Words of Wisdom

REVIEWS are essential, just like nourishing yourself with food, reviews do wonders for your branding. That is, of course, if they’re positive. On occasion they can be nasty, disheartening, or just plain ‘ole weird. There are trolls out there, who thrive on leaving terrible reviews. The kind that trashes your book but don’t take the time to clarify what is wrong. I mean…there’s feedback,and then there’s leaving constructive feedback. Oh, and some folks are just rude and crass. Those are the kind you want to just sweep under the rug. At the end of the day, it’s hard to take a reviewer/review seriously when they’re being an asshat about it.

I review books as well. I make it a personal policy of mine not to post anything that is below 3 stars, but I will rate it otherwise on Amazon, B & N, and Goodreads. This doesn’t make me any less as a reviewer, I just don’t think it’s fair to the author if I read something I didn’t like because I couldn’t get into it. If I can’t relate to the characters, or simply just not getting into the theme resulting in a DNF (did not finish) I won’t rate the book. I have read my fair share of those over the last 12 months, and its quite frustrating.

Let’s focus on the positive reviews, and how they can help you. They’re a great marketing tool for starters. Create graphics with your cover, and quote the reviewer. They’re attention grabbing, and one of the simplest of ways to help promote your latest release, or a book from your backlist. If it’s a review on a book that will be released soon, have the reviewer quoted on your cover. Cover endorsements from other authors are a great option, but we’ll go into that another day.

Use your positive reviews to your advantage, and there’s nothing shameful about it.

JUST BE NICE. Kindness goes a long, long way. We’re all at different places in our careers as romance authors. People will come and go in our lives on our journey to being published, so with that being said, sometimes success changes a person too. In some cases not for the best either. The best way to combat those moments is to shrug your shoulders, stretch your neck, and move on. Sure it can leave you hurtful, but there are somethings we can’t change, so drive that focus and energy into positive things like your current book.

My Sexy Saturday ~ August 23, 2014

Hmm…I had to think long and hard about this one. I think I will share a snippet from the opening of my historical romance series the Pleasure Garden Follies.

Scandal at Vauxhall, Pleasure Garden Follies, Book 1

Scandal at Vauxhall, Pleasure Garden Follies, Book 1

“There you are, sweetling. I was beginning to think you weren’t coming.”

Isabel threw herself at him, desperately hoping her parents were wrong. “You’re leaving me?” she murmured into his overcoat. Please let it be a falsehood.

“Darling, let me explain, but first I have to ask you something.”

Her eyes widened with disbelief. She sniffled and stepped out of his hold, gazing into his beautiful and stoic blue eyes.

“I wanted to do this sooner, but…would you do me the honor of becoming my wife? I know that we cannot be married until I return. Nevertheless…”

 

That’s it for me this week. If you enjoyed the snippet, click on the cover above and it will take you to Amazon. The entire series is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance ebooks and Smashwords.

Be sure to check out the other entries this week here.

 

Words of Wisdom

Today seems to be that sort of day, where now that I’m laid out from exhaustion, a couple of things have been rattling around in my head. What advice would I give myself five years ago when I started this journey that I should have known. What should others know when they start their own journey in writing? What kind of lessons have I taught my daughters? How have I inspired others around me, or my readers?

Some of the things I would tell myself and others just starting to get published are:

  • DO NOT RUSH – It’s so easy to get swept up in the excitement of others reaching their goals, but take the time to appreciate the process, and learn as much as you can.
  • PUT OUT YOUR BEST WORK – Whether you’re planning on submitting your work to an agent, editor, publisher, put out your best work. You need to treat your manuscript like a resume. Would you apply for a job with a resume that is riddled with grammatical issues? While this industry is big, you’d be surprised how many people know each  other. The last thing you want to do, is suddenly find yourself the main discussion at water coolers, because you failed to proofread your work. It happens. No one will admit to it, but gossip is everywhere.
  • PAY ATTENTION TO CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK – Whether it’s an editors advice, beta reader, or critique group, no one is out to hurt your feelings. We all start out as shit, and grant it some people can be assholes giving feedback, but you have to move forward. If something isn’t working with the plot, trust that who ever is taking the time to give you feedback knows what they’re talking about. Authors/editors are readers too, so don’t think they won’t review, or ignore that extra comma you threw in.
  • NEVER GIVE UP – You will get rejected. Seriously. Lots of times, too. People will also talk behind your back, and do all kinds of crazy shite. Ignore it, move on, and keep writing. Find people you connect with, because they will be there with you through the worst of it. I know of one bestselling author who had such a rough go at the start that she’s doing amazing now, and that’s because she kept pushing forward.
  • RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH –  People will call you on your shit. If you don’t do this, be prepared for crappy ass reviews or rejections for that matter. You’ll eventually come across the perpetual know-it-all, but even still, cross your t’s and dot your i’s. If you don’t know where to begin, ask for help. There are plenty of groups on the internet or specifically if you join a writers group, who you should be able to bounce ideas off of.
  • MARKETING PLAN – Whether you’re self publishing or going through a publisher, you need to have one. Be prepared to take a huge part in doing this work yourself. You’ll need to research what are the best methods for reaching your target market, but here’s a great article on what the current state of affairs is with marketing books. http://tarasparlingwrites.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/what-makes-people-buy-self-published-books/

I think since I started in 2009, I’ve demonstrated to my girls that there’s nothing wrong with pursuing your creative interests. Yes, I still work a full-time job, and I love the company I work for, I still have other aspirations. Whether it’s my girls, husband, or my readers, I truly hope my passion for romance is illustrated in my works. I want my readers to recommend me to their friends and family. I want them to be as passionate about my characters as much as I am. And while I continue to develop my skills, I truly hope my readers will continue to follow me.

Teaser Tuesday Feature

Hi all! So I thought I might make it a habit of sharing teasers from my books on Tuesdays. I’d also like to extend the feature to you guys as well. Feel free to share a sneak peek from one of your books too.

This week, I’ll share a snippet from my latest regency A Gentleman Always Finds Out.

Mariah kneeled on the bed before him. The mix of uncertainty and curiosity in her dark eyes wavered. She smiled, yet the blush on her cheeks spread down her neck. “No, I am not innocent. Although, I am not even altogether sure if we…I…should be here. My experience with men has been…how shall we say…limited.”

Julian throbbed with need. He desired her in the worst way, and her experience mattered not to what his body craved. He cupped her cheeks and leaned forward. “Dearest, your pleasure tonight is and will be priority. Experience comes with having a partner that has patience and is willing to share their secrets. Tonight, consider yourself fortunate.”

 

I hope you enjoyed the snippet! If you want to read more, A Gentleman Always Finds Out is available at: Amazon (Can/U.S/U.K), Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and in PDF, HTML, ePub, and mobi formats at All Romance eBooks, Secret Cravings Publishing, and Smashwords.

Now it’s your turn. Share your snippets in the comments section. Any heat rating is fine.

Howdy! It’s Been a While

HardenedDesire

Honestly…I haven’t been slacking off. These last few months have been insane for good and bad reasons, and I’m working on some amazing surprises for you.

For anyone who knows me personally, they can attest to some of the great difficulty I’ve had these last few months. My teen tested and exerted most of my patience and sanity, which made it very difficult to concentrate on anything. I’ve had to shift my writing schedule around and sadly withdrew two proposals. I honestly feel terrible about it, but there’s only so much a gal can do.

I then found myself confronted with an awful situation, and one that brought some very painful memories. We all make choices in life that we regret–which is normal, but I would never, ever lie about being physically abused. And to think I was accused of the very notion cut me deeply. Do people really lie about that kind of shit? All I know, is I would never fabricate such experience. I spent years in therapy, and I finally accepted, forgave, and moved forward. It’s one of the reasons why I started writing. Although, what I wrote back then for therapy was mostly dark poetry. Honestly, people can think what they want, but  I know the truth, and so does the universe. My husband and daughters fully support me, and love me all the same.
Anyhoo…enough of the awful news. How about some awesome things?

My blog Romance Author at Large is turning a year-old this September. Yay, right? Not just yet. Here’s the big news. I’m celebrating with a month-long  mass feature of authors, and there’s going to be giveaways too. Watch this space and that one for more news on the special event.

In addition to that, my review and promotions site Hawt Reads & Dirty Talk is doing extremely well, and is now open to cover ads. With a subscription base of 2. 4k and constantly growing, the decision seemed to be a natural one.

I’m hoping to re-release Hardened Desire later this month, or early on in September. All the drama slowed things down, but it will happen, I promise you.

I’m also working on two new stories. I’ve got a highlander novella in the works right now; I need to turn in by Halloween, and I think you’ll really love it. The other project is a brand new contemporary serialized book. Watch for more news on Boardroom Affairs. The first installment The Dare is turning out to be a mighty fun book. This sexy book is going to be fast-paced, kinky, and full of sexual fantasies gone wild.

Well, that’s it for now. I can’t giveaway all my secrets. Thank you for supporting me and my books. Love y’all to bits!

XO – Layna

 

Who Doesn’t Love a Freebie? Especially by D.L. Jackson.

SlippingthePast

 

Slipping the Past by D.L. Jackson FREE July 25-29, 2014.

http://www.authordljackson.com/

 

Help celebrate the re-release of D.L. Jackson’s third place finalist in the 2011 More Than Magic contest. Get it FREE for five days at Amazon!

Some love affairs last a lifetime…others never end.

Fifty years into the future, if you’re one of the damned, you don’t run for your life, you run to save your soul. Jocelyn Miller is wanted for crimes she committed before she was born. Homeless, blind, and out in the elements on one of the coldest nights of the year, her desperation results in a bad decision. When Jocelyn and her brother Nate rob a convenience store, Jocelyn comes face to face with her worst nightmare and greatest love, a reaper named Gabriel.

Gabriel Solaris is an Enforcer, a genetically enhanced psychic often referred to as a reaper for his ability to take souls, and he’s charged with collecting Jocelyn’s. When he finds Jocelyn outside the store, he’s sure she’s up to something illegal. Proving it isn’t necessary. He holds a warrant and it’s all he needs. But the closer Gabriel gets to Jocelyn, the more he begins to question his duty and why he believes her claims of innocence. When Jocelyn tells him she loved him once, Gabriel loses control and kisses her. Instead of taking her soul, he gives her a week to prove innocence in her past-life crimes—something he has no authority to grant.

FREE at Amazon July 25-29, then the price will be $0.99 for a limited time:

http://www.amazon.com/Slipping-Past-D-L-Jackson-ebook/dp/B00M2C52NY/

Sharing Some Scandal for This Weeks Stop ~ My Sexy Saturday ~ July 5, 2015

LynnSexySaturday_button

 

Good morning ladies and gents. For this weeks theme is about our beloved heroines, and how they go above and beyond all for the name of love.

I’ve selected the following snippet from my debut erotic historical romance Scandal at Vauxhall. I hope you enjoy it.

Scandal at Vauxhall, Pleasure Garden Follies, Book 1

Scandal at Vauxhall, Pleasure Garden Follies, Book 1

 

Damnation! Of all the men to drive her to distraction. Only six months had passed since her husband’s death. Their connection was a scandalous one, and no matter how she tried to imagine things working out in the end, the situation would not resolve amiably. Either she would be exiled from the haute ton, or Nathaniel would be cast out from the House of Lords. Inevitably, their dalliance would have to stop, quickly and quietly.

 

For more information on this short and sexy read, Scandal at Vauxhall is now available where most ebooks are sold. If you use a Kobo or Apple product to read ebooks, the Epub version is available at Secret Cravings Publishing, Smashwords, or All Romance ebooks. If you would much rather prefer reading paperbacks, get all three books in this series in the anthology Scandalous Affairs here:

Amazon (U.S): http://www.amazon.com/Scandalous-Affair-Layna-Pimentel/dp/1631052543

Amazon (U.K): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Scandalous-Affair-Layna-Pimentel/dp/1631052543

Amazon (Canada): http://www.amazon.ca/Scandalous-Affair-Layna-Pimentel/dp/1631052543

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1119888586?ean=9781631052545

McNally Robinson (Canada) http://www.mcnallyrobinson.com/9781631052545/layna-pimentel/scandalous-affair?blnBKM=1#.U7WRgPldUYM

Secret Cravings Publishing: http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=book_info&cPath=10&products_id=902&zenid=a1259f4d7743ce66a0d2c03e1fefe583

 

Well, that’s it for me this week, so be sure to visit the other entries in this weeks hop at: http://mysexysaturday.blogspot.com

 

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Featuring: To Marry a Scottish Laird by Lynsay Sands

To-Marry-a-Scottish-Laird-Lynsay-Sands

To Marry a Scottish Laird

An English Bride in Scottland #2

By: Lynsay Sands

Releasing June 24th, 2014

 Cover

 

Blurb

New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands returns to the Highlands of Scotland in her hottest new historical romance yet!

Highlander Campbell Sinclair is no stranger to battle, so when he sees a lad attacked by bandits, he jumps into the fray. He didn’t count on being stabbed. Grateful to the boy for nursing him back to health, Cam offers to accompany Jo safely to his destination. But when he accidentally comes across the lad bathing in the river, Cam discovers that Jo is actually Joan . . . with the most sinful of curves.

Joan promised her mother that she would deliver a scroll to the clan MacKay. But traveling alone is dangerous, even disguised as a boy. When a Scottish warrior lends his aid, she is more than relieved . . . until he surprises her with lingering kisses and caresses that prove her disguise hasn’t fooled him. As their passion ignites, will the secrets of the scroll force a wedding . . . and lead to a love she’s never known?

Teaser

Cam heard the trouble on the trail ahead before he saw it. The screams made him instinctively slow his horse as he rounded the bend, but when he saw a young boy being held by the scruff of his shirt and beaten by a big bull of a man, Cam reached for his sword and spurred his horse to move faster. A heartbeat later he’d reached the pair.

The thud of his boots hitting the ground made the assailant glance around, just in time to see Cam’s sword hilt before it slammed into the big oaf’s head. The fellow went down like a stone, unfortunately falling on the boy and landing with enough weight to bring a grunt of pain from the almost insensate lad.

Wincing in sympathy, Campbell used his booted foot to roll the villain off the boy. The moment the man’s weight was removed, the lad opened his swollen and blackening eyes and squinted up uncertainly.

“Yer safe,” Cam said and bent to offer him a hand up.

Instead of taking it, though, the lad glanced past him, swollen eyes widening slightly with horror. Cam instinctively started to straighten, but a blow to his lower back made him stagger. He managed to avoid trampling the lad and regained his footing after a couple of steps, then whirled to confront his assailant.

Assailants, Cam corrected himself grimly as he took note of the three men he now faced. They all had dirty faces and wore ragged clothes. None were as big as the man he’d knocked out, but they were not small either, and each had a different weapon. The bald man on the left held a club, the one with long dark hair on the right held a rusty old sword, and the ginger-haired one in the middle held a knife that was presently dripping with blood.

His blood, Cam realized even as he felt warm liquid begin to trickle down his lower back and leg. He hadn’t been punched in the back, he’d been stabbed.

 

Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2014/05/now-booking-tasty-virtual-book-tour-for.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18599761-to-marry-a-scottish-laird

 

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FJ3793O/ref=cm_sw_su_dp?tag=avonromancehc-20

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-marry-a-scottish-laird-lynsay-sands/1117005028?cm_mmc=affiliates-_-linkshare-_-mdxm68jzjz8-_-10%3a1&ean=9780062273581&isbn=9780062273581&r=1

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/to-marry-a-scottish-laird?utm_source=linkshare_us&utm_medium=Affiliate&utm_campaign=linkshare_us&siteID=MdXm68JZJz8-PS7TGlMwksk1DOQj9YLvfw

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/to-marry-a-scottish-laird/id718596894?mt=11

 

lynsayAuthor Info

Lynsay Sands is the nationally bestselling author of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series, as well as numerous historicals and anthologies. She’s been writing stories since grade school and considers herself incredibly lucky to be able to make a career out of it. Her hope is that readers can get away from their everyday stress through her stories, and if there are occasional uncontrollable fits of laughter, that’s just a big bonus.

 

 

Author Links

http://www.lynsaysands.net/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lynsay-Sands/125138040836322

https://twitter.com/LynsaySands

http://avonromance.com/author/lynsay-sands