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Cover Reveal: Trusting Tanner by Lexi Lawton

It’s cover reveal day for my amazing friend, Lexi!!! And I am so excited for her!

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I was lucky enough to beta read this in its early stages. It was so hot back then, I can’t wait to get my hands on the final version!!!

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Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Trusting Tanner by Lexi Lawton

Release date: May 8, 2017

To win her trust, he’ll have to surrender his heart.

Trusting Tanner is a sexy new adult romance coming May 8th from Entangled Embrace.

About Trusting Tanner:
The Collins Brothers #1

Tanner Collins is the embodiment of perfection—tall, dark, sinfully sexy—and completely out of Juliana Shea’s league. Knowing she’d never survive a repeat of her last disastrous relationship, she parks Tanner firmly in the friend zone. But man, he’s hard to resist.

Juliana is exactly what Tanner wants, and he’s determined to win her over with his kindness and humor… But one night—a night he can’t even remember—threatens to take it all away.

With the flick of a “send” button, their hope for a future together is shattered. But Tanner isn’t the type to give up on what he wants—and he wants Juliana.

TRUSTING TANNER releases May 8, 2017

SO…. Are you ready to see this SEXY cover???? Here you go…

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Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34747690-trusting-tanner

About Lexi Lawton:

Born and raised in Central New York, Lexi Lawton is an only child who found companionship in books. When she was old enough to put pen to paper, she began writing her own stories of love, suspense, and heartbreak. She hasn’t stopped since. Represented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency, Lexi is actively pursuing her dreams of publication.

Today, Lexi lives in Michigan with her husband, four kids, three pit bulls, and two cats. When she’s not writing, she enjoys going to the gym, spending time with her family and friends, and obsessively listening to anything by Luke Bryan.

Visit her website:  http://www.lexilawton.com

Follow her on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Lexi_Lawton

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LexiLawtonAuthor/

Subscribe to her Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/b96e5X

Rafflecopter giveaway:

 

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1cb554951076/?

About Trusting Tanner:

The Collins Brothers #1

Tanner Collins is the embodiment of perfection—tall, dark, sinfully sexy—and completely out of Juliana Shea’s league. Knowing she’d never survive a repeat of her last disastrous relationship, she parks Tanner firmly in the friend zone. But man, he’s hard to resist.

Juliana is exactly what Tanner wants, and he’s determined to win her over with his kindness and humor… But one night—a night he can’t even remember—threatens to take it all away.

With the flick of a “send” button, their hope for a future together is shattered. But Tanner isn’t the type to give up on what he wants—and he wants Juliana.

About Lexi Lawton:

Born and raised in Central New York, Lexi Lawton is an only child who found companionship in books. When she was old enough to put pen to paper, she began writing her own stories of love, suspense, and heartbreak. She hasn’t stopped since. Represented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency, Lexi is actively pursuing her dreams of publication.

Today, Lexi lives in Michigan with her husband, four kids, three pit bulls, and two cats. When she’s not writing, she enjoys going to the gym, spending time with her family and friends, and obsessively listening to anything by Luke Bryan.

Courtesy of the author, we are giving away a $15 Amazon Gift Card! Enter below & good luck!

<a class=”rcptr” href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1cb554951076/&#8221; rel=”nofollow” data-raflid=”1cb554951076″ data-theme=”classic” data-template=”” id=”rcwidget_8o4bdvbj”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>

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A phone call a decade in the making.

This is one of those blog posts I’ve dreamed about writing for years. To be able to say the words, “I have an agent–a great agent!” is unreal. Even reading those words now, knowing it’s true, I’m still waiting to wake up. I’m getting ahead of myself. I guess I should start at the beginning.

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Ten years ago I got knocked over the head with an idea for a story. I had written poetry before and fantasized about writing a novel. But having a background saturated in art and education, I assumed fantasizing was all I would ever do. I could draw and paint… I could teach… but writing? It seemed like an impossible dream, even though it was one I desperately wanted. The idea for the book refused to leave me. It tapped on my shoulder, a constant reminder that there was a story I had to tell. So I did. I wrote the first draft by hand, slowly transferring the pages I wrote on my lunch break to a computer each night. It took me a year to write the first draft. A year of staying up late, holding a sleeping baby with my left hand, and typing with my right. A year of bringing a notebook with me wherever I went incase my characters decided to show up and talk to me. A year of having a secret I was terrified to share.

When the story (which I’ll refer to as Distance) was done, I didn’t know what to do with all 128,000 words of it. I wasn’t even sure what genre it was. I had no friends that were writers and nowhere to get advice from. So I printed a hard copy of Distance and stuck it on a shelf. It would be a few years before I revisited that manuscript. But, having successfully written a story from start to finish, I was bitten by the writer bug and excitedly began writing my second novel. That one took me six months. My third took me three months. My fourth, three weeks.

I discovered early on that the query trenches are pretty much like the Cliffs of Insanity from The Princess Bride. A struggle to climb and a sword fight waiting for me at the top.

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I won’t bore you with the details of my rejection letters. I’ll just tell you that there were A LOT. While my second novel was deep in the query trenches, I was making writer friends. I was learning, but most importantly I was ready to revisit Distance. I rewrote it, trimmed it by about 20,000 words and decided to send it off into the query trenches.

Two things happened immediately after:

  1. I signed with a small press for a three book (The Darkness Saga)
  2. I met my editor, the amazing, Kara Leigh Miller.

The book deal fell apart, and for this reason I took matters into my own hands and went Indie. But four years later Kara and I have had an amazing journey together. She’s been more than my editor. She’s been my rock and helped me birth several book babies into the world. I look forward to many more “barefoot on Bourbon” nights with her. Kara was the first person I met in the “literary” universe to fall in love with Distance. Her determination to help me get Distance into the world is just one of the reasons why I’ll never let her go.

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By the end of 2014 I had partnered up with the fiercely talented S.P. McConnell who  helped me relaunch The Darkness Saga with incredible new covers. He became a solid sounding board for me, and I asked if he would read Distance so I could get his opinion. He loved it. Like, crazy loved it. And to this day has been one of Distance’s biggest fans. His inspiring words of encouragement have made me cry on more than one occasion. Plus he always knows when I’m stressed and can use a sexy Scotsman in a kilt pic. I mean, that’s what friends are for, right?

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By now I had become comfortable in my own skin as an Indie author. I had released several titles, and was writing the books I wanted to read. But the dream of Distance having a traditional deal remained my ultimate goal, and I knew the only way I could achieve that was with a literary agent. So, I rewrote Distance again, and sent it off into the world. That’s when things started appearing in my inbox that I never saw before: Requests for the full manuscript. Like, more than one. Like, several. I even got an offer of rep. But something told me this wasn’t the right agent for this book. Do you know how hard it is to get the call and say no? I mean what if this was my chance and I was blowing it? But, I went with my gut.

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In 2015 I went back to work full time. I was able to release a series of fantasy books, and a spin off for my New Adult novel before I got swallowed up by my new career, but once in the belly of the work beast I had to accept that writing could no longer come first. By the Summer of 2016, I was itching to get back to my dream of traditional publication. I spent August-November rewriting Distance. This time I did it the right way. It had been nine years since I first wrote the original version. I was different now. I had learned so much, and it was time to apply what I had learned. All the advice I had collected from agents and my betas through the years would not be wasted. It was time to let go. I tore out 200 pages and laid what remained on the surgical table. It was like surveying a soldier who was badly wounded in battle. But I knew how to fix him– and I knew he’d pull through. For three months I worked on Distance giving it everything I had left.

Kara swooped in to edit and helped me polish the manuscript to a high shine. It was sent to beta readers and by the end of January 2017 I was ready to query.

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This time I knew what I was doing. For starters, I even knew the genre of Distance, Women’s Fiction and Magical Realism. 😉 Only took me a decade. I researched every agent before I queried and made sure they represented my specific genre. I read through #MSWL and all the new agent alert posts. By my birthday I had been querying for 3 weeks and received my 13th rejection. Ironically that’s always been my lucky number. I remember the  waitress setting this spectacular dessert in front of me and my husband telling me to make a wish. If there was ever a moment for magic to happen, this was it. I blew out my candle and had this feeling like everything was about to change.

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Two days later I was scrolling through the list of agents who rep’d WF on query tracker when an agent name jumped out at me: Kevan Lyon. I knew exactly who this agent was. I owned several books written by authors that she represented. But all those books were romance and I (foolishly) had assumed that was the only category she had represented, and that’s why I had not included her in my original round of queries. Note to self: DO NOT ASSUME. Immediately I headed over to the Marsal Lyon website and read every detail on Kevan’s bio.

Her submission guidelines asked only for the query letter so I sent it off and returned to my work emails. An hour later Kevan requested the full. It took me awhile to respond, 1. my heart was racing. 2. My fingers now felt like sausages making typing nearly impossible. I reached out to Kara and Eden Plantz who gave me the kick in the ass I needed to get my act together. I hit send and treated myself to Chipotle. (I’ve found in this business there is so much rejection and disappointment that you really have to celebrate the little moments.)

Two days later I discovered that Kevan was following me on twitter. I ran to my girls, Kara and Eden, hoping they could crack the hidden message in this cryptic courtship that was unfolding. I tried to keep it cool, but inside I was trying not to burst from the hope that was starting to bubble up inside me.

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The following Monday I was working on my employees schedule when an email came in from Kevan. For those of you that like numbers, it had been 3 days since she had started following me on twitter, 5 days since she requested the full, and I was flat out terrified to open that email. A few more rejections had rolled through while she was reading Distance and I had so much hope in her response. When I finally opened the email on my phone, I read the message out of order. I was basically scanning the email for the words “unfortunately” and “pass”. Those words weren’t there. Instead there were words like “love” and “call”.

I shouted for my husband who ran down the stairs thinking the house was on fire. I started telling him about the call, my words flying out so fast I was pretty incoherent. Considering he doesn’t speak publishing, I think the poor guy thought I was having a nervous breakdown. I assured him I was in full out I-can’t-believe-this-is-happening mode.

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Fast forward two hours later. The phone rings and I had an hour long conversation that was too perfect to be real. Kevan loved my story. Loved it how I loved it. She described it as an “epic” love story, and compared it to a NYT bestseller that I was well aware of having seen the movie. (I know! The ONE time I didn’t read the book! UPDATE: I bought he book and am reading it now.) Every question I had Kevan answered before I even asked. She knew her stuff, and by the time she officially offered me representation, I felt all my fears from horrific past publishing experiences melting away because I knew Kevan was the right agent for this book.

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She loved my story. She was talking about my career. Kevan was painting a future that only an artist could truly appreciate. But, I still had another agent who had my full, so I had to end the call by being honest. Kevan was very gracious, encouraging me to reach out and give the other agent a chance to respond. I did, waiting patiently for her answer, but in my heart I had already made my decision.

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Twenty-nine hours later I was free to sign with Kevan. In that moment I was so thankful to my younger self for holding out and waiting. If I’ve learned anything from this business it’s this: KNOW YOUR WORTH. Ten years is a long time to wait, but now as I begin to enter the real first steps on the road to traditional publishing, I know I’m working with a person who not only has the experience, but the enthusiasm to help my dreams of publication come to fruition. For the first time I’m not alone in this writing thing.

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It’s amazing looking back on how I started, how I didn’t know a soul or even what a query letter was. Now, I not only have Kevan, but the backing of the Marsal Lyon literary agency.

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This business is hard, but it’s not impossible. It takes patience and dedication. You gotta have skin made of dragon scales to deal with the harsh criticism. But above all else, it takes believing in yourself and persevering. I was lucky to have so many betas along the way. I especially want to thank Alexandra who was the first person to ever read Distance. She asked for more pages, and so I felt a need to finish the book. I owe so much to you lil cousin. To April who texted me play by plays of my manuscript, and Tiffany who devoured the novel in a day, thanks for letting me fire so many questions at you guys. And of course to Justin who declared this early on the best story I ever wrote, thank you for reading the original and final version. But more importantly, thank you for believing in me.

And now, it’s time to get back to work.

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Where I’ve been and why

Hello beautiful people!!

*waves*

I know I’ve been quiet lately. Real quiet.

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I’m practically nonexistent on twitter. My pinterest boards have fallen to the wayside, and although present on Facebook, I’m not really present. I’m the kid who shows up for class, but prays the teacher doesn’t call on her. Here’s why:

I got a job. Ye olde 9-5

Yuck, right?

Yeah. It’s pretty yuck. It sort of feels like I’m moving backwards in my career, but sometimes life throws us situations we weren’t prepared for. We can sulk, kick, and scream, or we can learn how to turn those lemons into lemonade. But it’s also sort of a neat job because I’m still working as a writer. I’m a ghostwriter. (No, I don’t write about ghosts.) If you don’t know what I mean by “ghostwriter”, here’s a definition. Yeah. It’s a lil weird. But it also means I work from home and make my own schedule which is nice.

So what does this mean for my readers?

It means I had to put my books to the side for awhile so I could work on several books for clients. I can’t get into who I write for or what I’m writing, so please don’t ask. I just wanted you to know that I have never, nor will I ever, give up writing. It just means that (for now) I can’t produce books at the speed I used to.

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But because of this, I decided to do something for you, my precious readers.

NEW BOOKS ARE COMING!!!!

No… I don’t have a release date. But when I do release, I will be releasing…

 ALL THREE BOOKS in my NEW SERIES at the SAME TIME!

Good deal? I hope so.

So what am I working on? Well I’ve stepped away from paranormal (after 2 demons and 3 vampire books, I needed a break) and ventured into the fantasy realm. It’s a really cool genre and I love it. Basically it means instead of mentally hanging out with sexy vamps like Damon Salvatore:

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I mentally hang out with rugged warriors like Jon Snow:

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Not a bad trade.

So here’s the good news… I’ve written books one AND two already. I also have covers for one and two. (SOOO PRETTY!) I outlined three and I’m getting ready to dive into that one as well. All three books are STANDALONE novellas with NO CLIFFHANGERS.

Sound good? GOOD!

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But maybe you have a few questions. Some have been addressed to me already via email, twitter, and Facebook, so I’ll answer them now.

So Kat, why not give us what you already have?

Patience. Good things come to those who wait. You see, although the stories are standalone, the characters are interrelated. Unlike The Blood Clan Chronicles where there was a four month lag between the release of books 2 & 3, this series will give you (hopefully) instant satisfaction by having all three available.

What about more Blood Clan Chronicles?

My vamps have been put to the side for now. It is VERY possible that Erin & Kane will get their own story as well as Liv & Kyle. I had a reader ask for more Bryce and Tori and for that, you have given me the highest compliment. Sadly, I don’t foresee any more books about them. (See what I did there? *wink, wink*) I told their story, and gave them the HEA they deserved. Anything else seems like just clinging to them, and putting them in unnecessary danger. (Haven’t they been through enough? Silver chains on Bryce’s neck… my poor, Scotsman!)

Wait! You didn’t know all three books were available? Yup! The trilogy is complete and you can grab it here:

The Blood Clan Chronicles

Fine… but we HAVE to ask, where’s book 3 of The Darkness Saga? Killing Darkness ended on the ultimate cliffhanger!

Yes, it did. But I can honestly say, I have no intention of returning to Darkness before the fall. Wait! Don’t start cursing me out just yet. I have my reasons. Pull up a chair, let me explain. I spent six years writing Killing, and another year working on Taming. That’s seven years of Lucas Starr. The final book will be the end of that story, and I’m not ready to work on it yet. Basically, I’m not emotionally prepared to say goodbye to Lucas, Michael, or Brielle. I told myself I would take a year off and seeing as Killing released on December 5, 2014, that year is not up yet.

Haven’t met Lucas Starr yet? EEK! Don’t let him hear that. What are you waiting for? He is the ULTIMATE bad boy.

You can experience what it feels like to root for the villain!

Check it out! ~~> Taming Darkness

So what can you tell us about your new series? You’ve been rather cryptic on Facebook and Twitter.

I can tell you it’s fantasy. And here’s your enormous clue:

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Are you working on anything else once this fantasy is done?

Yes! It’s no secret that I’ve been working on a Snow White retelling. That book is outlined and about 1/3 of the way written. It too has a GORGEOUS cover. I also plan to write more books under the pen name, Karen Anne. My New Adult Contemporary Romance, Death by Social Suicide is a book that is so close to my heart. I have been asked to write spin offs, and I can say now that Kristen will be getting her own story. If you haven’t read Death by Social Suicide you can grab it here:

Death by Social Suicide

So now you’re all caught up. I’m here, at my keyboard working hard, and hoping to release my babies very, very soon.

Love,

The Mother of Dragons.

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Oops! Did I just slip? I meant, Kat! KAT!!! 😉

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Cover Reveal: Chameleon (The Domino Project #1) by K.T. Hanna

So as you all know I am a HUGE fan of S.P. McConnell’s work. He was the artistic mastermind behind the covers of Taming Darkness and Killing Darkness (and I have a feeling you’ll be seeing what he wow’s us with for book 3!)

When I heard that S.P. had created an ORIGINAL illustration for author K.T. Hanna I was desperate to get my greedy lil hands on it.

Let me tell you… he did NOT disappoint!

Feast your eyes on this Sci-fi beauty!

CHAMELEON Domino Project Front with Text 2

Now that you’ve taken in the gorgeous cover, here’s a lil bit more about the book….

When Sai was twelve, her psionic powers awoke violently, taking the whole 63rd block of UC 17 with them. Years later after rigorous training she faces her final exam. Her only choices are pass or die.

Chameleon (The Domino Project Book #1) releases on August 4th, 2015. To celebrate its #CoverReveal click on the link below and enter the Rafflecopter!

#YA #ScienceFiction #Debut #books #lovereading

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What it is like to be married to a romance writer ?

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Game of Thrones character illustrations from the book versus their actor counterparts on the show (22 Photos)

This really fascinated me.

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Cover Reveal: THE FIRE DANCER by Kristen Strassel

GUYS! I have a GORGEOUS cover for you today. May just be the best one I’ve seen in 2015! So as you know I LOVE original artwork on book covers, so this is a rare treat & I am giddy to share!

Kristen Strassel the author of The Colorado Shifters, The Night Songs Collection and The Spotlight Series has a NEW book coming out and the name of the series is too fantastic! It’s called Cirque Macabre and book one is titled: The Fire Dancer!

Blurb:

At Le Cirque Macabre, Holly Octane bursts into flames five nights a week. The stage is where Holly feels most alive. When she’s there no one can touch her, and everyone adores her.
Brought to Las Vegas as vampire bait, Holly’s connection to the immortals is a mystery. She’s one of a kind– traveling through time and igniting when her emotions get too hot to handle. The only people who understand her are an aunt with a hidden agenda and her fortune teller girlfriend, Rainey, who doesn’t see a future with Holly in it.
Cash Logan needs Holly, but she’s not the reason he came to Vegas. The enigmatic magician seeks Blade Bennett, a vampire that has a power that he shouldn’t have–fire. A power that could determine the future of all of vampire kind. Holly’s the only one who can help Blade control his fire, but their feelings for each other are too fiery to ignore.
Immortals rule the Vegas night, and not one of them trusts Cash or Blade. If Holly lets them draw her in to this world designed to destroy her, she’ll lose everything–the only family she’s ever known, and everyone who adores her.
Las Vegas is her stage, and Holly is determined to set the city on fire.

Excerpt:
“How long have you been like this?” His gaze ran the length of my robe, and he didn’t have to clarify what he meant.
As far as everyone knew, I was twenty-four. “Decades. I think.” The concept of time simply made me dizzy.
Cash nodded; my answer didn’t surprise him. “You were born north of London in 1781, in a village called Moorfields.” My knees buckled, and if I didn’t clutch the table, I would have fallen. Even though I knew the answer wasn’t going to be something nice and neat like twenty-five years ago in Memphis, actually having the answer blew my mind.
“I remember things that happened before that.” I couldn’t face him. “And I think I remember you.”
“Do you?” Cash ran his fingers lightly along my hair, never touching my body. At first, I was terrified we’d burst into flames. We’d fireproofed my dressing room, but Cash wouldn’t survive. This information was just the tip of the iceberg. I needed him to stay alive. “What do you remember?”
Images jumbled in my brain as if someone spun a wheel. I saw Cash, bound, bloody, and burned, surrounded by laughing onlookers. His hair was shorter, and it was a different time, but I knew him. His eyes. No matter what humiliation was bestowed upon him, they remained proud. “Chaos.”
His silky laugh almost convinced me I’d been wrong. No one could actually survive the state I pictured Cash in, his skin purple from abuse, weak from starvation, and still have a sense of humor. But those eyes. “That’s about right.” He moved closer to me, my robe pressed against my skin.
I couldn’t let him distract me. “But why do I remember things that happened before that? Like I was there. Is that even possible?”
“If you experienced it, then you made it possible, Holly.” His words were soft, and like time, they made me dizzy. “You’re a Bleed.”
My eyes snapped open. “A what?”
“You’re a Bleed. You age much more slowly than mortals, and your immortality extends in all directions. Forward, backward, and sideways if it’s possible.”
I had to turn and face him. Rainey would knock on the door any time now, and I needed to wrap this up before she came. She’d warned me stay away from Cash. We’d been fighting too much lately already. I hated it. “How many of us are there?”
“You mean how many of you are there.” Someone knocked on the door softly. I forced my eyes away from Cash, and he stepped back. The knock repeated, more forceful this time. Rainey would be able to sense I wasn’t alone, even if she couldn’t see Cash. “You might be the only one.”
“Then how do you know so much about it?” I kept waiting for the heat to rise in my body, but it didn’t. All the triggers, fear and frustration, were there, but no flames. The knocking became frantic.
“Because I do.” Cash placed my hat back on my head before he headed to the door. His hand was on the doorknob when he turned back to me. “You’ve been patient this long, Holly. I want you to need me.”

So… are you ready for the cover? Behold how gorgeous it is!!

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The Fire Dancer 
Cirque Macabre Book One
Release Date: May 21, 2015.
You can add it to your Goodreads TBR AND Preorder it here:

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What I do all day.

As many of you are already aware, I was a teacher for twelve years before I abandoned a solid career, a steady paycheck and reliable health benefits to chase my dreams of being a writer. When people hear this I can honestly say their reactions boil down to one of two:

1. WOW! You’re really living the dream! How brave and exciting! 

Not gonna lie, I like these people. They feel like my private cheerleaders rooting me on and every time I release a new book they give me a huge smile and sometimes I even get a squee of excitement. If they ask questions about my new career it’s usually in the vein of, “Are your characters based on anyone in real life?” or “How long did it take to write your novel?” And my personal favorite, “I read your book, and I loved it. Will there be a sequel?”

These people are such a solid motivation for me. Hearing that they not only believe in what I do, but ENJOY what I do makes it all worthwhile.

Then there’s the other reaction…

2. WOW! So you like, don’t teach at all? So you don’t have a real job anymore? It must be nice to have nothing to do all day but make things up. So, wait– what do you do all day?

I can honestly say that these are the people who deflate my ballon. These people don’t offer me smiles or give me an excited squee. These people judge. They ask questions that are way too personal. (How much money do you make? is my least favorite, closely followed by, So you’re not with a real publisher?)

And no matter what answers I give them, they will never be satisfied with my response. I suppose it’s because I’m the freak that shattered society’s mold and ran away to join the circus.

Becoming an actor or dancer or writer is what other people become, not you.

Well… why not me?

I have been asked countless times, “So when are you going back to teaching?” Which I can honestly say, I have no desire to do. When I tell them that, they seem offended.

So to answer those questions… THIS is what I do all day:

BIRTHING MY BOOK BABY

By Kat Daemon

Just like a woman in different stages of pregnancy, different stages of the writing/publishing process dictates how I spend my days.

Stage 1: Writing. 

This seems pretty obvious, but writing involves rewriting.

I sit down with an idea in mind and if my characters are talking to me that day, they usually dictate the scene. So a chapter I originally saw going one way could end up vastly different. When this happens, I have to make notes and make sure that whatever I have planned for future chapters is not altered by what I wrote in the present. I like to write with my laptop, but I keep a notebook next to me and some post-it notes to stick everywhere to remind me of scenes that will need tweaking when I get there. After my scene/chapter/pages are written, I read them and rewrite them until my eyes are fried and my wrist feels like it’s going to burst. There’s an odd satisfaction in that kind of pain. When the entire manuscript is finished I’ll do the same thing but on a grander scale for the whole book.

Write, revise, tweak, repeat.

Stage 2: Betas have been fed, now what?

So the manuscript is done. Yay! Not exactly. Now’s when I hand my baby off to a few beta readers who provide me with what I’m thirsty for– honest opinions.

Depending on the length of the manuscript and how busy they are this can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

So you get to relax now, right? Nope.. not yet…

Stage 3: Cover Design

This is when I really LOVE, LOVE, LOVE being an Indie author. Every author dreams about seeing their book on a shelf, and we all fantasize about what that cover will look like. When I first signed with Entranced Publishing one of the coolest things I got to do was fill out my “vision” of the cover. Then I submitted the form and waited almost seven months until I was allowed to even get a peek at the cover. During that time I had full blown anxiety attacks over that darn cover. My book was about the devil. In my story he’s portrayed as beautiful, charming and impeccably stylish. But my fear was red horns, a tail and some skanky boobilicious girl draped to his leg. The final result was rather simple. Two images cut and paste together with red font that proclaimed my title. While it was not even close to the horror I had envisioned, it also wasn’t even close to the description I had submitted. That’s when I realized, despite the form, I had no say. The cover didn’t belong to me, it belonged to them. (That’s when I took my first REAL step towards being an Indie author and contacted an insanely talented artist to talk about my cover and print options.)

One of the tragedies of Self-Publishing is cheesy covers. I would hope my readers can say that my covers don’t fall under that category. I have worked with two professional cover artists since I’ve gone Indie and although their styles differ, their work is no less amazing. To me, the cover has to capture the essence of the book. By looking at it you should know, is this a love story, horror, memoir?

Working with S.P. McConnell on my Darkness Saga has been an epic adventure. He was determined to provide me with a unique and original illustrated cover that summed up the heart of my story in one moving image. I’d say, mission accomplished:

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When I needed a break from the darkness and my delicious demons, I dove into uncharted waters and wrote my first New Adult Contemporary Romance. I wanted fun, and flirty. I had a strong idea of what my characters looked like and how they interacted with each there. So I approached Sotia Latzu with the project. The result? Perfection.

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Sotia is also working on another secret project for me, but you’ll have to wait to see that beauty– and it is a BEAUTY!

Stage 4: Marketing.

I wish the moment I hit publish my name was so well known that people flocked to their laptops to order my book on release day. Sadly, I’m not there yet. I have a handful of loyal readers, but in order to get my book into the hands of complete strangers, I gotta work it.

This means, paperwork. Filling out forms, researching bloggers, and venues to promote my book. You would think having done it once I could just rally up the same contacts. Nope. Every book is a different story and therefore attracts a different group of people. The marketing has to be tailored to a target audience. I’m still working on this part, some days you hit. Others, you miss.

Stage 5: Edits & Revisions.

Well the book is back from the betas. My editor has returned it with her comments & corrections. Now the fun part begins. I have to weigh everyone’s advice on how to make my book better. Plot holes, character development, killing my darlings… it all happens here. Some books are cleaner than others. Killing Darkness took me six years to write and two months to edit. Death by Social Suicide took me three weeks to write and one week to edit. I wrote, edited and published Reborn & Revenge in about five weeks. I have been working on the finale, Redemption, for over three months.

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No two books ever travel the same path.

Stage 6: Formatting and Final Proof.

The book has been written, read, edited, and revised. It has been professionally formatted and the mailman drops it on my door step. That’s right– I’m holding my book baby for the first time! I inspect the cover, sniff the pages and photograph it like a proud mama. So now what?

I read it, silly!

This is the last chance I’ll have to catch any errors and while I’ve probably already read this book one hundred times by now, it needs to be read one hundred and one.

So the book is read. It’s deemed worthy and now it is set up for publication. The channels of distribution are chosen, the final polished manuscript and cover are uploaded and the price is set. There’s only one thing left to do: hit publish.

Stage 7: Happy Book Birthday!

It’s book release day! The novel is available at midnight, it’s showing up in the correct channels of distribution, people are buying it– which means, it now has a rank. Hey, remember all that marketing we did earlier? It’s paying off! The rank is getting better and more books are being sold. Sometimes the rank is REALLY pretty and the book baby starts ranking in categories. The better the rank, the more people see it. The more people see it, the better the chances of the book making more sales. Think it’s a fun, relaxing day? It’s exciting, no doubt about that, but it comes with a lot of stress and anxiety.

Stage 8: Reviews.

The publication of the book is only the beginning. The readers response is what matters now, and without reviews –real reviews, not my great-aunt Tessie pinching my cheeks and saying, good job– the book will fail. So now different forms have to be filled out, and different bloggers have to be sought out. I need honest opinions, so I need readers who are not biased to read and review my book. This is a never-ending process and every time I see a new review posted, I get a bit queasy before I read it.

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So now you have it. The great mystery of what I do now that I’m no longer teaching has been revealed. So that romantic image of Shakespeare scribbling away with his quill is sadly, NOT what I do all day.

But now that you know how I pass my hours, want to know something else?

I love what I do.

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New Release: Death By Social Suicide by Karen Anne

Psst… My alter ego had a book birthday today… and it was fabulous!

Tammy Farrell

New Adult Romance from Karen Anne

Available on:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

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Blurb:

The night Brittany Wakefield kissed her best friend, Jaime, she lost everything. Who knew one amazing moment could send him running— spinning a web of deceit and avoidance for two years. Stepping onto campus, she’s ready to win him back, even if it involves pledging a sorority she has no interest in.

Erik Draxton fell hard for Brit the moment she walked into the art room. With vibrant purple hair, music in her veins and a rebellious flair, she’s all he’s ever wanted.

While Jaime shrouds himself in secrets, Brit finds herself longing even more to be a part of his world. Unable to watch the girl of his dreams get tossed to the side, Erik decides to take matters into his own hands. But when Erik crosses a line, Brit feels backed into a corner, and…

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Release Day for Kristen Strassel’s Too Many Reasons

Romance and Rock Stars! Umm… YES, please!!

Tammy Farrell

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TOO MANY REASONS (A Spotlight Series Novel) by Kristen Strassel is here! Check out the excerpt and giveaway below! Kristen Strassel keeps her rock ‘n roll edge in this sexy contemporary NA. I’ve read this one and I love it.

TMR

Title: TOO MANY REASONS (A Spotlight Series Novella)

Author: Kristen Strassel

Age: NA

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: February 9, 2015

Goodreads Page

Amazon

Blurb:

Abby Gauthier is close to getting everything she’s worked so hard for. The band she manages, Sinister Riot, has been offered a major record contract. But it comes with a catch: the band must add Eli Jamison, winner of the talent show The Spotlight, to the lineup.

“You’ve been my favorite part of this city.”


Devon Sinclair is the singer of Sinister Riot, and he’s Abby’s best friend. She’s in love with him, but fears she’ll lose him if she makes the first move. Devon knows…

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