The Lost Centurion’s new look

Having finished writing The Lonely Wolf, I am in between projects, so I decided to give The Lost Centurion a makeover. I am still undecided on the background color for the cover, and I’m tinkering with the blurb. Thoughts?

ABC TLC

The Lost Centurion

The chains of Love are stronger than the bonds of Revenge

Marcus has sworn to avenge his wife’s death—even if it takes an eternity to hunt down the vampire who murdered her.

Once a Roman Centurion, Marcus is now immortal and, for the past two thousand years, impervious to human emotions but for his hatred for the vampire race. Until the night he rescues one of them, a frail newborn vampling, Diana, and she becomes his responsibility.

Hunted by vampires, Marcus must choose between avenging his dead wife or saving Diana from the same man who ruined his life. Will the power of love win over his desire for revenge? Bewitched by the Amalfi moon, he soon discovers life might still surprise him.

The Lost Centurion’s new look

Flatliners and The Pleasure of Writing

How do you stay motivated when your books don’t sell a single copy a day?

ImagineHere we are again, after a few months of small but steady sales, I have reached the hated 0-copy-sold-today point on my Amazon sale chart. For all the success stories out there, then you have mine. I work hard every day, and I only publish material that I’m proud to put my name on. Yet, I struggle every step of the way. It’s hard for me to gain readership, therefore I don’t have a great amount of reviews, consequently my downloads are low. Bookbub keeps rejecting me. Blah, blah, blah…

Is it my writing? My blurbs? My covers? All of the above that makes people upvote the negative reviews for my books? Is there something inherently wrong with me?

Maybe. Or maybe not. I have no control over a large part of the publishing process once my book is out. But, I do have control over my reaction to the negative side of being an author. The truth is that I am happy when I write. The more I write in a day, the happier I am. If I reach 5k, I’m deliriously happy.  I’ve never reached 6k in a day, but one day I will and it will be glorious.

This morning, I woke up to another 0-copy-sold kind of day, and as any reasonable person would do I started browsing reddit for the occasional feel-good post and the cute puppies pics. Lurking around, I found today’s Writing Prompt suggestion (amazing subreddit by the way) and my blues were swept away by one of the cleverest WPs ever: As you die, you travel down the bright tunnel and then everything turns to black. That’s when you hear it: “Greetings, Prisoner 11384. You have served your sentence. You are free to go.”

I got so excited thinking of what an amazing story that wp could become (and read the most voted post there because it’s great) that I forgot about everything else. And that’s how I go on writing every day even when it seems an endeavor of Don Quichottean proportions.

Reach out if you want to complain about your bad day. I usually don’t post rants, but I thought that maybe it’s okay once in a while to express our dissatisfaction with the world.

Remember: It could be worse, it could be raining. Or as my daughter told me to cheer me up, “At least you didn’t have a refund today.” It’s all good, folks!

* I painted the above picture after finishing my first Nanowrimo: The Priest, to date my most controversial title, and also the first I published (although it wasn’t the first I wrote.) That drawing always reminds me why I write, even on those days when reddit doesn’t do the trick.

Flatliners and The Pleasure of Writing

Friday Snippet: Love Conquers All!

Love is Love AlwaysToday, I rejoice at the Supreme Court’s historic decision to legalize gay marriage, and I look forward to watching the Seattle Gay Pride Parade this coming Sunday. The forecast is sunny and fabulous.

To celebrate this glorious day, I will post a longer excerpt from my upcoming paranormal title, The Lonely Wolf, the sixth in The Immortals series, and a love story between a werewolf, the mighty alpha Quintilius, and the new-elected archangel, Ludwig. Lovers for more than two thousand years, but separated by racism and politics, Quin and Ludwig will fight for their right to be together…

From The Lonely WolfQuin and Ludwig meets for the first time:

Quintilius hated Tuesdays with the same intensity the rest of the world hated Mondays. Since he didn’t care about Sundays, the beginning of the week wasn’t a hardship to him. But the day after, he usually was in such a state his employees had learned to give him a wide berth.

His aversion for Tuesdays wasn’t new. In fact, it had started in the long lost imperial times of Rome when he owned a taberna in Testaccio neighborhood. The eatery was closed on Mondays, and he used the day to restock the cellars. One luminous spring morning, he was buying wine from Laurentius in the Trajan Market and his wolf suddenly went into a frenzy, forcing him to stop his dealings with the merchant at once.

Never before had he lost control over his wolf. It was unheard for an alpha and something he wanted to keep to himself, so he walked away from the Roman Forum and sought some privacy. The wolf wouldn’t give him respite. The more he moved away from the market, the more his beast opposed his will. A few shifters strolling through the stalls turned his way, and Quintilius decided that it would be safer to let his wolf dictate where to go if it calmed him.

Taking his wolf’s mood swings as a compass, Quintilius circled the Forum twice before his beast gave him clear indication he wanted Quintilius to stop before the Public Baths. He had heard of the true soul mate calling, but had never experienced any of the symptoms described by the werewolves in his clan and thought he would have rather avoided the whole thing.

Taking a long breath, he entered the Baths and paid a sesterx for his admission while he admonished his wolf to behave. Still following his wolf’s whims, he doffed his toga and donned a large towel around his waist, then moved to the tepidarium, the pool with the warm water. As he stepped into the scented pool, presently deserted besides one other patron, his heart started beating so fast, he was scared at first.

Then he realized his wolf was deliriously happy, and the feeling became his as well when he set eyes on the large shape of the man sitting at the other end of the pool. The warm fog shrouding the tepidarium in eucalyptus vapors dissipated, and the man’s features came into focus.

Deep gray eyes locked with Quintilius’s, and the most incredible emotion took root in Quintilius’s heart that had now stilled. Belonging. His feet moved on their own accord, and he entered the water, wading through as if a magnet pulled him toward the man staring at him with those stormy eyes.

Finally, he stopped before the stranger. “Vale,” he greeted the man as in his mind his wolf rolled on his back, showing his tummy.

Vale,” the stranger replied, and Quintilius could see in the man’s countenance he was equally disconcerted.

“May I sit there?” Quintilius pointed at the spot beside the man.

“Of course,” the man answered as if it was the most natural thing to crowd that corner when spots were aplenty.

Quintilius felt lightheaded as he slowly lowered himself to the marble seat. He risked a brief glance to the side and took in the man’s chiseled body and strong features. An attraction that bordered on insanity flared through Quintilius, and he had to control his primal instincts, least he would sink his teeth into the man’s shoulder.

“What are you?” Quintilius could see the man’s aura illuminating him like a halo, and he had his answer before the man spoke.

“I’m an angel, wolf.” The man smiled, and his eyes’ radiance blinded Quintilius for a moment.

Worried he would voice one of the many thoughts swimming in his addled brain, Quintilius stilled his hand on his thigh, squeezing his flesh to snap out of the lustful haze. All the while, his wolf didn’t give him respite, asking to taste the angel’s skin, to lick the salt perspiring in the hollow of his throat, to stroke him slowly with his tongue.

“Care to fly somewhere else?”

The angel’s question took Quintilius by surprise, and he didn’t answer because he didn’t want to hear his trembling voice say, “Anywhere with you.”

The angel stood then, revealing what the vapors had hidden. Massive, the representation of male perfection, the beauty of his body left Quintilius panting. Rivulets of water cascaded along the angel’s pectorals and pooled in the springy red-blond curls at the junction of his muscular legs. The man didn’t go for the towel sitting folded at the edge of the pool, but kept still, goading Quintilius’s eyes to linger where the white cloth would have rested.

Ashamed of his reaction, Quintilius averted his treacherous eyes that couldn’t seem to have enough of the sight. Nudity wasn’t the issue. Not everyone covered themselves in the baths. Men often displayed their bodies, strolled around naked, and even ate and conversed without wearing much. But never before had Quintilius ogled another patron with such hunger. His wolf nudged at him with renewed insistence, demanding with a low growl to be let out.

Sometimes to be a full-fledged alpha wasn’t helpful. In general, werewolves had to contend with their beasts once a month. Betas and even omegas managed them quite easily. But once alphas came into power, they had to keep their wolves on check constantly. Even among alphas, Quintilius, who had blossomed in his early twenties, was different because his wolf was stronger and more independent-thinking than most.

The angel regarded him with a knowing smile, then turned and stepped onto the pool’s edge. “Are you coming or not?”

Fascinated by the sculpted lines of his equally breathtaking backside, Quintilius said, “Yes,” raising from the pool. On shaky legs, he climbed up onto the marble landing, then walked toward the man but stopped before closing the distance between them. His wolf didn’t agree with his decision, but Quintilius’s resolve was stronger, albeit short.

The angel grabbed his arm and pulled Quintilius close to him. “Are you afraid of heights?”

“No. I am not.” Then something possessed him, and Quintilius stepped even closer to the angel, tilted his chin up and whispered to his lips, “Are you afraid of wolves?”

The angel’s mouth descended on his fast. Before Quintilius could think of the consequences, he opened his lips, accepting the urgent strokes of the angel’s tongue and reciprocating in earnest. Voices from the antechamber intruded in their private haven, and the angel leaned away, interrupting the kiss.

“Does that answer your question, wolf?”

“Loud and clear, angel.”

Friday Snippet: Love Conquers All!

Facebook Ads: Raphael

In my quest to expand my audience, I’m giving Facebook ads a try. So far, I spent lots of time tinkering with the promo, but I haven’t seen any staggering result, yet. I’m clearly doing it wrong, but the ad looks nice. I think.

Facebook ad 2

PS

Above, the ad targeting the United Kingdom—the one for the USA looks the same, just different Amazon link. If Raphael shows up in your Facebook newsfeed, please let me know. Thanks!

Facebook Ads: Raphael

Raphael & The immortal Youth

Raphael bordi neri senza aquila design

Raphael, the first book in The Immortal Youth series—a YA spin-off from The Immortals—is finally out. The first reviews from my ARC’s readers are so far positive, and I’m glad that people seem to connect with Raphael: a young werewolf deeply damaged in the soul and yet inherently good. Writing a story that treated a topic like abuse both physical and psychological wasn’t easy. In fact, it took me sixty days longer than I had planned, but I’m happy with how the book turned out.

Raphael

Raphael has nowhere to go, nobody who loves him, and his past has scarred him deeply. A young werewolf on the run, living rough in the catacombs beneath Rome and with nothing else to call his own but his freedom, he desperately tries to elude the Controller whose goal is to send him back to Renegade Youth Shelter and a life of torments.
As he lives day by day with the constant threat of being captured, his future looks dark and lonely.
That is until a chance meeting with Luisa; a werewolf like him whose scent marks her as his one true soul-mate. Much to his despair, their encounter is cut short as he flees from the enforcer chasing after him.
His heart broken and his wolf bereft, Raphael will sacrifice everything to be reunited with Luisa. Even his freedom when he discovers she’s been abducted by a street gang. But, will it be enough?

Raphael & The immortal Youth

Badass and the Beast Anthology: Ten Authors. One Great Cause. Support Animal Welfare Institute

BadassTourBannerMay2015

Some of you know of my love for animals in general and dogs in particular. Some of you also know of my Immortals series and the shifters who populate my stories. Put the two things together and it was only natural that I would participate in the beast-themed anthology, Badass and the Beast: 10 “Tails” about Kickass Heroines and the Beasts Who Love Them. Plus, I know and highly respect a few of the fellow anthologists who donated their novelettes to this charity project. The ones I hadn’t met before, they’ve become favorites of mine after reading their stories.

And if you need another reason to buy the anthology,  know that all the proceeds from the sales will go to Animal Welfare Institute, a A+ organization rated by Charity Watch.

My contribution, Shifting Loyalties, is from The Immortal Youth world, a YA spinoff from the adult Immortals series. Laura, a runaway were-panther, lives a lonely life, stealing food when she isn’t scavenging dumpsters to survive. Constantly on the run, terrified that not only humans and paranormals predators, but also the Controller will catch up with her some day. Then she meets a huge Newfoundland dog and everything changes for Laura.

I have read all the stories in the anthology and as I mentioned earlier they are all exceptional. Fantasy, sci-fi, steampunk, some old good paranormal, a tad of horror, and some underworld action, every genre is represented to please anyone’s taste. If  you want to know more about the talented authors who’ve contributed to the project, follow the links below. Before me, the lovely Kathrine Pendleton posted on her blog. Next in the blog tour will be Mikel Andrews on May, 11th.

 Kory M. Shrum

 Angela Roquet

 Kathrine Pendleton

Mikel Andrews

Shelly M. Burrows

Liz Schulte

 Jason T. Graves

Jasie Gale

And finally, for a chance to win signed books, assorted swag, and a $50 Amazon gift card enter the rafflecopter!

ebook covera Rafflecopter giveaway

Badass and the Beast Anthology: Ten Authors. One Great Cause. Support Animal Welfare Institute

Raphael Blurb: first attempt

Raphael is in capable hands and I’m working on its blurb and promo material. What do you think?

Raphael Banner

Coming from a past of abuse, as a young werewolf on the run, Raphael has nowhere to go and no one who loves him. He lives by, sleeping in the catacombs under Rome, and hiding from the Controller who wants to take him back to Renegade Youth Shelter.

Raphael’s days are filled with the constant threat of being discovered, and his future looks dark and lonely.

Then one night, he steals a vial of vampire blood by mistake. While escaping from an enforcer bent on catching him, Raphael meets Luisa, a werewolf like him. His wolf howls at the girl’s scent, branding her as Raphael’s true soul mate, but their first encounter is cut short by the enforcer.

Separated from Luisa by adults who want to exploit them, Raphael will sacrifice everything to be reunited with her. But will it be enough?

Raphael Blurb: first attempt