Extraction – Cover Reveal

By now, most of you have learned from my Facebook account that I signed with Saritza Hernandez of the Corvisiero Agency. Yes, I have an agent! Which means I’m doing NaNo in order to finish Out of the Pocket by December 1 for her. Feel free to be my writing buddy there. I’m Lex Valentine. (Duh. LOL)

But I’m not here today to talk about NaNo and other news. I’m here to reveal the cover for my newest book, Extraction. This military MM novella will be released by MLR Press on November 18.  You can probably guess who the cover artist is. 😉

Meanwhile, here’s the pretty!

extraction2_200

Two soldiers, former lovers, each think they are saving the other from a South American drug cartel, all the while rehashing their broken relationship.

Green Beret Shane Cullen has been undercover for the DEA with a South American drug cartel. Eighteen months into his assignment, and unbeknownst to Shane, the cartel’s number two man is captured by the U.S. Marshals and starts to talk. Shane’s mission becomes endangered. His Special Forces commander calls in a favor and pulls in Shane’s former lover and teammate Elliott Hutchens for an extraction.

Elliott hasn’t seen Shane in almost two years, since his lover walked out on him. But Shane’s in trouble and doesn’t know it, so Elliott can’t refuse the mission. Getting himself captured by the cartel in order to force Shane to rescue him is the easy part. The hard part comes when Shane discovers he’s the real extraction, not Elliott. Shane’s bad temper ended their relationship once before. Will it get in the way again or can these two soldiers work through their issues and find their way to a happy ever after?

Extraction will be available for purchase on November 18, my oldest brother’s 76th birthday. I think that’s a sign of good luck, don’t you?

If you would like to win a copy of Extraction when it’s released, leave a comment. On release day, I’ll be back to let hubs pick a winner.

You know, it’s good to be back, even if hardly anyone knows or remembers me. 😉

November 18: Hubs picked Brad’s comment number so he will receive a copy of Extraction! Everyone else is invited to come by the release day party for another chance to win a copy! Congrats, Brad!

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News & New Stuff from Lex

lv_the-pixie-prince-_coverlgSo I have new stuff! Oh, yeah! About time you all say. I agree. It’s been too long. I’ve forgotten how to promo. I’m getting no comments on a blog post at my friend Tara’s to win a copy of my newest release. Has everyone forgotten me? And how do I get them to remember me now that I’m back? If you have any ideas, please do let me know cause I think I’m lost.

Anyway, here’s the news: I signed a total of ELEVEN contracts with Loose Id and mailed them all in this past week. One contract is for Partners, the dystopian I wrote with VJ Summers. The other ten contracts are for the Tales of the Darkworld and related short stories. They will be back, revised and refreshed, and I hope will draw new readers. And yes, I’m sure Treva and Jana at Loose Id will be after me to finish this series.

I got an email September 20 giving me back the rights to the 4 books I have at Ellora’s Cave. This was, of course, before Tina emailed all the EC authors about the closing and offering everyone their rights back by the end of the year if they gave up the royalties owed them. Not sure yet what I will be doing with those books. I also got the rights back to Scrambling from Loose Id. I chose to take them back because I’ve always thought it was overpriced. I will be completing the award winning sequel to Scrambling (it won the Rebecca) but I’m not sure yet what I’m doing with the pair of them. The Christmas Cowboys series has gone to my editor at Decadent. What’s that you say? You didn’t realize I was published by Decadent? Well, I am. But not as Lex Valentine. And no, I’m not giving you the name I’m published under there. 🙂

flyinginthefaceofconvention_200That leaves one book at Liquid Silver and all my MM novellas at MLR Press. Now, you can add one to that list. I haven’t gotten a contract for it, but Kris Jacen did indeed receive a brand new manuscript from me, 23K words called Extraction. That brings me to…

TWO new releases! One is the self pub, Kindle Unlimited release of Flying in the Face of Convention, a 7K story I wrote for the RWA anthology Premiere, edited by the wonderful Sylvia Day! The second release is The Pixie Prince by Loose Id. The Pixie Prince has been sitting in my vault of manuscripts for three years since I got the rights back to it from Cobblestone. I was very happy to send Max to LI and I’m really happy to have him back out in the world.

If you read mostly MM, please check out Flying in the Face of Convention. It’s a great story, short but full of sexy guys and a HEA. You can get Trey and Jordan HERE. And if you read MF paranormal, you’ll want to read The Pixie Prince! MAX IS BACK! YAY! You can get Max HERE.

You can also leave a comment on Tara Lain’s blog for a chance to win a free copy of The Pixie Prince. Click HERE to do that. And finally, if you sign up for my new NEWSLETTER, you could win an audiobook! Sign up HERE. I promise not to spam you! And please do friend me on Facebook as I often tell the world about releases and news there rather than here. But I promise to start blogging more. I promise!  After all, I gotta find all my lost readers don’t I?

Love yas!

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The Revival of Sunstroked

Sunstroked_200Several years ago, while my hubs was away and I was lonely, I began the journey to become an author. My signature series Tales of the Darkworld was born during this time. Most of the books in the series were reader favorites and some won awards and recognition. Books are like your kids and while you’re not supposed to have favorites, sometimes one will bend your heart a little more than the others. This post is about one of my favorites.

My plan to match my dour, angry Scottish werewolf Seth Dylan of the McCallan clan with sunny, ever optimistic wildling Corey Green in Sunstroked turned out better than I could ever hope. It also birthed the next book Breath Me In because my editor at MLR Press, the ever observant Kris Jacen, asked me, “But what about Will?” So Suntroked has always been sort of a middle child, the one that people tend to forget because there’s the award winning Fire Season as older brother and the beautiful prose of Breath Me In as younger brother. Sandwiched between those two bestsellers, Sunstroked did manage to thrive, but became, in my heart of hearts, my favorite of the three.

I love Corey Green. I have from the moment he first opened his mouth and spoke such irreverent words to his boss Colin in Hot Water. I stole his name and appearance from a fellow blogger whom I met in San Diego, Gooster SD. My Corey is happy, funny, a little outrageous and obviously gay. His mate turns out to be a very firmly closeted, angry at the world Seth Dylan. What happens between the two when they first meet is deeply sexual, intense and beyond mind-blowing for both. And then Seth runs away from Corey just as Corey realizes they are mates. When Seth leaves, he takes Corey’s sun with him. A heartbroken Corey is as dark and quiet as a happy Corey was outgoing and boisterous.

This story is about being broken and finding your way, realizing that what you’d always thought about yourself might not be completely true and finally seeing the world the way you’re meant to. It’s sexual and heartbreaking. These two characters so deserve their HEA, maybe moreso than any of the other books in the series. At least, that’s my opinion. Reader opinion probably varies widely because it seems that they all love Holden and Garret and Will and Garrick more. And I’m not sure why. Seth and Corey have their fair share of great prose like:

A rain of soft kisses fell all over his back, shoulders and neck, reaching up as far as the
underside of his jaw and behind his ears. The warmth in his body heated to boiling. Corey lay still,
wondering where Seth was going both with his words, his hands, and his mouth.

“I knew it at Gargoyle Lodge but I had a tough time accepting the truth. I love you, Corey.”

The joy Corey had always found in life, the joy that had left him so abruptly when Seth had
walked out all those months before, came rushing back. The darkness retreated as Corey stepped
into the sunlight once more, this time with his mate at his side.

He turned in Seth’s arms, his own arms coming up around his mate. The scent of sage
wrapped itself around him, binding him to the man he loved. With one hand he cupped the side
of Seth’s beard stubbled face.

“I love you, Seth Dylan,” he murmured, his gaze locking with Seth’s. “I saw you beneath
the trees that first day in the cemetery, and your scent drifted toward me. I knew the instant I
scented you that you were mine. I’d never been with a virgin before, never been with a man so
consumed by anger and fear. But I loved you anyway. I took one look into those silver eyes filled
with pain, and I loved you with everything I am. Being without you has been like being without
my soul.”

Seth’s eyes glittered, emotion darkening them to charcoal. “You are without a doubt the most
amazing man I’ve ever met. You were so full of confidence, so joyous and happy. I didn’t think a
man like you could need someone like me.”

Corey pressed his body against Seth’s, rubbing his cloth confined erection against his mate’s.
“Oh, I need you. I will always need you. Without you, I’m lost. No sunshine. No Corey. You are
what brings out the best of me.”

Anyway, the reason I’m talking about Sunstroked today is because the audiobook has just released. The ever so wonderful Chip Wood has voiced this book just as he did Fire Season. I’m very sad that he won’t be able to do Breathe Me In though. If you listen to the audiobook sample at Audible, it is a dinner scene that describes a dessert created by Z.A. Maxfield and I during a drive back from Los Angeles.

Sunstroked_audioYou can get Sunstroked at Audible.com by clicking HERE. Or you can comment on this post for a chance to win a FREE copy! My birthday is coming up on Halloween so I’m giving you all until midnight Pacific time on Halloween to post a comment. If you’ve read Sunstroked, leave a comment about the book. If you haven’t read it, let me know why you’d like to win an audio copy. I’ll give away three free codes, randomly chosen by my hubs, Rott, who never reads my stuff. (He’s all for the rest of us reading MM, but his very straight soul won’t let him read it.) He’ll pick three numbers from the total number of comments left and those people will win a free copy of Sunstroked.

Frankly, anyone who leaves a comment is in good shape to win because I haven’t blogged in so long nor written a new book in so long that no one remembers me any more. But I have something coming. Oh, yes I do. It’s called The Return of Light. I’d like it to be the start of a new series of novellas called Reclaiming Love, but who knows what the future holds. I never would have predicted this long of a dry spell for myself. I’m trying to come back because I have stories bursting to be free from the confines of my head. Joining The Return of Light is The Sun Always Sets in Paradise which is more of a spring-summer story. If anyone knows where I got the title for the second novella, let me know in comments. I’m curious to see who gets it.

And yes, I do plan to continue in the Darkworld, the Out In the NFL, and Souls in Bondage series. I don’t know what the fate of Shadows and Kink is. I guess I’d like to continue it on my own, but I don’t know.  I have thought about my Flying in the Face of Convention law enforcement guys though.  I’ve toyed with the idea of doing a series of short mysteries with them called Unconventional. Who knows at this point? Stay tuned though. Maybe I can pull a rabbit out of my hat and start turning out 20,000 word Sundays again. 😉

Don’t forget to leave a comment so you can get a shot a free audiobook copy of Sunstroked!

Happy reading,

Lex_Sig

Lies and More Disappointment

So my Kindle Unlimited experiment is still charging along and I’m also still reading books for contests. The disappointments I found at the start of all this didn’t stop me from continuing to read. For the contests, I have to honor my commitments. I know some judges give up if they’ve had too many poor books. They just burn out and quit. I tend not to do that. I take a break and read something I really want by a favorite author and recharge myself.  After all, I made a commitment so I stick by it. I don’t think it’s fair to quit although I do see that continuing on when you’re suffering from burn out could be detrimental to fairly judging the books.

fittobetiedI’m not burned out on judging so I’ve been reading along with only a day and a half pause to read Mary Calmes’ Fit To Be Tied which downloaded to my phone’s Kindle app at 9 pm on Thursday night. Love me some Miro and Ian. I also took a break at the beginning of the week to read one of my Kindle Unlimited downloads. And here’s where I get to the point of my post title because the book I read was more than a disappointment.

Thus far, I haven’t divulged any titles or authors and my issues with books haven’t been specific enough (I hope) for anyone to figure out the titles or authors. This might change now. I’m not going to tell the name of the book or the author or the editor, but when I tell you what absolutely disgusted me with this book, you might guess. Well, you might if you know how to spell band names.

I opened up a Kindle Unlimited book that seemed like it had promise. I liked what the blurb said at any rate. I had, if not high hopes, at least moderately optimistic thoughts about this one. Then I saw the copyright credits and thought I’d throw up.

First of all, you either have to pay to search for a copyright online or you can do it for free at any Copyright Office. Most people aren’t going to pay to search these. However, many books have trademark credits, not copyright credits. You all have seen trademark credits right? Where the author acknowledges the mention of something that has a trademark. For instance, if you look up Romance Writers of America, you get this:

Word Mark ROMANCE WRITERS OF AMERICA
Goods and Services IC 035. US 100 101 102. G & S: trade association services in connection with the promotion of high quality romance writing. FIRST USE: 19810215. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19810215
Standard Characters Claimed
Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
Serial Number 76679704
Filing Date July 19, 2007
Current Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition June 17, 2008
Registration Number 3494400
Registration Date September 2, 2008
Owner (REGISTRANT) Romance Writers of America, Inc. CORPORATION TEXAS 14615 Benfer Road Houston TEXAS 77069
Attorney of Record Janet F. Satterthwaite
Prior Registrations 1461390
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL-2(F)
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR).
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

So if you mentioned “Romance Writers of America” in your book, in the trademark credits you would note:

The author acknowledges the trademarks of the following items mentioned in this book:

Romance Writers of America – Romance Writers of America, Inc.

You can do your own search at the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS.) It is absolutely free.

Now, back to the lies part of my title.

The book I read had a copyright acknowledgement and I can unequivocally say that this author did not search for the items listed in her copyright credits. How do I know that she didn’t? For one, a bunch of them are spelled wrong. So I instantly felt as if she’d lied to me. If you had searched on what she had listed, spelled as she spelled it, you wouldn’t find it either under a copyright search or a trademark search. I know you’re wondering so I’m just going to show you the items from the copyright credits that were spelled wrong.

Scorpion
Def Leopard
Pat Benetar
The Notebook © Warner Bros 2004 Starring Ryan Gossling and Rachel McAdams

Screen-Shot-2015-01-19-at-6.48.24-PMNow, she also had Motley Crue (a US heavy metal band) on her list and it was spelled correctly on the copyright credits, but it was spelled this way in the book Motely Crue. The bands listed incorrectly in the copyright credits of the book and in the book itself are The Scorpions (a German heavy metal band), Def Leppard (a UK heavy metal band) and Pat Benatar. And of course, Ryan Gosling’s name has only one S.

Can you see why I would be turned off? She has a copyright list she never actually checked the copyrights on and she used a bunch of famous names and bands and never checked the spelling of those items. Worse than that, she used what appears to be a professional editor and the editor never checked these items or their spelling. That doesn’t seem very professional to me.

Well, after a few hours I got over my disgust and I decided to give the book a chance anyway. It didn’t disappoint. It was just as bad as the copyright credits lead me to believe. It was full of spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. The characters were juvenile in speech and behavior. I actually liked the main characters. I wanted to see them together. But the entire story was so full of the fate, destiny and soulmates stuff that I expected to have vampires or werewolves or some other kind of shifter turn up. The level of “mates” stuff and coincidences happening in the book was so over the top I expected it to be a paranormal.

kindleunlimitedAnd so here I sit still disappointed in what I’m getting from Kindle Unlimited. You really can’t judge a book by it’s Reese Dante cover. She, like me, does covers for any author who can pay for one. She doesn’t discriminate between authors who can’t write and those who can. Neither do I. I don’t read most of the books I do covers for. She probably doesn’t either. So just because a book has a professional cover doesn’t mean it’s been professionally edited by an editor that knows what they are doing or that it was a decent enough manuscript to actually be published in the first place.

I feel bad for the writers out there who don’t know the craft well enough to realize they are being ripped off by editors who purport to be professional but who leave these books filled with mistakes a 6th grader could catch. Every day that I spend writing, I thank my lucky stars Mrs. Betty Hodgins who drilled grammar, usage, sentence structure and more into me in my 7th and 8th grade honors English classes. I hated her then, but my God, I love the woman to bits now because my editors are always happy with my work. (Translation, I don’t give them a lot to do. LOL)

It’s really sad that my experiment with Kindle Unlimited is going so poorly. And I’m even more disappointed by the fact that a lot of these self-pubbed books that aren’t that well written are making it into the contests I read for. It seems like if I want a decent book, I should look to who the author is and whether or not they have ever been published by a reputable house. That’s the only criteria I can find anymore that mostly guarantees I won’t be cringing over the misuse and misspelling of words every other paragraph.

Next time, I have a bone to pick about non-standalone (series) books in contests. Yeah, I won’t go there today. 😉 Happy reading everyone!

Lex_Sig

What’s New Pussycat?

I know, I know. I’m late coming back here to give away audiobooks from my New Year’s giveaway. Three people had the correct answer! Yvette, Emily W and Lee Todd win their choice of audiobook from me. Yay!

TheHardestPart_200So on to what’s new…I’m sick. Well, I was sick. All weekend, puking. Turns out it was just a reaction to adding a pain med to my already long line up of stuff I take. So they switched me to something else. It doesn’t make me puke but it does make me sleepy. Makes work a challenge. And the pain med that made me puke is one I’ve had before so it has to be the combination of stuff I was on. I think it didn’t like the hormone stuff my other doc has me on. Anyway, waiting for an insurance authorization so I can get yet another CT scan because it seems like the kidney stones are trying for a reappearance.  Just what I need when I have a full schedule. Story of my life. *sigh*

Meanwhile, on the writing front I have a sweet, hot short story just out for your reading enjoyment! It’s been in the works since August so you can see how sick I’ve been. The Hardest Part is a story of love and optimism and getting what you deserve for being positive in the face of negativity. I hope you readers like it!

I’ve also got other books out in audio format. Kissing Joan Collins is out in time for Valentine’s Day which is perfect because it’s a Valentine’s Day story! Also out is Rousing Caine which is a very sexy ghost story. Check out the covers!

 

KissingJoanCollins_audio

RousingCaine_audio300

I’ve got lots of codes for free copies of my audiobooks so look for me to be doing giveaways here and there across the net and on Facebook. Meanwhile, you can hop on over to Facebook and vote for The Hardest Part’s cover in the Love, Lust and Lipstick Stains cover contest! Your vote is much appreciated!

That’s it for me. I’m off to work. Cross your fingers I either don’t need a pain pill or that I can manage to stay awake when I take it!

Happy Tuesday!

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