My Books...

Monday, August 11, 2014

Help Me Design My Next Book Cover!

Hi All,

Okay so I have something fun in store for everyone...

I'm been picking up some good momentum as I move through the draft of my next book NEVER LET ME GO.  It's a steamy romance about cyber crime and takes place in Las Vegas and the Arizona desert.  I've been looking over some photos for the next book cover and I can't quite decide.  

That's where you all come in...

Below are the main pictures I've narrowed it down to.  All you need to do is select the image/option you like best - either 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 and hit submit at the bottom of the last photo.

It's that easy.

I can't wait to see which one you choose!

'Til Next Time...


Thursday, August 7, 2014

My Thanks…My Apologies and…Boy Do I Need Some Help...

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” JFK
"In some families, please is described as the magic word.  In our house, however, it was sorry."
~Margaret Laurence

Hi All,

I have to say it…the past eighteen months have been nothing short of amazing. 
I was thrilled to release my three, romantic suspense novels DEADLY SHADOWS, ONE STEP CLOSER and BE STILL MY BREATH.  And now my new book, NOW YOU SEE ME, just came out and I’m excited for you to read it!

I’m so grateful to all the readers who embraced each of the books and was wonderfully overwhelmed with the positive and encouraging reviews.  THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!
I’m excited to keep sharing with you stories that are filled with page turning suspense and sizzling romance.  Be sure to stay tuned because I’m already well into my next story…NEVER LET ME GO.

But now it’s time for me to mend some fences…

The past year and a half was a bit of a frenzy writing and finishing all three of my current titles.  Suffice to say, in the days and weeks leading up to each release I was a bit of a wreck about everything…

The development of the characters…
The pacing of the intro…
Marketing…marketing…marketing…Goodreads giveaways, Kindle count down deals...Setting up a Facebook page...Setting up a website…a blog…
I’m sure most self published authors  would agree…it’s all part of the amazing and absolutely chaotic process of e-publishing
But here’s the thing… in the rush and the chaos of it all I didn’t give enough time and care to one critical element…
Don’t get me wrong…I got a lot great reviews from readers about how fun and romantic the stories were and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that feedback.
But I also got review bombed on the editing piece.  And though it stung, I really do appreciate those readers who took the time to share their thoughts and critiques.
So please let me just say…I am sorry.  Very sorry.
And rest assured I heard you.
As I got ready for the release of my new book NOW YOU SEE ME, I worked much harder this turn around on the editing…including making sure words aren't dropped or misspelled, having was a stronger editing eye to catch missing commas and quotation marks…the works.

Is it be perfect? Close to perfect?  That’s my goal because because here’s the bottomline...Quality matters. 
So from this point on they’ll be more effort…more time…and more resources devoted to editing.
Which is why I finally realized I need help.
And yes I'll still do a number of revision and edit reviews on my own,  but now I’m also handing off those drafts to some great outside professional folks to help with the process.
The crazy thing about it all was that I actually did so many edits on DEADLY SHADOWS and ONE STEP CLOSER and BE STILL MY BREATH.
So here are the big questions…how did it all go so wrong? How could I miss so much?
I knew I didn't want to continue down this path – my readers deserve better - so I did a little research and apparently the problem in my whole editing equation started and ended with me, myself and I.
What I found out is that when it comes to editing, writers are their own worst enemy. 
It has to do with the fact that since we know what we want to say, and if the sentence seems clear enough, we actually can’t pick up the mistakes in the sentence or paragraph.
That’s because the brain skews what we perceive as wrong words inside sentences by doing an auto-correct as we’re reading through the lines.
Simply put, the brain actually makes it hard for us to see the mistake.
Here’s how John McIntyre of the Baltimore Sun explains it…
"...experienced readers, the very people you would imagine to be effective at editing, are not necessarily reliable. Experienced readers recognize patterns. They recognize patterns of letters arranged in words. They recognize syntactical patterns. They recognize stock phrases and standard figures of speech. And so the brain tells them that they see the patterns they expect to find. The brain auto-corrects, not worrying about, for example, transposed letters, because it recognizes the shape of the whole word…

This whole auto correct issue?  Well it got me thinking…what else has my brain been auto correcting?  Bad decorating choices?  Bad outfits, bad haircuts? (We’ll leave all that for another day and maybe another blog.)
Suffice to say the e-publishing world is a challenge.
We’re writers, editors, book cover designers, promoters – and it all gets a bit crazy.
But I also believe think e-publishing is perfect for any of us busy folks who has a great story to tell – folks who are used to lives filled with one big mash up of multi-tasking events. 
It’s like everything else you do…you want to get better and keep moving forward.
We all want to grow into a better place and become a better person…wife…mom…writer.

Sometimes we just need to ask for help along the way.

And stay tuned for my next blog. It's the first in my How To series.  First up?  You guessed it...How to Edit Your Novel.

‘Til next time…

Writing...Marketing...E-Publishing...Ever thought of writing your own book? Interested in an inside look of a busy writer's life?  Check out my other blog 365 Days of Writing, Marketing &!
Want to know more about this auto-correct phenomenon?
Check out these link...

Saturday, August 2, 2014

May I Have Your Attention Please? We Have an Important Announcement...

Hi All,

So today's the day for an important announcement...

I decided to set up a separate blog for 365 Days of Writing, Marketing & E-Publishing

You see I still want to blog about romance and suspense novels...the writer's life...and how writer's can get things done in the upcoming "How to" series.  So I'll keep doing that on Synchronicity

Giving  365 Days it's own home just made sense.

So if you'd like a peek inside the busy writer's life and if your interested in writing, marketing your book or self publishing...don't miss a single day of 365 Days of Writing, Marketing & E- Publishing

'Til next time...


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Day 4...You Wake Up When??

Welcome to Day 4

4:30.  A.M.

Yup that's my normal wake up time, just about every morning.

The house is quiet and it's the perfect time for me to write.  I call it my power hours.  In fact, between 4:30 a.m. and 7 a.m. I'm like Wonder Woman - I write, I edit, I brainstorm and execute marketing ideas, I workout, I get dinner prepped, I do laundry.  My focus and execution is off the charts.

And when I get into that kind of zone, everything else in my day seems to work better.

This morning I worked on a couple of different scenes on my Chalkboard - I started with 5828 words ended with 6703.  875 words - not bad for 90 minutes.

I added a couple more ideas to my marketing spreadsheet and after finishing the edit review on Deadly Shadows, I did a new upload to Amazon.

I'm all in, a morning person so it's easy for me to show up and get things done.  Maybe you do better at night. The key is finding the time that works best for you and then building in a steady routine of writing.  A steady routine...

Speaking of routines, here's another one I do pretty much every morning....

2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with 8 ounces of water, followed by a kale, blueberry, banana smoothie.

The apple cider is a bit tough (I down it quick like a shot) but check out all these benefits and these other great uses.  (I haven't had a cold in years)

As for the kale can read about all those benefits here

And let's not forget...Today's Take away  Lesson...

Routine is good.  Finding your power hours and building a writing routine around them is even better.  That's what will get take from dreaming about writing a book to a finished manuscript.

(BTW...past 8 p.m. I'm a bit useless.)

Here's to Being All In,


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Day 3...Hail to the Chalkboard

Welcome to Day 3...

These days most schools have a smart board in the classroom.  They're connected to computers and not only present teacher's notes and other documents, but can also play videos and live stream programs as well.

When I was growing up we used chalkboards and they were filled with lesson notes, homework for the week and important announcements about upcoming events like extra help.

Suffice to say it was the focal point of the room.  The spot around where all the learning took place. Problems were worked out there, solutions were found there and new ideas were presented.

So what's the big deal about chalkboards?  Well after publishing four books in two years, my version of a chalkboard, is a working doc on my computer saved as, you guessed it "Chalkboard" and it's been a huge part of my writing routine.

How huge?  Let's just say right now on my chalkboard file I have notes for just about every scene I'm imagining for the rest of the story. At the moment none of it is perfect, but it's all workable and for me it virtual eliminates the possibility of writer's block.

It's the place where my stream of consciousness writing is captured, new scenes are documented, and dialogue is worked out.  It's my learning place as I outline, shift ideas, polish scenes and slowly wait for some magic to emerge.  When a chapter seems to be just right, then and only then do I format the paragraphs and text before cutting and pasting it into final draft.

My chalkboard is just one part of my routine...stay tuned for more ideas to get, and to keep you writing...

So things are moving along...

Today I did a final polish on my latest scene before cutting and pasting into Never Let You Go's final draft...btw here's my book stat so far...20,420 words and counting.  I usually come in around 65,000-70,000 words so I'm close to 1/3 of the way through...note to self - keep moving...

Also...finished 6 more chapters of my edit review on Deadly Shadows...

And...added a bunch more ideas to my marketing idea list.  I'll be setting it up on an excel spreadsheet tomorrow - that's the plan anyway.

Now I'm off to sleep, but not before sharing today's Take Away Lesson...

Writing is a novel is a huge undertaking.  So what's the secret to going from a single word on the page to a 65,000 word novel?  Besides great ideas, you have to have systems and routines that work for you.  

Here's to Being All In,


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Day 2...Some Things Need Fixin'

Welcome to Day 2...

Since 2012 I've written and e-published four books...Deadly ShadowsOne Step Closer, Be Still My Breath and Now You See Me and for the most part the response from readers has been great. What wasn't so great were the negative reviews...mostly about editing.  

Lesson learned.  Stay tuned you'll learn more about what happened in my next two blog posts on Synchronicity - including...How To Edit Your Novel. (The start up of the How To...series is happening very soon!)

But as part of the fix, I found some great freelance editors to do a review on Now You See Me.  But that's not all...I also had them go back and do an edit on my other books.  Call it a do-over.

One Step Closer is already finished and now I'm in the final stages of reviewing their edits on Deadly Shadows.  It's slow, painful, not fun, not glamorous, but an oh-so-necessary part of the process. 

Today I completed ten chapters - and celebrated with a handful of chocolate covered cranberries (my guilty pleasure).

The good news?  I'm almost done, just eight more chapter reviews to go!  

What else?

Well I also started brainstorming marketing ideas.  But not just any marketing ideas.  Some of them take me completely out of my hide-behind-my-computer comfort zone.  Stay posted, I'll be sharing my final list soon. My plan is to spend the next year checking off as many as possible on the list and reporting on what works and what doesn't.

Finally...I finished writing and polishing a chapter for my new book Never Let Me Go (I've been just a few paragraphs away from completing it for about a week now so I'm so happy to put it to bed).  The story takes place in Sin City and a remote desert hideout in Arizona.  It's all about hacking, cyber crimes and has a fun twist about what is and isn't legal.  Add in a sexy secret service agent, along with a smart yet beautiful attorney and Never Let Me Go adds up to a whole bunch of sizzle and suspense. I can't wait to share it all with you.

That's all for now, but let's not forget today's Take Away Lesson...

Fix your mistakes...all of them.  Clean up your messes...all of them. And make sure you always give your readers your very best.  Even if it means a few do-overs.

Here's to Being All In,


Monday, July 28, 2014

Day 1 And So It Begins...

Welcome to Day 1 of the Journey.  

And so it begins... 365 days of writing, marketing and e-publishing.  You might be asking...what's the point? Believe me, I've asked myself the very same question.  I've been toying around with the idea about doing this for weeks now.  Truthfully I'm scared about the work, the daily commitment, and about keeping it real. 
And yet here I am - ready to jump in.

And as for the reason why...well, I want to challenge myself in a BIG way. You see, while I've written and e-published four books over the past two years with some modest success, it's time to kick things up a notch in both my writing and marketing efforts.  

Bottom line?  

I want more.  More books...more buzz...more reach...more sales. 

So here's the plan - I write, edit, market, e-publish and execute.  EVERY SINGLE DAY 

And this part of my blog will become a record of it all. 

I want to focus on what's working -  what's generating more sales...what's helping me write better or faster -and get rid of what's not.  Aside from my writing, I work full time and with a husband, three kids and a dog, life is crazy.  Suffice to say there's not a lot of downtime in my days.  So when it comes to my writing and marketing, what I do has to help me not only work smarter, but also execute great results.

No doubt they'll be some lessons learned (both good and bad) and I hope you'll share them with me.

I'm in.  All in...Maybe you want to be too?  I hope so.  Let's get moving....  

Starting with five goals for the week.

Here are mine...
  • Finish writing and polishing two scenes in my latest book Never Let Me Go.
  • Complete an edit review of one of my previous books - Deadly Shadows - more on that this week
  • Brainstorm marketing ideas
  • Set up a weekly marketing schedule 
  • Write and polish a new blog post for Synchronicity

And finally...

Today's Take Away Lesson...

Writing, publishing and marketing your book can be a long journey, but you have to take the first step.  The best time to start was yesterday.  The next best time is NOW.

Here's to Being All In,