Friday, June 29, 2012

7 Signs that Indie Publishing is Right for You

Is Indie Publishing Right for You?
7 Questions to Help You Decide
Guest post by Terri Giuliano Long

You’ve finished your masterpiece. After revising, editing, and polishing your work, you’re ready to publish. You consider querying an agent, but your writer friends, who not long ago turned up their noses at the thought of self-publishing, are encouraging you to “go indie.”

Their reasons are compelling: more money, greater control, faster publication, a direct relationship with your readers. Still, you’re not sure if self-publishing is right for you.

This is an exciting time in publishing! Never before have readers been so accepting of indie writers. Your friends are right: the rewards are immense. But all rewards come at a price. Publishing a book is like a starting a small business. It’s hard, time-consuming work—and it’s not for everyone. Here are seven questions to help you think through your decision.

Are you creative?

As publisher, you're responsible for your book's content, cover and interior design. Successful indie books stand up to those published by major publishing houses. Many indie writers hire professionals to design their interior and cover. Perhaps you will, too. Still, you’ve worked hard to write your book. You’ll want to be sure the cover represents it well.

In order for your book to stand out, to rise above the noise, you’ll also need to come up with unique ways to promote it. While there are many wonderful professionals to help with marketing and promotion, it helps to put your own stamp on your promotions. At the very least, you’ll want to offer your blog hosts interesting interviews and creative guest posts.

Are you detail-oriented?

Editing, particularly proofreading, and formatting are tedious, detail-oriented activities. Editing requires us right-brain thinkers to switch gears. We must read closely, checking for errors. Compared to creative writing, editing and proofreading can feel like drudge work.

Formatting can be equally tedious. Poor formatting results in punctuation and paragraph errors that appear to be sloppy editing mistakes. Yes, you can hire professionals to edit and format; ultimately, you’re responsible. I learned this the hard way, by being burned. I’d read my novel so many times that the mere site of the manuscript made me anxious. Trusting the formatter, I loaded my eBook, only to discover that the file was corrupt.

Are you independent?

Sure, being the boss is liberating, but it’s lonely at the top. Unlike traditionally published writers, most indie writers don’t have a support staff to assist with publishing chores and minutiae—a publicist to organize a marketing campaign or an agent or editor to be sure the process runs smoothly. As President Truman said, “The buck stops here.” It’s up to you to meet deadlines, be sure the work gets done, and deal with any problems that crop up.

As in any business, it’s important to establish a network. With writer friends, you can share ideas and experiences, helping one another make wise decisions and enhance your success.

Can you deal with disappointment?

In every business, things inevitably go wrong. Editing or formatting takes longer than you expected, setting your launch back a week; Amazon introduces a groundbreaking program like KDP Select the day you launch a long-awaited promotion. You receive a lousy review. After a setback, it’s important to pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and move forward.

Are you willing to invest?

If you hope to succeed, you must nurture your business. Since last year, I’ve put in more 12 and 16-hour days than I care to count. It’s not necessary to put in ridiculously long days. You must, however, keep your eye on the ball. This requires you to invest your time wisely.

There is also the financial investment to consider. Designing, formatting and marketing your book yourself substantially minimizes costs. But you may have to lower your sites a tad. We all have only twenty-four hours in a day. Doing everything alone limits your scope. And time is precious. Only you know what you can afford—and how much you’re willing—to invest.

Do you enjoy marketing?

As I learned from the Indie Book Collective, bestsellers are not born; they’re marketed. No amount of marketing can turn a truly bad book into a bestseller. For most books, though, effective marketing makes all the difference. Marketing lets readers know your book exists.

Marketing doesn’t mean shameless self-promotion. Grandstanding turns most people off. Cross-promotion, working with other authors to promote one another, sponsoring contests, hosting games—such activities build your platform and help to spread news of your work.

Are you patient?

For indie publishers, patience may be the most important characteristic of all. Like blockbuster movies, major books hit bestseller lists quickly, often before publication. This gives a false impression of book marketing. To create such a splash, large houses spend a fortune. One ad can cost tens of thousands of dollars—only a tiny part of a big campaign.

Small publishers on a limited budget can’t begin to compete. So we shouldn’t hold ourselves to that standard. The marketing cycle for indie books—particularly debuts—is much longer. It can take several months for a book to pick up steam. Once it does, it often stays rolling.

If you answered no to a few questions, don’t worry. You may discover a well of strength and determination you never realized you had. You won’t know until you put yourself to the test.

About the author:
Terri Giuliano Long has written news and features for numerous publications, including the Boston Globe and the Huffington Post. She lives with her family on the East Coast and teaches at Boston College. Her debut novel, In Leah’s Wake, began as her master’s thesis. For more information, please visit her website. Or connect on Facebook or Twitter.

This is part of a weekly feature, posted each Friday, which looks at publishing related topics. If you are interested in doing a guest post, please contact me.

Last week's post: Self-Pubbing vs Small Press: I Must Be Insane by Rachel Firasek. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Forgotten Child by Lorhainne Eckhart - Giveaway

The Forgotten Child
by Lorhainne Eckhart

He wasn’t looking to love again. But what he got was a woman who shook his lonely bitter world upside down, and touched him in a way no other woman could.

Emily Nelson, a courageous young mother, ends a loveless bitter marriage and strikes out on her own. She answers an ad as a cook and live in caregiver to a three-year-old boy on a local ranch. Ranch owner Brad Friesen hires and moves in Emily and her daughter. But Emily soon discovers something’s seriously wrong with his boy. And the reclusive difficult man that hired her, can’t see the behavior and how delayed his son is. So Emily researches, until she stumbles across what she suspects is the soft signs of autism. Now she must tell him. Give him hope, and help him come to terms with this neurological disorder—to take the necessary steps to get his child the help he needs.

As their lives become intertwined, it’s unavoidable the attraction—the connection that sparks between them. And just as they’re getting close, Brad's estranged wife Crystal returns after abandoning them two years earlier. In amongst the shock and confusion there’s one disturbing fact Brad can’t shake. How does she know so much of his personal business, the inner working of the ranch and Emily's relationship with his son?

Crystal must’ve had a plan as she somehow gains the upper hand, driving a wedge in the emotional bond forged between Brad, Emily and the children. The primary focus for care and therapy of three-year-old Trevor is diverted. The lengths Crystal will go—the lies—the greed, just to keep what’s hers are nothing short of cold and calculating. Emily’s forced out of the house. Brad fights to save his boy—to protect what’s his. And struggles over his greatest sacrifice—Emily, and the haunting question—has he ultimately lost her forever?

Add it on Goodreads, and buy from Barnes & Noble.

About the author:
Lorhainne Eckhart began her writing career in 2008, when she published her first novel, The Captain’s Lady, a Contemporary Military Romance through The Wild Rose Press. Lorhainne is a member of the RWA, Sisters in Crime and Victoria RWA. She writes edgy romantic suspense and warns her readers to expect the unexpected. The mother of three children, one a special needs child. They live on a small back water Island in the Northern Gulf where Lorhainne advocates for the environment, and rights of special needs children. And somewhere in her busy schedule she finds time to write. Readers can contact her through her website

One winner will receive a copy of The Forgotten Child by Lorhainne Eckhart. If you live in the US, you will receive a print copy. If you live outside the US, you will receive an e-book.

How to enter:
Be a follower of Krazy Book Lady in whatever way you choose. Then fill out the form below.

Additional optional entries: (For 5 total possible entries)
+1 Follow Lorhainne Eckhart on Twitter.
+1 Like Lorhainne Eckhart on Facebook.
+1 "Fan" or friend Lorhainne on Goodreads.
+1 Leave a comment.

Giveaway Details:
Giveaway is open internationally. (See details above.) Giveaway is open until midnight on July 18th. Must be 13 or older to enter. Winner will be chosen using Winner will be emailed, and this blog post will be updated to reflect the winner. Winner has 3 days to respond, or a new winner will be selected.

Sorry! This giveaway is now closed.
Winner: Larissa B.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Diversity in Fiction - Natalie Dias Lorenzi, author of Flying the Dragon

Diversity in Fiction
Guest post by Natalie Dias Lorenzi

I teach at a Title I school where only 12% of my students speak English at home. Collectively they speak 39 languages and come from all corners of the globe. As a librarian, I try to stock our library shelves with books whose characters represent a wide range of cultures. I want my students to see themselves in the pages of books, to make connections and to identify with the plight of the characters whom they’ve come to know and love.

Newbery-award winning author Christopher Paul Curtis visited our school a few months ago, sharing his journey form auto factory worker to award-winning children’s author. During the Q&A that followed, one student asked, “Why do all of your books have African American main characters?” Curtis paused for a moment, then explained that when he was growing up, none of the characters in books he read looked like he did. “I wanted to change that,” he said.

In the past five years, the number of multicultural characters in books has risen significantly. Some of my students’ favorites include Wendy Shang’s The Great Wall of Lucy Lu, Jenny Lombard’s Drita, My Home Girl, Laura Resau’s Star in the Forest, and Candace Fleming’s Lowji Discovers America. But there are not enough multicultural books out there for readers who need them.

But it’s not just kids from other countries and cultures who need these books; we all need these books. Hiroshi, one of the main characters in my middle grade novel Flying the Dragon, is Japanese. Skye, the other main character, is Japanese-American. I am neither. But as an ESL teacher, I have worked with countless brave children like Hiroshi and Skye, caught between cultures, who struggle each day to discover who they are. I marvel at their resilience as they wade their way through the arduous task of learning to communicate in a second language.

Readers have told me that, after reading Flying the Dragon, they now have more empathy towards kids who are new to their school or who don’t yet speak English. As an author, this is one of the nicest things I could hope to hear.

Yes, children like Hiroshi and Skye need multicultural stories. Every child deserves the chance to identify with characters in books. But we all need these stories, not only to see ourselves, but to see each other.

Flying the Dragon
by Natalie Dias Lorenzi
Expected publication: July 1, 2012
Publisher: Charlesbridge

American-born Skye knows very little of her Japanese heritage. Her father taught her to speak the language, but when their estranged Japanese family, including Skye's grandfather, suddenly move to the United States, Skye must be prepared to give up her All-Star soccer dreams to take Japanese lessons and to help her cousin, Hiroshi adapt to a new school. Hiroshi, likewise, must give up his home and his hopes of winning the rokkaku kite-fighting championship with Grandfather. Faced with language barriers, culture clashes and cousin rivalry, Skye and Hiroshi have a rocky start. But a greater shared loss brings them together. They learn to communicate, not only through language, but through a common heritage and sense of family honor. At the rokkaku contest at the annual Washington Cherry Blossom Festival, Hiroshi and Skye must work as a team in order to compete with the best.

Add on Goodreads, or buy from The Book Depository.

About the author:
Natalie Dias Lorenzi is a teacher, librarian, wife, mother, and traveler, not necessarily in that order. She specializes in teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) and has lived in Germany, Italy, and Japan. She now lives with her husband and three children outside of Washington, DC during the school year, and in Trieste, Italy, in the summers. Flying the Dragon is her first novel.

Find out more at  

Giveaway: I have a giveaway currently open for a signed copy of Flying the Dragon plus swag. Find out more here. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha van Leer - Review

Between the Lines
by Jodi Picoult & Samantha van Leer
Expected publication: June 26, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse

What happens when happily ever after…isn’t?

Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.

And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.

Delilah and Oliver work together to attempt to get Oliver out of his book, a challenging task that forces them to examine their perceptions of fate, the world, and their places in it. And as their attraction to each other grows along the way, a romance blossoms that is anything but a fairy tale.

Add it on Goodreads, or buy from an independent bookstore.

My Review:
Delilah feels like she doesn't belong in her own life, so she turns to books and imaginary worlds to cope. Her favorite book is a children's fairy tale. She feels like she can relate to the main character, Oliver, who is the prince in the fairy tale. But this is no ordinary children's book. When the book is closed, Oliver lives a different life than the one written on the pages. Oliver and the rest of the characters are forced to perform the story that is written every time the book is open. Oliver isn't content to be stuck in the book and wants to know what real life outside the book would be like.

The writing in Between the Lines was excellent and easy to read. It isn't necessarily "fast paced" but was very engaging. Details are revealed at appropriate intervals to keep you interested and entertained. Delilah is an easy character to relate to and understand. Oliver's feelings are also explained with enough detail and emotion that you can understand how hopeless and stuck he feels with not being able to choose his own life and always having to perform when the book is open. We also get to meet the author of the children's fairy tale, which I found to be an interesting addition to the story.

I really enjoyed Between the Lines, but I already expected to since it is written by Jodi Picoult. No, this isn't your typical "Jodi Picoult book" that we have come to know and love, and you may be disappointed if that is what you are expecting. Elements of Jodi's style can be seen throughout the book, but it is very different, as it was meant to be. Jodi, along with her daughter, Samantha, has ventured into the Young Adult genre and has successfully created a sort of modern day fairy tale. I will always read any book by Jodi Picoult, no matter what genre she decides to explore, and I think Samantha has a bright literary future.

About the authors:
Jodi Picoult is the author of nineteen novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle With Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister’s Keeper. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. Visit her website at  

Samantha van Leer is a junior in high school. She conceived the idea for this book and pitched it to her mom, who was in the middle of a book tour. In her spare time, Samantha can be found playing softball, doing contemporary dance, acting and singing in musicals, and cuddling on the ground with her two dogs, Dudley and Oliver—for whom the prince in this fairy tale was named.  

Friday, June 22, 2012

Self-Pubbing vs. Small Press: I Must Be Insane!

Self-Pubbing VS Small Press: 
I must be insane!
Guest Post by Rachel Firasek
I’m very excited to be here today, and want to give a big Thank You to Tami for making it happen.

I’ve been writing seriously for about three years now, and I’m still waiting for that book to come to me that says, “This is it!”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with the books that have poured out of me, but I don’t think I’ve found that “Book of my heart” that everyone speaks about. The closest one to that label is probably Piper’s Fury.

I was very lucky to have that book picked up by Heather Howland when she was at Crescent Moon Press, my first small press to work with. She taught me all about amateur writing and brought me into a different level of storytelling.  And, after five months of sweet patience from her, we finally had Piper’s story edited to a fine art and ready for publications. As I said, I was very lucky she took a chance and believed that there was a really good story beneath the basic beginner’s voice.

After that story, I went on to publish three more novellas with small presses over the span of 2011. So, that made a total of 4 books published last year and another novella that came out in Feb 2012. Yes, I’ve been one busy little bee.

Small Presses will teach and take a chance on you when one of the Big 6 won’t. But, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t strive to be bigger and better. Learn from them. Grow. Be better.

In July 2012, I’ll be releasing my very first Indie Pub novella. It’s part of the Unspun Series with authors Berinn Rae and Elle J Rossi. I can’t tell you how wonderful working on this story has been. We gave ourselves realistic deadlines, took our time writing them, revised them, critiqued them, and then had a professional editor proof them. Yes, we’re doing it right.

Why self pub?

Well, mostly because I was tired of deadlines, I needed a chance to write something for art and not feel like I was deconstructing my story, and I wanted the control. Don’t get me wrong, I love my publishers, but it was just such a busy year last year that I really developed some bad writing habits—forgetting that I had children, husband, family, a life—that I needed to get back to some fundamentals.

I made a list of all the things that worked for me and didn’t with both styles of publishing, and I’d love to share them.

Small Press VS Indie:

SP Win: Having a professionally trained editor work with you to make your story perfect.

IP Lose: Having to pay for a professionally trained editor to make your story perfect.

SP Win: Marketing with other authors and often splitting the cost of advertising.

IP Lose: It’s a lone marketing adventure.

SP Lose: Drama. Anytime you get that many women, artist, professionals together, there will be some sort of drama or hurt feelings or misunderstandings— it may not be with you directly, but you’ll witness it.

IP Win: No Drama, unless you argue with yourself.

SP Lose: Loss of control. You are at the mercy of the publisher.

IP Win: All the control. If your book isn’t as ready as you’d like, you can extend deadlines. It’s a wonderful thing.

These are just a few of the differences, but they are the ones that made me try an Indie Pub book. I’m crossing my fingers that this story is a success and if it’s not, I’ll just write another, lol. Each book is different and you never know when that “Book of your heart” will appear. I’m still chasing mine. 

I’d love to know if you are published, why you chose the route you took. Please feel free to share. 

About the author:
Rachel Firasek grew up in the south and despite the gentle pace, she harassed life at full steam. Her curiosity about mythology, human nature, and the chemical imbalance we call love led her to writing. Her stories began with macabre war poems and shifted to enchanted fairytales, before she settled on a blending of the two.

Today you’ll find her tucked on a small parcel of land, surrounded by bleating sheep and barking dogs, with her husband and children. She entertains them all with her wacky sense of humor or animated reenactments of bad 80’s dance moves.

She’s intrigued by anything unexplained and seeks the answers to this crazy thing we call life. You can find her where the heart twists the soul and lights the shadows… or at

This is part of a weekly feature, posted each Friday, which looks at publishing related topics. If you are interested in doing a guest post, please contact me.

Previous posts:
Indie Authors are on the Wrong Side of the Tracks by Darian Wilk
Why Do Indie Writers Need Editors by Valerie Douglas
Let's Talk About Sex ... in YA Books - Is Sexual Content Appropriate by Deb Hanrahan
Traditional vs. Self-Publishing: Why I Chose to Fight the Odds by Ryan Graudin
It's All About Me - Marketing and Branding as an Indie Author by Patti Larsen

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Splintered by A.G. Howard - ARC Tour Sign Ups

BLOGGERS: Would you like to participate in an ARC Tour for SPLINTERED by A.G. Howard? She will be sending a copy to me soon and has graciously agreed to let me share it with other bloggers!

Splintered by A.G. Howard
Expected publication: January 1, 2013
Publisher: Amulet Books

For sixteen years, Alyssa Gardner has lived with the stigma of being descended from Alice Liddell—the real life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s famed novel, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. But cruel jokes about dormice and tea parties can’t compare to the fact that Alyssa hears the whispers of bugs and flowers... the same quirk which sent her mother to a mental institution years before.

When her mother takes a turn for the worse and the whispers grow too strong for Alyssa to bear, she seeks the origins of their family curse. A set of heirlooms and a moth tied to an unusual website lead Alyssa and her gorgeous best friend / secret crush, Jeb, down the rabbit hole into the real Wonderland, a place more twisted and eerie than Lewis Carroll ever let on.

There, creepy counterparts of the original fairytale crew reveal the purpose for Alyssa’s journey, and unless she fixes the things her great-great-great grandmother Alice put wrong, Wonderland will have her head.

Add it on Goodreads. While there, check out this great review of Splintered by Melissa Marr!

Details of the tour:
I am hoping to get the copy traveling in late July or early August. I would like to get it to as many bloggers as possible before the release date. Each blogger will have one week to read the book and send it on to the next blogger. You must email me to let me know when you receive it and when you mail it out to the next blogger. You will be required to get delivery confirmation and send that number to me. This is to ensure that we can keep up with the book and get it to the next blogger in a timely manner.

Bloggers must live in the US. (My apologies to the international bloggers. This is only due to the high shipping costs and the long turn around time.) 

Bloggers must have an established and regularly updated blog.

Very important: The bloggers who are at the beginning of the tour must agree to not post the review until after late October!

If there is more interest than we can possibly accommodate before the release date, I will use to determine participants.

Did I forget anything? Probably. So if you have any questions, please just leave a comment or email me.

Update: Sign ups are closed through this post. I will email all participants in the next few weeks to let you know where you are on the list. If you have not signed up and would be interested in participating, you can email me in case some bloggers end up not being able to participate.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Reinventing Claire by Darian Wilk - Cover Reveal

Reinventing Claire by Darian Wilk 

People get divorced, but that's what happens to other people. That’s what Claire thought anyway, until her husband, Charlie, tells her he wants a divorce.

Claire has no choice but to take on the title of Divorced Woman, and face the question she has no idea how to answer. Who is Claire without Charlie? Her family believes her newly divorced woes can be cured by jumping back into the dating scene – and landing herself a boyfriend. With her dating dunce cap in hand, Claire stumbles her way through the foreign territory of online dating.

A teacher from hell, a stalker, and a softball coach later, Claire proclaims herself the dating idiot she thought she was, and fears she's doomed to be a lonely, crazy cat lady. But an accidental run-in with an old acquaintance might change everything. What starts by comparing dating battle wounds over a cup of coffee, quickly turns into something Claire thought she had given up on.

As Claire discovers maybe there is love after Charlie after all, Charlie realizes his mistake. He wants her back, and he'll do anything to prove it to her. Now Claire must choose who deserves her heart, and if she's really willing to give it away again.

Add it on Goodreads. 


About the author:
Darian is a women's fiction writer, avid book reader, mom to two amazing kids, and wife to one awesome husband. Her passion for writing started at an early age, which led her to being published in three poetry anthologies as a teenager. In 2009, she took on writing full-time and her first novel, Love Unfinished, was released in 2011. Her second novel, Reinventing Claire, is set to be released in August 2012.  

You can find Darian on her website, Twitter and Facebook

(Darian also regularly contributes reviews to Krazy Book Lady!) 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Flying the Dragon by Natalie Dias Lorenzi - Giveaway

Flying the Dragon 
by Natalie Dias Lorenzi
July 1, 2012 by Charlesbridge

American-born Skye knows very little of her Japanese heritage. Her father taught her to speak the language, but when their estranged Japanese family, including Skye's grandfather, suddenly move to the United States, Skye must be prepared to give up her All-Star soccer dreams to take Japanese lessons and to help her cousin, Hiroshi adapt to a new school. Hiroshi, likewise, must give up his home and his hopes of winning the rokkaku kite-fighting championship with Grandfather. Faced with language barriers, culture clashes and cousin rivalry, Skye and Hiroshi have a rocky start. But a greater shared loss brings them together. They learn to communicate, not only through language, but through a common heritage and sense of family honor. At the rokkaku contest at the annual Washington Cherry Blossom Festival, Hiroshi and Skye must work as a team in order to compete with the best.

Add on Goodreads and buy on Barnes & Noble.

One winner will receive a SIGNED copy of Flying the Dragon by Natalie Dias Lorenzi, a bookmark and a set of chopsticks.

How to enter:
Be a follower of Krazy Book Lady in whatever way you choose. Then fill out the form below.

Additional optional entries:
+1 Follow Natalie on Twitter.  
+1 Like Flying the Dragon on Facebook.
+1 "Fan" or friend Natalie on Goodreads. 

Giveaway Details:
This giveaway is open US only. Giveaway is open until midnight EST on June 28. Must be 13 or older to enter. Winner will be emailed, and this blog post will be updated to reflect the winner. Winner will have three days to respond, or a new winner will be selected.

Sorry! This giveaway is now over.

Winner: Krista B.

Monday, June 18, 2012

What If by Kelly Rae - Character Interview & Giveaway

What If... by Kelly Rae
May 1, 2012 by Blossom Press

One fateful night during high school Katie Wright loses everything: her father, the first man she ever loved, dies in a car accident and Chris Staller, the first boy she’s ever loved, breaks her heart. Fast-forward ten years and Katie is a beautiful, successful woman who has spent the past decade doing her best to make her life all about work, keeping everyone at arms length—friends and lovers alike. But she’s lonely and beginning to awaken to the fact that pretending to be happy and content doesn’t mean she actually is. Working through her emotional challenges while maintaining a stellar career reputation has been tricky, but she’s always determined to come out on top.

Paying a visit to her old high school, Katie runs into Chris, now a dedicated PE teacher who pines for the one he let get away: her. An upstanding member of the community and a much better man than he was a boy, Chris is determined to win Katie back at all cost. But Katie is less than receptive to the idea, and when he lays down a challenge, she is determined to come out on top again.

Character Interview with Chris Staller: 

First how about you introduce yourself and tell us about the book in which you are the HERO?

Hey, my name is Chris Staller and I am a physical education teacher for the Pennsville Unified School District. I also coach or assistant coach several of the school teams depending on the sport season. I don’t know if the hero title fits, but I am one in the novel What If… The novel is about the love of my life, Katie Wright, not me. I am but a brief part, of her story.

What is it about Katie that you just can’t get out of your system?

The thing about Katie is that she has this way of making me want to better at everything. When we were kids, no one ever believed in me. No one ever asked me to be more, Katie always asks, wants, and encourages me to be MORE. So, that was the initial draw, I think. I needed someone who believed in me. Today as a grown man, I love her spirit and her kindness. I love the way her eyes sparkle when she sees a kitten or the way her first instinct is to stop and pick up any stray, she sees. Sometimes I think that is what she did for me, picked up a stray. Anyway, I am now as loyal as any rescue mutt out there, to my Princess.

How do you think life would have been different if you had not been injured in college?

I don’t think about it too much anymore. There was a time when I used to wonder all the time, What If I had gone into the NFL or the NBA, What If I was rich and famous and living the good life right now. Then I look at my blessings: the kids I help every day, how fulfilled I am in my job and my life. Now the only What If… left, since I got the girl, is how to get the girl to marry me! 

Is Katie right when she says you only date bimbos?

I never kiss and tell for one, but if I were to do such a thing I would say every woman I have dated has been the exact one to lead me here to today, this place, where I am. The man that Katie needs and deserves. Plus, you know, one man’s bimbo is another man’s awesome, cool, fun, chick. Maybe I was saving myself for the right girl. Hey, it could be true!

If you could tell the 17 year old you anything, what would you say?

I would tell the younger me to relish the moments more, not to be in such a hurry for the next thing or the next step, but to enjoy each step as it comes. As much as it feels like just yesterday that Katie and I were in high school, I know that a decade has gone by and there are moments that I was so busy plotting to get ahead, that I missed how awe inspiring the moment I was in, was. I try to take time each day to reflect on what good happened in that day. Katie and I sit and talk each night about our blessings. She was a little hesitant to do it with me at first, mostly because for a while all she wanted to do was make out, I mean this woman is…oh wait that would be kissing and telling. Oops! Now she rather likes our quiet time and I’d like to think she counts me on the blessing list.

What’s your favorite thing about first kisses?

I think my favorite thing about first kisses, is the anticipation. When you don’t know if it’s going to be good or bad, soft or rough, slow and deep, or fast and hungry until you are in the moment and you can feed off the other persons energy. You know men might not lift their leg up like you girls do in the movies, but trust me every now and then we get weak in the knees and we are sighing at the sweetness or the hotness of a good kiss too! With Katie the 2nd first kiss was better than the first, but they both completely changed my life. Mind altering, that woman is the most mind altering kisser and lover I have ever had!

Is there a spot on a woman that might surprise people is a turn on to you?

My favorite spot on Katie is not necessarily my generic favorite spot, but she is no generic woman. On my sweet Katie, my favorite spot is where her shoulder and her neck meet on her the back. It’s my favorite place to kiss and don’t tell, but I have been known to nibble on her a time or two in just that spot.

What advice do you give young men on how to treat women and how to handle relationships?

Primarily I tell my young guys never to treat a woman in a way that would shame their own mother. To remember that every girl is someone’s baby girl and someday he might have one of his own and he doesn’t need the karma coming back to him, through her. I find that young guys and even guys my age are more interested in competing with other men than they are in treating a woman properly. The sooner they learn the lesson the happier they will be and the more likely they are to find their one and only, thank goodness I got a second chance with mine.

Would you like to add anything else?
Thank you for having me and thanks to your readers for taking the time to stop by and learn a bit about me and our book What If…, which is currently for sale in eBook and paperback on Amazon and Barnes&Noble and eBook only on SmashwordsKOBO and Diesel.

One lucky person, who makes a comment on this blog today, will win a free copy of What If… via Smashwords coupon so you can download to any ereader or laptop you might have. I hope you enjoy reading What If… should you decide to pick up a copy. 

About the author:
Kelly Rae is a native of California, currently residing in a mountain of snow in Central Oregon, covertly planning her escape to get back to her Golden State roots. Kelly has a nine year-old son named Triton, who is her inspiration in all things, and a passion for writing, reading, and traveling.

You can connect with Kelly Rae on, Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads.

TODAY ONLY! As mentioned above in the character interview, comment on this blog for a chance to win a copy of What If. Winner will be emailed a Smashwords code to use to download the format of choice.

Giveaway details:
Giveaway is open internationally. Giveaway is TODAY ONLY! Giveaway ends at midnight CST June 18. Any comments made after that time will not count. Winner will be selected using Winner will be emailed and will have 3 days to contact me to receive the Smashwords code, or a new winner will be selected. 

Sorry! This giveaway is now over.
Winner: April H.  

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bella World by Kimberly Kinrade - Review

Bella World by Kimberly Kinrade
The Three Lost Kids Trilogy, Book 2
Published: April 2012
Publisher: Evolved Publishing

Bella is tired of getting blamed every time her sisters lose something. It's not her fault they misplaced something important, so why does everyone assume she took it? It makes her blood boil that no one appreciates all the things does to help and protect people. Sometimes her anger makes her do things she regrets later.

When she, her two sisters and and their dog TayTay find a watery portal to Bella World, they are surprised to discover a town ravaged by Dragon attacks. But not all is as it seems, a lesson Bella learns when they are sent to stop the Dragon.

Together, Bella and Emerald the Dragon learn to control their Dragon Fire, make amends to those they have wronged and in the process find the appreciation and acceptance they sought all along.

Add on Goodreads or buy on Amazon.

Darian's Review:
Bella World is the second book in the series, and after reading Lexie World, I was happy to jump right into this book.  Bella World is about Bella, and her two sisters, who now know of magical realms hidden in a path in the woods.  Much like in Lexie World, once the girls find themselves in Bella’s world, they’re quickly met with amazing creatures and people.  They find a quaint town, now ravaged by a dangerous dragon, and it’s up to Bella to save the town and its people. 

Again, Kinrade has done a superb job of weaving valuable lessons into an entertaining story.  Lessons that are good for both kids and parents.  The timing of reading this book couldn’t have been better for me, dealing with a daughter on the cusp of ‘tween’, and helping her learn how to deal with her emotions. 

This book does a wonderful job of teaching how to handle feelings, how to make the right choices, and how our choices create circumstance.  It’s a hard lesson to teach, to children and us (often stubborn) adults, but Kinrade has managed to tap into strong core values and paint them into a beautiful story.

As I said after reading the first book in the series, I would gladly pick up any of Kinrade’s books and share them with my kids.  Because they’re not only interesting stories, they’re wonderful lessons for us both.  And what better way to learn them, than by reading it together as a family.  Kinrade is again worthy of applause for an amazing book added to the series.  I would be happy to read the next in the series, and highly recommend it to kids and parents alike.

A copy was provided by the author for review.

About the author:
Kimberly Kinrade was born with ink in her veins and magic in her heart. As a child, where others saw shapes in clouds, she saw words. But she was also an entrepreneur at heart. So when her business arrangement with the Tooth Fairy ended, she went pro with her writing. Her stories sold better than any lemonade stand and even beat out her museum of fossilized rocks in revenue.

Fast years and many college degrees later...and she is now an award winning author and reformed journalist. 

You can find out more at and the ThreeLostKids site. 

Check out Darian's review of Lexie World, the first book in the Three Lost Kids Trilogy.

Friday, June 15, 2012

It's All About Me - Marketing and Branding as an Indie Author

It's All About Me!
Marketing and Branding as an Indie Author
Guest Post by Patti Larsen

My ongoing icebreaker to those who ask what my writing goals are is pretty powerful—I want world literary domination. It makes people laugh, myself included most times I say it, mostly because it sounds so impossible and improbable.

Thing is, it’s not a joke, at least not completely. I’ve always wanted the fame and fortune thing. To be a household name that slips from the tongue with the likes of King, Rowling and Tolkien. But I’ve want it for the right reasons, at least the ones that fill me up and make me happy.

I have wonderful stories to tell. And I want everyone to read them.

Simple, right? The concept is, definitely. When I dove head-first into independent publishing, opening my own company, hiring my team who come together with me for different projects, I was hyper focused on production—writing, editing, cover design, interiors, getting books out there. Most of the marketing I engaged in was what we call soft launch, with very little fanfare.

Why, you ask, did I not decided to pick a book and give it my all in the promotion arena? I’m a firm believer in the fact that more product means more sales. And that until I had a stable of product to sell to potential buyers, it was silly to waste my hot air (and it’s hot, trust me!) on asking people to buy my book.

Fast forward from August of 2011 until the present. I now have eighteen novels in happy publication, all but two in sequels. I’ve been using the Amazon KDP Select program along with social media to spread the word, and sales are very, very good considering how little marketing I’ve been doing. More than enough to pay for more edits, more covers, more of the things I need to keep going. I’m now self-sufficient and it feels amazing.

But it’s now time to shift focus and gears and get to the whole domination issue. I have really amazing books I’m very proud of that are ready, willing and able to pave my path. But to make it happen, outside being noticed by some random star who pimps me and gets my name out, I need a plan.

So, I hired a marketing expert. A website designer. A photographer. Together, as part of a new team, we are putting together my brand. And it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Harder than writing books--pffft, that’s easy. Putting my face on everything and making my image and my personality responsible for my success?

To quote my favorite teen witch: Oh. My. Swearword.

But I’m doing it. Learning what it means to be a brand and the marketing strategies behind it. How not to sell to people, but to bring them to me. How to make my books stand out even more in a world of five-second attention spans. It’s fun and different and I’m enjoying it even as I’m shaking my head in frustration when I don’t get it or asking myself what I’m thinking jumping in with both feet.

Then again, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t.

So, the question is: what can you do to forward your marketing? Does the thought of doing a keyword analysis scare the crap out of you or do you even know what I’m talking about? How about figuring out what your brand is—can you sum up your work and yourself in one short sentence? The goal is to understand who you are as a writer and what you’re really trying to say with your books, while really seeing the people you’re trying to reach. What does your website look like—is it all about you? Are you targeting your posts toward your audience or other writers? Do you have a media kit or is the basis of your marketing shouting out your book over social networks? And if you have found something that works for you, was it on purpose or did you stumble over it? As much as we might dislike this side of the job, looking at marketing with a wide-eyed curiosity and a sense of fun can go a long way toward success.

About the Author:
Patti Larsen is an award-winning middle grade and young adult author with a passion for the paranormal. Her YA thriller series, The Hunted, is available now. Book one of that series, RUN, is a recent recipient of the 2012 PEI Book Awards for Fiction. The first six books of The Hayle Coven Novels, starting with Family Magic, are also out now. Her YA steampunk series, Blood and Gold, can be found on Amazon, along with her YA paranormal novel, Best Friends Forever, and The Diamond City Trilogy. Her middle grade novel, The Ghost Boy of MacKenzie House (Acorn Press), debuts in June, 2012. She is a full time writer and a part time teacher of her Get Your Book Done program. Patti lives on the East Coast of Canada with her very patient husband and four massive cats.

You can connect with Patti on her website, Facebook and Twitter.

This is part of a weekly feature, posted each Friday, which looks at publishing related topics. If you are interested in doing a guest post, please contact me.

Previous posts:
Indie Authors are on the Wrong Side of the Tracks by Darian Wilk
Why Do Indie Writers Need Editors by Valerie Douglas
Let's Talk About Sex... in YA Books - Is Sexual Content Appropirate by Deb Hanrahan
Traditional vs. Self Publishing - Why I Chose to Fight the Odds by Ryan Graudin

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Saving Mary by Deidre Havrelock

Saving Mary 
by Deidre Havrelock
The Possession, Book 1

If you’re a fan of supernatural fiction then you will be captivated by this true story about a spiritually sensitive girl and the path that led to her possession. Part one of a two-part series, Saving Mary is the story of a modern-day Mary Magdalene—the woman from whom Jesus cast out seven demons.

Deidre Daily is drawn to anything seemingly spiritual, desperately seeking a spiritual existence. But inside this vibrant girl hides a terrified child who sincerely believes she has married the devil. Through a series of spiritual encounters her fear turns into reality, and she ends up possessed.

Deidre’s fascinating memoir relays her story from childhood to adolescence: invisible eyes leering at her from the corner of her bedroom, horrible nightmares tormenting her, and her desperate attempt to find God—only to end up possessed. It is a candid account of possession from a first-person perspective. This dark memoir brings to light an intricate world of deceitful spirits hell-bent on manipulating and damaging an innocent girl’s life, not only through her dreams, but also through seemingly every-day encounters.

Travel with Deidre into the mysterious world of spirits, ghosts and demons. Awaken yourself to a world that isn’t supposed to exist; a world that’s as intriguing as it is sinister. And then emerge as a new person—invigorated, aware and intent on living in the light. Saving Mary; Not just another story about a girl and her exorcist.

Add it on Goodreads, and buy on Amazon.

What is Your View on Authority?
Guest post by Deidre Havrelock

It is common for one's view of authority to develop in their adolescent years. What is your view of authority, and what event most affected it?

I have a saying, “There’s nothing that terrifies women more than religion or marriage—everyone wants authority over us.” So those are my two events, marriage and religion. My first view of authority came from my nightmare where Satan forcibly married me. As I grew older, I felt the “marriage” was there to make me feel “bound by his authority.” I belonged to him. And, therefore, I would have to obey him. And since marriage to a little Catholic girl is “forever” ...well, you can imagine how I felt.
But my view of authority changed because of the women in my life. My mom had full authority in our house mostly because my dad was an alcoholic and was unhealthy and unavailable to help out. My grandmother was just as authoritative, if not more. She fought for women’s rights in Canada and eventually changed a law—for the better. I saw her as a woman who wasn’t scared to stand against something that was wrong, even though most people accepted it. She was a great role model for me in terms of guts and courage.
But God also played a huge part in my life. God to me was never mean or a dictator. I believed he was working to get me out of my life’s circumstances and eventually he did (even though it took a long time). When I became a Christian, the Holy Spirit revealed her feminine nature to me and I was awestruck. God was male (Jesus) and also female (Spirit). One was not “over” the other—they just belonged together as one person. But when I began attending church religion kicked in, and that’s when things got weird. I was told my husband had authority over me (he was the “head” and I was more like a “neck”) and that a good wife submits to her husband’s leading. This all felt terribly wrong to us (after all, the Holy Spirit kept wanting to lead us both). I was also told (not by everyone mind you) that feminists were angry man haters who were bucking the natural order of submission. They were “rebellious.” I was never sure who these “rebellious feminists” were, but I didn’t want to get branded with the same title. So I stayed silent about my feelings, for a long while.
My husband and I, however, wanted to be a team and not a hierarchy. We wanted to share authority. Most churches we attended often seemed so confused over men/women relations (women could do this but not this). My husband and I just stayed close to the Holy Spirit, and God got us through the confusion of church. All and all, I would say I grew up with an extremely healthy view of authority. Evil always seeks authority, but submit yourself to the unity of God and you’ll be okay. I’m a Bible teacher now and I love to teach on the biblical view of authority: men and women standing side-by-side, sharing in Christ and the Spirit’s authority—as though they were all one person. Yes, that’s actually in the Bible. Who knew!
About the author:
Deidre D (Daily) Havrelock grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada where she eventually met her husband to be, DJ. It was DJ who initially noticed Deidre's dark state and worked to seek out someone willing to perform her exorcism. Eventually, the newlyweds found their way to the southern hot spot of Brooks, AB where Deidre began writing. From there the family trekked across eastern Canada to Moncton, NB where they learned to love French fries with cheese curds and gravy. Currently nestled in the hills of Kennewick, Washington, Deidre has two horses, one dog, three cats and too many rabbits...and let's not forget her wonderful husband and three energetic daughters. Her memoir, Saving Mary: The Possession chronicles her dark childhood and the path that led to her demonic possession. She is currently working to finish book two of her spiritual memoir, Saving Mary: The Deliverance.
Find out more at  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Win All 6 of the Hayle Coven Novels by Patti Larsen - Indie Author Giveaway Hop

This giveaway is part of the Indie Author Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and ME! There are a lot of great blogs participating in this hop. After you enter here, hop over and enter their giveaways too.

While you are here, please also check out the other giveaway I have going on which also features an Indie author. You can win a $10 Amazon gift card or a copy of The Destiny of Shaitan by Laxmi Hariharan. 

The Indie Author Giveaway Hop is to support all of the great indie authors out there. Many times these authors are overlooked by readers since they are not with "the big 6" publishers. However, I have read many books that are self published or published by a small press that are just as good as, and in many cases better, than some books that are traditionally published. Don't be afraid to give indie authors a try. You may just discover a hidden gem.

Which brings me to MY GIVEAWAY. Patti Larsen is one of the many great self published authors that I have had the pleasure of reading since I started Krazy Book Lady. In fact, Patti is now one of my favorite authors, and I adore Sydlynn Hayle and the Hayle Coven Novels. 

I am very excited for the chance to offer 1 winner eBooks of ALL 6 of the Hayle Coven Novels by Patti Larsen! 

 Click on the images above to find out more.

The Hayle Coven Novels follow the adventures of Sydlynn Hayle, a half witch/half demon teenager who just wants to be ordinary with a normal family and a normal life. The first one, Family Magic, was published in October 2011, and the most recent, Gate Keeper, is newly released. Patti Larsen knocks them out with surprising speed, so catch up on this amazing series now before she releases more!

You can find out more at 

How to enter:
Be a follower of Krazy Book Lady in whatever way you choose. Then fill out the form below.

Additional optional entries:
+1 Follow Patti Larsen on Twitter.
+1 Like Patti Larsen on Facebook.
+1 Add Patti Larsen on Google+.
+1 Leave a blog post comment.

Giveaway Details:
This giveaway is open internationally. Giveaway is open until midnight EST on June 19. Must be 13 or older to enter. Winner will be emailed, and this blog post will be updated to reflect the winner. Winner will have three days to respond, or a new winner will be selected.

Sorry! This giveaway is now over.
Winner: Darlene 

The Ferryman and the Flame by Rhiannon Paille - Book Blast - Win 100 Dollars to Amazon

Flame of Surrender 
(The Ferryman & the Flame, # 1)

Kaliel and Krishani weren't meant to meet or fall in love but they did. Krishani’s dreams of death lead him to a fate he’s terrified of - becoming the next Ferryman. His only refuge is Kaliel, the peculiar girl that swims with merfolk and talks to trees. Kaliel has a secret of her own. She’s the Amethyst Flame, one of nine apocalyptic weapons. The Valtanyana will destroy everything on Avristar to get to her. Kaliel has to choose: face them, hide or unleash the Flame.

How far would you go to save everything you ever loved? 

Book praise:
"Rhiannon Paille is the J.R.R. Tolkien of today's young adult generation. She's a visionary with a phenomenal talent for words, and I just can't tell you how much I love her!" - Bookish Blog

"Rhiannon Paille creates a unique and beautiful world that will draw you in and make you remember what it was like to be young, innocent, and full of wonder." - Cory Putnam Oakes, author of The Veil

"I totally and completely lost myself in this book." - One a Day YA

Add it on Goodreads, and buy it on B&N, Smashwords, or Amazon.

Flame of Justice
(The Ferryman and the Flame, # 2) 

The last thing Kaliel told Krishani to do was go to the Lands of Men and forget her. Krishani escapes and meets his ancestor, Tulsen. He’s clear: if Krishani doesn’t accept that he’s a Ferryman, he’ll become what the Ferrymen fight—a Vulture. Filled with grief, Krishani sets out on a quest to find the Flames before the Valtanyana take them. When Krishani comes face to face with the enemies that ravaged Avristar, he challenges them. He knows he doesn’t have a chance, but it’s his last stand.

How far would you go to destroy yourself?

Add it on Goodreads.

Countdown Widget:

Team Buttons 


About Rhiannon Paille:
I was never a normal girl. My life was an urban fantasy wrapped in a paranormal romance and served with a side of horror. To escape my everyday weirdness I began writing fantasy. I studied at U of Sedona and MIMT, obtaining a PhD in Metaphysical Science and Parapsychology. I'm married to a chef/comic book shop owner and I have a fondness for architecture. I frequent twitter and facebook, but if you really want to get to know me you should visit my site:

Giveaway Details:
$100 Gift Card
Ends June 22

Terms and conditions
Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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