Welcome to Book Marketing Buzz. Can we begin by having you tell us a little about your book?
Thank you for having me on the blog today! Aeromancist is the second book in the Seven Forbidden Arts series. Although it follows on Pyromancist (Book 1) and the introductory prequel, Aeromancist, The Beginning, it can also be read as a standalone. You don’t need to read the preceding books to follow the story. There are no cliffhangers.
This is the story about the second of seven arts that were forbidden in the Middle Ages because the church perceived their practice as demonic. The arts and their condemnation in history are factual, but I adapted these gifts into supernatural powers, and the stories are fictional. In Book 2 we meet the Russian aeromancist, Lann Dréan, who possesses the forbidden art of manipulating the weather, which earned him the nickname of ‘the weatherman’.
Hunted with a price on his head, Lann can’t offer a woman forever. He has no intention of getting involved in anything other than fighting paranormal crime as a member of Cain Jones’ secret taskforce, and creating a new home for himself in the dilapidated Franciscan monastery in Santiago, which he is restoring. That is until a shy American literature student, Katherine White, walks into his extensive library of antique, hand-written books.
Lann is known for his cool demeanor, but for all his famed control, he can’t stay away from Kat. Neither can he keep his hands off her. Unable to walk away, Lann offers her a 30-day affair for the month he is staying in Santiago, guaranteeing her unequalled passion and the best sex of her life. But he can’t foresee the price his lust will cost her. His desire will bring a terrible fate upon her, and now he will do everything in his power to save her – from his enemies, but most of all, from himself.
The prequel (Aeromancist, The Beginning) kicks off in Santiago, and then the story moves to Brittany, France, where the cast of Pyromancist lives in the Josselin Castle in the village of Josselin. Josselin de Arradon, or Joss for short, is the powerful French aristocrat who we meet with his wife, Clelia, the firestarter, in Book 1. This paranormal romance is full of mysterious, real-life settings and features an international, multi-cultural cast.
What is the first thing you did to promote your book once your publisher accepted your manuscript?
I put a marketing plan together for the series before the initial book was launched. The first thing on my list was to sign up for book tours, cover reveals, and launch events as a big shout-out to publicize the release.
After that, what happened?
I ordered swag items, such as a branded USB with the prequel eBook preloaded, for handing out at author and reader events. I advertised on various reader websites and in romance magazines. Part of my budget was also dedicated to romance website and social media advertising. I made the book available for review in international book review groups and ran extensive giveaways and author features on selected sites. I wrote a prequel to the series, which I offered via Amazon’s Kindle Select program for free for a period of five days. And I advertise the next book at the back of each new book that I launch.
What did your publisher do to promote your book?
Satin Romance is a wonderful collaborator. They made the book available in extended sales channels, offered the prequel novella to this book at a discounted price for the first few weeks of its launch, helped me design my advertising material, and placed electronic as well as print ads for my Seven Forbidden Arts series. They also ran an extensive Twitter campaign, involving all my fellow-novelists, to create a big buzz for the launch of the series. We both studied the Amazon algorithms to decide the best categories and search words to list the books under.
What’s your opinion on blogging? Do you see that it is helping sell your book or is it not making much difference in terms of sales? If you blog, do you blog often?
Because of time constraints, I don’t blog as often as I used to. Now that I publish a book every quarter, with short stories for anthologies in between, my writing energy and time are focused on that. I found that blogging helped build my fan base, and where a purchase decision needed to be made, it did tip the scale in favor of a sale. One reader once told me that she bought my book only because she enjoyed the writing style of my blogs. These days my posts are limited to launch or special promotion periods.
I understand using the social networks to promote your books is also an effective marketing tool. What social networks do you use and do you find any of them effective?
I am very active on Facebook and Twitter. With the obstacle of time constraints, I decided to tackle less networks but to do the ones I do well. My Twitter account followed a long time after the creation of my Facebook profile, and where, at first, I was apprehensive about navigating Twitter, it has become my favorite tool for the unlimited interaction and endless possibilities of connecting with like-minded people. I am making more sales through tweets than Facebook posts these days. As less of my Facebook posts are delivered to fewer of my fans, and I have to rely on paid advertising to make them visible, I tend to lean heavier on Twitter now than ever before.
Besides blogging and using the social networks to promote your books, what other ways are you promoting your book?
I have an extensive advertising, promotions, marketing and communications plan, which I rewrite and adapt for my publishing needs every year. Fortunately, I worked in all of these fields during my professional communications career, which gave me the hands-on knowledge, inside information, and networks to execute a comprehensive campaign for each book and every story. My plan includes electronic and print advertising, radio talks, real-life launch events, real-life and video feed presentations, promotional items, giveaways, competitions, reviews, group membership, book clubs, writers groups, newsletters, an author website, magazine and newspaper articles (I send out professional press kits when my books are launched), trailers and book readings.
If you had to pick just one book marketing tool that you’ve used to promote your book, which would you say has been the most effective?
The most effective in terms of long-term relationship building, is a real-life launch. I have met newspaper editors and advertising executives at such events (you have to make sure you invite them!) with whom I still harbor a close working relationship.
On the sales front, I never sell hundreds of books at live events, but I do get the bookstore to stock my novels on consignment, and have seen long-term benefits when the books are sold out and the store manager contacts me to re-order double the initial quantity.
I always choose a theme related to my book for my launches. It makes it interesting, adds value, and draws more people. For example, for my sensual wine romance, The Winemaker, I had arranged for several wine tastings at top wine farms and venues around South Africa. The Maverick of South African winemakers and creator of the number one seller, Chocolate Block (a secret red blend), hosted my event in Franschhoek. I even had an evening with Chile’s number one, internationally awarded winemaker (who won the world first prize in the Berlin tasting of 2010) talking us through a tasting in Santiago. For my emotional French romance, Between Yesterday & Tomorrow, I traveled to the town that inspired the setting, Montpellier, France, and had a launch in Le Bookshop, an English store situated in a street of Montpellier that is over 1000 years old. On a different occasion, I co-hosted an event with Mr. David Bullard, South Africa’s most famous columnist and controversial political author, to launch Between Yesterday & Tomorrow in Johannesburg. For Second Best, a South African dramatic romance, I invited the South African ambassador and his delegate to a reading in Santiago. For Between Fire & Ice, a Chilean fantasy romance, I gave a teatime talk at the coastal village of Hermanus in South Africa, as well as in The Book Cottage, one of the oldest bookshops in town. I even took the novel on tour to a second-hand bookstore in Mosselbay, and to a commercial store in Cape Town for a Saturday signing. You can let your imagination run wild. For some ideas and inspiration, visit the events page on my website (http://charmainepauls.com/events/).
I have also donated my books to some libraries in South African towns (my home country), especially the ones where I have friends and family. Although this doesn’t hold any monetary value, it goes a long way in building a fan base. I have had very positive feedback from readers who took my books on loan from their local library, and even emails to ask where they could purchase my next book. I always leave a poster with my book cover and website details at each library I donate to, as well as stacks of bookmarks to hand out with every book that is taken on loan. Bookmarks are a cost-effective way of advertising your books. Besides for libraries, I provide bookmarks to the stores that stock my books to hand out with every purchase (it is left on the counter, so people will often pick one up and read it while they wait in the queue to pay), and I leave some in stores where people with related interests may shop, such as art supply stores, art galleries, photographic courses, and gift shops. You can include a barcode on your bookmarks that readers can scan with a smartphone, which will take them straight to your vendor for a sale as easy as the click of a button.
Electronically, Twitter wins hands-down. For every blurb line I post, I have at least a few retweets, and more importantly, clicks, which leads to a potential sale. I have acquired some of my biggest fans via Twitter.
Book 2: Seven Forbidden Arts Series
Author: Charmaine Pauls
Publisher: Mélange Books
Publication Date: July 6, 2015
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Format: eBook / ePub / PDF
Preorder Book Buy Links: Publication Date: July 6, 2015
Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE
Passion always comes with a price.
All he could offer was thirty days of passion.
He condemned her to a terrible fate instead.
Now he’ll do everything in his power to save her.
He is known as the Weatherman. Lann Dréan is the last of his kind. A price on his head, chased for a power he should not possess, he can’t promise any woman forever. All he can offer Katherine White is thirty days of passion. But his uncontainable desire comes with an unforeseen price. Lann’s lust will cost Kat everything. Now he’ll do anything to save her from the fate he has brought upon her.
* This book contains adult content with explicit language and frequent, consummated love scenes, including light bondage, sex toys and breath play. Reader discretion is advised.
Kat knew he hadn’t expected her. Alfonso hadn’t warned him of her visit. Lann
sat behind his desk, very similar to the first time they had met, but this time
he was in the library, and not in his office. He had probably been working on
the restoration of his ancient books, because he wore his glasses. Removing
them, he immediately got to his feet. The air felt lighter, as it always did in
his presence. Wisps of her hair lifted as if to an invisible caress, but Lann
didn’t acknowledge the subtle dance of molecules this time.
always he looked impeccable in tailored pants and a white dress shirt. He stood
immobile, exerting calm, waiting for her to make the first move. Kat had never
been fooled about the latent danger that lurked under his quiet sophistication
and intellectual air. There was a raw energy about Lann that hinted at his
wildness, even as his exterior was polished civility.
showed me in,” she said.
His lips lifted in the corner, exposing his dimple.
heart broke at his smile. It was the one he reserved for other people. Never
for her. It was automatic, a practiced social stance, and she hated it.
was faint in return. She glanced at the employees who were handling his books
with protective gloves. “May we speak in private, please?”
frowned. “Let’s go to my office.”
led the way. At least he hadn’t thrown her out on sight. She was walking the
familiar path she believed she’d never walk again. The air gathered around his
ankles as he moved, lapping at her feet as she followed in his wake. She had
never felt it stronger, and yet, it should have been the reverse. She was
supposed to be cutting the tie, not strengthening it, dammit.
his office he almost took a military stance, his shoulders straight, his arms
behind his back, as if keeping them there would prevent him from touching her.
But his eyes were filled with warmth and concern.
I didn’t tell you I was back because I didn’t want to make it harder on you.”
didn’t owe her an explanation. She agreed to his terms. With her eyes wide
came back to take care of the money,” he continued. “When Alfonso told me you
don’t want your money.”
can live in comfort. Why struggle, if I have enough to share?”
it wasn’t part of our agreement,” she snapped. She took a calming breath. “Because
it’ll make me feel like a prostitute.”
expression was incredulous as he considered the statement, but after a moment
he inclined his head. “Of course. I respect your decision.”
She chewed her lip, thinking of the best way to tell him. Hadn’t she practiced
her line a million times? “I wouldn’t have broken our agreement if it wasn’t
stared at her expectantly. There was no easy way to break the news.
froze. The heat evaporated from his gaze. His upper arms flexed as he clasped
his hands behind his back. She couldn’t tell if he was mad or disappointed.
Either way, neither was the reaction she was hoping for.
silence stretched between them. For a while he seemed incapable of speaking or
moving. Only his eyes lowered and rested on her abdomen.
impossible,” he finally said.
opened her handbag, retrieved the blood test results and offered it to him
shakily. Lann lifted one hand from behind his back and took the piece of paper.
Kat watched him closely as he read it. His eyes widened and narrowed again. She
presumed he was looking at the age of the child growing inside of her, doing
the calculation in his mind. Emotions she couldn’t place played across his
face. Was it sadness, envy, anger that made him press his lips so tightly
together? Finally, he lifted his head. She didn’t like the way he looked at
handed her back the report. “Congratulations.” His voice was impersonal. “Who’s
words punched the air from Kat’s lungs with the same ferocity as when he had
cut her airflow during lovemaking. Then it had given her an earth-shattering
orgasm. Now it caused her pain, with the same intensity. She couldn’t believe
he said that. Hurt and anger blurred her vision. She drew back her hand, and
before she could stop herself, she slapped him. She took a step away from him,
biting back the tears. The trace of her fingers lay red across his pale cheek.
Lann accepted her abuse with a stoic expression, without uttering a word.
bastard,” she whispered. “You needn’t feign your innocence by insulting me. Are
you afraid I’ll ask you for child support? Do you think I expect you to play an
unwilling role in this baby’s life? Maybe you think I’ll try to emotionally
blackmail you into marrying me.” She clutched her bag to her chest like a
shield. “I didn’t come here expecting anything from you. I want nothing. I only
came because you had a right to know.” She took a ragged breath. “And to ask
why you lied to me.”
he still didn’t speak, she nodded slowly, the unwelcome tears threatening to
find their way to her cheeks. He wasn’t going to offer any explanation, any
solace, any excuse.
see,” she said. “Then we have nothing more to say to each other.”
turned for the door, but Lann’s voice halted her. “Please stay. You’re upset.
I’ll take you home when you feel calmer.”
her dismay, a small gasp escaped her. Did he honestly think she’d stay after
what he just said? Not looking back, she ran downstairs, not caring that Lann
was calling after her loud enough for the building to hear, or that his
employees were staring at her from the library window.
it,” my mother always said.
made this bed, with Lann Dréan in it. Only, he wasn’t anymore, not after thirty
days of the best sex of my life. What remained were crumpled sheets and
could I not be attracted to him? I had a thing for intellectual guys,
especially damaged ones. And Lann was damaged, alright. His father abandoned
him at birth, never forgiving him for his mother’s death. It took some time
before Lann told me how he grew up in the streets of Moscow, stealing and
cheating his way to survival. He never revealed what he did for a living, how
he became a self-made millionaire. He had pulled himself from the gutter and
built a life. From the guards surrounding us, I knew he was involved in
something dangerous, maybe illegal, but I told myself it didn’t matter because
ours wasn’t a permanent relationship. It was a thirty-day contract.
I first met Lann it was in his privately owned library of ancient books. He had
just bought the Santiago convent. The plan was to spend a month of holiday
there before going home to New York. I had been rewarded a scholarship for an
exchange program in Chile to conduct my thesis on daemon lovers. His
handwritten books were invaluable to my research. He spotted me from his office
balcony and when everyone else left, kept me behind.
was reserved, to the point of being recluse. Few photos existed of him, even as
the paparazzi hunted and stalked him. Nothing could have prepared me for the
tall Russian. He was lean, well defined, minus the bulging muscles I hated. His
long, blond hair was mostly braided down his back. I preferred it to when he
wore it loose, because that way I could admire his ears. He had perfect
ears–beautifully proportioned, slightly elongated–but I never said as much
because he was sensitive about them. A silver ring was pierced through the top
left one. His dark Prada glasses gave him an academic look in a sexy kind of
way. His most unusual feature was his eyes. In the dark they seemed yellow. In
daylight I could see they were a mix of amber and brown flecks. And when he
opened his mouth and spoke to me in his thick Russian accent, telling me I moved
the air for him, my knees went weak.
when he asked me to give my body to him for thirty days, exclusively, I signed
my name on the dotted line. Although I had given him carte blanche, he took his
time to lure me, to teach me what he liked. It was never a seduction. Unless I
gave him permission, he didn’t move on. But I wanted it. All of it. All of him.
Lann woke a dark side in me, a part I didn’t know lurked in the shadows of my
desire. Only when I was comfortable with him did he tie me up, blindfolded and
gagged me, and he didn’t introduce me to breath play until I trusted him. In
those naked moments I made myself vulnerable, gave him control of my body, and
he rewarded me with pleasure that wracked my mind and left me craving more.
day, he flew me in a water plane to a private lake for a picnic. It was the
most perfect day of my life.
were sitting on the shore.
this is incredible,” I said.
palm smoothed over my shoulder. “You’ve been studying too hard. Been cooped up
in my convent for too long.”
this is my reward?”
I think your reward will come later.”
a lucky girl I am.”
luck is all mine, bella.”
food?” he drawled.
impossible.” I gave him stern look and brought a piece of cheese to his lips.
obeyed. He took the cheese, and sucked my fingers into his mouth. I could feel
the atmosphere shift in a second. Lann had a hundred different moods a day, and
I took pleasure in the knowledge that I started to understand how to navigate
them. He allowed me to feed him some more, and after I had eaten, he got to his
feet and started removing his clothes.
are you doing?” I said with a laugh, looking around, even if I knew we were
swim with me.”
water will be freezing.”
you a pussy?”
didn’t just call me that.”
yes, I did.”
jumped up and discarded my clothes faster than him. Before he was out of his
pants, I was running to the water, stark naked. I gritted my teeth when I felt
the iciness around my feet. Looking over my shoulder, I saw Lann making his way
to the water, a huge grin on his face. I held my breath and charged. It was so
cold it felt as if it would stop my heart. I let out a yelp, and heard Lann’s
laugh echo behind me. I dove in and swam furiously for a few strokes to warm up
my limbs. When I turned, Lann still stood on the beach.
on!” I beckoned him with a curled finger. “Or are you a pussy?”
made big eyes at me. “What did you just call me?”
I could complete the sentence, he was storming me. I managed to splash him
before he got wet, and heard his curse before he dove underwater to resurface
in front of me. Laughing, I tried to swim away from him, but he grabbed me
around the waist.
so fast, bella.”
turned me to face him and jerked me against him. His body was warm in the
coldness of the water. I wrapped my arms and legs around him, pressing close.
His erection strained against my pelvis. Lann wasn’t laughing any longer. He
groaned, and his eyes turned a darker shade of gold. His hands went to my
bottom, gripping me firmly. He lifted me slightly so that his hardness pressed
against my folds. The water contracted my skin, and when he lifted me higher
with one hand, spreading my opening with the other, an onslaught of cold water
assaulted my swollen clit. Immediately the sensation was replaced with the
warmth of his body as he lowered me onto his erection, sliding effortlessly
into my lubricated depth. I arched my back, gasping as he claimed me with every
inch he had.
Katherine, I’m buried so deep inside of you,” he said against my neck.
kissed me feverishly, sucking my skin into his mouth, making me scream as he
bit down gently.
drive me wild, krasota.” His tongue moved
down my neck to the hollow of my throat, trailing a path to my breasts. He
licked each upper curve, before he took a cold, hard nipple in his warm mouth.
I moaned loudly. He started suckling me, moving me up and down on him.
this good, bella?”
me, Katherine. Tell me what you want.”
I want everything.”
don’t know what you’re asking,” he said darkly.
mouth claimed mine with hard approval, his tongue sweeping over my lips before
he drank the very breath from me. I struggled to draw air through my nose while
he claimed my mouth like that. He kissed and kissed me until I felt the urge to
shove away from him to draw air, but when I pushed with my palms on his chest,
he only sealed his lips tighter over mine, at the same time increasing the pace
with which he was penetrating me. My clit rubbed against his pelvis. One hand
closed around my throat, applying gentle pressure, while the other spread the
cheeks of my ass. Sensations slammed into me. His fingers around my neck
tightened, cutting off my oxygen. I felt a finger rubbing down my cleft, and
then I felt it there. I jerked when
Lann pushed on that forbidden entrance. It was hard to think with my body
craving air, craving him, and craving release. Already my orgasm was a tightly
coiled cord, a second away from snapping. Just when I thought I was going to
black out from the lack of air, he released my throat, at the same time pushing
his finger inside my rear. As oxygen reached my brain, my orgasm exploded in me
with an intensity I had never felt before. I clung to him, filled by his cock
and his finger, as the waves crushed over me and continued to ripple long after
he had spurted all of his seed inside of me. My strength gone, all I could
manage was to lean my head on his shoulder, and to trust him to take care of
kissed my hair and my cheek. He said gentle things to me in Russian, while he
slowly pulled his finger from my slightly burning backside. I moaned, and he
kissed my forehead. I felt like fainting from the aftershocks of pleasure. I
tried to lower my legs, but Lann prevented me with his hands on my ankles.
on, krasavitsa,” he said against my
ear. “Don’t try to walk.”
gently cleaned me in the water, washing his semen from me, before carrying me
to the shore. I had never felt more depleted in my entire life. It was worse
than the time I had a few drinks too many at the student bar and my friend had
to drive me home and put me to bed.
started shivering as Lann lowered me onto our picnic blanket. He stretched out
on top of me and folded the blanket around our bodies. He kissed my neck and
shoulder until I felt his heat penetrating my skin, and my body once more
relaxed. When the shivering stopped, he lifted himself to look down at me.
sun will warm you. I’m going to get off you now. At first it’ll feel cold with
the breeze, but you’ll dry in no time.”
whimpered when he rolled off me, exposing my skin to the air. “No, don’t.”
too heavy.” He rubbed my arms.
was the first time I felt the air move around us. It shifted down from my
shoulders to my feet, a blanket of clouds pulled over a naked body. This was
the dance of air Lann had tried to describe to me, what he meant when he said I
moved the air for him. At first the breeze made me feel colder, but then I
gradually warmed as the sun dried my skin. I felt extremely lethargic.
did you do to me?” I said, trying to focus on Lann’s face and not fall asleep.
cut off your ability to breathe, just for a few seconds. The surge of oxygen
that follows makes you come harder.”
it did,” I said, closing my eyes.
look at me.” I gazed back at him. His expression seemed concerned. “Did you
yes.” I tried to nod. “It was the best sex of my life.”
slow smile curved his lips. “Good.” His eyes warmed. “Your trust means
everything to me.”
lay down next to me and pulled me into her arms. We stayed like that until I
felt some of my energy return. When I tried to sit up, he shook his head.
need a drink.” I reached for my glass of champagne.
more alcohol,” he said. He sat up and reached inside the basket, taking out a
bottle of water. He unscrewed the cap, lifted my head and brought the bottle to
my mouth. After a few sips, I lay back again, studying him.
so handsome,” I said.
you’re so expressive. I can never get enough of your face when it’s contorted
with pleasure, knowing it’s the pleasure I bring you.”
bring me lots of pleasure,” I said, mumbling my agreement.
I’m going to feed you strawberries.” His eyes went to my breasts. “And then I’m
going to fuck you softly.”
was the day I knew I had fallen in love with him.
the time Day Thirty arrived, I was addicted. To him. But I had signed a
contract to walk away, and never look back. And it wasn’t as if he gave me a
choice when he left me behind. What I
thought would be a harmless sexual adventure had burned a hole in my existence.
I had fallen in love with Lann, when I promised I wouldn’t. But there was more
at stake than my heart. I never would have guessed that accepting his contract
was signing my death warrant. There was only one thing left to do. To sleep in
the bed I had made. And it may just cost me … everything.
Charmaine Pauls was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She obtained a degree in Communication at the University of Potchestroom, and followed a diverse career path in journalism, public relations, advertising, communications, photography, graphic design, and brand marketing. Her writing has always been an integral part of her professions.
After relocating to France with her French husband, she fulfilled her passion to write creatively full-time. Charmaine has published six novels since 2011, as well as several short stories and articles.
When she is not writing, she likes to travel, read, and rescue cats. Charmaine currently lives in Chile with her husband and children. Their household is a linguistic mélange of Afrikaans, English, French and Spanish.
Read more about Charmaine’s romance novels and psychological short stories here on www.charmainepauls.com.
Contact Charmaine at: