Black Friday Sale!

Lots of deals today — every single one of my books is on sale. Both from Carina and Samhain.

If you haven’t already bought your copy of No Accounting for Cowboys, Harlequin has put it on sale for just 99 cents. But only for a limited time. From today (November 28th) to December 1st. Less than a buck for a full length book! What are you waiting for?

HarlequinAmazon ~ B&N ~ iBooks ~ Google Play ~ Kobo

BlackFriday_LeahBraemel_NoAccountForCowboys

Jake Grady loves Bull’s Hollow ranch and all the challenges and hard work it entails. But the past year hasn’t been easy—his father’s good name has been tarnished, and new financial problems are threatening to destroy everything the Gradys have built. Performing live under a stage name has become his escape, a way of blowing off some serious steam.

Accountant Paige Reynolds found Jake’s guitar-playing alter ego intriguing, but her connection with the real Jake sends her attraction into overdrive. When she’s summoned to make order out of the chaotic paper trail at Bull’s Hollow, he sets her world a-rocking—both in bed and out. But Paige has a plan; she’s determined to create her own path for the future, but is soon left scrambling for firmer ground.

Good news about Jake’s potential singing career is followed by the revelation of another family secret, one that has him questioning whether he belongs at Bull’s Hollow at all. But leaving the ranch would mean leaving his family…and Paige. How much is he willing to give up for a real shot at fame?


Here’s what reviewers are saying about it:

Recommended Read…a sexy read that sizzled off the pages…well penned with twists and turns that added intrigue to a strong cast of characters. There’s family, love, hope, endings, and new beginnings, everything that will have anyone with a romantic heart cheering in the end. ~ Lace, BlackRaven’s Reviews

purestdelightaward10-300x300Impossible to put down; No Accounting For Cowboys was filled with twists, turns, and secrets new and old making it another fine offering from author Leah Braemel. ~ Slick, Guilty Pleasures Book Reviewsreviewertoppick2

Top Pick! …an absolutely must read story ~ Terri, Night Owl Reviews


All my other Carina books are on sale for 40% off too. Use the coupon code BFSAV40 when you’re checking out. This sale is for FRIDAY ONLY.

Slow Ride Home ~ Tangled Bundle ~ Texas Tangle ~ Tangled Past ~ I Need You for Christmas ~ Red Hot Holiday Anthology

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(Note: No Accounting for Cowboys won’t be on sale for 99 cents on the Carina site. To get it at that extra low price you have to buy it from the Harlequin site or one of the other participating vendors.  Amazon ~ B&N ~ iBooks ~ Google Play ~ Kobo )


Samhain Publishing is also having a site-wide sale too — ALL Samhain titles are 30% off today, tomorrow and Sunday until midnight. So if you haven’t read my Hauberk series yet, now’s a good time to get them on sale. (But they’re only reduced on the Samhain site, not the other distributing vendors such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble.) And not just my books are on sale but ALL Samhain books.

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On Birthdays, uncluttering and unplugging

I’m over at the Contemporary Romance Cafe today, talking about what I did last week. And what I didn’t do.

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Also, one of my favorite bloggers/reviewers, Shayna Renee, is celebrating her birthday on her blog by giving away signed paperbacks, including a copy of my Private Deceptions.  Stop by her blog to wish her a Happy Birthday, and enter the contest. (There are lots of other paperbacks to be won too)

Shayna Renee


 

And if you’re on Facebook, (or you can leave a comment for her here) don’t forget to wish my friend and street team leader Tabatha a happy birthday too!

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A Special Snippet Saturday *contest*

I’m changing things around and instead of giving you a snippet of one of my books, I thought I’d share a snippet from one of the books I’ve read this week.  After reading Lexxie Couper’s excellent story in her Down and Dirty Bundle, I moved on to her Heart of Fame series. And have been glomming them up like chocolate. Nom Nom Nom.

Lexxie Couper

Now normally it’s better to promote an author’s latest work (which is Getting Played, the lastest in her Heart of Fame series), but as one of those readers who must read series in chronological order, I’m going to start you off with Tropical Sin. Why not feature the first book of the Heart of Fame series? Well, while Tropical Sin isn’t technically part of the Heart of Fame series, it’s sort of a prequel, since it introduces Nick Blackthorne the way Private Property introduces my readers to Sam Watson…

Nick gets his own book in Love’s Rhythm, which is technically book 1 in the Heart of Fame series, and you don’t have to read Tropical Sin to understand his story in Love’s Rhythm. But, trust me, you want to get the full Nick effect.

TROPICAL SIN

Copyright © 2011 Lexxie Couper

All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

Nick Blackthorne weaved his way through the smattering of guests milling around the Bandicoot Resort’s massive reception area, a small smile curling at the corners of his mouth. It wasn’t the fact he was here, at the soft opening of the resort, that made him happy, nor the fact he was walking around without a minder or bodyguard or groupie to be seen. It was simply because the woman laughing behind him had a delightfully throaty, infectious laugh.

He stopped himself from shooting a look over his shoulder, concentrating instead on finding the correct passageway that would lead him to the Oasis Bar. He was a touch jetlagged and needed something more than coffee to wake up.

A touch? You’ve been on one plane or the other for the last three days. You’re more than jetlagged, you’re jet-freaking-dragged-through-the-turbines stoned. Besides, the need for something more than caffeine has nothing to do with jetlag. You just want to sit out in the sun and pretend you’re a normal person for a short while, don’t you?

He smiled wider. The truth was always less sensational. It had been a long time since he’d been able to sit at a bar and relax. When his agent had offered him the chance to attend the resort’s soft opening he’d jumped at it. Minimum number of guests, all hand-picked by the hotel’s manager, all—Frankie assured him—too discreet or important in their own rights to worry about him being in their presence. A nice change from where he’d just been, that was for sure.

The thought made his smile falter. A little. He wasn’t going to let his mind turn to where he’d just been. Not when he was walking through Eden.

Ah, so the romantic you used to be is still buried in that craven pit you call a soul, is he?

Behind him the woman laughed again, another low, throaty chuckle and, before he could help himself, Nick turned.

Whoa.

She was only a few feet behind, grinning up at a guy almost half again her height, her long, strawberry blonde hair a flaming halo in the sun’s warm rays, her pink lips stretched in a grin that said very clearly, “Yes, I am completely in charge of this situation.”

Nick let his gaze flick to her companion, noting with an experienced eye the man’s latent strength in his six-foot-plus form, his fluid, steady movements, and his utter adoration for the woman gripping his arm.

Christ, they were a sexy couple. Damn sexy.

He scowled, turning away from the young lovers. There was a time he’d have walked straight on up to them and suggested something far more depraved than either could probably imagine. Something very dirty and very enjoyable. That time had passed, however.

The woman laughed again, the delicious sound accompanied by a lower, deeper chuckle. The guy’s laugh. Relaxed. Easygoing. Coming up from his chest to slip past his lips in a humored rumble. Equally as infectious as hers.

He drove his nails into his palms and scanned the lush gardens on the other side of the glass wall. Where the hell was this bar? Somewhere outside beside a pool? He needed a drink.

No, not a drink. You need—

A face of an angel with filth on her mind,

I pray to burn in her fire,

I pray to die in her arms.

The words—lyrics of a song he hadn’t written yet—whispered through Nick’s head and he raised his eyebrows, his heartbeat quickening. Just as it had been too long since he could relax in public, it had been even longer since words of music came to him. Whoever the redhead was, she stirred something in him.

Yet the arms of her lover reach out for more.

Like a sinner I will burn in his fire,

I will die in his fire as she pleads for more.

Nick came to a halt, the unexpected lyrics floating through his head. It seemed they’d both stirred something in him he hadn’t felt for a long time, not just the woman.

The whisper of a rhythm teased him and he closed his eyes, a familiar sensation stirring in the pit of his gut. Carnal thoughts and lyrics? Coming to Bandicoot Cove really was a good—

“Excuse me, but can I ask you a question?”

The soft, husky voice speaking beside him could only belong to one person. Opening his eyes, Nick turned around, leaving his sunglasses firmly in place as he fixed his gaze on the flame-haired woman smiling up at him. This close she wasn’t just sexy, she was stunning. Stunning and gorgeous. As was the man standing next to her, his expression unreadable, that sleeping strength radiating from him in waves of…

Like a sinner I will burn in his fire,

I will die in his fire and beg her for—

“You’re Nick Blackthorne, yes?”

The woman’s question took Nick by jarring surprise. It shouldn’t have, but with the words of a hidden song taunting him and the unexpected lick of sexual interest teasing him, he wasn’t prepared. Especially for what she said next.

“I’m McKenzie Wood from Goss Weekly.” Her clear blue eyes turned direct. Intent. “I’m wondering if you’d like to comment on your stay at the Vergnügen sex clinic in Germany?”


I’m going to give away a copy of Tropical Sin, to get you hooked on Lexxie’s series, but I’m also going to be giving away a copy of Down and Dirty to give you a taste of Jess Dee, Sami Lee and Rhiann Cahill’s writing too.

Now the rules — you must be 18 years of age and older, Facebook doesn’t endorse the giveaway and has nothing to do with it, void where prohibited…and one prize per winner, in other words, you can enter both, but you can only win once, so if you win the Down and Dirty Bundle, you can’t win the Tropical Sin bundle too, and vice versa. (But I’m betting you’ll want to go and buy more of Lexxie’s books afterward!)

And remember, if you like an author’s books, the best way you can help them out is to leave a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or wherever you bought the book — Amazon and the other places use the number of (good) reviews in their algorithm when determining who else to show the title to in their “Readers who bought this also bought…” bar. Which means more people get to hear of your favorite author and it’ll encourage the author to keep writing.

P.S. (I’ve met Lexxie in person a couple times — first in Kansas City, and then in New Orleans, so now whenever I read her stories I hear her narrating them in my head in her wonderful Australian accent. If you want to hear her reading an excerpt, watch this video)

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Question for my Hauberk series readers

hauberk-bw_web_WatermarkThe first book in the Hauberk series, Private Property, was very sexy, with its menage between Jodi, Mark and Sam. Personal Protection had a fair amount of sex and a hint of BDSM. Then in Deliberate Deceptions, while it was sexy, the plot of getting Chad and Lauren talking again and able to look forward instead of past took over (yes, there was still some steamy sex, but not erotic).  And Hidden Heat — well, I’m not sure what line it falls into. Five years ago, it probably would have been considered erotic, nowadays probably more steamy contemporary. Only Hidden Heat was marketed as a romantic suspense, by the way.

Image credit: <a   href='http://www.123rf.com/photo_520818_three-3d-chrome-  rings-linked-together.html'>cre8tive / 123RF Stock Photo</a>My question for you, my dear Hauberk readers, are you wanting more sex in Scott’s story? Or more suspense? Would it bother you if there’s another menage, a m/m/f menage this time? (Not that I’m going to necessarily write “to the committee” but I’m just wondering what you will be looking for in the next/future books for in the series.)

 

My Five Year Birthday

Private PropertyI can’t believe Private Property was published five years ago today. It was my first published novella, and the first story of my beloved Hauberk series.

Now here I am with ten stories published, and two more to come out later this year. (For those wondering about some of the print books in the picture below, Texas Tangle is the only one I never got print copies for — and the ones for Tangled Past and Red Hot Holiday are extremely limited since Carina Press printed them specifically for a contest entry and aren’t available for sale. My hope is one day they’ll make them available as print-on-demand books. But for now, they look nice on my shelf.)
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If someone had told me that within a few years I’d earn more than I ever had, even when I was teaching, I think I would have told them they were full of it. I’m not sure I would have believed the stats I’ve collected — the number of months PRIVATE PROPERTY stayed on Amazon’s top 100 Best Seller’s list, and how it was still there  21 months later, or that it would have been downloaded almost eighty thousand times. I’ve been blessed to be up on that board numerous times since. In addition to reaching those lofty high numbers on Amazon, TEXAS TANGLE even reached #1 on Kobo’s Best Sellers list . (Not bestselling contemporary romance-western, or bestselling romance even. Best Selling. Top of the heap.)

For a brand new author, seeing her name sandwiched between big names like Debbie Macomber and Nora Roberts, or above Stephanie Meyer or Stephen King or James Patterson was both thrilling and terrifying.

With each contract I’ve been offered since, I still squee, but now there’s a lot more relief, and even some panic. Because with each contract, and each new release, I’m more and more aware of expectations both of my own and my publishers’ as well as my readers.

While I’ve fallen in love with each of my heroes, and some of my secondary characters too,  PRIVATE PROPERTY introduced Sam Watson, who to this day is the character my fans remark about the most. Sam set the bar high, and with each book I hope that my readers will fall in love with that hero as much as they love Sam. Though it looks like Dillon and Brett of TEXAS TANGLE are giving Sam a run for his money…(Good thing I didn’t kill off Brett the way I’d originally planned, huh?) And now I’m falling in love with the Grady boys.

I have so many plot bunnies for future stories — Scott deserves his own story in the Hauberk series so that’ll be up next. I still get requests for more books in the Barnett Springs world, and I have some ideas for Griffin and his friends. I’ve discovered that perhaps Logan from Slow Ride Home deserves redemption, along with far too many other “ooh shiny!” ideas that are constantly hounding me.

There have been highs and lows since that first contract. The industry has changed with the acceptance of digital books both through epublishers like Samhain and Carina, and the exciting acceptance of authors self-publishing that puts so much power back in the author’s hands. And of course with a renewal of interest in erotic romance. Those changes have created challenges because every time you think you’ve got something figured out, the industry changes on you and you start all over again and what worked when you were promoting your last book doesn’t work with the next one. Social media has exploded so now we have to maintain presences on Twitter and Facebook and Google+ and Pinterest. All time sucks when we’d rather be writing, but necessary to keep our names out there with the public.

We’ve seen lots of scandals from the #Amazonfail where authors of erotic romances and LGBT stories saw their books pulled from the search engines. We’ve seen plagiarism scandals, and scandals of authors admitting they purchased 5 star reviews so those reviews on Amazon aren’t meaning as much to anyone but Amazon who uses their numbers to determine how many people actually see your book in that all important “People who bought this, also bought…” bar.

But we’ve also seen success stories in self-publishing, like authors like Marie Force and Bella Andre taking books that legacy publishers had rejected and self-publishing them with tremendous success. And they led the way for other authors who were unhappy with their publishers or had stories they thought the public might want to read but legacy publishers rejected. They’ve given a control over our rights, and our edits and cover art and even marketing (not that most authors I know like that side of it, we’d rather just write) back to the author.

It doesn’t mean legacy publishing will disappear. Authors will continue to sign with those big 5 publishers, especially if they want their books to be stocked on shelves in B&N, or even Walmart and Costco. When people wonder why I still sign with a legacy publisher like Harlequin and their Carina Press, I tell them about how much they can give me, not only their marketing knowledge, but they give me far more exposure in the market than I can get myself.

When the mantra of the reader today is “when’s your next book out? I have wait THAT long?” puts a pressure on authors to produce 3 – 5 books a year, where back in 2007 when I first started looking at publication, most authors were producing 1 book a year, it takes some of the pressure off me. Because creating that cover art, even if I have to hire someone to do it, writing the back cover copy, determining how to best market a book, and hiring an editor, all take time. Lots and lots of time. Time I’d rather spend writing. And yes, I now have to decide what the long term cost may be, considering the legacy publishers will give me a lower royalty rate than I’d get self-publishing, but at least that’s my choice now. And I totally see self-publishing more books in the future, as well as working again with Samhain and Carina. But again, it’s my choice. And having that power over my own destiny is exciting. And scary as hell.

Anyway, I thought I’d share a blast from the past, and my excitement by reposting my announcement of Private Property’s sale. Because that’s a day I’ll never forget… it was a real Sally Field moment. She liked it. She really liked it. Something I’d written…something a few years before would have stayed on my hard drive unseen by anyone else.

SQUEEEE

The short story:

My erotic romance, Private Property, is going to be published by Samhain!

The long version:

Just over a month ago, Guitar Hero tapped me on the shoulder as I was sitting at my computer and said “I’m figuring that with your headphones on you couldn’t hear the thunder.” (It’s rather ironic because it’s thundering even as I type this post.) You see, on that day, I turned off my desktop computer and spent the next 90 minutes reading before I decided it was safe to boot up my computer again. One of the first programs to load is the gmail notifier program. And while the icons are still slowly forming on my screen, this tiny blue box pops up that lists the emails that have arrived since I last checked. A message from the Toronto Romance Writers, something from Marley, and … a message from Angela James of Samhain.

Oh. My. God.

You see, I’d subbed Private Property to her back in April, and on June 1st, she’d asked for a full. And now here was her decision. Either yes, or as I’d convinced myself – that dreaded ‘thank you for submitting, but we’ve decided…’ Well, you know – that polite way of saying “No” that we (okay, I) automatically interpret as meaning “You suck!” (Yeah, yeah, I know it doesn’t mean that, but I’m working on my self confidence.)

As I cursed Windows for loading so slowly, that little tiny part of me kept my fingers crossed, hoping against hope … as well as cursing the thunderstorm – why oh why did it have to choose RIGHT THEN to come through? Didn’t it know I was anxiously awaiting that email? The next few minutes were sheer AGONY! Finally both Windows and Firefox loaded, and I logged into gmail and clicked on Angela’s message. And there I read “I loved it and would be happy to offer a contract.“

I’m not sure I made that sound out loud, but I sure felt like making it. I immediately started doing what Gizmo Guy calls “The Price is Right Bounce.” You ever watched the contestants as they jump up and down and all around the stage like lunatics? That was me.

I ran downstairs and told the boys who gave me high fives all around. I then phoned Becky Burkheart – the lady who told me years back to take my writing seriously and get myself to a writing group. *hangs head in shame that I didn’t phone Gizmo Guy first* By the time I got off the phone with Sue and phoned Gizmo Guy, I was hyperventilating. It was so bad that it took me three tries to get out the words “I sold” before GG could understand me.

So here’s to another five years, and the years beyond that. Hang on, it’s going to be a wild ride.

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