Friday, January 27, 2012

WINNER!!!

I'm very pleased to announce that my book, Saved by the Sheriff was voted Runner-up in the Love Romances Cafe Best of 2011 Awards in the Mystery/Thriller/Romantic Suspense category.

Saved by the Sheriff also came in ninth as Best Romance Novel in the 2011 Preditors & Editors Readers Poll.

The beginning of 2011 has proved to be a very production year for me and I hope it continues. I feel very blessed and lucky to be able to succeed in something that I love to do.

I have another book that is in the self-editing process and I hopefully will be sending it off to the publisher soon. I am also currently working on chapter six of another. I write slowly, but am determined to get it finished as soon as possible.

Update on the print edition of Saved by the Sheriff is that it should be out in paperback in March, depending on any possible delays that the publisher may have. Check back here for more updates. You can also find more information on my web site.

I'm interviewed on Raine Delight's Blog today. Stop by & learn more about me and my writing.

I want to thank everyone for your support and votes in the competitions.

Carol

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Conferences & Conventions

Several weeks ago, I guest posted on my friend and fellow author, Marian Allen's blog about Conferences & Conventions. When I wrote that post, I used the terms interchangeably, which apparently they aren't. Honestly, I don't know the difference, other than one might be larger than the other. So, if you know what the difference is, please leave me a comment below and explain. For my post today, I'm using both terms to mean the same.

On Marian's blog, I spoke mainly about one conference that I have attended, which also was my favorite, Magna cum Murder Crime Writing Festival. It's held every October in Muncie, Indiana. If you want to read about it, click on the Marian's blog link above. The photo on the left is from the 2010 Magna cum Murder and is me, and authors T. Lee Harris and Marian Allen.

Today, I want to talk about conferences and conventions in general and what you should expect from them. First, if you have a chance to go, do it. I have had so much fun at all the ones I have attended and have learned so much from them. You can usually find vendors selling books about writing, but also books to use for research in a variety of topics, and of course, authors that are attending will likely have their books for sell and will gladly autograph them for you.

There will also be workshops or panels that you can attend. Workshops could be about craft, marketing, research, or just about anything pertaining to writing. If the convention is specific to a particular genre, then the workshops and panels will be that also. At Magna, I attended a workshops about poisons given by a pharmacist, one about the history of SWAT and Hostage Negotiations, and my favorite one was Broken Bones, Ballistics and Backdrafts.

At a small romance writers convention that I attended once, they didn't break out into workshops or panels, but instead had panels for the whole group. One thing, that some conventions do is have agents or editors attend. You can sign up to a 5-10 minute pitch of your book to them. I did that and the agent actually asked me to send her the first three chapters. It was my first manuscript and she eventually rejected it, but the experience I gained from talking to her for that short time was priceless for me. I eventually met my current publisher at a conference last summer.

Some things to think about when considering a conference or convention is cost. Will you be spending the night at hotel, how much is the registration fee, and how much are you able to spend on buying books. One conference I attended cost me around $200 with hotel, meals, and conference registration. It was close so I could drive to it, but some conventions farther away might require a flight, which really runs into money. Of course, if you're someone who is making money from your writing, all costs for attending are tax deductible, so keep those receipts.

If flying in for a conference, you might want to check on the dress code. Will it business casual, or just casual and will there a dinner that you need to dress up for? There's also the trip from the airport to the hotel or conference center that you'll need to make arrangements for.

Two important tips I was given before I attended my first convention, 1) don't wear a lot of perfume or powder. The scent may overpower the person, agent or editor sitting next to you. 2) If you are going to give a presentation or pitch your book, don't drink a carbonated beverage right before you're going to speak. And, one tip I have for presenters that will be wearing a wireless microphone, make sure it is turned off before and after your presentation. We don't want to hear your comments about the person in the back that fell asleep, or your bathroom habits.

Finally, the goal is to learn and have fun. I can't express how much fun I have had at the ones I've attended. I've met some great people, both authors and readers and I can't wait for the next one that I attend.

Carol

Monday, January 9, 2012

Welcome author Molly Daniels today

Today, I'd like to welcome my friend and author, Molly Daniels. Molly has agreed to interview one of her characters today from her Arbor University Tales series. Welcome, Molly, Elicia, and Amy.

Today I’d like to turn this guest slot over to Elicia Keller and Amy Callahan, the heroines of the first two books in the Arbor University Tales series.

MD: Welcome ladies! Good to see you again.

AC: Hi Molly; I was thrilled with the new cover; the male looks so much like my Matthew!

EK: I think the model on your cover looks more like me, but my cover is sooo much better than that first one! (gagging gesture)

AC: And the mistake in yours was finally fixed…

EK: All eleven of them. I checked. And I still don’t understand why you felt it necessary to kill off-

MD: Sorry Elicia…no spoilers, please….

EK: Couldn’t you simply have maimed him? We might have broken up eventually; that cigarette habit of his drove me crazy.

MD: Really? You never said anything.

EK (rolling her eyes): When you begin dating someone, you don’t complain about their irritating habits until later. And then you only had him smoking after sex, which is okay. Amy, I don’t know how you put up with your man so long. I met him and wasn’t impressed at all.

AC: He changed after I set him straight about a few things. Unlike you, if I’m not happy with the way I’m being treated, I’ll let him know. If he chooses to continue, then I’m sorry; sacrificing my sense of self-worth to please him won’t do. There are other fish in the sea.

EK(thumbs through LFAW): But you tolerate his obvious lies about his ex-girlfriend?

AC: Matt has an issue with trust. That’s why we argued so much; he lets insecurities get to him. In some ways he’s like a little boy-Molly, he’s not going to be reading this is he? Oh wait…he doesn’t read! (laughs)-where was I? Oh yes…He’s also the youngest in his family, and I’m an only child, so psychologically, we shouldn’t even be together. But I’m patient enough to help him through his issues.

EK: Isn’t it against the rules to date your client?

AC: He’s not my client; he’s my boyfriend. Just because my training happens to be useful to our relationship…

MD: Girls, please, let’s be civil. Elicia, have you talked to Keri? Her story will be releasing later this month.

EK: I’ve never really gotten along with Keri; our taste in men and careers are polar opposites. And while we’re on the subject, how do you market an electronic book? Will I ever be in print again?

MD: I’m not sure; I think it depends on how many sales are generated. And as for the marketing, I use facebook, twitter, my blog, and various chat loops.

EK: Not following you.

AC: Face book? Why do you put our faces in a book?

MD: Oh that’s right; personal computers aren’t around in 1984-6 yet, or the internet.

AC: The only computers I’ve ever seen were either large enough to fill a room or these huge things which take up all the space on the desk and you have to enter a lot of code first. Are you telling me someone finally made them user-friendly?

EK: Twitter….is that a twit who never learns anything?

MD: Just wait twenty more years ladies; then you’ll understand. A special thank you to Carol for letting us take over her blog today-

EK: We’re guests on a blog? Does my hair look alright? And do I have time to change my outfit?

MD: Relax, Elicia…no one can see you. Just your cover. . In the meantime, here’s the link where you can find both books, and since Amy’s book was released the other day, here’s a blurb and excerpt. Enjoy!

AC: Trust Elicia to make everything about her….


Blurb:

Can a blind date turn into a romance? Amy Callahan wants to find out, so when she flies to California to spend a week with Matt Slagal, she discovers the ups and downs of a long distance relationship. Which one prevails..."Absence makes the heart grow fonder" or, "Out of sight, out of mind"?

Buy link:

http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=book_info&cPath=4&products_id=225&zenid=ab9d5a9155df4bc57df79581d1c9d6e5


Excerpt:

“What am I to you, anyway? Just someone to sleep with occasionally when you can’t get laid, or do I actually mean something to you?”

“Good Lord, Amy!” He stopped halfway to the front door and spun around. “Is that what you think?”

“What am I supposed to think?” Angry tears rolled down her cheeks. “Last year, I never dreamed I’d even see you again then I thought I’d surprise you when I got that free ticket. You called me your girlfriend and told me you loved me, so...”

“That’s right.” He walked over and took her hands. “I love you. I broke up with Jeri as soon as I got back, because I couldn’t get you out of my head.”

“Wait a minute.” Amy stepped back. “You... I thought you had already broken up with her when you met me.”

Matt shook his head. “We’d had a huge fight, because I wouldn’t bring her with me. Then I met you. I thought Jeri and I would maybe get back together, but after being with you...hell, I couldn’t get you off my mind, so I quit seeing her. I was planning to look you up this fall, but you showed up on the base in July.” He pulled her inside the house. “Do you want to go upstairs or get something to drink?”

Amy shook her head, digesting everything. She circled the room as Matt went to get a beer for himself. “So, what you said in California was true; you wanted to keep seeing me, and the fact you’ve not seen me for a week was due to...?” She raised an eyebrow at him.

Matt sat down in a chair and looked at the floor. “My friends kept me busy. I...I slept all day, and I knew you needed your sleep, so...” He gestured with his hands.

“And with your friends all partied out, you just happened to remember my number?” Amy gave a short laugh and rolled her eyes. “Yeah, I can tell you really care about me.” She sat down in a corner of the couch. “Thanks, Matt.”

“It’s not like that. It’s just, you’re not like anyone I’ve ever been with. You...do something to me, something I can’t explain.” He ran a hand through his blonde hair.

Amy stared at him and raised an eyebrow. Oh yeah? I can’t wait to hear this.

Matt continued to drink his beer. He crushed the empty can and sat down in the chair across from her.

“All right, it’s like this. I love you. And, but you scare me. I don’t want a repeat of my friends trying to take you away from me.”

“What do you mean, I scare you?” Is he serious?

Matt cocked his head and leaned forward. “Remember I once told you I thought you looked like the serious type, the kind that doesn’t party very much?” Amy nodded. “Well, I always thought I liked the party girls best, the ones that let loose and have a good time. You’ve shown me that’s not the type of girl I want at all. And if I’ve had that all wrong, then what else have I screwed up?”

Amy laughed. “Maybe you’re just going through a change.” She stood and perched on the padded arm of his chair. “I never dreamed I’d fall in love with someone I’d only see twice a year.” She gasped as Matt hooked an arm around her waist, spilling her onto his lap.

“Sometimes, you just have to trust your feelings.” She sighed as his lips covered hers.

“Now that we’ve got that settled, am I forgiven?”

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Nominations, Nominations!

What a way to end 2011! Earlier in the week, I was nominated in the 2011 Preditors & Editors Readers Poll for Best Romance Novel for Saved by the Sheriff and for Best Author. Voting continues through January 10 and I would appreciate your vote.

Then yesterday, nominations for the Love Romances Cafe Best of 2011 Awards were announced on their yahoo group. To my surprise, Saved by the Sheriff was nominated for Best Romantic Suspense/Thriller Novel. In the romance writing community, these are very prestigious awards and I am honored to be nominated along side the likes of JD Robb for this award. Voting for this award is done by members of the Love Romances Cafe community. I want to thank Love Romances Cafe for the nomination.