Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Writer's Life: Book Release Day!

Want a brief glimpse into a writer’s life? Here’s mine:

You know how people say writers have to have a thick skin because they have to be prepared for any kind of review? Know how they say you develop this skin over time? And you know how some authors even say they don’t read reviews at all?

Not me. I know, I know, I should just write the best book I can and then move on. And for the most part, I do. But I just have to know. I think it’s akin to that moment in a horror movie where the sorority girl comes out of the shower, hears a strange noise, and goes to investigate in a towel. We all know it’s a bad idea, but she HAS to know what that noise was. Well, that’s me. I have to know what that review said. And, yeah, it feels a lot like being naked in a towel in front of the world.

My point of this little story is to say that some writers like me pay close attention to the first few weeks of our book babies’ lives. Part of this includes the dreaded Amazon ranking. When you scroll down to Product Details on a book’s sale page, you can see a list of categories the book has been sorted into and where the sales are for that particular book at that particular moment in time.

I’ve watched it before, when I’ve run a sale or when a new book was released. I was like, yay, I broke the 10,000’s. Well, today was a first for me. I broke the top 100.

Let me say that again before I tell you the rest. I. Broke. The top. 100. Now the less impressive part. This ranking was only in a very specific category of books, but even so! I will take every scrap of goodness I can out of this publishing thing and celebrate it. So here’s where the first two New Orleans Magick series books stood as of yesterday evening:

Magick Charm's ranking Monday night
Free Spirit's ranking Monday night

A minor victory, but it feels kind of huge right now. I think I’ve earned that glass of champagne.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Book Cover Reveal and Giveaway

I'm excited to announce the book cover reveal for the second in my New Orleans Magick series, Free Spirit! The new book will be available on October 26th! I'm celebrating my cover reveal by giving away a $10 Amazon gift card. Check out the links below to enter.

The cover for Free Spirit was drawn by Brittany Michel of Bad Carrot Studios and designed by Samantha Harvey.

If you haven't read the first New Orleans Magick book, Magick Charm, there's still time to pick up a copy for only $2.99!

Wild child Rachel is having a week so terrible, not even a pitcher of margaritas will help. When her evil boss shows up on her doorstep with a sob story, her request to stay a few nights turns into a whole lot more. She can’t even escape into some of her favorite haunts in the Quarter since she seems to have garnered the unwanted attention of some rabid readers. When her ghost-hunting assignment goes unexpectedly awry, Rachel unknowing releases a vengeful spirit.

Enduring a wicked houseguest and hiding from an over-enthusiastic fan all while trying to put a spirit back in her grave where she belongs is more challenging than sobriety during Mardi Gras. Can she and her family work some magick to put things right in the Crescent City or has Rachel bit off more veggie muffuletta than she can chew?

Graphic by IndieSage PR

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1KTzGMm
Book One: http://amzn.to/1JDrJd3
Enter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5440a354526/

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Author Newsletter

I have just created a newsletter! About once a month, you’ll hear about my new releases, contests, and giveaways. Sign up here, and share the link with friends who enjoy paranormal mysteries!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

YA series, Enhanced, by Courtney Farrell

The Enhanced Series, a BTS Red Carpet Award nominee and finalist, has a creative take on the dystopian YA genre that makes it stand out in the crowd of YA novels.

Enhanced by Courtney Farrell

At the Institute, they breed people like livestock. One powerful doctor decides which children get to grow up, and which will die. Losers are dumped in the savage slum outside Institute walls. Those kids never come back. Sixteen-year-old Michelle is a perfect specimen, destined for a luxurious life as a breeder. When her brother and her boyfriend are both mysteriously culled from the breeding program, she jumps the wall to find them. Alone in the ghetto, she’s in trouble until handsome, streetwise Dillon stakes a claim to her. She’s mortified by her attraction to a Normal. But the doctor is using the missing boys in a twisted experiment, and she needs Dillon’s help to stop him. Michelle must rescue the boys, but a plague is spreading, the doctor is after her, and Dillon isn’t thrilled to help find her lost boyfriend.

Sacrificed by Courtney Farrell

At the Institute, they breed the best and kill the rest. Sixteen-year-old Michelle is a survivor, but she’s a pawn in their game. A remote arctic military base mysteriously goes silent. The Institute’s founder needles his old enemy, the colonel, by sending teenagers to help. Michelle’s half-breed boyfriend Dillon makes the team, along with her hot ex, who won’t give her up. At the base, Norms attack. The rebels capture Michelle, but they’re not the brutal savages she imagined. Their cause is a just one. Will she take up arms against her own kind? Meanwhile, Dillon faces his own temptations. As a half-breed, he’d never succeed at Headquarters, but military doctors think he’s special. The colonel offers him a sweet deal, with money, status, and beautiful girls. All Dillon has to do is wipe out the Norms who are harboring Michelle.

About the Author:
Courtney Farrell is a biologist who turned her love of books into a career as an author. She has published fourteen nonfiction books and three exciting novels for young people. Her first novel, Enhanced, has been nominated for the 2015 BTS Red Carpet Award in the YA division. The sequel, Sacrificed, is a BTS Red Carpet Award finalist. Courtney lives with her husband and sons on a Colorado ranch where they enjoy a menagerie of horses, dogs, cats, and chickens.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Get the Most out of your Amazon Prime - Free Books!

Do you have an Amazon Prime membership? Did you know you can borrow books for free using that membership? You can, and I’ll tell you how.

You probably got Prime for the fast shipping. I know I did. But Amazon has been adding a lot of extras to go with your membership, and my favorite one is the Kindle Owners' Lending Library (KOLL).

You are entitled to borrow a maximum of one book a month from the KOLL. You can keep that book as long as you want it, but you must return it before you can borrow another.

How do you find books that are eligible? How do you borrow them instead of buying them? I made a few images for an easy tutorial using (warning: shameless marketing ahead!) my new book as an example.

Make sure your Kindle’s wireless connection is turned on. Then navigate to Amazon’s library. You can do this by going into the “Books” tab, then clicking on “Store” or by simply clicking the “Shop” button.

Here’s your Kindle library page! Of course you can buy books from here, but we’re talking freebies today, right? If you want to peruse the books available for lending, click on the drop down menu in the upper right. It looks like a little block of three lines. At the bottom of the menu, you’ll see “Kindle Owners’ Lending”. This will open a new screen. Window shop to your heart’s content. Find something awesome and new to try. Of course, if you already have a book in mind and you want to see if it is lendable, you can use the magnifying glass icon to look it up. Example: “Magick Charm Wells”. (I warned you I was shameless!)


Finally, here’s an example of a book page. See the button marked “Borrow for Free”? Go for it. It’ll tell you the book is downloading. It will also inform you that you can borrow a new book again one month from today (remember you have to return this one first). That’s it!

It’s really easy, there are tons of books to borrow, and it’s a great way to try out a new author. Oh yeah, and it’s free. We all love that!

Go forth, my literary friends, and borrow! If you like the book, consider buying it, reading more of the author’s work, and/or reviewing it. Enjoy your new reads!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Series Recommendation: The Last Keeper's Daughter by Rebecca Trogner

If you’re looking for a unique take on the paranormal genre with stellar world building, check out The Last Keeper's Daughter series. Rebecca Trogner delivers a compelling blend of vampires, romance, and mystery you'll love reading.

The Last Keeper’s Daughter by Rebecca Trogner

Lily Ayres is the privileged daughter of an old moneyed family. She is young, beautiful, and a talented horsewoman. All of which are enviably qualities, but few know that beneath this thin veneer of societal perfection lies a deeply troubled young woman. For Lily rarely speaks and is incapable of normal, human interaction. Unable to understand why she is this way, she further retreats inside herself, until memories and suppressed emotions begin to bubble to the surface. Murder, revelations of her family's hidden purpose and dark secrets are revealed as she is thrust into the supernatural world of Krieger Barnes, Vampire King of North America.

The Last Guardian Rises by Rebecca Trogner

Lily Ayres, Sanguis Ancilla to Krieger Barnes, has retreated into her work in the royal archives, hiding from the king and the intense emotions he arouses in her. How long can she deny the desire she feels for him?

Krieger Barnes, Vampire King of North America, has shared his blood with Lily, his kingdom, and his heart. Unable to resist the pull of her being any longer, he commands her to his chambers determined to make her his, in all ways.

Merlin, the King's advisor, is struggling to contain the dark magic which flows within him and the knowledge of what must be done.

About the Author:
Rebecca Trogner lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and frequently crosses the Blue Ridge Mountains that were the inspiration for Krieger's home. She always dreamed of being a writer, but got sidetracked by the day-to-day adventures of life. With the encouragement of her family, she has finished her first novel and is currently writing the next book in The Last Keeper's Daughter series. Rebecca lives with her husband and son, and a rescue dog named Giblet. To find out more about the author visit www.rebeccatrogner.com.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

YA Titles You'll Want to Read Right Now!

A number of my very talented colleagues have been releasing new books you simply have to check out. If you’re a fan of the young adult genre, be sure to put The Boogeyman and Speak of the Devil on your TBR list.

Check back soon for more of my book recommendations!

The Boogeyman by Lillie J. Roberts

The nightmare begins…
Two girls lost on a lonely country road. 
One killer thrilled with an unexpected opportunity.
Two families desperate to find their lost children.
One girl…lost
One girl remains…
Until a young boy joins her…
And discovers the Boogeyman is real.

About the Author:
Lillie J. Roberts is a multi-published, Amazon best-selling author who loves to read as much as she does to write. You can most often find her lost in her favorite genre, whether it be a hardback/paperback or an ebook (or maybe she's writing one), especially on road trips. She writes Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Chillers/Thrillers, Suspense from Modern Contemporary to New Adult and YA.

She lives in central Illinois with her husband, three children, and one wild Westie (who is usually her reading partner, he also listens to all her new story ideas, almost always with a wicked sense of humor). She loves movies and listens to them while she writes, it doesn't matter if they're old or new, as long as they're engaging. She loves all kinds of music, especially if it has a hard driving beat. You'll find some on her favorite artists mentioned in the pages of her books.

Speak of the Devil by Shawna Romkey

What happens when falling in love and falling from grace collide?

After dying in a car accident with her two best friends, Lily miraculously awakens to grief and guilt. She escapes to her dad’s to come to terms with the event and meets some people at her new school who seem all too eager to help her heal. Sliding deeper into sorrow and trying to fight her feelings for two of them, she discovers who…what they really are and learns they are falling too.

Can she find the strength to move on from the past, reconcile her feelings for Luc, figure out how to stop a divine war with fallen angels, and still pass the eleventh grade?

About the Author:
Shawna grew up around farms in the heart of Missouri but went to the University of Kansas, was raised in the US but now lives on the ocean in Nova Scotia with her husband, two sons and two rescue dogs, one of which is an overgrown puppy from hell. She's a non-conformist who follows her heart.

She has her BA in creative writing from the University of Kansas where one of her plays was chosen by her creative writing professor to be produced locally, and two of her short stories were published in a university creative arts handbook. She earned her MA in English from Central Missouri State University where she wrote a novel as her thesis.

She's taught English at the university and secondary levels for close to twenty years and can't quite fathom how all of her students have grown up, yet she's managed to stay the same. She's a huge geek and fan of Xena, Buffy and all kick ass women, and loves to write stories that have strong female characters.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Check Out My Witchy Hosts!

Today, I’m being hosted on two of my favorite blogs, Ask-A-Witch and Metaphysical Meanderings. Of course the authors of these blogs are two of my favorite people as well!

Sam and John
Samantha Harvey is the head witch behind Ask-A-Witch. If you write in a spiritual or magickal question to this blog, Sam is author of the sassy response you will get. It’s interesting, full of great information, and at times too funny for words! Sam, also graphic artist extraordinaire, is the creator of my beautiful new Magick Charm book cover!

John Marani, aka husband, is the author of the Metaphysical Meanderings blog. If you want to know about astrology and tarot, he’s the expert! You’ll find posts here on the frequently asked “when is the next Mercury retrograde?” and “how do I minimize Merc retro fuckery?” as well as discussions of metaphysical news and book and tarot deck reviews. Of course, John can’t do anything without adding his own brand of wit to it - you'll love his Saturn vs. Neptune posts as well!

If you don’t already, I recommend you add both of these blogs to your reading list! Thanks for hosting me, Sam and John!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Magick Charm Now Available on #Kindle! (#pnr #iartg)

Magick Charm on Kindle for $2.99
It’s official! My first book, Magick Charm, was re-released a week ago. It’s my first self-pub effort, and I’ve been busy figuring out all the details and getting everything set up and out there.

Now I’m busy working on several new things. I’m editing a novella that occurs about three months after Magick Charms ends. Voodoo Magick is a story about Officer Megan Beaty and a murder case that hits a little too close to home. After that, I’ll be working on two major rewrites. The first one is the second New Orleans Magick book. The second is a rewrite of the first book I ever completed. But I’m keeping the rest of the details of that project under wraps for now.

Recently, several of the authors from my former publishing house have been releasing new books. I’m going to take some time over the next several weeks to tell you about them. Please check them out and pick up a couple new reads!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Magick Charm Re-release Cover Reveal

             I’m excited to show everyone my new cover for Magick Charm! This book was originally released about four years ago, and the rights have recently been returned to me. I’ve been working hard at polishing up this second edition, and I’m proud to be self-publishing it on April 1.
            While I loved the original cover, I wanted a new look and something that will have continuity with the upcoming covers in this series. Luckily, I have a close friend, Samantha Harvey, who’s also a graphic design whiz, and I asked her for help. I absolutely love what she came up with and I’m sure you will too!

            We discovered two fantastic images on Flickr that were combined into the final cover photo. Bourbon Street at night was taken by Sara Kelly and the twin lightning bolts picture was taken by Broderick Delaney. You can find the links to their work and their pages below.
            If you’re looking for a cover design artist or website designer, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Samantha Harvey at contact[at]13magickalmoons.com. I’m looking forward to seeing what she comes up with for my upcoming titles Gypsy Magick and Free Spirit!
            In the meantime, it’s only 12 days until Magick Charm is re-released!

Bourbon Street at Night 2 by MsSaraKelly, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  MsSaraKelly 
Night lightning by wxcasterphx, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  wxcasterphx 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Authors Behaving Badly

            I’ve been inspired by events over the last few days to write this blog post. I’m sure that most of my readers have no idea what set of circumstances I’m specifically talking about, and I apologize, but I’m not going to entirely fill you in. I feel that the situation has gone quite far enough and there’s enough fuel on this particular fire. And I’m not going to even touch the particular topics people are upset about; people have differences of opinion and different views, and sometimes I might even agree with their general stance or point. What I don’t agree with is how some authors and their fans are conducting themselves, and that is what I’m talking about today.
            Let me give you some idea of what I’m discussing today in broad terms. Some of these examples are things that have happened this week, but some of them are things I’ve seen over the years I’ve been in the publishing business.
            Some of the things I’m upset about have to do with basic politeness that some people seem to think, because of the distance and/or anonymity of the internet, they can do away with. When authors have differences of opinion, I have seen instances of name-calling, bullying, and encouraging their followers to do the same. This is especially egregious when very popular authors do it since they have loads of attention, sway, and followers. The fallout can be downright wicked in that case.
            Ironically, some of the people out there yelling that a particular author is being a bully turn around and become even bigger bullies in response. Here’s the thing - when I was tormented in high school by a certain nasty young lady and her posse of losers, I eventually had enough, chewed her out, and told her to back off. After that, it was pretty much over and we ignored each other. What I didn’t do was then summon all of my friends to harass her. I didn’t go down to where she worked and tell them that I didn’t like how she behaved outside of work hours and they should fire her. If I had, who would have been the bully then?
Disagreeing by attacking someone's livelihood
is a cheap way to win an argument. **
            Here’s the thing I am most unhappy about, when authors attack the livelihood of other authors. Let me explain – some authors fight by going onto review sites and giving their rival’s books one star, leaving reviews like “absolutely horrible” or “worst book I ever read,” even though they’ve never read it. This is a cheap way of trying to make your point. It’s hard enough to make a living as a writer without being attacked unfairly.
            Let’s face it, people aren’t going to agree all the time, and sometimes you are going to absolutely hate something someone else has to say, but is attacking their livelihood really the correct response? And before you say, “well it depends on what is said,” would you feel the same if someone did it to you? The most polite and reasonable person in the world has undoubtedly at some point said something they regretted, was misunderstood, or was just plain disagreed with.
            There’s one more point I’d like to reiterate. It’s tough out there in the publishing world, especially among the Indie authors. What would happen if we just ignored bad behavior instead of drawing battle lines? Or if we supported each other instead of tearing each other down? That is the kind of community I’d like to be a part of, and I hope more authors feel the same.

Book burning by pcorreia, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  pcorreia 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Formatting a Book for Self-Publishing

What is this formatting thing I hear of? I recall it happened after I finished my last edits with my publisher. It went to someone who did some magical stuff to it in their computer and then all the Kindles and Nooks and iThings were happy to download it.

Now that I’m stepping out on my own, I become the someone who does magical stuff to my document. If only I had some clue of what I’m supposed to be doing!

That was my thought last month. I practically begged a friend of mine to figure it out and do it for me, and because she loves me, she agreed. But I decided if I can learn to do it myself, that would make things easier for future books. Plus, she has an eleven-week-old, so I’m pretty sure she’s got her hands full already! ☺

This is what I’ve learned so far. Formatting basically translates your Word document (or whatever program you use) into the different languages each e-book reader uses. No, I don’t know why they don’t all use the same one, though that would make sense to me. This is probably why I’m not a computer person.

In addition to the translation, you also have to take into account the margins, copyright page, fonts, tabs… basically how everything looks and make sure it’s all consistent.

How does the book get from my word processing program to your Kindle?
(Image from Amazon)

I was dreading doing this sort of thing by hand. So it was like kismet when I heard of a formatting program that was being recommended at around this time. Not to sound like an ad, but it’s called Jutoh, it cost $39, and it does all the formatting into all the different e-reader types.

About a week ago, I started working with it, and after a few false starts, I managed to get something that looks like… a book! I’m pretty happy with it. So now I will do yet another read-through to spot any remaining typos, any odd characters, or anything that didn’t translate quite right, that sort of thing. But it’s coming along, and I feel all publisher-y and almost like I know what I’m doing.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Writing Update

I promised a work update, so here it is.

In late January, I received an email from my publisher stating that all of their authors were being released from their contracts. What does that mean? Well, three main things, at least as it pertains to me. One, my books will be going out of print. Two, the rights to those books will return to me. That basically means that what happens to those stories is completely in my hands now.

And that leads to the third thing. I will be self-publishing those books as well as their related, previously unpublished, sequels in the upcoming months.

Right now, I’m doing my best to learn about self-publishing. I’m finding there’s a lot more to it than I ever dreamed. I’ll try to write up a few behind-the-scenes posts as I go along so you can see what I mean.

My current goal is to have Magick Charm published again on April 1. After that, I’ll be working on getting Practically Dreaming back for sale. I’ve been asked about sequels to MC, and they’re coming, I promise! I’ve got a novella on the way as well as at least two more novels in that series. Likely, I’ll also be writing a novella as a sequel to PD, but that’ll be a little ways farther down the road.

If you are on Facebook, please come and “like” my new, improved author page!

Monday, February 9, 2015


            Okay, I admit it’s been an age since I blogged. I have reasons (read: excuses), but they don’t really matter. I’m back and I’m writing!
            A lot has been happening since my last post!
  • I gave myself a wicked case of writer’s block, then kicked it.
  • I moved to a new house – it’s right across the parking lot from the last house, but that doesn’t mean the move was any less hideous.
  • I went on the Atkins diet, lost a ton of weight, but had to quit it. Who knew Atkins wasn’t so good for depression?
  • I have a new godson! Connor is just as perfect as his brother, Marcus, and I couldn’t be prouder of them.
  • Pele is growing up – she’s almost two now – and Morgana and Luna continue to be beautiful and sweet.
  • I'm back at pottery class, which means my sanity is returning!
  • I visited a few new cities: Niagara Falls, Gatlinburg, Atlanta, and Chattanooga.
  • I turned 40!

Connor about a week after his birth
(Marcus is playing in the background.)

Pele looking all grown up

Niagara Falls
Yep, that's a lot of water.

Next post: Career update.