Readers are right to expect free books.

Please don’t read this blog title and shoot me! 🙂

Picture of the Week - Live Free!

More and more authors are getting frequent complaints their books are priced too high. Some have even said they are asked why their book isn’t free. In today’s market, people expect free books. That is a simple fact, and I can see why.

The book world is completely oversaturated with free books. As a reader, I could get by with never buying another ebook again if I didn’t want to. I have the BookBub app on my phone. If you haven’t downloaded the free app, I would highly recommend it. I get daily announcements to let me know which books are out there for free. Yay! I love free!

Free books are a great marketing strategy for writers. It’s a proven method for getting readers to try one of your books. Some of them will even come back and purchase a book from us starving writers. Thank goodness! Someone actually bought my book!!!

With that said, free books are also a strategy for struggling authors or new authors to get people to read their books. They aren’t giving the books away for a set time frame as a promotion. The books are simply free. The author does not want any reimbursement at all. What they want is readers to read them. They are desperate to get their name out there.

And guess what? These authors are still struggling even though they are giving the product away! That’s how oversaturated the market has become. Free books should be easy to give away, but sadly, that’s not the case.

Have you noticed all the constant contests out there? All readers have to do to win a free book is leave a comment, but many will not be bothered. That’s too much effort when they can click over on Amazon at any given time and pick from a whole list of free books. Why enter a contest they might not even win?

I’ve seen New York Times/USA Today bestselling authors announce on Facebook they are giving away 30 free copies of their new release. Why? They need reviews, and readers aren’t willing to take the time to leave a review without a little bribery. They are busy folks. I can understand. I bet those authors, though they are very popular and very successful, still have problems getting reviews even giving away their product for free.

So, where does this leave authors? Is it possible to make a living in a market where the value of our product has decreased to free? It seems very few authors make a living in this industry.

I love reading free books as a reader, but as an author, if I can’t sell my product, I can’t pay my bills. The book market is getting super tough, my friends. What are your thoughts? Are readers right to expect free books?

Published in: on September 23, 2016 at 12:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Another Five Minutes

I like to write an introductory poem for my books. I did it for my first published novel. A few readers said it was cool… Their praise made me feel pretty awesome. So, now I do it for every book, you know, because feeling awesome is cool. Here’s the new one for my current work-in-progress. What do you think?


I feel time slipping away.

Will you please, please stay?



Give me five more minutes, please.

I am begging on my knees.



I fear losing you so much.

Promise me at least one last touch.



You belong to me, of course, you know.

And yet, there you go.



The emptiness instantly imprisons me.

Please, my love, return and set me free.



The silence and anxiety echo inside these walls.

With you gone, I am nothing, nothing at all.



My ache churns, my passion fueling hate into flames.

It is torture and death to endure such pain.



Come home so I may breathe again, my love!

Let me show you what we are made of.



One more chance for you is all I give.

Return to me if you want to live.



No other may have you, it's true.

When I die, my darling, so will you.



Five more minutes I delay for your sake.

An eternity it shall be before we wake.



You and I are one soul bound together.

Our love is forever.



Destiny Booze

Author Amanda Greene’s Real Life Romance

Happy St. Patrick’s day!

 

Would you like to hear how Author Amanda Greene met her husband? It is a real life romance, folks! So sweet! Read the full interview at Coffee Time Romance here: http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/Interviews/2016/amandagreene.html#.VurTIJr2YdU

 

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Published in: on March 17, 2016 at 11:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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Where should I end my chapter?

Learning to find the flow to your writing is an ongoing process that is unique to each author. I know I’m still learning with each book. When I first started writing, one of the things I stressed the most about was where to end my chapters.

You wouldn’t think that would be so hard, but let me tell you, it was for me. I wanted, and still want, to do it the “right” way. I don’t want my readers to feel like I’m making those chapters too long or too short. I want it just right.

So, my approach to this issue at first was to simply count pages. After seven typed pages, I would find a good pausing point and begin a new chapter. There you go. Problem solved.

I’m very proud to say I did not stick with that strategy. I read an article by a fellow writer that made me stop and reevaluate what I was doing. I wish I could have found the article to link to it, but since I read it so many years ago, it’s lost in the big world wide web somewhere. But, oh boy, it was an eye opener for me.

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In the article, the author stated his goal was to hook his readers so well at the end of each chapter that they had to keep reading until they read his whole novel in one sitting.

Good goal, huh? 🙂

He went on to say that each break in the story was a place the reader might choose to stop, and if they stopped, that reader might not pick that book back up. For an avid reader like myself who finishes any book I start, I was shocked by that. What? The reader might not finish it? No way!

Well, yes way. This is a busy world we live in. The day job, the second job, kids, sports, homework, cooking, cleaning, washing, working in a small bit of a social life…and on and on and on. After all that, is that reader going to pick that book back up at ten o’clock the next night when their eyes are so tired their vision is blurry, or will that reader just turn on the TV and conk out in the recliner?

Even as a die-hard reader, I’ve chosen the TV over the book. That’s life, right?

So, yes, I chose to reevaluate where to end my chapters. I want the same thing with my readers. I want to write so amazingly well that they simply cannot put the book down! Bam! And, THAT’s what it is all about!

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So, where should we end the chapter? My suggestion is simple. Don’t force the ending. Make the chapters match the flow of your story. Don’t worry so much about long or short. Just make sure you choose to end the chapter at a weighty moment.

It doesn’t have to be something as monumental as a death. Unless you are writing a slasher story, I’m sure you won’t have that many people, if any, dying in your book. But, you should choose an important or pivotal moment.

You could choose the ending right as the geek got asked to the prom. Emotional turmoil and intensity can be very important to the reader. Maybe end the chapter right as the hero declares his love for the first time. End the chapter with a mystery, a surprise, a crazy turn of events, or anything that could hook your reader.

As long as the ending matches the natural flow of your story, it should work. And, if we’re lucky, that reader will keep reading all the way to the end before life can get in the way.

Published in: on January 29, 2016 at 11:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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Quotes Chosen by Readers

I love hearing from readers. It brightens my day!

Here are some highlights from two of my books that were chosen by the readers as their favorite parts. What do you think? Which one do you like, or do you have a favorite you would like to share? It can be from any book or any author you like. Did a certain part of a book you were reading stand out to you? Was there a part that you couldn’t get out of your mind?

I would love to hear it! It might be a book I need to put in my to-be-read pile. 🙂 Comment below, book addicts. I want to hear from you!

 

Cover Art for Altered BeginningsFrom Altered Beginnings:

(1)  His smile was both beautiful and sexy. “You and your friends used to sunbathe at my lifeguard stand on the beach. Maybe you would remember if I took my shirt off.”

His charm worked on her. “So you’re that older hunk we used to daydream about in high school,” she said, flirting half-heartedly.

“Still am,” he said with a wink and mischievous grin.

 

(2)  “I would say yes,” she admitted, “but I would wonder why you would do that for me and what you expect in return.”

“And I would say I expect a little conversation and a little company from the most beautiful woman I have ever laid eyes on.”

She allowed a giggle to slip out. “Oh Jason, you overshot that one. You are most definitely going to be trouble for me, aren’t you?”

He grinned. “With a capital T, sweetheart.”

 

(3)  “Jason, if you don’t write this story, I’ll gladly give you what you want. That’s not a problem. Okay?”

She was out the door as soon as those words were out of her mouth.

Jason stared dumbfounded at his front door. Had he heard her right? Had she just offered to sleep with him in exchange for him not writing a story? He had never felt like a bigger jerk. And to think he had been trying to tell the girl that he cared for her.

 

(4)  His eyes met hers so suddenly that it felt like a physical force, and she instinctually leaned away from him. He followed. “It’s you. You’re my ideal. I love you. I won’t leave.”

“Love doesn’t work that way, Jason.”

“I wish I could go back in time and pistol whip every ass that ever taught you that. I love you. I know you can’t trust that yet, but you will.”

 

The Curse of a Mind smFrom The Curse of a Mind:

(5)  “This is Aidan Wolfe,” Cash said.

She recognized the obvious attempt to get her to speak. She was astounded that she, of all people, would be tongue-tied in front of a man. Her team stood watching the awkward moment in a tense silence.

“Mr. Wolfe, this is my boss, Chris Chambers,” Cash continued after another uncomfortable moment.

Chris watched in horror as Aidan extended a hand to her. She couldn’t speak to this man. There was no way she was going to touch him.

 

(6) “What do you want?”

A new circulation system for starters, she thought. “Look, I’m not interested in more than what went on last night. I’m sorry.”

“That’s a shame. I know a few tricks with my mouth, too.”

She felt a blush warm her neck and cheeks, eliciting a chuckle from Aidan.

“I’ll do the dishes,” he offered.

Published in: on January 21, 2016 at 2:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Goodreads Giveaway! Win a signed print copy of AGAINST THE GAME!

Are you on Goodreads? Enter to win a signed print copy of Against the Game at the link below!

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/s…ainst-the-game

againstthegame_front2

Eric Teague is moments away from making history. Thanks to him, the world of gaming is about to experience technology like it has never seen before. When his new establishment, Against the Game, opens, playing video games will be a thing of the past.

At Against the Game, players experience the game as if it is real in a virtual reality. There is no TV, no console with wires and controllers. The game feels absolutely real. Kids get so much more than puppeteering cartoonish characters through a game of basketball. No matter the person’s health or physical ability, they will be the characters in a world without limits and they will experience what it is really like to compete as a pro ball player.

During test trials, kids called Against the Game “amazing,” “fantastic,” and “miraculous.” One kid declared it was the best experience of his life. Indeed, everyone knew it was going to be something big enough to alter the whole gaming industry. For Eric, it meant a long awaited dream come true.

But, all too soon, reality breaks into Eric’s moment when something goes terribly wrong. He and his best friend Lacey get trapped in the virtual reality of the supercomputer behind his establishment. It is definitely no longer just a game. The danger is real. The consequences are real. And, Eric and Lacey’s fight for survival is more than real.

To live, they must win, and to win, they must overcome the biggest challenge of all: to trust and to love.

Do my friends and family know that I’m a romance author?

againstthegame_front2

Many writers keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to me know that I write? You can find out the answer to that question and more in my interview at Kam’s Place. Follow the link here: http://www.superkambrook.com/2015/10/author-showcaseinterview-and-review-of.html

There is also a new review of my recent release by Kameron Brook. Read her review after the interview. I think she liked the book! 🙂

Why did I write my new release? Find out today at Romance Lives Forever.

againstthegame_front2

Would you like to know why I wrote Against the Game? Would you like to know who my favorite fictional character is? Find out these answers and more by visiting me today at Romance Lives Forever. I hope to see you there!

http://romancelivesforever.blogspot.com/2015/09/booze.html

Happy Release Day to me! Against the Game is here!

againstthegame_front2

Buy Links:

http://www.amazon.com/Against-Game-Destiny-Booze-ebook/dp/B014G92WEW/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1441367665&sr=8-1

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/against-the-game-destiny-booze/1122576809?ean=9781940707525

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/572066

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/against-the-game

Book Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba5zIAfcTUE

Eric Teague is moments away from making history. Thanks to him, the world of gaming is about to experience technology like it has never seen before. When his new establishment, Against the Game, opens, playing video games will be a thing of the past.

At Against the Game, players experience the game as if it is real in a virtual reality. There is no TV, no console with wires and controllers. The game feels absolutely real. Kids get so much more than puppeteering cartoonish characters through a game of basketball. No matter the person’s health or physical ability, they will be the characters in a world without limits and they will experience what it is really like to compete as a pro ball player.

During test trials, kids called Against the Game “amazing,” “fantastic,” and “miraculous.” One kid declared it was the best experience of his life. Indeed, everyone knew it was going to be something big enough to alter the whole gaming industry. For Eric, it meant a long awaited dream come true.

But, all too soon, reality breaks into Eric’s moment when something goes terribly wrong. He and his best friend Lacey get trapped in the virtual reality of the supercomputer behind his establishment. It is definitely no longer just a game. The danger is real. The consequences are real. And, Eric and Lacey’s fight for survival is more than real.

To live, they must win, and to win, they must overcome the biggest challenge of all: to trust and to love.

Excerpt:

There were more than a couple snakes, more than ten, upwards of even hundreds. There had to be thousands of them. The dirt of the tunnel was hardly visible beneath the reptiles. Indeed, the floor looked as if it moved.

It would be impossible to walk through them without getting bit. Would he have time to hit the button before he died in the game? He had to get out before the venom killed him. That was the only way he would survive.

He looked down at his bare feet and cringed. No matter, he had to do this! There was no other way out of there. He had to get to that red exit button so he could save Lacey and Paula. Nothing else mattered.

Why wouldn’t his damn feet move?

Taking a deep breath, he strived for courage. He pictured Lacey in his mind, reminding himself what he was doing this for. She needed him and he would not let her down.

After one more breath, he took one hesitant step forward, burrowing his foot slowly down between the snakes, feeling for the floor. He had to use his toes to ease in between them, even scoot a few out of his way. If he could manage not to hurt them, maybe he could avoid a bite. Maybe.

He had to force himself not to jerk away from the feel of the snakes sliding against his bare foot. This was absolute torture. It was hell.

Finally, he placed his foot to the floor and moved forward with the next foot. One step was down and he wasn’t bitten. He tried to move as little as possible, but he was helpless against the trembling that violently shook him.

Eric didn’t consider himself a coward. Only an idiot wouldn’t have been scared. He was smart enough to know he was probably one step closer to his death.

His foot hit the floor again, so he attempted step number three. He held his breath through the next few steps when he felt some very large snakes in the mix. It had to have been a python. At least that kind of snake wasn’t poisonous. The bite wouldn’t kill him. It would just cause a lot of pain.

Eric winced when he felt a sharp pain just above his left ankle. It was a snake bite. He tried hard not to jerk away, afraid that would cause more bites. It hurt so badly. This snake didn’t give a quick bite and recoil. No, it bit and started chewing.

Without any other choice, he ignored the pain and kept going, dragging the snake along. His next step was wobbly and he stepped down on a snake. It bit, a quick attack this time, not clinging to him like the other one. Then, he felt another bite. Maybe it was a different snake or maybe it was a second bite from the same one.

It was time to get moving. Going slow wasn’t working anymore.

He quit worrying about where his feet went and started moving faster. Leaping over the snakes and landing softly became the new strategy. He had to get to that exit sign as quickly as possible.

The snakes continued to bite him with just about every step he took. He kept close to the wall and used one hand for balance so he didn’t fall. If he went down, he wouldn’t get back up.

He started feeling nauseous. His head started swimming and he had to lean on the wall more and more as he went. Who knew what kind of snake venom he had in his blood stream by now? He knew one thing was for sure. He didn’t have much time or he was not going to make it to that button.

The distance seemed more and more impossible to him even though he was now three quarters of the way there. He didn’t think he would make it before he passed out. He hated damn snakes. He did not want to die this way!

His feet grew slick beneath him and Eric knew the moisture was blood, his blood. His hands began to tingle and he realized he had bites there as well. Were these stupid snakes jumping now?

Three more steps and he went down. He couldn’t help it. His legs just gave out. He had no choice but to start crawling.

The reptiles went into a biting frenzy, attacking him everywhere at once, and he let out a scream. Many of them stayed attached, flopping against him. The pain was everywhere now. He couldn’t distinguish one bite from the next. He hurt all over.

This was a terrifyingly for-real horror movie scene. He couldn’t think of a more horrific way to go out of this world, but he didn’t stop. He couldn’t. He had to keep moving!

It was definitely a miracle that he made it to the end of the hall, but he did. The exit button sat above his head, ready for him to push it, but he couldn’t get up. He tried. The tingling that was in his hands had spread everywhere. He was numb, whether from a side effect of venom or from a state of shock, he couldn’t be sure.

“Come on!” he growled at himself.

He tried again, digging his fingers into the wall to pull himself up. Again, he thought of Lacey. He couldn’t let her die because of his creation. That was unacceptable to him.

He shook violently, but his body did rise. He used his very last burst of energy to slam his fist into the exit button. Then, he let himself fall into unconsciousness.

Contest:

Readers, would you like to win a copy? There will be a giveaway today! Leave me a comment for a chance to win! 🙂

Are you ready? AGAINST THE GAME is coming 9/4/15!

I have a release date, folks! It has been too long since I’ve put a book out, and I am so proud of this one. I sure hope readers love it as much as I do! 🙂

againstthegame_front2

Blurb:

Eric Teague is moments away from making history. Thanks to him, the world of gaming is about to experience technology like it has never seen before. When his new establishment, Against the Game, opens, playing video games will be a thing of the past.

At Against the Game, players experience the game as if it is real in a virtual reality. There is no TV, no console with wires and controllers. The game feels absolutely real. Kids get so much more than puppeteering cartoonish characters through a game of basketball. No matter the person’s health or physical ability, they will be the characters in a world without limits and they will experience what it is really like to compete as a pro ball player.

During test trials, kids called Against the Game “amazing,” “fantastic,” and “miraculous.” One kid declared it was the best experience of his life. Indeed, everyone knew it was going to be something big enough to alter the whole gaming industry. For Eric, it meant a long awaited dream come true.

But, all too soon, reality breaks into Eric’s moment when something goes terribly wrong. He and his best friend Lacey get trapped in the virtual reality of the supercomputer behind his establishment. It is definitely no longer just a game. The danger is real. The consequences are real. And, Eric and Lacey’s fight for survival is more than real.

To live, they must win, and to win, they must overcome the biggest challenge of all: to trust and to love.

Excerpt:

There were more than a couple snakes, more than ten, upwards of even hundreds. There had to be thousands of them. The dirt of the tunnel was hardly visible beneath the reptiles. Indeed, the floor looked as if it moved.

It would be impossible to walk through them without getting bit. Would he have time to hit the button before he died in the game? He had to get out before the venom killed him. That was the only way he would survive.

He looked down at his bare feet and cringed. No matter, he had to do this! There was no other way out of there. He had to get to that red exit button so he could save Lacey and Paula. Nothing else mattered.

Why wouldn’t his damn feet move?

Taking a deep breath, he strived for courage. He pictured Lacey in his mind, reminding himself what he was doing this for. She needed him and he would not let her down.

After one more breath, he took one hesitant step forward, burrowing his foot slowly down between the snakes, feeling for the floor. He had to use his toes to ease in between them, even scoot a few out of his way. If he could manage not to hurt them, maybe he could avoid a bite. Maybe.

He had to force himself not to jerk away from the feel of the snakes sliding against his bare foot. This was absolute torture. It was hell.

Finally, he placed his foot to the floor and moved forward with the next foot. One step was down and he wasn’t bitten. He tried to move as little as possible, but he was helpless against the trembling that violently shook him.

Eric didn’t consider himself a coward. Only an idiot wouldn’t have been scared. He was smart enough to know he was probably one step closer to his death.

His foot hit the floor again, so he attempted step number three. He held his breath through the next few steps when he felt some very large snakes in the mix. It had to have been a python. At least that kind of snake wasn’t poisonous. The bite wouldn’t kill him. It would just cause a lot of pain.

Eric winced when he felt a sharp pain just above his left ankle. It was a snake bite. He tried hard not to jerk away, afraid that would cause more bites. It hurt so badly. This snake didn’t give a quick bite and recoil. No, it bit and started chewing.

Without any other choice, he ignored the pain and kept going, dragging the snake along. His next step was wobbly and he stepped down on a snake. It bit, a quick attack this time, not clinging to him like the other one. Then, he felt another bite. Maybe it was a different snake or maybe it was a second bite from the same one.

It was time to get moving. Going slow wasn’t working anymore.

He quit worrying about where his feet went and started moving faster. Leaping over the snakes and landing softly became the new strategy. He had to get to that exit sign as quickly as possible.

The snakes continued to bite him with just about every step he took. He kept close to the wall and used one hand for balance so he didn’t fall. If he went down, he wouldn’t get back up.

He started feeling nauseous. His head started swimming and he had to lean on the wall more and more as he went. Who knew what kind of snake venom he had in his blood stream by now? He knew one thing was for sure. He didn’t have much time or he was not going to make it to that button.

The distance seemed more and more impossible to him even though he was now three quarters of the way there. He didn’t think he would make it before he passed out. He hated damn snakes. He did not want to die this way!

His feet grew slick beneath him and Eric knew the moisture was blood, his blood. His hands began to tingle and he realized he had bites there as well. Were these stupid snakes jumping now?

Three more steps and he went down. He couldn’t help it. His legs just gave out. He had no choice but to start crawling.

The reptiles went into a biting frenzy, attacking him everywhere at once, and he let out a scream. Many of them stayed attached, flopping against him. The pain was everywhere now. He couldn’t distinguish one bite from the next. He hurt all over.

This was a terrifyingly for-real horror movie scene. He couldn’t think of a more horrific way to go out of this world, but he didn’t stop. He couldn’t. He had to keep moving!

It was definitely a miracle that he made it to the end of the hall, but he did. The exit button sat above his head, ready for him to push it, but he couldn’t get up. He tried. The tingling that was in his hands had spread everywhere. He was numb, whether from a side effect of venom or from a state of shock, he couldn’t be sure.

“Come on!” he growled at himself.

He tried again, digging his fingers into the wall to pull himself up. Again, he thought of Lacey. He couldn’t let her die because of his creation. That was unacceptable to him.

He shook violently, but his body did rise. He used his very last burst of energy to slam his fist into the exit button. Then, he let himself fall into unconsciousness.

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