Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Freebie--Five Sweet Romances!

Today's Friday Freebie is a boxed set of five sweet, full-length romantic novels.  Just in time for Valentine's Day! I haven't read any of these authors before, but they look good.  To download your free Kindle copy click here

Here's the back copy:

This boxed set is a collection of sweet romantic novels by five multipublished authors:

RETURN TO RAINBOW ROCK, by Susan Aylworth. A FATHER FOR PHILIP, by Judy Griffith Gill. JENNY'S TURN, by Vanessa Grant. MARRY IN HASTE, by Moyra Tarling. A CHANGE OF PLANS, by Donna K. Weaver.


Marcie Carmody feels broken. Wounded by a disastrous relationship, she limps home to Rainbow Rock to heal. Ryan Fields has never felt so broken, separated from his family and the life he planned, redirected to Rainbow Rock. Little can they know of the wounds and healing that will alter both their lives.

A FATHER FOR PHILIP, by Judy Griffith Gill

Eleanor's son Philip needs a father. When his "imaginary" playmate, Jeff, turns out to be David Jefferson—the husband who went missing from Eleanor's life before her son was born—can she accept him back? She knows she still loves him, but why won't he tell her the reason he stayed away seven years?

JENNY’S TURN by Vanessa Grant

Jenny loves working for documentary filmmaker Jake Austin, but after five years doing things Jake's way, she's had enough! The only way to get over Jake is to get out of his life. So she leaves--but fleeing to a Pacific island just south of Alaska isn’t nearly far enough!

MARRY IN HASTE by Moyra Tarling

Years ago Evan Mathieson broke Jade Adams’ heart when he ended their engagement. Now he’s back and he needs a wife to help parent his orphaned nephew. Jade can't refuse the man she’s always loved, but will the secret she holds in her heart jeopardize their chance for happiness?

A CHANGE OF PLANS by Donna K. Weaver

Lyn wanted to move on. She just didn't know it would take pirates, shipwreck, and an intriguing surgeon to do it.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

My AudioBook Journey (Part 3)

First of all, I'm featured on Story Finds today and you could enter to win some books (including mine) or an Amazon $20 gift card! Click here to enter.

So, last week I had messaged the narrator and we were talking about terms.  He is an actor that is touring right now, so we had to give a little leeway on deadlines, but in the end, we found a timeline that is great for both of us.  I offered him a contract and he accepted!

With the signed contract in hand I sent him the manuscript.  I also sent him a short character sketch of all the characters in the story so he can have a grasp on them as people.  I also wanted him to be able to see the cast of characters at a glance and have a reference to refer to.  Pronunciation guides for difficult names are obviously a great tool, too.  (Even my own name, since no one gets Bellon right!)

I will be getting the first fifteen minutes of the book next week and I'll be looking for several things when I'm checking that over.

  • Are the voices sounding right? Has he captured the character? 

  • Is he pronouncing names and phrases correctly?

  • How is his pacing?  Is he reading too slow or too fast?

Once we've gone over that initial check, we'll be finishing the book and it should be released in late March/early April.  I'm so excited!  I will definitely keep you updated.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How A Writer Mom Gets It Done

photo credit: hbp_pix via photopin cc

I was thinking today how much a writer's life (especially a writer mom's life) consists of reaching our goals with baby steps.  For example, since I have small children, I have to work my writing life around them.  I am currently editing my manuscript by printing out a chapter a day (sometimes two if I'm lucky!) and I take it with me while I wait at orthodontist appointments, at carpool, and yes, even while I'm supervising bath time.  (The pages are a little worse for wear, I must say.)  But I'm halfway through the edit. Woohoo!

I have made small goals for myself this year (as I mentioned here) and I'm doing small things to accomplish them every day.  

  • I have progress on the audio book (which I will talk about tomorrow.)  

  • I figured out yesterday how to make a beautiful professional blog header so I can change that by myself.  (And this might not seem like a big deal to some, but for me, that was huge!)  

  • I've participated in two promotions this week for my book All Fall Down. (Which I've never really done before).

  • I changed the cover of All Fall Down and made sure that was taken care of on all the major retail sites.  

  • I've started the process of forming my own publishing imprint.  

It's been a really productive week, but when I look back over it, I got it done by just doing one or two things per day, and working steadily toward my goals.

Mother Theresa once said, "We cannot do great things, only small things with great love."  As I put that in perspective, I think it applies to all aspects of my life.  I'm doing small things with love in my writing career (and as a mom) and I know if I can keep going with it consistently, it will all add up to reaching my goals both professionally and personally.

Do you have a plan for achieving your goals? How are you doing so far in 2015?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Castle and a Cover Contest!

My novel Ring Around the Rosie is in a cover contest! If you think it's the most visually appealing, you should go vote for it!  You can see all the nominees and cast your vote here

Last night's Castle was okay.  It seemed a little forced and I was disappointed after last week's snappy dialogue and solid case.  But it was still good, just not as stellar as I've come to expect this season.

We start out with a lady dressed in an evening gown trying to get buzzed into her building because she's lost her purse with her keys in it.  She's grabbed and found dead the next day.  Espo is actually a fan of Anahita, the murder victim (she's a big telenovella star.)  It's funny because he claims it's his Tia that is the fan, but he just knows so much about the characters and storylines, it's obvious it's really him. (I can't really imagine him sitting down to watch a telenovella, but I digress).

Castle doesn't have any cases and he's bored throwing pencils in the ceiling.  Beckett sees that the murder victim's best friend, Sophia, is distraught since she lent Anahita a clutch purse worth half million dollars and she needs to get it back to the boutique by 5 pm the next day, so she gives her Castle's name as a recommendation.  Castle dives into the lost purse case and of course, it intersects with the murder investigation.  Sort of.  They're going to all the same places to retrace the victim's steps, like finding out she went to the opera and made an exchange in the ladies room of a flash drive.  Beckett goes after the angle of who gave Anahita the flash drive and finds out it was the daughter of a Saudi diplomat.  When she's called in for questioning, she's less than cooperative, however.  So, a dead end. Thankfully, Perlmutter gets a fingerprint off Anahita's neck and it belongs to a gun for hire named Harlan Mathis. They go to bring him in.

Meanwhile, Castle finds out a white stretch limo came to pick up the murder victim, so he figures out who owns it and heads down there.  He sneaks in the garage and slips into a white stretch limo, but doesn't find the purse.  He does get caught, however, and taken for a drive by a man pointing a gun at him.  And hey, he looks like the picture the gang had of Harlan Mathis! Uh oh.  Castle is tied to a chair and being questioned, but the gunman doesn't believe his story and pulls out a knife. Before it gets ugly, Espo and Ryan burst in and save the day.  For which they demand Castle buy them floor seats for services rendered.

Mathis alibis out, but he does say that Anahita didn't have a purse in the limo. Castle goes back to the drawing board and the opera house where he finds the purse in a bush.  He takes it back to his office and realizes it's a cheap knockoff, just as Sophia comes in and demands the flash drive.  At gunpoint. Castle wrestles the gun away and is quite proud of himself until Espo informs him the gun was a prop and besides, the lady is maybe 110 pounds. The gang finds out that the flash drive connects to a Swiss banking account with 100 million dollars in it.  Once they question her about it, they find out that Anahita and Sophia were going to start their own network and the Saudi diplomat's daughter was investing in it.  But then who killed Anahita?  The only time they talked about their plans was in Sophia's trailer.

The gang finds listening devices in the trailer that lead back to the manager of the telenovella that we met at the beginning when they were questioning Anahita's co-workers.  He'd made them stars and couldn't bear to see them leave him high and dry.

We end with Espo getting an autograph from Sophia for his "Tia" whose name is Javier. haha. He's totally starstruck and that was cute.

So, like I said at the beginning, it was an okay episode.  I liked it well enough, but it won't go on my favorites list if you get my meaning.  The preview for two weeks from now looks good, though. I'm excited for that one!

Did you see it? What did you think?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Book Review and Giveaway--Wedding Cake by Josi Kilpack

Wedding Cake (1)

Today, I'm excited to be part of Josi Kilpack's Wedding Cake blog tour! I've been reading her cozy mysteries with Sadie from the very beginning and I was really sad to see it end.  The last book in the series, though, Wedding Cake, really was exceptional.  I was so happy to see all of my favorite characters come back and help Sadie solve the biggest mystery of all.

Sadie is getting ready for her long-awaited wedding to Pete Cunningham, but the day before she gets a strange text.  An old enemy has come back and she will do anything to turn Sadie's life upside down.  Her attacks escalate and while Sadie tries to fight back, her enemy is always one step ahead of her.  I loved how feisty Sadie still is, and yet she's not as rash as she once was.  She's grown over all these books and investigations.  I love how her family rallies around her and even when things go from bad to worse and then to horrible, there is still the unbreakable connection that we've come to love about them all. (I love Sadie's kids. They are such great characters. And we get to see Pete's as well.)  Sadie and Pete are two of my favorite characters ever in a book. Their romance is a subtle thread through all of the chaos and yes, I know they are older, but they still make me smile.  Every time. 

The book ramps up the attacks, the mystery, and the questions of how will Sadie ever get out of this one, and will she even get married at all, with every page.  I honestly read it late into the night just because it's one of those that you can't put down until you see how it ends.  And while I was sad to see it end, I know this will go on my keeper shelf to read on rainy days.  The entire series is well-written, well-plotted, and one I highly recommend. (And they all include yummy recipes that I've never tried, but that look so, so good. One of these days I will go through and try them all I think! I heard there's a Sadie recipe book for it and that will be one I buy just to have them all within easy reach.)

Scroll down to enter in the giveaway!

Wedding Cake

Here's the back copy:

 After years of mysteries, murder, and mayhem, the big day has arrived, and Sadie wants nothing more than for her wedding to Pete to be completely uneventful. When she receives a threatening, anonymous text message just days before the ceremony, she's determined not to let it interfere with the celebration she has carefully planned for months. But as the threat escalates from a distant fear to a frightening reality, Sadie realizes just how much she's underestimated the situation. Desperate to put an end to the games, lies, and manipulation that has shadowed her life, Sadie, her fiance, Pete, and her children pull out all the stops. What they don't know, however, is just how far Sadie's nemesis is willing to go to make good on the thread she made to Sadie three years ago. Will the wedding go off without a hitch, or will "'til death do us part" come far too soon? There's no turning back for anyone in the riveting conclusion to this twelve-volume culinary mystery series.

Josi culinary

add to goodreads


  Author Josi S. Kilpack

 Josi S. Kilpack hated to read until her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond when she was 13. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and accredits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began writing her first novel in 1998 and never stopped. Her novel, Sheep’s Clothing won the Whitney Award 2007 for Mystery/Suspense. Lemon Tart, the first book in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery series was a finalist in 2009. Josi currently lives in Willard Utah with her husband, children and super-cute cat.


Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/10/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Nearly Freebie Friday

All Fall Down, the first novel in my Hostage Negotiation Team series (that won the RONE award for Best Suspense!) is on sale for only .99 cents! Hooray! (And don't you love the shiny new cover for it?! I sure do!)

Click here to download your Kindle copy

Click here for your Nook copy

Click here for iTunes

Click here for Kobo

Here's the backliner:

Ring around the rosy, a pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes we all fall down . . .

That simple rhyme turns negotiator Claire Michaels’ current hostage situation into an international incident. Claire just wants to help get everyone out safely, but as the crisis escalates she realizes she’s dealing with an al-Qaeda operative who has the means to become another bin Laden---with the potential to attack America. Claire has her own personal reasons for wanting to stop al-Qaeda, but time is slipping away as negotiations break down. Can she overcome her scars of the past in order to get the hostage out alive and possibly stop an assault on U.S. national security?

Navy SEAL Rafe Kelly is on leave to recover from a knee injury he suffered during his tour in Afghanistan and he doesn’t expect to be fighting terrorists on his home turf. But when he is taken hostage and his brother is kidnapped, Rafe teams up with a hostage negotiator in order to stay alive and get his brother back. The terrorist is always one step ahead of them, however, and the situation quickly turns from desperate to deadly. Will Rafe be able to save himself and his country without anyone he loves getting caught in the crossfire?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

My Audiobook Journey (Continued)

So, last week I told you about the start to my audio book journey.  Here's what has happened since then.

I got several incredible auditions. It was SO HARD to choose one.  One did sound effects with the story. One had so much experience I was awed he'd even audition for me.  But it came down to two specific narrators and I listened to their auditions over and over trying to decide which one really captured the essence of my characters and story.  That was what really helped me to choose.

Once the choice was made, I messaged the narrator to discuss timeline and terms.  ACX offers a really convenient messaging system that keeps track of little details.

I left feedback for the other narrators to tell them how wonderful they were. Because they really were.

So, I am in the middle of hammering out the details with my chosen narrator so I can make an offer and we'll get the contract in place.  It's very exciting for me!

Hopefully by next week we can discuss the finished contract and I might have a tentative projection as to when the book would be available.

Do you have any questions about the process?  I just think it's exciting all the avenues that are available to authors and readers these days.  There really is something for everyone.