#NewRelease: The Immortal Truth, by @Amy_Sparling

the-immortal-truth

b3459-goodreads-badge-add-plus-2d25bb0f32eeac8660c13a521cf00c8e

Cara and Riley know the truth about their new job, but they can’t say a word about it to anyone or they’ll be killed. While their fates hang in the balance, Theo has promised to find a way to help them. Help can’t be found in Austin, so he spends a lot of time traveling and leaving Cara behind to pretend like everything is normal.

Tired of sitting around and waiting to die, Cara and Riley want to take matters into their own hands. They discover the secrets of the Rosewater clan, and find out their leader isn’t the leader at all. As mysteries are uncovered, they learn they’ve fallen into a hidden war of immortal clans that’s been raging for centuries.

Theo has been shielding Cara from the horrible truth, but Cara has just discovered some truths that even he didn’t know.

fancy lineresize

You can grab a copy of this book from

Amazon

fancy lineresize

About the Author:

Amy Sparling is the author of The Summer Unplugged Series, Deadbeat & other awesome books for younger teens. She also writes books for older teens under the name Cheyanne Young.

Find out more:

#Review: The Immortal Mark, by @Amy_Sparling

the-immortal-markTitle: The Immortal Mark (The Immortals #1)
Author: Amy Sparling
Rating: 4/5 stars

From the bestselling author of Summer Unplugged, The Immortal Mark is the first in a new paranormal romance series by Amy Sparling.

The only thing Cara got for her eighteenth birthday was an unexpected invitation to move out of her uncle’s house. College isn’t an option for a poor girl with average grades, so when her best friend Riley finds them a mysterious job opportunity that includes room and board, Cara is interested but thinks it sounds too good to be true.

The night before their interview, Cara has an epic night out with Theo, an impossibly handsome guy she just met. He’s charismatic, a little mysterious, and it feels like she’s known him her whole life.

When she runs into him at her interview, he’s cold and elusive. He makes it very clear that he doesn’t want her working with him, which only makes their mutual attraction burn hotter. Cara takes the job for Riley’s sake and promises herself she’ll avoid this jerk and his mood swings, no matter how hard it is to keep away from him.

Soon she finds out her millionaire employers aren’t normal guys who live and travel in luxury. They’re immortals. Theo wasn’t trying to ruin her job prospects. He was trying to save her life, because the girls they hire never make it out alive.(description from Goodreads)

fancy lineresize

Up until now, I’ve only read Amy Sparling’s YA contemporary romances. But with The Immortal Mark, things have changed. This is a paranormal romance, and apparently Sparling’s first, though I wouldn’t have known if I wasn’t told.

This is a great first book in what can turn into one of my favorite series. I see, from this book alone, much potential for follow-ups, that I’ll be eagerly awaiting their release.

What I found interesting was that for a good part of the beginning, this book had the contemporary feel from Sparling’s other books. She was able to establish her main characters, their motivations, the very real-life situation they’re in, and a possible solution to their troubles. Then BOOM, there’s a curveball and we’re on a paranormal adventure! I really liked how this was worked into the book because it felt fresh to me. And the timing was right because I’d gotten to know the characters the perfect amount before things changed for them.

I really hope the next book comes out sooner, rather than later, because I want to see where this series is going. I know it’ll be a great adventure.

fancy lineresize

You can grab this book from:

Amazon

fancy lineresize

About the Author:

Amy Sparling is the author of The Summer Unplugged Series, Deadbeat & other awesome books for younger teens. She also writes books for older teens under the name Cheyanne Young.

Find out more:

#HalloweenReads: @MetalBlonde’s Experiment in Terror series!

Looking for something to read today on Halloween? Here’s a nice long series to keep you turning the pages long after October ends.

Karina Halle’s

Experiment in Terror series

BOOK 1: DARKHOUSE

Darkhouse

goodreads-badge-add-plus-8aed1006260a5092a7ebb2a64fe3968c

There’s always been some­thing a bit off about Perry Palomino. Though she’s been deal­ing with a quarter-life cri­sis and post-college syn­drome like any other twen­tysome­thing, she’s still not what you would call “ordi­nary.” For one thing, there’s her past which she likes to pre­tend never hap­pened, and then there’s the fact that she sees ghosts. Luck­ily for her, that all comes in handy when she stum­bles across Dex Foray, an eccen­tric pro­ducer for an upcom­ing web­cast on ghost hunters. Even though the show’s bud­get is non-existent and Dex him­self is a mad­den­ing enigma, Perry is instantly drawn into a world that both threat­ens her life and seduces her with a sense of impor­tance. Her uncle’s haunted light­house pro­vides the per­fect cat­a­lyst and back­drop for a hor­rific mys­tery that unrav­els the threads of Perry’s frag­ile san­ity and causes her to fall for a man, who, like the most dan­ger­ous of ghosts, may not be all that he seems.

amazon

fancy lineresize

That’s just book one. There are eight others in the series, along with some novellas! You can find them all by going to Halle’s website or Amazon page. Both are linked below the bio.

If you check this series out, I’d love to hear what you thought, and I’m more than happy to hear about some of your favorite Halloween Reads in the comments.

fancy lineresize

About the Author:

Karina Halle author picKarina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Racing the Sun, Sins & Needles and over 25 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Halle is represented by the Waxman Leavell Agency and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.

Hit her up on Instagram at @authorHalle, on Twitter at @MetalBlonde and on Facebook. You can also visit http://www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.

Find out more:

#Review: Bewitched, by @Daisy_Prescott

bewitchedTitle: Bewitched
Author: Daisy Prescott

Rating: 4/5 stars

“Madison Bradbury isn’t interested in spells or magic, or anything hocus-pocus related despite descending from the original Salem witches. Her life as a Hawthorne College junior is boring. Perfectly so. That is until Andrew Wildes appears in her class–like a quiet, brooding hero straight from one of her favorite romances.

When a local witch convinces Madison to use a love spell on her crush, what happens next is more than magical.

A crush. A love spell. What could go wrong?

Bewitched is a short novella and book one of a series of magical stories that continues with Spellbound” (description from Goodreads)

fancy lineresize

Halloween is just around the corner and I found a great novella to get myself in the mood for it, fall, and a little romance.

Bewitched has many great things going for it. It’s a novella set in Salem, Massachusetts. But with that doesn’t come the overdone storyline of the witch trials being involved in everything. Well, it’s not in the readers face. There’s just the right about of history present in this version of Salem. There’s an interesting element of magic that kept me on my toes in this mostly real world story. Prescott knows what she’s writing about and writes it well.

I also really enjoyed the characters. And not just the two lead characters. Their friends were great too. For the length that this novella is, the author was able to develop both characters and setting smoothly and naturally. That’s not a feat all authors can accomplish so well.

I’m looking forward to reading the sequel Spellbound soon. While this story ended well on its own, I want to read more about certain things. And frankly, I’m not ready to leave Salem and these characters behind.

fancy lineresize

You can buy this book from:

Amazon

fancy lineresize

About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling author Daisy Prescott lives in a real life Stars Hollow in the Boston suburbs with her husband and an indeterminate number of imaginary housegoats. When not writing about people falling in love, she can be found traveling, gardening, baking, and reading a good book.

Her novels include the Modern Love Stories series, the Wingmen series, and several short stories. She’s also working on expanding the world of Bewitched this fall.

Find out more:

Billionaire Security Shifters Now in Print!

Seeing a reviews of shifter romances on the blog may have come as a surprise to some of my readers this summer. Honestly, I didn’t know I was going to dive into the genre and to continue to enjoy what I found.

As you may remember, my first journey into the genre was by reading Lila Jean’s debut The Mountain Lion’s Secretary. Soon after that I read her second book The Grizzly Bear’s Heiress. These two books are in her Billionaire Security Shifter series.

While we are awaiting the release of book three (I’ll let you know if I hear any news about a release date), I have a little surprise for those who love this series like I do:

You can now buy books 1 and 2 in print!

That’s right. You can order both of these books in print to put on your shelves, alongside your other favorite books. Kindles can’t contain these animals any longer!

You can find links to the ebook and print editions below, along with more information about each book and the author.

And in case you missed them and want to know my opinion of the books, here are my reviews:

The Mountain Lion’s Secretary

The Grizzly Bear’s Heiress

fancy lineresize

The Mountain Lion's Secretary

b3459-goodreads-badge-add-plus-2d25bb0f32eeac8660c13a521cf00c8e

For the shifters at Grizzly Bodyguards & Security, every day is life and death.

Mara Warren is desperate. With no job, a room in her parents’ basement, and a mountain of debt right out of college, she takes the first job she can find: as secretary for the elusive billionaire, Zane Bradley. But her new boss is so much more than she bargained for. With his solid body, sexy-as-hell handguns, and the delicious stubble on his jaw, he’s too good to be true. He says he wants her, but Mara has been hurt before. With her already shattered heart on the line, Mara battles between protecting what little self-esteem she has left and letting herself fall head-first into the arms of the most dangerous man in town.

A rugged mountain lion shifter with a knack for sensing danger, Zane Bradley uses the company name as a decoy to hide his inner animal—and to preserve the privacy his animal demands. As if keeping his company running and his shifter employees in line isn’t enough, Zane’s lion is desperately craving a mate… and it wants Mara Warren. But Zane’s billion-dollar empire is threatened when he catches the scent of the werewolf that killed his brother. The murderer has come back to take out the last surviving Bradley brother, and Mara has no idea she just walked right into the line of fire.

CONTENT WARNING: This is a stand-alone mountain lion shifter romance. It contains smoking hot shifters, lip-bitingly delicious love scenes, naughty language, and a dash of violence to spice things up. Intended for mature audiences.

This is novel has a HEA with NO cliffhanger.

fancy lineresize

The Grizzly Bear's Heiress

b3459-goodreads-badge-add-plus-2d25bb0f32eeac8660c13a521cf00c8e

For the shifters working at Grizzly Bodyguards & Security, every day is life and death.

Good girls don’t date shifters. That’s what Isabelle Hart’s billionaire father says, anyway. But after an attempted kidnapping nearly lands her ransomed in the back of a van, her father is breaking all his own rules to keep her safe. Now a muscled bear shifter is watching over her until the issue is resolved, and she can’t keep her eyes off of him. With her life on the line and no end in sight, Isabelle’s tempted to break whatever rule comes between her and Ryker Edwards… even if it means her father following through on his threat to disown her.

Ever since his best friend Zane Bradley saved his life ten years ago, Ryker Edwards has used his skills as a grizzly bear shifter to complete nearly six hundred missions and protect the wealthy elite keeping Zane’s company afloat. But when Zane calls him in on his day off, Ryker is floored to discover he’s been assigned a new mission: protect a curvy heiress from armed kidnappers. Right then and there, his bear chooses her as its mate. There’s only one problem: she’s off limits. As Ryker fends off attack after attack, Isabelle’s kidnappers get desperate. They call in help from a dangerous source that wants Zane and his entire clan buried six feet under. When the kidnapper’s identity is revealed, Ryker realizes his devotion for Isabelle may have made her nothing but bait in a sinister war between shifters.

CONTENT WARNING: This is a stand-alone grizzly bear shifter romance. It contains smoking hot shifters, lip-bitingly delicious love scenes, naughty language, and a dash of violence to spice things up. Intended for mature audiences.

This novel has an HEA, with NO cliffhanger.

fancy lineresize

About the Author:

Lila JeanLila Jean lives and breathes sexy shifter romances. Six-pack abs and powerful alphas are her specialty, and these growly alphas answer only to the curvy women they love. Her heroines are pistols with a penchant for the wild side of shifter life — after all, a lady needs a lot of sass to handle a shifter lover. No swooning damsels here.

Armed with curvaceous hips of her own, Lila Jean played with her fair share of alpha males before finally settling down with one of her own in a tiny town deep in the mountains. Equipped with an arsenal of dragons, grizzlies, and big cats, Lila devotes her time to creating the absolute best stories for her readers.

All her novels are in a single, massive universe. Buckle in for a wild ride of the sexiest, grizzliest, most gorgeous men you’ll find in the shifter romance genre today.

Find out more:

Themed Book Recommendations: Shifter Romances

Time for another post full of book recommendations. The theme this time is shifter romances.

By now, you’ve probably seen my reviews of Lila Jean’s books. They’re really my first jump into the genre and since then I’ve been wanting to dive a little deeper. Since the book world is FULL of shifter romances, I decided to get the help of other readers to get recommendations of where to start. There’s a lot out there and I can’t weed through it all on my own.

So, here are some books I’ve discovered from searching the bestseller lists (I’ve read the first two, obviously) and others that fellow readers have suggested. While I can’t speak for many of them, I’m sure it’s a great list. Let’s explore shifter romances together! And as always, if you have recommendations of your own, feel free to comment.

Book_17

 

Book_17

Find something you might want to read? I hope so. Want to see another set of recommendations focused on a theme? Let me know what that theme is, and if you can help with some recs for it, include them in the message.

Happy reading!

Guest Post by @AuthorLHerman: The Economics of Self-Publishing a Book

The Economics of Self-Publishing a Book

a guest post by Louise Herman

fancy lineresize

Hello everyone, and I hope you are enjoying the week.

I have decided to take a week’s respite from writing the third book in my YA urban fantasy series, Split Blood, to catch up with author interview and guest post requests. I am looking forward to discussing my thoughts and opinions on the economics of self-publishing a bookas well as giving some advice on what aspects of self-publishing is essential to a budget and what I have experienced as a waste of time and money.

fancy lineresize

Why did I decide to Self-Publish my books?

I would love to say it was a choice, however, after I sent a number of emails to literary agents and received no replies, I decided to close my eyes and jump straight into the self-publishing ocean.

It was nerve-racking at first because I had no idea about self-publishing but after a lot of research and learning from my mistakes along the way, I am enjoying the self-publishing journey.

fancy lineresize

What are the common misconceptions of self-publishing?

I think the biggest misconception about self-publishing is anyone can publish a successful book in today’s technological world.

For example, you have a great idea for a story, you get so engrossed in writing it, you take the leap and self-publish it on the internet and then you sit back and wait for the big bucks to start rolling in, along with literary agents fighting to represent you, right?

Not quite!

The reality is only a handful of self-published authors break even (the total cost of publishing against the profits of the sales, after each website has taken its percentage) and if you do not have a regular presence on social media sites then you could find it difficult to be seen and network with influential people who can help potential readers find your books.

These people are bloggers and reviewers.

I have built up a good relationship with many bloggers and have added them to my list of ‘Go to People’ when I need to do author interviews (to discuss my past, present and future. This is not all about promoting my work. It is for potential readers to get to know the person behind the books), Guest Posts (topics related to writing that are important to me) and Spotlights (a full discussion about myself, my work and upcoming projects).

It’s also fun to communicate with these bloggers because it is a two way process. They advertise an author on their blog and social media sites, therefore, as an author, I also do the same (I will post the promotional item on my blog, which advertises their blog to my followers, and on my social media sites).

However, not all bloggers work the same way.

Some specialise purely in reviews but some are open to other forms of promotion.

I have found that trying to get reviews can be quite hard because many are overwhelmed with requests and often close their review request channels until they can catch up with the backlog.

While others will state they do not accept requests from self-published authors, with some going as far as to state that they have a problem with the quality of the self-published books they have previously read.

I used to find this slightly insulting but when you take into consideration that they are doing these reviews for free, they should be allowed to have an opinion on what types of books they want to review.

NOTE: Reviews are usually free and reviewers usually have full or part time jobs but review in their spare time. This means try to give at least three months’ notice to your reviewer. If you are asked to pay for a review, try somewhere else! Not only is it slightly frowned upon in the self-publishing industry but it’s just an unnecessary, extra cost to your ever rising budget!

fancy lineresize

What are the advantages of self-publishing?

I like that I have the opportunity to learn about online publishing first hand and that I have the chance to communicate with a range of people with similar interests.

I learn something new every week to help enhance my writing and advertising skills and I really enjoy having full control over every aspect of publishing my books.

fancy lineresize

What are the challenges of self-publishing?

Although I enjoy having full control over publishing my books, I do sometimes think that it would be nice to have a literary agent to help take on some of the advertising tasks because having full time job, restricts the time I can dedicate to writing and sometimes the advertising infringes on the writing time.

I have also found that it takes a lot of work and effort to gain a strong following. I write Young Adult Urban Fantasy novels, which is a popular genre and I have found that it is extremely difficult to get new followers interested in looking at my new pieces of work if there are no reviews to give them an inclination of how the book has been received by other readers.

There will be potential readers and followers who will read the synopsis and give the books a try but there are some who use reviews to help them decide whether or not it is the kind of story they would enjoy reading.

It is the latter type of follower that bad reviews can affect your potential sales.

Some reviews that are lower than five stars can be disheartening to an author but if they offer constructive criticism (e.g. “there was too much fighting in it”) then it could be a case of what one person dislikes about the storyline, another reader maybe looking for this type of drama.

However, if they give you one star because they “just couldn’t read it because you should never write again”, it offers nothing to a potential reader about the story and many would not take this type of review seriously.

And lastly, I have given out copies of my eBooks for a review in the past, only to be disappointed to never receive one.

It is disheartening but all these things are part of the learning process and have helped me focus on what works and avoid what wastes time and money.

fancy lineresize

What are the costs to publish your own book?

Here are the basics of what it cost me to self-publish my first book (The Orcus Games: Blood Moon):

  • Book cover artist –  This is difficult because it depends on the type of cover you want? You can get book cover images from a variety of stock photography sites and prices vary on each site. For a basic book cover with an image that does not need to be edited and text, I would estimate between £50 (~$70) and £150 (~$212).
  • Proof-reader or Copy Editor –  Between £600 (~$850) and £1,000 (~$1418) (depending on word count, how many hours it takes them to work on the book and how much work the book needs).
  • eBook Conversation Costs  If you cannot convert your eBooks yourselves then it might be worth getting a professional to do this for you. I convert my books myself but I have received quotes in the past for this type of work and the prices were between £50 (~$70) and £150 (~$212).
  • Distribution costs –  (for reviewers who only accept hard copies): I have heard that some websites do give a small discount to authors who buy their own books but I am yet to find these sites. Therefore you would be paying the same price as a customer to purchase your paperback books to send to reviewers. Many authors buy in bulk for this purpose and can spend between £599 (~$849) and £1099 (~$1558) for an order of 100 books.
  • URL for website Having your own website is essential for an author and you can buy domain names from nearly anywhere on the internet at the moment.

I have a website through Fat Cow and bought my URL through them as soon as I set it up.

It cost me approximately £8.99 (~$12.75) to buy the domain name + £60 (~$85) for the year (with added extras).

However, different extensions can either increase or decrease the cost (e.g. com, co.uk, org. Etc.)

  • Publishing sites percentages
    • Amazon – There are two royalty options. (correct as of January 2016)
      • Option 1: Keep 70% of the royalties. However this option is only available to books sold in a specific territory of countries set out by Amazon Kindle. Any books sold outside of these regions will give you a 35% royalty.
      • Option 2: Keep 35% of the royalties. This is the standard royalty rate.
    • Smashwords – (correct as of January 2016)
      • “Smashwords authors and publishers earn 85% or more of the net proceeds from the sale of their works. Net proceeds to author = (sales price minus PayPal payment processing fees)*.85 for sales at Smashwords.com, our retail operation. Authors receive 70.5% for affiliate sales. Smashwords distributes books to most of the major retailers, including Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and smaller retailers.  Sales originated by retailers earn authors/publishers 60% of the list price.”
    • Lulu – (correct as of January 2016)
      • Lulu prides itself on working on a 90/10 royalty split, therefore if you have published your book after 6th September 2011 and it is priced at $1.24 or higher then you can qualify for a 90% royalty revenue.

fancy lineresize

What advice would you give to someone wanting to self-publish their first book?

There might be something I have missed out because every week I am learning something new about the self-publishing world but so far I have eight tips that would help a new author get started:

  • Test it out on free sites like Wattpad first to see if there is an audience for it and find Beta readers in these groups to help highlight elements that may need extra attention (e.g. such as continuity issues, plot holes, creating believable characters or scenes, etc.)
  • Build up a following and make amendments based on the feedback
  • Get a professional book cover artist (unless you are good with graphics software or you are a good artist)
  • Get your work proofread or copy edited
  • Publish on the main publishing sites
  • Build up a group of regular reviewers
  • Be active on social media (not just to talk about the book but share your interests and get involved in group discussions)
  • Remember success doesn’t happen overnight (it could take years), so continue with your passion and never give up!

fancy lineresize

About the author

Louise Herman is a North London Fantasy author obsessed with pear drops sweets and 80s Fantasy films.

In between reading James Herbert novels and drinking too much coffee, she writes Young Adult Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance novels.

Louise Herman has currently written five YA Fantasy books to date (December 2015); The Orcus Games Prequel Trilogy and The Split Blood series, which take the reader on a journey of magic, mystery, obsession and forbidden love with seductively dark consequences.

For more information, please go to: www.louisehermanauthor.com

Find out more:

All Book Covers to Date LARGER