Saturday, July 30, 2011

Reviews for Legs are coming in!

Quirky-Gurl Media just gave Legs a 5-star review, and I've received a total of 11 reviews on Amazon: 5 five star reviews, 4 four star reviews, and 2 three star reviews.

Average: 4.5 stars.

Love it! Keep the reviews coming in! Feedback is important, and I'm wrapping up the prequel now, so I like to know what people think of Legs as I work on James and Lilith's story.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sample from "Unfinished Business," the prequel to Legs

It's #SampleSunday on Twitter, and that means serving up some fun for readers. I'm working furiously on Legs' prequel, whose working title is Unfinished Business:

Lilith Stone never expected to be staring into her father's eyes when she lost her virginity.

But she was quite pleased. At first.

The early autumn evening was the perfect setting for John Alastair Stone's annual Beacon Hill event, the party that would fuel the society pages of newspapers within one hundred miles for weeks to come. Though Stone now lived in Toronto with his wife, Anna, and daughters, Lilith and Julia, he'd been born, raised, and machine-honed by the Mayflower pedrigreed family that had lived on Beacon Hill for generations.

The Harvard-Boston Aero Meet was the topic of choice, as most of the party's guests had attended the airplane show. President Taft had been in town, and John Stone had met with him, a fact he worked into every handshake, each conversation, and any offhand comment he could. Former Mayor Fitzgerald monopolized as much of Stone's attention as possible, discussing a business venture with the billionaire. Lilith gratefully took the opportunity, out from under her father's surveillance, to achieve her goal.

That night, Lilith positioned herself with Jack Reed, her father's new lawyer, and flirted until he knew exactly how to get her.

And then she let herself be caught.

The gardens were lush with ripe, turned Japanese maples and oak trees pregnant and laboring to drop their gold, pumpkin and adobe leaves on the New Hampshire granite stone floor. A bundle of mature hostas under a small maple tree provided ample ground cover and shade for Lilith and Jack.

“Are you sure?” he murmured into her lips, his mouth a buffet of red wine and garlic.

“Of course,” she purred, irritated by the question. She was done with her maidenhead, ready to discard it like a broken pen or an old, torn towel. It did her no good, and at twenty-eight was a nasty reminder that she'd held onto her virginity for all the wrong reasons. In the beginning she was a good girl and stayed pure because her mother insisted. After a few years, though, she found that remaining a virgin was easy; finding a man worth sleeping with was the hard part.

No man met her standards.

And now her hymen was a niggling bother, something that she'd likely lost years ago riding horses at Daddy's country estate, but whether the actual membrane was intact did not matter to Lilith. The symbolism was critical.

She needed to free herself from the straightjacket of her untouched vagina.

Jack seemed nice enough. A social-climbing lawyer, she knew he'd view this as a conquest but would, if need be, remain discreet. She also knew that she would not be discreet, and that she could trigger her father's temper with one careful whisper hissed within hearing distance of the worst Boston gossips.

Having a twenty-eight year old, unmarried daughter was a source of great embarrassment to John Stone. Knowing she'd given herself up to a lawyer, a near servant in her father's eyes, would be unforgiveable.

Lilith smiled through another sloppy kiss. Jack took it as encouragement and a slow hand slid up her ribcage, searching for a breast. His other hand slid up her leg, past the garter clasp and under her panty line to find her already wet.

He groaned and she threw herself into the kiss, less from passion and more as an object lesson. This is how you kiss someone when you make love. This is how it feels when his hand caresses your inner thigh. This is how it feels when he places your hand on his clothed bulge. This is how you grasp an erect –

And then he was in her. Her thoughts stopped as she hitched, her maidenhead suddenly reporting in, nerve endings screaming as something deep inside her tore. The pain brought tears to her eyes. Lilith hadn't cried in years, but this was a keening pain.

So slight and light, like a bird, that he could hold her against the tiny tree trunk and enter her, then withdraw slowly, then enter again, Lilith's body tensed under his command. Which wasn't much of a mastery, really, but more the practiced hand of a man used to drunken encounters at parties. He seemed to know what he was doing, though her panties chafed against the joint of her groin and now his grunts quickened. She knew, from reading and talking with female friends, that he'd be done soon.

And then her father's voice boomed into the open air above their heads.

Now she began to enjoy herself.

“What a lovely night for a party, Fitzgerald.” A voice replied, its tone accented with an Irish lilt, but Lilith couldn't make out the words.

“What's the return on investment, then?” her father asked, his voice conspiratorial and cunning.

He paused, then his tone changed, a smile coming through his words as the sound of his voice pitched downward. “And, apparently, young love is in bloom, even in this late autumn!” They were caught.

His baritone laugh carried through the garden and Jack froze, deep inside Lilith, holding one hip in his hand, helping to widen her.

She pulled back and Jack's face made her laugh, his features a mask of horror, a guttural, yet silent, scream trying to come out. If her father, the richest man in Toronto and one of the richest in Boston, learned he'd slept with his daughter, not only would Jack lose his job, he'd likely be blackballed forever.

“Lilith!” he hissed.

“Kiss me,” she said, shifting her head to the right, the light from a gas lap on the upper balcony spilling over her forehead and eyes.

Jack stayed still.

Lilith looked up, her head bent back, and met her father's eyes.

She wiped the smile off his face. Saw red coals of anger ignite in his eyes. Watched him whip around and stomp off the balcony.

Regret flooded her veins just as instantly as the triumph had flushed through them.

Jack pulled out of her and began tucking himself back into his pants. “Your father! He heard us. What was I thinking? What were you thinking? I was drunk. You, you...tricked me!” Jack hastily made up his clothing, buttons half done and jacket askew. He wouldn't meet her eyes and she hardened.

“How did I trick you? Did I cast a spell and force you to place your penis inside my vagina?” She arched one eyebrow and now viewed him with disdain. For all she'd thought she would feel about losing her virginity, she'd not expected to find the man she'd slept with to be so mousy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

#1 Bestseller on Amazon! For...Chile travel books?

Take a look. Legs is, currently, the #1 bestseller for Chile travel books.

While that's GREAT, and a source of endless amusement, it's not really accurate. Gotta love Amazon's algorithms LOL.

So I've changed my book description and added it. Hey! We're NUMBER ONE in something!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How to Upload and Sell eBooks on All Romance eBooks

So I asked around at Kindleboards and got some ideas and help from Courtney Milan, Jill Myles, Debora Geary and Liliana Hart.

That turned out to be easier than I thought! Legs on ARe.

A few minor hitches for anyone considering ARe:

1. You need an ISBN or just email ARe and they'll give you a 13-digit number you can use in lieu of the ISBN. Email them BEFORE you fill in your book forms and try to add the files! I wasted some time there LOL.

2. Your cover must be *exactly* 200 x 300. But...

3. if you're opting in for the iBookstore, THAT cover image must be *exactly* 453 x 680. So you need two cover image sizes to those exact specs.

4. Don't try uploading more than 2 file formats at a time.

5. The whole process is FAST. My book was available within 10 minutes, and I bought it, downloaded it, then checked my publisher report and saw the sale instantly. On a $.99 eBook my royalty is $.59. On Kindle it's $.35 and for Nook it's $.40.

And, UNLIKE NOOK, you can gift eBooks on ARe -- and the recipient can select the file format. Brilliant!

I'm very impressed overall. Calibre is great for converting to weird formats. So far I've done ePub, mobi, lit, prc and html. More to come!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Do You Buy from All Romance eBooks?

I'm contemplating selling Legs at All Romance eBooks. The site gets about 4 to 5 million hit per months, which is strong. I can upload and sell Legs in up to 9 different formats (ePUB, HTML, PDF, etc.), which I'm assuming helps with worldwide sales, people reading on uncommon eReaders, etc.

And, from an author's standpoint, the 60% royalty structure is enticing! I earn 35% on Kindle sales of Legs and 40% on Nook sales.

But here's my concern: will I go to all the work to provide different formats and only sell a few a month on ARe? Can romance readers chime in and let me know whether they buy on ARe? I'd LOVE to be part of the pack there, but this is a time/benefit analysis.

Readers, please weigh in!

p.s. One aspect of ARe I adore is that the author can assign heat levels to books, on a scale of 1-5! Readers looking for less heat or more heat (or smokin'!) can browse by this category. LOVE IT!

Friday, July 15, 2011

LibraryThing -- Why You Should Be a Member

A friend who reads widely, and blogs on book topics, recommended LibraryThing to me about a year ago. LibraryThing allows you to catalog your book collection, meet friends via their book collections, and most important -- receive advance review copies of new books in exchange for reviews, or simply receive free books in exchange for reviews.

I'm running a Member Giveaway for Legs right now -- 100 free review copies released via Kindle. 61 LibraryThing members have signed up to get their free copies. All I ask is that recipients write a review on LibraryThing, Amazon, Nook, GoodReads, on their blogs -- wherever.

Join LibraryThing now and, if you're a steamy romance fan, consider requesting (and reviewing!) Legs. Giveaway ends July 19!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Legs is featured on Indie eBooks today

Indie eBooks is featuring Legs today on their site. Nadine Earnshaw interviewed me about the book -- loads of fun to think through how to explain why I chose to write about two star-crossed lovers, Chile, Toronto, and gushing!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sales have quadrupled for my contemporary romance, Legs!

20 hours ago I lowered the price on Legs. Sales have quadrupled!

Now $.99 on Nook AND Kindle.

Bob Mayer's Indie Publishing Success in a Chaotic World discussion

So I visit Bob Mayer's blog regularly and am involved in a comment stream right now on the issue of chaos and indie publishing. Should traditional authors self-pub? Should new writers go for a digital-first imprint or a traditional publishing career and view self-publishing as a last resort? Go straight to self-publishing and build a backlist as fast as possible? Aim for single titles or a series?

No one has the answers, and in a field that changes by the week, it's a "stay tuned" environment.

Great discussion on his blog. Check it out.