Thursday, December 14, 2017

Chapter 18

I don't think this counts as a spoiler because I'm not telling you anything that happens, other than confessing that there's some sleight of hand in the book.

To better visualize it, either before or after reading the book, I present you with two magicians:



Monday, December 11, 2017

Pimpernel FREE & Royal Ball Rafflecopter


   


Welcome to December 12, 2017--the Official Launch Date of Pimpernel: Royal Ball.
To celebrate, Royal Ball's birthday, Pimpernel will be free th 12th (today) - 15th (Friday).
Below you will find the Rafflecopter, sponsored by I  Am A Reader. She's giving away  money, so if you want to throw your hat in the ring on that

   



  

Pimpernel: Royal Ball by Sheralyn Pratt

Sequel to the award-winning novel, Pimpernel 

One man, one night, one dance, and one question…none of which Claire Ramsey sees coming. She thinks the night is a test—a call to rise above her insecurities and step more fully into her skills.

It’s been a year since she learned about the Pimpernel and fell in love with the man of so many masks. Jack’s world is full of high stakes and big players, and Claire wants in. To her frustration, Jack is dragging his feet on letting her all the way into both his heart and his work. The risk is too high, he says. But Claire is ready to prove him wrong. She’s ready to go all-in.

What Claire doesn’t know is that Jack is no lone wolf, and the world he is shielding her from is much bigger than she has ever imagined.

But one man, one night, one dance, and one question will change all of that in a way Claire never saw coming.

    
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Claire was not alone.

There was a man in the room—a dark-haired man with unreal green eyes and a suit that looked ready for a fashion shoot. The intruder was fit and tall, with a trimmed beard that looked like it had been shaped with laser precision.

 Do. Not. Scream. (Again.) Do not freak. Coherency is your only bargaining chip, and only one of you works here.

For the first time that day, Claire wasn’t arguing with her instincts.

“How did you get in here?” she accused.

“Someone left the door open.” 

Oh. Yeah. That would be her. She opened the floor. And left it open.

Whoops.

But that still didn’t explain what this man was doing in Margot’s office wearing the most refined suit she’d ever seen.

Part of Claire felt reassured that if this man was an assassin, it would be a tidy affair. He wouldn’t want to get blood on his clothes.

“Who are you?” she asked, trying to get a sense for exactly how much trouble she was in.

“I’m the boss’s son.”

That made no sense. “Margot is the boss.”

He seemed to weigh her answer. “Depends on how you look at it. If you’re talking about the business, yes. That’s Margot’s. But if we’re talking about what brought you here tonight, then Jack works for my father. His line has served ours faithfully for many years. We like Jack.”

Wait. What?

Claire knew Ren’s family had served Margot’s for generations, but she’d always thought that more as a bodyguard thing. Jack wasn’t a bodyguard. He was a problem-solver for the elite. When people growing into their power started doing things that threatened the safety of civilians, Jack was brought in to—

Something clicked in Claire’s brain.

It wasn’t like her to be the last one to catch on to something, but everything Claire had seen in the past year fit very nicely into this man’s claim. When a job came in, Jack and Margot did it. They didn’t argue over its merit or vet the client. They solved the problem. Because someone asked—allegedly, this guy’s father.

So either this man was an assassin sent to kill her, or the boss’s son had just caught her red-handed. Whatever the case, running away and pretending this never happened didn’t seem to be an option.

Stand your ground, instinct whispered.

“You need to make a choice before you speak again, Claire,” the green-eyed man said. “You must decide if you’ve just been caught where you ought not to be, or if you’re exactly where you want to be.”

Um, both felt like traps the way he said them.


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 Pimpernel by Sheralyn Pratt For centuries, the elite of the world have sought the Pimpernel everywhere. Some want to kill him, others want to hire him, but Jack Cavanaugh knows that the love/hate relationship comes with the job title. At present, Jack is trying to dismantle an investment scheme centered in Las Vegas, but "trying" is the operative word. It's been a month since he put the face of the scheme behind bars, yet the scam is still going strong. As Jack tries to uncover who has stepped in as the new head, what miniscule evidence there is all seems to point him back to Claire Ramsey, an introverted PhD student studying at UNLV. If ever there as an unlikely head of an investment scheme, Claire's it. She has a genius IQ, but from all Jack has seen, Claire’s intelligence is as much a blessing as a curse when paired up with her acute OCD. Claire can barely make conversation with the cute guy down the hall, which makes it hard to believe she could be the charismatic salesperson who is getting international businessmen to invest $5—50 million a pop. So what is Jack missing? What is the real story behind Claire Ramsey? And once Jack learns it, will he be able to walk away?

  

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Praise for Pimpernel
"My go-to book that has it all--action-adventure, mystery. and intrigue, all wrapped up in a sweet (but not overdone) romance." 

"Leverage. Mission Impossible. Pimpernel... If you like those first two, you’re going to love Pimpernel!...Secret identities, twists and turns, cons within cons, with just a bit of romance." 

"Intrigue, romance, and that vague something that sticks with you."  

 

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Author Sheralyn Pratt Sheralyn was born at an early age, with 10 fingers and 10 toes. She is proud to report that she currently retains all 20 digits. Described by one reviewer as "the bomb dot com" (url already claimed... bummer), Sheralyn has been a karate instructor, musical theater performer, a beach bum, freelance writer, nomadic traveler, and, yes, a private investigator. At the moment she enjoys working with and training her dog to give the poor thing breaks from sitting and Sheralyn's feet with the unbearable task of watching someone write a book. Really, and you thought your job was bad! Sheralyn currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, although as people who know her can attest to, that is subject to change at any time ;)

 
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Also by Sheralyn Pratt

 
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Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway
Ends 12/26/17
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Pimpernel: Royal Ball - Coming December 12th!

Synopsis

One man, one night, one dance, and one question…none of which Claire Ramsey sees coming.

She thinks the night is a test—a call to rise above her insecurities and step more fully into her skills. It’s been a year since she learned about the Pimpernel and fell in love with the man of so many masks.

Jack’s world is full of high stakes and big players, and Claire wants in. To her frustration, Jack is dragging his feet on letting her all the way into both his heart and his work. The risk is too high, he says.

But Claire is ready to prove him wrong. She’s ready to go all-in.

What Claire doesn’t know is that Jack is no lone wolf, and the world he is shielding her from is much bigger than she has ever imagined.

And one man, one night, one dance, and one question will change everything.

Sequel to the award-winning novel, Pimpernel 
Release Date: December 12, 2017 
I recommend reading Pimpernel and Walk of Infamy first. (*see bottom of post for why)

About Royal Ball

I’m excited.

And I’m nervous.

I’m nervous and excited.

Pimpernel: Royal Ball will be in your hands on the 12th and the book is a gateway for the big, wide world Jack operates in.

You’re going to meet more people.

You’re going to see things.

Some of it you’ll understand out of the gate, some of it you won’t.

One thing is certain: This will be unlike any Royal Ball you’ve ever imagined.

One of the most frequently asked questions about the Pimpernel series is:

How many books to do I foresee in the series?

After reading Royal Ball, I think most of you will understand that the answer to that could any number at all.

Could there be six books? Sure.

A dozen? Just as easily.

A whole break off series into other characters? Yes, please.

Some beta readers for Royal Ball even asked about that, which made me smile. Personally, I think it would be so fun to give you a book of short stories from the perspective of different characters. If you read Royal Ball and think the same thing, feel free to make your wishes known.

I’m a writer with a lot of muses. I can go a lot of directions, and it’s way more fun when people want to come with me. I don’t accept input on plots or character choices, but I am open to hearing who you’re most interested in reading about.

So if you really, really want to read about something, let me know.

Another question I get (more than any other) is:

Are you going to put your books into print?

Truth is, I was considering giving printing rights to a publisher. But I think I’m past that now. This means that in 2018, all my books will appear in print and new releases will have paperbacks, too. I don’t have exact dates for all of them yet, but I’ll let you know when I do.

And thank you, in advance, to all of you looking to put my books on your shelf. It’s an honor!

Casting Characters

One of my favorite things is when someone is reading my book and they take the time to send me a picture of the actors they imagine in each role.

This makes me smile every time.

So, I figure, why not make a contest out of it? And why not add a prize? Anyone can submit a photo for casting, I’ll post them all, and we’ll see who gets the most votes.

I know there are websites that do this, but many want you to create an account and that makes things a little less fun. I’d much prefer people just be able to click and vote within a system that only allows one vote per person.

If you have a favorite site for things like this, let me know. Otherwise, I’ll probably just jerry-rig something.

That's all for now.

We're less than a week out, which gives me just enough time to cross my fingers, freak out, and hope you like being dropped into the deep end of a series I personally love.

Hope you love it, too. But let me know either way (and definitely share it and review it, if you do--that's how we writers get to keep writing)!!!

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Why read Pimpernel first?
That is where we meet all the characters and Royal Ball makes the assumption that you are up to speed on who they are and what they are about. There isn't a ton of backtracking or info dumping. The book is too busy moving you forward to spend much time rewinding.

Why read Walk of Infamy first?

Walk of Infamy is much less essential, but it does give you backstory on Kali. I specifically wrote this book as a standalone in its series, with all the relevant backstory to crossover into Pimpernel.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Royal Ball: Are You Ready?

So…I have to say that I’m really excited for Pimpernel: Royal Ball…but maybe not for the reasons you’d expect.

Often—and, some might say, always—things come to us differently in our minds than they end up manifesting in the real world. We create some elaborate mental picture and, when we go to manifest it in reality, some things don’t translate from the mental to the physical the way we thought.

This always happens to me when I write. Characters come to me fully formed and are pretty immutable, but they are pretty resistant to formulaic story arcs and have no allegiance to outlines. So I have to be willing to be flexible when they start pushing back on forced moves.

With Pimpernel I thought I was going to write the whole series on a certain level, with many dynamics touched on but not fully explained. It worked in my mind, but when I wrote it out, it just came across as convoluted and intentionally obtuse.

Characters I was trying to keep a bit masked had no interest in hiding, and even less interest in being chronically misunderstood in the name of mystery. They looked at how they were coming across on the page and just shook their heads, sighing as if to say, “It’s your life. Do what you will…but I’m over here if you're open to any suggestions.”

Still, I kept writing…sensing the judgy eyes of my muses that forced me to objectively admit that the transition from mental mansion to written page had some serious hiccups and honest complaining points. And no one wants that in a book they take the time to read, so I had to back up a bit. Think a bit. And, as I thought, I realized something.

The muses are right. Skip the soft-shoeing. Skip the roundabout route. It’s time to let you into the world.

Life’s short, right? So let’s get fancy.

For all those who are up for the ride, Royal Ball is the onramp to the world Jack operates in. And I love that world. I thought I had to wait to bring you in. Turns out, I totally didn’t.

So step further into the world of Jack, Margot, Ren, Claire, and Kali with Pimpernel: Royal Ball. I love the world, and hope you do too!

I’ll let you know the December release date soon!


Friday, November 17, 2017

New Book Title and Cover Reveal

It's (past) time for a new book from me.

Are you ready for more Pimpernel?

How about a royal ball?

Both are coming your way, and here is the official cover reveal.


Monday, August 7, 2017

August 2017 Update

So it's been a while since I updated...some might say too long, and I would have to agree with that.

Sorry about that.

I have been busy, though!

Since you last heard from me, I wrote The Third Wheel...and it just didn't sing to me. I got something wrong, and I couldn't figure out what. So I decided to write a fun rom-com to balance out the heavy energy from The Third Wheel. But then I couldn't tell if the new story was fun or boring...and that seemed like a bad sign.

So I put rom-com to the side and peeked Pimpernel's way.

There was a lot of internal debate when it came to switching over to Pimpernel. I'd told myself (and you!) that I was going to write The Third Wheel first, and technically I did. I just didn't publish it. I debated back and forth as to whether I was going to be one of those fickle creative types, who says one thing on the itinerary and then changes things real-time.

I don't want to be that person. But, alas...I think I am that person.

I am so in love with the Pimpernel world, and it's speaking to me right now, so who am I to shun the muses and tell them to depart to make way for a story that is stalled while I figure out where I screwed up?

The situation is kind of akin to being out in the middle of nowhere with two cars to choose from: one that's stalled out and not even trying to make a sound when you turn the key, and another car that revs right up.

Which car do you choose to get you down the road?

A publisher would never let me get away with this. I would just have to plow through and release the books in their assigned order and just make them "good enough" to go to print. There are definite pros to being pushed like that, but conversely, sometimes (all the time, in my experience) when something is off, it means there's something I need to learn that I'm currently getting wrong.

It definitely happened with Kay, in the Rhea series. Kay was the first muse to snub me. She only talked to me in the first place because of Rhea (who is infinitely more patient). But somewhere along the line, I put some words into Kay's mouth that belonged in someone else's mouth, and BOOM! She was gone with the percussion of a slammed door that had no interest in opening again.

I didn't catch on to her exit immediately, which was the reason it took me so long to figure the sin that had put me into storyteller time out. But once I figured it out, Rhea talked Kay into coming back and finishing the story, as a personal favor.

At least, that's what happened if you believe in muses. If you don't, then...I just got writer's block for a while before I had a breakthrough and finished Kay'sville, and I have a similar block with The Third Wheel now, and I'll let you know when it's sorted.

I'll let you know when Pimpernel has a firm date for release in fall of 2017.

Thanks for your patience and support! It means a lot!!!

Monday, April 10, 2017

8 Minutes of Zen

If you're feeling overwhelmed recently, you're not alone.

Look around. Anyone plugged in to social media is probably experiencing some level of anxiety. There's politics, sure, but also parenting styles, levels of desirability, social standards, and all manner of areas of people's lives where they may feel shamed or confused.

Shame sells. Confusion creates clicks. So if you feel like part of your brain has been hijacked, it's probably because that's exactly what's happened on some level.

If you find yourself in any sort of anxious or stressed state, the scientists at Mindlabs in the UK have a song for you, found to be the most effective at reducing stress in clinical tests. Listening to it "resulted in a striking 65 percent reduction in participants' overall anxiety, and a 35 percent reduction in their usual physiological resting rates."

To read the full article and see their Top 10 list, check out this article.

To experience their #1 choice and decompress right now, press play.