Friday, February 27, 2015

Have you ever wanted to commit computercide? Be truthful...!!


I wrote this on Jan 8,2015 Blog titled - What have I gotten myself into?

When you decided to write your first book, I have no doubt you thought the same as myself. You would become an author. A writer of stories! An entertainer of sorts! And that would be your goal. The work that would earn you a living (hopefully) and gain you some small acclaim with readers.

What you didn't realize was that today, to become successful in this career, you must take on numerous roles. If you learn nothing else from me and my posts, please do understand this. You will need to teach yourself things you never thought you could learn.



3.  Computer geek – I love/hate this one!!

Today, to be a writer, you must use the tools of the day. And learn how to operate them well. Otherwise, they will sabotage you at every turn. Of course, I’m talking about the computer in whatever configuration you've chosen. Be it a laptop or a PC or some other weird concoction of using a keyboard and a monitor, you will need to understand as much as you can about your personal device so that you become as efficient as possible.


Some of my colleagues still choose to hand-write their first drafts and then type them into the computer’s files. Since my writing it atrocious, I cannot fathom this method. But if it helps one create, then you must do what you must do. Still, sooner or later, you will be entering those words into the computer, right? That's just the way it is.


I know others who use a Dragon application of dictation and it works very well for them. As they explained, it takes some time and practice to be proficient, but with determination, it is a method of writing one’s books. Oh yeah... wait a minute. At some point, it still has to end up in the computer where you have to deal with it.


I have no doubt there are other ways that some writers have come up with that they've utilized in their endeavors to get words on a page, I don’t know them all.


What I do know is that whatever method you decide works for you, become as knowledgeable about their functions as possible. There’s nothing more annoying than having to perform some task and having the machine you rely on let you down. Computercide might pop into your head (it has in mine repeatedly) but nine times out of ten—let’s face it—it isn't the hardware, it’s the operator. I don’t know how often I've freaked out when the computer wouldn't let me do something, only to find out, I was going about it all wrong.


How many times have you tried to correct work that wasn't formatted right, or a page not set up the way it needed to be, or…or…or… you know what I mean? We've all been there a thousand times. It’s frustrating and freakin’ annoying when the damn machine you rely on, turns on you - or so it seems when it happens.


My advice is to take the time and trouble to learn how your device works and the best way I know how is by asking on the “help” pages you’ll find with every program.

OR – now pay attention – this is the best advice I can give you –

Are you ready??


Go to GOOGLE SEARCH and write: How to (insert whatever it is you need to know here) and watch all the articles pop up.

Another place to find answers – go to UTUBE and write: How to (insert whatever it is you need to know here) and many times, you’ll be able to watch a video that will show you what you needed to know which works great for me.


Very seldom have these sites let me down. If you still aren't satisfied with the answers, ask on one of the Social Media sites. Trust me - there’s someone out there who has run into a similar problem and will be glad to help.


Just don’t let these darn machines win. What seems insurmountable now will be nothing once you know what to do. Unfortunately, every time I pat my back for learning something new, another question/problem/headache pops up!!!





Sunday, February 22, 2015

Are multi-author book collections a lot of work? What do you think?


 

Oh yeah!

I’ve taken on the job as promoter for the three collections I’ve been in so far and it’s an overwhelming amount of work. But… when the book is successful, it leaves one with a huge feeling of satisfaction. A couple of months (for some earlier) before the release date, I had to write to all the major promoters and ask them to hold us a spot on their sites without any reviews, live links, etc. and then make sure I followed through to send them the missing info when it became available.

All were helpful, supportive and worked with me so we’d be assured that our book would hit the big advertisers on the first week it was released. Very important!! Thank goodness that a couple of the girls assisted in setting up some of the other promos also. There’re just so many places out there nowadays, it’s hard to know which ones to use sometimes.

While I did my part, the others all took on different roles in making the book a success: formatting, Facebook ads and the big event, twitter blast, organising the publisher, working the cover, newsletters, blog posts etc, etc. There’s just so much to do.

In the first collection, Ten Brides for Ten Heroes, we realized a number of important things: Not everyone is as tech-savvy as the next guy. Not everyone wants to work as hard or… hasn’t the time to put in the same amount of effort. Not everyone is as hungry to make it as big a success as possible. And I don’t just mean the money. Our goal was always to hit the list. Don’t get me wrong, all our authors were wonderful writers and great girls, but some were just overwhelmed by the amount of energy it took. This was the collection that I considered as my formal education. Boy did I learn a lot!! There’s something about 10 minds all sharing experiences that makes it so easy to walk away with a lot more knowledge.

In the second collection, Ten Christmas Brides, we reformed the group, losing some and gaining others. This go around, we had a mixture with one main goal. This time we would make the USA Today list and we did – twice. Unfortunately, we believed that the New York Time’s list was impossible and that they weren’t looking at multi-author box sets anymore. So we were certainly satisfied with our outcome… and our sales. What struck me the most—how incredibly supportive folks were! We felt blessed and still do.

Now here I am again with a different set of fabulous authors in Hearts & Kisses. A 12-book, box collection for Valentine’s released Feb 10th. We’re pushing to our goals as hard as we can, all of us working together. All of us with the knowledge we gained from other bundles and most important, all of us having one heck of a good time in the process.
 
Did it pay off??
 
Oh yeah! We hit the USA Today's list this week and were all flummoxed. You see, the sales had been disappointing and so we hadn't any expectations. What we forgot to take into consideration is that the market always slows down in certain months and February happens to be one of those times. So... add that the item to the never-ending list of things to take into consideration when planning an undertaking such at this.
 
 

99c only


 

Friday, February 20, 2015

What if I witnessed someone try to abduct a child...?? @DonnaFaz #12kisses




Years ago, I was sitting on the beach with my son who was six at the time. We were enjoying the sand, the waves, and the warm sunshine. A very observant child, my son was the first to notice the little girl who was walking all alone, lost and frightened. That day ended happily, I’m very relieved to say, and we were able to help the girl find her parents. But the experience made the writer in me begin to wonder, “What if?” What if I witnessed someone try to abduct a child from the beach? What would I do? Would I have the courage to act? These questions spurred the opening scene of TAKE ME, I’M YOURS, my contribution to the HEARTS AND KISSES boxed set.






99c only







Take Me I'm Yours - Excerpt taken from the Prologue


Sunlight reflected on the ocean, turning the undulating surface of the water a glittering electric blue. The single puffy cloud hovering high overhead was too small to mar the cerulean sky. A flock of gulls soared and swooped in the air while a family of sandpipers dodged the shallow, rhythmic waves in search of tasty crustaceans living beneath the wet sand. Salt tinged the breeze that fluttered through the newly sprouted grass, setting it dancing on the dunes.


Lainey Adams closed her eyes, lifted her face toward warm sunshine, and dug her toes into the silky sand. Nothing could spoil this perfect day.


"Mom!"


Brian's shout jerked her to attention.


Her six-year-old son ran toward her, frantically gesturing. "That little girl is lost."

Lainey shaded her eyes from the sun and gazed down the beach where Brian pointed. Sure enough, a child ambled along the water's edge, her long, blond hair tangled by the wind. She was small, a couple of years younger than Brian, by Lainey's estimation.

Tourist season in Ocean City, Maryland wouldn't officially begin for weeks yet when Memorial Day would attract the snow-birds, the vacationers, and day-trippers to the seashore like a magnet to steel. Today, the beach was relatively bare of people, save for the few sun-worshipers enjoying the unusually warm spring day.


"Honey, there's a family right up there," Lainey told her son. Brian was such a worrier. "I'm certain that little girl belongs with them and she's simply walked too far away, is all."


Brian's tiny frown grew as it planted itself firmly between his brows. "Nope. She's lost," he stated emphatically. "I've been watchin' her. She passed that family. And they didn't even look at her. Yes, sir-ree!" His little head bobbed up and down. "She is lost!"



Lainey tried not to grin at his insistent tone of voice. She was just about to suggest that they ask the girl if they could help her when Lainey caught sight of a man running from the direction of the street. He called out to the little girl, but whatever he said was carried away by the salty breeze.



"There," Lainey said. "There's her daddy. She's okay now. You can relax." She patted his arm and was about to turn her gaze back to the blue horizon, but something in the pit of her gut kept her from it. Something she couldn't name.


Brian's eyes remained riveted to the girl. "That's not her daddy."







Donna Fasano is a USA Today bestselling author who has written over 30 romance and women’s fiction novels. Learn more about her on her blog, or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. She loves to hear from readers! Donna’s latest release is FOLLOWING HIS HEART, book 1 of The Ocean City Boardwalk series available in paperback, and for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iBook.  







Thursday, February 19, 2015

Saved, Friendly Fire & a Different Kind of Love by USA Today author, Lorhainne Eckhart @LEckhart #mgfpf


Saved, Friendly Fire, &
A Different Kind of Love
by Lorhainne Eckhart
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Contemporary Romance







Saved
Series: Saved, #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: May 11, 2013


Synopsis

Growing up I had dreams that one day I'd fall in love, get married and start a family. Then one night I was taken.

But I survived, I escaped and I was saved. Eric didn't see me as damaged. He didn't see my baby as a monster. He protected me, he kept me safe ... he saved me.





Friendly Fire
Series: The Wilde Brothers, #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 20, 2014


Synopsis

In FRIENDLY FIRE, after a roadside bomb ends his career in the marines, Logan Wilde struggles to put his life back together. When he takes a job as a sheriff in a small Idaho town, he expects a quiet, peaceful life that will bore him to tears. However, Logan hides a painful secret: He suffers from sleepless nights and flashbacks that come out of nowhere, and anything can be a trigger.

From the moment the new sheriff walks through the door of Julia Cooper’s cafe, she fights the attraction between them, especially after Logan shoots a carafe right from her hands when he’s startled by a car backfiring in the street outside. Julia has seen that wild look before: She saw it in her father’s eyes right before he shoved a gun to his head and killed himself.

Julia decides she needs to meet someone average, someone who has never handled a gun. Everyone is convinced that her daughter’s teacher is the perfect match for her, but when she’s with him, she misses the sparks that always sizzle between her and Logan—and when her daughter goes missing, it’s Logan who’s there for her, Logan who searches with her, and Logan she leans on.

Worse, Logan suspects that the teacher knows something about the disappearance, and he may not be the safe, dependable guy Julia believes him to be.





A Different Kind of Love
Series: The Friessens, #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 23, 2014


Synopsis

From USA Today Bestselling Author Lorhainne Eckhart comes A Different Kind of Love, the next book in, The Friessens: A New Beginning, this romantic family saga.

A Different Kind of Love brings back the couple that started it all: Brad and Emily. You fell in love with them in The Forgotten Child. Now, years later, they face an entirely new set of challenges with their preteen autistic boy when his mother, Crystal, returns. She wants a relationship with the boy she abandoned--something Brad and Emily never expected. She says she's changed, but can the Friessens believe her?




Saved

Friendly Fire

A Different Kind of Love


USA Today Bestselling Author Lorhainne Eckhart’s books have been described as Longmire meets old-school Dallas, and she recently received the 2013 Readers’ Favorite Award for Romantic Suspense for her title Lost and Found. With over thirty titles under her belt, she is frequently a Top 100 bestselling author in multiple genres, such as romance, westerns, and mystery/suspense, including such series as The Outsider, Walk the Right Road, The Wilde Brothers, The Saved, and her most recent addition, The Friessens: A New Beginning.

Lorhainne lives on sunny Salt Spring Island with her family, where she is working on her next novel.








Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Breaking the Rules by @MelCurtisAuthor #12kisses


 
 
 
I didn’t grow up watching basketball. I married into it. My college sweetheart played for the university I attended and made an appearance in the Final Four. Of course, our kids would play basketball. And me? The person who read People magazine? I found ESPN Magazine interesting – there’s good gossip in there! And so my Hollywood Rules series was born of a combination of a love of popular culture and (somewhat forced) love of basketball. Breaking the Rules is the 5th installment in the series.

 
Breaking the Rules Blurb:

To say Jack and Vivian Gordon’s marriage has been rocky would be an understatement. The Gordons have been on a roller coaster of love and lust, but can’t seem to get on the same page at the same time. This power couple needs a time-out to find their happily ever after.  And life coach to Hollywood’s rich and powerful, Cora Rule, has just the solution – have the couple sign their divorce papers in a safe room…and lock them inside.

Excerpt:

Vivian Gordon had a problem.

A six-foot-two-inch hunk of a problem.

Sex with Jack hadn’t solved the problem.  Marrying him hadn’t solved the problem.  Leaving him hadn’t solved the problem.

The problem was that Viv loved her husband, but Jack didn’t love her.

It wasn’t as if Jack was incapable of love, as some of Hollywood moguls seemed to be.  No, Jack had passion aplenty, but it was for the NBA team he owned, the L.A. Flash, not for a woman.  Not for Viv.

Viv watched Jack swim his daily laps with strong, commanding strokes.  Heaven forbid Jack didn’t get his laps in.  If he didn’t, he was the biggest shit.

Her Gianvito Rossi black suede lace up heels clicked slowly across the white marble tile as she approached the patio doors in the house they’d once shared.  Her cadence was one of a doomed prisoner being shown the open door of the gas chamber.

This is the end.

And she’d chosen the execution date.

 

Bio/Info

Melinda Curtis is an award winning, USA Today bestselling author.  She writes the steamy Hollywood Rules series as Mel Curtis. Jayne Ann Krentz says of Blue Rules: Sharp, sassy, modern version of a screwball comedy from Hollywood's Golden Age except a lot hotter.”  Melinda also writes the Harmony Valley series of sweet and emotional romances for the Harlequin Heartwarming line and sweet romantic comedy in her popular Bridesmaid series. Brenda Novak says: “Season of Change has found a place on my keeper shelf”. 
 



Twitter: @MelCurtisAuthor

 
 
****Hearts & Kisses is the reason we met - Mel and I!****
 
Why we've become friends, and from now on, will always know each other as more than distant acquaintances.
 
When you collaborate in a box set together, it's a special kind of a relationship which has everyone working towards a common goal.
 
And that goal is to get as many people reading this wonderful collection as possible. We hoped to find new readers, make new friends and have our work shared through new channels that we could all individually bring to the table.
 
And... I'm glad to say, it's been a great success!!
 
 
 
 
 
99c only

 
 

 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Just when everything is going well - BAMM!!! #12kisses @PatriceWilton


 
My very good friend and collaborator, Patrice Wilton, sent me a post for my blog recently and I very happily set it up, more than willing to help her advertise her new multi-author box collection. And since I'm in the same bundle with her, it sure seemed like a win-win situation.

Now - I set the post up in the exact same way that I've set up every other one, then sat back feeling secure that it would publish on its scheduled date and time. Why wouldn't it?


It did!!

Cool!!

Except - my blog is hooked up with Triberr and I rely on that program to release every blog post to my tribes so everyone in all those tribes can share it. This also means that for every share, there’s a tweet that goes out from the sharer.

Awesome - right? I mean I have about 200 tweeter/sharers in total from all the tribes I belong to. Multiply that by how many followers they all have and that means that a lot of people will have the choice to check out my page and see Patrice’s post.

Only problem was – for some strange reason, the link to this blog page didn't work and every tweet that went out - oh yeah - they all went out - but no one who saw the tweet could follow it back to the page on Believe that it was supposed to link to.....accckkkk!!

So - I am reposting this lovely write-up in order to give Patrice the coverage she deserves.
**********
  
Hi Everyone! It's so great to be here on BELIEVE, my wonderful friend's fun and entertaining blog. Mimi and I--both Canadians from the beautiful west coast, Vancouver area--first met as co-authors for our TEN BRIDES FOR TEN HEROES collection, and then again for TEN CHRISTMAS BRIDES.

We loved working together, scratching our head occasionally as we wondered why in the world we'd ever signed up to do this in the first place, and then a second later agreeing to another big box set. Now, I'm sure both of us our addicted, and who wouldn't be? Imagine the excitement and chills and thrills we get on release day!

   We work hard to get there--Mimi with securing us all the very best promo sites available, me as her backup man, and banker for the first two groups. After release day we get to sit back for a crazy week of twitter parties and Facebook events, and a million other things we never considered, all to make the hot best-selling lists! Which we did, thanks to all our fabulous readers! That's you. Your time to take a bow!!

         So here we are --teamed up again for our exciting 12 book VALENTINE BOOK, HEART & KISSES!

 
99c only


 Please let me introduce you to LOVE STRUCK, my full length story for this collection. 
 
LOVE STRUCK is the third and final book in my the best selling SERENDIPITY FALLS Series. Each book stands alone, but builds on each other. I was so delighted to be able to offer this for our HEART & KISSES, 12 book Valentine collection.

Serendipity is a charming small town in the foothills of Mammoth, California. There's a wedding a month and divorces are non existent. When the series started, we had out-of-towners flocking in on weekends to visit and perhaps find love, speculating on whether it is the natural spring water or something in the air, causing the mad rush to the alter.

In Book Two, a news reporter is in town to do a story on the "Love Bug" theory and discovers gold behind the falls instead. Now, in LOVE STRUCK, we have busloads of people coming in weekly--some come searching for gold, others to snare themselves a husband by Valentine's Day. No man is safe, and the perfect, pristine town is destroyed.

Cupid has thrown up his hands in despair. Until people learn what love is, he will no longer meddle and unite couples in matrimonial bliss. With a heavy heart he watches the shenanigans, and trusts that common sense will prevail and true love will conquer.

PROLOGUE

 I'm Cupid, and for those who don't know about me, I reside in what used to be a beautiful little town in the foothills of Mammoth, California, called Serendipity Falls. You have to forgive me for being less upbeat than usual, but my heart is broken. This once idyllic town has been overrun by people who have no concept of the true meaning of love. For the past several years I took great joy uniting couples in matrimonial bliss, and was very proud of the fact that while weddings abounded, divorces became extinct. Then my ego got the better of me, and I drew attention to myself. People flocked to Serendipity Falls to find love and the truth behind the so called 'love bug' in the spring water. Of course, you and I know that no such bug existed--it was just me up to my old tricks.

The news carried wide and far, and reporters came to our neck of the woods, eager to learn what the phenomenon was about--this wedding fever that drove strangers toward the altar. Oh, I had been so proud. Even won the National Cupid for Excellence three years running.

So what am I complaining about, you ask? Well, last year one of these reporters fell in love with one of our local girls. Yes, I had a little hand in that. I'm not sorry and make no apologies either. They were right for each other, and I never--not once--unite couples who are not a perfect match.

Well, this young buck didn't discover any 'love bug'--instead he discovered gold behind the falls. His story drew national attention and opened up an unsavory can of worms. People flocked to our little paradise, men seeking their fortune in gold--women seeking husbands.

This is where my ambling story takes an unfortunate turn.  You see-the women are desperate and have resorted to the most unladylike behavior--fighting one another, setting traps for men. Hundreds arrive by busloads each month, and with Valentine's Day approaching, I fear a thousand more will get here soon.

The sad truth is that they have no idea what love is. The meaning of love has been forgotten, or perhaps in some cases, never learned.

With a heavy heart, I watch and pray that common sense will prevail and the crazy antics will stop. Until that day happens, I am going to retire my trusty bow and arrow. I want no part of this.        

Love cannot be forced. It cannot be controlled. It cannot be tricked, or trapped. Love is setting someone free, and wanting that person's happiness more than their own. It is unselfish. It is considerate and caring. And it is the essence of joy.

When those lessons have been learned I will embrace my love making skills again, but until then silence will be my answer.  
 
EXCERPT

 

 Kyle shrugged his shoulders, easing some of the tension. "I'm starting to hate it here. I never thought I would say that, but it's true. The place isn't the same anymore. It's become ugly, a town full of vultures."

  "How can you say that? It's absolutely the most beautiful place on earth. With the exception of the men spray painting me, that is. Everyone else has been friendly."

   "It's dangerous for a man like me. I know you don't get it, but even Devon finally saw it." He shuddered at the memory of Blondie and the lollipop.

   "Saw what?"

   "Women flanked me this morning at Costco, while I was buying supplies for the bar. They circled me like wolves."

   She laughed, and then seeing he was serious, her smile faded. "How bad was it?"

   "Pretty bad. One of them grabbed my ass and chased after us as we left the store."

   "I have a Karate belt. Want me to be your protector? Since we're almost friends, I mean."

   "I don't need a woman protecting me," he growled.

   She glanced at him and then away. "You wouldn't need to worry. I don't want to drag your cute ass into bed, or tear your clothes off, or do you every which way but Sunday. I'm done with men for now. I have a young son to raise, and he's the only guy I need. You're perfectly safe with me." She wiped her hands on the front of her jeans, and said again, "Almost friends. And you're a man who needs a fake girlfriend. I could pretend to be if you wanted."

    He frowned. Fake girlfriend? "Thanks for the offer, but I don't think it's such a hot idea."

   "I get it." She put her hand on the door handle, ready to slide out of the jeep. "It’s too bad you're unhappy here, Kyle. Most people are bubbling over with happiness-even your own family. It must really be hard to see."

   "It didn't use to be this way, but yeah, it's no fun anymore. I can't even date."  A real pity party was starting to form. Her sweet compassion might be his undoing.

   "Maybe you should stop fighting it and go with the flow. Fall madly in love. Get married. Be Serendipity happy."

   He turned toward her, and held her gaze. Serendipity happy? What the hell did that mean? "Kiss me now."

   "What did you say?" Sam gasped and brought her fingers to her lower lip. She had one hand on the car door.    

   "I said, ‘Kill me now.’" Kyle clenched and unclenched his grip on the steering wheel as tension rippled through him.

   "No, you didn't." She didn’t move.

    "What do you think I said?" His eyes narrowed as he looked at her. She was all big-eyed, her cheeks flushed; probably the prettiest girl he'd ever seen.

   "You said, kiss me now. Not kill me. Kiss me." She dropped her hand to her lap.    "Do you want me to?"

   "No! That's the last thing I want. Especially since we're almost friends.” He swallowed, his mouth dry. “Besides, you're so beautiful that it would really be a crazy ass thing to do."

   "Is that the only reason?" she asked in a soft voice. "You wouldn't be scared, would you?"

   "Of what?" He scoffed, although his skin felt prickly and hot. "You don't want me in your bed, and you don't want to marry me, so I'm about as safe as I am with my sister."

   "That's true. But I'm not your sister."

   Big cornflower blue eyes gazed at him. Was that an invitation in her gaze? What happened to "almost friends?" He glowered at her. "What does that mean?"

   "It means I wouldn't mind kissing you. Haven't kissed a man in a couple of years, and it's probably better than killing you. I think."

   She smiled, inching closer, and he groaned, feeling his jeans get tight. The urge grew too strong to resist, even for a man like himself. Being mortal had its drawbacks.

   "Come here," he growled, reaching a hand out and pulling her head toward him. "Just one. Only one. That's all you get."

   "Okay." She closed her eyes and leaned in. "Make it good."
 
 
 
Patrice Wilton was born in Vancouver, Canada, and knew from the age of twelve that she wanted to be a writer. She became a flight attendant for 17 years, then moved to Australia, and England, before settling in West Palm Beach, Florida. She is a USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty books, including her successful romantic comedy, "Candy Bar series", and Serendipity Falls Series, and returning war heroes, published by Amazon Montlake.

When she's not writing, you might find her on the tennis court, or hitting golf balls with her PGA pro husband.



Contacts:

 
****************