Guest Post and Excerpt by Adrianne James
When it comes to being an indie author there are a lot of jobs on our plates. We are the writer (duh), the editor, the marketer, the formatter, the publisher, and the bank. Some indie authors are capable enough to be able to handle every single job alone. For most of us, we have to define our strengths and weaknesses. We have to accept what we are good at and what we need help with. This isn’t always the easiest thing in the world to do.
My first novel I thought that I could do it all. How very wrong I was. I figured that since I didn’t have a lot of money to invest, I should do as much of the work as I could on my own. That’s what being a self published author meant, right? It was expected, right? Wrong. The minute someone hears the term self publish, the author is already at a negative in the typical readers mind. I could write a whole other post on reeducating the public on stereotyping the professionals based on the hobbyists, but I digress. Readers expect an indie title to be spotless. They expect the cover to be amazing. If it is anything but, you better believe that the whole world will hear about it.
Before you hire anyone to do anything, you need to research. Can you write an amazing plot line but have a serious issue with grammar? You need an editor. Do you use paint to throw some words onto a picture you downloaded from some site or another on the web and use it for a cover? You need a cover designer.
When I sat down and really thought about what it would take to make my books a success, I realized that I seriously and absolutely needed to hire an editor. I did my research. I looked at a hundred different editors websites until I found one that was within my price range (I am the bank too after all) that I also felt would be a good fit for me and had the experience to be worth the cost.
I also need help marketing. I have done everything I can to get my book seen by the public. I didn’t do so well. I hire out for my marketing now. I do blog tours and have recently signed on with a publicist.
Was it hard to admit that I’m not superwoman? Absolutely. Ask any of my friends and they will tell you I take on a ton of responsibility both online and off, but I manage to make it all work. With my books? I couldn’t and it drove me nuts. I wanted to keep trying and keep doing different things to try and find something that worked that I could do on my own. I had to realize that asking for help, hiring someone to do a job, isn’t failing at being indie, it’s succeeding.
Just like a good boss knows how to delegate to make a business run, an indie author needs to do the same. After all, when all the pieces to the puzzle are pristine, the picture in the end is absolutely stunning.
Geoff’s grin was too damn cute. Mackenzie hated that it was so damn cute. She couldn’t understand why he had that affect on her. Most of the time, she welcomed it, but dammit, she was supposed to be mad at him.
“You want to talk about what happened earlier?”
“You want to apologize?”
“Me? I don’t think I was the one who did anything wrong. I have told you before, if there is ever going to be you and me, and I really do want there to be, we have to take things slow. I know that your humanity is so recent that a few weeks time seems like forever when your hormones are in overdrive, but really, it’s nothing.”
“Oh, right. I’m the one to blame. I am twenty years old! I’m not a virgin, so why the hell should I have to go back to celibacy because Margret told you to take things slow? Is she in charge of your body? No one sure as hell told me that rule. And it’s not as if I tried to jump your bones right there! I kissed you. I didn’t even use tongue. All you had to do was not push me away. A peck, that’s all it would have been. But keeping up your golden boy routine is so much more important than embarrassing me in front of everyone.”
“Do you really think it would have been just a peck?” Geoff took a giant step forward, coming face to face with her. So close, she could feel the heat radiating off his skin and smell his grassy scent. Every nerve ending was on high alert as his words washed over her. “If you think I could stop with just a peck, you are mistaken.”
“Is that right? All you have ever managed to do was ogle me or hold my hand. Prove me wrong.” Mackenzie spoke with such confidence. She knew she was pushing him, but if it got his lips on hers, she was all for it.
“Mackenzie,” he growled out. His eyes were fierce and the caramel brown color caught the light in such a way that had her transfixed. If she had been able to look anywhere else, she would have seen him wet his lips ever so slightly.
She couldn’t even form words in response, only a growl escaped her. Before she knew what was happening, Geoff had his hands in her hair, gripping tightly as he pulled their bodies together and smashed his lips against hers.
With a racing heart and flaming skin, Mackenzie pressed herself closer to him. Her hands began to explore the contours of his back and found their way under his shirt. She needed to feel his skin on hers. Geoff walked them backwards, never removing his grip on her or his lips from hers, insistent on tasting every inch of her mouth. When the counter dug into her back, she pulled away slightly, just long enough to take a breath and hop up, allowing Geoff the room to stand between her legs and press himself more firmly against her .
Instead of waiting for Geoff to initiate the kiss again, she pulled him in fiercely. The moment his tongue touched the tip of her lip, she opened wide to him. Their tongues tangled together as his hands explored every inch of her body he could reach. Moaning into his mouth, Mackenzie rocked her hips forward, encouraging him. He thrust back into her with every movement. She had never felt as alive as she did in that moment.
Geoff let his lips wander away from hers, kissing along her jaw, nipping the skin over to her ear, suckling her earlobe, and then trailing kisses along her neck. Mackenzie pulled her hands from his back to his chest, running her nails along his skin the whole way. His skin erupted in goose bumps under her touch.
Mackenzie gripped the bottom of his shirt and ripped it from his body, letting the tattered cloth remains drop to the floor. She retreated so she could take in his beauty and was met with a steely glare. Geoff took a deep breath and two steps back, leaving her sitting on the counter breathing heavily in a lust-filled stupor.
“I told you I wouldn’t be able to stop at just a simple kiss. You didn’t believe me. Mackenzie, this cannot happen yet. There are reasons we must wait that I cannot tell you. I’m sorry. You know I want to. God, you know I do. But this cannot happen again. We have to prove to everyone that we are more than just lust-filled Weres.”
“Are you seriously telling me you have never had sex? Not once?” She couldn’t believe they were having the conversation. He was two hundred and forty years old, for crying out loud. And a man!
“Of course, I have, but I was mated. She died in one of the pack wars.” Instantly feeling like a jackass, Mackenzie hopped off the counter and went straight to him. Placing her hands on his chest and looking up into his eyes, she could tell that he was telling her the truth. Why would he lie about that?
“Oh, Geoff. I didn’t know. Why didn’t you tell me? How long has it been?” Mackenzie realized that everything made sense. His standoffishness, his ridiculous no touching rules, his fear of commitment.
“It was a long time ago. Henrietta died over a hundred years ago.”
“That is a long time. So no sex in a hundred years?” Geoff gave her a little laugh before removing her hands from him and walking to the refrigerator.
“Not with another Werewolf. I am a male, Mack. Human or not, we do need something more often than once a century.” Instantly irritated again, she huffed. So it wasn’t the act that was out, it was the act with someone he actually had a future with.
“Uh huh. So while I am waiting around, if you get horny, you just go out and find some human girl? What about me, huh? What if I get an itch I need scratched? Do I get to go out, too?” Mackenzie could see his entire body stiffen. He didn’t like that one bit, but she honestly didn’t care.
“As much as I don’t like it, if we are not dating, I have no say in what or who you do, now do I?” Taking the milk from the fridge and drinking directly from the jug before putting it back, he turned to her again and said, “You know that I think we could be good together. It’s up to you if you want to wait for me or not.”
Mackenzie stood there and watched him walk out the door.
The Mackenzie Duncan Series
Genre: NA Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Star Bound Books
Date of Publication: 9/13/2013
Cover Artist: Gonet Design
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The Mythology department at prestigious Harvard University is tiny—and Mackenzie Duncan has just been selected as one of the lucky few. Her love for myths and legends is deep, but she never thought any of it could be real.
After being attacked by a large wolf while walking home alone, Mackenzie realizes something is not right. She heals quickly, has suddenly become super strong, and is experiencing mood swings that can't possibly be normal. The myths she's studying aren't myths at all. Werewolves are real, and she's one of them. Fear of what she is, and who she might hurt sends Mackenzie running from the life she’s worked hard to build–and straight into the arms of a handsome Were named Geoff and into the home of his pack. Living with her new pack takes the edge off her confusion and self-loathing, but the arrival of new pack members changes the dynamic, and tests Geoff and Mackenzie’s growing relationship.
The hardest part of being a werewolf is to have no control and no memory of her time as a bloodthirsty beast. When a moon cycle passes, and she is actually able to remember bits and pieces of the night, she starts to ask questions, and the more questions she asks, the more she realizes she doesn’t like the answers. Can she set aside her own sense of morals to belong to a pack that is like a family or will she leave everything behind yet again in search of a life she can be proud of?
About the Author:
Growing up, Adrianne couldn't get her hands on enough books to satisfy her need for the make believe. If she finished a novel and didn't have a new one ready and waiting for her, she began to create her own tales of magic and wonder. Now, as an adult, books still make up majority of her free time, and now her tales get written down to be shared with the world.
During the day, Adrianne uses her camera to capture life's stories for clients of all ages and at night, after her two children are tucked in bed; she devotes herself to her written work. Adrianne is living the life she always wanted, surrounded by art and beauty, the written word and a loving family.
As a young adult and new adult author, Adrianne James has plans to bring stories of growing characters, a little romance, and perhaps a little magic and mythology down the line for her readers to enjoy.