Archive for April 2017 | Monthly archive page
Welcome to the first in a new series featuring authors talking about their writer and reader retreats. Many authors are now organizing their own successful events both for other authors and for fans, and we are going to tell you all about them!
First up is New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author Eden Bradley. Eden has a unique retreat coming up in June in San Francisco – called EDEN BRADLEY’S KINK RETREAT WEEKEND, an intro to the world of BDSM.
Eden writes dark, edgy erotica and erotic romance for Bantam/Delta, Harlequin Spice and HQN, Berkley Heat (as both Eden Bradley and Eve Berlin), and the former Samhain Publishing. Two of her books have been Romantic Times Top Picks, and her novel FORBIDDEN FRUIT was profiled in Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Red Hot Reads column in 2008. More recently her BDSM book THE DARK GARDEN hit the top paperback fiction charts in the UK.
Eden joins us to talk about all things erotic. Welcome Eden!
Lachesis Publishing: You’ve been writing erotica and erotic romance for many years. Tell us how you got started as an erotic author and why?
Eden Bradley: I started writing erotica in my early twenties—short stories that I never thought to publish. I’d always wanted to write erotica, but in those days there wasn’t much of a market for it. I became involved in the romance industry around 1999, and discovered some online communities that led me to the sexier books being published. Those were category romances, which my voice really isn’t suited for, but eventually e-publishers began to open and erotic romance became very popular very quickly, and I was in! I was lucky to be mentored by some amazing authors early on, like Nalini Singh, Sasha White, Shayla Black and Sylvia Day, and I’ll be forever grateful for their guidance.
EB: I hit the list with my novella INK & IRON: OBSESSION, which was in the Riding Desire Box Set. I was living with friend and author R.G. Alexander at the time and she was also in that box set. I woke up to Post-its all over the house saying things like “NYT Bestseller’s tea mug” and “NYT Bestseller’s toaster”. We did go out for a nice dinner once we stopped screaming. ; )
LP: The next feature film installment in the Fifty Shades trilogy came out in February of 2017 – in your opinion what kind of impact has Fifty Shades and E.L. James had on genre of erotica and erotic romance?
ED: It’s been HUGE! I always say EL James rebooted my career, since I’ve always written kink, and when the books were contracted by a branch of Random House, I was the only other contemporary BDSM author they had (through bantam). They re-issued my novel THE DARK GARDEN, which I wrote in 2005, and got it into Target and Walmart, which was awesome!
The FIFTY SHADES books brought kink to mainstream readers and opened up much-needed discussions about female sexual desire—there’s been a profound effect on the erotica/erotic romance industry, and on Western culture. Since I lecture on sex and BDSM, I’ve felt for a long time that these are important discussions to be had, so I’m grateful on several levels. And every time one of the films come out, we all (ER authors) get a nice boost in sales. I’m not complaining!
LP: What is your definition of erotic? And Erotic romance?
EB: In erotica, sex/sensual/sexual tension are the driving force of the story. In well-written erotica, even if it’s nothing more than a slice-of-life moment, the protagonist usually learns something about themselves, although erotica can be purely “stroke fiction”—you don’t need a happily-ever-after or even a happy-for-now ending.
In erotic romance, the sex must drive the story arc, character arc and relationship arc forward, and it must have a consistent sensual pacing, regardless of how much sex there is—or isn’t—on the page. The sex and sexual tension must serve almost as a sub-plot itself so that the sex scenes have purpose—some sort of personal or relationship discovery. And of course, since it’s a romance sub-genre, it has to end in a happily-ever-after.
LP: Tell us two of your favourite Eden Bradley books and why?
EB: Ohh, this is too hard! But if I must…I still love my first full-length BDSM novel, THE DARK GARDEN. It’s very much me, and such an important moment in my journey as an author. I managed to integrate my love for art, as well as my fascination with the psychology of kink, into that book. Actually, I believe kink is really all about psychology at the core, but this was the first book where I really got to explore that.
I’m also a bit madly in love with THE TRAINING HOUSE series, but those books are very hard-core kink, and definitely not for everyone. That’s probably why I love them so much—I just let those stories happen without censoring myself by considering what would be marketable. And readers are loving those books! It was the best writing experience I’ve ever had.
LP: A lot of what you write about has been inspired by your own real life experiences – tell us about that.
EB: I’ve been involved in kink most of my adult life—about 30 years. I’ve been to clubs all over the country, have experimented and learned a lot, have met the most amazing people. Those experiences have had an enormous effect on me as a woman, as a person, and as a writer. I’m always very much aware of how psychology comes into play in any kink scenario, and it’s something I try to bring to my books, so naturally, many elements of what I’ve experienced pop up in my work. Not all of it are kink or sex scenes. My menage book TEMPT ME TWICE is based on a real life experience with my best friend when I was 19, and there are some big emotional scenes in my books that have come from real life relationship conflicts.
LP: You’ve given many workshops at conferences on the subject of “kink” but you are working on launching a very unique experience for a small group of women called A “kink retreat” who are looking to explore this world in greater detail. Tell us about that and how can women sign up?
EB: As someone who’s been in kink for so many years, I feel a certain responsibility to help mentor other people—particularly women—into kink in a safe way, and every time one of the Fifty Shades films comes out, we get an influx of people into the kink scene, so this is an important time. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and one of the clubs here is very “newbie-friendly”, so I have the opportunity not only to meet and entertain my readers (which I love—I’m a very social person and I adore my readers!), but also to educate them. I want everyone exploring the BDSM scene to do so safely, and armed with information, so if they do decide to try it, they’ll have a healthy, positive experience.
I’m in the early planning stages, but if you follow me on Facebook, you’ll see the updates. I’m capping this first trip at 20-25 people to maintain an intimate environment, so the spots will go quickly! There will be two workshops, a “pervertible” shopping trip to Japantown, a picnic, group discussion, private talks with me, and a visit to the kink club for a tour and play party, plus a toy demo. I think it’s going to be a blast! And San Francisco is truly one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
LP: You’re a hybrid author – you are both self-published and traditionally published – why do you think that is a good way for authors to stay relevant and “out there” in this ever changing industry?
EB: I know a lot of authors have found success purely as indie authors, but since I started out traditionally published, I haven’t wanted to give that up, since most of my income comes from my New York (traditional print) publishers. For me, indie has been a way to expand my readership, keep more titles coming out, and it gives me a chance to write material my publishers wouldn’t touch, like The Training House series. Traditional publishers will only release so many books a year, and it’s really not enough these days for our readers-romance readers are voracious, and 3 books a year from me isn’t enough to hold their interest and feed their hunger for books, so I think there are advantages all the way around.
EB: They’re not all that new to me (they’re a writing duo), but anyone who likes my books/genre has to check out Sparrow Beckett!
LP: You are the proud mama of a very cute Boston terrier (yes?) named Voodoo – tell us about your pet pooch and how he got his name. LOL
EB: Thanks for asking about my furry child-lol! He really is the love of my life, and he’s such a character. I wanted a cartoon-like dog, and that’s exactly what I’ve got!
His name is a bit of a story. I got him while living with R.G. Alexander, and her dog is named Roux, which is short for Rougarou—the Cajun word for werewolf. We’re both totally in love with New Orleans, so I decided I wanted a New Orleans-themed name. I’d been looking at “tough” names, since Bostons are bred from bulldogs, and had been through names like Ace, Butch, Bullet…but being a romance author, I also loved Romeo—and he was born with a heart-shaped mark on his head. So Romeo is his middle name. But I also knew I’d call him all sorts of ridiculous stuff, like Sweetpea, and R.G. encouraged me to give him multiple middle names. Then she noticed that Voodoo Romeo Sweetpea sounded like the military call letters, and joked he should be Voodoo Romeo Foxtrot Sweetpea. We laughed for weeks! When I brought him home, I found out I could actually use that name on his registration papers, and it was too absurd to resist! So, he is officially Voodoo Romeo Foxtrot Sweetpea. : )
You can reach New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Eden Bradley via her website, on facebook and on twitter. As someone who has been involved in BDSM practice for much of her adult life, she relates in particular to her BDSM and kink stories, infusing them with her own truth about kink practice from her life experiences.
Eden has appeared regularly on Playboy Radio’s ‘Night Calls’ and the Hollywood In the Flesh readings. She loves art, shoes, tattoos, reading smutty books, chocolate and sex, of course, not necessarily in that order.
Our BOOK OF THE WEEK is the luscious and beautiful historical romance LOVE IN A MIST by Patricia Grasso.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
“Trust the man who wears a flaming crown and possesses the golden touch. Beware the blacksmith.”
Cast out of Wales after her mother’s death, Keely Glendower travels to England to find her natural father, the Duke of Ludlow. She wears her magical dragon pendant and carries within her heart her mother’s prophetic words. Though there is no love lost between the Welsh and the English, Keely cannot resist the heated gaze of Richard Devereux, England’s wealthiest earl, the English queen’s “Midas”.
Despite, her eccentric ways, Richard is drawn to Keely. Just gazing at the raven-haired, violet-eyed beauty kindles a passion he’s never known. Richard is a very determined man, but when a long buried secret is revealed, can the earl use his power to protect them or will his enemies destroy them both?
Patricia Grasso is the author of eighteen historical romances including the Douglas Series which follows the love stories of the amazing Douglas sisters (Angelica, Samantha and Victoria) in Regency London and the Lords of Stratford Series, Regency historical romances with a fairy-tale twist about the aristocratic families in Stratford-on-Avon.
DLS: You’ve written under several pseudonyms including Anita Ensal, Jemma Chase, A.E. Stanton, and J.C. Koch. You’re clearly not hiding your identity when you use a pseudonym. What do you see as their purpose? Authors often build brands around their names. Do you build a new brand identity for each pseudonym or do you see these as subsidiaries of the Gini Koch brand?
GK: I write under pen names because my voice changes. I believe that your name is your promise to your readers. As Gini Koch, I write fast, fresh, and funny fiction. So, if you pick up something from Gini Koch, you expect to laugh a couple of times at least. But being funny is hard work and I don’t feel like doing that all the time. So my other pen names allow me to write in any way I want, changing my voice along the way, which is a lot more fun for me.
I write horror as J.C. Koch, I write SF/F/Paranormal as Anita Ensal and Jemma Chase, and I write novels set in the Old West and dystopian future fiction with an Old West flair as A.E. Stanton. G.J. Koch is the closest to Gini Koch – that’s the name I write the Alexander Outland series under. I think G.J. is a little funnier than Gini, but that’s kind of for readers to decide.
I look at the other pen names as subsidiaries, yes, because they’re all me, and they’re all coming from my mind. Most of the time these days I byline anything from the other names as Gini Koch writing as (say) J.C. Koch. It lets my readers know it’s me, but me writing in “that” voice, so they know more what to expect.
DLS: Who was your greatest writer influence/inspiration when you started? What are some books of theirs you would recommend?
GK: I firmly feel that anything you’ve ever read will influence you – good, bad, or indifferent. However, I’d say that the writer who influenced me the most when I started writing was Terry Pratchett, and I’d recommend any and all of his Discworld novels.
Other influences would be O. Henry, Arthur Conan Doyle, Madeleine L’Engle, Dave Barry, P.J. O’Rourke, Clifford D. Simak, Robert Silverberg, and, possibly most of all, Robert Benchley. I’m sure the moment I send this I’ll remember other authors who were inspirations, but these will do for now.
DLS: The Alien/Katherine “Kitty” Kat series is now up to fourteen books with the release of Alien Nation. Obviously sales factor into keeping a series going, but did you write the early novels with the idea that this could be a long-running series? Will the series run indefinitely or is there a plan for it to end after a certain number of books? Do you have an ending in mind if the series should come to a conclusion?
GK: I see almost all story ideas as series, and some of them I can see running for a really long time. When I’m writing an Alien novel, I normally “see” the next few books ahead. So, for example, when I was writing Book 5/Alien Diplomacy, I could “see” Alien vs. Alien, Alien in the House, and Alien Research. I might not know what’s going into which book, particularly smaller subplots and supporting characters, but I know where the series overall is going.
I don’t know that I can honestly say that I planned for such a long-running series, though I’m thrilled that’s been the case. In the first few books, I was aiming for Book 10/Universal Alien. All the books were, for me, aiming for that novel. Once that was done, now all the books are aiming for Book 20. So, hopefully we’ll get there. I’m currently contracted through Book 17, so here’s hoping!
DLS: You’re not only a prolific novelist, but a prolific short story writer. Aside from writing to a shorter length, do you approach the two forms differently? If so, how? Do you think all writers should hone both skill sets? Why or why not?
GK: I actually do approach short stories differently from novels. I’m an extreme linear writer. I start with the title, then the first line, and when I get to the end…I stop. I don’t outline novels because if I did, if I knew everything that was going to happen, then I wouldn’t bother writing it, I’d already know and have lost interest. So, if something surprises you in one of my novels, good, because it surprised me, first.
For short stories, however, I outline those in my head. I see what I want happening, and then I write. Usually the story changes a bit from my internal outline, but I know what’s going to happen. For whatever reason, knowing how a short will end doesn’t ruin the surprise for me. This is probably because I’m a natural novelist – it’s easy for me to write novel length. But short stories are much harder for me, so I plan them out much more. So far, it seems to be working.
I do feel that, as an author, you should learn to write in as many lengths and genres and styles as you can manage. It increases your odds of selling. But this is an artistic pursuit, and everyone does their art their own way, which is as it should be.
DLS: What do you see as the role of social media in an author’s marketing repertoire? What social media platforms do you prefer?
GK: Right now social media is where it’s at. It’s free, but it costs your time, which is not free. However, it’s a great way to meet and interact with readers and fans, and, frankly, as with having a website and a blog, being on Facebook and/or Twitter are kind of the baseline.
I like Facebook and Twitter a lot, am still basically useless at Instagram, though I keep on trying here and there, and I love Pinterest, but boy, is that the time suck if you’re not careful. But it’s so much fun, too. And I can show off my covers, do boards where I show who I think the characters look like or could play them in that movie/TV show that, sadly currently, only exists in my mind, share jokes, and then some.
DLS: In addition to social media, you put a lot of effort into getting out to conventions and festivals, and you often have an amazing dealer’s table set up. You’re an author with a big publisher and books in the stores. Why do you go the extra mile to have this kind of presence?
GK: Because you don’t stay an author with a big publisher and books in stores unless you’re out there, pressing the flesh, so to speak. My personal viewpoint is that until you’re a household name – as in, if you go to any grocery store and say your name, people would know who you are even if they don’t read – you’d better be working. And part of the work that goes into being a successful author is going to live events, meeting readers, connecting with fans, speaking, sharing your personality, and so forth.
I happen to enjoy people – unlike what seems like three-quarters of the authors out there, I’m not an introvert – and I enjoy going to events. I love running the yap, I love meeting people, I love sharing my books with new readers and discussing plot points and characters with existing fans, and so on. So going to live events is work that I truly enjoy. But even if I hated it, I’d still do it, because it dramatically affects my sales and my readership, always in a positive way.
DLS: Tell us a little about Alien Nation. What else can we look forward to in the coming months from Gini Koch (or any of your other “secret” identities for that matter)?
Well, Alien Nation is about what happens when word of how well Earth’s repelled interstellar bad guys spreads, and many alien races head for our planet, looking for help from the person who’s been saving the day for a long time now – Kitty. In addition to the usual hijinks for Kitty & Company, we also see the end of some major villains, which was nice for me and the characters. Well, not those villains, but everyone else.
Alien Education/Book 15, releases May 2, and Aliens Abroad/Book 16, releases in December. I’m also planning to have The Alien Collection, which will be a collection of all my Alien series short stories, both previously published and some new, out this year, as well as a collection of my short horror stories, writing as J.C. Koch. I’ll be in several anthologies – Unidentified Funny Objects 6 from UFO Press, Submerged and All Hail Our Robot Overlords! both from Zombies Need Brains, and, finally, the long-delayed MECH: Age of Steel, again writing as J.C. Koch, from Ragnarok. Alexander Outland: Space Pirate, writing as G.J. Koch, gets a mass market re-release in June, which is pretty exciting. I’ll also have an audio release, The Legend of Belladonna Part One: Natural Born Outlaws, writing as A.E. Stanton, coming from Graphic Audio. So, lots ahead for 2017 and beyond!
Gini Koch writes the fast, fresh and funny Alien/Katherine “Kitty” Katt series for DAW Books, the Necropolis Enforcement Files series, and the Martian Alliance Chronicles series. Touched by an Alien, Book 1 in the Alien series, was named by Booklist as one of the Top Ten Adult SF/F novels of 2010. Alien in the House, Book 7 in her long-running Alien series, won the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award as the Best Futuristic Romance of 2013. Alien Nation, released in December 2016 and won the Preditors and Editors Readers’ Poll for Best SF/F Novel of 2016. Book 15, Alien Education, will release in May 2017, with Book 16, Aliens Abroad, coming December 2017.
As G.J. Koch she writes the Alexander Outland series and she’s made the most of multiple personality disorder by writing under a variety of other pen names as well, including Anita Ensal, Jemma Chase, A.E. Stanton, and J.C. Koch.
Gini also has stories featured in a variety of excellent anthologies, available now and upcoming, writing as Gini Koch, Anita Ensal, Jemma Chase, and J.C. Koch. Writing as A.E. Stanton, she will have an audio release, Natural Born Outlaws: The Legend of Belladonna Part 1, coming from Graphic Audio in 2017.
Gini is an in-demand speaker who panels regularly at San Diego Comic-Con, Phoenix Comicon, and the Tucson Festival of Books, among others. She’s also been part of the faculty for the San Diego State University Writers Conference, Jambalaya Con, the Desert Dreams Writers Conference, and the James River Writers Conference, among others.
Prior to becoming a full time author, Gini spent over 25 years in marketing and advertising, first in small- to mid-sized direct marketing firms in Los Angeles, and then with IBM, and she was a social media maven before it was cool.
David Lee Summers. David is the author of more than thirty sci-fi and horror fiction novels and short stories including his latest horror novel THE ASTRONOMER’S CRYPT for Lachesis Publishing. Connect with David Lee Summers. online via facebook and twitter, and check out his web site.
What it’s about:
Erik Knight, a small time private investigator, always knew he was different from everybody else. Keener senses, heightened awareness and an enhanced physical strength that could be called upon by his sheer will.
Erik becomes involved with a team of high profile investigators and local police trying to locate a girl who was kidnapped in the middle of a playground amongst dozens of adults and children. None of the adults saw anything and what the children claim to have seen is too far fetched to be believed. The search evolves into a full-scale manhunt into the dark and desolate woodlands of the Hopedale Mountain.
After a lethal encounter and a fatality, Erik, the investigators and police realize that what they’re dealing with isn’t a man and possibly isn’t of this world. What they’re dealing with is a sentient evil that has an appetite for young children.
“Erik!” Shanda whispered in alarm. “Something’s here, stalking the girls. I can’t see it, but I can sense it.”
Erik looked throughout the park grounds, focusing his vision, but he couldn’t see anything. Fifty yards away, the children played unaware of anything but their innocent fun. Erik walked quickly over to where the party was, Shanda following close behind him. As he closed the distance he noticed that his daughter was staring at something and pointing. Erik looked in the direction she was pointing and saw a patch of darkness. His mind shrieked with panic and he ran toward his daughter, screaming for the other girls to leave the park area. The girls looked at the direction Brianna was pointing at and froze. They were terrified, frozen into inaction.
After a quick sprint, Erik was beside his daughter. Several of the other mothers had gone to their children as they all pointed out the closing patch of darkness.
“Get your children back!” Erik commanded. “It wants your children.”
Mothers and children were panicking. Children were crying with fright as the afternoon sun seemed to dim and the temperature in the park suddenly dropped twenty degrees. Brianna hadn’t moved since Erik came by her side.
“What do you see, honey?” he whispered.
Brianna’s eyes were transfixed on the corner of the park. Her finger still pointed in that direction. “It’s a tall man, I think. I can tell that it wants me. It’s calling to me, Daddy. I’m scared. Please don’t let it take me. I can tell it wants to take me.” She screamed in mindless terror.
Erik reached behind his back and pulled his Ruger from its place of concealment. He wrapped both arms protectively around his daughter, his gun pointing in the direction of her finger.
“Bri, point me in the right direction. I won’t let it hurt you. No one is taking you anywhere.”
She gently guided his hands so that the pistol was aiming at the heart of the dark anomaly.
“Daddy,” she whispered, “it’s coming right for us.”
“Go back with Shanda and the others, now!” he told her.
“Daddy, I don’t want to leave you.”
“Go, honey! Please,” he whispered. “Shanda!” Erik shouted, breaking the eerie silence. “Take Brianna.”
Shanda came up quickly and took Brianna. “I can just barely see it, Erik; it’s just like you described. It stopped when you pulled the gun. All the children can see it, but the parents can’t. All they can see is the darkness, and they can feel the cold.”
From behind them, the ponies were shrieking in panic.
“All right, you two, get back!” Erik stood up. He holstered his weapon and began walking toward the darkness.
“I know you’re there!” Erik called out to the inky darkness. “Maybe you can hide from them, but you can’t hide from me!” Erik focused his eyes; concentrating his extra senses on the darkness as he continued forward. Slowly he saw the man-like figure materialize. The figure had stopped its approach and assumed an aggressive stance. Erik paused a scant twenty feet from it and assumed a basic combat stance he used in Kung Fu.
“You can’t have the children!” he shouted, his voice booming above the silence, challenging the being of darkness. “You can’t have my daughter or any other child here.”
The thing responded with silence. Erik finally saw the blood-red eyes looking right through him. He could feel the hatred, the sheer malevolence; yet, now he also felt desperation, a hunger that was beyond his ability to define. The hostility threatened to overwhelm him. Erik fought his own emotions, fought down his own fear and doubt. He knew he couldn’t defeat this thing physically, but he would not let it have his daughter or any other child there, not while he drew breath.
To read some of Greg’s musings visit his writing page on facebook, for several short stories and pithy takes on yard work and homelife.
Marketing and promotions for authors is always changing. What works for some, doesn’t work for others and what works right now, may not work next year. Authors have to keep abreast of trends and what’s coming down the road, but at the end of the day authors need to find what works for them and for their individual needs. There are a lot of people out there who can help with that. Ryan Zee is one of those people. He specializes in author marketing campaigns. His website is called AUTHOR MARKETING at ryanzee.com Here’s what Ryan has to say about his successful campaigns and how he can help authors promote their books and boost book sales.
LACHESIS PUBLISHING: Tell us about the kinds of services that you offer for authors regarding promotions?
RYAN ZEE: We’re best known for our multi-author email list-building promotions, but we’re also going to be unveiling a number of new promotions this year — including individual author promos, sales promos, promotions to help authors grow their following on retailer and social media sites, and more to come.
Across all of our promotions, we focus on making it as simple and easy for authors to participate as possible, so that they can get back to the work of writing.
LP: Do you work with indie authors only or both indie and traditionally published authors?
RYAN ZEE: We work with everyone! For our promotions, as long as you have a book and the ability to give it away, we can work with you.
RYAN ZEE: I graduated from a small liberal arts college with an English degree, and realized fairly quickly that I wanted to work with authors. After I graduated, I created a fan Twitter account for Junot Díaz (I’d just written my Honors Thesis on his books), which became pretty popular — it actually got the attention of his publisher, and resulted in me getting to meet him in New York. The experience sort of opened my eyes to the world of author promotion.
From there, I transitioned to roles in marketing (copywriting, content management, etc.) – and after a few publishing internships (and a fair share of serendipity), I was able to start working with authors on my own. The promotions developed naturally as an outgrowth of the work I was doing with my clients.
LP: What is the most popular promo you offer?
RYAN ZEE: Our most popular promotions are our multi-author list-building giveaways – these help authors grow their personal email lists, so that they can communicate with readers directly to introduce themselves and promote their books.
We’ve distinguished ourselves from other services, in part, by requiring readers to actively select who they want to hear from (instead of forcing them to hear from every participating author), and then by thoroughly vetting our lists so that authors only receive the emails of the most interested readers.
As a result, we’re often told our list-building promotions have a higher retention rate / lower unsubscribe rate than other services out there.
LP: How many authors have used your services – any testimonials?
RYAN ZEE: We’ve worked with hundreds of authors, from indie authors just getting started to big New York Times bestsellers, and folks at just about every rung in between.
You can read some testimonials here:
“Ryan’s beautifully co-ordinated book giveaways have more than doubled my newsletter audience with readers who actually open and read the content.” ~ Patricia Rice, New York Times Bestselling Author
“Thank you so much for hosting our promotion. I am so impressed with how you handle things.” ~ Shirley Hailstock, Past President, Romance Writers of America
“The best, well-run contest I have ever participated in.” ~ Jennifer Bray-Weber, Award-Winning Author
LP: What are the costs involved?
RYAN ZEE: Costs vary by the promotion, but most are currently in the $25 – $75 range.
LP: What kinds of fiction genres do you promote?
RYAN ZEE: We promote books in virtually every genre of fiction, from romance to mysteries & thrillers, science-fiction, Christian fiction, young adult, and beyond. We also work with non-fiction authors, and are constantly adding new genres based on interest.
LP: How can an author get in touch with you to book a promotion?
RYAN ZEE: Authors can find and book promotions on my website – www.ryanzee.com
LP: What do you enjoy reading and why?
RYAN ZEE: I read pretty widely, from thrillers and sci-fi to comics and literary fiction, along with a fair number of marketing-oriented titles. I look for fiction that will transport me outside the realm of the everyday, which generally means something with a tinge of the supernatural. My favorite author, though, is Junot Díaz, whose writing is its own kind of magic.
LP: What has been your most successful promotion and how do you measure the success?
RYAN ZEE: The metrics change based on the goals of the promotion, but generally we’re looking for a high degree of reader activity – evidenced primarily by the number of readers participating and sharing on social media.
Our most successful list-building promotion generated more than 3,000 highly-targeted and vetted email subscribers for each author.
Thanks and cheers!
What it’s About:
Inspector Eli Miller’s unspoken feelings for his partner, Bex, color his whole life. When his past comes calling, will it be the push he needs to seek a future with her?
Inspector Rebecca ‘Bex’ Mulcahy has lived long enough to know that love is a street con at best, and a dangerous distraction at worst. Any feelings she has for her partner Eli definitely fall into the latter category. Will her dedication to her job keep her from finding a possible future with Eli?
Their latest case is protecting Violet Burrell, a young woman with scars on her soul stretching back to birth, who inadvertently witnesses a shockingly brutal murder at the hands of a sadist. Violet is determined to testify in court. Her strength and courage impress Eli and Bex, who will protect her at all costs.
But it is Violet’s beauty and spirit that entrances Junior Inspector Atticus Randall. Atticus is also assigned to protect Violet, and while he knows he should ignore his growing feelings for her, he just can’t stop himself from falling for the brave beauty.
Life in the Las Vegas branch of Witness Protection has never been more tangled. When the emotional landmines start a chain reaction, everyone in the blast radius is going to need a little shelter.
AR escorted Vi out to the table on the balcony to enjoy their sundaes. He liked to take his lunch out here on occasion, just when he needed to get away from his desk for a bit but didn’t want to leave the building. His dedication was paying off, since Marco had started entrusting him with more and more responsibilities, as evidenced by the woman sitting next to him now with her eyes closed in bliss. “You really never had a hot fudge sundae before?”
She shook her head, and her expression hardened. “No. Not with my mother and certainly not with the nuns.”
He pondered her ascetic life and the choices she’d made from it. It was all there in her file, but he felt like an intruder or a stalker, knowing that much about a virtual stranger to him. He’d much rather know her as a person, beyond the story of sadness and neglect. “Violet’s a pretty name.” An inane statement, but he knew he was out of his depth attempting to tackle a subject so daunting as the life of Violet Burrell.
She shrugged and flipped the end of a pigtail over her shoulder. “It is what it is. Your parents really named you Atticus? They not like you or something?”
He snorted a laugh and put the spoon back into his ice cream. “They like to read.”
“To Kill a Mockingbird, I know.” She smiled shyly. “It’s a good name. Strong, valiant.”
The heat of the summer air had nothing on him. He saw her grin, and he felt his ears burn from a blush. “So what’s the verdict?” He gestured towards her rapidly diminishing sundae.
“I think I want to eat this for the rest of my life,” she said as she dipped her spoon into the plastic cup to fish out a peanut covered in hot fudge.
“That good, huh?” He watched her close her eyes and sigh as she licked the spoon, and he had to loosen his tie. The way she was enjoying her ice cream reminded him that his wasn’t going to stay frozen forever. He dipped his spoon into the plastic cup and then brought it to his mouth.
“Damn near better than sex.”
At her words, he found himself gulping down a large mouthful of ice cream, much more than he meant to, swallowing it quickly. “Oh hell! Ice cream headache!” The sharp spike of pain that it brought was quick and excruciating, but it served its purpose driving all thoughts of pursuing that line of questioning from his mind. As the throbbing ache receded, he noticed her hand on the back of his neck, trying to help by rubbing and massaging from the base of his skull to his shoulders. So much for virtuous thoughts. Nodding to show her that he was okay now, he reached in front of her and snagged her mysterious old green book from beside her purse as she returned to her ice cream Nirvana.
“Hey, that’s not yours,” she said around a mouthful, gesturing with her spoon. But, she made no move to retrieve it from him, so he felt comfortable perusing while she continued to savor her snack.
He opened the book at the place she’d marked, reading about a gameskeeper comforting the lady of the house, in a chicken coop, that led to so much more than mere physical release in graphic and frankly gripping detail. That was definitely not what he’d expected, and the fact that she’d been reading this book all this time did things to his already heated blood that made his mouth run dry and his ears start to ring.
“So . . . ?”
Her voice, smokier than before, startled him out of the words on the page. Her purple eyes were darker than he remembered, and he found himself lost for a moment before he caught himself. “It’s ah . . . definitely colorful.” He pushed the closed book back over to sit next to her purse, her bookmark still in place.
Vi smiled self-consciously. “It’s the language. It paints this picture like a smudged old photograph, beautiful and still kind of dirty.”
And that about described the thoughts he was having at that moment. “I could definitely see that.”
Alexis D. Craig has been a writer from early childhood, discovering her calling when she wrote the Thanksgiving play for her kindergarten class in Tucson, Arizona. After moving to Indianapolis with her family in 1988, she wrote a column for her high school newspaper and two novel-length stories before graduating at age sixteen from Park Tudor School. After attending Sarah Lawrence College outside New York City, she returned home to Indiana to be closer to her family.
Alexis works for a local sheriff’s department in the communications division. She spends her free time reading and writing romance novels and investigating haunted houses.
She lives with her husband and two very excitable beagles.
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