Category Archives: Publishing

“Quicksand” is Coming

The manuscript for "Quicksand"

The manuscript for “Quicksand”

Happy Holidays!

It’s been a loooong time since I’ve posted. There’s been a lot of stuff going on in my life, but suffice it to say that things are going well. What matters most is that the sequel to Whirlwind, titled Quicksand, is being prepped for publishing! It’s been a long time coming, but I’m targeting a spring release.

Are you ready for more Melissa and Jason? How about a little taste now?

From the upcoming book jacket:

Melissa Williams walks away from her family, her friends, and her home to spend the summer with new love, Jason McAlister.  Life in the Midwest is not the fairytale their whirlwind romance was. Jason’s ex-girlfriend hates her—that’s not so bad—but so does his best friend, Grant. Even Jason is upset with her, jealous of the baseball players it’s her job to interview.

Melissa tries hard to fit in, but a series of suspicious coincidences and unsettling secrets pulls her further and further away from Jason. Like a runner caught between bases, she is trapped between those Jason has known and trusted for years and a web of drugs involving athletes and the drive-by shooting of Jason’s friend. Unless Melissa can find enough evidence to convince Jason those around him aren’t what they seem, she will lose the dangerous game she’s stumbled into.  And in this game, losing means death.

Watch this space for more tidbits, the cover reveal, and release information.

Thanks for sticking with me, and with Jason and Melissa!

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Time is Running Out

Can you believe it’s September already? School’s started, the trees are starting to turn, and the days are getting shorter. Fall is right around the corner.

And that means that time is running out on the Summer Lovin’ Anthologies. Benefiting Save the Ta-tas (and who doesn’t love Ta-tas?), the Anthologies will only be available until September 30th, so whether you like sweet (Summer Breeze) or spicy (Heat Wave), get yours before time runs out. Available in print and electronically.

My contribution, Concessions, can be found in the Heat Wave edition. It is dedicated to my cousin, Susanna, and her fight against breast cancer. Here’s her story (originally posted on Lisa Sanchez, Romance Author; reposted with permission):

Help Stop a Killer

No, this isn’t America’s Most Wanted – this culprit isn’t a mysterious stranger. This killer is much worse, and goes by the name Cancer. And it has to be stopped.

This summer, I’ve joined Lisa in contributing to Omnific Publishing’s Summer Lovin’ Anthologies. The publisher and all the authors are donating the proceeds from these books to Save the Ta-tas, a charity raising money to fight cancer, but you can find out more about that below. What I’d like to do today is dedicate my contribution, a short story called Concessions, to my cousin, Susanna, a Cancer survivor.

She Saw It Coming

Cancer is no stranger, attacking both women and men I know and love in its many forms, but Susanna knew early on Cancer was tracking her. It’d already targeted her family. Cancer, specifically Breast Cancer, came after her aunt, who fought the disease and won. Cancer didn’t stop there, silently stalking Susanna’s mom. In 2004, Susanna’s mom lost her fight, and Cancer stole from us a woman with a heart of gold, whose life work was helping children as a school psychologist.

Knowing she was next on Cancer’s list, Susanna got regular checkups. She and her husband share a full and healthy life, but Cancer found her in her early thirties, a year after she gave birth to a beautiful baby. It was in the prime of life, as Susanna breastfed her baby, that the disease reared its head again.

A Happy Ending, With Your Help

Susanna battled Cancer, sacrificing her hair, her energy, and her body, but she won. Today, she’s cancer free, and following in her mother’s footsteps as a school psychologist. But she needs our help.

You see, Susanna has a daughter. She’s three.

We need to stop Cancer now, before it takes another mother or attacks another daughter or aunt or sister. Whether you decide to purchase one or both of the Anthologies, or would rather give directly to a specific organization, please take a minute and open your wallet. With your help, we can put Cancer away for good.

Thank you to Susanna and her husband for allowing me to tell a little of their story, and to Omnific Publishing for sponsoring this fundraiser. Be sure to check out the Concessions fan page HERE.

Author! Author! Blog Bounce

Click here to check out the Blog Bounce

What’s the Author! Author! Blog Bounce?? Well, it’s a fun way for readers to find new authors and for authors to connect with their readers!

Authors, all you have to do is grab the icon, grab the link, make a blog post (don’t forget to include the link!), and enter your blog on our list. Easy peasy!

Readers…you have the easy job. Just follow the bounce and visit the authors. Leave a comment and let them know that you were there.

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An Amazing Night

To say our release party was a success is a HUGE understatement!

Over 70 people came to the Sonoma Chicken Coop in Campbell, CA to celebrate the release of my book, Whirlwind, and Killian McRae’s novel, 12.21.12 on Thursday.  We were shocked, amazed, and supremely humbled at the turnout!

Friends, family, teachers, coworkers, neighbors, and online friends started arriving at 6 until the room we’d reserved was filled beyond capacity.  The room was buzzing with happy conversation and soft music, played by my daughter, Megan.


The biggest surprise was the cake that Killian brought. She and her daughters made the cake from the cover of Whirlwind!  And it tasted SO GOOD!

Cake made by Killian McRae

By the time Killian and I started our presentation, it was standing room only. We spoke about our books, our upcoming projects (yes, the sequel to Whirlwind is in the works), and the publishing process. Knowing so many had come to support us chased away the nervous jitters, and I managed to read a short excerpt from Whirlwind without stumbling over my words too many times.

Photo by Lisa Langdale

Killian also read from 12.12.12 before we sat down to sign books.  Thank you to everyone for being so patient!  By the end of the night, all the books we’d brought were gone. Don’t worry, we have more on order to deliver to those who didn’t get one or couldn’t make it.

Thank you so much to everyone who came.  Be sure and check out RobinDeJarnettFans for even more photos, and if you have some, I’d love to see them!

This event wouldn’t have been possible without the help of dear friends Raquel Cochran and Julie Bounds, and my family, especially daughter and musician Megan and the love of my life, my husband Steve.

I am blessed to call Killian McRae as friend.  She’s an amazing writer, full of humor, generosity, and compassion.  Please check out her book, 12.21.12, and her website, killianmcrae.com.

WOW!!!

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How Do You Autograph a Kindle?

Borders Bookstore - SeaTac Airport

Image by brewbooks via Flickr

As the publishing industry continues to evolve, authors, publishers, and even readers are running to keep up.  Small bookstores are struggling to stay in existence…but the threat isn’t the big chains any more, it’s the eBook.  Even big chains like Borders are contemplating bankruptcy in light of the eBook craze (yup, Borders is in big trouble).  I still maintain paper and print books are not going to disappear, but seeing a company as large as Borders unable to pay for the books it’s selling isn’t helping my case.

Barnes & Noble seems to be surviving okay, so there will be at least one bookstore still alive to go and browse, but if you don’t have a B&N near you, the already gigantic Amazon may be your only choice for hard copy books.  Or the library.  In some ways it’s like we’re taking big steps backwards…going back to the time when books were rare and chained in libraries.  I know, there won’t be chains, but can you imagine if the only place you can go to get a hard cover book is the library?

Now, I don’t think I’m a luddite – I realize that the information in books is more available now than it’s ever been.  I own and love my Kindle, and buy fewer and fewer hard copy books.  Various eReaders, now including the Kindle, even allow users to loan out their eBooks. But now I’m left with the question at the top of this post – how do you autograph a Kindle?

So much for my tongue-in-cheek post!

I do have a temporary solution that I’m trying.  I’m giving out book bling – a ribbon with some sparkly beads and a charm on it – that can be looped over a Kindle, Nook, or iPad cover and has a tag that can be signed.  But if you don’t have a cover for your eReader, I’m not sure what else to do.  By the way – being asked for an autograph, whether it’s for a book or a bookmark – is a total rush!  I just wish my handwriting was neater!

autograph book (1886)

Image via Wikipedia

But the question remains…and I put it to you.  Are autographs a thing of the past, or will autographing something else suffice?  Will old-fashioned autograph books become popular once again (now that’d be ironic!) or will you, the reader, be satisfied with an electronic scrawl in an iPad app?  What would you like?

Meet an Author Monday Blog hop

Meet an Author Monday

Click here for the Author hop

Authors! Have a book out? Are you under contract for publication? Come join the hop.

ps.

I’d like to thank Britney at I.Eat.Words for a lovely interview and review. Please check out her blog 🙂

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Tomorrow is the Day!

I can’t believe Release Day is tomorrow!  There were many times in the past few years that I was sure this day was never coming…but now it’s only a few hours away.  Suffice to say that I’ll be a jumpy mess today!

How about one last excerpt from Whirlwind to pass the time? This is a long one, I hope you enjoy it!

My stomach lurched when the wrinkled suit of the eighties guy I’d bumped into outside stalked toward me. Not surprised or angry—thank goodness—he had a confident, almost predatory walk. His smile didn’t convey excitement or happiness but voracious greed, his lips rising to fully expose his canines in a wolf-like grin. He was, in a word, creepy.

That’s it. Gotta go. I reached for my purse, but the strap caught on something. I’d just untangled it when I felt a heavy hand on the back of my chair.

“Hi. Would you like to dance?” he asked in an oily voice.

“No, thank you. I don’t dance.” Still.

“How about I join you then?” he asked and promptly sat in the chair closest to me. “I was rude when we ran into each other earlier. I’m Ron.”

Was that supposed to be an apology or a pick-up?

“What’s your name?” he asked, ignoring the fact he hadn’t let me answer his previous question.

Showing him the same level of courtesy, I scanned the crowd, searching for a lifeline. Chase and Linda were busy talking to his parents several tables away. Beth and Todd were dancing; Mitch and Ann were across the room, laughing; and neither Tricia nor Jason had reappeared. Welcome to wedding reception hell.

I picked up my water glass and considered dumping it in Ron-the-creep’s lap, but that would mean getting closer to him and his smelly suit. Instead, I took a long drink and inspected the five-tiered wedding cake in the far corner, avoiding his eerie stare. Would he get the hint if I refused to acknowledge his existence?

“So, are you a friend of the bride or the groom?” he asked, unfazed.

“Groom,” I nearly shouted, hoping this guy was as intimidated by Mitch as the Trojans were. “Close friends.” None too subtly I clutched my purse, thankful I’d remembered to slip my pepper spray in the tiny bag. “I should probably go congratulate him.” I tried to inch my chair away, but Ron held it fast.

“He’s busy with the other guests.” His head turned slightly, toward the newlyweds I assumed. “I’m a friend of a friend of the bride. She’s quite beautiful, isn’t she?” The covetous smile reappeared.

“Yes, she is,” I said. Coldness enveloped me when I realized all the tables around us were empty.

Options…I need options. The door closest to me was marked WOMEN—that’d do nicely. I tensed, planning to make a dash for the bathroom should Ron’s hold on my chair loosen even for a second.

He scrutinized me with hungry eyes. “Hey, let’s get out of here and take a walk in the garden. There’s a trail that goes down to the beach. I doubt a little hike would wear you out.” A cold finger grazed my back. Was he touching the ends of my hair?

I jerked forward, away from his hand, still unable to budge my chair. Ron was exceptionally bold, quickly moving from creepy to frightening. My thoughts turned from flight to fight.

“No thanks. I wouldn’t want to miss the action here.” I repositioned my purse in my lap so I could reach the zipper. As I did, the table moved—and another path appeared: tip the table and make a scene. Could I ruin Mitch’s celebration? What if I was misinterpreting Ron’s eagerness?

“Aw, come on, this stuff is boring anyway. It doesn’t look like anyone will miss us,” he pressed. “It’ll be a treat.”

A treat? I had to get away from this guy! Like a song stuck on repeat, the possibilities raced around my brain, along with an adrenaline-enhanced list of Ron’s weaknesses. Run, scream, fight, spray. Ribs, eyes, knees, groin.

Summoning all my courage, I gripped the edge of the table. Thankfully, Chase materialized beside me before I tipped it over.

“Hi. I’ve been looking for you.” He carefully avoided using my name, somehow sensing the fear surging through me. “We’re dancing as a group over in the corner. Come join us.”

I didn’t hesitate. “Okay.” Without a second glance at Ron, I pushed myself away from the table, catching my captor off guard.

In a flash, Ron wrapped his clammy hand around mine and squeezed it hard—too hard. I flinched, still trapped in my chair.

“She doesn’t dance,” he said, his nostrils flaring. I tried to free myself, but his fingers became a vise, tightening as I struggled against them.

“Get your hands off her!” someone snarled. Ron’s head whipped around, looking for the new speaker.

I took advantage of the distraction and ripped my hand out of his, jumping up so fast I slammed into Chase. He caught me, automatically wrapping a protective arm around my shoulders.

Ron rose to face him, his hands bunched into fists. My new savior intervened, equally incensed: Jason McAlister.

In less than 12 hours you can read the rest! Omnific Publishing even has a sale going for the holidays:

Holiday Ebook Coupon

Check out Meet an Author Monday for More Book Suggestions

Meet an Author Monday

Click here for the Author hop

 

Authors! Have a book out? Are you under contract for publication? Make sure you join in the hop. This is a great way to network your blog and let readers know who you are!

And We Have a Winner

Congratulations to Britney in Texas – she won the autographed copy of Whirlwind on goodreads.com! More giveaways are coming, so stay tuned.

Quick Gift Ideas

Looking for something quick and easy to give?  Here’s a couple quick gift ideas:

  • Restaurant gift cards – great for the person who has everything!  Many are on sale now…pick some up for your favorite restaurant, too?
  • Movie tickets – kids especially love these. I’ve found that Costco has great deals on movie tickets; I always have a couple passes in my wallet.
  • LED Keychain light – a great stocking stuffer, but SO useful.
  • Movies at home kit – Great for people who can’t get out (like parents of young kids). Include a pack of microwave popcorn, some Raisinets and Hot Tamales, and either a DVD or movie rental gift card. Put them in an inexpensive bowl or popcorn containers (available at places like Target).

Have a great day, and see you TOMORROW!

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