A Mixed Bag

My job, and consequently my life, is a constant juggling act. As Managing Editor for circus-160165_960_720Limitless Publishing, I wear a lot of hats and have to balance the needs of authors, editors, proofreaders, our marketing team, formatters, cover designers, anthology projects…and just thinking about this makes me want a drink.

Factor in household responsibilities, the husband, personal care, and the Direwolves, and it’s even more chaotic. Mozzie just started a new hole in the yard (sorry, Tom) and rolled in it for a while, and we’re expecting my in-laws this evening for a visit. Oh, well.

Still, I try to focus primarily on one category each day. It might be an admin day, in which I manage things like schedules and planning, or an editing day if I have a looming deadline. It might be house stuff, or on the very rare days I don’t have an edit in progress, I can actually kick back and play with yarn.

For most of my life, this meant crochet, but I taught myself to knit a couple of months ago, and am working on my third scarf. I don’t even wear scarves, but it’s a good starter project. I’m using one cake of Lion Brand Mandala yarn, and you have to use the whole thing to get the full colorway, so it’s a long one. It’s currently, um…couch-length.

20180410_155139

See? Couch-length.

20180410_155149

Close-up of the working end, complete with lifelines. I still have lots of green and some blues to get through to reach yellow again, which is where I can finish off.

I want to learn cabling next, or maybe make a shawl or some slightly larger, more challenging project. Yesterday, I ordered a full set of interchangeable stainless steel circular needles from ChiaGoo, and can’t wait to play with them. Expensive, but cheaper than buying each individual size and cable length as I need them. That’s my justification.

7500-C-2

It’s still early, but today’s agenda is crowded and not conducive to focusing on one thing. I have to get things ready for the arrival of our house guests, finish an edit, continue the management-juggling, and get myself presentable enough to go to dinner this evening. Email is caught up for the moment, laundry running, so next up is some editing interspersed with house-tidying…and eventually a shower. I hope.

Or probably everyone else hopes, because I sincerely do not care.

Tuesday Means New Books!

WEBSITE-LOGO-31

If it’s Tuesday, that means Limitless Publishing has some new books for you to enjoy, and today we have two fantastic choices–a New Adult (college-age) romance, third in the Scandalous series by R. Linda, and the Carnival of Fear horror anthology, featuring thirteen all-new, never-before-released stories by a great team of authors.

First up, we have Harper and the One-Night Stand, by R. Linda, book #3 in the Scandalous series. I have a special fondness for this one–and the author–as I am the editor for this bestselling series.

Harper2

A few too many cocktails in paradise, and I woke up in someone else’s bed. My ex-boyfriend’s cousin’s bed, to be exact.

Huge mistake.

Nate and I agreed it wouldn’t happen again. We didn’t want to hurt Brody. Only it did happen, repeatedly, until I finally found the courage to walk away.

But I couldn’t ignore the temptation, and I soon found myself back in his bed—or on his floor—stealing secret kisses and forbidden touches, sneaking around behind everyone’s backs.

I tried so hard to resist Nate’s charms, but my resolve crumbled. How could I not be swept off my feet by water towers in the rain and deep confessions on the beach?

The last thing we want is to hurt anyone, but it is out of our control. And there isn’t a thing I can do except give him my heart and hope he keeps it safe…regardless of the consequences.

buy-button-amazon

And check out books 1 and 2 in the series, Bailey and the Bad Boy and Indie and the Brother’s Best Friend HERE!

Now, step right up for the Creepiest Show On Earth! Get ready for Carnival of Fear, an anthology by thirteen amazing Limitless Publishing authors…

Best part…it’s only 99 cents!

Carnival2

There’s a lot of fun happening tonight from 7:00-10:30 p.m. US Eastern time. Click HERE to join our What Are You Afraid Of? group so you don’t miss out.

Ladies and gentlemen! Boys and girls!

Step right up to the darkest carnival you’ve ever seen.

Do you like puppets? Well, we have a marvelous one. This poor little thing was left all alone to die, only to wake up with a taste for revenge.

If smiling, red-nosed clowns bore you, you’ve come to the right place. Just follow the bloody path of mutilated clowns, and it will lead you to a room filled with gruesome revelations.

But that’s not all.

Ready for a mind-bending experience? Wonderful! Our contortionist won’t just showcase her extreme flexibility, she’ll also shock you with her insatiable appetite. Want to know her secret?

She’s cursed—but shhhhhh, don’t tell.

So grab your friends and join us as we create the most bone-chilling atmosphere.

Because we’re coming to your town…

…and we’re bringing the Carnival of Fear.

buy-button-amazon

Submission Call For Romance Stories

Are you a romance author…or would you like to be? Crave Publishing has two anthologies currently open for submissions. The deadline for the first is coming up fast, though, so don’t wait! My email is in the submission calls posted below if you have any questions.

27858935_2030471557226120_7453036474086062007_n

We are looking for stories featuring a couple in which one (preferably the male, but not required) is insanely rich, possibly famous, powerful, and lives a dynamic, luxurious lifestyle. Think of how they meet, in a funny, dramatic, traumatic, or even adversarial way, leading to an unlikely romance with lots of heat and indulgent details.

Interested authors should email with a short summary (not to exceed 250 words) of their story in the body of the email and attach the following in two separate Word documents:

• Document 1: Your complete, edit-ready short story of approximately 10,000 words. Format as follows…
o 1” margins, 12-point Times New Roman
o Auto indent for paragraphs of 0.2” (Do NOT use tabs)
o Single space, with NO additional line space between paragraphs
o If your story contains chapters, use a page break (control+enter) to move to the new page. (Do NOT hit multiple line returns to reach the new page)
• Document 2: Author’s recent publishing history and current social media links

DEADLINE to submit the story is 5:00 p.m. US Eastern time, APRIL 6, 2018. (Hard deadline, no exceptions.)
Complete, edit-ready stories should be sent to lori@cravepublishing.net.

Authors will be notified on or about APRIL 21, 2018 if their story has been selected.

Release date is planned for JULY 24, 2018.

Please email lori@cravepublishing.net for more information.

 

its-back-2

Crave Publishing, a division of Limitless Publishing, is accepting short stories for the contemporary romance anthology Craving: Forbidden. Completed stories should be 10,000 words (7,500 minimum, 12,000 maximum, with 10,000 as the ideal length).

Sometimes there’s the one person everyone thinks is totally wrong for you. The one with whom you have nothing in common, or the one your friends warn you is sure to lead straight to disaster. We are looking for stories featuring an unlikely or slightly scandalous couple. Maybe it’s a boss or professor, someone from the opposite side of the tracks, an ex you swore you’d never speak to again, or your best friend’s brother. No step-sibling or step-parent stories, please.

Interested authors should email with a short summary (not to exceed 250 words) of their story in the body of the email and attach the following in two separate Word documents:
• Document 1: Your complete, edit-ready short story of approximately 10,000 words. Format as follows…
o 1” margins, 12-point Times New Roman
o Auto indent for paragraphs of 0.2” (Do NOT use tabs)
o Single space, with NO additional line space between paragraphs
o If your story contains chapters, use a page break (control+enter) to move to the new page. (Do NOT hit multiple line returns to reach the new page)
• Document 2: Author’s recent publishing history and current social media links

DEADLINE to submit the story is 5:00 p.m. US Eastern time, JUNE 8, 2018. (Hard deadline, no exceptions.)
Complete, edit-ready stories should be sent to lori@cravepublishing.net.

Authors will be notified on or about JUNE 15, 2018 if their story has been selected.

Release date is planned for SEPTEMBER 25, 2018.

Please email lori@cravepublishing.net for more information.

HOT New Releases

It’s another busy Tuesday for us at Limitless Publishing, and our imprint, Crave Publishing, and the theme for this week seems to be bad boys. Be it mafia or motorcycle clubs, there’s plenty of dark, steamy romance to satisfy even the choosiest reader.

Take a look at what we have for you, and be sure to stop by the Limitless Publishing and Crave Publishing Facebook pages for this week’s giveaways!

First up, Demons by J.L. Drake, book 2 in the sizzling Devil’s Reach Motorcycle Club series. I’ve been Jodi’s editor for all her books, and must admit I’m a bit partial!

29060722_1629519097098033_700937027953212184_o

Trigger…

I thought the light would bring redemption.

Salvation.

But it only brought the Devil to my doorstep.

My demons are breaking through, and the reaper is moving closer.

My weakness has been exposed, and there’s only one person who can calm this hell…

Tess…

I broke a promise to myself, and now I’m paying for it.

I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be a part of this hell.

But I don’t have a choice…

The reaper is riding bitch on our backs.

buy-button-amazon

The Preacher’s Daughter, first in the new Rough Riders MC series by Shelly Morgan

unnamed

Angelica…

I’ve always been the preacher’s daughter, their perfect little angel. 

But I won’t be their angel anymore. It’s time for me to live my own life.

Little did I know I was stepping straight out of my safe dream…into a nightmare.

The only one who can save me now is a man my daddy calls a devil—a criminal with a leather jacket and tattoos. 

But he makes my heart beat…makes me feel alive.

No matter how strong he is, though, hell will claim me again.

Torq…

She’s too good to be true—too good for a man like me. 

But I knew the first time I saw her, I needed to claim her and make her my own.

There are men evil enough to hurt the innocent, defile the sacred, like my Angel. 

Those men must die.

I’ve already saved her once. I’ll gladly go to hell and back to do it again.

buy-button-amazon

How about an anthology featuring twelve all-new stories by an amazing cast of authors…for only 99 cents? Craving: Loyalty includes stories about hot mafia men and women, and other heroes and heroines on the darker side of romance.

loyalty

Loyalty.

Noun.  ‘A strong feeling of support or allegiance.’

For some, loyalty can be bought. For others, it’s earned. But the thing about loyalty—it can change in an instant. All it takes is one act, one decision, and loyalty shifts to betrayal in the blink of an eye…a sin which cannot go unpunished.

Not in this world.

But sometimes things happen beyond our control, forcing our allegiances to change. Like the mob enforcer who wants nothing more than to seduce the assassin hired to kill him. Or the FBI agent who falls for the woman whose past holds ties with the mafia.

Yet, no matter the reason or motive, the consequences of betrayal are always deadly.

Because in this world everyone is…

Craving Loyalty

buy-button-amazon

Release Day Festivities

Some of you know I’m the Managing Editor for Limitless Publishing and our imprint, Crave Publishing. It truly is the best job in the world. We have so many amazing authors in a variety of genres, and a tight-knit publishing family.

Tuesdays are release day, and I have hot new books to share by two of our bestselling authors, H.J. Bellus and Skyla Madi.

First up, Death & Dust, by Skyla Madi and Limitless Publishing…

29366255_1932932310353596_2161478240214455997_n

Jai Stone…

I met him in the shadows first. He was tall and broad-shouldered, a man full of heat, passion, and unconditional love meant only for me. 

He was my perfect counterpart, my best friend, and the only spark of light in an otherwise cold, dark hell.

But it was never meant to be.

Together, we fought hard in a war that sought only to destroy us, and the casualties are worse than I ever imagined. 

Because of Skull…
I lost the closest thing I had to family.

Because of Skull…
I’ll never get the chance to atone for my mistakes. 

Because of Skull…
I was no longer Jai’s kitten.

ONE CLICK HERE on Amazon, and FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

And now, check out the first in a brand new series, a spin-off of the bestselling Southern Boys series, Whiskey & You by H.J. Bellus and Crave Publishing…

29468474_2047735122166430_3178459516266086400_o

Sometimes it’s the hero who ends up needing a lifeline…

Jack Jarvis York is a ruthless and vindictive oil tycoon who knows no boundaries when he’s been double-crossed. Debtors beware. He’ll slit your throat for a nickel. And make no mistake, he will collect.

You never screw with a man’s pride, money, or oil. It’s Texas Law. Unwritten, yet gospel. They don’t call him the king of Texas for nothing.

When a debtor can’t come up with his money, JJ takes his wife as collateral…

What starts out as a trade-off between bitter men turns into an emotional collision of desire and forbidden love so dangerous, it threatens to destroy even the strongest of empires. 

No amount of money will ever rebuild everything that’s been shattered. Jack is left standing in the middle of his own chaos.

Greed and power are the least of his worries now. Death is knocking on his front door, wanting to collect. 

The woman he’s given his heart to just might become his collateral this time around. Past sins may trump everything…

ONE CLICK HERE on Amazon, and FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

Be sure to visit the Limitless and Crave Facebook pages, because we have Amazon gift card giveaways running right now for these hot new releases! And for even more fun and games and goodies, Crave has a readers’ group, “What Are You Craving?” in which the authors host great events and games and giveaways every week. Visit the group and join so you don’t miss out.

On my to-do list today is to continue work on editing an upcoming Crave release, Mafia Princess by Bella J, first in her new Royal Mafia series and due out on May 8.

Nope, my job does not suck, not even a little bit!

A Day In The Life

It’s Monday again. Back to work for most, but some of us never really stopped.

When I tell people I’m the Managing Editor for a publisher, it’s hard to define what that means, so I thought I’d give it a shot here. I’m kind of exhausted just thinking about it, so let’s see how I do.

bigstock_books_fly_into_your_laptop_17224229

The “editor” part is easy enough to understand. I edit books, working with the authors to get them all bright and shiny and ready for publication, both for my Limitless/Crave authors, and a select group of indie authors.

The “managing” part is much harder to describe. In short, I coordinate with a team of authors, editors, proofreaders, formatters, cover designers, marketing professionals, and the publisher’s executives to move a book through every step in the process, from submission to release.

image3

Honestly, I wear so many hats that most days I am technically nine feet tall. 

My first step every morning is checking email, and what I find there sets the tone for the rest  of the day. Email might include:

  • Receipt of a manuscript I was expecting for my editing schedule
  • Lack of receipt of said manuscript, or an email explaining why I don’t have it and begging for “one more day”
  • An author with a happy announcement
  • An author upset about something
  • An author upset about everything
  • Other team members being upset about the upset author
  • A long email exchange brainstorming new title ideas for a book or series because the original one sucked
  • A completed edit from one of my editors to be sent along to the proofreader
  • People inquiring about openings in my editing department…often misspelled and poorly punctuated
  • Drafts of cover blurbs to be reviewed/revised, and sent to upper management for approval or rejection
  • Exchanges with authors about release dates
  • Someone asking the same question I’ve already answered six times, as well as posting the information in one of our author groups
  • Messages from the cover artists asking where the hell the blurb is for the current project
  • An author announcing they have a great idea for a new series, and should they write it now, before they complete the series in progress? (No.)
  • Discovery that a newly-signed manuscript is 340,000 words, roughly four times longer than we’d prefer, followed by convincing an editor to tackle working with the author to divide it into palatable bits

And that’s just for starters.

I check the contract status report. If new books are on there, I have to log them all and start planning their edits, proofs, and creation of their book cover art and blurbs. If the author is new to us, I have to email them a welcome, list of instructions, and an overview of our editing process. I also have to check the budget, because none of this stuff is free.

I check the cover design status sheet. Once a book has a release date set, it needs to go on this sheet, and I send the assignments to the artists, giving them ample time to complete  the project.

I cross-check all my spreadsheets. Book log (which has columns for every step in the 13348883_10208326038441047_398668350_nprocess), blurb sheet (which shows release date and where we are on the writing of the blurb for the online listings and cover), contract sheet, cover design sheet, budget, release calendar, and my personal calendar. Doing this helps me spot inconsistencies or places I dropped a step along the way.

We have Facebook groups for our authors, promotion, a separate group for the authors with our Crave imprint, a readers’ group for Crave books, a group for the authors in our 13 and Carnival horror anthologies, and a readers’ group for them as well. I need to monitor all these, answer questions, cheer-lead a bit, and occasionally smooth ruffled feathers.

Our anthologies are almost a separate process, and somehow I ended up being primarily in charge of coordinating them. I work with the authors of previous anthologies, our marketing team, and the executive team to decide on a theme for the collection, work out submission, editing, proofing, and release dates, write the call for submissions, receive the submissions as they come in, work with submissions to determine which to include in the anthology, notify the authors (chosen and rejected), add newcomers to the relevant Facebook groups, assemble everything and send to the editor…

Are you tired yet? I am.

I love email and Facebook messages. I’d far rather do all business this way, but our CEO often prefers to call and run through a list of things rather than try to sort through email. Her brain works on approximately 48 tracks at a time at 9000 miles per hour, and shifts direction so suddenly and frequently I have permanent whiplash. There are also a few authors who require lengthy discussions or who comprehend complex conversations better by phone. I do it, but every phone call leaves me dying for a very large adult beverage. (I’m not a phone person. I literally only talk to the husband by phone, and that’s extremely rare, as we usually text.)

54a1ac06d4ceb5bdafc8494fc1742b31

Once I’m sure no part of this house of cards is in danger of immediate collapse, I can tackle my own daily editing project. Yes, it’s rare for me not to have an edit on deck. Right now, my first truly open date is in September. I figure out where I need to be in the current edit to remain on track to complete by deadline–because I DO NOT miss deadlines.

While editing, I have to keep an eye on email, because it never, ever stops. With authors all around the world, time zones mean nothing. I used to keep email open all the time, but for my own sanity, I had to start logging out in the evenings, being sure authors know they can reach me by Facebook messages if I’m awake, in case of emergency.

28061089_10213818380746172_9039055512493439138_o

Editorial Assistants Oliver and Mozzie

Don’t forget I work at home, which means occasionally breaking for laundry, unloading the dishwasher, a snack, a shower, letting the dogs in and out and in and out and inandout, feeding the dogs, making dinner, telling the dogs for the billionth time to shut the hell up because the neighbors are actually allowed to enter and leave their own homes, sit on the porch, or drive their vehicles, though they would not be if I had any say in the matter.

 

Only when email is relatively quiet and I’ve met my editing goal for the day and no dumpster fires are currently in progress can I ease back a bit and do what I do in my off time, which right now is knitting and Netflix. Still, I have to be available for time-sensitive author-wrangling and question-answering, so I use the pause button and stitch markers a lot.

While it can be a bit overwhelming at times, and there’s never a dull moment, I can’t imagine having any other job, unless maybe professional beverage-tester at a beach bar somewhere is an option.

With all this going on, you can probably figure out why I’m unofficially retired from the Author gig and focusing on blogging, though I’m writing a lot more in the blog than I have on novels over the last few years. Which, I think, is how it’s meant to be.

Good Things Lost In Transition

2013-05-15-wordcloud

I want to talk about a book series I used to love and recently rediscovered, but first, some background…

Back in the pre-Kindle, little internet days, the book world was dominated by a few large, New York-based publishing companies. Their process was rigid and slow-moving, though, meaning even if you were a fast writer, you’d have one, or possibly two releases per year.

For avid readers, this was problematic, especially due to no internet. Back then, I kept a book journal, divided by month, and recorded author, title, and a one-line summary of everything I read, which could be anywhere from 10-20 books per month. I would periodically review the journal, note which favorite authors hadn’t released anything lately, make a list, trek to the library, look up to see if they had a new book in or on order, place a reserve, and wait for it to come in.

Yawn. Carving hieroglyphs in stone tablets and floating it down the Nile would be faster.

Then, yahoo and yee-haw, along came the internet in all its literary glory, and the world changed.

Authors had websites and newsletters and libraries were online. Perhaps most significantly, publishing itself changed. More and more small presses appeared, giving authors options they never had before.

I abandoned print books for my beloved Kindle (always named George, and I’m on George IV right now), which meant I could now be reading the second book in a series seconds after finishing the first one. Perfect for an impatient, immediate-gratification person like me.

Near the end of the pre-Kindle days, I came across an urban fantasy series–a favorite genre–at the library. The Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman. It was dark and gritty, but threaded with a fabulous dry, sarcastic, witty humor I loved. The world-building, mythology, and lore are second to none, and the powerful, complicated relationship between brothers Cal and Niko Leandros is indescribably wonderful. If you love the depth and breadth of the Supernatural universe and brothers Sam and Dean, this is right up your alley.

Thurman-Rob_Cal-and-Niko-Leandros_01-06

I devoured the first five or six books as they came hot off the presses. In 2011, I got my first Kindle, how I followed the book world changed, and I lost track of Rob and Cal and Niko for a while. Around that time, Rob was in a serious car accident, which is when I learned she’s actually Robyn, which surprised me. The brother relationship was so profoundly rendered I totally accepted the author must be male. Nope. Maybe this caused a hitch in her big-NY-publisher schedule. But for whatever reason, the series sort of fell off my radar.

Recently, I think due to a feature in Book Bub, I remembered the series. I was ecstatic to discover there were three books I’d not yet read, so I downloaded them all. I read Slashback last week, am currently reading DownFall, and Nevermore is up next. I’m loving getting reacquainted with Cal and Niko and Robin and Promise and the Auphe. (Okay, maybe not the Auphe so much…)

15808602

The hitch is Nevermore, the most recent release, came out in 2015. That’s an eternity in today’s publishing world. I was also disturbed to discover on the series Wikipedia page that book 11, Everwar, is shown as “uncertain” with a notation it was canceled by the publisher, and the author’s website doesn’t appear to have been updated in some time.

Why? Maybe the author is retired or semi-retired from writing, and that’s fine, though I’d love more books. But as someone who works in publishing and is an author myself, I think it has to do with the shift in the publishing industry.

It used to be okay to release a book a year. But now, with so many busy small presses who can work with an author and release books much faster, readers expect that. Those lumbering dinosaurs that are the “big” NY publishing houses have failed to adjust to this, plodding along the path that worked for so many decades. It hasn’t hurt mega-authors like Stephen King, but the lesser-known but still solid authors like Rob Thurman suffer.

Was book 11, Everwar, canceled because it wasn’t good? Highly doubtful. Was it canceled because interest and sales had dropped off? Much more likely. But whose fault is that? In this case, not the author’s. Reading the last books in the series, I know they’re as strong and compelling as they ever were.

One of my all-time favorite series is the Arly Hanks (“Maggody, Arkansas”) series by Joan Hess, which came out from 1987 to 2010. Several years ago I looked for these in e-book format so I could read them again–they are quirkily hilarious–and found only a couple of them. I was heartened to see when I checked today that they were all released in e-book in 2016 and 2017. But they’re not selling well because publishing now demands a constant stream of new material. Readers have short memories these days. Hess also doesn’t appear to have a website (the horror!), only a minimal listing on her publisher’s website.

I’ve been thinking about Robyn and her Cal Leandros series a lot over the past week. I wonder how much of her MIA situation is personal choice (publishing is exhausting!) and how much lack of vision and support by her publisher.

If it’s the latter, I wonder what the future is for Everwar and any potential future volumes in the series. I have no idea what her contract terms are, of course, but if we’re just “done” with a series and decline to sign the latest volume, we will often return the rights to the full series, so the author can re-brand and market it themselves.

It appears a couple of years ago the author attempted to gather support to self-publish, but for reasons that boggle the mind, the fans didn’t come through. I was unaware of this campaign at the time, but would happily support one now.

Whether it’s lack of support from her publisher in the changing publishing climate, fans who have “moved on,” or a change of priorities in the author’s own personal and writing life, I just know I’d like to see more of Cal and Niko and the gang, and I hope, if she’s still on board, she’ll continue to explore ways to keep telling their stories.

Hell, if Rob Thurman wants to stage a comeback, I’ll edit the first book for her for free.