What I’m Working On and Pre-order: GOLD

GoldMidsummer #5 is coming on May 27!

This was originally a tougher one to plot. Where previous fairy tale retellings–Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast–had clear plot arcs and villains to base my stories on, when I had the idea to do Goldilocks and the Three Bears one, I ran into a bit of a block.

Really, any Goldilocks story would have to be a wrong-bed-trope kind, so the romance was going to be easy. But for the rest, the suspense aspect, I asked, What if Goldilocks was running and hiding from someone? What was her life before finding the bears’ cabin?

I looked then at other fairy tales and settled on Rumpelstiltskin and the miller’s daughter who has to spin straw into gold.

The result was my new story Gold about the “baby bear” of a family who’s always been in trouble with the law and hacker girl on the run who stumbles across his family’s lodge.

Here’s the blurb and pre-order info, and below the cut I’ll paste the Once Upon a Time (aka prologue) opening. The excerpt is unedited, so please forgive any typos and errors.

Usually I like to have the next book up for pre-order when one releases, however I’m probably going to take a break to research my next projects, and I’m uncertain what I’ll be working on next. After Gold, I don’t have any firm release dates decided upon. I’m thinking of working on Gimme Shelter next. I also have Cats & Conjure #5 and Midsummer #6 on my list.

 

It’s his last chance at a life of freedom.

Gabe Ross has never not been in trouble. The principal’s office led to juvie, juvie led to jail. Getting probation on good behavior was difficult enough, but he did it and now he’s home with a job lined up and a shot at staying out of prison if he keeps on the straight and narrow. As the small town of Midsummer settles into spring, Ross prepares to open the cabins his family owns for the seasonal vacationers. Late one night he finds a girl curled up in his bed and assumes his ex has figured out he’s back in town and is looking for a little fun.

The criminal underworld’s golden girl wants a way out.

Kryssie Locke is known in criminal circles for spinning nothing into virtual gold, a reputation she built to save her life. She’s escaped at last with enough knowledge that her former employers are hunting her, and hiding out in a cabin in the woods seems like it’ll give her time to figure things out. She doesn’t realize the cabin is owned by the Ross family, nor is she expecting their youngest son to crawl into bed with her.

The attraction between them is electric and immediate. But Ross is trying to stick to his probation and Kryssie is tempting him to break just that. Because as he’s starting to fall for her, he knows he’ll do anything to keep her safe from those hunting her. Even kill.

 

Release Date: May 27, 2016
Genre: IR (bwwm) contemporary romantic suspense
Length: novel (50K words or 150 pages)
Series: Midsummer Suspense
Format: ebook & paperback
Ebook Price: $3.99
Print Price: $8.99

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2016 Book Forecast…

Hey guys!

So I’ve been reflecting on last year’s releases, trying to figure out what worked in terms of sales, what didn’t, and where I need to go from here. Last year’s plans for 2016 will have to shift a little, as I expected.

Here’s how it’s looking so far:

Series Works

Stirling Falls

AK-GimmeShelter-webReaders still like series! I still get regular interest in Stirling Falls books with periodic sales on Wild Horses and Sympathy for the Devil, so I am seriously looking at trying to get Gimmer Shelter written later this year. It’s going to require some research, so I’ll be looking into that later this month, and whether or not I can get that hands-on research in–and when–will decide when that book will be written. Maybe a fall release? I hope?

I also really want to do a second book about Tash and Devin from Sympathy Called the Devil. The premise involves Tash investigating the murder of someone close to her while Devin tries to reintegrate with a town who believed for years he was a serial killer. Also, there will be ropes and whips and nipple clamps, because of course there will. It’ll be called Paint it Black to go with my Rolling Stones theme, but that’s all I know for now and likely won’t get around to it until 2017 if I write it at all.

Guaranteed this year: Gimme Shelter is likely in the fall.

 

Midsummer Suspense

GoldAlso, the future of the Midsummer Suspense Tales series… I never know what to expect with these books; Cinders did well, but there was a gap that year with illnesses and family emergencies, and I only had one book out. With that momentum destroyed, it was a climb last year back up again. Beauty and Snow did okay, so I went ahead and released Beast…and to my immense surprise, readers seem to have dug it and sales, while not huge, have been steady the past couple of months.

Also, in talking with a writer friend about the series, I ended up deciding to extend it from six books to nine. Admittedly, I love doing fairy tales, and if readers continue buying them, I’ll keep writing them. I’ll be shuffling things around a little, and hope to continue writing them for the rest of this year and next, although because they’re standalone, if it seems like interest is petering out I can comfortably stop writing them.

Guaranteed this year: Gold, which I’m halfway through and will come out May 27, and likely Lost toward the end of the year.

 

Cats & Conjure

AlleyCat-KindletThese books…continue to not do well. Stray Cat Strut was my poorest selling release of last year. Alley Cat is up for pre-order. Right now pre-order numbers sit at…eleven copies. Yeah, ouch.

Addie and Erik’s story spans six novellas total. Three are out, one is coming soon, and there are two more planned that will be written, but I’ll have to see when I can squeeze it in. I promise I won’t leave regular readers hanging but appreciate understanding about the financial perils of writing and releasing these stories.

Guaranteed this year: Alley Cat on March 4. Hopefully Cat’s in the Cradle toward the fall but no promises.

 

Standalone

I was a little disappointed with The Book of Love‘s performance last year, both because it was super fun to write and because I genuinely thought it would be a book people would like with the humor and burned out romance writer premise. It keeps trucking along, though, and I’m looking at my list of other standalones I wanted to write.

One was I Who Have Nothing, which was originally supposed to be out with a publisher in 2013. It was delayed because it wasn’t done and then because I left my publisher. I still regularly get interest in it but the news is the same: the book has undergone extensive rewrites and still isn’t ready.

Guaranteed this year: If I release a non-series book this year, it’ll be this one, as I’m halfway through it, but I thought that last year so it’s by no means definite.

 

New Worlds

For a couple of years now, I’ve had a new romantic suspense series on my mind following the same couple for 3-4 books called Fox and Manning. The first is still in development and something I’m debating, but the thing I come back to is starting another series only to decide to retire from publishing.

Sales are never steady–anyone in publishing knows to never expect otherwise–but it’s a lot of time and money invested and I’m not sure if I can keep doing it. This tweet from last week?

Not an exaggeration. I’ve got a note to look over sales numbers vs expenses in the fall to see.

It’s reality and it’s not fun, but here we are; if it happens, I don’t want anyone to be surprised, which is why I’ve mentioned it. I won’t start a new series (especially not with a HFN ending on the first book) unless I’m sure I’m going to finish it because I love my supporters and wouldn’t leave them hanging. Fox and Manning will debut next year at the earliest if I decide to continue publishing as Asha King.

I’m also toying with some m/m ideas at the encouragement of a friend; if I pursue it, those works will be romantic suspense and written as Ashe Kingston. And will likely involve hot cowboys–I think Stirling Falls could use some m/m lovin’. This will be something I revisit toward the end of 2016 to see if I think it’ll be actually viable or not–investing in a new genre and new pen name is risky to say the least.

Guaranteed this year: Nada.

 

So…that’s what this year is looking like. I have a handy page devoted to 2016 releases that I’ll keep updated throughout the year. I hope this answers any reader questions that might be coming up about what-book-is-coming-when and, if not, just leave a comment here and I’ll try to answer.

 

Happy reading!

XO Asha

New Release: BEAST

My last release of the year is here!

I’m really excited about this one, I had so much fun writing it and really love the story. I hope you do, too.

Please note that other than the first Cats & Conjure boxset in January, I do not have firm release dates at the moment. I have a few things in progress but I’m pretty burned out and I want to take the holiday off and spend time with my family before I look at things again and figure out what to work on.

Today there is also a Q&A with me at my friend Darien’s blog about Beast/Midsummer. Of Beast, Darien says: “And damn, this Beauty and the Beast story ain’t no Disney tale! Mystery, murder, action, and kink, I’m awed at what Asha pulled off here”  You’ll find the Q&A here.

Next Friday there will be a giveaway over at Romance Novels in Color celebrating the release of Beast, and I hope you join me.

If you missed the first three Midsummer Suspense Tales, the boxset is Kobo’s Double Daily Deal today only and you can get it for a discount. If you miss it, you can also get it on sale for 25% off at All Romance eBooks for another week.

 

Beast

BeastA scarred recluse hiding from his past… 

Joseph Li has lived in hiding since he was fifteen years old. The son of dangerous mob boss known as The Dragon, he sought a life of his own and paid the ultimate price, ending up horribly burned over half of his body. He escaped when the world–and his mother–assumed he died in the fire, but is not without scars. Physically, he’s disfigured; mentally, he trusts no one and has become a shut-in living in the fringes of small towns until local interest drives him away.

The beautiful young housekeeper who is more than she seems… 

Belladona Martin is a loyal employee of Seven Security, specializing in undercover work. When a local call girl comes to her for help after a prostitute turns up dead–one who worked at the Li mansion–with worries the scarred man living there killed her, Belle naturally takes the case. She slips into the persona of a housekeeper who provides “companionship” on the side, hoping to find evidence to convict the monster responsible for the crime.

Joseph believes he’s more beast than man, even as Belle’s presence gives him hope for redemption. But beyond the lies surrounding her identity that could destroy their budding relationship, a twenty-year-old secret is buried deep in Midsummer, one from Joseph’s past that might claim both their lives.

Release Date: December 4
Genre: IR (bwam) contemporary romantic suspense
Length: novel (60K words or 180 pages)
Series: Midsummer Suspense
Format: ebook & paperback
Ebook Price: $3.99
Print Price: $8.99

KindleAReNookKoboiBookstoreSmashwords – Paperback

I’m Doing NaNoWriMo!

NaNo-2015-Participant-Badge-Large-SquareAnd I’ll probably fail as I have a lot to do in November, but Gold has been in my head, and it’s projected to be about 50K, so I’ll try to get some words in. Buddy me here if you like!

Also, two days left to get Bad Moon Rising on sale!

New Pre-order: BEAST

Thank you so much to everyone who picked up Beauty and Snow and left reviews/told friends, and supported my work in other ways. I’m pleased to announce the fourth book in the series, Beast, is coming out December 4, 2015.

Beast on par with Snow as my favourite of the Midsummer Suspense Tales so far. The books in this series have been getting progressively darker, so my apologies to those who really liked the sweetness of Cinders but you’ll be finding that less and less. If you liked Sympathy for the Devil but weren’t into the D/s, you might like this one (although there is some light bondage, about on par with Snow).

This concludes my releases for 2015. I have a number on my plate for next year but Stray Cat Strut‘s performance was…honestly, probably my poorest selling book of anything I’ve published in nearly three years. I do have a few ideas to hopefully boost things, but in the meantime I’m once again shuffling things, trying to stagger poor-selling series books between better ones so I can get those last Cats & Conjure books out to readers. If Beast does okay, I’m hoping to swing back to Midsummer with Gold, which is going to be a bit of a mashup between Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Rumpelstiltskin.

Please subscribe to my blog or my newsletter for announcements on my next projects, and thank you for reading!

Without further ado, here you go!

Beast

BeastA scarred recluse hiding from his past… 

Joseph Li has lived in hiding since he was fifteen years old. The son of dangerous mob boss known as The Dragon, he sought a life of his own and paid the ultimate price, ending up horribly burned over half of his body. He escaped when the world–and his mother–assumed he died in the fire, but is not without scars. Physically, he’s disfigured; mentally, he trusts no one and has become a shut-in living in the fringes of small towns until local interest drives him away.

The beautiful young housekeeper who is more than she seems… 

Belladona Martin is a loyal employee of Seven Security, specializing in undercover work. When a local call girl comes to her for help after a prostitute turns up dead–one who worked at the Li mansion–with worries the scarred man living there killed her, Belle naturally takes the case. She slips into the persona of a housekeeper who provides “companionship” on the side, hoping to find evidence to convict the monster responsible for the crime.

Joseph believes he’s more beast than man, even as Belle’s presence gives him hope for redemption. But beyond the lies surrounding her identity that could destroy their budding relationship, a twenty-year-old secret is buried deep in Midsummer, one from Joseph’s past that might claim both their lives.

Release Date: December 4
Genre: IR (bwam) contemporary romantic suspense
Length: novel (60K words or 180 pages)
Series: Midsummer Suspense
Format: ebook & paperback
Ebook Price: $3.99
Print Price: $8.99

KindleAReNookKoboiBookstoreSmashwords – Paperback

Astute readers will recognize some names: Joseph was mentioned in Beauty, and Belladona was briefly in Snow. One of my favourite parts of writing these stories is getting to connect all the characters and weaving them from book to book–a few of the heroes and heroines from previous books make an appearance in this one (and…one couple is expecting!).

The paperback is now available!

Read on for a taste….

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