There’s a Sale Going On!

Each year, Smashwords hosts a site-wide sale on its e-books for Read train_ebookweek_2014an E-Book Week. And I’m so proud to once again have something to offer for this event. As an indie author, it is a wonderful feeling to say – I wrote this and I think it’s worth your time to read it, so it’s on sale. 

The hope behind that thought is that the readers think it’s as great as I do and tell their friends!

So readers, if you are enjoying a free copy of Cheers or In the Moment and you just loved it, feel free to give me a tweet @ValloryVance.

Also feel free to give me a tweet if you read it and hated it, I need that feedback as well. Even though, I’ll cry and whine for a few hours, I need the tough love as much as the praise!

Amber Meets Her Cowboy3Cheers (1)

Happy Reading and Fill Up those E-readers!

In the Moment: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/144947 Don’t forget that the follow up, The Beginning of Forever is available at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/356812

Cheers: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/258364 And the follow up, Deja Vu is available at a 50% discount at: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/298257

 

Déjà Vu – Available in Limited Release

It’s finally done! I missed my goal of writing a full length novel, but it sure felt like I did. The final project ended up being around 49,000 words. On retail sites, the word count will show as about 50,000 words but that’s due to the summaries of the other books in the collection.

And the saga continues, I’m releasing Déjà Vu as a print title on Amazon. Yes! A paperback!

However, this is a much longer process than releasing an ebook. So for the time being, Déjà Vu will only be available from All Romance and Smashwords (25% off with coupon code – NJ53M) until the process is complete. Right now I’m waiting for my proof copy to be delivered. Believe me, I’ll be rereading each page for what seems like the hundredth time!

Also there are two covers for the book – one designed by me and the one designed using the Amazon software which will only be available through Amazon. The same model is used but the cover layouts are different. I’m wondering if this is going to cause a problem and will let you guys know if you should never do this!

So it’s out there – Déjà Vu by Vallory Vance!

DEJAVUFinalAfter a few swipes on the wall near the door, Darcey found a switch and the bedroom flooded with light. She’d been tossing and turning for at least an hour. More wine might help in her efforts to sleep.

Maybe she’d look for that media room.

Darcey opened the door, pulled her favorite sleep shirt down over her panties, and took a tentative step into the hall. With each tiptoe across the floor, overhead lights blazed on and she traversed through the living area into the kitchen without a misstep.

Like the other rooms she’d seen, it was picture perfect— maple cabinets and shiny chrome appliances. She opened the double refrigerator and found a lone bottle of wine amid assorted juices and plastic containers. After opening a few cabinet doors, she found a glass and poured.

In the relief that followed the swallow of tangy tartness, she’d missed hearing Vincent’s footsteps across the polished stone floor.

“Did you need something, sweetheart?”

A waterfall of tickles cascaded down her spine with each of the words drawled out syllable by syllable until there was nothing left but a question mark hanging in the air. The idea of reigning in her impulsive nature melted in the heat beginning to rise slowly up from her toes.

“Sure.” She turned to face him and a hot wave crashed over her.

He stood less than a foot away, tightly coiled muscles covered his large frame and unlike the tailored shirt he’d worn earlier, the boxers seemed to be on the verge of ripping from his bulging thighs.

“And what did you need?”

She was done. Coyness grated away to nothingness over the coarseness in his voice.

“You.”

A smile lit up his face, sparkling up to his eyes. “Good girl.”

Within seconds, Vincent had lifted her off the floor. She wrapped her legs around his waist while he balanced her in his arms. She kissed the lips she’d been dreaming of for a week and her head spun.

“Mmm…” Vincent had the softest lips she’d ever kissed. Her teeth sunk into the supple cushion of his bottom lip and he pulled back with a groan.

“Wait…” He ducked away from her next kiss and began to walk them out of the kitchen. “I can’t see where I’m going.”

She ignored his attempts to avoid her mouth and bent her head to his shoulder, tracing her tongue along the popping veins of his neck.

“Wait,” he groaned out again and picked up speed. His stomach muscles rippling between her outstretched legs, only hastened her antics.

She found his mouth again and flourished her tongue inside. His now stifled groans reverberated across her tongue sending tingles from her mouth straight to a tightening between her legs.

“Owww…” Her head scraped the doorframe to the bedroom she’d vacated. Only then did her lips leave his and she looked into the clear blue irises darkening inward from their ebony edges. “Ohhh…”

“Sorry, sweetheart. Are you alright?” He deposited her in the middle of the bed and stood above her, a statue carved in some masculine ideal.

She nodded. So sweet.

“Good. Get undressed.”

There it was. The drill sergeant look she shouldn’t like. Impassive and commanding.

Still, she got onto her knees, a fire burning between her legs ignited by the deep voice that dripped heated honey over her skin. She lifted the t-shirt over head, flung it aside and shook her curls back.

Her breathing hitched in her chest under the gaze of his eyes dimming to the color of a storm surge at sea.

“And the panties.”

She wriggled them down and off, reclined back on her elbows and waited. Vincent bent low to kiss each of her ankles, moved her leg aside to kiss up her calf to the back of her knee. She gasped and giggled at the ticklish sensation.

“I love to hear you laugh.”

Happy Reading ~ Val

Lessons Learned For A Self-Publishing Newbie

Cocktail partyI can’t believe that my first year of venturing into the self-publishing world is winding down to a close. It started with a short story and now I’m writing a three novel series?

How did that happen?  An overactive imagination, fueled by coffee and Dr. Pepper, was unleashed that’s how.

But I do have to calm down and stop charging ahead on my caffeine high because I’ve most likely missed a lot of things that could have helped me along the way. Somehow I did manage to learn a few things and hopefully they can help another newbie.

1. Beta Reader – I had no idea what a beta reader was and why one was important. The comments and questions I received from my beta readers on my short story, Cheers, was fantastic. I can’t believe I never asked anyone to help me before. They saw those things that take you out of the story not so much grammar and typos but those nagging little things that make you go “what?” as a reader.

2. Professional Editing – Well worth price! Someone to take a hard look at style, word choice, pacing and of course grammar and typos. Not an easy process to go through. I got the edits back and thought – Jeez, I can’t write! Then I calmed down and got to work on a cleaner piece.

Amber Meets Her Cowboy33. Cover Art – I got to tell you, I like pretty covers. I glance through covers before I read the description. And I’m jumping on my soapbox for a moment – As an author of I/R romance there aren’t a lot of stock photos for us to choose from, however in the hands of the right designer magic can still happen. I tip my hat to Tatiana Vila for her cover of In the Moment Cover. I’ve seen this couple in this pose a lot, but Tatiana makes you think about it a minute before you say – I’ve seen this before. (Off the soapbox.)

4. Publishing Platforms – I recently signed up as my own publisher with All Romance. With this platform, I’ll need to convert my own work and upload. After a little searching, I found AVS4YOU. This subscription program allows you to convert word docs to epub, mobi and pdf docs. Yay! And the price isn’t bad for the year. (So I better get writing.)

5. Patience – I’m learning to be patient. I can’t finish a story, review once or twice and send it out to someone to read. (It’s the caffeine.) So I’m learning to finish and put away. Right now, I can put the story away for a week and read it again to begin what I call the beta prep process. It takes longer for me to see the work out on Smashwords or some other platform (a few days has become a few months) but it’s worth it in the end because I think I’m growing as a writer.

A few sites I’ve discovered along the way:

Happy Writing and Discovering!

A Miller Tradition – A Christmas Short

Yes, I’m just as bad as the stores!

I’ve been so surprised and excited about the popularity of my novella, In the Moment. It has changed a lot since its first publication in March 2012 as a 6000 word short story. Now it is available on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble as a 13,000 word novella.

If you’re not familiar with the Amber and Kevin saga, it began with a flash fiction piece entitled Rainy Day Surprise which details an afternoon encounter between the two lovers.

Then came the ever growing In the Moment – the story of how these two got together in the first place.

Now there’s A Miller Tradition. This flash fiction piece is available on Goodreads.

I’ll also be giving away print copies as part of the Black Friday Blog Hop on November 23, 2012 so make sure you stop by for your chance to win!

So what’s next for these two? Yes, there will be a full length novel available in 2013. I’m very nervous about this project because I want to get it right. Amber and Kevin deserve the best!

Author’s Note:

For the readers who have asked about Heather and Keith. They’ll have a hot short available in Summer 2013. I’m still working out their details because Heather is a handful!

Happy Reading!

Things I Don’t Know and Am Too Dumb to Ask

Earlier in the week, I posted about unpublishing A Night at the Wesley on Amazon and republishing on Smashwords. Thanks to Sharon Cooper‘s comment, I learned you could publish on both sites! Who knew?

Everyone but me!

So bloggers, readers, writers – let me know the other things I’ve missed in this indie publishing journey of mine.

I wish I had specific questions for you. Alas, I’m too dumb to ask.

However, I did publish one of my favorites, In the Moment, on Amazon.  Yay!

Amber Grayson is a very practical woman and an efficient office manager for a law firm. Since her failed engagement, she has become involved in a satisfying ménage affair with her elliptical machine and her vibrator. All is wonderful in her self-ordered world until she meets Kevin Miller.

Kevin is brash and handsome and looks like he just stepped off a movie set for a cowboy film. His attraction to the conservative Amber is immediate. These two light up the pages and manage to fall in love in the process.

Excerpt

“I’m not going to want to go home tomorrow, if you keep spoiling me like this.”

“You deserve to be spoiled.” He kissed the top of her head and pulled her shoulders back to his chest. She felt good wrapped in the fluffy robe and he brought his knees up to cradle her sides. “You want something else to drink?”

“No.” She rolled her head across his chest. “I don’t know what Keith put in those margaritas but I’m dizzy after two.”

She was laughing in the musical way that stirred him and worried him. Watching her over the past the few days, the brevity of their time together had settled over him.

Eight more weeks on the Bingham Art House and then what?

He nuzzled into her hair and squeezed her shoulders. “What do you want to happen after I’m done with the job?”

Her fingers stopped their twirling dance over his knees and her hands dropped to her lap. Only his hands over her shoulders stopped her from moving away. “What do you want?”

He turned her chin up to face him. Her eyes were wary and he was surprised. “Amber Grayson consulting before giving her answer! I need to bring you here more often.” He couldn’t help laughing she’d caught him off guard.

Amber twisted around, folding her long legs in front of her. “Stop laughing! What do you want? Do you want to keep seeing me?”

He inched forward so that his legs rested over hers and tilted her chin up. “I want to keep seeing you. Now, what do you want?”

“I’m okay with that.” She smiled coyly.

“You’re not gonna say it?”

“I did.” She raked her hand through her hair and tilted her head to side, peeking up at him through the curls. The look of anticipation in her eyes showed she knew exactly what she was doing to him.

“I know what you’re doing.”

“What?” she purred and leaned up to kiss his chin, grazing her long fingers down his neck.

His skin heated under the gentle push of her body against his and he reached instinctively to the loose tie holding the robe closed. “I’m gonna let this drop only because you’re about to be really accommodating to me.” He flipped her onto her back, her dark eyes blazing with desire, and kissed her.

Get Your Copies Here: 

Rethinking A Night at the Wesley

After getting my Nook, I discovered the many wonderful short stories out there. I love these quick little books and I can get through about five to seven every week. They are perfect for my daily train commute. Of course, the money I used to save on gas is now spent on books. But those are the woes of a reader!

Short stories are also a way for me to introduce my writing style to new readers for less than a cup of coffee.  My latest short, previously published in the KDP program at Amazon has been reworked (just a little) and republished on Smashwords.

I have enjoyed publishing on Smashwords but wanted to try another platform. After some research, I chose the KDP program. My thinking was that Amazon would provide more exposure for the story because of the lending program, the Amazon Prime program and the email recommendations. (I often get these and they recommend my books to me! LOL!). However after three months, I just didn’t see the results compared to similar works published on Smashwords in the same timeframe.

So I’ve moved back to Smashwords and will look at the results in the next three months. Since I’m in data analysis, I love this kind of stuff!

In this short story, Connie Atkinson is on vacation and ready to embrace her inner seductress in a five-star resort in Vail. However, a late deposition and a freak snowstorm derail her plans and she is forced to spend the night at the lackluster Wesley Hotel in downtown Detroit. 
In a gloomy mood, her spirits are lifted with the offering of a salaciously named cocktail and the appearance of her former college study partner, who didn’t think of her in that way. Since her divorce, Connie is opening herself up to new possibilities and a night with Noah Cohen has just made the top of her list.

 

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/248604

All for Love with Ann Swann

Author Ann Swann is joining us today with a snippet from her first adult contemporary novel, All for Love.

About Ann Swann

Ann lives in West Texas with her handsome hubby and three rescue pets.  All For Love is Ann’s first adult contemporary novel.  She is the author of the Young Adult books: The Phantom Series.  Book One is The Phantom Pilot, Book Two is The Phantom Student, and she is hard at work on Book Three, The Phantom of Crybaby Bridge.  Ann has also published short fiction in the anthology Timeless (paranormal love stories).

Liz falls in love with Quinn the moment they meet in college.  He professes to love her, too.  She begins to think about the future, but his past rips them apart.  What Liz does next impacts the rest of their lives, but she feels it is the only way… she does it all for love.

Excerpt ~ The volleyball game where Liz and Quinn first meet:

 

We were on our last game when Carol came up to serve.  She hit a nice one but José got to it and gulped a mouthful of sand to set it up for Boyd who spotted it for Greg to come in and spike.  Everyone could see it was going to crash right at my feet, but there was no way I could get to it; I was half a step away when a lean figure in cutoffs dashed through the middle of the game and dove directly in front of me.

            Wild brown hair all tangled up in the setting sun, he flipped the ball onto my waiting hands as if by magic.  His grin was electric.  It lit up the gloaming as if he’d swallowed the sun.  Without a sound, he twisted like a fish escaping the hook and raced around the corner just as some chick with a water balloon appeared on the horizon between the dorms.

            “No fair!” Greg cried as I set the ball for Ronnie.

            She got it in their weak spot near the back corner—she was good at that—the back left corner was Boyd’s territory.  He came charging under the net on the pretense of anger, and tackled her in the bed-soft sand thus effectively ending the game.

            At that, we all flopped down, exhausted.  I looked around for the smiling boy who’d saved my game, but he was nowhere to be seen. 

            “Who was that?” I asked the group at large.

            Boyd cocked an eyebrow at me.  “Quinn Rose,” he said.  “Math major, I think.”  Our school was small, a branch of The University of Texas.  Everyone knew someone who knew everyone else.  It was like six-degrees of separation on steroids.

            Carol grunted affirmation.  “Chick chasing him was Delilah, his girlfriend.”

            I nodded as if it were really no big deal, but Ronnie’s radar had been alerted by something in the tone of my voice.

            “Want me to pass him a note at recess?” Her voice was so coy I wanted to throttle her.  Instead, I hopped up, brushed the sand from my shorts, and started toward the dorm.  Carol jumped up to accompany me. 

            “Pizza?” Greg called.

            Carol and I turned at the same time.  She looked at me and I looked at her.  “Sure,” we said in unison.

            That night, after pizza and beer with Greg and José, Carol and I went for a stroll on the quad.  I loved the splashing refrains of the fountains in the brick courtyard.  It was the best place for smoking—back then, you could smoke damn near anywhere.

            “He likes you,” Carol said quietly.

            “Greg?” My voice was deep because I’d just inhaled.

            “José.”  She didn’t look at me so I couldn’t judge whether she was serious or facetious.   “Greg too, I think.”

            I stopped walking.  I thought we were all just friends.  Romantic entanglements were not something I wanted with either of these guys.

            “Nah,” I tried to keep it light.  “We’re all just buds.  Ronnie’s the one every guy fantasizes about.”  After I’d said it, I felt kind of small.  Maybe I was a tiny bit jealous of our roommate; after all, she was tall and slim with long smooth red hair.  Compared to my average, stocky body, and wavy brown locks, she was a supermodel.  I didn’t really care that all the guys zeroed in on Ronnie, though.  I was so timid I much preferred the background.  I was really surprised Carol thought the two guys had even noticed me.

            I mulled it over later that night while I lay in my narrow, dorm-sized bed, but when I finally dozed off, it was with another name in my head: Quinn Rose.  His face was in shadow, twisted away from me toward the lights that limned the sand-court, but his crazy hair was lit from underneath, and his smile was everywhere.

Released August 23, 2012

5 Prince Publishing www.5Princebooks.com

Available at:

Reviews:

 I started and finished this book in less than a day. It was impossible to put down. This book isn’t a fairytale romance, with a prince or even a “happily-ever-after”(although, the ending was great); this book is about real-life romance, one in which people get hurt, deeply hurt, and need to decide whether that person is still the one for them.”

Carolyn Arnold   ★★★★★

“Ann Swann has done it again! I found myself on the edge of my seat hurrying along to see what was going to happen next once again. Ann has such a wonderful writing style it made me feel I was right there alongside Liz in that little West Texas town. Anxiously awaiting more works from Ann!”

Tara Anderson ★★★★★

“At first glance, this book is a romance. And a romance it is … a romance of the most true-to-life kind. Instead of getting Prince Charming who can do no wrong, in ALL FOR LOVE, you have Quinn, the flawed, loveable hero who — through being himself — not only steals Liz’s heart, but changes her life …”

Serena Rodriguez ★★★★★

Connect with Ann online: