Book Blast: Stifled

Stifled Release
Today we’re celebrating the release of STIFLED, book two in the SUMMONED series by USA Today Bestselling author, Rainy Kaye. A dark twist on genie folklore, SUMMONED follows a reluctant criminal as he unravels the mystery of the paranormal bond controlling him. In STIFLED, Dimitri trails an elusive jinn and finds himself in the middle of a community keeping dark secrets. The SUMMONED series is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA.

Scroll down to pick up your copy of STIFLED, get SUMMONED for free for a limited time, and enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

Stifled Final 2 PSDDimitri would like nothing more than to live a low-key life in Naples, Italy. His girlfriend, Syd, has other plans.

After three months of researching, she is positive she has found a jinn on a killing spree in San Diego, California. Since Syd gave Dimitri the one thing he thought was out of reach, he feels obligated to use his ill-gained talents for her cause.

A few hours back in the US proves that Dimitri and Syd didn’t quite make the clean escape they had thought. As they trail the elusive jinn, someone else trails them. What should have been a simple trip to confirm once and for all if the jinn are living among humans, instead reveals a community keeping dark secrets.

Unfortunately for Dim, the only way out is in.

Get your copy here!

Haven’t read book one yet? No problem! It’s currently FREE on Amazon.

 

summoned_cover_final_biggerTwenty-three year old Dimitri has to do what he is told—literally.

Controlled by a paranormal bond, he is forced to use his wits to fulfill unlimited deadly wishes made by multimillionaire Karl Walker.

Dimitri has no idea how his family line became trapped in the genie bond. He just knows resisting has never ended well.

When he meets Syd—assertive, sexy, intelligent Syd—he becomes determined to make her his own. Except Karl has ensured Dimitri can’t tell anyone about the bond, and Syd isn’t the type to tolerate secrets.

Then Karl starts sending him away on back-to-back wishes. Unable to balance love and lies, Dimitri sets out to uncover Karl’s ultimate plan and put it to an end. But doing so forces him to confront the one wish he never saw coming—the wish that will destroy him.

 

summoned free banner 

about_rainy_kayerainykayeRainy Kaye is an aspiring overlord. In the mean time, she blogs at RainyoftheDark and writes paranormal novels from her lair somewhere in Phoenix, Arizona.

She is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA. Someone told her she’s a USA Today Bestselling author. She thought there would be cake.

 

Giveawaya Rafflecopter giveaway
tour-organized-by

Being An Author: Do’s and Don’t’s

Obviously, these are not hard and fast rules and there will be some people who disagree with me, but in my experience, these are common sense things that each author will have to find their own way of dealing with:

~

Fans:

You are going to get one or more superfans. It happens to everyone. There will be one person who loves every word you write, every cover you have and will get a little cray cray about it. Don’t let this boost your ego too much, because for every superfan there is the not-so-superfan who will hate everything you write, downgrade all your awesome covers and go all cray cray about that. No author can please everyone – people are so individual that what one person hates another will love and someone else will be a bit ‘Meh’ about it. That’s the nature of our line of work. So while you shouldn’t let superfans boost your ego, don’t let the not-so-superfan deflate it either.

Beware the subtypes ‘sockpuppets’ and ‘trolls’. See here for more info.

Reviews:

NEVER reply to reviews. This is my hard and fast rule, but not everyone will agree. I used to reply to individual reviews, when my first book came out and it was insane. Here’s why – there will inevitably be one person who thinks you’re being an egoist if you reply to them, on the flip side there will inevitably be someone who feels personally slighted by you, if you reply to someone else’s review and not theirs. There will, also, be someone who wants to start an argument and you may end up saying things you don’t mean or have them start calling you names that will then stick to that review like glue.

Whether it’s a thank you and a :D or if it’s to defend an accusation that your book ‘copies’, is similar to or reminds them of another book, don’t do it! I once had a guy compare my vampire book to a particular book in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I tried to reply and explain to him that I had never read the series or watched the TV show, when I wrote the book – it would have been impossible, I’d spent the last 10 years shopping my book to publishers, so it was already complete way before either became popular. He apologised because he never meant to imply that I’d ‘copied’ the work, only that if someone liked the Sookie book then they would like mine, except he realised he hadn’t worded it that way. It became a really uncomfortable apology chain – I apologised for misunderstanding, he blamed himself, I blamed myself. It got messy and stupid. If I’d just left it alone, it would have been a lovely compliment.

Reviewers:

Different from individual reviews, there’s one more thing you have to take into account – each reviewer is a person on the other side of the computer screen. No matter what they say about your book or you – even though you’re a real person with feelings on the other side of their screen – you have to take it like a man and deal with it. You can’t go all Rambo on them and spread their review around Facebook, Twitter or your other social media platforms, degrading them. That’s bull and it’s going to make you look like a real tool to every author, reader and reviewer who follows your page. It should be common sense to not even jokingly tell the world it’s a bogus or unfair review or that you hate what they said, but believe me, it’s not. I’ve seen many people do the sly -name and shame the reviewer- thing, while painting a bright sparkly flower on the top. Example -

“Oh, this sucks, but I really appreciate their honesty’ when they’re blatantly slagging off the reviewer. Or the ‘How dare they say this about me? But funny, right?’ as if this reviewer is a total moron, who doesn’t know any better, who has provided you with great entertainment for the afternoon. This reviewer took the time to read (and probably) buy your book. They paid money to criticise your work or praise it – just as you do, to go see a movie at the cinema and then trash it or revel in it with your friends. For all you know, what they found wrong with one book, they might be willing to overlook in the hopes that your next book will be better. But if they see you trash talking their review online, what are they going to do? It doesn’t matter how nice you were about it, if you’ve inspired a few dozen people to talk smack about them and their *opinion* of your book, then they’re never going to read your work again. WORSE if you actually replied to their review, to tell them your *opinion*.

Notice the **? That’s because an *opinion* is subjective and different for each individual. Just like you wouldn’t like anyone telling you that you shouldn’t have enjoyed or found fault with a book you read, you shouldn’t do the same to others. You may think it’s a nice way to acknowledge their review, but it’s not. Everything you say on the internet is dangerous, because no one can tell what tone you’re using. Forget the cutesy emoticons. How many times have you seen a comment or status on Facebook and read through the bull sarcasm of the emoticon to see the truth? It’s super easy, so ignore these – ♥ ♫ ❤ :) :D :P ❥ Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ – as indicators of what you mean and instead use your head. ALWAYS say what you mean and ALWAYS be prepared to back it up, if questioned on it. If you can’t do either of those, then don’t say it!

Pandering:

You wouldn’t believe how often I’ve see this online. I may even have done it myself, without realising it. That’s why I always read my comments or status’ before posting them. Never post in the heat of the moment or when you’re at your lowest, unless you really mean it and are willing to stick by it, even when you’ve cooled down.

If you’re not sure what this means, it’s this – “gratify or indulge (an immoral or distasteful desire or taste or a person with such a desire or taste).” In other words, it’s when a person/writer posts a status or comment in a group or on their page, that is designed to gain attention and praise for their own work or for themselves. It is generally done by way of sympathy votes. An author or writer will do the age old ‘I’m crap’ or ambiguous status update, to have every reader, author or follower then comment and say ‘You’re not’, ‘You’re brilliant’. It’s an ego boost, for sure. And, it can be done innocently, without the intention of asking for praise.

Generally, however, it’s done on purpose. Especially in relation to the above. A bad review comes out, so you post it and do the whole ‘woe-to-me’ routine, by claiming the reviewer just ‘doesn’t understand you’. Then you get all your superfans and readers commenting on how great that book is, how the reviewer is talking crap and giving you a 2-3 hour ego boost, as you read all their messages of love and devotion pouring in.

Trust me, you don’t want to be one of those authors. For every fan who comments with praise, there will be one who realises what you’re up to OR who thinks you’re pandering on purpose, when it’s innocently done, and they will lose interest in following you. I’ve seen it happen many times and I’ve unfollowed an author or two, myself, who has done this continually, only to then mention a week or so later, to praise themselves and call it ‘humble’ when sales of their book skyrocket. It’s a cheap and lazy way of selling books. You want to be better than that – YOU ARE BETTER THAN THAT – and trust me, if you do it honestly and build your rep professionally that will pay off in the end. No one wants a kiss ass on their team, but even worse is someone that they have to praise all the time. It’s exhausting and you’ll soon find that word spreads – this person doesn’t want to collaborate on an author takeover on FB, this one doesn’t want you in their anthology…it’s not good and once you start, it’s really hard to stop.

Superfans:

I have only one thing to say about superfans – they will only last so long. Eventually, another great new author will come out and they’ll move on, or you’ll write something that they genuinely don’t like and they’ll lose interest. Very rarely will a superfan of one book be a superfan for life. Don’t believe me? Look at Charlaine Harris. She has millions of superfans, but when her last book came out, they all turned on her, because it wasn’t what they wanted or expected. Superfans can really easily become the non-so-superfans mentioned above.

Beta Readers:

Beta readers, in this day and age, are a MUST! With self-publishing, Indie publishing and traditional publishing routes, readers have a high expectation of their writers. Typos and grammar mistakes are a pet-hate of readers more often now than they used to be.

Beta readers take the stress out of releasing a book. Yes, they create more work and sometimes they be as much a pain in the ass as they are a saving grace. I actually re-wrote about 50% of Decadent, book 1 in my series, because of my beta reader, Tracy. I’d been in such a rush to get my book out there with a new publisher, that I forgot to pay attention to what I was writing. Tracy helped me tone down my enthusiasm to get to the romance and to build the story. Decadent may not be a masterpiece and it may not be the best book I’ve written, but it was a real learning curve for me. Each book I write teaches me something and this one taught me to focus on the story and forget what I thought the readers wanted.

Trace is one of those ‘dedicated readers’, that I’ll mention below. Although she didn’t like Cormag, my love interest for my MC, she reader the book and was a gem at pointing out when it stagnated, when it flew too fast and when I waffled nonsense – which I have a bad habit of doing. But overall, she understood that I was still learning and that she was giving an opinion that I may or may not agree with. I didn’t want to change Cormag and I didn’t, in the final book, but she understood that and we’ve both agreed that he’ll never be something we agree on. So we agree to disagree and everything is great. She doesn’t read poly- or menage books, yet she read The Cellist for me, like a trooper.

Why do you care about what Tracy does for me? Because she’s the kind of beta reader you want. Read her interview if you want to get a feel for what a beta reader does. I currently have a team of around 10 beta readers. That will change, according to which book we’re working on and who has an interest in it. Those who don’t, might come back for a later book. I advertise that I’m looking for a beta reader in all the FB groups that are relevant to my genre – M/M romance. I also advise what I’m looking for, as I did with these:

Beta Readers - Wanted Beta Readers Poster

(Feel free to use either of these, if you want.)

Dedicated Readers:

Ah…the Clark Kent of superfans. :) These are the readers who respect and appreciate that you have flaws. The readers who will read your work, but who will never 5 star your books, unless they deserve it. They are the kind of reader who may not read every book you release, but when they do, they will give honest and fair critique. They will share your releases, whether they want to read them or not and they will be there when you’re in the midst of writer’s block and urgently need advice.

There is only one thing to do with a dedicated reader:

bbab94cd3867c3ef9c80886561cd2b9db40f13ff3c02304e162aaf3297539373

Song Appreciation: You Need Me, I Don’t Need You by Ed Sheeran

“You Need Me, I Don’t Need You”
(EP Version)

I don’t want to bruise your ears
Or hurt you again
But I got back-stabbed by a black cab
When I needed a friend

But now I’m in town, break it down, thinking of making a new sound
Playing a different show every night in front of a new crowd
That’s you now, hello, ciao, seems that life is great now
See me lose focus, as I sing to you loud
And I can’t, no, I won’t hush
I’ll say the words that make you blush
I’m gonna sing this now

See, I’m true, my songs are where my heart is
I’m like glue, I stick to other artists
I’m not you, now that would be disastrous
Let me sing and do my thing and move to greener pastures
See, I’m real, I do it all, it’s all me
I’m not fake, don’t ever call me lazy
I won’t stay put, give me the chance to be free
Suffolk sadly seems to sort of suffocate me

‘Cause you need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you at all
You need me, man, I don’t need you

You need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you at all
You need me

Does he write his own tunes? Does he write his own verse?
Hell, don’t need another word-smith to make my tune sell.
Call yourself a singer-writer. You’re just bluffing
Name’s on the credits and you didn’t write nothing
I sing fast, I know that all my shit’s cool
I will blast and I didn’t go to Brit School
I came fast with the way I act, right
I can’t last if I’m smoking on a crack pipe

And I won’t be a product of my genre
My mind will always be stronger than my songs are
Never believe the bullshit that fake guys feed to ya
Always read the stories that you hear on Wikipedia
And musically I’m demonstrating
When I perform live, feels like I am meditating
Times at The Enterprise when some fella filmed me
‘A young singer-writer like Gabriella Cilmi’

‘Cause you need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you, at all
You need me, man, I don’t need you

You need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you, at all
You need me, man, I don’t need you

You need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you, at all
You need me, man, I don’t need you

You need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you, at all
You need me, man, I don’t need you

‘Cause you need me, man,
You need me, man,
‘Cause you need me, man,
You need me, man,

‘Cause you need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you, at all
You need me, man, I don’t need you

You need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you, at all
You need me, man, I don’t need you

You need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you, at all
You need me, man, I don’t need you

You need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you, at all
You need me, man, I don’t need you

via ED SHEERAN LYRICS – You Need Me, I Don’t Need You.

Book Review: Cornelius Quaint Chronicles

These reviews were originally posted on Goodreads in December 2011

-

My Ratings

Book 1 - ★★★★★

Book 2 - ★★★★☆

Book 3 - ★★★★★

Covers

 3387694 7721816 9744502

Blurb

Book 1

Dr. Marvello’s Travelling Circus brings a touch of magic and wonder each time it comes to town, but when a series of gruesome murders coincides with their arrival the performers find themselves caught up in some rather sinister goings on. It falls to ringmaster and master conjuror Cornelius Quaint, ably assisted by his Eskimo valet Butter, to investigate the killings and to clear the name of the circus strongman who is being held on suspicion of murder. But Quaint soon finds that these seemingly random killings are inextricably linked and, what is more, that they all point back to a dark secret in his own past.

Book 2

Bidding an emotional farewell to Dr. Marvello’s Travelling Circus, Quaint leaves for Egypt with only clairvoyant fortune-teller Madame Destine by his side. Once in the land of the pyramids they must do battle with desert thieves, unearth long-buried secrets, and attempt to foil the villainous Hades Consortium’s plans to poison the River Nile. With a whole new cast of characters this is a ripping Victorian adventure story featuring Cornelius Quaint—part Sherlock Holmes, part Indiana Jones, part Harry Houdini. The Times called The Equivoque Principle a “boisterous comedy” with “hairpin plot twists” and its sequel follows in the grand tradition of Victorian serials.

Book 3

Master Conjuror Cornelius Quaint returns in a thrilling and irresistible new adventure.

Directly on the heels of his Egyptian adventures in The Eleventh Plague, Cornelius Quaint finds himself drawn into another gripping and treacherous plot. This time, Quaint must intercept Cho-Zen Li’s scheme to assassinate the Queen and unleash a devastating plague on Victorian England. Before long he is enlisted by the Queen herself to hunt Li down and put an end to his cruel reign over the Yahn Province of China. But even the brilliant conjuror does not realise the extent of the danger in his path. A storm is heading in Quaint’s direction, and neither he nor his companions from the travelling circus can do to anything to prevent it

In The Lazarus Curse, Quaint sets his sights on Q’in Mountain and his most perilous adventure yet.

Review

Book 1

I fell in love with Cornelius Quaint, his circus and Prometheus in this story. I felt for Prometheus and Cornelius throughout the whole story and found that the more I read, the more I got sucked into the story.

Book 2

Madame Destine is incredible. I love Cornelius Quaint and his relationship with Destine, but I also love that she’s getting a bigger part in the story here. She’s a great character and deserves this time in the spotlight.

I love that we get to see more of both Cornelius’ and Destine’s pasts and how they intersected without either of them knowing about it beforehand.

Book 3

Just as good as all the others. Maybe even better. I cried, which is not a new thing, and loved it until the very last word.

Goodreads

Here you will find buy links, blurb, other reviews and quotes.

Stuck for a name for your characters. Look no further than your own family tree.

ElleLainey:

Love this idea! I started to investigate my family tree a while back and never thought about doing something like this. <3

Originally posted on Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life:

One of the problems with writing short stories and also novels with a cast of thousands is trying to find original last names for your characters.

First names are a different issue as you have to choose names that reflect the time you are writing about. I doubt there were many girls given the names Sharon and Tracy in the 1500s or Darren and North!

However, most surnames have a long and illustrious history and go back hundreds of years and one of the places that is a treasure trove of names to use in your writing, is in your family tree.

I researched my own for both maternal and paternal lines over ten years ago, and because there was little actual history attached to the names you find, I decided to research the names origins too. It is not essential but quite useful to know where the names originate…

View original 1,109 more words