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11

Today I’m hosting USA Today Bestselling and fellow Lyrical author Desiree Holt and her romantic suspense, Hide and Seek. Desiree is giving away a $25 Amazon/B&N gift card, as well as a chance to win an action-packed prize package when you pre-order. So make sure to comment, check out the other stops on the tour, and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/B&N gift card

Leave a comment and check out the other stops on the tour for more chances to win!


Anything can happen when you let your guard down . . .

After receiving a violent threat on the heels of her father’s disappearance from the town of Arrowhead Bay, Devon Cole fears for her life—until Vigilance, a local private security agency, steps in to shield her from danger. Although she isn’t usually quick to surrender her freedom, she has no problem stripping her defenses for her new sexy bodyguard . . .

Tortured by the painful memory of lost love, Logan Malik is determined not to fall for a client again. So when he’s tasked with watching over Devon day and night, he’s focused on doing his job. Day is no problem, but as tensions rise at night, nothing can protect them from giving in to unbridled passion . . .


Hide and Seek is on pre-order for only $2.99!

http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/35516

All readers who pre-order will receive exclusive content and will be entered into a drawing for an action-packed prize-package, including:
A copy of HIDE AND SEEK by Desiree Holt
A $5 Amazon gift card
An Alex & Ani nautical charm bracelet in green velvet bag
Kensington “Romance Socks” which feature HIDE AND SEEK


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Desiree Holt is the world’s oldest living published author of erotic and spicy romance. A graduate of the University of Michigan with double majors in English and History, her earlier careers include agent and manager in the music industry, public television, associate vice president of university advancement, public relations, and economic development.

She is three times a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award (and a winner in 2014), a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, winner of the first 5 Heart Sweetheart of the Year Award at The Romance Studio as well as twice a CAPA Award winner for best BDSM book of the year, a USA Today Bestselling author and winner of the Holt Medallion for Excellence in Romance Literature.

She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times, The Huffington Post and numerous other national and international publications. She is also the Authors After Dark 2014 Author of the Year.

“Desiree Holt is the most amazing erotica author of our time and each story is more fulfilling then the last.” – Romance Junkies

www.desireeholt.com
www.desiremeonly.com
www.facebook.com/desireeholtauthor
Twitter: @desireeholt
Pinterest: desiree02holt
Google: https://plus.google.com/113212301982441064210
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/desiree-holt-a7272526/

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/B&N gift card

Leave a comment and check out the other stops on the tour for more chances to win!

12

Here on the blog I’m usually giving everyone advice on how to write, and telling you all about the “rules” of writing. I hope my readers have learned a few things, or taken inspiration from me, or at least gotten a few laughs from my awful attempts at humor.

Now today, WE’RE GOING TO BREAK THE RULES! Oooh, you naughty writers, you…

You’ve probably heard some of the “rules of writing” so many times you’re sick of them. They don’t even mean anything to you anymore, but everywhere you go, seasoned writers tell you the same things, dispensing their regurgitated pearls of wisdom like an oyster with the stomach flu. If one more damn person tells you to “write what you know,” you’re going to write a book about brain surgery just to spite them (unless of course, you are a brain surgeon–in that case, write about ballet, or the rise of disco, or something). These rules don’t even seem to make sense when you really analyze them, or they’re contrary and limiting, so let’s figure all that out right now.

5 Cardinal Rules of Writing and How To Break Them

  1. Show, Don’t Tell. Uuuuuuugh you knew this one was coming, didn’t you? This is the first thing any writer will spout when you ask them for advice. Of course, we all know it by now. Don’t say she’s sad, show her crying. Don’t say he’s mad, show him throwing a chair. The advice you never hear is that you don’t always have to show. You can tell. Showing too much slows things down. For example, if Becky gets fired from her job, but something important to her future and the plot happens the next day, it’s probably not a good idea to clog up the flow with thirty pages describing her going home, crying for an hour, eating all her roommate’s food, drinking two bottles of wine, throwing up, and passing out. It’s okay to just say “Becky had a long night full of bad decisions,” and maybe show her hangover in the morning. Get to the point fast, and stick to it.
  2. Never Use ‘Said.‘  The dialog tag “said” has been demonized by writers and editors alike. Of course, you shouldn’t overuse it. By far, the best dialog tag is an action beat. Instead of, “I used to love wine,” Becky said. “But not anymore.” It’s better to go with, “I used to love wine.” Becky glanced at the two empty bottles in the recycling bin, and her stomach turned. “But not anymore.” However, of course you can freakin’ use “said” here and there. I actually saw an editor one time suggest that you should search and replace all instances of “said” in your manuscript. This is not sound advice to me. Sometimes you HAVE to use said, anything else is awkward and intrusive. Just don’t OVERUSE it. No one is going to chuck your book across the room because Becky “said” something.
  3. Write What You Know. I’ve gone over this before on the blog (and really, all these things). This is terrible advice because it’s not clear. It doesn’t mean if you’re a writer from Maine your characters should only be writers who live in Maine (yes I’m looking at you, Stephen King). It doesn’t mean you can’t write about a place you’ve never been or an experience you’ve never had–that’s what research is for. It means write what you know about people, about the human condition, about the human heart. Write life as you’ve experienced it, and you’ll discover just how many people can relate. It should be changed to “write about the world as you understand it.”
  4. Never Info-Dump. By all means, you shouldn’t tell us everything there is to know about your character and their world all in one go. Don’t write a story like you’d tell a friend about something crazy that happened at the bar last night (“see there were these three guys, one was this huge guy and he had tattoos on his face, and one was this really short guy with a big bushy mustache, and then there was a third guy and I think he only had one eye…) Feed it to us slowly over the course of the story, as it becomes important. But this doesn’t mean you can’t EVER give us a bunch of information all at once. If your space captain suddenly has to use the LazerMatic3000, and we have no idea what the hell that is, it’s okay to insert some details and explanation. This can be done in a number of creative ways, including having it explained to them by another character, or by having the captain recall fond memories of using the LazerMatic3000 during his high school football games.
  5. Write Every Day. Yes, practice makes perfect. Doing something repetitively makes you good at it. Writers also have jobs, bills, kids, lives, and other responsibilities. Of course, to be a writer, write. But also don’t throw yourself off a cliff if you can’t do it every single day at 3 p.m.

There you have it, some of the rules you hear ad nauseum and how to break them–and still be a good writer. Or are you a bad writer? A very, very bad writer? 😉

 

9

I need to confess something: I arrive late to everything that’s popular. All the things everybody gets really into–games, apps, trends, TV shows–I’m usually about six months behind in catching on (if it’s something I’m going to like anyway). Sometimes, longer than that. I’m slow to keep up with the times. When everyone else has been into something for ages, it’s shiny and new to me.

That being said, I didn’t watch Stranger Things until well after everyone else had already binge watched the first season and fell in love with it. The main reason, apart from my usual being late to the party, is that it just didn’t look like my thing. That’s another quirk of mine–I CONSTANTLY brush things off as not being “my thing” and then when I give it a shot I’m usually really into it. But mostly, yes, I’m not a sci-fi fan, and I’m especially not a fan of the pulpy sci-fi that makes up the plot of Stranger Things, AND I don’t wanna watch a show about kids, yeesh!

Well, you can probably guess what happened when I finally got around to giving it a try. Yep, I found it insanely engrossing.

The thing is, I’m still not a fan of the plot, I think it’s campy and I’ve never liked the evil-for-the-sake-of-evil type villains, but I love the characters, and I find them mesmerizing to watch and to follow their story. And so comes our writing lesson for today.

Have you ever heard someone say “I don’t usually read (genre), but I loved the characters, I couldn’t put it down!” This is indeed a great compliment to hear about your own work, it means you crossed barriers to reach people outside your target audience. Characters are, hands down, what makes a story good. They’re what moves a story. They’re the reason for the story. And no matter if you’re writing about WWII or a grandma who solves murders or a town overrun by interdimensional aliens, it’s your characters who bring readers to the table. It’s your characters who make the story matter.

But what makes a character “good?” Usually three things: they’re interesting, relatable, and sympathetic. That means they’re the type of person you would want to have a conversation with, their struggle or desire is recognizable to you, and you understand why they do the things they do (even when they’re bad things). Of course not EVERY character in your story will appeal widely to everyone, but having at least a few in there pulls in an audience. Having engaging characters who appeal to a large amount of people’s general sensibilities–they want love, protection, fortune, to help their family, to succeed at something important–can make the difference between a flat story and one that really pulls people in, maybe even people who wouldn’t usually read the kind of thing you write. Sometimes, the characters are even more important than the plot.

As another example in TV, Breaking Bad was one of the most-watched and awarded TV shows of all time (and yes, I didn’t watch it until well after it was over and on Netflix). But the concept–a gritty, dramatic crimeworld show about the little man climbing the ladder of success–wasn’t exactly novel. However, the characters were amazing. So much so, even people who don’t watch that sort of thing (me) ended up watching it. It didn’t win a million Emmys because it was particularly unique, but because the characters felt almost too real at times.

So, there you have it. I guess I’ll be watching the second season of Stranger Things when it comes out this month. It was a good reminder for me to try things instead of just brushing them off, and also that it’s the characters, not the background, that makes a story great. Now, let’s see if I can keep up with the times. *waves cane*

Today I’m hosting Samantha Jacobey and her paranormal romance/urban fantasy Keeper Set. Check it out and enter to win the giveaway at the bottom!

The Keeper Set
by Samantha Jacobey
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
No one EVER had a summer romance like this.

When Charlie visited another plane parallel to our own, he discovered that
Summer Angels and Dark Angels battle over the fate of man. Faced with
choices no one should ever have to make, his adventure has been
fraught with twists and turns, with life and death hanging in the
balance. His guardian, Clarisse, is the half that makes him whole,
but sinister forces conspire to do more than simply keep them
apart.
Find out if they can stand up to the powers that be in this THRILLING
MAGICAL ADVENTURE!!! (New adult)
Keeper of Truth
Summer Spirit Novellas Book 7 – The Keeper Set
Keeper of Lies
Summer Spirit Novellas Book 8 – The Keeper Set
Keeper of Oblivion
Summer Spirit Novellas Book 9 – The Keeper Set
Don’t miss the other books in the series!
The Angel Set
by Samantha Jacobey
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
No one EVER had a summer romance like this. When Charlie visited another
plane parallel to our own, he discovered that Summer Angels and Dark
Angels battle over the fate of man. Faced with choices no one should
ever have to make, his adventure has been fraught with twists and
turns, with life and death hanging in the balance. His guardian,
Clarisse, is the half that makes him whole, but sinister forces
conspire to do more than simply keep them apart. Find out if they can
stand up to the powers that be in this THRILLING MAGICAL ADVENTURE!!!
(New adult)
Summer Angel
Summer Spirit Novellas- Book 1 – The Angel Set
**FREE ON AMAZON**
Dark Angel
Summer Spirit Novellas- Book 2 – The Angel Set
Forgotten Angel
Summer Spirit Novellas- Book 3 – The Angel Set
The Karma Set
by Samantha Jacobey
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
The Magical Adventure continues! If you liked the Summer, Dark and
Forgotten Angels in the first segment of the Summer Spirit Novella
Series, you are going LOVE what happens when Karma gets involved. Are
they a race of ancient beings, here for the benefit of mankind? Or is
a group of marauders poised and ready to strike us down when we least
expect it? Charlie must find the truth and his inner strength for any
hope of freeing Clarisse and ending the battle… (New Adult)

Karma’s Minion
Summer Spirit Novellas- Book 4 – The Karma Set
Karma’s Revenge
Summer Spirit Novellas- Book 5 – The Karma Set
Karma’s Legacy
Summer Spirit Novellas- Book 6- The Karma Set
Anyone who knows me could tell you, I am a friendly kind of person, never
met a stranger and take up conversations any where at any time. I
work hard, and my mind never seems to shut down, as I wake up often
in the middle of the night with ideas pouring out and demanding to be
dealt with. Of course that means much of my books were written in the
middle of the night.

I grew up and still live in the great state of Texas where everything
is bigger, where we have warm weather and a central location. I love
my state, my town, and my family, which includes my four sons, my
significant other, and many friends as well.
I have thoroughly enjoyed writing the books that are currently
available and hope you will enjoy reading them just as much. And of
course, there will be many more stories to come.
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive content and a giveaway!



Today I’m hosting Lynsay Sands and her paranormal romance, Immortally Yours. Lynsay is giving away 5 print copies of A QUICK BITE (Argeneau #1) for US ONLY. So make sure to comment, check out the other stops on the tour, and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Enter to win one of 5 print copies of A QUICK BITE (Argeneau #1) for US ONLY

Follow the tour HERE!


Immortally Yours

Argeneau

Book 26

Lynsay Sands

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Avon Books

Date of Publication: 9/26/2017

ISBN: 9780062468956

ASIN: 0062468952

Number of pages: 400

Irresistible chemistry and thrilling suspense combine in this electrifying new installment in New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands’ Argeneau series

One hundred and twenty-five years is a long time to nurse a crush. That’s how long it’s been since Beth Argenis first met Cullen “Scotty” MacDonald, and he instantly became the star of her most X-rated dreams. Back then, he was rescuing her from a Rogue Immortal. Now Beth’s a Rogue Hunter—a damn good one. She doesn’t need saving anymore, despite what Scotty thinks. What she does need is the fierce, wild desire that finally erupts between them.

Scotty has hesitated to claim Beth as his own. But one explosive kiss confirms what he’s long suspected: She’s his life mate. But Beth is tough, fearless, beautiful…and in immortal danger. Unless he wants to lose her forever, he’ll have to rethink everything he once believed about love and destiny as well as confront an enemy who’s terrifyingly close.

Amazon      B&N     IndieBound


EXCERPT:

“Tybo, it’s time to move,” Beth said into her headset as she watched the garage door drop closed.

“And thank God for that. We’ve been camping out here all night in the cold and mud. I’m done in,” came the complaint over the headset.

“We all are,” Beth said grimly. “So quit your bitchin’ and move into position or I’ll come find you and kick your arse.”

“God, Beth, I love how your accent comes out when you’re annoyed. It’s so Eliza Doolittle.” Tybo’s voice was smooth and full of laughter this time. It made her suspect he’d complained just to get a reaction out of her, especially when he added, “I like it best when you talk dirty. It just revs my engine.”

“Dirty?” she asked with surprise.

“Ummm hmmm,” Tybo crooned. “You said arse.”

Beth covered the mouthpiece of her headset as a bark of laughter slipped from her lips. She hadn’t worked with Tybo long, but was quickly learning the man was a character. Shaking her head, she removed her hand from her mouthpiece and said, “Stop flirting with me, you cheeky bastard, and move into posit—”

A choked sound and the rustle of cloth from her earpiece made her stop talking and listen instead before she said, “Tybo? Tybo?”

Beth paused a heartbeat to wait for a response, and then said, “Valerian? Do you see Tybo?” Silence was her only answer.

“Ah hell,” she muttered. Slipping out from behind the tree she’d been using for cover, Beth started moving quickly in Tybo’s direction. She had the dart gun she’d been issued in one hand, but her sword in the other. It was the sword that saved her. Before Beth reached the spot where she’d ordered Tybo to take cover, the dart gun was abruptly kicked from her grip. She never saw it coming, but reacted instinctively, sword hand coming up and swinging hard even as she turned toward her assailant. She caught him at the base of the throat where it met his shoulder. The blade went deep, slicing better than halfway through his neck.

Beth yanked it out, grimacing at the sucking sound it made. She watched the man topple sideways to the ground, and then quickly wiped the blade off on her attacker’s coat before grabbing up the dart gun she’d dropped. Shooting him with it to ensure he didn’t heal and rise too quickly, she then turned and continued forward. Beth found Tybo on his back in the mud some twelve feet from where she’d been attacked. There was a knife in his chest.

“You should have moved when I told you to,” Beth muttered as she bent to tug the ivory-handled knife from his heart. He didn’t open his eyes and sit up at once, but she hadn’t expected him to. He’d need some time to heal. Beth reached into the satchel hanging at her side, pulled out a bag of blood and then opened his mouth. She had to massage his upper gums briefly to get his fangs to slide out, but then she slapped the bag to them.

Leaving Tybo where he lay, Beth straightened and glanced around before continuing along the path. Valerian had been positioned another thirty feet ahead in the woods surrounding the house. She found the hunter exactly where she expected, also with a knife to the heart. As she removed it, Beth noted that it was a duplicate of the knife that had been in Tybo’s chest.

Tossing the blade aside, Beth slapped a bag of blood onto Valerian’s fangs as well before turning to peer through the bushes at the house they’d been watching since just after sunset. It had been empty by the time they’d got their orders from Mortimer at the Enforcer house and made their way here. The inhabitants, a rogue immortal and his minions, had already been gone by then, probably to hunt up new victims. Beth, Tybo, and Valerian had sat here awaiting their return for most of the night and now it was almost dawn, but a few minutes ago a van had pulled into the driveway. The garage door had opened, the van had pulled in, and the door had closed without them ever seeing how many people were in the vehicle. Which was why Beth had ordered Tybo to approach the house. They needed to know how many rogues they were dealing with and what the situation was. It was vital to their approach. If there were innocent mortals who needed saving, for instance, it would affect how they handled everything.

It seemed, however, that their presence hadn’t gone unnoticed, and one of the returning rogues had managed to slip out unseen and sneak up on them. Her question now was whether that was the only one. Had the newly turned rogue just been sent out to check around and happened upon them? Or had they been spotted and he was sent out to take care of them? And if so, how many others, if any, were out scouring the trees surrounding the house, looking for them? Aside from whether there were innocents around, Beth also needed to know many rogues were inside besides Walter Simpson, the master rogue of this group. Unfortunately, getting those answers and doing anything with them would be hard since her entire, and very tiny, team was now incapacitated except for herself.

Cursing under her breath, Beth took a quick glance around and then moved to the nearest tree and swiftly climbed up into the branches. She settled on a large, sturdy branch fifteen feet up, took a moment to be sure that she had a good view of the surrounding area and that no one could sneak up on her, and then slid her cell phone from her pocket.

Mortimer answered on the first ring. “Problem?”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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’s occasional uncontrollable fits of laughter, that’s just a big bonus.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33889462-immortally-yours
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lynsay-Sands/125138040836322
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lynsay_sands
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lynsaysands
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lynsaysands/
Website:  http://www.lynsaysands.net/news.html
Newsletter: http://www.lynsaysands.net/joinmailinglist.html

Enter to win one of 5 print copies of A QUICK BITE (Argeneau #1) for US ONLY

Follow the tour HERE!