I think I have a bad marketing instinct. It never occurs to me to post excerpts of my upcoming new releases. I have, however, provided excerpts to blog sites I visit, but only when specifically asked by the blog host. Maybe my lack of forethought is because excerpts are not usually something I read. I find their length to be just long enough to get me drooling, but not substantial enough for me to eat the meal.
Because excerpts tease me too much, if a book looks good to me, I simply plunk my money down and buy it. So far, I’ve had pretty good luck with my reading gambles. It is possible, however, that I’m as bad a money manager as I am a marketer. C’est la vie.
I know marketing-wise, I am in the wrong. I do think most readers find excerpts to be a good indicator of whether a book is right for them. So, in order to go with the flow, here is one for my upcoming new release. I’m even including a book blurb at the end. How’s that for progress?
What do you think about book excerpts? Do they influence you to buy a book? To what extent?
Excerpt from JOCKEYING FOR YOU (release date 9/28/16)
Jake felt his eyebrow arch up. “Dr. Doolittle, I presume?”
A slow smile spread across Ryder’s lips.
“How far have you gotten with Handsome?” Jake asked.
“He’ll let me ride him now.”
Jake’s eyebrows shot up to his hairline. “My God, Ryder, you’re amazing,” he let out. With a shake of his head and a hard cough he corrected himself. “I mean, your results with him are amazing.”
Ryder’s grin was now Cheshire cat sized. “Thanks for both compliments.”
Damn. She couldn’t let my mistake go.
Then it hit him—his comment was a slip, but was it really a mistake? Her beautiful face, which had been beaming with pride now had a shy aspect that was even more endearing. She bore a schoolgirl’s blush and averted her eyes from him as she busied herself petting Handsome’s nose.
If only she could stroke me the same way. Though somewhere lower down than my nose. He tensed up at the thought. Focus, Jake, damn it! This is business. I need to get back to it.
“Show me,” he said.
She looked back at him and blinked. “Show you what?”
“Show me Handsome Dancer can be ridden. I want you to ride him for me.”
“Now? He’s already had his exercise for today. I don’t want to tire him out.”
Handsome’s head batted her shoulder with a determination that was comical.
“You know,” he quipped, “if he actually understands you then you really are Dr. Doolittle.”
“I’m sure he just wanted me to give him an apple,” she answered, flustered. She wiped a stray blonde bang from her hot forehead and looked the horse in one of his eyes. “What are you saying, babycakes? That you want to go on a short ride with me?”
Yes, yes, I do. Jake cleared his throat and gave her a tight smile. “Go ahead you two. Impress me.”
A few minutes later he was outside the training track, his hands casually resting on the guardrail while he waited for the “show” to begin.
Soon, Ryder and Handsome entered the track. He heard her cluck her tongue at the horse, and then watched her lightly kick Handsome’s rear. The horse took off around the track in a fast gallop. The horse’s “flight” was fluid and astoundingly fast for what was supposed to be an easy go-around. She was doing more than merely riding Handsome Dancer. It looked like she was a part of him. One cohesive whole.
Thinking the demo was about to end, he had almost turned around to head back when something caught the corner of his eye. It was a flash of color, a fast burst of brown. What the…? Whipping his head around to the source, he stared open-mouthed at the sight. Handsome Dancer was bolting down a stretch of training track at a speed unheard of for a newbie horse. Or maybe any horse. In all of Jake’s experiences, he doubted he had seen a horse move that fast when not performing in an actual race.
As impressed as he was, he frowned. Was Ryder working Handsome too hard? Tiring a horse out with a training exercise was a bad idea all around. Both emotionally and physically for the horse. As someone who cared about his animals’ well-being, the potential emotional impact was something important to worry about. Stressing out a horse by constantly spurring it on could lead to depression. The risk of negative physical impact was no better. And likely a whole lot worse. Pulled tendons or muscles could leave the horse permanently lame, which could impact the horse’s psychological state, too.
How sure was he Ryder knew what she was doing? By the time she dismounted, handing Handsome over to a hot walker after affectionately kissing his sweaty, heavily breathing nose, he was more than ready to find out. He straightened himself up to his full height and peered down at the smiling face. Her rail-thin body was over a foot shorter than his but her obvious pride in her accomplishment seemed to puff her up until she loomed as large as him.
“Well? Whadja think?” she demanded. Her grin had grown even larger. If she beamed any brighter she’d pass as a lighthouse.
His lips twisted around until he formed his carefully chosen words. “I’m glad to see you got him to perform.”
Her smile dropped, a heavy rock tossed off the lighthouse’s cliff. “You’re not happy?”
“I’m…I’m not sure how you got so far so fast. I don’t want him pushed past him limits. To be performing this hard, to be running at that pace for a simple demo…”
“I am not pushing him past his limits. This is not the Belmont Stakes where everything is on the line. Handsome Dancer was merely trying to prove to you he can do it. He wants to show off, not me.” She folded her arms across her chest and blew a stray stand of blonde hair from her eyes. She didn’t look so much like she was challenging him as she was wary of him. “It’s going to be hard to work for you if you’re going to doubt my integrity. I break down a horse’s barriers to success. But I don’t break their spirit. And I would never over-exert an animal just to impress an owner.”
He let out a hard breath. “Okay. I didn’t think so. But if you didn’t push him to the max, how was he able to take off like that? He flew around the track.”
“Like you said yourself, your horse is special.”
Jockeying for You – Book Blurb
Jake Carter is on a mission—to prove his family wrong. He may have bought a troubled horse, but he’s hired Ryder Hannon, a “horse whisperer,” to get his horse back on track. She’s more than just a trainer to him, she’s the woman he’s been looking for.
Ryder Hannon, a thoroughbred horse trainer, has a big problem—fighting her fear of racing again. Her emotional scars run deeper than her physical ones. But her romantic feelings towards handsome, uber-rich, stable owner Jake Carter is a bigger problem. Is Jake truly in love with her or is he using her to get back at his smug family?
When Jake’s jockey gets injured, he wants Ryder to race. He knows deep down she wants to live up to her family’s legacy. So why does she keep fighting him—and her destiny—so hard?
JOCKEYING FOR YOU Amazon pre-order buy link http://amzn.to/2clOJK3
WEBSITE & SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS FOR STACY HOFF:
DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC http://amzn.to/1KjfP9V
DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES http://amzn.to/1YEseie
LAWFULLY YOURS http://amzn.to/1Ky5CZm
SEASON OF LOVE http://amzn.to/1NsByfu