Thursday, January 21, 2016

Evolution of a Book Cover - Entranced by Maddie James - #ThrowbackThursday

Books and their covers can go through quite an evolution, especially in this new wave of self-publishing. I have a number of books that have gone through various stages of publication and revision, and re-publication--and plan to share those with you over the coming weeks during my #ThrowbackThursday posts. I also hope to share other author's posts about their backlist books on Thursdays.

Today, I want to share with you the evolution to my book currently titled Entranced, which is book one in my Soul Mates Time Travel Trilogy.

In 1999 the book was published by a long gone and now forgotten ebook company that produced its books only on CD. The title of the book then, was Night Kiss, and written under my then married name. See the beautiful, original artwork at left that was used for the cover. Sad to say that the author copy CDs I received in the mail lasted longer than the company, and soon the rights reverted and the book lay fallow in my computer for a number of years. I thought it was dead in the water.

Then, in 2007, a new ebook publisher emerged and showed interest in the book. I shared that I also had proposals written for books 2 and 3 – were they interested in those as well? Resplendence Publishing published the revised first book, now retitled, The Curse, followed by the rest of the trilogy, The Cult, and The Quest. This cover had a vastly different look, focusing more on the time travel element, than the romance.

Several years passed and I toyed with the plots of books four and five, but never seemed to be able to get those written. The trilogy sold “okay” but could have sold better. I was so new at this new ebook game, I wasn’t quite sure how to market them. In addition, I was under multiple contracts and it seemed I could never get back to devoting time to write the fourth and fifth books.

Then, in 2010, I opened my own small publishing house (which unfortunately closed in 2015). Over time, I pulled all of my books from other publishers into my own house. I knew I wanted to hit this series again, but it had been so long since I had worked on them. Did I still have it in me to tackle the time travel series? I did. Night Kiss/The Curse, underwent extensive revisions, with the first third of the book heavily revised, and with new content added. Now titled, Entranced, I rebranded and revised the entire trilogy, and yes, books 4 and 5 are definitely slated to release in 2016/17!

Watch for news for the release of Wanderlust this spring.




Wednesday, January 20, 2016

#WriterWednesday with Maddie James -- Procrastination

procrastinate
verb pro·cras·ti·nate \prə-ˈkras-tə-ˌnāt, prō-\

 : to be slow or late about doing something that should be done
 : to delay doing something until a later time because you do not want to do it, etc.  (from Merriam-Webster)

All those writers who suffer from this, please raise your hand. Now. C'mon. You too, right? And yes, I'm adding my hand to the mix.

I procrastinate. I think sometimes we writers call this "writer's block." I actually think they are one-and-the-same thing. I can't say that I've ever, truly, suffered from writer's block. What I do suffer from is putting the writing off. Finding something else to do before the writing.

Checking my sales numbers.
Reading a few blog posts.
Tweeting.
Reading my Facebook feed like it's the morning paper.

Laundry.
Dishes.
Swiffering the dog hair up from the floor.

Walking said dog.

Procrastination. Not writer's block. Just putting it off.

I suppose the real question is why. Why do I do that? Oh, I'm waiting for a clean block of time, no distractions or interruptions. Waiting for the mail to come, then I'll get started. Waiting for the dog to stop barking. Waiting for the coffee to finish percolating. Waiting until inspiration strikes.

What?
Whoa.
No.

Inspiration should always be striking. Right? I'm a writer. It's what I do. I need to quit blogging and get at it. Right?

Whew.

Okay. Here I go. What keeps you from writing? Do you procrastinate or do you really suffer from writer's block? I'd love to hear your take on this subject. Comments welcome!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Maddie James #MondayMashup 1-18-2016

Morning folks! It's Monday so time for the mashup of all things going on with me. Hm... What's happening today?

Well first, you can find me guest blogging today over at Wild and Wicked Cowboys. Take a peek at my introductory post where you can find out more info about my sexy cowboys and their families. Ready to head out to Montana for a spell? I'm talking about my western books, what's out now, and what's coming. Mosey on over and take a peek


By the way, Parker is currently my top-selling book at Amazon. He's one fine brooding specimen of cowboy, isn't he? :)

Yesterday, the Soul Mates Trilogy was featured at My Romance Reads. Remember, this boxed set is on sale ONLY for the months of January and February and then the price will go back up to $6.99 for quite some time. This is the first and only time this set has been on sale, and I may not do it again. Now is a great time to get the entire trilogy for 99 cents (three full-length complete novels), in order to catch up on the series. Books 4 and 5 come out this year! Click here to see the My Romance Reads ad feature and details. 

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? If not, you can do that easily right here. Click the newsletter link, add a few details, and you'll be eligible for monthly giveaways and advanced notice on my book releases, etc.

That's all for today. Happy Monday! ~Maddie

Monday, January 11, 2016

Today's #Monday Mashup @MaddieJames - 1-11-16

I hope everyone had a splendid weekend. I did! We practically had a Turner Classic Movie weekend marathon, and I loved every minute of it. Last night we watched Jane Eyre. Oh my, dark and brooding. I love it!

What's your favorite classic movie?

Here's today's #MondayMashup -- short and sweet!

#OnSale -- Still on sale for the months of January and February. This $6.99 regular-priced set is now only $0.99. This is three, full-length time travel novels, all inter-connected stories. Like pirates? Time travel? Love that withstands even the barriers of time? Well look no more. For 99 cents this is a deal you cannot beat!

AMAZON | IBOOKS | KOBO | BARNES & NOBLE


#AmazonGiveaway -- Only one more day to enter to win a print copy of Entangled, book three in the Soul Mates Trilogy above. No purchase necessary. 1 of 2 winners has already been awarded. You could be #2! Click this link to enter. https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/e74b275810307880


That's it for today. Come back tomorrow for a #TuesdayTeaser! Oh, and one parting thought...


Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Just a suggestion....


Today's #TuesdayTeaser from Wind Ridge by Maddie James

Today's #TuesdayTeaser is from an upcoming book, due to release in late January.

Spring, 1996
“Damn coyote!”
Collin cursed, wind pulling at his hair, his thighs tightly gripping the flanks of his reliable gray, the horse’s hooves pounding like thunder into lush Kentucky bluegrass. His arms strained against the fabric of his lightweight jacket, held close to his body. A strong hand firmly clutched the horse’s reins, keeping total control over the animal.
Keen eyes watched as the coyote slipped into the briars ahead and disappeared. His foxhounds followed but the animal wouldn’t linger. This one was crafty. There was no way that coyote would stay put. The animal intended to lead his dogs astray even if it killed him in the process.
Years ago a coyote was unheard of in Kentucky but with their recent eastward migration, they were now quite common, and a crafty one would lead a pack of hounds deep into the river cliffs never to be seen again. Collin knew that. The hounds were bred to chase, and if a fox wasn’t readily available, they took after the next best thing.
Today, on what he thought was a leisurely jaunt on a spring afternoon to exercise his horse and his hounds, he was not in the mood for it. He’d be damned if that mangy cur would lead his prized hounds into the river.
The dogs slowed, then howled and pawed at the ground around the thicket, hungry for their prey. Collin brought his prancing mount to the pack, calling them off their quarry—then suddenly, following a flash of dirty gray, they were off again.
They moved as one, Collin and the stallion, a huge mass of raw sexuality and power, each sensing the other’s thoughts, movements, and intentions. The huge beast raced toward the pack, the wily coyote leading his hounds further away. Collin knew he had to call them off soon, had to get their attention before the animal took them where he and his horse couldn’t go.
Perspiration beaded his forehead then dried in the wind. His muscles ached with the thrill and tension of the chase, although this chase was not welcome. A normal romp with a fox and his hounds was what he lived for, what he loved. And even though he knew both his horse and his hounds were at risk, plunging at breakneck speed across his farm, he relished in the chase.
As usual, when riding and keeping his hounds to the fox, his body grew tight with exhilaration, his mind sharp with concentration. Every sense heightened. Every nerve stood on high alert. Adrenaline coursed his body, spurring him on. He concentrated on the pack before him as blood pounded through his veins, surging through every capillary and artery. Heat rose to the surface of his skin.
The experience was one of dominance and power.
The hounds yipped and barked as they chased their quarry, hot on the scent of the animal. They raced hard against the wind roiling out of the gray afternoon sky in the west. A spring thunderstorm threatened. Collin narrowed his gaze as the coyote leapt the rock fence bordering the edge of his farm, and silently swore.
The dogs hesitated, jumping and clawing at the wall, and then scrambled over.
Damn it! Without thinking, and in one swift movement, he guided the stallion up and over the fence.
Collin saw nothing but the pack of hounds in front of him, the lead dog straight on course with the coyote. He was hell-bent for leather on seeing this thing to the end. He’d seen other hunters give up on the dogs, hoping they would come home eventually. Not him. Nothing would stop him.
Nothing.
The tireless hounds raced on, oblivious to their surroundings, the horse closing in fast. The coyote, now on open ground, ran for his life. Collin would never kill the animal, but the coyote didn’t know that. He could almost sense his fear. He imagined the trembling in his stomach, the panic shaking his legs, the hounds breathing hot down his neck.
He urged the horse on. Hooves churned the soft Kentucky soil as they jumped another fence and galloped onward. Collin vaguely noticed a building to the right. He ran onto different terrain, shorter grass, smooth ground, gravel—but his eyes never left the coyote. Thunder cracked in the distance. A flash of lightning splintered the air.
An ear-splitting scream pierced the buzz around him and everything came to a sudden and abrupt halt. A contradictory feeling of silent slow motion and mass confusion sped over him as the hounds ran circles in agitation. The horse sidestepped excitedly, then another scream and a feminine slew of curses penetrated the unnatural silence.
The coyote scurried off to safety.
“What the…” The past few minutes his mind had comprehended only one thing—the chase. Now, he diverted his attention to the ranting and raving female standing before him.
Rake in one hand, hoe in another, she shouted incomprehensibly, flailing her arms.
His inspection of her started from her dirt-clodded work boots, then slowly traveled north to her muddy blue-jean clad knees, and upward to a man’s ragged chambray work shirt tied at the curve of her small waist. His perusal followed up the front closure of her shirt. Two button snaps at the top had popped open during her tirade revealing a wisp of white lace and the top of a fully rounded, lily-white breast.
Collin paused, and grinned.
His gaze resumed its trek up a delicate, slender ivory neck to rest on an angry, but extremely beautiful face. Coal black eyes spat back at him, and her long inky ponytail held high on her head with a red bandanna, whipped with the breeze coming off the storm.
My God. Gorgeous.
The coyote was forgotten.
He sucked in a breath. Was she speaking? Yelling.
“…and if you don’t get your slimy, blue blood ass off my property, I’ll shove this rake where the sun don’t shine!”
He heard that last piece very clearly.
Collin remained solid in his seat, enjoying the dominant position—still smiling but glaring back at the delicate, yet willful woman. Spitfire of a little country thing. She turned, dropped the hoe, and picked up a clod of dirt at her feet.
Nice ass.
Her gaze shot back as if she’d heard his thought. Her eyes narrowed and she scrutinized him as he sat above her. Her gaze traveled from his breeches at her eye level, to his face. He stared back, a smile tugging at the corner of his lips.
She fumbled with the clod of dirt, flexing and gripping. Then she did something Collin thought unthinkable.
She threw it.
“Git!”
The dirt clod spun out of her hand like a second baseman hurling a ball toward first. The dog promptly yipped off behind his master when hit—and in the next instant, Collin leapt off his horse and exerted all the control he could muster not to grab the woman and shake the tar out of her. His fists clenched together tightly at his side. He felt the grin vanish from his face.
“Don’t you ever...” he snarled.
“Then get those damn mutts out of my garden,” she spat back, their noses inches apart. Collin felt the venom of her words, along with her heated breath against his face. Blood surged throughout his body, his breathing quickened.

To read another excerpt from Wind Ridge, click here.
Wind Ridge is scheduled to release in late January, 2016.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Today's #MondayMashup from Maddie James

Whew. Now that 2015 is past, let's put that baby to bed and get on with the business of 2016! Even though I wrote 2015 on three documents this morning and had to correct, I'm ready for a new year. I'm betting most of us are.

I like fresh starts. Second chances. Whatever you want to call them. The new year is always an opportunity for those. How are you starting anew this year?

I'm just trying to stay on track with releases and marketing, although I am still playing a little catch-up from 2015. Oh well. Best foot forward! 

#CoverReveal. Hey! Check out the new cover for my next up-and-coming cowboy book! The Cowboy's Secret Baby is coming soon. This one was slated for release in December but has been delayed to, well, life. Yeah, it happens. This is the sequel to Rawhide & Roses that many of you have been waiting on. 

#Newsletter. My monthly newsletter went out yesterday. If you are not a subscriber, head over to this link and get signed up. I give away a book every month to one of my lucky subscribers! Yesterday's winner was Kathleen Bledsoe. I'll announce this in the February newsletter too. Want to take a peek at yesterday's news? Hit this link

#Sale! The Soul Mates time travel trilogy is on sale for the months of January and February. Normally priced at $6.99 for these three, full-length connected novels, this is a GREAT deal at $0.99. Grab it while you can at these retailers. 

(Note: at the time of this blog post, Barnes and Noble had not yet changed the price, so be sure to check the price there before you purchase.)