January 24, 2012

Presenting the book trailer for Isn't She Lovely?


January 21, 2012

Sometimes I just sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits

What I'm thinking about--besides polishing my manuscript--is how to set up an old standard, my Movie Trivia contest. I haven't done this in recent years as I've made my conversion from traditionally published to indie published author.  With my latest eBook, Isn't She Lovely?, coming out in February, the same month as the Oscars are held, the timing is right.

I have high hopes for this eBook (as I do about every new project I do), but since it's an eBook and there's no postage involved, I'd like to give away more than one. I'm thinking maybe a grand prize of my five eBook titles (including Isn't She Lovely?) and four gradually lesser prizes, all consisting of eBooks (four titles, three titles, two titles, and one title, respectively) to those who place, with more prizes added if the participation warrants.

Then the length of the contest has to be determined. I'm thinking one question per day from February 1st through 15th, with the winners announced on the 16th, before I leave for vacation (this should be close to publication day, if all goes according to schedule).

Back to my thinking...
January 13, 2012

First Look: Isn't She Lovely?

Let me say this. I get soooo excited in the period leading up to release of a new book, like a kid on the last day of school before summer vacation. For one, there's that undeniable sense of accomplishment. There's also the joy of crossing off yet another To Be Written on the rather long list of books I want to do before my time is up.

Since I've been indie publishing, the excitement of seeing a new cover has often spurred me to put the pedal to the metal and get the thing finished (I often write my final scenes and polish with a printed color picture of the cover propped up nearby for incentive).

When it came to my upcoming eBook, Isn't She Lovely?, I told my cover designer, author Sean D. Young, that I wanted the picture of my heroine to be the most prominent, since she's the "She" of the title. I also wanted the hero's picture to be prominent (I chose individual pictures rather than one photo of them together because I could find no pictures of couples that matched the appearance of both characters), with a smaller picture of a damaged front bumper, as a car accident plays a significant role in the story).

Here is what she came up with:

I was thrilled; it was perfect.

A little about the book: Isn't She Lovely? is my first mainstream romance. It's a romance at heart about two single parents (he is widowed, she is a divorceé), but there are enough other things going on, including the hero and heroine's difficult relationships with other people (in his case a foundering one with a feminine companion, in her case a strained one with her former husband, who is the father of her children), that make it a little different from a standard contemporary romance, even a single title...for as any romance reader knows that romantic and/or sexual involvement with other people is a no-no in the genre.

The hero of the story is the attorney general of Illinois who is in the midst of a gubernatorial campaign. I deliberately timed this story to come out in a Presidential election year, when so many of us are absorbed in politics, to make it especially relevant.

The complexity of their lives makes for richly drawn characters, which I love to create and expand upon...just yesterday I decided that I need to add a dog to the story, since most city children who move from an apartment into a house want a puppy. I do want to caution readers that this is not a story of instant romance between the hero and heroine, or even instant attraction; they meet under circumstances that would make this both unbelievable and a rather unfulfilling reading experience. I have written sexy stories before (The Heat of Heat comes to mind), but since I'm indie publishing I'm not restricted to writing only one type of story. Still, I hate to think I might disappoint readers, so I can't say this loudly enough: Readers who want the hero and heroine to engage in sexual activity shortly after they meet will most likely want to skip this eBook. As with my most recent eBook, A Kiss of A Different Color, the relationship develops gradually. Most readers who reviewed A Kiss of A Different Color appreciated that, and once you read the excerpt of Isn't She Lovely?, you'll see why a rush to sleep together won't work.

The excerpt can be read at the Bunderful Books website. Read it, and enjoy!

It's impossible for me to predict an exact publication date...it depends on my editor's schedule, and she has a life outside of editing my books! But I'm striving for sometime next month, February. Valentine's Day would be nice...
January 10, 2012

View from the Bottom

Three days ago GOP Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney used a poor choice of words when talking about people's right to change service providers when they are unhappy with the service, in this case insurance.

Those words, of course, were, "I like to fire people..." The news has been on this like a rat in a garbage dump ever since, as have Romney's competitors. Rick Perry even created a ringtone of Romney saying over and over, "I like to fire people. I like to fire people. I like to fire people." I have to admit that I found that amusing.

But enough already. I'm tired of all this righteous indignation over remarks that were largely taken out of context, expressed in an unfortunate manner. Romney stepped in it. So what.

In contrast, Newt Gingrich stated last week that "If the NAACP invites me, I'll go to their convention and talk about why the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps." Likewise, Rick Santorum stated, "I do not want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money, I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money." Then he denied that he used the word "black" when it was clearly spoken on the audiotape.

The fact that Romney's remarks got so much attention when blatantly racist remarks by Gingrich and Santorum largely go unchecked sends a distinct message about where the priorities lie...and it ain't pretty. 
January 3, 2012

It's good to be alive and (almost) 55

Ah, 2012. It still sounds weird to my ears, in that way new years always do until I get used to them.

Looking back on 2011, in terms of accomplishment, it was definitely one of my better years.  I changed my eating habits and dropped enough weight to fit into single-digit-size jeans...and I'm keeping it off. I finally got a good portion of my garage cleaned out, courtesy of warmer-than-usual temperatures through year's end. I started an exercise routine. And I bit the bullet (or, perhaps more appropriately, swallowed the prep) and underwent that colonoscopy I've been putting off for nine years.

On the writing front, I found a writer's software package that I simply adore (Scrivener for Windows). I finally completed and ePublished a storyline that first formed in my head back in 2006, when I saw a report on NBC News about the bounty of jobs in North Dakota while unemployment elsewhere soared. That gave me the basic plotline for an interracial romance, but a basic plotline does not make a book. It didn't all come together until about a year ago, shortly after I'd published The Heat of Heat and was trying to decide which project to work on next.

Now on to 2012. God willing, I'll celebrate my 55th birthday in six months (usually smack dab in the middle of the year, but this being a Leap Year, the first day of the second half of the year). I'm looking forward to shopping during special senior days and picking up that extra 10% to 15%, and ordering off the 55+ menu in restaurants!

Not only is A Kiss of A Different Color completed and selling briskly (with low-key promotion that didn't involve making a pest of myself on Facebook), to mostly favorable reviews (the first review I received was just 1-star, followed by mostly 4's and 5's), but less than three months later I am now completing a new eBook, which I may have up for sale as early as by the end of this month (you can read an excerpt of Isn't She Lovely? here). From there it is on to a mainstream project I'm very excited about, which will be my first project done entirely with the Scrivener software. My goal is to have it done by the fall.

Will I make it? I don't know. But I'm sure going to give it my all!

Wishing you all the best in 2012!  What do you hope to accomplish this year?