It’s Here! It’s Here! It’s Here!!!

Release day for Pastels and Jingle Bells is finally here!  Yippee!  And it actually showed up on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!  Woo hoo!  Now if I can just beat this cold I seem to have developed, I’ll be a happy camper…

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The first novella in my Heavenly Bites series is now up for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for the bargain price of 99 cents!  In celebration of that lovely fact, there are a few different spotlights and giveaways happening online right now.  Check them out:

Read Your Writes Book Reviews:  Review and Giveaway

Indie Brits:  Spotlight

So Many Reads:  Review

Romance With Flavor:  Giveaway

Heroes and Heartbreakers:  Extended Excerpt

And I’m hoping a few more posts and reviews show up later in the day, too.  I’M SO EXCITED!!!

Sorry, didn’t mean to shout…  🙂

So Here’s The Plan…

While I’m not doing an official blog tour for the release of Pastels and Jingle Bells, I do have several visits lined up on different blogs throughout the month of November that include guest posts, giveaways, reviews, and excerpts.  But now it’s become a little more official, thanks in large part to Sandy at The Reading Cafe, who provided this wonderful banner:

Pastels and Jingle Bells Banner 2-2-2

Thank you so much, Sandy!  🙂

Not all of the upcoming blog visits are written in stone, but here’s the tentative schedule:

Nov. 1:  Read Your Writes Book Reviews; Romance With Flavor; Two Sassy Chicks; Lusty Penguin Reviews; Indie Brits; Brooke Blogs; Heroes and Heartbreakers

Nov. 2:  Musings From An Addicted Reader; The Pen & The Muse; Style Reader

Nov. 3:  Reading Between The Wines

Nov. 4:  Forget the Housework, I’m Reading; Zemfirka Blogs; Rosanna Leo’s Room

Nov. 5:  Books A La Mode

Nov. 6:  Books-n-Kisses; My Book and My Coffee

Nov. 7:  The Reading Cafe

Nov. 8:    Hesperia Loves Books

Nov. 9:  Tina’s Book Reviews

Nov. 11:  Toot’s Book Reviews; Robyn Neeley (fellow Crimson author!)

Nov. 12:  Andrea R. Cooper (another fellow Crimson author!)

Nov. 13:  What’s On Your Bookshelf; The Book Pushers (tentative)

Nov. 14:  The Suburban Eclectic

Nov. 15:  Sarah Aisling

Nov. 16:  Mary’s Cup of Tea

Nov. 17:  Just Contemporary Romance

Nov. 18:  Ex Libris

Nov. 20:  Lisa Is A Bookworm

Nov. 21:  Bookfever

Nov. 22:  A Little Bit of R & R

Nov. 25:  The Book Cellar

Nov. 30:  Christine S. Feldman (just to wrap things up…)

Some of these were arranged quite a while ago, so it’s possible unforeseen circumstances could arise and alter things a wee bit, and there are a couple of others that haven’t confirmed dates–but this is a pretty good starting point!

And it all gets underway in just a few more days…

Blog Tour For New Release! (Sort Of…)

I have never done a blog tour before; in fact, I’m not one hundred percent sure I know what one is, but I believe it’s what you have when somebody–like an author (me–ta da!)–arranges “stops” on lots of bloggers’ sites in order to promote something.  Like, say, a book.

Well, I’ve got a book coming out next week (nice little plug there, don’t you think?), and in preparation I’ve emailed about 150 bloggers/reviewers to see if some of them would be interested/willing/open-to-bribes when it comes to my Christmas novella, Pastels and Jingle Bells.  I’m happy to report no bribes were necessary–which is good, because I’m poor–and several bloggers were kind enough to not only respond to my emails but agree to have me “stop by” their blogs.

(Thank you, you guys!)

So I’m going on tour for the month of November!  Woo hoo!  And all without leaving the comfort of my living room or needing to worry about airfare, groupies, or trashing hotel rooms–because we all know how wild authors can get…  There will be book spotlights, reviews, excerpts, guest posts, and giveaways galore!

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And the countdown to release day (November 1st) begins…  🙂

Another First

Whenever the mail has arrived during the past several days, I’ve joined my dog in peering over the back of the couch and out the window to watch the mail carrier slip the mail into our mailbox, and then I’d hop down and scurry outside to see what was waiting.  And today what I was waiting for finally arrived.

My first royalty check ever!

Is it considered unprofessional to squeal over something like that?  Or to take a picture of said royalty check and ponder what sort of picture frame will best bring out the pink and blue highlights in the background of the Pay To The Order Of area that has my name printed on it?  I’m thinking something in pewter would be nice; it’s just so classic.  Plus it will look great once I’m finished bedazzling it.  There ain’t another royalty check in the world that will be so gloriously memorialized.

Too much, you say?  Hey, it’s a lot less grand than my original idea, which I backed off from because it turns out billboards are very expensive to rent…

Anyhoo, it’s been a pretty exciting day in the life of this particular author.  Hope yours is going well, too!  🙂

Do You Know What’s Just Around The Corner?

Christmas is coming…

I know this because the local stores have had Christmas displays up since September.  They used to wait until Halloween was over to do that, and then they started putting decorations out for both holidays simultaneously in early October, but this is the first year I’ve noticed them doing it in September.  I’m betting it won’t be too many more years until we see red-nosed reindeer next to chocolate bunnies, or even Cupids flitting above candy canes.

You know what else is coming?  Release day for my Christmas novella…

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November 1st!  That is, assuming I formatted everything correctly for KDP on Amazon and Nook Press for Barnes & Noble.  Heh heh.  Formatting…software…erk.  Is anyone else finding it hard to breathe, or is that just me?

On the plus side, I came across a kind of preliminary review of Pastels and Jingle Bells on Rookie Romance, and although the actual review hasn’t been written up yet, the blogger reviewing it (Hi, Cerian!) said it was, “…very sweet and just what I was in the mood for.”

Yay!

Now hurry up and finish putting up those Christmas decorations before Trick-or-Treaters start showing up…

3rd Novella Cover Art Reveal

Today I got the cover art for the third of my three holiday novellas, the Heavenly Bites series.  This one is called Playing Cupid, and–naturally–it’s a Ground Hog Day romance.  Okay, it’s actually a Valentine’s Day romance, but you have to admit there aren’t nearly enough Ground Hog Day romances out there!

So…here are all three covers together:

PastelsandJingleBells 200x300-1     LoveLessons 200x300     PlayingCupid 200x300

What do you think?

Royalties & Kodak Moments

Some people say you can officially call yourself an author when you first put words down on paper.  Others say it’s not official until you actually get published.  And still others insist it’s not something you are allowed to officially announce until you earn money from it.  Well, all I can say is…

It’s official!  On ALL counts.  Woo hoo!  Got my first royalty statement today from Crimson Romance!  I is a real writer!

I’m not saying I can afford to retire now or anything, and I won’t be buying myself a new car unless it’s of the Tonka variety, but still–it’s pretty dang exciting.  My first book, Coming Home, has earned me my first royalties.

ComingHomeCover

I will probably frame the royalty statement and hang it on my wall.  Where’s my camera?  I need to get my hubby to take a picture of me holding the royalty statement up while I grin from ear to ear.  I CAN afford a picture frame, at least.  And perhaps even a celebratory pack of gum.

Now excuse me while I go change out of my pajamas for my photo shoot…

🙂

Write Some, Market Some, Repeat

I used to think that once I wrote a book, the hard part was done.  If you’re an author, you’re probably laughing as you read that sentence; I’ll give you a moment to recover…

Sure, writing is time-consuming, emotional, and fraught with perilous eyestrain–although at least papercuts are less of an issue these days, thanks to the modern age of computers–but as far as the whole publishing process goes, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Nowadays, of course, there’s all sorts of stuff you’re supposed to do with social media (Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and maybe even eHarmony, I don’t know…), and that eats up a lot of time–especially if you get distracted by a certain Grumpy Cat (HE’S JUST SO CUTE!).  And in between bouts of social networking, writers are also supposed to be, you know, writing.

Plus if you’re venturing into self-publishing, there’s also the tiny matter of learning the technical aspects of the ebook business such as cover art design, proper formatting for manuscript submission to online distributors (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.), and determining pricing strategies that find a happy medium between pricing your book at “dirt cheap” and “who does that writer think she is, Kafka?”

Needless to say, I twitch a lot more now than I used to.

So I’m busy, busy, busy, but at least it’s a good kind of busy.  I’ve formatted the 1st of my Heavenly Bites novellas for Amazon and Barnes & Noble (hopefully correctly–release day will be a nail-biter), am nearly done with the 2nd novella, and am chomping at the bit to get to novella #3.  I’ve contacted 139 bloggers and/or reviewers, which I feel pretty good about until I remember advice in a self-publishing guide that advocates contacting 500; then I just sort of wheeze and fall over.

I’ve gotten a couple of reviews back on novella #1, Pastels and Jingle Bells; they liked it! Yippee!  Here’s hoping that trend continues.  If you’d like to check out these advance reviews, you can click on these links to read them at Goodreads and at Romance Reviews Magazine.

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Okay, off to work on that happy ending for novella #2…

Cover Art: A Matched Set

I am now the proud owner of TWO book covers thanks to Elaina Lee at For The Muse Design.  Woo hoo!

It’s amazing all the little things that go into cover art that can stress you out.  Fonts, for example.  Do you have any idea how stressful title fonts can be?  And that’s just narrowing down the style–don’t get me started on choosing the size

But now I have these two covers for the first two novellas in my Heavenly Bites series, and I like them.  I like them a lot.  We are going to live happily ever after, these covers and I.

Well, I hope.

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So?  What do you think?

Cover Reveal

Ta da!  Here’s the book cover for the first of my three Heavenly Bites Novellas, Pastels and Jingle Bells:

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And of course the official book blurb is now under the “Books” section of my website, along with the blurbs for the other two novellas.

Pastels and Jingle Bells is also up on Goodreads now, see?  Check out this link here, and please do consider adding it to your to-be-read list!  🙂