Really? The year barely gets started and already we have a Friday the 13th?
The only safe course is to hunker down with a cowboy, right?
Why, yes, I do have one in mind. He’s free at the moment, too.
Sometimes things come out in my books that I don’t plan or expect. Okay, most times. Writing, for me, is a combination of accessing the unconscious mind, imagination, and telepathy. My part, my responsibility, is to present myself to the page and then surrender. You’d think, after 70 books, I’d be good at it. But I still struggle. Letting go of self is hard. Most particularly when life is requiring things of me and I need me to handle them.
Still, my books do not get written until I give in and let go. I am no longer in control at that point. Things happen. In Mother By Fate, alot of things happened! One in particular that took me by surprise. I was typing along, listening to the dictation in my head, and someone appeared from the past - someone I knew – and feared. He was the villain in three books – a suspense trilogy I wrote for MIRA books.
Today only, ANYONE who can guess who he is, or name the titles of any of the three books will receive the entire trilogy in eBook form. ClickHere to enter. For those of you who read it the first time – you won’t have it in eBook form unless you went back and purchased it. It’s initial release was in print form only. There is no limit to how many people can win – today only.
Good Luck, Everyone! I’m going back down under…
Today is the start of Labor Day weekend.
When I was a kid, this meant: the end of summer, the beginning of school, and a new season of TV shows.
My, how things have changed!
For one, I live in California, now, and it’s supposed to be hot all week.
Second, about half the kids I know started school three weeks ago. My granddaughters start next Wednesday.
As as for network programming, the new shows, like Viola Davis’s new series, which I can’t wait to try, are still 3-4 weeks away.
Luckily, I have something to keep me busy until then.
For me, today is a different kind of Labor Day. Today marks the release of Nobody’s Cowboy, my second book for Tule Publishing, and the first book in my Big Sky Mavericks trilogy.
As every author knows, releasing a book is a little like giving birth. You’ve labored for weeks/months. You ate right, took your vitamins, did the research, picked a name and crossed for your fingers that the fruit of your labor would be well-received by the world at large.
The thing about Nobody’s Cowboy that has me worried is my hero. Austin Zabrinski was introduced in Cowgirl Come Home. He’s that book’s hero’s older brother. He has older brother syndrome. He may have felt he was only trying to take care of his younger brother but in doing so he may have come off a bit…umm…abrasive. Or, as several readers commented, “Austen is a pain in the arse.” (So to speak.)
Luckily, so far, the early reviews have all been positive.
From Shari: “Reading Nobody’s Cowboy, my family was wondering why I was laughing so hard. Communal toilet…Austen is redeeming himself already.”
From Christina: “You have no idea how awesome it was to read “Northern California” and not find out she was from the Bay Area! And the mention of Jefferson was awesome, too! Loved it all!!!”
Like any mama, I’m nervous about sending my baby off into the big, chaotic world, but I’m excited, too. Here’s a buy link, in case you want to take advantage of the release day price of 99¢. BUY
So, what’s on your Labor Day agenda? I will be R&Ring with friends on the West Coast of California–and watching the Amazon stats for Nobody’s Cowboy, like the hovermother I am.
Have a great 3-day weekend, everyone!
PS: For those of you who love to hold a “real” book in your hot, little hands, Cowgirl Come Home is finally available from CreateSpace. http://bit.ly/CCHprint AND, the ebook version will be FREE at Amazon, Sept. 1-4, if you want a copy on your ereader, too. BUY
ttq land is swamped. I’ve been at this business a long time and I work hard. Pretty much all the time. I’m blessed and incredibly grateful to be able to do what I love. Blessed to have been given an ability to write stories that people read. I still have to stop and pinch myself sometimes when I look at the books I’ve written, the reviews from complete strangers, and realize that I really am a professional writer. That I actually touch women’s lives in a positive way.
And the shadow side to this is that I have a lot of books that need their fair share of the limelight. Coming to you in September:
Four Times The Trouble is the Hardcover edition. Husband By Choice is the third book in the Where Secrets Are Safe series, following Wife By Design (2/14) and Once A Family (6/14). What I have to say about Husband By Choice is this: When I contracted the book my editor told me that an in house conversation went something like this – ‘if anyone can do it, Tara can’. When I turned in the book, the in house conversation was ‘she did.’ The cover makes this book look like a nice sweet family story. It’s not. It’s psychological suspense.
The offers: I’m told I need more reviews of The Friendship Pact on Amazon. I’ve been authorized to give away #free a limited number of copies of this book in exchange for honest reviews. For the next week, in celebration of the release of Husband By Choice, we’ll also be giving away ebook copies of Wife By Design and Once a Family to anyone who posts a review of The Friendship Pact on Amazon! That’s three free books! All current and recent releases! Email email@example.com for offer.
And…here on Storybroads…we are giving away a brand new Kindle Fire completely free, with Storybroad books pre-loaded on it! To enter, comment on a Storybroad blog post! You can earn one entry per blog post from now until October 31st!
More news on the ttq front – we have titles! In December, Child by Chance will be out. And in March, 2015, watch for Mother by Fate!
Or, if you just want to have some camaraderie, join the open Friendship board on Pinterest. We’re just getting started, but we already have international participation! We’re just pinning pictures and quotes of us and our friends, or of friendships that inspire us! We’re just shining a light on friendship. Spreading friendship energy. Focusing on one thing that is a huge source of strength for all of us. Hope to see you!
The book is done, and I worked a massive amount, writing over 32,000 words in 5 days. Alas, only three people guessed, and the winner is Robyn in Iowa, who was only 764 words off. Over on Facebook I had someone who was only 2 words off, which is pretty amazing. I did 4546 words on Monday, finished the draft on Thursday, did some revisions on Friday and then had a complete meltdown. My darling husband plied me with treats and love and affection and by Sunday I was able to jump back into the fray and whip that puppy into shape.
And it’s going the be fabulous! The ARC is for the first book in the series, NEVER KISS A RAKE, and the one I finished is NEVER TRUST A PIRATE. On top of being a former pirate, he’s half gypsy too. Yum! Plus I borrowed a bit from the Pirate Captain in Pirates! Band of Misfits which has to be the best pirate movie after The Crimson Pirate. (I have a thing for Burt Lancaster).
So Robyn, send your snail mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you out your very own ARC!
It’s time. I’ve got to finish this book or explode trying. (This book being book number two in the House of Russell series, NEVER TRUST A PIRATE). Now when it comes down to the end I’m very fast. I wrote around 2,500 words on Saturday with a four hour drive in between for daydreaming. Yesterday I did 7,010 words. Your task: guess how many words I write today. Whoever comes closest, here and on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/author.annestuart will win an ARC of the first book in the series, NEVER KISS A RAKE, which is coming out in August. Take into account I’ve got to deal with the IRS via phone today, so that’ll eat up some time, and I didn’t sleep well, so I expect a nap is in the future, though I did nap at least two hours yesterday and still did over seven thousand words.
On your mark, get set, go!
Please enjoy a completely free e-copy of The First Wife – an introduction to my work if you’ve never read me. An extra copy if you have! Follow the link at the bottom of this post, or over in the Breaking News Sidebar to get your free copy!
In celebration of my new series, What Happened In Comfort Cove, Harlequin is giving away free copies of this 2010 Bestseller. Due to response, they have extended the download deadline!!
A message from Harlequin Books – If you do not have ePub software on your Computer, tablet or phone, you will have to download it to view this free copy of The First Wife. (Software Links also accessible directly from Harlequin Book’s Website)
For your Computer:
Adobe Digital Editions
For other Electronic Devices:
(Android, BlackBerry, iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) or Windows 7 Phone)
Follow the prompt for the correct installation of your software.
Software and Book are completely Free.
NOW…To Get Your Free Book:
Just click on the book below
Click ADD TO CART
Click VIEW CART
Click NEXT STEP
LOGIN or Complete guest registration,
ENTER Coupon Code: 1FREE1STWIFE0812
Download to your device!
Please feel free to pass this link on to all of your family and friends. The giveaway is completely free to everyone!
Tim and I are on the go with Mom, celebrating yet another birthday, busier than ever before, and thankful, too. We’re facing some questions with Mom, but got the best of all answers this week as well and gearing up for the next challenge. And through it all there is always the bottom line for me – the place that holds me securely, steadily, and helps me get up every morning, bright and early, to take on the day.
It’s that place deep inside of all of us. Every single one of us have it. Many never let themselves go down and find it. Or access it a second time if they’ve ever found their way down to it. For so many that deep recess is an uncomfortable place. It requires utmost honesty from us. It requires us to feel life at its most intense. It is also the one place that has everything it takes to sustain us through absolutely anything and everything that this life will ever hand out to us. I was lucky to find this place at a very young age. It’s home to me no matter where I am. No matter what I’m facing. No matter what I am handed, this place is ready for me, and for it. It holds me while I process and instills in me the strength and wherewithal to march forward. My father once said that he likes my walk because I walk with purpose. I walk with purpose because I come from a place of purpose and move forward from my bottom line up.
AND FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DON’T HAVE ANY DESIRE TO RELATE TO MY FORM OF SUSTENANCE: HERE’S SUSTENANCE FOR YOU!!
For the rest of the week The First Wife is still available as a completely free download!
The necessary information is the Breaking News Box above!
And for anyone who’s willing to share, I’d love to hear the small things any of you do to get through a tough day.
The Can-Opener continues to wrestle with Microsoft and Windows7 problems. She should have taken my advice and bought an Apple Computer. Now she is angry and frustrated, so it must be time to do something nice. Not for her, though. We’re doing it for You! Get out your calendar, because you’ll want to make a note of the dates.
Before I was born, the C-O and her friend Alicia Rasley wrote this book. Like my own nine lives, it is a timeless story. Age shall not weary us, nor the years condemn. It is such a good book that it won the Romance Writers of America RITA Award.
Now the book is available in e-Book format and is selling for a mere $4.99. But next Wednesday (13June) and Saturday (16June), you can download it at Amazon for a measly 99 cents!
But Wait. There’s More! If you don’t want to plunk out 99cents, download Gwen’s Ghost on Thursday and Friday (June 14/15) and it’s FREE. What a deal. Give yourself a treat. And tell your friends.
I don’t know how to create a live link, but this one is easy to cut and paste. It will take you right to the book. Gwen, Vayle (the ghost), Max, and Dori are waiting to meet you.
The conference itself was wonderful. And the biggest highlight for me was the chance to visit with my sister Storybroad, Tara and her hunky hubby Tim for the first time in far too long. It was so good to see Tara in full blossom again, back home in the desert where she belongs. And I understand why. It gets under your skin, that Arizona sunshine.
I traveled north from Scottsdale to Sedona, and spent my final two days there, with my bff Michele, exploring the red rocks and tourist shops, which I really don’t believe should have ever been allowed in the same place, but it is what it is. Sedona is magic, powerful. But I’m blogging about that over at Shayne’s Shenanigans. Here, I want to talk about what I learned at the conference.
I paid close attention at this conference, to what made me want to buy a book from any of the authors present. As I sorted through the approximately two pounds of promotional goodies stuffed into my totebag, I realized what I was doing. Pulling out great mounds of this stuff, I was rapidly flipping through them all like a seasoned poker dealer, snapping them into two piles; junk, and keep. Brutal, I know. But we might as well be honest here. Bookmarks: Junk. Unless the author was one I knew, or one I already loved. Postcards, ditto. Flyers too. Chocolate attached to bookmarks quickly became detached, the bookmark heading to the junk pile, the chocolate, obviously, not. I know this is probably quite distressing to those who’ve spent hundreds on pretty full color glossy bookmarks and other print goodies. Trust me, I’m one of you. I’ve spent it too. It’s not worth the investment. You can’t even give those things away!
What did I keep? I kept two professional bound excerpt booklets which had excellent cover art and opening lines that grabbed me, for something to read on the plane. I kept all the pens, because I can use them. There were ten or twelve. I couldn’t tell you what name or title was on them. I kept the totebag, but without going and looking, I don’t know whose name is on that either. I kept the Carina Press lanyard because it was pink and caught my eye, and because Carina is part of HQ and that’s my publisher and I’m loyal. I even switched it out and wore it instead of the black one from a different publisher that came with the name badges. Home team, what can I say? I kept the chocolate. Well, for a few minutes anyway.
I kept two door hangers. You know, like the “Do not disturb” thing in a hotel? They both had cute sayings on them, and I’d tell you what they were but they’re still in my bag. Oh, and I kept the little drawstring pouches with tea fixings in them for the duration of my hotel stay, in case I wanted tea. I tossed them before I left because I was trying to downsize my luggage and every little thing I could eliminate, I did.
Resulting new knowledge? Not one of the promotional items promoted anyone’s name or title to me. Not one. Some were cute enough to keep, but I didn’t remember a single one. In fact, my favorite promo piece ever is a fridge magnet with Rosie the Riveter holding a stake, and it says, “been there, slayed that.” Love it. It’s been on my fridge for a year, and I still couldn’t tell you the book or author it’s promoting.
Clearly, this sort of thing doesn’t work. What did work? What did make me want to buy books? The speakers. Actually hearing the author give a talk that was funny, touching, moving, and entertaining (not necessarily one that was filled with useful knowledge.) The speakers with personality plus-those were the ones whose books I was dying to buy. And other people I met who were friendly, kind, lovely human beings. Those are new must-buys for me as well. There were others, not necessarily speakers, with the personality of a cactus, but tons of useful information to share. With those types, you don’t buy their books. You take notes to figure out how to sell your own. But you don’t buy theirs.
The lesson? Cultivate the ability to make other people feel good when they are around you. When you speak, be positive, not negative, be funny and light. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Show interest in others, and listen to what they have to say. Make them feel important to you, as if you truly care, and make that be because you do truly care. Be friendly, be kind, speak softly, listen more than you talk.
I learned something about myself at this con too. I delivered two workshops at Desert Dreams. One, I wrote and prepared ahead of time. And it went very well and we had a great time with it. The other, I intended to prepare as well, but didn’t. Had an episode of that awful PSVT thingie with my heart two days before I was to leave on the trip, and it left me barely functional for a while. (I’m fine. No worries.) So one workshop was very much off the cuff. I made a few notes on the plane and in the hotel room, but mostly, I had to wing it. It was called Sanity 101, and was basically my take on staying positive, on creating what you want in your own writing career and not worrying about what anyone else is doing–you know, my usual positive-Polly, Law of Attraction stuff. It was one of the most well-received workshops I’ve ever given. And the response to it has made me decide that this is the only workshop I’m going to give from now on. Law of Attraction for Writers.
Okay, one more useful bit of knowledge I gleaned from Desert Dreams. The general public are buying books for their e-readers less like the readers we authors have become used to, and more like our partners buy power tools from Home Depot. There are so many people buying ebooks, people who maybe never set foot in a bookstore. People who just got this cool new gadget and are looking for content to fill it, and don’t know Nora Roberts from Becky Sue Jones. (That’s a made up name.) They don’t care about an author’s track record, awards, bio, bestseller status. They look at price, and reviews posted by other buys. Just like you might pick out a new vacuum cleaner. It’s weird, but that’s what I took away from this particular discussion.
Getting people to post reviews on Amazon is WAY harder than I
thought! I’m eager to find out if it really makes a difference, though, so I’m offering incentives. Every single person who posts an HONEST review of FORGOTTEN VOWS on its Amazon page can be entered into a drawing for a free advance reading copy (paperback) of MARK OF THE WITCH, launch book of The Portal Series. The prizes will go out in June, 3 months prior to the release of the book. All you have to do is buy FORGOTTEN VOWS, which remains on sale for 99¢ during the duration of this promotion, post a review on it’s Amazon page, and let me know via Facebook, here, or through email, and you’re entered. Winners announced at month’s end. My goal is 50 reviews by then, and then I’ll know if this particular interpretation of the new marketplace is on target or not.
Okay, that’s my post for today.
Be sure to visit me on FACEBOOK, and click “LIKE” on the top of the page to keep up on all the news and exclusive fan-only content. As we move nearer the launch date of The Portal Series website, the premier of the video trailer for book 1, (both on June 1,) the release of a full set of 13 collectible (and free) trading cards, and much more, you’re not going to want to miss a thing.