Cover reveal: Hold On To Love

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Cover designed by: Najla Qamber Designs
Cover models: Courtney Boyett and Willis Totten
Release date: June 2014
Genre: Contemporary country romance

My dear followers, I am beyond excited to finally be able to show you the amazing cover created by Najla. She managed to capture the perfect countryish/romantic mood I was looking for and I couldn’t be happier with the final result.

The landscape is a real Wyoming landscape, with the Teton Range in the background. Isn’t it just beautiful? It makes me want to pack up and move there!

And in case you missed the previous post, here’s the official blurb:

Three weeks. All Alyssa O’Riordan needs is three weeks away from her wealthy life in New York City, to clear her mind and decide what she wants from her life. A dude ranch in Wyoming seems like the perfect place for a temporary escape from the cage her life has become.
What she doesn’t expect is to come face-to-face with a handsome cowboy, who’s just as grumpy and rough as he is good-looking. All of a sudden, the promise of a relaxing, invigorating holiday seems long gone.

Three weeks. For Sean Maclaine, three weeks around the new guest feel like an eternity. After his first-hand experience with the upper class, rich daddy’s girls have become his worst nightmare, so when Alyssa O’Riordan shows up at his family’s ranch, he knows the time won’t go by fast enough. All he has to do is stay away from her, and count the hours until she finally goes back to New York.

Three weeks. Will three weeks be long enough for them to get over their prejudices and start looking beyond the surface?

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If you’re on Goodreads, please consider adding it to your to-read shelf. Once I reach 100 adds, I may or may not release the whole first chapter. :)

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the cover, so please do leave a comment.

excerpt

*** excerpt is unedited and subject to change ***

Alyssa checked her watch and her face fell: it was past one o’clock. She’d been away almost four hours and she’d slept nearly the entire time–no wonder they were all so worried about her disappearance.

How had it happened? She hadn’t slept so soundly in ages, she couldn’t believe she had been able to sleep so long without ever waking up and noticing it was time to go back.

She felt terribly sorry for causing so much trouble; she’d have to make sure to apologize profusely to Mrs. Maclaine as soon as she got back to the ranch.

“I’m sorry, I guess I fell asleep and didn’t realize it was so late…”

“If you wanted to take a nap, you could have done so in your room or in the backyard. You really didn’t need to come out here and have us all worried about what might have happened to you,” he cut her off, curtly. “But no, of course Miss City Girl had to have it her way, or she wouldn’t be happy. Because that’s what you’re used to, isn’t it? Daddy always gives you what you want, so you think that everyone else will do the same, no matter what.”

Alyssa was close to tears, and didn’t know what else to say to apologize; nevertheless, he was still yelling at her, and his tone was so harsh she thought she was either going to start screaming or kick him hard in the shins.

What right did he have to say those things to her, when she’d made it clear she was sorry?

“What’s wrong with you?” she shouted, throwing her hands in the air in exasperation. “I said I was sorry, I didn’t do it on purpose. Why do you have to be so thick, now?”

“Just because I’m a country man doesn’t mean I’m stupid!” he said in a loud and harsh tone.

Alyssa stood up, and he followed suit. She was furious and desperately wanted to tell him all she thought of him, without worrying too much about the consequences. She’d had enough now.

“I never said that!” she barked, feeling insulted; not only had he been awful to her all week, now he was also putting words in her mouth, making her look like the bad witch.

“Your riches don’t necessarily make you better than me,” he said, adjusting his hat on his head. His eyes were ice slits, staring at her from underneath the brim of his cowboy hat.

“I never said I’m better than you. Yes, I come from money, so what? It’s not my fault.”

“It is if you look down on people who don’t belong to your happy little world, and treat everyone else as if they should be at your service, satisfying all of your whims, just because you can afford it.”

“I don’t!” she yelled, exasperated from all this nonsense. “I’m not that kind of person at all. And what right do you have to say these things anyway, when you barely even know me?”

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Book blitz: Love Redeemed by Love Belvin

Love Redeemed

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Book 4 CoverBook Title: Love Redeemed
Author: Love Belvin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 2014
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

synopsis

Love Redeemed – the conclusion of the of the Love’s Improbable Possibility series:

Life’s complicated…
Life’s not fair…
All is fair in love and war…

Find out in this riveting conclusion how Rayna reconciles her inability to trust and willingness to explore love in ways she thought she wasn’t worthy of. See love redeemed for someone who thought it was not in the cards. Also, experience Azmir’s lessons on love, forgiveness, and acceptance as his world is transformed to include a life partner.

author

Love Belvin is a native of the Tri-State area and now lives in the Delaware Valley. She’s an avid reader and enjoys dinner parties with her closest girlfriends. While she enjoys many things, nothing excites her more than curling up with a glass of wine and a good romance novel.
excerpt

Redeemed Promo #1

 

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Blog tour: The Reason by Jen Andrews

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synopsis

Zoey James is in a funk. She has been through more in her twenty-three years than most people have experienced in their entire lives. After her ex-husband tries to take everything she’s worked so hard for, she makes one rule: Never date someone she works with.

When her father’s newly hired mechanic moves into the apartment above their family-run business, Zoey’s lonely life is flipped upside down.

As a teenager, New Zealand native, Andy Tate’s family is tragically killed in an accident, and he is taken in by his aunt and uncle. Andy is pulled away from the only place he’s ever known as home, and moved halfway around the world to Northern California.

Ten years and one failed marriage later, Andy finds himself living in a new city, with a new job at James Racing, and living in an apartment next door to Zoey, his new boss’s beautiful and damaged daughter.

After an interesting chain of events over one weekend, Andy and Zoey form an unexpected bond. Even though he’s the only one who can get through to her, she will do all that she can to keep him at a distance and not break her one rule.

Will Andy be the reason for Zoey to start living her life again, or will she continue on her downward spiral, until she finally hits rock bottom?

author

Jen Andrews was raised in a small town in Northern California, and still lives in the same county where she was born. She is a self-proclaimed music and lyric addict. She grew up in ‘car family’ so her life has been spent around old hot rods. She and her husband, Jake, even have a few of their own. In her spare time, Jen loves to travel wherever she can. She finally lived her dream of traveling to New Zealand to see her favorite rugby team, the All Blacks, play. Jen loves to do photography as a hobby and continues to write.

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April 7

Anny books | Coull Critiques | Book Lover Reviews | Bottles & Books Reviews

April 8

My Daily Romance | Seductive Romance Reviews | Roberta’s Dreamworld

April 9

Your Next Book Boyfriend | Delightfully Dirty Reads | Bits of Books by Monica

April 10

Lost in Romance Books | Dirty Girl Book Club | The Pleasure of Reading Today

April 11

Penny For My Thoughts Book Blog | This Mommy Loves To Read | Scandalous Book Blog | Give Me Books

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Release day event: Let Love Be by Melissa Collins

Let Love Be Release Day Event.2

 

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Book Title:Let Love Be
Author: Melissa Collins
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date:April 7, 2014
Hosted by:Book Enthusiast Promotions

synopsis

What would bring you happiness in a world that was suddenly empty?

For Lucy Crane, the answer is simple: her daughter. When her husband is killed in a tragic accident, Lucy loses her desire to live, but only one thing keeps her going – her unborn daughter. Focusing on being a mother helps Lucy cope with her loss, but kids grow up and they leave home, eventually. Eighteen years after losing her first and only love, Lucy is faced with the opportunity to find the happiness for which she’s always longed. Her own fears become her worst enemies as she learns how to embrace love once again.

Evan Donovan is also facing his own struggles. Forced to retire from the FDNY because of lung damage caused by 9/11, Evan moves to upstate New York where he hopes to find a little peace and quiet. Old habits die hard, and Evan’s hero complex and survivor’s guilt constantly remind him of how difficult it is to be vulnerable. But for the first time in his life, he’s tired of being alone.

Drawing strength from one another, Lucy and Evan discover how beautiful it is to let love be a part of their lives.

author

Author PicMelissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.

Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.

excerpt

 

“Oh, I love this movie.” She settles on Forrest Gump as I grab my second slice.

“So, you already know about my history. What about you? Have you ever been married?” Forrest’s proposal to Jenny plays in the background.

“No. I mean, I’ve had a few relationships here and there, but work always got in the way. Staying single was
somehow easier.”

“Same here. I mean, when Melanie was a kid, it was much easier to just focus on that part of my life.”

“Now?” I hazard a question that takes even me by surprise.

She puts her plate down on the coffee table and swallows back a large sip of water. “Now, I’m not so sure.”

Suddenly, my mind races with the possibilities of what her words mean. It’s crazy to think how just a few encounters with Lucy have made me re-evaluate my feelings. Obviously, she feels the same way. A calm and peaceful air falls on us as a small smile curls at my lips.

A comfortable silence fills the space as we watch the movie, recalling some memories when certain scenes come up.

Nothing prepares me for Lucy’s reaction when Jenny and Forrest get married and she tells him she’s sick. I try not to look at her, wanting to avoid making her feel like she’s in the spotlight or anything like that. I do notice a few stray tears streaking down her cheeks so I can only imagine what’s to come.

As we watch Forrest sitting beside Jenny’s grave, reading a letter from their son, Lucy reaches for a napkin. Clutching it to her chest, I can see her breathing rapidly. What were just a few tears earlier is now a steady stream. She doesn’t say anything, won’t even look at me, but I can’t watch her cry like this.

I shift on the small, overstuffed sofa and drape my arm around her. The top of her head fits perfectly into the crook of my shoulder. The scent of her hair takes over my senses; the sound of her softly sniffling through her tears tugs at my heart.

I alternate between squeezing her arm and tracing my fingers up over her shoulder. When she seems to have gathered her emotions, calming down a bit, my instincts take over and I act seemingly without thinking.

Or maybe I am thinking and I’m just afraid of what I’m thinking.

Gently pressing my lips to the top of her soft, brown hair feels like second nature. She tenses momentarily, and I realize I may have just overstepped my boundaries.

“Sorry about that.” I straighten in my seat and try to move my arm, but her fingers fall to my forearm. She looks up at me through long lashes with puffy, red eyes from crying.

“Don’t be.” Her voice is soft, angel-like. “It’s nice to be held.”

That piece of information prompts me to pull her even closer. “Well, I’m glad I could be of service.”

She laughs softly and then takes a deep breath before she shifts to move away from me, which just makes me pull her close once again. “Don’t,” planting another quick kiss to her head, “it’s nice to have someone to hold.”

teaser 15

 

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Cover reveal: Blackout by F.X. Scully

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BlackOut_FinalCoverBook Title:Blackout
Author: F.X. Scully
Genre: Contemporary Adult Romance
Release Date:April 30, 2014
Hosted by:Book Enthusiast Promotions

synopsis

Ross Black is a failure.

He failed to protect his little brother from their past.

He failed to keep him out of trouble.

And now he’s having trouble holding onto the one girl who gets him. The one who makes him want to act like more like a man and less of an asshole. But he has a choice to make–take care of his brother or take care his heart. It’s not an easy decision especially considering he’s finally done something he never thought was possible: Fall in love.

Sheila Carlson is a lost cause.

She lost her sister.

She lost her dream.

And now she’s about to lose the one person she can count on. The one who makes her forget the worst parts of her life. When she learns a truth about her sister, she must decide what’s more important, doing what’s right or what feels good.

Despite their issues, Sheila and Ross have something. It’s real. It’s raw. It’s probably wrong. But they’re determined to hold on for as long as they can. Especially if it means letting go of the things they’d rather forget.

excerpt

I tap on the window and it takes a full thirty seconds before she stops glaring at me and finally winds it down.

“I can’t believe you just did that.”

“I know,” I say. “I’m sorry. Cole and I have history and…it was a misunderstanding.”

She crosses her arms. “What kind of misunderstanding?”

“I thought he was—he—look, don’t worry about it okay? We cleared the air.” I open the car door, then squat down next to her. “Have you thought about what I said? About coming home?”

Sheila looks away and through the windshield. “Of course I’ve thought about it. I’m not sure how well that will go over with Maya though.”

“Hey.” I place my palm down on her lap and she tenses but, as I allow my fingers to move in slow circles, I can feel her relax against my touch. “Maya was a mistake. And I’ve felt like shit about it ever since. Even if we weren’t…I don’t love Maya. We’ve been over for a long time. It was a moment of weakness. I was feeling bad about myself. You had left, she was there. That’s it. It’s not going to happen again.”

“What about the other night?” she asks. “After your gig. I know what I saw.”

“What did you see?”

She opens her mouth and closes it again. Then she licks her lips and says, “nothing.”

“So will you come back?”

“I might not have a choice. Mr. Rose comes back in two days. Maybe I should just go home. Deal with real life. Everyone seems to think I’m doing a pretty shitty job with that anyway.”

“Can they blame you?”

She smiles. “You might be the only one who’s willing to give me a break.”

“Don’t go home,” I say. “Not yet. You can stay with me. You know I don’t mind.” Why the hell did I just say that? Everything Cole’s convinced me to do is for that reason and that reason only. To get her to deal with her issues, reconcile with her family. And then there’s Luke. “I mean, I definitely think you should go home,” I add. “At some point. But not until you’re ready. And maybe you’re not ready. But that’s okay. I can help.”

Her hand brushes against mine, before we entwine fingers. “You going to get me happy, Ross?” she asks with a chuckle.

I laugh. “Cole told you about that, huh?”

“I think it’s sweet what you did for him. It’s totally weird to imagine the two of you as friends, but he was lucky to have a friend like you.”

I can’t help myself. I place my palm against her face and stroke her cheek with my thumb. “I can be that for you, Blue. I can be anything you want if it’ll make you happy. Anything. I just want you to be okay.”

“What about Maya?” she asks.

“What about her? I told you, she—”

“How you feel about her and how she clearly feels about you are two different things. She’s going to be everywhere. You two are business partners now. You don’t think that’s going to be a problem?” She shakes her head. “I’ve had enough love triangles for a lifetime,” she adds with a weak smile.

I pull her toward me and, as twisted and confusing as I know it’s going to make things, I kiss her anyway. I kiss her hard and deep, holding her head between my hands, raking my fingers through her hair. I kiss her for every day I haven’t been able to taste or smell her since she walked out and for every day I know I’m going to be forced to give up when all is said and done. And then I pull back. “This isn’t a triangle,” I say firmly. “Not by a long shot.”

author

FXScullyLogo.jpg

F.X. Scully loves romance, but she doesn’t write your typical Happily Ever After. Because let’s face it, in the real world, it can sometimes take a lot of angst and pain before you get there. And some of us never do. But since most of us pick up books to escape the real world, her stories don’t lack hot boyfriends and sexy encounters. Neither will she leave you completely heart broken, sobbing into a tub of ice cream. Rest assured you’ll be on a roller coaster, but you’ll be glad you went along for the ride.

F.X. is the author of TWO THOUSAND 3 (November 2013), BECAUSE OF LUKE (February 2014) and BLACKOUT (April 2014).

You can read her extended bio here!

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Book blitz: Rising From The Ashes by Jessica Prince

Rising from the Ashes

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RISING FROM THE ASHESBook Title: Rising from the Ashes
Author: Jessica Prince
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

synopsis

People make mistakes when they’re young, but how they choose to come back from those mistakes is what matters in the end.

Savannah Morgan found true love at a very early age, but one rash decision — one that she would regret for the rest of her life — was all it took to end her relationship with the love of her life.

For seven years, Jeremy Matthews has accepted being “”just friends”” with the only woman he’s ever loved. Finally deciding that enough is enough, Jeremy relentlessly pursues Savannah until he forces her to see just how right they are for each other.

When Savannah’s past mistake is revealed, threatening the future she so desperately wants, the fate of their relationship lies in Jeremy’s hands. Will he be able to forgive Savannah, or is the relationship truly over?

When struggles and obstacles threaten the foundation of Savannah and Jeremy’s relationship, will they choose to let each other go, or rise from the ashes of the past to claim their happiness?

excerpt

I looked back out my window at Jeremy, taking in the broad chest, ripped abs, and muscular arms pushing the mower around my front lawn. Sweat was running down his sexy-as-sin torso, pulling my eyes to the worn out jeans that were resting low on his hips. The white T-shirt he’d shown up in earlier had been discarded and was hanging out the waistband of the back of his pants. He was a walking advertisement for sex, and even my neighbors couldn’t help but come outside to appreciate him.

I let out a sexually repressed sigh and went back to my conversation with Lizzy. “He’s bulked up a bit over the years, but yeah, for the most part, he’s always been pretty cut.”

She was silent for several seconds. “No offense, babe, but how in the ever-living hell did you give up having sex with that for the past seven years?”

I leaned my head against the glass and squeezed my eyes shut. “With an iron will.”

She started laughing on the other end of the phone. “How’s that working out for ya right now?”

“Well, considering I’m two seconds from knocking his ass out just so I can take advantage of him, I’d say not so good.”

authorJessica was born and raised in Texas—where she’ll stay because she claims the cost of living in Texas excuses the god-awful weather. She is first and foremost a wife and mother. Because of those two things, she’s also a self proclaimed wino and coffee addict.

She’s always been and avid lover of all types of books, but romances are her main favorites.
Jessica’s husband likes to say reading is her obsession, but she likes to call it her passion…there’s a difference.

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Book tour: A Life Less Ordinary by Victoria Bernadine

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synopsis

For the last fifteen years, Rose “Manny” Mankowski has been a very good girl. She turned her back on her youthful fancies and focused on her career. But now, at the age of 45, she’s questioning her choices and feeling more and more disconnected from her own life. When she’s passed over for promotion and her much younger new boss implies Manny’s life will never change, something snaps. In the blink of an eye, she’s quit her job, sold her house and cashed in her pension, and she’s leaving town on a six month road trip.

After placing a personal ad for a travelling companion, she’s joined in her mid-life crisis by Zeke Powell, the cynical, satirical, most-read – and most controversial – blogger for the e-magazine, What Women Want. Zeke’s true goal is to expose Manny’s journey as a pitiful and desperate attempt to reclaim her lost youth – and increase his readership at the same time. Leaving it all behind for six months is just an added bonus.

Now, armed with a bagful of destinations, a fistful of maps, and an out-spoken imaginary friend named Harvey, Manny’s on a quest to rediscover herself – and taking Zeke along for the ride.

author

Victoria Bernadine (a pseudonym) is, as the saying goes, a “woman of a certain age”. After twenty-something years of writer’s block, she began writing again in 2008.

Victoria enjoys reading all genres and particularly loves writing romantic comedy and post-apocalyptic science fiction. What those two have in common is anybody’s guess.

She lives in Edmonton with her two cats (The Grunt and The Runt). A Life Less Ordinary is the first novel she felt was good enough to be released into the wild.

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As part of the blog tour, I’m pleased to host in my Indie Author Interview Corner a women’s fiction author. Dear readers, please welcome Victoria Bernadine, author of “A Life Less Ordinary”.

Hello Victoria! Welcome to Roberta’s Dreamworld and thank you for your time.First of all, tell us something about yourself, both as a writer and as a person.

Thank you for having me! I’m very excited to be here! I’m a forty-something woman who started writing again after twenty some years of writer’s block. I’m the youngest of eight children, and I grew up on a farm in southern Saskatchewan. I now live in Edmonton, work full time and write whenever I can.

I love to write romantic comedies and post-apocalyptic science fiction. In fact, I’ve written a post-apocalyptic romance novel…yeah. I still give it the puzzled puppy look because I’m just not sure where it came from – LOL.

How/when did you realize you wanted to become a writer?

Probably from the moment I learned how to read. I was an insatiable reader, and it’s still one of my favourite things to do. I wrote stories (never finished) as a kid, mainly because I wanted something to read.

Let’s speak about A Life Less Ordinary”. Can you tell us a little about what the book is about?

The book is about a woman, Rose “Manny” Mankowski, who’s 45 and becoming more and more disconnected from her own life. She’s been doing the same job for fifteen years, and then she’s passed over for a promotion. Her new boss implies that nothing will ever change for Manny, and that’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back! Manny quits her job, cashes out her pension, sells her house, and hits the road for six months. Before she leaves town, she puts an ad in the paper for a travelling companion, preferably male with a hot red convertible.

Zeke Powell is 35, a bit of an arrogant jerk, who’s a multimedia developer and blogger for a website called What Women Want. He writes scathing blogs, and has some strong opinions about older women who are trying to recapture their lost youth. Manny’s ad is brought to the site’s attention, and his boss sends him on the road with Manny in order to write about her and her journey, all without her knowledge.

There are several other stories woven throughout the book , which involve Manny’s sister, Daisy, and their best friend, Rebecca, as well as Zeke’s best friend, TJ and his wife, Leah.

And, of course, there’s Harvey, Manny’s outspoken and sarcastic imaginary friend. Who looks very good in frilly pirate outfits, especially the tight pants.

How did you come up with the idea and how did you create the characters?

The idea grew out of the way I was feeling at the time, and was intended to be pure wish fulfillment. I already had Manny, but I had none of the other characters until an online friend gave me a list of actors along with the challenge of coming up with a TV show starring those actors. As soon as I looked at the list, and put them against my idea for this story, all the characters pretty much sprang fully grown from my head. The story practically wrote itself!

If you should describe your book in three words, what would you pick?

Fun beach read.

Do you have any favorite authors and did they influence your choice of the genre?

I have many, many, many, MANY favourite authors! LOL I read almost all genres (well, except erotica (just because I haven’t found any I actually find erotic)), but none of them really influenced my choice of genre. Light-hearted chick lit matched the story I wanted to tell.

I guess my answer to this question should really be: yes, and I WANT TO WRITE IN EVERY GENRE!! *flails* Unfortunately, I’m too lazy to do the necessary research for historical fiction (e.g., Westerns), and I don’t care enough about weapons and fighting techniques to write action-thrillers, and I’m not bright enough to write mysteries. I do write soft science fiction (“accept the gadgets and move on”), and I’d love to write a great, soaring space opera someday.

What else do you enjoy doing, when you’re not writing?

Reading, computer games, tv, movies, trying to get the cats to cuddle with me…or trying to get them to stop, if I’m in the middle of a game – LOL. There’s also family stuff, of course, and friends.

As a writer do you get support from your family and friends?

Yes, I do. They’re proud of me, and even said they liked the book! Some of the extended family bought copies, and/or told friends, and one of my sisters sold a copy in the airport on her way to Montreal last year – LOL.

Why did you decide to self-publish and how did you find the experience?

I decided to self-publish because I thought the book was good enough to justify asking people to pay money for it, but the thought of going through the query-rejection-query-rejection process just made me tired. Then one day I realized that, thanks to my previous job, I actually knew all the steps to publish a book, from contracts to editing to graphic design to printing. The only thing I didn’t have was marketing and distribution.

Are those important?? ;D

Indie authors don’t get to have a dedicated marketing team and professionals to look after the marketing of their books. How did you spread the news about your books and did it work?

I’ve been mostly using blog tours to spread the news. I did release the book in December 2012, and took a sabbatical from working in 2013, so my budget was (and still is) very small. I did do a few test ads on Facebook and a couple of other web sites, but those didn’t have any effect, as far as I could tell.

While the book isn’t even close to being a best seller, I’ve really enjoyed the tours, and I’ve interacted with great people, and that, to me, makes them successful.

That said, I’m coming up with ideas for expanding my marketing into the off-line world (e.g., working with other self-published authors to rent a table at conferences/trade shows/etc.; getting information out to independent bookstores). If you or your readers have any suggestions for marketing ideas, please let me know! :D

What are your dreams and plans for your future as a writer?

I have (counts on fingers) five stories on the go right now, with the goal of having three more published this year (a romantic comedy; a romance in a post-apocalyptic setting; a post-apocalyptic novella). The other two are a sequel to A Life Less Ordinary, and the novelization of a script about an alien invasion, and I’d like to have at least one of those released next year.

So, those are my plans.

My dreams are to continue to write and publish, and tour, and maybe gain a few more fans while I’m at it. :D

Would you like to say something to the readers to encourage them to read your books?

…I don’t really know what to say. Give them a try; I think you’ll like them? Seriously, I love the books I write, and I think that comes through (or I hope it does). I obviously need a publicist! LOL

 

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