Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday Marketing: Should you pay for Virtual Blog Tour?

Today we have published author Mia Epsilon talking about her experience with virtual blog tours.

Should You Pay for a Virtual Book Tour?
I need to say up front I don't have a clear answer to this. I can offer what happened with *my* book. Just in case someone doesn't know what a 'virtual book tour' is (and I didn't before my editor told me), your book or you, the author, are featured on different pages for specific days. Reviewers can also request an advanced copy of your book to read and review. This description is taken directly from the Fire and Ice Book Tours Page:
A virtual book tour is the Internet version of an in-person book tour. It includes weekday stops at a variety of blogs, all of which will feature your book information (and giveaway if you do one). Many bloggers will request written interviews or guest posts from the authors as well, to be featured along with their book information. This exposes your book or e-book to many readers that might not have heard of your writing before. It also introduces you to new readers as an author. We do a lot of social media promotions during the book tour, and we also do a lot of marketing through various outlets… Giving your book tour a lot of internet and media promotions. Many bloggers will share your book spotlight on their blog  on their own personal Twitters, Facebooks, etc, as well. So a virtual book tour is an excellent way for Indie Authors, Self-Published Authors, and even traditionally published authors to advertise their books and gain new readers.

Virtual Book Tours are, as you see noted above, tooted often as 'the best way to market your book'. But is it? I also want to mention, I'm blessed in that my Publisher (Breathless Press) sets up blog tours for ALL its authors free of charge and also sends out books as requested by a massively long Reviewer's site. The BP Authors also forward links to each other's books on their personal or author blog pages, Face Book pages, and Twitter accounts. So there's loads of publicity right within my family circle, without paying a dime (though I do also forward fellow author's links and books, as well; this takes seconds of my day and costs nothing).

When my first book, Wedding Belle Blues, was accepted for publication I had no idea about the marketing end. I'm a writer, not a business woman. So when my editor suggested a paid virtual book tour, I jumped on her more knowledgeable experience. She had released her first novel a little less than a year ahead of mine did a book tour with Fire and Ice Book Tours.  She gained hundreds of followers of her Face book and twitter pages, and her book has consistently been number one on the publisher's website in the historical genre. So I went to the above site and signed up. Easy as entering your payment information and hitting 'pay'. The folks there were great about keeping in contact via email, and answering questions. They forwarded book review requests, specific requests for blog posts, etc.
What were my results? My book was never on the publisher's site 'Top Ten' in any category. I didn't gain hundreds of followers (I estimate 80-90) on Face Book or Twitter (I gained 90 from Twitter, mainly because, I feel, I ran a free book contest). I had eighteen requests for reviews and 6 actual reviews. Yes, you read that right: Eighteen books were sent to reviews and 6 actually wrote a review for me. That's less than half.
I had a story in a special release edition through my publisher to celebrate their fifth anniversary. It's called 'Leave Your Hat On' and is part of 'The Wonderland Tales'. I didn't 'tour' this short story (it's less than 5K and part of a book with 12 other authors). It sat number 4 on the publisher's 'Flirt Best Seller list' since it released in August (although it's now currently #5, I just checked). I gained 14 new Face Book followers from an online FB 'release party' I participated in with the other authors.  It has 6 reviews all on its own, without review requests.
So which did 'better'? There's any numbers of reasons and explanations and by no means is this scientific. Publishing is a fickle business: after all, books I never thought should be available sit at number 1 on best seller lists and sell millions while book I think amazing never make it past the top 100. Wedding Belle Blues is a 'sweet' contemporary, filled with sexual tension but no actual sex scenes; 'Leave Your Hat On' is romantic erotica.  My editor's book was historical and released in fall; Wedding Belle Blues released in summer.  And those are just a few differences.
Will I 'tour' again? For my next book, 'Take a Chance on Me' I didn't choose or pay for a virtual book tour as an experiment to see how it fairs on its own against how Wedding Belle Blues did on tour.  I'll let you know in a few weeks the results.

So, should you choose a Virtual Book Tour? I'd love to have your questions, responses and experiences shared below.

Mia Epsilon lives with her enduring soul mate hubby in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, USA. She's an avid reader of almost anything but particularly romance, with too many favorite authors to name. Mia is a never-miss-an-episode viewer of Doctor Who and Sherlock, eagerly awaits each new season, and tends to binge watch both on Netflix with a couple of pots of tea and a plate of blueberry scones. She also happily suffers a coffee and chocolate addiction which causes her to visit her favorite chocolate store, The Chocolate Fetish an abnormally high number of times.
She can most often be found at her computer, spinning new tales, or in a quiet padded nook with her e reader happily engrossed in a new story. Look for more books and favorite characters in the 'Weddings by C & C' line including: 'Wedding Belle Blues', 'Take a Chance on Me', 'When You Believe', and 'That Night'.

Breathless Press home page: 

Friday, September 26, 2014

A Whisper of Rue- New release.

It's finally out in e-book. Feels like it took forever to get here.

Book # 5 in the trouble with elves series.


After Rue walks into her home, there's a magical earpiece and a mysterious letter waiting for her. On the other end of that earpiece is a tortured soul, whose life is on the line if she doesn't do exactly as Gage Evans, the voice in the earpiece, says. Pissed that the male elf has her at his bidding because she can't just let someone die, she follows his instructions. They not only lead her to the tortured elf, but the killer of her father as well.
When she lets loose a powerful magic and is thrown in a dungeon with Mr. Evans, she'll have to keep control of her senses to figure her way out of a place with no doors, or windows, and damnit why wasn't she born with the elven gift of blinking magically away?


 "Rue, you can call me every name in your pretty little head but it won't change anything. Afraid you're stuck with me, and your decisions will affect everything. But you're stubborn and you won't see things my way instantly. You'll need proof. I understand. But don't say I didn't warn you," he stated.
Proof of what? He was playing games with her and she wasn't in the elfing mood. He had no right to come in her home. No right to make demands on her. No right to invade every inch of her privacy. She wanted the earpiece out. Why'd she have to get all curious and put the stupid thing in to begin with? Her mother always said her curiosity would lead her to trouble one day and Rue had the dreadful sense that today was that day. "I don't know why you chose me to do whatever it is you need. Probably something horrible. But quit fucking around and remove the spell."
"You want it removed?"
"Yes." She hissed the word. Her anger bubbled inside threatening to tear her apart, mainly because she couldn't see the man attempting to control her.
"Then come and find me."



Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Taste of Thursday: His Demand part 8

His Demand continued...

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

found on google

His hand unclasped her bra and reached around to tug at her nipple. She gasped. "I think you are driving me insane."

He laughed. "That is my intention. Now let's talk safe words."

"I don't know what it should be." He pinched her nipple and she arched her back.

"Something odd."

Catherine pulled the first thing that came to her head, "Kahlua."

"Done." She felt him tug at her damp panties, heard the tear and in one swift movement he ripped her panties from her flesh as if he had it planned all along.

She bit her lip. God that was hot. "What are you doing?" 

"Whatever I want."

He flipped her skirt up so her bare ass faced him. Catherine looked down at all those people, so many and if anyone of them looked up, they might see her. She swallowed a moan. She felt his finger slide around her moistened pussy and she throbbed for him. Wanted to feel him inside her.

"On your knees, and you'd better keep those hands on the glass."

She complied. Her hands squeaked down the window. The floor was cool to her bare skin. She heard a rustling behind her. Was he letting loose his cock? Would he just take her right here?

His wet tongue surprised her as his head maneuvered between her legs and he expertly found her clit. He licked and sucked and she nearly screamed out from such small movements. His mouth so hot and finding just the right place. She moaned as her core tightened. Heat exploded throughout her body. She arched and pushed herself onto his face. He slipped a finger inside her waiting pussy and she could feel the climb of a sweet release on the horizon. He lapped and plunged in and out of her until she thought she couldn't take it anymore. He pushed her so close to climax, but she never fell over the edge.
Catherine bucked against him desperate for release. Evan's hand found her breast and he pinched the nipple between his fingers. She gasped, moaned, and gasped again. Her body took over in some carnal dance of lust she couldn't control, didn't want to control. She felt another finger hover near her ass, slipping between her cheeks and her hands moved back to protect herself without thinking about it. 

Evan stilled. "What did I tell you?"

Catherine cleared her throat and put her hands back on the glass. "But what if I––"

The sting of his palm on her ass made her yelp and her eyes watered, but she dared not cover herself again.

 ~~~~~~~~~Continued next week~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Underrated Treasures Blogfest

Everyone has a favorite movie or band that no one else has ever heard about. For whatever reason, they remain undiscovered and underrated. Now is your chance to tell the world about this obscure treasure!

On Monday, September 22, post about your favorite unknown –


Post about one or all four – dealer’s choice!

My underrated Treasures:

Movie: A Knight's Tale

This movie is my comfort movie. When I'm sad it makes me smile no matter how many times I watch it. It's the movie that made me adore Heath Ledger. I love the humor and the literature references.

Band/ Artist: Tom Leher "The Masochism Tango"

Awe a man before his time. I incorporate Tom's music into my funny songs category. the songs I really enjoy listening to that put me in a better mood. I love his version of the tango- it's amusing.

TV show: Bones

I was never an angel fan, but I am a Bones fan. I love their back and forth, the strength in the relationships and the fact that Brennan is so...over the top. 

Book: The Monk by Matthew Lewis

This is an old book originally published in 1796. Lewis was 19 years old and wrote the 442 page novel in ten weeks. That's right I said 10. in 1798 a lawsuit forced him to republished a 'censored' version. This is a gothic novel. I read it for a literature class I had in college and fell in love with the style. I was in awe of Lewis's ability. It's his only publication novel wise- he did write plays- but imagine what he could have done if he'd written more novels. His potential was endless.

The structure of the book is unique for it's time and what many books and movies are based on.

This is not a light read nor is it a quick read. It's an old read, with mistakes, and flaws, and so much passion and inspiration.

mini blurbage:
Set in the sinister monastery of the Capuchins in Madrid, this is a violent tale of ambition, murder, and incest. The struggle between maintaining monastic vows and fulfilling personal ambitions tempts its main character into breaking his vows.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Taste of Thursday: His Demand part 7

His Demand continued...

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

found on google search

"And what would more entail?" She sounded breathless even to her own ears. "Would you harm me? Would I have to beg for things? What if I decided I don't like more?"

Evan pulled back. "I could ease you into most of it. There would be a contract involved. You could come up with a safe word, which is a word you'd use if something was wrong, if you were hurting, or any such variant. It would alert me that everything needed to stop and we would address it. I would caution not to use the safe word for minor things. You would submit to me, but it would be a give and take between us. You aren't sure what you need, but I'd wager you wish for someone to take your control away. Perhaps push some of those boundaries of yours."

Catherine took a deep breath. She understood most of what he said, had heard bits and comments from others about these kinds of engagements. She hadn't expected a contract. "What kind of contract?"

Evan smiled. "You would sign a contract that says you agree to be mine for however long we agree. It's like making a deal. A safety thing for both of our protection."

"I don't know if I want to sign something that says I'm yours."

"But I think you might." Evan pulled her into him. The heat of his body invading hers. Her breath hitched with the contact and her clit throbbed.

"Maybe you could give me a taste before I signed. Show me what was expected and then I can make my decision."

Amusement flickered in his eyes. "Walk over to the window looking down at all the people and put both hands on the glass."

She cocked her head, curious, but obliged. What could it hurt? She'd asked for it. She did as he told her. The window felt cool to her sweating palms. She could hear him walking up behind her.

"No matter what happens––don't move your hands. There will be consequences."

"What kind of consequences?"

"For now, it will be a little taste. I promise to keep it simple. I won't hurt you or try to displease you in any way." His hand slid up the back of her shirt and goosebumps followed his lead. 

She was both disgusted with herself for wanting a stranger and so excited her panties were completely soaked. The danger involved in this kind of encounter seemed to fuel her inner flames. "I don't normally do this." The words flew out of her mouth before she could capture them.

"Normal is boring." 

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Taste of Thursday: His Demand part 6

His Demand continued...

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Evan led her across the dance floor, through several crowds, up a flight of stairs, and finally to a room with clear glass windows for walls, barely tinted, looking down on the mass of people. She could see everything from here. The bathroom doors, the bar, behind the bar where tall tea cups were stacked precariously waiting to be filled, everything. It was an amazing view to see so many bodies dancing, like a sea of rhythmic notes, all swaying together. The music was quieter up here and her ears rang as they adjusted to the lack of thumping. She pulled her gaze from the mass downstairs and faced the man who tugged on her curiosity. It was now or never. "Are you a Dom?"

Evan chuckled. "In what sense of the word are you referring?"

"I think you know perfectly well."

"Are you familiar with the word Dom then?"

She shrugged. "Not exactly." His eyes seemed sinful and amused at the same time and Catherine averted her gaze, looking at the furnishings. They were simple. A desk, some comfortable looking chairs. A safe. He even had a few paintings on the wall.

"It means many things. I like to be in control of situations. I like people relying on me. Submitting to me." The last three words came out husky.

"I've heard some about people like you. That you enjoy a different kind of sexual experience. More than the lying in bed for a fuck or taking it doggie style. Kinkier." Catherine felt the heat rise in her cheeks.

"That, my little kitten, is up to each individual or couple. Everyone has their own kinks, their own needs that must be fulfilled."

She cocked an eyebrow at his nickname for her. Part of her wanted to correct him yet again and the other part found it pleasing. Evan sauntered over to where she stood. His eyes darkened as he put his finger to her chin, lifting it.
He moved in closer, so close she thought he might kiss her. Her nipples hardened into sensitive peaks and she readied herself for the contact. But he stopped with his lips hovering over hers and asked, "Would you like to find out more?"
~~~~ Continued next week~~~~~~ 

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