Chicken Scratch

In Too Deep_600x900 Back in June, I spent a lovely–if not a tad toasty–weekend in Phoenix, AZ with my publisher, Jinxie, at Phoenix Comic Con. At the end of the long weekend, there was still a few books on the table with my name on them.

Light bulb.

I grabbed a pen and defaced every single copy left in Jinxie’s stock. Okay, not in a bad way. I signed those bitches and suffered a sore hand for the rest of the day. It was worth sporting a claw-like paw on the flight home. Why? Because not every reader can make it to my signing events. As a matter of fact, I’ve only had the one since beginning this whole mad scheme–the one where I become super famous from making preternatural creatures kill people and then have sex. Not with the corpses. (Shut up, Aksel.)

What does this mean for you? Signed books! Without flying thousands of miles! Duh!

Currently, Just Ink Press has a limited number of signed Enslaved and In Too Deep paperbacks available on their website. I’d love to see these books find forever homes on your bookshelves. Don’t leave the poor babies on the streets (or in Jinxie’s apartment….) much longer. Books have feelings, too.

Not to mention, who doesn’t want a copy of Deryck’s yumtastic shoulders to drool over in the privacy of their bedroom? 91XY8KqUEdL._SL1500_

Booooook!

Who's a pretty book?
Anytime I talk about my books, I say is Winifred-style in my head. No judging.

Okay, that should actually be books, plural. Then again, it is Black Friday and I’m pretty sure I’m still suffering the effects of too much food and surviving the Toys R Us doorbuster deal madness from last night.

Anyway, that’s not why I’m here. Though I do hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving surrounded by people you love.

This weekend, my publisher Just Ink Press decided to have a sale. Today, Black Friday, the entire bookshelf for JIP is 50% off on Amazon and All Romance eBooks. The sale extends through tomorrow on ARe.

So not only can you pick up Enslaved, and In Too Deep for cheapies, but also pick up Into the Darkness, an anthology including my short story, “The Tattoo.” But wait, there’s more. (I know, shut up already, Renee.)

Mayhem in Mexico: Zombie Infestation by Leona Bushman is included in the sale, which I had the pleasure to edit. Along with The Dracove, and Gods & Vampyres by N.L. Gervasio, a series I also helped out with.

In short, go forth and buy books. They’re good. JIP has a great bunch of authors, with a few new folks on the way in the coming months.

A Book is Born

After a day of glaring at the oh-so-slow cogs of the Amazon machine, my publisher, Just Ink Press was finally able to unleash the links for In Too Deep.

In Too Deep_600x900

A couple notes:

In Too Deep will remain Kindle-exclusive for the next three months. After, I will update everyone with links to the expanded release formats.

If you are a book reviewer and would like to request a review copy of any of my Just Ink Press books, hit this link to request them from the publisher.

Also, the new cover for Be Ours Forever should be hitting Amazon sometime this weekend. It is already up on Smashwords. The gods know when it’ll hit Barnes and Nobel. I’m working on updating the cover for All Romance ebooks this evening.

Cover Reveal Time!

My publisher and I have been hard at work getting In Too Deep ready to unleash on the world this Friday, September 27th. To wet your whistle, here’s a peek at the book’s cover and a little bit about Meghan and Jarlan.

In Too Deep_600x900

Blurb:

Meghan Sterling—CIA agent.

For six months, she’s been living in Central California under the name Clara Osbourne—and not by choice. The Cold War is over; however, she’s still tasked with infiltrating a potential cell of Russian sympathizers, possibly ex-KGB operatives. The CIA has heard they’ve found a way to render the vast agricultural hub of Fresno, California useless, tainting the produce as well as beef, milk, and poultry produced in the county.

The problem is, the CIA has Meghan following the wrong group. She doesn’t realize their mistake until she’s already in too deep and working with Jarlan and his partner, Rich, in what she thinks is a security company guarding Emerald Produce. She’d never have guessed they were vampires. Until Jarlan forgets she’s off the lunch menu and attacks.

Meghan helps Jarlan control his bloodlust, but she can’t ignore her duty to her country. Someone in California wants to wreak havoc on the economy and food supply. If it isn’t the vampires, then who is it?

As a surprise bonus, we’ve revamped (ha!) the cover for Be Ours Forever, the first book in my vampire series. The new cover will go live on ebook formats of the book this weekend.

Be Ours Forever_453x680

Aren’t they GORGEOUS?

Also, right now I’m looking for blogs to invade to promote In Too Deep. Contact me via my Facebook page if you’d like to host a cover reveal, interview, book snippet, guest post, etc.

I’ve Been Invaded!

In lieu of my usual babbling, I’m going to let my friend and fellow author Wendy Sparrow tell you a little bit about quirky writer habits. This is part of her blog hop for The Teacher’s Vet. I read the novella earlier this week and totally fell in love with the quick humor . . . and puppies.

As part of the release celebration, Wendy is giving away an awesome necklace that I made. You’ll find the entry form at the bottom of this post.
Necklace-01s

Research—Down the Rabbit Hole We Go

by Wendy Sparrow

It’s funny that I’m doing a guest post on this because my first thought was: can you go too far down the research rabbit hole? Then I remembered this one time on Wikipedia. (This is the writerly researcher’s version of “This one time at band camp…”) Folks, never look up signs of arousal on Wikipedia. All I wanted to know was if pupil dilation was a myth, and I ended up wanting to gouge my eyes out. There’s also many a time where Urban Dictionary left me feeling like bleaching my brain.

How far will I go to research a book?

Well, let me tell you in regards to The Teacher’s Vet.

I started off a babe in the woods in the ways of veterinarians. That didn’t last. First, I needed to research turtlAn apple on a desk in a classroomes because Nora and Caleb meet over a sick class pet, a turtle. I studied website after website on turtles—what they ate, how long they lived, how you could tell one type from the other, and then how a sick and dead turtle would look. (I know, that last one is cheery. I do this for you, readers, for you.)

Next, I moved on to dogs and kenneling dogs. I researched which breeds I wanted staying in my vet’s office and how they behaved. I looked up the strangest things dogs will eat . My Google searches looked like: Weird Things Dogs Eat.

Dogs eat weird things.

But, wait, I had a dog in the story that was going to give birth. Cue many hours watching newborn puppies and puppies being born.

We don’t kennel my own dog, and he hasn’t seen the inside of a vet’s office much, so I started asking my best friend odd and intrusive questions. “When Slinky goes to the kennel, do people stay overnight with him? Or is he there all by himself? How many other animals are usually there? What kinds of other animals? Can you hear the kennels from the rest of the vet’s office? What about the animals needing to go out to do their business—how is that handled? How much does that cost?”

I swear to you, it’s a testament to how bizarre I must be as a friend because my friend never asked why I was asking all these questions.

I looked into different types of vets. I read about treating various animal maladies. This! That! The other! I’m halfway to a degree…as long as you don’t need any practical knowledge and everything you found on the internet is correct. (It’s not. *gasps* I know, right? Luckily, my editor saved my tail with her veterinary experience.)

It’s not all puppies and turtles, though. I had a substitute teacher to research too. My mother was a substitute teacher as were other family members, but teaching certificates and requirements vary from state to state, so I looked up everything to do with teaching for Washington State where my story takes place. It made me want to give a standing ovation to our teachers and substitutes. Wow. Just wow. They deserve to be paid a whole lot more.

There are unwanted and unexpected side effects relating to web searches like this. For example, Facebook thinks you’re one freak short of a freak show as it tracks your searches—like a creepy stalker, but they will find you what you need!!! Oh, yes, they will. The ads on the side of my Facebook page are terrifying, people. According to Facebook, I’m a jet-setting, militant homebuilder with aspirations of going back to school to earn a degree…also, I’m a dog lover. That last bit is true, but they shouldn’t know that.

So, we’ve dealt with the dark, the disturbing, and so on, but it’s about to get…boring.

If you need a bathroom break, you can go ahead and go now. We’ll wait.

You’re good?

Okay. So, now we’re on to hyphenated words. Not all words turn out to be hyphenated. And some words you think are hyphenated—aren’t. Laugh all you want, but most of my web searches (web searches is two words, by the way) are to verify if words are just one word or two, and is there a freaking hyphen, or not?

You’re laughing? Stop laughing. You’re about to get schooled, fool. Since The Teacher’s Vet is a Back to School novella, I’m taking you back to the classroom. In the comments below, and without cheating, you Cheater McCheatersons, tell me whether the following words are one word or two, and hyphen or no hyphen per the Free Dictionary. (I’m lumping them together as one word, but don’t let that toss you.) And maybe there’ll be something in it for you if you get them all right. *raises eyebrows* If you think you can manage it….

1. backdoor

2. suckerpunched

3. crossdresser

4. livewire

5. fruitbasket

6. breakup (as in a relationship ending)WendySparrow-1

7. sleepwalking

8. babydoll

9. selfconscious

10. uhhuh

Oh, and to answer the question of how far down the rabbit hole is too far…in Alice’s words:

“It was much pleasanter at home,” thought poor Alice, “when one wasn’t growing larger and smaller, and being ordered around by mice and rabbits.  I almost wish I hadn’t gone down that rabbit-hole—and yet—and yet—it’s rather curious, you know, this sort of life.”

For you, I’ll go all the way.

If you have other questions about my web searches, visit my blog where I post Watchlist Wednesday web search results, or chat with me on Twitter (@WendySparrow) where I’ll keep you up-to-date on how much eye bleach I’m using for the day.

Too Many Beans

Earlier this week I decided, at random, to make a batch of non-fat refried beans. From scratch. I made a metric ton of refried beans, guys. The finished product could’ve easily fed at least fifteen people, maybe more.

And I did it on purpose. Not because I have a borderline psychotic love for refried beans. But you see, I have end-of-book-brain. What the hell is that? Pull up a chair, I’ll explain.

Every author has a moment where they hit a stride with their book. It is a rare, gleaming moment when you and the book are one. The words flow at a pace you’re pleased with. The characters do their thing on the page so wonderfully, you want to keep writing to see what they’ll do next. Think of it as a runner’s high for the literary set. For some authors, this comes mid-book–when the deadline is far off in the future. Others devour the first chapters of their new manuscript in a matter of days, like sprinters after the starting gun. Then there are the poor souls like me, who never hit their stride until the deadline looms over their shoulder, rancid breath beating against the back of their neck. This final group are the ones who suffer the most from end-of-book brain, though no author is safe after dumping roughly 50-90k words out of their head onto the page.

In the writing stride, things tend to go . . . poorly as far as the outside-of-my-head world is concerned. The house is, well . . . I’ve taken to walking through the living room with my eyes closed. Unless someone reminds me to do it, eating is a, “I wonder why my stomach is growling like a demon” sort of thing. Which brings us back to the beans. We always keep tortillas in the house–corn and flour. Basically with my epic batch o’ beans, I’ve solved a portion of my problem. Nuke beans, warm tortillas, slap ’em together–voilà! Food! It isn’t gourmet. I won’t be winning any parent-of-the-year awards. But we’re fed cheaply, easily, and quickly for a few days. Oh and they’re totally healthy, so I’ll Stop Gaining Weight during this last week of binge-writing to finish In Too Deep.

Yeah, that’s right. This baby is nearly done. Finally. Onlythreeweeksbehindschedule. *cough*

Anyway . . . . Back to the grindstone. I’ll have news about the release of ITD in the next couple weeks. Keep your eyes peeled.

For the Fans

A few weeks ago, I was asked by my wonderful publisher to provide some extra content from Enslaved for my readers. So I took the ghost of a chapter idea I had, but didn’t use in the book and flushed it out into a short for Just Ink Press‘ site.

Warning: If you haven’t read Enslaved, the outtake chapter is chalk-full of spoilers. This scene fits between the final chapters of the novel.

Enjoy “The Birth”. I had far too much fun writing it for you guys.

Another Free Book Promo!

This time around, I’m bringing you something from another Just Ink Press author, Raven McAllen. Her  paranormal romance novella, Impulse (Isola Dei Sogni) will be free June 12th and 13th!

Here’s a little about Impulse.

Blurb:
Isola Dei Sogni, where fantasies and dreams come true. Mia only went as a favor for her sister. Her fantasy was a good book and a bottle of wine. Until she met Dylan. Then her sense disappeared and fantasy took over.

Dylan has arrived at Isola Dei Sogni to help out—with reluctance and just as a favor. Then he meets Mia. If she’s the person he’s supposed to assist, then maybe the visit won’t be the waste of time he thought, after all. His attitude has changed, and when he hears Mia wants to give him his fantasy, well, Dylan is never one to disappoint a lady…he hopes.

Fantasies and dreams are all well and good, but even here, reality creeps in. Can Mia and Dylan overcome that to reach their happily ever after?

EXCERPT:

“Inside.” His voice was hoarse. “Touch inside. In the way you’d like me to touch you. Show me, Mia. Show me.”

Her body was on fire as she moved her hand. She’d show him, and rejoiced that she’d found a person who desired her so much.

“Like this?” With an insouciance she wouldn’t have believed she had, Mia wet her fingers in her mouth and moved them to her pussy. Slowly, she pushed inside herself. The look on his face gave her courage to move them further inside. As she scraped the walls of her channel, her clit tingled and sharp arrows of pleasure honed in on her nipples. Her juices coated her fingers, and without conscious thought, she moved her hand to coat her nipples with her essence. She trembled as she returned it to her heated sheath. Her head fell back and she gave herself to the sensations that bombarded her.

“My turn.” Dylan stood up and pushed his chair back. It fell over and hit the floor with a bang. Mia jumped at the unexpected noise and her hand moved out of her channel and dropped onto her lap. He lifted it to his lips.

“Ah, so good, it tastes of you.” Goose bumps covered her skin as he put her fingers into his mouth and licked them one by one. “Now I can’t wait, my lovely Mia. Are you ready?”

*****

Raven lives in Scotland, along with her husband and their two cats–their children having flown the nest–surrounded by beautiful scenery, which inspires a lot of the settings in her books.

She is used to sharing her life with the occasional deer, red squirrel, and lost tourist, to say nothing of the scourge of Scotland–the midge.

A lover of reading, she appreciates the history inside a book, and the chance to peek into the lives of those from years ago. Raven admits that she enjoys the research for her books almost as much as the writing; so much so, that sometimes she realizes she’s strayed way past the information she needs to know, and not a paragraph has been added to her WIP.

Her lovely long-suffering husband is learning to love the dust bunnies, work the Aga, and be on stand-by with a glass of wine.

You can find out more about Raven at the following links:

Website | Blog | Facebook Fanpage | Facebook Profile | Twitter

A Cover Reveal!

My good friend Sandra Bischoff has a baby book in the oven. Today she’s giving everyone a peek at the cover to her debut novel. Isn’t it yummy?

 

Beyond the Sun
By ~ Sandra Bischoff
Genre ~ Paranormal Romance

BTS

Fifteen years ago, Jared Bonatelli had it all. The youngest son of one of the founding families in the Conservatorship of The Dark Order he lived a life you only thought existed in novels and nightmares. He had just graduated from Oxford University and became engaged to his childhood sweetheart when he lost it all in one violent act. The very next day he found himself shipped off to New Orleans with only the money in his pocket and whatever he could fit in one suitcase. Since that night, he has suffered reliving his fiancé’s murder repeatedly in his dreams. It isn’t until he finds himself summoned back to New York for an emergency meeting of the Conservatorship that the comfortable world he lives in begins to crumble around him.

Alexandra Toscano has been searching for the one assignment that could catapult her journalistic career. When her editor Gene O’Hanlon drops a manila folder in her lap, Alex is immediately skeptical. At first glance, the information he hands her seems like a publicity piece that is until she comes across an article he wrote some fifteen years ago about Vampires murdering a young woman in Central Park. She is ready to laugh it off as a work of fiction until he points out he was an eye witness to the whole thing. But that wasn’t all. The girl’s boyfriend was a member of a prominent Italian family who vanished the very next day.

Now as Alex begins to dig deeper into Jared’s life, she begins to question her own past. Could the answer she seeks be found in the glowing eyes of the one person she is sworn to expose? Or will they both find themselves torn apart by a world Beyond the Sun?

Author Bio:
Sandi

Sandra Bischoff lives in the historic town of Cornwall, NY with her extremely patient husband and teenage son, she affectionately calls the Demon. She is a Pharmacist by profession but found her true calling in a simple twist of fate. A friend approached her to write in a forum on a popular networking website. Over the next five years her passion had found its niche. She went on to compose a few poems and short stories which she would post on her homepage at the same networking site. From one of those short stories, her novel Beyond the Sun was born. She is currently working on her next novel and is very excited to share it with her readers.

She can currently be found at: http://sandibischoff.webs.com
http://sbischoff.wordpress.com
http://www.BayouBrewPublishing.com
Sandra’s Facebook page
And on Twitter as
@SandiBischoff

Unleash the Incubi!

The big day is finally here! After weeks of editing, tweaking, pouring over cover options, and sending a billion emails back and forth to my publisher, Enslaved is now available to buy for your Kindle. Other formats (Nook, Smashwords, etc…) will come in the following months. But remember, you can always snag the handy-dandy Kindle reader app for your desktop to enjoy the book now without waiting!

Here’s the official press release from Just Ink Press for Enslaved.  The link to buy is over there, too.

And to celebrate, if you head over to Facebook and join the Release Day Event for Enslaved by 10 PM tonight (PDT), you will be entered to win a FREE copy* of the novel. (*Prize will be awarded in whatever ebook format the winner prefers.)

I’d love to hear what everyone thinks of Enslaved so make sure you leave a review over on Amazon.

***

OOPS! I almost forgot, Missy Jane has graciously allowed me to guest post over on her blog today. I’m talking about the necessary evil of editing and there’s a blurb for Enslaved, too.