Morning Bites

We’d Like Your Feedback, Please!

Mornin’, campers! Everyone got their coffee? Good, then let’s dive in to today’s Morning Bites…

So here’s the thing…EverAfter Romance has been up and running for a little over two weeks now, and we’ve already had nearly 10,000 people stop by to read posts and explore the site. (10,000 people, you guys!)

But what we’d really like is some feedback from all of you about what your experience has been so far. We’re still a new site, and we’re still tweaking and modifying as needed, looking for ways to make your time hanging out online with us as much fun as possible. And we need your feedback to do that.

Help Me Help You

You tell us: what do you like about the site? What annoys you? What kind of posts are you enjoying the most? What kind of posts do you want to see more of? If you could wish for any three cool new features, what would they be? (No, we will not give you a pony, and we will not install a WordPress plug-in that offers chocolate cake delivered by a shirtless hunk when you press a button. Nice try, though!) Is there a category of romance we’re not covering enough? Is there something we’re covering too much? What are your opinions on top-knots and man-buns on guys? (Okay, that’s not something the community manager wants to know, but I’m sure curious. I mean, if you’re not an actual samurai, just…why?)

Lastly, if you know someone who would be a great writer for the site, we’d like to know that, too! (Hint: We’re looking for bloggers!)

Basically, we want you to tell us how we can make this site an even better online destination, one worthy of your valuable time for a few minutes every day. So please, jump in and leave us your comments below!

Now I’m off to look for that WordPress magic chocolate cake plug-in…

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Steals & Deals

Deal Alert: Courtney Milan’s The Brothers Sinister Boxed Set

Courtney Milan Brothers Sinister

Courtney Milan writes substantive, nuanced, humorous, intense, passionate historical novels. Her Brothers Sinister series have been bundled up together in one boxed set, conveniently down-priced to $4.99 for four full-length novels and three novellas — but only for a limited time. Sale ends on September 21st!

I’ve read all but two of the three novellas, and can whole-heartedly recommend them. My favorites among the bunch are the full-length The Heiress Effect and the novella-length A Kiss for Midwinter, but all of them are really good, substantial historical reads (no fluff here!)

(If you haven’t read Milan before, here’s an excerpt from her upcoming release The Heiress Effect, to see if you like her distinctive flavor.)


Read on for the blurbs of all the titles included in the set:

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Guest Post, Writer's Playbook

Guest Post: “5 Secrets to Charming Readers” by Kelly Maher

Writer's Playbook

Kelly Maher is a charmer–not to mention an author who’s busily working on all sorts of books, old and new, to share with readers. Kelly is here to talk about how to present yourself at public events. Charming! Thanks, Kelly!


FIVE SECRETS TO CHARMING READERS AT LIVE EVENTS

At the end of September, I’ll be attending the Baltimore Book Fest and participating on two panels. Thanks to one of my previous day jobs, I became comfortable with public speaking. However, teaching a class on how to use the new service for the library’s downloadable audiobook collection doesn’t have quite the same kind of prep as being an author pimping her books to potential readers. Here are my five secrets to live events as an author.

1. BE YOURSELF

I can’t stress this enough. Readers are at the event to meet you and get to know you (please chime in here, readers!). If you’re in front of a large crowd, and you find it intimidating, choose one to five audience members to focus on and switch your attention between them. Pretend you’re having an intimate conversation with only those chosen few. If you’re in a mingling context, say a cocktail party or a signing, focus on the person in front of you. Share funny stories and other tidbits that you feel comfortable divulging.

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
Cover Reveals

Cover Reveal: Desiree Holt’s PASS INTERFERENCE

Today we have a treat, perfectly timed for football season! We’re delighted to reveal the cover for Desiree Holt’s Pass Interference. Even if you’re not a football fan, we guarantee you’ll see something you want to tackle here. 


No Rules. No Limits.

Party girl Tyler Gillette has just one rule: no football players. As the daughter of the owner of the San Antonio Hawks, she grew up in the shadow of the sport and her father’s enormous wealth. She was even named Tyler because he wanted a boy. Life couldn’t have drawn up a better play for turning her into a wild child—until that same life is threatened by someone from the past….

Former Hawks running back Rafe Ortiz has a few rules of his own. First, no weaknesses. Second, no babysitting spoiled football princesses. But his new career as a bodyguard means he’s responsible for protecting the beautiful Tyler Gillette from her mysterious stalker. But keeping his hands off her might be harder than keeping her safe…


Now on to the sexy reveal!

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Guest Post

Guest Post: “Surrendering” by Lise Kim Horton

Hold Tight Lise Kim Horton

Today we welcome Lise Kim Horton to EverAfter to share her thoughts on the seductive lure of surrender. Lise’s BDSM romance, Hold Tight, pairs a curious sub with a powerful (in more ways than one) Dom. Thanks for surrendering to us today, Lise!


Have you ever wondered how it would feel to surrender?

The glory of Dominance and submission, of kink and BDSM, is a radiant backdrop for an erotic romance, where the emotion rises to a fever pitch that matches the intensity of the sexual relationship. Trust is paramount in a power exchange, and it is this element that plunges your couple into their carnal relationship that much more quickly. Freely given, in a safe, sane and consensual love story, it draws them into an intensely powerful, edgy realm.

Because it is always a romance. No matter how raw, the soul of a BDSM love story is the love. The emotional connection that is forged by the trust the partners share. Add graphic kink and it is an explosive combination. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be swept away by something so powerful? Taken to the very edge to taste forbidden fruits? Have you ever imagined the feel of a man’s palm as he smacks your ass? Or a man’s hand wrapped around your throat as he seduces you with his commands? The loss of control as you are held down, taken, and overwhelmed until you explode in an ecstasy so freeing, you will never be the same?

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Morning Bites

How Do You Discover New-to-You Authors?

The seismic shift in publishing means that finding a new book is way more complicated (and also, conversely, easier) than just going into your local bookstore and picking up titles with nifty covers. There are so many ways to discover new authors. You can:

 

Look what Claire discovered!

 

  • Look at the recommended books that pop up when you order a book.
  • Get a recommendation from a trusted reading friend.
  • Read a post by the author that piques your interest about the author’s books.
  • See what books people are talking about in social media.
  • Read an excerpt.
  • Watch a series or movie based on a book; get interested in that book as well as the whole genre.
  • Download a free sample.
  • Visit a site for a review or a blog post about the book.

How do you discover new-to-you authors?

Guest Post

Guest Post: Brighton Walsh on Pitch Wars & Mentoring Fellow Writers

Exposed Brighton Walsh

Today we have author Brighton Walsh, sharing about her experiences as a Pitch Wars mentor. Take it away Brighton!


For many, this time of the year marks new beginnings. Even *mumbles incoherently* years after graduating, I still think in terms of the school year. It’s  a chance to start fresh, work in that schedule you slacked on all summer, and (pardon my French), get shit done.

For writers, it’s much the same. Since 2011, Pitch Wars has provided that opportunity. If you’re not aware of the awesomeness that is Pitch Wars, allow me to school (heh) you real quick. The goal is to pair a seasoned writer with a brand-spankin’ new one to show them the ropes. Brenda Drake, creator of this contest and all around amazing cheerleader for authors, gathers published and/or agented writers and/or editors to be mentors. And then she opens the floodgates. Those mentors post their wishlists on their blogs and hopefuls (unagented authors) sift through to find ones who best fit them (much like querying). Then they send off their baby to up to (this year) five mentors. And then they wait. Once the selections have been made, mentor and mentee spend the next two months shining that manuscript to its highest potential in preparation for the agent round.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: “Happy Endings Can Be Sad…For the Author” by Cecilia Tan

The Poet and the Prophecy Cecilia Tan

Cecilia Tan’s Magic University series comes to a conclusion with the release of The Poet and the Prophecy, out today. Cecilia is happy to bring the series to a conclusion–but also sad to see it end. She explains her mixed emotions below. Thanks, Cecilia!


This week the final volume in my Magic University series has finally hit shelves/Kindles and it seems a good moment to reflect on endings and the ending of a series.

I know not all series are like this. Some seemingly could go on forever. At a panel called “How NOT To End A Series” at the RWA national conference this year bestselling author Shannon Stacey lamented that she had to end her Kowlaskis Series because “I ran out of Kowalskis.”

But in a series like Magic University, which mixes fantasy with new adult romance, I knew I had a set endpoint. Like the Harry Potter series which inspired it, Magic University has one book per year of school. Book four, The Poet and the Prophecy, is Kyle’s senior year. In fantasy, there is always a quest: I combined fantasy and romance here by making it a quest to find true love, a quest that takes four years to complete.

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Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt: DEVOTION by Grace R. Duncan

Devotion Grace R. Duncan

Today we’re pleased to have an exclusive excerpt from Grace R. Duncan’s latest release, Devotion, book one of her new Forbes Mates series from Dreamspinner Press. Enjoy and pick up your copy today!


Finley Cooper is tired of waiting for his destined mate to be ready to claim him. In deference to human laws, he’s already agreed to wait until he’s eighteen. But now his birthday has come and gone—and his mate has a new set of excuses. Finley doesn’t understand it any more than his wolf does, and he’s beginning to wonder if fate made a mistake.Tanner Pearce wants nothing more than to claim his mate, but he worries that Finley is too young. Tanner will never forget what happened when his best friend mated at Finley’s age, only to have that mate end up feeling trapped and breaking their bond. While rare, it can happen, and the fallout Tanner witnessed as his best friend tried to deal with the break has haunted him for years.

When Finley finally has enough, he threatens to find someone who will claim him if Tanner doesn’t, and Tanner realizes he needs to come to terms with his fears or risk losing his mate forever.


“Okay, hey, isn’t that the new family?”

Tanner sniffed, noticing a new scent. He turned with his dad to see who’d come in, and the smell that greeted him nearly knocked him off his feet. Pine trees, warmth, and sunshine. Something deeper and masculine woven into it.

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Morning Bites

What Eras in Historical Romance Would You Most Like to Read?

Maggie-Robinson-In-the-Arms-of-the-Heiress
She’s a twentieth-century fox!

Historical romance readers have long embraced the Regency era (England, technically 1811-1820, but usually encompassing 1800-1830), with its Empire waistlines, Almack’s, and young ladies making their debut at fancy Society balls.

But there are many other eras available, from medieval to American Western to Gilded Age to Victorian and more.

What historical eras in romance would you most like to read?