Friday, January 31, 2014

Writing and Marketing - A Lesson in Balance

We all know that being a published author means spending a portion of your time on marketing. This is true whether you are traditionally published with a large or small house, or Indie published. But, how much time should you spend on each? How do you achieve balance?

This is a question I have been focused on a lot of late. It is something I wrestled with last year - marketing versus writing. For those of us writers to wear the hats of author in multiple genres (fiction and nonfiction), mom, wife, and another day job, finding balance is particularly important. Not just for my sanity, but to ensure a prosperous writing career.

I'll be honest about last year - I spent WAY TOO MUCH TIME on things that weren't essential to my writing career. I spent too much time goofing off online, too much time refining marketing and crunching numbers. It isn't that some of the things weren't of value - they were. But the cost in time away from creating new content was too high.

That changes this year. I spent January refining how I do things re blogging, my social media presence, etc - all so I could spend MORE time focused on creating new content. I have lofty goals, and I know I need to create more content in order for the goals to come to fruition.

The rule of thumb for me is 80/20 - 80 percent of my writing time needs to be spent writing new content (and no, I am not counting blogging as part of that!). 20 percent is all about blogging/marketing etc.

This is my first week really working on that - so let's see how it all works out! I will be back to report progress later next month.

How do you stay balanced?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

IndieReCon is COMING!!!

I am thrilled to announce that IndieRecon is coming! If you receive the Indelibles newsletter, then you already know all about this. (*Hint* It's an awesome idea to subscribe to our newsletter!)

In four weeks, at exactly this time (12:00 p.m. EST) we will have the privilege of hanging out with Barry Eisler and JA Konrath. These two giants of indie publishing will be here, chatting with us, with YOU, for two whole hours.

Seriously!

So come on, get excited! And mark your calendars! Because IndieReCon 2014 is going to rock your socks off.

In the meantime, help us spread the word for maximum awesomeness! Hugs and kisses to everyone who posts our button on their site!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Elle Strauss's Sun and Moon Tour and a few giveaways

I'm thrilled to be part of Lee Strauss's latest book release, SUN AND MOON (released 1/26). If you’re a fan of the movie Inside, Llewyn Davis, ABC television’s Nashville or Colleen Hoover’s upcoming novel, "Maybe Someday", the Minstrel Series is for you!

The Minstrel Series is a collection of contemporary romance novels set in the singer/songwriter world. The books are companion novels, with shared settings and characters, but each are complete standalone stories with a HEA (happily ever after) and no cliffhangers!
Katja Stoltz is a risk-taking singer-songwriter hoping to make it in the indie music scene in Dresden, Germany. Micah Sturm's a brooding uptown banker on a quest. Driven to the streets, Katja is picked up by Micah - but he doesn't want what she thinks he does. There’s an undeniable attraction between them, a gravitational pull they both struggle to resist. Katja knows she mustn’t fall in love with this handsome enigma. There’s something dark lurking beneath the surface. He could be dangerous. And even if her life isn’t on the line, her heart most definitely is.

*not erotica - no explicit sex or coarse language

This series is an exciting collaboration between Lee Strauss as an Indie Author and several very talented Indie Singer-Songwriters. Four original songs produced by Norm Strauss are featured in Sun & Moon and are performed by award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter Kim McMechan. MP3 links are included at the end. Check out the music video! 


All the songs from the Minstrel Series can be found at Bandcamp. The Minstrel Series also has its own Facebook page. Go Like it to follow all the upcoming Minstrel Series news! Pre- orders now available at the pre-release price of 2.99! (Price goes up after launch) itunes | kobo | Barnes & Noble

Lee is giving away prizes to celebrate the upcoming launch of Sun & Moon
Enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card, MP3s of all four songs featured on Sun & Moon, and a 12 month calendar from Dresden, Germany featuring many of the settings found in Sun & Moon.
Dresden, Germany
I had a chance to read an early copy of SUN AND MOON and I have to say that I LOVED it! I felt like the characters were all full, rich characters that I immediately cared about. The story itself was great. Besides the gorgeous setting, the writing was beautiful and pulled me from chapter to chapter. All in all, this was a sweet love story that would satisfy any music/songwriter!

To help Lee celebrate, I am also giving away a little something just for stopping by - a copy of Lee's ebook, East of Eden. All you need to do - leave a comment. That's it. Giveaway ends Friday, 1/31.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Author Spotlight: Cheri Lasota


Time for another Author Spotlight! Today I am thrilled to be hosting Cheri Lasota. Cheri and I have recently become friends and I am so excited to be jumping into her books soon. Before I get to Cheri's take on this month's questions, here is a little more
about her:


Cheri Lasota is a techno-dweeb and darn proud of it. She dabbles in video editing, ebook design, coding, gaming, gizmos, gadgets, tablets, and apps. When she's not busy wasting time on Facebook, she also has her hand in composing, filmmaking, snuggling, and ski racing. She secretly daydreams about owning two schnauzers named Tristan and Isolde, someday hearing the soundtrack to a film based on one of her books, and writing full time dressed only in her PJs.

Here are Cheri's amazing answers to this month's questions:
  • What are your writerly goals for 2014? I have a feeling it's going to take me at least half a year (if not more) to research and plan my upcoming scifi trilogy. It's an epic story that will take all my focus. I hope by the time National Novel Month rolls around in November, I'll be ready to begin the writing process in earnest. I can't wait. I'll be fit to bursting by then! Beyond that, I'll be hosting the completely free online writing conference IndieRecon.org this Feb 25-27, 2014 alongside the fabulous Shelli Johannes, Ali Cross, Heather McCorkle, Christine Fonseca, and Chanda Hahn. 
  • If you good do some OTHER artistic endeavor in 2014, what would it be? I do have plans to explore some more passions of mine in 2014. I spent half of 2013 planning and getting married and the other half roaring through finishing my second novel, Echoes in the Glass. I plan to slow down this year and take some time to compose piano music, get back into oil painting and pastels, and turn my hand at scrapbooking again. Here's hoping anyway!
  • What author would you love to write a book with and why? I'd love to write my upcoming scifi trilogy with Susan Kaye Quinn. It'd be a blast brainstorming ideas together and we could put her knowledge of astronomy and NASA to awesome use in this particular storyline. I've already asked her advice on a particular plot issue and she graciously shared her thoughts with me on it. She's a dear heart, that lady. 
Thanks for the nice shout out, Cheri - the conference will be AMAZING!

And now - a bit about Cheri's featured books:

Artemis Rising

"Left me breathless and spellbound. I wanted to live inside its pages." --Karen Hooper, Author of Tangled Tides

Can we change our stars?
Eva must accept the tragic fate her mother has chosen for her, to be forever chained to the boy who will become the human form of the Greek river god. But Tristan, the Azorean Islander boy she loves, has willingly chosen another destiny, one fraught with just as much danger and sorrow. Are Eva and Tristan destined to live forever together but eternally apart? Diogo, an intense boy driven by a mysterious power, will drive them even further apart if they cannot find a way to break the curse they’ve fallen under.
Artemis Rising was inspired by an unforgettable 2-year stay in the Azores Islands. The novel is based on the legend of Tristan and Isolde and the Greek myth of Alpheus and Arethusa.
* First Place Winner in the 2013 Cygnus Awards
* E-book Category Finalist in the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards

Echoes in the Glass

"If you read the synopsis and think it sounds like a great read.. multiply that by a hundred and you might be closer to how bloody brilliant this book actually is." --Toni Lesatz, My Book Addiction

Finnian bears the scar of an unspeakable crime. Tiria hides the pain of a terrible betrayal. When all their secrets are laid bare, will the truth rip them apart or forever silence the echoes of the past?

Seventeen-year-old Finnian Bell has been on the run for years, but he finally has a chance to rebuild his life while restoring an abandoned lighthouse on the Oregon Coast. Tiria Lucas, the lightkeeper's daughter, is still reeling from the pain of an event that has shattered her innocence. Fear and bitterness have turned her heart from Finnian, but he is determined not to let her go. 

The lighthouse harbors dark secrets of its own... When Finnian and Tiria uncover the story of two teens hidden in the tower back in 1935, they discover a shocking connection that bridges time and death.

Crossing genres into worlds you've never seen... Echoes in the Glass is half-contemporary, half-historical with enough mystery, romance and lighthouse lore to ignite your imagination.


These books sound great and I can't wait to read them!
Thanks for stopping by Cheri - I've loved getting to know more about you and your books! I am taking next week off, but will be back in February with new questions, and new guests!

Monday, January 27, 2014

MORE THAN SHY - I Need Your Help!

parent and child talking

As many of you know, I announced the sale of my next nonfiction book, MORE THAN SHY: A Parent's Guide to Social Anxiety, to Prufrock Press. The book will be released in early 2015, which of course means that I am knee-deep in the research phase now. 

This book is all about social anxiety, including:
  • the biological aspects of social anxiety
  • the behavioral and environmental factors of anxiety
  • specific strategies for parents and educators on the topic of social anxiety
  • personal stories about families dealing with social anxiety
  • Frequently Asked Questions about social anxiety in kids

This is a great start - but I want more!

And that is where all of you come in.  

As I've done with the majority of my books, I will be holding online focus groups and surveying parents, educators, and even children about this topic and I would LOVE to involve all of you! 

If you can help in some way, please take a moment to complete the form below and let me know what you can do:

Thanks and here's the link to the form just in case the form doesn't come up on your computer or mobile device. - https://docs.google.com/forms/d/169hA6TeEn8QGmAnGdZ-i7zbOtTvPvk51vveJuv5zr9c/viewform

I'll be in touch via email within the next week or so. THANKS!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Cover Reveal: Elana Johnson's ELEVATED (plus a little giveaway!)

I am thrilled to be part of the fabulous cover reveal for Elana Johnson's upcoming book, ELEVATED. Having had a chance to read the book, I am beyond excited that she has decided to bring this to all of you! It is an AMAZING book and I just know it is gonna sell like CRAZY.

Before I get to her cover, here is a little more about ELEVATED:

ELEVATED by Elana Johnson:

The last person seventeen-year-old Eleanor Livingston wants to see on the elevator—let alone get stuck with—is her ex-boyfriend Travis, the guy she's been avoiding for five months.

Plagued with the belief that when she speaks the truth, bad things happen, Elly hasn’t told Trav anything. Not why she broke up with him and cut off all contact. Not what happened the day her father returned from his deployment to Afghanistan. And certainly not that she misses him and still thinks about him everyday.

But with nowhere to hide and Travis so close it hurts, Elly’s worried she won’t be able to contain her secrets for long. She’s terrified of finally revealing the truth, because she can’t bear to watch a tragedy befall the boy she still loves.
Praise for ELEVATED:
"ELEVATED will take you on an emotionally gripping journey through the highs and lows of first love."
~Carolee Dean, author of Take Me There and Forget Me Not

"Poignant, raw, and intense, ELEVATED is a novel that will grip your heart and linger in your mind long after you turn the last page."
~Stasia Ward Kehoe, author of Audition and The Sound of Letting Go 

ELEVATED is being released on Feb 18, 2014 all over the place! But, if you can't wait and you need to pre-order it NOW, check it out on Kobo  

And now - the FABULOUS cover for...

ELEVATED


Such a great book!

About Elana Johnson Elana Johnson’s work, including Possession, Surrender, Abandon, and Regret, published by Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster), is available now everywhere books are sold. Her popular ebook, From the Query to the Call, is also available for download, as well as a Possession short story, Resist. School teacher by day, Query Ninja by night, you can find her online at her personal blog or Twitter. She also co-founded the Query Tracker blog, and contributes to the League of Extraordinary Writers.

And now, the giveaway...

Elana is giving away $15 via paypal to one lucky person, just for spreading the word. Entering is easy - just fill out the form:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So excited for Elana and her new "baby"! I just know you will all LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bookanista Review: SEVERED by Dax Varley


It's Thursday, and time for another Bookanista review. Today I am reviewing a great Indie book - SEVERED by Dax Varley. If you like Sleepy Hollow tales, you'll LOVE this one. But before I get into that, here is a peek at the other Bookanistas and their fav books this week:
On to my review -

About SEVERED by Dax Varley:
Katrina’s still haunted by her encounter with the Headless Horseman - the night he beckoned to her. Now he has risen again, slashing heads and terrorizing the quiet countryside.
Her only joy during this dismal darkness comes when Ichabod Crane, a gorgeous young man from Connecticut, moves to Sleepy Hollow and their attraction turns to romance.
When the Horseman marks Ichabod as his next victim, Katrina, despite dangerous efforts to save him, sees no other choice than for them to flee.
But the Horseman awaits. Now it’s up to her to sever the horror and alter the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.


Why I liked it: 
I was super excited to read this book. I mean, I love classic horror. I LOVE the Sleepy Hollow legends. So I was bound to love this one. Still, there is a lot of pressure to get it right, you know.

I am happy to say that this story MORE than met my expectations. SEVERED is a historical novel that brings the Revolutionary War era to life, without making it difficult to read. It is a great spin on a classic tale, telling it from a fresh point of view that makes this story come to life. If you like new takes on classic tales, you MUST read this one. Epic is the best word to describe it! And dude...LOVE the cover!

You can pick up SEVERED at Amazon and other fine retailers.

What great books have you read recently?

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

    Author Spotlight: Kimberly Miller


    Time for another Author Spotlight! Today I am thrilled to again bring Kimberly Miller and her epic novel, TRIANGLES. Before I get to the fab Jan questions Kimberly kindly answered, here is a little more
    about her:


    Kimberly Miller received Bachelor's degrees from Georgian Court University and Rutgers University and a Master's degree from The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She is an avid reader and particularly enjoys true crime and young adult novels. She grew up in New Jersey and currently resides in Monmouth County with her husband and three cats. When she’s not writing, she loves to travel to sunny islands where she snorkels by day and stargazes by night. She always takes her Nook with her. 

    Author links:
    KAMillerWrites@aol.com

    Twitter: @KimberlyAnnNJ
    Facebook: Kimberly Ann Miller

    As I mentioned, Kimberly took the time to answer some epic questions for Jan - and trust me, her answers are great: 
    • What are your writerly goals for 2014? I would love to find an agent to represent my work, as well as sell more of my manuscripts! I have a few floating around out there!
    • If you good do some OTHER artistic endeavor in 2014, what would it be? Hmm…I would love to be able to draw, but even stick figures are a challenge for me!
    • What author would you love to write a book with and why? There are so many authors I have come to know and respect over the past few years that this is a tough one. I think for a YA book, I’d pick Jennifer Armentrout for her amazing ability to write strong female characters and annoying but loveable males. For thriller or mystery, Jonathan Maberry. I met him at a conference last year and he is the nicest, most down to earth guy ever! And he’s cool and writes in every genre, which makes him multi-talented. For heart-wrenching stories, John Green. He can rip a reader’s heart out in seconds and put it all back together by the end. How does that sound?
    Sounds great to me! Excellent choices...

    And now - a bit about Kimberly's book, TRIANGLES: 

    A cruise ship. A beautiful island. Two sexy guys. What could possibly go wrong?  

    In the Bermuda Triangle—a lot. 

    Hoping to leave behind the reminders of her crappy life--her father's death years ago, her mother's medical problems, and the loser who’s practically stalking her--seventeen-year-old Autumn Taylor hops on a ship with her sister for a little distraction. When she wakes up in the Bermuda Triangle, she fears she's gone nuts for more than one reason: that loser’s suddenly claiming they're a happy couple... a hot guy is wrapping his arms around her and saying "Happy Anniversary"... and suddenly, she’s full of bruises, losing her hair, and getting IV medication. Autumn visits the ship's doctor, hoping for a pill or a shot to make the craziness go away. Instead, she's warned that these "alternate realities" could become permanent. 

    She just has to ask herself one question—how the hell is she going to get out of this mess?
    Thanks for stopping by Kimberly! Loved having you again. Join me next week when I host Cheri Lasota

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

    Lessons from Olympic Athletes



    I love watching the Olympics! Summer...winter...love it all. I find the athletes very inspirational; their stories of triumph, near disaster, and resiliency carry messages that extend far beyond sports or athletic competition. So, it is no wonder that I find hope in the lessons of the athletes and its application to the world of writing and publishing.

    Take Lindsey Vonn. After being out of the world stage of competition for nearly twelve months due to a very serious injury and the Feb 2013 Worlds, she trained, focused and was determined to return in time for the 2014 Olympics. Until she suffered a series of additional injuries - all resulting in her withdrawal from the Olympic games.

    Lindsey could have easily quit after the Worlds last February - no one would have blamed her in the least. She tore ligaments and broke bones. But Lindsey's determination would not allow her to be beaten. She came back from injuries. And I have no doubt that she will either come back to competing again, or make a decision to retire and find another venue for that fierce determination. Either way, she serves as an example of resiliency, determination, and strength!

    Now, how do those lessons apply to our writing?

    There will always be times when don't achieve our goals, when we fall, have a manuscript rejected, get a bad review, etc. Life isn't about those moments - they are a given. Life is about what we do NEXT.

    Do we get up and brush ourselves off? Do we take the break we may need to regain perspective? Get a coffee with a friend, read a book, watch a movie, enjoy a different hobby?

    And more importantly, do we then get back on the computer, write something new, move forward?

    No one said being a published author was easy? No one said that achieving our goals would be a piece of cake. It takes work, consistency, persistence, dedication and commitment.

    But man, oh man...one day - things will hit. And you will achieve the goals you have for yourself. Serena Williams, winner of 2 Gold Medals in the 2000 and 2008 Olympic games is quoted as saying "Luck as nothing to do with it, because I have spent many, many hours, countless hours, on the wourt working for my one moment in time, not knowing when it would come."

    What are you doing to achieve your goals?

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

    Author Spotlight: Dorothy Dreyer and MY SISTER'S REAPER


    Time for another Author Spotlight! Today I am thrilled to bring you Dorothy Dreyer and her book, MY SISTER'S REAPER! Dorothy is someone that I have known for a while online, and I am so happy to be able to feature here. Before I introduce Dorothy's 
    book, here is a little more about her:

    Dorothy Dreyer has always believed in magic. She loves reading, writing, movies, takeout, chocolate, and spending time with her family and friends. Half-American and half-Filipino, Dorothy lives in Germany with her husband and two teens.

    Dorothy was kind enough to answer a few questions for me:
    • What are your writerly goals for 2014? My writerly goals for 2014 is to finish the manuscript I'm working on, as well as tying up all revisions for my second book, which comes out in the spring. I've also got an old story I'm trying to rework, waiting on the coals.
    • If you good do some OTHER artistic endeavor in 2014, what would it be? I don't know if you would call it artistic, but I've been working on crocheting a blanket, and I would love to finish it.
    • What author would you love to write a book with and why? Oh man, so many! Veronica Roth, Maggie Stiefvater, Cynthia Hand, JK Rowling. I'd take any of them! They're all geniuses in my eyes, and I'd love to pick their brains and find out their creative processes.
    Here is a little bit about Dorothy's book: 
    My Sister's Reaper blurb:
    Sixteen-year-old Zadie’s first mistake was telling the boy she liked she could bring her dead sister back to life. Her second mistake was actually doing it.
    When Zadie accidentally messes with the Reaper’s Rite that should have claimed her sister Mara, things go horribly wrong. Mara isn’t the same anymore—Zadie isn’t even sure she’s completely human. To top it off, a Reaper is determined to collect Mara's soul. Now Zadie must figure out how to defeat her sister’s Reaper or let Mara die … this time for good.
    Thanks so much for stopping by Dorothy! Next week I am thrilled to be featuring Kimberly Miller.

    If you're an author and you'd like to be featured one week, please let me know. Otherwise, see you next time!
    Next week I am featuring Dorothy Dreyer on the blog. I hope you will join me! 

    Monday, January 13, 2014

    Reaching Out to Readers!

    I am thrilled to be back to some form of regular blogging. If you can believe it, I actually managed to schedule posts for the majority of the week on all of my blogs, AND get lots of writing/editing in...
    It was a wonderful weekend.

    But I digress!

    Today I wanted to talk about readers. When I first started writing for the fiction YA market, most of my author-friends were very adept at making connections with other writers, but not as good at reaching out to readers. This is always something that puzzled me. I mean, yes, I LOVE my writer buddies. They offer support, knowledge, and so much more. They even make up a large percentage of my readers.

    But not the entire percentage.

    So, how do I cultivate readers? What writerly friends of mine were doing a great job reaching out to readers?

    Fortunately, from the early days through the present, I have been able to watch several authors cultivate amazing readership. People like Michelle Zink, Ellen Hopkins, Susan Kaye Quinn, Lisa Schroeder, and so many others, have done an amazing job reaching readers.

    Some do it through live events. And some others through their social networks. Me, I am the hybrid type in pretty much everything I do. So, it only follows that I am very hybrid-ish in this too. I mix live events, social networking and direct readership interaction. The results - very loyal fans.

    My focus for 2014, as I mentioned on Monday, is to take it to the next level and increase both my readership AND my interaction with readers - a lofty goal I know, but hey...

    How am I going to do this? Here is the short list of my goals:

    • Better use of the newsletter to bring MORE exclusive content to readers AND interact more. (Are you signed up for my newsletter? No? CLICK HERE to be included in all the fun)
    • A steady stream of NEW releases. Yep, you heard that right. I have the goal of releasing three new novels this year.
    • Strategic use of my marketing dollars
    • More live and online events to connect with readers.
    I am really excited about all of this and can't wait to see how it all turns out.


    What do you do to build readership, both new readers and more connection with readers?

    Friday, January 10, 2014

    Roomies - Love 'em....NOT! And a giveaway for ROOMIES by Sara and Tara!

    A while back I reviewed a great new book, ROOMIES by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando. (Click here to read the review). Well, I loved this book SO MUCH that when their publicists told me about a great contest and PR push involving a rint book giveaway and personal ROOMIE story, I just had to be a part of it...
    Which brings me to this post - my ROOMIE story!

    I was an only child growing up, so I had never really experienced the whole "roommate" thing until college. My freshman year roomie and I couldn't be more different. I was from California and exuded a stereo-typical beach-girl vibe most of the time. She was an East coast girl and was definitely less laid back. Add to this that underneath my "relaxed" vibe as a high-strung, introverted, nerd and well...you get the picture. To say I was a wreck about having a roommate is an understatement.

    The first week wasn't too bad. I arrived first so I chose which bed, etc. She was cool with it and our adventure began.

    I think it would be far to say we were not very compatible. We had very different interests, different values and yea...it was a bit of a train wreck. I am sure I stressed her out as much as she stressed me! But...we survived (even if the chance of a friendship did not). We never roomed together again, nor did we hang out or even talk much past our freshman year. It was...ROUGH.

    But that is sort of the point, right - to be tested and thrown into different scenarios to see what happens. That year did help me learn how to be a good roommate, a skill I needed in the years to come.

    Enough about me and my roommate memories.

    Let's talk about ROOMIE by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando. Sara and Tara are doing the book tour thing starting next week. Here is a run down of their stops:
    • January 12, 2014 – New York, NY: McNally Jackson [venue link]
    • January 15, 2014 – Salt Lake City, UT: The King's English [venue link]
    • January 16, 2014 – Provo, UT: Provo Library [venue link]
    • February 4, 2014 – San Francisco, CA: Books Inc, Opera Plaza [venue link
    • February 5, 2015 – Petaluma, CA: Copperfield's Books [venue link]
    I urge all of you to GO. Meet the authors. Buy the book!

    As a bit of extra incentive, I am also hosting a giveaway for a print copy of the book (open to US residents only - sorry!) Just complete the form below. The contest is TODAY only, so enter now and be sure to spread the word!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Want to read a few more Roomie stories? Check these out by the LB YA team!

    Have a GREAT weekend!

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

    Bookanista Review - The Mindjack Trilogy by Susan Kaye Quinn


    It's Thursday, and time for another Bookanista review. Today I am reviewing the fabulous MINDJACK trilogy by Susan Kaye Quinn. But before I get to that, here are the other Bookanista reviews today:
    On to my review -

    About the MINDJACK trilogy by Susan Kaye Quinn



    When everyone reads minds, 
    a secret is a dangerous thing to keep




    Why I liked it: 
    Let me start by saying that I am a HUGE Susan Kaye Quinn fan. She could probably write a Hallmark card and I would want to read them all. So I went into reading this trilogy with a pretty high expectation. And I am happy to report that I was thrilled with every installment of this series.

    Most of you know that I don't always love series, finding them to often turn into pale imitations of the first book. But, that is not true with this series. Nothing about the books felt stale or pushing into something it wasn't. The characters are wonderful through every book, the world building superb, and the plot - perfect. If you have not taken the time to read the series, you are missing out! Get this on your TBR list stat.

    Don't take my word for it - you can get book one, OPEN MINDS, FREE at all retailers. Once you start the series, you'll be hooked - so go ahead and pick up the whole thing.

    Check it out on the Mindjack website for excerpts and buy links to all retailers.

    What great books have you read recently?

      Wednesday, January 8, 2014

      Ch-changes...

      With the new year comes a new approach to some of my marketing efforts - starting with my newsletter. I LOVE the idea of the Newsletter, but haven't really been utilizing it to its potential.

      That all changes today!

      Starting now, I will be utilizing the newsletter to interact with my readers more - tell them about "flash" sales early, giving them insider scoop on new releases, etc. PLUS I have a series of SPECIAL things just for newsletter peeps:

      • exclusive episodes of stories related to the Requiem series, 
      • special videos and training related to my self-help books, 
      • and even a one-of-a-kind story for fans of Transcend - 


      All JUST for newsletter subscribers.

      If you already subscribe to my Newsletter, be on the lookout for a special email TOMORROW, 1/9 with more information on how you can capitalize on the cool stuff.

      If you are not yet a subscriber, NOW is the perfect time.

      Just fill out this form and you'll be ready for tomorrow's exciting email!


      Subscribe to my Newsletter

      * indicates required
      What exclusive content is interesting to you?
      Email Format



      Thanks and I can't wait to launch these new newsletters starting TOMORROW!

      Tuesday, January 7, 2014

      Author Spotlight: Jennifer Allis Provost


      Happy 2014!!! I am thrilled to start off the New Year with a new Author Spotlight. In truth, I was planning on blogging yesterday. But, this stupid illness-from-doom isn't quite gone so my blogging time may be somewhat limited. I am really trying to focus on daily writing commitments first, and blogging as I can fit it in...


      Okay, back to the spotlight - 

      Today I am featuring Jennifer Allis Provost and her books, Cooper Girl and Cooper RavensBefore I introduce Jennifer's books, here is a little more about her:

      Jennifer Allis Provost is a native New Englander who lives in a sprawling colonial along with her beautiful and precocious twins, a dog, two birds, three cats, and a wonderful husband who never forgets to buy ice cream. As a child, she read anything and everything she could get her hands on, including a set of encyclopedias, but fantasy was always her favorite. She spends her days drinking vast amounts of coffee, arguing with her computer, and avoiding any and all domestic behavior.  

      Once again, I have a few questions Jennifer was kind enough to answer: 



      • What are your writerly goals for 2014? Oh, I have quite a few of them for 2014. The sequel to Copper Girl, Copper Ravens, will release in June, and I will be releaunching my fantasy series, The Chronicles of Parthalan, around the same time. I have an Indiegogo campaign up to help with the latter; learn more about it here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-chronicles-of-parthalan.
      • If you good do some OTHER artistic endeavor in 2014, what would it be? In 2012 I bought myself  digital drawing tablet, and haven't yet found time to use it. So, my answer is delve once more into the visual arts.
      • What author would you love to write a book with and why? Oh, I think I'm too much of a control freak for that to end well. However, I would ump at the chance to work with Robin McKinley. I first encountered her work in the fourth grade, and I've been a devoted fan ever since.
      Here is a little bit about Jennifer's books: 
      Copper Girl blurb:
      Sara had always been careful.
      She never spoke of magic, never associated with those suspected of handling magic, never thought of magic, and never, ever, let anyone see her mark. After all, the last thing she wanted was to end up missing, like her father and brother.
      Then, a silver elf pushed his way into Sara's dream, and her life became anything but ordinary.
      Copper Ravens blurb:
      Sara should be happy.
      She has what every girl wants: a man who loves her, a beautiful home, and wealth beyond imagining. She rescued her brother from the Peacekeepers, destroyed the Iron Queen, and doesn’t have to go to her boring job any more.
      And yet… Sara still doesn’t know if her father is alive or dead. Her mother hides in the garden, brooding about her missing husband. Her sister, the Inheritor of Metal, is scared of her own shadow, and her brother spends his days fighting and gambling. To add to Sara’s misery, the new queen (gold, of course) is more than a bit crazy, she misses her life in the Mundane world, and, worst of all, Micah wants to have children. A lot of them.
      As Sara wavers between happiness and homesickness, a conspiracy emerges against the Raven clan, implicating them in a plot to dethrone the Gold Queen. How can Sara prove her family’s innocence, and become the consort Micah needs her to be, without losing herself in the process?

      So excited to read these!!! And those covers - WOWZA!

      Next week I am featuring Dorothy Dreyer on the blog. I hope you will join me! 

      Wednesday, January 1, 2014

      Starting Strong

      Happy New Year everyone! Mine rang in quietly with my youngest as my hubby crashed early (courtesy of the illness-of-doom) and my oldest was with friends. We watched movies and at midnight, yelled Happy New Year and banged pots with wooden spoons - a tradition from my grandmother's days. It was really nice. My daughter then went to her room and watched movies until dawn while I crashed on the couch.

      Today brings a new year and the promise of new beginnings. I plan to spend it moving slowly (still getting over the crud), cleaning and just breathing. All good things.

      One of my  traditions with a new year is to let go of regrets, reflect on the previous year, and set my intentions for the new year. Although I am a little late in getting these things done, I have released the past and am embracing an exciting, new future!

      This year, I'm trying something a little different. While I always set goals - and did set a few this year - I wanted to change things up and try setting my intentions a bit differently. So, following some advice from a friend, I wrote this year's end of the year letter, highlighting my accomplishments of the year. THIS year.

      What an empowering thing, speaking of your goals as though they are already accomplished.

      Now, I know that goals and intentions without action mean very little, and I will be putting my business plan together throughout the month, but doing this first step - setting my intentions in such a positive way...

      THAT is powerful!

      Try it. And have an amazing start to the new year!