Monday, December 28, 2015

Looking Ahead to 2016

Hey All! 

In case you don't subscribe to my newsletter, here's what the publishing schedule looks like for 2016:

Winter - In Deep Wish: Mayweather Genies Book 2 (currently with the editor, cover being created) - March release

Spring - Fertile Ground: SCIU Book 2 (currently pre-editing*) - May release

Summer - Up Wish Creek: Mayweather Genies Book 3 (written, waiting its turn in the editing phase) - August release

Fall - Natural Causes: Dennis Haggarty Book 2 (partially written) - November release

This may change a little, but I'm pretty sure that's how it'll turn out.  If I had more money and more time (and I wanted to beat my editor like a rented mule), I'd put out more books. 

Currently, there are no plans to make a series out of BloodFlow, but that could change, too.  I would like to publish one of my dystopian novels at some point, but the time and money thing has me wondering when I'll ever fit that in.

I love publishing books.  I love that my readers have asked when the next book is coming out.  I wish I could give everyone the timeframes they want.  But like Jo always says 'wishes don't work that way'.  I hope this schedule works for the majority of readers. 

Thanks for sticking with me this year.  Thanks for all your support and for your purchases.  Here's hoping we're all pleased with the way 2016 turns out.  

*pre-editing consists of me sitting with my Kindle, reading it through and making notes of things that need changing.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

I hope you're all having a wonderful Christmas morning and that you got everything you wanted from Santa.

To help in that endeavor, I decided to make all my books 99 cents each. From tomorrow through New Year's Eve.  Yep, every single one.  If Santa brought you a new Kindle, or an Amazon gift card, or you got them for someone else, now's the best time to pick up a copy of any of the four - Dying Embers, Accidental Death, BloodFlow, or Wish in One Hand.  Or if you've been given a Nook or some other ereader, and don't want to use the Kindle app, Wish in One Hand is also available through Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or Apple.

(This special pricing on DE, AD, and BF is for US and UK residents both.  Sorry about everyone else, but Amazon only lets me do so much. WIOH should be low-priced everywhere.)

Oh, and if you're a Kindle Unlimited Subscriber,  Dying Embers, Accidental Death, and BloodFlow are available for you to read with your subscription.

So, enjoy today with your family.  Eat lots. Have fun. Read tomorrow while you're recovering.  ;o)

Merry Christmas, Everyone.  (Even if you don't celebrate, I wish you the merriest of days.  Because, hey, who doesn't want to have a merry day?)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Sales Goal Giveaway

Sitting here this morning trying to figure out how to word this giveaway so people don't get the wrong impression...

1000 Books Giveaway?  Umm, not giving away 1000 books. No way, no how.
1K Giveaway? Umm, not giving away 1K of anything. 
Sales Goal Giveaway.  May not be exciting sounding but at least it's accurate. 

I reached a sales goal I didn't know I would have at the beginning of the year.  As of this morning, people paid for 1000 of my books - in one form or another. 

795 ebooks
183 KU books
22 hardcopy books

And so I thought a giveaway would be a good idea.  Soooo, comment on this post before the end of the year (11:59pm CST on 12/31/15 - which is the end of my year) and you'll be entered to win a hardcopy of any one of my books - if you live in the US.  If you're outside the US and I draw your name, you'll win a PDF copy of any one of my books and I'll mail you a postcard from that book. 

That's about as equitable as I can make it.  I lurve all my fans worldwide, but shipping rates are killer for non-US bound packages. And Amazon won't let me buy ebooks for other countries.

So come celebrate with me.  Leave a comment.  Tell your friends.  Have friends leave a comment. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Because It's Christmas Week

Because it's the days leading up to Christmas, I'm going to take a break from talking about work - which means no informational posts, no marketing posts, and no mayhem posts.  Just quiet enjoyment of life in general. 

I will say to look for a special post on Christmas that will be kinda markety, but fun.  (At least, I think it'll be fun.  But I'm not a typical person, so your mileage may vary.)

Today, tell me something you have that you would want under your tree if you didn't already have it.  For me, last year, my husband gave me the gift of supporting me in my decision to self-publish.  He's giving it to me again this year.  Yay.  But if I didn't have that gift, I sure would be happy to see it under the tree.  With a pretty bow.

How about you?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

One Track Mind

Yeah, I know when people say someone has a 'one track mind', they usually mean the person is thinking about sex.  That ain't this. 

I have a one track mind right now.  It's books.  All books all the time.  Writing, editing, cover art, marketing.  It probably makes me pretty boring to some.  But I can't help it.  I don't really do anything else.  Unless you want to hear about my trip to the grocery store or what I saw in the woods today.  I'd talk about what I'm reading, but right now, I'm reading my own book because I'm editing. 

Yeah, 'cleat-covered shoes' ain't really a thing.

But you see, to me, all of this is interesting and exciting.  I sat down with my Kindle last night.  And a notebook.  And a red pen.  I dove into Fertile Ground.  And I saw how much I I believe in this book and, while it needs work, I can make this something awesome.  I'm 16% in and I have three pages worth of notes - tweaks and fixes and plot holes to fill and things that need clarification.  But it's GOOD stuff.  Meanwhile, In Deep Wish is with the editor and I got another view of my cover this morning.  (SQUEE!) 

I guess what it boils down to is this: I have a one track mind.  It's books.  Which, for my readers, is a good thing because it means they'll have more books to read as quickly as I (and my budget) can get them out.  For everyone else?  I'll try to come up for air every once in a while and have something else to talk about.  But I can't promise anything.  ;o)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Making the World a Safer Place One Story at a Time

Years ago, a writing acquaintance and I were talking about something or other with regards to writing crime and how other people might view us.  I pointed out that crime writers are probably the safest people in the world to be around.  We get all our violence and frustrations out on the page rather than acting on them in real life. 

Think about it.  We get pissed at someone, we write furiously and end up with a scene where a person gets horribly murdered.  (And if we're really good, the dead person in the book in no way resembles its real life counterpart - except in our minds.)  We don't rush out and kill someone, or even rush out and assault someone.  Fictional people die and the world is a safer place. 

Sure, there have been instances where a writer has gone off the rails and actually committed the crime.  But it's rare.  And I'd venture those whackos weren't very good writers anyway. Or at least not very smart criminals because when the story you wrote mirrors the crime you committed, it's a trail of breadcrumbs that leads the police right to your door.  Duh. 

I know I've managed to put a lot of my frustrations to bed by banging it out on the keyboard.  Sometimes even when I'm not writing a murder scene, just the act of writing keeps me from going postal*.

So, like I said, I figure crime writers - and writers in general - are probably the safest people to be around.  Unless you somehow happen to get in between us and our coffee.  Then all bets are off.  ;o)

*Obviously, it's not the only thing that keeps me from going postal.  There's this thing called knowing right from wrong.  And personality responsibility. And believing in the sanctity of life.  You know, simple stuff murderers forget or ignore.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Goodreads Contest, Etc.

For those of you who don't follow me elsewhere, I had a Goodreads contest start this morning for a paperback copy of BloodFlow.  It's so pretty in paperback form.  All shiny and new.  Well, not shiny, since it has a matte cover.  But it's definitely pet-able. 

452 pages of thrillery goodness.  Signed by me.  Natch.  And although the contest doesn't say so, it'll have a postcard and a bookmark along with it.  (Not mentioned because I didn't have those in hand when I set up the contest.  But I have them now.  Yay.) 

The postcards are basically the cover on one side with the blurb on the other and plenty of space if you want to send it to someone.  The bookmarks highlight all four of my books this time.  Basically, the image is the same as my FB Page header:

With contact info on the back. 

Anyway, that's about it today.  Oh, wait, I did get In Deep Wish to the Awesome Wonderful Editor last night.  So, I've got that going for me.

Thanks for stopping by.  If you're interested in receiving a postcard or a bookmark, say so in the comments and I'll do some kind of drawing.  I'll send out five.  If I get less than five comments, everyone wins.  More than five, I'll draw names out of a hat or something. 

Have a great day!  Me, I'm going to take the day off.  Read something, maybe.  Veg in front of the TV.  I'll still be around the computer, but no workie for me.  (Okay, probably some marketing because I can't help it.) 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Inexpensive Marketing Venues

Hey all.  I just wanted to leave what I hope is a helpful post for writers looking for inexpensive ways to advertise.  And for readers, who might be looking for new places to locate reading material.  These, of course, are my opinions and experiences, and your mileage may vary.

And, of course, verify all this with their sites.  I may have gotten stuff screwed up in my head, so any mistakes in this are entirely mine.

Authors' Billboard - $5 - they accept only .99, free, or new release titles.  You fill out the form and pay before Tuesday and the ad will go in the newsletter for Friday of the following week.  (I assume.  I misread it last week and thought my ad would be in the newsletter following that Tuesday.  Since it wasn't in Friday's newsletter, I'm guessing this coming Friday.  If it's not there, I'll contact the newsletter owner.)  You can submit an ad every thirty days per book.  No data on this one yet.  Seems legit.  Newsletter looks good. Updated 12/18/15: They never put my ad in their newsletter and never replied to either my email or my completion of their contact form.  $5 lesson learned.
Updated 1/5/16: I finally received an email apology.  Due to a glitch in the system somewhere along the way, my payment for an ad never got registered, and therefore, no ad was set up.  They have offered to put an ad up for me.  I'll update again when the ad goes live.
Update 1/5/16:  The problem has been figured out.  If you place an ad and pay the $5 thru Paypal, you have to click OK on the redirect message that warns you about sending data over an unsecured line or whatever.  Once you do that, you get the confirmation email and the ad should show up on the date you selected.  My ad should be live on 1/15/16.  All is forgiven.

ReadCheaply - Free (for now) - they accept only .99 or free titles.  Fill out the form and they'll let you know which date you'll be on.  (Usually, I get first available within my chosen timeframe.)  You get one ad every thirty days - regardless of titles.  With this one, though, they only take blurbs of less than 300 characters (with spaces), so you might have to tighten that up a bit.  I did this one back in October for Dying Embers' .99 countdown and saw no measurable jump in sales.  I did this again last week for Wish in One Hand and saw a nice little jump.  Newsletter looks good.
Updated 1/5/16:  They're count of 30 days is off somewhere. I had an ad on 11/24.  Tried to place another ad on 12/26 and their system wouldn't let me, saying I was within the 30 day timeframe.  Then my KCD deals expired, so I'll have to wait until I have discount books again.

eBook Deals Daily - $5 for each target (i.e. $5 for Kindle, $5 for Nook, $5 for UK) - only accepts .99 or Free titles.  I haven't tried this one yet, but I've got it on my to-do list.  The newsletter, etc. looks fair.  A lot of links, but not many covers.
Updated 1/5/16:  Ran an ad through them for WIOH.  Not sure if I saw any sales from it, but it looked nice.

Omnimystery News - pricing depends on what you want to do (a month long ad is $49, but there are free options, too) - not really caring what price your book is, but it needs to have a suspense, thriller, or mystery element.  I've done cover reveals and book excerpts here (free) and those seem to do okay.  I've also done the $49 thing and haven't seen much uptick.  Newsletter is link heavy, but informative.

Goodkindles - $19.95 or less - doesn't really care about pricing, but obviously needs to be available for Kindle.  For the $19.95 option, I got my book on their site permanently, a listing in their newsletter, and the option to bump my ad to the top after 30 days.  Everything looks good.  Not sure of the sales gain here.

Indie Author News - a lot of options so contact them for their rate sheet.  I did this once, but I can't remember which option I chose.  I think I ended up with a sidebar ad and didn't see any sales from it. 

Every Writer's Resource - $10.  Permanent. They say their ads are free, but then you have to wait for a spot and there's no guarantee.  You pay them $10 and they pay attention. Professional looking full page for your book. Not sure what sales this has brought me, but the listing is there forever, so who knows. 

Kboards - different options for different things (the link goes to their 'bargain book' promo page - $20)  I did the 'book discovery' promotion ($15) twice.  Once for Dying Embers back in February.  Crickets.  And again for Wish in One Hand.  Again with the crickets.  But I have heard Kboards can be an amazing place to advertise.  Not sure why my experiences haven't been amazing.  Maybe you need to be active on the Kboards forum.  Maybe it's not the target market for my books.  :shrug:

Ereader News Today - check out their rate sheet. It's dependent on your genre and the cost of your book.  The books have to be discounted in some way, and they're more favorable to free or .99 books.  I did a Suspense ad for Dying Embers and a Mystery ad for Accidental Death.  Both gained me upwards of 100 sales each, so it was worth the cost.  However, ENT is extremely picky about who gets to advertise with them, and it's not always clear exactly what they want.  Dying Embers had more reviews when they accepted the ad than Accidental Death, but AD only had 3 reviews when they accepted it.  However, I can't beg an ad for Wish in One Hand, which has 5 Amazon reviews.  Even after I changed the cover. So who knows?

There are, of course, way more places to advertise and their pricing varies widely.  If you know of any inexpensive advertising venues, help a fellow indie out and leave a link.  And if I discover any others or find more information about any of the above, I'll let you know.

Good luck.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Wicked Wednesday!

No matter what other things get in the way, the wicked continues.  Today, we have the story of Carl "Charlie" Brandt

In 1971, a 13-yr old Charlie took a gun, shot his father in the back, and slaughtered his mother.  He beat his sister severely, but she escaped.  He spent a year in a psych hospital and for some reason, was released into the custody of his father who promptly moved the kids to Florida. They were never to speak of it again.

Flash forward to 2004.  Charlie and his wife, Teri, lived in the FL keys, but a hurricane was approaching, so Teri's Niece, Michelle, invited them to hunker down at her home in Orlando.  They were only supposed to stay a couple days.  When no one could reach the couple or the niece, a friend was sent over to check on them.  The front door was locked, so she went around to the side.  And through the garage door windows, she saw good ol' Charlie hanging from the rafters with a bed sheet around his neck.

She called police.  Thank goodness for her, she did not go inside.

The police found Teri first.  She'd been stabbed multiple times in the chest.  Further inside the house, they found Michelle.  She'd been stabbed, decapitated and her heart had been cut out.

Every considered Charlie a quiet but quirky man.  They never envisioned the kinds of horrible things he was capable of.  But once they knew what he could do, the authorities looked for other things he might've done.  And they found similar crimes elsewhere.  Apparently, the head cutting off and heart removal thing was his MO.  Twenty-six unsolved murders have been attributed to this one man.

And it all could've been halted with the death of his mother in 1971.  If only someone had been paying attention.  If only someone had realized that a psychotic teen is not going to grow up to be a well-adjusted member of society. 

Indications are Teri, at the very least, knew what her husband had done all those years ago.  Whether she thought she could change him or he convinced her he was 'cured', no one will ever know.  Perhaps the night he came home covered in blood - he claimed to have been 'fishing' - if she had reported him to the police, more women wouldn't have died at his hands. 

There's a registry for sex offenders in the United States.  Why isn't there one for murderers?

Just wondering.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Rambling About Marketing, Paying Back, and Meeting Expectations

I read a couple really interesting posts over at Mad Genius Club over the weekend - Bestsellers, and writing to market and Writer, Market, Reader.  They both go back to the marketing things I've been talking about off and on.  (Seriously, if you're not subscribed to this blog, you're missing stuff.)

Most of the people who stop here are writers.  (:waves at the readers: Hope I'm not boring you, dears.  I'll try to have something more reader-focused on Wednesday.)  And it's hard being a writer - especially an independent one - and I'm trying to help out my fellow inmates as much as I can.

Pay it forward, so to speak.  (Except I hate that movie so much, just using the phrase makes my skin crawl.)

Over the past 9 years, so many other authors have helped me in so many ways, I kinda want to give back and encourage others to do the same. 

Anyway, sales have been slow from what I've heard and seen.  Everyone hates marketing.  And I'm wondering who I have to kill to get an ad for Wish in One Hand at ENT.  (4 requests, 4 rejections - ugh)  It really got me down over the weekend.  Down to the point of being unable to work on In Deep Wish because all I could think of is 'why am I busting my ass when the first book in the series is tanking?' 

Eh, I got over it.  I think.  I have to do this because I have promised people it would be coming out in March.  Local people who could hunt me down and snip off things of tertiary importance to writing until I produced the book they want. And out there in the world people who could merely be disappointed and then not care when the book finally does come out. 

I'd rather not disappoint any of them.

So, I'll be editing like a madwoman.  And marketing - because as much as I'd like to follow through with my oft-uttered 'screw this shit', I cannot, in fact, screw that shit. 

First, though, errands!  I need smokes.  No smokey, no worky. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Release Day!

Well, it finally happened.  BloodFlow is out in the world now.  And you can get a copy of your very own.  My copy hit my Kindle this morning.  (Yes, I buy a copy of my own books.)  So pretty.

If you've been following along all these years, you may remember this one as Nanotechnology.  I started it in 2007. Spent the next two years off and on writing a first draft.  Spent the next few years shoving it into a corner because I was afraid to edit it.  It was such a behemoth with so many plot twists and turns and I wanted it to be perfect but I wasn't sure how to make it so.

I finally knuckled down, deleted a bunch of stuff, made it tighter - better, stronger, faster - and sent it through the editing process.  My editor calls it a political thriller.  She's probably right.  After all, she knows it as well as I do, but from the outside, so she's more objective.  I like to think of it as Vince Flynn meets Michael Crichton meets Tess Gerritsen inside my head and we all have a party.  Woohoo.

So, without further ado, I give you BloodFlow:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Amazon AU

If you're elsewhere in the world, it's available through whichever Amazon site you use.  Check there for price and availability.  If I read/wrote other languages, I'd be able to help you, but I'm English-only - as are my books.

Oh, and it's available for the Kindle Unlimited program.  If you're a subscriber, you get to read it without any additional cost to you.  Yay.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Balance Between Intriguing and Annoying

I have a book release tomorrow.  I want to shout it from the rooftops, tweet about it every ten seconds, leave comments on other people's blogs with buy links, tell everyone I pass on the street...

Umm, yah. 

So, I'm sitting here this morning wondering where the fine line is between intriguing someone enough to get them to buy your book and annoying them so much they wouldn't read your book if it was free.

If I send a tweet out first thing in the morning, am I missing the opportunity to market to people who are only on Twitter at night or in the afternoon?  If I tweet all three of those times, am I annoying the person who saw it the first time? 

If I post about it on Facebook once a day, is that too much?  Too little? 

If I mention it on my own blog every time I post, am I driving people away?  If I don't, do you forget? Or does it seem like I don't care enough about my own book to pimp it?

If I mention it in the comments of someone else's blog, am I breaking some rule of internet etiquette?  Or is that just smart marketing?  (Without the buy link.  I would never be so forward.)

I know the regular people who stop here don't seem to mind, but you're my supporters.  (And supportive you are.  :hugs:)   Let's say it's not me.  Let's say it's someone you've never heard of.  When does marketing cross the fine line between intriguing you and annoying you? 

*Yeah, I worry too much.  What else am I supposed to do after I get into bed at night? Sleep??

Friday, November 20, 2015


Hey All!  Sorry the newsletter still hasn't gone out.  I'm working on it, but I'm up to my underoos in alligators and pretty much everything else is taking precedence.  I had been wondering when I would officially get too busy.  The answer is now.  And here's why...

BloodFlow releases on Tuesday for all intents and purposes.  I did go ahead and approve the paperback, so it's already available from Createspace.  If you pre-ordered on Amazon, the ebook will hit your Kindle on the 24th.  If not, you can order a copy on that day and it'll be there lickety-split.

The new cover for both the ebook and the print copy of Wish in One Hand are here and ready for purchase.  And I dropped the price of Wish in One Hand to 99 cents for the remainder of 2015. And through the power of Draft2Digital, I made Wish in One Hand available to Kobo, Apple, and B&N.  So, if you were hesitating because you don't do Kindle, you can now get a copy - and for just 99c.  Sometimes it pays to wait.

So, I've been trying to do marketing for both of those books.  Contacting various advertising venues, setting stuff up, etc.  Twitter tweetsFacebook posts

AND updating the blogs to reflect the changes.

Plus, I'm finally getting back to work on editing/rewriting In Deep Wish. Which means typing and changing what needs to be changed.  This is due to the editor by the first week of December.  And I'm beginning to work with my cover artist to make that happen, too.

Dump in regularly scheduled work stuff. Add in life stuff.  Mix thoroughly.


(that was the sound of my head imploding)

The newsletter will go out by Monday.  Promise. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Basic Marketing for Writers 101

Okay, I know I'm probably not the best person in the world to hold a course like this, but I'm not the worst either, and let's face it, writers need help.  So, I'm going to go over some things we all should be doing to help increase sales.

1)  Have an online presence.  Yeah, if you're here, you probably already know this one.  If you can afford it, have a website with a dedicated URL that goes something like  If not, get a free site without a dedicated URL or a blog or something where people can find you if they do a simple search.

2) Update your online presence as soon as you have any news to update it with.  New book release?  As soon as you have a cover, slap it up there with info on the particulars. As soon as you have buy links, get them on there, too. 

3) Create a social networking presence.  The more people see you out there, the more likely they are to be able to buy your books.  It doesn't have to be hard and it shouldn't be a major chore. I use Facebook and Twitter.  I'm already on FB all the time and I try to remember to get to Twitter a few times a day.  It helps that my FB page status updates feed my Twitter page.

4) Network.  And by network, I mean get your butt out there and talk to people.  NOT about your books - at least not at first.  Interact with them about stuff. Make friends by leaving comments and responding to comments. 'Like' posts and pages on FB.  And for godsakes, be REAL.  People can spot a fake coming from a mile off.  If you're real and friendly, the people who like you will tell other people about you and your books.

5) Goodreads.  If you aren't a member, get thee hence. As soon as you have a cover and a blurb and a tentative release date, get your book listed.  Even if it's months out.  Then when people hear about your book, they can go to Goodreads and put it on their Want to Read list, which will remind them when your book actually releases. 

6) Take advantage of your Amazon Author Pages.  Yes, pages plural.  US and UK - unless you can write in other languages, then do DE or IT or FR or JP or whatever other country.  I can't wait until Amazon let's me do a page in Canada and Australia. 

Yeah, all this in addition to making sure your book is edited into the best piece of reading material it can be, and in addition to having an awesome cover that will draw people to your work.  All this in addition to actually writing the books.  It's worth it.  Because it'll bring sales.  And I don't know about you, but no sales makes for an inability to create more books around here.  I talked on Monday about the money side of things, and my investment so far, but the financial well is not infinite and when it goes dry, there'd better be something flowing in from somewhere.

So, get out there and market.  And if you're already doing all of the above and still not seeing sales?  Well, I'll try to talk more about that in another post.  Meanwhile, hold tight, stay the course, and keep writing books that you can then put through the machine.  Sooner or later, the sales will come.  We would just all prefer sooner rather than later.  Right?

Any questions?  Suggestions?  Ideas? 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Crunching the Numbers at Year One

Looking back, I made my first payment for self-publishing expenses on 11/5/14, so I figured this was as good a place as any to do a number crunch.

With the last couple bills paid (Monday morning when the banks open, hopefully), I have spent just under $5000 this year bringing four books to market.  That's about $3K under what I thought I'd be spending, so I have that going for me.

It works out to roughly $1200 a book on average.  That's for editing, cover art, marketing, print copies, postage, etc.

To date, I have made just over $1300.  (Well, $1100.  Amazon pays 60 days out, so I haven't seen the money from Sept, Oct, Nov yet.)  More than I thought I would at the beginning of this journey, but less than I had hoped.  The CFO is pleased, which is a good thing.

I've sold 946 books.  That's about $1.40 a book.

Of those 946 books, here's how the sales break down:

Dying Embers - 496 (55 books a month avg)
Accidental Death - 414 (69 books a month avg)
Wish in One Hand - 31 (3 books a month avg)
BloodFlow - N/A

I'm blaming the disparity of book averages from the first two books and the third on the inability to secure a ENT ad.  I had huge sales jumps for DE and AD from their ads.  Needless to say, we're a little disappointed in WIOH's performance so far, but I've heard that with paranormal books, you don't really start seeing beaucoup sales until the third book is released.  Basically, we'll have to wait until late summer of next year to see if that's true.  (Second book due out Feb or March. Third book Aug or Sept.)

All in all, I'm pleased with the first year.  Not content, mind you, but pleased overall.  I've learned a little about what works and what doesn't.  I have my good days and my bad days.  Such is life.  I've felt the thrill of a good review and the butthurt of a bad review and the utter confusion of a bad 5-star review.  :eyeroll: :facepalm: :headdesk:

And I've enjoyed the smooshy hugs and support from my friends, family, and readers.  Thank you, all.

With each release, I hold my breath and hope this will be the one that takes off and takes the others along with it.  You'll see that BloodFlow is N/A up there.  That's because it just became available for pre-order and doesn't officially release until 11/24.  So, while the money to pay for it has gone out for the year in question, the money coming in will have to be tallied with next year's fundage.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Hope that helps you if you're thinking about jumping into self-publishing or that it was at least interesting if you're not.  If you're already in the thick of it, please don't take these numbers to mean anything compared to your numbers.  Each of us walks our own journey through the self-publishing jungle.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.  I'll answer what I can.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

BloodFlow - the Blurb

Ir's coming down to the wire.  I'm reading through BloodFlow to make sure it's the best book it can be before I upload it for pre-order.  And everything else is falling to the wayside - pretty much.  I'm making food and doing dishes on a regular schedule.  And that's about it.

I haven't read a book that wasn't mine lately.  I haven't dusted or vacuumed.  There's clutter here and there.  Thank goodness I have an understanding Husband.  One who cleans the litterbox and does the laundry, so those two necessities are taken care of while I'm deep in the editing cave.

But enough about me.  Let's talk about BloodFlow...

Here's the Blurby McBlurberson (aka back cover copy):

Prove you’re an American! Join your elected officials and get implanted today!
The highest levels of the government believe Project Hermes is the best way to control America’s immigration problem. A simple microchip carrying a citizen’s information will allow officials to sort out who belongs—and who doesn’t.  Harmless.
Unless the chip carries more than just information.
Agent Miranda Kruz of the Terrorism Task Force has reason to believe something is very wrong with Project Hermes.  People are dying and the clues all point to a microchip implant. But Randi’s superiors don’t want anything or anyone interfering with their pet project. They’re threatening her job, her loved ones, and her life to keep her from revealing their secret. With the help of medical examiner, Vic Hammond, and electronics engineer, Jack Davis, Randi has to uncover the truth and make it public before anyone else is targeted for death.
Locating the madmen behind these executions will be hard enough—stopping them might just be impossible.

It's been a long haul with this book.  And this was the one that was a scary behemoth called Nanotechnology when I finished the first draft.  I snipped a lot of scenes that didn't contribute to the plot or didn't move the action forward.  Now it's weighing in at about 108K.  And it's BloodFlow

I hope I did the story justice. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have work to do so you all will have something to read soon. =o)

(And there's a contest for a $10 Amazon gift card on Monday's post.  Go forth, do some sharing, and enter.)

Monday, November 9, 2015

Goodreads Listing and a Contest

It's the little things that kill.
The Goodreads listing for Bloodflow is now live.  Go forth, if you are so inclined, and Want to Read it.  Feel free to share it.  In fact, if you share the link to its Goodreads listing somewhere (your blog, your FB page, Twitter, etc.) and then come back here to put the link to your share in the comments, I'll enter you for a $10 Amazon giftcard drawing.  I'll pick the winner for this drawing on the day I announce the book is live at Amazon - at which time I will begin another drawing.  Cuz what the hell, right?

So, what do you think of the cover?  Does it say thriller with political, medical, and technological elements?  God, I hope so, because I'm running with that sucker.  How do you like the tagline - It's the little things that kill? 

In case you missed it, here's the blurb:

Prove you’re an American! Join your elected officials and get implanted today!
The highest levels of the government believe Project Hermes is the best way to control America’s immigration problem. A simple microchip carrying a citizen’s information will allow officials to sort out who belongs—and who doesn’t. Harmless.
Unless the chip carries more than just information.
Agent Miranda Kruz of the Terrorism Task Force has reason to believe something is very wrong with Project Hermes. People are dying and the clues all point to a microchip implant. But Randi’s superiors don’t want anything or anyone interfering with their pet project. They’re threatening her job, her loved ones, and her life to keep her from revealing their secret. With the help of medical examiner, Vic Hammond, and electronics engineer, Jack Davis, Randi has to uncover the truth and make it public before anyone else is targeted for death.
Locating the madmen behind these executions will be hard enough—stopping them might just be impossible.

I hope you all are as excited about this book as I am.  =o)

Friday, November 6, 2015

Egg-free Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Mocha Frosting

Not that I have anything against eggs, but here's a recipe I found hiding in my recipe binder, and it was super easy, so I made it.  I don't usually post recipes here, but what the heck, right?  Enjoy!

Egg-free Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
½ t salt
2 t baking soda
½ c baker’s cocoa powder
2 c water
1 c vegetable oil
2 T white vinegar
2 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients (including sugar) until well combined.  Add remaining wet ingredients.  Beat until smooth by hand.  Pour into ungreased 9x13” cake pan.  Bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool and frost with below recipe.

Chocolate Mocha Frosting

6 T margarine (melted)
¾ c baker’s cocoa powder
1/3 + 1/6 c milk
2 t vanilla
4 ¾ - 5 ½ c confectioner’s sugar
1-2 T cappuccino mix to taste

In a large bowl, beat together margarine and cocoa powder until combined. Add milk and vanilla.  Beat until smooth (or as smooth as you can get it.)  Add confectioner’s sugar one ½ cup at a time and beat until smooth before adding next ½ cup.  Continue to add in sugar until you reach the desired consistency.  At about halfway through the sugar, add in the cappuccino powder with the powdered sugar.  Start checking consistency at 4 ¾ cups. I reached my desired thickness at 5 ½ cups.  Too thin, add more sugar.  Too thick, splash in a little more milk. Spread on above cake as evenly as possible.  Will be a thick layer of frosting.
To achieve 1/6 cup, fill the third cup measure to about half.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Cover Reveal - Wish in One Hand (v 2)

Hey All.

My brain is pudding, so I'm not sure if I mentioned that I was having a new cover done for Wish in One Hand.  (Probably did, but pudding.)

Oh, my old cover was okay.  The artist gave me pretty-much what I asked for (kinda, sorta).  But what I had in mind didn't translate well and apparently, it wasn't blowing anyone's skirt up.  Too old-fashioned, perhaps?  Not in keeping with current-day readers expectations of what a paranormal cover should look like?  Probably.  I'm still hooked on the old fantasy covers of my youth.

Anyway, like I said, no one was getting their skirts blown up and sales are way off expectations, so I figured finding someone snazzy to do my covers couldn't hurt. Plus, I needed someone to do the rest of the series covers so they'd have some continuity. (And for price, she undercut the hell out of the other guy anyway.)  So, without further gum-flapping on my part, here's the new and improved cover of Wish in One Hand...

Sparkly!  Let's give a round of applause to my new cover artist extraordinaire: Jessica Allain.  She rocks.

The new and improved print cover is still in the works, but this one has been uploaded to Amazon.  Give it 12-24 hours and it'll show there, too.

Oh, and since I have a new cover, I changed the blurb.  

‘Be careful what you wish for’

In hindsight, Jo Mayweather should’ve taken those words seriously back in 1926. Of course, spoiled brat, flapper-girl that she was, Jo probably would’ve made the not-so-clever wish that turned her into a genie anyway.
Being endowed with phenomenal power may have its perks but, for the most part, life’s been a pain in her tiny hiney. After running into a ‘slash first, ask questions never’ genie, her problems only worsen. Some demented thing is making wishes that can’t be granted and djinn are dying. Now, instead of freeing her brethren from their bonds, Jo has a killer to neutralize.

If she’d kept her mouth shut ninety years ago, she wouldn’t be in this mess. But she’s got a job to do despite some reject from a bad B-movie trying to ruin everything she’s worked so hard for. Too bad this time doing her job might get her killed.

Or worse—enslaved again.

Here's hoping this sparkly new stuff attracts some readers. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

There Are Rules

Hi there.  Jo again.  B.E. asked me to explain the Rules to you guys, so here's the short version:

When the gods created the djinn race, they imbued us with a boatload of power.  And saddled us with Rules so we wouldn't ruin the world.  Makes sense to the us rational djinn.  The Efreet? Not so much.  Anyway, as near as I can tell, the big Rules are basically

1) No harming of the Master by direct wish.
2) No killing by direct wish.
3) No messing with time.
4) No messing with free will.
5) No unmaking the Universe.
6) No stealing another genie's sanctuary.
7) No raising the dead.

Simple stuff on a grand scale, but not nearly enough to keep wayward genies from getting into trouble, so the Council governs a set of rules that are kind of arbitrary and subjective.  Things like 'no public displays of magic' and 'don't do anything to out the djinn race to the world' are pretty good ideas.  Others, like 'don't talk about the Efreet' are pretty stupid.  But all governing bodies tend to make stupid rules here and there.

Of course, there are ways to circumvent some of the Rules and the rules.  Want to kill a human but can't wish for it? Drop a tree on them.  Stab them. Shoot them. Mundane and non-magical is hunky-dory with the gods, I guess.

Obviously, since the gods made them, you can't break the Rules outright.  Breaking the rules, on the other hand, is easy.  I'd know.  But, if they catch you, breaking their little rules comes with a steep punishment.  And who wants to wear a fur coat for centuries? Not me.

So those are the Rules.  I'm not exactly an expert, but I'm the only one who'd talk to B.E. about them, because talking about them is... you guessed it... against the rules.  Big surprise there.

If you could have one wish, what would it be?  Not that I can grant it, but you never know. What the Council doesn't know won't hurt them.  (And they're not exactly internet savvy, so I'm not too worried about them finding out here.)

If you want to read more about me and my adventures, pick up a copy of B.E.'s book Wish in One Hand.  It's on sale until Halloween night. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Halloween Week Sale

Saturday is Halloween, so what better week to put the genies on sale

Go forth and get your wish on.

And yes, the cover will be changing soon, but the words inside are the same. 

The genie Josephine Mayweather’s father gave her for her 18th birthday tricked her into trading places 90+ years ago. But hey, everything should be peachy for an immortal gal with phenomenal power, right? For Jo, immortality is more than lazing around wishing. When she’s not rescuing brethren who don’t always want to be saved, she’s juggling a halfway-house for the humanity challenged and an antiques business dealing in previously genie-owned goods. 

When some demented being starts murdering the very people she’s trying to save, she almost wishes she’d chosen the lazy life. 

Too bad for her, she can’t sit back and let this maniac ruin everything she’s worked for. All she has to do is stop a super-powerful supernatural killer and hope the Council doesn’t shut her down for breaking rules she didn’t even know existed. It’s either that or sit and watch her brethren die as her life collapses around her. Good thing for djinn-kind, Jo’s daddy didn’t raise her to back down from a fight, even if this battle could get her killed. 

Or worse—enslaved again.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Blurb Reveal - BloodFlow

Hello Everyone!

I finally finished the blurb for BloodFlow* and I thought I'd share it here first.  But before that, here's the cover again:

And here's what the book's about:

Prove you’re an American! Join your elected officials and get implanted today!
The highest levels of the government believe Project Hermes is the best way to control America’s immigration problem. A simple microchip carrying a citizen’s information will allow officials to sort out who belongs—and who doesn’t.  Harmless.
Unless the chip carries more than just information.
Agent Miranda Kruz of the Terrorism Task Force has reason to believe something is very wrong with Project Hermes.  People are dying and the clues all point to a microchip implant. But Randi’s superiors don’t want anything or anyone interfering with their pet project. They’re threatening her job, her loved ones, and her life to keep her from revealing their secret. With the help of medical examiner, Vic Hammond, and electronics engineer, Jack Davis, Randi has to uncover the truth and make it public before anyone else is targeted for death.
Locating the madmen behind these executions will be hard enough—stopping them might just be impossible.

I hope that gets you as excited about this book as I am.  I should have the final edits back by the end of the week.  Then all I need to do is fix that stuff, do another read-through for typos, etc. and then I'll be able to upload it for pre-order. 

And once the editing is done, I'll be able to format it so I can have a page count, so I can do the print cover.  Yay.

Thanks again for all your support.  And since you've been supportive, you get to know that Wish in One Hand will be on sale for 99c from Wednesday to Saturday this week.  If you haven't snagged a copy, now's the time to do it. 

*Blood flow is, of course, two words.  But for the purposes of this cover and marketing materials, I think BloodFlow works better - at least for me.  And I'm the boss of this publishing thing.  (Well, except for the multitude of people who tell me whether I've succeeded or failed i.e. the readers.)