Friday, May 31, 2013

Sexy Summer from Tears of Crimson

I'll admit it!  I'm lazy during the Summer!  I like to sleep in late, and enjoy hanging out away from a computer.  My laziness means some great romances for you at discounted prices.  I've decided until the end of August all titles (with the exclusion of the one I have co-written) will be 99 cents on Amazon. Why in the world would I do this?  I'm glad you asked!  I don't have the time to promote, and honestly it's more about people enjoying my books, not making a killing on profits.

I'm also spending my spare time working on a new release for July called Sin.  I want to focus on this book as much as possible because it's taking a little more time to cook up just right.  Some of the long time friends of Crimson might remember that the first book I released was in first person before I rewrote it.  Sin is going back to that format.  I wanted to share the hottest, erotic book I could write with readers, and that's my goal with Sin.  To do that I needed to make it feel more intimate, and I think the first person perspective gives that edge.

So that's my story and I'm sticking to it!  I hope all of my friends have an incredible summer!  I'll be around when possible.



Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tears of Crimson Street Team



Friends of Crimson, you're invited to join the Street Team!  You can find the tab above if you're interested in joining.  So just what is a Street Team?  It's a group of great friends that help spread the word about new releases as they happen at Tears of Crimson.  In return for your help, you get sneak peek chapter excerpts first, cover reveals, and all the secret stuff that we don't release until debut day. In other words, you become part of the inner circle here at Tears of Crimson!  We also offer the new release to our Street Team for honest reviews.  So you get the chance to read the book before it even sees the light of day!

So what exactly are you asking me to do?  On release day, one of the biggest helps is to have as many people talking about your book as possible.  You can do whatever you feel comfortable with.  Tweet about the book, post on facebook, write or share a blog post, tell your friends, the idea is to get a buzz going.  We know without our friend's of Crimson, a single book wouldn't be leaving a shelf!

If this sounds like something you're interested in, join our Street Team.  If you'd rather not, then we thank you for your time and look forward to bringing you new romances to keep you entertained.  Just a quick heads up!  All of the books that escape our library are intended for adult readers.  As much as we love the younger crowd, the books here aren't written for that age level.  As such we ask that all members of our Street Team be considered legal adults in their area.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Promote That Book!

Hi, I'm Michelle Hughes and I'm an insane book promoter!  I decided to take a minute and share all my book promotion tips that I've used over the last three years.  WARNING!  Following this advice may lead to eye stress, headaches, and insanity, but so far it's worked!

I recently began using book templates for the interior format of my books.  It made creating a paperback and ebook easier, and looked great!  For my templates I turned to the folks at Book Design Templates


The minute a book is published I list it on Library Thing, Shelfari, and Goodreads. I take the time to fill out all the information about my book, and I share it with all the contacts I have on those sites.  I use GoDaddy email marketing, since I surpassed the 2,000 member email allowance for tinyletter, sending out a email and having one set up on your blog to me is essential.  Just remember to have a link to your email newsletter prominently displayed on your site.

For every new book I debut, I have a giveaway to garner interest.  For those giveaways I use Rafflecopter.  It's easy and can be integrated into Facebook. And since I mentioned Facebook, make sure you have an author page there.  You can help build up likes on your Facebook page by visiting World Literary Cafe, not to mention they have some great articles.

This isn't promotion, but common sense.  I have every book that I write registered with the US Copyright Office, trust me it was a lesson I learned the hard way.  I also apply for a LCN from the Library of Congress.  Making sure no low-life crook can claim your work is worth the small fee.  On the LCN I do believe you need to have a paperback version of your book, which leads us to the next thing I do.

CreateSpace makes it easy to create a paperback version of your book.  If you use the template above you'll snap through this process quickly, and I personally believe it helps to sell your electronic version.  Believe it or not, there are still people who don't read eBooks, so having a format that those readers enjoy is another way to promote your work.

Let's talk about Pinterest!  Pinterest is a great way of sharing your book covers, and excerpts from your book.  Create a board, give it your book title, and have some fun.  I like to find pictures that relate to scenes in my books and give a little sample from my book.  It's easy and fun, and you can share it to all your social media sites.

Virtual Book Tours, let me just say that this is the one promotion tool that has never failed me.  What a VBT does is sends your books out to readers that you may not reach on your own.  Just remember some of the booking times for these tours can be 5-6 months in advance.  For my last release, I used Pump up Your Book and I was more than impressed with the service.

Press Release, I do this for every new release, and I think people should never overlook this idea.  The folks at 123 Com did a great job and were affordable.  If you can't afford to pay for a press release, do a free one, just do one!  Do a google search on the author you love that writes in your genre, and see what they did for their press release to get ideas.  I'm a huge google aholic and believe you can learn much by seeing how others have done it before you!

If you don't already have a blog, get one!  You need a place where people can come learn more about you and find your books.  SEO I use it. In every blog post I put out I try to find keywords that google states gets more hits. I put it in the labels in my blog.  I am not a techy, so I'll give a link that you can follow to learn more about doing this for your blog posts:  http://writingbytheseatofmypants.com/category/marketing/seo/

I'm not done yet!  Two of the best promotional tools I've found are Twitter and Facebook.  So how do I use them?  When I release a new book, I search facebook for places to post my Amazon book links.  I post the book wherever I'm allowed two sites that work for me (because I write steamy romance) is What to Read After Fifty Shades and Erotic Book Club.  Now obviously if you've written a Christian anthology, these sites wouldn't work for you, so you need to research.

With Twitter, the first thing I did was create a landing page that branded me as an author.  You can check out my page at www.twitter.com/michellehughes_ and get an idea of how I did that.  I used Gimp to create my own and it was rather simple.  Start with a new image at 2560 x 1600, this will be your background.  For the logo branding you will need an image that is 339 x 663.  This will be added onto your background at the top right and you will need to leave a .5 margin on the sides and top.  Save the inserted image on your background as a JPG file and upload it as your background on twitter.  It will take some work, but it's really not that hard!

One of my favorite tools, and some people will tell you it's a no no, is feed140.com  I created 50 automatic tweets on the feed so twitter is promoting for me even when I sleep.  One of the things you DON'T want to do is rely on that only and never show up on twitter to talk!  I also use hashtags # on twitter.  An example tweet I've used is Sensual literature for sexy readers - Romance Book Club #Romantic http://bit.ly/13SiGmB  It's short, to the point, and can be retweeted!  Using hashtags allows you to reach twitter users that may not be following you.

Another thing I've just started doing is uploading my first chapter to Scribd.  It gives me a place to link readers who want to know more about my book, and is another great way to share.  Always include your book buy links at the bottom of the chapter so people who want to read more can easily click.

So those are my tips!  Please feel free to reblog this with my permission as long as the article remains intact.  I hope this helps you kickstart your book promotion!  Please stop in and let me know if any of these tips helped you!





Michelle Hughes is a romance author and owns Tears of Crimson Publishing.  She promotes indie authors, and can be reached for consultations at Tears of Crimson Email

Friday, May 24, 2013

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Twice Bitten - Drek Haines and Jens Kuhn



Twice Bitten by Derek Haines and Jens Kuhn

What happens when you put two vampire novellas in the same book? Twice Bitten is a collection of two charming novellas, both centered around a female vampire. In Escape in Venice by Jens Kuhn we meet Antonia Correlli, a relatively young vampire who still learns to master her special abilities as a succubus. As such, she does not only feed on blood like ordinary vampires, but can also feed on humans’ sexual passions, draining them of their energy and powering her unique abilities.

Antonia is invited by her incubus friend and mentor, Count Emilio, to 18th century Venice in order to help him with a delicate matter, a young lady the count desires, but who does not respond to his incubus magic as she should. Antonia, tasked to find out what makes this woman resistant to the count’s advances, must learn to master her own magic as well as find a way to save his friend’s beloved one from a great danger.

The second novella, My Take Away Vampire by Derek Haines, takes us back to modern times and a forlorn town that does not hold much excitement for the teenage kids living there. If it weren’t for Agatha of course, the pretty vampire who roams the night, finding her prey on deserted roads, graveyards and, of course, the local night-open fast food restaurant.

Agatha, kept sane by her cheerful ghost friend Mr. Fipps, struggles to avoid becoming too attached to her source of food, knowing that falling in love with a human is rarely a good idea.

While living in different times and facing different problems, Antonia and Agatha have a lot in common. Neither of them is evil even though they accept that killing is a part of their nature and something that isn’t easily avoided. Antonia and Agatha have been around for over 300 years and each have their own unique ways of dealing with their immortality. From the romantic canal-ways of the Venice of the 18th century, to the modern, industrialised wasteland of a small forgotten town. Follow their stories to discover that you can’t always believe everything you thought you knew about vampires.

"Antonia shivered. It was getting cold and dark, perhaps this wasn't the best idea. After all, she was still starving. Suddenly, she made a decision. Turning around, she put her hand onto the gondolero's bare arm and dropped her shields."

 "Agatha now waited patiently – whiling away her time – but sensing her deepening hunger. ‘Young blood’, she mouthed silently to herself as she felt the twinges of her anxious fangs."

Twice Bitten is available in Paperback and for Amazon Kindle.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

10 Nights Past - The End of the Saga


I'm still getting emails, facebook messages, and twitter DM's about the ending for the 10 Nights Saga.  I would like to bring an end to this and hopefully all readers of the series (which I thank from the bottom of my heart) understand that I can't release this book.  I won't rehash the drama that stole this book from my hands, but I will say that Karma has a way of getting revenge.  So while I can't sell the book, I can give you the overview of how it was supposed to end.

Rhett, Leah, and Alex and their sexy story will live on forever in my heart and I think we all know who the real author of this book was by now.  So without any further drama, let's discuss the ending of 10 Nights.

10 Nights Past begins with Alex taking Leah, Janie and David to the pony ranch.  Leah has visited before, but never as an active participant. She's agreed to give Alex a weekend to see if this lifestyle is something she could be a part of.  She discovers during the course of that weekend that the life of a pony slave is more in-depth than anything she's ever experienced with Rhett before, and it terrifies her.  While at the Ranch, Leah is exposed to the 24/7 lifestyle of a pony girl.  Meaning that she isn't allowed to speak, all her physical needs are taken care of, and she is basically a glorified pet to be used how Alex chooses.

At the end of the weekend she is beyond overwhelmed at the situations he's exposed her to.  She discovered that while he could be a very loving dominant, his need to control goes far above what even Rhett had asked from her as a submissive.  She asks for some time away from him to try and come to grips with the new knowledge.  While she's taking her Alex hiatus, Rhett calls and they begin talking about what went wrong in their relationship.

Leah finally understands that everything has been happening in her life too quickly.  She continues to work for Alex but their relationship continues on the platonic level.  Rhett continues to  update her on his therapy situation, and they really begin communicating long distance.  Leah is climbing the corporate ladder at work and focuses all her attention there leaving all elements of the BDSM lifestyle on hold for six months.

When Rhett returns he asks her to have dinner with him as a friend.  She notices huge changes in his personality, and he discerns that she's growing as a woman as well.  She admits that she never stopped loving him but also lets him know that they moved to fast before.  They agree to remain friends, and eventually they become lovers again.

Rhett knows he made mistakes with Leah in the past.  The six months of counseling have taught him much about the inner demons that drove him to react the way he did.  they begin to rebuild their relationship the way they should have started in the beginning.  Alex and Rhett are able to put their differences aside after many long talks, and thanks to Leah they can all communicate again.  Janie even begins to accept the relationship between Leah and Rhett.

So Rhett and Leah get their HEA, with a little Alex thrown in.  Yes Alex did enjoy times with both Leah and Rhett together. 

I know this isn't as good as the book would have been, but I hope it at least gives closure to those people who were upset about not being able to read the last book.  I will do a lot for my friends and readers, but selling out on what I believe is right is something I couldn't do.  I hate that I couldn't bring you the last book, but allowing someone to bully by attempting to discredit your name was something I couldn't condone.  So the book series dies, but I can sleep at night knowing who wrote those stories and feeling in my heart I did the right thing.


Friday, May 17, 2013

Andrea R. Cooper Presents The Garnet Dagger


Everyone knows what happens when a vampire bites a human...but what if the victim is Elvin?




 The Garnet Dagger by: Andrea R. Cooper

Purchase:  Nook   Amazon




Blurb: 

Everyone knows what happens when a vampire bites a human...but what if the victim is Elvin?

In The Garnet Dagger, Brock is cursed from a vampyre bite that forces him to feed on the life-essence of others, he is unable to touch another without taking their life. Chained by prophesy he must find a witch, pierce her heart and draw her blood for his cure.

Celeste, a witch, must escape the monks who have held her prisoner for years. Her captors have kept her magic dormant. An ancient powerful Warloc craves her powers. If he succeeds in devouring her magic, she and Brock's people will die.

When Brock falls in love with her before realizing her demise is his cure, will love triumph over his desire to be healed? Will he risk everything to save her from a Warloc, an oath breaker, who also wants her dead?



About the Author Andrea R. Cooper


Growing up in Houston, Texas, Andrea has always enjoyed creating characters and stories. But it wasn't until she was in her late twenties that she started writing novels.

What happened that ignited the writing flame in her fingers? Divorced, and disillusioned by love songs and stories. They exaggerate. She thought. Love and Romance are not like that in the real world. Then she met her husband and realized, yes love and romance are exactly like the songs and stories say.

She is now a happy wife, and a mom to three kids (two boys and a girl).

Andrea writes paranormal and historical romance. When not writing or reading, one may find Andrea dancing in Zumba.

She believes in the power of change and counting each moment as a blessing. But most importantly, she believes in love.

The Garnet Dagger is her debut novel and is a paranormal romance with Crimson Romance.


Facebook     Twitter    Blog



Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thank You For Your Support!



Sending out Crimson Love for the Romance Book Club Debut



We just wanted to send out some Crimson Love for everyone that helped yesterday with the Romance Book Club Debut.  It was so much fun watching the new release climb the Amazon charts yesterday, and we know it's all because of great friend's like you!  Currently Romance Book Club has the following rankings on Amazon:

#13 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Drama > United States
#15 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Drama > United States
#91 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Romance > New Adult & College

There were so many bloggers and facebook friend's that were kind enough to share the word, and we want to offer our heartfelt thanks to each and every one of them!  Please take the time to visit these sites, and find out more about the incredible work they do!  Their links can all be found on the RBC Tour Schedule Post.   A huge thank you to Pump up your Book Tours who did a fantastic job bringing so many tour hosts together on such a limited time frame!  A special shout-out to Brandy at Romance Book Worm for the support!  

Months of planning go on behind the scenes before debuting a new book, and to pull it off smoothly only happens when you have a great support staff behind you.  To everyone working with us at Tears of Crimson, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!  Some incredible folks that need to be mentioned are Bev Kat Rosenbaum from BKR Editing, Rachel Mizer at Shoutline Designs, Jimmy Thomas from Romance Novel Covers, and Book Design Templates.  Putting out a great book is much easier when you work with incredible people who know how to present a book!

As always, to the Friends of Crimson reader's we feel honored that you continue to support the work we do here!  Thank you for believing in what we do, and giving us the chance to bring our world to your hands.  There are so many new projects in the work, and we can't wait to share them with you!

The winner's of the giveaway have been notified, and we hope you enjoy the small gifts!  Please feel free to drop in and let us know what you thought about the release.  We love hearing from you!  As always, we are here to help you fulfill your dreams, so if we can support your work, just let us know!  

Winner of the $50 Amazon Gift Card:    ED Thompson
Winner of the Paperback:      L. Seiberling
Winner of eBooks:   P. Crews, M. Carnes, and A. Brown







Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Romance Book Club - The Secret is Revealed


Revealing the Secret behind the Romance Book Club 

Romance Book Club Michelle Hughes Contemporary Romance



 What happens behind the scenes at the ... Romance Book Club 

By:  Michelle Hughes

Sensual literature for lovers of Romance
Available Today Everywhere

Purchase on:      Amazon      Barnes &Noble     Paperback




Jessie has given up on men.  Her high school turned college sweetheart left her for another man, and if that wasn't a warning sign that she was meant to be the cat lady, nothing was.  Give her a romance novel, a bottle of wine, and her favorite feline companion, and life was perfect in her eyes.+

When her book club decided to focus on sexy alpha male romances for the month, she had no idea how far the ladies were willing to go in the name of research.  Finding herself in Sensation's Dungeon was certainly not part of her plans,  neither was meeting sexy club owner and dungeon Master,  Chase Davenport.  With a body built for sin, bedroom eyes that promised fantasies guaranteed to lead her straight to hell, the pages of a book suddenly appeared tame.

"Welcome to my Dungeon."  Those four little words  might even tempt a bookworm to step into a world of sensual debauchery.  So what really goes on behind the scenes at the Romance Book Club?   Step into Sensation's and discover the answer for yourself.


It began with a love of reading romance behind the pages of a book... but in the end, reality would show a different world awaited if either of them were willing to take the chance.

Romance Book Club is a romance that delves into the world of bondage and discipline.  It explores a different side of the dominant male, one that is rarely mentioned in romantic literature today.  





 Keep up with the Author 

Facebook  Twitter   Pinterest    Linked In   Blog


Congrats to E. Thompson for winning the $50 Amazon Gift Card!
L. Seiberling is the winner of the Paperback!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spread the Word - Romance Book Club debuts tomorrow!


Friends of Crimson, Help Me Spread the Word!  Romance Book Club debuts tomorrow and we want to tell as many people as we can about the release.  This will be available in eBook and Paperback!  You'll have our love, and since we love for eternity, that's a lot of love to go around.

Some tweets you might want to share to help us kick off the debut:

Hot, sexy and a #MustRead http://bit.ly/13SiGmB Romance Book Club, what really happens? Ask @MichelleHughes_

Romance Book Club and you makes a #bestseller http://bit.ly/13SiGmB RT @MichelleHughes_

The debut of Romance Book Club by @MichelleHughes_ spread the word and RT http://bit.ly/13SiGmB


Stop in on the Amazon Romance Book Club page while you're there please:

Scroll down to Forums on the page and sign in to show your support.

Purchase the book.

Review Romance Book Club.

Pin the cover to www.pinterest.com


Facebook:  You can find me on facebook at www.facebook.com/authormichellehughes please like the page and share.


Thanks so much Friend's of Crimson.  With your help this will be our greatest launch yet!  Don't forget to enter the contest for the $50 gift card and free books today, it's the last day!





Monday, May 13, 2013

Love Reading Books? Reviewer's Needed


Wanda’s Amazing Amazon Reviewer’s

If you love great books, and can’t wait to share the news about your latest read, please consider joining Wanda’s Amazing Amazon Reviewer’s.  They have one goal at WaAR, and that’s to get 50 HONEST book reviews per book.  These incredible folks review books out of the goodness of their hearts, and I wanted to take a moment to share some appreciation.  They need great folks like you to continue sharing all these incredible reviews!

WaAR’s doesn’t sugar coat a review, trust me I know!  If they love a book you’ll know it, and if they don’t you can believe you’ll know that too.  If you’re looking to review books where you can give your honest opinion, this is the group for you.  Honest reviews, from great reader’s with integrity.  Stop in and discover them, and see if they are the fit for you!  



Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day from Tears of Crimson!



When I look back on my life, there is one person who has never let me down.  She stood by me when the rest of the world thought I was foolish for pursuing my dreams.  She held me in her arms when I cried out my frustrations.  She never judged, or made me regret confiding my most embarrassing secrets.  She was my cheerleader in the background, always happy to take a backseat and let me shine.  Never in my life has any other person loved so unselfishly, or given so much of herself without asking for anything in return.  To this beautiful woman, who will always shine brighter than the sun in my eyes, I want to honor you today.  My mother, my best friend, my guardian angel on this earth, you are this and so much more.  Mom, I love you!  -- Michelle Hughes




Today at Tears of Crimson, we honor mother's everywhere!  These incredible women are the reason we are all here.  They dried our tears, wiped our noses, and have seen us at our worst, and still they love us!  What a wonderful person it takes to love you while seeing all your flaws.  Mother's Day should be every day of the year, because a Mother's love is unwavering.  

Friday, May 10, 2013

Romance Book Club - Tour Schedule


The Reveal Begins!  Follow these incredible blogs who were kind enough to share the cover reveal for Romance Book Club.  Much love to all these incredible bloggers!  Tears of Crimson is always available for you!  



Friday, May 10


Saturday, May 11


Sunday, May 12


Monday, May 13


Tuesday, May 14



Wednesday, May 15


Friday Escape - We're Taking a Break



We're getting ready to debut our newest title, Romance Book Club, but we didn't want to leave you without a Friday Escape.  Meet Leif Hollinsworth, that's Mr. Sexy in bed waiting to fulfill some fantasies for you.  Just who is this guy?  I'll give you a hint, he's not the lead in Romance Book Club, but if you purchase the eBook, you'll get a lot more information about him in an exclusive sneak peek only for ebook buyers.

What I can tell you about Leif?  He owns a tropical island.  He loves long ... well maybe not walks on the beach, but he likes doing naughty things there.  Oh, and he's definitely a charmer.  That's about all the inside info he's allowing me to give at the moment.  Obviously he's an alpha male, or he wouldn't be living in the Tears of Crimson mansion!

We hope you enjoy your Friday!  Please forgive us for our need to take a step back until next week.  From every one at Tears of Crimson:  Play hard, love long, and enjoy each moment until sleep demands you fall under it's spell.  We'll be waiting for you in your dreams.............

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Choose your Book Boyfriend

Need a book boyfriend that won't break your heart?  Well look no further! Tears of Crimson has the perfect man for you.  He doesn't talk back.  He'll be there when you need him.  And if you get bored, he won't complain when you move on to the next.  Sound good?  Well here are our choices today!



You can pick any of them up at Amazon.  And don't forget we'll have a new book boyfriend for you on the 15th of May.  We didn't want the other men to get jealous, so we decided to show them some love today.  One of the great things about a book boyfriend, is they don't mind you showing up in shorts and your favorite t-shirt.  So from vampires, to sheik's, to sexy alpha males and music producer's; Tears of Crimson is your number one source for book boyfriend dating.  You're welcome!





Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Book Blogger Love - Sending Crimson Love



Sharing the love with some incredible bloggers!  
It's Tears's Thankful Tuesday!




She's the hottest book worm on the planet, and runs the Romance Bookworm's Reviews!  Click on over and discover who, I mean what she's got heating up her blog today!



No matter what your mood, Renee has got the book to suit you!  Discover this fantastic lady and her incredible blog.  Hurry up she's waiting!


Looking for a new book boyfriend to heat up your night, Illustrious Illusions will find you one that fits just right.  Stop in and discover the love!


Reviews, Promotions, Contests and more.... Nightstand Novel's is the blog you're looking for.  Stop in and tell them Tears of Crimson sent you!


Books that she loves and cover sneak peeks,  makes Jezzeb the blogger you are longing to meet.  Send some Crimson love her way!


I just got booked I'm throwing away the key, join me at this great book blog and have some fun with me!  Waiting on you now!


She loves a great book and knows how to share, it's a no Book Brainer your next location where!  Follow the Crimson Trail of love!










Monday, May 6, 2013

Nook Press - Crimson Love


Nook Press

Sharing some Crimson Love with this ingenious idea from Nook for publishers.  We gave this new tool a test drive today and the results were amazing.  Formatting for ePub has just gotten 100% easier.  So why are we so impressed?  For years we've had to fidget with outside programs to upload our work to Nook.  It was a royal pain in the arse, and was just time consuming.

What's different now?  Nook Press allows you to upload your document, and lay out the format directly on the screen.  You can add in a Table of Contents with ease, and see exactly what the reader will.  It can be a word doc. which is a huge positive for us.  The options to create your own title or dedication page, with the opportunity to see how it will appear, is another huge plus for the folks at Nook Press.  

This is an idea that's long overdo.  Making things easier and showing an onscreen layout is the perfect combination.  If you've already got a pubIt account, switching over is very basic.  If you don't, then creating one is worth it.  We're sold on Nook Press, and just wanted to share the love today!  Thanks for a great new service!


Sunday, May 5, 2013

10 Day Countdown - Romance Book Club


Three hours of sleep a night for the last week as we get ready to debut Romance Book Club!  Last minute edits, the third cover change, and formatting tweaks, that's been the insanity at Tears of Crimson.  Doing things the right way, is definitely not the easy way.  We decided to give a little inside peek of what work goes into preparing a book for print and electronic media.  Basically, we just wanted our friends to understand why we weren't spending more time socializing!

The cover had our focus for most of that time.  There was an image we wanted to portray with this book that took a little tweaking to get right.  Five seconds, that's the average length of time you have to catch someones attention.  The cover has to pop, and give a generalized idea about the story inside.  That's our opinion.

Romance Book Club started with a rough draft, then went through a professional critique.  After that critique, the book was basically rewritten.  Then the line edits came in.  We're all very impressed with the editor, she went above and beyond what was expected.  So with the line edits, there were also mentions of what needed to be improved in the sidelines.  Basically, this included almost another complete rewrite.  The end result?  A story that flows, without interruption.

Formatting, not just for electronic media, but paperback.  Our motto, if you're going to spend all the time to have a great story and kick arse cover, skimping on the formatting just makes no sense.  This may be the best book to be released from our library, and that's not ego talking, it's knowing that we've taken the time to utilize the professionals in the industry that have more knowledge.

We're really excited to share the topic of Romance Book Club.  It's a unique perspective, and again in our opinion, something that's needed to be shown in a romantic light.  There is one alpha male who can't wait to share his story!  All we can say before the reveal is that this is one steamy romance that might change your mind about alpha males in general.  We hope you've already signed up to be part of the reveal starting May 10th, if you haven't, let us encourage you to do so now.

To be part of the reveal you can either be a book reviewer or blogger.  We'll be giving the unseen cover, book blurb, and depending on whether or not you review, ARC's.  Blogger's can click the Romance Book Club tab at the top of the page, reviewers can click the TOC Mail button and drop us a line.  We are all looking forward to sharing the story!  Hurry up May 15th!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday Escape to Undiscovered Greece


Undiscovered Greece - the island of Symi
 by:
 Tony Wells


Undiscovered Greece - the island of Symi by: Tony Wells

Lovers of holidays to the Greek islands each have their favourite. For some it's a small Ionian hideaway like Paxos or Ithaca, for some it's an island with fabulous beaches and bathing, like Skiathos or Alonissos, and for others it's the sophistication and beauty of the surroundings, like Santorini, Skopelos or - Symi. Well, there's been no Mamma Mia yet on Symi but to many Greek island enthusiasts it's right up there in the top ten holiday destinations.

One key factor when it comes to Greek islands, say the experts, is that you mustn't be able to fly there direct. And Symi certainly fits the bill there. The nearest airport is on Rhodes, the capital of the Dodecanese (Greek for twelve) islands of the eastern Aegean. From Rhodes, one hour in the catamaran or two hours on the local ferry will bring you to the craggy outlines and clear blue waters of Symi, which lies to the north of Rhodes a couple of miles off the Turkish coast. As the boat rounds the headland into Symi bay, the first time traveller is met by a wonderful vista of handsome stone buildings spread across the three hillsides framing the harbour.

 This is Symi. For while the island is not as small as some Greek jewels - Paxos, for instance, or tiny Tilos - it consists really of Symi town, a beautiful agglomeration of neo-classical buildings grouped around and above a lovely natural harbour. The town is divided into two sections, the lower harbour area, Yialos, and the upper Chorio or village, the two being linked by one of Symi's best known features, a flight of over 400 steps known as the Kali Strata (beautiful steps). The donkeys who used to struggle up these steps laden with logs, water barrels and various wares have now largely been replaced by motor vehicles but they still labour up the slopes with visitors' luggage attached and set an example to less fit visitors pausing for breath on their ascent.

 Symi town is where almost all the accommodation is found, since in its heyday in the 19th century, when Symi grew rich on the proceeds of shipbuilding and sponge-diving, the Symiots constructed their imposing three-storey houses almost exclusively in the town. These are the dwellings which have steadily been restored as holiday accommodation since the advent of Greek tourism in the 1970s.

 Opinion is divided over whether the place to stay in Symi is the village or the harbour. There are advantages and drawbacks to both. The village is a long climb on foot, especially in 90 degrees of heat in July and August, but is quiet and offers splendid views once you are there. The harbour area is more bustling, as most of the (very good) tavernas, cafes and shops are located there and there are boats of various sizes drawing in or pulling out during most of the day.

 Travel a la carte, who have been bringing holidaymakers to Symi for twenty years now, rather hedges its bets on this question - by having some of its prime properties between the two. Laza penthouse, for instance, a superb one-bedroom apartment enjoying glorious views over the harbour, and the larger Villa Laza below, are a quarter of the way up the Kali Strata and so get the best of both worlds: proximity to the local amenities combined with tranquillity and commanding views. The two can be taken together or separately, with the villa itself being the model of a beautifully restored old Symi house, with typical mousandra or sleeping platform in the huge living room and a lovely walled courtyard garden.

 Villa Laza is also one of the very few properties on Symi with a swimming pool. Some people considering Symi for a holiday have the mistaken impression that swimming is a problem on the island. Obviously it's simple if, as at Villa Laza, you have your own pool or, as at the newly built Iapetos Village Hotel, there is a pool for use by all residents. But even though only very few Symi properties have this facility - the island is a conservation area and some planning permission is very difficult to obtain - there is one beach just a very pleasant 15-minute walk from the centre of town and several others within easy striking distance by boat. Sea taxis ply at regular intervals between Symi harbour and the various nearby beaches - Aghios Nikolaos, Aghia Marina and Nimborio - while Pedhi Bay can also be reached by bus. The water is crystal clear and the beaches generally have at least one taverna nearby where drinks or a light lunch can be enjoyed in between the sunbathing and swimming.

 Another alternative is to swim directly in Symi bay. Only the local schoolchildren do this in the harbour itself but a bit further out the water is perfectly fine for taking a dip. Villa Eleni, a new addition to Travel a la carte's range of Symi properties, is perfectly positioned for such activity. On the western arm of the bay a few hundred metres from the main harbour, the two apartments at Villa Eleni look directly out to sea and each has a flight of steps leading down to the water's edge. Very few other properties in Symi town can offer this facility. Diving off the terrace at Villa Eleni, you may no longer find any of the sponges which were the foundation of Symi's wealth all those years ago but you will certainly be the envy of many of your fellow holidaymakers, particularly those catching their breath halfway up the Kali Strata and wishing, instead, they were being lapped by the cool waters of the Aegean.

 About The Author: Tony Wells is the MD of Travel a la carte ltd, an independent tour operator to the Greek islands and Italy, and has been involved in the company since the early 1990s. He travels frequently to both Greece and Italy and has worked in all aspects of the business, from sales, marketing and PR to financial control and management. His email address is tony@travelalacarte.co.uk. For more information on Travel a la carte's Symi programme and all of the company's properties on the island, go to Holiday Villas on Symi at www.travelalacarte.co.uk or call 01635 33800 and ask for Tony Wells

Don't miss these great books!

Blogger Wordpress Gadgets
Animated Social Gadget - Blogger And Wordpress Tips