended many of them on Facebook to chat with people who are not only great subject matter experts on cresties, but are also interested in buying books that feature that breed.

[A quick note: The sensuality level of your writing can limit the places and ways you can market your books.]

Here are 10 Niche Marketing Tips, starting with a list of possible marketable book elements:

1. What are your hero and heroine's vocations?

What are your protagonists' professions?  If your heroine is special events coordinator, there's a professional association for people in that field.  If your hero is a veterinarian, you can look into marketing to the veterinarians' professional association.

2. What are your hero and heroine's avocations?

What are your protagonists' hobbies?  You might have a character who collects vintage cars, and there are many groups of vintage car owners.  Your hero or heroine might knit or quilt (okay, your Beta hero might do these things!), and there are knitting and quilting groups online and possibly in your community.

3. What are your hero and heroine's sports/physical activities?

Do your protagonists play softball or volleyball, fish, jog, hike, canoe, etc?  There are groups devoted to all sorts of sports.

4. What are your hero and heroine's charitable activities?

Do your protagonists volunteer for Big Sisters, Special Olympics, homeless shelters, or animal rescue?  Is your hero or heroine dealing with a medical challenge, such as cancer, or a physical disability?  Charities -- and the people who support them -- love to know when their causes are mentioned in a book.

5. Do your books include any four-legged characters -- not counting shape-shifters?  ;-)

There are many, many organizations for those who love animals.  And there might be marketing opportunities at a Humane Society fundraiser (e.g., you could donate a themed basket with a signed copy of your book) or a pet adoption fair.

6. What is the timeframe and location of your novel?

If you write historical novels, there are groups interested in specific historical eras.  E.g., there are Renaissance Fairs and Civil War reenactments that might offer a chance for promotion.  If you set your books in a certain city, state, or country (and maybe feature things specific to that location), there might be events that offer marketing opportunities, such as a state bicentennial celebration, the Kentucky Derby, or a jazz festival.

7. Do your books have paranormal, science fiction (s/f), or fantasy elements?

Quite a few authors whose books include these subgenres promote their books at s/f or fantasy cons.  There are also groups who have paranormal interests, such as vampire, shape-shifter, or dragon lore.

8. Does your book contain elements that would appeal to specific fans?

For example, do you have an Elvis impersonator in your book?  Is your heroine a Bruce Springsteen fan?  Does your hero love film noir or NASCAR?  There are groups for all of these.

9. Now that you've identified your book elements, where do you locate potential niche readers for your books?

There are library reference books offering information (contact name, email, address, phone, website, whether the group has a member newsletter, etc.) for every conceivable type of association and club.  Here are two good reference books that are often available online through library websites: The Encyclopedia of Associations and Associations Unlimited.  Many of the groups listed in these books would be happy to hear from an author who's written a book of interest to their members.  As I mentioned, however, this does work better for books that have a sensuality level from G to PG-13.

10. Another PR "angle" is tying your promotions to specific holidays based on the elements in your books and author brand.

Romances most often tied to February, thanks to Valentine's Day.  And many paranormal romances are promoted around Halloween.  But there are lots of holidays that would work, depending on your book elements.  E.g., I reinforce my dog logo and brand by guest-blogging about responsible pet ownership on pro-animal holidays like National Spay or Neuter Your Pet Day.  A good resource for some of the more obscure or funny holidays is Chase's Calendar of Events.  You can also Google national holidays that fit your book elements and/or author brand.

            Thinking Outside the Heart-Shaped Box is a matter of opening your mind to the possibilities beyond traditional author promotion.  It means considering yourself as not only an expert on fiction writing but also fluent on your genre or subgenre – and on elements within your books.  All it takes to do niche marketing is the same imagination you use to write your books.

Happy promoting!
Marcia James


Marcia James

BIO: Marcia James writes hot, humorous romances and finaled in eleven Romance Writers of America contests before selling her first comic romantic suspense, At Her Command.  Her latest release is Sex & the Single Therapist, a comic romantic mystery. In her eclectic career, she has shot submarine training videos, organized celebrity-filled nonprofit events and had her wedding covered by People Magazine. In addition to writing fiction, Marcia presents author promotion workshops. After years of dealing with such sexy topics as how to safely install traffic lights, she is enjoying "researching" and plotting her novels' steamy love scenes with her husband and hero of many years.


Sex & the Single Therapist is the first of the "Dr. Ally Skye, Sex Therapist" comic romantic mystery series.  Ally helps her detective boyfriend solve crimes in Sin City -- much to his dismay.  This series features humor, an amateur sleuth, cute dogs, and a super sexy romance!

 Sex & the Single Therapist:

A crime of passion…
            To clear an innocent friend, sex therapist Dr. Ally Skye investigates a patient’s murder. Soon she's trading heated words and hot kisses with a sexy cop. Can this free-spirited amateur sleuth and her posse of Vegas insiders solve the crime before the killer targets her?

Sex and the Single Therapist

A sexy complication…
            Cynical homicide detective Zack Crawford has the murder to solve. The last thing he needs is a red-hot sex therapist who haunts his dreams. Ally is trouble and, given her job and his luck, she'd probably grade his performance in bed.

A dynamic duo…
            Zack and Ally form an uneasy and sexually charged alliance. Murderers, extortionists and psychos are no match for these reluctant partners. Crime-solving was never this sexy or this fun!

Sex & the Single Therapist Purchase Links:




Apr 2, 2012

War-N-Wit, Inc. - Contest Entry

War-N-Wit, Inc.
By
Gail Roughton

I’m the cat’s meow.  The star.  I’m all over this series.  Over it, you understand.  As in, “on the covers”, not in the actual story.   Not yet, anyway, you never know what this crazy writer woman’s gonna do.  She’s not really my job, but since my assignments live in her head, well, she kinda goes with the territory.  If she ain’t happy, my assignments ain’t happy.  They’re just sitting there bored.  So I guess I have to take care of her by default. 

I’m Micah, by the way.  The cat.  The black one.  Sort of.  Actually, I’m Micah, Angel of the Divine Plan.  The watcher of spiritual evolution and revealer of the next steps of the path.  The world first met me over at the crazy writer lady’s place.  (http://gailroughton.blogspot.com/)  And you have no idea how long I’ve been watching these two.  ‘Course, they don’t know me from Adam’s housecat.  (Did Adam have a housecat, anyway? Did Adam have a house?)  But I digress.   See, it’s like this…

Ariel Anson thinks she has her life in order.  She’s young, smart, and beautiful, even if she doesn’t believe the beautiful part.  She’s a paralegal with a great career and a fiancĂ© who’s a CPA.  You just can’t get any steadier than that.  Then she meets private investigator, bounty hunter, process server Chad Garrett.  What does War-N-Wit, Inc. stand for anyway?  Warlock and Witch?  For real?  Oh, yes!  For real.  Her life as she knows it is over!  

This Chad Garrett?  Oh, man.  He’s always into something.  It’s a high-risk profession to begin with.  But he took it to the next level even before he found Ariel Anson.  He’s a warlock, after all.  So he was bad enough to begin with.  And then he just had to go and find his witch.  Now my workload’s doubled.  But did he give a minute’s pause to think about that, when he finally convinced her to meet him?  At a Mexican restaurant, of all places?  No, he did not.  Though I guess I have to remember he doesn’t know a thing about me.  Anyhow, sparks started flying the minute those two met.  Like they weren’t flying already in those emails. No, at that point, he didn’t give a leaf of catnip how much extra trouble he was causing.  Not as much as he’s gonna cause, though.  I’m gonna have to watch these two through a whole series. 

Excerpt:

When the waitress asked if we wanted booth or table, I automatically said booth. I needed that table between us. That didn't work out so well, though, as he slid in right next to me.

"Too close?" he asked.

"No," I lied. Worlds too close. To the waitress, I said "Small guacamole salad and a chili rellano, please. And tea."

War-N-Wit, Inc.

He perused the menu briefly and flipped it shut. "Two chicken burritos, please. Unsweetened tea." And under the table, he rested his hand on my knee. An electric bolt of heat shot through me. I knew I should pull my thigh back over. Instead I felt it lean towards him.

I turned to the bowls of salsa and chips as though seeking sanctuary from a church altar. The first bite reminded me with a jolt that even though I loved Rosita's food, her salsa wasn't my favorite as it was made thin and, to my tastes, exceedingly hot. And our tea wasn't even on the table yet. And today, I wasn't even going to love the food because I was going to have a hell of a hard time eating anything. I glanced around. Nobody here that knew me. The attorneys ate at Rosita's occasionally, but almost always on a Friday when they made it a tradition to eat what they termed "funky". And nobody from Scott's accounting firm ever came in here, which had figured highly in the choice of meeting spot.

"Safe?" he asked, amusement in his voice. "Nobody here to run tattling back to the fiancé?" I'd forgotten he had a Floridian non-accent rather than a southern accent.

"So it appears," I said, leaning back. "Good drive up?"

"After I ran out of the rain. Wanta loosen up a little bit before you break?"

"I don't know if I can. And I don't even know what to say or talk about or—"

"Well, you've been just overflowing with questions in the emails lately."

The waitress deposited the plates with the usual warning they were hot, and I picked up my fork, promptly burning the hell out of my mouth on the first bite of rellano. To hell with this. Yes, I'd been overflowing with questions. Questions mostly unanswered.

"Yes, I have, haven't I, and you've studiously avoided answering most of them, too." I turned to face him, but instead of any of my prior questions, I had a new one. "Half-witch, half-bitch?"

He laughed. "For the moment."

"For the moment?"

"Until you figure it out. I'd thought there was no way you didn't know. Or at least have some glimmer of an idea."

"About what?"

"That you're a witch. One of the most powerful ones I've ever run across. And nobody with that much power could possibly not know. At least a little bit. Guess I thought wrong on that one."

Okay, I was in the Twilight Zone.




Gail Roughton
Gail Roughton is a native of small town Georgia who grew up on the banks of Stone Creek Swamp, immersing herself in imaginary worlds fueled by whichever book was in her hand at the moment including, but definitely not limited to, Edgar Allen Poe,  H. P. Lovecraft, Bram Stoker and Ray Bradbury.  She has spent over thirty years in a law office as a paralegal, having decided during the course of her first work experience that while she was as fascinated by the legal world as the imaginary worlds of her childhood, she never wanted to be a lawyer.  Sharpening her technical legal writing abilities all day every day while working full-time and raising her three children, her “spare” time has been devoted to writing because “I couldn’t have this much fun for free doing anything else.”


Mar 30, 2012

Writing Way Outside The Box - Contest Entry

Writing Way Outside The Box
by
Julie Eberhart Painter

Editors and agents frequently ask what makes this book/story different? Why should we invest time and money in seeing it to print?

The criteria has to be that the story is either a familiar theme from a unique perspective, or it’s really off the wall, another reason for instant appeal or instant rejection. Despite the outside the box style, it has to make sense to readers.

Several examples come to mind. One is a new TV show called Awake. This is a story about complicated grief, something I saw in bereavement groups when I volunteered as a counselor’s co-facilitator with hospice. When guilt (He was driving the car when it crashed.) is mixed with extreme loss, the grieving can produce an extrasensory reaction like the one being portrayed in Awake. The man who suffers the loss of either his wife or his son is seeing two psychiatrists. Each is trying to sort out why he is living—either asleep or awake—two lives, one with his wife and one with his son. It's obvious he is grieving and in extreme (dramatic) denial. By keeping them both alive, but mourning one and then other he honors them both.

Another story with an unusual perspective is, Turn of Mind, by Alice LaPlante, who wrote the entire book from the point of view of Jennifer, an Alzheimer’s patient who may or may not have murdered her best friend. One reviewer called it a diary of a disease, but it’s also a murder mystery. The mystery is the linear backstory while the rest is the fragmented and confused thoughts of the patient as she sinks deeper into dementia still trying to remember what happened the night her best friend died.

The Lovely Bones and The Sixth Sense movies are two other examples of unique formatting and unusual points of view.

When choosing a way to tell any story, it must come from the most visceral place, the heart of the character with the most to lose. If the authors mentioned above had chosen an outside narrator, the stories would have been reduced to journalism.

Using the material from research as a linear back story, the writer should put his or herself into the main characters’ heads, starting with their first awareness that something is off.  Writers need passion and patience to wander through an experience as if never having seen it or felt it before. That sense of marvel brings the story to life.

It's the feelings that sell the book. LaPlante's book is totally un-linear, except for carrying the plot time line by using the female detective’s unannounced visits to search out the truth. Could a woman with advanced Alzheimer’s have murdered her best friend? Now that’s off the wall and out of the box.

Julie Eberhart Painter is the author of seven books. Her champagne books include Mortal Coil, Tangled Web and the CTRR award-winning Kill Fee. Author website at: www.books-jepainter.com


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