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Beta Reads and Book Reviews

thCA43T8I7I think I’d like to be doing more book reviews and Beta reads. I like the idea of reading for free books… I spend way too much money on books anyway. The thing is that I think I’m pretty qualified for the job. I do have a Master’s degree in English/Creative Writing and I also write. You can read through my archives to see previous reviews. You can go on Amazon, too, but those are much shorter.

The other thing is that I hate giving bad reviews. I don’t have a problem writing constructive feedback for a Beta read, however. I think that’s the appropriate place for it. So, if I read your book and it wasn’t going to get a good review from me, I wouldn’t give it a review, I’d send it back to you as a Beta read – for your eyes only. If it was going to get a good review – I can plaster that bad boy around.

The other thing I have going is that I’ll read almost anything. Seriously! I’m really a book slut and though I have my favorite genres, I will read anything that has interesting characters, dialog, and a plat that moves. If you know me or follow any of my social media and blogs, you know I have my favorites, like paranormal romance, sci-fi, and other twisted shit, but really I’ll ready mystery, horror, adventure, and almost anything else (fiction). I choke a bit on historical romance (unless it has vampires), though….. Just a warning.

So, if you have a book you would like be to Beta/Review, send me a request with the genre and length through a direct message on FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/sherri.asble

or Twitter @sljasble

I’ll get back with you right away!

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New Inspiration!

ImageIt’s been a long time since I’ve talked about inspiration! Since I’m moving into a more production-centric period in my writing journey, perhaps it is a good time to dwell on the topic once again. I’ve recently released the second book of my vampire series, Fire Blood. I admit I really wrote this novel fast, and I feel it is very good – 10 times better than the first book – I think the reason for the quality and speed of writing was the inspiration.

I really felt compelled to write this book. The characters, especially Matthew, really came alive in my head. It still sounds weird, even to me, but they really talked to me and told me their story and I just wrote it down… The first book, Summer Blood, went a long way to introduce these guys and gals and give me a basis to work with. The second book really took it to the next level. There was a lot going on, from kidnappings, to fighting, to sex… yeah, they were a busy bunch! Tobia and Gwin focused on taking down what was left of the vampire network, and Matthew got his band Carolina Sky together for a tour. Myranta put herself forward as Matthew’s personal body guard, and Cytosha… well, she kind of went crazy! It was fun and exciting… but what was the inspiration?

Music was a huge factor. I had to hear Carolina Sky playing in my head. I listened to a lot of music… I made a huge play list (Kato’s playlist on Spotify if you’re interested – follow me!). Kato even wrote some new music and I included lyrics in the back of the book! That is a big inspiration for the next book as well. Kato and Wayne felt a bit left out and will be making a bigger splash in the next book of the series. They both have rock-star personalities and are very “in-your-face” so their minimal presence in the first two books has come to an end. They want front row billing in #3.

Another inspiration was other vampire books/tv/movies… especially True Blood. Not that my vampires are the same in any way (other than being vampires), but just getting to that vicious single mindedness they sometimes have was easier after being a little exposed to other vampire media. And photos! I’ve found and shared plenty of vamp-pics on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/summerbloodvampires)!

So, Gwin is another character that really came alive for me. She started out very snotty and spoiled, but eventually, she grew as a character and by the end of Fire Blood, she really has a lot of depth. I think that Matthew and Tobia both influenced her a lot. She’s still fun loving and mischievous, though. In September I’m releasing the prequel book, Blood Pact. Her story in this one is compelling and really gives the reader an even better sense of who she is. Sometimes, it felt like she was sitting beside me at the keyboard and pointing out where to make changes and what to add! She’s so pushy! I think she is that aggressive side of me that never gets to really come out, in part at least.

The beach was obviously an inspiration point. I have always loved the beach and every time I’m there I seem to have characters talking to me about what they’re doing at the beach or what they want to be doing. Particularly, for Summer Blood this was a serious kick off. My husband and I went to Flagler Beach on the East Coast of Florida for my birthday. We went to a cool bar and walked on the beach at night and at sunrise. I took tons of notes while we were there. The bar and the beach both stuck with me so much that when I got home, those parts begged to be written and that’s when I truly started focusing on Summer Blood… and came up with the name! The name of the bar in Summer Blood is Shark Fins, it shows up at the end of Chapter 2 when Tobia and Gwin are getting to know each other… if you want to see the real place. I did tell you exactly where it is… corner of A1A and 100 in Flagler.

Cytosha is another vivid character. This is a psychic motorcycle riding vampire hellion! She’s front and center in both books. I originally meant for her to be a minor character used just for Tetrick to find Gwin and Tobia. She had other plans. She not only stuck around in Summer Blood, she became the main Vamp in Fire Blood, and you will be able to find out more about her – where she came from – and where she’s going in Blood Pact. Of course, she’ll have a role in the #3 as well. I wanted her to be a tough-guy. She owned her vampire status. Unlike Tobia and Gwin, she loved being a vampire (more than she ever loved being human). She’s a modern girl and she likes to just kick ass and boss everyone around. I have no idea where she came from. When I started writing her, she just took over. I’m glad she did because I’ve had a ton of fun writing her!

I’m working on a lot of other projects outside of the vampire world. The inspirations have come from many different places. Perhaps one of my biggest influences is what I read. Whatever I’m reading at the time tends to make its way on to my page…. don’t misunderstand. I do not EVER copy… but tone and genre and the feel of a novel can be influential. Or smaller things. Sometimes I do put tiny tidbits in my writing as a homage to another author that I admire, though. Like, I might name a street something out of another book. Some of my biggest influences, particularly for vampires and demons, are Kim Harrison and the Hollows series, Laurel Hamilton and the Anita Blake series, and Kristie Haigwood’s Eternal Island (Reviewed this in an earlier blog – check my archives) series. Kristie is an independent author and worth checking out! I like her Save My Soul series as well.

I’m writing a new series called Adventures of Pepper Chance. She is a psychic detective charged with keeping demon activity under control. She started developing as I was reading the Hollows, but also the Dresden series and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series. I wanted a hardnosed detective who had a troubled past. She’s been a very bad girl, but wants to make a decent life for herself. She’s not afraid to fall in love or kick demon ass or step up to whatever challenges I throw at her. You’ll see two short stories about her in my upcoming anthology, Brink. That’s due to go to the editors soon.

Some of the stories from Brink came from what I was writing during my Master’s degree. Inspiration for those stories came from specific assignments. They are very different than what I’ve put out there so far, yet still twisted and fun. One of the stories was featured in a vampire anthology:

http://www.amazon.com/Vampires-Romance-Rippers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00FYZVEQK/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1402946438&sr=8-2-fkmr1&keywords=vampires+romance+toe+to+rippers

I had to stories featured. Only one of them will be in Brink, so get the one above for the other…

Ultimately, I guess I have to say that inspiration comes from so many places… from media and real life to my own wild imaginations and even things inside me that I don’t want people to see. It all gets blended up in this strange thing called my brain… and tossed out like a salad onto the paper. Then, I just hope everyone likes my veggies!

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Review Time!! Being Sawyer Knight – Nicola Haken

I loved this book. It grabbed me right away and drug me right in! It was romantic, sweet, steamy, and fierce… everything you want in a romance. The plot for this one is that Sawyer Knight is a rock star (doesn’t get much better than that – right!) and on top of the world. He has one problem. He’s terribly alone. Enter the hero – his long lost best friend Jake! The man takes on the job of being Sawyer’s body guard, but obviously he’s after more! You get the gist of how it goes. I’m not into spoilers, so that’s all I’m saying, except that these two guys are completely addictive. If you’re into character driven stories with a lot of heart, this is it! Sawyer is adorable in his angst and Jake is the total hottie-hero!

The sex in this book is all there for a reason. I never once felt like it was just to add sex and that’s important especially in an M/M romance. This writer made the characters work for it.

By the way… there’s a little bonus. A mystery is threaded right down the center of the plot. Yum!

Romance with heart – check! Steamy sex scenes – check! Action and mystery that move the plot – check! Yep… this one’s a winner!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KLF2DUO/ref=kinw_myk_ro_title

 

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FIRE BLOOD LAUNCH…

Image

So, I released the second book of my series!!  We did a launch on FaceBook May 30th and it went so well!  I have to thank all the fans that participated, my family and friends for being supportive, and my team… Kathy Wright, Troy Howell, Doris Greer, and Mitzy Page!  You have all been just lovely!!

So, if you haven’t bought the book yet… you should… The links to both Summer Blood and Fire Blood are on this page. Or you can just go here:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_9?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=sherri%20jordan-asble&sprefix=sherri+jo%2Caps%2C1120

Here’s the “promo-blurb” for Fire Blood:

Up-and-coming rocker, Matthew Calloway, is getting ready to start touring with his band, Carolina Sky, but being a Muse means attracting vampires. Matthew must rely on his new friends to help protect him, but is he ready to face his fears and make the ultimate sacrifice?

If you love vampires, rockers, and hot action this is for you! Feel free to share with your friends!!

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The Touch Reviewed

Recently, I read The Touch by Louisa Albrect, and published by Hot Ink Press. I fell in love with the concept immediately and just had to read it.  Admittedly, it advertised a few characteristics that I love to use in my own writing, such as music, musicians and magic. So, I was excited to get my hands on it! Oh, not to mention that it is an erotic novel, so yeah… that was exciting too! *snickers inappropriately*

http://www.amazon.com/Touch-Louisa-Albrect-ebook/dp/B00AZOS7GK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394562934&sr=1-1

On the whole, I did enjoy the story. The plot was well done and the characters likable. However, I was somewhat disappointed. I really wanted to love this story, and I didn’t. It’s been several days since I read it, and I’ve been stewing it over in the back of my mind ever since.

I did read it in one sitting, but that had more to do with how short it was rather than my love of it. In fact, it really was too short. There was barely enough time to develop such a complex plot and depth of character. It was sort of like this:  Here are these cool people and their intricate problems. Now, let’s put them together and let sex fix everything. I wanted more in the middle. It gave me a beginning and an end and slushed right over the middle.

The main character is a singer named Benjamine. I loved this guy. But, I didn’t get enough of what made him tick. I expected more music. The descriptions that were there were fabulous, but they left me wanting more.  The lead female similarly left me wanting more. After the coven finds her, she loses her memories, but the plot doesn’t really do anything with this, and leaves her feeling a little hollow. I wanted more about her discovering herself before she could help Benjamine.

The Touch had interesting side characters that were like the icing flowers on a cake; pretty and edible, but generally not necessary and completely interchangeable. Yet, there was the bud of something truly delicious sitting right there. A longer story line would allow the author to weave these extra characters into the story in a way that only that unique person could be there to make things happen. Plus, with more time, you could get to know what drives these others; how they view the main characters (for extra complexity); and what motivates them.

The final thing that had me squirming in my chair as I read was the huge amounts of grammatical errors and typos that imbued the novella. I swear this manuscript was never edited. In most self-published books and even in books published by small to medium presses, I generally do not have a problem overlooking a few errors. It is virtually impossible to get out every single one… you can find typos in books from major authors and publishing houses too. With that said, I could not keep continually overlooking the abundance of issues in this. It was too distracting.

I’m not trying to by hyper-critical. In fact, if I didn’t like the story, I wouldn’t have bothered putting these words on the page. I would have chalked it up to another disappointing failure. But, I did genuinely like this story. For only .99 it isn’t bad. However, Albrect has such a potentially beautiful story here. I wish she would take the time to develop it into a full-fledged (edited) novel.

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It’s about the Journey

This blog has always been about my journey as a writer. So, that’s specifically what this entry is going to be about. I’ve grown as a writer tremendously over the last few years and I’m starting to see the products of that growth. I’m about to start my thesis course for my Creative Writing degree and my first novel, Summer Blood, is out and is selling, albeit slowly. Now, I’m journeying into the next realm of being an independent author – promotions.

I’m learning a few things, and the first is that books will not sell without promotions. OK – honestly, I knew that going into it, but now I’m neck-deep and trying to figure it all out. I have some of it figured out, but not all of it. I’m particularly struggling with, how to get reviews. Without reviews, people may not want to buy the book even as a .99 kindle. There are millions of bloggers, and they are ALL inundated with books to read and blog about. I’m sure this is true because my own reading list is a mile long. However, I still need those reviews. Many readers will read the book, but it is a lot of trouble to go back and write a review, especially when they’re really only interested in the next book they’re going to read. So, I’m still smashing this one around, but seriously, if you read a book you really like, leave a review on Amazon, Smashwords or Goodreads or B&N or wherever, because it is really important. If you are a writer it is especially important for you to do this… that way maybe someone else will leave you a review… You know the old Karma thing?!?

So, the book is out there and I’m getting my promotions on track, and I’m working on the sequel and next week starts my thesis (which I think is another novel). It’s a struggle, but the progress is going in the right direction, and the journey has been fun! In fact, the journey is the best part: writing, learning, growing, enjoying the story and the characters… all of it!

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4839007.Sherri_Jordan_Asble

http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Blood-Desolate-Incubus-ebook/dp/B00EH1WLHS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1379357414&sr=1-1&keywords=summer+blood

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sequel secrets…

I learned a new secret today… sequels pack a punch. I’m hearing that when an author releases a sequel to a book, the two books feed off each other and you get more readers. It also seems that if you release these sequels back to back, the effects are exponential.  I’m seeing his more and more.  So, I’m learning how important it is to tell the story in multiple editions.

I’m planning on releasing the sequel to my first novel as soon as possible; however, I have thought of something else I can do. I think this is because I have a really hard time doing things the “normal” way. I beat to my own drum (yes, I said that) and it runs in my family and in my friends. So, after the first sequel, I’m going to release prequels. Actually, it will be a book of several prequel novellas. I think it packs a different sort of punch. So, if my readers like my characters and want to know more about their history and how they got to where they are in my novel, they should love the prequels. It will be a fun way to keep the story going, and keeping the story going is the name of the game!

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