My Review of The Mistress by Tiffany Reisz ~ #31WriteNow

The Mistress US CoverI am beyond pleased to host The Mistress by Tiffany Reisz on my blog today. This series hold a dear place in my heart, so I was inordinately elated when the opportunity was presented to me by The Novel Tease. There is a tour-wide Giveaway below, so take time and read the entire post so you won’t miss your oportunity to win fabulous prizes!

Book Synopsis:

There’s punishment-and then there’s vengeance.

Nora Sutherlin is being held, bound and naked. Under different circumstances, she would enjoy the situation immensely, but her captor isn’t interested in play. Or pity.

As the reality of her impending peril unfolds, Nora becomes Scheherazade, buying each hour of her life with stories-sensual tales of Søren, Kingsley and Wesley, each of whom has tempted and tested and tortured her in his own way. This, Nora realizes, is her life: nothing so simple, so vanilla, as a mere love triangle for her. It’s a knot in a silken cord, a tangled mass of longings of the body and the heart and the mind. And it may unravel at any moment.

But in Nora’s world, no one is ever truly powerless-a cadre of her friends, protectors and lovers stands ready to do anything to save her, even when the only certainty seems to be sacrifice and heartbreak…

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My Review of The Mistress

Some authors have the amazing gift of being able to revisit characters they create in a series, over and over again, with a fresh plot and an interesting continuation that doesn’t leave the reader bored to tears or drowning in a sea of predictability. The examples that come to mind for me are not erotic romances in the purest sense, but I’ve seen this done by Diana Gabaldon, J. D. Robb, and others that I won’t name here for the sake of brevity. Now I can add Tiffany Reisz to that list, because she is doing this, and doing it well with her Original Sinners series.

The Mistress, the fourth in her eight-book series, which rounds out the four books she dubs the “red years,” did not disappoint. Reisz brought it, just as her readers have begun to expect of her since The Siren burst into the literary world, shocking the socks off some and arousing the hell out of others. There hasn’t been a book or series of this caliber to juxtapose faith against the blatant breaking of all the commandments since “The Thorn Birds,” and the steamy novels of Father Andrew Greeley. I would propose that Tiffany Reisz is the contemporary Colleen McCullough–on steroids!

Reisz is also the queen of the cliffhanger in my humble opinion, because with each and every book she answers more questions about the characters and brings them full circle, but then she creates more and leaves the reader at a point where they are salivating to discover what happens next. She did just this with The Prince, the book just prior to this one. Nora’s vanilla love, Wes Railey, the prince of Kentucky has proposed to Nora in the stables of his family’s horse farm. Just when we believe Reisz is about to give us an HEA, this proposal is interrupted by sinister intruders who knock both Wes and Nora out, leaving Wes to awake to the cold reality of having lost his fiancée just moments after she’d accepted his proposal.

Meanwhile, Nora has been taken by an unknown assailant who leaves a chilling calling card. And while he loathes having to do so, Wes has to call on the very men from whom he’s been trying to wrest Nora away since book one: Soren and Kingsley. Indeed these two are his best and only shot of getting Nora back alive, and Wesley knows this. The Mistress opens with Nora awaking to recognize her captor, and Wesley driving nonstop from Kentucky to New York to enlist the aid of the men whom he believes corrupted his Nora in ways he has abhorred since he learned of their existence. Yet, in this book, Wes will finally reconcile his feelings for Soren and Kingsley, and because I don’t want to be spoilery, I won’t tell you how.

As Nora becomes a modern-day, kinky version of Scheherazade, and entertains her kidnapper with stories of her sexcapades with Soren and Kingsley, her captor’s husband and brother, respectively, she comes to the deadly realization that this woman is stark, raving mad, and she will only come out of this predicament alive if she’s able to keep her wits about her.

Get your copy of the Mistress now, if you haven’t already, and read this remarkable tale of a decades old vendetta one woman has against a man who rescued her from deportation by a marriage of convenience; and see what secret her sibling and this man kept that drove her to the brink of madness. My advice would be if you haven’t read, The Siren, The Angel, and The Prince, begin there, because the story has been so intricately woven together, you don’t want to miss any pieces of the puzzle that lead us to the pinnacle of the otology known as The Original Sinners. Books five through eight, dubbed the white years, will be my most highly anticipated books in a series of all time, since I’m already going through TOS (The Original Sinners) withdrawals.

I give The Mistress four and one half out of five stars only because I felt the handling of Wesley’s character arc was a bit abrupt to me, personally. What happened totally made sense in the long run, but he went from one extreme emotion to another within a span of days. Perhaps it would have been better served to have more time to elapse so the suspension of disbelief wouldn’t have been called into question at all.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Tiffany Reisz Author Bio:Author Picture

Tiffany Reisz lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her boyfriend (a reformed book reviewer) and two cats (one good, one evil). She graduated with a B.A. in English from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky and is making both her parents and her professors proud by writing BDSM erotica under her real name. She has five piercings, one tattoo, and has been arrested twice.

When not under arrest, Tiffany enjoys Latin Dance, Latin Men, and Latin Verbs. She dropped out of a conservative southern seminary in order to pursue her dream of becoming a smut peddler. Johnny Depp’s aunt was her fourth grade teacher. Her first full-length novel THE SIREN was inspired by a desire to tie up actor Jason Isaacs (on paper). She hopes someday life will imitate art (in bed).

If she couldn’t write, she would die.

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Contact Links:

Twitter: @TiffanyReisz  https://twitter.com/tiffanyreisz

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/littleredridingcrop

Website: http://www.tiffanyreisz.com/

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TOUR-WIDE GIVEWAY:

**Open to US ONLY**  (1) Kindle 6” E-reader, (10) Signed copy of The Mistress by Tiffany Reisz, (3) e-book of The Mistress, (4) e-book of The Mistress Files, (1) 10 minute phone call with Tiffany Reisz, (1) Swag Bag containing: 4 signed bookplates, bookmarks, 1 Original Sinner button, and 1 Original Sinner pen.

Click the Giveaway Time icon below to enter:


Giveaway Time

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Click the banner below to see the rest of the tour.

the-mistress-banner

Are You Mine? by N.K. Smith ~ Release Day Blitz – #31WriteNow

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Synopsis:

Human connection? Who needs it?

Ever since she can remember, wealthy but weary Saige Armstrong has felt different from her peers in Pechimu, New Jersey. With only one good friend to her name, she has navigated the complicated halls of high school and is now faced with the timeless question: Now what?

Fox Harrington, a fun-loving, socially charismatic graffiti artist uses his passions to color his world how he wants it. He knows exactly where his life is headed. That is, until he meets Saige.

A summer project links the two together, making a tentative friendship bloom into romance, but despite their affection for each other, fundamental beliefs and ways of thinking threaten to destroy all they have built.

“These moments in life are the best there are. They’re heavy with emotion, messy with the what-ifs, and frightening with the unknowns.”

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Buying Links:
Kindle
Paperback
B&N

Bio:
Based in the American Midwest, N.K. Smith is a Technical Writer for a Fortune 100 company. The author of the Old Wounds Series, Ghosts of Our Pasts, and My Only, she is a mother of two who finds the time to write very early in the morning when the rest of the world is still fast asleep.
An avid lover of history, art, music, books, and people, she is interested in telling stories that speak to the human condition.

Author Links:
Website: http://nksmithauthor.blogspot.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NKSmithAuthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/NKSmithWrites
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5358547.N_K_Smith

The Less Than Fifteen Minute Post – #31WriteNow

Audio Book CoverI was in bed when I remembered I had a challenge post to fulfill for today. I am chilled by the depth of insanity that consumes me to make doing a daily post on my blog this important. Seriously? Could this not have waited until tomorrow? I think not. There are other posts that will fill the rest of my week, but when I look back on this month of prolific writing I could not look back at August 6, 2013 and not have a post to show for it. Now that would have been a travesty of epic proportions.

Now that I have your attention, and my brain is still addled from being half asleep, what do I really have to share? I know exactly what it is. In my excitement of having an audiobook produced and recorded, I had not thought about the need to market and promote said audiobook. In conversations I’ve had with authors throughout the groups I belong, most of them are just as clueless as I am about how to market them.

The logical advice would be to do exactly what I’ve done to market and promote my e-books and paperbacks, but it doesn’t seem like one solution will fit all in my humble opinion. So my next challenge as it were, has become researching until I find out exactly how to market and promote my audiobook, and you can bet I will share what I find with my colleagues, and maybe with the whole of the writerly world.

~*~

Twins 1

Where Is Exit Strategy? – #31WriteNow

Book Cover onlyAs I’m sure you are all aware by now Exit Strategy, the follow-up to Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever is several months late. I have decided to address this issue head on with a blog post because I really don’t want my readers who have stuck with me through all my issues to give up on Exit Strategy.

Before I explain what’s going on with me, I just want to say first and foremost, I write because I love it. Before Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever I wrote other things under other names, but never a novel. Unfortunately, fiction writing is not my career. I have a demanding full-time job, a full-time family life, a weekly young women’s mentorship program I co-manage with another woman, and my writing.

I list writing last, not because it is the least important of all these other things I do, but because in my world, it is extremely important (it’s most likely a close second to my family). It’s so important, I have sacrificed things I once loved to do it, such as watching television, sewing, crocheting, singing in a choir, going to movies, etc. The only other thing I haven’t given up is reading, because it’s important to being a good writer. And thank God for my Tivo, otherwise, I wouldn’t get to see any shows I like.

There has been a series of unfortunate events that have occurred since my foolhardy first anticipated release date for Exit Strategy. I won’t go into them again here because they’re documented all over my blog, Facebook, and other social media. Suffice to say, as a newbie novel writer, I flubbed the release date big time. I take full ownership of that. Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever was written during my downtime at work in 2012. When I set the release date for Exit Strategy, I failed to take into consideration that from January to June of 2013, I would be inundated with work. Even so, I managed to write sixteen chapters of what I planned to be twenty plus chapters. Then I had an accident, and it has gone downhill from there. I’m won’t recount all the other things that have happened because I know it’ll only sound like an excuse.

My Plan: In mid–July (when I knew I could get back to finishing Exit Strategy) sit down at my computer each and every day and pound out the last third of this novel. I anticipate writing non-stop for several weeks and getting it done. End of story.

What Really Happened: Most days I sat there, staring at a blank screen with only the words Chapter 17 glaring back at me.

Yes, I have a grand case of writer’s block. I alluded to this several times, the last of which was my blog post on “Ruminations about Book Promotion.” However, I’ve decided now is the time to call a spade a spade. Like any writer worth their salt, I am trying the various remedies writers way more prolific than me have used to overcome writer’s block and recorded in the annals of writerdom. I am writing every day (maybe not Exit Strategy, but writing nonetheless), and varying my projects to see if I’m just blocked on that one story or if all creative writing is affected. While I can write a bit on other stuff, my anxiety won’t allow me to do so for long.

So, it is time to come out and let my readers know, because I don’t want you all to hate me. Every once in a while, I get an email, a post, or something from a reader that makes me feel bad, because believe it or not, I’m not withholding Exit Strategy on purpose. I would benefit more than anyone if I could get it out tomorrow. However, I’ve chosen to wait to provide you the quality you deserve, not a quick fix.

I'm SorryIn the past few months, I’ve sometimes felt like a shady politician trying to figure out various ways to spin things so I wouldn’t have to come out and just say, “I’ve got nothing.” (Where is Olivia Pope when a sister needs her?) I’ve let my readers down, and it hurts—in the words of Keisha Beale—“like a mofo.” Please know that this was never my intention. I want to go on record and apologize and to let you know that as soon as my creative juices are flowing again and my muse isn’t punishing me for some unknown offense, I will finish Exit Strategy. Then I will notify you of a solid release date, and all will be right in the world again.

Sneak Peek Sunday ~ The Remembrance Trilogy by Kahlen Aymes – #31WriteNow

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Sneak Peek Sunday with Kahlen Aymes!

There are a lot of exciting things happening for The Remembrance Trilogy! 

The narrators are recording AUDIO BOOKS for Audible and iTunes.  I’m so excited!  It sounds fantastic and I can’t wait for you to hear it.

HERE IS A SAMPLE!

Copyright – 2012-2013 – Kahlen Aymes

Also, Ryan and Julia are going to FRANCE! The Future of Our Past will publish there in October of 2013!

What’s NEXT? … Alexander Avery and Angeline Hemming are my next super sexy, smokin’ hot power couple!  They’re headed your way in my  next series:  After Dark!!   These two are HOT, HOT, HOT type A personalities who’s battle of wills in and out of bed will melt hearts and panties.  🙂

As always… I love and adore you!  Let me know what you think of Ryan’s sexy voice!

xxox

~Kahlen

Ruminations about Book Promotion – #31WriteNow

Keisha from the blockI don’t pretend to be a professional when it comes to marketing and promotion of books. I just got into this game last year, so I’m probably the least likely person to attempt to broach this subject with folks that have been doing this way longer than I have. However, as a I debuted some of what I’m calling passive advertising for my books earlier today (check out the samples in this post), I began to ruminate about some kernels of wisdom I could share with other writers about book promotion. Mind you, none of this is scientifically proven, nor have I conducted any studies to corroborate what I’m going to share here. These tips just come from my thirty plus adult years on this planet as a paying consumer of books, and my idea of how promotion can be done to keep me from annoying the heck out of my readership.

1. Don’t be Spammy on Social Media ~ Before I became a book writer, and thus, an entrepreneur with a product to sell, I hated spam. Now that I am a writer with a product to sell, I still hate spam, probably even moreso. Therefore, I struggle with the very idea of putting my book out there for purchase and asking my real life and social media friends to buy it. I had to talk myself into doing a lot of things I’ve never done before, like building a following, writing a blog, hanging out on social media sites. You have to strike a precarious balance with all of this, and there is no formula (or maybe there is and I’m just not aware of it). You have to do a lot of what I like to call organic interacting with your audience and not just bombard them with book promo stuff. Readers and fans know the difference, believe me. You have to know them well enough to discern how much is enough and how much is too much.

2. Cultivate Book Blog Reviews – This is an area that I’ll readily admit I suck in. There is no dearth of book blog sites out there that are ready and willing to rip your baby to shreds, or praise it to the highest heavens. You just have to be ready for the good, the bad, the ugly, and the indifferent (TGTBTUTI) when you go here. As I said, I have not done a good job of this. In large part, I haven’t done this because I haven’t wanted to deal with TGTBTUTI. You can call me a wuss or whatever, but I am that author whose debut on GoodReads got the ugly reviews that everyone fears. Sight unseen, book unread, I was rated harshly, called a few choice words, and then something miraculous happened: my book found a following without me promising my first born grandchild to one of the big book blogs. A woman whom I can only call my Fairy Book Goddess introduced me to a world of Book Clubs that I had no idea existed, let alone how to gain entrance. So yeah, I haven’t done the Big Book Blog Review thing, but I’m slowly moving in that direction, and hope to do a much better job of this when my second book is published.

3. Reciprocate/Network/Reciprocate – An author I admire whose short fiction workshop I took gave me the single most important advice I’ve ever received as a fledgling writer. She told me that as authors, we should embrace the concept of “paying forward.” By this she meant, we should do that thing that some fear. There are enough readers and book buyers to go around, so we shouldn’t fear promoting another author, sharing what we’ve learned, nor the act of pulling another fledgling writer up by their bootstraps. We all begin there, so do the karmic thing and help another writer out in any way you can. You will be rewarded for it. I belong to several promo centric groups where we share information, promote one another, and just provide an ear for one another. If you look at the authors who are in the best selling categories in our genre, you will find that many of them are part of these types of groups. If it worked for them, surely it can work for us.

4. Close The Sale – Primarily, I had to get used to doing what professional sales people do every day. Particularly, I had to learn how to ask for, or close the sale. This is a tricky thing in book sales particularly  because it’s been researched and widely (or maybe not so widely) written that book consumers generally have to be “exposed” to your work several times before they will actually buy it. Favorable reviews help, having a professional engaging product helps, but the generation of buzz is the coup de grâce. Once buzz is generated by readers who are genuinely excited about your book, they will definitively help you close the sale. At that point, all that’s left for you to do, is to keep the momentum going by other organic ways of promotion like going on book tours, both virtually and physically, accepting live interview invitations on Skype, podcasts, and/or radio and TV talks shows. Once you get there, the sky is the limit and your name will be on bestseller lists galore.

Keisha 2

Available at most online booksellers.

Amazon

Also Now Available via audiobook at these fine retailers:

Audible

iTunes

The #31WriteNow Blog Challenge

DistractionsI should have done this post yesterday, but I wanted to talk about Tristan and Nathan White yesterday, and the awesome model I found to portray the twins in pictures. So, I consider yesterday the actual beginning of my challenge since I did produce a post. Today I’m going to tell you guys about the #31Write Now Blog Challenge.

One of my wonderful readers, who also happens to operate as an administrator on my Facebook Group Page, The Block, sent me this challenge (yeah, I’m talking about you Natalie!). My first thought when she sent it to me was, “Now how in the heck does she think I have time to participate in this challenge? I only have a book to finish, an audiobook to promote, a demanding job, a dysfunctional family, and a whole host of other author- and non-author-related crap to do!” However, I thanked Natalie very kindly and enthused how I was going to get on it already, because it was August 1. (I hope Natalie doesn’t mind my using her as a “character” in this post. Well, I won’t share your last name and perhaps not all of Facebookdom will know who the heck you are!).

Afterwards, I read the post from the challenge blogger and one thing she said made me decide this challenge was indeed worth taking.  Luvvie said, “I thought I’d run out of things to talk about. Not so. My blog traffic actually doubled in that month, and I was pushed to write nonstop. It also showed me that the more I write, the more folks read.”

The Time Is Now

I’m not one to shy away from a challenge, and in this era of feast or famine in my writing life, I had to do something to kickstart my flagging mojo. So this exercise, my participation in this effort, is clearly  for selfish reasons. As writers, we are advised to write every day. Sometimes I find myself staring a blank screen (and if things are bad, sometimes I’m staring at a blank screen for days on end). I want to break this block I’ve been experiencing, and prime my creative juices, so I can finish my second book. Dammit!

I have a lot of things I can blame for this drought: my health, the accident I had earlier in the year, my job, my family obligations, my inability to write every day due to my other obligations, sophomore-itis, and on and on. However, I’m going to throw down the gauntlet in August and show my jacked up mojo who’s boss. Who’s with me?

To access Luvvie’s challenge go: HERE

oOo

#31WriteNow

Meet The White Twins From 50SoJF ~ Tristan and Nathan

Audio Book CoverEarlier this week the narrator of my new audiobook for Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever, Marie Helene, wrote me a very nice email. In it she advised newbie me that the audiobook would most likely be out in early August given ACX’s historical performance. She also gave me that much needed kick in the rear I needed to get going on promoting this new format of my book. Her kind encouragement really galvanized me to to create some nice passive promotional ads to raise awareness among my readership for the audiobook.

I have to admit that even though I played it cool with her, I was scared spitless about mounting a marketing campaign for Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever, the audiobook. I was clueless as to how to do this, but she thought my ideas were good, so I decided to run with them. So yesterday (yes, the audiobook came out yesterday), I contacted a friend of mine and asked her to help me by creating some stills that I could use for my characters, on which I could place some blurbs from the story. (I have to admit here, I’m kind of borrowing this idea from my friends Nia Forrester and Christopher Bynum who do this to perfection.)

My Facebook group, The Block, is very good at describing my characters for me. The members have all read Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever, some of them multiple times, and we’ve all participated in the fun of choosing actors we believe might be a good fit for my characters. We settled after much debate on Paul Walker (not the Paul Walker in the Fast & Furious franchise, but the Paul Walker in “Takers” wearing Armani or something close to it.) He is Tristan, or “Mr. Buttoned Down,” when he’s in the suit, and Nathan, “Mr. B-Baller, when he’s dressed down. However, I know I couldn’t use Paul Walker’s likeness in my campaign to represent Tristan and Nathan White. I had to find someone in my arsenal of stock photo sites to fit the bill. So, I rummaged on every site I could find, trying to locate my Tristan and Nate, and what follows is a model I found who comes very close. So when you see my passive little ads floating around on Facebook and other social media, you’ll immediately recognize these guys as Tristan and Nate White, my twin Dominants who get to sex up Keisha and Jada in Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever.

Let me know in the comments what you think about these photos of Tristan and Nathan White (or the model I’ve dubbed Tristan and Nathan White).

Young good looking businessman with copy space

Tristan White

Nathan White

Nathan White

~*~

#31WriteNow