Here’s something fun for your Friday: help me decide which font for my new cover. Do you like 1) or 3)? (Number 2, which was my hubby’s fave, was already eliminated by Jane Porter’s readers.)
This cover is for my July release, which I’m hard at work on. Leading up to that release, however, my Love at the Chocolate Shop colleagues have two yummy books for you to devour.
Newly released yesterday is THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH by Melissa McClone. (Click on image to buy from your favorite vendor.)
Chocolate expert Chantelle Cummings arrives in Marietta, Montana with two goals—sign copies of her new book and research a quaint local chocolate shop. When she meets former Air Force captain York Parker passing out chocolate samples, her visit turns sweeter than she ever imagined.
Or you can preorder June’s SWEET HOME COWBOY from Marin Thomas. (click on cover)
When Marietta newcomer Elena Puente is coerced into attending a speed-dating event at the popular Copper Mountain Chocolate shop, she’s blindsided by a serious attraction to local cowboy, Wesley Banks.
Happy reading, my friends! And, please, your input would be so appreciated. Which cover grabs you? 1 or 3?
I heard about this project at a NINC conference. (Novelists, Incorporated is a professional group I’ve belonged to for a number of years.) We were in Florida, and several friends were discussing creative ways to get new work into the hands of new readers. I listened wistfully since I’d already committed to writing a new series for Tule Publishing at the time.
Then, about a year later, one of those friends invited me to join the group. A good number of the books in the series had already been released, but mine would come out as lucky number 13. (It’s possible they miscounted and thought I was number 12. )
The concept was so fun and intriguing. A wealthy humanitarian with a bit of wanderlust travels around interacting with normal Joes and Josephines. Occasionally, someone would do something that impressed him and he’d add his or her name to his bequeathal list. Not all the gifts were money. In my heroine’s case, the gift came to her through her late mother’s estate. It was a complete surprise, but it allowed her to buy a neighboring piece of property that accidentally came up at auction for nonpayment of back taxes. An oversight the owner quickly regretted.
This gift sets in motion a chain of events that brings two mismatched lovers together, as well as opens the door to a thirty-year-old mystery–one someone might go to any lengths to keep under wraps.
One of the many interesting marketing ideas this creative group came up with was the Inherit the Charms contest. Each month’s new release author would share three possible charms that held some connection to their book.
Mine were these:
Why those three?
#1- The Eiffel Tower
Robyn Craine’s late mother, MaryBeth, had her sights set on seeing the world before she died. A busy nurse and single mom, she pinched pennies to be able to take her young daughter to Europe every other summer and to famous tourist destinations in North America on the off years. Robyn treasures the memories her mother created, but Robyn’s worldview is a lot smaller: the Black Hills of South Dakota. She loves her home and the business she plans to grow using the inheritance her mother left when she passed away a year ago—the gift from a generous patient MaryBeth helped. To celebrate her mother’s love of travel, Robyn wears a charm of the Eiffel tower—one of her favorite memories.
#2 – Motorcycle charm
Robyn is very much her own person. She loves math, balancing the books at the Mystery Spot, and then jumping on her motorcycle to cruise around the Black Hills. And because she rides, Robyn’s friend, Jenna, introduces her to Sentinel Passtime TV heartthrob, Liam Temple, who roars into her life on a Harley. Robyn does what any red-blooded Black Hills girl would do, she hops on her bike and takes him for the ride of his life.
#3 – The Chapel in the Hills
As Liam’s and Robin’s relationship heats up, they find themselves at a difficult crossroads. Liam’s family crisis and career are pulling him back to Los Angeles. Robin, who has never had any reason to trust the word of a man, can’t turn her back on her business obligations, her friends and her dreams on the “possibility” Liam is the love her life. She seeks answers at her mother’s favorite spot: the Chapel in the Hills-an exact replica of a famous Norwegian stave church. When Liam shows up, the answer to her dilemma is all too clear.
As you can see, the winning choice of my three was the Eiffel Tower. And the winner of this one-of-a-kind prize was named this week. Congratulation, Giselle P.
If you’re even a little intrigued by this concept, right now, KOBO books is running a special promotion you won’t find anywhere else. And, you should know you can download the KOBO app for free. I read mine on my phone, laptop, and notebook.
My Internet provider provided me with a modem, which apparently left itself open to malicious hackers. On Monday afternoon 2,000 people in this service area lost Internet connection for five very long days. Thanks to my phone, I was able to track the company’s progress (or lack of it) in fixing the problem. My old router–with its new, invisible bandage–was returned to me late yesterday afternoon. Several thousand emails are on my ToDo list today.
The FaceBook response to this problem ranged from furious to frivolous. Yes, I would love to read instead of working, but I forgot to update my book list on my Kindle and it doesn’t load without WIFI. Grrr.
My takeaway from this experience? I am much too dependent on the Internet where my work is concerned. I have a new book releasing on Tuesday, and some of the joy and excitement a new release normally brings fell by the wayside when I couldn’t create new memes, update my website or send guest blogs to the friends who generously scheduled me on their sites. Frustration is not fun.
But today IS Good Friday. And I am very relieved to be back online so I can write this blog because I want to wish everyone a Happy Easter and wonderful Spring Break.
And, if you’re looking for a new romantic-suspense to take with you on your travels, this book will be live on Tuesday.
Nothing like an unconscious doppelgänger to ruin a perfectly good day at the Mystery Spot.
Robyn Craine has two loves: her Harley and the Mystery Spot, the Black Hills tourist attraction she bought with funds from her late mother’s estate, an inheritance that included a generous gift from billionaire Harold Hopewell. With a chance-of-a-lifetime expansion in the works, Robyn doesn’t have time to babysit the handsome Sentinel Passtime actor who shows up to do “research”–especially when she figures out his connection to the wealthy businessman/politician trying to sabotage her new project.
Liam Temple has no intention of falling for a Black Hills local. His agent has Liam’s breakout, big budget movie deal lined up. Even though Liam likes his current Sentinel Passtime gig, he promised his late sister he’d win a Golden Globe by thirty-five. The last thing he needs is the distraction of a feisty, Harley-riding tourist trap owner caught in Liam’s father’s crosshairs for buying a hunk of land Richard Marston thinks belongs to him. But when Robyn’s stunt double is attacked, Liam recognizes his father’s MO and Liam makes keeping Robyn safe his first priority.
You can start reading for Free on my website: LEGACY.
Contests abound, but one of my favorites is the Houston Bay Area RWA “Judge A Book By Its Cover (JABBIC). And this year MONTANA SECRET SANTA, my lovely, innovative original watercolor cover from artist Rhian Awni, made the cut.
Color me delighted!!!
Did I tell you I called my editor at the last minute in a panic when I saw the first draft and realized I’d left off an important element? “We have to put a jacket on the beagle. No jacket and I’ll get roasted by dog lovers for abusing my beagle,” I cried. Next version: the beagle has a jacket. Whew! Kerfuffle avoided.
I also love how the artist captured the longing of someone being on the outside looking in and the hopeful patience of the dogs!
I’d so appreciate your kind vote–and while you’re there, check out these other great covers from Tule Publishing. You can vote for as many as you like!
Question: do you know anyone who is a twin? Are you a twin?
I am fascinated by birth order in general and it often plays a factor in my characters’ personalities. My two current Black Hills Rendezvous releases, BLACK HILLS RANCHER and BLACK HILLS STRANGER, feature the Bouchard twins–Jessie and Remy.
They are best friends, but as different as two people can be. I felt comfortable creating this dichotomy because my twin nieces, Leslie and Laura, are beautiful, accomplished young women who are best friends, but also very different. I love this about them and wanted to celebrate this uniqueness in my story.
First-born Jessie is an extreme athlete, a risk-taker, someone who meets every challenge head on–even when it comes to falling in love with someone who really needs a woman more like Remy in his life.
JESSIE’s favorite meme:
Sweet, kind, generous Remy would fix the world if she could. When her first love needs her help to find his missing daughter, she wants to say no, but how can she–helping others is what she does best?
Dreamer, worrier, caregiver REMY’s favorite meme:
If you liked connected stories, you can’t get much more connected than twins.
Click on the book covers below to buy from any vendor.
The butterflies arrive first. They settle in my belly from the moment I wake up on “Release Day” until every link is checked and the book is announced in my newsletter and fluttering about on social media, hopefully finding the readers who have been eagerly waiting to read it.
Slowly, very slowly, as every item on my Bullet List gets marked off, the panic recedes and a smidgen of euphoria blows the butterflies away…until next time.
That’s my process for a self-published new release.
But I remember feeling similar panic when I opened the first print copy sent by my publisher. Did they spell my name right? Does the back jacket copy match the book? Does my cover art work? Is the blurb too vague? Will readers love it or hate it?
These days I’m stressing about a wide array of technical questions–in addition to all of the above:
1. Is the book live at all vendors?
2. Did I remember to upload the right copy?
3. Did I make that final change my copy editor mentioned?
4. Is the first chapter of the next book in the back matter? Do the buy links work?
5. Will readers love it or hate it? (Some things never change.)
Only time–and reviews–will answer the last question, but the rest is all on me, and believe me, my fingers will be crossed from now until early Tuesday morning.
But here’s one up-side of self-publishing: I can offer discounted books any time I want, and since the heroines of BLACK HILLS RANCHER and BLACK HILLS STRANGER are twin sisters, I figured readers would appreciate being able to buy BLACK HILLS RANCHER for just 99¢ before STRANGER releases on Tuesday! Who doesn’t love a bargain? And these twins have some pretty interesting stories to tell. ;-)
TGIF takes on new meaning when it’s the first of the new year, doesn’t it? So fresh. So hopeful. So…wow, that week went fast!!! Is the whole year going to be like this?
New stuff abounds in Debland.
Rain up the wazoo–and boy, did our wazoo need it! They’re saying another storm is coming. I can’t wait! Although the down side when you get a lot of rain in one fell swoop is flooding and parts of Yosemite National Park have been closed just in case this next storm is as strong as predicted.
Yesterday, I got a new header for my Facebook and newsletter from the very talented Sharlene Martin-Moore.
And I’ll be sharing a new cover reveal in my newsletter on Sunday. Are you signed up? I’m doing a monthly giveaway in 2017. Here’s January’s gift. I love supporting fellow artists, including my talented photographer friend, Jackie Maxwell of JaxImages. Her calendars are just gorgeous. NEWSLETTER
I’m back to work on my next book–no rest for the writer types. Have a great weekend, my friends.
One of the quotes that made sense to me was: “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily”—Mike Murdock
That’s where nature comes in. My goal is to walk–and breathe deeply–every day. I am determined to give myself time to connect to the world outside my busy, frantic brain and truly focus on the world around me.
Will I be successful? Time will tell. All we can do is try, right?
Have a very happy New Year’s Eve, my friends. I’ll see you in 2017.
PS: If your resolution includes reading more, I do have a fun story that opens at a masked ball on New Year’s Eve. You can start reading for FREE here: MONTANA REBEL.
Yesterday, I posted this photo on Facebook with the caption: “Am I the last person to get my tree up?”
To my profound surprise, the answer was: “Not even close.” (You can see for yourself here: FaceBookPost.)
This response led me to question why I assumed the worst about myself. It’s only the first week of December. And, yes, we usually put up the tree right after Thanksgiving, but we did something fun instead (we hiked in Yosemite). So, I’m a little behind. Big deal, right?
I’m sure I’m not the only one who puts unrealistic expectations on myself, but I’ve decided to try to be kinder to myself this holiday season. Here are four positive affirmations I’ve printed out and plan to read aloud every time I start feeling the pressure to be “perfect” and/or to make things “perfect” for someone else.
I should have added: repeat as needed.
Have a great weekend. I will be shopping and I intend to keep these 4 steps close at hand.