01 November 2015

Three new stories in a series just released

It's so much fun to do the unexpected, and I think I managed it this time. I let everyone know that Werewolf U was releasing on 16 Oct, but what I didn't tell you in advance was that two more short stories from the same world were releasing 23 Oct and 30 Oct. Now all three are out...and more are planned. Have fun reading them!

Werewolf U
MFM menage paranormal erotic romance
$3.99 in ebook
210 pages, 38662 words

Samara has been given a full scholarship to Lupi Lucania Universitas Scholarium in Italy. It's a dream come true. The university is one of the best in the world, and she intends to make the most of it. What she doesn't count on is two very distracting brothers who have a different idea of advancing her education than she does.

Usually she-wolves come to the University with full knowledge of Lupine history and traditions. James and Jason will have to teach their little mate everything. Born to a human who refused to take her wolf mate permanently into her life, Samara is nothing like what the duo envisioned...and more than they ever hoped for.

Younger Daughter (Werewolf U II)
paranormal sensual romance
$0.99 in ebook
55 pages, 9346 words
Aurora is a wolf princess who has never fit the Alpha female mold. Unlike her older sister Talia, Aurora likes getting her hands, feet, and any other part of her body dirty. She would rather wear Daisy Dukes than designer gowns. She keeps her hair cut short instead of long, the way most alphas do. Moreover, she doesn't like alpha men...alphas who aren't related to her in general. When she meets Nolan, Aurora finds focus...and maybe more, but will her family approve of her taking a mate who isn't an alpha?

Alpha Son (Werewolf U III)
paranormal sensual romance
$0.99 in ebook
57 pages, 8965 words

Tyler made a bad decision when he was a first year student. Now that his den brother has been dishonored, Tyler wants to make all the wrongs in his life right, not the least of which is claiming Julianna as his mate.

26 September 2015

October Birthday Bash Starting Early!

Brenna has released 12 of her print titles with Fireborn this week. In celebration, all of her Fireborn print titles will be discounted at CreateSpace between now and Christmas. Just use the discount codes above when checking out.

Night Warriors (Night Warriors, Warriors #1)
paranormal action sensual romance
$17.49 in print (available in ebook from Phaze Books)
472 pages, 117380 words
"For the extinction of the beasts that walk the night, we will give our life's blood and our lives. Such is the curse we were born to. Such is the duty we swear to. Such are the lives we lead."

Unknown to humans, Night Warriors hunt the night, saving them from vampire-like creatures called beasts. When Corwyn Hunter saves Anna from the mad elder Veriel, he is irresistibly drawn to her as mate, but there is more to Anna than there seems. Veriel has fixated on her, claiming Anna is his wife, a situation she is at a loss to explain. Is Veriel truly mad or does he have a claim on Anna and her unborn child?

Whichever side ultimately claims Anna's child will rise the victor. It is a battle neither side intends to lose, no matter the cost.

The warriors have avoided training a female for 1500 years, but the stone will not be denied. It is time for a change in the Warrior ranks.

Will of the Stone (Night Warriors, Warriors #2)
paranormal action erotic romance
$17.99 in print (available in ebook from Phaze Books)
508 pages, 125813 words

Hunter Cross, the Konig prince, is relegated to running the Crossbearer range while his sister, Erin, is the unwilling belle of the ball. Neither of them is happy with their places in the scheme of things.

When the last elder decides he wants both Erin and Sarah, the most powerful human sensitive ever encountered, as his mates, it's up to their men to protect them. Or is it? Erin is not what she seems. She is a force beyond all comprehension.

Erin isn't content to submit to the stone. For Erin, autonomy means freedom not to mate. If she can avoid Curt Maher, she can make her plan work. Curt has waited eight years for Erin to come to him. He's played by her rules for far too long. He will have Erin as mate, even if he has to conquer her in battle to get her. Little does he know that Erin wants to be conquered.

He cannot be lied to. He can see into your soul. He is Mikel Cross, the Konig prince, and Holly is destined to be his bride.

"One of the best fantasy worlds available to readers on the current market. I recommend the whole of the Night Warriors series. If you haven't read Brenna Lyons yet--go and buy her books today." Jaynie Ritchie for Romance Junkies

Bearing Armen (Night Warriors, Warriors #3) 
Includes: The Warrior's Man, Damsel in Distress, and Mother's Son
paranormal action erotic romance
$23.99 in print (individual stories available from Phaze Books and Brenna Lyons)
728 pages, 171316 words

Armens are known for two things--crafting the finest blades in the Warrior world and falling for saved, hard and fast. It's one of the few Warrior-rich ranges, but printing is rarely easy.

James Armen's only wish is a home and family. Beth Havens is a widow with twin little girls. She never imagined life with a vampire hunter. He never dreamed that he'd be blessed with daughters.

Devon vowed to do anything to have Michelle as mate. When he goes too far in the grips of printing madness, it's up to him to make peace somehow, even if that means serving her father, James Lord Armen.

Insubordinate. Bastard cursed. Felon. Scott Danvers has been called many things in his life, few of them favorable. Born to a blade chaser and hidden from the Warriors, Scott is nothing like his peers, from his blond-tipped hair and tattoos to his attitude.

Alyssa Bradley is a minefield, a Warrior widow, traumatized, alone and pregnant. But Daniel Hunter knows there's something beyond that, something his gut tells him is much worse.

Stevie has had a rough life. Terry has been attracted to men as long as he's been attracted to women, but he never followed through. Warriors of Armen tend to fall fast and hard for women they save, but it's not a woman that catches his attention and stokes his need to print.

Nothing in his training has prepared Corey for the Beast enclave he encounters. After three days in the hands of the Beasts, Hannah is scarred, blood weak, and suffering severe PTSD. The only person Hannah trusts is Corey. With the aid of the Stone in controlling his drives, can he help Hannah reclaim her life and her sexuality?

Hunter's Moon (Night Warriors, Warriors #4)
paranormal action erotic romance
$17.99 in print (available in ebook from Phaze Books)
510 pages, 117033 words

"There were just a few little problems with tall, dark and sinfully-godlike. For one thing, he was bleeding all over himself."

Between Anna's death and Jayde's discovery, Haus Jager was a place of secrets. Who is Laura Briony? Why is she prized? How was Colin forced to choose his mate, and who is Jannelle Evans? How does Stephen eat his words? Did they ever have hope of finding Erin?

Three brothers who have no intention of mating and three women who find themselves targets of Veriel's inner circle are about to embark on the greatest challenge of their lives. Headstrong women are the bane of the Hunter men. Headstrong women who might help him claim Erin are targets for Veriel. The Mad Deceiver will stop at nothing to find Erin.

Stephanie is trouble, a lord's daughter who can never admit who and what she is. Her father's life depends on secrecy, but that is easier said than done.

Veriel's Tales I: Crossbearer Turned
paranormal action love story
$13.49 in print (ebook available from Phaze Books)
336 pages, 82121 words
In book one of the Night Warriors series, questions were raised about Veriel's motives. Did he have a claim, or was he insane? What relationship existed between Jorg and Regana? Who did Regana love (her husband, Pauwel elder killer, the "Crossbearer Turned", or the beast Veriel), and who was Andris of Crossbearer's father? This book answers it all.

"Veriel, Regana and Pauwel--perhaps the most famous trio of the whole series--are on the front stage in this book. A story of love, honor and betrayal unfolding against the ruthless backdrop of the warriors' lives, mortal risks and immortal souls being at stake. The blend of romance, drama and mystical lore makes the reading experience quite enjoyable." Reviewed by Daria for Romance Junkies 4 Ribbons! 

"Ms. Lyons has given us another great story, one that answers the questions of why Veriel turned beast and why he went after the Anna. She has once again gripped us by the shirt collar and woven a spell of a fantasy world that has warriors that protect the innocent. It may be that all is not what it seems and that Veriel isn't as evil as we thought." Reviewed by Donna for Fallen Angels Reviews 5 ANGELS

Veriel's Tales II: Losing Regana
paranormal action love story
$14.49 in print (available in ebook from Phaze Books)
378 pages, 88660 words

Jorg has lost his mate again and again, his punishment as a traitor to the gods. He is driven to protect her and fated to lose her. Ilona...Caitrina...Yzabeau...

They know him. Their bodies remember Jorg's touch, and they will do anything he asks to experience what they remember. In the night, they are his, born to revel in every carnal sin. Then comes the day. With the sun, sanity returns, and danger stalks them.

Rober started off using Jacquine as bait to trap the Mad Deceiver. Now he has to convince her to be his mate or face breaking printing. If Veriel shows his face, Rober is ready to meet him, madman to madman.

"This is definitely not a "feel good" light kind of read. This story is filled with tortured souls, lost love, and the inhumanity of man. It explores the darker part of life; from torture, bought women, and the struggle for power, we gain an insight of how a favored warrior can become a beast. For all you lovers of the darker side of the human soul, this story is one I recommend putting on your TBR list." Reviewed by Chere Gruver for Sensual Romance

The Blutjagdfrau Chronicles
includes: Choosing a Mate, Starting a War, Blutjagdfrau Lost, and Raised to Be His Own
paranormal action erotic romance
$13.49 in print (ebook versions of the stories available from Phaze Books)
342 pages, 92503 words

"A series grows with unanswered questions and what-ifs." Brenna Lyons

When Reg destroys Ori in a mad bid to claim the mother goddess as his own, the distraught young woman is left to choose another mate from among the remaining Warriors. She knows them all by face and cannot choose. There is only one thing left a man believes will matter.

When Oren and Piet are called before the Stone lord, Gatin, they believe they are to be given extra instruction. Instead, they find themselves faced with the blindfolded and half-naked Ragan. One of them will fall. The other will claim what is rightfully his, by the gods' decree. Ragan.

Orphaned at birth and left to be raised by the barbarian refugees, Korji and Ahdia have no idea which dark giants are friends and which are foes. It is up to Taigh and his family to bring the lost children of Ani home.

What if Veriel had managed to steal Jayde? What if she'd been raised in seclusion, lied to, denied her training... crafted into the perfect mate for the beast? It all happened in an earlier beast war. Gaffin and a team of other Warriors have tracked Veriel to the greatest prize of all...Ragath.

Bride Ball
includes: Poison, Lies and No-Win Choices
urbanized fairy tale erotic romance
$12.99 in print (stories available in ebook from Phaze Books)
338 pages, 75139 words

Welcome to Lenvia, where the young prince has been given a year to choose a wife or have one chosen for him. Hoping for a desperate family to send an innocent into the fray, Edward arranges a series of Bride Balls--outrageous sexual events--and a willing decoy in his bid to find someone who loves him for himself and not his crown.

Enter Amber, daughter of a dead lord on his beloved mistress, a servant in her own household. When her irrepressible grandmother pushes her to find a husband or lover to protect her from the wrath of her step-mother, Amber loses more than her virginity...but it's not a glass slipper that the prince has to track her with.

The race is on. Before these two are through, more than one couple may find their way through the traps of poison, lies, and no-win choices forged at a long ago Bride Ball and left to fester through two generations of the royal family.

Topped off with... Long before Edward met Amber, there was the fateful Bride Ball that started it all. You won't want to miss the fireworks.

Fire and Ice
includes: Magmon's Hunger and Magmon's Lover
fantasy erotic romance/erotica
$10.99 in print (stories included available in ebook from Phaze Books)
272 pages, 60824 words

The Furian and Frial have maintained peace for millennia, though they are opposites. The Furian worship Magmon, god of fire and passion. Their lands stretch from the southern volcanic ring to the temperate north. They are ruled by a royal family. The Frial worship the goddess Frilan, a goddess of ice. Predictably, their lands stretch from the polar north to the temperate zone. They are ruled by a god vessel called the Ician. They are as different as can be.

Once every cen-centenial, the alliance is renegotiated and a celebration ensues. There's just one little thing that has to happen first. The Ician is reborn for her people every generation. The He-Atal, Magmon's god vessel, only appears for the cen-centenial. He is conceived at Magmon's celebration, born in the Dragon God's fire, consumed by His hunger, taken into the temple to be trained to survive the burn... And finally, he is presented to the Ician with one job and one job only: seduce a frigid woman.

Before Karliss Furia, Magmon's Vessel, was presented to his Ician, he had to be trained to seduce a skittish virgin.

Rostana Renald was gods-crafted for such pursuits. Rostana came to the temple in Magmalen, hoping to be trained by the priests in lovemaking, but when Zaden is less than pleased about her pursuits, she finds herself in the arms of Zaden's father, Councilor Gabel Tiben. He's a man nearly three times her age, but he's fire between the sheets.

While Rostana is sure society will prevent such a match, Gabel will not be denied. After knowing the touch of a god, Rostana responds to him. What more proof does anyone need that she is destined for him?

Lovers' Kiss anthology
contemporary/near futuristic sensual/erotic romance
$9.49 in print (stories available in ebook from Phaze Books, All Romance eBooks, and Fireborn Publishing)
228 pages, 52260 words

Contemporary or near-futuristic settings and sexual encounters... Putting people in close quarters turns up the heat.

Grace Mallory owns a small but very profitable art gallery. Michael Justice is a spoiled artist, used to getting what he wants. This Christmas season, he wants Grace back in his life. A few little problems? He dumped her in a rather vicious fashion a year earlier. She's moved on to a new relationship with an annoyingly-perfect man. Oh... And, then there's the magical mood ring, telling Grace what she doesn't want to hear about her feelings.

A couple with a taste for sex in public make an unlikely ally aboard an old ocean liner.

In a future just around the corner, the United States is no longer united. Federalists and Free Nationalists are waging a second US Civil War, and the battle lines have been drawn. When Bainbridge Carter meets up with David Evans, his ex-best friend, to get the prototype of a weapon that will allow them to level the playing field, David reveals he has hidden the microchips necessary to control the rifle with Aurora, his wife, the woman both men have been in love with for the last 16 years, a woman trapped behind enemy lines with her daughter. It is up to Bain and the Free Nationalists to find the chips...and the woman who has them.

This anthology includes:
A Safe Heart
The Color of Love
Overtime Pay
May the Best Man Win

Monsters and Mayhem anthology
horror/fantasy romance/straight/comedy
$7.49 in print (stories available in ebook from Mundania Press and Fireborn Publishing)
136 pages, 31618 words

We've read about them. We've watched the movies. They've haunted our nightmares and tantalized our imaginations. They are the monsters of myth and legend: vampires, Frankenstein's monster, zombies, ghosts, time-travelers, and all manner of mischievous creatures that cause inexplicable mayhem.

Welcome to my worlds, and may the magic of the myths never die.

"A romantic story, Gothic in style, a rare book. Until nearly the very end of the story, we are not sure whether Ines is dreaming or hallucinating, or experiencing everything for real—or, perhaps, someone is trying to deceive her. This makes for a very enjoyable read, especially for a dark and stormy night when you are in the mood for supernatural and dark romanticism. A recommended story from the talented quill of Brenna Lyons." Reviewed by Daria for Romance Junkies 5 Ribbons!

"I loved Ms. Lyons' style of writing--she's a pro, excellent with her descriptions. I have to say, I was captivated by the plot and snagged from the beginning." Reviewed by Brett Scott for The Romance Studio 4.5 Hearts!

Anthology Includes:
The Tether
Welcome to Hell
A Wasted Mind
One-Hour Burial
Once in a Blue Moon
Stay with Me
The Punishment of Phoebus Apollo
Trick or Treat
Anima Ex Machina
Phantom Dreams

Paranormal Paramours anthology
paranormal/fantasy/science fiction erotic romance
$17.49 in print (stories available in ebook from Phaze Books and Fireborn Publishing)
494 pages, 117282

From gods to vampires, shifters to ghosts, magic users to fairy tales... Enemies make strange bedfellows and opposites attract.

It seems a balance, the line between Fate and Chaos, but it's a war. When one pushes, the other pushes back. Welcome to Fates Castle, home of the elders, readers of the love fates. When Ondrea is called to find her mate, she thinks she can't possibly latch onto the wrong man. Is Fate ever so simple?

Traia is a mistress witch, seduced by a werewolf that inexplicably passed through her wards and shields. Now that she knows what Galen is, he'll stop at nothing to kill her. Or will he?If she was any other witch, Galen would be running the other way...fast. But Traia is his mate.

When a strange man washes up on the shores of her beloved Naxos, Ariadne longs to be his. Dionysis has no clue who Ari is or how she came to Naxos, but he won't rest until he knows--and until she is his. Can a former princess with no faith in gods learn to love again? 

Mattayas is the eldest son of the alpha pair, the buck destined to lead his Wul pack when his father dies. Anha is a proud young Lyx fem, a strong hunter and fighter for her nest. Their mating instincts drive this unlikely pair together, sending Mattayas into a murderous rage that leaves them with horrific choices to make.

Jaysen Magal had inherited all his father possessed: power, position, money...and Senna Ravensky. Senna had been enslaved to his father, a bitter, unwilling ally in Jedean's rise in the mages' ranks. Jaysen has watched her for years, his hunger rivaling her own, forbidden to touch...until now.

Have you ever felt you were only seeing half the story? Why did the three bears never see Goldilocks again? How bad was the Little Girl with The Curl in the Middle of her Forehead? What happened to Georgie Porgy?

Amunmaruku visits her in her dreams, a long-dead Egyptian prince, whose tomb Anna is excavating. He haunts her in her waking moments, making her question her sanity. Is it her psychometry or something more sinister?

Raised in the temple by servants and trained daily in sacred technology, the godlings lead a fiercely competitive but pampered lifestyle. Those who are fast, precise, and aloof are worthy of the GODs' continued attention. Those who fail mysteriously disappear.

This anthology includes:
Black Sail
Animal Instincts
A Perfect Record
Sweeter then Honey
When She Was Good
Fates Magic
We Shall Live Again
And It Was Good

21 September 2015

Brenna's October Release Bash!

It's that time of year again...time for Brenna to celebrate her October release bash. This year is a banner year. Also, because all the books are coming out from Fireborn Publishing, they will all be eligible for the Anniversary sales in October.

In addition to her new release, Werewolf U, on October 23rd....

Brenna now has permission to bring out a bunch of her old Mundania/Phaze ebooks as print titles with Fireborn Publishing. These should all be releasing between the 1st and 7th of October! The list includes...

Night Warriors (Night Warriors, Warriors #1)

Will of the Stone (Night Warriors, Warriors #2)

Bearing Armen (Night Warriors, Warriors #3)- includes Bearing Armen, The Warrior's Man, and Damsel in Distress

Hunter's Moon (Night Warriors, Warriors #4)

Veriel's Tales I:  Crossbearer Turned (Night Warriors, Beasts #1)

Veriel's Tales II: Losing Regana (Night Warriors, Beasts #2)

The Blutjagdfrau Chronicles (Night Warriors, Histories #1)- includes Choosing a Mate, Starting a War, Blutjagdfrau Lost, and Raised to Be His Own

Bride Ball- includes Bride Ball and Poison, Lies and No-Win Choices

Fire and Ice- includes Magmon's Hunger and Magmon's Lover

Lovers' Kiss Anthology- includes A Safe Heart, The Color of Love, Overtime Pay, and May the Best Man Win

Monsters & Mayhem Anthology- includes The Tether, Welcome to Hell, Birthright, A Wasted Mind, One-Hour Burial, Once in a Blue Moon, Stay with Me, The Punishment of Phoebus Apollo, Trick or Treat, Anima Ex Machina, Phantom Dreams

Paranormal Paramours Anthology- includes Nevermore, Black Sail, Enslaved, Animal Instincts, Foundling, A Perfect Record, Sweeter than Honey, When She Was Good, Fates Magic, We Shall Live Again, and And It Was Good

Fireborn Anniversary Event starts 1 October 2015!

Hold tight for more information, coming at the beginning of the sale!

14 April 2015

Blurb Writing Class Notes!

Blurb Writing

With Brenna Lyons

Many authors cringe at the idea of doing blurbs. How in the world do you describe a 100,000 word book in 25 words or 100? It’s really not as hard as it sounds.

Have you ever heard the horror story of the author meeting the editor, and the editor saying, “You have two minutes to tell me all about your book.”? Where do you start? That’s what we’re here to learn. Because, that is a blurb. That’s what he’s asking for.

Everything in this business is based on blurbs, from queries to book backs. That’s right...queries. Having the blurbs in place will save you a lot of time and trouble, in the long run.

What kind of trouble? A lot more than simply having a log line ready when the promo site asks for one and not having to scramble to make one on the spot, that’s for sure. We’re talking about decisions that affect whether or not you sell a book...not just to the reader but also to the publisher...or sign it with an agent.

Let’s start at the beginning... What blurbs should every author have ready, before he or she even starts querying?

1) Concept- An easy way to think of the concept is taking two or three movies or books that cover main aspects of your project. Maybe it’s Murder She Wrote meets The Flying Nun. It is a striking image, isn’t it? That’s the point. The first thing that comes to my mind is a hapless nun who solves mysteries. But, it gives a tactile feel for the book with very few words wasted. When doing this sort of concept, go for well-known movies and books. If you go for something obscure, you’ve already lost the agent or editor’s attention, and you never want to lose that attention.

2) Log line- A 10-12 word teaser for the book. A log line doesn’t have time to do much. It has to do one of a few things. You can make an outrageous or seemingly contradictory statement that will entice the reader to learn more about the book. You can ask a question that entices the reader to find out the answer to it. Or...you can say something that makes no sense on first reading to make the reader want to know what you’re talking about. The log line should always leave the reader wanting to know more. That is its purpose in life, since it can’t possibly give a lot of information.

3) A 25-word blurb. 

4) A 150-word blurb- at least two of these. Why? You will want one for the book description on sale sites and one for other promo. In actuality, I find that I sometimes end up mixing and matching paragraphs from the 150-word blurbs to make a more exciting one for spotlights and other special promo materials. You can also merge them to make a longer book-back blurb.

Step One...finding the subject of your blurbs.

ASSIGNMENT: Give me a highlight of the events in the first three chapters of your book or the first 20% of your short story. Like a review, you don’t want to go further into the book. You don’t want to give spoilers. If you haven’t hooked a reader by the end of three chapters, you have big problems with the book. If you haven’t hooked the editor or agent by the end of one paragraph, you’ve already lost the contract. That’s likely true of a reader, as well. Rule #1, we don’t want to lose the contract or the sale.

Some people don’t do well with this assignment. It’s okay, if you’re one of them. Like I said, synopsis (or sometimes outline) is the first word that gives authors hives. Hang in there for a little longer.

And, remember that sometimes an outsider can see your book clearer than you can. Having someone else point out what stood out as the most important facets to her might give you focus.

Or, you might be an auditory planner. By that, I mean you choke when you try to put this down on paper, but if someone records you speaking the plot points out, you do well. Try it, if you can’t seem to make the written exercise work for you.

Step two...order your plot points by importance. If you had 15 seconds to

impart one central theme or plot point to the readers, what would it be? What point is

essential for them to know. If you had 30 seconds and could hit one more, what would

that one be? And so forth.

ASSIGNMENT: Do so. Refer to the list above for inspiration.

Step three...finding the core elements of your characters.

ASSIGNMENT: Explain your main characters, keeping in mind the things that make them special, the complications in their lives that affect the plotline... Ignore complete physical description, unless it’s extreme...like a 7 foot tall man...or affects the plot, like a disfigurement or ethereal beauty.

Step four...finding your genre or cross-genre balance. Now, don’t laugh. This isn’t as easy as it sounds, because you might be SO cross-genre that your blurb becomes harder to fit to what is considered standard for your genre mix. Example? A romance blurb typically lays out the hero and heroine of the book...or whatever sexes you’re using...and the complication to them being together or what throws them together. A heavily-science fiction book will have a blurb that will, of course, focus on the world building and the plot complications for that portion of the book. Try fitting it all into a 25-word or 50-word blurb and then discuss with me how finding your balance is of no importance.

What is your balance? Is the book high in romance and low in science fiction? Is it science fiction with romantic elements? Are they even? To be honest, an even split will be hardest to write a short blurb for. Do you want to write one for each side and use them in an alternating fashion? That might work. Do you want to make a log line for one side and 25-word for the other and use them together? Possibly. Whatever you choose, figure out what the usual blurbs for your genre/s contain and what balance you have to strike in imparting knowledge to the readers.

ASSIGMENT: What genre/s is/are your book? What do blurbs for that genre/susually consist of? What is the balance of your book?

Genre A ___________________B

Where along the line do you place your mark? Closer to which genre?

Step five...figure out your “voice” in the book. Is the book dark? Comical/ whimsical? A farce? A tear-jerker? You should never waste words in the blurb or the query, telling people what the voice is. Your blurb should be written in the same voice as the book is, conveying the “feel” of the book through the blurb. I won’t give an assignment for this one. You wrote the book. You can certainly write the blurb in the same tone. Also, it gives the reader/editor/agent a small taste of your personal style of writing.

As I said, you have a paragraph or less to capture and hold attention of your target audience. The more information you can give in that paragraph, the better. Now, I don’t mean that the paragraph should be so stocked full of book facts that it reads like an outline. I mean that the person on the other end should get as much a feel for you and your style as they do for the book as a whole.

Step six...figure out your strength in writing. That probably sounds horribly confusing but, this is why.

Do you prefer to add words or cut them when you write? Which are you more comfortable with? If you are more comfortable adding words, write your log line first. If you’re more comfortable cutting words, start with the 250-word blurb. You will find a blank planning sheet attached to the end of this article. Use ink if you dare. 

Start with whichever blurb you are most suited for. If that is the log line, work up, blurb by blurb, adding more of the plot points in as you can fit them. The beauty of using the table to do this is that you can see at a glance how much space you have to play with, which allows you to explore some plot points more or to cut a bit from some plot points to make room for others.

If you are starting with the 150-word blurb (I never start with the 250, because that’s more storytelling than blurbing), it’s actually a bit more difficult for you. Why? Because the urge to fit every plot point in that first blurb is sometimes unbearable. 

My best advice is to keep the list firmly in mind. Your space is limited. Don’t forget it. When you are running out of room, beef up the plot points that are already there instead of trying to fit in more points, cutting down the points you have already included. You may find yourself rearranging your list as you go. If you thought plot point A was most important but it just doesn’t read as strongly as plot point B, go with your gut instinct and use plot point B when you start cutting for the 50-word blurb and lower and lose the weaker point.

Step seven... No, you are not done, yet! Look at the blurb you created. Does it read like a hundred other blurbs for books in your genre/s? It might. If it does, you will want to go back and figure out ONE key question. What makes your vampire book different than the 50 other vampire books going on sale this month? What makes your world unique? What makes your lead character/vampire unique from all others? 

One thing you absolutely do not want is a carbon copy blurb. There are too many of them already. If that’s what you’ve created, you need to focus on the novelty of your book. Otherwise... you’ve lost them. You never want to lose their attention.

What Works and What Doesn't?

What works?

Start with a quote!
GARNETS OF DESTINY (Gemstone Chronicles #1) by Serena Yates
"Good stories are as rare as flawless high carat gemstones." --The Collector
***The reader expects an epic tale, right out of the chute.

"For the extinction of the beasts that walk the night, we will give our life’s blood and our lives. Such is the curse that we were born to. Such is the duty we swear to. Such are the lives we lead."
***The reader expects two things...tension/action and rigid traditions.

"There were just a few little problems with tall, dark and sinfully-godlike. For one thing, he was bleeding all over himself."
***The reader expects wry humor out of the book.

Play on existing writing others will recognize...Parody...
Money clips and microchips...that's what little boys are made of. Lace and flair and grave malware...that’s what little girls are made of. Who knew a fatal crash could feel so good?

Setting the stage...start with the problem and work out to the characters...
We've talked about them for millennia. The Sons of Heaven came to Earth and lay with the Daughters of Man, spawning the heroes of old (or the monsters of old, depending on your mythos). They have been called angels. They have been called demons, the fallen, the devil... Somewhere behind the myths, there were men, winged men who came from the stars and took simple human women as mate. It is time for one modern human woman to discover who and what the Sons of Heaven were, and that discovery will change her life forever.

Using the title or sections of the book in the blurb...
But don't force it. If it won't flow naturally, don't do it.

Unconventional choices in blurbs...

Note or letter...
See...NIGHT EMBRACE by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Since I don't have Sherrilyn's permission to quote her full blurb here, I won't. But I will link to it for anyone interested in reading it!

Santa Neil in leather, elf Tony in a sock;
Watch naughty Kevin, falling like a rock.
He's off the nice list--coal city's straight ahead,
'Til a miracle's made with wrist restraints, a bow and Rum Balls in their bed.

NOBODY Anthology
Nobody knocking. Nobody calls.
Nobody's footsteps out in the hall.
Alone in the house or alone in your head...
One man's delight is another one's dread.
Follow, dear reader, the path that we wind.
You have only to leave your body behind.
Basically, what WORKS is doing something original and specific to your book. Tell the readers why your book isn't like dozens of others released the same month in your genre.

What doesn't work?
Notice I am not pointing fingers at people I've seen do these things. I am a firm believer in praising in public and counseling in private.

Overloading the reader with characters and information...

When Tony meets his boss Terry's best friend George, sparks fly, but George's persistent (or maybe obnoxious) ex Stan doesn't want to let go. It's up to Terry and his sister Tia, with the help of their dog Skippy, to...

Okay, enough of that. It's clear the readers are going to have a tough time following the leader through this twisted maze of people and situation. First thing...stop naming names. You need to know a couple of names here. Tony and George, your main characters. Technically speaking, every other name in this particular blurb is extraneous. In some epic stories, you may need a few more names. But the more names you give the reader to remember in a blurb, the more likely you are to lose the reader's attention along the way. It's good enough to know Tony meets George through his boss and Terry's sister will help get rid of the persistent ex-boyfriend. You can even throw in the dog item for comedic effect, if your book has a slightly humorous element to it, or if the dog is part of a fantasy familiar type of setting.

Another thing, cut the run-on sentences. Don't bog down the reader with long-complicated sentences. There are two reasons for this. One is that conjunctions waste precious words. The other is that you want the reader immersed in the blurb and not picking apart a torturous sentence along the way. Vary sentences of course. I'm not saying to avoid all complex sentences, but don't let a sentence run on and on.

Telling too much...

Blurbs are not synopses. They are not outlines. They are teasers...hooks. You're going to be telling the crises/problems in a nutshell, not in detail. We're not going more than three chapters into a novel or 20% into a short story. You also do not want to reveal your twists in the blurb.


I had to cull a blurb, because the original blurb suggested by the author set up a lovely suspense then REVEALED that the main character learns her actual stalker isn't who she thought it was. Uh...no. The last thing you want to do is take that punch out of the book and into the open. For the best possible punch, that blurb had to end before the twist was revealed to the reader.

Another author was trying to foreshadow an event, as she had in the actual book. Since the foreshadowing happened in the first three chapters, she figured it was safe enough to do it in the blurb. Not really. In the book, she had 12,000 words that the foreshadowing of a paragraph (maybe 120 words) was hidden in. In the blurb, she had 150 words, of which the foreshadowing was 18. You see how much difference that makes. When the foreshadowing is 1/100th of the whole, it's easy to hide it in plain sight. When it's more than 1/10th of the whole, it sticks out like a sore thumb.

Oh...last one... AVOID clichéd turns of phrase, unless you are going for a humorous presentation. If you write a clichéd blurb, readers will believe your entire book is or may be clichéd.