FREE eBooks are like Big Macs… Really... Find out how they compare. #AmWriting #AmReading

McDonalds.com
As I wrote that line, not only was I reminded of Joe Fox’s comment in You’ve Got Mail about vats of olive oil, but I also realized—and this is fitting to the post—not everyone like’s Big Macs. Me, ehno… I’d rather have a Whopper Jr. BUT...I LOVE their french fries and coffee. I digress…

The M in McDonald’s is probably the most commonly known trademark throughout the world, and yet, McDonald's advertises... EVERYWHERE! Radio, TV, Twitter, Facebook, your mailbox… Yes, even though there’s a good chance that you’ll go to McDonald’s in the near future—ummfor coffee—they still pay millions of dollars to bring you into their lair. And one of their most popular draws is the freebie.

Yes, that lure of a free sandwich is so tempting. Sure, you could just order the Big Mac, but ohhhhthose fries smell so good, and then you know you’ll want a nice refreshing soda—Diet Coke, of course—to wash it all down. Yep! They gotcha! They know if you come in for the sandwich, more than likely, you’ll go away with moreand there's a good chance, you’ll bring a friendor two.

Well, that’s what a free eBook is like. Authors offer a free eBook, hoping you’ll order the follow-up novel, and maybe even a third. I’m not particularly fond of cliffhangers in booksI always like to end the current situation, and then dangle another situation in front of the reader, but even a cliffhanger is like a Big Mac. Sure, you could just have waterbut authors hope that once you finish the book, your mouth is watering for something more. Waterlove it. But some things, like burgers and pizza, just taste better with a Coke. Wasn’t that a campaign too?

So, go aheadas an author, don’t be afraid to offer readers a free snack. And readers, I always offer a snack, usually in the form of a short story, but today… I have a completeno cliffhanger—110k-word novel, a novella (which does have a tiny cliffhanger), and a short story for you. These are all the first books in my three series. 

Today, they are absolutely FREE. My gift to you. If your mouth doesn’t water for another course, that’s okay. I just hope you enjoy.

Until next time, happy reading and writing, friends!


Thank you for stopping by my place and reading my musings. Remember these are just my opinions and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section, and I promise you I will answer. I love talking about all things books, so if you want more posts on writing, marketing books, and new releases, and giveaways, please leave your email address here. I only send out a post once or twice a week at the most. :)

Why would an author offer their best seller FREE? #AmReading #AmWriting eBooks!


It may sound like a simple answer; but in my case, it's because I want you to read it.

In general, authors write because they love writing. Most of us didn’t just decide in college that this was our career choice; we’ve been writing as long as we could hold a pen.

We were great pen pals, kept diaries, didn’t mind writing our grandmothers a thank you note, passed messages back and forth in school, and usually drove our boyfriends/girlfriends crazy with our four-page love letters

But there’s one thing every writer I know loves more than writing, and that’s ‘being read’. And more importantly, readers reading our writing and then letting us know it touched them.

As most Indie writers, I tend to check my book stats daily. But there’s something I do that proves my above assessment of myself—and I assume other authors—true. When I jump behind my laptop in the morning to see how my book fares in the notorious Amazon ranking system, if I see there’s a new review, I read it before I do anything else. Sometimes I peek through one eye and see how many stars it received. But even if it’s less than stellar, I confess, I read EVERY review.

I truly care what my readers think, and several of my books are a direct result of reader feedback. I had no plan to write a second installment in the ‘Noonday’ books. But when readers cried out that they didn’t think one of the characters got a fair shake, I complied. The same thing happened with my short stories. Readers said they wanted more, so I listened.  

My first romantic-suspense novel, She Belongs to Me, has sat next to Nicholas Sparks, Iris Johansen, Nora Roberts, and other great authors many times, so it’s scary when I take my best seller and give it away. But that’s exactly what I do sometimes, because I want to meet more wonderful readers such as yourself. No, I don't give away all my books...I do have to eat. But every once and a while, I will give away one of my full novels. To me, it's like buying you a cup of coffee, hoping you'll stay and have dinner with me so we can get to know each other better. I may not be the person you want to hang out with for more than one afternoon, but at least we'll know...without committing to a full dinner or weekend retreat. :)

And...guess what? Today's that day! So, if you like a thread of romance, mystery, and suspense finely woven together in one story, please click one of the Amazon Links below for your FREE copy of my romantic-suspense bestseller She Belongs to Me. After that, all my books are always priced 'less than a latte' or available to read FREE with your Kindle Unlimited membership, so you can afford to come back and read them all.


For more information or to download, click...

love talking about all things books, so please connect with me via one of the links below.

First Excerpt in The Watermen Series ~ New Paranormal Romance #Giveaway


Ten years ago, Sirena left her family, her way of life, and her crown. Now, she wants to go back. But what if the prince is still waiting for her?

The king dispatched him to bring her home, but J.W. didn’t plan to fall for her. If he lets her go, it might start a war. If she returns home, though, she might start one.

For those of you who've read the Creatus Series, get ready for this new adventure full of romance, suspense, and fantasy. And this week only, register to win the eBook the day it publishes!


Chapter One

Sirena stared at her image in the mirrored wall of her glamorous suite. She’d sold everything she’d accumulated in the last ten years to come here.
For one last week to be free. To feel the sand beneath her feet, the sun on her face, and the breeze as it brushed against her skin like a lover’s kiss.
Not that she’d felt that kind of kiss in a long time, but she remembered what it’d felt like the first time she had. The first time he’d kissed her. The man she’d once loved. The man she’d moved to the congested streets of New York to be with.
Her father had warned her about men like him, and he’d been right. Merely months after she’d moved to New York, the man she’d thought had loved her moved to another bustling city and had made it clear that she shouldn’t follow him.
She could have forced herself on him, but she wouldn’tcouldn’t. What good would it do to force someone to love you?
Sirena pulled her long blond hair over her shoulder and weaved threads of silver through each strand as she braided her hair. Her father had always liked when she’d done this, said she looked like the princess she was, the queen she’d eventually be. But she’d run away from her heritageout of fear.
“Will that be all, miss?” The young woman whom she’d hired to assist her this week had turned out to be a delightful companion. “I’d be happy to braid your ’air. You ’ave the most beautiful ’air I’ve ever seen. It be the color of sunshine. What I wouldn’t do for your ’air.”
Sirena peeked up at the mirror, smiling at the sweet Jamaican woman who’d answered her ad. “On the contrary, Tia, I think your hair is quite beautiful. And I would love to be as tall and strong as you are. Look at me… I barely come up to your shoulders. I’m unable to even carry my own suitcases without your help.”
Tia stepped up behind her, her smile broad and white as her image filled the mirror above Sirena’s reflection. The two of them were a sight indeed. “I think you’re precious, my lady.”
“Thank you, Tia. You’ve been so gracious to me that I wish I could offer you more than a few days of work.”
“What you paid me will feed my family for months, so I’m much obliged.” Tia worked her slender fingers through the braid, loosening the strands, and then started over from scratch. When she finished, she laid the long woven tress over Sirena’s shoulder again, then walked toward the closet.
Tia reached into the closet for the gown Sirena told her she’d wear tonight. The organza fabric shimmered as the young woman swept the dress around in a circle, holding the sweetheart neckline to her chest.
The good-natured woman laughed. “Now I feel like a princess.” The beaded bodice sparkled beneath the vanity lights as Tia held up the mermaid-style dress—as the saleswoman had referred to it—in front of Sirena. “But it be prettier on you, miss.”
Tia held open the dress so Sirena could step inside, then smoothed it up over her hips and bust. She zipped up the back and then stepped back as Sirena stared in the mirror again. She did look like a princess.
That time had passed, though. She’d given up her crown. A tear threatened to escape, but she lifted her head and blinked it away. Tia would be hurt if she ruined her makeup.
“Now, turn so that I can look at you,” Tia instructed in her charming native tongue.
Sirena turned, then lowered herself into a curtsy, since Tia loved to treat her as though she were royalty, even though she’d never breathed a word about her previous life.
Ahhlovely indeed. You look like a princess out of all those fairy tales I read my daughter.”
She smiled. “Thank you, Tia. You sure you don’t want to come to dinner with me. I could still buy you that dress downstairs.”
“Thank you, miss, but I wouldn’t know what to do with me-self at some fancy gathering. I’ll be fine and dandy in the magnificent suite you paid for.”
Understanding, knowing how she felt the first few days in a new land, Sirena nodded. “Please, order anything you want from room service, then. Don’t be shy. This week is about us. You and me, we’re going to treat ourselves like royalty. Okay? Tomorrow, we’ll both visit the spa.”
Ahh...miss, I feel like a queen just stayin’ in dis fancy place. Now, off with you before you miss your dinner and all the fetchin’ men who’ll be there. You might even find you a prince.”
Sirena laughed. “I don’t think so, Tia, but I’ll try to enjoy myself anyway.”
Tia held up the silver clutch she’d helped her pick out and the rhinestone-studded sandals with the dangerously high four and a half inch heels the salesperson had talked her into purchasing. “Be careful wearindese, miss. You don’t want to be breakinyou ankle.”
With one hand on Tia’s shoulder for support, Sirena slipped into the sleek satin shoes and pulled up the tiny zippers at the back of the heels.
She released a long breath as Tia escorted her to the door. “I’ll see you in the morning, Tia.”
“If you find anandsome man. Don’t be worryin’ about me. I can keep me-self plenty busy in such a spectacular place.”
“That’s not going to happen, my friend, but thank you. I’ll see you at nine a.m.”


If you'd like a little more info on Christmas With Jacky Waterman, please visit my Amazon Page. If you'd like a FREE copy the day it releases, just register in the Raffle Copter. I'll be giving away copies to the first hundred entries!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you're visual, please visit my Pinterest page for images of the items describe in all books. It's not complete, but I'm getting there. :)
Christmas with Jacky Waterman: http://www.pinterest.com/Carmen_DeSousa/christmas-with-jacky-waterman/
All Pinterest images: http://www.pinterest.com/Carmen_DeSousa/


New Release! 'Christmas with Jacky Waterman (a short fantasy)' Register for your FREE copy!


Ten years ago, Sirena left her family, her way of life, and her crown. Now, she wants to go back. But what if the prince is still waiting for her?

The king dispatched him to bring her home, but J.W. didn’t plan to fall for her. If he lets her go, it might start a war. If she returns home, though, she might start one. 


Note: Christmas with Jacky Waterman is a 5000-word short story. This sweet fantasy takes less than an hour to read, so you can enjoy a quick escape with your coffee, over lunch, or before you fall asleep.

Want a FREE copy? Until 10/30/2014 Midnight EST, I will give away up to a hundred copies (I have to put some number on it, but more than likely, if you register, you'll win), so enter as many times as you wish.



a Rafflecopter giveaway



For more information, visit Amazon.

Thank you for stopping by my place and reading my musings. Remember these are just my opinions and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section, and I promise you I will answer.  If you’re curious about what I write, please visit one of my author pages, where you can read all about my novels and short stories. And hey, I’ll even give you a free book just for stopping by.

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