Lots of stuff to talk about today. If you didn’t see the cover reveal for Pirate’s Alley, you can check it out here. I’m furiously working on the second Collectors book (tentative titles are Deadly, Dark and Deep or Tall, Dark and Deadly).
And we’re only a couple of weeks away from the release of Allegiance! So here’s a snippet. In this scene we’re in the POV of Melissa Calvert, former familiar of Aidan Murphy. Melissa’s in a bad space when the book begins. She hasn’t adapted well to her new role in life, she is confused about who to trust and who to love. The person named Fen she’s referring to is a newcomer to Penton:
Melissa was probably being paranoid, but Fen was one more person she didn’t know. And after the last nine months, that meant more people she didn’t trust. In Penton, trust was now a rare commodity. She resented like hell what had been done to her town; resented all the bad things that kept happening to people she cared about.
And she, Melissa Calvert, former familiar of Aidan Murphy and wife of Mark Calvert, sat here with fangs, at midnight, afraid, not sure who she was anymore. Cage, Aidan, Krys—they all kept telling her she wasn’t a monster, that she was still the woman she’d always been.
They were right on one count; she wasn’t a monster. She’d been around too many kind and honorable vampires to believe that lie.
But she had changed. She’d turned from a naively fearless human into a cowardly, fanged night crawler, like those big, stretchy worms she’d dug up as a kid to use as fishing bait.
The worms were slow, rubbery creatures that instinctively hid from anything that came too near, seeking out the comfort of earthy darkness in which to burrow and hide. That was her. What Melissa Calvert had become. Or had reverted back to—just like when she’d been Melissa Williamson, before meeting Aidan. The young woman who had gravitated to abusive relationships like iron filings to a magnet. The woman who sank so deeply into her mother’s trap of depression that she couldn’t climb out and thought a bottle of pills was her only escape.
Aidan had saved her that time. Turned her into a new person. And Mark had completed her.
Now she felt the depression threatening to take her down again and, damn it, she didn’t want to resurrect Melissa Williamson. She didn’t want to wallow in a paralysis of sadness and fear. She didn’t want to be a blind, light-fearing night crawler that could function only in mental darkness.
Cage had been the light that tried to lead her out of it after Matthias took her, but she didn’t want to rely on him again. She didn’t want to rely on anybody but herself.
Poor Mel; she has some stuff to go through but she’s on the right path.
Now, do you want to be a Deputy Sentinel or a Penton Patrol Squad member? I’m looking for folks who are fans of my books who’d be willing to serve as a founding member of my STREET TEAM. What the heck is that? And what’s in it for you?
As a street team member, you’ll be able to join either a private Facebook Page or a private email loop. You get first looks at new covers, first info on new projects, the chance to read book samples before anyone else, special swag I don’t have available on the blog. I’ll do special street-team-only giveaways as well.
What’s in it for me? “Discoverability” is a big watchword in publishing these days. It doesn’t matter how good a series is if nobody knows about it. Even though I feel as if I promote tirelessly, sales are not great. So I would request that Sentinels and Patrol Squad members do what they can to help spread the word about the series, whether it’s Sentinels, Penton, Collectors, or all of the above. Some things you could do:
* Leave book reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, especially Amazon. You are NOT obligated to give a good review; if you thought the book sucked, you’re welcome to say so. But I would ask that you take a few minutes to leave a review, even if it’s only two sentences long. Reviews are important, especially at Amazon, because they determine which books get picked for special promotions.
* Help spread the word about my books among your friends who might like them; word of mouth is still king.
* If you see a review or a guest post, share the Facebook link or tweet about it (or use whatever social media you’re on).
* If you have a local bookstore you frequent, put out bookmarks if the manager will allow it; I am having new ones printed up.
* If you patronize a local library, encourage them to stock my books. A lot of them have the Sentinels series, but few have Penton.
* If there’s a local readers event in your area you plan to attend, let me know ahead of time and I can send you promo to distribute.
* Anything else you can think of to help spread the word!
Right now, I’m just collecting names of anyone who might be interested (international winners welcom), so EMAIL ME at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment here and I’ll add you to the list. Also, let me know if you’d be more interested in a private email loop or in a private Facebook group. I’ll probably end up setting up both because I know a lot of folks aren’t on FB, but it would help to see which you prefer.
Now…did you win a book the last couple of weeks? If so email me with your relevant info. And stay tuned. I brought back a TON of stuff from RT to give away as soon as I get the new book finished!
LORI H won a digital copy of Kat Simons’ Once Upon a Tiger. Let me know your preferred format.
GALENA, ROGER and BN100 won digital copies of Celia Breslin’s Vampire Code. Let me know your preferred format.
LORRIE won this week’s Reader’s Choice and selected Reborn by C.C. Hunter.