Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Just Released - TRUST ME

What if you were the last blue-eyed woman?

The year is 2095. The Americas Revolution has ended. And Cyan Sebastian—the last blue-eyed, Caucasian woman known to exist in the Western hemisphere—is on the run. Her safe and sequestered life ripped apart, she is running with a man who has sworn to protect her. A man who once hunted her for the bounty she would fetch. The man whom days before, killed her father.

Devin McCrae is that man. Having tracked Cyan and her family for years, Devin never dreams her father will one day drop her in his lap, with a proposition he cannot refuse. He never imagines that instead of hunting Cyan for the bounty on her head, he will become her protector to the end, and safeguard her from all the others.

Most of all, he never expects he will fall for her. If ever there was a woman who is hands off—Cyan Sebastian is that woman. Turns out though, keeping her hands off him, is the bigger problem. And it’s a deadly one, at that.

99 cent Promotional Price through June 30 ONLY! 
Regular Price, $3.99


Read the teaser....

She woke later with a warped heaviness hanging over her, one that she couldn’t quite grasp. Sleep. Deep sleep had come in the night. Blessed sleep. And she was ever so grateful.
But the heaviness that encircled her came from something more than a sleep-of-the-dead night. It came from something warm and secure and safe, all-encompassing.
All consuming.
And it smelled like a man.
Cyan fluttered her crusty eyes, focusing her gaze across the way. Yes. Still in the cave. Facing the opening. But she was tucked back into a cranny, shielded from view.
She could only see the top half of the opening, and knew it was daylight. Bright sun pierced the depths of the cavern for about five feet inward. Beyond that, it was dark. Dark around her. Dark around them.
For what shielded her from view was McCrae’s arm lying protectively across her face.
Her father used to do the same, lay beside her—her and her mother—his arm draped over them, protecting….
Tears stung the backs of her eyelids. Her parents. Both gone.
What would she do now?
She lay on her side, half on her stomach, her right cheek resting against the cave’s dirt floor. McCrae was nearly on top of her, his bare arm draped snug over her from behind. His body wrapped protectively around hers. His weapon in his hand.
Poised. Pointed outward.
Nothing was getting to her unless it got to him first.
Drawn to his dark skin—much darker than hers—she almost lifted a finger to smooth over his forearm. Touch him. Run the pads of her fingertips over the dark, fine hairs of his arm.
But no. Not a good idea.
She had no doubt that should the smallest movement, the slightest sound alert McCrae, awaken him, he would be up and shooting within a millisecond. She wouldn’t risk touching him. Even though she was intrigued, fascinated by the tone, texture, and color of his skin. He was Mulatto. A novelty for her, in some respects, as much as she was a novelty for him.
Something to explore another time.
Mulatto. The term, she’d read and heard from her parents, was once derogatory to Blacks of African Heritage, and others in the United States of the Americas. Her father, a scientist, and her mother, a forensic empath, had home-schooled her well as they tripped from hiding place, to hiding place, across the globe. Although considered resident citizens of the United States, they called whatever country they’d landed in—temporarily or semi-permanently—their home.
In some cultures, she’d learned, the use of the term Mulatto was accepted—in the old United States, not so much. But now, on the cusp of the 22nd century, in the true melting pot that was the United States of the Americas, it was a common term worldwide.
Mulatto. It was the norm, rather than the exception.
She was the exception, rather than the norm. Caucasian.
But for now, he slept. And she would let him.
He needed to rest for whatever came next.
They needed rest.
It was okay. Her pursuers were far away. Off track. Off course. Frustrated.
She knew it. Sensed it. Her sight became clearer when she was rested, calm, safe… And she trusted her sight, her gift, more than anything.
Had to.
McCrae’s head lay lax against the side of her cheek. The heaviness comforted her, in a strange way. The steadiness of his inhale-exhale-inhale-exhale calmed her. The stubble of his whiskers raked against her temple. The pound of his heart beat against her back in a steady staccato rhythm. She could feel it. Somehow the murmur of it all reassured her.
He’d protect her. To the end. She was sure of it.
A slight snore escaped his lips. His breath sifted soft and moist across her cheek. Warm.
Lying so damned protectively across her.
Something stirred in her gut. Zinged throughout her body. Her chest.
No. Not him.
Not now.
Trust him.
No, dammit. Not in that way. Not with her heart, anyway. But her father bade her to trust him. Trust this Devin McCrae. Those were his last words. His last action. She wondered if he realized how difficult a task that would be?
Trust him? Yes.
Give her heart? No.
She wasn’t even sure she had a heart to give. With her body? Maybe. That might solve at least one immediate problem. Although it was more than forbidden. Giving over her body to a man could mean certain death.
And likely death to whomever she gave it to.
There were days Devon McCrae pondered how his life had ended up as it had. After all, he was just a poor kid who grew up in a rough neighborhood in El Paso. He didn’t really know his father—just what his mother chose to tell him—and he figured what she hadn’t told him he was better off not knowing. He knew there was a jail term because he’d overheard his mother talking to their priest about it on occasion.
At least his mother had insisted upon his religious upbringing. For all the good it did him now. If there was a God, he had surely offended him and then some over the years.
His sins were many. He doubted atonement would come in his lifetime. Or afterlife. If there was such a thing.
He didn’t possess a college education but had earned a degree in hard knocks—not to mention natural street smarts. A few tours in the Middle East running special ops added to his education. Enlisting was the best thing he’d ever done for himself, until the Army turned him to the other side. At least he’d learned how to shoot.
Hired gun.
Bounty hunter.
Whatever you wanted to call him. Whatever he needed to be. Didn’t matter. All the same. A way to make a living. Survive.
This time, however, the tables were turned. Unexpectedly. Edward Sebastian had been the unlikely turner of the events.
As he lay still in the cave, his gaze trained on the entrance, the leaf-filtered morning light creeping in, and the floral scent of Blue’s hair tickling his nostrils—he decided he couldn’t ponder this turn of events any longer.
Block it.
Not a killer now. Protector.
He’d made a deal. A life-altering deal. In the process, he’d likely sealed that deal on his own life. Rather than the hunter now, he was the hunted.
Tables turned.
Maybe my soul has a chance now. Although he doubted that one act of good would erase the years of killing.
Edward Sebastian had gotten to him. Blue had gotten to him.
Tables turned.
Block everything else out. Mission at hand. Get them to Betatakin.
Get her to her safe place. Deliver her. Only then he could ponder the blunders of his own life.
Blue stirred in his arms. She would wake soon. He needed a game plan.


Read a Preview at AMAZON

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Way I Price My Books

There has been a lot of discussion in writer's groups and among readers lately about book pricing, sales, free books, and the devaluation of an author's work.

Many authors worry about devaluing our work by cutting prices and under-pricing, and feel 99 cent and free books have no place in the marketplace.

I've heard readers say that when they see these low prices and free books, they wonder if the book is priced as such, because we, the author's, think it is an inferior book. One reader shared that she never buys 99 cent or downloads free books, because of that reason.

Others have shared that they get to know an author's habits about deep discounting and simply wait to buy a book until it goes on sale.

So, I'm posting my pricing guidelines, or how I price my books, and why below. Feel free to share your thoughts about pricing in the comments below, if you like.

My Regular Price Points

Short Story/Short Novella - Under 20K words - $0.99
Novellas/Short Novels - 20-50K words - $2.99
Novels - 50-100K words - $3.99 to $4.99
Boxed Sets or Collections - $3.99 - $9.99

Some caveats:
I never price at $1.99. So, a book either has to go $0.99 or $2.99, and if it's in the 15-20K range, I could go either way, depending upon the genre of the story and whether it is part of a series, or not. 

I write a lot of short stories/short novellas, so you'll see a number of $0.99 books on my list. Just remember, these are short stories or short novellas, not full-length books, so the $0.99 price point is a good price for those. It's not a devaluation, it's where I think the price should be according to the length of the story, and the amount of time it took for me to write it.