Saturday, October 25, 2014

Cover Reveal - Bear Creek Road by L.C. Morgan

It is my pleasure to participate in this cover reveal. I consider L.C. a dear and close friend and am so excited for this opportunity. 

Without further ado, I present Bear Creek Road.

Sometimes losing yourself leads right to the place you were looking for ...


Secluded and quiet is exactly what Laney Walker is looking for when she decides to pack up and move across the country. It's what she wants, what she thinks she needs—until she meets Joe Boone.

Contracted to replace the plumbing along the property, Joe is first to arrive and last to leave. And to Laney's surprising disappointment, he never has much to say.

But the more Joe comes around, the more she learns about him and soon finds the man is as flawed as the house he's fixing.

A fact that only seems to draw her closer to him.


The cabin was dark and gloomy in the moonlight, its stairs even squeakier than mine. I slowly followed him up them, waiting until he flipped on the light before stepping inside.

The decorum was what I would have expected—nonexistent. A plain brown couch was pressed up against the bare wood wall, a boxed-out TV sitting on a makeshift stand on the opposite wall with a set of rabbit ears on top. There were no curtains or throw pillows. No rugs, no runner on the tiny dining room table. But it was clean, and it was cool, and it smelled like him.

My eyes fluttered closed as I breathed him in, the scent so overwhelming I felt myself sway. When I opened them again, he was gone.

Glancing from side to side, I stepped further inside and peeked down the hallway, finding a bright light shining from an open door. I hesitantly started for it, smiling when I saw it was the bathroom. A towel and washcloth had been left out o n the counter by the sink. I moved inside and closed the door, feeling around and then reaching up to find no lock.

“Okay …” I mumbled to myself, turning back to the tub and twisting the handles until the temperature was perfect. Glancing back at the door, I quickly stripped out of my clothes, jumped inside and pulled the curtain shut behind me.

The water was searing in the best sort of way, steaming up the room and loosening my sore muscles from a day of angry weed pulling. I could have stood under the hot spray all night, just basking in the forceful water pressure. This shower was so much better than Mona’s.

Dipping my head back, I closed my eyes to wet my hair, hurriedly wiping the water from my face when I felt a brush of cool air against my legs.

My heart pounded, thinking it was Joe, but it was only the air from the furnace blowing the shower curtain. I couldn’t imagine what I would have done if it had been him. The fact that I wanted to find out had me washing off a little quicker. I didn’t know if I was ready for him to see me naked.

I dried off and got dressed as close as I could to the door in order to avoid that accident waiting to happen. If he did ever end up seeing me naked, I wanted to be prepared and not look like a drowned cat if I could help it.
When I emerged from the bathroom, he was coming down the hallway, shirtless and with the button of his pants undone. I swallowed, unable to take my eyes off his zipper until he reached out for my towel.

“Mind if I use that?”

“Uh, yeah.” I handed it over. “I mean, not unless you do.”

“Nope.” He slid past me and into the bathroom, setting my bag out in the hallway before cracking the door. I stood outside of it while I listened to him adjust the curtain and turn on the shower, trying to decide if I should just take off or not. I was getting ready to knock and tell him I was leaving when the water suddenly shut off, the shower curtain screeched and the door opened to reveal a mess of towel-dried brown hair and a shiny, wet chest.


L. C. Morgan resides with her husband on the outskirts of a small town in the heart of it all. A lover of many things, she puts family first and diet Coke second. When not working she can be found spoiling her new nephew with lots of love and kisses while awaiting her own little bundle of joy or at home, face shoved in her Kindle, fingers typing away to free the words from her head. She writes them for you and hopes you enjoy them as much as she enjoys yours.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Reviews: some glow prettily while others are simply ...

Yesterday, I read an in-depth article by a fellow author who chronicled her journey about a bad review her book received on a popular reading site. This post is not to re-hash that author's words or to even respond negatively or positively about what she expressed.

All our lives, we've been assessed. The first slap a newborn receives is a quasi-assessment that will not end until death. Everywhere we turn someone somewhere is critiquing us, testing us, judging us, reviewing us. It's the way of the way and I don't see it changing anytime soon.

As a newbie whose book will not be released until the beginning of  2015, I am bracing myself for the reviews. Be they few or many, be they wonderful or *gulps* disparaging. Before I began on this particular path, I was on another writing platform where I shared, under a pen name, my creative works for free. As such, there were those who could read and/or review if they chose to do so.

And they did.

Some were kind and encouraging. Others used expletives regarding my talent, and I believe a few told me that my parents should have aborted me. *shakes head* Admittedly at the time, I sometimes didn't handle the situations correctly. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, I'd lament on my Facebook statuses about the difference between a review that could help an author improve and those that were simply based in hatred. Other times, I blasted the faceless, nameless reviewers calling them cowardly (since many times they were identified as 'Guests') and begging them if I sucked so hard, if my words bothered them so deeply, for them to stop reading.

They didn't.

And they also didn't stop reviewing.

As I look to 2015, I'm glad (who knew I would one day say or write that?) to have been apart of a community like that. It taught me a few things, the paramount being: an author should not engage in any reviews. Some, the really really ugly, painful reviews cut to the quick. I will admit that. Authors have, figuratively, birthed a child and that child enters the ugly, brutal world to face on its own. It's hard for any parent to see their child suffer and not become the overly protective Mama Bear.

Here is where I will hold up this sign (actually, I'm waving it like a lunatic):

Please know I'm not judging the author who chooses to respond to negative criticisms. That is his or her choice. What I am suggesting is: tread carefully. Tread very, very carefully, my fellow authors.

Do you write reviews on books you've read, if so, let's talk. Are you an author, do you read your reviews, why or why not?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Giveaways, Freebies, and Much More!

Do you like winning while supporting indie authors?

How about receiving valuable e-store gift cards to help with your one-click addiction?

Swags from (new to you) authors?

I know I do. I often just share the giveaways that I run across from my personal timeline to my Facebook page. But this morning, I'll list for you the current giveaways. Please check the end dates. By no means is this blog post implying the below links are the only current giveaways or is an exhaustive listing of giveaways.

**Allyn Lesley is not responsible for any of the gifts/prizes/rafflecopters outside of those I've personally donated to. I am simply sharing information.**

Click below:

I am Reader  $50 Book Blast Giveaway - Where There is Love by Mya O'Malley.
Author Emily Krat's 1000 Likes Giveaway.
The Rockstar of Romance $50 gift card from Jay McLean. $500 cash giveaway and much more.
Aestas Book Blog Signed giveaway of Burying Water by KA Tucker.
Julie's Book Review $100 gift card from Amazon and more!
Autor Kathy-Jo Reinhart is offering the first book in her Oakville series for FREE only on 10/13/2014.
101 Ways to Make Love to a Spoon is offering you a chance to win an ebook copy of Havoc by Xavier Neal.
The Fairest of All is offering a giveway (with a peek at a trailer). 100% of the proceeds benefit St. Jude Children's Hospital.
Beth Rinyu $5 Amazon gift card --- FLASH giveaway.
$15 Amazon gift card and swag pack from Author Amity Cross.
BCS Reviews blog tour giveaway featuring Author Barbie Bohrman - Kindle Paperwhite and $50 Amazon gift card.
A.K. Michael's Sabrina's Vampire ebook is free.
Kris & Vik Book Therapy Cafe is featuring a variety of giveaways promoting blitz tours, blog tours, release blitzes, and much more!
Author J.S. Scott's Mine for Tonight: Book One - The Billionaire's Obsession ebook is free.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Problem with Stock Photos


Seriously, this will be a short post. Well, I hope it'll be short.

My trial subscription to a stock photo site ends soon. I'm scrambling to download some free pictures to use on my blog and for upcoming teasers for future novels. But my choices are limited. I mean really limited. Picture after picture reveals I know I've either seen the half-naked male model and hunky dude before. Either on a teaser or on a book cover. Picture after picture, I know I've seen that same female model before.

What is an author to do?

How can I, a newbie with a work-in-progress novel slated for release soon, enter the promotion market with the same pictures readers have seen before? It is super frustrating. Then, there's another head-scratcher (yeah, I made up that word). At least one that affects my first novel which will feature an interracial couple.

Where are my people of color?

Where are those men and women who are not cocked up seductively or in weird poses that I  (well, not me, but my hubby who's my Creative Director) can use in trailers or on teasers?

Maybe it's not the site I should yell at; maybe it's the photographers I need to scold. I don't know who's to blame but I know for sure romance, which is the genre I write, happens to all people of various shades, sizes, and genders. I just want the photo stock sites to realize this and offer a potential client, like myself, more to choose from.

I know that some of my contemporaries have contracted photographers and models to differentiate their book covers as well as teasers. That may be the option I go with next novel because seriously right now it's looking real bleak.

Your thoughts?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Join Allyn's Circle of Friends

Is it too Much?

This will be short and sweet.

Earlier this morning, I was part of a thread on Facebook where a reader was lamenting about the cost of an e-book that had under seventy pages. Don't blink. You read that correctly. 

Seven. Zero. 

Less than 70. Of course, readers chimed in and offered their opinion and outrage. I mean the author wanted over ten dollars for this less than seventy page product. Yes, that too you read correctly. 

Ten. Zero. Zero. 

More aptly, $10.99 and that is before the lovely Amazon charges the tax. $10.99 for a book with less than 70 pages. *insert side eye here*. Excuse me while I take a moment to myself. Go on ahead and do the same.

At first I shared my views how a Word document re-formatted via CreateSpace condenses an author's page count and encouraged those on the thread to look at word count. But as I drove to work I got riled up. Everywhere we go, our budgets are being squeezed. Gas price is up ... too damn high if you ask me. The cost of food is way up. Have you seen how much even the supposedly cheapest chain store wants for milk?  

This is how my piggy bank feels.

On all sides and by everything, the few dollars earned at my 9-to-5 is being sucker punched by this thing called life. It's to be expected because I need gas to drive to go to work and hell, I sure do need to eat.

I read for pleasure, to get away from my daily life. When the cost of my hobbies start to make me wonder at my continued support, something is wrong. As a budding author, I know that the price of our books are out of our hands especially when one is signed to a publishing house. But what about those self-publishing authors who price their books so high a reader, unfamiliar with the author's work, wonders what he or she is really getting?

Granted an author can choose to do whatsoever he or she pleases. They wrote the book. They poured, hopefully, hours and hours over the correct word choice. They've developed a riveting story with plot twists that'll have readers guessing. At the end, the author should know the quality of their work and the potential enjoyment a reader may get at the very end. However, I encourage all authors this one thing: remember the day when you were just a reader ... when you were excited it was pay day and you got the chance to visit the local bookstore. Remember that day? Remember how you knew beforehand you could only spend a certain dollar amount on books? 

For the love of all that is good, and the fact that authors need readers, please don't price yourself out of being included on a reader's e-reader. Be smart. Don't overcharge yet don't undersell your product either. It's a balance. It's probably a hard decision to price your creativity. But please charge me and the other readers what your book is realistically worth and if an author is considering to charge an extraordinary price, ensure the end (the cost) is justified.

Just my two cents. What's yours?