Friday, July 18, 2014

Sidelined Author Kyra Lennon Discusses Self-Publishing

Today, I'm excited to help out with the blog tour for this lovely novel:

Kyra graciously agreed to talk to us about her decision to self-publish. Be sure to keep reading after the guest blog to learn more about her book.

My Journey to Self-Publication
by Kyra Lennon

I made the decision to self-publish because I didn’t have the patience to go through all the waiting around of querying. Even if I was one of the rare few who blagged an agent right away, there would still be more waiting. Waiting for edits, waiting for a publisher, waiting for the right deal, waiting for publication and SO much more.

I admit, impatience is not the best reason to go down the self-publishing route, but it’s worked out well for me. My first book, the first book in the Game On series, had a level of success that surprised me. Maybe it’s not everyone’s idea of success, but to me, selling more than fifty copies to people I’m not related to is a success. My standards are a little higher now lol!

I’ve loved the self-publishing process because I get excited about little things (a bit like Bree Collinson in Sidelined!). I get excited over choosing a book cover, and hearing feedback from friends, and having the freedom to choose what I change and what I don’t, and making swag – I LOVE that part. Of course, you do get to make some of these decisions with traditional publishing, and I’m certainly not against traditional publishing, but I’m very happy with the route I chose.

The other thing I didn’t expect while self-publishing is the huge amount of support from other writers. When you have to market yourself, you need connections, and boy did I do a good job of making some amazing connections. Because they aren’t just connections. YOU aren’t just a connection. I call the vast majority of writers I’ve met friends now. I talk to my writing buddies about writing, of course, but our lives have intertwined and we talk about other things, too. About everything.

Hands down, the best part of my experience of self-publishing is the amount of friends I’ve made. (Again, not saying you don’t make friends through traditional publishing, of course you will!). Any success I’ve had didn’t come purely from writing a good book – it came because all of you amazing people have believed in me, and talked about my books – so thank you so much. When it comes to self-publishing, you really do need a little help from your friends. 

Blurb: At the age of twenty-one, Bree Collinson has more than she ever dreamed of. A handsome husband, a fancy house, and more shoes than Carrie Bradshaw and Imelda Marcos combined. But having everything handed to her isn’t the way Bree wants to live the rest of her life. When an idea to better herself pops into her head, she doesn’t expect her husband to question her, and keep her tied by her apron strings to the kitchen.

Isolated and unsure who to turn to, Bree finds herself falling back into a dangerous friendship, and developing feelings for the only person who really listens to her. Torn between her loyalty to her husband and her attraction to a man who has the perfect family she always wanted, she has some tough choices to make.

While Bree tries to figure out what she wants, a tragedy rocks the Westberg Warriors, triggering some dark memories, and pushing her to take a look at what’s really important.

About the Author:

Kyra is a self-confessed book-a-holic, and has been since she first learned to read. When she's not reading, you'll usually find her hanging out in coffee shops with her trusty laptop and/or her friends, or girling it up at the nearest shopping mall.

Kyra grew up on the South Coast of England and refuses to move away from the seaside which provides massive inspiration for her novels. Her debut novel, Game On (New Adult Contemporary Romance), was released in July 2012, and she scored her first Amazon Top 20 listing with her New Adult novella, If I Let You Go.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cover Reveal: Soulless by Crystal Collier

Today I'm part of the exciting cover reveal for Crystal Collier's upcoming release, Soulless. Soulless is the sequel to this thrilling historical novel:

To celebrate her cover reveal, Moonless is available for $1.99 until July 17 and $2.99 July 18-19. Buy Moonless by clicking here.

You can also pre-order a signed copy of Soulless now. Here's the link to pre-order.

And now...for the beautiful cover...

Are you ready...?

And here's the wraparound version:

Crystal is also taking signups for her blog tour, which will be October 13-November 7. Sign up here to be awesome.

Unleashing the dream world, one book at a time 
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Monday, July 14, 2014

Bad Habits of the Modern Grocery Shopper

I'm a relatively sane person, but crowds drive me crazy. I don't like people walking or driving closely behind me and I tend to have panic attacks in situations like this one.

I thought when I became a full-time writer, my issues with grocery stores would end. I could shop when nobody was crowds, no problem. Nothing makes me happier than an aisle completely free of people.

Is it just me? It feels like I can breathe. But here's what I've learned: When you shop after work or on weekends, shoppers do stupid things like blocking aisles. When you shop when nobody else is there, the aisles still aren't free. Do you know why?

Yep, shelf stockers. They don't move out of your way, either. So good luck getting to the cheese curls. But lately, something else has been bugging me. It happens at checkout. You know how you put all of your items on the conveyor belt, then put up a divider so that the next person can load his groceries? Some people don't put the divider up. 

I get that. That's not me, though. It isn't my pet peeve, either. That's the cashier's problem to work out. What bugs me lately are the people who start unloading their groceries onto the conveyor belt WHILE YOU'RE STILL UNLOADING.

At that point, you have a choice, you can say, "Excuse me, but I still have some things to unload." At which point you end up in an altercation similar to the one the woman details here. (Warning: it has profanity.)

Or you could avoid confrontation and play a grocery store version of Tetris to stack your groceries on top of each other without crushing anything.

I'm sure the person probably doesn't realize she's jumping the gun. (It's always been a "she" so far, sorry to say.) I just don't know how to handle it any more than I know how to handle the person who stands in front of the butter section for a half an hour, trying to pick out the perfect tub of butter.

What are your top grocery shopping pet peeves?