Tuesday, July 12, 2016

New release from Heather Long - Hunt Me

Hunt Me
By Heather Long
 
One Thief...
Wealthy, titled, and very privileged, Lady Katherine Hardwicke successfully eluded some of the best thieves in the world in a quest to obtain the Fortunate Buddha. Her time is running out and her enemies are closing in, and one deliciously enigmatic man seems determined to get in her way. Will he save her or end her quest forever?

One Hunt...
Jarod Parker wears many faces and lies for a living, but when the same thief steals the Buddha out from beneath his agents not once but twice, this handler returns to the field. His target? The last woman anyone would suspect of being the thief. But is he really after the Buddha or has this brilliant woman stolen his heart?

One Choice...
Their sensuous game of cat and mouse turns deadly when a third player turns up the heat, but can these two liars come clean with each other or will they lose it all?

Order Now: Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | ARe

Monday, July 11, 2016

How to become a USA Today bestseller, written by a USA Today bestseller

I was just having this conversation with my friend, and I realized that there are a LOT of myths and otherwise globs of misinformation about how to become a bestseller out there. I figured I'd try to squash a few of them, or as many as I can think of while I'm writing this.

Abby wrote a good book, but no list yet.
1. The secret to becoming a bestselling author is to write a really good book.

Not true, yet true at the same time. Yes, it is the goal of a writer, as an artist, to perfect their craft to write the very best book they can. But I've seen great books that sold ten copies and not so great books that sold millions. Not all good books become bestsellers and not all bestsellers are good books. Regardless of whether your book sells the ten thousand or the ten copies, I personally think you should write the best book you can. Why, if it won't guarantee success? I saw a sign in a factory where I once worked that read, "It takes 6 months to win a customer. It can take as little as 6 seconds to lose one." Now, writing books isn't factory work, but the same premise holds true. How many horrible books have you read that made you sure you'd never pick up that author again? How many meh books? Yeah, write good books. Write the best you can for yourself and for your readers... but this isn't a guaranteed way to hit the list, so... myth.

2. Only books that have been extensively edited and rewritten can become bestsellers.

Sometimes, sure. Other times, it seems like the editor was asleep at the wheel, but look at that book go! Editing is important, though, and if you didn't catch why... go reread #1 on this list. One bad book can be the thing to turn off what would've been your biggest fan. Avoid putting sloppy stuff on the market for your own good, but it still won't guarantee you a list.

3. You have to have an agent to become a bestseller.

An agent can help. I tried for one, back in the day, and I'll likely try for one again. Negotiating contracts is HARD and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying or trying to sell you something. Having an agent means you're less likely (stuff can always go awry) to sign a contract that isn't in your best interest and it increases your chances at getting an advance. That said, I know lots of agented authors who haven't yet hit a list and lots of unagented authors who have (like me.) So, although having another person on your team, fighting for you and believing in you, is great... it doesn't guarantee you're going to hit a list. Sorry.

4. You have to know someone. It is all a Catch 22. You have to have been published to get an agent. To get published you need
Abby lives with a bestseller, but, alas... she has no time
to read a book written by a pug.
an agent. You just can't win unless you know someone.


Now, I know some people. Not well, but I don't always get blank stares when I introduce myself, which is nice. However, when I started this journey? I knew no one. I was just a little lost soul in no where, Ohio, who fumbled around and kept writing the best books I could. I got published before I got an agent by submitting books and not dwelling for too long over rejections. There was no secret handshake, or if there is one... no one has taught it to me yet. So, yeah, you don't have to know someone to hit a list. Also, if you do know someone, sending your 200k erotic romance to them likely won't do a whole lot for your career. Sending your book off to another author in the hopes that they can get you on a list won't do much at all, really. Publishers publish books. Most authors either only self pub or work with publishers or some magical combination of both. Unless the author you're sending your book to is also a publisher (of other people's books, not just their own), sending them your work isn't really the way to do things. 

5. You can only become a bestseller if you're with X publisher.

I know indie bestsellers. I know traditional bestsellers. I know small press bestsellers...
If there was one magical publisher who could guarantee you a list by simply signing on the dotted line, everyone would publish solely with them and not bother with any other method. I've often compared publication with cooking spaghetti. You throw the noodles at the wall and hope they stick. If they don't stick, keep cooking. If they do, do a little dance but remember you have to feed the family tomorrow, too, so... keep cooking. 

Abby likes spaghetti, but she throws none at the wall. She just eats it all.  
  



6. The publishers know when a book is going to be a bestseller. If they offer you a contract, you're golden.

Not so, although I wish this were true. My bestseller? It was rejected by three houses before it got picked up by its current home. Nothing changed about the book. One publisher stated over-saturation of the market and said that, if I resubbed in a couple years, they'd think about it. But at that time, they had to pass. Another stated--hang on, lemme check... Oh, yeah, "regrettably we feel that your story and characters are not sufficiently developed for publication." Nothing changed about the book, but it took a publisher that believed in it enough to give it a shot. Even then, they didn't know the book would hit like it did. They were hopeful. I was hopeful. But we were all just throwing those noodles at the wall and hoping they would stick. 

The original cover for Prince when it listed
7. Cover art is the key. You have to have a cover that is fabulous and really sticks out to make it on the list.


The week my book released, my publisher released another book with a cover that I personally liked better than my own. Both were pretty sexy, but all of the covers in that line are of the same nature. My book cover wasn't magically different than any other nor was it exactly the same as the other books on the list that week. It was a good cover, but it wasn't the best ever. I've seen some truly awesome covers on the lists and I've seen a lot of meh ones. Cover art is great and it seriously might help some, but at the end of the day... there is always one a little better and if the cover is great and the book isn't... readers notice. So, yeah, cover art isn't the silver bullet either.


Basically, I don't think anyone knows which books are going to be the ones that will soar and which ones will have only a cult following by four devoted fans. I wish there were easy answers. I know that the magical formula does seem to include the market being hungry for whatever it is you've written, using an original voice, writing a good story that is well-edited and clean, and then managing to make it be seen in the flood of books published daily. But even if you do all those things, there are no guarantees.

My story, While You Were Writing, is a GREAT story. I'm insanely proud of that book. The cover art was great, it is a contemporary romance that is probably some of my best work, and it was promoted to the best of my ability. It never had half the success of The Penthouse Prince.  If I knew why, I'd fix it, promise. The best I can say to you, if you're hoping to become a bestseller, is keep writing. Keep dreaming big. Keep honing your craft. One day, your spaghetti will stick to the wall. I believe in you.

Can you think of any surefire ways to become a bestseller? Lemme know in the comments section below, because mama needs a new pair of sneakers.

xoxo and happy writing,
virg

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

It's HERE!! #HeartbreakersAndHeroes #NewRelease

A brotherhood of twelve men bound together by their troubled youth and one mentor who taught them the rules for becoming men of honor. But some of them haven't been following those rules...


Amazon | Nook | Kobo | iBooks


Check out the great article in USA Today about the box set here!!

Get your hands on TWELVE sexy HEARTBREAKERS AND HEROES- all new romances from USA Today bestsellers and your favorite contemporary authors!

Love doesn't always play by the rules…

HIDING WITH THE HEARTBREAKER by USA Today bestseller Virginia Nelson 
Rule: Protect the innocent.
Making people laugh for a living is easy, but when a beautiful stranger needs Aloysius Sutton's help, he has to find a way to become Jude's hero.

HOW TO UNBREAK A HEART by USA Today bestseller Jennie Marts
Rule: If you love her, don't let her go.
Solitary cowboy, Trip Turner finally has a chance to correct the mistakes he made when he let the woman he loved walk out of his life twelve years ago. But now that Bre Wilson is back, will he be able to unbreak her heart?

SECOND CHANCE HERO
by Michelle Major
Rule: A real man doesn't build himself up by tearing someone else down.
Travis Jackson might not be the white knight Hailey Moore needs, but he'll risk his future to win her heart.

HERO IN DISGUISE by Sharla Lovelace
Rule: A real man doesn't buy respect, he earns it.
Billionaire playboy Jake Jericho thinks he has it all, until one phone call reminds him otherwise. Can one week in disguise reform this trust fund playboy, or will his deception destroy the only real love he's ever known?

HER HEARTBREAKER BOSS by Carmen Falcone
Rule: Never leave your woman unsatisfied.
Can Stefano and Roxie resist the heat flaring between them or will working together force them to face their rocky past and give them the happily ever after they deserve?

HOW TO BE A HEARTBREAKER by Codi Gary
Rule: A real man never kisses and tells.
When an A list actor returns to his hometown, old wounds and fresh gossip emerge... along with a second chance at love, if he's brave enough to stick around.

REFORMING THE HEARTBREAKER by Christine Glover
Rule: A real man never breaks a woman's heart.
Can Olympic mountain bike champion Ryder Bennett and his public relations rep Addison Carrington keep things professional between them this time around, or will they risk a sexy scandal for a chance at love?

HER UNWANTED HERO
by Veronica Forand
Rule: A real man always helps someone in need... he may be the only one who does.
A disenchanted police officer must choose between keeping a woman's affection or keeping her alive.

ONCE A HEARTBREAKER by T.J. Kline
Rule: A real man never lies, especially to a woman.
Ty Preston ran out on the woman he loved twelve years ago, but now he's back to prove he's a changed man. However, Rayne can't risk getting her heart broken by the cowboy again.

MAKE MINE A HEARTBREAKER by Jodi Linton
Rule: Love should always be fun.
She's about to change this playboy's rule book.

HOMETOWN HEARTBREAKER
by Heather Long
Rule: A real man always puts his best foot forward…
Zeke always planned to steal her heart, but she left him on base. It’s the bottom of the ninth, and Charity is up to bat. Can she tell her two-all stars the truth or will a foul end her best chance?

TUTORING THE HEARTBREAKER TO LOVE
by Hayson Manning
Rule: A real man never touches the hired help.
Can Savannah teach serial heartbreaker Walker to be domesticated in ten days and convince him that maybe they can have a shot at a 'them' or can Walker convince Savannah there can be a 'them' on his terms only?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Smitten with Reading: Hiding with the Hearbreaker by Virgini...

Smitten with Reading: Promo Post: Hiding with the Hearbreaker by Virgini...: HIDING WITH THE HEARTBREAKER by USA Today bestseller Virginia Nelson  Rule: Protect the innocent. Making people laugh for a livin...

Thursday, June 9, 2016

99¢ SALE!! Three great stories, one low price! Wolves of Willow Bend, Rise of the Alpha Box Set!

Rise of the Alpha Box Set
By HEATHER LONG
Wolves of Willow Bend Series

Discover the Wolves of Willow Bend.

Includes:

Wolf Bite

After a dominance challenge ended with his parents deaths, Mason left Willow Bend and his pack behind, choosing instead to live life on his own terms…as a Lone Wolf. A wanderer, he keeps his life simple and carefree until an unexpected encounter brings him face to face with his tragic past and the woman he always adored. Determined to get her out of his blood, he teases her into an easy one-night stand…but one taste will never be enough.

Adopted as a young girl, Alexis Huston lived on the fringe of pack life. She’s never been strong enough, fast enough, or pretty enough—except to Mason, but then he left her. Allowed her freedom as an adult and sworn to keep the pack’s secrets, she’s struggled to fit into the ‘human’ world. A chance meeting turns her hard-won life upside down.

She is left with two options—she can tell the only wolf she’s ever loved that she’s carrying their child…or she can protect him, keep the baby a secret, and run.

Caged Wolf


Triplets, the Buckley brothers were inseparable until everything went wrong one violent, bloody night. A.J. Buckley, the eldest of the trio, faced a human trial for a brutal murder. Found guilty, he was sentenced to twenty-five to life. Without argument or regret, he accepted the sentence. After six years in prison, A.J.’s conviction is overturned on a technicality and he returns to Willow Bend to face a new Alpha and fresh charges.

Vivian Knox was the only witness to the murder. She refused to testify in the human courtroom and spent a year in prison on contempt charges. Once released, she worked tirelessly to free A.J., finally locating a loophole in the case against him. Satisfied with his freedom, the last thing she expected was to be kidnapped to the back of beyond where another judge demands she testify to what she saw that night. This time, contempt is the least of her problems.

Only four people know exactly what happened that night and none are talking. When pack law threatens Vivian, A.J. must stake his claim, but his wolf might be too damaged to help him…

Wolf Claim

Gillian Whitford, darling of Willow Bend, brings out the protective instincts in all the dominants, but none more so than Owen Chase, the pack’s Hunter. A loner by nature and calling, Owen spends less time with his pack mates and more time on the borders of their land. Not even the change in the Alpha and the swearing of a new oath kept him around long.

Winds of change still drift through Willow Bend as they adjust to their new Alpha. When the Hudson River pack requests a fill-in healer to replace their own, Gillian, journeymen apprentice to their Pack healer, is the obvious choice to help. Owen forbids her to accept, but the sweet natured wolf rebukes his selfishness and volunteers anyway.

Risking a challenge, Owen faces off against his Alpha to appeal her decision and finds himself charged with her safety. Now, the loner will be escorting one of his pack’s most precious into foreign lands. He’s all that stands between her and a dozen potential threats…and if he doesn’t stake his claim, he may lose more than his heart.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

#NewRelease #Wolves SNOW WOLF by Heather Long

Snow Wolf
Wolves of Willow Bend #9
Heather Long

Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Kobo | ARe

Don't miss the highly anticipated installment in the Wolves of Willow Bend as we travel north to one of the most secretive packs in the U.S.

Ranae is the youngest of the Buckleys and the only girl amongst three powerful male siblings. Her restlessness and dominant nature affected her every relationship within Willow Bend, not to mention testing the patience of her Alpha. Apprenticeship to the Hunters fed her desire for a purpose. When her Alpha and eldest brother ask her to undertake a mission to the Yukon territory, she’s thrilled at the opportunity to be useful. Clashing with the Alpha was the last thing she expected on the dangerous assignment.

The oldest Alpha in the U.S. packs lives a gray existence. The loss of his mate so many decades before wears away at him until he doesn’t give a damn about anything. The problems of the other packs are not his, and he prefers to be left to his isolation. The arrival of the Chief Enforcer annoys him, but it is the wolf traveling with him who wakes the predator in Diesel. The scent of mate clings to her, but she rejects his overtures and challenges him on every level.

War may be coming for the Yukon, but Diesel’s battle is very personal…

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

#NewRelease Beauty in the Beast by Elyzabeth M. Valey #Excerpt




Beauty in the Beast (The Witches' Mischief 5)
Light will become shadow. Love will become hate. Good will become evil. The Darkness is here. There will be no escape.

Morgana Wiles has spent her life, alongside her mother, fighting against the arrival of the creature known as The Darkness. Unfortunately, neither of them were able to stop him and now he's here, ready to destroy all that is good in the world. Morgana must face him, but now that the time has come, she finds that things are not as simple. Her mother is gone, self-doubt is creeping in, and her visions are unclear. To make matters worse, a man with evil intent has entered her life and is bent on complicating her mission. Will she be able to resist him in time to fight The Darkness or will she succumb and become that which she despises?


Christopher Bexley is no gentleman. He enjoys trickery, deceit, mischief and above all seduction. Sexual intercourse is the greatest source of power there is or at least there was, until he heard about the Gem. Now that he has discovered there's a stone that can make him the most powerful magic user of all time, he must have it. The only problem is that the only other person that might know where it is, is a stickler for rules and being good. Morgana is too innocent for his liking, and there's only one thing he can do to change that: corrupt her.


Author Bio:
Considered weird by normal standards – what is normal anyway?- Elyzabeth M. VaLey enjoys making up songs about mundane things, doodling stars and flowers on any blank sheet of paper, talking to her Lab whenever he feigns interest and coming up with love stories to make readers dream.

From contemporary to historical or fantasy, she enjoys writing stories about good and evil, love and passion and all that comes in between happy ever after.

Stalk me at:
Blog
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Pinterest
(Beauty in the Beast has its own board!)


Excerpt
Going anywhere, little one?” 

She stared at Christopher. His hair was all over the place, his robe open to reveal a chest smattered with dark hair. His eyes glistened deviously, matching his grin.

“Are you keeping watch over me, Mr, Bexley?” She crossed her arms over her chest, hoping that he couldn’t see her beaded nipples.

Christopher laughed.

“No such lucky, Miss Wiles. I thought I heard a noise and came to investigate.” He looked her up and down. Her cheeks burned. “I suppose you heard something, too, or you would have dressed more appropriately before coming out of your bedroom.”

She hastened to cover herself up. Sweat dripped down her back.

“Don’t do it on my account, I’m quite enjoying the view.”

Morgana scowled. Where was this heat coming from? “No. I couldn’t sleep. I’m waiting for Anne.”

“Are you? I haven’t seen her since we arrived”

She licked her lips. She needed a fan. Christopher shifted his weight and it hit her. It was him. His energy was like a hot ball of fire. Like an animal that had come from a hunt, or from a run. Primal. He took a step toward her. His robe shifted, revealing more of his chest. How would it feel to run her fingertips across his flesh?

“Yes.”

“Are you all right? You seem flustered.”

“I’m fine.”

Christopher raised his eyebrows.

“I’m fine,” she repeated. She tucked her hair behind her ears. “I’m just tired.”

“Maybe you should try and get some rest. If you can’t sleep, I’ll be happy to hold you.”

“Like you’re holding the woman in your bedroom? I think I shall pass down your offer, Mr. Bexley.”

He shrugged. “Your loss.”

He started to turn around but stopped. “You know, Miss Wiles, I don’t think your rejection sounded very convincing.”

Morgana stared at him. “I beg your pardon?”

Christopher’s eyes lit up as he sauntered toward her. Morgana backed up against the wall. He crowded her against it, placing his arms on either side of her head.

“You’re smothering me.”

“Good.”

“Mr. Bexley, this is—”

Christopher dipped his head so that she was staring into his eyes. They were the color of crushed pine needles. “Mr. Bexley this, Mr. Bexley that.” He gently grabbed her chin. Her heart skipped a beat.

“You’ve been watching me, little one. Watching me and wondering about my energy. I can tell a woman’s, a witch’s curiosity, and you are dying to know what my energy feels like. Will it really make you feel more powerful? Will it hurt you? Is it what you need to defeat that dark thing you’re so afraid of? I don’t have the answer to any of that, but I can tell you the surge of power you feel when you share your body with another human being. It is amazing. Your powers will be heightened, and you will have the ability to be faster, stronger, and to learn things quicker.”

Morgana swallowed. She should get out of here now that she could, but she was mesmerized. Yes, she was curious, but she knew better than to be led on by a man like him. She took in a deep breath, determined to say something witty and be rid of him. Instead his scent curled around her. He smelled musky and masculine, different from anything she knew.

“I’m going to kiss you now, Morgana. I’m going to kiss you and show you an inkling of what this feels like.”


His lips mashed against hers before she could think to protest. Morgana froze. They were warm and soft. He pulled back a bit and kissed her again. Her eyes drifted shut. Christopher put his arms around her and pulled her closer. He took her bottom lip between his teeth and tugged. She gasped. Her heart hammered against her chest. Butterflies rushed throughout her body, touching her with their wings and making her fly. She wound her hands into his hair, the silky strands slipping against her fingers. His tongue wormed its way into her mouth, curling around hers. Sparks danced behind her eyes. She arched her back and moaned. She could feel the outline of his cock beneath his robe. Liquid fire rushed to melt between her legs. Her swollen nipples rubbed against the material of her gown, begging for attention. Energy crackled between them. She could hear it, feel it, and taste it in his kiss, in his touch. It was palpable. Christopher slid his hands down her waist, over her hips. She held her breath. He tugged her bottom lip between his teeth. She groaned, following his mouth even as he pulled back. He grasped her chin and tilted her head. Morgana opened her eyes. Christopher looked at her as if bewildered. His brow was furrowed and though desire still shone deep in his eyes, there was also something akin to amazement.

“What?”

He blinked and the moment was gone. His eyes lightened and he grinned mischievously. “There you have it, little one. The power of a kiss.”