Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Sorry About That!

 My face is red!  I recently signed up to support a Rafflecopter $500 Gift Card Giveaway. My 'thing' was signing up to receive my e-mail alerts on New and Free books. Simple, right?
  Not so fast!  I forgot to check that the link was still working. Silly me.
  I've had it fixed, so if you missed out, go back and add more points by signing up.
  After all, $500 is nothing to sneeze at.
  Here's the link:

  Atchoo, and Good Luck.

Monday, May 4, 2015

New Release

I'm delighted to announce that Book Four in The Women of Independence series is now available at all major e-book retailers.

It's been a pleasure to share this series with you, and I'd like to thank everyone who took the time to leave glowing reviews.

Here's the book description:

   What would you do if your boyfriend suggested you date other people? Tyler’s suggestion comes out of the blue and suddenly Katie’s well-ordered life is crumbling around her. And to make matters worse, the grandmother she never really knew decides to make contact.
   Join Katie as she weighs college life against a murky, undecided future. Will Tyler still be there when she comes home, or is he dating as well?

   Love’s Like That is Book Four in The Women of Independence series. This book is a complete story, but is shorter than the other three, and is priced accordingly.

And here are the buy links. Enjoy!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Calling All Authors

For my writer friends. Most in our community know of Colleen Hoover's generosity of spirit. But in case you missed it, I'm repeating a post from her fb page, where she calls for donations. Here is her post:

"If you are a writer, a reader, a poet or a human, read this post! You won’t regret it. If you make it to the bottom, there’s some exciting news that includes you!
If you haven’t heard of The Bookworm Box, a program I created for charity, you can go to our website and read all about it. It’s a cute little box filled with signed books and swag, and 100% of the profit after cost is donated to charity.
Want to know how well we did this month? 
First, let’s talk about last month. We opened sales for the first time on February 20th and sold out in less than four minutes, raising $11,000 for our selected charity. 
That’s pretty incredible. If I’m not mistaken, that’s almost $46 every second! 
This month, we decided to split the donation between two charities. One of the charities is the Lake Charles, Lousiana chapter of The American Heart Association in honor of Britta Campbell. The second charity is a non-profit organization called Hayden’s Heart. You can read more about these charities on our website. 
Now for the total raised this month! 
Ready for it? 
Here we go. Thanks to all of the support and boxes purchased, we were able to raise
That’s $4,000 more than last month!
It gets better, though, because $15,000 is actually the amount raised for EACH charity! 
That’s right. In a span of less than ten minutes, you guys helped raise a total of $30,000!!!
I can’t even tell you how excited and frightened we are about this. Excited, because $30k dollars!!! And frightened because…that means more work! And more books! And more merchandise! And more volunteers! How is my dining room table supposed to continue supporting this huge worm?
I’ve been running The Bookworm Box out of my home for the past two months with one gangly employee and several full-time volunteers. We’ve received thousands of books and even more merchandise, which is amazing. But now I have no more room. I announced last week that I was looking to lease a space so that I can bring in more volunteers and have a place to house this growing worm.
I’m excited to say we found the perfect spot in Sulphur Springs, Tx. Lots of storage space, a huge room for volunteers to assemble the boxes and even dressing rooms for people who…I don’t know…maybe like to have outfit changes in the middle of volunteering.
But the best part is, the front of the space faces the most adorable street on the town square. Which means we are taking The Bookworm Box to the next level!
It is now going to be an actual, physical bookstore! 100% of the proceeds from books sold in the bookstore will go to charity and we hope to bring in a lot of volunteers to help us make this happen.
I can’t be more excited about the part where you guys come in to play. I started out as an indie author and still have a couple of self-published ebook titles. I’m a huge supporter of indie authors and our bookstore will be a place where indies, hybrid and traditionally published are celebrated as one!
The Bookworm Box bookstore will only carry signed books, and since profit from the sales will be funded back into the charities, we are looking for donations from any and all authors. If you want to contribute one or two of your books to the bookstore, make sure they are signed and ship them to:
The Bookworm Box 
PO Box 1400
Sulphur Springs, Tx 75483
Please note, unless you indicate whether you want your book to be used in a bookworm box or the store, any signed books we receive will be used for either/or.
I can’t believe how this charity program has exploded and it’s all thanks to you guys for spreading the word. I’m going to ask you to do that once more, as I want any and all authors to read this so those who wish to contribute can do so. 
Facebook visibility increases with every like, comment and share, so feel free to contribute by doing any of those things. And if you know of an author who might want their book to be included in this amazing charity, tag them on this post!

Once again, we can’t explain how much we appreciate the support.#‎catsofinstagram #‎TheBookwormBox"

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cover Design - Does It Really Matter?

I look at a lot of book covers. These days, that means almost exclusively e-book covers. I subscribe to eighteen different advertising services. You’ve probably seen some of them – they send you a daily e-mail, listing free and discounted e-books. This type of service is ideal for those readers who want to be specific about what they receive. For example, I receive a range of romance books plus women’s fiction, and sometimes I check the box for thrillers and action books. That means you don’t have to slog through listings of books that don't interest you. It’s a great system.

Since I get so many of them each day, I’ve become adept at scanning them. And do you know what? I’ve found that the book cover is even more important than many experts indicate. No doubt I’ve missed out on some good stories, but if the cover doesn’t appeal to me, I don’t look at it. Why should I when there are so many from which to choose?

From the point of view of a writer, this is where a good cover designer comes in. I need my covers to stand out from the rest – or at least be attractive enough that a potential reader will stop and check it out.

I had the good fortune to discover a new cover designer recently. New to me, that is. Elizabeth Mackey has designed covers for some of the most popular authors of the day, such as Melissa Foster, Russell Blake, Nick Russell, Kate Aaron, Anna J. McIntyre, Traci Tyne Hilton, George Wier, and Billy Kring. You’ll find many more authors on her website: Elizabeth Mackey.

Elizabeth has now re-done seven of my covers and is working on another as we speak. Those of you who know my books will recognize Between a Jock and a Hard Place. Since Elizabeth worked her magic on the cover, sales have gone up about four-fold.

Elizabeth has also designed the covers for a new series I’ll be releasing throughout 2015. She excels at this – putting thought, plus her talent into coming up with a look, or a theme, if you will. I’ll be excited to share them with you when the time comes, but right now I’d better get back to writing them.

So when you see an outstanding e-book cover, remember that there’s a talented designer behind it. And of course … enjoy!

Check out Elizabeth's covers HERE

Links to my author pages:

Book Review: I Must Say by Martin Short

I still do it... all the time. I think I know someone based on their public persona. A foolish notion, but in this case Martin Short's autobiograpy exceeded my expectations. His book I Must Say (My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend) is at once funny, poignant and honest. He allows us a peek into his evolution as one of the funniest and most respected comedians of today.
   You won't be disappointed. He talks about his family, his friendships, and his loves. As a fellow Canadian, I applaud him for his success. An excellent read.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Love is in the air

  Valentine’s Day will be here in a couple of days. This year, February 14th also marks the release of the long-awaited movie version of 50 Shades.

   And that got me wondering if we’ll be inundated with another avalanche of “sexy” books, as we were when 50SOG was first released. The answer? I don’t know. Perhaps. There are authors and readers for every level of heat in romance books.

   But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s to write the type of romance I want to read. Readers can tell if an author isn’t into the story – if they’re just churning out sex scenes to follow the current trend. Besides, by the time an author has spent the proper amount of time writing, and having their book edited, who knows what the hot new thing might be?

   As for me, I’m excited about a new series I’ll be writing this year, once I finish Book Four in The Women of Independence series. Readers wanted to know what happens to Katie, and frankly, so did I. So that’s what I’m working on now, then I’m going on to the new series.

   All of the books in the new series will be individual stories, built around a theme. I don’t want to reveal too much right now, but I would class them as Romances, leaning toward Women’s Fiction. Anyone who has read my books knows I like realism in my stories, and I’ll continue to write in that vein. If you’re looking for billionaires on the cover revealing their six-pack, tatted chests, you’ll have to keep on looking. Hey, I like those once in a while myself, but as a reader, not as a writer.

   Don’t get me wrong, my Heroes are usually successful alpha types, but I like to write stories that make the reader say “I can relate to that.” Romance? You betcha! There’ll be romance. After all, it’s what makes the world go ‘round. But these stories will be… how can I say it... grown-up romances. Romances I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

   In the meantime, have a wonderful Valentine’s Day.

ps: I send out newsletters once in a while – usually to announce free offerings, or new books. I’d love to see your name on my mailing list. Right now the link is at my author facebook page. See the little envelope on the left-hand panel. That’s where you sign up. Happy Reading.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

What did you read in 2014?

   2014 was a productive year for me, working on The Women of Independence series, as well as completing three books in The Gold Rush Romance Series.
   In spite of that, I found plenty of time to read, and I’d like to share with you some of my favourites.

   I first discovered Russell Blake’s Jet series, and enjoyed it immensely. But, dedicated as he is, he still can’t write ‘em fast enough, so I scoured the rest of his impressive list and came across his Assassin series. I’m not sure how he does it, but he’s created a likeable character out of an assassin. If you’re not sure if this is your cup of tea, the first book in the series is free. Check it out HERE.

Nick Russell is another author I first discovered through a series. His Big Lake books are difficult to pigeonhole. Part police procedurals, part character study… humorous and exciting all at the same time. Check them out. But in my opinion, Dog’s Run is his masterpiece (so far). A beautifully crafted story that you won’t soon forget. Check out the Amazon blurb HERE. You won’t be sorry.

Since I was writing historical romance this past year, I felt compelled to read a few historical romance authors. Here are two I enjoyed:

Jo Beverley’s The Company of Rogues Series.
Christie Caldwell’s Heart of a Duke Series. HERE’s the link to Book 1:

In contemporary romance, I enjoyed Catherine Bybee’s Not Quite Series

Bryce Courtenay is my all-time favourite author. My granddaughter turned me on to him some years ago with The Power of One. If I was marooned on a desert island and could only take two books, they would be:  Four Fires, and  Whitethorn.

I discovered Billy Kring somewhere around the middle of the year and quickly gobbled up his books. I like his Ronny Baca mysteries, but for a gritty, honest look at the life of a border patrol agent (which Kring has been), take a look at his Hunter Kincaid books.  I recommend you start with Quick. 

On the recommendation of a friend, I discovered Wayne Stinnett. His Fallen Palm is Book One in the Jesse McDermitt series. I ran through them quickly and await the next in the series.

And, along with many others, I read Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman. I’m not sure what it was about this book, but I found it fascinating.

And lastly, I haven’t read this one yet, but I already know I’ll enjoy it. I Must Say, by Martin Short. If I get a chance, I’ll post a review.

Happy Reading in 2015!!