Friday, November 29, 2013

Buckle Down

Her Dream Cowboy by Samantha Holt
The Layover by C.V. Madison
Faith, Hope and Charity by J.T. Seate
Her Dream Cowboy
by Samantha Holt

Talked into experiencing ranch life for herself by her best friend, Sophie comes all the way from England to Nevada, alone. But while her friend may have abandoned her, her guide for the week promises to stick close to her side.
A guide who just happens to be an honest to goodness, sexy cowboy.
Luke Harper is a busy man. He’s dedicated years to turning his ranch into a successful holiday business. He’s yet to find a woman who can deal with the realities of dating a cowboy. In his experience, they’re all after a dream. But Sophie proves too tempting for her own good and Luke can’t help wondering if the gorgeous woman would be willing to give him a chance.
Or is she just looking for a dream cowboy too?

The Layover
by C.V. Madison

Security officer and avowed city boy Reno Locke drops into The Meeting Place for a little loving to fill his off hours. Country boy Wilder Henderson swings through to blow off a little steam after winning a rodeo competition. Locke finally works up the nerve to hit on Wilder and Locke takes Wilder back to his room. He finds out this urban cowboy is just what he was looking for during The Layover. 

Faith, Hope and Charity
by J.T. Seate

Blurb: True grit and humor accompany sex and cowboy clich├ęs in this adventurous western set in the New Mexico Territory. A young girl wants to run off with a sexy cowboy, but her daddy doesn’t approve. Not only that, but Daddy’s a Territorial Marshall who wants to kill poor Johnny for taking advantage of his daughter. With the chance of a fresh start and an interesting future, will love conquer all?
In the old west, a young couple have plotted a future rendezvous for any chance of a life together, if only poor Johnny isn’t gunned down first by Faith’s father who is out for the cowboy’s blood.
Johnny, a wrangler, and Faith, the apple of her mother and father’s eye, meet at a fiesta in a small New Mexico town. She’s different from any girl Johnny’s ever met, the kind of girl that tickles the thought of settling down. At a late night rendezvous, they reveal everything there is to know about each other, except for one ominous circumstance. Faith’s father is the Territorial Marshall and he doesn’t take kindly to what happened between the young couple along a riverbank. The Marshall sets out on a quest to make the young cowboy answer for his misdeeds and bring an end to this sudden, lovesick couple’s plans to reunite. While Johnny dodges the man in search of blood, a train awaits the couple if they are allowed to carry out their plan. But philosophies are bound to clash during the final showdown between generational attitudes.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Shades of Pink anthology

Kallysten has put together a huge anthology to raise money to fight breast cancer.  The suggested donation is $5, about a penny a page, all of which goes directly to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.  See info here.  

The following authors have contributed a story for this project 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Self Marketing for Writers: Personal Brand

As stated in my last post, a lot of publishing companies are requiring writers to market for themselves. Rather this is to keep costs down so publishers don’t have to charge as much for books or if it’s to keep small and indie presses flowing smoothly, it’s something we all are going to need going into the future. How do we market ourselves? In the research I’ve done, it seems like a pretty simple thing. All we have to do is what the business world calls a “Personal Brand”.
A personal brand is simply the face we put forward into our professional scope. To create a personal brand, you really only have to do the things you’re already doing.
  • Blogging
How many of us don’t have a blog nowadays? Most everyone has a blog, including inkslinging monkeys banging their face against a keyboard and leaving it for the world like some primate Picasso. I have this blog  for writing and storytelling. I have another for cooking recipes and yet another for my gaming woes. When you’re working with your personal brand, you need to add regular content. When your readers can rely on a post, they’ll come back for more. By the time you start talking about your next novel coming out, the established reader base you already have is going to be there waiting.
This means, however, that you’re going to need a reader base. There are a few simple things you can do to draw people in. Go to other blogs and Twitter feeds. Read their stuff and comment. Open a dialogue between other readers and writers like yourself. Post reviews of the books you’ve read on Goodreads. You can do guest posts for other people’s blogs. It’s like a vicious cycle that isn’t vicious. You learn things, they learn things and people follow people. Easy, right? (Just don’t be “that guy” and go everywhere spamming that you’re a writer and you have a great book everyone needs to read. We’re all pretty sick of hearing that already.)
On that topic:
  • Be active in social media
Twitter is like an addiction for me. Since I use Tweetcaster paired with Readability, I can cruise through my Twitter feed, read all about people’s lives, save interesting articles to read later and keep up on what’s coming and going in the world of writing. I can comment directly in Readability and others who use the site can see what I’ve written. I retweet like a fiend when I’ve found an interesting bit of online knowledge. Most of what I post on Twitter posts automatically to my Facebook page. I can keep several options open.
Don’t do like I did and join all the things. Stick with the social media sites you’ll actually use. My twitter feed posts to Facebook, but I actually have to check in on Facebook to see if anyone is replying to what I’ve written and do it sooner rather than later. There’s nothing worse than feeling connected to an author for some reason or another, leaving them a little post and never hearing from them. You get lost in the floe of posts coming to those popular people and carried away. It could be what makes or breaks a connection with someone else.
I post not only a lot of retweets (which I do too much sometimes) but also content of my own, what’s going on in my life, pictures of my animals, my new haircut… You get the idea. I take what I enjoy reading about other people and I do the same thing. I’m active there and when I publish, I might actually have a few people who are genuinely interested in hearing what I have to say. I’ve posted once about what annoys me on Twitter and another on what I want to see in writer blogs, but it bears repeating: Don’t be “that guy”. We want to know some things about you personally just as much as we want to know what you’ve written.
  • Do a meetup
Many people I’ve talked to have spoken on attending writer’s groups for people to bounce story ideas off of, get information and research, cover angles you haven’t thought of and to get good, honest critique before you ship your babies off to be cowboys or, in the case of bad writing, hamburger. Do a quick Google search of writers groups in the area.
My favorite meetup is NaNoWriMo. For those of you who may not have heard of it before, it’s a month of crazy writers drinking too much coffee and writing a terrible 50,000 word novel in 30 days. It’s all self-paced and nominated. There are no judges, no one who picks whose novel is best or worst. A bunch of us crazy people get together in coffeehouses, restaurants, bookstores, libraries and even grocery stores and write throughout the month of November. I love it enough I work as a municipal liaison for Columbus. Previously I worked as ML in Findlay. I have met some wonderful, incredible, horribly knowledgeable people who have given me the best advice and invited me to so many fun things. It really is an experience you should try at least once. If nothing else, it teaches you to sit down and write a little every day.
The most important thing in developing your personal brand seems to be just getting out there and having a good time with other people. Do guest blog posts. Record a video blog. Do some blogging of your own. Come stalk me on twitter. Read the articles I’ve saved to read on Readability. Check out my reviews on Goodreads. Talk to me about your books. I’ll even do reviews for you. Without sounding too desperate, I LIKE hearing from people and I LOVE making new friends. Let’s improve our brand (and our chances at getting published) together.