Tuesday, October 11, 2016

New Release!! Bloody Kisses #paranormal #halloween

 Grab your copy here: Kindle

A spooky collection of Halloween tales with a splash of romance.
Modern takes on our favorite stories including mummies, vampires, demons, creatures from the deep, and Frankenstein's monster.
Join USA Today bestseller Virginia Nelson and her award winning friends as they spin tales of darkness, fear, and that ever-shining light in the dark: true love.  

Excerpt from Night of the Loving Dead

The rumors said the walls bled, which was enough to intrigue Madeline. She’d never seen anything like that, and if there was even a slight chance to see something like that, she was in. Most of the time, their little band of paranormal researchers spent their time stumbling around in the dark.
Nothing popped out of the inky blackness when they searched, unless she counted the occasional startled and unhappy raccoon. On really unlucky days, they might scare a skunk… not an experience she wanted to repeat.
No noises she couldn’t explain, even if Drew—her recent ex, and the leader of their misfit bunch—liked to romanticize everything. Every creak of old wood, every moan of wind through cracked windows, every inexplicable orb of light in their pictures were proof to him of life beyond the grave.
Madeline took a bit more convincing.
Her best friend, Layla, insisted that her disbelief was reason enough to leave the society and stop wandering around in the middle of the night seeking proof of the unknown, but Madeline didn’t see it that way. She went ghost hunting with the society because she wanted there to be something more. There had to be. Something other than waking up to go to work and paying bills. Something more than growing old and facing death. Something special. Something magical.
Besides, Madeline suffered from insomnia since she was a kid, so it wasn’t like she had something better to do at two o’clock in the morning. It was after her shift at the gas station—cashier, super fancy gig, right?—ended, so it wasn’t like she could work or do something else with the hours she spent wandering around abandoned buildings and anywhere else that might be haunted.
The road to the old mansion was overgrown and pitted, so they’d only made it partway down it in the car before they had to strike out on foot. A little walking never bothered Madeline, but Drew bothered her. When she’d first broken up with him—because lackluster sex wasn’t enough to make her keep dealing with his bullshit and drama—he’d tried to hook up with Cammie, another of their little society. Cammie wasn’t into him so much, but she wasn’t a great friend to Madeline, so for a bit…they’d had a thing. Madeline thought they still were together, at least as far as she knew. That led Carter, the last of their group, to think he should hit on her.
Nope. No way, no how. Been there, didn’t get a tee shirt. There is no way I am hooking up with anyone else in the society. This is my recreation and curiosity time. I’m not wasting it pretending to feel something for someone.
Because that was what relationships had become to her. Pretend. It didn’t seem anything enough anymore. Like she’d built up a tolerance to relationships and couldn’t get that emotional payoff others enjoyed.
Whatever. Enough introspection. Back to bloody walls.
Supposedly the old mansion had so many ghosts, people had actually died of fear when they tried to stay one night there. One person claimed they knew someone scared so badly, they never spoke again. All in all, it really was sort of the typical urban myth laden kind of thing the group chased down. But this one felt different, somehow. Like her skin was awake, each tiny hair on her arms feeling the breeze in a way they hadn’t before. Distant lightning illuminated the beast of a structure as they approached, making it look like black teeth gnawing at a storm tossed sky.
“Could you keep up? It is going to start raining on us if we don’t get a move on,” Drew complained. Since Madeline was about two feet behind him, his whining tone and stupid words were even more grating than normal.
“You don’t even know if this place has a roof, or if whatever roof it has is even waterproof. Rushing in isn’t a guarantee we’ll stay dry. Not to mention, aren’t we supposed to take in the ambiance around the building as well as within?” she asked.
“Whatever,” he said, shaking his head. His flashlight beam shifted swiftly, blinding her as he shined it right in her eyes.
Dick. Bag of dicks. Limp bag of dicks, Madeline thought spitefully.
“We do need to hurry,” Cammie agreed. “Even if the ceiling isn’t great, it still will provide some protection for the equipment.”
Madeline snorted. If the haunting was real, we shouldn’t need equipment. That was her big beef with their group and other paranormal research teams she’d seen on television. If the ghosts were real, and they were interacting with their plane, why would they need temperature gauges and other stuff to recognize they were here? A good ghost should be like the old horror movies—in your face, pea-spitting, and obviously nasty.
But then again, they did say she was a perverse little beastie.
Even with them rushing her, though, she paused at the grand staircase leading up to the doors to enter the mansion. She couldn’t help it, something drove her to look up at the windows. Well, what was left of the windows. It looked like someone had busted out most of them and some were replaced with bits of plywood, but on the upper floors…some glass remained, reflecting the latest flash of lightning.
A second after the flash, for a brief second, she saw red eyes. Glowing red orbs, set in what looked like the oval of a face, looking right back at her.
Madeline blinked fast as rain began to pelt her. The face was gone, so it could’ve been her imagination. It could’ve been just the lightning messing with her eyes, like the after effect of a camera flash or something entirely natural. But her excitement ramped. Maybe tonight they really would find proof of something Other...

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Great EC Books - Ellora's Cave Debacle ... My Story

Back in October of 2013, I was over the moon excited. You see, I'd been offered a four book deal contract from what was one of the top publishers of erotic romance. I knew people who got their start there, who became "somebody" there, and I hoped... this was my big break.
The contract offer that started it all.

And that they offered me a four book deal? Seriously, it was my first multi-book contract. This was big. Huge.

Sure, there'd been rumors in the past of dissent, but that was all a long time ago. I sincerely was excited and thrilled and told everyone about my accomplishment, my new contract.

I haven't shared my "confidential" emails during this whole debacle, but the company no longer exists so I no longer owe them silence. While others spoke out, though, I stayed silent. Why? I was ashamed. I was "salty" as the kids say. I was frustrated.

Begging for my money
But mostly, I was angry. Infuriated they turned what was a big moment for me... what I was so excited about... into something that made me twitch each time I saw their company name pop up on my social media. Into something that made me ashamed for being a fool.

You see, they randomly decided to stop sending me my royalties. The last payment I got was in 2015 for the period ending in August 2015. My emails inquiring about it were either ignored or otherwise blown off.

And the statement they DID send back in 2015? I mean, I can't help but laugh about it. One title--they said it sold one copy on All Romance Ebooks.

The silver star means "bestseller"

I can click on the title. I can see that it was an ARe bestseller.  

Usually... it takes more than one copy, I would think, to earn that bestseller star. 

It also had a pretty good rank at Amazon and on other places, too... as did the others, but I couldn't PROVE they hadn't paid me based on my statements. All that proved was the accounting probably wasn't accurate. Maybe one copy did make it a bestseller? So, without proof, I just emailed EC about missing royalties and got ignored.

I didn't say anything publicly because when the authors spoke out, they said, "How do you know they owe you money, if the statements don't say so?" Well, in my case, that little silver star, but okay. I'll keep my mouth shut. Maybe they'll make it right.

Then, yesterday, I got this in the email.

 My favorite part is the sentence that says they're not checking email. Probably a good call. Probably a lot of people would have questions, especially after their "official statement."

 Do you see the P.S.? I like the passive aggressive threat they tacked on there. "We don't want to leave anyone's rights in limbo--which could definitely happen if we don't take the time to individually revert them back to you--so please read carefully from this point forward."

What was included after that, you're wondering? No worries, I'll share.

I'm not going to agree to those terms. They owed me outstanding royalties and have no intention of paying me whatsoever. They want me to agree to that, and I will not.

No, this will not put me in a position to get my money back. Yes, this means those four stories of mine are likely getting dragged to bankruptcy court with the rest of the Ellora's Cave madness.

Why would I do that?

Because just as I've had to see their name and twitch helplessly without recourse, they will continue to see mine. They took a dream, squashed it, took the squashed remains and stomped them, and then made me continue to look at the leftover shards for years now.

Ellora's Cave? My name is Virginia, and I hope that my name pops up on your desk as a reminder of what you did just as yours has continued to pop up on mine for so very long.

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,

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?

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?

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?

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.

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?

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.

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.

Rule: Love should always be fun.
She's about to change this playboy's rule book.

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?

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
Wolves of Willow Bend Series

Discover the Wolves of Willow Bend.


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.