Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Book Bloggers

    I finally got the nerve up to send my book out to some book reviewers who so graciously agreed to read it. Now all that I can do is keep my fingers crossed and hope that they like it. I know that there will always be mixed reviews. Some have different tastes than others, but it is just so unnerving to put it out there for someone who reads and reviews for a living. Well, maybe not a living since most are doing it for free.
    I love to read, and can spend an entire week doing nothing else if I'm not careful. I just really suck at giving a review. I could never tell someone that I didn't like their book or that it wasn't well written. It's just not in me, I stumble over the words that I want to say in a review. I give everybody five star ratings. I do it because I know there are some people that will give one or two star ratings just to be spiteful. You can tell in some of the bad reviews. I figure it will help balance out. That's just me and why I could never do what the reviewers do everyday.
    I saw a discussion on someones Facebook about reviewers posting ads on their blogs. The tone of the discussion was pretty much against it unless they were ads for books. I'm not really against the idea of the reviewers putting ads up. They do commit a great deal of their time to reading our books and writing our reviews for absolutely no compensation. Most of them seem to be pretty overwhelmed with the number of review requests that they are getting. Not to mention the reviewers that do interviews and giveaways to promote our books. I really don't see the harm in putting some tasteful ads on their page if they can get a little extra pocket change out of it.
    The other side of the discussion... I chose not to put ads on my blog or webpage even though my tech savvy sister almost insisted on it. My argument was that you don't really make any money from them and that's not what I was looking to do with my site. I told her that it looked very tacky and unprofessional. Hmm.
    I guess I'm talking out of both sides of my face, but to each his own. I have not come across a book blog that I found offensive in any way. Having a few ads on the page were not enough to turn me away from any particular blogger. In fact, the few that I noticed with ads were usually Amazon or book related.
    So a special thanks to the bloggers out there for giving us your free time and putting up with the occasional writer who goes crazy over a bad review.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

My Name in Lights

   I have been researching all of the ways to get your name out there. There are so many sites that want a fortune to list your name in search engines and on other websites. Of course with a little effort you can do all of that for free. I just wonder if it's even effective at all. I'm thinking it's not.
   It wouldn't hurt to list on some of the majors like Yahoo, Google, etc. Just in case. But does anybody really use the rest of these sites? I have never heard of most of them and I doubt that many others have either. I also have to wonder who goes to a search engine and types in BOOK when they are looking for something to read?Maybe a few, but I think listing yourself on Goodreads or other book sites would be more effective.
   The only problem that I see with listing on a book site is that there are so many books out there. My book seems to get buried under the stack. So, what do I do now?
   Some say that social networking is the way to go. Now that I would agree with. Facebook is okay, Myspace without Tom is a waste, but Twitter, Twitter puts you out there.
   For me, Twitter has been the most effective tool for showing the world who I am. If you think about it, it's kind of like ripples in a pond. You tweet something cool, all of your followers see it, and then someone retweets. Suddenly not only have all of your followers seen it, but all of the retweeter's followers have seen it. Genius.
   A lot of articles that I have read say that I need to blog. Blog as much as I can. I try, I really do. I find that I don't really take myself as serious as some other writers. I don't have a strict list of things that writers are supposed to do if they want to be taken serious. Honestly, I don't care about all of that. I just want to write and I like to write about whatever is on my mind at the time. Especially when I blog.
   I have always looked at blogging as more of a diary. A window into who I am as a person. One day I may feel like writing about my crazy cousins, another day I may blog about my book. I just like to keep it more personal and less business. I'm not a corporation, I 'm just me.
   Someday I hope to see my name in lights, until then I'll settle for my name in print.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Nook vs Kindle

   I have a funny little trend going on with my book. At least it seems odd to me because all of the research that I have done around self-publishing led me to believe that Kindle would be where I should be selling the most books.
   I really have not found that to be true. Not yet anyway. My Nook books are outselling my Kindle books by about 13 to 1. A big difference.
   When I first noticed this trend, I sat down and tried to figure out what could cause such a difference. I started beefing up my posts and tweets to the Kindle link. I encouraged more people to leave a review on Kindle. I started running contests. Nothing has helped.
   I know that Amazon has never openly admitted to how many Kindles they are selling, but it is believed to be a pretty great number. I don't really believe that there are more Nook people out there than Kindle people. Maybe someone should do a study on the the two. Nook People VS Kindle People. Maybe it's some personality trait that causes someone to choose one over the other. Who knows?
   Maybe Kindle just has more books listed. Maybe it's too much competition. I don't have the answer, but I do have the numbers. For me, Nook is where it's at.
   I personally chose the Nook Color, well, because it was in color. Plus, I can use it to search the web when I'm to lazy to get out of the bed. I looked at a few other ereaders that were out when I purchased it, and the Nook had everything that I wanted and more.
   I do remember that retailers around the time of Black Friday and Christmas were practically giving ereaders away. I often wonder if that had anything to do with Amanda Hocking's success. Suddenly, a million teenage girls woke up to find that Santa left them a Kindle. What else were they going to read? Vampires, Fairies, and Trolls for $.99. You can't get any better than that. Heck, those were the first books that I purchased when I bought my Nook. I didn't even know who she was then.
   All that I can say is that it's definitely a learning experience. I figure out something new everyday. Maybe someday I'll be a master at it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


   We lost one of our greatest family members a few weeks ago. My uncle, the oldest of my father's siblings. I think most of us took it pretty hard. I suspect that it has a lot to do with his death being so unexpected. He was actually our second uncle to pass on, but the first was suffering from Leukemia, so I think we were all a little more prepared for that one.
   The point in all of this is how such a tragedy can bring so many people together. I have a younger cousin who I was never all that close with when we were kids, probably because of our age difference. I would always pal around with his older brother but I have gotten closer to him in the past few years. I think age and distance has a way of doing that to people.
   Anyway, back to the point, this cousin decided that he was going to take a stand. At the funeral he made it known that he was sick and tired of only seeing our family when something terrible has happened. He decided that we need to start having a family reunion of our own.
   We all went to them as kids, they are some of our fondest memories. They were held every year at Rocks State Park in Maryland. We would spend the day tubing down the river and pigging out on the awesome cooking of my father's aunts and uncles. Not to mention my grandmother, boy do we miss her Thanksgiving feasts.
   They still have those reunions, although they have moved to Virginia. The only problem with attending them is that we really don't know any of those people. My grandparents have passed on, as well as most of their siblings, so the folks at the current reunions are usually some distance cousins of my parents.
   Oh sure, my dad still goes to them. In fact, my uncle that just passed stood up at the last one and announced that he didn't like the way the reunion was divided into family groups. No one was mingling. Everyone was off in their own little cluster. It was kind of sad. That is why we decided to start having our own family reunion.
   We are calling it The Cousin's Reunion. Not that we would leave our parents out, of course they would be invited, and even honored at the event. We just want to take things back to the way they were when we were kids. We want our kids to get to know each other, we want them to tube down the river and try their hand at catching a fish. We want to be able to see each other and actually have a conversation without being in a state of mourning. We just want to spend time together.
   It's a really great feeling. I haven't been this excited about something in a long time. Just knowing that there are other people out there in the world that truly care about you and want to see you. I am really looking forward to it.
   I got off my subject a little. Back to my cousin. My awesome cousin felt so strongly about this reunion that he rented out an entire 137 acre, sleeps 40+ ranch in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia for three nights. He didn't want anyone to have an excuse not to come. That's how badly he wanted to bring our family back together.
   He is my hero. I do feel bad that he spent so much, so I opted to take on the task of making sure that everyone is fed. I am planning meals to feed the masses for three days, so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Now, all of the rest of the aunts, uncles, and cousins just have to get themselves there. It is going to be a blast!
   If you live in Southern Virginia and are looking for a nice place to have an event, check out
   No, they are not paying me for advertising. :)  They have just been so accommodating, and the place looks like it is going to be awesome.
My Cousins
Brandee, Me, Shannon (my sister), Ricky, Jay (awesome cousin), and Victor

   I guess that's enough of my ramblings for now. :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011


  Yesterday, I had the sweetest little girl ask me... "Are you a novelist? I've never heard of you before." I couldn't help but smile. Then, I got to thinking. Am I?
  Yes, I finally finished one of the many books that I have started over the years, and yes, I published it on Kindle and Nook. People even bought it, and not just my friends. I am elated!
  A few months ago, I was a nurse working part-time and a stay at home mom. Well, I guess I am still those things and will be for quite a while unless Amanda Hocking style magic happens over at Kindle and Nook. I guess I never really thought of myself as an "author" or a "novelist." A writer, yeah. I write, that's for sure. But when do you consider yourself an author? After you have completed something that you would consider good enough to share with the world? After you get picked up by an actual publishing company? After you sell 50, 100, or 1000 books? I don't know the answer or if there even is one. But I am starting to feel like an author. People have read my stuff! They even liked it!
  Yeah, so I went self-pub. I have never even thought about sending out a query letter. Will it be a mistake? Only time will tell I guess. Do I consider myself a novelist? Yeah, I think that I do. Hopefully, someday soon, little girls will have heard of me. :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011


   I've spent a lot of the morning trying to interact with folks on several of the social networks. What I really find disturbing is the number of people who are bashing the celebrities, etc. for trying to drum up support for Japan as well as a number of other charities around the world.
   The biggest thing that shook me was the people that were saying things like... "stop sending your money to other countries, we have people that are starving and homeless right here in the U.S."
   While it is true that our economy has taken a blow, and we do have people that are hungry and homeless, we also have a lot of programs out there to help these people. We have homeless shelters, food banks, churches, WIC, Food Stamps, Section 8, HUD, Medicare, the list goes on.
   What we have to keep in mind is that a lot of countries, especially the third world countries, have none of this. That's why it is so important to help when you can. We need to help out in Haiti, we need to help out in Africa, and yes we need to help out in Japan.
   I was here for Hurricane Katrina, I know what the devastation looked like. I also know the help that a lot of those people got and are still getting. No, we were not prepared for such a disaster and it did take time for groups to come together and get the ball rolling. That just proves that we do need to help the people of Japan. We have been there, we have learned from our mistakes, we know to some extent what they are going through.
   Open your hearts and your minds. See the world in a bigger picture.
   If you want to help out please text REDCROSS to the number 90999 to make a $10 donation. You can also go to there website and choose how much you wish to donate and where you want the money to go. American Red Cross
   This was not my normal random chatter Blog, I know. I just felt like I needed to say something.
   Thanks so much for your support!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Busy as a Bee

   Busy, busy, busy. I feel like I haven't stopped all week. I guess if I think about it, I really haven't. Between kids, work, writing, editing, marketing, cleaning, oh and American Idol. I just wish that there were more hours in the day.
   I was finally able to get Stay edited by someone other than myself. I made the foolish mistake of thinking that I could find and correct all of my errors on my own. Big mistake. I think that I had just read it so many times that I just wasn't seeing it anymore. Oh well, live and learn. The newly edited version is now online at Barnes & Noble, Kindle, and Smashwords. Please, if you find anymore, feel free to shoot me a message and let me know about them.
   I am still working on my new book. It's coming along so well. I am really getting excited about it. I am so excited about it that I am thinking of giving it away. I just need to do a little more research on that because I think that some of the publishers require a minimum dollar amount. So we'll see. Stay was my first, so I am still feeling my way around this whole self-pub thing.
   I would like to finish my latest work in progress as soon as possible so that I can get back to Callie Rose. I've got lots of good stuff in store for her and I can hardly wait to get it all on paper. 
   I am also working on building a website. It's coming along. You can check it out at Don't forget about my Facebook pages and Twitter. I would really love to hear from you!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Mardi Gras!!

   It's Fat Tuesday down here in the south, so... Happy Mardi Gras!! I hope that everyone that is out at the parades and on Bourbon Street remembers to stay safe! I really wanted to go myself, but I am not a big fan of standing in the rain all day, so I think I will skip out this year.
   I have started another book, not about Callie Rose but I am working on her as well. I love it! I just get so excited when I start writing. It's like I get to live another life for a while. Crazy, I know. I will let you know when I come up with a title and when it will be available.
   One thing that I have discovered on my writing journey is that I tend to differ greatly from a lot of other writers. From what I read, some tend to obsess over technical stuff like where you place your comma or did you use to many -ly words. I don't really do that, and maybe that's why I have Stay being edited again. I really just take myself to another place, put myself in another world, I am actually Callie Rose while I'm writing. It drives my husband crazy because he requires to much attention. :) I can't write when he is around. If I get interrupted, it takes me out of that place and then I have to work to get back there. That's why I try to do most of my writing when everyone is at school or work. Just a little glimpse into how I do my thing.
   I am working on getting some items imprinted with my logo. I would love to start running some contests. I am thinking of doing one for readers who post a review on B&N, Kindle, or Goodreads. As of right now I only have one review and I would love to hear more.
   Any other ideas or suggestions? I would love to hear them!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Long Overdue

   I know that it has been a while since my last blog, but I have just been so busy. February was a crazy month in my personal life, as well as my writing. I finally finished up Stay!! It is now available through Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, iBookstore, etc. The print copy is in the works through Amazon, but apparently that will take a few more weeks.
   What a process this has been! Who knew? I have learned so much over the past few days, who knew that there was so many different file formats? Not me, and every retailer requires something different. It was certainly a challenge but I think that I have finally gotten the hang of it.
   A special thank you to those who have purchased and read the book. I hope that you have enjoyed it. I know there are a few typos here and there that I am working to revise, so thanks for the feed back on that as well. Please don't hesitate to review the book on Goodreads or through the retailers. I would love to hear from you.
   Now that the bulk of the work on Stay is finished, I am so excited to start working on the sequel! I can't wait to find out what is going to happen with Callie in her new role. Not to mention her love life. I have all of these ideas floating around in my head that are just screaming to be hashed out on paper. I already know that the next book in the Callie Rose series is going to be awesome.
   It's Mardi Gras time down here in Louisiana so... Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulet!!! (Let The Good Times Roll!!)
   Sorry this picture is a little fuzzy, it was taken with my phone last year after the Saints big win.