Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday's Top Ten

In honor of all NaNo participants ... the top ten ways to write a first draft:

10. On your knees

  9. In a tree

  8. Buzzed by bees

  7. With a pet

  6. On a bet

  5. In a car

  4. At a bar

  3. With a pen

  2. Or full of gin

And the #1 way to write a first draft:

  1. Any way - you finish, you win!

Congrats to all NaNo participants!



If you would like to participate in the
cover reveal
for my new book, 
SOLOMON'S COMPASS
on Monday, January 7,
please sign up here.
Thanks to all who help me get the word out!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Big News! Turkey Re-Hash and Hot Tamales

Reminder: Today I'm guest blogging at Petit Fours and Hot Tamales. I'd love for you to come over and say hi. Tell your friends!

And if you haven't seen it yet, please check out my news below, too.

:::

Happy Monday!

For those of you here in the U.S., I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful. I also hope you survived Black Friday without too many scrapes and bruises to your body, your psyche, and your bank account.

Our Thanksgiving was fantastic, and I ate way too much. We stayed home on Friday and enjoyed a very lazy day, except for trying to put the house back in order. I think my favorite part of Thanksgiving is turkey sandwiches :)

Now it's time to move forward.

This is the last week of NaNo. I hope all your word counts are on track. Congrats to all of you who are participating this year!

On Wednesday, I will be the guest blogger/chef at Petit Fours and Hot Tamales. If you're not familiar with this blog, zip over and check it out. You can go today, but please go back on Wednesday - LOL! Petit Fours and Hot Tamales is a group blog powered by ten awesome southern writers, some of whom you've seen commenting and guest posting here. I'm happy to be part of their team for the day.

And now for my Big News.

On Monday, January 7, I will be doing a Cover and Blurb Reveal for my next book - SOLOMON'S COMPASS.

And I'm inviting all of you to share this news. I'm not picky about how you do it - on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, carrier pigeon, or tribal drums. Whispers to your sister and BFF. Whatever. I'm just hoping you will help me get the word out.

SOLOMON'S COMPASS is a story of love, loyalty, and the value of keeping a promise. I can hardly wait for you to see the awesome cover. The designer, Derek Murphy, outdid himself. I had a definite idea in mind, and he developed it. My idea turned into a Massive Fail. I sent him the blurb and synopsis and asked him to do his magic. He did. I'm totally thrilled.

If you would like to participate in the Big Reveal, please sign up on the linky list below. During the first week of January, I will send you all the information about the book for you to use as you wish.

BTW, you all know I'm not exactly technically proficient. If the list isn't here when you read, you may experience me tinkering on Monday morning until it shows up. Or yelling for help if it never does.

Huge thank-you hugs for helping me by participating!


Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday's Top Ten

Since I'm not one to take Black Friday too seriously, the top ten best gifts to purchase for that special someone:

10. Dentist - wooden teeth

  9. Doctor - a timer

  8. Plumber - pipe cleaners

  7. Carpenter - nail polish

  6. Electrician - a taser

  5. Lawn Mowers - grass seed

  4. Teacher - book of quizzes

  3. Handyman - convenient woman

  2. Lawyer - Fruit of the Loom briefs

And the #1 gift to purchase for that special someone:

  1. Thief - get out of jail free card


HOLIDAY SALE!
In Name Only
Kindle Edition
$2.99
Through Saturday, 12-15-12
Amazon Time - Of Course



Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Today I have some good news to share with you.

Starting this Friday, November 23 - the infamous Black Friday - the Kindle edition of In Name Only will be on sale for the holidays!

The sale will run at Amazon beginning this Friday and run through midnight, Saturday, December 15. Or whenever Amazon makes the actual changes.

I'm learning as I go because I'm a virgin at this - don't laugh. There's not much still available to choose from. I can't be picky about this.

So ...

HOLIDAY SALE!
In Name Only
Kindle Edition
$2.99
12:01 a.m. Friday, 11-23-12 to 11:59 p.m. Saturday, 12-15-12
Amazon Time - Of Course


I also want to wish all of you Happy Thanksgiving!

At Casa Kilgore, we're having two tables of diners for the big day. I'm thankful I will have lots of preparation help! The turkey is already thawing, and I'm going to be a busy woman this week.

How about you?

Are you hosting? Cooking? Or are you going to be a guest this year?

There have been years Live-In Handyman and I have been "just two" for Thanksgiving, and we've made those into very special days that I'll always treasure. But there's something about the whole family thing that is so fun for everyone. As long as no one gets too rowdy.

My wish for you is a Happy Thanksgiving you'll always remember.

For those of you not celebrating this week, I wish you a safe and productive week.

See you Friday!

Unless you're doing the shop 'til you drop thing. In which case you have my sincere sympathies.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday's Top Ten - Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest

Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest
Hosted by Andrew Leon, Matthew MacNish, and Alex J. Cavanaugh



I really wanted to participate in this blogfest ... it's all about letting our blogging buddies know how special they are. But the date fell on a Friday, the day I reserve for the Top Ten.

What was I to do?

Duh! Read on and pay attention. There may be test  ...


The top two bloggers I miss and why:

Carrie at Carrie On Carrying On
I love Carrie's easy style and the way she writes about her home and family. I also love the Adventures of Roz and all Carrie's awesome photos. Sadly, Carrie is experiencing some health issues.
Take care of yourself Carrie, and hurry back to blog world.

Elspeth Antonelli at It's a Mystery
Elspeth is taking a sabbatical from blogging to, actually - you know - write! Kudos to Elspeth, but I miss her wit and snarky humor :) Most of all, I miss her sheep. Sigh.

and

The top two bloggers I WOULD miss if they stopped blogging:

Elizabeth Spann Craig at Mystery Writing Is Murder
Omigosh! I learn so much from Elizabeth's posts. And from her guest bloggers, too. I don't always comment there, but I nearly always read. I've been following Elizabeth almost since I first started blogging. BONUS ... She writes cool books, too :)

LD Masterson
What can I say? She's funny, she's sweet, she makes me laugh and go aww all in the same blog post. To top it off, she's an all-around good person. I miss her posts when she goes on a break, so I know I would miss her if she stopped blogging.

and

I'm stretching the rules a teeeny bit ...

The #1 blogger who better never stop blogging, lest I send Vinnie and Joe Bob to convince him otherwise:

Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh
No. Words. Necessary.


Did you pay attention?

Here's the test.

How many bloggers are listed above?

How many explanations or lack thereof are stated above?

What is the total of bloggers and explanations or lack thereof?

Ta-Da!

Friday's Top Ten Strikes Again :)


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Keeping Your Name in Readers’ Minds


I'm back from the beach and totally relaxed :)

Today I'm thrilled to have M. Pax guest blogging at the Tiki Hut. So I'll just shut up and let Mary take it from here.

:::

Much thanks to Carol for inviting me to the Tiki Hut. It reminds me of a wonderful bar at Herbert’s beach in Nevis. Just a palm tree shack with wonderful rum punch. A great impression on my mind, but we’re hear to talk about keeping an impression in your readers’ minds.

During the lulls between releases, an author should keep their name in their readers’ minds. One of the easiest ways to do this is to establish a mailing list / newsletter.

Some of you are probably thinking, there’s something else I have to do? Don’t we do enough? Think of it this way, people who sign up for your newsletter are those most interested in more from you. You want to be able to communicate with them, your loyal fans, and you want to be able to do so directly.

Mail Chimp, YMLP, and others offer mailing list services for free up until a certain number of subscribers. I use YMLP and don’t have to pay until I hit 1,000 signups. By the way, that’s a lot. It’ll probably take years to reach that many.

I ask readers to sign up for my newsletter at the end of my books with the direct link, and I also mention it in the front matter. I tell them they’ll be the first to hear when a release becomes available and will be offered a discount on all new releases. I’m very careful to keep my word.

You don’t have to email your list every month, but you should make a notation on your calendar to regularly engage your readers.

So what can an author say between book releases?

Give a sneak peek of the next book. In December, I will inform my list that the third book in my Backworlds series has a set deadline, when they can expect its release, and I’ll give them the first few chapters to read as a holiday gift.

Offer free ARCs to your list in exchange for reviews prior to the next launch.

Send photos or artwork. I’ve sent photos I’ve taken at the observatory where I docent every summer.

Ask for fan input on a story you’re working on. Hold a contest or giveaway for your mailing list only and create a character for the winner. Send a flash fiction. Send an essay.

Anything to make them think of you and to let them know you appreciate them.

What ideas do you have for keeping readers entertained between releases?

:::

The Renaissance of Hetty Locklear is my latest release, the first book in a New Adult Urban Fantasy.

Graduation from community college isn’t the magic elixir Hetty Locklear counts on for becoming an adult. Her parents, who work the Renaissance fair circuit, insist she spend part of the summer with them. Hetty doubts pretending to live in the Middle Ages will help her find her way.

 To make it worse, an entity haunts her at her dead-end job, warning her of a dangerous man she doesn’t know. The ghost leads her to a lover who has a lot of secrets. He pulls her farther into peril and into a strange, hidden world of genetic experimentation.




Author Bio:
Inspiring the words she writes, M. Pax spends her summers as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory in stunning Central Oregon where she lives with her Husband Unit and two very spoiled cats. She writes science fiction mostly, wears a Browncoat, and has a slight obsession with Jane Austen. www.mpaxuthor.com

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Renaissance of Hetty Locklear

Guess what?
I'm not really here. 

Live-In Handyman surprised me over the weekend
with a beachy trip for my birthday :) 

I'll be catching up with your blogs during the week.
But don't look for me too soon!

:::


Most of you already know Mary - aka M. Pax. She's been blogging for a while and is quite a prolific author.

Her Backworlds series is continuing and now she's begun a new series featuring Hetty Locklear.

I'm thrilled to be participating in her Launch Week festivities!

So without further ado from me ... let the jousting begin!


A New Adult Urban Fantasy, The Renaissance of Hetty Locklear is the first book in a new series. And it’s now out! The main character, Hetty, is a twenty-two-year-old, stumbling about in an effort to become a full-fledged adult. She struggles with self-esteem, weight, relationships, and making the transition between college and the real world.

The Renaissance of Hetty Locklear is New Adult Urban Fantasy with a contemporary sci-fi twist. Mature content.



Graduation from community college isn’t the magic elixir Hetty Locklear counts on for becoming an adult. Her parents, who work the Renaissance fair circuit, insist she spend part of the summer with them. Hetty doubts pretending to live in the Middle Ages will help her find her way.

To make it worse, an entity haunts her at her dead-end job, warning her of a dangerous man she doesn’t know. The ghost leads her to a lover who has a lot of secrets. He pulls her farther into peril and into a strange, hidden world of genetic experimentation.


The Renaissance of Hetty Locklear is New Adult Urban Fantasy with a contemporary sci-fi twist. Mature content. It is available as an ebook at Amazon / Amazon UK / Smashwords / iTunes / Kobo

Visit www.mpaxauthor.com for more links.

But that's not all!

M. Pax is celebrating her latest release with a jousting tournament and contest at www.mpaxauthor.com. Cheer for the knights to help them win the grand prize, and you’ll be put in a drawing to win an ebook copy of The Renaissance of Hetty Locklear. Five will be given away. Huzzah!



To make all this even better ... M. Pax will be back here on Wednesday with a guest post you don't want to miss.

See you Wednesday!


Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday's Top Ten

Top ten classic toys:

10. Lincoln Logs

  9. Tinker Toys

  8. Silly Putty

  7. Slinky

  6. Hot Wheels

  5. GI Joe

  4. Barbie

  3. Etch-A-Sketch

  2. Rubik's Cube

And the #1 classic toy:

  1. Legos


I know I left out many. And I purposely didn't go into games because there are way too many.

What classic toys can you add?

What was your favorite toy?

And did anyone reading here EVER solve Rubik's Cube?


Monday, November 5, 2012

I Need Your Help

Not money.
Not blog related.
Not time (well, maybe two seconds).

Think back to the summer. Are you there?

You may remember that I spent most of my summer on a blog tour for IN NAME ONLY.

My debut novel was a total learning experience. Of course I learned a lot in the writing of it, but this wasn't the first novel I wrote, and I learn a lot with each one.

With this novel, I learned what it's like to work with professional editors, cover designers, and formatters. I learned what's involved with getting a book Out There for readers to read.

And, boy-oh-boy, did I learn about promotion. Even with all I learned, I don't know enough. I'm certain I'll make more mistakes next time - but they will be different ones!

It's this Next Time I need your help with.

One of the tasks involved with listing the book on Amazon is what amounts to shelving it. Placing it in a genre.

For most of you, this would be an easy task.

For She Who Excels in Complicating Everything ... not so much.

For marketing purposes, I came of with my own genre:
Crime Fiction with a Kiss

What? Amazon doesn't include Crime Fiction with a Kiss as an option? No way!

Truth. Sigh.

What's a writer to do?

This writer futzed around at the Big A and listed her book under Crime Fiction, Mystery, and Romance. And, she thinks, spread herself too thin in the process.

Now time is rolling around to be thinking about the next book. It's a very different story, but the same type of book as IN NAME ONLY.

Both my editor and my proofreader have told me which shelf they believe it should sit on, even though it doesn't meet all the official requirements to sit there. It was the same with IN NAME ONLY, but I don't always listen - LOL! 

Here's the blurb on the back of the paperback - and at Amazon:

No Home. No Family. No Place to Hide.
For Summer Newcombe, that's only the beginning.

The night Summer escapes from a burning Padre Island eatery and discovers the arsonist is stalking her, is the same night she meets Fire Captain Gabriel Duran. As much as she's attracted to him, five years in the Federal Witness Security Program because of her father’s testimony against a mob boss have taught her the importance of being alone and invisible. No matter how much she yearns for a real home, she relinquished that option the night she killed the man who murdered her father. But Gabe breaks down her guard and places both of them in danger. She's vowed never to kill again, but she's frantic she'll cost Gabe his life unless she stops running and fights for the future she wants with the man she loves.

Please select where you would shelve the book if you had to choose:
a. Crime Fiction
b. Mystery
c. Suspense
d. Thriller
e. Romantic Suspense
f. Romance
g. Some Combination of the Above
h. Other (Specify, please)

You can just put the answer in the comments or you're welcome to email me at tikihuttime AT gmail DOT com if there's something you'd like to discuss.

YOU DO NOT NEED TO SAY WHETHER YOU READ THE BOOK. I ONLY WANT TO KNOW WHERE YOU WOULD SHELVE IT BASED ON THIS INFORMATION. IF YOU HAVE READ THE BOOK, YOU MAY DRAW ON THE STORY, BUT YOU DON'T NEED TO MENTION THAT.

Thanks for participating. Your answers will help me more than you know.

I owe you big time. So just yell if you ever need a hugely big favor. Or even a small one :)

See you Friday!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday's Top Ten

Top ten things about me that people think are quirky and maybe weird:

10. I'm a total klutz

  9. I make connections most others don't

  8. But the connections are not always the correct ones

  7. I usually say what I think

  6. I see things others miss

  5. And miss the obvious

  4. I embarrass myself in public (see #10 and #8 and #7 and #5)

  3. I sometimes don't plan ahead

  2. I'm rarely bored (see #4 and #3)

And the #1 thing about me that people think is quirky and maybe weird:

  1. I'm a writer