Thursday, May 2, 2019

A Reader Found a Typo, Sort of...

I received an email the other day from a reader who alerted me to the fact that I might have misused a word. I always like to get feedback from my readers. But I was sure I had used the right word. I googled it right away and learned something new.

Cannelloni is a pasta.

Cannellini is a bean.

The reader was right, I had mentioned dried beans, such as cannelloni. It should have been cannellini with an i. That's the sort of thing that drives me crazy when I find them in other people's books, so I appreciate her reaching out to me.

I'm not sure if I ever knew that there was a pasta with such a similar name. Now I do.

The next time I redo the back matter, or make any other adjustments to that book, I will be sure to correct the spelling.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Lethal Seasons for 99c and Book #13

First the fun part.

The first book of A Changed World series - Lethal Seasons - is 99c Now through April 23rd. To grab a copy Click Here.

Now the hard part. Book 13 is being a problem.

I didn't realize it was number thirteen until recently. Maybe that's why it is taking so long. That dreaded number - 13.

I think part of it is new characters that need more introducing. And although it is a world I already introduced, it is a different country and needs a lot of setting.

And this character is a bit odd. I've had him in my head for awhile, but I only figured out his special skill when I started writing the story over the winter. And I have learned a lot about him on the journey. I'm so close to the end, but I just can't see the perfect place to stop.

Another part of it is a bit of fatigue, I think. All last year I pushed myself to write every day. I managed to put out three books. And I was very proud of myself. But I can't seem to stick to that schedule this year. Life, health, relatives, pets...all important things, needed my attention.

So I am giving myself a pass on the year's goals. I had planned to publish this month but I'm still working on the rough draft. It's crazy to push out a badly written book just to reach a self-imposed deadline. It'll come out when it is done and polished and I am proud to put my name on it.

Whew. Now I need to get back to those relatives and cats...

Thursday, April 4, 2019

I Got Another Bookbub!

Woohoo! I feel like I won the lottery.

Bookbub is a curated newsletter of free and discounted books separated by genre. It is one of the most powerful selling tools for a writer. However, since it is curated, sometimes it is hard to get a slot.

I applied today and said I would take any date. They came right back with an approval! For April 21st!

I'm doing the Happy Dance all over the house.

This comes at a really good time for me. I'm still working on the book I started months ago, and I was feeling bad about how long this is taking. New releases are important for sales. I was pressuring myself to do some more aggressive marketing. And ugh...I was stressing myself out.

At the same time, sales for Lethal Seasons have coasted downhill. It's still selling, with the occasional spike for no apparent reason, but the general direction is down. It needed a good shove back into the limelight.

And I got it!

Excuse me while I take my Happy Dance out into the yard.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Kitty Time

Two kitties at the windows in the new office. I put a bird feeder outside the window and it keeps the cats busy for hours.

Mallory likes to play whack-a-mole with the birds that come to the window feeder. The birds have learned that she can't get to them.

Watching the squirrel can be so exhausting! Rascal had to lie down, but is keeping an eye on him.

Must be dinner time, because we are all here!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Unintended Consequences only 99c

A serial killer stalks a cat burglar...

If suspense is your cup of tea, give this a try for 99c. Discounted through March 16th.

The Unintended Consequences ebook is available all over. Click HERE to pick a retailer.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

End of the Reading Slump

I finally picked up a book again. I don't know what causes my reading slumps, but they occur from time to time. I don't think I've read a book for months. And I have a pile waiting on the Kindle, so it isn't for a lack of material.

I started with a book that I've been meaning to read for awhile. Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed. I finished it, mostly just to see where it was going. There wasn't enough conflict. The characters enter difficult situations and the problems unravel much too easily. But I was curious enough about where it was heading, so I got book 2, which was a mistake.

Along with a lack of conflict, book 2 veers off into romance. There was much too much pining for my taste. And a total clash with the straight up epic fantasy of the first book. Needless to say, I will not be reading book 3.

The main problem here is the contradiction of reader expectations. When I pick up a book billed as epic fantasy, I'm looking for certain things like good world building, non-human species, maybe some magic, a journey, possibly a quest. I think most readers would agree that subsequent books in the series should remain consistent in those elements. A little romance thrown in as a subplot is fine as long as it doesn't hijack the story.

Mashing genres together can be fun. I like Alex Bledsoe's Eddie LaCrosse series that is medieval noir. He's a sword-toting gumshoe on horseback. But that's in the blurb and I was ready for it. It also remains consistent book to book.

There's lots of fantasy-romance in all the subgenres. That just isn't my cup of tea. Neither are military sci-fi or zombie books. It's not even apples and oranges, because they're both fruit and really can be substituted one for the other. It's more like apples and octopus. Some people love it, some don't. So don't offer them an apple and then serve up octopus.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

White Lies only 99c

For a limited time, today through Monday, White Lies is on sale for 99c.

If you haven't tried that series, now's a good time to take a chance. It's a traditional murder mystery set in Los Angeles with a down and out actor as the amateur sleuth. Click HERE to choose a retailer.

I have finally finished messing about with the family history and gotten back to proper writing. Even though allergy season is in full swing for me, my brain isn't half as foggy as it has been. I'll credit that to being more careful with my diet. Or maybe it's that fact that it's been raining for two weeks straight...

The next big hurdle for me is getting Lethal Seasons into audio. So many things have changed since I first stuck my toe in the audio book pool. I've been reading up on what I need to do and how much this might ultimately cost me. I want to go into this more knowledgeable than I was with the first two.

I can't blame the lack of audio sales on anyone but myself. Both books, White Lies and Unintended Consequences suffered from my lack of experience in marketing. They stumbled coming out of the gate and haven't really recovered. I'm working on that. As you can see from the sale going on right now. I'm not quite ready to plunge, but pretty soon.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Time for Kitties

I don't have a lot to say today, so I thought I would share some of the latest kitty photos.

Bertie napping

Rascal and Mallory waiting for a treat

Mallory checking out the new bird feeder outside the office

Rascal wanted to run some numbers

Bertie playing jungle kitty.

Stay warm and play hard!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

That Genealogical Black Hole

It sucked me in again. I unraveled an especially tight knot and couldn't stop digging...sorry for the mixed metaphors. I think I found a crack in my genealogical brick wall. I'm still looking for some kind of corroboration to my theory, but I have high hopes.

I think I have figured out that brain fog makes me lean toward the research. To be honest, a lot of it is insanely tedious. Like plowing through pages of horrible handwritten lists of baptisms from the 1800's. In Latin. With creative spelling. And when my brain isn't firing on all burners, that's something I can do without thinking very hard. (Although it is very hard on the eyes.)

For some reason, I am especially susceptible to sinus infections in the winter. Maybe it's the dry air from the hot-air heat. And as I slowly sink into brain fog, that great time-sink of research drags me back in. I lose hours...sometimes whole days to skimming through newspapers from the 1880's or searching online for an image of a city a hundred years ago. Sigh.

So I'm a bit behind on the writing. And in consolation, I will leave you with a warning...

Don't leave your kitty in the sun too long...they melt.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Planning for 2019

I'm excited about starting a new year. I don't really believe in resolutions, but I do believe in goals. What's the difference? Intent.

In my mind, people set resolutions to try to change some sort of behavior. They resolve to lose weight, get fit, stop drinking, do their chores... Those are all good things, but a resolution feels more like a punishment. I must stop eating chocolate. Like that's ever going to happen.

Goals are something you aim for. A healthier lifestyle is a great goal, but it doesn't include giving up chocolate. My choice is for good quality chocolate in small doses that I can savor. So it's a change. A step in the right direction, but it isn't a punishment.

Staying healthy is a goal I have every year, so that's a given.

Sticking to my writing schedule is a fairly new goal, but one I hope to achieve this year. Even though I'm already a little behind because of a side project.

Now the harder one - learning new things about marketing. I've finally accepted the fact that marketing is required for one's business to succeed. However, I've also realized that my brain doesn't really work that way, so I need to figure out some habits or routines to make that work. I set up a schedule for 2019 and we'll see if sticking to it actually works. The industry is constantly changing, so I need to stay flexible.

I might even try poking around in social media again. The first time I did it, my attempts were luke warm and scattershot. I know I need a plan, so that will need to come before I start wildly posting cat photos across the internet again.

So that's my plan. We'll see how it goes.