Monday, May 22, 2017

Sneak Peek! Chapter 1 of Blood Vice #MondayBlogs

Blood Vice (Blood Vice Book One)
Coming June 27th, 2017
Pre-order today for only 99¢:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07115FRPC
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940154311745
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1217053724
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/blood-vice-1

Detective Jenna Skye bombs her first week on the St. Louis County Police Department's Vice Squad when she's bitten by a vampire in a supernatural brothel. Her day only gets worse from there. She wakes up in the morgue and discovers that her partner is dead. Before the sun rises, she realizes she is too. Jenna vows to continue their investigation until justice is served, but a werewolf squatter, an unexpected visit from her estranged sister, and a nosy FBI agent stand in her way. Not to mention her fresh aversion to sunlight and a thirst for something a little stiffer than revenge.

Chapter One

    As I lay dying on the floor of an abandoned warehouse basement in the bowels of St. Louis, I couldn’t help but question every choice I’d ever made. Which one of them had led to this moment? Was it just one? Maybe my entire life had been one poor decision after another. That seemed the most likely answer as I stared into the vacant eyes of my partner sprawled out on the concrete not ten feet away.
Will Banks had definitely drawn the short straw when it came to being paired with me. At the time, it had seemed like divine intervention. His partner was transferring to a PD down in Florida, and I was finally getting the promotion I’d had my sights set on since day one. Will had been my mother’s partner ten years ago. Being paired with him felt like an omen from the universe. Like a sign from my mom even, that everything was unfolding as it should.
What a joke.
I thought of Will’s wife and daughter. He’d bragged about Serena to me just that morning, about the big scholarship she’d been awarded to go into the engineering program at MU. I could remember babysitting Serena the summer Will and Alicia had moved to St. Louis. I’d been sixteen, and she had just turned five. She was all bubblegum cheeks and beaded cornrows, full of exciting facts from her family’s recent trip to the Gateway Arch. That was twelve years ago. Had so much time really passed?
I was finally able to think of something worse than dying in a warehouse basement—facing Will’s family. I wondered who would be tasked with delivering the news that he was dead. And that it was my fault.
The suspect I’d chased down here was crouched over me, his face buried in the crook of my neck. Mewling, sucking noises filled my ears. Terror punched my heart until it felt like it would burst. My hand trembled around the 9mm pressed into the man’s stomach. I’d already squeezed off a dozen rounds, but I didn’t have the strength to empty the magazine. I’d lost too much blood.
I could hardly keep my eyes open, but every time they refocused, I found myself looking at Will. In the moonlight slipping through the dusty basement windows, I almost couldn’t tell that it was blood oozing from his lips and spreading in a puddle under his face. I tried to pretend that we were back at the precinct. That he’d fallen asleep at his desk again. Maybe it was just drool. I’d give him hell when he woke up, and he’d joke for the hundredth time that he needed all the beauty sleep he could get, and that a young punk like me would know what he was talking about soon enough…
But I’d never know, because I was dying. I’d been so eager to prove myself worthy of the vice squad, and now I would be nothing more than a cautionary tale to warn rookie detectives who got too big for their badges.
Humiliation overpowered my pain, and I found the strength to squeeze off one last round. The creep gnawing on me barely grunted at my effort. Meth? PCP? Bath salts? It was the only explanation my aching brain could come up with. Human trafficking and drugs. God, this could have been a career-making bust. A massive launch pad for me, and a grand finale for Will. That’s what had been on my mind when I saw a flash of movement through the basement window. And look where it had gotten me.
We’d been staking out the building all week. A lucky arrest had turned up a tip about a prostitution ring responsible for the recent surge of missing teens around the city. Will and I had parked our unmarked car in a dark alleyway between two buildings across the street. There was scarcely enough room to open our doors, but after four fruitless nights before this one, it seemed pretty clear that whoever was in charge had been tipped off and had abandoned the place.
It was almost five in the morning. We were arguing about where to have breakfast when movement caught my eye. It was a stray dog, sniffing around the building’s foundation. That’s when I saw something flicker through a window, something shiny, reflecting the moonlight as it moved around the basement.
I was out of the car with my gun in hand before I knew what I was doing. Will hissed at me to wait, to get back in the car. He said that we needed to call for backup. But my feet moved on their own. There were young girls being held captive, and we were going to find them. I was sure of it.
The only thing I was sure of now, with a drug-addicted cannibal at my throat, was that I was a reckless idiot.
A soft whimper drew my attention to a spot across the room, and for a moment, I could have sworn I saw a dog lurking in the corner. I was hallucinating. Great. At least that meant I wouldn’t have to endure this agony much longer. I was ready for my life to flash before my eyes and be done with this nightmare. I thought back as far as I could, trying to jumpstart the event.
One of my earliest memories took place under a kitchen table. A pink, plastic stethoscope dangling between my blond pigtails, the business end pressed to the chest of my mother’s first partner, a beautiful German Shepherd named Maggie.
My mother, Toni Skye, was what the department called a natural-born hero. She’d worked her way up from patrol to the K9 unit, and then she’d transferred to vice after we lost Maggie.
Maggie had been my favorite patient. Doctors are not supposed to have favorites, I’d tell her at every appointment, but I knew she wouldn’t report me to the medical board.
The memory pulled one corner of my mouth up in a lazy grin, even as the life drained from my body, and my skin grew cold and clammy. My muscles slowly unclenched. I couldn’t feel the gun in my hand anymore. I couldn’t even feel the teeth in my throat, though I could hear them working me over, a horrid gnashing sound that echoed in my skull.
And then I saw her—a flash of dark fur darting through the moonlight. Maggie? Had she come to deliver me from evil?
My vision warped, eyelids fluttering their last as I began to lose consciousness. I strained to keep them open, waiting to see if my mother would show next. She always arrived a moment behind Maggie. Why should it be any different in the afterlife?
As if answering my silent request, the silhouette of a woman rose up before me, towering over the brute at my neck. My eyes watered as they rolled back in my head, and my heart strummed out a hopeful staccato.
Then, it stopped.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Do You KU? #KindleUnlimited


If you get your reading fix via Kindle, you're probably familiar with Amazon's Kindle Unlimited subscription service. For those not familiar with KU, it's $9.99 a month and allows you to borrow as many books as you like from a selection of over a million ebooks, magazines, and audiobooks. You won't find all of your favorite books in their limited collection, but you will find quite a few (like Harry Potter!), as well as lots of indie titles. 

You can still purchase these books even if you don't have a KU subscription, but many of the indie books included in KU are not available anywhere other than on Amazon, as per their rules (for the indie authors at Amazon's mercy anyway--you can still most definitely find Harry at B&N). Authors are paid by the number of pages read rather than by book "borrows" and the borrowed books cannot be saved permanently to a reader's personal library. So the program has its pros and cons.

Do you KU? I'd love to hear what you guys think of the selection offered and if you consider it a good value for the monthly fee. Have you tried KU and ditched it? Are you planning on trying it out soon? Do you use it now and love it? If you'd like to learn more (or sign up for a 30-day free trial) check out the KU page on Amazon HERE.

My YA zombie book "Crazy Ex-Ghoulfriend" is currently enrolled in KU, and the USA Today bestselling "Dark Fates" boxset my book "Death at First Sight" is featured in is now available on KU too! I also keep a small selection of perma-free and KU exclusive books listed on the #Freebies page of my website HERE. You know, in case you're looking for more adventures (or to get your money's worth in KU).

Happy reading! ♥

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Amazon Stole My Lunch Money

Many of you may already know, especially if you follow me or any of the 21 other authors involved, that today was supposed to be the release for "Dark Fates", our boxed set of 22 urban fantasy and paranormal romance books. We each expected to wake up this morning and virtually toast each other with our steaming mugs of coffee and crazy bed hair, congratulating one another on a job well done, on a fruitful labor of love that we all chanted "Push!" for through three long months of pre-orders.

If you pre-ordered "Dark Fates" on Amazon, you likely opened your Kindle eager to dive in, only to find that the book consisted of 4 pages that simply listed the authors' names. Some readers have already emailed us or Amazon, and some have posted to our social media pages, and a confused few have left negative reviews expressing their disappointment. Trust me, we're all right there with you. Allow me to explain what happened...

Amazon sucks. Yup. That pretty much sums it up. 
me and my morning cup of crushed dreams
Okay now, for real. Our publisher, the lovely and talented Rebecca Hamilton, who has organized many excellent boxed sets, uploaded our final book file well before deadline. She even sent us a screen shot showing proof of this. She triple-checked it, because she was afraid of this very thing happening, which has happened to several other books recently. When it became apparent that we fell victim to this glitch, she contacted Amazon. At which point, Amazon made the book unavailable and posted a notice on the book page pointing the blame at her. Even after they admitted that the fault was theirs. They've promised that they're working diligently to resolve their error, but we still have no concrete answer for when "Dark Fates" will be for sale again or for when they will send a corrected book to those who pre-ordered the set.

In the meantime... upset readers have canceled orders (understandably), and the THOUSANDS of dollars we've invested in advertising and scheduled book promotions is slowly spiraling down the drain, along with our chance at hitting the USA Today Bestsellers list. This is quite an unexpected hit, and Amazon will most certainly not be compensating us for their incompetence. It's looking more and more like we could end up taking a loss, and I worry that this could spell disaster for some of the newer authors who took the plunge with us. Boxed sets like this can make or break writing careers. Maybe Amazon didn't "literally" steal our lunch money, but because of them, some of us might be relying on Ramen for a while until our bank accounts recover.

Please know that we authors will not stop hounding Amazon until this is fixed and everyone who ordered "Dark Fates" has the correct book file. Also, if you've been waiting for this set to go live before ordering, please consider ordering it from another retailer if you're able to. Apple, Nook, and Kobo readers are not affected by this devastating mishap of Amazon's, and all things considered, we'd rather see the sales go to their competitors anyway. There's more than one playground. Maybe we'll be able to keep our lunch money by choosing which ones we play on more carefully.

The ULTIMATE 99¢ Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Boxed Set!

The 22 novels and novellas in this special edition collection are packed with fantasy, magic, and romance sure to sweep you away with over one million words of intense urban fantasy and paranormal romance fiction! Whether you’re in the mood for a supernatural biker gang, an alliance of demon hunters, an abundance of elemental magic, or a heaping serving of greek gods and goddesses, this boxed set is sure to have something to keep you up reading long past your bedtime!  

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1190993171
Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dark-fates-joanne-wadsworth/1125423781
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dark-fates-1