Sunday, 30 June 2013

Hump Day Hook: Author Spotlight Catherine Green

Hump Day Hook: Author Spotlight Catherine Green: Author Spotlight #HDH - Catherine Green Hello and thank you to Kerrianne for hosting me on the Hump Day Hook blog...

Should an Author become a Twitter Fiend?

This is an interesting question. Technology has advanced to such an extent that our lives now appear to be dominated, and in some cases even ruled, by social networking. There are tales of families who sit in a line on the sofa at home, each person glued to a different device. One might be using Facebook on a tablet computer. Another might be playing social games on an Ipod. A third sibling will be on Twitter or a social messenger app on their mobile phone. Crazy times!

Personally I consider myself fairly well versed in social networks. Yes, I am still only familiar with the most popular ones, namely Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. I haven’t found the time to explore all the other networks, what with raising a young family, writing my novels, and maintaining two blogs alongside any freelance non-fiction work projects I pick up. But as an Indie author, I have been schooled in the necessity for social networking to sell my books. I have no budget for marketing. I cannot currently afford to pay a publicist to do everything for me. It is down to me, all by myself, to tell people about my books and encourage them to buy.

There is the challenge! I spent a lot of time in 2012 studying Twitter, reading a series of helpful blogs written by social media experts, and learning the techniques for using hash tags and keywords effectively. I modified my profile information across all my networks every time I learned something new. I changed my profile photograph and made them all the same, so that my image might better show up in search engines. And then I got into the Hootsuite revolution. I had toyed with Tweetdeck for a while, having had it recommended by some fellow authors. I just don’t get along very well with this application. It doesn’t seem to do what I want, and is often more cumbersome than helpful.

Hootsuite, on the other hand, has become an addiction. I’m not sure that I should be admitting to this, or even if I should perhaps be taking a break. But there we are. I decided to join Hootsuite and try it out as a method for scheduling tweets about my books and those of my fellow Indie authors. According to the advice I have gleaned from my online studies, an author should adopt an 80/20 ratio of promotion. This means that we should use 80% of our social network feeds to promote other authors, books and related activities, and we should use 20% of our feed to promote our own books. The idea is that we join social groups where authors do the work for each other. We share our details across several accounts, therefore giving us the best possible exposure.

But is it too much? I have recently become involved with another author group via Facebook, where we tweet for each other. Some of the authors are very aggressive in their tweeting tactics, and it does seem to work for them. Others are a little more hesitant, and perhaps struggle to fit it all in. I suppose I might better fit the ‘aggressive Tweeter’ label. I’m not sure I am comfortable with that, but there it is. I have found that when I don’t partake in the group tweets for a day or two, my book sales do slump. But I also haven’t yet hit the bestseller lists as a result of my efforts. Perhaps I need to give it more time. Perhaps I need another marketing plan.

What advice can you give to this confused and frustrated author? All comments and personal experiences welcome…

*Images courtesy of Pinterest; Frustrated Author and Social Networker

Friday, 28 June 2013

Book Review: One Soul to Share by Lori Devoti

Here is my review of the paranormal romance novella One Soul to Share by Lori Devoti:

A different story concept, not quite emotionally involved enough for me

I had quite high hopes for this novel, since the story was a little different to what I have come across before. I enjoyed reading it, and it didn’t take long to read either, but I did not feel drawn in as I would have expected. The characters seemed distant, perhaps intentionally due to their nature, but I just could not sustain that personal connection that I like to develop when I read a book. I probably identified best with the vampire Nolan, but I feel that overall the book could have done with a little more description in places, just to draw the reader in more closely. Still, I intend to try out some of the author’s other books, so it wasn’t that bad in the end!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Painful Passion in Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel) #HDH

Hello and welcome to the Hump Day Hook. I am returning to my debut novel, and today I offer an excerpt from Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel), with a scene from the beginning of this passionate and powerful love story.

I led Jack into the small storeroom and then through the adjoining door into my kitchen.  Once inside I turned back to Jack, trying not to throw myself at him.  I crossed my arms and leaned against the cupboards in front of the window.  He looked at me with those piercing blue eyes and then his gaze dropped to my neck.  In a quick stride he was in front of me, gently moving my scarf and reaching out to touch the bruise with fingers that were cold.  How had he seen the bruise?  I was sure I had fixed the scarf properly this time, and Liz said she couldn’t see anything under it.  I winced, more from the coolness of his touch than from the pain.  
“Jessica, I am so sorry, I didn’t realize how rough I was with you.” he said, voice taut with emotion.  
I shook my hair back and blinked slowly, then looked into those amazing eyes.  
“It’s fine honestly.” I said, “I didn’t even feel it until this morning.  So why are you here?”

If you enjoyed this one, why not pop over to our dedicated Hump Day Hook blog and peruse some new and exciting authors. We write about romance, love, science fiction, fantasy, erotica and everything in-between, so you are sure to find something that delights the senses. You can also find us on Facebook. Happy Humping!

Monday, 24 June 2013

Guest Author Feature: Alexandra Anthony and The Vampire Destiny series

Today I welcome a friend from the Hump Day Hook author group, Alexandra Anthony, to talk about her new book in the Vampire Destiny series. Take it away, Alexandra!

"I’d like to thank Catherine Green for having me on her blog today.  I’m here to discuss the launch of my newest book in The Vampire Destiny Series, Ascend.  It’s the fourth book in the series…and I’m excited to answer a few questions and reveal a small excerpt from the book."

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m rather boring outside of my little writing world.  I’m a mother to a wonderful nine-year-old that keeps me on my toes.  I’m also a vampire fan girl (along with having tiny obsessions with Alexander Skarsgard and Norman Reedus).  Ok, maybe tiny is an understatement.

What book are you reading now?

You’ll laugh.  The Encyclopedia of Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories.   It’s research for a stand-alone novel I’m working on.  I also happen to love conspiracy theories, so it’s a win-win.

What motivates you to write?

I suppose it’s just the enjoyment of writing.  It’s the freedom to create your own world and be in total control of fates, lives and love.  It’s almost a power trip!

What was your inspiration for your latest book?

Ascend is the fourth book in The Vampire Destiny Series.  My inspiration is Stefan (my hero of the series).  I enjoy “seeing” him in action!

What are your favorite type of scenes to write?

I’d like to say dialogue, but I’d be lying.  My favorite scenes to write are the sexy, smutty scenes.  I enjoy writing reactions and drawing the reader into the story.

Who is your most popular character? Why do your readers like or dislike this character?

I’d have to say Stefan is probably a favorite.  I also think a few fans would be partial to Nick Hart from my other series, The Dark Hart Chronicles.

What are your current projects?

I have a lot on my plate.  I’m working on a novella from Stefan’s POV (due out late summer), Book 2 of The Dark Hart Chronicles, Book 5 of The Vampire Destiny Series, and I’m working on a non-paranormal, erotic thriller.  It will be a stand-alone book with a kick-ass female!

Excerpt from Ascend (The Vampire Destiny Series Book 4)

Did he regret that I'd no longer be so fragile?  Would he miss the small remaining human part of me…my blood, my heart beat?

"Never."  He vowed, reading my unspoken worries.  He tilted my head back to gaze into my eyes.  His face was streaked with pink tears, standing boldly out against the paleness of his handsome face.  "I was terrified that you would not wake. I could only sense your pain in the bond until you touched me.  You were a complete void to me."

I felt my lips tug up at the corners.  "As if you could get rid of me so easily.  You're stuck with me, Stefan.  Forever."

His face relaxed and the soft smile he reserved for me relaxed the
tenseness of his lips.  "There us nothing I want more than that.  Jag alskar dig."

His large hands smoothed my hair away from my face as his bright blue eyes searched my face.  "I did not think it would be possible for you to be more beautiful.  Yet you are."

His soft words made me smile, and if I could have blushed, I would have.  Looking up at him through my eyelashes, my vampiric eyes took him in.  I saw details I couldn't have seen before with my much weaker human vision.  He was more beautiful than my human eyes and mind could ever comprehend.  The flawless skin of his face glowed, the intense blue of his eyes sparkled.  The prominent arch of his high cheekbones tapered to the sharp square of his jaw.  My fingers traced the contours of his face, relishing the satin of his skin under my fingertips.  My thumb dragged across his lower lip, aching to feel the powerful sensation of his mouth against my own.

"I love you too," I whispered.  He was always perfect to me, but he'd never looked this stunningly gorgeous. Studying his face even closer, I could see more than the light blue of his eyes; there were tiny flecks of green that I'd never seen before.  I noticed the feathery laugh lines that seemed more prominent.  His flesh was smooth, his once hard body pliable under my hands.  I placed my fingers against his cheek and smiled as he leaned into my touch.

"You are back with me.  The way it should be." He touched his lips to mine, slowly, tentatively.  I melted against his powerful body, my lips working in tandem with his.  Wrapping my legs around him, I squeezed him closer and heard him grunt softly in pain. “You are stronger now.  Unbreakable.”

“Unbreakable?”  I echoed, loosening the grip my legs had around him.  My mind whirled into overdrive as I thought of all the things I no longer had to fear.  No illness could touch me and I’d walk away from a car crash literally unscathed.  No human death could take me away from him.

“Yes.  You are unbreakable.”  His mouth began a slow descent down my neck.  His tongue circled over the now silent pulse point.  “And you are perfection.”

A moan slipped from my lips at his words.  As his mouth continued to nip at my throat, his hands roamed over my clothes, lingering over the heaviness of my breasts.

“You know what I want, Stefan.  I want you to take your time with me…I want you to show me what you’ve been holding back from me.”  I laced my fingers through his and squeezed his fingers around mine, tightening his hands around my breasts.  My head rolled back and hot desire clawed at me, sharp and begging to break free.


Ascend (The Vampire Destiny Series Book 4) is available from:
Barnes & Noble

Other ways to find Alexandra Anthony



Facebook Author Page

Facebook Book Page

Twitter:  @AlexAnthony80




Indie Author Network

Scribe Trailer




Your Book Authors

Kindle Promo

Alexandra Anthony YouTube Page

Amazon Author Page

Smashwords Author Page

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Friday, 21 June 2013

Join Me in Nantwich for Rendezvous Business Networking!

I am jumping onto the business networking wagon again, and this time I am heading over to Nantwich, Cheshire, just up the road from where I live. I will be attending the Rendezvous Business Networking event on Friday 28th June from 4:00pm - 6:00pm. The event is organized by Mhari Oakes in association with Business Update Magazine, and there will be plenty of exciting and interesting people to meet.

My special announcement is that I will use the event to formally showcase all three of my Redcliffe novels now that I have published the trilogy. This is by no means the end of the Redcliffe story, far from it! These novels simply introduced us to Jessica Stone and the Mason brothers, but now their lives have taken on whole new meanings, and they have lots more adventures and experiences to share. I just have to find time to write the books around being a mother with infants!

Anyway, if you would like to come and see me, see my books, and talk about all things writing related, being an author, or even get some advice on publishing and networking, then come along to the event. Or if you are a small business owner in the local area, and you want to reach out to people, we would love to see you there. Aside from the presence of your favourite local author, there will be a jewellery demonstration from the prestigious Stella and Dot brand as showcased by Mhari Oakes.

So don’t forget, Rendezvous Business Networking, on Friday 28th June 2013, from 4:00p - 6:00pm. See you there!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

A Vampire Kiss in 'The Darkness of Love' #HDH

Hello and welcome to the Hump Day Hook. I am preparing for publication of my fourth novel later this year, and so here is an excerpt from The Darkness of Love. This story is set in Victorian England, and is a tale of vampire tricks, power games and lusty encounters…

Amelia smiled and gestured to Gregory as she spoke.
            “My good friend, Lord Stockton,” she said, “requires sustenance, Martha.”
            The maid nodded and turned towards Gregory awaiting her instructions.  She kept her head down, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible.  Gregory sat up straight in a smooth, fluid motion, and he fixed his intense gaze on the young maid.
            “Come closer, child,” he said, “let me see your face.”
            Martha moved slowly closer to the sofa, clearly nervous but too frightened to object.  She stood still, trembling slightly, as Gregory cupped a finger under her chin and raised her face to his.  She stood transfixed by his hypnotic gaze, her arms falling loosely to her sides.  Amelia moved to stand beside the maid, watching Gregory.
            He gently tilted Martha’s head to one side, revealing the unblemished, delicate line of her youthful neck, and the beating veins beneath her skin.  He opened his mouth, revealing fangs, and slowly moved in to bite the maid.  She cried out, her body stiffened, and then she fell limp in his arms, swooning with shock as he drank her blood.  Amelia raised the girl’s arm, revealed her wrist, and broke her skin, licking the blood sensuously, fixing her eyes on Gregory as she fed.  The two vampires watched each other as they sucked the rich, warm blood of the helpless servant.

If you enjoyed this one, why not pop over to our dedicated Hump Day Hook blog and peruse some new and exciting authors. We write about romance, love, science fiction, fantasy, erotica and everything in-between, so you are sure to find something that delights the senses. You can also find us on Facebook. Happy Humping! 

*Vampire image courtesy of The Black Hat Society 

Monday, 17 June 2013

*Free Novel* - Review Request for Love Redeems (A Redcliffe Novel)

I have decided it is time for another book giveaway, but this time I do have an ulterior motive. I am offering a free PDF copy of my third novel Love Redeems (A Redcliffe Novel) in return for honest reviews on websites including Goodreads, Shelfari and Amazon. If you are interested, please contact me directly and I will supply you with the book. I am also happy to do return reviews for other authors on request.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Guest Author Feature: Diaries of a Dwarven Rifleman

Today I open up my blog and introduce guest authors Michael and Linda Pearce, with their new novel Diaries of a Dwarven Rifleman. Take it away Michael! 

"This is our first full-length novel. I spent a year playing with the concept and developing the world of the story in my head before we seriously began writing. My wife and I refined our writing process over the course of writing the Foreworld Saga Novella The Shield Maiden and that experience stood us in good stead writing this novel. We come up with ideas and plot-lines together, I do the 'gruntwork' of writing, then we go back over it together and Linda rewrites my tortured verbiage into something that a person might like to read. Works a treat. Funny thing is, we set out to write one kind of book and the characters, the world and the logic of the story took the book away from us and launched it in a whole different and better direction. Diaries of a Dwarven Rifleman was written as a stand-alone book (and it is,) but as we tossed around ideas and brainstormed it became obvious that it is actually part of a series. You can look for the next book some time around late summer- it's already well underway!"

Book Description Diaries of a Dwarven Rifleman:

"It may seem a fine thing in song or story to be ankle-deep in the blood of your enemies but in reality it's slippery, smells bad and is nearly impossible to get out of your socks afterwards." From the diaries of Engvyr Gunnarson

In Diaries of a Dwarven Rifleman magic, science and technology work hand-in-hand to create a new kind of fantasy world with an underlying logic that makes it as real as a handshake from an old friend. Told with humor and humanity, it is a story of sweeping events seen from a 'ground-level' perspective by real people living and helping to shape the unique history of their world.

Engvyr's father gave up on the miner's life to move the family back to their ancestral home in the far north. But the journey is fraught with perils the young dwarf has never imagined, and when tragedy casts him in the role of hero, well, what's a dwarf to do? The events of that fateful journey have shaped and ruled his life, but now Engvyr wants nothing more than to make a place for himself, perhaps settle down and raise a family. But when a new enemy rises in the North he finds himself at the center of the conflict, with not merely the freedom of his people but the fate of all of humanity hanging in the balance... and the habit of heroism is a hard one to break.

Available from Amazon and Smashwords

About the Authors

Michael Tinker Pearce is a veteran of the US Army, an ex-police officer and has been a professional knife and sword-maker since 1992. He has written extensively about his profession, including a book, ‘The Medieval Sword in the Modern World.’ He lives in Seattle with his wife and co-author, Linda Pearce.

Linda S. Pearce has worked extensively with at-risk youth and in the field of dog, cat and horse rescue. She has been employed as a project coordinator and in the field of IT for nearly thirty years. She has trained as a theatrical sword fighter with the Seattle Knights. Her interests include reading, particularly fantasy and detective fiction, horseback riding, target shooting and her pets.

You can follow them on Facebook and on their webpage.

Excerpt from Diaries of a Dwarven Rifleman

“We dwarves do not know the nature of our creator. Whether The Maker was a man with the powers of a god, a god in truth or some other thing no living person can say. For all the long centuries of his dominion over our people we can say only one thing for sure: He was not bullet-proof.”

- From the diaries of Engvyr Gunnarson

“Well, this is fun,” said Taarven as two crossbow bolts stuck in the log he was lying behind and a third ricocheted off.

Engvyr was lying flat on his back next to him looking up through the forest canopy with his long-rifle across his chest.

“I've had fun before,” he said mildly, “And I don't recall it feeling just exactly like this.”

Spotting movement from the corner of his eye he looked to his left and saw a goblin moving down the hill to flank them. He estimated the range and adjusted the big rifle's vernier sight. He took a deep breath, letting it half out as he rolled onto his side, quickly drew a bead and stroked the trigger. Whack! A split second later he heard a dull metallic 'ponk' as the heavy slug hammered through the target's breastplate. The goblin threw up his hands with a cry and fell out of sight.

Engvyr rolled flat again as another crossbow bolt slammed into a tree next to the toe of his boot. He looked at it sourly.

“I'll allow as I have had better times my own self,” Taarven admitted, “But at least the company is good.”

“That's three, by the way,” Engvyr told him.

“Oh are we keeping score now?” Taarven rose up and snapped off a quick shot with his carbine. As he fired a bolt skipped off his breastplate and tore the sleeve of his shirt. He rolled aside and flattened behind the log again. Glancing at the tear he said, “Damn, I liked this shirt.”

Engvyr had reloaded the rifle- a singularly awkward process while lying on his back. He took another deep breath and rolled to one knee and fired. Taarven heard a scream from up the hill and swore as Engvyr dropped flat on his belly.

“Don't you ever miss with that damned thing?”

Engvyr looked at him and grinned. “That's four.”

“Oh shut up.”

Friday, 14 June 2013

Book Review: Urban Shaman by Serge Kahili King

Here is my review of the non-fiction book Urban Shaman by Serge Kahili King:

An inspiring book for those seeking or travelling the shaman path

A friend bought me this book as a birthday gift, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. At the time I was concerned that my shaman activities were not progressing as they should, but now I feel calm, confident and filled with renewed enthusiasm about my life journey. If you are curious about what it is to be a shaman, then this is a good book to start with. It is easy to read, does not dictate a strict regime or spiritual practise, and gives you plenty to think about and explore in your own time. If you are already a practising shaman, this book serves as a useful resource for reference and alternative cultural practices.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Paranormal Power Struggles in Love Redeems (A Redcliffe Novel) #HDH

Hello and welcome to the Hump Day Hook. Today we have one more visit to Redcliffe in Cornwall, with an excerpt from my third novel Love Redeems (A Redcliffe Novel). At this point, our heroine Jessica Stone is struggling to control her animal familiar, her lust for the werewolf alpha, and to reclaim the vampire she loves from his possessive former lover and mistress.

My heart was pounding.  I wanted to be alone with Danny.  But I knew it was dangerous.  Suri remained silent and watchful, careful not to upset my mood in this delicate situation.  I had no choice.  Danny was the only one that could protect me.  Left alone, I had no chance against Emily Rose and Jack.  I let out a heavy sigh.
“Alright,” I said, “I will stay at your house.  But I need to collect some things from my apartment first.”
            “Of course,” Danny said, and he turned to walk back downstairs.  I followed slowly, fighting to calm my racing heart and regulate my breathing into a more normal rhythm.  This would be a very tense evening, and probably a very tense Sunday as we waited for further activity from the vampires.  I shook my head.  My life was a complete mess.

If you enjoyed this one, why not pop over to our dedicated Hump Day Hook blog and peruse some new and exciting authors. We write about romance, love, science fiction, fantasy, erotica and everything in-between, so you are sure to find something that delights the senses. You can also find us on Facebook. Happy Humping!  

*Image courtesy of L. Messecar via Deviant Art

Monday, 10 June 2013

Guest Article - The Redcliffe Novels; Wild Cornwall

Today I am a guest author over at Annamaria's Writing Corner, talking about the Redcliffe novels and my inspiration for the story setting from the rugged coastline of wild Cornwall, UK. Go and take a look, find out more about the adult paranormal romance series, and get to know my work a little better!

Friday, 7 June 2013

The Smell of a Good Book

I recently had a brief holiday in the Scottish Highlands. We stayed in a small hotel in rural Sutherland, and it really was a step back in time. I loved it! The Crask Inn was built for the purpose of providing respite for weary travellers as they traversed the wild and rugged Scottish countryside on their way to the northern coast. What I loved most about the Crask Inn is the presence of books in almost every room. And not just any books. These are classic hardback novels, tatty old paperbacks that date back to the 1960s and earlier, and the occasional modern book thrown in for good measure.

I didn’t have time to properly explore the extensive personal library displayed at the Crask, but I did manage to take some photographs of the fabulous bookshelves and the vintage sitting room where you could easily lose yourself in a wild adventure for a day. What really made me smile was the presence of a shelf of books in our bedroom, in place of where there would be a TV in a more modern hotel or B&B. Before we left I couldn’t resist picking up one hardback book that caught my attention. I opened it, smiled as I viewed the text and style, and then I brought it to my nose and inhaled the wonderful smell of old pages. Bliss!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Supernatural Chaos in Love Redeems (A Redcliffe Novel) #HDH

Hello and welcome to the Hump Day Hook. Today I offer another excerpt from my third novel Love Redeems (A Redcliffe Novel). The young witch, Jessica Stone, is struggling to contain the power of her animal familiar. In this snippet, she has caused a little trouble with the Redcliffe werewolf pack…

“Jessica,” Simon said from his position in the living room, “Are you alright?”
Suri heard him and she turned her head.  I turned mine to face Simon, and I could feel the heat of my eyes as the power swirled hot and heavy around me once again.  Simon’s expression changed from concern to alarm, his eyes widening.  He held out his hands in a submissive gesture as he recognized the tiger in my gaze.  I smiled, and I knew it was more of a grimace by the tightness of my lips.  I advanced slowly upon the wolf lieutenant.
“I am well,” I said in a silky voice, “But I am hungry.”
Simon backed away, walking behind the sofa, preparing to fend me off as I approached.
“Jessica,” he said, “Jessica, please don’t do this.  I am not the alpha.  I am not Danny.  I cannot give you what you need.”

The Redcliffe novels are available in paperback and eBook formats, from retailers including Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and Waterstones. There will be more in the series, but first I have the small matter of expecting a baby to contend with…

Now, why not check out some more Hump Day Hook excerpts over on our blog? Or you can join us on Facebook. Happy Humping!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Book Review: Deadly Reunion (A Taci Andrews Mystery) by Amy Manemann

Here is my review of the novel Deadly Reunion (A Taci Andrews Mystery) by Amy Manemann:

I enjoyed this book, although I did find that the storyline seemed to jump quite abruptly between the heroine’s love life and her professional one. It felt a little disjointed in places, but this did not detract from my enjoyment of the story. I would also recommend a little more editing and proofreading, just to polish it up. Overall I found the novel easy to read, fast paced and entertaining. I look forward to reading the sequel.