Day 1: 30 Days of Christmas 2012

Today is December 1 and it’s the first day of my big Holiday Event. I’m so excited this year to have some of my friends back again as well as authors who haven’t taken part in this giveaway in previous years. As usual, there is something for everyone over the course of the next 30 days. The only difference this year is instead of going from Thanksgiving to Christmas, I’ll be doing this every day in the month of December right up to New Year’s Eve.

There are lots of books to win! Multiple books will be given away on each day of the month including every single book in my backlist! My good  pals Z.A. Maxfield, Jaime Samms, Jennifer Leeland, Tara Lain, Belinda McBride, Lynn Lorenz, Louisa Bacio, Selena Illyria and Karenna Colcroft are all back. In addition, I have some of the best authors from the publishers I’m with (EC, Loose Id, MLR Press and Pink Petal Books) including Francesca Hawley, Cari Quinn, Lynn Connolly, Angelia Sparrow, Elizabeth Lister, Cherie Noel, Mardi Ballou, Cheryl Dragon, Kaje Harper, Kerry Freeman and many more. There are authors from the blogs I participate in, Flirty Author Bitches and Romancing the Jock. There are authors from the Lords of Aether gay steampunk serial story. And lots of genres are represented from sweet to erotic, MF to MM and menage, contemporary to historical, paranormal and steampunk. Truly, there is something for everyone this year!

Here’s how it works. Every day this month I will post blurbs and cover art for several books here at Sunlight Sucks. Those books up for grabs on that day. In order for you to have a shot at winning that day’s package, you must leave a comment on the post by midnight Pacific time that day. The comments show up with a time stamp for me based on Pacific time (since I live in Southern California) so you’re going to have to do the math and figure out if you’re in time for that day’s goodies or not. I will take all of the entries on that post that were made by midnight and let my kid or my hubs draw one out of the hat. That person’s name will be announced on the next day’s blog post and they win all the books that were up for grabs on the post they commented on.

Today, I’m giving away my book Christmas Cowboys. This is the entire Forbes Ranch Christmas series in one ebook. Christmas Hookup, Christmas in Hell, and Christmas Wishes are M/F. Christmas Catch and Cupid Christmas are M/M. All of them are short and erotic but together they paint a picture of an extended family who believe in love and the magic of Christmas Eve.

Christmas at Forbes Ranch is always special. It’s a place where dreams come true when you wish on the Christmas star and Happily Ever Afters always happen on Christmas Eve. The magic of Christmas weaves itself through five stories of love with five amazing couples. A supermodel cowboy and an older woman bring a twisted version of the Gift of the Magi to life. A former military pilot and a rancher turn a lonely holiday into the promise of a future. A city girl and a former rodeo star realize that they’ve been both been wanting the same thing. A cowgirl and a computer geek put their faith in the power of the Christmas star. And two rodeo cowboys heal a decade old wound with forgiveness and a love that never died. Come to Forbes Ranch this Christmas and experience the joy of a holiday happily ever after.

BUY LINK

Comment on this post for a chance to win this anthology! And if you happen to live in Orange County, California I might be persuaded to give you a paperback of this book instead, signed by me in person!

And now, here’s some links to awesome holiday book trailers!

Santa’s Executive by Carrie Ann Ryan

I Need You for Christmas by Leah Braemel

Cupid Christmas by Lex Valentine

Secret Light by Z.A. Maxfield

Breath of Heaven by Lex Valentine

A Picture Perfect Holiday by Z.A. Maxfield

Happy December 1!


 

 

To the Bone

I’ve been working my fingers to the bone and some of it feels like it’s for free. A bunch of cover art, a lot of writing, some website work…Enough stuff that I can’t even get to my own author website which has non-existent and messed up book pages. (I really, really need to fix that.) But there are rewards for what I do. When I write, I have releases and those bring in royalties. When I do covers, mostly I get paid right away for them, for which I am grateful because with any cover there is an outlay of money on the artist’s part to create the cover. If I spend my grocery money for the week making three covers and I don’t get paid for two weeks on them, we don’t eat. Which is why I sometimes wonder why I agreed to do some covers and be paid based how well the book sells. This goes hand in hand with why the heck I wrote a story for the M/M Goodreads group for free and why you can download Breathe Me In at All Romance eBooks tomorrow for free.

So here’s the deal. I thought I’d give the new cover thing a try because I thought it might bring my work to the eyes of other publishers and authors who are looking to self-pub and need covers.  I thought it might be a good investment in terms of getting my work in front of more people and a different audience.

The same goes for the Goodreads story. This group has nearly 6,000 members. I’m willing to bet a lot of them don’t know me and/or haven’t read my work. Doing the prompt for their Love is Always Write event is a chance for those members to get to know my work. If they like it, they could go looking for my backlist (damn, need to fix my website!) in order to find other books they might want to read.

So you could say that both ventures are an experiment. Obviously, if the cover art one doesn’t start paying out more than I’ve paid in, it won’t be a viable venture long term. I’m keeping track of what I spend and will compare it to what I make to see if this is something I should continue with. It’s only one publisher, if I decide it’s not working out, I can stop. The other publishers pay me up front, one directly via Paypal (for which I’m grateful) and the other via Paypal echecks which means I get paid in about 4 days. Sometimes the wait sucks, but at least it’s not quarterly.

With writing, you always have to wait to get paid if your publisher is a small indie press.  Sales come in and then the pubs pay out royalties (unlike the big NYC houses that pay an advance and then you have to earn that out via sales.)  I’m used to royalties trickling in from my different publishers at different times of the month. It’s cute when Rott calls me at work to tell me I got a check from “The Cave.” Some pubs pay with a check mailed to me and others via direct Paypal or Paypal echeck.

So I’m working my fingers to the bone to get all my projects done as quickly as possible. Now, that the Goodreads story is done, I’ve got to finish my expansion of Mating which shouldn’t take long. After that, I’ve got two more manuscripts to work on. One is a novella (probably about 15-20K) for MLR Press’s Father’s Day releases. It will be the last story about my pilots Sebastian and Ryder. The other manuscript is the long await sequel to Fire Season, Fire Storm. I’m so looking forward to writing Holden and Garret again.

As for really giving my work away for free…tomorrow you can get a copy of Breathe Me In for free from All Romance eBooks as part of their Earth Day celebration. I did this once before and it was great. For those of you who like the Tales series and/or like M/M books, you’ll definitely want to download this one!

Now, it’s time for a Marcus and then off to work with me.

Oh, what a yummeh Marcus! *sigh*

Have a great Monday!

Monday Holiday

Holidays on Mondays screw me all up and I forget to post. Anyway, Happy New Year to you all! I have a Marcus for you and two free books. You can take your pick which book is more your style. Then go ahead, download that puppy to your new Christmas ereader! My little gift to you!

 

 

You can get the het version HERE and the gay rom version HERE. It’s just a short story so it won’t even take up much of your time but it will leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling.

And now, here’s yet another retro Marcus to start off the year.

That is a double YUM for this holiday Monday! WOOT! Have a good one!

Peppermint

So I found this air freshener by Glade that smells like peppermint candy. OMG. I have to spray it every few minutes! There is nothing better than the scent of things like peppermint, cinnamon and chocolate. This time of year all the cool scents come out. I’m seriously addicted. I want to take the damn can to work and spritz it to rid myself of all the perfume the women in my office wear. As an asthmatic, I wish it was a perfume free zone (I’ve actually seen some of these) but I know it won’t ever happen. So my peppermint candy air freshener would be really welcome!

It’s funny how much I love peppermint but all year long I avoid those little red and white ones they put by the cash registers at restaurants. Come Christmas I wan candy canes, peppermint bark, peppermint cookies, peppermint mocha creamer, peppermint hot chocolate, peppermint everything. I’m not sure why I love it at Christmas and avoid it the rest of the year. Maybe I just overdo it every year and it takes me a year to want to eat it again. LOL

The red and white are quite festive too so they are definitely an upbeat little candy, aren’t they?

Yesterday, I did a couple of chats briefly before I went to pick up Nikki (Motley) and while I was chatting, I worked on some video book trailers. I have a couple to do for clients and one’s a little problematic in that the hero has long red hair and nowhere am I gonna find a photo of that. So I have to be creative. That means I need to think on it. 😉 I slapped together one for my Christmas story Cupid Christmas though and it follows the blurb a lot closer than anything I’ve ever done before. I try to give a different take than the blurb when I do a video but the blurb for this story is so dead on it was hard not to use it. Here’s the video:

I need to toddle off to work now because it’s pouring buckets which means a slow drive for me. Before I go, here’s another retro Marcus for this December Monday.

Don’t forget to stop by my author blog for Gay Rom week of my 30 Days of Christmas. If you’re interested in that genre I’ll have gay rom books to give away all week. Hope you all have a great Monday!

Advertisement

Today’s post is a plethora of advertisements for the stuff I’m doing or did. I mean, c’mon, it’s Cyber Monday, which to an old internet hound like myself who’s been out here on the net since the early 90’s, doesn’t really conjure up thoughts of sales but of ahem, sex. Still, Cyber Monday is indeed a day of sales so I have a bunch of ads for you!

First off, my 30 Days of Christmas giveaway event is in full swing. We’ve already given away ebooks and paperback books and today, I have a really special treat for readers. Today is the release day for NightShift, the newest book by Kate Douglas. Kate is a prolific and amazing author. She’s also a really great person and I’m thankful to have her as a friend. Kate’s giving away two signed copies of NightShift on my Lex Valentine blog today so go on over there and leave a comment so you’re entered to win.

Next up is the great holiday story event happening at MLR Press. Forty six books! That’s right, there are forty-six holiday stories that are out or coming out. My story Breath of Heaven is scheduled for December 15. You’ll find the video for this heart-warming holiday story right here on this blog. I’ve already read some of these and they are amazing stories. Mia Watts’s story is touching and funny and incredibly hot! Z.A. Maxfield’s story is heart-warming and sweet. DH Starr’s story is a serious tear-jerker with a belly laugh ending. And Derek Adams’s story will send you up in flames.

We all have the same cover art over at MLR Press but when it goes to the third party distributors some of us will have individual covers in order to distinguish between the stories. Cover art is the first thing a reader sees when they are browsing titles and if all the covers look the same, you might get passed over because the reader thinks they already have that book. So a handful of us did an alternate cover. I did covers for Ethan Day, Z.A. Maxfield and myself. We’re not alone though. I believe there’s other authors doing the same. Here’s the covers I created for the three of us. You can also see these over at Winterheart Design.

I’ve got one other Christmas story coming. This one is Cupid Christmas which is the last of the Christmas Cowboys stories I’ve done for the past few years at Pink Petal Books. I can’t think of another couple so it’s time to end the series of Christmas Eve hookups and HEAs at Forbes Ranch with this one last story.

This week I’m launching a new project called Lords of Aether on December 1. This is a serial story, a really special serial story. It’s by myself and authors KC Burn, Charlie Cochrane, Jason Edding, Stephani Hecht, ZA Maxfield and Jaime Samms. It’s a gay steampunk serial. None of us have any experience with steampunk so we’ve been slowly building our world and characters. I’m the only one with serial story experience and it’s been fun teaching them all about how the dynamics work. I’ve missed The Bar a lot so the Lords of Aether will help me not miss it as much. They aren’t the characters I loved so well at The Bar and they aren’t the same group of writers, but the camaraderie and sense of creating together is the same so it goes a long way to easing that little hole in my heart.  I kick off the story on December 1 with a post about my character Anthony Banning whose former lover, Imperial spy Jack Starr, has looked him up because he needs help finding his missing current lover. As you can imagine, Anthony’s a bit offended.  Here’s a trailer for Lords of Aether. I whipped this up last night so I hope you like it.

And now, since I can’t remember what else I’m supposed to be advertising (I was doing a 2 for 1 book trailer sale for this past weekend at Winterheart Design, but no one took me up on it!) I suppose it’s time to post a Marcus and head on out to work. Since I’ve been doing retro Marcus’s (ie photos I’ve posted before) I thought today I’d post my favorite Marcus photo ever.

Oh yum. I love that photo! If any of you know Nikki aka Motley aka my kid, stop on over at her Facebook page. She’s got a bit of a political protest going on on her wall.

And that’s it for my big ole advertisement post this Monday. Have yourselves a wonderful Monday and don’t forget to keep checking my Lex Valentine blog every day through Christmas Eve. Posting a comment enters you for a chance to win that day’s books. Happy Holiday Season Monday!