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Monday, December 31, 2012

7 Reasons to Spoil Yourself With the Sullivans: Awesome Reads and Awesome Prizes


Did you get a new eReader for Christmas, and are now looking for something awesome to read? Or, maybe you didn’t get anything good and want to spoil yourself a little with the chance to win that coveted eReader, some major gift cards, or other awesome prizes. Maybe you just need to relax after hurry-scurrying around all season. Well…
Wouldn’t it be nice to take a long hot bath or snuggle under your favorite blanket with a great read? Sounds like the perfect day, right? Hey, we can offer you something even better than that.

In fact, we can offer you something seven times better!

For starters, we can offer you up to seven review copies of Bella Andre’s New York Times and USA Today best-selling contemporary romance series The Sullivans.
We’ll introduce you to—not just one, but—each and every member of the Sullivan family on their quests to find happiness. Even though most of them aren’t even really looking for love, it has a way of finding them anyway. These sexy, emotional and funny novels will nurse all your literary and metaphorical desires. You’ll laugh and cry right along with the characters, and get hooked into these great stories right from the very first page. They even take place in lovely California, giving you the opportunity to travel by proxy and escape the windy winter doldrums.
What’s that you say? The books sound awesome, but you’re not sure why you have to join the tour to enjoy their awesomeness? There are so many reasons to sign-up. Since there are seven books (so far) in The Sullivans series and seven that will be taking part in this extraordinarily large tour, let’s stay right on theme and discuss seven reasons why you need to join the fun, pronto.

CLICK ME > What are you waiting for? Go Sign up now! <CLICK ME

Not only will you get to read a great novel—or two, or three, or seven—but you’ll also get…

1. The opportunity to network with other bloggers and avid readers.
2. The option to host a guest post, excerpt or interview with best-selling author Bella Andre. This will bring new readers to your blog AND give you content for your blog—what’s better, a post you didn’t even have to write yourself. If your New Year looks as hectic as mine, having a guest post is almost as good as reading an awesome book… because it means I’ll have TIME to READ that great book.
3. The chance to interact directly with the author through a number of social media activities, discussions, and awesome giveaways .
4. Literally, there are more books. If you love The Sullivans, you can find half a dozen more books just waiting for your eager hands and mind. AND REVIEW COPIES ARE AVAILABLE FOR ALL SEVEN! WOWZA!
5. Kick start your New Year’s resolution to read more! Plus you get hours of entertainment absolutely free—you may even win something (which makes the deal even sweeter).
6. The Sullivans will make you fall in love. You’ll love the writing, the humor, the characters, and the stories. You might even find hope for true love within these pages.
7. If you’ve ever wished for your own happy ending—heck, even if you’ve already found it—there’s something in each of these novels you’ll be able to identify with. We all know life isn’t perfect, and the Sullivans know that too. They’re so real, reading the book is almost like watching a movie or watching somebody’s real life unfold right in front of your eyes.

The prizes are ridonkulous. We’ve got romantic swag baskets, hundreds of dollars gift cards, an iPad Mini, Kindle Fire, Nook Color, AND a Sony eReader to name a few.
Well I guess there’s just one more reason to join us on the biggest tour Novel Publicity has ever put together. More books, more bloggers, more buzz and, of course, more prizes!

CLICK ME > What are you waiting for? Go Sign Up Now!<CLICK ME


Learn what all the buzz is about when you receive review copies of the first 7 books in this on-going series. Read one, or read them all. Or, you could host an excerpt, interview, or guest post instead–and we’ll even put that together for you.

Tour Dates:  January 7 to 20, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Page Count: approx 300 pages each
CAUTION: Explicit language, very steamy love scenes…and lots of emotion!

The Prizes:

* iPad Mini
* Kindle Fire
* Nook Color
* Kobo eReader
* $100 Amazon gift cards (7 prizes)
* $50 Amazon gift cards (2 prizes)
* $25 Amazon gift cards (8 prizes)
* $20 iTunes gift cards (10 prizes)
* Custom prize baskets for EACH of the 7 books–including items such as wine gift set, silver bracelets, romantic photo books and photo frames, eReader and smart phone skins, and MUCH, MUCH more!
…and we’ve got special prizes just for participating bloggers

Read summaries and excerpts on the sign-up page.

CLICK ME >What are you waiting for again? LOL Sign-Up Now!  <CLICK ME

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Hot Winter Nights Giveaway Tour

Enter for a HUGE give-away after you're done reading here at:
Hot Steamy Nights
So, when you read a romance, do you think of hot winter nights? Hot steamy nights of escape from all that is wrong with the world? Very often people wonder what it really takes to write a steamy love scene. It's harder than you might think! While we all remember our own hot steamy winter nights, it's a bit different to write about them! When I write love scenes, I have a million things going through my mind! But, let me tell you, it's not hot steamy nights--or hot winter nights. The thoughts going through my head are things like the following: 1. Is that physically possible? 2. What does that position do to his ability to do....(whatever) 3. How long can she stay with her body in that position? 4. Do I do this scene from his POV or from HERS (of course it's usually hers! I'm not a man, I don't KNOW hos POV. But, hey, I can imagine. Now that I've gone and ruined the mystery of Hot Winter Nights in romannce novels...tell me what YOU think of when you think of Hot Winter Nights! Tell us what the first thing you thought of when you read the title of this post. I'll pick three winners via random.org to receive their choice of ebooks from my backlist: Linked The Storm Within & Table for Two Once Forbidden Once Bitten I love writing erotic and steamy romance! I just thought I'd give a bit of a look at what goes into the writing of love scenes--at least when I write them. Be sure to visit the other hosts on the giveaway tour via the link above beneath the images. Also leave your email address so I have a way to contact you should you win the contest! I'll be picking 3 winners.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Let's Have a CONTEST!!! Tweet to WIN, too!

Hello Readers!

October was a great month for my books, and to celebrate that, I thought I'd do a little contest this week. From now til the 18th of November. So, about ten days. Ends at 11:59 PM EST on the 18th.

Each person that comments in this post will be entered to win a copy of any of my titles. ONE winner will receive their choice of two books, and ONE will win all of them, and ONE will win the book of their choosing. So, THREE WINNERS and one GRAND PRIZE winner who will receive a $10 Amazon or B&N Gift Card. You MUST reply with your email so I can contact you, or be sure to check back on the 19th to see if you won.

And, for a final way to win? Tweet this post (I'll see it in my timeline) and let me know you tweeted it, for ONE of these books to each person that replies and lets me know their twitter ID and leaves an email for me to send their chosen book. Please let me know which book you'd like, and whether you'd like mobi or e-pub versions. Keep in mind, mine are pretty steamy. LINKED and THE STORM WITHIN are less erotic. I'd class them as 'steamy' only. ONCE FORBIDDEN & ONCE BITTEN are erotic romance, without a doubt. Keep that in mind when you choose your title.
LINKED, Prophecy Book One was the bestseller for me in October. It's a paranormal romance, and the least erotic of my series right now.


Lana Summers doesn't want anything to do with paranormal abilities. She's seen what it did to her mother before her death. Cole Thomas has his own talents, but can Lana accept his when she can't accept her own? Can Cole convince her to embrace her talents--and accept his--in time?

When Lana's house is invaded in the middle of the night by an intruder, Lana awakes to a warning in her dream to Run! The warning came from her dead mother.

As she flees to the streets via a window, she finds Cole Thomas. He offers to check her house, and decides she needs protection when his shapeshifter talents tell him that Lana's invader wasn't human.

The prophecy must be deciphered--but the one being that knows isn't talking.. Now, it's up to them to figure it out. The clock is running, and time is running out.

The Ancient Prophecy

When Two Become One
And One Becomes Two


This is Book One in the Prophecy series--however this is a stand-alone title. Book Two is due out in December.


ONCE FORBIDDEN is a vampire steamy romance. Very steamy, so not for the faint of heart!


When Sarah is disfigured by a fire saving the life of a child,
Devlin knows she has valor.

When he goes to her through shared dreams,
he knows he has to have her.

When she's stalked by Vampire Hunters,
he knows he'll do anything to save  her...

Even if it is Forbidden(The Hunted Book One - Book Two is below, and Book Three is due out mid-December)


ONCE BITTEN



Hailey has just broken up with "The Jerk" and is finding her way again as a newly single woman. While out with a friend in a bar, she wants to just go home and curl up with an episode of Stargate SG-1.

While waiting for a cab, she's offered a ride from an old classmate, Bennett Wilmont. He’s even a cop now. What could be safer?

Their chance at happiness is endangered when she realizes that Bennett is on the radar of Vampire Hunters—and they will do anything get to him.

Bennett has wanted her for years--since they were high school together. Now, ONCE BITTEN, he knows he wants her forever—but will the Vampire Hunters allow them their happiness, or will the danger drive them apart?


Hailey is done with men.
Bennett has other ideas.

Once Bitten is Book 2 of the HUNTED Series. Again, very steamy and not for the faint of heart when it comes to their romance. Book 3 is due out mid-December.

Hailey thinks he’s perfectly safe.
He’s not.


Bennett has wanted her for years.
Will she stay when the danger unfolds?

Finally, we have for those that like things less steamy, The Storm Within & Table For Two Anthology. This contains two stories. It's romantic suspense, not paranormal.



THE STORM WITHIN

Kari Davis is on the run. Witness to a murder she's been framed for, she's got nowhere to go and no one to run to. When she is stranded in an Oklahoma blizzard, she discovers her guardian angel rescuer is more than she's bargained for. Is he her salvation or will Cade Williams lead the killer right to her?
Danger is coming...

TABLE for TWO

Dylan decides to flirt with the pretty lady in the wine store. When he sees her reach for a bottle of wine, he reaches for it, too. A harmless flirt--maybe a dinner date. Neither knew what was waiting in the parking lot...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Review of Something Witchy This Way Comes by HP Mallory

Fans of HP Mallory will not be disappointed with this last installment to the Jolie Wilkins Series.
Mallory, an up and coming new author, and one to watch. The Wilkins series will be sure to be on the keeper shelf of any reader that loves romance with paranormal/urban fantasy twists.

Jolie had always known she had paranormal abilities; after all, she's run her own business using those talents. Her life changes drastically when she discovers her talents are far more than what she'd thought. Not only does she have powers, but she's a witch. Her love interest, Rand, is the one that takes her under his wing to introduce her to the life in the Underworld. 

Now, at last, many of the burning questions will be answered.  Will she pick the hot and sexy vampire Sinjin or the equally sexy warlock, Rand Balfour? will she finally accept her role as queen of the underworld or will  she find a way to rid herself of a position she never wanted?

I won't spoil the book by answering those questions, but what I can tell you unequivocally is that Mallory has created a world so rich in detail that you can quite literally feel yourself in it.  her characters are rich, three-dimensional and full of life.

One of my favorite things about the series overall has been the growth of Jolie Wilkins under the tutelage of Rand Balfour and Sinjin Sinclair.

Few surpass the talent Mallory shows in creating a world so rich. She's able to portray feelings and desires of her characters that truly make the reader become immersed in her world. I'm quite sure I'm not the only one sad to know this is the last in the series--though I hear there is a spin-off series I'll be anxiously awaiting.
There are few authors that are an auto-buy on my list.  Mallory is one of them. From the first book I read of hers, Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble, I was hooked.

There are several criteria necessary for me to rate a book with 5 stars. A believable and well-written plot, characters that are three dimensional, the ability not to info-dump while telling a truly compelling story. And, lastly, of course, characters I care about.  Mallory hit my 5 in all areas.

I'm an avid romance reader, and love paranormal romance, but this book is even more.  The level of detail she shows in her writing literally bring the words off the pages. I found myself unable to stop once I began the book.

Even though this is the last of the series, we learn so much more about Jolie than we have in the other books. She's left an ending that will make a spin-off series a pleasure to read. I can barely wait.

While I did receive this copy via Net Galley to review, I'd have bought it in a heartbeat.
Be sure to read the other books in the series as well. 


5/5 Stars. A MUST READ. This title can be pre-ordered here: Amazon Link

Monday, July 30, 2012

Book Trailer for THE HUNTED SERIES

My Book Trailer

My new Trailer for THE HUNTED series. Let me know what you think.  I know, it's kind of basic, but I like it. What do you think of the music?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Writing Life

Hey All

Haven't posted in a couple of weeks. Seem to have a case of pneumonia that just won't get better.  For all those that entered the two contests below this post--please let me know what version of the book you'd like--epub or mobi.(Kindle) and I'll get them sent out.

So, the topic today is the writing life. What is the writing life?

Hmm, let me see. There are perks! Lots of perks!

1. My 'work clothes" are a pair of shorts and a tee (or PJs)
2. My work breaks are ....whenever I want them!
3. Internet access is not only allowed, it's REQUIRED
4. Lunch when I want it! (assuming I remember to eat)
5. Making money with my imagination!
6. Flexible Schedule

Hmmm...the cons now.

1. Non-stop chattering in my head (No, I don't have schizophrenia)
2. Writers Block
3. No guaranteed income
4. Those strange looks you get when you say "I'm a writer"

Seriously, I love being a writer. I work when I want. But, there are some serious things to consider if you decide to take the plunge and become a full-time writer.

First, of course, there are the financial considerations. Can you afford to give up the day job? Is there a job perhaps that you can get where you work hours you want to work?

Are you committed enough to actually spend the time sitting at the computer to make the writing profitable? Do you have enough confidence in your own writing to take the reviews you may receive as not being personal attacks?

That's an important question. When you write, it's just simple fact that not everyone is going to love what you have written. Some will enjoy it, but others may give it a 1* review based on their own reading preferences. As writers, we simply can't take it personally. It goes with the job.

With the popularity of the Amazon and B&N self-publishing opportunities, many more are taking the plunge. They are putting up their work for the world to see. Their baby.  They just know the checks are going to start coming in. Big bucks!

The reality? It takes time to have your books become popular. Not every book will make the Top 100 on Amazon. Not every book will be picked up by New York.

While I made a little fun of the perks and cons, they are, in part, huge considerations. If you want to succeed as a writer, you simply have to write. Becoming a good writer takes time. You can't spend an hour a week writing and expect to improve. And writers do improve. Each book will likely be a little better than the last.

So, what happens when you hit "Publish" on Amazon or B&N? That's not as important a question as what should happen BEFORE you hit submit.

Before you publish your baby, there are things to consider.

1. Has it been proofread?
2. Has it been edited?
3. Does the cover look apealing and does it fit the genre?
4. Is the description enough to entice the reader to take a chance on your work?
5. Is the book formatted properly?
6. Did you use critique partners and beta readers?
7. Did you send it off for reviews?

All of those things should have been done before you publish. Some publish before the reviews, but the other steps simply shouldn't be ignored. If your book, no matter how good the story, isn't formatted well, it will be subject to bad reviews.

Typos are not your friend. While it's true that very few books are published without a mistake or two, a self-published book will be graded harsher based on those typos. Readers might take a chance on your book if it's affordable, but you can be sure they will notice each typo or grammar mistake. An editor isn't a luxury, it's a necessity.

Your book cover should entice the reader to look inside the cover. A bad cover won't sell. While some will say they don't judge a book by it's cover, it is the first thing they see. It's what makes them 'pick up' your book to view. So, they may not buy based on the cover, but they will look at it based on that cover, believe me.

I did an experiment with a book. I priced it at 99 cents and put up a cover that simply wasn't great. It wasn't horrid, but it certainly wasn't wonderful, either.  Sales were deplorable. I changed the cover and the sales tripled. The story didn't change, but what readers saw first DID.

So, as with most things, there are many things to consider before you decide to become a writer. Once you hit publish, your job really just begins. The next post will discuss marketing your book.

Happy Writing!

Monday, July 2, 2012

July 4th Blog Hop

Hi All

I'm a tad late this time!  I forgot about the Blog Hop!  For my site, I'll be giving away 5 e-books to folks chosen at random.  Just read my descriptions of my books, and let me know which title you want.

I have:

LINKED  - Prophecy Book One.  This is a paranormal romance.  Lana is threatened by an ancient Evil that wants her dead.  She and Cole must solve the prophecy, and time is running out. Steamy, but not erotic.

ONCE FORBIDDEN - The Hunted Book One.  Devlin is a vampire, and he wants Sarah Hart, but it's forbidden for a vampire to change a mortal--and to change her would put her on the radar of the Hunters--a group that wants all vampires dead.  He unwittingly puts Sarah on their radar and choice might be taken out of his hands. Very steamy--some would consider erotic. Not for the faint of heart!

THE STORM WITHIN: An Anthology -- These two stories are in one book. Both are romantic suspense. While they are steamy, they aren't at all erotic in my opinion.   Kari Davis is on the run during the worst blizzard in Oklahoma history. Cade has been hired to find her---but there is more involved than he knows. He may well be working for a killer. TABLE FOR TWO, the second story, is a short story with the meeting of Dylan and Alexa. I plan on a future book for them--but only if he can save her from a gun-wielding robber.

Be sure to check out all the great authors. Lots and lots of great prizes to be given away, too!  I'll be picking 5 winners at random after the Hop to receive an ebook. Be sure to leave contact information--either an email or twitter ID. Runs through Wednesday night at 11:59 PM EST.

Enjoy the 4th!  Fireworks will abound. You can find the other participants HERE: The BlogHopSpot    
And for those that have read this far--if you tweet this post on Twitter, and let me know, I'll be sure you get the book of your choice. Pass it on :) Of course, everyone will be entered to win--but those that Tweet are auto-winners!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Intervew Tonight on Blog Talk Radio

HI All

I'll be doing an interview this evening at 6:30 PM EST on Blog Talk Radio with Book Junkies.  I'll be talking about books and romance!  I'd love it if you could attend. I'll be giving away at least one book to a caller. 

I'm a bit nervous, I've never done something like this before, so it should be different, LOL.  This coincides with the release of Once Forbidden, first in the Hunted series, and the new cover reveal for The Storm Within.

You can visit the chat here: Book Junkies Intervew "Romance With Hope" and you can call in to chat with me at (949) 943-1627. I look forward to speaking with a fan or two :)

Below are the awesome new covers for my books. They were done by ninjaMel Designs who does awesome covers.




Once Forbidden is up now on Amazon. Once Bitten will be up in a few days, and The Storm Within Anthology is already up as well, though it's been updated a bit.

I'm really excited about the covers. Please let me know what you think.  In honor of the release of Once Forbidden, I'm having a small contest here that runs through next Saturday night at 11:59 PM EST.  I'll be picking two people that comment and/or tweet this post at random to give their choice of any of my titles currently released:  Linked, The Storm Within Anthology, or Once Forbidden.

Happy Reading, and hope to talk to you tonight!

To enter, please leave a way to contact you. Even Twitter is fine if you don't want to post an email address here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Contest--Runs Through 5/6

LINKED is a paranormal romance. Lana has paranormal abilities that she shuns. After her mother's death, she is even more hesitant to embrace her talents.

When people think of paranormal abilities, they think of things like reading minds or seeing the future.

Lana hates her talent--but if you could have a talent, what would it be? 

Tell us below as your entry and chance to win a copy of one of these three books: LINKED, THE STORM WITHIN & TABLE FOR TWO, or FORBIDDEN & ONCE BITTEN


In FORBIDDEN & ONCE BITTEN, the heroes are both vampires.  If vampires were real, would you want to have one for a friend?

Answer below for a second entry to win a free book.

In THE STORM WITHIN and TABLE FOR TWO anthology, the heroines are in danger.

If you were in danger, tell us which romance novel hero you'd want to rescue you! Answer for a third entry in the contest to win a free book.

For two more entries, follow this blog and tweet this post :)

Have fun! I look forward to your answers.  One random commenter who answers all three questions will receive all three of my current books.

Contest starts NOW and ends at 11:59PM EST on 5/6 (Sunday night)  I will pick 3 winners using Random.org.  Be sure to check back on Monday--to see the winners list--or leave your email so I can contact you if you win.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Author Interview with Melissa Foster

Today, I have the pleasure of having Melissa Foster here for a Q&A. I'm so happy she agreed to share some of her time with me and my readers. Melissa, since she isn't going to brag herself, is the award winning and bestselling author of CHASING AMANDA, MEGAN'S WAY, and COME BACK TO ME. One lucky poster will win a copy of CHASING AMANDA.

 Just in case you're curious, I met Melissa via her World Literary Cafe. I followed her on Twitter, and it didn't take me long to realize that she was not only a great author, but a very kind lady as well. The WLC is a wonderful site for both readers and writers. I highly recommend joining. Links to the site are below our interview.

 Be sure to check my other blog, Books2LoveReviews.blogspot.com for my review of CHASING AMANDA this week!

Where are you from?

I grew up in the wild metropolis of Rockville, Maryland, where huskies and tigers abound.

Do you have a specific writing style?

This is a great question, because there are so many interpretations for answers. I’d say I’m a very emotional writer, and I dig deep for my readers. I want them to become introspective and think about if they could or would do what my main character’s do.

 What book are you reading now?

I am lucky to be an advanced reader for Kathleen Shoop’s After The Fog.  

What are your current projects?

Oh gosh, I think I always have about ten projects going at one. I’ll pick three to share Work-wise we’re doing a complete overhaul of the World Literary CafĂ© (WLC), and adding a fully integrated social side to the site to make cross-promotions and connections with readers even easier and more fulfilling. I’m launching a new business in a few weeks called Fostering Success, which is really an arm of WLC that will offer training for authors on all levels of self-publishing and marketing. On the writing front, I’m diving into two new manuscripts—one deals with past life regression and the other deals with a decision no mother should ever have to make.

 Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely, and I know how lucky I am to have a career that I love and crave.

Tell us your latest news?

I’ve just wrapped up my fourth manuscript, titled Traces of Kara, a psychological thriller, and I hope my readers enjoy the genre. Event-wise, I’m heading to the Gaithersburg, MD Book Festival in May 19 as a featured speaker, and to Books Without Borders in Yonkers, June 9th, where I am also a featured speaker. I hope many readers and writers will come out and say hello

.Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

 I will tell you and you will think I’m nutty. I put my now twenty-one-year old son down for a nap when he was about a year and half old, and I suddenly had an overwhelming urge to write. I can’t explain it, but it nagged at me until I grabbed my IBM Thinkpad (remember those!?), a yellow legal pad and pen, and began writing.

 Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I find many areas of writing challenging. The desire to show and not tell, the threading of themes through the book, coming up with relatable characters that are real and fleshed out, it’s all challenging, but in a good way. I love the way I have to test myself and my skills on a daily basis.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No. I think my readers are saddened by the ending of Come Back to Me, but they also recognize that the ending was true to the story.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

This is a very difficult question for me. I don’t have favorite authors, just favorite books. For example, A Thousand Splendid Suns is one of my favorite books because the descriptions are so vibrant, the nature of trouble the characters face is very real, and in general, I think Khalid Hosseini went to a very difficult place with that story, and I was thrilled with the outcome.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I’m not a big traveler, so no, I don’t have to do much traveling, but I do have to do extensive research with people both native and visiting the locations that I write about.  

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Yes! Write! Don’t worry about how the story will come out or who will read it. Write your best story, then don’t rush to publish it. Take your time, put it down for a week or two and return to it for a fresh read of a hard copy. Have your work professionally edited and covered. Never short change the reader, even if you choose to make your book free, readers deserve well-written, polished work.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I have so much gratitude for my readers that it’s hard to put it into words. I’m overwhelmed by the positive response to my books, and thankful that many readers reach out directly to me. I’m always delighted to talk, Skype, or email with readers. Social media has opened a whole new world of connections with readers, and to someone like me, who truly loves chatting with just about everyone, it’s a dream come true.  

Anything missing from your life?

I am so blessed with a loving, supportive family, wonderful friends, and the ability to write full-time, that I never feel like anything is missing. I’m a big believer in creating your life, not waiting for it to happen, and I’ve always worked toward my personal and familial goals. While there’s nothing missing, I hope to continue sharing what I’ve learned with aspiring and established authors. I want to help others find their paths to fulfill their writing dreams—continuing to pay-it-forward makes it all worthwhile.

 Thanks so much for joining me today, Melissa. It's been an enjoyable chat!

 Thank you so much, Hope! I’ve really enjoyed our chat, and I appreciate you having me on your blog today :)  

You can reach Melissa at the following sites: Melissa's Books On Amazon
Melissa's Website Follow her on: Facebook,
 Twitter,
Facebook Fanpage
Chat with her on The Women's Nest
 The World Literary Cafe, Where readers and authors unite!


>


Friday, April 6, 2012

HAPPY EASTER BLOG HOP TOUR with PRIZES--LOTS of PRIZES


BLOG HOP--LOTS MORE TO ENTER

Be sure to click the above link--there are over 200 authors participating in this Blog Hop. Each and every one is giving away prizes for you to win!

This BLOG HOP is going to last through Sunday. During those three days, I'm going to be giving away lots of books.

Each day, FIVE winners will be chosen to receive their choice of any of my titles.

LINKED (Prophecy Book One)
THE STORM WITHIN & TABLE FOR TWO
FORBIDDEN & ONCE BITTEN (Much spicier book--warning 18+)

Each day, THREE winner will also be chosen to receive TWO of my books. And, on Sunday, Happy Easter, TWO WINNERS will receive all 3 of my books.

Each person that leaves a comment is automatically entered--but you must come back to see who the winner is. The winner needs to contact me to pick up their prize! (If you leave an email address, it's a lot easier!

There will be one GRAND PRIZE WINNER chosen at 11:59 p.m. Sunday Night. That is when the entries close. One person who comments will receive a $10.00 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble. The Grand Prize winner will also get copies of my e-books. The GRAND PRIZE WINNER must do all 4 steps below (very easy steps, honest!)

So, how do you enter? It's very easy. Each step below gets you more entries to win~ The WINNER of the GRAND PRIZE must do ALL of these to be entered for the Gift Card.

First: Comment on this blog
Second: For more chances to win--comment each day.
Third: For extra chances, FOLLOW THIS BLOG and FOLLOW ME on Twitter @hopewelsh. Send me a message that you're following me :) I always follow back.
Fourth: Tweet the following: I entered the Blog Hop Contest--http://hopewelsh.blogspot.com. Enter for your chance to win @hopewelsh books.

Pretty easy, right? If you don't have TWITTER, you can post instead on my Facebook page: http://facebooks.com/AuthorHopeWelsh

Bonus entries for telling me the following in your comments.

1. Who is the hero in LINKED
2. Who is the heroine in LINKED
3. Why do you read paranormal romances? (If you read them!)

Just for fun, below are a few Easter Eggs. Just click the Eggs for excerpts of Linked, The Storm Within, and a teaser for UNLINKED (Prophecy Book Two)




If you want bonus points, ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS IN YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT THE EXCERPTS

1. Who is being held prisoner for 2000 years?
2. What is the first line of the Prophecy?

1. What is Kari doing?
2. What happens?

1. Who is thinking?
2. What is he doing? All Winners will be chosen at Random.org. Good Luck-- and have a safe and Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Formatting Your Book

So, your book is all edited. It's ready to go! Yea, you!

What now?

You can go with Smashwords and have their program get your book in various formats. But--didn't you know there would be a but--there are some important things to consider when formatting for an e-book.

WORD (Microsoft Word) makes it relatively easy to prepare your book for e-book versions, both mobi (Kindle) and e-pub (Nook).

Some basics.

1. Get rid of TABS. Go under Format-Paragraph-Indention Here, you want to click the box and check "first line"--I always use .3 as my indention. This makes your first line of each paragraph with that nice indention that makes it easy to read. It's best to format you book at the beginning with this method. Tabs are not your friend, for those of you that remember Typing 101 in school.

2. When you hit the end of a chapter, hit enter one time. Now, go to INSERT and click "page break" for mobi format. (For Nook (e-pub) you will need to use "Next Page" instead)

3. If using a table of contents (which I recommend)use "INSERT-REFERENCE-INDEX and TABLE" from there, choose the single heading style, uncheck the page number box. E-books don't use page numbers.

4. Don't use Headers and Footers in e-book files.

5. For the copyright page--be sure to give credit to the proper people. If you're using iStock, for instance, credit the artist whose picture you used. If you have someone else design your cover, give them the appropriate credit. The copyright page should be formatted single spaced. If you're using 1 1/2 spacing in the book, highlight the copyright page and left justify it--with single space. Put your ISBN number here as well. Remember, an ISBN is different for an e-book version and a print version. (Amazon and Barnes & Noble don't require an ISBN. I recommend one. Smashwords will provide one free)

6. Insert the cover image on page 1--and don't forget to use page break (for mobi) so the copyright page is on the next click of pages when read. KDP allows you to tell the program to use the image inside the book--or to use one you upload to their site)

7. Fancy fonts aren't your friend. It's fine to do the first word in a chapter with a slightly larger or bold font--but don't use fancy fonts that aren't compatible. Also be sure to include the links to your cover, table of contents and the beginning of your book for Kindle. It's easy to do. Click the cover and then use "Insert Bookmark" and type in 'Cover" for Table of contents, same steps, using "TOC" and for the Beginning, use "Start"

8. You can also save your WORD document as an unfiltered web page. For Amazon, this seems to work best--though the WORD doc will work if formatted properly.

9. After uploading your file to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble, review the file! Look at every paragraph. (Amazon does automatic word wrapping--and justification) Are the paragraphs indented at the first word? Are any scene symbols centered?

10. Set your prices and rights, etc. This is an easy process, but still requires some thought. By now, your book should have gone out to reviewers--but if it hasn't, consider this a 'soft release' and make sure your reviewers have the link to the Amazon or B&N site to leave reviews. Personally, I used KDP Select for one of my books--because I wanted to have those 5 free days to use. I make more on Amazon Prime LOANS than I do for sales at my price point. Worth it for me, without a doubt.

11. If using Smashwords, be sure to opt out of Amazon and Barnes & Noble distribution--it's just as easy to do it yourself and save those few cents on commission.

If you don't want to do formatting yourself, there are a multitude of sites that will handle this for you. Prices range from $50-$100 for a book. Well worth the cost if your version just doesn't look right. First impressions mean everything. It must look good when a reader downloads the sample or uses the "Look Inside" feature on Amazon.

So, there you go. Formatting is a snap--if you remember to keep things simple. Be sure to include an author bio with links to all your websites.

One last thing to remember--if you're also doing a print version, I highly recommend you use the template from Create Space to do so. But, and this is an important but..don't use this version for your e-book. Too many things are different.

Be sure to check back tomorrow. I'm going to be having a contest for a Blog Tour I'm participating in. Lots of prizes :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Self-Publishing Your Fiction

Your book is ready. You've read it. Your best friend says it's awesome. Your neighbor did a pretty cover. It's ready to go to Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Use KDP and Pub-it and put it out there today!

WAIT--what? Really? No, of course not. Unfortunately, though this is exactly what we're seeing.

Writing the book is only step one in the process of publishing your book. Admittedly, the longest as far as time consumption. Still, it's only the first step.

For most, a first draft should be a write where we don't stop and edit. We just create. We remember the old sage advice: Show Don't Tell

And, it's good advice. We've avoided those 'ly' words. We've learned how to do dialogue.(You can see my post HERE for dialogue tips.

So, what do we need to do next?

Send your book to a critique partner. Even a group of critique partners. If you don't have a live one in your area, consider starting one of your own. You can also find critique partners on writing sites such as World Literary Cafe. This is one site that every writer should join. The forums are filled with folks just like you looking for that critique partner.

Why do we need a critique partner?

The answer to this is simple. We're too close to our story. We can visualize what is happening. After all, we created the story. What isn't on the pages is likely in our mind. In essence, the critique partner is a new set of eyes. They should be objective. They must be objective. Will they always be right? Of course not, but generally, if you're seeing the same type of comments from more than one person, there is likely an issue you're just too close to the work to see.

What next?

Edit. Go through your work after it's back from the critique partners and incorporate the suggestions. At this point, we are still in self-editing stage. We don't need to pay for an editor yet. Trust the judgment of your critique partners--especially if they are all saying the same things.

I've edited. Now what?

Send it to the group again for another read through. Perhaps even to a beta-reader. Beta readers will find things that you and your critique partners might have missed. I try to use beta-readers that read in my genre--and readers that don't.

Back from beta readers. Now what?

Do a last round of edits on your own. Read the book out loud. I know, this sounds very time consuming. You'll find, though, that things read fine and sound bad. Look for those pesky mistakes. Did you use 'its' when it should have been 'it's'? Did you use 'affect' when you meant 'effect'? Remember, the grammar feature of Microsoft Word is not a substitution for a real person!

After reading it out loud-start reading it from the end. Read every line and every word. You'll be surprised at how many mistakes you find.

And now what? I've edited it. It's ready, right?

Not quite. Now, you need to find a professional editor. Check the editor out. Ask for a sample of their work. Find out what their credentials are. Sites like World Literary Cafe above do have a place to find editors. Talk to other writers and see who they've used. A poorly edited book says nothing good about your story. And, trust me on this, readers will find every error--especially if you're self-publishing your book. You will discover you're held to a higher standard. Fair? Maybe not--but it's fact.

When that editor is done, you need to work on any suggested revisions. I also recommend a proofreader. Put it away for a week or two--then read it again. Your might spot any last-minute things that need fixed.

What about the cover?

I recommend here that you find a cover artist. You want your cover to 'pop'. Some people do look at the cover and make a decision based on that. A boring cover won't sell a book. At the same time, you want your cover to fit the book. There are some great cover artists out there. Sometimes, you can do it yourself. This isn't the place to use those beautiful--but difficult to read--fonts. Make your title easy to read. Make your name easy to read. Use contrasting colors. If your book cover is mostly blue--you don't want the text blue, too. Resize the image to the smallest size seen on Amazon and B&N. Can you still read the title and your name? No? Then re-do the cover.

Sometimes simple is best. Get opinions from readers. Make more than one cover and ask your writing groups for opinions. Listen to them all and then pick the correct cover.

Now it's ready?

Now, it's time to send it off to reviewers. Do a 'soft' release. This simply means put the book up but don't promote it's 'for sale' until you've gotten the reviewers to post their reviews. It's darn difficult to sell a book with no reviews! Trust me on this. It took me a year to get reviews--despite thousands of downloads.


Tomorrow, I'll talk about formatting your book for Kindle and Nook. And, on Thursday, I'll post on some suggestions for pre-marketing your book.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Tips For Getting in the Proper Categories on Amazon

Hello fellow writers and those that read us~

Today's Tip is on getting your book in the proper category on Amazon. My two books have been up quite a while and did so-so. I believe that in a large part, this was due to them not being in the proper category.

When you publish your book to KDP on Amazon, there is a large list of possible categories to list your book in. I'm sure, if you've already published, you've picked the category that you feel fits to a T. But does it?

Let's use an example from my own work. THE STORM WITHIN & TABLE FOR TWO is an anthology of romantic suspense. Its ranking has been dismal--until I fixed the category.

Here is the main thing to consider--people have to FIND your book to buy it.

As of 6 a.m. today, THE STORM WITHIN is at #6 in Romance Anthologies and #37 in Romance Anthologies overall. (The latter list includes both print and e-book)

Below is a screen shot.


My other book, LINKED, is also in a Top 100 List--and has been every day since I targeted my categories.


How did I do this? Did I write the best books in the world? Did I spend a ton of money to promote them on every website in the world? No, I didn't spend a dime. Really.

LINKED is a paranormal romance. It's Book One in the Prophecy Series I'm writing. Now, if you've looked on Amazon KDP, you'll notice that there isn't a category for Paranormal under Romance. While LINKED is available in print and e-book--I'm marketing the e-book o KDP.

What did I do? It was actually pretty easy. I simply picked the categories that best matched my books based on their content. I emailed KDP and asked them how to get in the proper categories.

Here are the steps to do:

1. Know your category! Is it romance? Is it a thriller? Mystery? Great--but what else is it? Is there a sub-genre to your work? Does it fit in any other category? Sure it does. Every book does. The trick is to get it there.
2. Go to your Amazon page (for the book) and scroll down to the bottom. See those categories there? Look at the lists. There will be several of them. See the image below:


Does one of them fit? GREAT! Now, copy the two that fit the best (remember, you want to be found under e-books) so don't pick the 'overall' category of 'books' unless yours is a print book.

In the above instance, I picked "Anthologies" and "Contemporary". Remember, narrow down your list as much as possible. "Romance" is too general. There are thousands and thousands. Unless you're selling 1k books a day--you're not going to rank high on that list.

The key is narrowing. Pick several books from the Top 100 List in your genre. See what categories are available. Pick the ones that most closely match your work.

3. Now that you know what category you want it, you need to let Amazon get you there. Copy the exact line you want, like this:

# Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Romance > Anthologies

When you contact Amazon KDP, they will put your book in whichever categories you ask. Be sure to list your book as non-classifiable under KDP. (At least I had to do that) Amazon will not create a new category--but they will add your book to any existing category.

Give it a few days and watch your books climb the charts! Remember, once you make a bestseller list--you've a best-selling author. Granted, it's best-selling in a particular genre. That's fine. It can take up to three days for it to cycle through.

It's fine to say "Amazon Top 100 bestselling romance" or "Amazon Top 100 bestselling in its genre" or even "Amazon Top 10 bestseller in its category" when it hits the Top Ten.

As an author--we need to make every effort to get our books in the hands of readers. Many readers buy their books based on those lists. The best day LINKED had last month was the day it first made an Amazon Bestselling Top 100 list.

Readers read because writers write. But first, they have to know you're out there.

Here's to seeing your book on that Top 100 List. Maybe even #1~

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sample Sunday and Post One of WRITING TIPS for AUTHORS

Hello Guys!

Today is Sample Sunday on my blog. I put up a short excerpt from one of my books for your reading enjoyment But the rest of this week is going to be a little different. This week is dedicated to writers. Tips for writers Tips on formatting your book. Tips on promoting your book. Wednesday, there will be an interview with Amazon bestselling author, Melissa Foster. The weekend is going to be a blog hop with about 200 other authors.

Happy April Fools Day!

This excerpt is from The Storm Within - my romantic suspense, which is part of the anthology available on Amazon






She was going to die.Kari Davis knew it as well as she knew her name.

Less than an hour ago, she’d been terrified that she would be killed—now, it appeared Mother Nature was calling dibs. What did it matter? Dead was dead. At least the storm wouldn’t go out if its way to make sure her death was as painful as possible.
A light snow had turned into a whiteout. Visibility was nearly non-existent. She couldn’t tell for sure that she was even on the road. Her hands gripped the steering wheel so tightly that her knuckles were cramping.

“Calm down,” she muttered. The last twenty-four hours had been a living nightmare—she hadn’t thought things could get any worse, but of course, they had. The snow had begun slowly, and then built gradually. The radio was warning motorists to stay off the roads.
If only she could. Pulling over wasn’t an option. Not if she wanted to live. She tried to relax her death grip on the steering wheel.

Before she could take her next breath, the car started careening out of control. Immediately she took her foot off the gas pedal, instinctively remembering her driver’s education course from years before.

She felt herself spinning and released an involuntary scream. She couldn’t see anything but white. She didn’t know how to drive in this kind of weather. All she could do is hold on. Was she supposed to put on the brakes? Straighten the wheel? God, help me, she thought wildly. She just couldn’t remember.

As if in answer to her prayer, the car began to slow, then finally came to a halt. Her hands were shaking badly as she relaxed her grip on the wheel. What was she supposed to do now? She didn’t know if she was headed in the same direction or not. For that matter, she didn’t even know if she was still on the road or if she’d ended up on the side of the road.

It wasn’t until then that she realized the car had died. She turned the key in the ignition, but it wouldn’t start. She pumped the gas and tried again. Nothing. “Damn it!”

Here she sat, in the middle of nowhere with a dead car and the blizzard from hell blowing outside. There was no one to call; by now, Derrick would have convinced everyone that she was crazy—or worse, a murderer. She had no idea who she could trust, so had just run into the worst storm in Oklahoma history, apparently.

Her eyes burned as she considered her situation. Dead car. Middle of the night. Storm of the century. With a muttered curse, she tried once more to start the car. Still nothing. There was nothing she could do.

Her eye caught on the book lying on the seat next to her. With an almost hysterical laugh, she picked it up. At least I won’t be bored, she thought wildly, and tossed the book aside.

Kari considered getting out of the car and trying to walk—but didn’t—at least not yet. She’d read somewhere that you were supposed to stay with a stranded vehicle. Right now, though, she wanted away.

Would she rather freeze in a car or let Derrick and his henchmen find her? What did it matter? she thought yet again. At least with the cold, she’d just fall asleep. She had little doubt that if Derrick got a hold of her that her death would be far different. She shivered, both from cold and from reaction. There was nothing she could do. If a car didn’t come along soon—she’d freeze before Derrick had a chance to find her.

She didn’t have any clue at all where she was. Somewhere between Oklahoma City and Shawnee. Now, though, she didn’t even know which direction was which.

Cautiously, she opened the door and stepped out of the car. It was too dark to see anything much, but at least it looked like the car was on the edge of the road. At least some poor soul wouldn’t plow into her car. Freezing, she climbed back into the car. Damn it! Just a little luck would be nice. Someone will stop. Someone safe.

She wanted to live! Not that it mattered one iota what she wanted.

She’d run from Derrick as fast and as far as she could—only to put herself more at risk.
It wasn’t supposed to snow like this here! She was sitting on some road in the middle of central Oklahoma. She cursed her own stupidity for getting off the freeway. At least there, someone would have spotted her—even just a cop doing patrols.

But here, no one would find her. She hadn’t seen one car the entire time she’d been on the road—and that had been when she could see the road. Now, she had no certain idea where the road even was. With a tired sigh, she leaned back and closed her eyes. At least she had a flashlight, and wasn’t in total darkness. She guessed that was some small consolation. Part of her wanted to grab the hammer in the backseat and bash something, but of course, she didn’t do that. As it was, she was freezing. As satisfying as breaking a window might be, it would also make her freeze a lot quicker. Suddenly, she was tired. Just a little sleep. She’d been running on adrenaline for hours. It had easily been twenty-four hours since she’d slept.

She’d sleep a few hours until morning. Maybe someone would come by once the sun was out. Surely at least some road crews would be out trying to clear the major roads.

With that thought, she remembered she’d avoided the major roads. She wasn’t anywhere near a major road right now. That likely had as much to do with her not seeing another car for hours as the storm did.

Someone had to live around here somewhere—but even as she had the thought, she couldn’t stop the pessimistic thought that she wouldn’t be waking up. Even with her coat on, she was already freezing. Her hands felt like blocks of ice. The radio had said the temperature was in the single digits. She was more than sure the chill factor was much colder than that. Maybe if she layered her clothes? Would it matter? Probably not, she decided gloomily. She’d be likely frozen by morning.


Tips For Sunday


Today I'm going to be talking about writing dialogue, whether in first person or third. I've read so many books in the last few weeks with major issues within dialogue. Below are some samples from my own writing--both done correctly and incorrectly. Can you tell which is which? The answers will be at the bottom.


1. "Eat," he said gently. "You're safe here."
2. "Eat." He said gently. "You're safe here."
3. "Eat," he said gently, "you're safe here."

Which do you think are wrong in the above 3 samples? Not sure? Basic for you? Here's another.

1. After a long pause, he released her shoulders. "We’re going to my house. It’s just a few miles up the road."
2. After a long pause, he released her shoulders, "We're going to my house. It's just a few miles up the road."
3. After a long pause, he released her shoulders, "we're going to my house. It's just a few miles up the road."

How bout with internal dialogue in third person writing? Which is correct?

1. Oh God, someone has to find me.
2. Oh God, someone has to find me.
3. Oh God, someone has to find me.

In the first sample, the first and third are correct. Normally, I prefer to use the first example.

In sample two, the first is correct. With action tags, normally a period is used. Action is a way to keep the reader from becoming confused as to the speaker. Long blocks of dialogue can be confusing for readers. Also remember that when there is a long block of dialogue that takes more than one paragraph, you do not close the quotes until you are finished. Like this:

"I don't want to tell you about this. You would be in danger. He's a murderer and I don't want to be responsible.

"Last week I watched him shoot a man and he's going to kill me too."

Now, of course, this is just a small paragraph used for demonstration purposes only. By not closing the tag in the first paragraph, the reader knows it is the same speaker talking.

In the third, the first is correct.

Dialogue is a tricky thing for many writers. There are some great resources online that you can use. Remember, 'he said/she said' gets boring. Mix in some action tags, too.

One reminder dialogue punctuation. If an exclamation point is needed--by all means, use it. But don't overuse them, or they lost their impact. Never use multiple punctuation in a sentence. Same thing with question marks. I've read several recently with paragraphs like this:

"I hate you!!!!" she screamed at the top of her lungs.

Give the reader some credit. The fact she's screaming at the top of her lungs and one exclamation point make the point.

Some writers think you need to use a tag with each line of dialogue. You don't. Read the following:

"I hate you!" she screamed
"Not as much as I hate you," he yelled
"I don't care!" she said.
"You will!" he said.

See how boring that is? How bout something like this:

"I hate you!" Her fists were clenched tightly as she glared at him.

"Not as much as I hate you!"

She wasn't going to let him get to her. No way, no how. The veins in his temple were throbbing. She knew that meant he was furious. Too bad. So was she. "I don't care."

"You will!" He turned on his heel and walked out the door, slamming it behind him.


So which sample is more exciting? Which one pulls you into the story? Remember the golden rule of fiction: SHOW DON'T TELL. Her clenched fists show her anger. Since we are in her point of view--she's the one that notices his throbbing veins. We can see he's angry by her view of him. Also we can tell by the slamming of the door.

Any more basic dialogue questions? Just post them below.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WWW Wednesday


Here are my last weeks and my ratings of them (if I'm done with it)

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions… (leave a link to your blog)

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I a currently reading: Jeff Bennington The Indie Guide to the Universe 5/5 stars
I just finished reading: Sheryl Steines The Day of First Sun 5/5 stars
Next I will be reading: Kevin Domenic Key To The Stars Still haven't read

This week:

1. I am currently reading: Kevin Demenic Key To The Stars
2. I just finished reading: Twin Tied by Lanie Jordan (beta)(YA)
3. I will be reading: Leah Cypress Changeling (YA)

You can find what I'm reading and will be reading here:

The Changelings and Other Stories on Amazon -- A Free Read by Random House Author Leah Cypress

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sample Sunday

HI

Here's my Sample Sunday. This is from The Storm Within. It's available on Amazon in the widget above this post. There is a new edition with a bonus second story inside. Read the first chapter below. Also check the post below this one for a contest I'm running to celebrate LINKED hitting a Top 100 list on Amazon.

Linked and The Storm Within are both on sale this week for 99cents.

THE STORM WITHIN

She was going to die. Kari Davis knew it as well as she knew her name.

Less than an hour ago, she’d been terrified that she would be killed—now, it appeared Mother Nature was calling dibs. What did it matter? Dead was dead. At least the storm wouldn’t go out if its way to make sure her death was as painful as possible.

A light snow had turned into a whiteout. Visibility was nearly non-existent. She couldn’t tell for sure that she was even on the road. Her hands gripped the steering wheel so tightly that her knuckles were cramping.

“Calm down,” she muttered. The last twenty-four hours had been a living nightmare—she hadn’t thought things could get any worse, but of course, they had. The snow had begun slowly, and then built gradually. The radio was warning motorists to stay off the roads.
If only she could. Pulling over wasn’t an option. Not if she wanted to live. She tried to relax her death grip on the steering wheel.

Before she could take her next breath, the car started careening out of control. Immediately she took her foot off the gas pedal, instinctively remembering her driver’s education course from years before.

She felt herself spinning and released an involuntary scream. She couldn’t see anything but white. She didn’t know how to drive in this kind of weather. All she could do is hold on. Was she supposed to put on the breaks? Straighten the wheel? God, help me, she thought wildly. She just couldn’t remember.

As if in answer to her prayer, the car began to slow, then finally came to a halt. Her hands were shaking badly as she relaxed her grip on the wheel. What was she supposed to do now? She didn’t know if she was headed in the same direction or not. For that matter, she didn’t even know if she was still on the road or if she’d ended up on the side of the road.

It wasn’t until then that she realized the car had died. She turned the key in the ignition, but it wouldn’t start. She pumped the gas and tried again. Nothing. “Damn it!”
Here she sat, in the middle of nowhere with a dead car and the blizzard from hell blowing outside. There was no one to call; by now, Derrick would have convinced everyone that she was crazy—or worse, a murderer. She had no idea who she could trust, so had just run—into the worst storm in Oklahoma history, apparently.

Her eyes burned as she considered her situation. Dead car. Middle of the night. Storm of the century. With a muttered curse, she tried once more to start the car. Still nothing. There was nothing she could do.

Her eye caught on the book lying on the seat next to her. With an almost hysterical laugh, she picked it up. At least I won’t be bored, she thought wildly, and tossed the book aside.

Kari considered getting out of the car and trying to walk—but didn’t—at least not yet. She’d read somewhere that you were supposed to stay with a stranded vehicle. Right now, though, she wanted away.

Would she rather freeze in a car or let Derrick and his henchmen find her? What did it matter? she thought yet again. At least with the cold, she’d just fall asleep. She had little doubt that if Derrick got a hold of her that her death would be far different. She shivered, both from cold and from reaction. There was nothing she could do. If I car didn’t come along soon—she’d freeze before Derrick had a chance to find her.

She didn’t have any clue at all where she was. Somewhere between Oklahoma City and Shawnee. Now, though, she didn’t even know which direction was which.

Cautiously, she opened the door and stepped out of the car. It was too dark to see anything much, but at least it looked like the car was on the edge of the road. At least some poor soul wouldn’t plow into her car. Freezing, she climbed back into the car. Damn it! Just a little luck would be nice. Someone will stop. Someone safe.

She wanted to live! Not that it mattered one iota what she wanted.

She’d run from Derrick as fast and as far as she could—only to put herself more at risk.
It wasn’t supposed to snow like this here! She was sitting on some road in the middle of central Oklahoma. She cursed her own stupidity for getting off the freeway. At least there, someone would have spotted her—even just a cop doing patrols.

But here, no one would find her. She hadn’t seen one car the entire time she’d been on the road—and that had been when she could see the road. Now, she had no certain idea where the road even was. With a tired sigh, she leaned back and closed her eyes. At least she had a flashlight, and wasn’t in total darkness. She guessed that was some small consolation. Part of her wanted to grab the hammer in the backseat and bash something, but of course, she didn’t do that. As it was, she was freezing. As satisfying as breaking a window might be, it would also make her freeze a lot quicker. Suddenly, she was tired. Just a little sleep. She’d been running on adrenaline for hours. It had easily been twenty-four hours since she’d slept.

She’d sleep a few hours until morning. Maybe someone would come by once the sun was out. Surely at least some road crews would be out trying to clear the major roads.
With that thought, she remembered she’d avoided the major roads. She wasn’t anywhere near a major road right now. That likely had as much to do with her not seeing another car for hours as the storm did.

Someone had to live around here somewhere—but even as she had the thought, she couldn’t stop the pessimistic thought that she wouldn’t be waking up. Even with her coat on, she was already freezing. Her hands felt like blocks of ice. The radio had said the temperature was in the single digits. She was more than sure the chill factor was much colder than that. Maybe if she layered her clothes? Would it matter? Probably not, she decided gloomily. She’d be likely frozen by morning.



If you'd like to leave a comment, please do. I love hearing from my readers.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

LINKED hits the TOP 100 in Fantasy Series on Amazon -- So a CONTEST

It's been a long time coming! Linked hit the Top 100 list on Amazon at 3am. Now, you may be asking why this excites me. It doesn't mean I've sold 2000 books today or anything. It just means that enough people are reading it that it's finally making a place for itself on the lists.

Can I have a moment of ecstatic excitement and squeal? I'm #60. Hey, it's a Top 100 Best Seller in that category--so does that mean I'm a bestselling author now? (LOL)

Well, in any case. I'm happy. When I'm happy--I want to make you happy.

So...

A CONTEST of course. There are a few things you have to do, though. See options below


I just uploaded a new version of The Storm Within, because I wanted to add a second story to it. So, now, it has two romantic suspense stories in it.

Linked, The Storm Within & Table For Two are on sale for 99 cents this weekend as well.

Help me celebrate!

Oh, and if you have Amazon Prime, you can borrow LINKED and keep it as long as you like.

The Storm Within & Table For Two have a new cover. If you don't see the new cover, don't download it--it won't have the free 2nd story in it. Here's the cover.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thursday Thirteen






Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!


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Today on Thursday Thirteen


13 Writing To Publish Tips

1. First--you must be a reader to be a writer
2. Write something every day--even if it's a journal or a blog.
3. Revise what you write--usually more than once.
4. Find a critique group (no, not your best friend or your mom, sister, or neighbor)
5. Second round of edits.
6. Find Beta Readers -- These nice folks will pick apart your story for you.
7. Edit based on Beta Response
8. Now have it professionally edited/proofread
9. Design your cover--hire a professional and get opinions--format book
10. Find Reviewers -- Don't put it up without reviews - do soft-release
11. Promote your book/story/novella (after reviews are listed on Amazon & B&N)
12. NEVER comment on negative reviews
13. Start the next book!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WWW Wednesday and WoW (Waiting on Wednesday)



To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I a currently reading: Jeff Bennington The Indie Guide to the Universe
I just finished reading: Sheryl Steines The Day of First Sun
Next I will be reading: Kevin Domenic Key To The Stars

You can find what I'm reading and will be reading here:



PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own WWW Wednesdays post, or share your answers in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks! :D

Leave a comment with your WWW or answer here -- one lucky commenter will win a copy of either The Storm Within OR Linked -- both are my Romance Titles out now


Now for the Wow (Waiting on Wednesday)Hosted by Breaking The Spine

Have a book you're DYING to read? "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine (check them out) that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:


This book will be released in June. I was lucky enough to get it to review--though I haven't read it yet--can't wait to!

It's on Amazon for pre-order.


Everyone at Mythos Academy knows me as Gwen Frost, the Gypsy girl who uses her psychometry magic to find lost objects - and who just may be dating Logan Quinn, the hottest guy in school. But I'm also the girl the Reapers of Chaos want dead in the worst way. The Reapers are the baddest of the bad, the people who murdered my mom. So why do they have it in for me? It turns out my mom hid a powerful artefact called the Helheim Dagger before she died. Now, the Reapers will do anything to get it back. They think I know where the dagger is hidden, but this is one thing I can't use my magic to find. All I do know is that the Reapers are coming for me - and I'm in for the fight of my life.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday Teaser

I just found a great new thing I'm going to start doing on my blog. Why not try it on yours, too!


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Go ahead and list your own, too! And a link to your blog.

I'm going to list two for me today.

1. Sheryl Steines - The Day of First Sun (Urban fantasy romance)

a. "Next year I'll beat you!" Bobby yelled. "No you won't," she teased. (pg. 12)


2. Hope Welsh - Linked

a. "It's in your heart, child. Your brain will catch up." (pg. 100)

So, what are your teasers from a book you're reading now?

(BELOW ARE AMAZON LINKS TO BOTH TITLES)

THE DAY OF FIRST SUN

LINKED

Monday, March 19, 2012

Author Interview with Sheryl Steines

Please enjoy this interview with Sheryl Steines, author of the urban fantasy novel, The Day of First Sun. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

 

If you could travel in a time machine, would you go back to the past or into the future?

I would go to the past, meet famous people, see history as it happened. I’d be afraid to go to the future. I’m not sure I really want to know when I die.

If you could jump into a book, and live in that world, which would it be?

This might be to expected, but I would love to live at Hogwarts, stroll through Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, play with all the magical stuff, and visit the Weasleys at their house. I saw the Harry Potter exhibit at the museum a few years ago, and it just seemed so fun.

If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play the lead role and why?

Sandra Bullock. Since she became a movie star, people all over the place tell me I look like her. She’s also funny. I can only imagine how much more interesting and funny my life would be if she were the lead.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always knew I wanted to be a writer. There were times that I thought I wanted to be an interior decorator, but in the end, I was always much happier writing and creating.

Who are your favorite authors of all time?

I have two. The first would be Stephen King. I was always amazed by the detail and imagination he used in his books, especially the earliest books. I watched him on an interview many years ago and he was talking about the things he was afraid of, one of which was sleeping with his feet outside the covers at night. He would always cover his feet so that the monsters under the bed wouldn’t get him. I laughed so hard because I do the same thing. J.K. Rowling is also a favorite. Her life story and Harry Potter reminded me that I wanted to be a writer when I was seven. She reminded me of the genre that I loved. It got me thinking about what stories intrigued me. I watched her interview on Oprah and cried through the entire thing. It got me thinking of ways to take my personal experiences and hide them in the fantasy world.

What do you do in your free time?

I read, a lot. In the winter, I spend time at museums and go shopping. In the summer, I love to go to flea markets. You could never have too many fleas. I love to travel. I spend most of the summer driving my 1966 Mustang convertible.

What is your guilty pleasure?

I’m a huge fan of Ninja Warrior. Yeah, the Japanese obstacle course. On one side, it’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. On the other side of it, the obstacles are so challenging, and the participants are so revered for making it through each stage that it is a huge honor to win.

Favorite places to travel?

I love Europe, London being my favorite city. I’ve been to Scotland, France, Italy, Germany and Austria. The Austrian/German Alps are some of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen.

Favorite way to spend a rainy day?

In front of the television watching my favorite movies. Who doesn’t love Ferris Buehler’s Day Off and Sixteen Candles.

If you could have a superpower, what would you choose?

Telekinesis! Then I could clean my house without actually having to do anything.

 

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Day of First Sun eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:
  1. Purchase your copy of The Day of First Sun for just 99 cents
  2. Fill-out the simple form on Novel Publicity
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event
Help my blog win:

The tour blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card. When you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to VOTE FOR ME.

About the book: A vampire, a rogue wizard and an army of soulless zombies are par for the course for Annie Pearce and Bobby “Cham” Chamsky of the Wizard’s Guard. But when the non-magical princess, Amelie of Amborix, is murdered by magical means, a deeper plot unfolds. Get it on Amazon.

About the author: Behind the wheel of her ’66 Mustang Convertible, Sheryl is a constant surprise, using her sense of humor and relatable style make her books something everyone can enjoy. Visit Sheryl on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sample Sunday

HI Everyone

Happy Sunday!

I decided to make Sunday my "Sample" day. So, today, you can get a sneak peek at LINKED without having to download it.


PROLOGUE

2,000 years ago...

The Evil One stared through the invisible walls holding him and laughed.

They would never be able to vanquish him. Their powers paled in comparison to his own.
With no other option, they had constructed this prison.

Even though the Druids tried to hide it from him, he still heard of the prophecy. His spies were everywhere. He came to force answers from the Druids, but they had been ready for him.

Before he discovered the Druids’ intentions, he had been trapped. Their blood sacrifice had been unable to destroy him, but they ensured he would remain imprisoned here for the next two millennium.

He actually laughed at the Druids when they trapped him. Time was of little consequence to him, as it would pass in the blink of his eye.

He existed since the beginning of time and they were mere mortals. Never would they have the power to destroy him—but something could.

He managed to read only a small part of the prophecy before he had been detected.

When two become one.

He needed to recover those two pieces before anyone else found them. He vowed to make sure they would never have the chance to become one.

He would not be destroyed. And now that he knew what to look for, nothing, and no one, would ever be powerful enough to vanquish him.

Humankind would pay for the Druids’ audacity. Did they think to imprison him and not pay the consequences? Did they think he would suffer their insolence?

He hoped they did. Almost hoped they thought themselves safe from him.

True enough now. For the time being they would be out of his reach. As time passed, they would forget about the threat which lingered over them like a black cloud, circling, gathering speed and force…waiting for the right moment.

Yes…revenge would be his, and humankind would once again bow before him.This prison would not hold him indefinitely. Eventually, he would escape. Then he would find the pieces and destroy them.

Nothing would stand in his way.


CHAPTER ONE


“Run!”

Lana Summers shot awake in a cold sweat, her arm outstretched, reaching for someone who wasn’t there. She sat up and brushed the hair away from her damp face.

“What the...?” She glanced around the dark room, half expecting to see her mom. That’s whose voice had screamed in her head.

No, not in her head.

It was from her dream—just a dream. Her mom wasn’t there.

God, it had been so real. Too real.

She shook her head in immediate denial. Her mild psychic abilities never progressed to the same level of her mother’s, thank God. It had only been a ridiculous dream. She refused to accept it as anything paranormal.

I won’t be like you, Mom. I love you, but I won’t be you. I won’t live my life always wondering what horror I’ll see next.

But the dream…it had been so vivid. It had seemed so real. And this wasn’t the first one she’d experienced. She’d had the first one a week after her mother’s death. Though, in that one, her mother hadn’t screamed at her or scared her half to death. All she could remember about it was her mother’s tone seemed urgent, but she couldn’t figure out what was wrong or what her mother wanted to tell her.

Not that she had tried that hard, nor had she wanted to.

Unable to shake it off, Lana put her feet over the side of the bed and slowly stood up, still looking around the room. She slipped her feet into her slippers and had just reached to turn on the bedside lamp when she heard a strange noise.

Her breath held as she listened. Hearing strange noises in an apartment wouldn’t have bothered her, but this was different—closer.

It took only a matter of seconds before she recognized the sound of footsteps. Someone was in the hallway headed toward her bedroom.

Someone was in her apartment! A scream slowly bubbled up in her throat unbidden, but she suppressed it. She had to get out, but how?

The window was her only chance.

Thank God for first-floor apartments, she thought as she grabbed her robe off the foot of her bed and made her way, quick and silent, toward the window. She held her breath again and tried to open the window quietly. It finally opened with a creak, causing her to wince as she slipped one leg over the ledge.

The back of her building had been built on a downward slant of land, so what should have been a four or five foot drop to the ground, ended up being eight.

The doorknob rattled. There was no time to debate the pros and cons of jumping. She could either jump now or…. She didn’t want to wait for the or.

So much for choices, she thought grimly, and jumped feet first.Her ankle twisted as she hit the ground, causing her to fall to her knees and suck in a breath at the sharp pain. She looked up and saw a shadowed figure standing at the window. As she pushed herself up, she turned her head, managing another quick glance. After sticking his head out the window, he threw one leg over the edge.

He was going to do what she’d just done, she realized as she took off around the side of the building.

Lana made her way toward the front of the apartment complex, running as fast as her injured ankle would allow, not even noticing that she’d lost a slipper somewhere along the way.

Footsteps echoed behind her, but she ignored the natural urge to turn around. If she could just make it across the street to the twenty-four hour store, she would be able to get help.

She stumbled and barely managed to catch her balance. The convenience store, and a man standing outside, finally came into view as the passed the edge of her building, and she almost wept with relief. Never before had the sight of dim lights and a stranger made her so happy. It was going to be okay.

Without slowing her pace, Lana finally dared a glance over her shoulder to see if the figure was still following her, and saw him round the corner.

*~~*


Cole needed a cigarette. For the umpteenth time he wondered why he’d quit the week before. The temptation to light up surged through him, but he had better control than that. Barely. The urges weren’t as frequent now, but when they hit, he really wanted to give in to them. Maybe he should have tried one of the patches or that new medication. He was not one to give in, though, once he’d made up his mind. Why had he decided to quit again? Oh yeah—cancer.

If he couldn’t smoke, he needed gum, and he needed it ten minutes ago.
He saw a convenience store up ahead and debated whether or not to stop. The one closer to his house was only fifteen minutes away, but that meant fifteen minutes longer without gum.

Not to mention the pack of Marlboro that was sitting in his glove box. It had been easier somehow to quit when he knew that there was a pack waiting. So far, it had worked well knowing it was there if he really needed it.

The internal debate didn’t last long. He’d quit. He wasn’t giving up, so he pulled in the parking lot and parked by the front entrance. It was nearly deserted, which suited him just fine. He really wanted that gum.

As he jumped out of his car and headed for the door, a tingling at the back of his neck had him turning his head.

He saw her immediately.

A woman out for a run at one thirty in the morning? Not likely, and certainly not wearing anything but what appeared to be a robe. Obviously something was wrong. She ran with a limp, wearing only one slipper, and glanced over her shoulder.

Gum forgotten, Cole headed toward the edge of the parking lot. A man came darting from behind the building. Instincts—not to mention the terror on the woman’s face—told him the guy following her wasn’t someone she wanted to catch her.

Cole hesitated only a second before sprinting across the street. Horns blasted, and a driver yelled obscenities, but he ignored them.

The woman ran into him fast enough to spin him around. She would have sent them both sprawling to the sidewalk had he not put his hands around her waist to catch her. Either she hadn’t noticed him cross the street, or she was too preoccupied with the man chasing her to care.

“There’s someone after me,” she said breathlessly.

“I know.” He turned back around to get a better glimpse of the man, but he was gone, and that worried him.

She bent over, hands resting on the tops of her legs, trying to catch her breath. “I’m sorry,” she said and straightened. She brushed long curls out of her face, finally giving him a chance to get a good look at her.

Her brown hair glinted with reddish highlights in the glow from the convenience store lights. Fear and pain tainted the smoky blue of her eyes. She stood almost a foot shorter than his own six-two and his innate protective nature kicked in instinctively.Her dark blue robe looked as though she had rolled around in the mud—the remaining slipper on her foot didn’t look much better.

“Are you okay?” Cole asked, his voice soothing. He wanted her to stay calm enough to tell him what was going on, and that wouldn’t happen if she hyperventilated or got hysterical on him. Hell, leave it to me to be in the wrong place at the right time.

She nodded. “I’m okay. I think.”

“Go on into the store and wait for me, alright? I’m going to go see if he’s still around.”
He gave her a hang-in-there smile and a pat on the arm before running in the direction from which she’d come. He didn’t expect to find the guy, but if he could figure out which way he went or where he came from, it might give the cops a place to start.
If she wanted to call the cops.

The thought made him cringe. He hated dealing with the cops. They were the bane of his existence. They didn’t like dealing with him, even though he was a private investigator and one of the good guys. Well, too bad for them. He was involved—whether the cops, or the pretty little thing at the store, liked it or not.

The edge of the woods and the area he’d seen the woman running in showed no recent sign of foot traffic, other than his own.

It had rained the day before, and if anyone had been there, he should have found tracks in the mud. As it stood, the only tracks he found belonged to the woman at the convenience store.

Damn, what’d the bastard do? Disappear into thin air? He frowned. There wouldn’t be anything to show the cops.

If he had the time, he would have shape shifted, but she was still waiting for him at the store and likely terrified.

How did the guy just seem to vanish off the face of the earth in a matter of seconds? He couldn’t explain that one. Yet.

Another niggling feeling pricked at him as he performed one more walk-by of the area, looking for clues he might have missed. Something was missing. At the moment, he didn’t know what exactly, but he wouldn’t drop it until he had some answers. She might not know it, but she would have a shadow until he found them. He wasn’t one to leave a puzzle unsolved.

“Did you find anything?” she asked as soon as he walked back to the store. Her tone was still anxious, but stronger than before.

He shook his head and frowned. “Nothing at all.”

A sigh escaped her lips. “I appreciate you looking, Mr…?”

Cole extended his hand. “My name’s Cole Thomas, ma’am.”

“Thank you. I’m Lana. Lana Summers.” She shook his hand, her grip surprisingly strong. “I suppose I should go see if anything is missing.”

Well, that told him that it wasn’t likely a domestic problem, and since it was an apartment building, he was guessing someone had broken in. Part of him was glad she didn’t look too happy about it going to check on her own. He was going to help, and the look on her face said she didn’t really want to go look by herself. “Would you mind if I went along with you, just to make sure there’s no one around?”

She studied him for a moment, wariness clear in her eyes. He didn’t mind, though. Had someone just broken into his house and chased him down, he’d probably be a tad suspicious of strangers, too.

After a moment of silence, he almost bet her answer would be no.

“No, I would appreciate that, thank you.”

Cole gestured for her to lead the way and took hold of her elbow. “How bad is the ankle?”
“It’s not bad. I can walk on it, so it’s not broken.” She attempted a smile, but it fell short. “Some ice and aspirin and it’ll be good as new. I just landed on it wrong.”
He didn’t agree or disagree, but decided he’d check the damage for himself at the first opportunity.

“Mr. Thomas—”

“Cole. Please, call me Cole,” he said.

This time she managed to smile and it almost reached her eyes. “Cole,” she repeated, “I really appreciate your help. I could be polite and say that you don’t have to go with me, but I won’t.”

He laughed. “That’s quite alright. I’m just glad I can help, ma’am.”

Lana stopped and gave him a look. “If I’m going to call you Cole, then the least you could do is call me Lana. ‘Ma’am’ makes me sound old.”

“Lana it is, then,” he chuckled. “You’ve got some sense of humor, considering the circumstances.” He glanced over, noticed she’d crossed her arms over her chest. “Are you cold?”

She turned her head in his direction, startled. “What? Oh, no. I’m fine, it’s just….”

He nodded. He’d begun to wonder how a woman could act so nonchalant about having her house broken into and having a man chase her down. Hell, most men would have either panicked or done something stupid and ended up hurt—and he wasn’t being sexist. She’d gotten her butt in gear and escaped. Which posed another good question….
“Just how did you get out of your apartment?”

She turned to face him. “I woke up a minute before I heard footsteps, and then I realized someone was in my apartment, so I jumped out of the window.”

He whistled. “Out of the window? No wonder you hurt your ankle. Quick thinking, I might add.”

“Thanks.” She paused in front of a door. “This is my apartment.”

“Bet you’re glad you picked a ground floor apartment.”

It was her turn to laugh. “Yes, I am. And it doesn’t have anything to do with the fact carrying furniture up flights of stairs is a pain.”

Lana grabbed the doorknob and turned. “Crap,” she hissed under her breath and swung back around, a look of absolute disgust on her face. “I don’t have my keys. If you could give me a boost to get back in through my window, I’d appreciate it.”

She started to walk past him, but he placed his hand on her arm. “I’ll go. You don’t need to walk on that ankle any more than necessary and we’re not sure it’s safe.” It was an order, one he’d make sure she followed, but she didn’t need to know that.

He saw the hesitation in her eyes as she thought over what he said. Finally, she sighed. “You’re probably right.”

“I’ll be back in a few minutes,” he said and jogged his way to the back of the building.
Why did her window have to be so high? He could shift, but that was always dicey out in the open, and he didn’t take unnecessary risks unless he absolutely had to.

As he studied the wall, he noticed a small space where a brick had been broken or fallen out. Using that for a foothold, he boosted himself up and climbed in through the open window.

Since she didn’t have her keys, there would be no way for her to get in until he let her in. Knowing he may not get another opportunity, he took a deep breath and imagined the animal he needed to become. Ignoring the pain, he shifted quickly into his tiger.
Somehow the intruder had hidden his tracks, but it wasn’t as easy to hide his scent.
He didn’t have long before she would expect to be let in, so he moved fast, sniffing around the room. He’d been inside less than a minute and knew, without question, that the only human scent belonged to Lana. Lavender, soap—nothing else.

Quickly, he checked the rest of her apartment, going room-by-room, still puzzling over the fact that the only smells he came across in the entire place belonged to her. Someone had been in her apartment, she’d said. Considering he’d seen the person chasing after her, he knew damn well she hadn't been lying.

This was wrong, dreadfully wrong. There must’ve been something more sinister going on than a bungled burglary. This was getting deeper and stranger by the minute. He should have smelled some other scent—anything. So why hadn’t he?

Trying one last time, he held still, his back completely rigid. His nose moved from side to side as his nostrils flared, his ears taut, listening for sounds that didn’t belong.

Nothing.

Did she know more than she let on? If she didn’t, should he keep it that and investigate it quietly on the side, or should he question her more and find out if she was hiding anything?

On a frustrated growl, he changed back into human form. He still had no answers, just a stockpile of new questions.