Sunday, October 23, 2011

HEEEHEEEE TRICK OR TREAT MY LITTLE PRETTY



CURSE OF NATURE


What's inside the pot you say? Maybe
a little.....

OR a little....





Teeeheeee, it's something better! What you ask could be better than eye of
newt or spiders for your Trick or Treat pleasure?

A haunted cyber trail.....



BEWARE! Dance with the skeletons to avoid the curse and continue on this haunted
Halloween treat....



And watch out for the Headless Horseman, for he will take your treat on this....
YES! It's a treat!! A Halloween Blog Hop where you get a chance to win prizes, get great books for great prices....THIS WEEK ONLY!

I'm giving away a TREAT! Leave a comment about what YOU LOVE about Halloween and be entered to receive a FREE Kindle ebook of choice by me, plus a swag bag of treats sent through the mail! And continue on the hop by clicking on the author links below! Good luck!! AND.....











Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A SUPERSTITIOUS CHRISTMAS


I'm so excited to announce that the cover for my Christmas short story, A SUPERSTITIOUS CHRISTMAS (Madness Under The Mistletoe Anthology) is here!!

Grandberry Falls is beautiful during Christmas. And Maggie Greenlee can’t wait for the Greenlee traditions to start, especially the annual ornament exchange.

Only things don’t go as planned once Maggie announces to the Greenlee clan that she’s engaged to Grady Cohen, one of the wealthiest bachelors in New York City.

There are two problems. One, Hazel Greenlee, Maggie’s granny and Grandberry Falls’ local matchmaker, has already determined that Maggie is going to marry Mayor Mitch Dozier. And two, Grady thinks the superstitious beliefs that have ruled Maggie’s life, are child like.

With Grady deliberately breaking every superstitious tradition, and Granny Hazel pushing Maggie in the arms of Mitch Dozier, Maggie isn’t sure she’s going to survive Christmas in Grandberry Falls.




Doesn't this look fun?? I had the best time writing this prequel to the last novel in the Grandberry Falls Series, Never Tell Your Dreams Before Breakfast.
Maggie and Granny Hazel have a VERY special place in my heart. And I hope you enjoy this little glimpse into their life!

Madness Under The Mistletoe will be available before Thanksgiving!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM. . . .





FACTS I FIND INTERESTING.....

1. Virginia Woolf wrote all her books standing.
2. The symbol on the “pound” key (#) is called an octothorpe.
3. Nutmeg is extremely poisonous if injected intravenously. (Look, mystery writers! A new method!)
4. An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain.
5. Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.
6. Donald Duck’s middle name is Fauntleroy.
7. Like fingerprints, everyone’s tongue print is different.
8. The mask used by Michael Meyers in the original Halloween was really Capt. Kirk’s mask painted white.
9. The characters Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra’s “Its A Wonderful Life”.
10. A baby octopus is the size of a flea at birth.
11. The name for Oz in the “Wizard of Oz” was thought up when the creator, Frank Baum, looked at his filing cabinet and saw A-N, and O-Z, hence “Oz.”




Do you have any cool facts to share?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sample Sunday HAPPY NEW LIFE

ONE

Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and hard to forget.

~Author Unknown


“How are you doing in there?” Beth Harrison shouted between the wooden slats of the dressing room door. “I’m leaving a couple more out here for you to try-on.”

Liz ignored her and looked at the black-sequined dress in the three-fold mirror. There was no way the image staring back at her was really her.

She’d been in The Figure 8 several times over the past year. She’d stood in front of this very mirror many times, but she’d never seen this person.

She smiled. This was the one, she thought with a faint sigh of relief.

The hinges creaked as Liz slowly opened the door.

Beth brought her hands to her mouth. “Perfect. Jenna made me swear I’d help you pick out something perfect, but I think we’ve hit it out of the park.” Beth brushed her long crimson hair behind her shoulders. Her green eyes were popping with envy.

Beth ran her hands down the side of the sequined dress, along Liz’s frame. At the hem, she folded it under, making it a little shorter.

“Let’s take it up a few.” Beth winked. “You’ve got great legs.”

“No, I’ll take it exactly the way it is.” Liz sashayed back into the dressing room, letting the hem fall back to its original place.

She took one last look in the full-length mirror and her smile broadened.

Maybe Beth and her twenty-something-year-old friends would wear the dress shorter, but Liz wouldn’t be comfortable.

“Thank you, thank you,” Liz whispered out loud. A trickle of excitement swept through her lost soul.

How in the world had she let Jenna Greenlee talk her into co-hosting the annual Mothers Against Drunk Driving New Year’s Eve fund raiser? Jenna had always hosted it alone. Why did she need Liz? At least it would be better than in past years when Liz rang in the new year crying in her bed.

This is the one, she smiled again because she knew what Hayes would say.

Hayes, her twelve-year old son, constantly asked her why she always wore black. She’d tell him it was more professional, and professional was the image she had to maintain in order to court her clients who pay her to decorate their houses.

Truth be told, Liz liked the way her caramel highlights seemed to look creamier against black. She may be forty, but she could still pull off the long, straight Demi Moore look.

A year ago, the town folk didn’t know what to think when Liz Day blew into Grandberry Falls, Kentucky and opened up The Mole Hole Interiors.

She had, of course, done her homework before she uprooted Hayes and moved two hours away from her hometown, away from family and long-time friends.

The quaint town of Grandberry Falls had appealed to her. The waterfall in the center of town was like magic to her soul. The first time she stood on the charming brick road in front of the waterfall, she felt a peacefulness settled over her that she hadn’t felt in the past couple of years. Not to mention the old Victorian homes that lined the streets were way past their prime and in desperate need of a makeover. These were signs to her, and she believed in serendipitous signs.

But coming up with a name for the shop to fit in with Grandberry Falls, was another story. She couldn’t name it any old thing when the shop was surrounded with stores like The Fatted Pig Restaurant, The Purple Cow Bookshop, The Trembling Cup CafĂ© and, The Thirsty Turtle Bar.

It had to be unique and quirky and she knew it. This was a town with a sense of humor.

‘Name-the-shop’ was a game Hayes made up where they threw out different animals in silly phrases. They laughed especially hard at The Great Goatsby, in honor of Liz’s favorite book, The Great Gatsby. Hayes had even drawn a picture of a Goat wearing a dapper twenties suit.

Hayes was smart, clever, and handsome. He was her pride and joy. If she was going to make a good life for him, Grandberry Falls was the place.

“Not bad, not bad.” She brushed down the sequins along her hips and twirled around to make sure the dress looked decent on all sides.

Her mouth curled in a faint smile. The Brown Tiger Tanning Salon on Main, was worth the few extra dollars investment for the spray on tan. Her legs, although slender, still weren’t as tone as she would like them, but they’d have to do.

Her eyes stopped. The back of the dress was low cut, almost to her waist. Racier than she planned, but who was there to impress—no one.

“When you’re ready, I’ll be at the counter.” Beth chimed on the other side of the dressing room door causing Liz to lose her train of thought.

She twirled around one last time, secretly wishing she could run home, put on the dress, and seduce her loved one. That isn’t going to happen unless her hairy dog got excited.

When she took off the sequined black dress, it slid down her slim frame. The smooth cold fabric sent chills up her spine. Carefully, she hung it up.

She glanced at her watch, not wanting to be late for her standing lunch date with Jenna. Besides, she had to stop by The Busy Bee to pick up the yarn tassels she’d ordered earlier in the week.

For the past year, meeting Jenna at The Trembling Cup was a much needed break from the stress of single mommy hood and sole proprietorship.

The two hit it off right away. She had Jenna to be thankful for this holiday season. Jenna made Liz the talk of the town, going on and on about Liz’s eye for design. After that, small town gossip led to a lot of inquiry and clients for The Mole Hole, and making her a busy woman. The resulting reduction in financial stress was a welcome benefit.

“It was made just for you.” Beth pulled the protective plastic over the dress. “I can’t wait to tell Wendy you bought it.”

Wendy Owens was not only the buyer for Figure 8, but the girlfriend of Grandberry Falls’ Mayor, Mitch Dozier.

“That reminds me, I need to give her a call. She wanted a small sofa or loveseat for the mayor’s office.” Liz took a slip of scrap paper out of her purse and jotted a quick note to remind herself to make that call.

“We are still over the moon that Mitch won the election.” Beth said.

Grandberry Falls’ old mayor had been in office for over forty years and it had definitely been time for a change, especially with the impending eminent domain case against long-time resident Hazel Greenlee, Jenna’s mom.

“I sure hope he can help Hazel.” Liz said, digging deep into her purse for her wallet.

“I don’t know what’ll happen to business if that outlet mall comes to town.” There was sadness in Beth’s eyes. “I’m afraid The Figure 8 will go under.”

“Don’t worry. I have the same fears, but we’ll stick by each other.” Liz was worried too, but she knew no matter how much she stressed about it, she wouldn’t be able to change fate.

The town was divided over the whole situation. The younger generation wanted the outlet mall, while the older generation wanted Grandberry Falls to stay the same quaint little town it had always been. And they were all relying on Mitch to solve the problem so that everyone was happy, including the small business owners like Beth and Liz.

“Cash or Credit?” Beth’s nails clicked on the register buttons. “One hundred and seventy-five dollars is a steal!”

Liz gulped.

“One-hundred and…” Her mind raced. She’d never spent that kind of money on a dress for herself before.

“One-hundred and seventy-five dollars,” Beth confirmed.

“Hmm…”Liz debated on whether to put the dress back, but took out her credit card.

She liked the dress and she deserved to look good if she had to go to the party—and she had to go.

“Credit.”

“I’ve got it nice and sealed.” Beth handed the dress over the counter. “We’re supposed to get over three inches.”

The falling snow had already covered the tops of cars, and the sidewalk outside.

“And if you need a wrap, I’ll be more than happy to tell Wendy to keep her eye peeled next week when she heads down to the market.”

Of course she needed a wrap, but she sure wasn’t going to be spending much more on herself.

“I might have something at home.” She laughed thinking about how her jean jacket would look overtop the sequined dress. “I’ll let you know.”

Liz wrapped her scarf around her neck and carefully took the dress from Beth. She decided to put the dress in her Mercedes SUV, a car she really couldn’t afford, before she ran across the street to The Busy Bee.

The car salesman had promised her it would keep her and Hayes safe, as they traveled back and forth between Cincinnati and Grandberry Falls every other weekend. He was a good salesman. Using Hayes and safety in the same sentence had worked like a charm. Since she had to take Hayes every other weekend to visit his dad, she’d wanted something reliable. Granted, it wasn’t brand new, but it had still been pricey.

Trying not to think about the credit card bill that would be greeting her in the New Year, she wrapped her coat tightly around her and trotted across the street to the yarn store.


HAPPY NEW LIFE is the second novel in The Grandberry Falls Series.

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Series or not?

This week is very exciting for me!!! Happy New Life the second novel in the Grandberry Falls series is released! Grandberry Falls is near and dear to my life. It's about a fictitious small town that I've created in my head.
Each novel in the series is a stand alone novel, but has the same secondary characters that give the story flavor. Plus the same shops, restaurants, and streets will all be familiar, bringing you a warm feeling of coming home.
When starting the series, I knew I wanted my readers to pick up each book and be able to read them with out going in order. But I also wanted them to look forward to going back to The Fatted Pig and hang out with Mamie and her famous country biscuits and gravy, OR belly up to The Thirsty Turtle and listen in on all the gossip as Tommy slings a mug your way.
It's comfort in knowing you can pick up a book and know that you are going to get exactly what you were expecting.
Each novel addresses it's own set of issues for a different set of characters.
There is no cliff-hangers. Every Grandberry Falls novel has a happy ending!
Do you read series? And if so, do you read them in order?

You can get Happy New Life at
Barnes and Noble
Smashwords

Sunday, October 9, 2011

To Book Or Not To Book...that is the question.





Now that I have five novels out, and working on six short stories plus three NEW novels for 2012, I'm having to make some business decisions.
These decisions aren't easy for me, and I won't bore you with all of them but ONE!
When I left my publisher and began my indie journey, I knew that I wanted a career as closest to being with a big six publisher that I could get.
That didn't mean I wanted a big six publisher, I don't, what I wanted was the publicity and a chance to compete with what a big six publisher might be able to get you. More marketing, more promo, yada-yada. . .But most of all I wanted a BOOK. A book to hold, a book with my name on the cover.
And I've done that! I realized I was my best marketer/promoter not some big company. I had the book signings, the copies to my friends, parents, and whoever else wanted one.



Here are the stats. I've been published for FIVE months, and in that five months I've sold over 10k ebooks and 500 print books. I'm not complaining. It's fantastic! Trust me when I say that my heart is so grateful that one book sold much less over 10k!
And the 500 print books are from signings. BUT it does cost me to have Print On Demand with Amazon. I promise I'm not in this writing gig for the money, but I don't want to go in the hole either. NOT THAT I AM, but it's a business decision that needs to be made. I hate when readers ask me why the ebook version is only .99 when the paperback is $10.99. I can control the ebook version price, but Createspace makes the final decision on the paperbacks. I would love to make my paperbacks less and gain more readers.



I hear readers all the time that are not embracing the ereaders because they LOVE the smell of a book, the feel of it, etc. And I get it. I too was hesitant until I got my Kindle. I've read more since I've had my Kindle then I have in years! Plus I'm not lugging all my paper backs everywhere. I'm not ever buying paperbacks anymore.

With in the next two weeks, the next novel in my Grandberry Falls series, HAPPY NEW LIFE, is coming out. I've made the decision to release the novel in ebook only. I'm not saying it will be like that forever, but the initial release will only be in ebook.


Are you a ebook reader? OR do you still want that book?


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ten Things You Should Know About Writers




Ten Things You Should Know About Writers

1. We aren’t eavesdropping. Linguistic training is a part of our job. We listen to speech patterns so we can effectively write dialogue beats.

2. Yes. We do have to check Twitter, Facebook and Seekerville hourly. It is essential to stay up to date on the ever changing publishing world.

3. It is normal for writers to speak in the third person present tense. Deal with it.

4. Don’t ask if we’re published yet. Or if we’ve published anything you might have read. Trust me, it only makes us cranky.

5. As a general rule, writers are not interested in your brilliant idea for a best-seller that we can write for you and then split the profits.

6. We believe there are dumb questions. Where do you get your ideas is right up there at the top.

7. Our favorite words are not The End, they are, I want to buy your book.

8. For every ten words we write we delete six. We get goosebumps when we write the perfect sentence.

9. We are unable to watch a film with out analyzing the plot elements per the Heroes Journey. (Ordinary World, Call to Adventure, Refusal of the Call…)

10. If you see us sitting in front of the computer/laptop staring at a blank screen for long periods of time without moving, we are still writing. Do not interrupt.

Can you think of any more?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Superstition....or rules?




I know a lot of people tell me they don't believe in superstition. And if I ask you, you might say, "no, I don't believe in superstition." But are you telling me the truth?

Are you telling me that you have NEVER encountered a ladder and decided to go around it? Or did you walk under it? Do you know someone who has broken a mirror? Or have you broken a mirror?
What about a black cat? I don't even have to tell you the superstition on a black cat...I bet you know it.

Growing up my granny told me a lot of superstition. As I got older, I just assumed they were rules, rules that EVERYONE lived by. I'll never forget the time I was at a new friends house eating dinner and the salt shaker was knocked over. Immediately I grabbed it and began to toss the salt over my shoulder. I'll never forget the look on my friend's family faces. They had no clue what I was doing.

Another time, at that same friend's house, I crawled into her window really late at night so her parents wouldn't see me. In fact, it was two am...Unfortunately her parents caught me and asked me to leave. I reopened the window to crawl back out. Her mom insisted I got out the front door like most normal people. I refused. After all granny told me to always leave a house the way you came in.

As I got even older, like college, my friends really thought I was a little too freaky. Doesn't everyone eat an apple at midnight on Christmas Eve/ Christmas morning for good luck?

Of course I have instilled all these RULES in my four teenage boys, and now their friends think they are a little freaky. (LOVE MY LITTLE FREAKS) And I thought about all the situations I could put one of my characters in if I made every chapter a different superstition and she encountered that superstition. Wouldn't that be funny??

NEVER TELL YOUR DREAMS BEFORE BREAKFAST will be out in spring 2012. It's the third book in The Grandberry Falls series. And I'm so excited to be writing this book right now!

I know there is a little bit of superstition in each and every one of you! What are some of them? I might use them in my novel!

OH....remember, never tell your dreams before breakfast!!!