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Ruby Release: EDGE OF LIGHT

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I have release day jitters. I didn’t think I would, but the closer this day came, the more I started worrying about that horrible thing called reader expectation. So, I figured I’d turn my angst into a discussion and find out what things influence you, as a reader, to pick up a book. Because, I don’t know about you, but by the time I’ve one-clicked that book for my Kindle, or brought it up to the purchase counter, I’ve already formed an impression of what kind of story I expect the author to deliver.

How did I make those judgments?

Book Cover – Probably the single most influential factor in getting me to check out the book in the first place.

Blurb – The blurb sets the tone. Let’s me know if I’m in for funny, emotional, mysterious, exciting, scary, or all of the above. (All of the above? Yeah, I’d like to read that book!)

Sample – Whether you can read an excerpt at the author’s website, sample on Kindle or Nook, or walk into a bookstore and skim the first couple of pages, the sample can make or break the sale.

If marketing does their job, I should finish the book, feeling like I got exactly what I wanted. But if marketing doesn’t do their job, or if my expectations were somehow off, I might be left disappointed, maybe even angry that I’d been mislead.

How do you form impressions about a new release? Have there ever been times when you expected one thing from a book and got something totally different? Did you feel cheated? Pleasantly surprised? Inquiring minds (well, mine, anyway) want to know what authors can do to ensure their readers always get what they expect.

So here’s a little experiment. While you’re telling me about reader expectation, see if you can figure out what YOU can expect from my newest release, EDGE OF LIGHT. You can pick up a copy at Carina Press, Amazon, B&N, and most other online bookstores. It is also available as an audiobook from Audible!

Blurb:

Taken prisoner by a ruthless group of anarchists deep in the Cambodian jungle, anthropologist Jocelyn Hewitt is isolated in a dark prison cell. Without chance of rescue. Or hope. Until the man in the next cell reaches out to let her know she’s not as alone as she thinks.

CIA agent Oliver Shaw has been held prisoner for over two years. Forced to witness the brutal torture and slow murder of his entire team, his spirit is not just broken, it’s crushed. He no longer believes in hope. Until he hears Jocelyn through the wall, and suddenly feels like a glimpse of light is trying to reach in…

Jocelyn’s heart aches for the tortured man whose presence and voice give her the courage to risk their escape. But first she’ll have to remind Oliver who he once was, what he once loved, and bring him back to life. Only then will they have a chance for freedom—and the kind of love neither ever thought possible.

Excerpt:

Clang.

The metallic knell broke the endless silence.

It was a sound Oliver hadn’t heard for more than six months. He jerked his head up. His stubby pencil fell from his numb fingertips. He froze.

They’d placed someone in the cell next to him.

He shoved aside the ragged copy of The Count of Monte Cristo he’d been scribbling in and covered his ears, his attention riveted on the opposite wall. Enough ghosts already inhabited that cell. The room didn’t need another, more corporeal occupant.

The new prisoner wasn’t his concern. He couldn’t make them matter. Not this time. But he somehow found himself on his feet, scrambling across the floor. He snatched up his metal cup with shaky hands, poured the stagnant water onto the concrete and shrugged out of his linen shirt. Sinking onto his haunches, he wrapped the thin material around the cup and set the bottom against the wall. He pressed his ear to the cup’s rim and waited.

The tin carried vibrations from even the smallest of sounds. Knowing he wasn’t alone could give him the strength to endure another day—or it could drive him further into hell. He didn’t want to witness another man’s fear, didn’t want to hear haunting screams magnified by the room’s flat echo.

Please, God, let him have imagined that iron door slamming.

His palms grew clammy and slipped against the cup. He righted it in time to hear the vibration of a feminine sob. His heart accelerated in an erratic dance—as if caught on Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train”—causing him to teeter for a moment before falling back on his butt.

Another hostage was bad enough, but a woman…

His fingers tightened around the cup. He hurled it at the door where it bounced against iron with a clash before it hit the floor and rolled to a stop in front of his feet. Eyes squeezed tight, he tried to block out the impulse to listen in further.

Ignore her. Ignore that room.

Knowledge was not power. Caring about anything outside his cell was a mistake he wouldn’t be foolish enough to repeat. He turned to retrieve his discarded book, but his fingers snagged the edge of the damn cup instead.

Don’t do it. Do not listen in on her again.

He wound the shirt around the metal circumference once more and set the cup against the wall.

Silence.

He held his breath. Maybe he had just imagined—

“Hello?”

No, she was real. He drank in the vibration that lingered inside his cup, as if that single word were a drop of cool, clean water he could reach out and caress.

He flattened his palm against the wall. God, he craved the contact.

“Is—is anyone there?”

He bit the inside of his cheek to keep from responding. It would be so easy to call out. After six long months of slow and painful rehabilitation from the brink of death, he desperately wanted to remember what conversation felt like, but he wouldn’t give the woman false hopes just to indulge in a single moment of selfishness.

A sob tore from her. “God, help me.”

Her whisper clawed at his battered heart. He lowered the cup into his lap, squeezed his eyes shut and tipped his head back against the wall, listening to his pulse rush in his ears.

God.

How long would it take her to realize that He didn’t exist in such a place?

******

I’m having a release party on my blog. Stop by and enter my giveaway extravaganza to win Oliver journal, pendants made from Cambodian money, and copies of my books!

36 Responses to “Ruby Release: EDGE OF LIGHT”

  1. Sadie says:

    Great cover, but it doesn’t seem romance-y. I’d say a thriller.

  2. jbrayweber says:

    Happy release day, Cynthia!!! I’m so excited for you! LOVE the excerpt. I’m hooked! Here’s to many, many sales!

    Jenn!

  3. Kat Cantrell says:

    Happy release day!!!! I’m so excited and thrilled to see this book for sale. Oliver is a great hero. :)

    I can’t say I’ve been disappointed by the new releases I’ve picked up recently. I’ve learned what publishers and lines mesh with my tastes and try to stick to those. Most of the time, that means the book delivers on what the blurb promises.

    Good question. :)

  4. Congratulations, Cynthia! My impression is this is a DARK, COMPELLING READ. It also sounds like it will have a great success in the suspense/thriller market! Clickin’ my ruby slippers for lots of sales for you!

  5. Liz Talley says:

    Oh, wow…that was good. Very good. I love a break out of jail story. Shawshank is my favorite movie and this one is an edge of the seat thriller. Love that sample and it definintely makes me want to press buy…I’m reaching for my kindle.

  6. Rita Henuber says:

    Congratulations my Ruby Carina sister. Love the excerpt. Carina did you right with the cover. Love it!
    Wishing you many, many sales.

  7. Cyn, The cover does say thriller, to me. I love thrillers and if I find you under romance, I know it’s perfect, again for me. The blurb makes me wonder how are you going to pull this story off and the excerpt…OMG! That is an awesome excerpt. I need to know what happens next. I’m hitting the buy key right now.

    Congrats and wishing mega sales.

    (((HUGS)) AJ

  8. Amanda Brice says:

    Wow, what an excerpt! Super good luck, Cynthia! I think this is going to sell like hotcakes!

    I just one-clicked!!!!

  9. WOW!!!! This sounds so fantastic, Cynthia! Huge congrats, I can’t wait to read this one! ~D~

  10. D'Ann Lindun says:

    Happy release! I would say romantic suspense. Love the blurb. I’ll have to get myself a copy!

  11. Diana Layne says:

    Intense! Really looking forward to this! Oh, and usually on picking books, I no longer have time to go just looking for something to read so usually it’s on recommends–heck, the Rubies have enough books alone to keep me reading for a long long time! Best of luck!

  12. Elise Hayes says:

    Oh, great excerpt–I’m totally hooked!! I love starting with the jail scene. The cover says thriller, the blurb says romance. I’m definitely expecting both with this book.

    Congratulations on release day!!

  13. I’m a little late to the party, but congratulations, Cynthia!!! I love the blurb, and I love The Count of Monte Cristo. :) One of my favorites.

  14. Way behind today, but stopped by to say congrats, lil sis, on another great release. Hope the sales spiral up, up, and away—like out of the stratosphere!

  15. Elisa Beatty says:

    Congrats on the new release! The story sounds fabulous!

  16. Addison Fox says:

    Cynthia:

    Happy Book Birthday!!!!!

    And I love that cover – it is so dark and compelling. An easy-buy for me!! :-)

    Addison

  17. Kelley Bowen says:

    Cynthia,

    I’m a day late but I had to comment. LOVE the excerpt, and even though I fear scary books and movie (isn’t that the point?), yours is going on my Kindle.

    Congratulations. No need for jitters. You’ll do great.

  18. Cynthia, I LOVED your excerpt. Definitely something I would love to read! Here’s to much success and many sales!

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