Tag Archives: Harlequin Digital First

Where Do You Come Up With Your Story Ideas? Everywhere!

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People always wonder how authors come up with their story ideas. Sometimes even the smallest of things can spark an idea and over time that idea kindles into a flame.

Like how I worked KINDLE in there?

I keep an idea file marked…wait for it… NOVEL IDEAS. Every time I run across news of the weird I print out the page and stick it into the file. Then when it’s time to start percolating on a new story, I sift through to see what strikes my fancy. Maybe that spark will be only enough for a character or a chapter or maybe it will be strong enough to engulf me and conflagrate into an entire novel.

Ideas are everywhere. You just have to open yourself to the possibilities.

I’m always open to new ideas. If you see something you think I might like, send me the link. You can find me on Facebook or Twitter most days. I could use all of the weird warriors I can get to help keep the creative coffers full :D

Want to know how fellow box set mate Neely Powell came up with her idea for Witch’s Awakening? Visit her here Neely Powell Storylines to find out.

In the meantime, my first book, Reap & Repent, releases on Monday in a digital Harlequin E Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Box Set. Get it while it’s hot…and cheap! The box set goes away June 1 in advance of the June 2 single title release.

Here’s the blurb and prologue to get you started.

Reap & Repent Blurb:

Deacon Walker is a burned out loner, whose two hundred years as a reaper have left him empty inside. But when he meets Ruth Scott, a gorgeous shut-in with unusual gifts, he’s forced to set his career complacency aside to train her for a destiny she never knew existed. Soon the two will face the ultimate test: a battle against demons determined to destroy humanity, one soul at a time. 

Prologue from Reap & Repent:

Prologue

 

What does a guy have to do around here to get some service? Deacon Walker marveled as he glared at the undulating queue of grotesque reapers in front of him.  

For all that’s holy, move the hell along already. 

It had been a long week, and it wasn’t over yet. He needed to make at least one more pass through the hospital circuit before he could call it a day. He could already feel the tug of a freshly departed soul. Again. People were dropping like flies lately. 

He massaged his brow, trying to soothe his exhausted patience as the line inched forward at a snail’s pace. 

He was worn thin. Over the past few weeks, three demon soul poachers had popped up in his fair city of Meridian like poisonous mushrooms after a hard rain. While it wasn’t unheard of for one to slip out from Hell every now and then, three was a nightmare. 

When it got topside, a demon’s M.O. was to steal a human body, poach a few souls from the dead and dying, and then make its merry way back to Hell, taking its host’s soul along for the ride. The only way to save the souls a poacher was carrying was to behead the host with a scythe. Not a pretty thing to do, but the poor suckers were too far gone by then to survive anyway. No human could withstand the pressures of being ridden by a demon. And it was worth it to save a handful of souls, not to mention inconveniencing the demon. 

Deacon refused to lose any souls from his territory. At all. 

So far the score was Deacon, 3. Demons, 0. 

As a reaper, carrying souls to Purgatory for judgment was his job and he wasn’t about to cede his territory to poachers who used up their hosts like they were disposable Tupperware. So now, in addition to his normal day job, he also had to keep an eye out for more demon invaders. 

While demons burned through most human hosts in a matter of days, some in a matter of hours, they had discovered long ago that under the right circumstances they could ride a reaper. Of course, they couldn’t just worm their way in like they did with humans—they had to be invited. But once a deal was struck? They were in. 

And reapers? Yeah, they could hang on for decades inside a reaper. Deacon knew that fact firsthand. 

His stomach twisted at the thought, but he shook it off, looking ahead with a heavy sigh. 

Seriously, this line? Still. Not. Moving? 

God, he needed a freakin’ vacation. Extended. He dragged a hand through his hair in frustration as his mind flipped through postcard-esque locations of reapings past. He snarled at the thought of New Orleans in summer. He would definitely want to go someplace cool—cool as in frigid, not hip. He was sick of the heat, and it was only the beginning of summer in the semitropical Midwest. 

Come to think of it, he was sick of a lot of things. 

This place was high on the list. It was as hot as…well, Hell actually. Or at least what he imagined Hell to be, although he’d never actually been there. Thank God. 

Steam rose from random cracks in the stone floor of the underground station, veiling the place in a humid sulfur stench.

 He pushed forward, finally making his way to the front to deposit his cargo of souls. He didn’t bother chatting. In. Out. Move on. It was a motto that served him well.

 Mission completed, he hustled through the crowd, forgoing the bar-side frivolity of some of the more socially inclined reapers and their small talk about their glory days in the field or—even better—the missteps of the newest reapers. Newbies often tested their limits to humorous if not disastrous effect at least once in their early careers. That was exactly why new reapers had mentors or at least worked in teams. From all the laughter, he could tell that the stories were good ones. It didn’t tempt him.

 He slapped his palm against the black granite monolith and flashed out of Purgatory to what he prayed was his last stop of the day.

###

 

Want more?

BOX SET BUY LINKS:

AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1gF6Q98

B&N: http://bit.ly/1gz4x7M

KOBO: http://bit.ly/1cSZBam

ITUNES: http://bit.ly/1njOngj

Harlequin: http://bit.ly/1gf0Cbs

Reap & Repent Back Cover Copy

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Ooooh, look how shiny it is! These are the four covers for the box set but Harlequin also just sent the back cover copy for Reap & Repent. It’s beginning to look all official and book-like. How awesome is that?

March 3, people. It’s coming!

BACK COVER COPY:

They see death. Can they share a life?

Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.

Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.

A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound powers.

PRE-ORDER now for the best price AND receive three other great urban fantasy/paranormal romance stories.

AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1gF6Q98
B&N: http://bit.ly/1gz4x7M
KOBO: http://bit.ly/1cSZBam
ITUNES: http://bit.ly/1njOngj
HARLEQUIN:  http://bit.ly/1gf0Cbs

Pre-Order Links are LIVE for Reap & Repent

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It’s TIME!

The pre-order links to the Harlequin E Paranormal & Urban Fantasy Box Set featuring Lisa Medley, Misty Simon, Neely Powell & Naomi Bellina are live and ready for you!

Don’t miss out. This box set is only available until June 2 when each work will go live as a solo title.

You can pre-order now and on March 3 the box set will magically appear on your ereader. How awesome is that? Very.

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iTunes

Kobo

Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon etc. after you read. Thanks so much for your support!

 

Reap & Repent Cover Reveal!

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At long last, a first look at the cover of my debut urban fantasy romance, Reap & Repent available March 3.

To say I’m excited would be a vast understatement.

Thanks to everyone for all your support in helping to make this lifelong dream come true.

Reap on.

Harlequin E Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Box Set Releases March 2014

Shivers Box Set 3D

 

At long last, I have a first peek at the box set. It seems surreal but sure enough, there is my book. I am pretty dang excited! I’ll have a cover to reveal soon!

Even more good news as of today, I have an awesome street team in place called Medley’s Marauders who will be helping spread the word about my books.  Go, Team!

If you signed up, GREAT! And thank you!

If you wished you had signed up, fear not. There will be other opportunities coming up.

If you’ve been following my blog you know it’s taken a while to get here. The magical thing is that we ARE here. And I couldn’t have done it without your support.

If you’re new to the blog, here’s the timeline to publication and a snapshot of how it went down.

July 15, 2011 Started Reap & Repent

January 2012 Finished Reap & Repent.

August 2012 Started Reap & Redeem.

September 2012 Entered the first 5,000 words of Reap & Repent (then titled Reap ‘Em & Weep) into Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write Contest against more than 700 global entries.

October 2012 Was selected for the Top 28 in Harlequin’s SYTYCW Contest.

November 2012 Lost contest.

December 2012 Sadness ensued.

January 2013 Finished Reap & Redeem.

January 2013 Received the Harlequin CALL from Toronto and a contract for Reap & Repent in their new Harlequin Digital First imprint now called Harlequin E thanks to an angel editor named Mary-Theresa Hussey at Harlequin who had forward my book to them.

June 2013 Started Reap & Reveal.

June 2013 Signed the contract for Reap & Redeem & Reap & Reveal.

December 2013 Finished Reap & Reveal.

December 2013 Started Haunt My Heart.

March 2013 Reap & Repent is PUBLISHED.

In between all of that was editing. Lots and lots of editing.

Some days I just can’t believe how lucky I am.  My hope is that one day I can actually make a living a this gig.

The seeds have been sown. Let’s reap.

 

 

Reaping What We Sow: Join Medley’s Marauders Street Team

Do you enjoy reading about monsters in love? Do you like your romance to bloom while your hero and heroine are fighting against the things that go bump in the night? Join my street team, “Medley’s Marauders”, and you could receive ARCs  (advance reading copies – means you read for free!) and earn prizes just for reading, writing reviews and spreading the word about my books and upcoming events.

Team member duties:

  • Reading my books and then writing and posting reviews of my paranormal romance/urban fantasy works on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Harlequin. (Don’t worry if you’re new to reviewing. I’ll send you a ‘How To’ tip sheet!)
  • Tweeting
  • Sharing and posting on your Facebook
  • Other creative ways that you devise to spread the word

Benefits include:

  • Author review copies of my new releases
  • ARCs of backlisted books on occasion (when I HAVE a backlist, ha!)
  • Opportunity to win gift certificates to Amazon (a points-based system)
  • Special monthly prize drawings for gift certificates
  • Extra entries in ALL contests I run on my blog

Qualifications:

  • Must enjoy reading sometimes steamy romances about sexy heroines and dominant heroes in all sorts of supernatural situations :D
  • Writing and posting reviews of my paranormal/urban fantasy romances
  • Must have a Twitter and Facebook account
  • Other social media connections helpful, but not required.

To apply:

Just fill in the contact form below and say “Sign me up, Lisa!” in the comment box!

Special note: Existing Medley  Marauders will receive 10 points during this promotion for referring a friend who joins the team. (Have your friend follow the instructions above AND mention your name in the body of the email).

The first release will be Reap & Repent, an urban fantasy romance to be released by Harlequin E in a paranormal romance/urban fantasy box set with three other authors in early March. New members who join now will receive an ARC mid February with pre-order buy links so they can post reviews as soon as they finish reading.

Thanks for sharing in the dream! Let’s do this!

P.S. Book reviewers may also contact me on the contact form below or at lisamedleyauthor@gmail.com Reap & Repent should be available on NetGalley soon!

Prepping for a New Year of Writing: Plotting 2014

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I’m working on my third synopsis this weekend in advance of two of our local writing groups’ upcoming events. As I wait for my beta readers to return their feedback on Reap & Reveal before I send it on to Angela, I’m looking ahead to what might be coming next.

I’ve had an idea for a ghost romance rumbling around my brain for a while now. It came to me one night when I was trying to fall asleep and was failing miserably. The bad thing about working late into the night (and sometimes morning) is that often my brain just won’t turn off when I walk away from the keyboard.

The night of the ghost romance idea was the perfect example. I grabbed my iPhone and typed away with my tired thumbs from bed as I expelled the basic elements of the story into the Notes app. It turned out to be a pretty long note! It tried twice to fall to sleep before I had to grab my phone again and add a few more details.

Purged of the mental Post-its, I finally fell asleep. I printed it out a few days later and added to my Novel Ideas folder.

When I pulled it back out Friday night to finally begin fleshing out the story, I got more and more excited about it. Researching the writing of a new novel is a rush. So many possibilities! The hardest part, once the ball is rolling, is reining the thing in.

I ended up with a four-page synopsis I feel really good about :)

Next I moved on to an idea I had for a new Harlequin E Erotic Vacation subgenre. It would definitely be a departure from my other books, and I could only rustle up a one-page synopsis for it. The expected word count is much smaller 15-50K. Right now it feels like it might flesh out to 20-30K. It’s hard to tell until the thing takes flight. 

The third synopsis is for a fourth book in The Reaper Series. I’m tentatively calling it Reap & Reclaim. There were several loose ends and unanswered questions lingering from book three. I’m thinking that all of those Reaper Authority Force reapers, who were coincidentally named after angels, aren’t quite what they appear. It may take a few books to reveal their true origin and mission.

Right now, I keep coming back to Haunt My Heart. It’s my brain squirrel at the moment. Every few minutes I find myself Googling something else dealing with HMH research instead of my Reclaim synopsis. I’m taking it as a sign.

January first is the launch date for #JANO2014. JANO is like NANOWRIMO only sponsored by Sleuths’ Ink and Ozarks Romance Authors, the two bestest writing groups in the Ozarks.

JANO officially begins January 1 but gets a huge push at our 3rd Annual Mega Critique & Write-In. It’s a fun day of writerly fellowship and high word counts.

Anyone can attend. We’ll even feed you lunch!

If you’d like a sneak peak of where I’m headed with Haunt My Heart, you can check out my Pinterest board.

It’s good to be Queen.

 

Book Two is in the Harlequin E Queue

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Book two of the Reaper Series, Reap & Redeem, is all wrapped up, copyedited and on it’s way to Harlequin. Book three, Reap & Reveal, is out to my beta readers and awaiting its turn.

Reap & Reveal is due for submission to my editor Jan. 31 so I have a few more tweaks to make to it before I hit send. Hitting send on book three is just as scary as hitting send was for book one.

Some days I wonder how all of this actually happened. As I was reading through Reveal for the umpteenth time, it seemed like someone else entirely had written it.

Apparently, birthing books is a lot like birthing babies and you pretty much immediately forget all of the pain and discomfort they caused you all those long months the moment they finally appear, fully-formed into your world.

And now I’m ready to do it all again.

The books birthing, not the baby birthing. I’m all good on that front. I don’t feel the desire for a series of real babies.

What I do have is a burning desire for is a BACK LIST. And the only way you get a back list is if you continue to write and publish books.

I’m spending the remainder of December brainstorming and working up synopses (what a weird word that is) for three ideas which have been scurrying around the nether regions of my brain. Plotting a book is a heady thing.

I spent all afternoon last Sunday working on a ghost romance idea. As you can imagine, there are some obstacles to romance to overcome with that idea but it’s fun trying to figure out how to make it happen. I already have a working title, hero/heroine names, settings, and the beginnings of a playlist. And yes, the plot is coming together.

I went to bed at midnight Monday morning and couldn’t turn off my brain. Those characters are already pounding at the door wanting to tell their story.

I think I’ve mentioned that I’ve discovered through the years I am a great STARTER but sometimes have trouble SUSTAINING. With writing, I get to enjoy the best of both of those worlds. Brainstorming new novel ideas feeds my organization and STARTER self while 75-80K seems to be just about the end of my SUSTAINING capacity. If I had to write longer books, I think I’d lose interest before I ever completed them.

Writing a series right out of the gate has been challenging. Keeping ALL of those details straight would be impossible for me without the help of my beta readers and my fantastic editor. I really lucked out when Angela was assigned to me.

The ghost romance will be a standalone book.

Plotting a new book is a lot like working a puzzle without having the picture on the box to look at for guidance. Right now I’m gathering all of the pieces and working the framework. I know it’s say, a picture of birds and flowers, or in this case a ghost romance but the rest is revealed as the writing progresses.

I know what the general picture is going to be but there are lots of details that won’t take shape until much farther into the story. I think that’s what makes writing so exciting.

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It’s true!

I’m trying to resist writing those first lines until I have worked out more of the framework but it’s hard!

I thought I’d take a break but I think, writing something new and different and taking a step back from the reapers for a bit will re-energize me and enable me to see where the reapers are headed next.

Sometimes you have to leave the forest to appreciate the trees.

Reapers Go to ePress March 2014

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Reap & Repent is officially on the Harlequin E publishing calendar. For reals! I have seen it with my very own eyes.

Not only is it on their calendar for a March 2014 release date, but you are going to get THREE MORE great Paranormal/Urban Fantasy titles along with it! That’s right, Harlequin E is releasing Reap & Repent in a four-book box set for $4.99.

Not that you’ll WANT to buy it twice–although I certainly won’t discourage that level of devotion–but Reap & Repent will then have a second release as a standalone title in June. I expect the standalone price to be $3.99.

By the end of 2013, I should have a cover to reveal for book one. Book two, Reap & Redeem, is off to the copyeditor, and I just typed THE END on my first draft of book three, Reap & Reveal.

It’s been a busy month.

I expect book two to come out in another box set in June when the standalone book one releases, then book three in a box set in September with the standalone release of book two.

I can’t even imagine the logistics of launching a new publishing imprint.

If all goes as planned above, I’ll have three books published in 2014.

Part of me wants to sit back and coast for a while, but I don’t think my writing addicted brain will let me. By the time book three is in copyediting, I have a feeling the voices in my head will revolt and demand some action.

Next up is either a ghost story romance (possibly in the Shivers Harlequin E genre) or an Erotic Vacation novella I’ve been incubating for Harlequin E.

Stay tuned.

 

Harlequin So You Think You Can Write 2013 – It’s on like Donkey Kong!

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A year ago today I entered a contest. It was a big one.

The Harlequin So You Think You Can Write contest. More than 700 writers uploaded their first chapters for the world to see. It was exhilarating and terrifying. And ultimately it was the launch pad for my writing career. 

Getting that email from ucanwrite@harlequin that said, “Congratulations!” was the second best moment of my career so far. The first was the call from Malle Vallik in Toronto with Harlequin e and a two book offer :)

The good news is YOU can enter the same contest. The most amazing thing this year is that you are GUARANTEED to have top Harlequin editors reading your first 5,000 words!

This is YOUR year. You have NOTHING TO LOSE and everything to gain.

You still have a few days to polish those manuscripts. And you’ll want to. If you are chosen as a Top 50 entry, the editors will request your full manuscript. Trust me. You don’t want the stress of trying to finish a manuscript under that sort of pressure.

The online conference begins next week. Be there.

Enter.

Make it happen.