Guest: Cara Bristol Brings Her Warrior

October 23, 2014 Posted by Patricia Green

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00014]I’m delighted to have fellow sci-fi spanking romance writer, Cara Bristol, on my blog today, as part of her blog tour for her new book, Warrior (Breeder 3). I’ve read the first two Breeder books and they are awesome. I highly recommend anything you see with Cara Bristol’s name on it, whether sci-fi or otherwise. The spankings will delight you while you’re wrapped up in the universes she creates and the characters she builds.

Here’s a little blurb about Warrior (Breeder 3):

A female fighting for freedom. A male armed with determination. Can they save their people?

As a despotic Qalin marches through Parseon intent on conquering every province, Commander Marlix pledges his sister to another Alpha to protect her. Desperate to decide her own fate, Anika flees and finds refuge with the guerilla resistance movement against Qalin. Marlix’s aide Urazi hunts her down to bring her home to fulfill her duty. But when love blossoms between them, and provinces fall to Qalin, Anika and Urazi realize home has ceased to exist, and they are all that stand between the people of Parseon and the end of the world.

Warrior is the third and final book of the Breeder science fiction romance series, but it can be read as a stand-alone.

I’ll bet you’d like an excerpt too. Well here ya go:
“Hold steady. Grip the stock from below with your left hand. Do not get in the way of the bolt.” Grogan stepped so close, his hardened manhood prodded Anika’s left flank. She gritted her teeth, and considered dropping her trigger finger to reach into her boot for Tara’s knitting needle.

Yes. Hold steady now, Grogan.

“Line your target between the crosshairs.”

Target in sight. Anika closed her left eye and peered through the scope with her right at the life-size outline of a male sketched in soot on an unrolled parchment scroll tacked to a tree fifty meters away. Focused on the round smudge, center torso.

Grogan pressed his stiffened manhood into the crease of her buttocks. “Squeeze…the trigger.”

Anika superimposed her instructor’s likeness onto the faceless target and discharged the bolt. The string recoiled with a pop and released the arrow. With satisfying thunk, it embedded in the target. Lowering her weapon, Anika stepped out of range of the alpha and strode to examine the result.

Right through the heart.

“Fair. For a female,” Grogan judged.

She compared her results—dead center—with Grogan’s. He’d missed the middle completely, hitting outside the outline. Perhaps the weight of his erection had unbalanced his shot.

She marched to the starting line with Grogan dogging her heels, flinging advice as wild as his aim. She shot better than every male of the Resistance, but walked a precarious path, awakening each morn to wonder if this would be the day she would fall prey to her compatriots. To Grogan, who had singled her out for special training.

But joining the Guerilla Resistance against Qalin and Artom was preferable to facing what lay outside the camp. Anika shuddered.

After leaving Marlix’s abode, she’d roamed the countryside for a week before she’d straggled into the militia group attempting to defeat Qalin and Artom. Their secret weapon?

Breeders. No one would suspect a female of being an armed fighter.

But her instructor saw no reason to abandon the old use for females. Thus far she’d dodged him, but her luck and his patience could not last much longer.

“Many females can hit the target, but few have the strength you do to cock the bowstring. You are the best female shooter by far,” Grogan conceded, his praise falling short of recognizing her true ability.

“You have trained enough for one day. Let us retire to the camp,” Grogan said. “You may bring me the midday meal.” He peered at the sky. The star of Parseon hovered overhead, its heat barely reaching the atmosphere to edge the temperature over freezing. But the chill provided an excuse to layer on multiple articles of clothing. The inconvenience of removal had saved her on more than one occasion. Still, a clothing barrier offered scant protection. Some males—Grogan—viewed impediments as a challenge.

“I feel as though I need more practice.” She peered at him from beneath downcast lashes and slumped her shoulders in a pretense of self-effacement. “May I please try one more time?”

Usually the number of people milling around afforded opportunity to avoid or divert him.

But, today, the alphas had formed two teams and split up, one group hunting for small game, another sent on reconnaissance. The females had been ordered to forage for whatever they could find to replenish the dwindling food stores. Only she—by Grogan’s command—remained in camp.

She jabbed the crossbow nose onto the ground and stepped on the metal cocking stirrup.

“You have practiced enough for one day.” Temper edged his voice.

Anika pulled back the bowstring until it locked, extracted a bolt from the quiver, and slipped it into the flight groove. Cocked and loaded, the crossbow had to be fired, for it was too dangerous to leave a loaded weapon lying about. A bump or a jolt could discharge the projectile. She raised the crossbow to shoulder height, slipped her finger off the metal guard, and caressed the trigger.

“Did you hear what I said?” Grogan’s tone sharpened. “Look at me when I speak to you!”

She snapped a sharp pivot. Through the scope, the crosshairs formed a perfect X on his chest.

His eyes bulged in alarm, and he stumbled over his feet.

Even Grogan could not fail to hit a target at such close range.

“I heard what you said,” Anika replied before turning to the parchment target and pulling the trigger. Th-th-thunk! Her bolt landed next to the previous one. Dead center. Again. She lowered the weapon.

Grogan seized her arm in a bruising grip and yanked her around to face him. “Never point a loaded weapon at me! Do you understand?” He shook her.

Anika took stock of her instructor’s reddening complexion, the slight tremor of his body, the decreased bulge in his uniform pants. Satisfaction swelled, but she bowed her head. “I apologize, alpha. When you ordered me to look at you, I had no thought but to obey.”

Stars exploded under the impact of his fist.

Oh my! That sure got my attention!

You can get a copy of Warrior here:
 
Amazon.com
 
Amazon UK
 
Amazon AU
 
Barnes & Noble
 
All Romance eBooks

 

Cara Bristol 0914 smallHere’s some info about Cara:

Cara Bristol continues to evolve, adding new subgenres of erotic romance to her repertoire. She has written spanking romance, contemporary romance, paranormal, and science fiction romance. No matter what the genre, one thing remains constant: her emphasis on character-driven seriously hot erotic stories with sizzling chemistry between the hero and heroine. Cara has lived many places in the United States, but currently lives in Missouri with her husband. She has two grown stepkids. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading and traveling.

You can reach her here:

Cara Bristol’s web site/ blog

Amazon author page

Facebook page

Social Media Strategies – Twitter

October 22, 2014 Posted by Patricia Green

twitter laptop 19388142_s

Social Media Strategies – Twitter

Twitter is the à la minute SoMe platform. It’s active, incessantly updated, and it seems like everyone you know is there. People love to share their interests and entertain themselves on Twitter. That can turn into great traffic for you.

However, Twitter might be even more of a challenge, because it’s hard to entertain everyone you might want to reach. Your tweet disappears from people’s feeds in the blink of an eye. That’s why it’s more important than ever that you have a solid strategy.

It is possible to capture people’s attention on Twitter. You can rub elbows with heavy hitters in your niche and get to know some of your future readers. Although, if you’re like me, it will seem like you’re preaching to the choir an awful lot, tweeting to colleagues rather than reaching new readers; and hoping for re-tweets to push your message along.

Tip: One way I’ve found to reach new readers is to use a tweeting service. I have two, and many of the sites I advertise on (both free and paid) will happily tweet info for me. One service I use is Ask David. They’re a review site with more than 33,000 followers. You can buy a tweet package from them for $10 and you get 30 tweets to their followers. They have some parameters for the tweets, and a form to fill out to meet those parameters, but you can’t beat getting to 33,000 people in one shot. People from there will re-tweet you as well. Here’s a link to Ask David: http://askDavid.com  Ask them about their tweet package—it’s a well-kept secret.

Here are the main things you should be doing with Twitter to get great traffic:

  • Pay attention to the people who are most active in your niche and try to capture their attention;
  • Use Twitter search and hashtags;
  • Tweet, Retweet, and Direct Message.

 

Pay Attention

Getting the attention of active Tweeters in your niche is the best way to put yourself in the spotlight. Look for people who have hundreds or thousands of followers. They are popular because they always have the latest information, the best giveaways and product prices, interact the most, etc. Get their attention (don’t think of them as competition) and you just might see your own popularity increase.

You really have to think outside the box here. If you get the attention of someone on Twitter that has a huge email list and a very active blog, you’ll be in prime position to make them a special colleague, rather than simply someone you admire. Perhaps they will retweet you and you’ll get dozens of followers in an instant. Or maybe you’ll learn their strategy from the inside—reverse engineering their success and learning the tricks of the trade. That is how people become successful, and Twitter is one of the fastest ways to do it.

Retweet people you look up to or aspire to be like. Respond to questions or polls they put out there. Make sure they see your name in a few different places and then you can consider contacting them directly. Don’t be too surprised if they don’t have time for you; at the same time, don’t let that stop you. Good things happen for those who are persistent. However, do not ask them to retweet for you or to plug your book. Imagine how many such requests they get every day. Until they get to know you, this will seem like an amateurish way to use their list.

One of the best ways to get people to follow you on Twitter is to follow them first. Follow those who follow popular brands or people in your niche. Many will follow you back—particularly if you’re tweeting interesting things. Don’t limit yourself to colleagues. And don’t consider your “buy my book” tweets to be “interesting.” New release announcements, yes, those might be interesting, and if you do them a few times (few is an operative word in this sentence) you’ll get the attention of different people every time. Do them at different times of the day, over a period of a week or two. Do not spam people.

Do not hesitate to glean new followers from other, seemingly more successful people. These are nicely categorized so you can follow those in related lists. You can also make lists of your own and add active users to them—they’ll take notice. The lists are public and you should use them as a tool. You’ll start to build a real following as you interact with people, even in subtle ways.

Spend time building your Twitter following every day. Yes, every day you should add at least ten new people to your list using the methods I suggest above. Many of them will follow back. You can schedule tweets using tools like HootSuite so you get great visibility without being tied down to Twitter all the time. I use HootSuite and I love it. There are other Twitter automation programs out there, so search for one that suits you best. But, remember, you have to pay attention to Twitter in order to get the “big people”‘s attention. Twitter takes time and patience.

Tip: (You’ve seen this one before.) You only have 140 characters to use for any tweet (including spaces). Once you get your link, graphic and hashtags in there, it will seem like there’s not much room to say something. But you can. Remember not to use all 140 characters; leave some room for others to add “RT” or “Look!” to the tweet before they re-tweet it for you. If it’s 140 characters to start with, there’s no place for them to add their approval.

Use Twitter Search and Hashtags

Knowledge is power. Keep up with the popular discussions, memes, ideas, people, brands, and products in your niche by using Twitter’s search engine. Search for and use hashtags for an instant way to connect with others and expand your reach.

Also make sure to use Twitter hashtags in your posts. That way, it’ll be easier for you to keep track of people retweeting you, and your tweets will show up when people search for things that interest them. However, you should not use hashtags to excess. No one likes to see a fifteen character tweet that has 120 characters in hashtags. That is a cry for attention that’s about as offensive as using all caps (which you should not do either).

How To Use Hashtags Effectively

First, search on some hashtags using #keyword type searches. (Don’t literally use the word “keyword,” insert a word that suits what you have to say.) Pay attention to who is using that keyword and how, then, if you are confident your message fits in that niche, use it. Do not use obscure hashtags that don’t say something. (#123TT, for example, is probably the hashtag of a private group. Don’t insert yourself into their conversation.)

One of the hashtags you might be familiar with is #SatSpanks. Another might be #AmEditing (capitalization doesn’t matter with hashtags). They say something about the content of your tweet in the most succinct way.

Another good way to use hashtags is in a private group (mentioned above). You and your friends can come up with some obscure hashtag and use it to tweet. Then, each of you can search on that tag and, upon finding it, can re-tweet each other more easily. It’s all too easy for tweets to get lost in the mix, even tweets by people you care about. Using an obscure hashtag aggregates the tweets to make it easier.

Tweet, Retweet, and Direct Message

Twitter is a place to develop relationships. You can’t just tweet randomly all day without reading others’ tweets or interacting at all. It’s definitely worth your while to retweet others and answer questions they ask of their followers.

You’ll start to feel like you have the start of a good relationship with some of those you follow after you start interacting with them. Wait for the right time to send them a private message if you have interest in a joint venture or have an opportunity for them. Treat this as you would any business relationship – no spamming and no annoying.

Do not have a direct message automatically sent to a new follower, unless it simply says “hi” or “thank you for following.” Automated messages like, “Here’s my book; buy it,” or “Follow me on FB here,” are turnoffs for most Tweeters. I know I immediately unfollow people with these auto sales pitches. They’re too impersonal.

Another thing to avoid is the dreaded “tweets are protected” situation. I don’t know how people get their tweets protected, and I don’t want to. If I can’t see your tweets, I can’t re-tweet them, or learn anything about you. To me, that totally defeats the purpose of Twitter. I do not follow these people.

A Few Words About Triberr

A lot of people love Triberr, and on the surface, it does increase your reach. However, in most cases, you will be obligated to go to Triberr daily and re-tweet the various tweets of the members of your “tribe.” But how does this build personal relationships with your target audience? What are you really tweeting? You really have to make sure those tweets are suitable for the readers you’re trying to reach. So read them carefully and be discriminating.

Also, consider this (and it’s something of a pet peeve of mine). If you’re re-tweeting virtually randomly, how am I (your friend) going to find just your tweets to re-tweet? I’ll have to wade through a sea of tweets with your name on them but from other, uninteresting parties. Believe me, if you’re an active Triberr member, this is more trouble than it’s worth for a follower.

I’m not convinced that the time spent on Triberr is actually useful. But that is my opinion, based upon experience and trial and error.

Link to Your Website

You can’t just post links to your website all the time, because that will get annoying and no one will follow you. But, you should definitely talk about what you’re working on and drop in links to your free offer every so often. Funnel, funnel, funnel! You’ll get a much better response if you make a habit of sharing great information and caring about what others are doing too.

The people who say “Twitter doesn’t work” are saying that because they don’t take the time to build relationships (yes, we’re back to that again). Many of them build profiles of fake and untargeted followers. Try it this way and it might work out better for you.

As a note: I have implemented some of these classroom ideas, and to good effect. Remember to parcel out your time so that you still have time to write. If you spend a few minutes (like five) every so often through your day, you can get all this in.

Next week: A wrap-up and consideration of other platforms.

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