Finally, Friday! Post-Valentine’s Day catching up…

Here’s something I find amusing:

Valentine’s Day fell on Ash Wednesday this year.

Today is Chinese New Year!

Easter will be on April Fool’s Day.

Can you tell I love reading the calendar?

How was your V-Day? Mine was routine because my hubby, bless his soul, was born without a romance gene. He means well, but the whole “one day of shouting out embarrassing professions of love” just isn’t his style. He likes to say, “I show you how much I love you every day…by working.”

He has a point. I used his tractor to haul the garbage cans to the community dumpster so he didn’t have to–that’s love, right? ūüėČ

But we do have our mushy moments and we mouth, “I love you,” way more often than is probably necessary. (We’re old. We forget.)

I hope you had a lovely day of romance, complete with bling, baubles, and bubbly.


I’d planned to share this adorable video in my Valentine’s Day newsletter, but, alas, my VA’s computer died. EEEK! So, here’s my 14-month old granddaughter:

In case you missed it, I’m part of a fun Facebook promotion that runs through the 18th with some of the coolest authors on the planet. Instead of mushy Valentine sayings, we went for direct and honest.

Find a Hero Who Will Give You Whatever You Need: http://bit.ly/ValentinesDayHeroes

My contribution is Arley McNamara, hero in Love, After All.¬† Still just 99¬Ę for a few more days.

Have a great weekend of reading! ūüôā

Deb

Deb’s summer fun: contest, music & cover REVEAL!

Summer has arrived!

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Let there be BOOKS, MUSIC and FUN!

BREAKING¬†Book NEWS: Cowgirl, Come Home” (my first new, full-length romance from Tule Press) will be released on July 18. Here’s a sneak peek at my¬†cover.

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I am sooo excited. My editor loved this story! I can’t wait for you all-my loyal readers and friends–to read it.

And I have more exciting news. There will be three spin-offs from this book. My “Big Sky Mavericks” trilogy¬†is tentatively set to release in August, October and December.

Color me giddy!

BREAKING¬†Contest¬†NEWS: my June “Sounds of Summer” contest prize is a Bem (pronounced Beam) Music Cube. ¬†

71XoVMf9clL._SL1500_-1(Bem wireless bluetooth speakers for your MP3 player, iPad, phone, etc. ‚ÄĒ a $100 value!)

I bought this little guy and loved it so much, I decided to offer one as a prize on my website contest. Click HERE to sign up.

~~~

So…what are you doing for FUN this summer?

* Traveling? (I’ll be at RWA in San Antonio in July 22-26.)

* Reading? Check out these great pool-side reads from Tule’s new Holiday imprint, which is launching on ¬†Tuesday, June 17, with a¬†party on Facebook. There will be great prizes to win, and you can hang out with some of the Tule authors. I’ll be there at 7:30 p.m. Pacific.

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* Shopping? It’s never too early to be thinking about¬†Christmas, right? To get you in the mood, here’s a great Christmas bundle currently on sale¬†(99¬Ę thru 6/8):

“The Cowboys of Copper Mountain”

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This 4-book bundle is¬†filled with extras, including GREAT recipes and my sweet short story, A Hundred¬†Years or More. I’m so proud! If you hurry, you can register to win one of¬†these¬†excellent prize packages, including a $50 gift card at Amazon.

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* Listening to music? Maybe if you win the¬†Bem, you’ll¬†download some of the tunes from¬†my “Cowgirl, Come Home” playlist. I hope to post this¬†on my website in the very near future.

What are you listening to? I’d love to know. Maybe it’s something my next hero, Austen Zabrinski, will be playing on his iPod.

Deb

Due date! 8 tips to birthing a book

Pilfered from Goodreads:

 “Q: When is the perfect time?

¬† ¬†A: Who can say, but probably somewhere between haste and delay – and it’s usually most wise to start today.‚Ä̬†

‚Äē¬†Rasheed Ogunlaru

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You’ve eaten right, labored long hours in massive discomfort, and your nine months (weeks, days, years) are finally over. Your book is ready to be born.

And guess what? Unlike with busy hospitals, doctors who plan golf vacations on your due date, and insistent reproductive calendars, you get to pick the day/date your new book appears in the world.

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Wow. Heady, right? Is tomorrow too soon?

But, wait, let’s discuss this.

For instance, did you know that movies release on weekends and box office is busy counting the money on Monday, which is the day those box office results show up? So, maybe you don’t want to compete with all the hoopla surrounding the new Thor (be still my heart) installment, right?

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And in the music industry new records “drop” on Tuesday. So, maybe you want to avoid all the hoopla around Lady Gaga’s new hit single.

So, what about Wednesday? Or, to be safe…Thursday?

I’ve never timed anything as intently, but I’m giving this a try with my new release, Are We There Yet? is out TODAY, Thursday, September 12th.

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So, you’ve picked your release day, now what?

Here’s my list of 8 bases to cover. I’m sure there are many, many more. Please, feel free to share your ideas, your favorites, your must-do list.

1. ¬†Blog – if you post on Monday, you’ll take advantage of Twitter’s #Mondayblogs feed (and hopefully shares from Triberr). I was too busy inputting line edit changes, so this is my blog…a few days late. Include BUY LINKS, if they’re ready:

All-Romance eBooks       Amazon     BN         CreateSpace   (Give yourself lots of time for iTunes.)

2. ¬†Newsletter – prep for day of release with easy-peasy buy links. My pal Lisa Mondello, who just reached #80 on the USA Today Bestseller list, says: “You want to grab that impulse buyer so links need to be live.”¬† Write it, schedule it and let it go.

¬†3. ¬†Announce to¬†Facebook, ¬†Twitter and the¬†world with a Bitly link to your website’s buy page so you can use Bitly analytics to track clicks. Lisa also recommends doing several¬†less expensive FB boosts, instead of a more expense ad. For example, ¬†I intend to try three $15 boosts throughout the next couple of days.

¬†4. ¬†Make your cover front and center on your¬†website and include some interesting background info on the book–a little extra reward for people who take the time to visit and check you out. (Mine includes a snippet from the book, as does my newsletter.)

 5.  Post your covers (e- and print) to Pinterest.

¬†6. ¬†Take advantage of FB’s¬†new contest options to giveaway copies.

¬†7. ¬†Look into setting up a giveaway on¬†Goodreads. (Still looking into this, but you’ll need a print book to do it. FYI.)

¬†8. Look into spreading the news/cover at:¬†Julie Kenner’s Hump Day Reads and Lauren Royal’s Friday Freebies (She also includes 99 cents books.)¬†WorldLitCafe will do ads and tweet. If you have a budget for paid ads, there are some great places–like BookBub, Kindle Fire Department, and Awesome Romance Novels–especially for linked books. And, don’t forget about your network of writer pals. I’m fortunate to belong to several authors groups. We all know how hard self-publishing is and want to see everyone do well in this business.

Not all of these efforts have to be done on your release day, thank goodness. My friend and top-selling author Day LeClair advises, “Spread out your efforts over a couple of weeks–Amazon distrusts one-day spikes and weights against them, but if you can show sustained results, that helps with your standing.”

Whew….right? And you thought writing the book was a lot of work, let’s compare delivery pains. ūüėČ

Happy writing, publishing and…reading!

Deb

Snippets

Yesterday was a typical writing day. It went something like this:

Step 1 – Facebook.

I go back and forth on whether to write first, then do the social media thing or the other way around. I went to FB first because I wanted to check on the status of the Carstens Fire (much better today, BTW). (This was the view from Yosemite Natl Park looking west toward Mariposa, when the fire was raging at its worst.)

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@2013 Troy Montemayor

And on M-W-F, On Fire Fiction, my authors co-op, sponsors special focus days: Man Candy Monday, Fur Baby Wednesday and First Line Fridays. Images are fun. This one got me a whole lot of likes.

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Step 2 – Twitter.

I read my group feed and re-tweet a bunch–especially the fun stuff.

Next, I load-up my daily Tweets on Hootsuite (Is that cheating? Probably, but I do spontaneous Tweets, too. Really. I do.)

I even Tweet pics when something comes up. This one is from this morning when my loving hubby delivered my newly re-finished picnic table.

Let the picnics begin!
Let the picnics begin!

Step 3 – Pinterest.

This isn’t a given. Sometimes, I get drawn to a blog on FB or Twitter and find something “pin-worthy.” Like this cool shot.

Go climb a tree--and read a book while you're at it.
Go climb a tree–and read a book while you’re at it.

Step 4 – Blog.

If you’re reading this, you know I don’t blog every day. I’d NEVER get any writing done if I blogged every day. And whatever would I blog about? My routine or something equally stupid? My animals? Of course not, that’s what embedded YouTube videos are for. ;-? Check out the newly added feature to my home page: Dog Wars.

Step 5 – Write the book.

Which brings me to the subject of this blog. (In my newspaper writing life, they’d call that “burying the lead.”)

A snippet.

Some days Once in a great while, the writing flows and your characters sparkle with such life and pizzazz you can’t wait to share their words with the world. I’ve reached a pivotal place in my Screw Senility series Book IV, THE BIG BANG! THEORY. The Black Moment. Judy has just made love with the man of her dreams. She’s made the deepest, most soulful connection possible and is basking in the afterglow when the inevitable happens… Mr. Perfect speaks. He says something candid, truthful (from his point of view) and wrong (in Judy’s point of view). She sees him a new and unflattering light that shakes her to her core. Her HEA (happily-ever-after) implodes. She grabs her clothes and hops in a cab where she has the following conversation with her BFF, Pru (who is in Iceland with the infamous Gerald, her Mr. Perfect):

Fun.
Such a frivolous, insignificant word.
She’d connected with that man on a level you only read about in romance novels. And, now, instead snuggling and cuddling and laughing and getting it on again, she was sitting in the back of a cab feeling a little tender in her lady bits and ridiculously exposed, naked where her emotions were concerned.
Her phone vibrated against her hip. Pru. Cosmic timing, perhaps?
“Hi.”
“What’s wrong?”
“What do you mean? You could tell I was upset from one word?”
“I’m an intuit. Did you know that’s the name of an Eskimo tribe?”
Judy rolled her eyes. “Well, sorry to disappoint, but nothing’s wrong. Not really. I’m in a cab leaving Judge Canby’s. We had lunch.” Sorta. We both ate, anyway. Her naughty smile felt forced.
“Cool. But something’s wrong. I feel it. Unless it’s that soup I ate for dinner. I think I saw seaweed and tentacles of some kind floating in it.”
Judy couldn’t help but chuckle. She adored her friend. Normally, she would have shared every tantalizing moment of her encounter with Wiley, but not this time. Some things were simply too painful.
“Buddy’s memorial is Sunday. I know you can’t make–“
“I’ll be there. That’s the reason I called. My flight arrives tonight at midnight.”
“Your flight? What happened to Gerald?”
Pru sighed weightily. “Where should I start? The bar bill he ran up with the floozy from Gestalt? Or the limp dick that couldn’t get hard without porn playing in the background on a widescreen TV. Porn starring a certain bimbette named DewE.” She sighed again. “Some things just aren’t meant to be, Judy.”
Judy bit down on her lip. Wasn’t that the truth? “I know what you mean. I just had sex with my mother.”
A loud honk preceded the taxi swerving sharply to the right, toppling Judy over since she’d been too upset to remember to buckle. “Hey,” she cried. “I was speaking figuratively, not literally.”
The cabbie’s gaze met hers sheepishly in the rear view mirror. “Sorry.”
“She’s eighty-three. And so not my type.”
Judy returned the phone to her ear. “Are you still there, Pru? We just missed sideswiping a bus. The perfect end to the perfect day.”
“So you and the judge did the dirty?”
“Uh-huh?”
“How was it?”
Judy lowered her voice. “Freaking transcendental. Best of my life. That convent is looking better and better. After Wiley, I’m ruined for other men.”
Pru groaned. “You wish. Don’t make any hasty life-altering decisions. I’ll be home soon and we’ll figure this out.”

So, what’s your routine? Does it help you accomplish what you need to accomplish…or are you easily side-tracked by snippets and other nonsense?

Deb