Blog Archive - July 2014

Get 20% Off Blood & Thunder Preorder and Hell & High Water!

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Hello all! Dreamspinner Press is having a Christmas in July Sale! Every day throughout July they're putting up titles for just $0.99 and from July 16th to the 22nd, get 20% off everything else, which includes Hell & High Water and the pre order for Blood & Thunder! Woot!

Blood & Thunder Pre Order: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5215

Hell & High Water: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5040


Dex and Sloane Interview! Ask the guys a question.

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Hello all! Dex and Sloane are being interviewed for Hearts on Fire Reviews on July 23rd! Is there something you’re dying to ask the Destructive Delta duo? Or maybe just Dex, or Sloane? Just leave your question hereCut off is Friday, July 18th at midnight eastern time. 

Depending on how many questions are received will determine whether they all get answered during the Hearts on Fire Interview. If we get too many for one interview, the guys may return for a second interview. Fear not, your question won’t go to waste.


Meet the Author Facebook Chat - Saturday July 19th

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Hello all! This Saturday, July 19th from 12 - 3 pm (Eastern time), I'll be taking over the Dreamspinner Press Facebook page for my author chat. I'll be talking about Hell & High Water, the THIRDS series, and answering your questions. There will also be giveaways!

Join the event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1449389505316042/

The chat will take place here: www.facebook.com/dreamspinnerpress 


Lex Chase - Chasing Sunrise Pre-order for a great cause!

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Hello all! The fabulous Lex chase has an epic new Fantasy series called the Darkmore Saga heading our way. The first book is Chasing Sunrise and to celebrate, Lex is currently on tour sharing all kinds of fascinating info on this amazing new world. Plus, if you pre order the book, you'll be helping out a great cause. 100% of the presale royalties will go to the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center's Domestic Violence Service. You can pre order the book here. Want to know more about the book? Check out the info below. And isn't that cover gorgeous! I can't wait to read about Sevon and Jack!

Lex will also be stopping by my guest blog: Purple Rose Tea House on Aug 8th, but before then, we'll be taking over the DSP twitter feed on July 29th!

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Genre: Vampires, Werewolves/Shapeshifters, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Fantasy
Series: The Darkmore Saga: Book One
Length: Novel
Published: July 25, 2014
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-62798-776-9
Pre-order: Paperback or eBook 

Blurb: Chasing Sunrise The Darkmore Saga: Book One

On the Coastal Bend of Texas, a hidden kingdom called Darkmore lies in ruins, and King Sevon Maraté is trapped. Using Sevon as a mouthpiece and a scapegoat, Lord Dominic rules from the shadows. Born of royal verkolai blood and as beautiful as he is lethal, Sevon possesses the ability to part the Veil separating his world from hundreds of others. His gift is his chance to escape, but Dominic refuses to relinquish his tool for power. Dominic forges an ambitious plan to invade the prosperous land of Priagust. Only a select few know the mythic kingdom of shifters exists. Sevon is out of options for his people’s survival, and cooperating with Dominic is his only chance.

On their foray into Priagust, Dominic's men kidnap and interrogate a shifter named Jack. Even under torture, Jack's loyalty to his kind never wavers. But as Jack’s knowledge about Darkmore’s king and its history unsettles Sevon, a curious bond begins to form. Despite Sevon’s mistrust, Jack is determined to tame Sevon’s wild heart and perhaps earn his freedom. As invasion looms, Sevon wonders if trusting Jack will lead him into another trap or if he should forget about chasing the sunrise and remain Dominic's compliant prisoner. 

100% OF THE PRESALE ROYALTIES OF THIS BOOK WILL GO TO LOS ANGELES GAY AND LESBIAN CENTER'S DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICE. rosedivider

About the Author: Lex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, “We’re all going to die, I’m just trying to make it a little more interesting.” She knew then she wanted to make the world a little more interesting.

Weaving tales of cinematic, sweeping adventure, epic love—and depending on how she feels that day—Lex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. She loves tales of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. She believes if you’re going to going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love.

Lex is a pop culture diva and her DVR is constantly backlogged. She wouldn’t last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind. She is incredibly sentimental, to the point that she gets choked up at holiday commercials. But like the lovers driven to extreme measures to get home for the holidays, Lex believes everyone deserves a happy ending.

Lex also has a knack for sarcasm, never takes herself seriously, and has been nicknamed “The Next Alan Moore” by her friends for all the pain and suffering she inflicts on her characters. She is a Damned Yankee hailing from the frozen backwoods of Maine residing in the ’burbs of Northwest Florida where it could be 80F and she’d be a popsicle.

She is grateful and humbled for all the readers. She knows very well she wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them and welcomes feedback.

You can find her on those social media things at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LXChase
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lex_Chase
Tumblr: http://lexiconofkittens.tumblr.com
Find her blog at http://lexchase.com or drop her an e-mail at lex.a.chase@gmail.com


Chasing Sunrise Tour stops:  7/13 - Chris T. Kat 7/17 - Michael Rupured 7/19 - Lily Velden 7/20 - Jaime Samms 7/22 - Aidee Ladnier 7/24 - Grace Duncan 7/26 - Shira Anthony 7/25 - Chasing Sunrise Release Day! 7/29 - Dreamspinner Twitter Takeover with Charlie Cochet 7/30 - Live Your Life, Buy The Book 8/2 - Chat at the Dreamspinner Press Facebook Page 8/8 - Charlie Cochet 8/13 - Gay List Book Reviews 8/16 - Tali Spencer

Sign Up for the Blood & Thunder Release Day Blitz!

Release Day Blitz

Hello all! The fabulous Viviana from Enchantress of Books Blog Tours is inviting bloggers to sign up for the Blood & Thunder Release day Blitz on Aug 4th! If you'd like to host me for release day, just sign up here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/15j4xLGSOk0TkdtS9gHdS48tQH5SdtFiJtr4JozBKCVs/viewform?usp=send_form Thank you all for your amazing support!

Building Your Author Website – Part 4: Creating a Header Banner

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Hell all! Welcome to this week's installment in the Building Your Website series. As I've mentioned in Part 1-3, building your own professional website is easier than ever. Once you've chosen your platform, as we discussed, and you've started designing it, you want to add your own graphics. Believe it or not, making your own graphics isn't as hard as it sounds. It only takes a little practice.

When it comes to the graphics on your site, it's best to have as much original content as possible. I create all my graphics, some of it from scratch, some using stock photos. I also always try to use purchased stock photos rather than free stock photos. If it's for graphics that will be used for a blog post or something small, then I tend to use free images and give credit. For you website's main header banner, you'll want something original, which means either creating from scratch or buying graphics. Compare stock photo sites, some are cheaper than others. Make sure to read the site's Term & conditions, as there may be restrictions on how they allow their photos to be used. Most won't allow you to take an image and turn it into a logo.

Dashboard > Appearance > Header. Where it says Select Image, you'll see your banner dimension.

Let's use Pixlr.Com and their PIXLR Editor (the one with the butterfly). Pixlr is setup very similar to Photoshop without the insane price tag. In fact, it has no price tag because it's awesomely free. When you click on the editor, the first window you get is a list of options from Create a new image to Use pixlr on your mobile device. We're going to choose the first option: Create new image. Now you'll get a box with settings. Enter your image name, the width of your banner and your height.

small_385047244For the sake of this tutorial, we're going to say our banner needs to be 980 x 350 pixels. We'll enter that into the Width and Height boxes and click okay. Now you see your white banner. So this tutorial doesn't run super long, we're going to make a simple romance banner using free stock images from Photo Pin. Let's say the color theme of our website is black and pink. I went to Photo Pin and in the search box, typed in 'romance'. One image jumped out at me right away.

I've downloaded the 'original' size which is big enough for our banner: 1172 x 1172 px. Now go back to your banner and using the little paint bucket tool, click on the banner and fill your space with black. (click to enlarge images)

Banner tutorial 1

Go to File > Open Image and find where you saved your image. It pops up in a new window. Learning keyboard shortcuts will make the whole process easier. But you can also do it through the menu at the top. Holding down the Ctrl button and hitting A will select the whole image. You'll see what one of my instructors used to call the 'line of ants' walking around all sides of your image. This means it's selected. Now hit Ctrl+C to copy the whole image. (You can also access these in the menu under Edit).

Banner tutorial 2

Okay, your image is selected, now click the top of your banner to select it. Hit Ctrl + V. The image has been pasted onto the banner, but the high resolution means it's crazy big. We need to re-size that sucker.

Banner tutorial 3

Hit Ctrl + T or go to Edit > Free Transform. You'll see a white line with small blue boxes appear around the image's original size. When you move your cursor over one of those blue boxes, you'll see your cursor change. Hover over the top left blue box and hold down the Shift key as you drag the box to make the image smaller. Holding the Shift key means your image will retain it's proportions, so no warping or stretching the image.

Banner tutorial 4

Here's what I re-sized it to and where I positioned it. Now double-click inside the image and it will transform to that size. If for some reason double-clicking doesn't work, just try to click on any other tool and a box will pop up asking you if you want to apply the changes. Click 'Yes'.

Banner tutorial 5

Now I want to add my author name and tag line. Click the Text tool on the left which is the A and click on your banner. A text box will pop up. Let's do my name first, since I plan to make the tag line a smaller font. Type your text inside the Text box and on the bottom right, you'll see it'll let you choose your color. When you click the color, the color picker will pop up. You can choose a color inside your flower. So position your eye-dropper over the flower and click anywhere. You'll see your text has changed color. Keep click inside your image until you find a hue you like. Click OK. Now you can change the font style and font size. Choose a font that fits with your sites theme. Make sure it's easy to read. I also chose Italics for the font. Now whatever font I choose, I'll be using in my other website graphics and author swag, to make it all look uniform. That's part of the process of branding. Once I'm done I click OK. Now with the arrow tool, you can position it to wherever you like.

Banner tutorial 6

Following the same steps as above, I made my tagline smaller, and for the color, I clicked throughout the stem of the flower until I found just the right shade to match. It's all about coordination. Now you can add a little description if you want underneath. It's up to you. Like I said, this is a super easy banner. If you have a busy background on your site, try and keep your graphics and header banner simple. If you have a simple background, you can have busier graphics, though try not to put in too many images.

Banner tutorial 7

Tip: When copy/pasting images with different backgrounds, try using the airbrush tool to airbrush sharp edges around the pasted image to give it a softer feel. Don't be afraid to use gradients.

Tip: Limit the font types to two or three at most.


photo credit: Vanessa Pike-Russell via photopin cc photo credit: mackenzie jean via photopin cc

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Blood & Thunder (THIRDS Book 2)

Hello all! Welcome to the Blood & Thunder cover reveal blitz & giveaway! I'm super excited to share with you the cover for the second book in my new Gay Paranormal Romance, law-enforcement shifters series the THIRDS! The fabulous L.C. Chase did an awesome job.

Each cover in the series gives a little insight into what's happening with the guys in that particular story. I can't wait to share them all with you. Below you can read a fun scene with Dex and Sloane during a training session. There's also a giveaway, and Blood & Thunder is now available for preorder!

The heat is on!

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Blurb

When a series of bombs go off in a Therian youth center, injuring members of THIRDS Team Destructive Delta, and causing a rift between agents Dexter J. Daley and Sloane Brodie, peace seems unattainable. Especially when a new and frightening group, the Order of Adrasteia, appears to always be a step ahead. With panic and intolerance spreading and streets becoming littered with the Order’s propaganda, hostility between Humans and Therians grows daily. Dex and Sloane, along with the rest of the team, are determined to take down the Order and restore peace, not to mention settle a personal score. But the deeper the team investigates the bombings, the more they believe there’s a more sinister motive than a desire to shed blood and spread chaos.

Discovering the frightful truth behind the Order’s intent forces Sloane to confront secrets from a past he thought he’d left behind for good, a past that could not only destroy him and his career, but also the reputation of the organization that made him all he is today. Now more than ever, Dex and Sloane need each other, and, along with trust, the strength of their bond will mean the difference between justice and all-out war.

Preorder links

eBook: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5215

Paperback: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5216

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Release Day August 4th

 Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt

“It is exceptionally important for you to know when your partner is playing and when he or she is irate. Agent Daley, please demonstrate.”

Dex arched an eyebrow at the instructor. “Which one?”

“Both.”

“You want me to piss him off?” What kind of class was this?

“In a matter of speaking. Yes.”

“Great.” Okay. How could he piss off his partner without losing a limb? What he needed to do was annoy Sloane, really annoy him. Shouldn’t be too difficult. Dex had annoying down to an art. He thrust a finger in Sloane’s face, knowing how much his Felid partner hated that. Then he started singing. Nothing annoyed his partner like Hall and Oates.

Sloane let out a fierce roar, and Dex started dancing around him, his voice going high-pitched for certain lyrics while he snapped his fingers. Sloane pawed at him, and Dex spun on his heels, avoiding getting smacked. His partner hissed, baring his fangs before he took off after Dex.

“Shit!” Dex bolted, weaving through the rows of agents who were either laughing or watching him in disbelief while their instructor narrated as if this was nothing more than some nature video. Dex could see the title now. National Geographic presents Predatory Partners.

“Understand your partner’s behavior. Why is he or she behaving in such a fashion?”

“Because I pissed him off?” Dex called out over his shoulder, dashing back toward the instructor.

“Very good. Thank you, Agent Daley. You may now soothe your partner.”

Clearly, Dr. Eldridge didn’t personally know Sloane Brodie. Dex put his hands up, walking backward slowly as he spoke to his partner.

“Hey, buddy. Just following orders, you know? You heard him. I wasn’t the one who wanted to piss you off.” Dex crouched down and held a hand out. Please don’t bite me. Please don’t bite me. Sloane blinked before jumping up on his two back paws, his front paws pushing against Dex’s shoulders and knocking him onto his back. Sloane pinned him, and Dex braced himself. When Sloane started licking his face, Dex shut his eyes tight. “Okay, I get it. Payback. Take notes people.” Dex pointed at his partner. “This is what I meant about payback.”

“Agent Brodie, if you’ll resume your place beside your partner. Agent Daley, you may return to your mat.”

Sloane did as asked, and Dex wiped at his face with his sleeve before returning to his spot. He was never more grateful not to have ended up partnered with Ash than he was at this moment.

“Once you have assessed your partner and deduced he or she is irate, you will want to give your partner space. If you feel it’s safe to approach, you will do so with caution. Deal with what’s causing the issue. For example, Agent Fuller, please approach Agent Daley. Slowly.”

The moment Agent Fuller got to his feet, Sloane’s ears twitched. “Um, I don’t know if that’s a good idea,” Dex said, watching Agent Fuller creep toward Dex, as if Sloane hadn’t noticed. The Human rookie was clearly unaccustomed to dealing with Felids. “My partner’s a little on the grumpy side and poking the sleeping jaguar with a pointy stick might not end so well.”

Agent Fuller paused, his panicked gaze going to their instructor.

“It’s all right, Agent Fuller. Proceed.”

Agent Fuller resumed his prowl, while Sloane resumed his grooming of Dex, his heavy tail thumping against the floor. Uh-oh.

“As you can see by Agent Brodie’s movements, he’s fully aware of Agent Fuller. His tail is telling Agent Fuller to be cautious, Agent Daley is his, and he will not take kindly to any aggression toward his partner.”

Dex held up a finger. “Can I just—”

“Please stand, Agent Daley.”

Dex did as asked, and Sloane released a huff at having his grooming session interrupted. This was going to end badly. Dr. Eldridge had no idea what he was about to unleash. Sloane Brodie chewed rookies for breakfast and spit them out. Dex should know.

“Agent Fuller, please advance with the intention of striking Agent Daley.”

Dex didn’t bother taking a stance or prepare for a blow that would never land. His fellow rookies looked at him as if he was crazy, but soon they’d understand. Poor Agent Fuller. The guy pulled back a fist and the moment he took a step, Sloane’s roar echoed across the field. Ears flattened, fangs bare, Sloane leapt toward Agent Fuller who screamed like a preteen at a Bieber concert and made tracks across the field, Sloane on his heels looking mighty pissed.

“Thank you, Agent Brodie,” the instructor called out.

Agent Brodie wiped his ass with their instructor’s polite orders and chased Agent Fuller down the length of the grassy pitch. Dex glanced around. “So which of you is a medic?”

A few shaky hands went up.

“Great. Get ready for the next lesson. How to patch up a Human scratching post.”

About the Author

CCochet100Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From Historical to Fantasy, Contemporary to Science Fiction, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in South Florida, Charlie looks forward to migrating to a land where the weather includes seasons other than hot, hotter, and boy, it’s hot! When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

Website: http://www.charliecochet.com Blog: http://www.charliecochet.com/blog Email: charlie@charliecochet.com Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/charliecochet Twitter: @charliecochet | http://www.twitter.com/charliecochet Newsletter: http://www.charliecochet.com/newsletter

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Participating Blogs http://thenovelapproachreviews.com/ http://carlysbookreviews.blogspot.com/ http://expressionsofahopefulromantic.blogspot.com/ http://www.prismbookalliance.com http://romancingthereaders.blogspot.com/ http://amazingreadingexperiences.blogspot.com/ http://www.fallenangelreviews.com http://attentionisarbitrary.com http://sharemydestiny.blogspot.com http://queenofallshereads.blogspot.com/ http://lisatjung.blogspot.com/ http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/ http://corazones-literarios.blogspot.com http://puretextuality.com http://bindingaddiction.blogspot.com/ hhtp://inthepagesofagoodbook.com http://www.books-n-kisses.com http://myfictionnook.com http://sunshinebookpromos.blogspot.com/ http://mindventures.blogspot.com/ http://lisatjung.blogspot.com/ http://consummatereader.blogspot.com www.ttkove.com/theblog http://Zhhcrazyangel.blogspot.com http://www.vivianaenchantressofbooks.com/2014/07/cover-reveal-blitz-giveaway-blood.html http://readaholicsanonymous-mustread.blogspot.com/2014/07/cover-reveal-blitz-giveaway-blood.html

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