#SampleSunday - Hometown Hero (3)

#SampleSundayexcerptHometown HeroHomecomingBlame The MistletoeChristmas Romance Holiday Romance

Good morning!

alt

I'll get to the excerpt in a minute (you can scroll down to it, it's marked) but first I wanted to answer a question I often hear. Where can I buy your books?

What most people are really asking is, Why can't I get [insert title] where I prefer to buy books?

The short answer is, Because publishing has changed. I won't give you a history lesson, but we all know that e-books have caused the status quo to stop and cough.

Basically authors have three choices these days:

  1. Traditional print publishers who release it in print and digital with standing orders for mass distribution to book stores, drug stores, Target, Walmart, etc. Harlequin does this with my Presents/Moderns. The books are also translated for internations markets. Note that 'Trad Pubs' (I'm teaching you the lingo) might go digital only, or digital first, as Harlequin did with my erotic romances.
  2. Small, mostly-digital press who may or may not release it in print and would have limited distribution via online ordering or a book store placing an order for that book. Some of these small press outfits have connections overseas, but their bread and butter is digital books within North America.
  3. Publish it yourself which means eating the cost of the editing, cover and formating, learning to publish, but you have more control in all aspects of the book and reap the bulk of the royalties.

Here's another fancy phrase: Hybrid Author. That's what I am. I have books in all those streams. I'm not saying every author should, but it works for me and I'm happy to share my reasons and experiences in a workshop. Email me.

The bottom line is, some of my books are digital only or exclusive to Amazon because of the publisher I've chosen to work with. (And who has accepted my manuscript and chosen to work with me.) This is how the publishing landscape has really changed. Authors have choices these days. It's quite empowering.

What does that mean for you, Dear Reader? It means that if you are die-hard paper book lover, you will miss out on a few of my titles. If you don't mind reading digital, but don't have a Kindle, no problem! There's an app for that. Go to the app store of whichever device you like and download the Kindle app. Voila! All of my books are now available to you.

Most of them are also available on Kobo and the other platforms. A few are exclusive to Amazon because Amazon offers specific promotional opportunities when you make your book exclusive to them. Many authors choose to 'enroll in KDP' and similar programs with Amazon because it improves their chances of being discovered there. Remember, authors have to think like publishers, which means they have to consider the best marketing strategies for each book.

This is the long way of explaining why Blame The Mistletoe is already available for pre-order on Amazon even though it doesn't release until Oct 13th while Hometown Hero comes out first (Sept 29th). It has to do with the marketing decisions made by my publisher, Tule, and me. I had input, which is a huge reason why I'm happy working with them and I'm already writing a third book for them before knowing how the first two will do.

alt

You see, in order to offer Hometown Hero at 99c for Sept 29th & 30th, we couldn't put it in the pre-order program. Honestly, there are so many factors to juggle, it's a full-time job in itself. But I believe they will all come out in print anthologies that will be available through Amazon so paper-book lovers stay tuned.

Ready for #SampleSunday? Here's what's happened so far:

  1. Chase caught an eyeful of Skye. Then he said something stupid.
  2. Skye gives Chase an earful. Then she feels stupid.

Prepare for agony, Dear Reader...

~ * ~

Skye woke to the buzz of her mobile on the bedside. She was just hung over enough to consider calling in sick, but she couldn’t. It would be bad enough facing the students and teachers snickering behind her back. She’d learned through the scandal-heavy months of her divorce that the first day after each horrid revelation was always the worst so she ought to just get it over with. Face the music.

But honestly, that tinkling ringtone was more than she could stand at the moment. She didn’t want to talk to anyone, wanted to pull the blankets over her head and die. What had possessed her to lose it like that? Wolcotts were good, solid, normal people with manners. If they had a complaint about something, they wrote a polite letter and requested a refund. When they had a disagreement with someone, they were the first to make apologies and amends. They didn’t pitch a scene in a public place.

The phone stopped and started again.

Snaking a hand from beneath the quilt, she snagged it and glanced at the face. Her brother’s photo glared at her. Sliding her thumb across the strip, she brought it to her ear. “Hey, Stan.”

“Why are you on the internet calling a major league pitcher a homophobe?”

“Whaaaat?” Her heart stopped. “That’s not funny.”

“Some kid posted it last night. It’s gone viral.”

“Noooo,” she cried softly, the sting of humiliation bleeding into her veins as she realized how easily that could have happened. Every second day, there was a new workshop or bulletin about kids and technology and cyber threats.

Still, she tried to will reality from manifesting.

Squinching her eyes shut, she curled deeper under the blankets. “Please tell me you’re joking,” she whimpered.

“Someone from Channel Nine’s news desk just called the house.”

“Stan—”

“I’m not kidding. Mom just got off the phone. I looked it up. It’s you and Chase Goodwin.”

“Oh Ga-awd. Remind Mom I love her, would you? Because I have to go throw myself off the back of Copper Mountain now.” She curled tight as a pill bug into the space under her blankets. “I hate my life, Stan. Why does it keep getting worse?”

He sighed, both sweetly protective and impatient at the same time. He hadn’t wanted her to marry Terry, especially so young. He hadn’t wanted her to stand by Terry while he sorted out his life, then keep living in this big, empty house. After their father died, he’d begged her to move back to the ranch. I’m not squeezing you out of your share, he had insisted a million times. This will always be your home, too.

But this house was her dream home, the one piece she had left of the Happily Ever After pie she’d been baking when she’d married Terry. Terry had felt guilty enough to sign it over to her, so why should she sell it?

“Goodwin’s a big deal,” Stan said. “You might wind up with quite a bit of attention. Come out here for a week or so until it blows over.”

Tempting, but along with everything else, she and his wife lived better apart. And if growing up on a ranch had taught her nothing else, it was that you didn’t let a bit of hardship defeat you. When you landed in the dirt, you got on your feet and back in the saddle before fear had a chance to take hold. It sucked. It meant feeling the bruises while you rode out the pain, but it had to be done.

“No, I’ll...figure it out,” she murmured, not even trying to imagine how. Get out of bed, shower, dress, drive to the school. Pretend everything was normal and fine.

Seriously? The internet? Why did God hate her?

“You know, you’re allowed to be angry, Skye, but you should take it out on Terry. He’s the one who cut you the raw deal.”

She was angry with Terry, but not enough to hurt him. He was her best friend. She loved him. Not as a husband, but as much as she loved Stan. Terry had tried so hard to be what everyone wanted him to be, to give Skye her dream—which hadn’t seemed like a big ask at the time, but it had turned out to be impossible.

Which was why she was so angry, she supposed. She came from simple folk and her dream hadn’t been far-fetched. All she’d asked for was a steady man who wanted to make a family and a good life. If things hadn’t worked out, it should have been due to a normal problem like money or cheating. She didn’t understand why her marriage had had to explode in such an extraordinary and public way. Wolcotts weren’t flashy. They didn’t demand attention. Why did her private business have to wind up in the spotlight?

On social media, for heaven’s sake. Really?

Her phone buzzed with a second call. Terry.

This was going to be a long, hard day in the saddle.

~ * ~

Quick reminder - This book is part of a five book series collaboration with the following books releasing on these dates by these authors:

Do you want to know the minute my books come out, so you can take advantage of that 99c intro price? Join my newsletter! I always draw for a signed copy of my next print book from my subscriber list so you could win a copy of The Russian's Acquisition, my November Harlequin Presents.

You could also enter this Goodreads Giveaway for The Russian's Acquisition, which opens Sept 23rd. I'm including the widget for those visiting from the future:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Russian's Acquisition by Dani Collins

The Russian's Acquisition

by Dani Collins

Giveaway ends October 23, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Okay, must get back to making up stories. Further to above about where to get my books...

All my Harlequin titles are available on Mills & Boon UK, eHarlequin and Mills & Boon Aus.

Prefer Amazon?
US | Canada | UK | India | Germany | Brazil | Spain | Italy | Japan | Australia 

These other fine retailers have my books too:
Nook | KoboARe | BooksaMillion | ChaptersIndigo | iBooks

Want to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest...etc? Click here for Dani's Social Media links and take your pick.

Please check in for #TeaserTuesday. I'll be starting excerpts from Blame The Mistletoe. Oh! #SpoilerAlert. I didn't think ahead to this--Blame the Mistletoe opens at a cocktail party hosted by Skye & Chase. If you feel strongly about reading books in order, you might want to skip these #TeaserTuesday excerpts until you've read Hometown Hero.

Enjoy your weekend.