Blood of the Pride on sale for only $1.99 today!

BloodofthePrideFinalThe first book of the acclaimed “Blood of the Pride” series is on sale at Amazon for only $1.99 today!

http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Pride-Sheryl-Nantu…/…/B006IIX02I

When a severed rabbit’s paw is delivered to her office, outcast cat shifter Rebecca Desjardin recognizes the summons home. One of their own has been murdered—and a shocking photo published in a local tabloid—and her Pride needs Rebecca, now a private investigator, to track down the killer.

Investigative reporter Brandon Hanover wants to find out who slipped the photo of the half-shifted cat-woman under his door, marking him as a suspect in her death. Determined to stay one step ahead of the sexy journalist, Rebecca reluctantly agrees to partner with him to find the real murderer. But as their mutual attraction heats up, Rebecca finds it harder and harder to keep Brandon from discovering the existence of the shifter society—and her own true nature.

When the search leads them back to the Pride, Rebecca must attempt to Change for the first time in years to face the killer, and save the man she loves…

This book won a Third-Place Prism Award for the first book of the paranormal series, “Blood of the Pride”

Check out where it all started today! Or better yet, give a copy to a friend!

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Thank you! (and an excerpt from “Claws Bared”!)

It’s been a busy few weeks, mostly due to getting slammed with the flu just in time for “Claws Bared” to be released – but it’s been totally faboo thanks to everyone who read, reviewed and bought copies!

So a big THANK YOU to everyone!

Many of you have gone to Goodreads and/or Amazon and left your thoughts on “Claws” and the first book, “Blood of the Pride” – thanks to everyone who’s taken the time to post their comments and help rank the book!

And it’s been great to get a review from the Library Journal that says, in part, “Owing to top-notch writing from Nantus (Blood of the Pride), Rebecca Desjardin rivals Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone as an interesting female PI.”

Yes, I was Kermit-flailing ’round the house on that one!

So, again, my thanks to you all. And here’s another excerpt if you haven’t picked up your copy yet or haven’t gotten that far in the book!

ClawsBaredFinal*****

“Not too shabby,” Trace said, still holding my hand.

I chuckled. “For an old broad, you mean.”

“You’re not that old,” Trance answered. “And I bet you still have it when and where it counts.”

His predatory look captured me, froze me in place like a deer in headlights. He didn’t move toward me, didn’t do anything but stare at me.

It was enough to begin shredding my defenses in a slow, determined attack.

The wind shifted, pulling in the scents and smells from the opposite direction.

My eyes widened as a familiar odor crashed into my lungs, tugging at my heart. It grabbed Trace’s spell and strangled it, killed it and made it roadkill.

I spun around to see Bran staring at me.

He stood at the edge of the parking lot, his long leather duster flying open in the breeze. The light blue dress shirt was tucked into his jeans, the top two buttons undone and the thin black tie hanging down loose over his chest.

His deep brown eyes were wide and wild, raking over me with a fierceness I’d never seen before. Hunger mixed with anger mixed with a whole lot of testosterone.

I knew how I looked. Blouse half-open, sweaty and flushed, holding hands with a stranger.

This was not good.

*****

And, of course, both books are available at Carina Press!

See you soon!

“Claws Bared” excerpt!

ClawsBaredFinalWe’re right on the edge of the release date for “Claws Bared“, book two in the “Blood of the Pride” series!

Here’s a little tidbit to get your mouth watering for this next episode with Reb and Bran!

*****

The bar door opened.

A man walked in and headed for the bar, strong hard strides across the hardwood floor in work boots that had seen better days.

He slid onto the stool beside me, his Felis scent splashing everywhere. Tall, blond and about five years younger than I was.

One finger went up, getting the bartender’s attention immediately. “Red Rock.”

He turned toward me and smiled, deep blue eyes daring me to fall into them.

I felt like I’d been punched in the chest. Felis may not technically be cats but we sure as hell could be cougars.

“Trace Bryson.” He held out his hand.

I took it, relishing the cool thrill running over my skin before reality chased it away. It wasn’t a coincidence he’d walked in here and sat next to me.

“Green truck?”

He slipped his hand out of mine, the calloused fingers falling away.
“Yep. That’s mine.”

His beer arrived just in time to let him stall for a second to sip the cool brew.

I allowed myself a scowl. “My shadow.”

He took another mouthful and swirled it around, thin lips curving into a smile. “Yep.”

I sipped my coffee. “If I told you to go to hell would it make a difference?”

He shook his head. His blond hair was just long enough for a woman to get a good grip.

“I hate to tell a beautiful lady like yourself ‘no,’ but…” He spread his hands. “You wouldn’t want me to get into trouble with my uncle, right?”

My heart sank. “McCallum.”

Trace smiled, showing bright white teeth. “Yep.” His tongue flicked out and ran over his lower lip. “Gotta do what the Board says.”

“That’s really beginning to annoy me,” I growled. “So what are your orders?”

He leaned back, the well-worn jean shirt tight on his frame. “Follow, watch, seduce… Oh, wait, I wasn’t supposed to say that one out loud.”

I didn’t smile.

**********

“Claws Bared” comes out on January 21st but you can pre-order it here at Amazon and here at B&N – along with, of course, Carina Press!

And if you haven’t picked up “Blood“… come on over and take a look!

Happy Holidays and what a year!

BlazeofGlory72smHeroesWithoutMonstersWithin32smHeroesLostandFound72web

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best of the season to everyone – since my mother’s visiting and I’m up to my eyes in family stuff I’ll probably make this the last post of the year…

First, thank YOU for visiting my blog! It’s been great to get feedback on my thoughts, my rants and be able to show off my faboo books – I’ve been invited to be a monthly blogger at Paranormal Romantics in addition to my other blogging at Beyond the Veil and Here Be Magic and I hope you’ll come on over and visit me and all the other great authors at all these blogs!

It’s been a great year – I finished off the “Blaze of Glory” trilogy with the last book releasing in ebook form in October and the print edition of the second book coming out just in the last month – and with the Origins Game Fair having the theme of “superheroes” for the gaming convention I’m looking forward to being there with a tableful of books!

In addition I’ve started off a whole new series at Carina Press with “Blood of the Pride” in February and the sequel coming out in a month on January 21st – “Claws Bared” will be the second book with the third, “Family Pride” tentatively scheduled for June 2013 – and both Blood books are going to be available in audiobook format. “Blood of the Pride” will also be available for a limited time in paperback form thanks to Harlequin picking it up for their DTC line in February so I’ll be posting when you can lay your hot little hands on Bran and Reb’s first adventure in paper form off the HQN website!

2013 looks like a busy year with three books in the “Blood of the Pride” series coming out and the final paperback of “Heroes Lost and Found” due next fall – and who knows where we’ll go from there???

Thanks to everyone for coming along on the ride and I hope you’ve enjoyed and continue to enjoy my attempts to entertain you with a wee bit o’mind candy!

BloodofthePrideFinalClawsBaredFinal

Come to the Harlequin.com Open House and chat with me Dec. 12th!

hqn open houseI’ve been lucky enough to be invited to the Harlequin.com Holiday Open House! If you’ve never swung around to check out their blogs and forums it’s a great time to see what everyone’s talking about – and get some faboo chatting in!

I and other Carina authors will be there on Wednesday, Dec. 12 so come on by and let’s curl up with a hot cuppa and some shortbread and talk! There’s plenty of other things to do at the Open House so go on over right NOW and check it out!

Hope to see you there!

NaNoWriMo and You! #Nanowrimo

As we rush towards November again I thought I’d share a few thoughts about National Novel Writing Month and how I’ve done it – and survived!

Both “Blaze of Glory” and “Blood of the Pride” started off as NaNo projects and later on became successful series with two different publishers – so it can be done and done well!

The trick, of course, is how to do it well… so here are my tips on how to survive November!

1)      Speed is Life.

It’s very easy to look at the calendar and do the math. 50K words divided by 30 days is 1667 words a day, right?

WRONG.

Yes, in theory that’s right. 30 x 1667 will give you the right number of words… but let’s be honest – that isn’t going to work.

November is a month of pre-holiday insanity. In addition to the American Thanksgiving ripping four days out of the calendar (depending on your celebrations) there’s also Black Friday for the rabid shoppers.

You don’t really have thirty days.

You *might* have twenty days if you pull out the weekends (because most people get busy on weekends with family and oh, that turkey thing, and don’t get their word allotment for the day.

So don’t just do 1667 words a day and kick back. If you can do more, DO MORE.  Write until you drop so you have a safety cushion in case (and when) you lose a day. Don’t get caught playing catch-up because you don’t need the stress.

And you can always just go out for Thanksgiving dinner, right?

2)      No, It’s Not Ready for PrimeTime.

We all know the horror stories – come December 1st the publishers and agents find their email boxes stuffed with queries and outlines for the Best Novel Evah that’s just been completed a few hours earlier.

Do I really have to point out the obvious? Yes, “Blaze of Glory” was a NaNo project but it was nowhere near ready for submission. It took a year’s worth of editing plus a R&R to get it into shape and accepted by Samhain Publishing.

Your special snowflake of a novel is not ready. I don’t care how many character charts you filled out or how complex you drew the map of your fantasy world or how in-depth your outline is.

It’s. Not. Ready.

Put it in a drawer and enjoy the holidays. Mark down on the calendar for January 2nd to pull it out and look at it with a fresh eye and start editing.

And, really – why ruin so many peoples’ holiday? Trust me, publishers and agents are busy enough through December without having to slog through a virtual CN Tower of novels, queries and outlines from NaNo winners. They have enough from their regular authors and clients to worry about.

3)      Don’t get swallowed up with the hype.

It’s easy to get sucked into the Internet; it’s the monster under the bed grabbing at every writer’s ankles. We check the email, we check our websites, we check our rankings, we check our Facebook and Twitter, we check our email… we go back to check on the NaNo boards about who’s in our area, who’s in our city, who’s in our state and check on local write-ins and can we get there and chat and check our email…

You get the idea.

And while NaNoWriMo offers a GREAT amount of support both in the forums and through local writing groups it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the chitchat and forget the main reason for being here.

Writing.

When I was in Second Life there were active groups who would invite writers to put their virtual avatars in a spot and plonk away at a virtual typewriter with others. With a scoreboard to put your word count into it was a great support group and let you go into another world to do your writing.

But as with all things it was easy to get distracted and away from the word count. And as we all know, getting those words down is the one single important thing about this entire writing exercise.

So keep visiting the boards, keep hanging out on the virtual caravan – but don’t forget that they’re all there to support you FINISHING THAT NOVEL. Not to let you make new friends and recruit possible beta readers or clients or readers.

4)      Don’t Panic.

It’s very easy to fall behind the first few days or weeks and begin panicking, tossing your arms up in the air and declaring the month a write-off and a waste and you’re a failure as a writer and…

Stop.

Just. Stop.

Panicking, that is. Not writing.

Keep. Writing.

Say you get sidetracked and only manage 200 words a day instead of over a thousand. Say it takes you three months instead of one to finish that first draft.

It’s Okay.

It’s OKAY to take longer than thirty days to do your first draft. Life has a way of tossing crap our way that can get in the way of getting 50K in 30 days.

But that doesn’t mean you stop writing. That means you keep writing into December and into January and as long as it takes to finish the book. You’ve done the work, created the world and written the outline and given birth to the characters – and now you’re going to leave them because of a lousy word count.

Don’t.

NaNo is a great way to give your writing a kick in the pants but it’s all about the long run – the editing, the rewriting and then the query letter, the submission and then more rewriting and editing. Don’t lose sight of the goal because you tripped over a hard word count and can’t finish it by December 1st.

Go forth and write, peeps.

And keep on writing!

Can’t we all just get along?

So I wander online today after a very busy Saturday of going to the hubby’s high school reunion and then seeing a friend from California who’s visiting for a few days and come back to find yet another example of an author freaking out because someone dissed self-publishing. No, I’m not going to go into names – you can find it if you want.

My beef isn’t so much with the original author who said in an interview that she disliked self-publishing but the reaction after it. She gave her opinion and was immediately attacked by all and sundry spouting the usual self-pub support mantras – and while good points were made I think a lot of it got lost in the usual “Well, YOU’VE made it so YOU don’t understand!” back and forth.

I think the situation’s gotten to the point where no author should EVER answer a question about self-publishing because of the rabid supporters on both sides of the fence. Say you support it and you get slagged on one side, say you don’t and you get slagged by the other.

And… it’s just tacky. Authors hating on authors… really? Don’t we have enough worries in this world that we have to attack each other?

We have to worry about writing, editing, promotion, marketing, submissions, agents, all the social media, finances (including paying your taxes and royalty payments), rejections, ratings, reviews, fan mail… do we really have the time and energy to start badmouthing other authors for the choices they’ve made?

I don’t.

Monday I start on a new book. I’ll crash through the first draft (the fourth book in the “Blood of The Pride” series, fyi) and then work on making it the best book it can be.

Meanwhile I’m prepping for the release of “Heroes Lost and Found”, the last in the Blaze of Glory trilogy in October and a surprise! in September.

In the middle of all that I’m waiting for copy edits on “Claws Bared”, BoTP #2 and to hear back on “Family Tails”, BoTP#3 now on submission.

I don’t have TIME to be dissing and hating.

Shouldn’t everyone be this busy?

In Praise of Editors…

Having just finished what hopefully will be my last round of edits with “Claws Bared”, the second in the Blood of the Pride series, I feel compelled to sing the praises of those often-maligned people who carry the title of editor.

Many, many years ago when I worked as an editorial secretary for Penguin Books Canada I ran errands, got coffee/tea for, you name it, for the editors on staff. These poor men and women busted it out on multiple books each and every day dealing with everyone from brand-new first-time writers to old pros who knew the system and what went where.

But it wasn’t until I got onto the *other* side of the game that I realized just how much editors matter. When I sold “Blaze of Glory” to Samhain Publishing I met Sasha Knight – and she whipped me into shape with her first set of edits. To say they were cruel wouldn’t be doing them justice, they ripped open the story and shredded me to bits to the point that I wondered why she offered me a contract.

After I had a cuppa tea and finished whimpering I looked at her notes again and had to agree with all of them. There were plot holes, bad phrasing, ‘orrible headhopping here and there and let’s not even get into my overuse of exclamation marks.

But… she was right. Each and every bit I had to rewrite or correct made the story stronger and gave it more of a punch, making it a much better product by the end of the editing process. And with each book her harsh notes got a bit less and less which, I hope, showed I was improving in my writing.

When I sold “Blood of the Pride” to Carina Press I met Alissa Davis who did much of the same thing with the first run-through of my first book. With a firm but gentle hand she maneuvered me through the editing minefield to the point that the final product is head and shoulders above the manuscript I’d first submitted.

Editors – we need them. Whether you’re self-publishing or pursuing trade publishing you need an editor to stand back and assess your work without blinders on – I love my hubby greatly but I know he’s going to miss bits and pieces a trained editor won’t and can’t.

So… let me sing the praise of my editors, past present and future. With your help and guidance I’ve become a much better writer and hope to keep on improving my craft!

(have any special editors you’d like to sing about? drop them in the comments below!)