An Author’s Sweet Treat

There is an amazing bakery in my town that I visit every Saturday. I walk in and study the case of goodies. The fascinating thing is that each week the desserts change. Different cakes, and cupcakes, and cookies grace the counter.

And I walk back and forth and ask about the different treats to see which one will be coming home with me this week. Some have an ooey-gooey center, some a crunchy outside, some a surprising mix of flavors.

I only buy one. I can justify one treat a week, especially when next week will be a chance for something new and exciting.

I think that the sweet treats at the bakery are similar to a good story. Each book I pick up offers a new world and characters for me to fall in love/hate with. Is there something ooey-gooey for my heart to enjoy, or a a new twist (flavor) to a plot for my curious mind?

If the story is good it’s a treat to savor. And unlike the bakery, I can’t stop with just one!

Series Cover Reveal

Hello! If you’ve been following along with my blogs over the past few weeks, I’ve been talking about the new covers for my Mind Sweeper Series. We’ve talked about the WHY and the WHO on this re-cover journey. This week’s cover journey is all about the WHEN. When are you going to see the new versions of my covers for my series?

Answer: Today!

I spent last week (with the help of my wonderful book formatter) uploading all the new covers to the retailers so that these beauties are now available and also are on my website as well! Check them out and tell me what you think…

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I think my cover artist Melissa from The Illustrated Author is AMAZINGLY TALENTED. And yes, I am plugging her name and company to you before you ask me who I worked with (because you were going to ask me who I worked with…)

Plus,in celebration of the new covers, I’ve bundled the three Flashback (prequel) Stories for my Mind Sweeper Series, so if you don’t already own them, you can get them in this amazingly beautiful box set.

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3d Boxset

So there you have it! Next week, we’ll spend some time talking about the actual process of creating a cover – dig a little deeper, into the creativity of it 🙂

The Journey Continues with Who…

Thanks for joining me on this journey of redesigning my covers for my Mind Sweeper Series. Last week we talking about WHY and this week we’re going to talk about WHO. Who is an important question on several levels.

First – who do I want to partner with to create the covers. I have learned in this business to play to your strengths and while I think I have a good visual eye, that doesn’t mean I can actually create the cover myself. For that I need an expert. I turned to my cover artist that created my cartoon (or vector) covers for my Wedding Planner Series. She was more than happy to help me come up with a new vision for my Mind Sweeper Series as well.

And so I filled out a questionnaire for her about the first book. The questionnaire asked about the important characters in the book, as well as the setting and the plot summary. She asked about important symbols or emotions to convey on the cover. And a host of other questions, and then the process began. It was time to pick out the second WHO – the characters on the covers.

As you can see, my cover artist hit it out of the ballpark on the first swing when it came to Kyle, my heroine of the Mind Sweeper series. This is a hint at cover number one. Hopefully all of the covers will be available on the retailer sites by next week at the latest, but I couldn’t wait anymore to share one of the covers with you.

So what do you think?

 

Cover This

This spring I will be releasing new covers for my Mind Sweeper Series. Why, you ask? As much as I love the original covers, it’s time for a face lift – taking the brand and dialing it up a notch.

Covers are a vital part of a writer’s book (and brand) – it entices readers to click on your cover, read the blurb, AND hopefully buy your book.

For many authors, changing covers has become a part of their normal marketing process. And yes, authors are also marketers as well. We have to be. In 2017, over 1 million books were self-published and that doesn’t count the books traditionally published. I’m sure that number increased for 2018.

So authors have to find ways to get noticed in the ginormous crowd. Covers, blurbs and other marketing techniques to find readers are something we have to take seriously as part of our writing business.

Over the next couple weeks, I’ll share my new cover journey with you and some of the thought behind where I started and where my cover artist and I ended up.

Come along for the ride – it should be interesting!

Release Day: Demons Will Be Demons

Hallelujah, my friends! The day has come where Misha’s story heads out into the world. Today is the release day for DEMONS WILL BE DEMONS!

Misha and I want to welcome you to our celebration. It includes food (for Misha), tiaras (for me) and bubbly (for both us)!

Those of you who have been along for the new release day celebrations in the past know that I take a tiara pick to celebrate my kickbutt writer princess status. And since I can’t disappoint my readers, I have attached the pic!

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In addition to my tiara pic, I spent this past weekend at a writer’s conference where two of my dearest writer friends – Sonali Dev and Miranda Liasson – agreed to celebrate in true tiara style. Check us out below!

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Miranda insisted on holding Misha, since he is one of her book boyfriends! But all three of the brothers insisted in being in the picture!

I hope you are as excited as I am about the release. Feel free to crack open a bottle of bubbly and join the celebration with us!!

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Dream a Little Dream

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a dreamer. I can’t remember a time where my imagination didn’t have me hatching stories in my head. It started as a child, reading stories and imagining what other things could happen to the characters. Then as I grew it morphed into TV shows and movies. I often wonder “what if”. What if the 90 minute movie continued on? What if the main character in my favorite show did this instead of what happened in the episode I just watched?

A lot of people are dreamers, what makes me different is that I’ve decided to write them down. Take the imagination that is churning most of the time in my head and give it a healthy outlet through my stories and characters. Characters that at certain moments I actually hear in my head.

Right now, with writing in Misha’s world, I am hearing a lot of Russian accents and belly laughs. In the very least my imagination provides comic relief.

There’s something necessary about dreaming of worlds were good defeats evil and love triumphs. Why not share those dreams with others?

Yep, I’m a dreamer. And I don’t think that will change anytime soon.

Thawing Out

Over the past few weeks I (and many of you as well) have been living in what I like to call Frozen-ville. And while there are no quirky singing sisters or a comedic snowman in my current land, there has been a lot of snow, and ice, and single-digit temperatures.

So I thought it appropriate that last week, as I was writing my newest novel, that I got stuck. I basically decided I was not going in the right direction with my story and that caused me to freeze in my tracks (pun intended). I spent a couple days trying to rework my plot to see where I needed to go and with the rework, the story came to a standstill.

This weekend, the weather changed and with the rising temperatures the snow and ice melted away. And luckily, the thawing of the snow corresponded with the thawing in my brain and I started to write again.

Writing is never easy. It can be fun, and exciting, and sad, and painful, but it ebbs and flows, or freezes at the worst of times.

Now I am enjoying the thaw while I can. A glimpse of what spring will look like in a couple months, but a welcome respite before the cold sneaks back again. Hopefully, I can keep my brain thawed, and the story flowing, even when the snow starts to fly again outside my window.

How this Writer Reboots

Today while I was working on my laptop, I received a message that my computer needed an update. And as I watched the green bar move slowly across the screen signaling the percentage of completion for the update, I wondered how we (humans) can do an update to our own operating system?

Is it when we exercise and we work our heart, lungs, and other muscles? Or maybe it’s when we sleep and we reboot our brains.

For me, coming up with story ideas is often my system reboot. It’s something to look forward to and create new characters and plots that I haven’t dealt with before. I just have to make sure that these ideas don’t derail the current work I am attempting to finish.

Let’s be honest. Ideas are the exciting part of writing. They can come to you in a flash and provide a burst of adrenaline. But then the hard part is taking those ideas and fleshing them out. Attaching words upon words to bring that idea to life for readers to delve into.

So no matter how we update our own human operating systems, the point is that we keep doing it. Keep those ideas flowing and hearts pumping so that we don’t grow obsolete in a world that is constantly evolving.

 

Making a List AFTER Christmas

Sorry this is a day late, my followers, but I just got home from celebrating Christmas with my family and I figured that you would forgive me for posting this a day late. I hope that everyone is having a good holiday season.

We know that Santa makes a list and checks it twice. But for me, the week between Christmas and New Year’s is a time for list making. I reflect on what I accomplished this year and what I want to accomplish in the next. I go through my house and clean at the same time, throwing or donating things I no longer need to streamline my life. Sometimes I wish that I could “declutter” my brain as easily. But I’m not alone in that sentiment 🙂

So let’s get to reflecting on accomplishments, shall we?

I created an advance reader team for both my Mind Sweeper and Paranormal Wedding Planner series. I created newsletter automation so that all of you wonderful readers who sign up for my newsletter, hear a little bit about me. I also created some wonderful “freebies” available to my subscribers as well.

Mind Sweeper has been free for a while now on the major book retailers. I hope that entices people who don’t know me to give my books a try.

I gave my website, not one, but two face lifts this year. I think the newest version is going to stick for a while!

I worked with a new cover artist to come up with ROCKIN’ new covers for my paranormal wedding planner series.

I also worked on some new advertising avenues this year as well as giveaways that brought in new readers.

I attended two writing conventions and also spoke at a of couple events.

Oh yeah, let’s not forget that I published three flashback (prequel) stories for my Mind Sweeper series and released the 3rd book in my Paranormal Wedding Planner series in November. I’ve also been working on a new Mind Sweeper book that centers around Misha (Ha!).

Wow, I guess when I list it out like that I’ve been a little busy, right? Sometimes, we have to take stock of our accomplishments to motivate us for the upcoming year…

Thanks for helping me accomplish all of this in 2017. If it wasn’t for my readers, none of this list would mean much.

Thanks for helping me  – now on to next year!

 

TO HAVE AND TO HOWL Release Day!

Yay!!! It is finally here. TO HAVE AND TO HOWL is heading out into the world. I am so excited to share the next book in this fun series with you.

The book has some twists and turns in it, which made it fun to write. Julia is an amazing heroine because she is trying to allow her heart to open again to the possibility of love. And Jack, well he is a great hero. I usually have a crush on all the heroes I write, but there is something special about Jack. And of course, his twin Connor plays a huge role in this book too. The brothers may look alike, but boy, do they have different personalities!

As usual, I am spending time celebrating my newest release as a kickbutt writer princess should – with my tiara securely perched on my head! Here is my newest release day pick…but I have to warn you that this is what happens when you have cats and you try to take a selfie!!

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