Saturday, June 24, 2017

The P Word by Brenda Whiteside

There have been a few of us Roses that have written about promotion and how we attack it. Mine has been on again off again, but no real plan. I tried to make a plan for books three and four in the series, but I didn't totally follow through. I get involved writing the next book or have some family interference and promotion falls away. With the completion of book five, I've decided to give a promotion plan another shot.

My goal is to concentrate on promotion for July and August. I've studied what some others have done, studied all the notes I've kept on the subject for the last year, and investigated several avenues. The goal is to find a few good avenues that readers use to find the books they choose. These are the top 10 ways I plan to promo.

1) Post on my blog five times a month, post twice a month right here on the Roses of Prose, and guest once a month at other sites.
2) Upload all my books on AskDavid.com for a six month period.
3) Post everyday on my Facebook author page which also goes to Twitter.
4) Tweet twice a day, five days a week on my Twitter page.
5) Place ads three times a month on The Romance Reviews.
6) Advertise/take part in promos on The Romance Studio
7) Do a July promo with N N Light and possibly one in August
8) Advertise on Amazon for the month of July
9) Do an Amazon giveaway for the month of August

10) AND my biggest expenditure, if they will have me, is Bookbub. Once I have a release date for
the fifth book, The Deep Well of Love and Murder, I will attempt to get a book, with a reduced price, listed on Bookbub.

I'm still trying to decide the best way to utilize Facebook in addition to staying active with posts.

If after these efforts, I don't see an appreciable rise in sales, I'll go back to my old mode of operation...write as often as I can and not fret about having the time to do promo.

I've heard so many times over the last ten years that the best promotion an author can do is write the next book. But someone has to let the readers know I write. That's my plan for the next couple of months. I'll report back in at the end of my experiment.
RONE Finalist

Visit Brenda at www.brendawhiteside.com
She blogs on the 9th and 24th of every month at http://rosesofprose.blogspot.com
She blogs about life’s latest adventure on her personal blog http://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/

Friday, June 23, 2017

Believe In Miracles!! by Margo Hoornstra

Do you believe in miracles? I sure do. To illustrate, I’ll need to take you back a bit in my Roses of Prose posts. What follows is one I put up here in May of 2016.

***

My birthday was earlier this month. All in all, it was a pretty good day. The kids called with plans for a week end party, my husband bought me a sentimental card and took me out to a very nice dinner. Then he dropped a bombshell I wasn’t expecting. He wanted to buy me flowers, specifically a plant. I didn’t know what to say. Not because I was necessarily touched by his thoughtfulness, although there is that. The fact is, I was truly rendered speechless in an – oh, no, not again sort of way.

You see, I’m horrible with plants. Saying I have a brown or even black thumb doesn’t begin to do justice to the malady that afflicts me. Plants in my care have no chance of survival. Zero. None. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

They may as well shrivel up and die before they even arrive at my house because, try as I might, that will ultimately be their fate. After so many years my husband knows this and yet he insisted. What else could I do but graciously accept? So off we went to find a suitable sacrifice…uh…specimen.

After some offers I absolutely had to refuse – temperamental African Violets, (it makes me shudder to even thing about raising those); fragile Boston Ferns, (the kind my mother used to grow en masse by the way) nope. Finally we settled on a Calla Lily. I had heard of them. This one was purple, my favorite color and seemed to be reasonably healthy (for now, anyway). ‘Indirect sunlight, moderately moist soil and 60 to 70 degree temperatures’ to quote the full color instruction stick. The one which, by the way, also sported the picture of an entire, beautiful bouquet.



Easy enough, don’t you think? For normal plant growers, I suppose. Of which I am not one. 

What’s indirect sunlight exactly? Either the sun’s shining down or it isn’t. Sun beams don’t shine from the side, do they? I mean, the sun would have to leave its position in the sky to do that, which isn’t going to happen. Sunlight, direct or not, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of middle ground on the issue. Sounds to me a little like being somewhat pregnant. Either you are or you aren’t. Again no middle ground.

The only thing for sure I could surmise was that direct sunlight was probably not good.



But back to the fate of the innocent little plant of mine. The center of our living room, aka away from any and all windows seemed to be as indirect, sunlight wise, as one could get. This is where I set my treasure. Then I made sure the soil was moist, even added some extra water because we were going out of town for a few days. Just to be sure said soil really did remain ‘moderately moist’ while we were gone. When we returned, the leaves were getting a little pale, yellow even. Not only that, water sat, yes sat, about a half an inch deep, in the pan underneath the pot. Could this be the beginning of the inevitable end? Apparently my idea of moderately moist and their idea of moderately moist were two completely different moderately moists. We, that tiny instruction stick and I, had something else we couldn’t agree on.

In addition to that whole direct and indirect sunlight thing.

**heavy sigh**

At any rate, I’m trying to reform; I’m letting the poor thing dry out a little and moved it from the center of the living room to a shelf near a window in my office. A little closer to a window, but far enough away, I hope, from any and all direct sunbeams.

Fingers crossed these new arrangements will prove to be beneficial. Please send positive thoughts our way and wish both of us luck. Here’s hoping I can at least grow one measly little plant.

***

That was then, this is now.

As it turned out, the poor little Calla Lily didn’t survive. I watched with appropriate angst as its poor little leaves shriveled to nothing. Heartbroken, I carried its pot with dirt intact, out to the garage with the intention to use it someday, maybe, for some other form of foliage unlucky enough to fall into my hands.

Fast forward a year, and then some. Taking a deep breath, I decided to plant some double petunias for the summer. Nothing fancy, I’d just put a few in an assortment of unused flower pots I had on hand from previous endeavors. As I foraged in the garage the other day for appropriate receptacles, I noticed a grey plastic pot sitting on top of the refrigerator out there behind a cardboard box.

Lifting it down, I discovered the miracle I mentioned up top. That Calla Lily I’d taken for dead was ALIVE! Just look at it now!



Talk about thriving on benign neglect. I have no clue how this happened, but I’ll take it. No flowers yet, either. Those will no doubt take some time.

Right now, I'm simply basking in this bonafide evidence of a miracle. And enjoying every minute.

My days to blog here are the 11th and 23rd. For more about me and the stories I write, please visit my WEBSITE




Thursday, June 22, 2017

Wedding Tales Part II - The Dress ~ By Leah St. James

You might remember I blogged a couple months back about my younger son’s upcoming wedding, my anxieties about the mother-son dance, etc. Well, I’ve moved on to new anxieties--THE MOG (mother of the groom) DRESS.

When my son and his future bride first got engaged and I started thinking about what to wear, I had thought to get a nice fancy dress, but not a gown. Then the MOB (mother of the bride) said to me, “Oh, this is going to be a formal wedding. Of course you should get a gown.” Then my sister (herself a MOG several years back) advised me it was protocol to wait for the MOB to choose her gown. As the MOB, apparently a more honored position, she gets first dibs on color, style...whatever.

So I waited, and every so often I checked with the MOB. After about six months, she had purchased three gowns and couldn’t decide which to wear. So I waited some more. Finally she told me to just buy what I wanted. She didn’t care. Relief! Time to go shopping.

Off I went with my sister and close friend to a New Jersey mall that has a Macy’s, a Lord & Taylor and a couple other higher-end department stores. After spending a couple hours, traipsing through four department stores and trying on about 15 gowns, I came away empty-handed. But I did have the names/tag numbers of a couple gowns we really liked but couldn’t find in the right size or color.

Speaking of color...there aren’t a lot of options in gowns for women of a certain age (who might want to cover up, for example, the fleshy part of the arm!). I found black, navy or other shades of blue, champagne and pewter. I could have found more at a bridal salon, but those aren’t cheap, and I had no intention of spending $300 on a dress (plus alterations). Yes, it’s my son’s wedding, but I’d rather give the money to them than spend it on a dress. Besides, no one will be looking at me...except for that minute or so in the mother-son dance...

Anyway, back home I spent hours online searching for those few I had liked, but again came up empty. I found a site that had gorgeous gowns in lots of colors and decent prices, but it was in Hong Kong. I kept trying to figure out how I’d return the dang thing if I needed to...shipping to Asia probably meant a lot of money, maybe customs forms and who know what else. Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

Finally, with less than three months before the big event, I asked the bride-to-be to go shopping with me. That day we set out for a nice mall with a good variety of department stores--a Macy’s, JC Penney’s, Nordstrom, Dillard’s...I forget what else. Several hours, four stores and about 20 more gowns tried on later, I came away with an Adrianna Pappell (I love her stuff), and it was on SALE at Dillard's! Yes. 


(To review, it took the bride one visit, one shop and about six tries to find her dream wedding gown.

Me, the MOG?...Two states, eight department stores and 30-35 try-ons. Might have been more. After a while they all started to blur into one gown...)




But it was worth it. I LOVE this gown. It makes me feel wonderful. It makes me feel like I’m half my age...like I still have some va-va-va-voom left. I tried it on for hubby when I got home and he said, in typical hubby fashion, “Well, I guess you better not gain any weight.”

Sigh...

Moments later he clarified with,“You look FABULOUS,” and then eyeballed the cleavage. (Maybe I do still have it!)

As for now, the gown is safely (I hope anyway!) in the alterations shop for hemming at a perfect length to show off the new bling-y shoes I bought. They have three-and-a-quarter-inch heels. Even if I only wear them for the church and that minute or so during the mother-son dance, I’ll enjoy every minute.


This wedding thing is starting to feel real!

<><><><><><><><><><><>

Leah writes stories of mystery and romance, good and evil and the power of love. After all this wedding prep, she’s starting to dream up wedding stories. Who knows, they might actually make it into a book at some point. Learn more at leahstjames.com or visit her on Facebook. She loves visitors!


   

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Goal setting by Barbara Edwards


Glacier National Park

The only way to accomplish anything is to set a goal. Authors know about goals. We set them constantly to reach the final goal of a finished manuscript.

What must you do?
Shanondoah Valley

Set a finish date and figure out how many pages must be written daily to reach that number by that date.

This is my big failing. I don’t have a finish date so I fiddle around, do research, read a book, whatever.
Gettysburg

I need to be tough with myself.

I need to make myself work.

With this decision in mind, I made an editor appointment at National. I need to have a finished manuscript to pitch. Well, I do have one, but I’m not happy with it.
Niagra Falls

I want to have another done and it is in the pipe. I’m typing daily, planning to have two manuscripts ready as well as the ones I have in partials.

The importance of goal setting crossed my mind because I did accomplish a ‘bucket list’ goal.
Redwoods

My husband and I have visited all 50 states. Yes, 50. It took us over twenty years, but we are excited and pleased. 

Now on to the next one. I think visiting all the National Parks is next. Only 160+. 

Please follow, friend or like me. I love to hear from my readers.

Amazon Author’s Page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003F6ZK1A



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

New Release Coming

An icy she-vamp and a red-hot human detective make for an explosive combination.




The fourth book and climatic ending of the Blautsauger's of Amber Heights Series is coming out soon. To lead up to the actual release date (still to be determined) I thought I'd start by sharing a few teasers. 


Dr. Michaela Blautsauger, a Nosferatu vampire, is considered an expert in her field of work. However, her skills when it comes to dealing with others and showing emotion is almost non-existent. When Detective Seth Whitehead barges into her lab, she discovers the human is just as interesting as the blood formula she is working on.
Seth's tenacity to find who is committing crimes in Amber Heights pits him against vampire aristocracy as well as Toltec vamps who are nasty to say the least. When the she-vamp he is falling heart over fangs for leaves the country to find the blood plant she needs, he follows and discovers his cold hearted vamp truly has a heart.

When they both fall into Toltec hands, Seth knows he will do anything he has to do to keep Michaela from suffering harm. But will he be able to keep his own life in the process?







Bonus for reading my books. Win some swag.
Correctly answer the question below, and it will put your name into a drawing. The prize is a set of 4 coffee mugs featuring the cover art from all the books in the Blautsauger's of Amber Height Series.




Why did Andris Blautsauger name his four children
Gabe, Michaela, Metta, and Rafe?
A) they were named after Priests at the seminary he attended
B) they were named for the angels of prayer
C) he hoped giving his children religious names would save his soul.
D) to spite their mother for turning him into a vampire without his consent.


Answer this next question for a set of coasters featuring my book covers:

What does it mean to be stunted?

A) have a practical joke played on you
B) the runt of a litter
C) left partially turned from human to vampire
D) vampire born without normal vampire traits such as speed, strength, acute vision and hearing

The last question is for a tote bag featuring the cover art from the soon to be released Cold Hearted Vampire. 


What kind of vampire is Vincent Sabriento?
A) Toltec vampire
B) Nosferatu vampire
C) Sol Vampire
D) Ch'ich pak' vampire


Email your answers to rmrk1234@yahoo.com  with 'contest' in the subject line. I'll draw 3 names on 6/25. That gives everyone 5 days to join the fun.
Best of luck
REMullins
author of vampire/romance
Connect with me or find buy links for my books at
remullins.com