Saturday, December 1, 2012

Silver Cross by Debra Martin & David Small: Guest Post and Excerpt


Are You a Good Citizen within the Writing World?

By Debra L Martin


Thanks Laurie for inviting me to post on your blog. I thought I’d talk about what I think being a good citizen means for an author. One thing it doesn't mean is to constantly tweet or have Facebook posts that say "buy my book, buy my book!" After awhile, people will start ignoring your tweets and posts because they are always the same.

Every author wants sales, of course, but what else can you be doing to help drive those sales. There are a number of things that will help you to become a "good citizen" in the writing world and in the long run will help your sales. Who knows? Along the way, you'll be amazed at the online friendships that develop when you allow yourself to connect with others.

Here are a few things that I do to be a "good citizen."

  1. Take the time to get to know people and have conversations with them on twitter. Once you get to know people, you'll find that they will be more than willing to retweet for you. Now your book(s) is being talked about in a ever widening circle. Exposure is a great boost for any title. The same thing goes for Facebook. Interact with people. Social media is an extremely important component in the publicity of your book. Use it wisely and you'll reap the rewards.


  1. Help spread the word for another author's book. Use twitter, facebook, google+, whatever is available to you. A quick tweet or FB post about a new release is simple.  I have many "new release" posts on my blog and my triberr mates retweet it. Exposure is the key for sales. If people don't know a book exists, they can't buy it. When it's your turn for a "new release" people will be more than willing to help you spread the word.


  1. If you have a blog, offer author interviews. I've done over 200 author interviews on Two Ends of the Pen. Authors love to talk about themselves and their books. I have a set of interview questions for indie authors and one for traditionally published authors. I change the questions every 6 months or so. Some authors like to mix and match them and that's fine with me. I've met some extremely interesting people through my author interview series and I plan to continue it as long as authors keep asking to be featured on Two Ends of the Pen.


  1. Answer questions when you can for newbie authors. We've all been there and trust me, most all of the questions have been asked before, but if you're online at a forum and know the answer, why not answer it? People remember such kindnesses and who knows, you may be the one asking the question some day. 


  1. Offer to guest post at your favorite blog. Believe me, I welcome guest posts. My only stipulation is that the post has to do with writing or publishing. I've kept quite a few of the most popular ones in the sidebar to make it easy for readers to find them.  As a matter of fact, the guest posts and the author discussion questions are the most popular ones on the blog. Week after week, those posts are clicked on and read. So whatever the focus of your blog is, you can invite guest posts around your particular interests.


  1. Offer up contests or giveaways on your blog. The prize could be anywhere from one of your books to a gift card from Amazon or BN. Readers love to enter contests and you'll have the opportunity to gain new readers to your blog. Rafflecopter is an excellent resource for setting up contest rules and links. You can have mandatory questions such as “become a follower” or “like my facebook page.” While they may have only clicked on your link to enter the contest, a number of them will stick around to read your content. Keep your blog updated and make sure your books are displayed in the sidebar or on their own page to make it easy for readers to find your book(s).

Above all, be professional and kind. Your online personality is the only avenue for some folks to get to know you. And as your mother always said, "Say thank you." It's such a simple thing, but it speaks volumes.  So, what kind of things do you do to be a "good citizen?" Big or small, everything counts! "Pay it forward."


There are two things Boston detective Lacey Gardner knows about killing vampires. Slicing off a head or a hit directly to the heart are the only surefire ways to kill one. Silver is their Achilles heel. A vampire never wears silver. When she meets bartender extraordinaire, Damon Harte, her heart does a quickstep for the dark hunky guy. She's learned the hard way that having a love interest in her line of work can be heart-wrenching. She's kept to herself for years, but something about Damon captivates her and draws her to him. When she learns Damon's devastating secret, she knows what she has to do: kill the man who has stolen her heart.

Kindle  |  Paperback  |  Goodreads  |  Nook

Present day Boston 
Nic Stannic slid through the throngs of people like water flowing downhill. He was a handsome man, taller than average, with broad shoulders and a narrow waist that attracted more than a few casual looks from the women on this level of the club. He walked as if they existed for his pleasure alone, constantly looking, judging, and dismissing as he made his way past them.  
More than once he was met with a suggestive look or the brush of a friendly hand, but none of the females were what he was looking for this night. As he made his way to the edge of the balcony, a young woman stepped up and smiled provocatively. Her hair was long and dark, hanging over a loose halter of near-sheer silk that barely covered her bronzed-to-perfection breasts. Nic looked her up and down, admiring her long, sleek legs that disappeared beneath a short skirt of some animal pattern he didn’t recognize. Her midriff was bare and toned, with just the right amount of muscle to accentuate her feminine sexuality. She was beautiful, and a temptress, judging by the way she was prancing in front of him. 
He’d been looking for quite awhile tonight, and thought that he had found the one he’d been searching for. As she moved closer, he caught the smell of alcohol on her breath and saw a slight distortion in her eyes, which spoke volumes about the amount of liquor she had consumed. That would not due. He shook his head slightly, smiling sadly, and stepped around her. She pursed her pouty lips and sighed deeply in disappointment in a last attempt at attracting him, but he had other ideas and walked on.
When he reached the balcony’s edge, he leaned over the balustrade and let the music wash over him. It was intoxicating, and he enjoyed the captivating rhythm as he watched the undulating sea of half-naked bodies dancing below him. The club was crowded tonight. The dancers moved in intricate shows of sensuality; their bodies flowing with invitation and glistening in promise. Their casual touches and subtle caresses promised a night full of passion and pleasure. The rush and excitement of this erotic interplay filled the atmosphere with an exhilarating mix of sexual anticipation and need. Nic watched and breathed it all in deeply.
The nightclub was decorated in the latest nouveau fashion, with chrome stretching from ceiling to floor. Gigantic speakers blasted music nonstop all night long. Lights were hung around the perimeter of the ceiling, strategically placed and focused to highlight the club’s raised DJ platform and the large, centered dance floor. Two bars positioned on either side of the dance floor were constantly queued with clientele waiting to be served. The bartenders gave shows of their own as they swirled and tossed the many bottles used in mixing all manner of exotic drinks. The overflowing tip jars were a testament to their showmanship.
The balcony Nic stood on surrounded three-quarters of the dance floor and gave an unobstructed, panoramic view of the dancers and patrons below. The club was a bastion of Boston’s nightlife and a magnet for the young, beautiful, rich, and pretentious alike.
It was the perfect hunting ground.

Debra L Martin writes SF/fantasy with her co-author and brother, David W Small.  They have been writing together since 2006. They make their partnership work through the use of email, Instant Messaging and Skype.  Their newest release is The Silver Cross, Book 1 in the Vampire Nightlife series.  They have written three other novels, Assassin's Curse, Book 1 in the Witch Stone Prophecy, Quest For Nobility and The Crystal Facade in the Rule Of Otharia series and three novellas in the Dark Future series to-date.

Debra lives on the East Coast with her husband and 2 cats.  She works as a Programs Manager at a research university.


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Beckey said...

The list you post is a great list but (may be I missed it) writing a review on sites like Goodreads is another way, us readers can be good citizens (which is in my personally opinion to share about a great books and authors)

Julie said...

Thank you for the great advice. I use to run a review site for a long time and even something so small, like an advertising banner, can help an author promote their books!

Thank you for the giveaway!

Julie K

Debra L Martin said...

Beckey and Julie, you're absolutely right about the reviews. Authors love getting reviews. I'm also a book reviewer and I try to post them at every site the book is on sale.