Writing

A Cowboy Christmas Wedding-Available Now!

The day is here! You can now order A Cowboy Christmas Wedding!

My new novel, A Cowboy Christmas Wedding is now available on both Amazon and Barnes and Nobel.


A contemporary, sweet, holiday romance that will warm your heart and leave you believing in the magic of Christmas and love.

Isabella Davis is a successful, independent woman. She is the top selling real estate broker at her firm, and she just closed on the biggest deal of her life. While out celebrating, Isabella runs into the man who shattered her heart three years before. Kurt had left her for a job in New York, and she hadn’t been able to get over him. When her childhood best friend Olivia calls to announce she is engaged and getting married on Christmas Eve, Isabella agrees to be maid-of-honor and escapes back home to the snowy mountains of Colorado. Happy to be away from Kurt, Isabella reminds herself that love is not worth the pain. Then she meets Dirk, the rugged, sharp-eyed cowboy who is allowing Olivia and her fiance to use his barn for their wedding ceremony. He appears cold, but as the days go by, Isabella sees the ice melt away and finds herself attracted to him. Could it just be her silly heart, or does he want her too?

Order now on:
Amazon Kindle:

Amazon Paperback:

Writing

Giveaway!

****Giveaway Alert!*****

Hello everyone! I have a new book coming out on Thursday. It is a Sweet, Holiday Romance called A Cowboy Christmas Wedding. If you would like a chance to receive a signed copy, please subscribe to my email list!

A lucky winner will be chosen to receive a free, signed copy of my new book! To enter, click here and join my mailing list.

A contemporary, sweet, holiday romance that will warm your heart and leave you believing in the magic of Christmas and love.

Isabella Davis is a successful, independent woman. She is the top selling real estate broker at her firm, and she just closed on the biggest deal of her life. While out celebrating, Isabella runs into the man who shattered her heart three years before. Kurt had left her for a job in New York, and she hadn’t been able to get over him. When her childhood best friend Olivia calls to announce she is engaged and getting married on Christmas Eve, Isabella agrees to be maid-of-honor and escapes back home to the snowy mountains of Colorado. Happy to be away from Kurt, Isabella reminds herself that love is not worth the pain. Then she meets Dirk, the rugged, sharp-eyed cowboy who is allowing Olivia and her fiance to use his barn for their wedding ceremony. He appears cold, but as the days go by, Isabella sees the ice melt away and finds herself attracted to him. Could it just be her silly heart, or does he want her too?

Uncategorized, Writing

A little paranormal influence and Authortube.

Recently I’ve been thinking about ways to expand my marketing and one site that keeps coming up over and over is YouTube.

YouTube has been mentioned in my marketing/self publishing book collection several times, but I was hesitant. Mostly because the thought of filming myself had always been a little off-putting.

But, with the pandemic, I had to get over that for my job and started filming videos of myself for my students. Then, on Halloween while watching Ghost Nation and eating pizza, Kris suggested we go on a ghost hunt of our own to a hotel in Colorado. No, not the Stanley. This one is called the Black Monarch and is in Victor, Colorado. It has been advertising that is haunted, and I have been dying to go since I read about it months ago.

Spock proofing this post for me. He said he wasn’t very impressed.

Now we are going, and Kris, true to his nature, has purchased several pieces of “ghost hunting” equipment, including a EMF gauge, a REM pod, digital recorder, and infrared camera. Kris also suggested that we finally go through with my YouTube Channel and create a section on my page so people can see where I get my inspiration. I didn’t know if that was a thing. Another reason I didn’t want to do a channel was most of the videos seem to be advice for writers/authors. I don’t have enough experience to be giving advice. I also didn’t want to only post videos about ghost hunting and paranormal. I do love that but I have really enjoyed writing a romance and will probably try that again very soon.

The last few days in-between fights with GIMP, the software I am using to create my cover, and trying to write the next in the Deadly Ghost Stories, I did some research and found there is a special place on YouTube for authors. Perhaps you knew this, but I did not. It is called AuthorTube. There are a lot of authors on there, all trying to help each other out in this crazy publishing world. In my research, I found that I could do whatever I want on my channel. Will it get views? Who knows!

So, I will start an Authortube channel in the coming weeks. It will have what works for me as an author along with where I get my inspiration for the books I write, how I write when we travel, how I write with a full-time job. Basically, it will be an extension of this platform. I will be sure to post a link for my channel on here along with links to the videos I do.

Writing

Genre Swapping. Can readers handle it?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

One of the very first pieces of advice I read when I embarked on the self publishing journey just under a year ago was to stick with one genre for at least three books. It seemed like sound advice. Until I thought it might be fun to write a different genre. (Which it was.)

This summer, around July, I found myself bored. I had just finished Three Finger Jack and had stuck it in a drawer for it’s required two weeks of stewing. Not really sure where I would go next in that series, I sat down at the computer and began writing a romance. Not sure why, but light-hearted and hopeful in the time of Covid seemed like a good plan.

Now my Cowboy Christmas Romance is almost ready to be released, and I am thinking about that advice. I only have two Paranormal fiction novels out. The big fancy writers claim that my readers would be upset or angry if they picked up another novel of mine, and it wasn’t the same thing.

Well, here’ s my dilemma. Readers aren’t that stupid, are they? And do all readers other than myself really stick to one genre? I mean, I love a good ghost story. But I read light romance before bed. I listen to mysteries in the car. I devour nonfiction on Saturday mornings while Kris is sleeping in.

I would be an angry reader if I picked up a third book in a series and discovered a genre change. But if the author I liked explored a new genre, in a separate series or new standalone, I wouldn’t be upset or confused. I might be excited to read the genre knowing I enjoyed that author’s previous work.

I am working on the second in the Deadly Ghost Stories series. It won’t be ready until sometime early next year. Will I turn off my readership, which is relatively low, by publishing a Holiday Romance? Or will I find new readers, who, like me, enjoy reading more than one genre?

Writing

New Book!

Hello everyone! It has been a while!

Life here has gotten a little crazy. I went through some personal things that I would rather not share right now. But I promise to be back and more active from now on.

I am excited to announce the release of my second book, Three Finger Jack. This is the start of a series entitled Deadly Ghost Stories.

Cover Design by: Miss Nat Mack

“Dear Reader,

Congratulations on finding this one of a kind, life-changing book. Before you venture to read any of the following stories, I am compelled to warn you. The tales you are going to read are of a most gruesome and sinister nature. All are based on people who are no longer living but are still with us. If you do read a story, be prepared for consequences. You’ve been warned.”

When April and Steve head off to the mountains to enjoy a weekend of skiing and hot tubbing, neither of them expects anything dire to happen. April is excited to experience a true high school party weekend while Steve plans to finally make April see him as something other than the boy next door.

When a member of the group shares a one of a kind book of ghost stories, the group gathers to read the story of Three Finger Jack, brushing the warning off as a scare tactic to encourage reading. The next morning, the teens wake to find one of their own hanging by her ankles with her throat cut in the garage. Snowed in, alone and being hunted, the teens’ weekend of fun turns deadly.

Order your copy here!  

I was inspired to write this book from a ghost story I remember hearing on a over night field trip I took in 5th grade. I remember sitting around the fire with the other girls in my class, thinking it was so cheesy of our teacher to hold the light under his face like that. I also remember not sleeping. Not because of the story, but because the little cabin we were in was cold. Every time I sit around a campfire, I would hear that story in my head. Of course, it had to work its way out onto the page. The cold. the story and the memory.

I hope you enjoy this work!

Writing

Cover Reveal!

I have reached the point of no return. I have submitted my manuscript to the reviewers. I’ve uploaded and created my eBook and paperback to Amazon. I began recording the audiobook.

The release date for The Haunting of Locker 31 is July 3rd.

I am so nervous and excited all at the same time.

Below is my beautiful cover. Designed by Miss Nat Mack.

So far in my self publishing journey, I have learned 3 very important things.

1: Writing the story is the easy part. Even when it doesn’t feel like it.

2: Hire an editor. (And your mom/dad/friend/partner does not count. Get a pro)

3: Hire a cover designer.

Looking back over the last several months, I probably would have told you that a cover designer was not needed. But look at that cover! I could never have done that and I’ve seen plenty of the Amazon self design covers to know I would never have come close to creating that.

I hired my editor and cover designer on Reedsy.com. The experience was painless and I could find reliable professionals for a fair price. I didn’t have to buy anything more than I wanted. If you haven’t already, I would check them out.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

I will be happy if some people read it and enjoy it. I would be thrilled if they then buy my next book.

If you are interested, you can pre-order the eBook at here. If you want to know more about my Reedsy experience, stay tuned for next week’s post.

Writing

Reviews! How am I going to get them?

Ah marketing. We meet again.

person holding white and brown newspaper
Photo by Ekrulila on Pexels.com

Over the past few weeks, I have turned my attention back to marketing. I realize that there is no actual way of knowing what will work until I do it. While on Reedsy, I found they have a program called Discovery. You can pay to have a reviewer give you a review. Then, if they like it, it will be included in their newsletter for readers. You can have it up-voted and other things that I don’t really understand right now.

I figured for $50, I could try it. The website told me to set my launch date for 5 weeks from submission. Giving the reviewers time to review, and for it to appear in their newsletter. When you submit, they ask you to upload your cover, your first chapter and then the rest of the novel for the reviewer to read if it is selected. Throughout the process, the website reminds you that this is a gamble, someone may not want to read your book.

 

I submitted my book last Tuesday. I was excited, but I expected that a nobody like me would get a reviewer quickly. If at all.

A reviewer had selected to read it the next morning. Less than 24 hours. I squealed and jumped up and down like a child. Maggie was less than impressed, but Asta celebrated with me.

photo of a woman holding an ipad
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

I haven’t heard back yet. But that’s okay. But my beautiful cover did its job. It caught someone’s eye. My first chapter must have been intriguing enough to make someone wants to keep reading.

My second option for reviews was on a website called Reader’s Favorite. (I keep typing in Reader’s Choice. Not the same thing.) Their process was similar. You have more options here though. There was a free option but it could take up to 3 months. Then you could pay $59 for a review in two weeks, and the prices go up from there for up to 5 reviews. This website also has an email list that you can sign up for to get book recommendations.

I elected to do the free one to try it out. Perhaps for the next novel, I will do the paid. I just uploaded it and have not heard a word.

How many of you let reviews influence your choice in your reading? What I like to read is drastically different from other people. Most of my friends can’t get enough of the Outlander series. I had to put it down. Not my type of story. Most of my friends think I am insane because I love to reread The Shining every year around Halloween.

I don’t look at the reviews. I mean, in the store, you can’t. And on Amazon, I have Kindle Unlimited. I have the luxury of picking up and book and returning it half finished it I didn’t like it.

But since learning about the importance of reviews, I have been leaving mine on the books I read. I just recently left my first critical review. An example of why it is hard for us self-publishers to be taken seriously.

I’ll update once I hear back on my reviews. Until then, be kind. Leave your last read a review. They will love you for it. 

Writing

Oh Marketing, I don’t understand you.

Marketing. 

In college, I heard people tell me they were taking marketing classes, and I did not understand what that meant. I assumed that it was an easy class as it was a business major who usually was telling me this. 

Now I know, not an easy class. 

I’ve read several books on marketing, listened to some podcasts and watched some YouTube videos. 

I still have no idea what I am doing. 

I know that if I want to be successful; I need a marketing plan, but everything I watch is so contradictory. One person says to blog, another person says don’t waste your time. Another person says Amazon is the only way to go. Another person claims Amazon is the worst. 

I am feeling so overwhelmed I want to scream. 

How, as a new author, am I supposed to figure this out? I don’t want to invest more money than I have to. I also understand that I will need to put some money towards marketing. I’ve started looking into some companies that can do this for me. Some of their prices seem too good to be true, and others are more expensive than editing. 

I just want to sell my book, make a little money, and feel like I accomplished at least one of my lifelong dreams. 

Right now, that seems too far away to be achievable. 

Book is still being edited. The world is on lockdown because of a virus. It is snowing again. 

Marketing. Not a fan.

Writing

Down the rabbit hole, learning about publishing a book….

Yikes! My wife wants to be a writer; I enjoy goofing off (It’s no secret). Anyway, the original plan was she writes and I learn how to do audio books, maybe hers one day. I built a room in our basement, gathered the required gear. Sitting down at my computer, scrolling through endless books, I had an epiphany. Not to offend anyone but 50% of the auditions I clicked on were unreadable. Poor grammar, run-on sentences, unedited. I couldn’t  attempt to read some of this stuff. So I threw in the towel and told the wife I will try to write. She rolled her eyes and laughed at me…

As someone who is all in on everything I do, I started the research on publishing. “Uh, what?” I kept saying to myself. From the start I envisioned writing a book, trying to send it to an agent or editor then a traditional publishing company. They don’t market it for you? Really? That can’t be!  Three hours of research later and my wife’s constant “I told you so” I accepted the truth. You must market your own book.

Do you need an editor?  Uh, how do I acquire one of those? Well, you send your manuscript around and if it’s any good someone will edit for you. If it stinks? Well, maybe you need more self editing.

What is a graphic artist and why do I need one? I can use GIMP. Do you want to sell any books? I hadn’t even stumbled upon all the marketing research yet.  How could I have been so blind? 

When I started my wife failed to mention writing the manuscript was only a ¼ of the work. These “authors” are dedicated. I poke fun but seriously, it is a monstrous undertaking. A daunting task of writing, researching and learning everything you can about the craft before publishing your first book. In a later blog maybe I can give some pointers.  I am still learning and digesting all the information out there.

I’m currently at 13,000 words and going strong. My goal of 18,500 by Sunday night looks achievable. I have high hopes of it being readable. If not, we have a shredder.