guest blogs

I’ve been hanging around the internet a few years now. I’ve been hosting people, visiting blogs and just generally making a nuisance of myself. But in the process of all of that running around, I’ve learned a few things about being a gracious guest and I just thought I’d share a few of the things I’ve learned. (Keep in mind this is faaaar from a complete list and only my perceptions):

1) Be prompt: Regardless of the platform your host uses, it takes time to upload a guest blog. If there are links, bookcovers, and excerpts even more to set it up so it looks appealing. Be sure to get your interview questions or blog post to the host at least a week prior to your visit. Everyone is busy. When you do this you respect the host’s time.

2) Be yourself: Whether you’re answering interview questions or offering a guest blog the visitors want to get a feeling for who you are. If you have a snarky sense of humor, let it shine through in your answers. If you have an interesting day job that lead you to the world of publishing be sure to share that. Readers of blogs are interested in the little details of your life they may not know. That being said …

3) It’s not all about you: Okay, what I mean is … it’s not all about selling your book. Readers get really tired of the “ME ME ME ME, BUY MY BOOK” posts. Engage the reader. Talk about an interesting antecdote or how your character screamed at you the whole time you were writing the book. Visitors are more likely to be intrigued by personal facts rather than the buy link. Why would anyone want to comment on a book cover, blurb and excerpt? Ask them something. Remember, this is about engaging visitors in conversation. They want to like you and talk to you. Give them something to chat with you about.

4) Hosts are busy too: I’ve had guests that were so excited about a blog tour that they sent me daily emails with DETAILED instructions of what they expected me to do for them including running their contest. Ummm … no. I’ve offered a corner of the internet and hopefully introduced new readers to their book. Other than being available to interact with visitors, I don’t have time to babysit a guest blog. This goes back to #1 … respect your hosts time and efforts. I will promote you and your post, but in turn, I want you to promote my blog.

5) Don’t abandon ship!: A guest blog isn’t a lone post just hanging out by itself. Commenters want to know someone’s actually there and they’re not talking out into the cyber universe. Make time at least twice (if you can) to visit and respond to commenters. If your day job or other obligations makes that impossible, take time to visit at the end of the day and respond. Remember, it’s about making connections with new readers.

6) Engage the Readers: When you write your post try to leave it hanging. Ask a question of the readers at the end of your post or make a statement that visitors can comment on. It keeps them from visiting without taking time to comment.

7) To giveaway or Not giveaway: It’s always difficult to decide whether you want to give a gift to commenters. Readers love to receive gifts from authors, but sometimes it’s cost prohibitive to offer a prize to each blog in a blog tour. Try offering something from all the commenters of ALL the blogs you visit? I’ve found this to work very well. But remember, readers don’t always need prizes and big giveaways, your interesting post and an intriguing excerpt are enough to make their day.

I love introducing people to writers they may have never met. I love going out and visiting other blogs to meet new people. This list isn’t complete by any stretch of the imagination. I’d love to hear what intrigues you? And what drives you completely insane when you’re reading a guest blog or interview. Because you know me … I’m always looking to improve my blog. 😉

And it’s been awhile since I’ve had a sexy guest, so I in honor of beach weather arriving a little early, I thought I’d share…enjoy your weekend!

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I’d like to welcome my guest, romance author, Jill James. Take it away Jill …

I often get asked why I choose to write romance novels. Yes, we are the stepchild of the industry while being its biggest moneymaker. Yes, we are accused of being formuladic, while always guaranteeing our readers a happily-ever-after. Yes, we are misunderstood and miscategorized as Miss Mary Sunshines, while our stories can be deep, meaningful, and many-faceted. I choose to write and read romance for all of the above.

My mom gave me my first romance novel for my twefth birthday, a little green book titled Lily of the Valley to go with the Lily of the Valley perfume from Avon. I still have the book, the perfume is long gone. The story is rich and textured with misunderstandings, jealousy, and revenge. It is a story of a blinded perfume maker and the spinster he thinks he is rescueing and in the end she rescues him.

A few years later I read Skye O’Malley by Bertrice Small and I knew I wanted to be a romance author. Her story of the many husbands and many adventures of Skye O’Malley made me want to put my own stories to paper. To actual paper, because when I started writing my own tales they were on a Royal typewriter. You know, the ones where one mistake meant you had to rewrite the whole page. No cut and paste. LOL

My first unfinished stories will never see the light of day. I did not know there were rules in writing, and I broke them all. My heroine was married, kidnapped, and fell in love with her kidnapper. To be truthful, he was being blackmailed by the heroine’s mother-in-law to kidnap her, so he wasn’t ALL bad.

For many years, I wrote in solitude until an amazing thing happened. I discovered RWA (Romance Writers of America) OMG! You mean there are thousands of women just like me? It was like dawn breaking.

With the enormous help of many fellow RWA members I was able to finally see my name on a book and say I was a published romance author.

I write romance because dreams really do come true.


Jill’s most recent release, Someone to Trust is the second book in her “Second Chances” series:

BLURB:
Evie Grimes doesn’t trust men. She’s been lied to and deceived too many times before. Happily single, the last thing she needs is a man.

Brady Jackson is a former Marine. Now a carpenter, he is as honest as the day is long. What you see is what you get.

When Brady falls for Evie he will have to prove he can be trusted with her heart. When danger arrives at her door he will have to prove he can be trusted to protect her. When everyone turns against him, he will have to prove he is someone to trust.

EXCERPT:
Chapter One
“Honey, it’s just a stupid business trip. You would be bored in Oregon.”

“Evie, sweetie. I love you, but you know you aren’t the smartest apple in the bunch.”

“Evie, where in the hell were you? You know you’re not allowed out after dark. Only
women out after dark are whores and sluts.”

Blinking her eyes in the dark bedroom, Evie Grimes shuddered and took deep, cleansing breaths. Her ex-husband wasn’t here. He hadn’t been in her life for five, long, peaceful years now. Her heartbeat slowed, calmed, returned to a normal pace.

She turned on her side, hitting her pillow to relieve the residual tension in her shoulders.
Cold sweat pooled between her breasts. Sighing, Evie glanced at the bedside clock. She refused to get up at four in the morning just because her sadistic ex-husband had invaded her dreams again.

A car’s headlights traveled along the ceiling and she missed the lake even more than usual. Life in the little town wasn’t hectic. But the lake was so peaceful it made the town seem like a metropolis. She needed peace and quiet more and more as the nightmares returned.

It was only a matter of time before the calls started up again and she’d be forced to change phone numbers yet again. A step closer to needing to find a new town again, praying it would be the last time.

Tears filled her eyes, rolling down the sides of her face and wetting her hair. He always
found her and she always had to move on. Her thoughts ran in circles like a merry-go-round.

She threw off the covers and swung her legs off the bed. Even at four in the morning, the mugginess the day would later carry already filled the air. She strode down the hallway in her T-shirt and panties, all she forced herself to wear in the dog days of August in the sweltering foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Her footsteps pitter-pattered down the oak flooring of the hallway. The beats of her still-racing heart pounded in her ears.

She flipped the switch on the wall and the kitchen flooded with light, banishing the not-yet dawn outside and the last dregs of her nightmare. Evie shuddered, wrapping her arms around herself.

Thoughts of Mark Trudeau still haunted her.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
BUY link for KINDLE lovers
BUY link for NOOK Lovers

So we’re curious … how did you come to enjoy reading/writing romance?

I’m participating in Whipped Cream’s SPRING FLING. They’re giving away a KINDLE, NOOK or $150 Giftcard to one lucky commenter at the end of this month. GO HERE to check out my post about May/December relationships. Leave a comment and you’re entered.

You can also visit the other posts and comment there as well. Every comment on every post is an entry … Good luck!

This week Black Raven Reviews gave MAID FOR MASTER four Ravens and MacKenzie had this to say…

Nina Pierce did a great job of bringing these characters to life; really taking her readers on a journey along with both Claire and Jonathon. The location was breathtakingly detailed; the characters well developed. The erotic scenes were intense as well as sensual. Every scene drove us toward the ending at a steady forward pace…With such great details, I hope that Ms. Pierce might one day revisit these characters. I’m sure that Claire’s brother, Jonathon’s best friend, could use a soul-mate too. *grin*

If you’re looking for a fun novella with intriguingly hot BDSM scenes and seriously passionate moments, then be sure to check out Maid for Master by Nina Pierce.

A TOUCH OF LILLY finalled in RWA’s Passionate Ink’s Passionate Plume contest. w00t! w00t!

I thought I’d leave you with an Excerpt:

Some emotion she couldn’t decipher marred Dallas’s brow. “I want to help you,” he said. “But I can’t keep you safe if I don’t know everything.” He brushed hair from her face. “Thaegan mentioned some myth, but I’m thinking it’s much more than that.”

The man was an enigma. She wanted to believe the compassion in his voice was real, but the hard set of his jaw communicated something entirely different. But when it came right down to it, she wanted someone to know. Someone who could share her burden without judgment. Lilly had no idea if Dallas was that person, but sitting here, bound and naked, she figured she really didn’t have a whole hell of a lot more to lose.

“She was my great-great-grandmother. It’s barely a part of me.” Lilly looked down. Even with Dallas’ hand warm on her shoulder, there was shame in the telling.

His finger came under her chin and gently lifted it. She had no choice but to stare into the chocolate pools of his eyes. “Then it’s not your fault. Whatever it is, the responsibility belongs to someone else.” His thumb brushed over her lips. “The beginning. Start at the beginning. I have no idea what it is. What you are.”

Confusion and frustration warred within her. How could he not know? The answers were as obvious as her beaded nipples and the dizzying aroma of her arousal. Dallas was so close she could feel his body heat pressing against her, making it hard to fill her lungs. Yet the man seemed immune to the sexual energy crackling between them. Even without trying, her own arousal was usually enough to affect any male close to her and drive one with his hands on her to sexual delirium.

“I mean…you’re very obviously human.” One side of Dallas’ mouth curved, the dimple dancing. “But there’s something that makes you special.” His hand brushed up her face to cup her cheek and she couldn’t stop herself from leaning into it. “I just want to understand it.”

His gaze searched her face, settled on her lips and Lilly thought for a moment he might kiss her. She wanted to feel the heat of his mouth on hers. Instead, he dropped his hand, rubbing them both on his jeans. “Just please explain to me what Thaegan was talking about.”

Even that slight rejection stung. Seduction and escape no longer mattered. What Lilly needed now was Dallas—a human man to accept who she was. Filling her lungs with courage, she stared straight ahead, unable to witness his revulsion as she recalled the story her mother had told her the night of her first menses. “Serapheliums are an ancient race. They came from another galaxy, hundreds of light years from where we are now. It’s said they resembled humans, but their beauty was unmatched. Gods bowed down to their perfection and angels sang at their births.” She chanced a look at Dallas and shrugged, embarrassment heating her cheeks.

“I can see the resemblance.”

She laughed out her disbelief. “Yeah, whatever.”

Crazy week packing and writing and packing and organizing and packing, oh, and did I mention packing? The Pierce house has certainly accumulated enough … STUFF. (Sooo not the “S” word I wanted to use. *g*) I still have hopes of finishing my WIP before the end of February, which means I totally need to get my butt in gear. But I’m plugging away and I am half way through and it’s looking pretty good if I may say so myself.

And of course Valentine’s Day was this week so I need to give a shout out to Mr. Nina. You see, we usually buck the whole Hallmark Valentine’s stuff. But this year it just seemed wrong that we weren’t at least together to decide we didn’t want to celebrate it. But my honey had flowers delivered and had given my daughter a box of chocolates when he was home last with instructions to give it to me on Valentine’s Day. Awww … he totally made my day. Sometimes Mr. Nina does all right in the romance arena. 😉

I also finished some uber easy edits on my Naughty Nooner “Mated Bonds”, part of my Shifting Bonds series. I’ll let you know when I have a release date for that. I suspect it won’t be too far in the future. (And if you didn’t catch it … it will be FREE!)

Today I’m hanging out with Misty at Up All Night E-Books. She offers a little free promotion and I’ve got “Maid for Master” up today.. Mwah! If you’ve got a minute stop on over and show her some love and check out the books she has posted.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

HERE I COME!!

For the next ten days I’m touring the Internet, visiting friends, sharing a little bit about myself and chatting up my newest release from Ellora’s Cave, Maid for Master.

Here’s the schedule:

Amber Skyze: Jan 17
Tina Donahue: Jan 18
Adele Dubois: Jan 19
Romance Books R Us: Jan 20
Julia Barrett’s World: Jan 21
Taige Crenshaw: Jan 22
Francesca Hawley: Jan 24
Renee Vincent: Jan 25

On Wednesday, January 26 I’ll choose one commenter at random from the various blog stops to win a box full of goodies including my novel Healer’s Garden. I hope you’ll travel with me. There are some wonderful friends hosting my tour!

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