Readers Speak – Are Pubs Listening?

Today on Twitter an active chat took place under the hashtag of #followreader.  The plan was for readers to talk to publishers about what they want.

I attended this chat to hear what readers had to say and while it wasn’t what I had expected (I was thinking more along the lines of content.), there were many great points being made.

I thought i’d summarize the ones that I noticed were mentioned more often. This list is by no means comprehensive and I would suggest a search of the hashtag for the complete discussion.

What readers want:

Industry wide heat ratings for books. This makes so much sense. I have found many books not marked erotic romance to be every bit as hot as erotic romance but whether it doesn’t exactly fit the defintion of ER or whether the marketing folks loathe to use the term, a heat rating would be most useful.
Readers of eBooks don’t want to be treated differently from paperback readers and feel that delaying the e release of a book does just that by punishing them for preferring an ebook.
Speaking of eBooks…Readers want formats that work on every device.
Publishers should keep an authors out of date books in e.  When a reader discovers a new to them author they should be able to easily find and read their entire backlist.
Readers want more promotions that include a free download of an authors last book to promote the new book. Sampling one free book does work.
Stop creating misleading covers and blurbs. They should match as closely to the content as possible.
For eBooks, please include the blurb after the title image.
Hyperlinks in eBooks would be nifty.
Readers love the trend of releasing series in quick succession instead of waiting a year for a sequel. And serials are good too!
To get even more books in the hands of readers, publishers should offer select authors lower cost e book only deals.

So there you have it. Readers know what they want and love publishers to listen.  Again, if you’d like to read the whole chat and see the parts I missed in this brief summary do a search on Twitter of #followreader.

Readers, feel free to add to the list in your comments and you can even tell me what content you want if you so desire. I’m dying to learn if you want more vampires, less shifters, more contemporary BDSM, etc.

Have a good one!

Eliza

Saturday Snippet – Settings

For today’s post about settings I thought I would showcase some scenes from The Revealing, the fourth and final installment in the Pentacles of Magick series. While The Healing took place in New Orleans, I decided to venture into the swamp in the last book.  I’ve never actually been to Louisiana so I did some research and interviewed several people but the swamp wasn’t too hard to bring to mind considering I grew up in Florida.

While most people think of Florida in terms of sunny beaches and theme parks, I spent my fair share of time in the less glamorous but equally intriquing areas of the many rivers and swamps throughout the state.  From airboats to john boats i’ve used every means of transportation across the water.  That tidbit might surprise you if you know me since i’m deathly afraid of snakes and they are literally everywhere in the wilds of Florida.

What can I say, I was a curious child and an even more curious teen.

I’ve got a couple of scene snippets that I particularly enjoyed that I want to share. I don’t think they give too much away but hopefully you’ll get a picture of where I wanted the scenery to go.

Excerpt 1 – The Revealing

Lost in her thoughts Jessie jerked forward in her seat when the SUV came to a quick and sudden stop.  She looked out the window to see them sitting in front of a small dilapidated wooden shack. The place looked like it should be condemned.  Surely this wasn’t where they would be staying.
“Where are we?”
“The middle of nowhere. Which is exactly where we need to be.”
He stomach sank. “We are staying here?” He must have read the sheer horror of that in her face because he laughed.  Not a quick snort or momentary chuckle.  He outright started to laugh his ass off as he opened his door and got out. She opened her own door and joined him in front of the truck.
“What’s wrong Jessie, you aren’t impressed with my place?”
“You live here?”
“Sometimes.”
“Stay here for a second, I’ve got to get the truck stashed.”
As Noah jumped back in his truck and headed around the bend in the road, she stood and took in the run down fishing shack and the dirty swamp it sat on.  The damn thing was actually stilts in the water and looked like it would crumble any second.  Dear Lord there has to be a better place to hide than here.
She walked toward the small dock that wrapped around the side of the building and set her bag down on the dirt in front of it.  No point in getting her things wet if the dock didn’t hold up to her walking on it. She placed her shoe on the wood and gave it a little shove to see what happened. Nothing did. Maybe it would be sturdier than it looked after all.
With a deep breath and a what the hell, she walked toward the water.  The wood creaked underneath her feet, but held strong and steady, no swaying, always a good sign. A smile curved at the edges of her mouth, releasing some of the tension she’d been holding in.  She could do this, she was certain.  Hell, whatever it took not to end up back in the cell or in the sacrificial ceremony she had been heading to was fine by her.
Halfway down the length of the dock, she could see a boat sitting at the end just behind the miserable outhouse.  At least that’s what she would call it because even shack was too good a name for this crumbling building.  She wondered if Noah had a tent she could use, cause right now that sounded more secure.
She turned her attention away from the building and back to the boat.  Not just any boat though.  She was looking at an airboat.  Which didn’t really surprise her.  They were fast and the vehicle of choice for swamplands known for their harsh terrain of either shallow water, dry land, or tall reeds.  Her daddy had always told her there weren’t too many places an airboat couldn’t go.

Excerpt 2 – The Revealing

Hours had passed and Jessie had barely moved from her seat.  She’d eaten some food, which she really needed and once when they were traversing through some tree crowded areas forcing them to go nice and slow, she’d stood up and stretched her arms and legs.  He watched the denim shorts tighten across her ass when she’d bent down which took his breath away as he’d entertained a fleeting thought of taking her just like that, maybe even with her wrists tied to her ankles.
Dangerous thoughts.
His cock pulsed and ached in his pants even now as he shifted for the tenth time trying to find a comfortable spot.  Hell, he’d been hard and ready since yesterday and back at the docks he had come close to taking her right then and there with no finesse, no preparation, just heat and lust on his brain.  Something had stopped her, something his magick had felt for a fleeting second.  Something familiar.
They needed to talk but it would have to wait since the boat engine drowned out everything around them.  Not much farther actually and they would be at his place.  His sanctuary that no one else visited. Ever. He looked forward to sharing it with her despite their past.  He wanted to see her reaction to his surroundings, see if she was the woman he thought she was.
He slowed the boat to a crawl before finally cutting the engine and letting the craft flow along with the current.
“Why are we stopping here? Is everything okay?” She had turned in her seat, her gaze soft and questioning.
“We’re getting close to our destination, I want to listen to the river for a while, make sure nothing is amiss.”
She nodded in understanding.
Noah let his eyes close concentrating on his other senses, especially sound.  He concentrated on the sounds of the swamp, the water moving, the occasional bird, even the unseen wildlife like the snakes and gators hiding in the reeds could be heard if you listened hard enough.  Once he had a handle on the familiar, he tuned them out, listening for the unusual, for what didn’t belong in his swamp.
Hearing nothing out of the ordinary, he concentrated inward and called his magick, letting it build in his chest before releasing it a little at a time, searching, seeking the unknown.  Even with his eyes closed he could see Jessie, her aura wrapped with his magick. Not even his most spiritual self could stay away from her.  Maybe he shouldn’t have been so quick to discredit his brother’s words regarding the prophecy and the women they were destined for.
He pushed those thoughts away.  There would be time for that later once they were secure, for now his responsibility was to her safety.  He continued past her, following that wisp of power traversing the full range of his habitat. This path gave him brighter colors and sharper sounds, but nothing unexpected.  Pulling back he opened his eyes to see Jessie watching him, longing clear on her face.  Noah fought the sudden and overwhelming need to drag her close to him, instead he forced his focus on the simple task of restarting the engine and getting them on their way again.
The strange moment broken, Jessie turned back around in her seat and watched the water in front of them.  What the hell just happened?
The connection between them was not only constant, she found it unnerving as hell.  Not knowing whether her own brand of magick would return and what that meant plagued her.  Maybe if she could talk to her mother she might have an idea of what could happen to her especially when it came to Noah.  Although trusting her mother not to mislead her was a dangerous proposition.  She dabbled with dark magick all the time and we see where that got her.  A half-demon child with more power than the average witch.  It was a real bitch.
Now here she was with the one man she should fear the most, pulling at her entire being despite the truth.  When Jessie had found out Noah wasn’t just an ordinary mercenary hunting bad guys but instead a demon hunter fueled by hatred, she’d run as far and as fast as she could.  Not far enough obviously.
In front of the boat, a wall of trees too close together to pass through loomed. She turned to look at Noah and ask him what now, when the boat made a hard ninety degree turn to the left.  Her stomach lurched as she grabbed the edge of her seat and waited for the boat to right itself again.  When she looked behind her again he was laughing.  Bastard. But she bit at her bottom lip to prevent her own grin from spreading across her face.  She would so not give him that satisfaction.  His laughter rumbled louder behind her as he traveled along the edge of trees to a small unseen opening. Another hard turn to the right and they were through the trees and in what could only be described as a sort of cove. And there on the land in front of them sat a gorgeous dark wood log cabin so beautiful it took her breath away.
Noah steered the boat onto the grass before killing the engine.  He hopped down from his perch and jumped out of the boat landing on the soft grass right next to her.  He held out his hand to help her. “Welcome to my home.”
“Your home? You live here?” She grabbed his hand, letting him help her and her meager bag out of the boat.
“Don’t sound so surprised.”
“I—I just—“ she stammered.
“I know.  Nobody knows about this place so I guess anyone would be surprised, but even I need a place of refuge on occasion and this is it.”
“It’s breathtaking.” She meant it too.  The cabin was exquisite, but just as stunning was the location.  He had carved out the most beautiful section of swamp she could have imagined and made it his own. She couldn’t wait to see the inside.

Don’t forget to visit all of the Saturday Snippet authors for more wonderful Snippets!

Beth Kery
Jody Wallace
Lauren Dane
McKenna Jeffries
Michelle Pillow
Moira Rogers
Shelley Munro
Taige Crenshaw
Victoria Janssen
Vivian Arend
Leah Braemel
TJ Michaels
Beth Williamson

Cover Art Squeee!

Just received the final cover art for my upcoming paranormal menage moments ago and had to share as quickly as possible. *g*

I am in love with this cover and have to give a huge thanks to April Martinez for doing such a wonderful job.

Obsession of Jayde will be out with Loose Id on September 29th. I don’t have the official blurb yet but that is coming soon.

It’s An AC/DC Kind Of Day!

I’m editing my demon story, Dirty Deeds for submission today.  So i’ve drug out the playlist for it and am determined to get this done today.

Melody, a newly created sex demon, has developed a crazy obsession for AC/DC.  (not completely unlike her creator. *g*)

So if classic AC/DC is your thing…enjoy!


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Snippet Saturday – Characters

It’s that time again and this week it’s all about characters. Whether it be character sketches, interviews or an excerpt that gives you insight into a character.

I’ve decided to give you a little insight into my process.

When a book idea grabs me and demands to be written I generally start with that theme and begin to mull characters that might fit into the story.  Before I can ever get to know them I have to name them. Kind of like most of us do when we have kids.  Once named I sit down with a pad of paper and start jotting down notes asking myself Who is the heroine? and Who is the hero?. Sometimes I consider careers but more often I focus on how a characters attitude got shaped which leads me down the path of their family and friends. What makes the character strong and what makes them weak. Or in some cases, especially short stories, it’s mainly about what is about to happen in this story along with a little backstory.

I usually end up with a page or so about each character that I use to guide much of the story. I’m not at home today and the only characters I have with me are for books that are being written or have not yet been published. (I have far too many notebooks and folders floating around my office) I do however have a character sheet for release coming out next week, Watch Me Hide. So if you are curious for more you wont have to wait long.

So…Who is the heroine?

Emerson is young, early twenties and fresh out of college. She has brown hair and blue eyes with a slight build but is a plain jane. No one ever notices her until one night she follows her crush to a club called Purgatory and discovers his secrets. After a week of planning, Emerson dons a leather costume she bought online complete with leather mask. She enters the fetish club and embarks on a journey she never expected and learns in costume she can become the woman she’s dreamed of. The exhibitionist she never knew she wanted to be. Now she’s ready to take the next step.

So there you have it. When I sat down to write the story of Emerson and Rio, I only had the above to go on. Yes, I did have to condense it a little so as not to give away too much about the story, but only a couple of sentences.

Watch Me Hide will be out August 24th with Phaze Books.

For more about Characters from the rest of the Saturday Snippet authors be sure to follow these links:

Eliza Gayle
Jody Wallace
Lauren Dane
McKenna Jeffries
Michelle Pillow
Moira Rogers
Shelley Munro
Taige Crenshaw
Victoria Janssen
Vivian Arend
Mark Henry
Leah Braemel