Oct 28, 2019

Taking the extra step: bonus materials


Hi! This is Anna Lowe, and today I’d like to talk about why I take the time and trouble to create free bonus materials for my readers. Bonus materials include things like bonus scenes, games, recipes, and “making ofs” about my books. These take a lot of time to create, and sometimes, that’s hard to fit in to a busy work/family schedule. But I find the time to create bonus content because I really enjoy doing so, and here’s why...
First, I love a good story and great characters - so much that I don’t want to let go of them even when I reach “The End.” But even the best stories need endings, because that’s a critical part of what makes them so good - the fact that they reach a satisfying happy end. One solution is to let readers revisit favorite characters through cameos in subsequent books. That’s one reason I write tightly intertwined series such as Aloha Shifters, Fire Maidens, Twin Moon Ranch, Blue Moon Saloon - well, all my series, I guess!

But in that pause immediately after “The End,” I’m usually not ready to jump directly into the next book. I want to savor what I’ve just experienced. Can you relate? It’s like a great opera performance where the singers come out for an encore. The audience isn’t ready to let go of the masterpiece they’ve just experienced, and the artists aren’t either. This is true of reading too. If there’s no bonus material, I find myself lingering over the cover, blurb, or a favorite part of the book I just finished, just to hang on to the magical feeling the story created.

That’s why having bonus material is so great, and that’s why I take the time to create it. For me and for readers! The most significant way I do this is through writing bonus epilogues. These are fun little stories that follow the central couple of a book in their happily ever after. Usually, there’s some tension or a problem to solve - another little challenge for that couple. Other times, there’s a change of scenery that comes with a new set of issues to resolve.

For example, I followed up on Fire Maidens: Paris (Book 1 of my new Billionaires & Bodyguards series) with a bonus scene that sees Natalie taking on a pair of rogue vampires by herself (“Double Trouble”). Why? I really wanted to show Natalie coming into her own as a Fire Maiden, independently of her mate’s support. So there’s that fear/thrill factor we experience through her point of view and a huge rush of pride in the end. I guess I had an ulterior motive as well: reminding women how powerful they can be on their own

 
For Book 2, Fire Maidens: London, the bonus scene I wrote (“An Unexpected Visitor”) gives the hero and heroine some down time - until they’re interrupted by an infuriating supporting character from the main story. In this case, we see Liam and Gemma working together to overcome a different kind of problem. Thus, the reader gets to watch their relationship evolve as well as getting a hint of how this couple will shape their own future.

At times, I introduce a new character or characters in a bonus scene, usually to pump up the tension. Several times, these new characters have proven to be so fascinating, they threaten to steal the show. A few times, I’ve even ended up writing entire books for them! That’s how Axel, the sweet, shy boar shifter hero of Desert Rose came to be. Another example is Harrison, the hero of Sasquatch Surprise, who was only supposed to make a brief appearance in another bonus scene. In the end, he got his own novel/love story!

Extra scenes aren’t the only kind of bonus content I create, although they are the medium I put the most time into. I’ve also posted recipes that allow my readers to get a taste of the story world - literally! For example, I have a raspberry/chocolate chip muffin recipe I love so much, I wrote it into one of my Blue Moon Saloon books. Then I shared that recipe so readers can make that little part of the story their own - and maybe even imagine their own hunky hero coming up behind them for a kiss and a lick of batter from their finger!  

Otherwise, I enjoy creating puzzles and games. Puzzles are always fun, especially when they feature the hunky heroes on the covers of my books! I also found a fun website that lets you create your own slot machine. The sound effects are great, and it’s a lot of fun to try line up three covers in a row. Also, there’s no risk, since there’s no actual gambling - just free, fun games. Yet another example are memory games, which are a fun way of familiarizing yourself with or lingering over a whole series.


Those are some ways I give myself and readers a chance to dwell in a great story world. And as for a final reason why I bother - well, that’s simple. Bonus materials are my way of thanking fans for reading, reviewing, and spreading word about my books. I truly feel grateful to be part of a community with an appreciation for similar things, like the chance to escape the real world through suspenseful and satisfying romances. So, I hope you enjoy my books as well as the bonus content I create!

PS - How can you find this great stuff? Come to my author website (http://www.annalowebooks.com) and see! Look under the “free” tab to find the path to dozens of bonus scenes, or click on the “Bonus” tab for fun little tidbits like “making ofs”, games, and puzzles. Enjoy!

Oct 24, 2019

Wolf Pack Halloween Howls Run



For the  FIRST TIME EVER  these books are on sale!

Scroll down to enter our  GIVEAWAY .

Ends Nov 1.


REMEMBER! 

Check prices before you buy.

They can change without notice.

If you see a book that isn’t $2.99 or lower, 
please check back later as price changes may be delayed.

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As a new blood courtesan, everything was going great until my first client turned out to be the man of my dreams, the sexy-as-sin vampire rock star I’ve lusted after since I was a teen, but he wants nothing to do with me or what I have to offer.



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A mother and child on the run. A dark shifter with a secret. This second-chance romance will melt your heart...and your panties.



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One town, one wolf pack, one witch’s coven, and fifteen brand new stories of romance and magic packed into one box set!



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Nobody says no to an Eternal Academy education--or survives crossing the Witch Queen. If our royal adversary learns her assassins didn't claim the beating hearts of my twin Misty and me 18 years ago, we lose our hearts for real. And not to classmate crushes.




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Meet the warring alphas of Three Rivers. Can a mating survive an alpha challenge?



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Accused of a murder he didn't commit, can Sven prove his innocence...and win the heart of the hot detective?




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Never cross a witch. A gargoyle shifter learns that the hard way -- when she curses him in stone.




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She hunted him down like an animal. He'll respond in kind. Dangerous enemies become wild lovers in this steamy wolf shifter romance.




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His blood sings for hers. Too bad his new fake girlfriend is a virgin. And this vampire is determined to abstain.




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A grouchy dragon and a shy witch, what can go wrong?



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Escape to Dragon Island to enjoy some sun, sand, and dragon shifter romance (and maybe a mermaid or two). When an idyllic tropical island resort is left in the charge of three dragon shifters, and their human half-brother, things are about to heat up...




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When former model and heartbreaker Kyra Ellison is forced to go to Salem, Massachusetts – yes, that Salem – she stumbles into a world of murder, witches with secrets, and a handsome billionaire who makes danger irresistible. What will she choose – the old lycanthropy-free life she's been craving…or the new love she can't resist?



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He’s a Clan Enforcer who’s sworn off women. She’s a human female looking for protection. Will fate bring the two of them together?




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Be sure to join our Trick or Treat Facebook Hop too! 
We have lots of treats for Halloween week!

To enter our giveaway  >> CLICK HERE << .


Wolf Pack Halloween Howls Hop - Trick or Treat


WINNERS are being posted below!



Wolf Pack authors are handing out treats -- but we won't tell you who is giving out which ones!







Oct 23, 2019

Scorch by Lisa Carlisle

~ NEW ~ SALE ~ EXCERPT BELOW ~



We can't both hunt in the same territory. I track the incubus, but when I find him, Daron's irresistibly devilish nature makes me rethink my plan. For just one night...

One night. One encounter. It won't change anything, right?


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All the blood drained from my head, pooling in some sorry puddle near my feet. “That means…” I shook my head refusing to believe it.

She planted her hands on her hips. “Exactly.” Her tone rose with a twinge of panic, similar to what was swelling through my chest.

“It can’t be possible.”

Selena sighed with dread. “I wish it wasn’t.”

“Are you saying—” I couldn’t finish the sentence.

“I’m not saying anything. Unfortunately, I know it’s true.”

I rubbed my eyes. “How—how did it happen?”

She shrugged and threw her hands out to her sides. “I don’t know.”

My pulse shot up and breath came quicker. “You had to have done something.” I pointed at her. On hearing how loud and accusatory my voice rose, I lowered it so as not to draw attention from humans in the apartment building as we strolled by. “Maybe something powerful happened and all your succubus mojo went haywire.”

Her lips curled with revulsion. “Check your ego and your accusations, incubus. You were good, but not that good that I’d want to make us permanent.”

“Permanent,” I repeated. My heart beat so loudly, it sounded like an echo in my brain. I shook my head from side to side as if dragging it through sludge. “It can’t… we can’t.”

A startled tuxedo cat darted out from behind some trash bins on the side of a building and dashed across the road, disappearing in the shadows.

“You think I want this?” She snarled and motioned between us.

“I’m guessing no.”

“Of course not. Eww. In case you didn’t realize, there were two sex demons doing the horizontal tango. Since I know I didn’t cast any ‘spell,’” she paused while circling her hand, “you must be the one to blame.” She pointed dead at my chest.

I huffed. “I certainly didn’t generate any freaking magic that would set this kind of bond between us.” I groaned. My skin turned so hot, a fine sheen of sweat coated me. “It’s a trap. I don’t want to be captured.”

“Captured,” she repeated at a higher pitch. Under the glow of the streetlight, the look of horror that passed over her features appeared rang clear, so different from that ecstatic expression she had in bed. “If we didn’t do this, how did it happen?”

“I don’t know.” This couldn’t be real. I crossed my arms, released them, and then steepled my fingers to my mouth. The universe must be playing some sort of sick joke on us. 

My heart sank. I leaned against the brick wall and sagged. It wasn’t true. Because what I felt between us was deeper than I wanted to admit. I closed my eyes, trying to blink the truth away. It didn’t work. I reopened them and tried to control my quickened breaths. The realization was far too potent.

Scary. Terrifying. And holy-terror-of-terrors real.
“You know what this means?” Her expression mirrored my dread as if we simultaneously released an internal scream.

I dropped my hands to my sides and summoned the courage to state the horror. “We’re bonded?”


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Unimaginable Lover by Rosalie Redd

~ EXCERPT BELOW ~




When Sheri finds a sexy, injured man in her shed, she’s not quite sure if he’s human or something…more. As she falls for him and is swept into a world she never imagined, she must set aside her rough past and learn to trust him in order to survive.


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Sheri’s pulse raced as a strange mixture of shock and desire coursed through her veins. The tall, muscular stranger pinned her against the wall. One second she’d pressed 9-1—on her phone and the next, she was here, in his arms. 
His biceps bulged, and she had a sudden urge to run her fingers over them, feel the steel that was below the surface, but her hands were trapped at his hips. She gripped his taut waist, and his heat bore into her, warming her fingers, tingling the sensitive nerves. 
 “No infirmary.” His gravelly, rough command came out on a whisper. 
She should’ve feared him, this stranger in her home trapping her in his arms, but instead, her insides melted, warmed by his touch, his voice, his scent. Something about him made her long for more. 
So focused on the man who held her so close, she hadn’t noticed Coop. His insistent barks echoed through the house.
The man tensed, and in the process his lean body pressed tighter against hers. 
Her skin prickled at the contact.
With a quick glance over his shoulder, she caught sight of her pet. He growled, his lips curled over his fangs.  
“No, Coop. Stop!”
His back legs bunched in preparation for his attack.
The man didn’t release her, but turned to face her dog. He held out one hand, palm open. “Halt.” 
Coop’s growl faded. 
He took a tentative step forward. 
His nose quivered, and a small whimper eased from his chest. Her pet, an ex-police dog trained to track and defend, placed his muzzle under the stranger’s palm. 
She gasped. If she hadn’t seen this for herself, she wouldn’t have believed it. 
He patted Coop on the head, and the dog’s tail beat against the floor. 
The man’s eyes were red-rimmed, and sweat coated his forehead. “I have to leave…” 
His eyes glazed over, and his grip around her waist loosened.  
As her hands traveled along the space between them, her fingers trailed over the firm muscles of his abdomen and chest. The strength and power under his skin lit up her nerves. 
She moved a stray hair away from his brow and focused on his eyes. Bottomless pools of blue, they reflected the pain hidden behind his features.
Her chest constricted. “Please, let me help you.”
His gaze fell to her mouth, and he reached up to stroke her bottom lip with his thumb, teasing her. “How? Like this?” 
Before she could stop him, he slipped his hand around the base of her neck and pulled her close. His mouth hovered over hers for the briefest moment. 
She closed her eyes, aware that doing so was an invitation all its own. 
Warm and welcoming, his lips tasted of musk and pepper. With unexpected tenderness, he teased her with his tongue, caressing the crease between her lips. The sensitive nerves tingled at the contact and she inhaled, parting her mouth. 
Moaning softly, he deepened the kiss, and explored her. His tongue brushed the sore spot in her mouth, but instead of pain, his smooth caress eased some of the ache. 
The passionate need in his kiss bore into her, sending a wave of desire to her core. Beneath the thin material of her shirt, her nipples peaked, and she couldn’t hide her reaction to him. 
A slow groan rumbled in his chest.


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Autumn's Blood by Marissa Farrar

~ FURRREE SERIES STARTER ~



The last thing scientist Autumn Anderson expects upon starting her new job is the dangerous, sexy man whose touch seems to burn. When an accident unleashes Autumn’s potential, the two of them find themselves thrown together and on the run.


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Lightning Blade by D.N. Erikson

~ FURRREE ~



Groundhog Day meets The Dresden Files in this time-looping twist on urban fantasy.


Supernatural bounty hunter Ruby Callaway has survived for 200 years by shooting first, asking questions never. Which may explain why she spent the last twenty years in jail... But then the FBI offers her a deal she can’t refuse: kill a necromancer, she gets her freedom.


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City Shifters Box Set

~ 99¢ SALE ~ BOX SET ~



Complete 5 book series! Contains the first five books of the City Shifters: the Pride series. Follow the five lion shifter Chase brothers on the hunt for true love, as they discover five independent, feisty heroines, evil villains, mysterious pasts, underground fights, family, friends, and happily ever after (times five)!


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Refrain - Neriza by Susan Griscom

~ 99¢ SALE ~



My father's misdeeds continue to haunt me and I'm left with only one option: I need to make the talented and headstrong Lyric Rivers desire me, or lose everything. Maybe even my life...


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