Thursday, August 29, 2013

New Release - CREATUS - from #Suspense #Author Carmen DeSousa @Author_Carmen

In every myth there is a modicum of truth…
The reason we believe in Fairy Tales—and Monsters.

As the sun’s rays peeked above the horizon, lighting the abyss below her, she inhaled a deep breath, closed her eyes, and jumped. She didn’t scream; she didn’t look down. As much as she hated her life, she hoped it wouldn’t end this way. She’d really like to see him one more time.

Her life didn’t flash before her eyes as she’d always heard. Just an image of her mother covered in blood and her Dark Angel telling her he was sorry.

Creatus, by best-selling author Carmen DeSousa, is a new romantic-suspense novel with a supernatural edge that answers the myths and fairy tales you’ve heard about preternatural sentient beings.

Prepare yourself to believe.

Download Creatus:

In order to spread the news, we are also giving away a $50 gift card! In order to qualify, just share this post’s URL in the Raffle Copter and share via Twitter. You can enter once a day.

Contest ends midnight, Monday September 2, 2013. The drawing, which includes all participating websites, will be held Tuesday, September 3, 2013. The winner will be posted the same day. Follow the link below to enter!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Meet the Women of Best Friends #BookClub in Mt. Pleasant!

I had the pleasure of spending the evening with the beautiful women of Best Friends Book Club in Mt. Pleasant, TX last night, and boy, are these ladies a serious group of book lovers! We had a fantastic time talking books (and even a few TV shows and movies). THE DEVIL OF LIGHT was a book club selection this summer, and everyone gave it two thumbs up!

Book club members from left to right: Cat McDermott, Loree Petree, Vickie Chatham, Lori Stringham, and Founder and President, Jeanette McDermott (Lisa Garner also joined in by conference call!)

We met at Luigi's and had a great dinner (the Pasta Trio was wonderful, and the Lobster Ravioli looked really good, just in case you decide to stop by).

Conversation ranged far and wide and included the generation of story ideas, character development, the emotions a good book conjures when you're writing or reading it, how the bad guy should die a very bad death, and sex (of course) - how much characters should have, how much to reveal, sex early in a relationship versus sex in a relationship that develops over time. The ladies had some thoughtful feedback on their preferences. We also brainstormed the third Cass Elliot novel, and that was a blast. (Everyone agreed the villain should die in a horrible way - Cass and I will do our best to deliver!)

The ladies talked about stories that have left their mark on the book club. Someone mentioned the title MIDDLESEX (by Jeffrey Eugenides) and everybody broke into laughter - I'll definitely read that book!

Thanks again to Best Friends Book Club for a fabulous evening, and for the two things absolutely fundamental for book generation: sexy coffee cups and beautiful notepaper! I hope to see you all again soon!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Does Size Matter? (Sorry All You Sex Fiends-We're Talking #Books)

Size is a factor in my life at the moment. I'm working on book three in the Cass Elliot crime series and while not tapping at the keyboard, am stumbling upon opinions about book length.

The general consensus I've heard through authors on Twitter is that shorter is better, regardless of genre. That attention spans are shrinking and readers want shorter books. That you can churn out more books if you use fewer words and thus hit the bestseller lists faster.

I've watched these conversations with morbid fascination, but I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid.

Let's start with the premise that everyone (readers and writers) wants a well-written book. Beyond that, I think writers are looking for an absolute that doesn't exist. I also think we're asking the wrong question. Instead, I'd like to know:

Does one size fit all?


From a reader's perspective, the answer has to be "no". Otherwise, either James Patterson or Stephen King would be out of a job. Based on bookstore shelf space and bestseller lists, both authors, who write books of very different lengths and complexity, are doing a booming business. And if you think King gets away with writing huge tomes due only to his superstar status, check out bestsellers The Passage and The Twelve by Justin Cronin. They weigh in at 900 and 600 pages, respectively.

The answer also has to be "no" from an author's perspective, or the bestseller lists would be loaded with books of roughly the same length.

My two cents? I think each author has a sweet spot that works for them. I also think that sweet spot might change as the author changes genre, moves between the series they write, or as their writing matures. Readers might also have a sweet spot, or expectations, particularly as they get to know an author.

As a reader, I gravitate toward books in a series. And I'm a little Pavlovian about those books. When I open a Charlie Parker novel by John Connolly, I expect a read that's at least 450-500 pages. His plots are complex and some story lines weave through several books. I love that sense of anticipation between books, wondering if Parker will finally deal with the Travelling Man, or if the Collector will show up in the next novel.

When I read an Artemis Fowl novel by Eoin Colfer? I'm expecting 350-400 pages. These books are a lighter read, aimed for a teen or young adult audience. They're well-written, make me laugh, and I can't wait to open the next book in the series.

Regardless of book length, isn't achieving that level of engagement with our readers the reason we write?

But I'm just one voice. Reader, writer, or both: Do all the readers in your life demand books of a certain length? Do you judge a book by its heft? Do you feel cheated if you spend $20 to $30 for an anorexic hardback, or victorious if you pick up a doorstop for under a fiver?

photo credit: Smarter's photos via photopin cc photo credit: Derek K. Miller via photopin cc