Friday, May 31, 2013

Backlist Blog Hop - Get Back!

Follow the Backlist Blog Hop here!

So we've come to the end of another month...where does the time go? I can't believe the year is half over, and I still have so much to write. In the meantime, I've signed up for the Backlist Blog Hop to remind readers about what I still have available. If you're looking for something hot to read and you haven't tried any of the following, they're new to you and ready for your eBook reader!

I write in a variety of genres, and today I'll share with you just a few of them. You're always welcome to visit me at LeighEllwood.com to see everything I've written. Soon I'll having something new to share, which I hope you'll enjoy.

Do you like M/M? Here are a few to get you started:
How about paranormal? I have those, too:
What is your favorite genre? Leave a comment below and you could win $10 in eBook bucks from ARe, Amazon, or B&N!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend Reading

I'd like to wish our veterans a blessed Memorial Day and my heartfelt thanks for your service to our country. If you have a veteran in the family now departed, in service or otherwise, I'm forever grateful for their service and sacrifices. I have many military relatives, retired and active duty, and am always in awe of the work they do.

This weekend, I hope to catch up on my reading. I recently finished Greg Kihn's Rubber Soul, a novel set during the early years of the Beatles - you can read my review at Books That Rock Us. You could say I'm an amateur Beatleologist - I've read so many books, fiction and non-fiction, about the fabs. With each new Lennon bio, there's always something new to discover. You'd think, for a man who lived only forty years, there couldn't be much more to say. You'd be surprised.

Right now, I'm in the middle of The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen. This is an alternative history story, speculating on the reign of the son of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Over the decades, I have read so many books on the British monarchy, and for some reason I've read more about the Tudors than anybody else. I couldn't tell you what it is about that particular dynasty that attracts me - when you look at the scope of British history it's not a long era. Only five monarchs ruled in this time, though it was probably one of the more turbulent times for the country. Some might suggest my interest is related to a possible past life in the Tudor era...I'm not sure about that, but I suppose anything is possible.

Once I finish Boleyn I still have It Had To Be You by Jill Shalvis to read, and a few Donna Kauffman books. I'm working to get back on track with my Goodreads pledge of 125 books this year. What are you reading?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Story News and a Cover/Title Makeover

I've read up on author success stories, those who self-pub and those who work with houses, and have learned quite a bit. In this business, though, learning never really ends. They say you have to be more than an author if you want to self-pub - you need to market, but you also have to be a tinkerer. Some authors have talked about switching out covers, even changing titles, to test the waters and see if their stories reach a broader audience. After listening to Mark Coker of Smashwords and Bob Mayer at RT this year, I realized I should set aside some time to tinker.

One summer project I have lined up for myself is Cover Rehaul Time. Some book have been around for decades, and they don't keep the same cover. I've seen several faces on The Hobbit and Gone With the Wind for two, and eventually if a book is around long enough it gets the "vintage" treatment with a special edition bearing the original design. I don't know if I should expect that one day, but I want my babies to look nice when they go out. So cover reconsideration is one task - and I've started with a nice makeover of a Dareville short.

Handle With Dare is, natch, part of the series, a short story featuring Marlene Robeson from Daring Young Man and The Dares That Bind. If you've read DYM and TDTB, you know Marlene was sort of the antagonist in both of those stories. Really, though, I don't think she's a bad person, perhaps lonely and not quite hip to the changing world around her. I wrote Handle for her, because she deserved some fun, too. While the story is not novel-length, I'm somewhat proud of it as it's the first erotic work of mine featuring an over-40 heroine. I wasn't 40 when I wrote it, but now that I've passed that mark I may delve back into cougar territory again.

Anyway, Handle wasn't the biggest mover of the Dareville stories, and I realize many factors are involved. Is it this, is it that? Recently, I tinkered. I've wanted a new cover for the story for a while, so I took care of that. I'm experimenting with a title change, something more appropriate to the story. Originally, Handle was to be called Daring With Age. Yeah, some titles just don't work. I thought up Handle With Dare since the story is about a woman's somewhat fragile nature as she takes a chance. It has the Dareville reference and the handle with care play on words - I think ultimately, though, it didn't quite mesh.

Long story short, if you did buy Handle With Dare, you don't need to buy The Lady Dares. It's a new design for a hot quickie, and you like hot sexy stories give it a try. Click the link to go to ARe to get it today.

Mind you, I do have new stuff coming soon. The Coming Together: Girl on Girl anth is due this summer, and I'm working on more stories - longer ones, just need to get the words down and polished. Stay tuned for news.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Coming Together: Girl on Girl Lineup

I am pleased to announced the following stories have been selected for the upcoming Coming Together: Girl on Girl anthology of lesbian erotica and erotic romance:
  • The Princess' Princess by Salome Wilde
  • Sundae, Bloody Sunday by Lisabet Sarai
  • Angel by Ms. Peach
  • Hot Air by Slave Nano
  • A Taste of Vanilla by Leigh Ellwood
  • Trade In by Stephani Maari Booker
  • New Girl by Harper Bliss
  • Same But Different by Kate Atwood
  • Fair As the Moon by Laurel Waterford
  • On Display by Sophie Mouette
  • Tough Enough to Wear a Dress by Teresa Noelle Roberts
  • Snow Blind by Jean Roberta
  • All Keyed Up by Scarlet Chastain
  • Ghost Lights by Erzabet Bishop
  • Winner Take by Andrea Dale
  • Worth the Wait by Beth Wylde
I have to say I was so impressed by the quality of submissions sent to me. I've done calls for anthologies and themed lines in the past, and have always received good stories. I found it especially touching that authors were willing to contribute to this charity anthology. I hope you will enjoy the finished product.

I am working on securing an author for the book's introduction. Once that is done I'll make that announcement. Stay tuned for more news.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Anyone for Mojitos?


I have all this mint in my back yard. Now that the weather is warmer, it has truly grown and is taking over the small flower garden. I've used some leaves already, but I bet I could extract some mint oil and still have plenty for rum drinks. Perhaps when I have finished another story I'll celebrate.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Win Leigh's RT Convention Swag Bag! Lot of Romance Books and Prizes

Entry form to win the Swag Bag is now live! Click here to enter.

Every year I go to the Romantic Times (RT) convention, I hold a drawing for the swag I bring home. This year I have a big bag of goodies to give away - books, pens, cute knick-knacks, etc. - so much that I have a nice groove in my shoulder from where the strap cut it. Hee.

I enjoyed this year's event. It was nice to meet authors I've known online for years, and see people I tend to see annually. For the first time, too, I brought a costume! I made this Doctor Who scarf for a friend and broke it in at the Friday Vampire Ball. I know, the Doctor rarely fights vampires, but I made the darn thing and wanted to show it off.

I did not sign this year because I had to leave on Saturday (I had Rush tickets) and because I worked the Thursday Expo. I considered this a "rebuilding" year, and after attending some panels I realized I have some work to do. When do I never work, though? *exhausted sigh*

Back to the swag: I will warn you that this year I decided to keep two things: one of the bags which I found very handy, and a copy of Jill Shalvis's newest book. Now that I work in book retail, I need to read more and the copy of It Had to Be You looked right up my alley. Don't fret, because the bag winner gets the lion's share of the take.

And now, the contest details!

Entry form to win the Swag Bag is now live! Click here to enter.

This year I will pick winners for two prize packs. You only need to fill out the form, no purchase necessary.

Winners will be drawn on May 23 in the morning, EST.

One form counts as one entry. To increase your chances of winning, you will get extra entries by doing the following:


I entered to win @LeighEllwood's #RT13 swag bag! http://tinyurl.com/LeighsRT13Bag

WINNERS

Two winners will be drawn for this contest. Due to the nature of materials, entrants must be age 18 and over.

One domestic winner (United States resident) will receive a bag of swag collected from the 2013 Romantic Times convention. Contents include books and author promotional materials (see list below for book prizes). For more details, visit Leigh's blog at http://tinyurl.com/LeighsRT13Bag.

One international winner (living outside the US) will receive a book from Leigh Ellwood's backlist (eBook version only), $10 in OmniBucks from AllRomance.com, and a small selection of promotional materials from RT 2013. Materials will include promotional booklets and "flat" materials suitable for international post (some have QR codes on them for extra goodies).

Your information will not be sold/given to third parties. You have an opportunity to opt into future alerts from Leigh Ellwood and will only receive future mailings if you opt in.

Good luck!

Print Book Prizes in This Year's Swag Bag (partial list)

  • Everneath by Brodi Ashton
  • Slide by Jill Hathaway
  • Invisible Sun by David Macinnis Gill
  • So Close to You by Rachel Carter
  • Confessions of a Little Black Gown by Elizabeth Goyle
  • Night Resurrected by Joss Ware
  • Tarnished by Karina Cooper
  • Red Hot by Niobia Bryant
  • No Longer a Gentleman by Mary Jo Putney
  • The Warrior by Margaret Mallory
  • Cinnamon Roll Murder by Joanne Fluke
  • Firelight by Kristen Callihan
  • For Her Pleasure by Maya Banks
  • Rock Deadly by Kathryn Lively


Friday, May 3, 2013

Rush Fans to the World: Now What?

In a few weeks we're off to see Rush in concert; I think this will be my seventh show and first of the Clockwork Angels tour. I was supposed to go last summer, but suffered a gallbladder attack the night before the concert. I had a choice: get the operation or probably die in the fifth row during "Subdivisions." Some people will move Heaven and Earth to see their favorite band, but since I hope to see them in the future I went under the knife.

Anyway, we Rush fans are having a good year so far. Geddy threw out the opening ball in Toronto at the start of baseball season, there's a new leg of the tour, and they were finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Hopefully this summer my alter ego will be inspired enough to start on the third book of the Lerxst Johnston mysteries (the first of which is at Amazon for 99 cents), which would make it extra special for me. Now, if you know a hard core Rush fan you know they've been eligible for the Hall for 15 years, but weren't nominated until recently. We all know the story, but for the benefit of those who don't: it's pretty much an open secret that decision makers attached to the HoF aren't Rush fans, or into prog rock. So you won't find support there. Now, when you start inducting people who ARE Rush fans, who do get a vote in subsequent inductions, you'll find that times change.

This was also the first time, too, that fans got to vote on inductees. The finalist receiving the most fan votes got one point toward the HoF voting. Guess who won? Yep, you induct artists like Alice Cooper and Metallica, who know and respect the band, and you'll have to concede to the votes.

So, Rush are Hall of Famers, yay! Now the fans say, "Now what?" We've become used to complaining for over a decade...we need something new for a bitchfest. For me, I suppose I can complain about other artists who aren't yet in the HoF. Maybe this year we'll get to see Yes, Kiss, and few other deserving act get the thumbs up. Still waiting for Brian Epstein to be inducted as a non-performer, too.

Who do you think is long overdue for the HoF? I plan to cover a bit in the third Lerxst book.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

What I'm Reading This Week

So I set a goal of 125 books to read this year, and I am about 40 books in. I'm fortunate in that my new job I'm encouraged to read, since I give input on book recommendations for the newsletters. How could you not love a job where reading plays a part?

I tend to read more than one book in a period of time, and here's what I picked up for the week:

Stranded With the Billionaire by Jessica Clare: The title pretty much states the premise. A waitress/winner of a radio prize is stuck on a tropical island during a hurricane. The billionaire in question has just purchased the resort where she's staying. I'm a few chapters in so far, and have read through a comedy of errors and mistaken identity. Curious to see where the story goes after the storm.

The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson: This year's Pulitzer winner for fiction. I've made it a goal to read all of the fiction winners, and I have to say I'm enjoying this one more than others. It's about a young North Korean who's worked various "odd jobs" to keep out of the camps. It's gritty and dark, but compelling.

Roseannarchy by Roseanne Barr: I've been catching up on Roseanne reruns, and it's interesting to see how a show from 20 years ago remains relevant today. We'll always have economic and familial struggles, and that's why this show has aged better than others. This book is a collection of essays - I'm early in, so it's been mostly about her early years. Hope to get into entertainment industry criticism soon.

Though I have a Goodreads account as Leigh, I use the profile under my real name more. You're welcome to friend me there and see what else I'm reading.