Sneak Peak of what I’m working on!

I’d like to share a wee snippet, unedited so please forgive any boo boos, of what what I’m working on right now. This is from Asher, my addition to Dark Moon Falls 2 boxset! It’s 99c on preorder AND if you preorder you get a ton of free gifts … you can check out all the details HERE. So, here you go … I hope you enjoy …

Savannah reapplied her lipstick for the third time, her nerves through the roof while she stared at her reflection. “This is a bad idea. Don’t let him in. He’s hot and you know you’re going to fall for him.”

Shit, she was talking to herself now. What the hell was wrong with her? Asher fucking Stone, that’s who. She felt the attraction, the tendrils weaving between them like soft wisps of smoke, growing stronger each second she spent with him. Then there was the kiss. Oh, hell, the kiss! She thought she was going into orbit when his lips touched hers, and his tongue. So damn wicked, and tasty. Hmm hmm.

“Wonder how good he is with it?” she murmured softly. Damn, she bet he was amazing with that damn tongue.

He was a wolf after all. She could just imagine how devilish he’d be with it when she lay back on the bed and …

“Stop it!” she moaned. Oh hell, she was doing it again. Talking to herself. She really must stop. But she just couldn’t get him out of her head. She’d been thinking about him all day, even Storm knew she’d been off today. Asking what was on her mind, then smirking over at her and making smarmy comments about knowing exactly who it was. Dang, was it so obvious?

Yes. Of course it was. She felt him inside. Under her skin. It was so hard to keep herself from glowing like the sun … and she couldn’t do that. Hell no. The game was up if she did and she’d lose everything. Every-damn-thing.

For a man. No, not a man, a wolf. Not happening, Savi. Not fucking happening. Get a grip on yourself. You agreed to a dinner, you stupid, stupid bitch, so, get it over with then … just don’t see him again. Yes, that’s it. Easy.

No kisses tonight. None. No touching either. If she allowed him to touch her … she’d cave. So, none allowed. No kissing, no touching, and definitely, absolutely no sex. Right. Those were the rules for the night. If she broke them, she’d be lost.

Then why are you dressed in a skintight dress that’s showing off all your assets?

“I should change. Yes. Jeans and a sweatshirt coming up.”  She spun to the wardrobe, her heart beating like a drum …

Thud. Thud. Thud.

Nope, that wasn’t her heart. It was the damn door.

“He’s here. Oh no. Please go away.”

“What? Savannah, are you all right?”

Wolf hearing. Shoot, he heard me. When did he arrive? Did he hear me earlier? Please, please, no. If he did, I’ll die of embarrassment.

“I’m fine, be there in a minute,” she shouted. Why raise your voice? He can hear you. Wolf, remember.

Breathe, in and out, breathe. He’s just a man, and remember, don’t let him kiss you.

She walked to the door, her legs shaking, her belly feeling like a swarm of bees were having a party inside, and her heart fluttered like a hummingbird’s wings … so fast she couldn’t keep up with it. Damn it, girl, breathe!

There it was. The door. Large, wooden, and all that separated her from … him. The wolf, the man, and the one who set her soul on fire. Nobody had ever affected her like he’d done. Not one person had ever gotten under her skin. No man had her hiking her dress in a forest and climbing their body to … shoot, her cheeks flamed when she thought of humping him like a dog in heat. But she did, and she would’ve done more too. She wanted to do so much more, but she couldn’t.

She could not risk everything. Not even for him.

Her hand reached for the doorknob, her chest heaving as she took a deep breath before she tugged it open … and there he was. Glorious and handsome in a dress shirt that pulled across his chest … oh hell, with jeans snug around his … shit! A bottle of wine in one hand and, damn it to hell, a box from Bun Boutique in the other!

Her mouth dried up, and apparently so did her brain, because she swallowed twice then blurted out … “We’re not having sex.”

Here’s our promo video and couple of teasers too …

Exciting News – Dark Moon Falls Volume II is Coming!

I’m so excited … Dark Moon Falls has been received well by readers … they are LOVING it and I’m thrilled about it! But … that’s not what’s got me so excited. Nope, I’m jumping up and down because Dark Moon Falls II is coming! Aye, that’s right! You’re going to get more shifter hotness, with romance, intrigue and enough stories to keep you glued to the pages into the wee hours of the night!

It’s already available for preorder on iBooks and Nook! You can get your preorders in now guys! But that’s not all … we have a dedicated Facebook Group for all things to do with Dark Moon Falls – HERE – and we’ll be having takeovers and giveaways in there! You must go over and join if you want to take part – so GO GO GO now and join! If you love Dark Moon Falls and want to be part of our group – click HERE to join so you DON’T MISS OUT!

Remember to join our Dark Moon Falls Group … click HERE!

Dark Moon Falls is Live!

I’m so excited! Dark Moon Falls is finally here! This was borne over a year ago in Vegas by Bella Roccaforte and me and we had such fun creating this world ..  High in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, the sleepy town of Dark Moon Falls has secrets … Hot wolf shifters pursue their one true mate, witches pursue their own agenda, and humans are caught in the middle. In Dark Moon Falls, danger, intrigue, and romance lurk around every corner.

This boxed set includes 15 new steamy stories you’ll want to get your paws on!

What happens when you combine werewolves, witches and romance? Fifteen magical stories that will dazzle and delight you! One town, one wolf pack, one witch’s coven and fifteen brand new stories of romance and magic packed into one box set!

So grab yours now before the sale price of 99c goes up! 

Available on All Retailers – Click HERE for all links!

Meet Jagger from Dark Moon Falls!

I’m so excited about the release of our brand new world … Dark Moon Falls and the set with so many new stories for you! But I thought I’d introduce you a little more to Jagger, my character, and give you a couple of wee snippets from his story … hope you enjoy!

Amazon iBooks Nook Kobo

Snippet One

“You always do that? Organize the food before starting?” He pointed to her plate with his knife.

“Of course.” She frowned. “Less time waiting to eat it if I do, and I like to be organized. One piece of pancake, one of banana, and a dollop of cream. Voilá … heaven.”

Storm popped it into her mouth. Oh jeez, it tasted amazing. She hummed with delight and Jag stopped with his fork midair. Another rumble in his chest. “Damn, Storm, you’re making it hard for me to think straight.”

He reached over with his finger stretched out. What was he doing? Then he slowly wiped along the side of her mouth. Jag held his finger up with cream on the point before slowly pulling it back and sucking it clean. Storm’s heart almost stopped beating before it sped up, thudding wildly in her chest, her breathing coming in short, sharp gasps. Fuck! Her thoughts were going haywire, completely and utterly in the gutter. Her eyes locked on his mouth when his tongue swept along his lips slowly.

Holy hell. What would it feel like to have his tongue on her… Whoa! Stop it!

“You okay there?” Jag asked, quietly. “You’re looking a little … strange.”

Storm forced a deep breath inside her, her eyes raising to his. “I’m fine,” she managed to get out.

“Sure?” he asked. “You’re heart’s beating way too fast, Storm. I can hear it.”

What? No, shoot, he couldn’t do that? Could he? Shit, of course he could. He was a wolf.

Storm pulled another breath inside her before tipping her chin up. “That’s rude. A bit like eavesdropping on a private conversation. Listening to my … my … body.”

Then she popped another mouthful of food in and chewed slowly, with her brow raised, before she purposely swallowed, then mirrored what he’d done. She ran her tongue over her lips. Storm took her time doing it, too, a long time. Starting at the outer edge on her bottom lip and dragging it along before she went up and over the top, then popped it back inside with a smile.

“Thanks for recommending the pancakes. They are yummy, and the cream, it’s amazing.” She picked up another forkful, ready to repeat the performance.

“Stop,” Jag ground out. “Storm, you have to learn something … don’t tease a hot-blooded wolf. Not unless you want to take things further with them, and definitely not in a public place, because we don’t care where we are or who the hell’s watching.”

Amazon iBooks Nook Kobo

Snippet Two

Jag gave her a smile. One that lit up his eyes and gave her all kinds of tingles inside. A smile and she was all warm and fuzzy. What on earth was going on here? They hardly knew each other and yet … she felt like she’d known him forever, and the feelings inside her? Well, those were off the damn charts.

“You feel it, too. Don’t you? I can see it in your eyes. I can hear your heart speeding up, Storm. Tell me you feel this between us … or tell me I’m crazy. Just tell me something before my head explodes.”

She did, of course she did, but she didn’t know what the hell it was. Storm nodded. “What is it? I have to admit, this scares me, Jag. It’s not natural, it’s not normal for me to act like this or feel like this.”

Jag scooted over, his hands cupping each side of her face, and then … and then … he bent down and pressed his lips to hers. Soft. They were soft, but also hard. How could it be, but it was. His tongue sought entrance and she opened willingly for him, allowing him in to explore and tangle with hers while one of his hands reached around to twist inside her hair. Storm moaned, her teeth clashing with his, struggling to move closer to him, lights dancing behind her eyelids as explosions started to go off inside her.

Every part of her body came alive, every cell inside her buzzed as if she’d been struck with electricity, and she’d never felt such passion ignite within her from a kiss in her entire life. Her whole body wanted to meld to Jag, to wrap around him, to…

Then he pulled back, leaving her a hot mess and gasping as if she’d run a marathon.

Amazon iBooks Nook Kobo

Remember to grab your copy NOW for only 99c! Price goes up after release guys so don’t miss out!

Love Fantasy Romance? Check this out!

Do you love Fantasy Romance?

Fantasy Romance … what’s not to love about it? Sexy Vampires, hot as Hades Shifters, a host of other magical beings, including Dragons, Witches and a ton of others with lots of action thrown in with passion galore? Wow, pass the fan now because the heat is high in this genre. It can be called a few things, including paranormal romance but it’s hot and has a ton of books and authors to keep you reading into the wee hours of the night.

The heat levels in the stories can, of course, vary, for example, mine are usually steamy, and in some others there can be a slow burn, but in most there’s always a romantic element where the couples are brought together and have to work to fight against an enemy. Or, the ‘good guy’ must battle a foe to win his love or save her life … that’s the action part. 

I’ve been very excited as Victor was recently picked to be featured as one of thirteen books that show the wide range of passionate Fantasy Romance over on Wiki.Ezvid! It’s a fantabulous site and I had no idea they were going to add one of my books! I’m over the moon about it! You can click HERE to check it out … it’s a huge site with tons of stuff on it… go on over now! The feature has a lot of books on it, some I’m going to go check out myself …. they look freaking awesome guys!

Fantasy Romance is a fabulous genre, hot and action packed … and I am so thankful and excited to have one of my books be featured over on their site! Whoop whoop! Can you tell how happy I am…

Meet Jagger … Dark Moon Falls Character!

Jagger is my character from the brand new Dark Moon Falls series of books that are coming soon in the new boxset and I’d like to introduce you to him …

He’s hot as hell, sexy, and he’s a Deputy Sheriff as well as a Wolf… damn! 

He’s in for the shock of his life when he meets Storm … because she knows nothing about shifters, and she’s on the run from someone … can Jag help her? Or will Storm keep on running?

Storm’s shocked at her reaction to Jagger … 

Join Jagger and Storm in Dark Moon Falls … where their journey begins but will it end in happiness or an explosion of anger, blood, and death when the darkness Storm is running from … finds her?

Available for Preorder NOW

Help us raise money for The Epilepsy Foundation!

Annual Charity Boxed Set!

ALL Proceeds go to The Epilepsy Foundation!

Brace yourself for a sexy and wicked treat! We’ve packed this limited-time boxed set full of vampires, wolves, dragons, and more! Inside you will find twenty Paranormal Romance books that will satisfy your craving for immortal bad boys.
 
Give into your hunger for lust, passion, and romance. We’ve brought it all in one sinfully delightful set!

Pre-Order NOW for only 99Cents! 
All proceeds benefit the EPILEPSY FOUNDATION!

 

Brand New Project!

I’m soooooooo excited to announce a brand new project I’m taking part in … and that means brand new stories! Whoop whoop! And what is this new project? It’s a fantabulous series called Dark Moon Falls and there’s a ton of talented authors coming together to give you amazing and brand new stories set in Dark Moon Falls…

The boxset has been uploaded and is live… grab your preorder now guys! My characters are Jagger and Storm and I’m absolutely loving them. They are fabulous to write but, of course, all is not plain sailing and I worry about them… do you wanna meet Jagger? You do? Then you shall… this is him… Jagger ‘Jag’ Johnson… what do you think?

I hope you like him? I think he’s rather hot hot hot! Keep your eyes peeled for more info on the series as I’ll be posting snippets and teasers as well as links! Get it now guys because this is a set you do NOT want to miss!

iBooks Nook

Branding… What is it?

AUTHOR BRANDING

By

Ava K Michaels

I’ll be heading off to an author conference soon, Chapter Con, which is being held at St Mary’s Campus down in London. I’m excited about attending, and a little scared… because I’m taking part in a couple of panels and that’s out of my comfort zone. However, I’m also excited about it, and looking forward to meeting many of my ‘peers’ and picking up tips to help me, as well as pass on some of my own. First up I’d like to thank the ladies behind the scenes who work so hard at putting these things together, they truly have a hard time, especially when dealing with people such as me… an OCD nutcase who, well, must be their worst nightmare, but Katie, who has been an absolute gem, has made this as painless as possible for me.

So, I’m doing a panel on branding, and I’m going to put it up here for a couple of reasons… one being that I hope it can help others, but also so the people attending can quickly come over here and grab it if they need to… voila! So, let’s get started.

Branding… what is it? Well, branding isn’t just your logo or banner etc, it’s a whole package affair and I hope to give you a wee insight. So, branding is something which is solid and consistent and not just visually but across the board.

Branding isn’t just your name…it’s so much bigger than that. It’s what people ‘expect’ when they think of you/your brand/your product and as authors that makes it even harder for us to get it right. Your brand is also to do with what readers expect from you and your books. So, if you write contemp romance, or pnr and suddenly put out a different genre series … that, in effect, dilutes your brand and it can, I’m not saying always, but it ‘can’ dilute it … in effect … it dilutes you.

For instance, we all know when we pick up a can of Coke what to expect, they have a brand and they stick to it. If one day you grabbed a can and took a drink and suddenly it tasted like orange juice … you’d be unhappy because that’s not their brand. They’d changed it, they’d diluted their brand and Coke would never do that. So, you shouldn’t do it either unless you want to dilute your brand.

You might be one of the lucky ones who can write very different genres and have a mix of readers who’ll pick up anything you write, but for the most part, if your reader base loves one genre they don’t generally expect you to pop out something drastically different and can be thrown if you do.

A lot of readers don’t genre hop, they read one and a lot stick to it so you don’t want to lose them, this can lead to losing your precious readers … just because you weren’t true to your brand.

 It’s why some authors use different pen names for different genres as in … different branding for different genres. Or they’ll have So and so writing as … so their readers know it’s them but also know they’re writing in another genre. They’re not springing it on them but they’re also tapping into their reader base too in case those readers might want to pick the story up.

Then there’s the Social Branding aspect … and please excuse my french, but it really does come down to never, ever, be an eejit, or to put it more bluntly, an ass. Not ever. Don’t be passive aggressive or out and out aggressive. Do not, repeat, do not engage in drama on FB. Ever. No matter what’s going on in the industry … and let’s be honest, there is always drama, every other day there’s something happening. Do not engage. No matter if you know the person, no matter if you have inside gossip … do not engage.

Readers see this. They see it as a reflection of you, your brand. It dilutes it, dilutes you … and it can take forever to rebuild. If at all.

Be ‘truthful’ to your brand … what I mean by that is … don’t have one face on your Author page a different one on your personal. Readers will see it and that will not go over well. So be true to who you are and be consistent. The fact is, your author business is just that … a business and a lot of people forget that. You should remember to conduct yourself just like you would as if you were working in any other job because this IS your job.

We’ve all seen authors who’ve acted badly on FB … and had their careers impacted by that. Don’t let that be you. It can impact not just on readers, but on your work too, other authors see it, they see how you are on FB, they see your brand, and it could influence a future decision on whether someone would work with you on a project, a shared world or a boxset, for instance.

Look at FB as your ‘office’, if you do that, and act as if it is, then you won’t go wrong, after all, you wouldn’t go into your office and start scrapping with another member of staff there… would you? Going online on FB and having a barney with say… another author, or a reader, or someone who you don’t agree with… it’s just the same. Except, it’s far worse because it’s online and everyone can see you doing it, and once it’s out there online it can never be undone … screenshots are forever, so even if you do something you regret and delete it, you can bet your backside that someone has taken screenshots and posted all over the place about it.

So, golden rule, don’t do it, FB is your office and you’re the Boss. Act in a manner that does your brand proud and you’ll be fine.

Then there’s the visual side, with logos and banners etc. Notice how I came to this last? It is important, of course it is, but in my opinion if you don’t get the above right, images don’t matter. You can have the best images in the world but if the rest isn’t done right this part is a total waste of time.

That being said, let’s get to it… now, you don’t have to spend tons on these. Yes, of course you can, I have in the past, I’ve had several different logos, and did a rebrand a few years ago but didn’t feel it suited me completely and I was lucky enough to mention it to a friend, another author who’s got a talent with working with images, and straight away she said to me, okay, let’s work on this and so we did. And voila, we ended up with something I was much happier with and when I asked about it in my reader group and in my newsletter… the feedback was wonderful.

So, for this part of it, I’d say to go with your gut and work with someone you feel comfortable with but not to tackle this yourself unless you have a first class knowledge in that department. And even if you do, it’s sometimes difficult to decide these things when you’re designing something for you and not a client.

So I’d say to ask for plenty of input before deciding on a final product and remember, always, your brand and what you’re trying to put over to reflect it. Sometimes simple is best.

You can, of course, look at other authors in your genre to get some inspiration if you have no clue what you want, but of course, don’t copy someone else’s design. You want something that’s unique to you so that when people see it they’ll automatically think of you and only you and not get confused and wonder, hmm, is that so and so… or? You want your own brand, not someone else’s.

That’s all I have, I hope I’ve helped you get some insight to branding as a whole and not just the logo side of things and I hope I’ve not bored you to death.

Ava x

You can download a doc of this for your own use HERE and I hope it’s of some use to you.

Beta Readers

BETA READERS

By

Ava K Michaels

My second panel at Chapter Con is about Beta Readers… those special people who authors need and I hope this post will help. Once again, there’ll be a link at the bottom for you to download this as a doc, if you want it.

First thing I’d say… authors need to check their ego at the front door. Sorry, but it’s true, if you can’t do that… stop reading now. If you’re brave enough, and can, carry on.

So? Who are they and why do you need them?

They’re not your best friend, family, or someone too close that they’re just going to tell you what they think you want to hear. Any author who thinks that family or friends won’t do this… hmm nope, they will, and you’re kidding yourself I you think otherwise.

They have to be able to tell you things that you might not want to hear, and might even have you in tears or want to throw a tantrum or eat a ton of chocolate huddled in the corner … for example, plot holes that means you’ll have rewrites to do, sometimes even major ones. Something we all hate to have to do but is necessary for a story.

They should also be from the demographic of your story, as in, readers of the same genre you’re writing. Readers who love pnr if that’s what you do, contemp romance if that’s your thing. Don’t have a group of betas that love horror reading a historical romance because they won’t give you the feedback that you need or want. It’s a waste of your time and theirs.

A team of Betas should be made up of people with different strengths too, some who’re great at spotting those pesky plot holes, some who are good at pointing out character flaws, some who can see where a book’s flow is slowing so much that it gets boring… yes it happens and if you have someone on your team who’ll actually tell you, then they’re gold and you need them to be able to tell you so you can fix it.

It means you’ll be putting out the best story you can, and you have to have a thick skin and have a relationship open enough with them to feel comfortable to give you this information. – Remember my first comment… leave your ego at the front door.

If you get all upset with them if they do give you this information … they’ll turn tail, run, and not only that, they can talk to other betas and you’ll soon find it impossible to find new members for your team. Oh, and don’t ever moan about a beta online, that’s a huge mistake. They are your team, you should cherish them, even if they give you feedback that you don’t particularly like. If something they say really isn’t something you agree with… you can discuss it, calmly of course, in your FB group… get other betas input on it… and this is an important part… if the other betas side with them… take heed. That’s something you should have, a closed separate group for your betas where you can chat if need be.

Where to find these elusive, magical creatures? You can look for betas in your reader group on FB, or if you have a newsletter, you can set up a googledoc and ask for applications that way. If you do it via your newsletter, make sure to ask pertinent questions and ask people who they’ve beta’d for before, and also ask if you can reach out to the authors they’ve beta’d for. THAT is a telling question, if they say no to that, that’s a red flag and I’d skip them. If they say yes, then you can either reach out to the author or not. The fact they’ve said yes says something in itself but a beta reader is a special relationship, you’re handing over your baby, and I’m very wary of who I give mine to, so if I were you and you don’t know the person, I’d be checking them out first.

Set up a bookfunnel account to send if you’re starting out, they log who gets what etc, and the files themselves are digitally marked and let people know this as a ‘disclaimer’ at the bottom of the email you send if you want, if you’re feeling wary of your files being pirated. You can also have page one with This is a Beta Copy of and your title on the file if you want to.

There’s the timing of when to give to betas too. I know some who give them after it’s been to editors… I don’t do that. I give them before it goes to my editor. Why? Because I want to fix anything that needs sorting before my editor gets hold of it. I’ve had my team in place for a while, and they tell me how it is. Straight! They know that’s what I want and don’t hold back.

Sue, my PA went to Chapter Con with me, and she’s on my team, and she caught a great big hole in my last book. One that readers would’ve seen and I’m certain would’ve been in the reviews they left, and not in a good way. As soon as she said the name of a character… I knew what I’d done, but it was Sue who caught it, before it went to editing. If I’d left this to after editing, it would’ve left chunks of text in several parts of the book… unedited, or I would’ve had to pay for those to be re-edited. So, for me it makes sense to send before. This is obviously a personal choice, but it works for me, and it’s how I’ve done it for a while now.

Of course, this is a personal choice, but it makes sense for ‘me’, it might not for others, but you make it work for you. It’s what life’s all about, isn’t it? Getting something in place and making it work for you. My team members have different strengths and I use them to the max and love them all for them… even when it means I have to do re-writes. It’s their job after all. So, there it is… Beta Readers and my take on them. I hope I’ve helped, even a wee bit.

Ava xx

If you want to download this as a doc… click HERE.