Inteview with Hero in TERESA BLUE's "Night Bird"

Monday, April 30, 2012
“Where am I?” His voice held accusation, laced with warning. “What happened to the men on board my ship?”

The ominous furrowing of his brow held her in place, fearful of coming closer. She knew nothing of this man, shared only one common bond, the blood that bound them together.
From across the room, she watched him struggle to sit up. “I feel strange,” he said, running a hand across his face. Long, tapered fingers traced his cheeks as if seeking some familiarity before his hand dropped to his lap. “As if I’m not really here.” His voice shook with uncertainty.

Emma knew the disjointed feeling, remembered the questionable surge as the body adjusted, the heady rush of adrenaline shortly after transformation.

“Please…” The stranger’s voice broke through her thoughts. “What’s happened to my ship? All of my men?”

The soft glowing candle illuminated the inky darkness that had fallen as the last light of sun disappeared beyond the horizon.
She met his questioning stare. “The ship you speak of went down. Only charred and splintered wood remains, along with a few barrels of oil carried in with the tide.”

You just read an excerpt from:
Teresa Blue

Buy Link: The Wild Rose Press (available 5/2/2012)

Linda Kage: Today, we have Travis Howland here with us. The commander of a whaling ship, Travis is the hero in Teresa Blue's debut  novella, Night Bird, which releases in TWO days from The Wild Rose Press.

So, put your hands together for Travis! Hey there, captain! The burning question in all our minds this morning is...Who IS Travis?

Travis: Travis - a name that’s French in origin; the definition: To cross over- or act as gatekeeper.
After reading Night Bird, I think you’ll agree it’s a fitting name. Although my mother had no way of knowing that, but then again, maybe she did.
I serve as the captain and commander of the whaling ship, The Falcon, and consider myself to be fair in dealing with my crew. Of course I can be harsh when necessary. Our lives depend on each man being able to do his part whether he’s riding the crows nest searching for vast herds, or harpooning the whale till she’s blows red.
But I can be dangerous as well. Especially to those who dare cross me or mine, as a former business partner is about to discover.

Kage:  Ooh, that sounds ominous. But I won't make you go into what's going on with this former business partner of yours.  I figure we can read about that for ourselves soon enough!  So why don't you give us a peek into your head. What is one happy memory you have?

Travis: My parents had an obvious affection for one another that I’ve yet to see in other couples. They truly represented the best in our family. It was my father who encouraged me to follow my dreams, even it if meant my leaving home to become a seaman. He believed in me and rigged out my first ship. Ultimately, we formed a partnership with several other investors. He stood behind each decision I made, regardless if it were the right one, or a wise one.
If I were to choose a joyful occasion, it would be the memory of my 21st birthday when my father graciously gifted me with the Howland heirloom- a gold timepiece that he’d received at the exact age some years before from my grandfather.

Kage: Wow, I like it how you're so dedicated and close to your family.  I have a big, close-nit family myself.  But anyway, back to you!!  Let’s skip to the stuff I want to hear about…this is a romance writer’s blog, after all! Before going into this story, what was your romance life like

Travis: Upon reaching an age when marriage was expected to be the so-called next venue, I avoided that entire process and took to the sea, preferring the gusty wind upon my face rather than the stale breath of some domineering mama hoping to shackle me to her daughter. I appreciate the loveliness of women, but I had yet to find anyone more beautiful than a full blown gale stinging my eyes and pelting my skin. Nothing’s quite as alluring as the waltzing dip of a slippery deck while riding out the waves of an impetuous sea. To me, the chase of conquering an enormous creature such as a whale has always been more exciting than capturing a milky maiden’s hand. And I most assuredly had planned to continue on in the reckless and daring fashion were it not for my untimely death.

Kage: Wow, it definitely sounds like you're quite the man's man.  But alas, the lovely lady known as the Night Bird has come into your life, disrupting everything. What’s going on there, and why isn't your relationship with her like it's been with every other woman you've dated before?

Travis: I’m not one to kiss and tell, mind you, but the delightful acquaintance of Emma Samson has had its affect on me. I see you’re drawn to the edge of you seat. Plying for more? Hum…well yes, of course there’s been other woman. And even a few of them who I grew, shall we say…quite fond of. But from the first moment we met, Emma’s touch provided warmth. I had been cold in more ways than one and her tender administrations became a soothing balm to this blistered heart. You must understand that there have been countless times I witnessed men returning home after many months at sea only to find his bed occupied with another. I have shared countless cups with the poor, besotted fool who tried to drown his sorrow in a bottomless tankard. Bah! What kind of man allows himself to tumble head over heels into such a vulnerable state?
*Travis waves a hand*

Yes, that’s right. Don’t look so surprised. From the moment Emma cradled me in her arms and bestowed upon me her gift, I felt…Tingly? Mere words can not express the surge of life, shocking, invigorating unlike anything I’ve ever known. Stranger still, even as her lips uttered the words that I had died… I remained. Because of Emma, I found myself willing to walk, no, I found myself able to fly, past the doubts of uncertainty that would ground me, and into the clouds that shall carry me through eternity. All of this because she whispered ‘believe.’ 

Kage: Ahh.  I'm liking the sound of this already.  Tell us more!!  What do you like most about her? And what do you like least?

Travis: The most endearing quality in Emma is her unwavering trust in mankind, people from every walk of life benefit from having known her. Certainly some are worthy but then again, there have been numerous cutthroats, thieves and liars that fell under her grace and in doing so, earned the opportunity to, um, clean one’s slate so to speak. Her eyes, a dark mossy green rendered me speechless, a hypnotic gaze capable of luring one confirmed sailor – me- from the depths of unchartered territory- I’m referring to my trip to ‘Davy Jones locker’ and my rather untimely demise. Emma offered the key to my deliverance.

And if I were to make note of that which I care the least? Would be the swill she poured for me in my weakest hour. Water! What kind of seafaring man settles for such a tepid beverage when he should be convalescing with a fine brandy!

Kage: How do you intend to handle this situation with her?

Travis: There’s nothing I like better than a challenge and this journey with Emma will undoubtedly be the ride of …well, not my life, for that has ended. But stimulating enough just knowing the two of us are joined through all eternity will be enough. Together forever, and then some.

Kage: Sounds like quite the plan.  Lookin' forward to reading more about two days!  Thanks for stopping by, Travis, and gracing us with some eye candy--I mean, with your presence. Was there anything else you'd like to add before getting along on your way?

Only my gratitude, Linda. You’ve covered my story quite nicely and I appreciate the welcoming hearth, engaging conversation and the opportunity to meet new readers.
I’d like to share another excerpt from the novella, Night Bird.
Travis woke to an ample breast smelling wonderfully feminine as a young woman reached across him to tuck a cottony sheet beneath his chin.
“What a pleasant surprise,” he muttered, shaking off the lethargic haze of sleep. Sunlight filled the room, beaming through lace curtains. He breathed a deep sigh of relief. Morning had at last arrived. The ponderous bed was solid, blissfully unmoving beneath him and he pulled the downy pillow low beneath his back to rest his shoulders against the towering headboard. 
He’d been caught up in the most frightening dream. But finding himself warm and snug beneath a pile of covers and a handsome woman tending him led him to believe he’d simply consumed too much ale the night before. 
The sweet fragrance of rose water drifted between them.  His mind tried desperately to recall what had transpired the night before. “I seem to have forgotten where I am.” He chuckled and struggled to sit up straighter in the bed. The sheet dropped to his waist, exposing a dark mat of chest hair. Her gaze darted upward, her cheeks flaming scarlet. Sensing her discomfort, he quickly pulled the sheet across his chest and tucked the edges beneath his arms. “I’d thought maybe you and I were… that is to say… we….  Oh, never mind. It’s obvious we did not.”
She continued to blush despite the fact he’d swathed himself tighter than an Egyptian mummy. He sat perfectly still and marveled at the delightful glow, a persimmon pink that covered her neck, all the way to the top of her forehead. The miss was an innocent, not a barmaid he’d mistaken her for. “My head….” He rubbed the sides of his temples in a circular fashion. “I vaguely remember your face, but not the facts surrounding it.”          
Travis watched as she paced the small boundaries of the room, noticed the           way her slender figure moved across the floor. The dress hugged her body, outlining the round derriere hidden beneath as the skirt swayed with each step.
“My name is Travis Howland, although I’m certain that we have met before, have we not?” He couldn’t suppress the satisfaction of finding himself in the company of one so lovely. Her timid movements and charming blushes enticed him. The long months at sea left him eager for female attention, especially one as lovely as the woman standing before him.
She stopped in front of the window and looked out across the glistening blanket of water, then gave an anxious cough.
“Aye, we’ve met,” she said, across her shoulder as she feigned interest in the rise and fall of the water. “I fished you from the sea.”

If you're curious about Travis's author, here are other places to find Teresa Blue on the web:


Goodreads: Tereasa B.

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

My Movie-Watching Wish List

Friday, April 27, 2012
It's been a while since I've been really excited to see an upcoming movie. Aside from Harry Potter and The Twilight Series, I've been all ho-hum...whatever, I guess we can watch that since nothing else is on (okay, I had to see The Hunger Games too). But lately, I've spied a few movie trailers that have caught my attention, and now I actually have a want-to-see list going on!

Here's my new list!

Rated PG-13, THE LUCKY ONE just came out April 20th. It's Zac Efron playing in a Nicholas Sparks book. Need I say more? The romance story looks sooo sweet and yet sooo heartbreaking. Has anyone seen this yet? Was it good? Was it good? Was it good? I can't wait to watch it.

Another tearjerker-looking romance I'd love to see is THE VOW. I mean, seriously, Channing Tatum? Dreamy sigh. That caught my attention right off. When I saw Rachel McAdams co-starred opposite him, I was sold. Plus the story looks really good...and sad. Anyone else seen this show? How'd you like it? (PG-13)

And I just saw this trailer this week, but...I WANT!! Coming out June 29th, we have...a male stripper movie. Yes, you heard that right. And they're not just any ol' males stripping down to their skivvies, but Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, and Matthew McConaughey stripping. And be still my romance-loving heart, this dramatic comedy also looks like it has a romance story embedded it in. I must've been living under a rock lately because this week was the first I've heard of MAGIC MIKE. And I think it's moved to the very top of my want-to-see list! I don't even care if it's rated R. I'm thirty-two; I can be mature...well, maybe until Channing starts stripping. Then all bets are off! I totally heart the Chan-man!!

Watching the ABC series TV show, Once Upon a Time, must've stirred up all the Snow White fans (me included) because here are two new Snow White movies I'm dying (er, maybe not quite as far as dying) to see. MIRROR, MIRROR starring Julia Roberts as the wicked queen came out March 30th with a sweet PG rating. Then SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, looking less comical and more, um...bloody, is a PG-13 movie with Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, and Chris Hemsworth. It will be out June 1st.

Finally, here's a teaser for Breaking Dawn: Part 2, which is coming November 16th. I can't believe another big movie-watching series is almost over. I'm looking forward to it as much as I'm dreading the end of the Twilight. Sniff. So bittersweet.

Okay, your turn. Pull out your movie watching fan girl, and tell me what show you'd like to see. Does it have any romance in it? If so, tell me-tell me-tell me! I'm a sucker for anything romance...if you can't tell!

What makes good so good?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012
When someone asks me what my favorite book is, I usually always have a different answer because there are just so many good books out there that have stuck with me through the years. But typically I'll answer something like How to Kill a Mockingbird or some such notable book.

Harper Lee wrote an amazing story . True literature with multiple messages about the human condition. The book has layers, themes, perfect characterization, a spotless plot, so much depth you could probably write (and I'm sure someone has) twenty more books just discussing all the many wonderful points of this tale. It tugs at your emotions and sticks with you long after you close the cover.

But honestly, I doubt I'll ever read it again. The first time through, I had to read it for a class assignment, and I barely just got through each chapter by the due dates. As amazing at it was, I didn't stay up late to finish "just one more chapter." I didn't sneak it out of my purse between classes to see what would happen next. I didn't even read it within one week.

I have a copy of it on my bookshelves in nice pristine condition, the same way it was when I bought it.

But a couple shelves over, there sits another book with tattered edges, worn and frayed from how many times I've read through it.  The first time I opened the pages of this book, I read until my eyes went dry and I couldn't keep them open a second longer...and then I read a little more because I was so enthralled. I have some spots dog-eared because I like to go back to those the most.  They're my favorite.  I could probably quote a few lines...maybe a few pages of text by heart.

But I know it's not true literature.  In fact, some people would call it fluff, historical romantic crap. I don't care.  I still keep reading it over and over again. I know it's not perfect.  I know it doesn't have the depth and layers of To Kill a Mockingbird.  I know it won't ever win any major literary award. But I still keep returning to it to read it again and again...and again.

The same goes for movies.  I know Schindler's List won seven academy awards. I know it's an amazing movie. It had me in tears. But I've certainly never watched it as many times as I have Dirty Dancing, or Romancing the Stone, or Princess Bride, or even A Walk to Remember.

So this has me all curious.  What makes a story so good?  And I think I've come to the conclusion that the reader is what makes a story good or bad.

Like a painting, it's only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. I certainly wouldn't pay millions of dollars for a Van Gogh...but someone will. A book cannot reach out and connect with a reader unless a reader is willing to connect back. In the end, it doesn't matter so much how well a book is written (well, it does, but it also doesn't....clear?). A reader is not going to like a character or a plot line or the mood or theme unless that person wants to, unless it means something to her personally.

With five billion people on the planet and five billion different personalities, you're subjective little story isn't going to be adored by all. But it's definitely a precious gift when it's adored by one.

I received an  email this week from a complete stranger that said:
"Linda, Just wanted to say I loved, loved, loved 'The Right to Remain Mine'. Had to read it twice it was so enjoyable. Delightful characters, great dialog. Thank you for writing it! Your fan, Susan."

And, wow oh wow, I don't need any awards or movies made about my book.  That right there is enough for me. I could be Dirty Dancing over Schindler's List any day!

In my Mailbox - The Right to Remain Mine!

Friday, April 20, 2012
 As promised I have Lydia pictures to share with you of the arrival of my newest print book, The Right to Remain Mine.

Making her pose with my book has become a tradition since she was four days old and my first box of books came in the mail. She was asleep in her crib and I tucked the book up by her cheek to make it look like she'd fallen asleep reading it. Then I clicked off a shot. Since then, I make her pose with EVERY new Linda Kage book I get!

Here's the newest:
Hey, Lydia, whatcha got there?

Ooh, books.  Very cool.
Hold that up so we can see which book it is.
Wow, The Right to Remain Mine.  Good choice. I highly recommend!
Okay, proud mommy is alive now. Here are a few more pictures of Miss Lydia! And yes, she likes to wear her hat, glasses, and watch pretty much everywhere!

Making a spider web out of tape!
Feet can't quite reach the peddles yet.
2012 Easter Egg Hunt
2012 Easter Egg Hunt
2012 Easter Dress
With the pearls and fuzzy collar!
2012 Coloring Easter Eggs

The Muse is Waning

Wednesday, April 18, 2012
I wouldn't say I have full out writer's block, but my writing output has definitely declined lately.  There's so much other ugh real-life stuff I have to catch up on, I haven't had the opportunity to work on my stories and it's  kind of put me in a funk. Don 't you just hate it when that happens.

So, yeah, my writer's muse is all sad and depressed because its being neglected. But other things are demanding their attention now, so I gots to get those necessary things done before I can pamper the must again.

I do have happy news of receiving a five-star review from Clean Romance Reviews for A Man for Mia (which is pretty much my only adult "clean romance" story!!).  Here's a bit of what they had to say:

"This was a fabulous book. To be honest, I thought it was going to be a little depressing considering the deep subjects it deals with, but the author does a wonderful job with it. Mia is tortured with the guilt of trying to move on, but excited at the prospect of love. Drew is torn between loyalty to his sister and his interest in Mia. Their romance is a sweet roller coaster and incredibly believable. The side story of Mandy and her husband is well written and almost more of a second story rather than a side story. Though I felt little sympathy for Piper, she played her role well. The plot was well formed and kept your interest. Altogether it was a wonderful story that pulled you in and eventually made you smile (after a few tears)."

Now they have a contest to win a paperback and an ebook copy of A Man for Mia going on over at Clean Romance Reviews right now.  To enter you can go HERE. That contest ends Friday.

Which reminds me!  There is another contest for a chance to win Kiss It Better in ebook happening now as well at The Romance Review.  The link to that contest is HERE and it also ends Friday.

So okay, I said more than I thought I had to say today. It's turkey hunting season in our area and my hubby is big into hunting. He likes it when I do some things he finds interesting with him. So yesterday, I got myself a hunting license and a turkey tag to go hunting with him. My enthusiasm for this event isn't quite as high as his, but we'll get some quaility together-time out of it, so I'm not complaining!!

 Hope you all are doing okay.  Happy Wednesday!!!

Virtual Book Tours

Friday, April 13, 2012
If you can't tell, I'm on a promo kick this week, exploring things authors can do to get news of their books out there.

Today, my research leads me to book tours, the virtual kind. Since all my stories are primarily ebooks, e-promoting seems like the smart path to take.

So, WHAT IS a virtual book tour (VBT)?

Yeah, I'm sure most of you already know the answer, and even more of you have already signed up for a few VBTs (hey, what can I say, I'm a little behind on the times!).  But I'll just start from the basics here.  My favorite answer for this question comes from Tristi Pinkston:

"A virtual book tour is a tour that takes place on the Internet. Instead of the author driving from town to town or flying from state to state, their book is featured on blogs which reach readers all across the country. This creates name recognition for the author, title recognition for the book, and it all happens from the comfort of home or office, without the need to catch a red-eye flight to Chicago."

And WHY choose the VBT path?

Seriously, I could probably just quote Tristi all day on this answer too, but I'll try to paraphrase this time!

-Cuts down on the cost of trying to do a physical blog tour (hotels, gas, plane tickets, meals). 

-You can reach more people. From only the dozens who may attend your physical book signing, here hundreds, even thousands, can attend a blog...from their own home, in their underpants if they like!

-More time effective. At a physical tour, people have to plan to be at one spot and one time. Then it's over and the opportunity to visit with you...gone!  On a blog, your blog stop can be up for months, maybe even years, after the first day it posts. Visitors can stop by whenever they like.

-And most importantly, not only can visitors stop by while wearing their underpants, but you can too.  No need to worry about doing your hair, getting that expensive french manicure and trying to figure out which unflattering outfit you should wear this time. No one will see you, woo hoo!

-Plus you get to meet people from ALL over the world, from places you never even imaged you could visit.

So...HOW do VBT coordinators come into the picture?

-When you don't have the time to approach all the bloggers yourself, a good coordinator will come in to help with that to set up and schedule days and events on each blog.

-When you don't know which bloggers to approach--honestly, how do you know which of them will give you the best exposure possible unless you research it...a lot--a good coordinator will come in to help with that and contact them all for you.

-When you want it done a little more professionally than you can possibly do it yourself--yeah, HOW do you make those cool blog tour buttons??--a good coordinator will come in to help with that.

The only thing is, VBT cost money (yeah, that green stuff I never seem to have). It'll cost anywhere from ten to five hundred dollars to set up a tour with a coordinator. But if you're still intrigued by this idea (like I was) and would like to go to someone for help with a virtual blog tour then...

WHERE do you find a VBT coordinator?

Okay, now this is actually the part I've spent all week researching, trying to find a good places I might want to approach with my next story coming up in September (I'm still not sure if I want to try doing a VBT on my own...sigh). These are all the legitimate-looking VBT coordinators I could find.

And is it just me, or would an internet yellow pages be really useful for these kind of searches?  (Now if someone tells me there IS an internet yellow pages for these kind of searches, I'm going to be steamed because it took me a long freaking time to find all these sites!).

Anyway... THE LIST (in alphabetical order):

Bewitching Book Tour
Pricing : $25 to $100
Specializing in :  paranormal, urban fantasy, and paranormal erotica

Book and Trailer Showcase
Pricing : $35 to $175
Specializing in : Multi-Fiction Genre (all sub-genres welcome) including romance, sci fi, fantasy, mystery, thriller, horror, paranormal, young adult.  Inspirational and Christian coming soon.

Coffee Beans and Love Scenes
Pricing : $14.95 to $49.95
Specializing in :  authors of ALL fiction genres and will no longer be limited to the romance fiction genre only.

Goddess Fish Promotions
Pricing : $40 to $160
Specializing in : romance fiction (in all its sub-genres: fantasy, suspense, paranormal, historical, etc), other genre fiction and Young Adult / Middle Grade fiction

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Pricing : not listed
Specializing in :  Historical Fiction

Honey Bee Promotions
Pricing : $10 to $70
Specializing in :  Romance; from Erotic to Sweet, from Historical to Science Fiction. 2012 update: We are now accepting Young Adult authors

Mystical Book Blog Tours
Pricing : $25 to $200
Specializing in :  Doesn't specify but I'll go out on a limb and say paranormal, sci fi, mystical fiction stories

Nia Virtual Book Tours
Pricing : not listed
Specializing in :  African American Books

Premier Virtual Authors Book Tours
Pricing : not listed
Specializing in :  Not mentioned

Promotional Book Tours
Pricing : $99 to $299
Specializing in :  Fiction and non-fiction

Pump Up Your Book!
Pricing : $299 to $599
Specializing in :  Fiction or Non-fiction. Some of these blogs on the tour are syndicated into USA Today, Chicago Times, Wall Street Journal and other high trafficked

Sizzling PR
Pricing : $10 to $50
Specializing in :  fiction romance genres, paranormal, urban fantasy, erotica and more

Supa Gurl Tours
Pricing : $100
Specializing in :  Paranormal, paranormal romance, dystopian, urban fantasy, thrillers, and I think young adult

The Virtual Book Tour Cafe
Pricing : $30 to $360
Specializing in :  Fiction and non fiction

TLC Book Tours
Pricing : $25 to $100
Specializing in :  Fiction and non-fiction. No self-published authors accepted

Tywebbin Creations
Pricing :  $100 and up
Specializing in :  Christian / inspirational fiction & non fiction

Virtual Book Tours by Tristi Pinkston
Pricing : $100 to $300
Specializing in :  (not accepting new clients right now --as of April 2012)

Walker Author Tours
Pricing : $100 and up
Specializing in :  Not mentioned

YA Bound
Pricing : $50 to $200
Specializing in :Young Adult fiction

So, yeah, obviously some coordinators are a little more professional than others and offer a few more features like more blog stops, graphics, and such. I haven't used any of these services (yet!) so I cannot personally endorse or vouch for any one of them but I've visited a couple stops hosted by a few of them (and those seemed fine!).

Do you know of any more coordinators I could add to the list?  Have you worked with any of them?  Any input would be much appreciated.

Oh, and it seems like most of these coordinator sites I've visited welcome more bloggers to help host some of their tours so if you have a pretty heavy-traffic blog, this might be the thing to help you come up with some new posts!!

Have a happy weekend!

Nifty Promo Links for Authors

Monday, April 9, 2012
I took an online class about book promoting a couple weeks back and learned a handful of new tricks in the marketing corner. Some were so ingenious I'm all eager to share them with you! I've also learned a few other things outside the class I thought were good for helping to get our author brand out there, so here's a few assorted things I've accumulated in the promoting side of writing.


You won't have to say a thing about your newest book if you go out in public wearing this t-shirt. I just got mine and wore it out.  Two people made comments about my books!!

Here's a link to get your conversation-starting t-shirt about YOUR stories!

Cafe Press T-Shirts


Want to giveaway some stuff but no one ever comes to your blog/website/facebook page to enter your contest?  I entered the Night Owl Reviews SPRING FLING Web Hunt, taking place from April 1 to May 15th.

Price:  at least $30.  ($15 per hunt fee to join plus a $15 or more per hunt prize is required)

Benefits: People flock to your website to find a keyword in their web hunt. ( special word for the Spring hunt is PLAY).

Here are my statcounter visitor page load hits for the end of March (right before the hunt started)

3/27 - 7 hits
3/28 - 6 hits
3/29 - 7 hits
3/30 - 10 hits
3/31 - 19 hits

Here are my statcounter visitor page load hits since April 1st (when the hunt started)
4/1 - 91 hits
4/2 - 37 hits
4/3 - 64 hits
4/4 - 66 hits

Still interested?  Well, here's the link on How To Become a NOR Web Hunt Sponsor

If you have the opposite problem as I have (you don't need help getting people to your sites to enter your contests; you're actually so crazy full of people entering the contest that you need a better way to organize your giveaways) then I would consider:

Setting up a free easy-to-use Rafflecopter.
I love entering rafflecopters giveaways!


Join the Mailing List
Enter your name and email address below:
Subscribe  Unsubscribe 
Want to make an awesome email newsletter to send out to your peeps? I've heard is a good place to go. It looks like it has other options besides setting up email newsletters, but I haven't spent too much time there myself.  So far, I've only used it to set up a more professional-looking "Join my Mailing List" button (see above)! 


The Romance Review Have you signed up for a free author account at The Romance Reviews website yet?  On the site, there's a link in the upper right hand corner to get started.  Once you're in, you can add all your books (if they're not already in their system). You can enter your stories into contest giveaways.  If you put a TRR graphic on your site, linking back to them, then you can get a cover of your book on their site every month in their "Latest Headline" ads.  You can participate in their seasonal and anniversary parties (note: parties cost money to join). And of course, you can submit your story for review there.  Very cool...IMHO

Manic ReadersLike TRR, you can also sign up for a free author page at Manic Readers as well! If your books are not already listed in their system, you can add them in. Manic Readers is linked up with, like, fifteen other review sites, so once you have an account with them, you can request a review to all these different places by filling out one form and uploading a PDF of your story. They also provide a "plus" member account, which cost money (like a $5/month fee) where you have your own page to manage your royalties, or you get special ad spots or featured review spots.

Okay, that's probably enough link-sharing for today (I've worn myself out). If you've heard of all these places, links, and ideas, then sorry to bother you. But if not,'re so very welcome!

What are some nifty helpful places or tips you know to help us authors get our books out there in front of people's eyes?

Good News on this Good Friday

Friday, April 6, 2012
Okay, fine, I personally don't have any good news about my own writing to share.  My story I have submitted to a publisher has made it on to the next level.  After reading a partial, the editor asked to see the full manuscript.  And that was, umm, twenty-some days ago.  So...I'm still playing the wait game myself.

But I do know lots of people who DO have good news to share...ergo, I'll share their good news here today!

Let the good news begin:

A Contemporary Sweet Romance
Sunny Days for Sam
By Jennifer Shirk
ISBN: 9780803474680 (print)
Publisher: Avalon Books
Releases: April 16, 2011

Sunnyva “Sunny” Fletcher is a firm believer in fairy tales. With the recent debt she’s acquired, the hope of something magical happening in her life is the only thing keeping her going. She needs a job fast. So when Sunny learns the sexy new vacationer in town is looking for a nanny, she starts to believe she just may have a fairy godmother after all!

Internet guru Sam Calloway is only in town for the summer and needs a nanny for his two small children. However, the beautiful and inexperienced Sunny is not exactly the kind of caregiver Sam has in mind. It doesn’t take long for Sunny’s tenderhearted and bubble-blowing ways to soon have the children—and Sam—enamored with her. She’s a dream come true. But after what Sam’s been through, he’s stopped believing in fairy tales long ago.

Sunny manages to work her way into Sam’s closed-off heart, but at the end of the summer, will the workaholic dad go back to his life in New York City, or will he decide his days are much sunnier here with Sunny?

Buy Link: Amazon

A Tween Action Fantasy

Summer of the Eagles
by Ros Gemmell
ISBN: 978-1-77127-013-7 (ebook)
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Released: March 23, 2012

Thirteen year old Stephanie (Stevie) loses her parents in a terrible accident, leaving her lame. Stevie’s dreams of running for Scotland are over. No longer able to cope with Stevie’s moods, Gran sends her to an aunt on a Scottish island.

Although Stevie gradually makes new friends and discovers an interest in the bird sanctuary, she soon falls into danger from two bird poachers intent on harming the eagles. A strange boy in the hills helps Stevie. Could he have anything to do with the eagles or the painted rocks and legends of the island?

Buy Link: Amazon

A Historic Inspirational Romance

Love on the Range
by Jessica Nelson
ISBN:978-0373829149 (pint and ebook)
Publisher: Love Inspired Historicals
Released: April 3, 2012

Any other socialite would view being packed off to a remote Oregon ranch as a punishment. But Gracelyn Riley knows that this is her opportunity to become a real reporter. If she can make her name through an interview with the elusive hero known as Striker, then she’ll never have to depend on anyone ever again.

Rancher Trevor Cruz can’t believe his secret identity is being endangered by an overly chatty city girl. But if there’s one thing he knows, it’s that Gracie’s pretty little snooping nose is bound to get her in trouble. So he’ll use her determination to find “Striker” to keep an eye on her…and stick close by her side.

Buy Link: Amazon

A Contemporary Erotic Romance
Saddle Up
by Marie Rose Dufour
ISBN:978-1-61885-235-9 (ebok)
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing
Releases: April 13, 2012

Tasha Lane never realized how boring her life had become until one phone call in the middle of the night totally changed it. Can this forty-two year old accountant put aside a nine-year age gap and perpetual “foot in mouth” disorder to find love and happiness with an ex-rodeo star turned rancher?

Three years ago, Devin Grant traded the rodeo circuit for a cattle ranch. If someone told him, he would fall in love with a woman he’d never physically met, he’d think they were kicked too many times in the head by a bull. When her brother is thrown from his horse, it was finally time to meet the sexy woman of his dreams and convince her, he was worth taking a chance on.

Can he convince her before she goes back to her boring life? Will she be able to overcome their age difference and her own insecurities?

Pre-order Buy Link: Secret Cravings Publishing

A College Romance

Forbidden Love (Arbor University Series)
by Molly Daniels
ISBN:978-1-61885-172-7 (ebook)
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing
Released: February 8, 2012

Meet Keri Patterson, a sophomore at Arbor University, pursuing a ¬dream to one day be a part of an Indy car racing team. Along the way, she meets and falls for an older man. With the innocence of her first love, Keri tries to balance her ambition to be the first female member of a racing pit crew and her awakening femininity. Will Keri and Kyle’s romance survive the hairpin twists and turns, or is disaster looming?

Kyle is not without problems of his own. He wasn’t expecting to meet the girl of his dreams before the ink is dry on the divorce petition. Trying to keep the two facets of his life separate, he discovers there is a fine line between love and hate, as well as deception and protection. But life doesn’t always get wrapped up in neat packages. Sometimes it blows up in your face.

Buy Link: Amazon

A Historical Inspirational Romance

Unending Devotion
by Jody Hedlund
ISBN:978-1-61885-235-9 (print & ebook)
Publisher: Bethany House
Releases: September 1, 2012

In 1883 Michigan, Lily Young is on a mission to save her lost sister, or die trying. Heedless of the danger, her searches of logging camps lead her to Harrison and into the sights of Connell McCormick, a man doing his best to add to the hard-earned fortunes of his lumber-baron father.

Posing during the day as a photographer’s assistant, Lily can’t understand why any God-fearing citizen would allow evil to persist and why men like Connell McCormick turn a blind eye to the crime rampant in the town. But Connell is boss-man of three of his father’s lumber camps in the area, and like most of the other men, he’s interested in clearing the pine and earning a profit. He figures as long as he’s living an upright life, that’s what matters.

Lily challenges everything he thought he knew, and together they work not only to save her sister but to put an end to the corruption that’s dominated Harrison for so long.

Pre-order Buy Link: Amazon

Contemporary Erotic Romance

One Tasty Night
by Amber Skyze
ISBN: (ebook)
Publisher: Amber Skyze
Released: March 21, 2012

Taylor Jax has been warding off Shane Griffin’s advances for a long time. Sure, she’s attracted to him. Who wouldn’t be? He is one fine example of the male form and in the time she’s gotten to know him as a customer in her store, he seems a great guy too. He’s just too young for Taylor and she fears that if she gives in to him, he’ll get bored with her eventually. She can’t risk her heart getting broken but her concerns don’t stop her fantasies; fantasies her friends are trying very hard to help make a reality. After a game of Truth or Dare, Taylor finds herself in an adult store with a list of goodies to purchase in order to make her fantasies come true. Does Taylor have it in her to let go of her worries and seduce the secret man of her dreams? Shane has faith that it will only be a matter of time before Taylor sees how perfect they are for each other and when she finally caves in, he’s going to be more than ready to step up to the plate.

Buy Link: Amazon

ALSO Be on the Lookout for these books coming in the future!

-Balancing Act by Molly Daniels
-In Name Only by Carol Kilgore
-Heat Waves by Amber Skyze
-Dragons in Jael's Mist by Amber Skyze and Kataline Leon and
-Surrender by Elana Johnson

In other news, my flash drive I bent all to heck is still not working.  I need to find some computer place in my area that might be able to help me salvage all my stories saved on there.

So, yeah, that my good news on this fine Good Friday. Hope you have a very fine Easter this weekend! God be with you!

At the Vineyard

Wednesday, April 4, 2012
It's my day to guest post over at The Writers Vineyard today.  I'm talking about my first adventures in writing research.

Since my next story isn't due out until September and I just don't have much to say these days, I'm knocking down my posts to twice a week for the rest of Spring and the summer.  But the mystery will be which two days each week I choose to blog on.  We'll see!

And an update on the kiddo's potty training: After the first successful day, I guess the novelty of peeing in a big girl potty wore off. She doesn't even care to get a "prize" after going now.  And if you suggest using the bathroom, she gets upset.  A few times, she'll come up with the idea on her own but she usually doesn't have to go or she's just gone.  I don't know.

My mom suggests training pants, which I've bought, but they haven't made a difference.  Any other suggestions?