Friday, May 8, 2015

Reckless Abandon Cover Re-release!

After weeks of design consultation back and forth, the re-booted, re-designed cover for Reckless Abandon is HERE!

But before I get to showing it off, first please allow me a minute to thank my kick-ass cover designer extraordinaire – Judi FitzPatrick!

For those of you who don’t know Judi, here are a few fun facts:

  • She’d been snapping fine art photos for more than half her life.
  • Judi started blogging about photography and her process 8 years ago.
  • She loves to do collage and manipulation to bring ideas to life in visual format.
  • This isn’t her first rodeo (AKA: Not her first book cover).
  • Judi is my mom.

Now, you might be thinking that I’m super biased and the truth is, well, I am! But as an objective artist I can also see so much freaking awesome in this new cover that I can’t even stand it!

Let’s review my old and lame as hell cover first. Remember this exceptionally boring design:


That’s because I had no idea what I was doing. Not really. Three years ago when I asked my mom to put the original cover together I was so green and had just started reading Indie Author books. Covers were one of the last things on my mind.

Of course they shouldn’t have been last, I even wrote about judging a book by its cover.

But now…

I knew the cabin image had to remain (because it has SO MUCH plot intertwined) but didn’t know how to really convey the book in visuals. So what to do?

Well, that’s where my mom came into play. Because, now I've got this:

Can someone say BOOM?!

Even if you haven’t read the book there’s no denying a sense of the mystery, the story and the characters (maybe even some of their motivations?) just by looking at the cover.

And that’s what a cover should do after all, right?


Judi, AKA: mum, totally nailed it! Thanks so much mum, I am in love with this new cover and I'm so excited to share it with the world!

Please visit Judi’s (AKA: mum’s) website and check out some of her work to see if she can help you put together a cover that really pops and sings - like this one!

If you haven’t read Reckless Abandon yet you'll want to pick up your copy soon because book 2 in the Shaw McLeary Mystery Series – Reckless Hearts – will be out this summer.

And wait until you see the cover!

Pick up Reckless Abandon for your eReader today, just go here.

Plus, to get the inside skinny on when Reckless Hearts hits the stores sign up here for my newsletter and be the first to know!

EDITOR NOTE: Due to a severe spike in spam, I no longer accept comments from Anonymous users. All comments made on posts 3 days or older will be moderated. Spam will be deleted (and I decide what's spam). A new window opens when you click to comment.

Friday, April 10, 2015

And the Winners Are…

Sometimes it’s hard to admit that the things we do aren’t working. We really want to believe we’ve put our effort in the right basket. Especially when you’re really good at something. Like writing blogs.

As I watched the views tick up on the post I wrote 2 weeks ago, I also sat in wonder at a irtual lack of activity.

Because, while the views were good, not a single person entered the giveaway.

Which forced me to take a very long, hard look at my work day. To look at it without the rose colored glasses I'd been wearing for years as I continued doing the same thing over and over, never getting different results, but hoping for those different results every time.

Can someone say 'definition of insanity'?

I had to admit some harsh truths and at first, the truth was tough to digest. Because when I really allowed myself to admit it, the truth was:

My blog is lots of work for very little return.

And there it was. Admission that the thing I love to do, that I've been trying to use as a business builder and engagement tool, might just be the wrong thing to put the biggest percentage of my focus into.

You see, I work for myself as a writer and an author. Which means I write books and blogs and tweets and newsletters and anything else that allows me to connect on a personal level.

And every single day I sit in my office or out on the sofa all alone and I beat my head against the laptop to put well-crafted words out there that can both help and entertain.

Everyone loves getting help for free. Hell, I surf the internet on a daily basis looking for free advice, information and guidance, so clearly I’m no exception.

But if I’m going to share it, especially for free, with an expectation that an audience will grow, people actually have to want it, to make the growth occur, right?

I mean, if I'm only talking to myself then why should I waste precious hours blogging when I could be writing what I really want to write.

AKA: fiction.

I want to turn this to a positive so I guess the best thing I can do is see the whole thing as having learned something. Learned about marketing and how it does and doesn't work. Where to concentrate my efforts and where to pull back.

So as of this moment, my blog is getting lopped off at the waist.

Bringing it down to manageable

I’m reducing my posting to once a month (and honestly, that’s only going to happen if I get around to it).

Because a girl can only type so many words in a day. And from now on, when I want to share, market, connect with people, I'm going to focus on twitter and my newsletter.

I would absolutely love to connect with you in either of those places, please stop on by and say hi on twitter and sign up for my newsletter: Facts & Fiction for self-publishing and writing advice and articles.

Maybe this blog will become something I do more often again in the future but for now I'm looking forward to the restructure and getting back to the thing I love to write - fiction!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Recognize the Differences and Enter to Win!

Back when I was a kid there was a really cool activity in the paper where they asked you to spot the differences. Two seemingly identical pictures sat next to each other and it was the viewer’s job to figure out the subtle differences. It’s a fun challenge to test your powers of observation.

These days you can take part in this challenge online, through Apps, or maybe even still in some newspapers across the country.

In my paper you could circle the variations and send it in to win a prize before the next one was published the following week.

Did someone say, “win a prize”?!

But I hate winning things…

Said no one ever.

And I’m in the mood to give stuff away. Plus have a little throwback fun. Let’s do a spot the difference photo challenge right here on the blog!

The following is the original and a modified version of a few mountains that I snapped on a recent trip to Bartlett Lake area doing research for my next book. So pretty right?

How to Enter

Here’s the skinny:

1. Study both pictures and make a note of the differences.

2. BEFORE MIDNIGHT APRIL 3, 2015 - Go here and sign up with your email to receive my monthly newsletter and FREE download – Does My Book Suck? And other no-nonsense questions you need to answer before self-publishing your fiction.

3. Then, leave a comment on this post with the following information:
  • Four or more of the differences (HINT: there are seven total)
  • The date you signed up
  • Your name
  • The word eleven
  • Your email address so I can reach you in case you win!

So what fabulous prize could you win?

Three winners will receive an autographed copy of the first book in my Shaw McLeary Mystery Series -  Reckless Abandon!

Yup, you read that right – I’m giving away THREE signed copies. So tell your friends!

Here’s a little teaser about the book:

In Reckless Abandon Young Adult fiction Author, Shaw McLeary, returns from grocery shopping to discover her husband, Danny, is missing. So is their stash of cash but little else. She knows he took off fast. When the guys chasing him show up at her front door, Shaw flees to the only person she can trust to help - JJ Anderson. Private investigator, and her ex-fiancé.

A retired Phoenix cop turned P.I., JJ grudgingly agrees to take the case and help find Danny. They chase the clues from Phoenix to Manhattan to upstate New York. In such close quarters Shaw is confronted with her past head on. And she isn’t sure which one she wants to face less – the bad guys with guns right on their tail or her long dormant feelings for JJ.

Ready to win your free signed copy?

Just click here to get your entry started per the rules above and come on back on April 10 to find out if you’re one of three lucky winners!

Good luck!

The fine print you need to read

One entry per person.

Open to residents of the United States.

Entries posted on 4/4/2015 12:01 or later will not be counted (so get in early!)

All requirements must be completed to qualify so read the skinny carefully before entering.

I’ll randomly select the winners.

Winners will be notified by email and their names will be published in a post on April 10, 2015. If the winner doesn’t respond by April 15 with their mailing address, a new winner will be selected in their place.

Open to residents of the U.S. only.

And just so you know, I will not sell, rent or otherwise distribute your information  to anyone. Ever.