Katharine Ashe was my guest blogger back on Sept. 20th. I realized after I came home from the hospital that she'd sent me a blurb and excerpt from her debut novel, SWEPT AWAY BY A KISS and I hadn't posted it. And bless her heart, she did say a word about it.
But this is a fixable error, so today, prepare to be swept away!
A Secret Identity
When pirates storm Lord Steven Ashford’s ship upon the high seas, it brings him closer than ever to the nefarious criminal he seeks to ruin. Only one seductive detail threatens his victory: the scandalous beauty imprisoned with him, Lady Valerie Monroe. Temptation has never been so intoxicating or so forbidden, for Steven is disguised as a French priest. If they make it off the ship alive, to protect her from his enemies, he must never see her again…
An Undeniable Love
Back in England, and under the ton’s scrutiny for a reckless past she hasn’t escaped, Valerie dreams of the breathtaking “man of the cloth” with whom she shared her greatest adventure. Then he reappears in society under his true identity, Viscount Ashford, but despite the danger their consuming passion cannot be denied. Now standing in the way of their desire are Valerie’s wounded heart, Steven’s lone destiny, and a villain that will stop at nothing to crush them both.
And here's a short excerpt from Katharine Ashe's SWEPT AWAY BY A KISS
She swung her gaze up, and the air drained from her lungs. Etienne’s eyes blazed with heat. His fingers twisted in her hair, pulling her head back until he looked down at her.
“Call me Steven.” His voice was like gravel, completely unfamiliar.
Valerie’s eyes widened.
“Say it. I want to hear you say it.”
Valerie tried to shake her head, but his grip tightened, snapping at her hair. His gaze seared her. He was angry, as she had thought this man could never be, like a lion surprised from sleep. Suddenly, terrifyingly awakened.
“Steven,” she whispered, not understanding, yet somehow knowing it was not a taunt, that it meant something to him.
His gaze scraped across her face, her eyes and lips, cheeks and brow, her mouth. His head bent closer and she struggled for breath. With a strangled oath, his mouth came down upon hers.
It's hard to beat suppressed passion and this selection is rife with it. That hero is hawt!
If you'd like to learn more about Katharine's books, check out her website .
I'm wondering about how readers regard excerpts on websites. At www.miamarlowe.com, I post the whole first chapter of TOUCH OF A THIEF. Is a chapter too much? Since once the title shows up on Amazon the first chapter will be available there, should the excerpt be from someplace other than the beginning of the story? Thanks in advance for your input!
I'm reading Swept Away right now and its amazing! Can't wait to read her next book.
Definitely post an excerpt! A whole chapter may not be necessary, but I love getting so hooked on just a few pages of a novel that I have to rush to the book store to buy it.
I loved Swept Away by a Kiss, too. The novel had adventure, passion and intrigue to spare.
Cindy--Katharine has fresh, spare style that's very appealing, doesn't she?
Melinda--I've had authors email me up to three chapters of their new release, a chapter at a time spread over a few days. What do you think of that strategy?
Emily, you're so kind! And thanks, Cindy and Melinda. You ladies warm my heart!
I've given this some thought, too, Emily, especially since Amazon posts first chapters so often. Perhaps it's in the timing--getting it up there before Amazon. Content does seem to be important to readers. I heard from a fellow author who attended the booksellers panel at the RWA conference that readers like authors to offer new content on websites--deleted scenes, mini-stories about secondary characters--that sort of thing. So maybe if authors post excerpts before they're available elsewhere, that still counts as new content? I wonder!
I'll definitely be posting the first two chapters of my next book on my site before the release date. Additionally, I'm posting a full-length free novel to my website beginning next month--a Regency ghost story just in time for Halloween. :)
Thanks again for having me on your blog, Emily. You are such a gracious host!
Katharine, I loved that hot scene. It was searing.
I read excerpts if they're short. This one was really short (and intense -- which is great!) but I wouldn't mind something a bit longer. I feel the same way about blogs -- they should get to the point, and they shouldn't be too long. This may just be because I'm too busy or have developed a short attention span, though. :)
Gah! Yummy. Loved the scene.
When I post scenes in different places, I often change them: first meet, first kiss, sex scene. I've never posted an entire chapter, just entire scenes. Should I post a chapter? Beats me.
Since I'm nevr successful posting through the different options, I use anonymous and sign, Cheers!
What an interesting discussion! Kudos to Emily for hosting it, and to Katharine for writing it.
What you post depends upon your contract with your publisher, so if you are allowed to post 3 chapters, maybe it's wise to post the first three consecutive chapters.
It's not a question of competing with Amazon (unless your strategy is to direct readers elsewhere to purchase the book), and you have to remember that most impulse readers aren't going to want to do a point to point around the internet.
Give the readers enough that they are able to make the decision to buy and keep your book (or not).
They can always stop reading as soon as they make up their mind.
I've seen reviews where readers have read the first 50 pages and then given up.
It would be lovely if they could have read the first 50 pages free on the author's site.
If you are posting a complete story on your website, be sure to make it clear whether it is only to be read on your website, or whether you welcome readers doing whatever they wish with it (which would include sharing it, burning it onto CDs and selling it on EBay, eCrater, iOFFER etc.)
If you do not wish to put it in the public domain, remember to post a copyright sign, and reserve all rights.
If you use the word "free" be aware that the Aggregators that look for words such as "free" and "novel" and "ebook" will pick it up, it will be reproduced and published with or without your consent.
That said, giving away a free read is a great gift to your readers.
I loved the excerpt and can't wait to pick up the novel, Katharine.
As for posting portions of a book, I know several non-published writers are concerned about how much could be used 'safely.'
When I set up my website, as a non-pubbed author I posted a few pages of each story.
I enjoy reading short 'previews' but usually only if I can then rush right out and buy the book :0 (I'm not good on delayed gratification.)
Thanks for posting this, Emily.
Okay, AWESOME excerpt. I'm going to order SWEPT AWAY right now.
I never buy a book without reading an excerpt online or the first few pages in a brick and mortar store. Still my favorite way to buy books. I feel like I'm going to spend the next five years buying up all the paperbacks I can!
Katharine--It's my pleasure to share great authors to my readers.
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