Thursday teaser: A Snake in Paradise

Share

Read on to learn how you can get one of three e-copies of A Snake in Paradise

By Eden Baylee

Curled in a fetal position in the center of a king-sized bed, a woman trembled as emotions bubbled inside her chest. An intricate array of lines covered her back and danced atop her skin each time she breathed. She pursed her lips to take in short, shallow gulps of air, fearful that her own tears might choke her.

Don’t trust the silence, not yet. Keep quiet.

The cool air of the room settled into her like rot, and she was thankful to have her nakedness covered. The only real clue to her fear was an imperceptible twitching of her thighs.

A hunger pang gurgled in her stomach. She stiffened. Too afraid to reposition her head, she had use of only one ear while the other pressed painfully into the mattress. It was folded over, and it hurt with a continuous thrumming.  The exposed ear pricked up each time footsteps and voices passed by her door. The noise grew and then faded, coming at her in waves between the silence.

She inched her right arm away from her to alleviate the numbness. The immediate relief felt like a victory. She wiggled her fingers and toes, clenched her thighs and butt.

Is this how it feels to be in shock? When the body disconnects until the brain commands the limb to move?

Seconds ticked by, maybe minutes, and then some unknown cue told her enough time had passed. She whispered, “Hello?” and braced herself for a response but heard nothing.

She said it again, louder this time, waited.

Silence.

Her breathing heightened.

“Are you there?”

Nothing.

Again, even louder.

“Are you there … you bastard?”

Nothing.

She let out a long breath and rolled onto her back, stayed still a few seconds until the glow of her folded ear subsided and she regained stereo.

She raised her arms, bound at the wrists, and bent them backward to throw the sheet off her. With some effort, she pushed herself into a sitting position and looked around. The blackout drapes were drawn, the room dark except for a streak of light coming from beneath the closed washroom door. She heard the ocean and wake-up call of birds, signaling morning.  It meant she had been unconscious for the past ten to twelve hours. With some effort, she untied the rope binding her ankles. Freeing her hands was going to be trickier.

In the room, everything appeared the way she remembered it—only now, he was gone.

About A Snake in Paradise

Lainey Lee has always dreamed of going to Hawaii. It should have been her honeymoon trip, only it never happened. Now, in a poetic twist of fate, she is making the journey twenty-seven years later—following a messy divorce.

Once on the Big Island, Lainey discovers paradise, but white sand beaches and blue skies are not all Hawaii has to offer. She soon meets Julian, a mysterious stranger ten years her junior. They share an instant connection.

Lainey is eager to shed the fears that trapped her in a loveless marriage, but is Julian a tempting distraction, a new beginning, or a snake in paradise?

Eden Baylee will give a copy of A Snake in Paradise to three commenters.

About the author

Eden Baylee left a twenty-year banking career to write and is now a full-time author of multiple genres. She has written three collections of erotic novellas and flash fiction.

In 2014, she launched the first novel of her trilogy with Dr. Kate Hampton—a psychological mystery/suspense called Stranger at Sunset. In addition to working on her next novel, Eden created Lainey Lee for the Lei Crime Series, a feisty divorcée who finds adventure and romance in Hawaii. Her novellas are available on Kindle Worlds.

An introvert by nature and an extrovert by design, Eden is most comfortable at home with her laptop surrounded by books. She is an online Scrabble junkie and a social media enthusiast, but she really needs to get out more often! Connect to her via all her networks. She loves talking to readers!

Eden can be found on

her Website   |    Facebook   |   Twitter   |   LinkedIn   |    Amazon

 

 

Share

3 BestSelling authors launch summer titles

Share

Three member authors of BestSelling reads are launching new titles in the acclaimed and bestselling Lei Crime Kindle World.

Charade at SeaCharade at Sea

By Eden Baylee

A luxury cruise is ideal for a budding romance … or is it?

Lainey Lee and ex-Navy SEAL, Max Scott, shared an incredible experience when they met in Kauai. A romantic cruise around the Hawaiian Islands seems perfect for discovering if they can become more than just friends.

But mystery abounds.

Lainey meets a fifty-something newlywed on her honeymoon. The chatty woman speaks highly of her husband and his secret missions abroad. Lainey is intrigued but her intuition tells her something is not right.

Even while her feelings for Max grow, Lainey can’t help wondering about the charade being played at sea.

Dead Man Lying - 529x800Dead Man Lying

By Scott Bury

FBI Special Agent Vanessa Storm is back on Maui to catch a killer. 

With lush rain forests, black sand beaches, and a laid-back lifestyle, Maui offers the perfect retirement location for once-famous country singer Steven Sangster … until he ends up dead.

As the killer, or killers, strike again and again, Detective Lei Texeira and FBI Special Agent Vanessa Storm must untangle the lies spun by the singer’s associates, friends, family — and the singer himself before the music dies.

SC 4 TMITTreachery Makes it Tense (Shadow Council Book 4)

By Julie Gilbert

When a vanquished foe resurfaces with vengeance on his mind …

Special Agent Marcella Scott expects the danger to fall to her. She does not expect her FBI partner’s entire family to disappear.

Cassandra Mirren witnesses her boss’s murder and gets drawn into a deadly game. Now, she has a choice—either work with Agent Scott or betray her.

Both women are about to find out that treachery makes it tense.

The Lei Crime Kindle World

All three, plus 12 more being launched today, are based on the Lei Crime series created by BSR founding member Toby Neal.

Share

Monday Musings: Authors who work together are better for readers

Share

by Scott Bury

I was struck recently with the realization that I collaborate and cooperate with a lot of other authors in a lot of different ways. BestSelling Reads is just one example, where I feel privileged to work with very fine authors in cross-promotional efforts.

I also participate in another group called Independent Authors International, which is about supporting each other in producing books professionally.

And I am also struck by the number of BestSelling Reads members who collaborate in another way: through Kindle Worlds.

NightbirdKindle Worlds is an Amazon initiative where authors write new works based on the characters and settings of bestselling authors. Toby Neal, for example, has a Lei Crime Kindle World. I have written two short works  in this world, as has Eden Baylee, and Emily Kimelman has written one. New member Julie Gilbert has written four! Toby Neal, for her part, has written a novella, Nightbird, in (non-BestSelling Reads member) Russell Blake’s Jet Kindle World. And Emily’s Sydney Rye Kindle World will launch in mid-March—and I will contribute a new book to it, The Wife Line.

What’s in it for you?

Kindle Worlds are designed to benefit both authors and readers. The originators of the Kindle Worlds, authors like Toby Neal, Russell wdemilykimelmanBlake and Emily Kimelman, get a portion of the royalties from the sales of the books by other writers in their “worlds.” The authors of the contributed works get some of the proceeds from the sales, as well as exposure to the wider audiences, the fans of the characters and situations created by the Neals, Blakes and Kimelmans.

And readers get more of the characters they love, the characters and stories they clamour for.

Authors’ cooperative groups like BestSelling Reads have similar benefits for readers. If you’ve followed one of your favourite authors to this blog, someone like Sydney Landon or Samreen Ahsan, Frederick Lee Brooke or Raine Thomas, Gae-Lynn Woods or Kathleen Valentine, here you have an opportunity to find others in the same genre.

Or you can explore other kinds of writing, from romance to spy thrillers, mystery to paranormal fictA Snake in Paradise_edenbayleeion, high fantasy to contemporary literature.

While the member authors of BestSelling Reads are a diverse bunch, there are two things they have in common: professionalism and dedication to their readers.

Because we all value our relationship with our readers, we hold each other to a high standard. All members of BSR are recommended by other members as writers who are or have been bestsellers, but more importantly, uphold that standard of professionalism. We use professional editors and proofreaders and cover designers.

In other words, the writers who are members of BestSelling Reads, whether independently published or represented by the biggest publishing companies in the world, are dedicated to bringing the best possible reading to our readers: interesting, engaging, well-written, polished and professionally packaged.

These are the elements that can make or break a reader’s experience with a book. That’s why BestSelling Reads member take them so seriously.

What should readers do?

Readers are great at recommending their favourite authors to other readers. So this is what I would like all readers of this blog to do: share it.JetWBottomImage

Tell other readers about BestSelling Reads, who your favourite member author is, what books you like, and the other great reads you’ve discovered here.

Authors working together produce better books for readers. And readers working together help readers find better books.

 

Share

Win-a-Book Wednesday: Stranger at Sunset

Share

By Eden Baylee

sas_kindle
Today, you could win one of two free e-copies of Eden Baylee’s Stranger at Sunset, just by answering this simple question:

In which country does this story take place?

We’ll choose two winners from correct answers in the Comments section, below.

About Stranger at Sunset

“One of the most inventive murders I have ever come across in years of reading crime fiction … it will send a particularly icy chill up the spines of male readers.” – Crime Fiction Lover

Dr. Kate Hampton, a respected psychiatrist, gathers with a group of strangers at her favorite travel spot in Jamaica.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the luxury resort is struggling due to a scathing review from travel critic, Matthew Kane. The owners have invited him back with hopes he will pen a more favorable review to restore their reputation.

Even though Kate is haunted by her own demons, she feels compelled to help. Can she uncover the motivation for the writer’s bitter review? In a battle of wits and psychological twists, terrible secrets will be revealed.

Stranger at Sunset is a slow-burning mystery/suspense that will keep you guessing to the end.

About the author

eden at benmcnallyEden Baylee left a twenty-year banking career to write and is now a full-time author of multiple genres. She has written three collections of erotic novellas and flash fiction—Spring into Summer, Fall into Winter, and Hot Flash, along with contributing to the anthologies: Allegories of the Tarot, Indie Authors Naked, and Triptychs.

In 2014, she launched the first novel of her trilogy with Dr. Kate Hampton—a psychological mystery/suspense called Stranger at Sunset. In addition to working on her next novel, Eden created Lainey Lee for the Lei Crime Series, a feisty divorcée who finds adventure and romance in Hawaii. Her novellas for the series—A Snake in Paradise and SEAL of a Monk can be found on Kindle Worlds.

An introvert by nature and an extrovert by design, Eden is most comfortable at home with her laptop surrounded by books. She is an online Scrabble junkie and a social media enthusiast, but she really needs to get out more often! Connect to her via all her networks. She loves talking to readers! 

Sign up to get news of new releases, contests, and giveaways here

Visit her

 

 

Share

Monday Musings: Three Tips for Writing Memorable Characters

Share

When it comes to characters, I like to interact with mine. It helps me get to know them better before I write them into my stories. Sometimes, I become my protagonist and develop entire scenes and chapters in my head.

It may be one of the insanities of being a writer that we create imaginary friends and allow them to speak to us. We instinctively breathe life into our characters by getting to know them as intimately as some of our real-life friends. Because characters grow through the pages and expose the events of a story, the more vividly we describe them, the more readers are able to connect to them.

So … how do we create these memorable characters?

James bond

James Bond

Here is what works for me. Most of my characters, if not all of them are based on people I have met. Some are friends, some acquaintances, and some I’ve met only virtually. Yet, they have one quality in common—uniqueness, or in other words, something that makes others curious about them.

Remember the last time you attended a wedding, dinner party, or some other social function? Who made an impression on you, and why? Did the person have an interesting profession or hobby? A facial tic? An annoying pattern of speech? Whatever the trait, good or bad, it is this oddity that makes a character memorable in fiction.

Whether we know it or not, we incorporate the personalities of real people into our stories anyway, but when we take the time to consciously look for unique traits, we heighten our awareness of characteristics we find interesting. This insight improves our characters’ profiles, and because they are based on real people, it lends an air of realism to them too.

edward scissorhands

Edward Scissorhands

It’s important to pay attention to these oddities since basing characters on established stereotypes robs them of originality. Stereotypes are like clichéd phrases. As they become repetitive and weary over time from overuse, they tend to drag down our prose.

How original is the dumb blonde, the cheating, alcoholic ex-husband, the womanizing bad boy? You know these characters because you’ve read or seen them on television—over and over again. They’ve become predictable.

In real life, we like to meet unique, interesting people. This is the same in fiction, so if you want your characters to be memorable, give them traits that are unique. It’s okay to exaggerate eccentricities so long as you can explain them during the course of the story. In real life, people are unbalanced and inconsistent, but stories have a finite timeline. If you highlight a peculiarity about a character, make sure you expound on the reason for it.

thelma and louise

Thelma and Louise

Here are three simple tips to remember:

1) Show us your characters by their actions. Your characters can be witty and spout interesting philosophies, but in the end, they are what they do. We judge people by their actions, so make them DO STUFF. This will allow readers to discover each character’s motivations as well.

2) Take your characters “out of character.” This goes back to eccentricities. Imbue them with contradictions. Just remember to explain these within the narrative.

3) Give them quirks, tics, and other oddities. Not every character needs to be peculiar, but use these distinguishing features to allow readers to tell your characters apart.

So … go ahead and write about the raven-haired beauty who’s smart as a whip but was born a blonde, the husband who cheated but refused to divorce his wife, the bad boy who loved women but had no clue how to get a date.

The next time you interact with someone, whether in person or not, keep an open mind for weird idiosyncrasies. If you write these well into your characters, your reader will follow them through suffering and celebration, love and heartbreak—every hurdle you throw their way. And your unique characters will stay in their memories long after they’ve finished reading your book.

~ eden

About the author

eden at benmcnallyEden Baylee left a twenty-year banking career to write and is now a full-time author of multiple genres. She has written three collections of erotic novellas and flash fiction—Spring into Summer, Fall into Winter, and Hot Flash, along with contributing to the anthologies: Allegories of the Tarot, Indie Authors Naked, and Triptychs.

In 2014, she launched the first novel of her trilogy with Dr. Kate Hampton—a psychological mystery/suspense called Stranger at Sunset. In addition to working on her next novel, Eden created Lainey Lee for the Lei Crime Series, a feisty divorcée who finds adventure and romance in Hawaii. Her novellas for the series—A Snake in Paradise and SEAL of a Monk can be found on Kindle Worlds.

An introvert by nature and an extrovert by design, Eden is most comfortable at home with her laptop surrounded by books. She is an online Scrabble junkie and a social media enthusiast, but she really needs to get out more often! Connect to her via all her networks. She loves talking to readers! 

Sign up to get news of new releases, contests, and giveaways here

Visit her

Share

Focus Friday: Stranger at Sunset

Share

Stranger at Sunset

Book 1 of a Trilogy

By Eden Baylee

sas_kindle
The body plummeted two and a half stories into the sea. It bobbed between crests before foamy waves swept in and yanked it under the surface. The tide rushed out dragging its new possession deep into the ocean’s dark belly. Swells curled and collapsed against the shore. The evening breeze whistled an eerie tune.

Despite how tightly his fingers gripped the large barrels, the binoculars trembled in the man’s hands. He now wished he had bought the more powerful Porro-prism model. This less expensive design darkened the image, especially against a pale orange sky reflecting the chopped glass of the water. While adjusting the diopter ring behind his right eyepiece, he bit down on his lower lip.

A silhouette met his lens, haloed by the glow of the setting sun. With his breath thickening the atmosphere, he pressed the eyepiece harder against his face to stop from shaking.

The woman stood naked with her hair pinned up, loose strands trailing down the nape of her slender neck. Her palms rested on the metal railing of the balcony. As she stared out at the churning sea, he zoomed in on her face, then moved his binoculars downward to her breasts, lingering there longer than he should have. Slowly, he lowered his gaze to her flat stomach. Firm thighs extended off the arc of round buttocks. A dancer’s body—willowy and muscular, but not too muscular, she was beauty and grace, and yet, what she just did …

A hint of dark pubic hair blurred past his lens. While he re-calibrated the magnification, she drifted out of focus. When he brought her back in view, her contemplative mood had changed. She moved a chair to the corner of the terrace. Gathering up a pile of bed sheets, she crossed the threshold into the room and scurried out of view.

He dared not avert his eyes. The light was fading fast, and night would soon fall upon the villa like a magician’s cape. With his elbows pressed to his sides, he loosened his grip on the binoculars and tried to flex his aching fingers.

She had to come back, right?

About Stranger at Sunset

“One of the most inventive murders I have ever come across in years of reading crime fiction … it will send a particularly icy chill up the spines of male readers.” – Crime Fiction Lover

Dr. Kate Hampton, a respected psychiatrist, gathers with a group of strangers at her favorite travel spot in Jamaica.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the luxury resort is struggling due to a scathing review from travel critic, Matthew Kane. The owners have invited him back with hopes he will pen a more favorable review to restore their reputation.

Even though Kate is haunted by her own demons, she feels compelled to help. Can she uncover the motivation for the writer’s bitter review? In a battle of wits and psychological twists, terrible secrets will be revealed.

Stranger at Sunset is a slow-burning mystery/suspense that will keep you guessing to the end.

About the author

eden at benmcnallyEden Baylee left a twenty-year banking career to write and is now a full-time author of multiple genres. She has written three collections of erotic novellas and flash fiction—Spring into Summer, Fall into Winter, and Hot Flash, along with contributing to the anthologies: Allegories of the Tarot, Indie Authors Naked, and Triptychs.

In 2014, she launched the first novel of her trilogy with Dr. Kate Hampton—a psychological mystery/suspense called Stranger at Sunset. In addition to working on her next novel, Eden created Lainey Lee for the Lei Crime Series, a feisty divorcée who finds adventure and romance in Hawaii. Her novellas for the series—A Snake in Paradise and SEAL of a Monk can be found on Kindle Worlds.

An introvert by nature and an extrovert by design, Eden is most comfortable at home with her laptop surrounded by books. She is an online Scrabble junkie and a social media enthusiast, but she really needs to get out more often! Connect to her via all her networks. She loves talking to readers! 

Sign up to get news of new releases, contests, and giveaways here

Visit her

Share

Four Bestselling Reads authors join the Lei Crime Kindle World

Share

LK2-image2

Toby Neal’s Lei Crime Kindle World gets bigger today, and she’s excited.

“Four of my fellow Bestselling Reads authors have jumped aboard the Lei Crime Series Kindle World, and have written wonderful novellas that expand the ‘world’ of my series,” Toby says.TobyNeal

Kindle Worlds is an Amazon initiative that allows authors to contribute to other writers’ fictional series. “And who wins? Everyone! I get to see my series go on, taken in new directions. Readers get more stories starring their favorite characters, and writers get to reap the fruits of their labor in a popular series that helps expose their work to loyal fans.

The Lei Crime Kindle World initially launched in April, 2015, with eight other authors, including BestSelling Reads author Emily Kimelman. Today, a second “surge” launches on Amazon, with three BestSelling Reads authors among the group: Scott Bury, Christine Nolfi and new member Eden Baylee.

You can win e-copies of all books by leaving a comment below, naming your favorite Lei Crime series character.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of Kindle Worlds, and I’ll be the first hitting the Buy button to see what my fellow authors have​ come up with. It’s a brave new world full of sharing and collaboration, all of it stimulating great new ideas and creativity that benefit readers,” Toby says.

Visit the Lei Crime Kindle World to find out more.

 

Share