What I’m Working On: Lost (and other stuff)

It turns out I haven’t put out a book since…*checks*…May! Turns out, I haven’t written anything either. My family had a rough year and while Beast did extremely well (THANK YOU to everyone who bought it), Gold did not, and I haven’t been able to afford the time off to write. In addition, the news that All Romance eBooks wouldn’t be paying me (and other authors) hit really hard, as I counted on that money.

I’ve been tackling the next Midsummer book off and on, and I think I might finally have a workable outline for it. At least I know where people are supposed to kiss, and that’s half the battle in an outline. So, at present, I’m working on Lost, which is my contemporary take on Hansel & Gretel (no incest, though). No release date and no preorder yet, but I’ll post when I’ve got some news.

Given that Beast did well, I’m looking at finally writing a particularly dark erotic thriller I’ve had percolating in my head for some time now. I’ll provide more details and teasers later, but for now I’ll just say that it’ll likely appeal to fans of Beast and Sympathy for the Devil, and will be a very non-traditional romance with a lot of heat between two people born of tragedy.

I’ve had a lot of visitors lately looking into what I have in the pipeline (more Stirling Falls, more Midsummer, and yes, yes, I know–more CATS), and I’m sorry I haven’t had more frequent, firm updates. I expected to release a lot last year and just sort of hit a wall. Hopefully being off readers’ radars for so long won’t negatively impact future sales too badly and I can get more works your way soon. Thank you for stopping by, your support keeps me going!

Asha

 

New Release: GOLD

GoldToday the fifth Midsummer Suspense Tale, Gold, is out in the world! As I forgot to do any promo for it, here’s the guest post I would’ve written if I’d remembered.

 

In Praise of the Blue Collar Hero

The funny thing I realized in writing this book is that I finally had a Midsummer Tale without a wealthy hero.

That’s unusual for me, as I prefer a regular guy sort of lead male character. No offense to those who love billionaire books, but it’s not my cuppa. As nice as it would be when struggling to support a family, I find little appeal in a wealthy man swooping in to ease the financial burden–I think because in real life I’ve found it always comes with a cost, and one I’m no longer willing to pay. This is why the heroes of my other books tend to be ordinary men–a gardener, a construction worker, a horse wrangler (with the exception of Carter the writer, though his money is running out by the time the reader meets him in The Book of Love).

But the Midsummer Tales are modernized fairy tales, and so many of those stories have a prince that they crept into the stories. Even then, it was important to me to have heroines who insisted on standing on their own two feet. Gina in Cinders could have been rescued by Brennen–he was more than willing to help her–but she refused to be indebted to him, preferring to earn her way in the world. Both those characters continue to struggle to find a balance between her need for financial independence and his desire to see her loosen the reins a little and lean on him. Bryar in Beauty meets Sawyer, a wealthy pop star, but has no idea who he is, and his wealth has little bearing on their story.

It took a turn in Snow when Mike gave up everything he personally had to save Liliana, but that was necessary for her to realize here was a man who didn’t put a price on her, who valued her.  And Joseph’s billionaire status in Beast afforded him the eccentricities required to keep himself hidden, and Belle had no need for any of his money.

And then we get to Gold. Ross comes from a working class family who has always struggled, and the reader first meets him stepping out of prison. It was refreshing to get back to a working class lead male character who had to struggle just like regular folks, who balked at the wealth of some of the other Midsummer residents (and tried really, really hard not to steal from any of them), who just wanted to help his family.  Low income families on the verge of poverty deal with some of the greatest stress, especially when one major illness can bankrupt you, or if running your own business one bad year can cost you everything. That’s how Ross grew up, all he knows, and it’s a stark contrast with the other men so far in Midsummer who don’t live paycheck to paycheck. It’s Kryssie who has the hidden wealth, Kryssie who could provide for him if needed–Kryssie with the ticket out of a lot of bad situations Ross finds himself in.

So how does that turn out? Well, you can now read and find out about what happens when Goldilocks/The Miller’s Daughter curls up in tattooed ex-con Baby Bear’s bed…

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

KindleAReNookKoboiBookstoreSmashwordsPaperback

I usually like to have the next book up for pre-order when one releases, but…I haven’t started anything new yet. The tentative research plans I’d made for Gimme Shelter have fallen through, so that book is officially off my schedule (my apologies to Stirling Falls readers). I haven’t plotted out either Lost (Midsummer #6) or Cat’s in the Cradle (Cats & Conjure #5) yet, unfortunately. I have a busy summer ahead of me so I might take a bit of a break and come back with new work in the fall. If you want to keep up to date, you can subscribe to my blog, follow me on Facebook, or Amazon uses can click the “Follow” button on my Amazon profile to get notified of new releases and pre-orders.

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

KindleAReNookKoboiBookstoreSmashwords

Continue reading

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 Site + New(ish) Releases

If you’re a regular visitor, you may have noticed things are a bit different. I’m no longer at blogspot but have a new website. All the previous posts have been copied over. There are still some kinks to work out but this is it! I hope you like it and find it easy to navigate; I’m quite pleased with it.

My newest release came out a few weeks ago–a full-length novel called THE BOOK OF LOVE about a cranky divorced romance writer and his determined new editor. It was a lot of fun to write and thus far readers seem to enjoy it, which is always a relief.

On July 10, the first Midsummer Suspense Tales boxset will be released–CINDERS, BEAUTY, and SNOW have been collected all as one. It’s available for pre-order at: KindleAReNookKoboiBookstore

AK-StarterBundle1-kindleAfter that, on August 14, I’m releasing the Asha King Starter Bundle as another boxset–this is three of my series first books collected together in one release. Not something the average fan needs but hopefully it’ll get some new eyes on my work. If you’ve missed those books and want to save several bucks, there you go. WILD HORSES (retail $3.99), CATS IN HEAT (retail $2.99), and CINDERS (retail $2.99) for $4.99 total.

Release Date: Aguust 14, 2015
Genre: IR (bwwm) romantic suspense and paranormal romance
Length: a novel and two long novellas (117K words or 355 pages)
Series: Stirling Falls, Cats & Conjure, Midsummer Suspense
Format: ebook
Pre-orderKindleAReNookKobo

 

Finally…

What I’m Working On

As I mentioned on Facebook the other night, I’m working on Cats & Conjure #3 right now, STRAY CAT STRUT. It has a blurb, a cover, and an outline, and now I just need to finish writing it.

There are three more novellas planned in that series (you will understand when you see how #3 ends), however I will have to stagger the books between others because the previous one didn’t sell well and I can’t afford to spend that much time away from books that DO make okay money. Thank you to those who purchase my books and I’m sorry for the gap between releases. When STRAY CAT STRUT is ready, I’ll maybe write up a recap of the previous two for longtime readers as a refresher.

It’s back to work for me. Thank you again for the suppotr!