Blind Her With Bliss

There has been a lot of talk on the internet about authors like JA Konrath and John Locke who have made A LOT of money self publishing their books. Heck, even NYT best selling authors are looking to put their backlist up on Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes and Noble. And why wouldn’t they? There is money to be made from digital savvy readers looking for a fix.

Why shouldn’t it be my book?

I’m not going to talk about HOW to do it. There seems to be all kinds of self-help blogs and books about the actual process. Let me just tell you … it’s easy. Don’t be fooled into thinking formatting is something only IT techs can do properly. Seriously, I did it myself and as the saying goes “If I can do it…”

Of course I decided to upload books that had already been edited and published through traditional electronic publishing routes, so a freelance editor wasn’t something I needed to consider. I did have someone design covers, Dar Albert at Wicked Smart Designs worked with me for the Tilling Passions series. I would highly recommend her. Her prices are reasonable and she didn’t charge me for all the “tweaking” stages. 🙂

But I digress. Really I wasn’t going to talk about the process. I want to talk about the results. Though many authors are finding HUGE financial rewards within only a month of putting their book on Amazon, some of us … just aren’t. And we don’t know why. I’ve looked at the marketing studies. I’ve read the blogs of authors who are now paying quarterly taxes for the first time because their sales are overwhelming. I’ve tweeted and facebooked and blogged and toured and … well, suffice it to say … for me nothing has been the magic bullet.

I understand it’s a numbers game. And I’m working on that. The third book in the Tilling Passions series, Arranging Love should be on sale by the end of August. I’ve got two more books that require a major round of edits before they’re ready to go up for sale. But I’d like to have both of those out before next spring. Perhaps that’s the answer. I’m not sure.

I know I’m not alone in this. There are many authors whose sales are lackluster at best. Since I’m on a loop with them, I know they’re out there. So just to let you know, not everyone finds gold in this self-publishing venture, let me share my three months worth of sales for Blind Love:

Kindle: 65
Smashwords: 10
Nook: 18

I understand this is a marathon and not a sprint, still it is a little discouraging when someone on an indie loop I’m on is wondering why her sales dropped below 100 that day and had anyone else experienced the drop. I haven’t experienced the sales. Bleh.

I’m not suggesting anyone shy from self-publishing. Like I said, it’s uber easy to get books up on the three venues I mentioned above. (Though I understand All Romance eBooks is a little more difficult with their formatting requirements.) I really just wanted authors to know that their results may vary.

I’m having a give away for the WHOLE month of June…a basket FULL of goodies! I can’t take a picture of it because my stuff is still in storage for the next month. (Fingers crossed we’re in a house by July.)

What’s in the basket?
A print copy of Healer’s Garden
Random print books from my conference overflow
Bookmarks, pens and other Nina goodies
A deck of EC playing cards
A $15 Amazon gift card
… probably more random stuff from my prize closet

How do you get your name thrown in the hat?
1) One chance for “LIKING” my Facebook fan page (be sure to leave a comment on the page to tell me you’re new)

2) One chance when someone who has “Liked” my fan page mentions your name as referring them to my FB Fan Page

3) Three chances entered for each review for Blind Love or Love’s Bounty (coming in mid-June) left on Amazon, GoodReads or Barnes and Noble.

And that’s it! One name will be drawn from all entries. The giveaway will run from today to JUNE 30 at noon EDT. (Shipping is for residence of the US or Canada only. An international winner would receive a $20 Amazon gift certificate in addition to the $15 card already included in the basket.)

And just because it’s been awhile since I shared some sexy man flesh, here is some drool worthy awesomeness I hope you come across this weekend …

I’m very excited. At the end of last week I received word that A TOUCH OF LILLY has finaled in Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal’s Prism Contest in the Erotica category. w00t! w00t!

This is the second final for this book. I’m not sure I mentioned it also finaled in Passionate Ink’s Passionate Plume Contest in the Science Fiction/Fantasy category.

Winners for both contests will be announced at RWA’s National conference at the end of June.

Also this week, ROMANCE JUNKIES gave BLIND LOVE 5 RIBBONS and Pam said:

BLIND LOVE is the first novel in the series, TILLING PASSIONS, by Nina Pierce. It was an intriguing page-turner from the beginning. I could not put it down…Julie’s character development throughout the story is very inspiring. Damon is the perfect man for her. He slowly coaxes her out of her shell, makes her realize her worth, and that in itself is incredible. BLIND LOVE is by far, the best contemporary romance I have read this year. I am looking forward to reading more by Ms. Pierce.

How about and EXCERPT:
He stopped short when he realized the door to the back offices of the club was blocked. A raven-haired beauty stared down the bouncer guarding the entrance from unauthorized customers. The woman stood defiantly with her hands on her hips. Her breasts pushed forward, brushing the guy’s barrel chest.

“Well, I guess I just don’t understand. You’ve let all kinds of people go through that door behind you. I’ve seen them coming and going. Why not me?”

He recognized the feisty woman. Twenty minutes ago, she’d acted like she didn’t understand what was going on when the dance floor spotlight flooded over her. It hadn’t taken much coaxing from the crowd to get her to join the dance competition. Damon had seen lots of women appear all innocent until they were nearly naked in front of the crowd. Not this one. He’d watched her ride her partner’s thigh, her body swaying sensually to the music, her lids hanging heavy with desire. He was sure she’d be like all the rest, slithering out of her clothes and satisfying herself in public. But she hadn’t. She’d done some kind of slink and roll and extricated herself quite gracefully from the writhing bodies on the dance floor, then disappeared.

She’d definitely caught his attention. Damon’s body reacted to the memory. Okay, so maybe he wasn’t too tired to enjoy a drink or two with a lively number like her.

“As I told you, only members can go through, or guests on the list.” The bouncer looked down his crooked nose at her, the strobe lights reflecting off his bald head. He pounded his stubby finger on his clipboard. “Ma’am, if you’re not on the list, you’re not going in.”

“Ma’am? Do I look like a ma’am to you?” she asked, poking the big man in the sternum.
Damon bit back a laugh. There weren’t many who would stand up to this particular bouncer. Just the size of his tattooed forearms was enough to intimidate most patrons of Starry Knights. She seemed unfazed by his size and gruff scowl. Maybe he could save the poor schlep blocking the door, give the woman access to the back rooms and find if she was interested in a little something more.

He didn’t feel quite so tired anymore.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
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I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

I couldn’t do an update this week without telling everyone how fortunate I am to have such a wonderful mom. She raised 5 children (each of us a year apart … you do the math … FIVE teenagers! And she survived!) She’s been wonderful as I’ve become a mom. She hangs back until we ask for advice and then gently shares her wisdom. Mom lives far away from me and though we don’t talk on the phone very often, I think about her every day.

But 27 years ago when I married Mr. Nina another wonderful mom came into my life. I’m so fortunate to have someone else who loves me unconditionally, supports and encourages. I truly am doubly blessed.

I’m not going to be with either of my moms today. But they are in my thoughts and prayers. If you’re a mom … Happy Mother’s Day. And I wish for all of you the special love of a mom.

Now, onto the good news this week …

Sizzling Hot Books reviewed BLIND LOVE. Michelle had this to say …

Blind Love was a hot and sweet story. I enjoyed seeing a woman not holding back her feelings of discontent with her family and how she went for what she wanted … a book to go back to when you are in a sentimental mood, but with hotness thrown in.

And Miz Love Loves Books gave BLIND LOVE 5 STARS and Miz Terious had this to say…

Ms. Pierce has penned a wonderful mystery with twists and turns that will keep the reader guessing until the very end. The chemisty between Julie and Damon is smoking with sex scenes that will have you squirming in your seat. It doesn’t get much better than this. Intrique, family dynamics, hot sex and a true happy ending. I’ll be looking for the second book in what promises to be a great series.

And quite out of the blue I received an awesome 4 STAR review for DIVINE DECEPTION from Night Owl Romance. And Pauline had this to say …

Each and every character in this story was well developed and added to the plot. The emotions in this story are extensive and run the gamut from sorrow, guilt, anger, joy and hatred. The location itself is almost a character and Ms. Pierce brings it to life, I could almost smell the dirt and taste the wine. This author is one of my must-reads and this story showcases the talent that put her there.

How about an EXCERPT:
Having Nick present while she visited with Joseph wasn’t really in her plans. Frankie had tried to talk Nick into taking the motorcycle to the hospital later in the morning but Margaret had come running down the granite steps swinging a picnic basket as Frankie was climbing into the truck. She handed it to Nick with two quick kisses on his cheeks and stood watching as he climbed into the passenger side of the cab and they pulled from the driveway.

Now they were headed into town, the midmorning sun hanging in an azure sky, its rays dancing on Seneca Lake. Normally Frankie would have loved a day like this but the cab seemed claustrophobic with Nick Gradin’s surly attitude sitting between them.

“It’s not my fault you didn’t know who I was,” she said quietly.

Turning to her, he cocked a skeptical eyebrow and crossed his arms over his chest.

“You knew your father had a stepdaughter.”

“And a child bride,” Nick remarked coldly. “I expected my stepsister to have pigtails and braces. Not…” His hand motioned up and down her torso.

“Well, you didn’t seem to mind the package yesterday.”

“Yesterday I thought you were Joseph’s assistant.”

“Funny, yesterday I thought you were a womanizing pig of a manwhore.” She shot him a patronizing smile. “Guess one of us was right.”

He frowned. “If you’ll recall, I wasn’t the one who came on to you in the field.”

“As I recall, it was you who was ready for action in the wine cellar.”

“I was simply reading the signals you were sending out.”

“Then you have a faulty GPS.”

“My wiring is just fine thank you.”

“I suppose you think it is, with all the woman you have tumbling into your posh Philadelphia bed.”

“Now what the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“Oh, as if you don’t know.”

“I have no idea what you’re…oh, this is stupid. Pull over here.” Nick motioned to a dirt road that led to a small alcove near the lake.

She’d been parking there once in high school.

“I’m not going to see Joseph until we clear this up and can at least be civil to each other,” he said.

Frankie acquiesced. He was right. It wouldn’t do Joseph any good to have them bickering in front of him. She turned the truck into the trees, their pumpkin and gold leaves floating passively on the gentle breeze. They bumped down the dirt tracks, the center lane overgrown with the dried weeds of summer. Frankie felt as if she was entering the lion’s mouth. Anger surrounded Nick like the cloud of dust trailing behind them. She had no idea why he was so pissed when she’d only spoken the truth.

Shoving the truck in park and shutting off the engine, Frankie stared out over the lake. Its cobalt surface rippled at the gentle touch of the fall breeze. Maybe this was the perfect place to help Nick see things her way. Though she hadn’t exactly started the conversation off in the right direction, maybe she could try again. “I think—”

As if he hadn’t heard her, Nick got out and slammed the door. Pacing in front of the truck, he pulled at his bottom lip, an angry scowl furrowing his brows. What the hell was his problem? Frankie got out and stalked after him. “For someone who wants to talk, you’re damn rude, you know that, Gradin?”

He grabbed her and pressed her against the front of truck, the solid planes of his chest trapping her. “I don’t know what my father told you about me but I do not—I repeat, do not—have a rotating door on my bedroom. There is no harem of beauties waiting for me in Philly. When I choose to sleep with a woman I like there to be a little chemistry between me and the lady.” His mouth came down hungrily on hers, his taste already familiar. When his tongue ran the seam of her lips, she had no choice but to open to his assault. Fisting his hand in her hair, Nick controlled the breath-stealing tempo while his other hand surrounded her breast, squeezing the sensitive flesh. Warm shocks of want shot straight to her pussy. Frankie’s hands seized the soft chambray of his shirt, her heart racing in her ears. Nick broke from her as abruptly as he began. “And there’s no denying our chemistry, Francesca.”

I’ve been pretty quiet on my own blog about my decision to re-release my Tilling Passions series direct to Kindle and Nook. I LOVE these sisters. I was so stoked when Liquid Silver first released them in 2008. At that time they garnered some readers, but really didn’t find their stride at LSB. Sadly they sat with very little attention. And as much as I love LSB and the publishing family I found over there my purpose isn’t just to publish my books, but to get my stories out to the readers.

Soooo, when the rights reverted back to me, it seemed only logical to dip my toe into this brave, new world of self-publishing. Of course the decision was easier for me as the books had already been through the editing process. I just had DAR ALBERT design new covers and I was off.

Let me just say that many people are panicking about “formatting” their manuscripts to upload to the various sites for sale. Since my books were already formatted for digital publishing it was uber easy for me to upload my book. If you’re thinking about stepping into self-publishing I would highly recommend it. I just see it as being market savvy, spreading my books across many formats as to find the biggest audience. I have the first book on sale now. I hope you’ll check it out.

BLURB:
He’s a shock jock looking to reform. She’s an accountant hoping to cut loose. Can love open their eyes to forever?

Uptight CPA and oldest sister, JULIE TILLING, is the glue that binds her family. Everyone depends on her to do the right thing. When her friend from high school dies and Julie is the only one who believes he didn’t commit suicide, she takes it upon herself to investigate his death.

DAMON COREY didn’t come to Maine to become a shock jock. But when his dream career of becoming a concert pianist seems unobtainable, the radio station’s offer is too good to pass up. When mysterious brunette Jewel, hooks up with him at the night club run by a college frat brother, their one night fling wraps around his heart and makes him believe in love at first sight.

But can Damon expose his inner soul without pushing Julie away or will his enigmatic shock jock persona become Julie’s sexual undoing and reveal him as the missing piece that solves the puzzling questions surrounding her friend’s death?

EXCERPT:
“Does it ever get tiresome watching it?” Julie asked, daring to dip her toe in the waters of seduction.

“What?”

Good, her question threw him off-kilter. “You know. The people and what they’re doing? You see the two men and that woman over there?” Julie leaned to the side so Demon could see around her as she pointed to a shadowed corner of the bar below. “I thought they were dancing, but there’s definitely something more going on.” A nervous giggle escaped her lips. “The man in front is definitely buried deep in the woman, and the man in back…well, I’m not sure what he’s doing. But with their mouths open that way, I’m thinking they’re all really enjoying themselves.” She leaned back, her bottom grazing his thigh.

“Oh, they’re definitely getting it on.” Demon braced his hands on either side of her, pressing the solid plane of his chest against her back. They were both testing the waters. “And yes, I get tired of watching.” He leaned close to her ear, his breath the only thing separating his lips from her skin. “They put in extra spotlights that shine on the platform for me so I don’t have to stare at them all night. I mean, even a saint would get a hard-on seeing people go at it for three hours.” He rubbed against her. There was no mistaking his arousal.

Julie was enjoying their brazen flirtation. “I suppose you’re right.” She turned around to face him, purposefully rubbing her breasts across his chest. He didn’t move. “Did you originally bring me up here to relieve a little of that tension, Demon?”

“I don’t think you want to know what I was thinking before we got in the elevator.”

She tilted her head and cocked a brow, inviting him to share. “Oh, but I think I would.”

“This is probably a very bad idea.” He took a step back, but she moved with him.

She’d come this far and she had no intention of stopping now. “Maybe I was a little tipsy in the elevator, but I’m stone-cold sober now,” Julie said, laying her palm in the center of his chest. Her gaze swept the strong lines of his face, gauging his reaction. Even in the muted light of the office she could see the hunger sparking in his eyes. “We’re way past the stage of chivalry, Demon. I don’t need your protection.” She slid her thigh up his leg, surprised by her own audacity.

“You think that’s what I’m doing?”

She dragged a nail through the dark whiskers along his jaw, thrilling in the quick inhalation of his breath. “Oh, you play the animal, but the heart of a gentle man hides in here.” She kissed the center of his chest, her body warming with the power of her seduction.

“Then it may shock you to learn I intended on having my way with you when we got up here. That phone call pulling Elvis away was his attempt to give me privacy.”

“No more than it would shock you to learn that’s what I’d hoped.”
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Welcome to Earth Day 2011. I hope you’re doing your part to protect our environment.

Me? I’m a recycling fiend. Plastic, aluminum, paper, you name it I recycle it. When we were packing to move my oldest daughter, whose even more into it than I am, even found places for me to send used denim and crayons where they would be recycled. Though I will confess to not composting. I haven’t quite gotten that mess figured out. Maybe we’ll find one of those big containers you can put in the back yard for our next house. But then again, since there’s the whole brown, green, brown layer thing, it may be more than I can handle.

And of course there is the fact that my books can be purchased digitally thereby saving many, many trees in the printing process. As a matter fact I’m chatting about e-books and my newest release BLIND LOVE over at ADELE DUBOIS’ BLOG today. Come on over and tell me how you like your books … print or electronic.

The third book in the Tilling Passions series got a wonderful review last week. But I thought I’d share an excerpt from the first book in the series, Blind Love.

He’s a shock jock looking to reform. She’s an accountant hoping to cut loose. Can love open their eyes to forever?

Please enjoy this excerpt …
Julie had no idea what was happening. The whole evening had been an overwhelming discord of sensual overload. The music had stroked her body like the bow of a violin, sending her taut muscles quivering with every pulse. She had danced with women and men, sometimes both. Their hands and mouths wandered her body without inhibition.

Their intimate touches had startled her at first. She’d bolted from the dance floor, too chicken to do anything but sip at another iced tea and watch. Other people’s clothes had disappeared as the night wore on and so had her reticence. No one knew her here. No one cared that Monday she would go back to boring Julie, CPA. Tonight, she could be anyone. And tonight she wanted to be Julie, wanton pinup girl.

So she’d pushed her way back in the crowd, enjoying the pleasant thrumming in her head and belly. She didn’t know how many people had touched her–at the moment, didn’t really care. She hadn’t been able to return their affections, but others had. She wasn’t sure how many orgasms she’d witnessed, couples having intercourse on the dance floor or women pleasured to climax by partners of both sexes, but she’d become increasingly aroused as the night wore on. Although her body was heavy with desire, she hadn’t allowed anyone to satisfy her in public. Even she had her limits.

At that moment, the spotlight illuminated her, cast all eyes on her, taking away her anonymity. Heat rose from the soles of her feet to settle in her cheeks. Julie swiveled her head, not understanding the chanting coming from the crowd. They wanted her to dance. Hands coaxed her from behind to join the small group gathered in the center of the dance floor. A man grabbed her hand and pulled her against his bare chest. The smell of musk and sweat assaulted her nose–completely masculine, completely erotic. His lips crushed down on hers, stealing what little air was in her lungs. He spun her away from him, and just as quickly, twirled her back into his arms. They both laughed. The crowd surrounding the intimate group of twenty began to chant.

It was only a dance contest. This, she could enjoy.

Her partner pulled her tight to his body, his thigh parting her legs. She felt his erection against her hip, and jolts of current spiked down her center. He laid his cheek against her temple, his breath hot on her ear. He pulsed his hips in time with the music, rubbing her swollen sex against the soft leather of his pants. She was overwhelmed by the myriad sensations rippling through her. For a moment she didn’t think about where she was, didn’t worry about the people around her. She thought only of what her body yearned for, what she’d been craving all night. Release. She closed her eyes, hearing only the music, enjoying the way her muscles clenched as her need built to a crescendo.

The supple body of a woman molded to Julie’s back and joined in the rhythmic movement of their bodies. The woman’s heated fingers trailed embers down Julie’s shaky thighs.

Another person? She wasn’t alone with this man? The realization snapped her back from a place she hadn’t wanted to go. A place Julie promised herself she wouldn’t go. What was she thinking? It was not the first time that night Julie had been in this position, but it was the first time she’d actually thought about giving in to the release of sexual tension knotting her gut. Later, in a more private place–like her shower–she’d tame the horny beast, but not now, not in front of all these people. Even this new person she’d become had her limits. With a delicate shimmy and twist she’d perfected, Julie extricated herself from the couple. Unaffected by her departure, the two seamlessly closed the gap between them.

Relief flooded over her as one of the cocktail waitresses motioned for her to come out of the spotlights. She cast a glance over her shoulder. Clothes were being removed from the remaining ten contestants as quickly as dancers were being pulled from the contest. Despite her outfit’s inability to completely cover her breasts, Julie’s clothes had remained intact. She intended to keep it that way. For the third time that night, she lost herself in the multitude.

Besides, she still had work to do.

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