Louisa Edwards – Easter in September

Can't Stand the Heat Hey, kids, it’s time for my next Easter Egg hunt, featuring debut author Louisa Edwards. Her book is called CAN’T STAND THE HEAT.

Just like in Lauren’s hunt, Louisa has given me a question that you need to answer. The info can be found on her website, which means you need to do some reading. Here’s what you need to find out:

What was the shorthand working title of Can’t Stand the Heat?

Once you have that answer, email me at ann.aguirre at gmail.com. Then post a comment here saying, “I visited Louisa’s site & I’ve entered” (or some variant thereupon; you don’t have to use those exact words). That way, I have a tidy list to make sure I don’t lose any entries in cyberspace or my spam filter. Note: under NO circumstances should you post the answer in comments.

I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at this book and wow! You know how people say there aren’t very many awesome contemporaries anymore? Look no further. The book is set in Manhattan and Ms. Edwards brings a divine verisimilitude to her setting. The romance is hot, the food is mouthwatering, but wait, there’s more! She also works in a breath-taking secondary romance that intertwines with the first in poignant, passionate harmony. You’ll fall in love Frankie; that’s all I’m saying. Be prepared for a totally mouth-watering treat. So you know you want this book.

I’m giving away a copy, of course. The contest kicks off now, and will wrap up Friday at midnight. Winner will be announced on Saturday morning. Game on!

ETA: People seem to be finding this question hard to answer. Here’s a clue: the information you need can be found on the book excerpt page.

Sold!

FICTION: WOMEN’S/ROMANCE
Ann Aguirre writing as Ava Gray’s SKIN PRIVILEGE, the first book in a series… again to Cindy Hwang at Berkley Sensation, in a nice deal, in a two-book deal, for publication in early 2011, by Laura Bradford at Bradford Literary Agency.

In fact, this is not the first in the series; this is three and four, contingent upon events from book two. While each book should theoretically stand alone, there may be benefits to reading them in order. So far, we have:

SKIN GAME
SKIN TIGHT
SKIN PRIVILEGE
SKIN DIVE

Will there be more? Who knows? But hooray today!

Skin Game arc winners

Happy birthday to me. For my birthday, I’m giving nine of you presents. And the winners are…

Bree
Mandi
May
JC
Leontine
Pearl
Has
Lori T
Yvonne

For full disclosure, I picked my 5 favorites and then chose 4 people randomly. No, I won’t tell you who is who. I do wish I had arcs for all of you because I loved reading all the entries.

Please send your name and address to my personal assistant.
Azteclady will make sure your arc goes out, but she won’t be making a run to the post office until she has all your addresses, so if one of you is slacking, it holds up the whole process. (And if you don’t respond within a week, I’ll draw a new name.)

Congrats to the winners. I really hope y’all like the book. Once you’ve reviewed it (and if you want to do that early on Good Reads, your blog, wherever, that’s fine with me, just make sure you repost it on Amazon on Nov 3), please send Azteclady a link. Thanks so much!

Skin Game Arc Contest

Skin Game A Beautiful Fugitive — Wanted Dead or Alive
Kyra is a con woman and a particular kind of thief. She steals with a touch, but she only takes one thing: her target’s strongest skill. Which means she can be a fighter, an athlete, a musician, an artist — anything she wants… for a limited time. Heartbroken, she turns her gift toward avenging her father’s murder. With deadly patience, Kyra works her way into casino owner Gerrard Serrano’s inner circle. After pulling off the ultimate con, she flees with his money and his pride.

A Hit Man Who Never Misses the Mark
Reyes has nothing but his work. Unfortunately for Kyra, he’s the best– and mercy never sways him once he takes a job. He’s been hired to find out where Kyra hid the cash– and bring her back to face Serrano’s “justice.” Dead will do if Reyes can’t locate the loot. He’s never failed to complete a contract, but Kyra tempts him with her fierce passion and her outlaw heart. So Reyes faces a hell of a choice: forsake his word or kill the woman he might love.

Hm, sounds tempting, you might say. But is it for me?

Well, Jill Myles enjoyed it. Carolyn Jewel did too. On her blog, she wrote: “For anybody who’s longing for a paranormal that’s not the usual supernatural creature, this is the story is for you. If you just like great characters and even better writing, you’ll want to read this book, too.”

My editor said, the incomparable Cindy Hwang said, “…it [Skin Game] completely blew me away–both Kyra and Reyes are such complex, edgy characters–definitely not conventional hero/heroine material, but you pulled it off. They’re super edgy but still appealing and sympathetic, and boy, is it sexy! You’ve written one of the most original romances I’ve read in years…” She also compared the book to Anne Stuart’s work. [Squee!]

Meredith Duran wrote, “…this is also going to appeal HUGELY to Linda Howard’s fan base … feels like it was written fearlessly, it gave me vicarious shocks in the best of ways. … Reyes is gloriously sexy, and the romance is just fantastically hot.”

Do I really need to say anymore? In case I do, let’s summarize.

      Hitman hero
      Con-woman heroine
      Gritty & edgy
      Fantastically hot / sexy
      Will appeal to fans of Linda Howard and/or Anne Stuart

*Note: I never would’ve compared myself to Ms Stuart or Ms. Howard. Meredith Duran & Cindy Hwang did so, and I’d be stupid not to use it. (I’m not, hence the mention.)

So that’s the book. If you want a copy, I have nine arcs to give away. You must be willing to write a review and post it on Amazon on release day (November 3). You can put it on your blog, Library Thing, Good Reads, and wherever else you like. It’s all good.

How can you win one? Well, here’s where I get to have fun. Show me some love. Convince me of how much you want it because I’m giving these to my nine biggest fans. Your comment should be eloquent and persuasive. So go on and let your inner fangirl (or fanboy) out.

Winners will be announced on my birthday, August 27. Good luck!

Dispelling Popular Fallacy

It has come to my attention that there’s a bad, nasty rumor going around the internet. I am here to shine the light of truth on… well, bad nasty rumors going around on the internet. I live to serve. (And watch Viggo Mortensen movies. So totally watching Appaloosa tonight. But that’s another post.)

So here we go.

Popular Fallacy #147: “If you don’t plot your books in advance, you can never sell on proposal.”

My dear friends, this is hogwash. You only need to know the building blocks of creating a bullshit synopsis that is 98% character and backstory and 2% vaguely delineated hints of a plot. For some of you, the art of BS may not come naturally. This is too bad. You should have done what I did, which was join the debate team in high school because I had a crush on one of the guys but I was far too lazy to prepare for matches so I did extempore events. It taught me to make shit up on the spot, a skill that stands me in good stead to this day.

Let’s say you want to sell a romantic suspense, so here’s a good starting point for your synopsis.

Man meets woman. They conflict. They have smoking sex. Danger happens. They fight bad people. A few things blow up. Car chase. They make out in the rain. Terrible misunderstanding! Then they make up and live HEA.

Are you laughing? Azteclady said I needed to put a spew alert on that synop. But here’s the thing. From this, you can totally build up. Add the names. Put in a couple of paragraphs about how Pamela, your heroine, was abandoned as a child and she now has trust issues, which cause her to physically assault the hero in the ultimate romantic suspense meet cute. The point isn’t summarize the whole dang book. The point is to give a feeling for what the book will be like–that means your synop needs to reflect the actual voice you’re going to use in the book. It’s more important for it to be interesting, have a great hook, and keep the reader’s attention than lay out what happens from page one to page 342.

I’ve sold quite a few books now on proposal, and I can’t plot. I think it’s cool when people can, but if I outline or plot, I lose interest in writing the story. So you can totally start with a single paragraph that looks generic as hell and build outward, depending on your genre. If you build it, they will come. Can you sum up your book in a single paragraph? (Not a blurb, mind you, but a super mini-synopsis.) Give it a shot in comments.

Laid Bare Winner

Congrats to Joy! She walks away with the copy of LAID BARE, which rocks so hard that the rest of you need to get your hands on a copy. Email me your mailing addy within a week or, yadda yadda.

I’ll be traveling for the next week or so. My updates will be sporadic if at all. See you! I’ll be having a blast at ArmadilloCon.

Lauren Dane – Easter in August

This kicks off my next summer Easter Egg hunt. My dear friend Lauren Dane has a book out this week; it’s called LAID BARE. In celebration of this occasion, we’re doing another Easter Egg hunt. Laid Bare

Just like in Eli’s hunt last week, Lauren has given me a question that you need to answer. The info can be found on her website, which means you need to do some reading. Here’s what you need to find out:

What was Lauren’s first book sale and when?

Once you have that answer, email me at ann.aguirre at gmail.com. Then post a comment here saying, “I visited Lauren’s site & I’ve entered” (or some variant thereupon; you don’t have to use those exact words). That way, I have a tidy list to make sure I don’t lose any entries in cyberspace or my spam filter. Note: under NO circumstances should you post the answer in comments.

The prize? A copy of Lauren’s fabulous LAID BARE. Nobody writes erotic romance like Lauren. I loved her “Chase” brothers books; they’re like fresh, homemade bread: simultaneously steamy, wholesome and delicious. I enjoyed UNDERCOVER, for which she won an RT award. I loved RELENTLESS. But frankly, none of those books can hold a candle to LAID BARE. I doubt I could tell you succinctly how much I loved it outside of sharing the blurb I gave her. So why don’t I include it here?

“Laid Bare is the hottest thing since Prometheus gave us fire. It’s also a tender love story that wrung my heart with its sweetness. Don’t miss this book.” –Ann Aguirre, national bestselling author of Blue Diablo

LAID BARE is Lauren’s best book yet. Menages don’t ordinarily work for me, but in this story, it is pitch perfect. Get your copy and fall in love with Erin, Todd, and Ben.

The contest kicks off now, and will wrap up next Wednesday at midnight. Winner will be announced on Thursday morning. Game on!

Winner – Stolen Fury

Thanks for playing, everyone! I have a winner to announce today, so here we go.

Amy Huber!

Email me with your name and address within a week or I draw a new winner. I know you have my address because you sent me an email for the contest. Congrats, Amy! You’re going to enjoy Elisabeth’s book.

For everyone else, don’t despair. Tomorrow, I begin Lauren Dane’s Easter Egg hunt and you are SO going to love LAID BARE. It’s sizzling and emotional and a fantastic read.