Cool Friends/Hot August Snippets – LOVES ME, LOVES ME NOT

COOL FRIENDS/HOT AUGUST READS!

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My August CONTEST opens up a whole lot more choices of great books to pick from, PLUS, you’ll still receive a $25 gift card from #Amazon, #BN or #iTunes.

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To introduce you to these authors and their awesome books, I thought I’d give you “snippets” pulled straight from the stories. ENJOY!

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Today’s awesome choice: Karen Sandler’s sweet romance LOVES ME, LOVES ME NOT. This book is one of the three books bundled in On Fire Fiction’s UNSUITABLY PERFECT.  So, if you pick that choice, you’ll get to read Karen’s book PLUS two other fab reads!

Live, Love, Laugh

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Chapter 1

STEVE WALKER PLUNGED his hand into the murky depths of his daughter’s backpack. As Corazón regarded him with her coffee-colored eyes, Steve probed past fruit snack wrappers and pencil stubs, fingers encountering a soft, sticky lump.

He dislodged the gooey mess and held it out to his almost seven-year-old daughter. “What might this be?”

“Might be peanut butter an’ jelly.” She leaned closer and sniffed delicately. “Starbaby jelly.”

How many days ago had that particular sandwich taken up residence in the bottom of her backpack? With trepidation, he reached again into the black hole. His imagination displayed Technicolor fantasies of first his arm, then his entire body being sucked into the bottomless pit.

His mouth widened into a slow grin. Real potential here for his next smart phone app. Backpack Abyss. Hapless parents battling globs of bread and peanut butter, skewered by pencil stubs.

Finally, he struck pay dirt. He pinched the edge of the crumpled piece of paper and pulled it free. He held it out to Corazón’s earnest face.

“When did Mr. Harper give you this note?” He tried to be stern, but he wanted to hug her, and feel her thin caramel-colored arms wrap trustingly around his shoulders.

She shrugged, the gesture an imitation of his own. He brimmed with parental pride, marveling at how quickly she’d adapted in the eighteen months she’d been his.

With an effort, he returned to the matter at hand. “The message is from the principal and your teacher wanted you to give me this right away.”

She nodded solemnly. “Yes, Daddy.”

He lay the jelly-smeared sheet on the kitchen counter and picked up a damp rag. “I bet Principal Tipton thinks I ignored this note. She’s probably angry at Daddy. ”

“Ms. Tipton is always mad anyway.”

As Steve wiped the note clean, he had to agree. He’d never met the woman, only spoken with her on the phone after each of Corazón’s spirited antics. The Jell-O in the water fountain, the corn snake in the teacher’s desk drawer… Okay, the haircut she’d given her friend Jenny would take a while to grow out, especially the spot Cora had colored with permanent marker….

But where he saw high spirits and harmless experimentation Ms. Tipton saw signs of budding juvenile delinquency. The woman had no sense of humor. Her tone was judgmental, her attitude unforgiving. Talking to her, he felt the urge to pull on a sweater to keep warm. After a half-dozen rancorous phone calls with her, he was convinced she had snakes instead of hair.

Now there was an idea—Gorgon Schoolmistress. He could program each writhing snake on the Gorgon’s head with different venoms, and the hero would have to find the right shields to protect himself. Maybe Ms. Gor—Ms. Tipton would agree to model for the graphic artist.

When he’d swiped enough strawberry jelly off the paper, he read the appointment time penned neatly on the note. She’d expected him at the school at three o’clock. An hour-and-a-half ago. Principal Tipton would be furious.

“Daddy!” Corazón gasped. He looked up and saw her staring in fascinated horror out the front window. “She’s here!”

Steve moved behind his daughter, settling his hands on her shoulders. “Who’s here?” He squinted through the cut glass of the window, glimpsing the lines of a severe navy suit. The face above the suit shifted and fractured Picasso-like through the ornate glass.

Corazón craned her neck up at him, excitement bursting in her dark eyes. “Ms. Tipton!”

He heard the sharp tip-tap of steps on the porch then the doorbell rang.

“Daddy, what’re we gonna do?”

Even the doorbell sounded angry as it trilled a second time. “We let her in, mija,” he answered, using the Spanish endearment like a talisman. As he sidled to the door, Cora wrapped her arms around his legs.

“Tell her our dog ate the note, Daddy.”

“But we don’t have a dog, mija. Cousin Denny is allergic.”

She gripped him tighter. “Then a time-morpher took it. Came out of the ‘puter and gobbled it up.”

“I don’t think Ms. Tipton believes in time-morphers.”

“What’re we gonna do?” Corazón said again as her tight grip cut off the circulation in his legs.

“I’ll think of something, mija,” he soothed as he gripped the doorknob.

By the time he opened the door, he’d come up with several creative excuses, each sillier than the last. But it turned out not to have mattered. Because when he saw her on his doorstep, her slim ankles in navy spiked heels, the dangerous curves at hip and waist, the milk chocolate brown hair framing a delicate heart-shaped face—all coherent thought fled.

As a tantalizing scrap of red—red!—lace peeked from the edge of her skirt, he realized he was wrong about one thing. Ms. Tipton was no Gorgon. But he was absolutely right about another. She was blazing, spitting mad.

 Ah, yes, a wonderful start. Love the hero already. Poor Ms. Tipton doesn’t stand a chance, does she? Check all of Karen’s eclectic list of books here!

Good luck to everyone who signs up for this CONTEST. I hope your friends are as COOL as mine, and your hot August nights are filled with fun and good books! Look for more Snippets all month long.

Deb 

 

The Magnificent Eleven

As the adage says: There’s strength in numbers.

Like the number SEVEN…as in…The Magnificent Seven.

The Magnificent Seven made box office magic.

Ask Yul Brynner. If he were alive, he’d tell you: The right group of people can make magic happen.

And, it doesn’t hurt if one of the seven is Steve McQueen. (Be still my heart.)

Steven McQueen AND Yul Brynner...where have all the sexy cowboys gone?

So, what does The Magnificent Seven have to do with writing?

Well…um…seven rhymes with eleven…and since I belong to On Fire Fiction, a creative cooperative made up of ELEVEN published authors…okay, that’s a stretch. You’re right. You know me too well. I’ll use any excuse to post photos of Steve McQueen.

On Fire Fiction

But, obviously, the main purpose of this blog is to introduce On Fire Fiction and its ELEVEN members –and to explain about this growing trend in publishing: authors working cooperatively–and creatively–to share the daunting and at times overwhelming task of promoting their work.

Why do authors need to worry about promotion?

We all know publishing, along with book buying habits, has changed. Ebooks, ereaders and online retailers like Amazon, iTunes and B&N make it easy to buy a book. But have you looked at all the titles out there?! Eek!

Smart, well-focused promotion helps your loyal readers find out about your latest release. Promotion raises your “discoverability” to attract new readers. Hopefully, promotion begets sales, which, to be frank, is how today’s author makes a living so he or she can continue to write books to promote.

So, let me introduce my wonderful, magnificent-if you will–cohorts:

  • Linda Barrett
  • Jean Brashear
  • Rogenna Brewer
  • Ginger Chambers
  • Annie Jones
  • Julie Kenner
  • Day Leclaire
  • Barbara McMahon
  • Lisa Mondello
  • Karen Sandler
  • and, me, of course.
    • If you follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter, you may have seen this photo from a get-together of the “West Coast” members of OnFireFiction. We used Facetime and Skype to work with our members on the east coast, Texas and Colorado. We covered a rigorous agenda. But, yes, we did break to eat. I learned that I really like Vietnamese Pho. Yummm. 😉
    From left: Barbara McMahon, Ginger Chambers, me, Karen Sandler

    There is never a shortage of new things to learn in this ever-changing business–especially when it comes to marketing your books.

    But knowing you’re not alone in your efforts really makes a difference. Plus, writers are the most generous professionals I know. We’re eager to share our experiences–good and bad. We’re happy to trade tips on what type of advertising works and what flops. We eagerly share and post the best sites for getting the word out about a new release. And we may be setting up a data base for finding the best Pho. 🙂

    One exciting and very tangible thing to come out of this meeting turned out to be a win-win for both readers and authors. Offering “boxed sets” isn’t a new sales technique, but offering three complete books by three different authors for one super low price is just plain awesome.

    Unsuitably Perfect, OnFireFiction’s first 3-in-1 “Boxed Set” is now available at Amazon for just $.99.

    On Fire Fiction's first Boxed Set!
    On Fire Fiction’s first Boxed Set!
    So, that’s my magnificent news. Our fabulous OnFireFiction team has a whole bunch of exciting things planned. Here’s the link to the OFF Facebook page. Or follow OnFireFic on Twitter to stay abreast of what’s happening.
    Happy reading!
    Deb

    My Unexpected Blog

    Why “Unexpected”?

    Well, check out what my Thesaurus says about the word:

    amazing, astonishing, eye-opening, fortuitous, from left field, impetuous, prodigious, unpredictable, wonderful.

    I get a little giddy thinking about all the possibilities: guest bloggers, Q&As with characters, super sexy, provocative photos OR pics of my dog, the rattlesnake we just killed, or anything else that might stumble into my corner of the world.

    Snake, you say? 45″, 7 buttons. This big boy (or girl, I can’t tell the difference)    scared the heck out of me while I was writing this blog. (It’s a beautiful spring  day in Debland and my poor old deaf dog nearly got struck not ten feet from  where I was sitting (on my deck).

    What other types of unexpected goodies can you expect?

    Well, for starters: How ’bout a Blow-out Sale?!

    Or, as Judy Banger would say, "A blow job sale!"

    I reduced the price on ALL of my short fiction titles to: $1.99.

    (Price changed at Amazon and Smashwords; other venues should be up soon.)

    Bang! You’re Dead!In With a Bang! GatorA Hundred Years or More

    And here’s another deal: Unsuitably Perfect by Lisa Mondello, Barbara McMahon and Karen Sandler.  Three complete, full-length romance novels from three bestselling authors for $4.99. You’ll have to do the math, but it sounds like a good deal to me. (I do words, I don’t do numbers.)

    Three great authors, three terrific stories for one low price.

    Read. Laugh. And if you’re eligible…Screw Senility. (I’m off to work on book III – More Bang! For Your Buck).

    ~Deb