Some Write It Hot

February 7, 2011

Are Book Trailers Effective? by KevaD

Filed under: Writing life — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
Tags: , , , ,

Two years ago The Wall Street Journal asked that very question.

To no one’s surprise, the answer was a resounding ‘probably not’ – “There is scant evidence . . . that the average book trailer actually has much impact on book sales.”

Consider this; you watch a trailer on YouTube and are interested in the book. Can you click on the trailer to buy the book? No. Read the back cover blurb? No. Read an excerpt? No. Click a link to the author or publisher’s web sites and bookstore? No.

In fact, you have to note the title, author, and in many cases, the publisher, in order to locate where the book is available for purchase.

Not to mention… how did you find the trailer on YouTube to start with?

That’s right – you probably didn’t. Unless you linked to it from an author or publisher’s site that provided all the other information anyway. In which case, you no doubt clicked on the trailer for no reason other than to watch it – entertainment.

As yet, there is no credible method of tracking the impact of book trailers on the average consumer. However, publishers and authors are feeling the need to provide trailers to those very potential customers. Because, after all, many trailers are well-done and quite enjoyable to watch.

Which brings us back to the original question – does the trailer aid in your decision as to which book to buy?

That’s what I hope you’ll share with us today. Please leave a comment and tell us if book trailers weigh in your decision about buying a book.

Now I’ll answer one of my own questions. Can a book trailer impact which book you buy or read?

The answer is a resounding “Yes!” But not in the manner you’re thinking.

Book trailers are a marketing tool – another method of getting a product to consumers. Enter the marketing specialists, such as Circle of Seven Productions.

For a set fee, companies like will put an author’s trailer in front of 300+ booksellers and 5,000+ libraries – the primary purchasers of books.

That’s correct. Book trailers have added a whole new chapter to the concept of book catalogs.

Does the book trailer ensure the book is well-written or will sell well? Not any more than spiffy cover art can guarantee sales. But it can catch a bookseller or library purchasing agent’s eye. Catching the client’s attention is still the salesman’s proverbial foot in the door.

By the way, Circle of Seven noted on a blog that links to a site where your book is for sale can be implanted with your trailer: “You can indeed make a live link from YouTube. You need to put the http:// in front of the www. in the description area.”

I haven’t tried it. Nor am I promoting Circle of Seven. I needed information regarding trailer marketing, and I stumbled across Don’t know how effective or efficient they are at what they do.

So, tell us what you think about trailers. And while you’re deep in thought, here’s a trailer I made:

See what else KevaD is up to at his blog

January 5, 2011

Free Read – Gato Negro, Chapter 3

Cover Art copyright Stella Price 2010

Here’s Chapter 3 of my Contemporary Erotic Romance, Gato Negro, now available for Kindle at and other readers, in .epub format, at Goodreads.


“We will cross here,” Carlos said.

Beth regarded the rope spanning a narrow part of the river with more than a little trepidation. Apparently, they were supposed to wade across using the stretched and worn line for leverage.

“Is this s-safe?” she stammered. She was the shortest and smallest of them. Picking up a twig, she tossed it into the middle of the deceptively calm stream and watched it sweep away in the current. “There has to be another way.”

“Nothing in the forest is without risk, colibrí,” he said. “The water is little more than waist deep. I’ve crossed here many times. There is a rope bridge six kilometers upstream. We’ll use it coming back, but Carter said you must take readings at noon. We will not reach the site in time if we try to walk that way.”

She hadn’t heard him string so many words together in the two days since he’d shown up at the compound. Soft and low, melodic, with the hint of a purr, his voice flowed over her, harmonizing with the murmuring of the water until it seemed as much a part of the forest as the bird and insect song.

He called me hummingbird. At the moment, Beth thought she might follow Carlos Elizandro anywhere.

“Well, I’m game,” Kate said and began unbuttoning her blouse where she stood.

Beth moved behind a tree for at least the illusion of privacy while removing her shirt. She folded it into her small daypack to keep dry. They all wore quick-dry shorts, but the bathing suit would be more comfortable than a wet T-shirt.

Carlos took the ford first, striding through the current with apparent ease. The muscles in his back rippled as he tugged and pulled to test the strength of the rope. Among the three men, they’d keep the lead taut for the others to cross.

Kate followed Carlos. Her confident stride took her into water midriff-deep until, about halfway across, the current redoubled. She moved more cautiously. Gripping tightly with both hands, she leaned against the force of the water for about three meters, then strode through the shallows and did a little victory dance in the mud on the opposite bank.

The crossing took longer than Beth had anticipated.

Sam grabbed her pack. She tossed him nervous thanks and waded in.

The water was surprisingly warm, but dragged at her legs so her muscles strained in unfamiliar ways with each step. By the time she moved into the midstream flow, the water reached her breasts. She froze.

With only one foot in the current, she already recognized the unsteady hold it had on the rocks. Kate’s extra height and fifteen kilos would come in handy right now.

She paused a moment, considered asking for help. Thought better of it–by the time one of the men reached her, she could be on the solid ground of the other bank with her pride intact.

One more step. Her legs flew out from beneath her, and she went under.

Beth clutched the lead, holding on for her life.

The rope stretched under her weight as the current dragged her legs downstream. She hung on. Forget trying to get her feet on the ground, she needed to breathe.

The surge of water tore at her hold on the rope and the breath in her lungs. Panic tried to swallow her. She thrust it aside and fought to raise her head above the surface.

One hand lost its grip. The current flipped her over.

She finally gulped a breath of air and water. The rope ripped from her fingers.

Two arms came from nowhere, grabbed her about the waist and lifted her to her feet. She gasped, choking, fighting for air and trying to get a grip on the rocks as Carlos dragged her to the bank. Still clutching his arm, she leaned forward and vomited an amazing amount of water into the mud.

Carlos supported her up the bank and held her as she fell against him, shaken, cold and weak-kneed.

“O, lo siento. I’m so sorry, mija. I didn’t think you are so much smaller,” he crooned, while she clung to him.

She became aware of his naked chest against her cheek at the same moment he did. He gasped, and his heart stuttered beneath her palm. Something deep inside her melted.

“She needs mouth-to-mouth,” Kate quipped.

Beth shot her a scathing glance and pulled away from Carlos as a violent coughing spell erupted to expel the rest of the water from her lungs. When she was finally able to stand on her own, she glanced up at him and found him frowning, his golden eyes full of concern.

“Okay?” He attempted a lopsided grin.

“Yeah, good.”

As the other two crossed, without incident, Beth sat on the ground, silently contemplating her mortality while pouring water out of her boots and squeezing her socks dry. Occasional bursts of laughter attempted to erupt from her chest like the monster in Alien, but she managed to control her hysteria.

An uneasy silence fell over the group. Once everyone was put back together, they continued along the path for another hour to the site Carlos had in mind for them. She waved off help from both Carlos and Kate and let the slow, steady pace clear the shock and adrenaline from her system.

By noon, she was fine. They entered an oak grove deep under the canopy where orchids and fungi of every imaginable color wound their way up the thirty-meter trunks and out of sight. Beth recognized half-dozen genera at first glance.

The men went off to find a mid-height tree to set their tackle in, hoping to get samples from higher up.

The equipment she’d packed was safe and dry in its waterproof case, thanks to Sam’s foresight in taking her pack before the crossing. Kate and Beth worked at ground level, metering the light available at this, the brightest part of the day under the canopy, photographing, taking inventory and notating each species’ population and growth pattern. They took samples only of the least familiar species, since keeping the delicate blooms intact on the way back would be a challenge.

At three, they stopped to allow time to get to the Jeep before dusk. The others prepared the samples for transport while Beth took a second set of meter readings for comparison.

As she finished the last reading, Carlos walked up to where she worked. Without a sound, he leaned against a tree, watching her.

I’ve wandered away from the group again. She winced. Carlos looked like he had something to say about her carelessness, but, thankfully, kept his peace.

She sat on a mossy deadfall, filling in her notes and feeling self-conscious. If he didn’t stop looking at her, she was going to come unglued. She glanced up to tell him and met his eyes. Her heart hiccupped. She closed the notebook, packed the meter away and got to her feet.

“You’d better either kiss me or quit staring at me like that,” she said.

His brow rose to his shaggy hairline.

She’d taken only a few steps to join the others when he came from behind. Grasping her arm, he pulled her into a gentle embrace. His mouth came down to connect with hers.

She’d been waiting for this and meant to enjoy every second. But she was not prepared for the heat.

Carlos gently brushed his lips over her face, mouth first, then chin, cheeks, brow, feather-light kisses on her eyelids, down her nose, back to her lips. His tongue reached for her, tasting, coaxing.

Her whole body tingled. Heat rose between her legs and he hadn’t even really kissed her yet.

Instead, he breathed her in.

The kiss became something new. He latched onto her mouth, sucking. His tongue pressed insistently for entry. She opened to give him access and melted into him.

No ravenous, rude rape of her mouth, but a steady invasion. He kissed as he ate, savoring every nibble, pausing to taste, smell, lick. The gentle devouring awakened every nerve cell, visited every pore. His essence became part of her.

His chest beneath her hand quivered and he moaned. Slowly, his arms surrounded her about the back and hips, pulling her tight, and her legs lost the ability to hold her up. He grew hard against her belly as she softened.

Skin to skin, she clung to him, willing the kiss to continue. This was the stuff of life, inevitable, like breathing, like her heart beating. How do you end a kiss like this?

But it had to end. Carlos set her on her feet and pulled back to peer into her eyes.

“This is not a good idea,” he growled. The sound sent shivers through her.

“Oh, yes,” she whispered. “This is a great idea. Like a dream, like something I’ve waited for a long, long time.”

* * * *
If he didn’t sleep, he couldn’t dream, so the cat ran. All seemed well. Whatever had brought him back to his old territory was gone, or too insidious to discern with a cursory examination. TE’e-le, the forest, kept her secrets tonight.

He’d fished earlier. Without hunger to drive him, the running was mere restlessness, an attempt to escape. The woman’s scent carried to him on the night air, relentlessly drawing him toward the compound where she slept until, after the third time turning away, he shifted. In human form, her pull was stronger, but the instinct to surrender was easier to fight.

The man, however, needed rest.

Back at the creek where he’d eaten earlier, he gathered his clothes, donning the jeans, and bundled the rest into the T-shirt. Moving a little away from the bank, he built himself a nest of fallen leaves among the roots of a strangler fig. He rested his back against the trunk and let the night’s lullaby wash over him.

When he was a god, women were served to him. They knew what he was, and whether they thought they wanted him or not, after a week or a month or a year, each returned to her village a goddess and happy for his attentions. He’d loved a few and lost them all.

He’d failed as a god–his people were no more.

Still, TE’e-le held him in her grip. Why she kept him was a mystery–he’d failed her as well, a thousand times, ten thousand times. He was beyond redemption. But she kept him. He must stay until he understood what was needed of him, and neither cat nor man could resist the woman.

He must approach this as a man.

Beth wanted him. She would ask for all he had to give, and what he had wasn’t enough. Eventually, now or ten years from now when he hadn’t aged, she would discover his secret and run. He should tell her, but he didn’t want her to run.

Maybe she would tire of him before Antonio returned. Then only he need know the pain.

He dozed and dreamed.

Look for Chapter 4 of Gato Negro in a couple weeks.  Of course, if you just can’t wait for the next installment, you can always download the book, and the beautiful cover art by Stella Price.

For Kindle @

For other readers (.epub) @ Goodreads

Sorry, they wouldn’t let me price it any lower than ninety-nine cents.

Thanks for reading.

and, oh, if you’ve already read, a couple stars at Amazon would be appreciated. Better yet, stars and a review 🙂

December 15, 2010

Furbabies and Writers by Cherise Sinclair

Filed under: Writing life — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
Tags: , , , ,

Why your human writers should include pets in their stories

–an instructional article for fellow felines by the Calico – aka She Who Rules

I’ve been supervising my human’s reading material recently. I’m distressed at how many stories lack the most important characters of all–the pets. Yes, I realize that animals should be charitable toward their human’s short-sighted natures–after all, they can’t even see in the dark–nonetheless, a book should reflect the world, and in America, over sixty percent of American households contain a pet.

So why have I found books where none of the major characters own a cat or even–if they must display such poor taste–a dog? Truly, humans do need direction.

Being of a literary nature, I have assisted my human with this simple task. She tends to start off a story with boring humans…the hero, the heroine, and various two-legged friends. Bleah. If she continues with her narrow-minded plotting too long, I put my paw down. Usually no more is needed. Remember to show patience; use claws only if your human ignores to ignore a mild admonition. Disembowelment for a first offense is excessive. (yes, I’m talking about you, Mittens)

Below, I will list several ways in which an animal brings a story to life, so you can instruct your human. As kittens learn best by watching it done correctly, I will also provide examples for you.

To enhance a personality: Have you even noticed how two-dimensional some humans *cough* I mean, characters–can be? As I’ve shown Cherise, having a hero own a pet adds another, very appealing dimension. For example, in Club Shadowlands, Master Z appears like this:

Smooth black hair, silvering at the temples, just touching his collar. Dark gray eyes with laugh lines at the corners. A lean, hard face with the shadow of a beard adding a hint of roughness. He wore tailored black slacks and a black silk shirt that outlined hard muscles underneath. If Ben was a Rottweiler, this guy was a jaguar, sleek and deadly.”

[As an aside, I rather liked the above comparison–Cherise thought of it all by herself. I was quite proud and brought her a wonderful helping of nice, warm mouse guts to reward her. Please note that it’s almost as important to reward a two-legger as it is to reprimand her. ]

So, we now have a rich, good-looking human. Nice enough writing, but we can do better. Add in a feline to give him a history and a soft heart:

“Ah, about time. I was wondering if you were going to make an appearance,” Sir said to the cat, kneeling to pet it. He looked up. “May I introduce Galahad?”

“Galahad?” she said in disbelief. That had to be the biggest and ugliest cat she’d ever seen, and she’d seen some monsters at the shelter.

“He’s a very chivalrous fellow.”

Jessica knelt on the floor and held out a finger to be delicately sniffed. In approval, the cat nudged her hand, curveted closer to be petted. “You must be quite a fighter.” She frowned at the chewed-on ears and scarred nose.

“He’s been with me about five years, ever since I found him raiding the garbage cans. He was big then, has grown even more since.”

She would never have picked him as a person who would adopt a stray cat. She didn’t know him at all, did she?

To liven up a thinking scene: How often are there tedious scenes where the characters are simply sitting and thinking? Not even grooming–appalling, isn’t it? It’s much more interesting if the heroine has a pet to give her some advice since, face it, humans are notoriously lacking in common sense.

Even if Jake had come, she wasn’t going to roll over like an idiot dog who’d love a person no matter how badly he treated it. She stopped beside Mufasa. “I’m no dog—I’m a cat. Kick me and I’ll walk away, right, Mufasa?”

A furry head butted her leg in agreement.

To improve descriptions: Do the descriptions of hero or heroine lack a certain oomph? Comparing an animal to a human can be revealing. I fear the human usually comes off less appealing than the pet, but, as I’ve said before, stories should be based on reality.

Here’s Logan from Master of the Mountain:

“Right.” She forced her feet forward, one hard-won step after another. Where was the dog? As the man behind the desk shook hands with Matt, Rebecca checked the floor. There. Standing beside the man, it looked huge, with dark brown fur and a darker muzzle. It stared at her, and she heard another rumble.

“Thor,” the man said, his low voice almost a match for the dog’s. “Down.”

The dog flattened to the floor. It never stopped looking at her, though.

“Rebecca, eyes on me, not the dog.” The deep, rough voice broke her free, and she turned to the owner. He looked as mean as his dog, with steel blue eyes in a deeply tanned face—a ruthless face decorated with a day-old beard and a white scar below his left cheekbone. After handing her a pen, he tapped the paper in front of him. “Name and address. Signature on the release.”

My human does struggle sometimes against my gentle direction. For example, she’d planned a simple Dom finds sub in his private dungeon-type story. Very straight-forward–can we say boring? I pointed out that the plot needed a reason for the rich Dominant to have a middle-class submissive in his home. After a little prodding and effort on my part (tail-lashings, ignoring her presence, hacking up hairballs) Cherise gave in. She came up with a rather brilliant reason: to take care of the owner’s dog. I did feel it was a shame she used a dog, but logical–no self-respecting feline would need a babysitter.

So the heroine became a veterinarian, and that led to a fine parade of animals through the story. I did have to throw a hissy fit to get a feline added. Really, a cat can enhance the showing of a character’s problems and back story far better than any drooling canine. Here’s Mac and Alex in The Dom’s Dungeon:

To top off the wreck of her day, she heard footsteps. Alex was home.

And this wasn’t her home. What was I thinking?

Her stomach sank. He’d probably order her right out of his house. The clawing worry in her stomach duplicated the tiny claws digging into her forearm. The kitten had seen Butler.

“Easy, kitling,” she murmured. “I don’t think he eats cats.” But she didn’t know, now did she? “Butler,” she said firmly. “Behave.” She turned so the cat was out of the dog’s sight and vice versa.

Alex walked around the corner with that easy grace and power, and her heart did that funny dip like it did every time she saw him. Maybe she had a heart condition.

“How did the day go?” he asked; then his eyes narrowed, and he moved forward. “What’s wrong, little vet?”

Caught. Caught dead to rights. When she was a kid, she’d rescued a half-starved puppy and brought it to the foster home. Arlene had thrown it out. “This is my home, not yours.” That night, Mac had sneaked out and found the puppy still in the front yard. So little. All bones and big eyes. She’d carried him across town to the animal rescue and cried all the way back. You would think she’d have learned.

Of course, Alex liked animals. Maybe… Her stomach tightened, and she looked down. Anything to avoid his eyes. This was Alex’s home. Not hers. If he liked cats, he’d have one.

He huffed a laugh, and she looked up in time to get a firm kiss on her lips. “I’m not sure which of you is shaking harder,” he murmured, disengaging the kitten’s claws with an easy competence. “Butler, lie down,” he ordered absently when the dog’s approach triggered a tiny hiss.

“I’m sorry,” Mac whispered, looking at the antique furnishings. “It’s just for tonight, and then I’ll try to find him a home. He was in the middle of Mercer Street, and I couldn’t leave him. If you don’t want him in the house, then…” Maybe she could sneak him into a motel.

He gave her a puzzled look. “MacKensie, if you could have left a kitten in the middle of the road, then you aren’t the woman I thought you were.”

See? Now didn’t that add a lot to MacKensie’s and Alex’s characters?

Finally, a word of warning. If and when pets get added into stories, do NOT let your human forget them. All too often an appealing pet appears in a story, but, as the idiotic author gets wrapped up in the romance, the animal disappears. Excuse my hissing, but that’s as disgusting as when a two-legger forgets mealtimes.

I realize the sacrifice I’m asking you all to make, but my friends, it’s imperative to keep an eye on your human writers. For example, Cherise once tried to write a story without consulting me, and obviously needed closer supervision. So I now spend my days warming my paws on her lap. She’s learned to type with one arm pinned under my body–even old humans can be taught new tricks–and if she doesn’t remember to pet me in repayment for my dedication to duty, I flick my tail against the screen. (Have you ever noticed how effective a tail is when used on the tailless? Be sure to teach this to your kittens.)

Well, if you’ll excuse us, I believe this article can come to an end. And I need to reward my human for her dedication to duty. Hmm. Perhaps I’ll let her feed me some of that chicken she cooked last night.

For the latest on what Cherise is up to visit her website

October 21, 2010

The Fear of Submission by Gillian Archer

Filed under: Writing life — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
Tags: , , ,

Not the sexy Dom kind, the scary editor kind.

I’m sure it’s not an uncommon thing for newbie writers. Something about the thought hitting that send button and shipping my story off into the big, bad publishing world scares the bejesus out of me. I have tonnes of excuses. The beginning isn’t quite right yet. I’m not sure the hero’s arc is deep enough. Editors probably aren’t even looking for winter themed stories right now–it’s too late in the season. Did I do a comma check? I could go on and on! And believe me, I have to all my writerly friends.

What is it that really frightens me about submitting? Is it rejection? Maybe. But not that any particular publisher will reject me–I’m more afraid all of them will. It’s not a great source of anxiety though. I have more stories and eventually one of them will land with my ideal publisher. No, I think my fear is based on what if someone accepts it. *sigh* I’m crazy, I know. But I don’t feel like I’m ready. I don’t know when or even if I will ever feel ready. I know I still have lots to learn. What if a publisher accepts me and I’m not ready? What if I don’t have the skills to get through the content/line editing process? What if I get accepted but pushed onto an editor who doesn’t like me, one who doesn’t understand my voice? What if I get accepted, get published but no one buys my books?

It’s that last one that freezes me in my tracks and I go down the it’s not ready yet path and round ‘n’ round we go. Eventually the ride will stop. I will have to pick a point and say enough already and push that send button. But I have a feeling that moment will be accompanied by a lot of booze! And maybe a little hand holding!!

Read more from Gillian at her website

October 14, 2010

To Blog or not to Blog… is not the Question by KevaD

Filed under: Writing life — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
Tags: , , ,

In today’s electronic spider web of communicating, we have become blind, I believe, of what it is we are dealing with.

The Internet is forever. I don’t mean in terms of lasting ability. I’m referring to the fact that what you post on a blog will still be there for readers to view years from now.

Your momentary ‘rant’ will sit there like a mustachioed sweaty aunt who saw you naked twenty years ago to embarrass you long after you’ve wished the memory would just go away.

As writers and authors, we need to be aware of how fragile our relationship truly is with readers, the folks who buy our work.

Case in point: an author, who I’ll leave nameless as a courtesy, recently posted this on a publisher’s blog – her publisher’s blog:

Referring to her readers –

“People are lazy. If it doesn’t jump off a shelf and into their goddamn hand they won’t do it or buy it.”

Referring to her fellow writers –

“Oh and no one enters competitions. Cos they are required to do something – enter, not telepathically express interest. ”

With hundreds of thousands of books to choose from, did this author just make your list of books to buy? As a writer, is this someone you think could help advance your career, someone you want to hang out with over a digital cup of coffee?

In fairness, the author is a good person and skilled writer who, once she calms down, will regret her words. But, the eternal damage is done. Posting on someone else’s blog doesn’t come with an eraser.

Today’s writers need Internet exposure. However, caution should be taken not to expose yourself.

Just like the pervert on a corner throwing open a tattered raincoat to display his shortcomings, we can paint an unforgettable image in a prospective reader’s mind, we may well wish we hadn’t.

Before clicking that “post comment” bar, consider whether it is something you want your mother to see. If it is, then consider if it’s something your grandmother would want to read. And then think about if it’s something your readers will hold against you two years from now.

I’m not shy about leaving a post or two on people’s blogs. My purpose is fourfold.

One; I had something I wanted to say, to share, about the topic. It also lets the person who created the blog know I dropped in and liked what I saw. Creating a blog is easy. Maintaining it – – not so much.

Two; My post comes with a link to my own blog/web site. I’m trying to drum up visitors who then might become interested in my work and me and subsequently, hopefully, buy my books.

Three; Writers and authors who stop by may decide I’m someone they’d like to stay in touch with. And I’m a person who enjoys hearing from other writers. I believe we learn from each other and, as a result, become even better at our craft.

Four; On my blog I promote the work of a wide variety of authors. The span covers astrophysicists to erotica to healthy living. I do this for the simple reason I firmly believe we writers need to support one another.

Long ago, before technology shrank the world to a pinhead, writers gathered in living communities to share and hone their drive and efforts. When they traveled from one community to the next, they carried with them threads of their friends to share with new friends. Many times that involved leaving behind a book, and taking a new one with them to their next destination. Today those communities are electronic.

We ‘share’ by leaving footprints on each other’s sites and blogs.

Take advantage of this. Do not be shy about leaving your link (a post) on a writer’s blog. I’m certainly not.

But, what I find curious, is how many writers who I have visited, do not post a comment, a link, on my blog. The unspoken invitation is there for the taking. The advertising of your name, your work, is free, not counting the seconds required to post a comment.

I may well have viewers who aren’t familiar with your work click your link and become fans.

We talk about marketing and ‘how do I get my name out there.’

Blogs and commenting on those blogs, in my opinion, are an untapped resource requiring minimal effort.

Just think thrice before hitting that “post comment” bar.

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