Win an iPad Mini!!!
Love in Disguise, the 7-author, 7-book/novella boxed set that I’m a part of (THIEF OF HEARTS), has broken the top 100 in AMAZON, is an aRE #1 Bestseller and is rated #31 on Barnes and Noble!!!
(Here are the links)
But what you don’t know is that we’re having an awesome CONTEST to help other readers find the $.99 deal and to give it the attention it deserves.
Here’s the deal: When Love in Disguise hits the TOP 50 on Amazon Kindle books and the TOP 10 on Barnes & Noble Nook books, we’re unlocking an amazing prize:
AN iPAD MINI!!!!
Entering the contest is FREE — just tweet, share on Facebook and “Like” us so you know when we have future new releases. That is IT! Enter now!
Shout Out to Some of My Writing Pals
It’s been quite a weekend for a number of my writing pals and I’d like to take a moment to congratulate a few of them.
1. Steena Holmes – author, cover artist and indie proponent.
Her latest book, Finding Emma came out this weekend.
A child torn from the arms of loving parents, a relationship torn apart from loss…
Megan sees her daughter Emma everywhere. She’s the little girl standing in the supermarket, the child waiting for the swings at the playground, the girl with ice cream dripping down her face. But it’s never Emma.
Because Emma’s been missing for two years.
Unable to handle the constant heartache of all the false sightings, Megan’s husband threatens to walk away unless Megan can agree to accept Emma is gone. Megan’s life and marriage is crumbling all around her and she realizes she may have to do the thing she dreads most: move on.
When Megan takes a photo of a little girl with an elderly couple at the town fair, she believes it to be her missing daughter. Unable to let go, she sets in motion a sequence of events that could destroy both families lives.
Ms. Holmes has partnered with The Missing Children’s Society of Canada and is donating a portion of all proceeds to the charity. Congratulations on this release!
2. Victoria Chatham – historical author and overall lovely lady!
Ms. Chatham’s first book, Always a Lady, was released March 15th as part of the Bandit Creek Book Series.
Lady Serena Buxton follows her husband from England to Bandit Creek, Montana. Randolph is a partner in the Ellis gold mine, but when she arrives, she is horrified to find that Randolph is missing.
Sheriff Wilson seems to be keeping a watchful eye on her. Why? Douglas King, the mine manager, treats her as if she is already a widow. What does he know? The bank manager refuses her request for access to Randolph’s account. With no husband and no money, what is a girl to do?
Serena has an unsuspected and quite shocking talent. With the help of two enterprising local ladies, Serena prepares for a public performance. But when the news leaks out, she finds the only venue she can secure is in the Men’s Club owned by King. Like it or not, she has no option but to ask him regardless of what terms he may insist on. Billed as Ayesha, Oriental Dancer Extraordinaire, she prepares for her show which she hopes will make enough money for her to stay in Bandit Creek until Randolph is found.
The whole town, as well as a train full of people from nearby Missoula, turns out for her performance. The Club is packed. But who is in the crowd, watching? Will King insist on exacting his fees? And will Serena be reunited with the husband she loves?
Congratulations, Victoria on your debut release! I’m so happy for you!
3. Louise Behiel – author, psychologist and overall wise woman.
Louise not only writes compelling blog posts, she writes a compelling story and I am so pleased to announce her debut novel, Family Ties.
Loner, Grayson Mills realized long ago that he’s unable to establish and sustain meaningful relationships – especially with women. He’s constructed a lifestyle based on being alone and his sexy new neighbor isn’t going to change his decision.
Child psychologist Andie Bowen has four foster children, all with special emotional needs. Andie’s committed to the children and she’s not going to upset them by getting involved with a man who could never accept her family.
When six year old Chloe breaks into Gray’s home, Andie is appalled until she realizes that Jamie, her clinging youngest child, left her side for the first time in months – to look at one of Gray’s treasures.
When an unknown assailant starts tormenting Andie’s family, Gray has no choice but to step in and help protect his neighbor and her family. To protect Andie and her children, Gray will have to acknowledge his nightmares and their meaning in his life.
Together they will face his past, forcing Gray to confront his emotional needs while struggling to keep Andie and her children safe.
Congratulations on your debut release, Louise! I’m looking forward to more of your work in the near future.
4. Michelle Beattie – From pirates to cowboys, Michelle weaves tales about strong women and proud men and the adventures that bring them together.
Michelle is a DOUBLE winner of the 2012 Silken Sands Star Contest. Her winning entries include, Another Chance and Love by Accident.
Being a veterinarian in the late 1800’s is difficult enough, but for Jillian Matthews it’s impossible. Not allowed in the vet schools, she trained at her father’s side until she had the skills needed to move west. Jillian accepts an advertisement for a position in Montana, using only her initials which happen to be same as her father’s. Convinced that in the untamed west, her skills will be valued and appreciated, regardless of her gender, she’s quickly proved wrong.
Wade Parker is sure the pretty redhead claiming to be the vet he sent for is one of his ranch hands’ practical jokes but the fiery woman very quickly puts him in his place and proves him wrong. His impression, however, turns south when the animal she operated on later dies. With a ranch on the verge of bankruptcy, losing an animal was the last thing he could afford and he can’t help thinking the old vet, the male doctor, wouldn’t have let his animal die.
With Wade’s initial reaction guiding them, the town is quick to want Jillian out. But the more Wade gets to know Jillian, the more he sees her grit and compassion, the harder he falls for her. When Wade realizes he was too hasty in his judgment and urges the town to give Jillian another chance, he makes more than few enemies. Enemies that would do almost anything to get her out, and to make sure Wade doesn’t take her side again.
Soon threats turn to violence and both Wade and Jillian must make a stand. The problem is, at what cost?
Lauren McKinnon’s life changed four years ago when the car she was driving spun off the road killing her lover, Gil and leaving their best friend, Matt paralyzed. Overwhelmed by guilt, Lauren flees town and lives a life as a shadow of the woman she used to be.
Matt Skarpinksy overcame all odds and learned to walk again. Now, after tracking Lauren down, he moves to Jasper to confront the woman he’s always loved. Why did she leave him when he most needed her? What isn’t she telling him about the accident he doesn’t remember? And, just as their friendship turns to love, will Gil always stand between them?
Well, Matt’s about to find out as Gil, in the form of a ghost, guides Matt toward what really happened four years ago. But will the truth set Matt and Lauren free, or tear them apart once and for all?
Congratulations on this stellar double win!
Is Self-Publishing for Me?
There is a craze taking hold of the publishing industry; the self-publishing craze. If you aren’t aware of it, then you’re an even bigger hermit than I am (but if that describes you, you probably aren’t reading this…you’re probably sitting and writing and not perusing blogs!) It was only a year or two ago that, as a fiction writer, self-publishing was a dirty word.
Now it’s a buzz word.
The question is, is self-publishing for you?
I am not an expert. I have a novella published with a reputable e-book first publisher (Samhain Publishing) and another novella coming out with a different e-publisher (Carina Press). I have self-published one title (Siren’s Song) and am about to release a trilogy called Thief of Hearts, a fantastical retelling of Robin Hood, where Little John is a woman in disguise.
But, like I said, I am far from being an expert. However, I do want to share my philosophy and thoughts on self-publishing.
First of all, I can honestly say that self-publishing a novella with plans of publishing more has completely altered my way of thinking about writing and given me the motivation to press on in a difficult-to-break-into industry during a difficult economic climate. I have never written more and never had more ideas. This sort of enthusiasm is manna to a writer and is the sort of excitement that is extremely hard to maintain while waiting months and often years to hear back from editors and agents.
As a writer, I consider myself to be an artist. Yet, in what other medium do we expect people to create art and then hide it away until someone recognizes them? Painters, sculptors and photographers have webpages, put on art shows and sell their work while waiting for big galleries to pick them up. Musicians produce CDs and accept money for gigs–some play on street corners, some in clubs, some at weddings and functions–while waiting to make it to the ‘big time’. Why is it any different for writers?
In my opinion, it shouldn’t be.
Which brings me to my next point. Because I’ve embraced self-publishing as an option, does that mean I have given up on traditional publishing avenues?
Diversification is the key. The principal of diversification is not exclusive to writing. As any financial planner will tell you, an investor should have a diversified portfolio. If one area of their investment takes a nose dive, they’ve got other investments to keep their portfolio healthy. For years, coaches and personal trainers have preached the importance of cross-training in order to keep the body balanced and free from repetitive strain injuries. There are countless sayings that speak to this issue; don’t put all your eggs in one basket, variety is the spice of life…
Okay. You get the picture.
Therefore, it is my belief that a balanced approach to self-publishing is the way to go. I am going to continue submitting to agents and editors, both at larger houses and small presses. In the meantime, I’m going to build my name with some self-published titles. I have a plan and that is the important point. There are parts of my plan that I have control over, there are parts where I have no control. But I have a plan. If you decide to take this approach, don’t do it willy nilly. In fact, that’s the joy of self-publishing; as an author, you now have the opportunity to create a business plan and follow through on that plan without completely being at the mercy of the market, a publisher, an editor, an agent and so on.
Keep in mind, however, that what is equally important, of course, is quality. Don’t be fooled, self-publishing is hard work. Yes, you are in control, but you are also responsible for everything, that includes the quality of your work–is it good enough? Is it marketable? Is it professional? The quality of your cover. The quality of your formatting and promotions. It’s all up to you. If your book succeeds it is all due to your hard work. If it doesn’t succeed to the degree you’d hoped, well…
Devil Unknown a Bandit Creek Thriller is coming November 1st!
I am so excited for this new e-book from the lovely Steena Holmes. The thing I love most about the Bandit Creek project with Carla Roma is the fact that the stories are cross-genre. So far we’ve seen a mystery (LOST), a romantic time-travel (SIREN’S SONG), two parallel erotic stories (PENNY CANDY and HARD CANDY) and now a thriller!
Go to the Bandit Creek Books web page to check out the Carla Roma interview with Steena Holmes. Devil Unknown comes out November 1, 2011.
In addition, sign up to receive the very fun, very informative Bandit Creek Gazette Newsletter before December 1 and your name will be entered to receive a $100 Amazon gift certificate! Sign up now!!!
Next Bandit Creek Release, today! HARD CANDY and PENNY CANDY!
Siren’s Song will be available for $0.99 for a limited time! Pick it up today at Amazon.com or Smashwords. In the meantime here’s an interview of Jade Buchanan, author of Penny Candy and Hard Candy, the next installments of the Bandit Creek Series. Enjoy.
Carla Interviews Jade Buchanan About ‘Penny Candy’ & ‘Hard Candy’
Hi, I’m Carla Roma and welcome to Bandit Creek, a small town with a mountain of secrets. The first time I spotted Jade Buchanan I knew I’d met a fellow adventurer. We were on a cruise that went up the coast of Norway, and on the day we crossed paths we were both standing in the mud room of the ship, ready to jump into the arctic cold waters off one of the islands in Svalbard. We quickly bonded over our shared experience of freezing our butts off! Jade has traveled the world; she lived in the Sultanate of Oman in the Middle East, has ridden a camel in the desert, tangled with sea snakes, eaten miscellaneous meat in more places than she can remember, and walked barefoot through glacial waters at the top of a mountain. Today it is my pleasure to interview Jade Buchanan about her two books, PENNY CANDY and HARD CANDY, the third releases in the Bandit Creek series.
Carla: Before I get to your contributions to the Bandit Creek series, do you want to tell the story of our arctic swim, or should I?
Jade: I better tell it. You’ve been known to embelish a time or two—
Carla: Ha! And you would never do that!
Jade: Of course not. I’m sweet and innocent. Really. No one believes me for some reason, but regardless, the day we met was one of many firsts. I had gone to Norway on my own and I swore I would try to do as many things as I could. Nothing was going to be off limits because I didn’t want to look back and regret holding back. Jumping into arctic cold waters was a thrill I actually want to repeat. Especially since they delivered on their promise of a shot of vodka for those of us who jumped! I don’t know if my body has ever gone through a shock like that before, but I couldn’t breathe when I hit the water. My mind hadn’t completely turned off, though, since I did an automatic swimsuit check when I came back up.
Carla: That would have been quite the show if you’d lost your swimsuit!
Jade: There were cameras on us, I wasn’t about to risk it!
Carla: Like me, I know you’re a bit of a world traveler. Do you use that in your writing?
Jade: I use anything and everything in my writing. I’m famous in my family for saying “that’s going in a book” whenever we get together and start acting like fools. I find the world fascinating and I want to see as much of it as possible. It helps that my tastes are incredibly eclectic, so I want to experience everything. It’s one of the reasons I was excited to be part of this series. So many books, all within different genres and with varying heat levels. It’s like taking a vacation and getting to experience everything at once.
Carla: Right, the books! We should talk about PENNY CANDY and HARD CANDY. First off, two stories?
Jade: Call me crazy, but yes!
Carla: How does that work?
Jade: When we first talked about Bandit Creek, I knew I wanted to write a story about a woman returning to her hometown and the man she once loved. Only, every time I tried to determine what would happen next, one of the characters would make a decision that would throw me into confusion. I finally realized that was what I had to write about. Our decisions shape who we are, who we end up with and where we end up. So, I wanted to write a story – two stories – that would explore that theme. PENNY CANDY and HARD CANDY are the result. Two parallel stories, two very different endings.
Carla: What happens in the stories then?
Jade: In PENNY CANDY, we have our heroine Penny Anderson coming home for two reasons. First, she wants to find out what happened to her mother so many years ago. Penny’s mom died when she was in High School. Her father quickly shipped her off to Houston and she’s only now returning to Bandit Creek. But, she’s also recently reconnected with her High School sweetheart, and Candy Store owner, Craig Baxter. Craig wants to rekindle their romance and Penny isn’t sure what she wants.
Carla: So, how is HARD CANDY different?
Jade: They actually start off the same way. Penny is returning home for the same reasons as she is in PENNY CANDY. The difference is one very big, handsome, bisexual one. Back in school, Penny and Craig had a mutual friend named Douglas McKenzie. Mack has a secret… he’s in love with Craig and he’s infatuated with Penny. In HARD CANDY I explore the dynamic between the three of them.
Carla: Who makes the decision that changes the story from a twosome to a threesome?
Jade: They all do, actually. Our lives are interconnected, after all, so in order for two people to become three there needs to be the right timing where all three are open to that kind of a relationship. I’m not sure if I’ll ever explore this kind of a dynamic again of writing parallel stories, but I’m still fascinated by the idea that our choices and decisions shape so much of what we become. I know, such a serious thought for someone known for her quirky and outrageous stories!
Carla: Definitely intriguing! So, inquiring minds want to know, what’s up with the GI Joes?
Jade: LOL! I was told years ago by Laura Baumbach that it can be a good idea to use GI Joes to mock up sex scenes so I went out and bought a few to help me picture in my mind where everything was supposed to go. Then I made the mistake of naming them and my boys took on a life of their own! Today they’re quite the characters, and I’ve added many more friends to their little group You can find out more about them on my website: http://www.jadebuchananbooks.com/freereads.htm
Carla: I’ll definitely check it out! Thanks, Jade! You can find out more about Jade Buchanan at http://www.jadebuchananbooks.com. Her two stories, PENNY CANDY and HARD CANDY will be available from Amazon.com and Smashwords.com on October 15th, 2011. If you have questions or comments for me or for Jade, please leave a response and we’d be happy to reply!
Release Day is Here!
It’s been a whirlwind, but release day for Siren’s Song is finally here!
Siren’s Song can be purchased at Amazon.com (for Kindle) or Smashwords.com if you have a different e-reader.
Check out Bandit Creek Books for upcoming releases, Penny Candy and Hard Candy, by Jade Buchanan and Devil Unknown by Steena Holmes.
Carla Roma from Bandit Creek Books Interviews DL Snow about ‘Siren’s Song’
Hi, I’m Carla Roma and welcome to Bandit Creek, a small town with a mountain of secrets. In all my travels I’ve found that the world is a paradox; both vast and diverse while somehow remaining surprisingly small. A few years ago, I was on assignment in Japan where I was covering a story on the haunted forest at the base of Mount Fuji. I ran across an English language newsletter and in the newsletter was a funny story by DL Snow. Imagine my surprise to find DL and I hail from the same part of the world, although we didn’t meet until I returned to Canada. Today, it is my pleasure to interview DL Snow about her book, SIREN’S SONG, the second story in the Bandit Creek series.
Carla: Before we get to SIREN’S SONG, would you mind relaying the story I’d read about in the newsletter in Japan?
DL: My most embarrassing moment, you mean?
Carla: That’s the one.
DL: (sigh) Okay. It was a beautiful day, the orange blossoms were in full bloom and I was riding my bike home for lunch from the high school in Wakayama prefecture where I taught English. I was wearing a breezy, cotton skirt that day and was feeling rather romantic as it blew in the wind while I rode down main street…that is until the skirt got caught in the spokes of my bike and was torn completely from the waistband, leaving me…ahem…semi-naked.
Carla: Oh dear! What did you do?
DL: Well, the wheels wouldn’t turn and the torn skirt had me trapped on the bike. So, I picked up the bike and, with it stuck between my legs, waddled backwards off the street and up against a building hoping to hide the fact that I was clad only in my underwear. Unfortunately, I had backed myself up against the glass window of a café. Not pretty. In an effort to get away from the window, I fell over.
Carla: Did anyone help you?
DL: (groan) Yes. Some men were working on a building across the street and came running to my aid. I yelled in English for them to go away and then yelled a few random Japanese words, “Mikan dai yo!” Which means, ‘Big orange, I assure you.”
Carla: So, how did you get out of it?
DL: Honestly Carla, I don’t remember. I think I’ve blocked the rest of the experience from my memory. But, when I returned to school after lunch, teachers I barely knew came up to me asking if I was okay and why I’d changed. Word travels fast in small town, Japan.
Carla: I love that story. Can we talk about SIREN’S SONG now?
Carla: Joss Jones is the main character in SIREN’S SONG and she travels back in time. Can you tell me about her?
DL: I don’t know about you, but I think most people secretly – and often not-so-secretly – want to be famous. Well, Joss Jones has been famous since she was a kid and now she’s convinced herself that all she wants is to be normal, so she moves to Bandit Creek. There’s only one problem…
Carla: …Bandit Creek is anything but normal?
DL: Exactly! From the moment she moves in, she’s being followed around by a ghost. Then she’s sucked back in time to Bandit Creek, 1899.
Carla: What happens when she arrives?
DL: First of all she thinks she’s lost her mind. Then she tries desperately to get back home. Finally, she tries to figure out why she’s there.
Carla: Why is she there?
DL: I can’t tell you that, but I can tell you that Morgan Hawes is either the key to her finding her way back home or he’s the reason for her to stay.
Carla: Who’s Morgan Hawes?
DL: Morgan Hawes is the tall, dark mysterious man Joss believes is responsible for her being sucked back in time. He has a habit of showing up at both the best and worst times and Joss thinks he’s another time traveler. She’s pretty sure she’s supposed to help him get back home but he’s not very cooperative.
Carla: You’ve written this story in first person. Was that done for any specific reason?
DL: Yes. I felt first person fit this story best because I only wanted to show Joss’s point of view. I wanted the reader to wonder, alongside Joss, whether Joss is simply crazy, half-dead and hallucinating or if she’s truly traveled through time.
Carla: What was your inspiration for writing a time-travel?
DL: Plenty! One of my favorite romances as a young adult was A Knight in Shining Armor, by Jude Deveraux. Then there’s The Terminator – loved the premise of that movie and in my opinion the first and second were by far the best. Lately, I have been devouring Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. If you haven’t checked out these books, you must!
Carla: What is your favorite scene from SIREN’S SONG?
DL: I’d have to say that the last two scenes are my favorite (sorry, I know you only asked for one). I still get chills when I read those scenes and I hope the reader will feel the same way!
Carla: Thanks, DL. Do you have any final words?
DL: Yes, two things actually. First of all, I want to thank Carla Roma for inviting me to join this wonderful group of Bandit Creek authors, I’m thrilled to be part of this project. Secondly, I want to remind people to make sure to wear clean (and pretty) underwear whenever you leave the house…you never know when your skirt will rip off.
Carla: Thanks for coming by today, DL. You can find out more about DL Snow at www.dlsnow.ca. Her book, SIREN’S SONG will be available from Amazon.com and Smashwords.com on October 1st, 2011. If you have questions or comments for me or for DL, please leave a response and we’d be happy to reply!
TO BE, OR NOT TO BE…A WRITER
A wise friend once told me, if you want to be a writer, you need to be a writer. Do all the things that writers do. Surround yourself with writers, talk about yourself as if you are a writer, network with writers and above all else, write. What she failed to mention is that this ‘being a writer’ thing requires incredible stamina. It is definitely not a sprint. It isn’t even a slow and steady jog. It’s a marathon, a test of endurance, strength and discipline.
So how does one, be a writer before they are published? There are many things you can do. But first and foremost:
- Write. Too often we get caught up in all the other things going on in our lives. However, if you want to write, if you truly want to be a writer, you have to make time for it.
- Join a writing community. If you are reading this article, chances are you belong to a writing group. But ask yourself what you are getting out of this group. Are you learning anything? Is the group helping your writing career or is it just one more thing that is taking up time in your life and keeping you from writing? There are many, many forums for writers out there. Choose your community carefully.
- Present yourself as a writer. When people ask you what you do, tell them you are a writer and say it with conviction. If you don’t believe it, no one else will. This was a transition I personally had to make slowly (otherwise I felt like a fraud). I began with, “I’m a teacher, but I’m not teaching right now, I’m writing in my spare time.” Then I started saying, “I used to be a teacher but now I write.” Now I say, “I’m a writer.” And you know what? I feel like a writer.
- Be professional. If you want to write as a career, treat it as such. Your query letter is your cover letter, your partial is your resume. Make sure you are sending out your very best work and if your project is passed on, make sure you send a gracious thank-you as you never know when your paths will cross again. Conferences and workshops are like job fairs, an opportunity to see what’s out there and to network. Create a professional persona with the name you plan to use, business cards and websites. There are many ways to do this without spending a lot of money. Ask the members of your writing group if you need help, that’s what they’re there for.
- Network. Like any other business, networking is imperative. Take a step out of your comfort zone and attend conferences to meet people in the industry and to feel a part of that industry. Don’t just focus on industry professionals, meet other authors and readers, you never know who anyone is or who they will become. Again, be professional and gracious. Yes, attending conferences can be costly but think of it as an investment. If money is an issue, plan for it. Do things like collect air miles to help pay for flights. Share a room with others – it’s a great way to meet people and to cut costs. If a conference is really unattainable, there are many ways to network free of charge. Twitter and Facebook are easy ways to make contacts without spending a dime. If blogging isn’t for you, take some time to simply follow and comment on other peoples’ blogs.
- Volunteer. I have been so amazed and delighted by the support in this industry and have directly benefited by the guidance of others who have been involved longer than I have. I know I’m not alone. Pay it forward. Volunteer in your writing group, it’s another great way to meet industry professionals, one-on-one. Help those who are newer to this than you, you never know – they may someday become your biggest fan. Volunteer at conferences to moderate a panel – you could end up meeting one of your favorite authors. Teach writing classes, find an aspect of the craft that you excel at and share your techniques with others.
- Write. Just in case you’d forgotten. It’s a marathon, remember? And, as Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.”
Coming Down From RT Booklovers Convention 2011
Wow! What a wild ride. My first ever Romantic Times Booklovers Convention. I’d heard so much about it and let me tell you the experience did not disappoint. My pictures, however, did! I’m terrible at taking pictures. I bring my camera to everything and then promptly forget all about using it. Oh well, here’s a link to a great new agent’s blog – Adventures in Agentland – by Natalie Fischer, who has been with Bradford Literary Agency for a number of months now. I had the pleasure of meeting her at the convention. She did a wonderful picture montage of some of the key elements of the convention – and if you watch carefully, you might actually catch a glimpse of my alter ego.
Highlights of the convention include (but are not limited to): A workshop with Dean Koontz – he’s awesome! A fabulous workshop with Michael Hauge on plot structure, great panels with authors; Vivi Anna, Lauren Dane, Megan Hart, Kimberly Kaye Terry, Brenda Jackson, and many more. Just hanging with some of my other fave authors, including Ann Aguirre, Beth Williamson, HelenKay Dimon and Vivian Arend. Meeting my oh- so- lovely cover artist Kanaxa at the Samhain Publishing In-N-Out Burger party! And gosh, what else? Oh too many parties, functions and mixers to mention!
I would like to say a special thanks to my CaRWA peeps, Vivi Anna, Kymber Morgan and Susan Retzlaff for twisting my arm (didn’t take much) and for making this so much fun!