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Yes, it’s true. You can actually pre-order GHOST HOLD: BOOK TWO OF THE PSS CHRONICLES in both e-book and paperback formats now, three months before its September 2013 release. But don’t delay, because this offer only lasts this month JUNE 1ST-JULY 1ST 2013.
How is this possible, when Amazon doesn’t let Indie Authors create a pre-order feature through them?
Thanks to the magic of KICKSTARTER, an extremely reliable crowdfunding site which allows me to put GHOST HOLD up for pre-order and simultaneously raise the funds to produce the book at the highest quality level possible.
Not sure about crowdfunding? Well, if you’ve read and loved GHOST HAND, that is exactly how the book was funded and produced. And every backer got the book they’d hoped for AND the satisfaction of knowing they’d helped make it a reality.
If you’ve been eagerly awaiting the SECOND BOOK IN THE PSS CHRONICLES, I encourage you to consider backing the GHOST HOLD Kickstarter Project today. Backing is very simple and only involves signing up with Kickstarter and having an active Amazon account (or creating one).
SPECIAL BACKER PERKS
Backers of the project will be the first to see the GHOST HOLD COVER, which will be revealed on the project June 15th, 2013.
Every backer will also receive backer exclusive sneak peeks at the first few chapters of the book. The first chapter will be released to backers when the project gets halfway to its funding goal ($1250 of the $2500).
WHAT IF THE PROJECT DOESN’T MAKE IT?
Well, it’s possible, but not probable. Last year, GHOST HAND obtained 110% of its funding, and GHOST HOLD is already ahead of the game in that regard. In only the first six days, GHOST HOLD is already 39% funded. Projects which are this funded this early, are 93% likely to make their goal.
But, if everyone assumes it will make it, or that other people will pledge so they don’t need to, it could fail.
If that happens, the publication of GHOST HOLD might be severely delayed as I seek out other ways to acquire the funds to do it right.
So, if you want GHOST HOLD as soon as possible, please back the project, even if only for a little, because every dollar counts.
Thank you so much for all your amazing support.
Thanks so much to all of you who voted, and Yes, GHOST HAND was officially selected as the Book of the Month for June for the Goodreads Group Making Connections YA Edition.
This book club group, which specializes in reading Young Adult Fiction, has over 1200 members and counting, so hopefully this will garner Ghost Hand a lot of attention.
If you are a member of Goodreads, Making Connections YA Edition is currently having a membership drive and would love to have you join them. It’s a great group I’ve really enjoyed being a part of. If you join and you’ve read Ghost Hand, be sure to watch for the BOTM discussions when they start, and let people know what you thought of the book.
Sign up for my monthly e-newsletter by JUNE 15th using the form in the right hand column of this website and enter to win a fabulous SWAG PACK of Ghost Hand paraphernalia. INCLUDES a Ghost Hand Signed Cover Poster, Bumper Sticker, Mini-stickers, Post Card, and Mini Sticky Ghost Hand (Frame and Easel not included).
Why sign up? To get early news, sneak peaks, and free giveaways of Ghost Hand and Ghost Hold every month.
Already subscribed? NEVER FEAR. You’ll be entered in the draw for the SWAG PACK automatically.
Many of you who read Ghost Hand have been clamoring for a sneak peek into Ghost Hold, book two of the PSS Chronicles. You’ve also been hinting (or outright demanding) that there be more romance between Olivia and Marcus. So, in celebration of my Author Facebook Page reaching 200 LIKES this weekend, I’ve decided to give you a STEAMY preview of Ghost Hold from Chapter 8.
(Please note that this excerpt is subject to editing, revision, and change, but let’s hope not:)
Marcus crossed back to the faucet of the now-full Jacuzzi tub and turned it off. He bent over and turned on the jets, which kicked up a lot more steam and a lot more noise. I was starting to melt inside my own clothes, and he must have been too, because when he turned back to me he was slipping his t-shirt over his head.
“What are you doing?” I asked, my voice coming out a little strangled.
“You and I need to talk,” he said, letting the shirt drop to the floor.
“Yes,” I said, trying not to gawk at his chest and the way the steam swirled into it, his PSS shining back and coloring the mist a soft blue hue. “But can’t we do that with our clothes on?”
“We need to talk where I’m sure no one can hear us,” he said, his hands going to the snap of his jeans. “They don’t put bugs in bathrooms because the moisture corrodes them.” The snap was undone. The zipper was next. He had on red tartan boxers. “Plus, not many people plot and plan in the john.” He slid the jeans down his legs, turned, slipped off the boxers, and stepped into the tub, sinking down into it with an audible moan.
I stood there stunned. I had just seen Marcus naked. He’d just stripped to his beautiful bare ass right in front of me as if it were nothing. Yes, we’d been sleeping in a tent together for weeks, and making out, but when one of us changed clothes, the other still looked away. Marcus and I had not gotten naked together. We hadn’t even come close, because I always held back. I couldn’t even bring myself to reach my hands inside his shirt. What if my flesh hand accidentally went into his chest and disrupted his PSS? Even worse, what if my ghost hand reached into him and pulled something horrible out? I was pretty sure either of those scenarios would be a serious buzz kill to our intimacy.
“Do you have any idea how long it’s been since I’ve had a bath?” he said, almost a purr, laying his head back on the edge of the tub and closing his eyes.
“I—no—I haven’t had one for like a month,” I stammered, looking down at the tile floor, completely flustered.
“Olivia,” he said softly, and I looked up to find his eyes boring into me, dewy drops captured on those thick dark lashes. “Come here.”
I crossed obediently to the side of the bath, both relieved and a bit disappointed to find that the burbling of the jets obscured most of what was in it. Except his PSS chest. It glowed and pulsed like some half-submerged, cerulean, underwater treasure.
Marcus put his hand out for mine. The invitation was obvious.
This was crazy. There was no way we were going to be able to talk, coherently, in a bathtub together.
“It’s a big tub,” he said, nodding at the other end, “and I promise to be good.”
Yeah, but it wasn’t just him I was worried about. If I got in the tub with Marcus, I would be in the tub with Marcus. “But I—” I looked down at myself. I had on my sleeping tank with no bra underneath, my sweatpants, and underwear.
“You have no idea how relaxing this is,” he said, slipping his hand back into the water and closing his eyes. Either he was taunting me, or giving me a chance to undress without him watching. Probably both.
“You bastard,” I muttered under my breath. I slipped off my shoes and sweatpants and padding barefoot to the far end of the tub. I was not going in completely naked. I wasn’t that much of a fool. I kept my tank and underwear on and stepped into the hot swirling water. As I slid down into it, jets pounding my butt and back, the wet heat rising up and swallowing all my aches and pains in its pure liquid magic, I couldn’t keep the moan from escaping my lips either.
And I didn’t miss the effect that sound had on my bath mate.
One of his lean, muscular legs brushed mine, trembling. And his eyes widened. And his breath came a little faster across the water, far less relaxed then it had been only a moment before.
Be sure to let me know what you think, and don’t forget to share this post and ADD GHOST HOLD to your Goodreads TBR list HERE.
I was following a discussion on Facebook recently where a new author asked this; “I sent a review of my book to three family members the other day, and so far only one has even acknowledged it. Is this normal?” The response by other authors was a resounding “YES it is!” Not just that, but 99.8 percent of the responding authors said something similar to, “My family barely acknowledges my writing. Most of them don’t read my books. And I don’t understand why.” And I was one of those. Except for the “not understanding why part,” because I actually do understand.
You see, I have the unique perspective of not only being an author with a family, but I am the family of two authors. Yes, two of my brothers are published (maybe it was something in the water?), one self-published and one traditionally published. Have I read their books? Yes. Did I enjoy it? No. Would I do it again? Probably, but only because I’m a writer.
And so, I thought I’d explain why I think it is common for authors to have what feels like “iffy” support from their family, even when the public at large may be raving about their books.
1. Writing a book changed you, but it didn’t change your family.
I think one of the main reasons many people write is to seek validation. We have always felt “other” or like an outsider. And where did we first feel this? Within our own families. I’ve heard many writers say, “I thought when I published a book, my family would finally ‘get’ me.” Or, “I thought they’d finally see I can do something amazing.” Our books are our message to the world, our way of telling people who we really are. And it is not surprising we hope our family will finally get the memo.
But while writing a book definitely changes you, it doesn’t necessarily change your family dynamic. If your family didn’t validate you before you were a writer, a book (or 5 or 6) is probably not going to change that. In fact, it may increase your position of “other” with them even more, especially if they aren’t book people. Now, you’ve really proven you’re different. You’ve gone and written a book. What were you thinking?
The good news is you have a new family. You have readers, and reviewers, and book bloggers. And if you’ve written a good book, they will validate you on a regular and daily basis. So see, you got what you were after. Just not quite from the direction you were hoping for it.
2. To your family, you will never be primarily a writer.
To your parents, you are first and foremost a child. To your siblings, you are an annoying sister or brother. To your Grandma, you are a grandchild, and so on and so forth. You get the picture. To your family, you are never primarily a writer. Remember, these are the people who saw you pick your nose. Who fought with you in the back seat of the car. Who had to endure your body odor, and morning breath, and mood swings. To them, you will never be famous or glamorous. And so, when you call yourself a writer or an author and set out to prove it, they’re having none of that. They know who you really are.
For example, one of my brothers writes theological books about grace. And yes, he is now a well-known theologian, pastor, and man of exceptional grace. But as my brother, not so much. Now, as much as I know he’s changed and grown from the boy I grew up with, as I was reading his book I couldn’t help but thinking “Grace? Who’s he kidding? I’ve felt his grace smack me right upside the face.”
I just couldn’t bring myself to think of him as an author first. To me, he’s just my brother, and that is mainly what he’ll always be.
3. Your family is afraid they’ll find themselves in your book.
It is an old adage that if you are friends with a writer you will undoubtedly end up in their work, and this is doubly true if you’re the family member of a writer. Writers are told to write what we know, and what do we know better than our families? Even if you aren’t writing a memoir or a non-fiction book, it is likely that your family members, or characters very similar to your family members, will make an appearance somewhere in your writing. And that scares your family TO DEATH. What will you say about them? What family secrets will you reveal? Will they like what they see? Will they hate you for it? Better just not to read it, and leave the family at peace.
For example, my other brother writes books about sports. And when I went to read his book I found anecdote after anecdote about my four brothers and their experiences, both good and bad, with sports. I kept hoping I’d be mentioned somewhere in the book because I did actually do track, and basketball, and volleyball. But no. The only mention of me in the ENTIRE book was an off-hand reference to me sitting in the corner playing with Barbie dolls. WTF? First of all, I WAS NOT allowed to own a Barbie doll as a child and, believe me, this was a bone of contention in a family where I was the only girl in a houseful of boys. And sitting in the corner? Yes, that’s where all good little girls should sit while boys play sports. Urgh! I was not a happy camper. Frankly, I wanted him to rewrite my cameo in his book.
And this is why your family is afraid to read your book. They don’t want to see themselves through your eyes.
4. Your family is afraid they won’t find themselves in your book.
While the scenario of finding yourself in a family member’s book is scary, the reverse scenario is even more terrifying. What if the writer of the family doesn’t write about you? What if everyone else in the family is in that book but you? What if you aren’t even mentioned in the acknowledgements or dedication? This may be your one chance to be immortalized in the annals of literature, and what if you didn’t make the cut.
And this is another reason your family won’t read your book. They don’t want to feel left out.
5. Your family is afraid they will hate your book.
Hopefully, there is no doubt in your mind that your family loves you. Yes, maybe they didn’t always understand you the way you hoped. Maybe they didn’t validate you as a creative genius. But they love you. They really do. But that doesn’t guarantee they’re going to love your book. First, they may not even be into books. Second, you may write on a subject or in a genre or style they dislike. Finally, they just may not enjoy the specific book you wrote.
And now you’ve asked them to read it, or at least you’re expecting them to, and they’re wondering what the hell they’re going to do if they read it and hate it.
Of course, they could read it and lie to you. But that is going to be uncomfortable, and you’re probably going to know they’re lying. They could read it and say they’re proud of you without mentioning the book specifically. But you’re going to ask them about the book specifically, aren’t you? Or, they could just not read it. Many of them opt for the latter to avoid uncomfortable conversations at the dinner table.
They didn’t read your book because they love you, not your book. And that’s okay.
Now, taking all that into consideration, I hope you’ll cut your family some slack and realize that they’re doing the best they can. And if you do have a family member who avidly supports your writing and your books (and I have several myself), be sure to send them a note today thanking them for their support, because they are a very special kind of family member.
And after that, go forth and write more books. I promise, out there is a family of book lovers eager to read them.
A young man, a puppy, and an ancient volcanic crater. What could possibly go wrong?
My new YA fantasy novella is currently FREE FOR KINDLE. I hope you’ll go download it and tell a friend or two.
Mike Abbot doesn’t want a trip to Crater Lake National Park, or a puppy, but his dad seems to have forgotten he is seventeen, not seven. None of his dad’s efforts will fix what is broken, or restore what they’ve lost, but Mike is afraid, if he points that out, he might lose the only parent he has left.
When Mike takes the puppy on the trail around the crater to do its business, a strange sign rises out of the morning fog to warn him: Keep animals leashed at all times. Pets have been known to vanish over the rim.
And when the dog does just that–vanishes over the crater’s edge–it seems the universe and the strange village nestled outside of time on Wizard Island have plans for Mike that will change both worlds forever.
Get your copy of this Award-Nominated Contest Winner NOW.
Yes, I now have the official blurb for Ghost Hold, book two of the PSS Chronicles. READ and ENOY!
Olivia Black is back.
Only this time she isn’t the one in need of rescue.
Samantha James, rich, popular, and an award-winning composer at age seventeen, is the next target on the CAMFers list. And in order to convince Samantha to come with them, Olivia and Passion must pose as cousins, blend into the most affluent high school in Indianapolis, and infiltrate a mysterious cult known as The Hold.
Olivia doesn’t expect it to be easy, even with the PSS guys backing them up. But what she discovers over the course of the mission will call into question everything she ever believed about herself, her ghost hand, and especially about Marcus, the guy she is undoubtedly falling in love with.
Be sure to let me know what you think, and don’t forget to ADD GHOST HOLD to your Goodreads TBR list HERE.
As many of you are aware, April is Autism Awareness Month, and I am thrilled to have been invited to a special event to raise funds for Autism Empowerment.
My friend and fellow writer, Brian Tashima, is relaunching his debut novel, Secret of the Songshell, on Friday, April 19th (6-9 pm) with a new cover. Secret of the Songshell is a young adult urban fantasy novel featuring Joel Suzuki, a sensitive sixteen-year-old with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Brian is relaunching Secret of the Songshell in style, hosting a benefit book event and multi-band concert at The Picnic House, 723 SW Salmon St, Portland OR.
Of course, I will be there with signed copies of Ghost Hand, with $5 from every sale going back to Autism Empowerment.
There is no cover charge for this event, and all ages are welcome, so if you’re in the Portland area I hope to see you there.
Yes, I know they’re not on the same day. But it’s sooooo close.
And to celebrate their beautiful back-to-backness, I am offering Ghost Hand for Kindle FREE March 31st and April 1st.
Already have you copy and love it? Then be sure to let all your bookish friends know this is one to read.
SHARE AND SPREAD THE WORD THAT GHOST HAND IS FREE FOR KINDLE.
START with friends, family and fans, but DON’T STOP THERE. To get your book off to a good start, be sure to ask those who already love and support your writing to give it a review. But don’t stop there. You need to get your book out to the people who don’t know about it yet, and this means sending it out to book blogs and review websites who have never heard of it.
SEND your review requests EARLY. Most reviewers are heavily booked (and I do mean booked). Many of them have reading lists hundreds of books long. But the good news is they don’t mind reading ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies). It is okay to send review requests for your book before it is officially published. Just be sure to have a good, clean, edited copy for the reviewer to read. And some reviewers will schedule their review to go live during your launch to add to your promotion. But be sure to get those request in early as many reviewers have a lead time of 2 weeks to 6 months.
JOIN GOODREADS and Utilize it. Goodreads is the biggest social network of readers and book fanatics on the internet. And the site has tons of tools for getting your book into the hands of reviewers. Be sure to do a Goodreads Giveaway (or two or three). Join Goodreads groups that read your book’s genre. Most of them have Read to Review programs, where authors can offer a certain number of copies of their book free for review. The wonderful thing about this is the Goodreads Moderators monitor the program and make sure your get your reviews in a timely manner (usually within 2-3 weeks). **A couple of tips when doing a Read to Review. Only offer five copies of your book initially. The fewer copies you offer, the more valuable they seem, and you can always extend the number if the first five get snatched up. Also, don’t give up if your first R2R gets very few takers. The first one I did only got two requests. But my most recent R2R saw all 20 copies (Yes, I started with offering only 5) get snatched up, with readers clamoring for more.
SEEK REVIEWERS specific to your genre and publishing platform. Most reviewers have preferred genres, and you should pay close attention to the guidelines and preferences listed on their website or blog. Some reviewers do not take books from Indie or self-published authors, but many do, and some even specialize in Indie books.
BE SURE to check a Reviewer’s Credentials. Sadly, not everyone who reviews books (or says they review books) is honest. NEVER give your ARC to a reviewer you are unfamiliar with or who doesn’t have a proven track record on their public blog or website. Some people pirate review copies of books. Some leak ARCs to the public. I have been approached by book pirates and fraudulent bloggers, both posing as book reviewers (both through Goodreads, so always do your homework). If it feels suspicious, it probably is.
DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME soliciting the Amazon top 1000 reviewers. I’m sad to say I wasted days soliciting Amazon top 1000 reviewers, because I saw it suggested by multiple authors. What I found was that most of them are closed to reviews, especially from indie authors. I have yet to receive one review from that effort. The one Amazon top 1000 review I did get came from a Goodreads R2R.
ASK PEOPLE to post reviews in MULTIPLE LOCATIONS. (Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, their blog or website). And if someone gave you a positive review on Goodreads, ask them to recommend it to their Goodreads friends.
NEVER ask for or insist on a positive review. Always ask for an HONEST REVIEW, not a positive review. It is not okay to ask a reviewer or blogger to ONLY post your review if it is positive. Yes, you gave them a free book, but this doesn’t mean they owe you anything but an honest review.
NEVER ask or expect a reviewer to pay for your book. Reviewers are doing you a service. Their review will sell and promote your book. And they have hundreds (sometimes thousands) of authors vying for that service. If you can’t afford to send a paperback, offer them a free electronic copy, and be sure to have it available in various formats (epub, mobi and PDF).
NEVER pay for a review or try to bribe a reviewer with money or stuff. Yes, there are paid review services like Kirkus out there but, in my opinion, they simply aren’t ethical. Most reviewers list a disclaimer on their website that they receive NOTHING but the copy of the book in exchange for a review, and they will be insulted if you offer them anything else.
ALWAYS thank a reviewer. Yes, even the less positive reviews. The truth is even if someone didn’t love your book, they took the time to read and review it. For a negative review, I usually thank them for their honesty and say I’m always interested in what people liked AND didn’t like about my books. You never know, you may snag a new fan just by being polite. You catch more flies with honey, than with vinegar.
PROMOTE your reviews. Be sure to blast your GOOD reviews to all your social networks, friends, and family and include a link to the review website. Tweet it. Put is on your FB. Post an excerpt on your website. This is a service to the reviewer as well as yourself. Go to the review post comments and thank the reviewer there for the review, as well as answer any comments left by readers. This may seem obvious, but you shouldn’t promote your BAD REVIEWS. I say this because I have actually seen authors do this, going as far as to put bad reviews up as the editorial reviews on their Amazon book page. Not all PR is good PR. Shout out your successes, but let your failures whisper for themselves.
DON’T SWEAT a few negative reviews. No matter how good your book is YOU WILL get negative reviews. No book is for everyone. I have a philosophy that no book is real until somebody hates it. If your book is getting many negative reviews, you may want to look into what readers are saying and fix it. If you have a lot of positive reviews, and only a few negative, chock it up to personal taste and go write your next great book. And remember, a negative review actually makes your book look more legitimate to potential readers. It is proof that not all your reviews were written by your granny who loves everything you do.
NEVER respond to a negative review publically. As tempting as it is to respond to a negative review, especially when it seems baseless, DO NOT DO IT. You are not going to convince that person to like your book. You are only going to make yourself look like an insecure ass, and validate their claim. Yes, you are allowed to go whine to your best friend about it, and get all the encouragement you need. But don’t respond publically or send the reviewer any personal message other than “Thank you for your honest review.” This is called PROFESSIONALISM.
DON’T STOP seeking reviews. Many authors I know do an initial push for reviews and then stop soliciting them within a few months of their book’s launch. I don’t know if they think their book has become too old to interest anyone, or if they just run out of steam but, in my opinion, an author should NEVER stop seeking reviews for their book. I make an effort to seek two or three new reviews every weekend. In this way, I am always getting current promotion and reviews for my book. You book doesn’t get too old for reviews, because to someone who has never heard of your book it is brand new. And the magic of this is that REVIEWS GENERATE REVIEWS. It is one of those weird catch-22 things that the fewer reviews you have, the harder they are to get, and the more reviews you have, the easier they are to get. As you garner reviews, the momentum builds and it becomes less like pulling teeth and more like brushing up on them daily, so they don’t have to be pulled at all.
Now go forth and get great reviews.