First, a big congratulations to the winners in the Love-Struck Valentine's Blog Hop. Lori won the loaded Kindle Paperwhite. Here on my site, I drew three names for digital copies of The Healer and notified the winners.
Don't despair if you weren't one of them! I will draw for a second copy of that Mills & Boon 2in1 signed by both myself and Jennifer Hayward. (I have three. I'm considering my options for giveaways with that last one.) In any case, you have a chance on Feb 28th when I draw for that second copy.
And, remember that I always draw from my subscriber list when a book launches so you have a chance in June, with An Heir To Bind Them, and again in August, when I'll have THREE titles launching. More on that in another post.
I've learned that when it comes to signing, it's quality not quantity, so a huge shout out to Tricia and Kristie for making the drive special to see me. Another big hug to the lovely senior who had never met an author before, but reads all the Harlequins. She was so tickled, she came back to tell me about her plans to make a cross-stitch banner for her bookshelf with my name on it. That is why you make a three hour drive to sell a handful of books, people.
That is why I'm motivated to make an eight hour drive (six if I let my sister take the wheel) to Vancouver this week. I'm really looking forward to the Reader/Writer Event at the Vancouver Public Library on Feb 19th. I won't be the only author and several writing pals I haven't seen in way too long will be there as well. I'm looking forward to catching up with everyone. Please come if you're in Vancouver.
If you can't make it, you can always listen to my radio interview on Feb 18th with Renee Bernard at Canned Laughter And Coffee. It will come on at 8:30 Eastern/5:30 Pacific.
This entire post seems to be a lot of talk about talking about books, which wasn't intentional, but it segues nicely into something new I wanted to try--a read aloud excerpt.
I’ve been wanting to do one for a while. I used to read novels to my kids quite often. The Tale Of Despereaux was one of our favourites (Dear Reader.) Since I've already posted six excerpts for A Debt Paid in Passion, my February Harlequin Presents, I decided to switch gears.
The Healer seemed the best choice for a few reasons. I've been looking for ways to bring it into focus for my fans. I wondered if some readers dismissed it when they see it labeled a Medieval Fantasy, thinking it's like Lord Of The Rings with fairies and elves and trolls. It's not. It reads more like a historical romance.
In fact, I nearly wrote it as a Scottish Highlander story, but that sounded like research (i.e. work), especially when I had this one magical/light paranormal element of a race of people able to heal. But if you love Jamie Fraser from Outlander, I think you'll fall for Vaun. He's somewhere between a Viking and a Highlander, incredibly protective with a wonderful code of honour.
The other reason The Healer makes a nice choice for read aloud is the scope of its story. I love offering sexy excerpts from my Presents, but I don't know that I want to read those aloud, even on tape in the isolation of my attic writing room! The Healer is a much bigger book (120,000 words as compared to 50,000 for a Presents.) The cast is extensive enough that I made a list of characters for readers to print (contains spoilers!) I even drew a map (then paid someone to make it pretty.) Print from The Healer page. The story itself is quite complex--epic even--so it seemed the best choice.
It's about four minutes long, two and a half pages (26-28.) Setup: Vaun is marching his men through enemy (Shote) territory when he discovers a camp of men. They appear to have one of his (Kerf) women enslaved, but after they battle to free her, she turns out to be Alvian, the race of healers his people fear. Since the rest of the march home will be treacherous, he keeps her with them.
This is my first try with audio and I know zilch about how to make it work. I tried it in Preview and it looks like you just have to hit the triangular play button and wait a moment while it loads. I recorded it on my Voice Memo on my iPhone so if the format doesn't work for you, please tell me so I can look into it.
Have a great week!