Thursday, October 24, 2013

Novel November

Next week is the launch of what I'm calling Novel November.  
I'll be helping promote various authors and their books on my blog. I have a couple spaces left.  If you're interested, email me at   I'll be sharing book excerpts, 
cover images, author info (bio, pic, and links) as well as
purchase links.  I'll also share my blog post in various 
G+ and Facebook communities.  

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It's all about getting noticed!

It's hard to get noticed!  There's a lot of novels out there and everyone is hoping theirs floats to the top. I know - I'm one of those writers.   I thought writing the story was challenging.  I've learned that the marketing and promotion is where the challenge is. I've shared my Amazon link in G+ communities.  I've offered mobi and pdf files in exchange for honest reviews and while I have had some interest, it's not been overwhelming. I've recently asked a Goodreads group to review my book.  

What else can I do?  I considered radio promotions.  Yep, that's not happening anytime soon - way out of my budget.  Local festivals have been pretty good - as long as the fee is reasonable - but if you're paying $150.00 for a table - consider the number of books you'll have to sell just to break even.  I had a book signing that went very well - but again - that was local and there are only so many people in my little hometown.  

So - after a lot of consideration - I finally decided to do it.  I'm taking my novel on a blog tour.  It's sort of an experiment.  My plan is simple.  I chose three virtual book tour promoters.  One for November, one for December and one for January.  I will be touring one week out of each month.  My plan is this:  I will track my sales during the tour, compare them to the sales before the tour, and if there is an increase in sales, I will note how long the increase lasts.  I will also compare the different tours as to which one generates the most "buzz" for my novel.  

If anyone is interested in the final results, let me know.  I'll be happy to share what I learn.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What Makes A Story Memorable?

What makes a story memorable?  Is it the skill of the writer or is it the subject matter?  There are many variables but I think a great story is produced when the author is able to tap into the well of emotion.  For many of us, that well is a scary place.  We skim the surface without delving into its dark depths.  I think there's a reason for that -  it's in the depths that our most painful memories reside.  It's not hard to recall happy times and to apply those feelings to our writing.  But when it comes to a story that involves loss or sadness, some writers do it better than others.   They find it in themselves to explore their pain, humiliation, etc. and then they use those feelings to drive the scene.  That ability doesn't come easy for everyone. There are memories/feelings that I don't necessarily want to revisit.  But how do I write something believable if I can't go there?  It doesn't matter that the scene I'm working on differs from my personal experience.  It's the emotion that I am trying to convey.  My writing instructor was famous for saying - "Give me more!  It may only be a line or two - but show me the feeling!"  

So, what makes a story memorable for you?



Saturday, October 12, 2013

Book Signings

After reading about so many authors' book signing experiences, I was a little apprehensive. The common thought seemed to be that signings were a waste of  time.  Maybe because I went in expecting so little, I was pleasantly surprised.  I decided to forgo the library or the bookstore. Instead, I choose a bagel shop.  It was a very informal affair:  my books, a poster, a picnic table and me.   

I promoted on facebook.  Friends and family "shared" my posts and that helped a lot.  The "total reach" on my author page more than doubled.  

My book signing was a two hour event.  The first hour consisted of plenty of people walking by trying desperately to avoid eye contact.  The second hour, things changed - people came - not all at once.  They started as a trickle and steadily built up steam.  So much so, that I extended my signing by thirty minutes.  I didn't make a killing.  I sold 12 books.  But more importantly, I was able to connect with my readers.  I grew more comfortable talking about my novel with each person.  By the end of the event, one reader asked if I'd be open to speaking with her book club.  

So, it all comes down to the decision - Book signing signing not...

In my humble opinion - DO IT!   Don't expect a large attendance but expect some people to show.  Think about your community.  Is it an artsy kind of place?  Or is it full of good ol' boys/girls? Then, choose a place where your readers are most likely to be.  Talk your event up on social media.  Get your friends/family involved - it's not hard to "share."  Finally, take advantage of the learning opportunity the signing presents.  

That's my thoughts - what do you think?


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Blog Tour - Won't Last Long


I'm happy to welcome Heidi Joy Tretheway today. She is the author of Won't Last Long and is on tour with CLP Tours this month.  In honor of her tour, she is offering a chance to win a special prize, so make sure you enter the Rafflecopter drawing at the bottom of the page.  Heidi will be sharing an excerpt of her novel.   Before we get to that, let's meet her.  

Heidi Joy lives in Happy Valley off Sunnyside Road. She swears she did not make that up.  Heidi’s obsessed with storytelling. Her career includes marketing, journalism, and a delicious few years as a food columnist. Media passes took her backstage with several rock bands, where she learned that sometimes a wardrobe malfunction is exactly what the rock star intends. You’ll most often find Heidi Joy with her husband and two small kids cooking, fishing, exploring the Northwest, and building epic forts in their living room. She loves to hear from readers via messages at

So now for the excerpt:

Setup: After a rough breakup, Joshua has just moved into a new Seattle apartment with his dog Aussie. He’s invited his friends Mark and Stephanie over for dinner. They have plenty of opinions about who Joshua should date next, but one girl has his attention—the woman he met at the party thrown by his neighbors Juan and Eric a few weeks ago.

“That’s it, don’t feed me another bite. I’m stuffed.” Mark pushed back from Joshua’s cramped dining table and held his stomach, grinning widely. “The best thing about when you were sleeping on our couch was when you were awake in our kitchen.”
Joshua swallowed another gulp of wine, poured from the third bottle they’d opened that night, and surveyed the wreckage on the table.
Every morsel was gone, his friends were well-fed and happy, and Joshua’s home felt alive and cozy, nothing like a sterile catalog page. Aussie snored in front of Joshua’s fireplace, virtually the only open space since the dining table had been extended into the living room to accommodate Mark, Stephanie, Juan, Eric and Joshua.
Juan jumped up from the table. “I know you said to just bring booze, but I also brought some dessert.” He opened Joshua’s freezer and pulled out plastic-wrapped disks shaped like hockey pucks.
“Ice cream sandwiches.” He tossed each person the homemade chocolate chip cookies filled with vanilla ice cream. “They’re better than the kind from the store.”
“He’s more Martha than Martha,” Eric said, giving his roommate a gentle shove. “My ex would have hoped Juan would rub off on me, but I am just not meant to be domestic. I’m an artist.” Eric made a goofy face to show he was not taking himself too seriously.
“So are you single?” Stephanie pried. “Are you dating?”
“I’m, uh, between boyfriends at the moment,” Eric admitted. “My ex moved to Boston about a year ago. I’ve been going out more lately, but I haven’t found anyone worth seeing regularly.” He picked up the last wine bottle and poured a trickle into each of the five glasses to finish it off.
“I keep trying to find him a boyfriend so he’ll leave me and Tina in peace,” Juan said. “She’s in Vancouver getting her master’s, so weekends are our only quality time, if you know what I mean.”
“What about you, Joshua?” Eric asked. “With this place, you’ll be getting plenty of dates.”
“I’m looking,” Joshua answered slowly. “I’m just starting to get what it feels like to be single again, so I’m not trying to rush into anything.” He explained briefly about his split from Crystal, whom he’d met in high school and dated on and off through college.
“Joshua can afford to be picky,” Stephanie said protectively. “The last thing he needs is another pushy girl trying to fit him into her life, rather than appreciating him for who he is.”
“Let’s not get carried away,” Mark cut in. “Maybe what Joshua needs is a fun date—someone who isn’t all serious. Someone hot,” he wiggled his eyebrows at his wife, “and who cares if she’s not the type to bring home to mother? It doesn’t matter if it won’t last long; he’s not trying to get married right now.”
“You want hot? You should go out with that girl Melina,” Juan said. “She’s smokin’.”
“Who’s that?” Mark asked.
“Josh talked to her at the party. Those legs. She works with Eric.” Joshua and Mark exchanged looks over the legs comment.
Eric volunteered a few details. The youngest senior account executive in the company, Melina was known for her killer instinct. Eric liked working with her—usually—because although she was often critical, she never criticized his work unless she could suggest how to improve it.
“You could call her. I’ll give you her number,” Eric offered.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Stephanie frowned. “She seemed really pushy. She strolled into your party like she owned the place, like you threw it in her honor, Eric.”

Eric smiled. “That’s just part of Melina’s shtick. She does it everywhere. I’ve never seen anyone who could so thoroughly own a room. That’s why she’s so successful—she’s totally cultivated the ice queen persona and it works for her. But she’s smart and she’s hot and I think she’s single, so why not go out and have some fun?”

a Rafflecopter giveaway />

Find Heidi here:

Heidi's website

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Of Dreams and Shadow - PUBLISHED

After a couple of delays, my first novel Of Dreams and Shadow has finally published! 

We live. We die. Is there anything more? Jenna Barton is about to find out. After moving to the coastal North Carolina town of Parson's Cove, Jenna has unwittingly stepped into the middle of a mystery involving a missing child. Unfortunately, the predator is still on the loose and Jenna has become his new obsession. With a little luck and a bit of paranormal help, Jenna might survive.

Amazon Link:   Of Dreams and Shadow: Forget Me Not, Book 1

Check out the book trailer:

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

In honor of the release of my debut novel, Of Dreams and Shadow, I thought I'd introduce one of the characters.  Meet Sarah Jones:


June 17, 1997

     Details…they were the making or breaking of any plan and he felt sure that his plan was perfect.  He surveyed the yard one last time, slid back into his hiding place and waited.  It wouldn’t be long now.  She would open the door and come out to play as she did every morning: swinging, pulling her wagon, playing with her doll.  Only this morning would be different; this morning would be special.
     Laying in her wagon was his gift — a necklace he had taken from his mother.  He was certain Sarah would love it.  A door slammed, pulling his attention from the wagon to the patio where the little girl stood. 
     “Big…black...bug’s blood,” she said slowly.  And then, looking rather pleased with herself, she continued a bit faster, “Big, black bug’s blood, big black blugs blug, blig black blug’s blug.”  Shaking her head, she stepped off the patio, “I don’t like bugs anyway…well, maybe ladybugs…and butterflies,” Sarah added as a swallowtail fluttered by.
     Sarah found herself following the butterfly’s trail, stopping when it lit upon a flower and continuing on as it once again took flight. “Come back butterfly,” she called as the butterfly flitted from place to place, always just out of her reach.  The tinkling sound of her laughter floated across the yard to his hiding place.  He couldn’t believe his luck.  It seemed that fate was lending him a hand as the butterfly fluttered ever closer to the wagon.  
     Just a little further, sweet Sarah. 
     She stopped, looked up at the butterfly as it changed course and then set off in the opposite direction.  He clinched his fist.  Fate, he thought, is like a fickle strumpet.  But patience on the other hand, was quite the virtuous lady.  Damn.  He hated virtuous ladies. And strumpets…they weren’t any better. 
     The swallowtail, perhaps tired of playing the game, circled around and carried Sarah back toward the wagon.  Its flight was now one of purpose.  It had nectar to collect and flowers to pollinate and a curious little girl was a hindrance.  The butterfly, however, didn’t need to worry.  It had lost Sarah’s attention.  She had seen the gift.
Sometimes the dead refuse to die...

Of Dreams and Shadow:  Forget Me Not Book One
is now available on Amazon!