Saturday, December 26, 2015

Readers aren't Trained Monkeys AND future plans for this circus!

Kindle Unlimited, how sexy you look in that gaudy red topcoat. So now, Mr. Ringmaster, shall we dance?

*Note: I apologize to the monkeys.

Now, before the defenders freak out, I want to make one thing clear. I have NO ISSUE with the authors that choose to go exclusive with Amazon. The Kindle Unlimited program has some appeal, more so with the increased exposure. Some authors literally HAVE to go all in just to keep their morgage paid.

And I'm not just saying that. 

If you're interested, there's an interesting post by co-founder of Smashwords, Mark Coker, about his predictions for 2016.

There's a lot of interesting information in there, but more for authors than for readers.

What stuck with me that may interest readers--because it interested me AS a reader--is this:

"Amazon is training Kindle customers to view even 99 cent ebooks as too expensive when other books can be read for what feels like free. Amazon’s success with Kindle Unlimited, which now offers over 1 million books almost exclusively supplied by indie authors is going to gut the market for single copy sales at Amazon. It'll be death by a thousand small cuts."

This is frightening for authors, but I'm not sure what's worse. The idea that the monopoly will be won simply because authors are struggling not to drown in an ever changing market and Amazon seems to hold all the life-rafts, or that many authors will simply give up.

Why should that bother anyone? Well, the shift in the novel world that began with the surge of indies brought all of us some of our favorite new authors. Many of those voices will be lost.

They are being told the work they do has no real value.

But not by the readers. Not yet.

Granted, there's the odd reader that will approach an author and ask why their books aren't cheaper. When the next special will be. When their books will be in KU so they can be accessed for free with the subscription. I've heard this from MANY authors. I've experienced it myself. It's not fun.

However, for the most part, passionate readers are willing to pay for the books they want to read. Some, like me, will buy those books for kobo, and kindle (I had the first version of kobo and it drove me insane!) and then buy the same book in print. The very idea of not having these books to read again and again? Nope. Not even going there.

My precious....

Now, to be clear, I have a few books in Kindle Unlimited because it's a smart business move. These books were gathering dust in their little corners, so I offered them up like sacrificial lambs, all dramatic and all, choking back my sobs as I laid them on the alter...

They were like toys no one was playing with. So I put them in a daycare and now they're getting some love. 

And, while they're being played with, maybe some readers will see that I've got other toys. Toys they want to play with.

Maybe it's not a great analogy. I don't know. What I do know is I have some material available for KU subscribers, but I won't have all my books there. I have a book that's been free for a very long time. All little tastes that I hope will connect me with those who might enjoy my books.

The very things I look for when I'm shopping around for books.

Amazon has made it harder to find authors that aren't exclusively with them, but I still believe readers who love great books will find them.

I don't have KU and I'm not interested in getting it, but what I do know about it is this. No matter how many books it has, it's missing some of my favorites. And it won't have some of the future books I'm eagerly anticipating.

And it won't have all of mine.

My new series, Winter's Wrath, won't be on special. I'm hoping to release at least two books in the series this year. I'll be releasing the next Cobras book. At full price. The last Deadly Captive book? Also at the price I think it's worth.

No more, no less.

I've paid almost 10$ for ebooks from authors I absolutely adore. Most who are with pubs and have no control over the price. I used to buy hardcover books I needed to have the day they released because OMG, I had been waiting a year and a few more months for the paperback? HELL NO!!!

As a reader, I'm a bit of a nut. A proud nut, but I get that not all readers can, or will, spend that kind of money.

Indie authors have helped make books more affordable, but there's a push in the direction of devaluing the stories they've put so much work into, and many are digging in their heels. As they should.

One day, they might invent a robot that can write books. And they might write interesting stories that people will buy. Which will be another hit on authors, but to me, it's no different than the indie model which means anyone can publish a book.

I've seen books that are clearly out there with little effort, written because someone believed they could make a quick buck. A sample will make that obvious real fast.

And I've fallen in love with books that I stumbled over by catching a Facebook post with a teaser, or a catchy line on twitter. But most often from other readers who spread the word.

Readers have ALWAYS had the power when it comes to sharing the passion for reading. They can't be trained to lose that passion.

Connecting might be harder, but we'll keep finding ways to spread the word. One of the things I hope to do is have more guest posts here. I already share recommendations in my newsletter, and I will continue to do so.

I also welcome my readers to let me know about books they can't stop thinking about! I want to read those books and I want to join you in telling everyone about them!

We don't need a publisher, or a vender, to give us a platform.

We will build our own.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

You're going to HELL... and RELEASE DAY! Evil's Embrace (Celestial Pets #1)

Yes, I know, that was uncalled for. But I totally meant in the book! ;)

FINALLY, Evil's Embrace has released as a whole, with a twisted climax and conclusion you didn't see coming.

And it's already got some AMAZING reviews! 

Books to Curl Up With: Review of Evil's Embrace (Celestial Pets #1)

This book has been with me for a long time and I hesitated to share it with you, because while many of you loved the sadistic vampire, Cyrus, delving into the realm of angels and demons is a little different.

But I love this story, and while it's not about my kinky hockey players, it shares the same depth, with a story you can lose yourself into and escape the real world.

Escaping to hell is a dubious pleasure, but the Devil is actually a pretty fun guy. If you stay on his good side. ;)

There's so much I could say about this book. About the legends of angels and demons I explored to give a 'realistic' edge to the story, about how I actually picked up the bible for the first time in years to touch up on some verses (which I didn't include in the book, but played an important part).

I'd rather let the story speak for itself. And since it's .99 for another day or so, you can grab it if you're curious. 

Sin a little. You'll love it! <g>

Created pure and innocent, the newborn angel Fae’s only crime is loving the mortal realm too much. She wants to see, to touch, to taste...and to know. All of which leads to her fall from grace when she meets the demon brothers who give her all she desires.
Cravis and Travis toy with the young angel out of boredom, but losing her awakens something inside them that they didn’t know they could still feel. While Travis begins to learn how precious a life can be, Cravis struggles with the fear of how fragile love is, not sure if he can go through it being taken from him once again.

The demons will claim the angel, but many dangers threaten the Fallen. Hunted by the Virtues and lusted after by the damned, Fae may be protected as a cherished pet. But she will soon learn she’s worth so much more. 


Grab it here and keep reading for a sexy excerpt from the book. :)


Regret filled Cravis’s eyes, as though he wished he’d kept his suspicions to himself. He cupped her cheek in his hand. “You have much to offer, my love. I would give anything to understand how you still believe there is good out there.” At an irritated throat clearing from below, he offered her a rueful smile. He bent down to flick his tongue over her nipple, chuckling when she bowed her back. “We can discuss it further when we don’t have an audience.”

She grabbed his shoulders before he could lay her down. “Say it again first.”

He latched on to her wrists, lifting them over her head as he pinned her to the floor. “Keep your hands there, pet. If you move them, I’ll have to punish you.”

The command ruined the tenderness she’d felt for him, but she held her tongue as he shifted down her body, pressing her thighs apart. She forgot to be annoyed as he used his teeth to tease her soft folds, and she gasped as he bit down a little harder, his teeth sharpening enough to pierce her flesh. He was careful, but the threat of pain kept her still, bringing an edge of danger that had her heart racing. Braving for the sting made even the lightest brush of his tongue that much more intense.

Deeper. Oh God, she needed to feel him deeper. She moaned as he flattened his tongue and pressed in. Her bones had gone liquid, and she didn’t even realize she’d reached down to put her hand on his head until he shifted away and laid a solid smack on her inner thigh.

She yelped, and then scowled at him.

His eyes shone with amusement. “I warned you, pet. Keep your hands where I put them.”

Aroused beyond reason, she stretched her arms over her head. Cravis put his hands under her ass and lifted her to his mouth, pressing his tongue in, leaving her helpless to do anything but brace her feet on his shoulders. Pleasure coiled within, driving her further and further into pure rapture.

He stopped once more. Then bit her inner thigh.

She cried out, desperate to find release. She’d expected him to want to finish quickly, but instead he seemed determined to torture her for their audience. He closed his lips around her clit, sucking and grazing his teeth on the tiny nub, causing all the blood to pulse straight down.

Another bite and she screamed, so lost in sensation her vision blurred and she teetered on the precipice of a violent orgasm.

Releasing her, Cravis took a moment to undo his pants. Still on his knees, sitting back on his feet, he lifted her over him, lowering her slowly. His muscular thighs opened her wide, and even on top, she had no control over their pace. He thrust up into her, breathing hard as she whimpered with need.

“Just a little longer, pet. Wait for me.” He kissed her throat, both their bodies sliding together, slick with sweat. “Such a good girl.”

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