Saturday, October 14, 2017

Klondike Mysteries - Now in Paperback!


All three of my Klondike Mystery "whodunit" novels are now available from Amazon.
BUT, if you would like a signed copy, you need to order the books direct from my website. You can even ask for a personal inscription! Please note, Almost a Touch will be mailed after November 1st.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

IWSG for October 2017: Book Releases


Once again, it's the first Wednesday in the month and time for a post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. It never fails to amaze me how quickly the month passes by. Faster every month, it seems.

So this month, I'm stressed about book releases. Did I do enough pre-release marketing? Am I doing enough on release day? Will I do enough post-release?
Book Launches

Marketing is the part of publishing a book that I dread. I use Facebook. I use Twitter. I use this and two other blogs. But it never seems to be enough anymore. Each release gets a little worse and I wonder why I am still writing? People tell me they love my books, but my sales sure don't reflect it.
  • My one romance novel, Home Again, sold 100 books in the first five months. Not bad.
  • The first book in my Klondike Mystery series, Not a Whisper, sold 321 books in the first five months. Happy camper!
  • The second book in my Klondike Mystery series, Barely a Spark, sold 130 books in the first five months. Sigh....
Graph Crash clip art

So how are sales this year? Here are my YTD sales so far:
Sigh...of course, Kindle Unlimited is a factor but even the sales there don't make much of a splash.

Book three in my Klondike Mystery series, Almost a Touch, was put on pre-order September 23rd. Five days in, I had 10 pre-sales. Just prior to going live, it had made it all the way to 22 pre-sales.

Book one, Not a Whisper, was free from 9/28 through 9/30 with almost 4100 downloads. Will that translate into sales of Barely a Spark and Almost a Touch? Only time will tell. 

I've got a contest going and so far have four - FOUR - entries over the last two days. I even listed it with half a dozen contest/sweepstakes sites.

Yes...it's discouraging. At this point, I plan to write the third in my Lei Crime Kindle World Trilogy, Paradise Drift. I have no further writing plans after that...at least in the near future. So this will be my final IWSG post. It's been a fun ride!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

WEP Oct 2017: DARK PLACES


Physical or psychological.
It’s Halloween.
This has any number of possibilities!
Let your imagination run riot!


This little piece of flash fiction was featured as part of the May 2012 National Flash Flood. It's darker than my normal writing and I thought this month's WEP challenge was a good time to share it again. Below is my entry consisting of a mere 388 words, NCCO (no critique, comment only please).


The Taxi Ride

"I hate night shift, gives me heebie-jeebies," I whispered, looking in the rearview mirror at my latest passenger. "So where can I take you tonight?"

"The Pit," a voice rumbled from the back.

"The Pit, huh. I hear stuff about that place."

He grunted.

"All kinds of weird things. People go in and freaks come out."

"Don't believe what you hear, believe what you see."

"Well, I'd rather not see those kinda things." I sought his face but it was obscured by his hood.

The Pit was an old mansion about 10 miles outside the city. For the last dozen years, it had become a gathering spot for the fringes of society. Kids conforming in their nonconformity for the most part but it was the elders who gave me the creeps; tonight's passenger was one.

I slowed as I approached the gate. "Um, I usually stop at the gate." My voice betrayed me and I shook with fear.

"Drive!" 

I hesitated, "Okay. But I'm stopping on the other side of the gate."

"Keep driving." 

A shiver ran up my spine and ended with a tingling at the base of my skull as I passed through the gate, "It's a higher fare..."

"Just drive," he boomed.

"Yeah, okay." The mansion hovered in the mist that suddenly appeared. Lit only by candlelight strange shadows danced on the walls inside. I shuddered, whispering, "Could this place get any creepier?" 

He paid his fare, slid out of the cab and glided towards the house. 

"Thanks. Have a good evening," I shouted as I spun the taxi around and raced toward the gate. Strange laughter erupted behind me and I looked in the rear view mirror. 

Slamming the brakes, I screamed. 

The face in the mirror wasn't mine and it wasn't human.

His words echoed back, "Believe what you see."




Thursday, September 28, 2017

"Almost a Touch" New Release Giveaway

I've decided to celebrate the launch of my latest book, Almost a Touch (book #3 in the Klondike Mystery series), with a giveaway. It's easy to participate. Just buy the book, either now, as a pre-order, or after October 1st when it goes live.
    How do you enter? Just email me your proof of purchase (the purchase email from Amazon or a screenshot of the Thank You page from Amazon). You'll get one entry per book purchase.

    Kindle Unlimited Subscriber? You can still participate by sharing the book announcement on your Facebook page, Twitter Account or Blog. Just send me an email with links to your posts and you'll get one entry per share!

    When does the contest end? Entries emailed by midnight (ET) on October 5th will be entered into a random drawing to choose the winners. Entries received after that date will not be accepted.

    What can you win? Here are the prizes:
    • Amazon Gift Card for $10 
    • Author Classic Tote Bag, signed if desired {14" x 14" x 3"}
    • Signed paperback copy of Not a Whisper, book #1 in the Klondike Mystery series.
    • Signed paperback copy of Barely a Spark, book #2 in the Klondike Mystery series.

    BONUS Entries: Once the book goes live on 10/1, you can enter reviews. If you get a chance to read it and write a short review, send me the link for an extra bonus chance to win!

    How do I find the link to my Facebook post or the link to my Twitter tweet? From your computer, find the post in question. Hover the mouse over the date/time stamp. Right-click and choose "Copy Link Address". Paste the link into your email and send it to me.


    I hope you'll join in the fun and who knows, you just might be a winner!
    Be sure to share this blog post with your friends, too.

    Don't forget to download the first book in the series,
    "Not a Whisper" - free through 9/30!



    "Not a Whisper" - Klondike Mysteries, Book 1 (FREE)

    No Kindle e-reader? Download a free reader app for your smartphone, tablet or computer!


    Wednesday, September 6, 2017

    Blog Awards & and a Thank You



    When I started this blog in 2012, things were hot and new in the Indie world and authors were connecting via both Twitter and their blogs. Blogger provided easy ways to follow blogs and events like the April A-Z Blog Challenge brought even more followers.

    I was fortunate to have a lot of readers, albeit mostly other authors, but an active group. I received several different blog awards and have them posted on my Awards page.

    In 2013, I think, I decided to move my blog to one based on WordPress and hosted on my own domain. What a disaster! Way too many updates to keep up with, I kept losing my customizations, and hackings were rampant. But the worst thing was losing most of my followers.

    I eventually moved back to Blogger.com and chalked it up to a bad decision - at least for me. But I have never recouped my reader following and have often considered dropping this blog completely.

    And yet, I still plug away at it.

    Why am I telling you this? Well, it appears bloggers are reactivating some of the old blog awards and I've found myself the recipient, again, of the Leibster Award, thanks to Emily in Ecuador (please be sure to check out her great blog, My Life in Ecuador).

    Liebster Award
    "Liebster" is a German word meaning beloved or dearest. It is an online recognition in form of virtual award which started in 2011 passed on by bloggers to fellow bloggers for enjoying and valuing their work. The idea is to recognize the effort and give credit.

    The Liebster Award is interesting in that anyone nominated for it receives it by writing an acceptance post. The rules for accepting the award are straightforward:
    • Thank the person who nominated you.
    • Answer the 11 questions you were asked.
    • Nominate 11 people and ask them 11 questions.
    • Notify each of the nominees on their blog.
    Through the years, the logo has changed as well as the suggested requirements to participate. Here is the LINK to my old acceptance, with its requirements and here is the new logo...

    ...and here are the new requirements.

    Nominees, should you choose to accept your award, here are your questions:
    1. What prompted you to begin blogging?
    2. Which language would you like to learn?
    3. What was your favorite experience in the past six months?
    4. What one location in the world you would like to visit? Why?
    5. Do you have pets? If yes, please introduce them.
    6. What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?
    7. What is your biggest struggle while writing?
    8. Who would you like to receive a week of training/mentorship from?
    9. What is the first thing you drink in the morning?
    10. How many books do you read per month?
    11. What was your favorite time of year when you were growing up? 
    Because I've been given this award no less than four times, I'm going to pass on answering the questions, but I will nominate several other blogs.
    1. Denise Covey
    2. Yolanda Renee
    3. Donna/Dolorah
    4. Louise Barbour/Fundy Blue
    5. Talon Windwalker/1Dad1Kid
    6. Olga Godim
    7. D.A. Cairns
    8. Joan/SharkBytes
    9. Tamara Gerber
    10. Doug Bittinger
    11. Sue Ann Jaffarian
    So again, thank you Emily, now I'm off to notify my nominees!

    #IWSG for September 2017: Writing Surprises


    Once again, it's the first Wednesday in the month and time for a post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. I rarely remember to check for the question prompt, but this time I did! So.....

    This month the prompt question is....

    Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing?


    This is an easy one...I always assumed I'd be an outliner. After all, I came from an accounting and computer background. I love organization! I envisioned myself compiling a detailed outline, scene by scene, plus full character profile sheets for all the people in my book. I tried that...I still have the trilogy outlined, waiting to be written.

    But I made the mistake of writing a book by pantsing. I loved it and it worked for me. I have now written three Klondike mysteries, two Lei Crime Kindle World novellas, and one romance novel - all written by the seat of my pants.

    The upside is I love writing this way. I love discovering characters as they pop into the story, I love finding romance where I hadn't expected any, and I especially love letting the characters evolve and tell their own stories - not mine.

    The downside is remembering to record the timeline as I write it - otherwise, you can end up with some strange happenings. Yup, been there, done that, rewrote it to fit. Same for recording details about the characters as I write them. I've ended with two names for the same character (thank you beta readers), not remembering what color hair/eyes, etc. a character has or what vehicle they are driving.

    But in the end...it's all worth it!

    Sunday, August 20, 2017

    Past, Present, Future


    PAST: Two books published and a successful launch party for Paradise Dead. It got as high as #3 on Amazon's Kindle World HOT New Releases. During the launch party I sold copies my first Lei Crime novella, Paradise Down, plus copies of 7 Days of Seven and both Not a Whisper and Barely a Spark, the first two books in my Klondike Mystery Series.

    PRESENT: After taking the weekend off to do a few things around the house, I will be attending a RAD Eclipse Party being sponsored by our favorite local microbrewer, Calf Killer Brewing. Starting Tuesday, I will be editing book three in my Klondike Mystery Series, Almost a Touch. It picks up during the same time frame as book two and then moves forward - but set in the Kalispell, MT area. My hope is to have the ebook version published by the end of September, not sure of the print version.

    FUTURE: Once I get Almost a Touch published, I have to quickly move into the last of my Lei Crime KW novellas, completing the trilogy. It will be titled Paradise Drift. It will be much darker than the first two, concentrating on a current issue - human trafficking. I have a November 1st deadline for publication for the next big launch. Phew!
     

    I suspect I will take December off, after doing all the marketing needed for Paradise Drift. 2018? Not sure. I still have my Lia Rules, PI Series on the backburner. I hope to keep those books shorter and thus be able to get them to market quickly. This is the cover for the first book - if I ever write it.


    But then again, I might take the first three months of 2018 off. After all, I do have a two-week cruise to enjoy.

    Well, here's to a busy fall season, hopefully, interspersed with some local sightseeing. Oh, and if you are in the SC/NC/TN/GA area, check out my new EVENTS tab. You might find something of interest scheduled for Oct 7th.

    Saturday, August 19, 2017

    Tui Snider: Launch Party TODAY (8/19)

    Tui Snider's New Release Launch Party


    News from Tui:
    The paperback is now slowly working it's way up the bestseller charts! Right now, it's at #11 for Landmarks and Monuments. 
    Meanwhile, the ebook remains #1 in US Architecture! 

    Hope to see you on my FB Author Page
    I really hope you can drop my my Online Book Launch Party sometime this weekend. It may seem silly, but after working so hard on this book, this little virtual party is a big deal to me.

    Launch Party: Trivia Q's & Prizes
    Every hour from 10am 'til 7pm, I'll be posting cemetery symbols trivia questions. I'll use random.org
     to pick winners from those who post the right answer, and/or share the post. 

    Prizes!
    Prizes include: my hubby's skull & crossbones soap, my books (including the as-yet-unreleased Graveyard Journal), and even my music CD.  

    Invite your friends
    If you know someone who might be interested in my book, or maybe you belong to an FB group that might be interested in cemetery symbols (genealogy? ghost hunters? history?) perhaps you could share my party invitation there.  Or just TAG the people you think would enjoy coming. 

    Latecomers welcome!
    I'm sure some folks won't see the party or questions until tomorrow orMonday. That's why I am waiting to choose winners until Monday night. 

    Thanks again! And I hope to see you at the party this weekend.

    BONUS!
    Celebrate with Me on Rogue Talk Radio tonight!

    Tonight, from 8-10 pm Central Time, I'll be celebrating my book release with hosts, Sheila Gay and Kerby Dewbre on their fun show, Rogue Talk Radio! We will even be doing a live giveaway, so if you're feeling brave, call in during the show at: 323-870-3877

    Tune into the show (live or replay) by clicking this link: 

    One last thing: My book is still 1/2 price!
    After this weekend, the price of my book will double, so:  



    Thursday, August 17, 2017

    Don't forget - today is LAUNCH PARTY day!


    Join our launch of 8 more mystery titles in the Lei Crime Kindle World
    Based on the best selling series by Toby Neal

    Join the launch day party and enter to win amazing prizes! 

    Grab her first book in the series free! 
    Blood Orchids


    ***From award-winning, bestselling author Toby Neal, whose writing Kirkus Reviews calls “persistently riveting,” comes the Lei Crime Series!***

    Hawaii is palm trees, black sand and blue water—but for policewoman Lei Texeira, there’s a dark side to paradise.

    Overcoming a past filled with scars, Lei makes a life for herself as a cop in the sleepy Big Island town of Hilo. When a routine patrol turns up two murdered teens, Lei’s world is rocked: she knows one of the girls. Even as Lei is drawn into the case, the killer’s attention fixes on her. Despite the strain of being toyed with by a murderer, Lei’s attracted to the lead detective, Michael Stevens--but she can’t afford distractions. Amidst an enchanting backdrop of Hawaii’s black sand beaches and shrouded fern forests, a killer’s closing in on her.

          
                                      Mercury Blues                        Simmering Illusions                  Pay the Price
                                      A.J. Llewellyn                        Amy Allen                                 Corinne O'Flynn
                                   http://amzn.to/2vEEibL         http://amzn.to/2vEYHxH             http://amzn.to/2i6S7v5

       
                                        Paradise Dead                           Angel's Poison                             Sunflower
                                        D.B. McNicol                            Dylan Keefer                              Fiona Manning
                                  http://amzn.to/2vK3Umh         http://amzn.to/2wRAHGa             http://amzn.to/2fN7s2Y

     
                                                              Broken Beginnings                       Deadly Treasure
                                                              Kayla Dawn Thomas                    N Kuhn
                                                          http://amzn.to/2i6S02D              http://amzn.to/2fLF9SK

    Wednesday, August 16, 2017

    NEW RELEASE: "Paradise Dead" now available!

    We're throwing a party on Facebook and you're invited!


    Join in the fun, meet the authors, ask questions, play games and possibly win a prize from one of the authors or even the GRAND PRIZE!
    You can enter to win a Kindle Fire, Hawaiian themed spa basket and gift card!!!
    Authors Currently Signed Up
    5:00-5:30 Amy Allen
    5:30-6:00 Heather Hiestand 
    7:00-7:30 Corinne O'Flynn
    7:30-8:00 Dylan Keefer
    8:00-8:30 DB McNicol
    8:30-9:00 AJ Llewellyn 
    9:00-9:30 Fiona Manning
    9:30-10:00 Kayla Dawn Thomas 
    10:00-10:30 Toby Neal
    10:30-11:00 N Kuhn
     (Times are EDT)

    Paradise Dead is now available via Amazon

    Hawaii - paradise or a death trap?
      
    Ten friends gather in Kauai to fulfill the final wish of an old friend - the scattering of his ashes.
      
    One by one, they are beset by accidents.
      
    Are they really accidents?
      
    Or could something more sinister be at play?

    WEP Aug 2017: REUNIONS

    For the first time, I'm participating in the Write...Edit...Publish (WEP) bloghop challenge. For August, the challenge is REUNIONS. Below is my entry of 760 words, NCCO (no critique, comment only please). While it may only be meaningful to us baby boomers, I hope you will still enjoy it.



    On August 4th 1990, I attended my twenty-fifth high school reunion. This was my first one and I was terrified yet exhilarated. In school, I was not cute or pretty, not funny, not athletic, not artistic, not musical, not much of anything other than fairly smart. I had one close girl friend but tended to be a loner who desperately wished they were an insider. It wasn't to happen.

    But fast forward twenty-five years, I was married to the love of my life, had a wonderful career and had grown into my looks. Success in life encouraged me to attend the reunion and show what I had become.

    I wrote a speech, the first and last speech I would ever write. Here is what I said...
    A TWENTY-FIVE YEAR RETROSPECTIVE

    Dear Classmates,

    Here I sit reflecting on the past twenty-five years. Where did it go? Twenty-five years, a quarter of a century!

    We left high school with enthusiasm and high hopes. Some went to college, some to work. Some got married, some didn't.

    The 60's were a radical change for some of us - free love, drugs, rock music and Vietnam. For others, time seemed to move more slowly, perhaps even standing still.

    The 70's started out on the same 'HIGH' as the 60's. Make love, not war. Of course some of us were too busy with our growing families and advancing careers to notice. Others were still living day by day. But by the end of the 70's we started to notice a change, we were settling more and more into the mold set by our parents. We changed some of the angles, maybe smoothed some of the edges, but it was still the same mold of responsibility eventually accepted by all generations.

    In the 80's we started to take a closer look at ourselves. Some careers were flourishing, others were dying. Some went back to school, others changed direction. Marriages came and went. We had to deal with single parenting, blended families and step-children. The world around us was changing rapidly, sometimes more rapidly than we could accept. Our children were facing a world vastly different from the one in which we had grown up in. As the 80's drew to a close we realized that we had officially passed into the world of middle-age, even though we knew in our hearts that middle aged people were really 10 years older than us!

    Now here it is 1990 and we're looking at not only a new decade but the end of a century. Where will we go from here? What forces will shape our next 10 years? How will we fare in the days to come?

    Well over the last 25 years I've learned one very important lesson - the value of friendship. No matter how bad things may seem, friends will help you through. Some of us are fortunate enough to be married to our best friend, others can count on family. But the friendships sustained over the years will always be of great value to us. They allow us to maintain a balance in our lives. Some of these friendships were started right here in high school. Others came later in life. Some of us had close friends but lost touch, others still remain in close contact.

    So keep this thought in mind tonight - renew those friendships that have strayed, maybe start some new ones. But no matter what happens, let's have a good time and a great decade!
    After I gave it, I was asked if I was in Toastmasters (no, I was not). I was asked what happened to the wallflower (she grew up). I was congratulated on the speech.

    I felt validated....no longer the wallflower of years past, no longer the outsider. I had grown and blossomed, I was welcomed into the inner circle.

    But I discovered that it no longer mattered...







    Sunday, August 13, 2017

    We're Having a NEW RELEASE PARTY!


    We're Having A New Release Party on Facebook and You're Invited!
    Thursday, August 17 at 5 PM - 10 PM EDT

    Authors will participate in 30 minute shifts, they will chat with you, you can ask questions, play games and even win some individual prizes from some authors. You can enter to win the GRAND PRIZE of a Kindle Fire, Hawaiian themed spa basket and gift card!

    My time slot is 8:00-8:30 pm ET and I will be offering the following prizes to winners chosen randomly from all who post during my time slot.
    • $15 Amazon gift card
    • $10 Amazon gift card
    • Ebook copy of either Paradise Down or Paradise Dead
      Note: If you already have both books, you can choose either a $3 Amazon gift card or an ebook copy of either of my Klondike Mystery books.

    I hope to see you there and be sure to invite all your friends!