Just Saying I Love You

Today, I’m posting over at Luscious Literaries. Enjoy your Saturday!

Ti voglio bene.

It’s Italian and if you type it into Google Translate, you’ll be given – I love you. Literally it translates as I want well for you. The special meaning behind it is – regardless of me I want the best for you. That’s love isn’t it? But so much prettier to say it in Italian.

I wanted that feeling for my latest release, Scent of a Woman.

In my first paranormal romance, I got the opportunity to invent my own language, Ap-Muen – spoken by the puma-shifters who reside in the small town of Haziel, TX. It is a mixture of my imagination and base words from the Apache language. I even came up with a lexicon of about fifteen words..

And I had to give them their own version of ti voglio bene.

As Ewan Hathorn, the Kai’lai of the Ap-Muea, explains to…

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Phantom Fears – An Evernight Free Read

Phantom Fears

phantom-fears-freeAs a private investigator with a werewolf girlfriend, Shannon Ryan is used to the unusual. But her latest case has even level-headed Shannon questioning reality. Joyce Bonner swears her daughter is being haunted by a poltergeist. Charlotte Bonner swears she’s not. Shannon has one night to uncover the facts behind the supposed supernatural phenomena. Between an over-enthusiastic ghost-hunter and her own scepticism, can she get to the truth?

Available from

http://www.evernightpublishing.com

http://www.allromanceebooks.com

Excerpt

Charlotte moaned again, mumbling something incoherent and probably rude. She sat up slowly, as if she was moving through tar. “Whassup? S’not time for school.”

“There was a power cut,” I said in explanation. “We just wanted to make sure you were alright.”

“I’m fine,” she said irritably. “Just wanna sleep.”

Esther fussed around her like a mother hen, fiddling with the duvet and muttering about hormones. I was about to tell the au pair to leave Charlotte be when the screaming started.

I’m not ashamed to admit, I jumped. Esther did too, clutching at the bedpost for support. Charlotte just groaned “What the fuck?” and buried herself under her duvet. I wished I felt so apathetic. It was a woman’s scream, shrill and eerie, and once again I was plunged back into the shadows of Paris. I didn’t want Ayla’s night vision or sense of smell anymore; I just wanted Ayla.

I sucked in a deep breath and reminded myself forcefully that there was no such thing as ghosts. “We should go find out what that is,” I said, impressed at how calm I sounded. Esther gripped my hand as we left Charlotte’s bedroom and I squeezed her fingers as I would Ayla’s, missing the warmth and reassurance of Ayla’s firm grip.

Taiki was running down the hall when we came out, a torch in hand. “How amazing is this? Actual manifestation! I can’t wait to see the data!”

I snatched the torch from him since he was waving it around like a lunatic. The beam wasn’t very bright, but I felt better with a light in my hand. The sound of clanking blended in with the screams now, like some old brass machine full of rusty gears. I gritted my teeth, hating the sound. “Where’s Joyce?” I asked Taiki.

“In the kitchen. Where’s Charlotte?”

“In her room, trying to sleep through this racket.” I shone the torch around the hall, not sure what I expected to see. My chest was tight with adrenaline, but the longer I stood here listening to the awful noise, the less nervous I felt. Noise was all it was. No slime dripping down the walls, no apparitions or flying objects. It was surprisingly anti-climactic and I just wanted it to stop. That meant finding out where it came from.

Without waiting for the others, I ran down to the kitchen, calling Joyce’s name. She sat at the kitchen table, head in her hands. I touched her shoulder lightly and she jumped, slapping my hand away.

“Shannon! Oh goodness, I’m sorry. I just…my nerves…I can’t take much more of this.”

“Then let’s stop it,” I said. The noise wasn’t as loud down here, although I still had to raise my voice to be heard. “Let’s get the lights back on, okay? Where’s the circuit board?”

“In the basement.”

Of course it was. What horror film scenario was complete without a trip to the basement in the dark? “Right, show me the way then.”

***About the Author***

My first love as a writer is urban fantasy, quickly followed by werewolf myth and legend. The Urban Wolf series lets me combine the two and put my own spin on them – what more could a girl want? When I’m not writing, I’m probably creating my own perfumes, reading, watching wacky documentaries and/or drinking fancy tea.

Find me online:

Blog – http://naomiclarkwrites.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/naomi_jay

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/naomijclark

To Publish or Not to Publish

BookCoverImageAmazonLast March, I released Deja Vu, the continuation of Darcey St. Claire and Vincent Guidry’s story. I started immediately outlining two additional stories about Darcey’s best friends, Lenore Jennings and Catalina Houston. By November 2013, both stories were in the first draft stage and I was ready to really start polishing A Loving Affair.

Then…

Nothing.

I love Darcey and Vincent. But I thought that was just me and three of my relatives so the stories remained on my hard drive.  Not because I don’t enjoy them but because publishing them takes time and money. And I was okay with the rest of the Rose Gold Collection residing there.

Then I was having lunch with my friends in late April and one of them asked when the rest of the books were being released. This evolved into a discussion of why I’d waited so long since they knew I finished in November.

My response – You never said you liked it.

Friend 1 – I just thought you knew.

Friend 2 – Why would think we didn’t like it?

Obviously my besties aren’t writers, but they are a great source of encouragement when they know I need it. So I polished both books and I’m moving forward to the beta reading stage. I’m also taking it as a good sign that a reader asked me about the books about a month later. Here’s hoping for a publication date in July!

Happy Reading! (And if your favorite indie author has a book you enjoy let them know)

Sunday Chat with Damon and Tristan

biterecluse1mTwo years ago while Tristan and his boyfriend were enjoying some privacy, a recluse demon attacked them and his lover paid the ultimate price. Since that day, Tristan has dedicated himself to finding the demon. After all, an eye for an eye. All evidence points to a recluse named Damon.Like all spider demons Damon knows about Tristan’s mission and is forced to stay on the move. But fate has a wicked sense of humor and they must team up to fight the real killer. But when she’s closer than Tristan expected, his and Damon’s relationship is tested before it can begin.

Excerpt:
He placed his hands on his hips. “I need to see. I need all the pieces of the puzzle.”Kill me now, God. “I have a sore spot. It started hurting shortly after Marcus died. I’ve always meant to go to the doctor, but looking for Marcus’ killer became priority.”

“Okay. Well, where is it?”

Please God, kill me now. Not only did I not want to drop trou, but in front of a demon? More importantly, in front of Damon, and those magnificent eyes, gorgeous body, and desirable lips? How in Jesus’ name I became attracted to him blew my mind. For that matter, when? Completely out of left field. It hit me suddenly. We were driving, talking, at the mountain, and suddenly I felt it. A passion I’d forsaken years ago. Yet, here I was, my cheeks reddening. Fuck it. I sighed, stood up and began unbuckling my belt. I slid my pants down.

Damon backed up a few feet. “Umm, what are you doing?”

“The bite is on my thigh.” I lifted my boxers to just the bottom of my butt cheek. “My upper thigh.”

Damon gazed over me skeptically before kneeling down in front of me. I felt his warm fingertips touch my skin. To my surprise, I had to do everything in my power to stop from shivering. The way his touch felt, his fingers dancing over that sensitive spot… It normally hurt, but Damon was so gentle with me that it caused a different reaction. A different, dangerous reaction.

I glanced behind me. Damon looked up, his gorgeous silvery eyes gleaming with…lust? No, that couldn’t be it. But I thought it was. I drank in his gaze, the power behind those eyes. I had the urge to push him on the bed and allow our feet to entwine as we spent hours in bed together. Instead I pulled up my pants. Much smarter move.

“What do you think?” I asked.

He stared at me, a look of confusion crossing his face before he smiled and moved back to his seat. “Definitely recluse. I’d say my sister bit you.”

My skin burned from his touch. I wanted to, desired more than anything, to ask him to touch me again. I peered at him from below my lashes. He was doing the same. Fuck it. I rushed over to his chair and placed my lips upon his, claiming his mouth. The way he slipped his tongue past the barrier made my cock harden. I did the same, and our tongues danced with one another’s. He was warm, inviting, and didn’t hold back. My breath became harsh as I stilled, afraid of what I had just done.

I quickly pulled away and ran for the bathroom. Once inside I closed the door and pressed my body against it, hoping that if Damon came knocking, he couldn’t get in.

I knew I stunk. Plus I had a massive erection in my jeans. I turned on the water of the shower and got it to a nice temperature. After undressing, I stepped beneath the spray.

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Meet Damon and Tristan from Bite of the Recluse
What was your first reaction when you saw each other?
Damon: I thought: “Fuck, he found me. I’m so dead. Hope they still have my bed made in Hell for when I return. In pieces.”
Tristan: I was happy to see him, but not in a good way for him. Since I had been under the impression that Damon killed my lover, I saw those silver eyes and thought pay day had finally come.
 
When did you first become physically attracted?
Damon: I was attracted at the get go. Right when we exchanged glances. Couldn’t say anything though. Trying to force back a massive hard on was difficult, even if I knew what he was there for. To send me straight back to Hell.
Tristan: I have no idea. It had been all business between us, and then it hit me how gorgeous he was. Those eyes, that soft expression…I was hooked as soon as I got my head out of my ass.
 
What physical quality to you like best?
Damon: I really like Tristan’s ass. Gorgeous in his stone-washed blue jeans.
Tristan: Have you seen Damon’s cock? I guess not, since he doesn’t whip it out every chance he gets, but it’s magnificent. The curve, the head, just mouth watering.
What physical quality do you like least?
Damon: His knees. They’re just bulky and kind of dry-looking.
Tristan: His split ends. Damon is in need of a haircut.
 
A secret?
Damon: Secrets. Uh, do I have a lot. But the biggest secret of all is that a demon’s time on earth isn’t infinite. We are from Hell, many of us are sent for reasons, and there are only two situations in which a demon is sent back to hell. Death or because the big man down under has called us back. I fear my time may be up soon and I don’t dare tell Tristan.
Tristan: Even though Damon and I have a blast, I’m afraid to let go of my ex, Marcus. I truly loved him and am afraid that I can never give my heart over to Damon. And I hate wearing socks because my feet get claustrophobic.

 

An Experiment – The Category Change

Last night, I was checking my ranking for Scent of a Woman on Amazon (yes, I’m slightly obsessive). And this is what I found:

soawamazonranking

It’s a good start for the book and it is showing up in two top 100 categories. My thing though – it’s not erotica.

What I learned was that “Interracial” gets put into the Erotica category on Amazon by default. So what if someone picks up the book expecting an erotic work and they don’t get one? Perhaps they enjoy it anyway or maybe they’ll return it. But honestly, I don’t think this practice is giving the IR genre the best opportunity to thrive.

anawcoverSo I tried an experiment, I have a short story on Amazon that has been there for almost two years. It has received some good reviews but has never seen many sales.

A few times, I offered it for free and a few more readers picked it up but nothing like what has happened today! On my last 3 day free sale, I had 112 books downloaded for the entire sale.

Less than twenty-four hours since a A Night at the Wesley has begun its free promotion and 85 books have been downloaded. I put a new cover on it – one that clearly shows an African-American woman and a Caucasian male and I re-categorized it as Contemporary Romance with the tags: interracial romance and sensual short stories.

The results:

anawamazonranking

I’ll let you know how the short story fairs after it’s no longer free. I have two self-pubbed works coming out in July so if I can see more exposure using general romance instead of interracial romance, then I’m going with general romance with tags.

Happy Reading!

Wanted to add in a daily total for each day.

On Saturday when I checked, my numbers for A Night at the Wesley were:

My best ranking ever!!!

Newly Released – Scent of a Woman

It’s finally here – Scent of a Woman went live yesterday. I’m excited that another one of my works is out there! This is a departure from my contemporary romances. This is one of two paranormal / shifter romances that I’ve written. The second is in the second draft and hopefully by the end of the year will be ready for publication.

soawScent of a Woman: A certain scent wafted under Ewan Hathorn’s nose. He knew what it meant but did she? 

Ada Trevors is searching through the canyons surrounding Haziel, Texas for an Ap-Muea—the man by day and the screeching cat by night. Though she doesn’t believe the legendary creature exists, she is certain the myth is based on something she can document. 

From the moment Ewan meets Ada he recognizes her as something more unique than his adua, his fated love. She’s a witch, one beautiful enough to entice the ruler of the Ap-Muea Nation. However knowing that she’s too human to understand the future they would share, he resigns himself to another century of being alone. That is until Ada proves to be more powerful than he’d imagined and an Ap-Muea demands her death. 

Together, Ewan and Ada must discover if the bonds of adua are strong enough to save them both. 

Excerpt (Ada meets Ewan for the first time)

“Maybe you should buy the next round for her.” Ada nudged Russ, disrupting the fourth check of his watch in the last thirty seconds. “She seems approachable.”

“We’re leaving.” Russ glared at her. For the last few minutes, he’d been glued to her side as if she‘d be the one doing the protecting in case of an emergency.

“We have three more minutes. Go talk to her.” Ada pinched his thigh. “Do it, or I’ll start tickling you…”

“That’s not necessary.”

“Huh?” Ada released her hold on Russ’s thigh and looked up at the man who had suddenly appeared at their table. Of course she wouldn’t have heard him approach. Now that a band had taken the stage, hardly anything else could be heard except a driving drumbeat. Still, she jumped a little at the sound of his voice.

“This is your credit card. It’s on the house.” The man held a gold card between his long fingers and smiled.

“Cool.” Russ jostled next her, indicating that she should move.

Russ’s bounce to get out of the booth rocked her body from side to side on the springy cushion, but she remained otherwise motionless. Her gaze locked with that of the man in front of them.

He was as out of place in the bar as she was. Among a crowd of button-down cotton shirts and jeans, he wore a tailored olive green suit that fit his lean body to perfection. His straight dark hair hung in a blunt line above his shoulders, seeming almost black against his parchment-colored skin. And he stood in front of her with the wide stance of absolute confidence, not some imagined, alcohol-induced swagger.

An unfettered smile stretched her lips upward.

“Thanks. We appreciate it.” She managed to take the card from his hand and shove it into what she hoped was the open side pocket of her purse. She hadn’t been able to notice anything else since he’d spoken.

It wasn’t that he was strikingly handsome – his brows were too thick and dark for his complexion, his chin ended in a point and his smile revealed incisors that appeared sharper than normal. It was his eyes that held her in place. Looking into the dark orbs rimmed in a flaming gold was like looking into a pond in the moonlight – playful beams of light mingled in the shadows, creating something beautiful and slightly dangerous. Her heart seemed to skip a beat, then two, and then three as she searched the depths of his eyes for her reflection in them.

For a moment she thought he sought the same. That was, until he spoke again.

“Management hopes you have enjoyed your evening, but you are being asked to find entertainment elsewhere.”

His voice was deep and smooth, devoid of the Texas twang she encountered in the small town. She could have listened to him talk all night.

If only he hadn’t just told her to get the hell out.

Copies are available through Evernight (on sale through the end of May), All Romance (rebate available until the end of May) and Amazon!

Happy Reading!

Sunday Chat with Mateen of the Albin

Our interview today is with one of the men of the new Evernight Publishing book, Bondmate by J. J. Lore, Mateen of the Albin, a native of Planet Alpha.

Hello, Mateen and welcome to Earth.

Thank you. I’m pleased to be here. You Earthlings have an interesting military history. I’m fascinated by your Aztecs.

Thank you, I think. So you’re a military man?

Yes, I’m proud to serve with my fellow Alphans, the galaxy’s finest fighting force. My bondmate, Bynton, and I have achieved high ranks and won many honors on the battlefield.

You mentioned bondmate. What is that?

Earthings don’t have bondmates? How strange. A bondmate is someone whose soul echoes your own. Men find a bondmate when they are in training, someone to spar with, partner in battle, treat each other’s wounds, share the spoils of war.

Sounds like a strong friendship.

It’s more than that, much more. It’s a meeting of the mind and psyche. One that can only be completed by bonding with the right woman.

So there’s room for one more?

Of course. Bynton and I are on our way to search for her now, here on Earth.

What’s your type?

My type? My type of what?

What sort of woman do you like? Tall, petite, blonde, brunette, thin, curvy?

Her appearance matters not. We will know her when we find her and she will be ours.

Do you have any hobbies? Things you like to do for fun?

I like to behead Xyran scum with my favorite blade. I also enjoy polishing my body armor.

I see. Well, good luck with your search for the perfect woman here on Earth.

Luck is not a factor.

Bondmate Blurb

bondmate1Decorated Alphan warriors Mateen and Bynton are on a clandestine mission to one of Earth’s refugee camps, in search of the one woman who might complete their bond. Tempering their instincts to capture and hold, both men realize they must court their chosen woman to win her trust.

Avanelle Rein is merely trying to survive in the chaos of a dying society. The last thing she expects is rescue at the hands of golden-skinned alien men. Despite her attraction to them, she fears their warrior ferocity.

Facing danger from Xyran raiders draws the three together as they explore their new relationship and one another. An unexpected challenge during an ancient claiming right forces Avanelle, Bynton, and Mateen to decide if their bond is strong enough to survive.

Get your copy of Bondmate, one of the first releases in the Evernight Publishing Series, Planet Alpha at these online retailers:

Evernight and Amazon

Happy Reading!