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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Can I have a word? Rocked by Passion


So we’re here again! And the results are in….That brooding mystique of Kieron clearly has your interest piqued. So I guess we’ll be starting with him. If you’ll come with me you can get rocked by passion!! Are you ready to meet this week’s guest? I hope you are and with that I’ll bring in Kieron!!!

Kieron

JTA: Hiya Kieron, how are you today?

Kieron:……..You sound awfully excited for a woman that’s about to surrender all her power to me.

JTA: And why wouldn’t I be excited? I’ve missed you.

Kieron: You saw me a few months ago when you were writing Whirlwind of Pleasure. I haven’t been gone long enough for you to miss me.

JTA: And the fact that I wrote you back into a book doesn’t tell you anything? I love you and love writing about you that’s why I’ve asked you to come here and talk to all these lovely people so that they can fall in love with you too.

Kieron: I’d really rather they didn’t love me. In fact, I’d really rather they stayed far away from me. The further the better. What happens when women see my face isn’t love. I’m old enough and wise enough to know that now.

JTA: But I’m different.

Kieron: *Takes off the heavy weight of his hood*

JTA:……….

JTA:……….I. Love. You. So. Much. I just want to-

Kieron: *Covers his face with his hood* You’re not all that different to the rest of them. You managed to keep your hands to yourself, which is a definite improvement to some of the women I’ve met in the past but only Estraya is actually immune to the effects.

JTA: So you’re telling me there’s a woman that can resist that?

Kieron: *Smiles to himself* Well I wouldn’t say she resists, I’d say that she has more control than others. She’s special like that.

JTA: You sound like you really love her.

Kieron: More than my next breath.

JTA: I’m jealous and seeing how it’s clear that I can’t compete with this paradigm of femininity I’ll take my leave. Maybe I don’t love you as much as I thought I did. Maybe next week people will vote for a wolf or something. They’ll love me back.

Kieron: Wolves are worse and you know it.

JTA: A woman can dream can’t she?

Kieron: Some more than others and some dreams are less likely to come true.

JTA: Here, just answer these. I’m going to find me some affection. *Gives him list of questions* I don’t think I’ll be inviting you for a while. You seriously know how to bruise a woman’s ego. How does Estraya put up with you?

Kieron: Estraya doesn’t have to worry about me ever saying anything bad of her. She’s my mate, my infinitely better other half.

JTA: I can’t wait to meet her….

Kieron: Well I suppose I should answer these questions so that I can get back to Estraya.

What is your favourite time of year?

Well I’m an earth elemental so my favourite time of the year has definitely got to be the end of spring. That’s when most of the plants have bloomed and it’s when I feel most in tune with nature, when my powers are strongest. I have a particular dislike for winter, trees really don’t like having to be woken up when there’s snow on the ground so that they can do your bidding. I can make them do it but it’s definitely much harder in winter. 

Have you ever done something you’ve later regretted?

I took off my hood. I let people see my face and I took advantage of the power of my curse. I was young, I didn’t understand how having women throw themselves at me could possible be a curse…..I was wrong and they let me know it. In the worst possible way. Now I understand that a curse is a curse and there are never any benefits to it. When someone puts a curse on you, they want you to suffer and before I met Estraya that’s exactly what I did.

Is there one thing you couldn’t live without?

Until I broke my curse it was definitely my hood. It kept people from seeing my face and the less of my face people saw the less they actively despised me and that kept my anger at bay for longer. When I get angry enough….I change. I become something less than human and so the hood had to stay. The metal lining and the many layers mean that I can see out but people can’t see in. That was how things had to be before I met Estraya but now the one thing I couldn’t live without is definitely my star, my Estraya. 
How would your best friend describe your personality?

Difficult. I’m not the easiest person in the world to get on with and if you’re not in my circle of trust I’m going to make an active effort into keeping you away from me and those I do care about. Call it a consequence of my curse if you want but that’s just the way I am. But once I do trust you, there’s no one more loyal or dedicated. I’ve defied kings and decimated armies to keep the people I love safe and I’d do it again.
What would you say if someone told you they’d booked an experience for you to go swimming with sharks?

Sharks are definitely not in my city. If they’d found a way for me to leave the city there’s nothing that could stop me from going. And trust me, there are definitely things that are more frightening than sharks and I’m one of them. One look from me would have them on their best behaviour.

JTA: Kieron, I’m back!

Kieron: You seem to have gotten over your earlier disappointment.

JTA: Just spent some time with Gabriel and now I feel much better.

Kieron: Who’s he?

JTA: Gabe is the main character in Submerged in Ecstasy and he’s much nicer than you are.

Kieron: Is that so?

JTA: Of course it is!

Kieron: You thought I was nice too until I met my mate…..What if it all changes?

JTA: *scowls* Kieron, you’re being difficult.

Kieron: It doesn’t matter. I’ve answered your questions, it’s time for me to go.

JTA: It doesn’t work like that. You have to stay here while I go back to Gabriel. He’s intense and needs my full attention right now so that means you’re in control. *Blows him a kiss* Bye gorgeous. I’ll be back on Monday with Estraya so if you just behave you’ll get to see your beloved mate soon. Be nice and answer all the lovely people’s questions!

 

And the winners are….


So I’ve made it to the other side of my brimming hat of names and have the results.

Now normally I have 2 winners but the response to this month’s hop was so phenomenal that I’m going to DOUBLE that number so instead of 2 winners I’m going to have FOUR!!!

So are you ready? In no particular order the winners and the books they’ve won are:

  • Cindy Bailey – Rocked by Passion

  • Stefan – A Wolf’s Duty

  • Bumble Noodle Q-Tipper – A Wolf’s Oath

  • Jennifer S – Seared by Desire

Congratulations!! 

Now all you have to do is let me know which ebook format you’d like your prize in (kindle, nook, pdf etc)
All the winners have 48 hours to get in touch with me or I’ll get my hat back out and your prize will be given to someone else.
Well done again!
For everyone that didn’t win this time around thanks for taking part! I would normally say that you can try again next month but I don’t think I’ll be taking part in any hops for November. You have to understand that’s when Skyrim is released and I lose any free time I might once have had 😉
I hope you all really enjoyed the hop and maybe I’ll see you in December. I love the holidays and tend to get particularly nice around that time!
 

It’s alive!!! – A Wolf’s Duty


Tobias

So we’re continuing with A Wolf’s Duty and this week it’s Tobias that’s in the driver’s seat. Once the introductions are out of the way that’ll be it from me for another week. 

JTA: So Tobias, do you want to say hello to the nie people?

Tobias: I’d really rather be spending time with my mate. Where is she?

JTA: Alex was here last week, you’ve just missed her but as soon as you’ve answered my questions I swear I’ll let you go and you can go and find her.

Tobias: Well then I’d really rather you asked your questions quickly.

JTA: You seem worried….

Tobias: I love my mate but she does have a way of trouble finding her. Every time I let her out of my sight she seems to have people trying to kill her.

JTA: I can see why that would be a problem. Do you think it’s something she’s doing that makes people want to hurt her?

Tobias: Damn straight! She’s too nice. If she let me kill half the people that tried to hurt her the first time they wouldn’t be alive to try and hurt her again.

JTA: *gulps* Well on that rather bloody note I think I’ll be leaving. *Thrusts the questions at his chest* I thought it would be fair to ask you the same questions I asked Alex. Here you go. Try not to kill anyone while I’m gone.

Tobias: As long as no one bad mouths my mate no one will die.

JTA: I can’t promise anything but trust me I’m not going to be saying bad about her!

Tobias: I’m going to be quick about this. I have places to be and a mate to find.

What’s your biggest fear?

I’m not afraid of much but when it comes to Alex I lose all sense so my biggest fear would be losing her. If I lost her my wolf would drive me insane, that’s one of the reasons mates don’t last long without each other. And even if I didn’t have an animal inside me mad with loss I don’t think I’d want to be in a world that didn’t have her in it. She’s like my own personal sun, when I’m with her the world is a bright beautiful place and when she’s gone everything is dark. But I’m pretty good at making sure my fears don’t happen. Anything that threatens her doesn’t last long. 

If someone dared you to jump out of a plane (with a parachute) would you?

Is there a particular reason I should be afraid of jumping out of a plane? I’m not afraid of heights and if something went wrong I’d heal. Free fallins is exhilarating. All of you should try it some time.

What is your earliest memory?

Travis. I remember Travis. I remember my brother, my twin. I remember when the hunters took him from me. He didn’t deserve to die, especially not like that. He was so much gentler than I was. He didn’t pose a threat to anyone and they killed him anyway. After that I remember the lack of freedom. Not only was I mourning the loss of my brother I was mourning the loss of my ability to go where I chose and do what I wanted. I understand my parents did it to protect me but none of you have any idea what that does to a wolf. It was like I was in a cage and no one was giving me the key.

What is your most prized possession?

I know I don’t own her but my mate is what I treasure most in this world. If you had searched the world a hundred times over you’d be possessive as well. I looked in every country, walked and ran miles, climbed mountains, swam seas to find her. I’ll never have another and I’d never want another either. So she is what I prize most. 

What is your ideal romance?

My idea romance? Seriously? Who thinks these questions up? Hang on a minute…she asked my mate this? Maybe there was a point to this useless question and answer session. I can’t wait to find out what Alex had to say. As for me…my ideal romance is simple. Uncomplicated. It wasn’t what I got but who wants the ideal that you can never have when you can grab reality with both hands? I certainly did. 

Tobias: So that’s it. *stands up* I’m going to find my mate –

JTA: Tobias? Where are you going?

Tobias: To find Alex obviously.

JTA: You’re not even going to tell me how it went?

Tobias: I answered your questions and now I want to find my mate, what does it matter how it went?

JTA: About that…

Tobias: About what?

JTA: Alex…..

Tobias: You’re walking on dangerous ground. Choose your next words carefully.

JTA: I just saw her.

Tobias: And?

JTA: And she asked me to give you this. *Hands him a note and is mildly perturbed when he crushes it in his hand* What does it say?

Tobias: It says that she wants me to stay here for a week and that her magic will keep her safe and away from me until my time here is up.

JTA: Why would she do something like that?

Tobias: She says because I need to learn that the world isn’t out to get her. She thinks this is going to be for the best.

JTA: So what are you going to do?

Tobias: That’s obvious, I’m going to stay here all bloody week and answer your ridiculous questions.

JTA: Just like that?

Tobias: My mate has asked me to do something. I can’t say no.

JTA: Wow! When she said she had her ways I didn’t really believe her but clearly she does have a magical talent! So now that we’ve got Tobias to agree to stay for the rest of the week, be sure to hound him with questions. There is nothing too big or too small for him to answer. And then after that the choice is back in your hands. We’ve met the main characters from A Wolf’s Duty so who is going to be next? The choice is up to you!

 

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It’s alive!!! – A Wolf’s Duty


Alex

So the results are in and the first interview is going to be with characters from A Wolf’s Duty. So this week it’s Alex who is in control and with that I’m going to introduce you and bow out of the picture. 

JTA: Alex, say hi to the lovely people.

Alex:……Hi.

JTA: Well I’ve left you some questions, make sure you answer them all.

Alex: Wait, you’re leaving?

JTA: Of course. I said I was letting you guys be in control for a while. Trust me you’ll be fine.

Alex: You can’t really expect me to talk to all these people!

JTA: Like I said you’ll be fine. *whispers conspiratorially against her ear* No one out there is going to hurt you. Fred is gone and you’re strong, you’ve proved that time and time again.

Alex: *Nods slowly*

JTA: Well I’m off! I’ve kept the questions simple but people might ask you more as the week goes on. Good luck Alex!

Alex:…..So I guess it’s just you, me and this list of questions. I’ll just get started and then you can be on your way. I don’t understand why she didn’t start with Tobias, he’s got much more experience at this than I do. If you haven’t guessed already I’m not really the biggest fan of public speaking but there is a reason for that. Let me just crack on with the questions okay?

What’s your biggest fear?

My father. I know he’s dead now, Tobias and Ryan made sure of that but there are still some nights I wake up and think that he’s standing over me ready to hurt me and Tobias. It’s silly I know, Tobias is much stronger than Fred and he’s more than capable of protecting us both but it’s hard to make my brain remember that when I’m asleep. I spent so many years afraid I think it’s going to be a very long time before I don’t have those kinds of nightmare anymore. 

If someone dared you to jump out of a plane (with a parachute) would you?

Are you insane? I could never do that! Maybe I need to rethink my fears. That sounds almost as scary as Fred. I know I’d heal if something went wrong but that’s the point, what if something went wrong? Besides, I’d love for someone to try to persuade Tobias that was safe. He’d do everything in his power to not let me go.

What is your earliest memory?

It isn’t pretty….I’m not sure I want to talk about it…..But I did promise….The first thing I can remember is my mum reading to me and Fred ruining it. We were reading ‘The Practical Princess’ which by the way is a must read for any young girl. It’s a series of short fairytales where the heroines and heroes don’t just wait for something to save them from mortal peril they sort out the problem themselves. I just wish I’d remembered it more when mum was gone. Anyway, we were reading the book and then Fred comes in….He was so drunk that night….He tore the book away from mum and dragged her out of the room by her hair. I tried to protect her but I was so young. I can still hear her screams.

What is your most prized possession?

That’s easy, I’ve only got one picture of my mum. I managed to hide it from Fred after she died. My mum is an inspiration to me and when I thought I’d never see her picture again….believe me I wasn’t happy about it. I just keep thinking that one day I’m going to forget what she looks like. I never want that to happen. After the picture, I’d have to say the locket Tobias gave to me is pretty special. I never take it off, I always want to keep him close to my heart. 

What is your ideal romance?

Before Tobias I never thought about romance, I didn’t have the time. I just wanted to survive the week….But now….Tobias is everything I could ever wish for. He can be a little – well a lot – overprotective at times but I know it’s because he wants to keep me safe. I think he’d lock me away in a tower if he could get away with it. He thinks the whole world is out to get me and he’s the only thing that can protect me from it. If I didn’t love him so much it would drive me crazy but I know he means well. If he’s all I can ever have then it would be enough. 

Alex: Thank God! The questions are over.

JTA: So Alex, how did it go?

Alex: You’re back?

JTA: Tobias made me come in and check on you. That man has issues. I told him you were fine but he wouldn’t hear of you being left alone. How do you deal with him?

Alex: *a secret smile comes to her lips* I have my ways.

JTA: But you managed all the questions right?

Alex: There weren’t nearly as many as I thought there was going to be so I did fine.

JTA: That’s because I want others to ask you questions. Mine are just a starter. You’re here all week to answer their questions.

Alex: *groans*

JTA: But the more important thing is this! Your book, A Wolf’s Duty, as well as all the others I’ve written are involved in a giveaway this week.

Alex: What does that mean?

JTA: It means there are copies of books up for grabs all week! All people need to do is enter.

Alex: Really?

JTA: Yup so if you’re up for learning more about Alex and that overbearing Tobias, head over to this page and get stuck in. Don’t forget to ask Alex any questions you might have, she’s here all week!

 

 

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Sweet Saturday Samples – 15th October


So it's Saturday so if you're ready for the deliciousness of
the weekend come with me as we enter a Whirlwind of Pleasure!

Whirlwind of Pleasure – She’d take on the heavens to love him.

Furious didn’t even begin to describe how Nicholas felt as he stormed through the halls towards the alpha’s cabin. He’d known distantly that having a mate sometimes brought out the worst of a lycan’s instincts but nothing had prepared him for this. Gwen’s disappearing act had his gut churning, his vision clouding red and his animal instincts overriding his ability to reason. He would get her back no matter what ruthless measures he had to employ. With that thought in mind he flung the doors to Conner’s cabin wide open, the doors hitting the walls with a resounding slam that made all eyes turn to him. His ice blue eyes darted around the room wildly while his bare chest rose and fell quickly in agitation.

“You, you and you,” he commanded, pointing to the men that stood guard around Conner. “Come with me.”

“Wait,” Conner contradicted, walking the distance that separated him and Nicholas.

Growling, Nicholas regarded his alpha and only friend, the familiar brown hair and equally brown eyes angering him. How dare he try to come between him and his mate?

“Calm down Nick,” Conner soothed, placing a beefy hand on his shoulder. They’d known each other for centuries and that was the only reason he hadn’t reacted violently to the challenge in Nicholas’ growl. He trusted his beta implicitly. “What’s wrong?”

Huffing, Nicholas shrugged out of Conner’s grip and began to pace.

When no words seemed forthcoming Conner prodded him slightly. “I heard your howl earlier, tell me what happened.”

“My mate,” Nicholas began through gritted teeth. “I found my mate.”

The worry disappeared from Conner’s face and was replaced with a wide smile. “Congratulations!”

“She ran away.” He spat each word, simply remembering Gwen’s escape making his blood boil.

Puzzled, Conner said slowly, “No lycan woman would run from her mate.”

“She’s not lycan. She’s a tiny little air elemental and she literally slipped through my fingers.”

So there we have it, a little bit of goodness from the characters 
of Whirlwind of Pleasure. I hope you liked it.
 

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Characters should be alive!


Personally, the mark of a good book in my mind are the characters. I want to read about memorable ones that stick with me long after the story is finished. Characters should feel so alive that when you’re reading about them you truly can imagine them as real people with real problems. And that’s why I’m going to take a step back and let my characters have control. For the next few weeks they’re going to be in control. They’re going to be writing the blog and giving you a glimpse into the aspects of their personality that make them real.

I’ll start them off with some basic questions but I’m handicapped. I know my characters as well as I know my own shadow so my questions probably won’t be as probing as an outsider. So ask lots of questions!!

Right, so the choice is yours, which book should we start with and what questions would you like to ask!

 
1 Comment

Posted by on 11/10/2011 in Writing

 

Let’s talk about price


So I’ve decided to talk about an issue which affects all authors in self publishing and even those who have gone the traditional route….price!! It’s a bit of a contentious issue but I feel that it needs to be talked about. Why am I talking about it now? Well remember that trip I took down to the US embassy all those months ago because of taxes and the IRS? Remember how long it took me to find the right place and all the ridiculous rules that were in place? Who here remembers why I took that arduous trip?

I DO! It was because if I didn’t get a US tax identification number any and all monies I made from book sales in the US would get a super tax of 30%!! Now that seems like a very high number to me even if it doesn’t seem massive to others.

Well I got a letter back from the IRS this week….after all that grief they rejected my application! And told me that I’d need to go back to the embassy to reapply and take down all my identification again. I’m sorry but I’m still the same person I was when I originally applied. I haven’t changed just because my application got rejected. Sadly, I don’t think they’ll just take my word for it. I thought I’d sent the right evidence for them to process the application but no, an invoice saying that you’re receiving royalties from the States apparently isn’t good enough.

But I’m a few months older and much wiser now so here’s what you need to do to get this number if you’re looking at doing it yourself.

1 – Get a letter from whichever company is paying you! This is the most important step and can take a while to get sorted so this is what I advise you to do first. Smashwords have an online form for you to fill in but it does take a while to get from them to your door so apply for it pretty much as soon as you decide to publish!

2 – You’re going to need to fill in a W-7 Form. Now they’re going to want to see proof of ID so get that passport out! Now you can get your ID noterised by an official for a fee or you can trek yourself down to the nearest US embassy and they’ll do it for you – Free of charge 😉 AND they’ll check out the form to make sure you’ve filled it in properly.

3 – Give them your payment letter and your complete W-7 Form and then you’re going to have to wait for them to get back to you.

4 – Wait. Times will vary.

5 – Once you’ve got your TIN number you’re going to need to fill in the W-8BEN form and send that off to the company that’s paying you.

Right so now that’s out of the way let’s get on to the more important issue. Price.

I’m a UK based reader and writer but I spend so much time on the US versions of sites that I know those prices better than I know my own. Sadly I can’t buy books from sites that are stateside and this brings me back to the question of the day. What is an acceptable price for a book?

Now I know just how much time and effort goes into writing a book, editing a book, getting cover art for a book, marketing the book….Just thinking about the workload is making me tired…Sadly not all readers know just how much effort is involved in writing a book. When a writer sets a price for their book they’re basing it on how much time and effort has gone into getting that book from an idea into something that someone else can read.

If you’re an indie author then readers have to take a chance on you and they are often not willing to pay as much for your book as their bestselling author. So here’s what we as a writers have to do. We need to do some investigation work. I went and looked at all of my favourite author’s books and took note of their prices. I decided that my books were going to cost less than theirs. Not because I don’t think my books are as good or because I haven’t put as much time into creating them…No I did it because I’m quite aware that I’m not a global bestseller and readers are going to be making similar comparisons. They might be in between series’ or waiting for the next book in their favourite author’s series and this makes them look around. And there they see you, less than what they’d be paying for that author’s book and think maybe I’m up for something new. Maybe I’m up for a risk and they click that little button that says buy!!

Now the other issue I have is cross continental pricing. This really annoys me. When I see a book on amazon.com (where I spend a great deal of time) I’m all for supporting my fellow indie so I go for the button that says buy and am redirected to the UK site where the price has jumped…..significantly. Sadly this really deters me from buying a book and I’m sure it puts others off too. I hear writers complain that their UK sales are so and this is probably a contributing factor. Yes I know you have to factor in VAT which currently stands at 20% but still if an ebook costs $5.64 and then £6.27 in the UK, readers in the UK are going to know something isn’t right and they will not buy the book. I think my ranting is almost over. So now I put the question to all of you. What do you think is an acceptable price for an ebook? What do you think is an acceptable price for an ebook by an indie author? Let’s hear your thoughts on the matter!

 

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