Cover Reveal for Whiskey-Eyed Woman!

So today is the big day! The cover for Whiskey-Eyed Woman has been launched. Here it is in all its glory:

What do you think?

Here’s the blurb:

The final Soldiering On book

They’ve been dancing around each other since they started Soldiering On. Now, Duncan and Mandy will have to work together if they are going to get out of this alive…

Former Sergeant Major Duncan Pierce has wanted Mandy since the moment they first met, but she deserves better than a beat up old soldier. Then, a bomb planted in their office goes off, and they narrowly escape the deadly situation with their lives. Faking their own death to buy some time, they are forced to hide out together while they plan to finally bring down the arch-enemy that has nearly destroyed them.

But in such close proximity, their powerful sexual chemistry is sure to combust…

Mandy’s sick of Duncan seeing her as the untouchable princess she’s not. When they arrive at the safe house, she’s determined to get him to see the real her. But first they have to deal with a man who wants them dead and buried, once and for all.

Preorder it here!

It’ll be released on August 18th. I’m so excited to share this with everyone. Writing this series has been a journey, and I’m sad to see it come to an end. But I’m also really excited for what I have planned next! Expect some exciting updates over the next few weeks!

Hesitant Love Now Available!

Hesitant Love

My cute, fun, and sexy romance is out today! If you like awkward heroes, single mothers that don’t trust men, comedy, and romance, this is for you!

Colin Partridge can hold down a conversation with his nine-year-old students, no problem. Beautiful women, on the other hand? Not so much. So when he bumps into Britt Endicott, the single mother of one of his students, he barely manages to get through the conversation with his dignity intact.

Britt Endicott hasn’t dated since her ex-husband left her and her daughter Abigail seven years ago. She doesn’t trust men, and with good reason. And even if she did–which she definitely doesn’t–dating her daughter’s teacher is totally against the rules.

Can they get around school rules, meddling children, and most of all themselves, to find their happy ending?

It’s a little bit different to my usual fare, but for anyone who’s read the Soldiering On books, you know I like to add a bit of humour to my work–even into my romantic suspense. Now I have a novella chock full of it! (This also has what is probably the sexiest sex scene I’ve written, if that’s your thing…)

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it. It’s also available on Kindle Unlimited if you want to give it a try!

Click here to find the novella on Amazon!

Author Interview: Carole P. Roman

Here is the second in my series of Author Interviews. You can check out the one I did with R.L Jackson here!

And, now for my interview with Carole P. Roman

1. Tell us about yourself and what you write:

I write children’s books all ages. I have five different series. My first series was Captain No Beard which is an adventure series for both boys and girls. In the ten books, young pirates battle imaginary foes and learn to work as a team. My second two series are non-fiction. If You Were Me and Lived in…has two ages groups. The first is for ages 4-8 and is an introduction to culture and customs around the world. There are 23 books in this series in you include If You Were Me and Lived on…Mars- a fun trip to a Mars colony in the year 2054. The other half of the series is ten books for ages 8-12 that are a trip to different time periods around the world. All ten books traverse the globe visiting Ancient Mali or Greece, or take a trip to the American West, or even the Middle Ages. Both series puts the students into the shoes of a child living there and gives them a fun way to learn about life. I have a nursery series that tackles coping and self-worth and lastly, my newest is an Early Reader Chapter book called Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag. Oh yes, and I forgot a self-help book called Navigating Indieworld.

2. You’ve published books in a few different genres now—mostly children’s books, but now an advice book called Navigating Indieworld, as well. What’s the best thing about publishing in the areas that you do, and what’s the most challenging?

Writing and putting together a book is both fun and fairly easy. Publicizing any book is the most challenging part. It’s getting harder and harder to gather those much-needed reviews. You spend time and effort to publish and you don’t want your book to fall into the dark pit of high rankings. If it disappears from the public, nobody will buy it.

 

3. Why did you choose to be an Indie Author?

I think being an indie author chose me. My kids dared me to write a book. I did, never expecting the book to become an award-winning best-seller out of the gate. When the first one fell into place so easy, I decided to develop a brand. It’s been a lot of fun and very rewarding.

 

4. What are some of the most valuable things you’ve learned since publishing?

I learned that I can pretty much do things I never thought I was capable of doing. I wrote a book, finished it, polished it. I have been on Youtube, panels, Forbes has interviewed me twice. I am sought after as a strong voice in indie publishing. I have my own blog radio show. I have met great friends in the chat rooms and every day is a learning experience.

 

5. If you could give some advice to any authors just starting on this journey, what would it be?

Get onto a good thread on Goodreads and Bookworks. Be vocal. Ask questions. If the other authors shut you down, find another thread. You will learn so much by talking to the people who forged ahead of you. They will help guide you better than any seminar.

 

6. You seem to be growing a bit of a publishing empire! What’s next for you and your team? Will you be expanding into other genres?

I started a YA novel and then abandoned it. Julie, my social media partner and beta reader, reminded me about it yesterday. I may go back to it. I would like to expand the Oh Susannah series if it takes off. I will be promoting my son who has made the leap from indie to traditional publisher. They have asked to work together on promotions.

 

7. If you had to do one thing over in your writing career so far, would you? And what would it be?

Buy my own ISBN’s. I finally understand them now and whatever I’ve learned, I discovered the information in our chatroom on Goodreads. I think it is smart to own your material.

 

8. What’s your writing process like? How often do you find the time? Do you outline first? Do you listen to music while the magic happens? Give us some insight.

I can write in an office full of people. I have that ability to talk to someone and read at the same time. I write anywhere in the house, can stop to make dinner or answer the phone and go right back to the story. I usually write every night from nine to eleven, then I spend an hour or two reading other people’s books.

 

9. Where do you get your ideas?

They just happen. Sometimes, like with Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis, one of my family members stands as a muse from a conversation. Susannah was based on a remark that an exhausted working mother said. The books are born from my life and when you read them, in some way you are reading about my home and family.

 

10. How do you recharge your imagination when you can feel your creative well getting dry? (Or is it just me that happens to!)

Never gets dry. It’s too active and always has been. Give me an issue and in five minutes I’ll have five solutions. Our family is solution oriented, so we are always brimming with ideas.

 

11. You seem to have worked with a few different illustrators. For those that don’t know, what’s that process like?

I have worked with remarkable illustrators. Bonnie Lemaire who did the pirate series must be telepathic, because she nailed my characters without ever speaking to me, but for a few sparse emails. Kelsea Weirenga who did the cultural series has the patience of a saint and embraced the series with her entire being, working hard to get everything as accurate as possible. Mateya Arkova is a gift from Europe. She approached me to illustrate and is the hardest working artist I’ve ever met. I love them all dearly and count them as my friends. They never took ownership but served as silent support to make my dreams comes to life. They are wonderful women.

 

12. What are you working on now?

Just finished If You Were ME and Lived in…Cuba and Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag.  Have to work on promoting them now.

 

Just for fun:

 

13. Sweet or savoury?

Sweet.

 

14. Hot weather or cold?

Both!

 

15. If an apocalypse comes, what would be your most valuable skill?

I would remember our past for the future generations.

 

16. Which celebrity would you choose to be stranded on a desert island with?

Brad Pitt- Guess why.

 

17. Dream vacation spot? (Other than the island with the celebrity, naturally)

Vegas, baby. I have a home there and am a celebrated craps player. (It is true.)

 

18. If you won a million dollars tomorrow, what’s the first thing you’d buy?

Ice cream to celebrate. Ice cream for everyone.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Visit Carole at the following places!

Author Interview: Me!

So, a while back I did an interview with Tara Woods Turner. And it’s finally live! If for whatever reason you’ve ever had a burning need to hear my voice or see my face (I had thought it was a podcast, so sorry not sorry about the lack of makeup!) then, firstly, whyyyyy? My voice is horrible. And secondly, you’re in luck!

I can’t listen to it back because I get the heebie-jeebies listening to my voice, so if you do watch/listen, be sure to tell me if I said anything super embarrassing. (Also, they spelled/pronounced my name wrong, but I get it’s a tough one 😉 )Thanks!

Author Interview: R.L Jackson

Please welcome R.L. to my blog for my first ever Author Interview!1

  1. Tell us about yourself and what you write:

A Bahamian-born native, R.L Jackson writes fiction and enjoys reading Romance, Fantasy, Dystopian, YA, and everything in between.
Her first novel “Crashing Into Me” was released on Feb 14, 2017 and is available on Amazon in kindle format as well as in paperback.

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  1. What’s the best thing and hardest thing about writing romance, do you think?

The best thing for me is creating new people, new experiences and the journey they take to find that love. The hardest is finding interesting and unique ways to tell stories that haven’t been told before.

  1. Would you ever write in a different genre? (Even a different sub-genre of romance) 

I write in different genres already, just none that I’ve published yet.

  1. What’s your favourite trope in romance?

I use a mix of different tropes, it just makes a story more realistic to me. I don’t believe in instant love, in novels because in real life that is a rarity, outside of middle school aged “love” lol.

  1. What are some of your favourite genres or authors to read?

I don’t have a favorite author, but genres are Thriller, Romance, Paranormal, Dystopian, and some Fantasy depending on what it is.

  1. Why did you choose to be an Indie Author?

I chose it for the freedom of controlling my own creative process after reading up on the pros and cons of both from the mouths of trad and indie authors, I decided indie was the best for me.

  1. What are some of the most valuable things you’ve learned since publishing?

The real work starts after you press publish. I wish I had a marketing plan in place before I did it to be honest, as well as the marketing budget. There aren’t many places that will promote your book for free unless it is free or discounted, which makes me roll my eyes because it’s frustrating. Or if they do promote your book, the cost is huge. From what I can tell indie Publishing may have taken the decision to publish their work out of trad publishing hands, but simultaneously given others (bloggers, promotion sites) the power to decide if and how they will promote them, thus creating brand new hurdles and hoops to jump through.

  1. If you had to do one thing over in your writing career so far, would you? And what would it be?

Marketing plan, marketing budget, virtual assistant to handle social media etc so I can focus on writing.

  1. What’s your writing process like? How often do you find the time? Do you outline first? Do you listen to music while the magic happens? Give us some insight.

My process starts with the concept, plot, then outline. I write my ending first and work backwards. I outline and listen to music when I get blocked or need inspiration for a particular scene.

  1. Where do you get your ideas?

Sometimes they hit me out of the blue, others are based on my personal experiences.

  1. How do you recharge your imagination when you can feel your creative well getting dry? (Or is it just me that happens to!)

I watch a movie or binge watch Netflix to get out of my head for a while. Then I go back and read what I wrote making changes as I see fit.

  1. What are you working on now?

Book two of my ‘Crashing” series and a few surprises I can’t mention yet.

 

Just for fun:

  1. Sweet or savoury? Both
  2. Hot weather or cold? Cold
  3. If an apocalypse comes, what would be your most valuable skill? Fighting
  4. If you won a million dollars tomorrow, what’s the first thing you’d buy?

Is this 1mill before or after taxes lol. Seriously though, I’d pay off my outstanding bills, start a charity I’ve been wanting to start for a while, and purchase my first home.

 

Thanks so much R.L. for stopping by my blog!

 

Book Review: Known by Kendra Elliot

Known (Bone Secrets, #5)Known by Kendra Elliot
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this tale of two people, Chris and Gianna, both with damaged pasts, coming together when a killer targets Gianna.

This book had a lot of tropes I like, such as the stranded in a snowstorm, the scarred/wounded hero, the intriguing suspense plot, and it was competently written.

I liked that Chris was a solitary loner; quiet, tense, and a little grumpy. He had scars from when he’d been kidnapped by a serial killer as a child, both internal and external. He was very capable and deadly. My one complaint was that his very serious, dramatic background as a child played no part in the current mystery. I would have liked that to have more impact on the current plot, because while it played a part in his character backstory, it felt like a very dramatic part of the narrative not to use more. I think, though, that this same plot may have been explored a little more in a previous book I haven’t read, which based on this book is about Chris’s biological brother and his adopted sister. (As far as I can tell it’s not incest-y, though).

I was also a bit disappointed that Gianna’s role as a medical examiner never came into play. She never even went to work on the page. It was, again, a shame to waste such an interesting profession, which could have been very relevant and useful in a suspense plot.

Another thing I didn’t like – but this is totally personal preference – was the scenes from the villain’s POV. I’m just generally not a fan of this, as it rarely adds to the overall story. The villain should be scary from the POV of the hero and heroine. We shouldn’t need to be privy to his thoughts in order to feel afraid of him.

I listened to this in audio. I thought the narrator was fine – I’d heard her narrate a different book, and she’s solid. However, and this isn’t something that’s the narrator’s fault, just something I noticed I think because I was listening to this book not reading it: the author overused ‘stated’ A LOT. As in, ‘he stated/she stated’. It drove me nuts. I finally understand the advice to writers about not overusing words other than ‘said’.

Overall, I would recommend this to people who like more low-key heroes with their suspense, and an intriguing mystery or two to go along with it.

View all my reviews

Giveaways, Sales, and More! (Oh My!)

I have two big sales on at the moment! Station Alpha is just 99 cents!

This is part of a joint promotion with a bunch of other Indie Authors through Navigating Indieworld. Check out that link, as there are heaps of books by authors in all kinds of genres on sale!

And here’s a fab banner to tempt you! And a giveaway and everything!

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The other sale I have on is through Steamy Book Bargains.

This one is to promote books that are ‘Wide’ (aka, not exclusive to Amazon). There’s also a giftcard giveaway to enter for here, so go wild, and grab some books by awesome Indie Authors while you’re at it.

Here’s the super awesome banner to tempt you to this one:

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I also have YET ANOTHER sale on this weekend, but I’ll tell you all about it when the time comes. For now, pick up some amazing bargains by awesome Indie Authors!

Review: Radio Silence by Alyssa Cole

This is my March book for my 2017 Reading Challenge. The theme was #OwnVoices.

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Brief plot:

The power has been out for weeks, creating a kind of apocalypse. Unsure what’s going on, Arden and her friend John leave their apartment for John’s family home in the wilds outside the city. When they get there, Arden meets John’s brother Gabriel, and the two fall in love while trying to stay safe and figure out what made the power go out.

radio silence

My Thoughts:

I don’t usually go for first person narratives, but I’ve enjoyed a few of Alyssa Cole’s books before (Let It Shine and Agnes Moor’s Wild Knight).  Plus, it was post-apocalyptic! (Kind of). Who can resist that?

I did enjoy reading this, though the short word count made the beginning of Arden and Gabriel’s relationship focus a bit too much on the lust side of things. Insta-lust doesn’t particularly interest me as a reader.

I liked the ambiguity of what had happened with the blackout (that may be explored in the other two books in the series), and I liked that not everything was wrapped up neatly. Arden’s parents were still in California, with Arden having no clue as to their fate.

I also liked the diversity. Arden is African-American, and Gabriel and John (and the rest of their family) are Korean-American.

And Alyssa Cole is just a really good writer. I like her voice and the attitude she infused into Arden’s inner thoughts, and the vulnerability, too. The sexual tension between Arden and Gabriel was pretty hot as well. However, I did think that when the two of them first had sex, I didn’t quite buy the emotional transition from Arden’s misery (which had been so emotionally devastating a few paragraphs earlier) into sexytimes. I think more of a breather between those two scenes would have helped me get into the right headspace.

All in all, I definitely recommend this book.

Did I learn anything by reading this:

Don’t be afraid to dig deep into your character’s darker emotions. Mine them for all the emotion you can wring from them.

Would I read this genre again:

Definitely! I love post-apocalyptic romance, and I am always on the hunt for more Own Voices and diverse books.

Final thoughts:

Read if you like diversity, apocalypses, and want a quick, satisfying read.

What Own Voices books did you read this month?

Why Choose Self-Publishing?

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People often ask me why I went the self-published route rather than traditional publishing. Sometimes, on the difficult days, I even wonder myself.

Part of it was control. I’ve heard horror stories of authors hating the covers that the publishers have given them and having no recourse to change them. Or they’ve been asked to take out some element of the book that they feel is important.

In self-publishing, I have all of the control. I also have all the risk and the burden, so it’s a trade-off. But for now it is working for me. While I am relatively unknown, there isn’t as much risk.

I also like having all the information. I can see how many sales I am having per day, and adjust accordingly. I can see what is working, and what’s not. I can see how many copies I’m selling for what price, which makes estimating the amount of money I will make in a given period a lot easier.

Another reason was the freedom. I have a hero that’s pansexual. My next heroine is demisexual. I can write about any topic I like, in any way I choose. And I don’t even have to think twice or try to second-guess a publisher as to what they might want.

Again, this is not always a good thing. Sometimes the gatekeepers are right. You need a lot of trust in yourself, your work, and your choices when you’re a self-publisher. The support system you get from publishers can also be an amazing advantage, both morally and financially.

Money is another factor. I don’t think that I’ll necessarily earn ‘more’ as a self-publisher, (despite a number of authors saying that’s why they chose self-publishing) since I’ll probably sell less than if I had been trad published. But a higher percentage of each book sold will be going to me, and that’s a nice feeling. Though there are more costs, too, so again it’s a trade-off. Maybe, if and when I get popular, I can say that it was the smarter financial move, too.

I also like the idea that I can write to my own schedule. I’ve always been a quick writer, so being able to put out as many new releases as I like and only be dependent on how fast I can get the words down is a big bonus. They say that success in self-publishing is quite dependent on regular releasing, so I knew that I had that on my side when I made the decision.

I also figured that I’m smart. I learn quickly. I could make this self-publishing thing work for me. I spent a lot of time researching the best way to do things before jumping in. That’s not to say that I haven’t made mistakes. I have, and will continue to do so. But I had confidence that I could make a success of it.

Whether this is true is yet to be seen. Maybe eventually I’ll go hybrid. It does seem to be a popular option. But for now I am happy with self-publishing. I think I made the right choice.