Many of you know that I’m friends with Ilona Andrews. She’s a #1 New York Times bestselling author and all-around great lady (plus, if you ever get the chance, ply her with Long Island iced tea! I promise that hilarity will ensure ;)).
A while ago, Ilona started releasing free bits of a new paranormal serial story online (I described it as “Men In Black” meets the UF genre). Readers, not surprisingly, clamored for more. Eventually, Ilona decided to have the story professionally edited, commissioned original digital artwork for the characters as well as the book cover, and re-released it in its entirety for purchase. As you can imagine, she had quite a few people tell her that she was putting too much time, effort, and money into something that wouldn’t pay off because she’d previously posted the story for free.
CLEAN SWEEP, the first story in the Innkeeper Chronicles, released this week on Amazon and B&N, where it’s currently rocking a 5-star review rating and a kick-ass sales ranking. Of course, I couldn’t be happier for Ilona. I also think it’s really cool that CLEAN SWEEP has character artwork pasted right into the story. Aside from comics or graphic novels, I can’t remember seeing that in regular ebooks, but I wouldn’t mind if it become a trend. Here’s the info on CLEAN SWEEP, if you want to check it out:
On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is…different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, “normal” is a bit of a stretch for Dina.
And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night… Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything. This is a short novel, about 60,000 words. Read an excerpt.