BEYOND THE PAGE: The Horrifying Experience

August 25, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

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August 25, 2015

BEYOND THE PAGE: The Horrifying Experience of Receiving Edits

BEYOND THE PAGE is here to spice up your Tuesday! Late to the party? Beyond the Page is our tell-all blog series about the process of turning a manuscript into a published book series.

Last week, we revealed the Dark Rituals book covers. Everyone exploded when faced with the sheer awesomeness.

This week, author Catrina Burgess explains why receiving edits back from her editor is a little bit like standing in a field during a lightning storm…

All authors want their stories to be the best they can be. We want to polish our stories so that the readers love them. But let me tell you, when you first get edits from your editor, there is always a moment of sheer panic. As you open that email, your heart pounds. Did the editor hate the book? Did she love it? What did she find in the story that needs to be fixed? And then these last thoughts pound through your head: OMG how much more work do I have to do on the story? And can I do it or will I have a mental breakdown?

Well, that’s the process I go through in the first thirty seconds of seeing that email from Kayla, my editor. Kayla is the associate managing editor at FFFDig, which means her primary job is not editing. As she mentioned in a previous post, she does a lot of the day-to-day management of FFFDig and prepares stories for publication. But, like in all small companies, employees sometimes wear more than one hat. Kayla does some editing and I’m lucky enough to have her as my editor for the Dark Rituals series.

There are two kinds of edits you can get from an editor: line edits and content edits. The first one is pretty self-explanatory. The editor goes through each line of the story and marks up sentences that need tweaking to make sense, or paragraphs that are confusing. When Kayla sends the edits back to me they are saved as track changes in a word document. [Psst: I know a lot of writers on Wattpad write stories on their phones using the Wattpad app. You need to submit your story to a publisher as a document. If you don’t have access to Microsoft Word, you can download a program that is almost identical called Open Office. It’s free! You can find it here.]

Here is what a page of line edits looks like in Word track changes:

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See all those changes in blue? And the little notes on the right side? The changes are the corrections Kayla is making on the story—things she thinks will make the story better. Kayla doesn’t just make the changes, she marks up the document so I can go in and see what she would like me to change. Then (if I agree with her changes) I go ahead and make them. If she requests a significant change that requires a judgment call, she leaves a comment explaining or asking my opinion.

Why doesn’t she just make the changes herself? Because a good editor lets the author make the final decision. If there’s a correction Kayla wants me to do, but I feel very strongly that the text should not change, I can leave Kayla a comment telling her why I feel that way.

Content edits are a little different from line edits. They are changes to the storyline and characters—the “content” of the story. You might have plot holes that need to be filled. You might have a character acting out of character that you need to tweak. Or you may have to give some extra explanation about something going on in the story.

When you write a story, you as the author know all the ins and outs of the plot, but sometimes you haven’t explained something well enough and the reader could get a bit lost. A good editor will help you fix all these problems. Content edits can show up in comments in the track changes to the right side, or as notes in an email from the editor.

How long does it take to go through line edits? It can take a few days or a couple weeks, but content edits always take longer. They usually take weeks. Or even months.  It all depends on how many changes you have to make and how fast you can make them.

In the second Dark Rituals book, Possession, Kayla asked me to add a whole new chapter. I’ve heard stories from writing friends who’ve been asked to rewrite the whole second half of their book. Content edits can be minor, or they can be major. Now can you understand why my heart pounds when I first see that email from Kayla?

Once you finish the line and content edits, you send them back to the editor. Here is that same page with my changes sent back:

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Then, the editor makes another pass on them. He or she may or may not send them back to you for a few more tweaks. Here’s where I hold my breath and hope there’s not too many more!

 

Don’t worry—there were only a few more. We’ll tell you about them next week, when Beyond the Page continues…

What is BEYOND THE PAGE?

Ever wonder what happens after you sign with a publishing house? Catrina Burgess, author of The Dark Rituals series coming this October, has convinced us to give you a behind-the-scenes look at how a manuscript becomes a finished book. Tune in every Tuesday for a new installment, and check out the series on the author’s blog at catrinaburgess.com!

Catch up here:

River Wolf by Heather Long

August 24, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

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River Wolf by Heather Long is a hot, sexy, and snarky tale of redemption, betrayal, healing, and the power of love.

After a murderer tore his pack apart, Alpha Brett Dalton must put the pieces back together again while solving the mystery of the woman who captivates him. Readers who’ve fallen for the Willow Bend wolf pack with fall even harder for this 7th book in the series. Packed with action, animal instinct, and tension, this book will leave you panting for more.

Follow the blog blitz August 24th-28th! One grand prize winner will receive a Wolves of Willow Bend SWAG Basket! Enter HERE or through the form below!

 

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Title: River Wolf

Author: Heather Long

Series: Wolves of Willow Bend

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Release Date: August 25th, 2015

Publisher: Self-Published

Print Length: 100K

Format: Paperback and Digital

Print ISBN: 9781515313618

Digital ISBN: 9781311154637

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Synopsis:

Brett Dalton, Alpha of Hudson River, isolated himself from his pack mates after one betrayed him. The once, easygoing Alpha has become taciturn, remote and unforgiving. His pack worries for him, but they too have suffered a devastating blow. When several members leave to join Three Rivers, the pack faces the threat of dissolution until Brett’s best friend and Lone Wolf, Luc Danes returns to Hudson River accompanied by a beautiful young human—or is she? Something about the woman consumes Brett. Has Luc come home to help or to take the pack from Brett?

Colby Jenson wrapped up thousands of hours of community service working at the hospital in Maine when an injured Luc Danes rolled through the door. The impossible patient drove the nurses crazy, but when Danes offered her money no strings attached to drive him to New York, she agreed. The last thing she expected was to arrive in the small Westchester County town and to meet the craziest collection of residents—especially the devastatingly sexy Brett Dalton. Part of her wants to hit the road, the rest wants to make him smile and he keeps making excuses for her to stay.

Then she sees the wolves…and is exposed to a world she can barely imagine. When Brett discovers a secret about her, nothing will be the same again. Now she will find herself torn between a world she isn’t sure she can understand and the man who has taken her heart hostage…

Find out more at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | ARe

Praise for the Wolves of Willow Bend series:

“Long dished out a lot of unexpected twists and turns and did a great job tying it all together. The build-up and bits of action kept me up late at night flipping the pages.” – Booked & Loaded

 

“ROGUE WOLF is a fast paced, intriguing look into the world of shifters. Salvatore is old world a bit stodgy and Margo is very much new world and on top of that a lone wolf and Enforcer. How is it possible that these two could be mates? In author Heather Long’s vivid and fun imagination it’s very easy.” - Fresh Fiction

 

“BAYOU WOLF is in a word … amazing. All the reader can do is hold on for the ride and enjoy the fireworks.” - Fresh Fiction

 

“If you love sexy wolf shifters, sweet love stories and action then you have to pick up UNTAMED WOLF by Heather Long.” – Annetta Sweetko, Fresh Fiction

Excerpt from River Wolf:

So not ready to be awake…

A knock on the door intruded in her drifting and she groaned. Dammit, she was a guest. She couldn’t stay in bed all day. In fact, what she needed to do was get up, shower, dress and get her ass on the road. Florida seemed a hell of a long way to go, though. Rolling over, she shoved the blankets away then climbed out of the bed. Glaring at the light between the curtains, she rubbed a hand over her face, then stumbled to the door.

Opening it a crack, she gazed at her host. Goddammit. He looked perfect. Dressed in a clean, nicely pressed shirt with the top two buttons open to reveal the faint curls of dark against his chest and smelling like heaven, he looked good enough to eat. His hair wasn’t even damp, though it fell in a soft wave toward his forehead. He’d been up long enough to shower and dress—and he wore a smile.

“Ugh,” she sighed. “Please God tell me you are not one of those happy morning people.”

The corner of his sensual mouth quirked higher. The effect on his expression devastated her sleepy senses. No human should ever look so damn good without coffee. The combination of rake and boy next door added to his appeal, but the trace of scars and mottled skin gave him a ruggedness she desperately wanted to smooth away. “I woke you.”

“Not exactly,” she admitted, rubbing her cheek against the door and leaning on it a little more heavily. Everything ached and she wanted to go back to sleep. “I’m used to getting by on a lot less sleep.” And rolling out of bed to go to work for eight hour shifts that as often as not turned into ten to twelve hours on her feet. “I think I am tireder than I thought.” She yawned the last three words, and when she glanced at him again, his expression softened.

Extending a finger, he traced the line of her cheek and it was a soothing motion, one which had her eyes half-closing in pleasure. “Go back to bed, Colby.” His voice washed over her. “I’ll be in my office working.”

“I can’t laze about in bed all day.” No matter how good it sounded.

“Why not?”

“Because…” She had to go to Florida or at least say her goodbyes. She was a guest and not even an intentional one.  “…Luc. I should probably check on him.”

“He’s fine, the doctor is with him.” The indulgence in his voice evaporated, but the steadiness in his tone remained. “Go sleep. When you wake up, come find me. We’ll have coffee.”

Tempting. So. So. Tempting. “I’m up now…but coffee sounds like heaven. Really, really strong coffee.”

“Double pot? I made one, I can run it through again.”

Colby groaned at the idea. Now that he’d mentioned it, she could smell the coffee. It proved even more alluring than the sweet vanilla and jasmine entwining the pine of his cologne on her pillow. Releasing the door to stretch, she would have thumped her tail if she’d had one. “Yes, please. If it wouldn’t be too much to ask.”

Silence greeted her comment, and she found Brett gazing at her. Rapt admiration in his eyes as he trailed his gaze down her body and up again.

Fuck me… She still only wore a t-shirt and panties and she’d just given him a show. “Crap. Sorry.” Slamming the door shut, she leaned against it. Adrenaline burned through the remaining traces of sleepiness, adrenaline and a healthy dose of lust. Having him look at her like that warmed inside and out.

“Please,” his voice stroked her through the door. “Don’t apologize. I’ll go fix the coffee. Come and find me.”

The invitation had her toes curling and she bit her lip. “I will,” she said, then added in a low whisper. “I promise.”

“I’ll be waiting.”

A shiver skated over her spine and she closed her eyes. Maybe she should have invited him inside to go back to bed with her. Inappropriate as hell, and impulsive, but she bet Brett would wake her even better than the coffee.

He already has…

 

Other Books in the Wolves of Willow Bend Series

wolfbite

WOLF BITE

Book 1 is available HERE

caged

CAGED WOLF

Book 2 is available HERE

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About Heather Long:

National bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas summertime. From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories—her characters drive the books. When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.

Connect with Heather: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

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In Celebration of THE DARK RITUALS: win a Paranormal Readers Survivor Kit!

August 24, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

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A LAWMAN’S JUSTICE by Delores Fossen

August 22, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Delores Fossen
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Here’s my latest Harlequin Intrigue, A LAWMAN’S JUSTICE, the final book of the Sweetwater Ranch series. I hope you’re enjoying all the stories about those McKinnon cowboy cops.I’m so excited that my first HQN book will be released in Feb. 2016. Here’s the link for more info: TEXAS ON MY MIND. This is book one of a trilogy about a family of cowboys, the McCord brothers.If you want to find out more about my books and me, subscribe to my newsletter by using the link above on the ribbon bar. Each newsletter, I choose several subscribers to win goodies and books.

Buy the book today!

As Lost as I Get by Lisa Nicholas

August 21, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

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As Lost as I Get by Lisa Nicholas

 AS LOST AS I GET by Lisa Nicholas is the perfect mix of hot romance and thrilling adventure. A doctor working in rural Colombia is shocked to run into the CIA agent who saved her life two years before. After an impetuous night of passion, she vows to stay away from him. But when her job takes her deeper into the jungle, he may be the only one who can save her from a new threat… If readers liked STRIKING DISTANCE by Pamela Clare they’ll be thrilled by this romantic suspense.

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Title: As Lost as I Get

 Author: Lisa Nicholas

 Genre: Romantic Suspense

 Release Date: August 18, 2015

 Publisher: Berkley Intermix

 Print Length: 72k

 Format: Digital ONLY

 Digital ISBN: 9780698191464

 

Synopsis:

From the author of The Farther I Fall comes an action-filled romance in which two lovers discover that the best thing about being lost is having someone find you…

CIA operative Lee Wheeler is glad to be back in the field, even if the assignment is at a backwater station in

Colombia—what he considers punishment for crossing lines in an attempt to save his brother’s life. Either way, he’s ready for action. But he never could have predicted the action he’s about to get…

Doctor Zoe Rodriguez is in charge of a clinic in a tiny town on the edge of the rain forest. She’s still dealing with a traumatic experience she had in Mexico—a trauma she wouldn’t have survived if it weren’t for Lee. So when they unexpectedly cross paths again, unresolved wounds rise to the surface, and their mutual passion flares to life.

But when a new threat reveals itself, Lee and Zoe’s reunion takes on echoes of the past that may ruin their chance for a future.

 Find out more at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Books-a-Million

 

Excerpt from As Lost as I Get:

As soon as the guards left the room, the man rose to his knees and leaned over, shaking the hood off. He was definitely a tourist. His dark hair was cropped close and gleaming; she couldn’t tell if it was dark brown or black. He had the same expensive look as his jeans. His fair skin was clear and clean shaven with just a hint of shadow, and he had the sort of profile she’d only ever seen on a movie or television screen. He wouldn’t be here long. Either he had a family with money or he worked for a company that would want him back.

She realized he was giving her the same level of scrutiny, and felt a small rush of fear. They were both bound, so surely he couldn’t hurt her, but there was something dangerous in his eyes.

Which is why she didn’t expect them to soften the way they did. “Zoe Rodriguez?”

She was too startled to answer, but just nodded.

He glanced toward the locked door and pushed himself to a crouch, the movement oddly graceful.

She fought not to flinch when he came over to her. “My name’s Lee Wheeler. I’m with the CIA. I’m going to get you out of here.”

The sudden lump in her throat caught her by surprise. She tried to keep her face schooled as she studied him.

There was no trace of anything but sincerity in his blue eyes. “How do I know you’re telling the truth?”

“You don’t.” He flashed a quick, humorless grin. “I’m not precisely carrying my credentials at the moment.”

Another careful look over his shoulder. “Trust me until we’re out of here, and I promise I’ll show you all the proof you need.”

Zoe’s throat ached and her eyes were stinging. She would not cry in front of a stranger, but the relief was threatening to overwhelm her. “Why?” she said. “I mean, I’m nobody.”

“Médecins International doctor, working as an emergency surgeon in a refugee camp in Oaxaca—that doesn’t sound like nobody to me.” He started to say something else but froze, then threw himself over to where the guards had initially pushed him.

The hood.

Talks With Fists came in with the filthy bucket that served as a toilet, then dropped it, cursing and yelling at Lee to close his eyes. Lee did, but the guard cuffed him across the cheek before pulling the hood over his head again.

 

Other Books from Lisa Nicholas:

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 THE FARTHER I FALL

Sometimes when you fall, you land just where you need to be…

Gwen Tennison got out of Afghanistan alive but scarred–and then got stuck on her sister’s couch. When she’s offered a job managing the U.S. tour for rock music’s hottest, most troubled star, it seems like just the thing to snap her out of her post-injury funk. Her instructions are simple: start the shows on time, and keep him clean.

But Lucas Wheeler may be more than she can handle. Though he’s drug-free, he still feels the need, and his gorgeous, capable new tour manager is a challenge he can’t ignore. Fame and infamy have forced Lucas to protect his heart, but soon he finds himself craving Gwen’s touch, and yearning to give her control. And Gwen might feel the same way.

But it’s not just the mutual heat between them that is keeping Gwen on her toes. Someone is following Lucas from city to city. With more than just her job on the line Gwen must decide how much she’s willing to risk to keep Lucas safe.

 Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Books-a-Million

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About Lisa Nicholas:

Lisa Nicholas is the author of The Farther I Fall. If she’s not writing, she’s feeding her story addiction any way she can: raiding Netflix, pillaging her local bookstore and library, and (most recently) tearing her way through the comics archive at Marvel.

 Connect with Lisa at her website | blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Impure Bargains by Decadent Kane

August 21, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

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~Decadent~
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Blurb for Impure Bargains by Decadent Kane

Desiderus has served Ba’al faithfully for nearly one hundred years. When Haven Rowe put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger, her fierce nature stirred emotions he hadn’t felt since before Ba’al claimed him. With his sight set on consuming her body and soul, he’ll use every deceptive idea at his disposal to make sure she belongs to him.

When Haven walked in on a demon stealing her brother, Jeremy, her entire world unraveled. Born to a family of magic users, yet unable to use magic of her own, Haven will do anything to get her brother back from the depths of hell, even if it means she has to bargain her soul.

With the help of a witch, Haven seeks out loopholes to the soul bargains that have been made. She either finds a way out for her and Jeremy, or they both might be lost forever. What she doesn’t count on is the betrayal of her own body and the insurmountable attraction she has for the demon she’s trying to escape.

Buy Link

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1514889870

Excerpt

Surprised by the female’s actions, Desiderus watched her run for a moment before his mind registered her actions. Her obsidian hair flew behind her with a strange bag slung over her small shoulders. In a way, he should have known Haven would bolt. Experience all but told him that. Many had run and failed. Desiderus shook his head and a grin spread across his lips. She wouldn’t get far and not just because she was naked. He had a pretty good idea that Haven didn’t worry about her loss of clothes as much as she worried about what he might do to her. He would have loved nothing more than to chase after her…but she needed to be taught a lesson, to understand what it meant for him to have her name, for him to be in control.

After quickly making Ba’al’s sign in the air in front of him, a toad with a circle, magic flickered into the sigil like sparking a match. The sign brightened to an orange color. Desiderus had been a demon so long it took seconds to create. Under his breath, he let her name roll off his tongue in one easy motion, “Haven Rowe.”

The color of the sigil sprinkled away on a breeze and black smoke swirled. Haven’s image slowly began to appear, little by little, tantalizing, as if she somehow knew he wanted her body, far more than he had any other mortal female. Her legs came first, the lazy curve of her hips, he groaned with the swell of her heaving breasts, and finally her face construed in a perfect scowl piercing him with those damn blue eyes.

“Running will do you no good, Haven.” Inside lust coiled around his core, urging him to do anything but stand there looking staring. Her skin shimmering with sweat, making his tongue slip out to lick his lips. He swallowed a groan at the thought of tasting her tanned flesh. Lost in his erotic notions he didn’t see her foot until it was too late and a sharp jolt of lightning like pain raced up from between his legs, shooting over his spine and slamming into the base of his brain. Colors formed in his eyes and he blinked it away as his stomach churned. His knees weakened, but he kept himself standing somehow, adrenalin replacing the pain as anger mounted inside him like a lion.

“But that does demon.” Haven turned to run for the second time and despite the throbbing radiating from his balls, Desiderus reached out for her, latching fingers around an ankle that had come up from the ground and Haven fell front first into the dirt with Desiderus falling on top of her.

 Author Interview:

Please tell us a little bit about your current projects?

My current project is a 7 book series called the Impure series. Book 1: Impure Bargains has just been released in print form.

I created a mythos for demons that would work with a story I had in mind and then incorporated virtues and sins to counteract. All while employing as a paranormal romance.

What are some of your favorite pastimes? Do you have any hobbies or collections?

I adore collecting fairies, pens, and parchment paper.

One of the things I like to do most is window shop. I have also been known to enjoy a few video games. J

When it comes to food, are you the adventurous type who will try anything once, or do you prefer to stick to tried and true foods and recipes?

I will try most things at least 1 time.

What is your favorite comfort food?

Hamburger stew

What is your favorite season? What do you love about it?

Summer time and I love the warm weather, swimming, and no snow.

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Impure Bargains
Decadent Kane

Bio:

Decadent Kane, author of the trouble with elves series, writes paranormal romance with heat. She lives in Wyoming with a full house: 3 dogs, 1 cat, 1 guinea pig, 1 rat, 2 kids, and 1 fiance.

An elfess in human form, Decadent enjoys dipping her fingers into the human realm where she took pen to paper and began the tales of the trouble with elves. Her obsessions include reading, Dean Winchester, and honey.

She will devour your soul with glimpses of the feral ridden drow elves, with their dark skin and soul consuming. She’ll sneak morsels of naughty thoughts to you via goblins, and seduce you into stepping inside the elven realm where females disappear when lust takes over among other elfish troubles.

Beware the sprites.

Follow the wisps.

But never look a drow elf king in the eyes…

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Kiss Of The Silver by Sharon Buchbinder

August 21, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

 

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Kiss of the Silver Wolf: Book 1 in the Jinni Hunter Series by Sharon Buchbinder

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Book Synopsis

After Charlene Johnson’s parents are killed in a car accident, she becomes guardian to her disabled brother. With no income coming in, she is forced to move to Eden, Kentucky, the one place her mother told her to stay away from. Once there, she’s certain her mother would also warn her to keep away from the dark and sexy Zack Abingdon. A man of mystery who claims Charlene is his mate. Zack has waited for what seems a lifetime for the other half of his soul. He wants a family of his own, but the woman he has his eye on has no idea he is a werewolf. However, he knows he is the only one who can keep her safe from the evil that stalks Eden. While he tries to convince her he is the wolf of her heart, she is playing hard to get, and Zack is fearful he will lose her before he can mark her as his own. While Zack and Charlene are finding their way into love, an evil jinni who has wreaked havoc on the town of Eden for decades decides he wants Charlene for his own. When she learns the truth of her heritage, Zack hopes he can convince her he is the other half of her soul before it’s too late.

Excerpt

Jethro cleared his throat. “And this is Zachariah Abingdon.”

Charlene expected to see someone the same age as Jethro and Rebekkah. She caught a whiff of soap and some unrecognizable musky spice and jumped, startled to find him standing at her elbow.

The younger man flipped shocks of silver hair away from his piercing blue eyes. A trail of heat blazed in her face and ignited a fire in her core. He gazed down at her, an amused hint of a smile playing on his full, sensuous lips. “Call me Zack.”

She felt as if he had reached out and caressed her cheek. He took her hand, and a surge of energy jolted her. Did he feel it, too? Dry-mouthed, she squeaked, “Are we related?”

He smiled, showing beautiful white teeth. “No. Is it a problem?”

Warmth filled her chest and suffused her face. She stared down at his large hand still clasping hers. She didn’t want to let go. How long could you hold a stranger’s hand without being inappropriate? “No. Not at all.”

Jethro cleared his throat again, and Zack grinned at her, a sly expression on his face as he slid his fingers away. She glanced down, half-expecting to see a visible red glow where his touch lingered on her skin.

“We should let other people speak with you.” Jethro pressed an envelope into her hand. “There are no orphans among our people. Come home. We can help you take care of Joey in Eden.”

Goose bumps ran up her spine. How did he know about her brother? Eden. Her mother had warned her. Who exactly are these people? She stared at the odd trio in their old-fashioned garb as they moved toward the memory table and whispered to each other. She couldn’t make out the words, but the tone sounded pleased.

Pleased by what? She examined her new bangle. Feathery-scripted Js twined across the surface. Joanna.

As she puzzled over the dark metal, a dumpling of a woman lunged at Charlene and pulled her into a bear hug. The brassy-blonde reeked of cheap perfume, and her nose bore the signs of time spent with a bottle.

“So sorry,” she slurred. “Tragic.”

Author Biography

2014 Headshot_Short Hair

Sharon Buchbinder has been writing fiction since middle school and has the rejection slips to prove it. Graduating with a BA in Psychology and no job, she realized her dreams of working in the attic writing great novels would have to take a back seat to the simple pleasures of eating, drinking, and having a roof over her head. After working in health care delivery for years, she became a researcher, association executive, a Registered Nurse and an academic with a PhD in Public Health.

She had it all—a terrific, supportive husband, an amazing son, a wonderful job and numerous non-fiction titles, but that itch to write stories (some call it an obsession), kept her coming back to fiction. When not writing, she can be found reading, fishing, walking her dogs, or cooking and enjoying a good meal and laughter with friends and family.

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THE HEARTBREAKERS by Ali Novak

August 19, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

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Message From the Author

Hello all you lovely readers!

First and foremost, I’d like to thank you for taking an interest in my latest YA novel The Heartbreakers. For those of you who don’t know, this story was originally posted on the online reading and writing platform Wattpad, and to date, the rough draft manuscript has been read more than 40 million times. I began working on this project in February of 2012, back when One Direction was starting to gain popularity in the United States. Fan fiction stories about 1D began popping up all over the website, so I decided to go against the grain and write a book about a fictional band instead of the real one, and that’s how the Heartbreakers were born!

The first band member I created was Oliver Perry, the lead singer. Like most successful, good-looking teen heartthrobs, he can be a bit cocky, but underneath all that confidence, he’s a HUGE softie. Next is JJ Morris, the band’s drummer. I enjoy writing goofball characters, and JJ fits that description to a T—he’s always cracking (oftentimes perverted) jokes. To balance out JJ’s outgoing personality, there’s Alec Williams. He’s the mysterious, reserved bass player for the group, and although he doesn’t talk much, he’s incredibly loyal. And last but not least, we have Xander Jones, who is lead guitarist for the Heartbreakers and everyone’s best friend.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy my boys’ story!

xoxo,

Ali

 

Excerpt from THE HEARTBREAKERS

 

“Do you ever miss it?” I asked, trying to distract myself again. My breathing hitched, and I hoped he hadn’t noticed.

 

“Miss what?”

 

“I don’t know, like, before everything?”

 

“You mean my anonymity? Sure.” Something in Oliver’s voice sounded off, and I craned my neck to look up at him. He was staring past me, deep in thought, and then a scowl crossed his face. “But I would never go back. Ever,” he added fiercely.

 

The skin covering his knuckles turned white as he tightened his fist, and I bit my lip, not sure what to say. I didn’t think he was mad at me, but something had upset him.

 

“Sorry,” I told him. “I didn’t mean to pry.”

 

“No worries,” he said, sounding much softer than before.

 

But Oliver seemed to be done talking, because he turned his attention back to the movie, and without our conversation, my nerves crept back up. I realized I was holding my breath when he started moving his thumb in small circles on my arm. For some reason I found the sensation calming, and bit by bit, my breathing returned to normal and I nestled down into his side. Just as I finally relaxed and turned my attention to the movie, Oliver chuckled and I felt him shake beneath me. Tilting my head back a few inches, I looked up at him through my lashes. There was a dusting of pink on his cheeks, and his eyes shinned as he laughed.

 

He must have felt my gaze, because his eyes snapped down and found mine. His lips slowly parted as he stared down at me, and my whole body flooded with warmth. Someone was shouting something crazy onscreen, but I was too preoccupied with Oliver to turn toward the TV. The way he was looking at me made me want to press my body further up against him, and the thought made me blush. Embarrassed by my own thoughts, I suddenly had the need to look away, to focus on anything but him, but as I turned, Oliver gently grabbed my chin. He held my head in place until I made eye contact, and then, once he knew I was watching, he dipped his head and brushed his lips against mine.

 

***

 

Book Information

 

Title: The Heartbreakers

Author: Ali Novak

Release Date: August 4, 2015

Publishers: Sourcebooks Fire

Genre: Contemporary Young Adult

 TheHeartbreakers

Summary

Stella will do anything for her sick sister, Cara—even stand in line for an autographed Heartbreakers CD…for four hours. She’s totally winning best birthday gift this year. At least she met a cute boy with soft brown hair and gorgeous blue eyes while getting her caffeine fix. Too bad she’ll never see him again.

Except, Stella’s life has suddenly turned into a cheesy love song. Because Starbucks Boy is Oliver Perry – lead singer for the Heartbreakers. And even after she calls his music crap, Oliver still gives Stella his phone number. And whispers quotes from her favorite Disney movie in her ear. OMG, what is her life?

But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver – dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band – when her sister could be dying of cancer?

Buy Links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1JwsPYv

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1CUnxJn

iBooks: http://apple.co/1DtobIH

AliNovak

Author Biography

Ali Novak writes contemporary young adult romance and is a recent graduate of the University of Madison Wisconsin’s creative writing program. She wrote her first full length novel, My Life with the Walter Boys, at the age of fifteen. Since posting the story online, it has received more than 33 million reads and is now published by Sourcebooks Fire.

Social Networking Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ali.novak.908

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Fallzswimmer

WattPad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/Fallzswimmer

Tumblr: http://fallzswimmer.tumblr.com/

 

BONUS POST: COVER REVEAL and the Art of Design

August 18, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

Full Fathom Five

August 18, 2015

BONUS POST: COVER REVEAL and the Art of Design

AHEM! We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for this bonus addition to BEYOND THE PAGE: a COVER REVEAL!

This just in: the first three books in the Dark Rituals series.

Says author Catrina Burgess, “Finally, the time has come. I can spill the beans. It’s cover reveal day. Cue happy music. I can finally show you guys the covers!”

Awakening (Dark Rituals #1)

Possession (Dark Rituals #2)

Revanant (Dark Rituals #2)

 

 

 

 

Here they are!! Check out that pile of awesome. The books are available now for preorder, click each cover for the links. They are available directly from the FFFDig Store, Amazon, iTunes, and Kobo, and will soon be available on Google Play, Scribd, Oyster, and more!

Next Tuesday, we promise to return to the panic-inducing event of an author receiving edits. But to go along with our cover reveal,  let’s take a peek into the process of designing a book cover:

Everyone knows the expression “you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover,” but chances are that you do anyways. And that’s perfectly okay! We do, too. A good book is all about the writing and the story, but an awesome and compelling cover is naturally the first thing that draws a potential reader in (even if they don’t want to admit it), and this is especially true in the ebook space. There aren’t physical books for consumers to pick up and browse through, so an eye-catching cover can make or break a book.  Who wants to click on a book with an unappealing, generic, or just plain boring cover? Not us, that’s for sure.

Designing an amazing cover is one of the most fun, most important, and most challenging parts of publishing a successful book.  As with everything else, there’s no exact science, and it involves the collaboration, talents, and input of lots of people. Everyone has different inclinations and personal tastes, and there are always going to be disagreements on whether or not something “works.” Even the most beloved book covers aren’t appealing to everyone (which is a good thing, really, because not everyone will love the book!). It’s definitely a subjective process, and it’s all about capturing the right tone and “look,” which is often hard to describe. Sometimes, the designer gets your vision on the first try (this doesn’t happen often, but when you know, you know), and sometimes (more likely) it takes dozens of revisions and requires approvals by the editor, the author, publicists, a film team, your mom, etc. It’s both a frustrating and creatively fulfilling process, but a good final product is worth any struggle along the way!

A good cover should immediately communicate (1) who the book is “for” and (2) what it’s about…generally speaking.  For obvious reasons, it’s very important that a YA book looks like it’s meant for young adults, and an adult book looks like it’s meant for adults. False advertising is never appreciated—people want to know what they’re buying! It’s helpful if a cover places a book squarely in a certain genre for marketing reasons (romance, thriller, contemporary, nonfiction, etc.), but it’s easy to get  too caught up in portraying all the specific details of a plot accurately on the cover. The fact that your character always wears hoop earrings instead of diamond studs is important, but not important enough that the overall design should be sacrificed to fit in big, ugly, gold hoops. The design process often involves letting go of these smaller details in favor of the “bigger picture”—appealing to the audience and pointing the reader to what they should expect in the pages to come.

At FFFDig, a cover can be designed at any point in the process depending on scheduling and when inspiration strikes, but sooner is better. It starts with our team writing a cover brief to send to the designer. This brief describes the plot, characters, the exact verbiage we want on the cover (title, series, author name), a general vision or specific ideas that might work, and several covers to use as comparison or inspiration (hence the name “comp covers”). We’ve built working relationships with several designers we trust, and for each project we select the one whose strengths play to the specific genre or look that we’re going for (some designers specialize in fantasy covers, some are more versatile, some are good with designing creative typefaces, some are primarily illustrators, and so on). All designers have a different process, and we try to accommodate how they prefer to work—some like to have a phone call before starting the project, some are okay with just a written brief, and others request scheduling a full month for the project in case they experience an “artistic block.”

Typically, whoever is most familiar with the text (besides the author) ends up writing the brief and corresponds with the designer on each revision—this is usually the editor. We also work closely with our authors every step of the way to make sure they’re happy with the final product and we welcome their input. Although the publisher has the final say, it’s incredibly rewarding when an author is excited about their cover, and it’s VERY important to us that they love it as much as we do.

To give you a better idea of what goes into designing a cover, here’s a look into the step-by-step process behind Awakening, the first book in the Dark Rituals series. Some covers require more revisions than others before we get it right. The three drafts that went into Awakening give an example of a fairly average design process, but we’re willing to keep going for however long it takes—there is such a thing as a perfect cover!

Draft One:

DRDraft1

For the Awakening cover, we knew immediately that we wanted to work with designer Fiona Jayde, who is amazingly talented at creating YA and genre-specific spooky, paranormal thrillers like this one.

In our brief, we told her that considering the dark nature of the book, we envisioned an ominous-looking cover. Here’s a bit Kayla’s original design brief:

If you choose to put Colina, the main character, on the cover, we imagine the healer-version of her might pose with hands cupped or held in front of her, palms up. She should look very innocent and “good” with light-colored clothing. It might be cool if a warm glow emanated from her fingertips—her healing power. A possible background could reveal an encroaching darkness, swirling smoke, and dark, eerie colors. Perhaps it could look like the darkness is about to consume her.

We were so excited to see what Fiona returned to us, and for the most part, we loved it! The green/yellow color scheme works well for the genre, and Colina looks like the badass heroine we envisioned (leather pants…nice!). Our biggest critique of this cover was that it looked too “fantasy”—it didn’t quite match the eerie, ghost-filled story. We suggested to Fiona that the typeface should change (this one is too flowery and graceful), and that there should be less of the yellow sparkly light surrounding Colina (it looks too magical and fairy-like). This cover needed some kind of creep-factor added in.

And what did our author think? Cat said: “I really had no idea what type of cover to expect. I knew the original cover I made for Awakening when it was up on Wattpad was too dark and creepy. I was really hoping for something much prettier…something with more color…something with a much less creepy Colina.

“When Kayla, the editor, sent the first version, I loved the model right off the bat. She looked strong and capable and I loved her outfit (who doesn’t think leather pants look cool?). I totally dug the magic swirling around her hands and I adored the color scheme—the dark background and green text. Of course I didn’t say any of that back in my email to them. Instead, looking back, I can see that I told them I thought her hair looked funky. ;) I thought there was too much hair on the left side of her head and not enough hair on the right.  And I wasn’t thrilled with the title font. It looked like something from a fantasy book.

“My name on the cover was super-duper BIG. I’ve always wanted my name up on billboards, in big lights, on Broadway…just kidding. I thought, ‘As much as I love being the center of attention, in this instance, Colina and the title of the book should take center stage.’

“I sent my email back to them with my comments and thought…. “Wow, I bet they think I’m a real pain in the butt.” But you know what? They never seem to mind my feedback. They never tell me I’m being silly or a pain. When I give them my opinion on things, they listen and try to incorporate the feedback into whatever they’re doing. So guess what? In the next cover you will see: the hair is fixed!”

 

Draft Two:

DRDraft2

This next draft was certainly creepier and closer to our vision. We loved the pentagram in the background and the ghostlike hands reaching around Colina. A few new issues did pop up, however. Although we liked the look of the hands coming up from the bottom, we thought it was overkill on this cover (but they actually work better for a later book…). Our team was split on the skull/fireball in Colina’s hand—half of us thought it was awesome, and the other half thought it was a little overly silly to show a sparkling skull.

We loved the new typeface (it’s much creepier), but decided that the red clashes with the color scheme, and we’d rather keep it simple and stick to yellow/green. The title and author name also needed to be moved to the bottom or top of the page, instead of sitting awkwardly in the middle.

Wondering what Cat thought of the second draft? She said: “When the second draft of the Awakening cover hit my mailbox, I was excited. How would the designer take all our notes? It’s a tricky thing, making covers. I’ve done it in the past. It’s hard to take a bunch of notes and visions that others have and turn it into the cover they want. That’s usually why it takes a few tries.

“In this version, I totally dug the zombie hands coming out of the ground—I just didn’t think they were right for the first book in the series. And I wasn’t sure what she was holding in her hand. A skull? An alien? Come on, you know you see a bit of an alien face in there from the Alien movies with Sigourney Weaver.

“…Okay, maybe that’s just me.

“I liked the new fonts, but I really loved the green color scheme from the first version. I really hoped that when I told them how much I adored the green, they would go back to it. And I thought the book title might fit perfectly in the space where the zombie hands are if we got rid of them.

“In the background, I thought the trees and the hands in the air becoming more visible was a great idea—with the exception of that big hand hanging in the air on the left. That hand is so big and prominent that it sort of freaked me out. I wanted to yell, “Run, Colina. Run!” which is probably a good thing, but it took the focus away from Colina. So I wrote all of that up in an email. Man, I have a lot of opinions. ;) But in my defense, I used to be a web designer and I worked for years on web pages, banners, and an occasional cover, so I admit I may be a bit more picky than your average Joe.”

 

Draft Three:

DRDraft3

Ta da! Here’s the final draft! We knew we hit it on the head, and we just hoped that Cat felt the same. Fiona did exactly what we asked by pulling back on some of the creepy elements (again, those hands at the bottom were great, but you don’t want too much of a good thing) and replacing the skull with bright light. The title looks great pulled down like that, and we loved that Fiona created a cool green/yellow marbling effect.

And here are Cat’s final thoughts: “I’ll admit it, by the time version three hit my mailbox I was a nervous wreck. Would the font be green? Would the alien skull come to life and eat Colina? It was with much trepidation that I opened the email.

“What happened when I saw this version of the cover? I shouted out with joy. Birds began to sing outside. Life got a little more awesome. Honestly I really, really loved it!!  I loved everything about it. I hopped up and down in my chair and looked around in excitement. I couldn’t wait to show the cover to the world! But I realized I couldn’t—not yet. I had to keep it to myself for the time being…keep it secret until the big reveal. It was crazy hard not to spill it to you guys.

“So now that you have seen the final cover for Awakening what do you think? I really hope you love it as much as I do! And did you see the cover for Possession? OMG that’s my favorite cover in the series. I also totally dig the Revenant cover. Don’t you think Revenant was the perfect cover for those zombie hands?

“Now, you may be asking, “What about the cover for the fourth book, Legion?” It’s not ready yet, but fingers crossed it’s as cool as the first three covers!

So there you have it. New covers, hard-core edits. Cat was so excited about the new covers, she made up this banner for them:

DKblogbanner

Next in BEYOND THE PAGE, Cat really comes back to tell us how she avoids murdering Kayla when she receives all these edits…

What is BEYOND THE PAGE?

Ever wonder what happens after you sign with a publishing house? Catrina Burgess, author of The Dark Rituals series coming this October, has convinced us to give you a behind-the-scenes look at how a manuscript becomes a finished book. Tune in every Tuesday for a new installment, and check out the series on the author’s blog at catrinaburgess.com!

Catch up here:

Veiled Heart by Elsa Holland

August 17, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

THE VEILED HEART

~is my latest release. It’s the first in The Velvet Basement series.
I have a real soft spot for the heroine, Lady Miriam Rothbury, and her determination to fight for women’s rights,
her courage to over come her own history and take a chance at love.

imagesOGMLWGD1

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