I will be tweaking my teasers again, this time to show the book cover and on sale now/free with kindle unlimited messaging. I’ll start posting teasers for Kindred Shadows in August!
Blood Toy is finally out in the world. It took over two decades to work up the nerve to let people other than my closest friends in on the story that has been my obsession for so long. I will be the first to say, my book is not for everyone, but fans of dark erotica, horror and urban fantasy will LOVE THE HELL OUT OF IT and will be waiting impatiently for Book 2, Kindred Shadows, this Fall! On the flip-side, the Twitter fiasco that was #AskELJames today has me downright terrified of potential fallout from unsuspecting romance fans who wander into my world expecting something else. Blood Toy’s latest 5 star review does a great job warning readers what they will be getting themselves into if they decide to explore, but I still debate whether I need to include a stronger warning in my synopsis.
I wanted to post my press release tonight, but am still waiting on final permission for a quote I will be including, so in the meantime, a reminder to enter to win your copy. Only a few hours left!!! And if you miss the deadline, you can finally buy one! Or read for Free with Kindle Unlimited.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 1, 2015—Blood Toy is the story of Diane Woods, a single-minded vampire huntress, who, during her three-year quest for vengeance, unwittingly attracts the attention of the one sire she cannot kill. What begins as a simple assassination turns into a cat-and-mouse game with a sadistic predator who hungers for more than blood. “I really enjoyed the fast paced nature of the plot,” says Ann Livi Andrews, author of Hollow Towns. “I was quickly thrown into Diane’s world and was immediately caught up in the action. We’re introduced to Diane’s antagonist shortly after that and I was not disappointed with his mind games and stalkerish attention to Diane.”
Mack Moyer, author of Sketches of the Wigwam, called Desollador, Blood Toy’s chief antagonist, “an excellent bad buy—a psychopath of Ramsay Bolton proportions.” He goes on to say, “Blood Toy will appeal to vampire lovers. Even for non-vamp fans, the devastating yet intriguing happenings between Diane and Desollador make this novel worth your cash.”
Blood Toy is the debut novel of North Carolina author, B.K. Raine. Raine believes in grabbing a reader’s attention from the first page and ending every paragraph, scene and chapter with a compelling reason to keep reading. Hayden Linder, author of The Hand of Death says, “This was a book I could not put down. The story is original well thought out and superbly executed by Mrs. Raine. I would award SIX stars to this novel if that were an option.”
Raine cautions that Blood Toy is, despite erotically charged and mature content, not a paranormal romance. “This is an adult book that, in the my opinion, made all of my other adult books seem suitable for children,” Samantha Edwards of Fiction—A Separate World writes, “but it was different and I’m excited for more from this author.” If you like your vamps sexy as hell and unapologetically evil, and your heroines tough—with unflinching resolve—but vulnerable, don’t miss Blood Toy.
Kindle and Paperback editions available now on Amazon.com. Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited.
B.K. Raine lives in North Carolina with her husband, teenage daughter, two dogs, and a cat she insists isn’t actually hers because every cat she’s ever owned has died a sudden and gruesome death. By profession, Raine is a media advertising executive but has been an author since she was 16, penning her first book on wide-ruled paper with a No. 2 pencil. Her first editor told her she couldn’t write but had some great ideas, and if she was willing to leave her pride at the door, he’d teach her the rest. Blood Toy is the debut novel in her dark urban fantasy series. Look for Book 2, Kindred Shadows, Fall 2015. You can learn more about B.K. Raine, read her blog, and stay tuned for upcoming books at https://bkraine.wordpress.com
Note: Reviewers were provided a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
I signed my first book today, a paperback proof for my mother. She hugged it to her chest and told me proudly she will start reading it tomorrow. I’m not sure how I feel about that. “It’s a vicious read,” my husband warned her. She doesn’t care. I wrote it; she wants to read it. When I warned her it contained very mature content and not the romantic sort, she proudly told me she used to read Rosemary Rogers and another author (sorry, don’t remember the name) who wrote romances “but not the nice kind like those Harlequin books that Grandma used to read.”
Yeah, I’d let my twelve year read all of Rosemary Rogers’ books before I’d let her read a chapter of Blood Toy. I’d be more worried about what my mother will think of me after she reads it, except that I did
read sneak her copy of Nine and a Half Weeks when I was about ten years old. What can I say? I was a voracious reader, but a little lazy. I needed another book for my Pizza Hut BOOK IT! reading award, and that happened to be the slimmest volume on my mother’s bookshelf.
For better or worse, my mother will be reading my book tomorrow. And if you pre-ordered, you can be too!
To follow up on yesterday’s Beauty of a 3 Star Review post, I wanted to give you one about the friggin’ awesomeness that is 5 star review. Distinctive from the obligatory flattery of friends and family–vague ‘great job’s and ‘awesome book’s—a true 5 star review means you’ve landed the excitement and captivation of a complete stranger who thinks your book works like “gangbusters”.
Being reviewed by someone who totally ‘gets’ your vision feels like winning the lottery. For a book like Blood Toy that doesn’t fit neatly into the category of urban fantasy or dark erotica, but might be mistaken—badly mistaken—for paranormal romance at a cursory glance, finding exactly the type of reader for whom I wrote it is so exciting. These readers get that I didn’t set out to write love story and that Christopher Desollador—who steals the show as well as any romantic superhero—is, in fact, a Villain, with a capital V. An unredeemable and unapologetic sadist. And that Diane’s and Desollador’s relationship is just a part of her struggle. Because Blood Toy is also not one dimensional torture porn. There are actually only three sex scenes in the whole book, and one of them doesn’t really count (you’ll see why if when you read it).
The first iteration of Blood Toy—a nice, PG young adult novel—was called Mice of the Maze because Desollador (and the rest of Blood Toy’s bad guys—there are quite a few) have a penchant for playing with their victims like a cat with a mouse. Cat and mouse is defined by the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary as “a contrived action involving constant pursuit, near captures, and repeated escapes” and alternately “the act of toying with or tormenting something before destroying it.” Having seen Not-My-Cat torture a mouse to death (or more accurately happen upon said torture too late to save the mouse), I can attest to the fact that the poor mouse never escapes this game unscathed. And often said cat gets overzealous and the mouse doesn’t survive at all. Doesn’t sound very romantic, does it? Yeah, they get that.
And last but not least, a 5 Star review is friggin’ awesome, because it means I wrote something that truly entertained a reader…and that is everything I set out to do. If you think you might be entertained by it too, you can pre-order today and read it on Monday! Two more days. Eeek!!!
We take a break in our regularly scheduled programming of teaser updates to bring you an actual blog inspired by my fifth review, which, while not an entirely stellar one (3/5 stars), is insightful and thought provoking. Before I tell you why, let me start by saying I am not one of those authors who will engage with reviewers on a regular basis. The ARC review process is a little different, and this blog is being posted with the reviewer’s blessing:)
So…to get this party started, TheBookishBabe found Blood Toy’s POV changes confusing. She is not the first to say it, though other reviewers disagree. Thing is, it would have been easy for me to make the POV changes clear from the start. I intentionally created them to be blurry, the narration slipping from first person into third the only initial indicator that the reader is looking at a different character, bringing each one into focus only as his/her scene progresses.
Let me repeat. I made a choice to give my reader a hard time, because I thought the moments of uncertainty—that unsettled feeling, that brief confusion—would enhance the reader experience. Set the mood that sh*t is about to go down and/or everything is not as it seems. So I intentionally—stylistically—created what is becoming the main criticism for Book 1.
Was that self-indulgent or what? What’s worse…I really don’t want to give it up for Book 2. But I will. It’s just another darling to kill, right? I usually only change POV once per chapter anyway.
The second thing TheBookishBabe confirmed for me is this: some people are really, really going to hate Desollador. I hope the teasers do a good job of showing Desollador is NOT a good guy. He is a bad, bad man who does bad, bad things (theme song to Despicable Me playing in my head). Only I fear ordinary readers—ones without a blogger’s more objective opinion–who hate Desollador will not be kind enough to give the book 3 stars. Theirs will be a visceral reaction, a voice for all victims of real abuse which my book trivializes, whose plight my book romanticizes. Mark my words. They’re coming for me, pitchforks and one stars!
Speaking of romance…many who read in the urban fantasy genre are looking for an element of that. TheBookishBabe asked for more romance (or sex) in Book 2. I am wondering what sort of disclaimer I should put on my listing to make it clear Blood Toy is NOT a romance. That readers looking for a romance will hate the twisted imitation of it that exists between Desollador and Diane. This is my current disclaimer: This book is intended for mature audiences only and includes subject matter that may be disturbing to some audiences.
I am beginning to think I should also add “Blood Toy is not a paranormal romance.” What do you think?
PS. Book 2 will have more romance and more sex, but romance fans will still hate it. You’ll see why! I am not a good person:)