News & Updates
Health Updates: A lot of you have asked me to do a personal journal or blog about my health battles, mainly because so many of you are facing your own issues and are inspired by what I'm able to overcome. I'm not sure I have the time to add another project to my list, but I do post updates on my personal Facebook profile (here's a recent one) when I have news I'm ready to share. Currently, I've had some new developments creep up, so I haven't been as productive work-wise as I've wanted. Having my kids home for the summer hasn't helped, either ;-)
Events: Due to the aforementioned health reasons, I've dropped out of July's Romance Novel Convention. If you're in my Facebook street team, you might want to stop by the group and read the offer there for my all-inclusive ticket (includes: registration, 5-days/4-nights hotel, all classes/panels/workshops, events, socials, parties & meals). If I can't go doesn't mean someone else shouldn't!
The V V Inn Series Update: I love this series, always have and always will. But my love of writing it doesn't pay the bills and hasn't with the last three books. I've actually lost money on them. If you'd like to help new readers discover the stories (and thus increase my ability to keep writing it), then please consider clicking the link below to donate a Tweet or Facebook Status announcing an upcoming 99c sale for The Hunt. Sign up today for Thunderclap to post a pre-written message on your behalf on July 2nd.
Contests: We've got a reader appreciation giveaway going on for newsletter subscribers until July 15th. Basically, whether you're a new subscriber or an older one, you can enter to win one of three $25 Amazon gift cards. All you have to do is leave a review on any of my books (free or purchased), dated within the last 60 days.
Enter your various review URLs here: http://tinyurl.com/q5o26f6
Random Winners: June's Random $10 Amazon gift card winners are Katrina Hough and Bekki Meyer. If you've opened this email and see that you've won, please email Pauli at firstname.lastname@example.org with "June Random Winner" in the subject header.
June Winners: We had many, many entries in each of the five "C.J.'s cleaning out her basement" giveaways I posted on my website last month. Remember, this contest was unique that you had to pay for shipping if you won. Unclaimed prizes will be offered in another contest in July's newsletter. Can you tell I want this stuff out of my house? ;-) Pauli has sent out emails notifying the winners, but I'll repost a list just in case you missed yours:
Christine Abee Coastal Magic 2014 Tote
Steam Mocha Coastal Magic 2014 Tote
MaDonna Y Lemmen Coastal Magic 2014 Tote
Kristin Koziol Reh Coastal Magic 2014 Tote
Aileen Hegyi Coastal Magic 2014 Tote
Theresa Paridee Coastal Magic 2014 Tote
Jennifer McFalls Coastal Magic 2014 Tote
Laura N Coastal Magic 2014 Tote
Chris Coulson Coastal Magic 2014 Tote
Tracy Buttles Coastal Magic 2014 Tote
Theresa Hurley Coastal Magic 2014 Tote
Cindy-Frank Marley Coastal Magic 2014 Tote
Leann Meier Fresh Fiction 2013 Tote
Latochia Bell Fresh Fiction 2013 Tote
Missy Jackson Beckett Fresh Fiction 2013 Tote
Rosemary Simm Fresh Fiction 2013 Tote
Christine Arcidiacono Fresh Fiction 2013 Tote
Cherri-Anne Boitson Fresh Fiction 2013 Tote
Rena Robinson Fresh Fiction 2013 Tote
Debra Hall Fresh Fiction 2013 Tote
Susan Brat Fresh Fiction 2013 Tote
Sandy Pochapin Fresh Fiction 2013 Tote
Kathleen Nichols Misc Reader Con Bag
Madison Johes Misc Reader Con Bag
Mildred Mayo Misc Reader Con Bag
Melissa Brown Walton Misc Reader Con Bag
Susie Wahnsiedler Kerner Authors After Dark 2013 Tote
Laura Martinez Authors After Dark 2013 Tote
April Allen Authors After Dark 2013 Tote
Shayna Kozak Aspiring Writer's Reference Books (I think it's nine books now, my daughter grabbed three, sorry)
Thanks again for your interest in me and my work, and I'll be sending out another email next month announcing the sale of The Hunt. That newsletter will also have three random ten-dollar gift card winners announced - remember, you must open it and read it to see if you've won!
Wishing you all a safe and happy summer,
Two nights ago I started JC Andrijeski's Allie's War. It's an urban fantasy with complex world building. The concept is unique, the writing is smooth and descriptive, and the author has created a heroine I'm eager to read more about. The first episode is free right now if you're interested in reading along with me.
Writing updates: I'm currently working on the prequel story of how Vivian became a vampire, called Ceara's Tales. It's slotted for release in mid-August in a nine-book bundle titled Nine by Night. When that's completed, I plan on writing the next story installment after Big Game (BG). Big thanks to all the V V Inn fans for being patient on the continuation. I wrote six other books since finishing BG and I know you guys have been wondering what the heck is going on in Argentina with Viv and Rafe.
Website Additions: Readers have approached me in the past about fanfiction on the V V Inn series.
What is fan fiction?
It's fiction written by the fans of a book series, movie, or TV show, set in the same world, with the same rules. New characters can be added, and new adventures for existing characters, too.
If you're an aspiring writer and have contemplated writing fanfiction on my series, please consider visiting the new Fan Forum on the website and sharing your creations with others (it's bare bones empty. Don't be shy -- stop on by!). I'll be stopping by daily to chat as well.
Recent subscribers to my newsletter may not be aware that most all contest widgets are posted on Facebook and on my website's front page. This month is the only exception. I've set up a dedicated contest page for the multiple contests I've got scheduled for this month (see the contest section for more details).
SALES: My publisher Entangled gets the credit for this. They priced Vanilla on Top at 99 cents from now until May 31st! If you read it and enjoyed it, now's the time to gift it to a friend! It's 75% off the original price of $3.99 and perfect for a steamy beach read. Go ahead, surprise someone you love with your generosity and good reading taste:
In addition to Vanilla on Top on sale, I've released Marcus's novella Loving Ms. Wrong as a free read for a limited time. Please get yours while you can:
In addition to my backlist Brazen title on sale, Christine Bell's Down for the Count and Tonya Burrow's Wilde Nights in Paradise backlist titles are BOTH on sale for a limited time at 99 cents as well. For a hot and steamy read, I recommend checking them out.
Online Event: Tonya Burrows, Christine Bell, and myself will be hosting an online Facebook event on May 19th from 7-8:30 EDT. We'll have games, questions, prizes, Q&A, and all sorts of fun. Please stop by if you're online and join us!
Contests: I've had some great news with my health lately, and have been taken off antibiotics for the first time in YEARS. Feeling better has prompted me to take back my life and remember the things I used to love before I became ill. Like gardening and doing home improvement projects. While the medical bills keep us from tackling anything big in the house, I can certainly reclaim cluttered space -- by clearing out boxes of stuff I've brought back from various reader conventions the past year.
I used to think these monthly giveaways were great fun for everyone involved, but then I started getting angry responses from readers on FB on why didn't I pay shipping for non-US residents. Frankly, because I can't afford it. One UK winner wrote to my publicist in disappointment, and when I tried to smooth things over I pissed her off even more. She then told me she'd returned all my books, stating she'd never read me again.
Prior to that, I had an incident with a woman who was an alpha reader for several of my books. I won't go into detail, but suffice it to say February and March were difficult months that sapped the happiness right out of my job.
How we handle adversity is what defines us, and understanding I can't please everyone was the key to regaining the joy I once had in writing. For the most part, the readers I hear from are incredible people. You're the ones that keep me going when I'm feeling down. The ones who truly "get" what the hell I'm trying to accomplish in my books. Thank you, your kindness matters more than you could ever know.
Whoops, got off track there -- back to the de-cluttering of my house. ;-) I've set up five rafflecopter widgets filled with all the con-related stuff from my basement. You can find them all on the new contest page on my website. Enter to claim as many prizes as you want, there are literally over two dozen. You must pay the shipping on whatever item you win, no matter where you live. If you don't want to pay shipping, don't enter. Simple as that.
Wishing you all happy spring,
Amber Lynn Natusch's first book titled Caged was well done. I had some issues with the heroine, but enjoyed the writing style and voice so much in the later half of the story that I plan on continuing with the next one. Ms. Natusch's has six books in the series so far, and I love sinking my teeth into a good series!
I'm finishing up Dannika Dark's Sterling this week. This book and author have been on my radar for a while and I'm glad I took the plunge and tried it! The pacing was excellent, the growth and situations believable, and the author writes characters you can't help but root for. Another UF series I'm looking forward to continuing!
Hot Off the Presses: You asked for a Marcus's story and I listened! I wrote a fun novella starring him and Katrina, one of Heather and Carla's yoga buddies. Both people will have a depth that surprises you and chemistry that leaps off the pages. You can find Loving Ms. Wrong as part of anthology titled Girls Night Out, Volume 2.
Online Events: I'm cutting back on my workload and discontinuing my monthly new-to-you-author parties for readers on Facebook. I will still be joining events I'm invited to by the organizing author or for my own book releases. And on that note, we've got a launch party set for Girls Night Out, Volume 2 on March 19th. If you're online, please consider stopping by for great GNO-themes games and lots of prizes.
Next, I'm participating in a longer paranormal online party, called the Vampire Romance Event, on Sunday, March 23rd 4-10 pm, starring the following featured authors:
J.S. Scott, S.C. Stephens, Felicity Heaton, Sharon Hamilton, Teresa Treadway Gabelman, Eve Langlais, Kym Grosso, C.J. Ellisson, Victoria Danann, Erica Stevens, and Travis Luedke
Your favorite authors come together for a day of vampire romance, chat, features, and book discounts. This is the day I mentioned that Death Times Two will be discounted to 99 cents. Stop by on March 23rd to see which other books from participating authors will be on sale, too.
Appearances: I'm terribly sorry, but due to doctor's orders I have cancelled out of all appearances for the next 4-5 months. As of right now, I won't be attending anything until August. If I get the go-ahead I may be at the Romance Novel Convention event in July, I'll keep you posted. All fall dates are still a go as of right now. I'm going to be focusing on exercising and following doctor's orders in addition to my writing, which means stuff has to give for a while.
Signed Print Books Update: For those of you who have requested print books through my publicist Pauli (email@example.com), we're hitting a little snafu. I've got every book here except the Death's Servant & Death Times Two combo print edition. We've been getting issues from the printer regarding the flip design and two-cover image. Changes are being made to the files and we'll hopefully have them here soon, but not as the old-style flip books as we'd originally hoped. :-(
New Subscribers!! Have you joined my newsletter list in the last six months and have not already received a free ebook from me? I'm offering a free eBook to new subscribers and didn't want my existing newsletter peeps to miss out on the offer. Please email Pauli at firstname.lastname@example.org with the file format you prefer (mobi for kindle devices and apps, ePub for everything else), the title you'd like, and New Subscriber in the subject of the email.
As always, thanks for your continued support. Without readers like you, there'd be no point in writing.
Video for Contemporary Romance Bundle Released on February 10th, 2014
My alpha reading team gave me insightful feedback and so far early reviews have been positive. I sincerely hope you enjoy it! And as a special thank you to my readers, the book is priced 25% below regular price at $2.99 for the first two weeks.
You know me, I’ve got a ton of fun things planned. First, there’s a Vanilla Valentine’s Toy Party on Facebook tomorrow afternoon and evening. Please stop by for some great fun and games – and a TON of prizes!
Next, I’ve got a month long review giveaway for all the avid readers who buy the book and copy and paste their review at various locations (Amazon, B&N, and Goodreads). See the contest widget on my FB Author Page for the prizes and directions on how to enter.
There’s even a blog tour planned with opportunities to enter a third giveaway at every tour stop. Check out their reviews and comment for a chance to win one of twenty incredible prizes:
Stop by these blogs, on the dates specified, for your chance to enter to win.
2/10: At Random
2/11: Book-A-Holic Anon
2/12: Paranormal Romance Guild (no contest widget)
2/13: Creative Deeds Reads
2/14: My Life with Boys and Books
2/15: Delighted Reader
2/16: Crazy for Books
2/17: Same Two Brains Different Types of Books!
2/18: Picked by Poison
2/18: Herding Cats and Burning Soup
2/20: Musings From an Addicted Reader
2/20: Sensual Reads
2/21: Readers Confession
2/23: The Wormhole!
2/25: Erzabet’s Enchantments
2/26: Not Everyone’s Mama
2/27: Fangs, Wands & Fairy Dust
2/28: Book Crack
3/1: Books, Books and More
3/4: The Reading Cafe
3/5: Books & Other Spells
3/6: Viviana Enchantress of Books
3/7: My Book Addiction and More
3/7: Salacious Reads
3/9: So Many Reads
3/10: Scandalicious Book Reviews
I’ve got one more special announcement: Carla’s story (Heather’s best friend form Vanilla on Top) has her own novel called Avoiding Mr. Right. It released on Monday as part of a five book, multi-author bundle titled Contemporary Nights, Volume 1, which is on sale for a limited time at 99 cents! Pick it up and you’ll find four other terrific authors to read.
Review Giveaway for reviews on Vanilla Twist:
Have you read Death Times Two? Please consider leaving a review, and if you can before this contest is over you've got a great chance of winning one of these terrific prizes:
Reading Roll Call: I'm devouring Faith Hunter's Jane Yellowrock books. So much so that I'm up into the wee hours reading when I should be sleeping. Yes, they are that good.
Writing Update: I know a lot of you have been waiting for the sequel to Vanilla on Top, but you may have to wait a little longer than Feb 3rd, we'll see how things go. My alpha readers have been giving me feedback and I've decided to expand a subplot they all find extremely compelling. Also, thanks to them, I revised chapter one and made it steamier so Vanilla Twist would start with the same "bang" as the first one did. Next month's newsletter will have info and buy links (if available).
Upcoming Sales: I won't be doing any more sales for quite sometime. I have a lot of medical bills and so far the later half of 2013 was not nearly as good as I'd hoped, despite releasing four titles in one year (my most productive yet). And on that note, I will be canceling some appearances this year as well. I need to write more and the expense of traveling is not leading to more sales as I'd hoped.
Vegas Update: There has been a delay in signing the contract with Excalibur, mainly due to iron out details about liability insurance. We should have everything finalized by next week and details will be going out to anyone subscribed to the Girls Night Out newsletter.
Recent Releases: Speaking of Vegas, the first Girls Night Out bundle went on sale this week! Four brand new novellas, two contemporary and two paranormal. Get it while it's only 99 cents. If all goes according to plan, Marcus's story (Tony's best friend in Vanilla on Top) will be included in bundle #2 in March.
The four contributing authors to Girls Night Out Volume 1 are Marianne Morea, Allie K Adams, Morgan Kearns, and T. Lynne Tolles. There's a FB release party scheduled for tonight, which I plan on attending, and a month long contest with some incredible prizes being offered. Buy your copy today!
Online appearances: I've got another FB Reader Party scheduled for February. Please stop by if interested in attending. There's usually fifty or more of us and the conversations are quite lively. Not to mention the ton of eBooks awarded by participating authors!
Upcoming appearances: I'm attending Coastal Magic in Daytona, FL Feb 7-9th. If you're in the area for the public signing on Saturday please stop by, I'd love to see you. I was slotted for Adventures in Fiction, a large book signing in Houston, Texas but I'm canceling today due to work demands. I really need to finish Marcus's story after Vanilla Twist is done.
Do you live in Arizona? I'm attending Arizona Dreamin' in Phoenix, on May 30th-June 1st, which is described as a "girl's weekend on steroids". I'm sponsoring four reduced priced tickets at $49 each, which includes all meals if you're staying at the hotel. For more information on the event, please stop by the website. If you do plan on coming and want to take advantage of my author-sponsored tickets, you must mention my name when ordering.
Contests! I have a TON of stuff here at my house. I didn't get my act together in time for a Fresh Fiction contest, but I will be doing a special review contest (newsletter subscribers only) for Death Times Two, which went live yesterday on Amazon (with the wrong cover! Don't even get me started). More prizes will be added to the widget over the weekend (and pictures). The contest is only for two weeks, so get your review up and enter soon!
For the release of Vanilla Twist we're planning special prizes for bloggers who sign up for the virtual book "tour" with a review on their blog. If you're a blogger and interested in getting an ARC and participating in the blog tour, please contact Pauli at email@example.com for more details.
As always, wishing you a great month!
Special Edition Newsletter!
And hey, did you know on Amazon there’s a special gifting feature when you give an eBook? You can actually pick the date the recipient receives your gift. It’s a great feature for those of you who shop early and would rather not have the person get their present before the special day!
What better add-on item to give an avid reader than a gift that only costs you a buck? That’s right, Death Times Two is finally live on Amazon in the Paranormal Nights, Volume 1 bundled eBook set! Eight eBooks for $.99. Gift giving just doesn’t get any easier than that. This bundle is on sale for a limited time only, and after it’s been up for two months we’re going to pull it from sale altogether.
Are you a Collector? Lots of you are, and I’m always pleased and honored when I get a request through the mail for a signed book. Avoiding Mr. Right is now available in paperback. With luck I’ll have the combined print version of Death’s Servant and Death Times Two out in a few weeks (not enough hours in the day!). If you’d like a copy of either, please contact Pauli at firstname.lastname@example.org with SIGNED BOOK in the subject line and we’ll put you on a list to be the first to hear of prices and information on receiving a personalized signed copy. Sorry, these won’t ship in time for the holidays.
Online Events: The Facebook release party I mentioned for this bundle is happening tonight. If you’re online please stop by, you may get lucky and win an eBook from one of the participating authors.
SWAG: Between this newsletter and my offer on my Facebook Author Page, we had over 226 requests for swag packs! Thank you all for your support. I added up everything that’s gone out the last two weeks and we’ve sent out promotional materials and signed goodies enough to reach over 1500 people, and that’s assuming you gave one of everything sent to individual readers. We received chapter booklets after most of the mail was sent so those only went out to the last 22 requests. For those of you wondering what “swag” is, here’s a picture of what every swag pack includes:
Unclaimed Prizes: Thanks so much to all of you who gamely volunteered to receive an unclaimed prize. This was not an active contest that required entries, per se, but I appreciate the effort. ;-) I’m just going to randomly pick people. And if they don’t open my newsletter, they lose—which also means more chances for you to win instead.
Also, after looking at everything I seem to have a couple more prizes that were never awarded. Not sure how that happened. But either way, I want them out of my house and to readers!!
Winners: Fang Necklace, two winners: Stephanie Amboree, Brandi West
Death’s Servant Swag Pack, two winners: Lheanne Spicer, Kim M. Leatham
Authors After Dark Tote, three winners: Melanie Merritt, Kim Engstrom, Ruth Gutscher
Signed copy of the Everything Erotic Anthology, two winners: Niki Tudor, Sandy Montemayor
Romance Novel Convention Tote Bags, two winners: Cheryl Deny, Alison Flores
Walk on the Wild Swag packs, four winners: Sally Hannoush, Rebecca Tyndall, Jaime A. Giraldi, and Donna Deerfield.
SEVEN unclaimed $25 gift cards to Amazon: Gail Roth, Pam McPherson, Roxanne Rhoads, Rachel Shelton, Abbie Alvarez, Brooklyn Gibbs, and Janette Russell.
These prizes will go out FRIDAY if you email us (email@example.com) in time with your info. I want these darn boxes out of my house!! You all have til my January newsletter to get back to me. And if I don’t hear from you I’m going to include them in January’s contest.
Have a great holiday season!
Reading Roll Call: I plowed through the rest Jess Haines's first book in the H&W Investigations series, and immediately read the next three books. Absolutely LOVED them all. Save yourself some money and go check out the four-book bundle for $9.99. That's what I did. You won't regret it, trust me.
Upcoming Sales: It's holiday shopping time! In the hopes of persuading shoppers to give my books to a friend or family member I'm doing several things this month.
1) Lowering the price on all my V V Inn books to $2.99
2) Lowering the three-book bundle to $3.99 for at least one month.
3) Offering promo packs filled with either 5 or 10 brochures and signed bookmarks for ALL newsletter recipients to hand out to family, co-workers, and friends they may see over the coming weeks.
If you'd like your very own signed author swag pack from me, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org (Note the two Ss or it won't get to Pauli!) with SWAG in the subject header, your physical mailing address in the body of the email, and include details on if you want a packet of 5 or 10. Requests will be mailed out within two days of receipt. We want you to have this stuff ASAP!
Online events: I'm having TWO online reader parties this month. One is to celebrate the new bundle release and the other is just for fun. Please check out the details and "join" if you're able to be online that night to join us.
We've got unclaimed prizes from the past three contests and I'd really like to get this stuff out of my house before the holidays. I'm giving winners until Dec 14th to email us at email@example.com (copy and paste if your browser won't auto launch your email function when you click) and then I'll be giving their prizes away to NEW winners that are picked randomly and announced in the special newsletter going out on Dec 18th. That means you'll need to open and READ to see if you've won.
Unclaimed Prize Winners: (Remember you only have 'til Dec 14th to contact us). From August (a Walk on the Wild Side swag pack): Emily Lynn Stemp, Liza Taarud, Christine James, Rebecca Bushell. September unclaimed prizes (a signed copy of the anthology Everything Erotic): Archana Ganju. October (Authors After Dark tote): Mary Haynes, Jaimie Elizabeth Netherton. Out of country winners we're still waiting on postage (and if you've changed your mind, it's okay, please just let us know): Mike Fletcher, Marina Johansen, Louise Waite, Shannon Davison. You four have til mid-January to get the postage to us. After that I will re-award your prizes to someone else.
And for those of you who've voiced concerns on FB on how unfair it is I don't ship more often to non-US residents, as an FYI the shipping costs to just those four winners is over $150. With almost 4k newsletter subscribers, I'd much rather do more prizes than only offer four each month due to shipping costs.
Random Amazon Gift Card Winners: Pamela Snyder, Tiffany Jorgenson, Pura Chico, Martha Emery, Sophie Magor, Samantha Dillard Montgomery, Joan Seltzer, Sandy Burnison, Gloria J Olp, Chantay Swoopes. You've won a $25 Amazon e-gift card from ME! I will be emailing them out daily to winners who respond. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize.
**If you don't email us by Dec 14th, your prize is forfeit and will be awarded to someone else in the Dec 18th newsletter.
Remember, December 18th's newsletter will have more winners announced, so please open it when it arrives! Thanks to all of you for your continued support and interest in my work. I say it all the time because I mean it: If it wasn't for you, there'd be no point in writing!
Wishing you all a safe and healthy holiday season,
I read my best friend Boone's latest book, To Catch Her Death, and absolutely loved it! To read my review of the hilarious adventure, please stop by Goodreads as Amazon has decided they don't want authors reviewing peers anymore and won't post my review. *sigh*
I'm in the middle of Jess Haines' Hunted by the Others and really enjoying it so far! It's a UF series with a flat-broke P.I. heroine, who is hired to investigate a local powerful vamp. If you hurry, you can snag it while it's on sale for $1.99
Writing Update: I'm working on Vanilla Twist and Death Times Two, a V V Inn novella I'm co-authoring with Boone Brux. VT should be out around the holidays (maybe January, we'll have to see how well it flows) and Dx2 is slotted for release on Dec 16th.
Contests: I've commissioned new covers for V V Inn and am giving away all the books with old covers. The ones for Vampire Vacation contain the original manuscript, not the revised version in the new print books. All of the books are already signed and stuffed in envelopes with swag. I will not be personalizing these books so that they can go out quickly via media mail.
You have two chances to win, one at Fresh Fiction (six autographed print books). And one for my newsletter peeps (28 books!), which can be found on my FB author Page (under the giveaway tab) or on my website under November's Newsletter. Winners for September's contest will be posted on the contest widget under the corresponding newsletter on my website.
**This contest is open to US residents only. If you enter and are an international winner you can still get the item if you pay for postage.
NEW Contest for next month: In December's newsletter I'm going to randomly announce winners for 10 $25 Amazon cards. That means you need to open and read my newsletter to see if you've won. Those $25 cards will be awarded when we hear from the winners, and they only have until a set date to contact us.
Special Sales: The Hunt is still on sale for 99 cents and will be until November 15th.
Online Events: October's events were an absolute hit! Thanks so much to all of you who attended the book discussion on the Rylee Adamson series or the HallowRead reader party. November's online reader party will be on the 20th, please click "join" on the FB event wall if you'd like to attend.
V V Inn Apparel: For ages I've had people ask for V V Inn inspired t-shirts, hoodies, mugs... you name it. Now is your chance to buy something with a logo done in black or white on five separate choices of clothing. The prices are low if we hit the goal of 50 items by the end of the campaign, which is November 10th (plenty of time to arrive before the holidays!).
I'm not making any profit on these items and don't intend to, ever. I know there are a lot of you out there that love the series as much as I do and I'm grateful for your interest and show of support in wearing something with the series info on it.
Wishing you a fantastic November!
Reading Roll Call: I met some incredible authors at the events I attended this summer. I decided to expand my reading horizons and try their work. I read a fun PNR novella by Celia Kyle titled Wicked Wolf, Wanton Witch. She’s truly mastered the art of telling an engaging shorter story. Her novellas can be read in an evening and they’ll deliver a satisfying ending. I thoroughly enjoyed the one I read and plan to buy more.
I read a contemporary erotic romantic suspense from Lisa Renee Jones called If I Were You. Jones weaves a tale about one woman’s sexual self discovery while also pursuing what happened to the intriguing woman who wrote the sexy journals she’s become obsessed with. I will warn you—it has a cliffhanger ending and I had to hold back from texting Lisa and screaming my frustration at her. ;-) Thankfully, the next books are out! Yay!
Lastly, I ventured back into familiar territory with Liliana Hart’s women sleuth/romantic comedy series starring Addison Holmes. The first book enchanted me so much that I immediately went and bought the other books, too. The first book, Whiskey Rebellion, is free right now on Amazon. Die-hard Evanovich fans will see similarities in the lovable heroines, but I honestly enjoyed Hart’s modern take more.
There was an error with coding on my website last month and not all of the reader comments appeared. The error has since been resolved. If you’d like to share what you’re reading now I’d love to hear about it! Please stop back by the website to comment.
Writing Update: I’ve started Vanilla Twist, the continuation of Heather and Tony’s story, and hope to have it released by December. August’s winner of Become a Character in My Next Book, Tammy H., makes an appearance very early on. Click here to read your exclusive sneak peek at the unedited version of chapter one.
Contests: I’ve got so much to giveaway for October it’s not even funny! The bulk of it came from Authors After Dark held in Charlotte this year. The event organizer, Stella Price, was extremely generous in letting me have leftover items to giveaway to my readers. You can enter to win one of two totes at Fresh Fiction and again for a chance at twenty-five more totes on my website via a widget under this newsletter or through Facebook.
The winners to September’s contest, including the ten lucky newsletter recipients who will get a chance to read Vanilla Twist before my editor, are announced on the contest widget on my website under September’s newsletter and will receive notice via email (please check your spam folders!). Fresh Fiction winners for last month’s contest are Kathy Reese and (still waiting on the second name).
Special Sales: In honor of the new covers I’ve commissioned for the V V Inn series, I’ll be offering The Hunt at 99 cents until November 15th. So far only the new cover to Vampire Vacation is out on Amazon, but I know the others will be ready within a week or so and wanted to include notice of the sale in this newsletter. If you’re part of a book club or any groups on Facebook that like vampire books, I’d appreciate a share of the buy links:
Book Discussion: Remember my mention of Shannon Mayer’s amazing Rylee Adamson series last month? She’s agreed to visit my FB book club on Oct 8th to discuss her books! Please stop by and click “join” if you’re interested in attending the public event.
C.J.’s October Reader Parties: I’m attending HallowRead at the end of the month and in honor of the event I’ve planned TWO FB reader parties with authors attending the Ellicott City min-con. The first party is from 3-5 pm EDT and will include appearances and prizes from Joya Fields, Elizabeth Kirke, Laura Kaye, Hildie McQueen, Rachel Rawlings, K.B. Miller, and Gabrielle Bisset. Party #2 is from 7-9 pm EDT and will showcase Sharon Saracino, J.D. Brown, Jolea M. Harrison, Hildie McQueen, Jordan K. Rose, and Rachel Rawlings! Each attending author is giving away 2-3 eBooks each. Both parties are held on the same Event page on Facebook.
October 25-27: HallowRead in Ellicott City, MD. This is a new reader mini-convention in downtown historic Ellicott city. Forty authors are attending for a weekend filled with cemetery tours, a Shakespearean production of Dracula, a Steampunk Tea, author panels, and a public signing.
November 8-10, 2013: Readers-n-Ritas hosted by Fresh Fiction in Allen, Texas. I signed on late so I’m not a featured author, but I’ll still be at every meet and greet, planned meal, and the public signing. I’ve got a few readers coming from my street team for this one, so you know we’re going to party!
As promised, I have news on the reader event I mentioned last month. Girls Night Out Vegas is actually going to happen!! I’m helping to organize the event with twenty featured authors, all of which will have a special tie-in book featuring Girls Night Out adventures. The negotiations with the hotel are underway, and so far it looks like we’ll be able to have two nights at the hotel, two dinners, one breakfast, two shows (Thunder Down Under and Tournament of Kings), a day of reader events with snacks, and possibly a cocktail hour all for under $400 per person—and it will be even less if you share a room with someone!! To receive news once the details are finalized, please sign up here.
Wishing you all a safe and happy October, and a fun-filled Halloween!
Last month I reported I was giving one of the Anita Blake books, Kiss the Dead, another shot. I’m not done with it yet, which I guess says it all right there. The repetition and tedious back story surrounding Anita’s men left me scanning pages and eventually putting the book down for more engaging reads. I haven’t given up, but perhaps I just need a breather from the story to come at it with fresh eyes.
What are you reading right now? I'm always on the look out to try new authors and would love to hear who you've discovered. Please come back to my website and there's an option to comment directly under this newsletter.
Updates on Writing: I’ve started the next installment in Heather and Tony’s relationship after Vanilla on Top. This one will be called Vanilla Twist and I hope to have it released in time for the holidays. I’ll keep you posted on its progress and you’ll get notice of first glimpse of the chapters through this newsletter.
I’m also working on a novella with Boone Brux titled, Death Times Two. It’s a combination of characters from our two very different paranormal series, both set in Alaska. Release date will be announced soon.
Contests: Fresh Fiction (FF) contest winners from July were Ruth VanAvery, Jan Terry, Carolyn Robertson, and Catherine Schermis. August winners are Cynthia Michel and Nancy Mejia. The prizes for August will be mailed out next week. Congratulations, ladies! Here’s the link to August’s Contest.
Guess what I noticed doing these contests on FF? Hundreds of people sign up, sometimes totaling over a thousand. But very few read my genre or want my newsletter. Most don’t even opt in when they receive the newsletter confirmation, which is very disheartening. And sadly, that’s the case with most of the FF winners, too. Which is why I switched my thinking last month and offered the BEST prizes to my newsletter recipients and followers on Facebook through the giveaway widget.
August’s Become a Character contest was very well received by readers – we had over 2k total entries! The forty-nine winners were announced via email and on the giveaway widget, which is still posted on the newsletter tab on my website, under August’s update. Tammy H. won the grand prize and picked becoming a character in the next Wild Side book.
Remember how I mentioned I was cleaning my house this summer? I’ve found many signed books and totes filled with goodies from my travels! September and October prizes have been packed and stand ready for shipping. To enter this month’s contest, which includes ten spots in my private alpha reading group (you read the story as I’m writing it—even before my editor!), please visit the giveaway widget on the website or on Facebook. There are twenty-nine prizes right now (extras being added from Boone Brux) and more chances to win this time around with an included signup to Boone's newsletter.
Special Sales: The re-launch of the V V Inn series is going well thanks to all of you! The 99 cent deal on the revised Vampire Vacation (book one) is available until September 26th. If you’re part of a book club or groups on Facebook that like vampire books, I’d appreciate a share of the buy links:
Online Events: We’ve got a special re-launch party on Facebook for the V V Inn. It will last a week long with games and prizes every day of the week. You can enter at any time by commenting on the game question, but it must be before the game deadline in order to win. Details will be going up this weekend and can be found at the above link.
The next Reader Party is scheduled on Facebook for September 18th from 7-9pm EDT. We’ve got Calinda B, KH LeMoyne, Ruth A. Casie, Gina Conkle, Barbara DeLeo, Alexa Egan, VK Sykes, and Tara Lain joining us so far, each with multiple eBooks and/or gift cards they are giving away to readers.
Appearances: Romance Novel Convention and Authors After Dark were an absolute blast! Please click on the links to view the albums from each event. I’ve been going to so many events this year it finally occurred to me that perhaps I should try and do my own. And let’s face it; I really like ogling handsome half-naked men. What better place to party with a bunch of readers than in Vegas with Thunder Down Under? Yup, I couldn’t think of anything better, either! LOL!
Girls Night Out Vegas event post from FB, and you can comment right here (way cool!):
I hope you decide to join us. Just thinking about doing something this wickedly fun has me gaga with planning! There are no details yet, but you can bet when there are I will send them on to everyone who signs up for more information. Direct link to the sign up form:
Earlier in the month I read Jasinda Wilder’s Delilah’s Diary parts 1-3. I wasn’t a big fan of the pricing structure ($.99 for the first two segments totaling 75% of the book, and then $2.99 for the last 25%), but it was an enjoyable read. I had a hard time relating to some of the more outrageous aspects of the main character (like her inner monologue and the nine years of marriage where she never saw her husband naked. uh… WTH?) but really liked watching her transform. I’d guess the entire novel to be 200-220 pages long. Hot sex scenes with progressively spicier encounters as the story evolves.
Thanks to many of you, I started reading Laurell K Hamilton’s Kiss the Dead. I’d long given up hope that she’d get back to her compelling storytelling, but enough of you have told me to not lose faith, so I’m gamely giving the series another shot. I had just begun it when I was sucked into Ms. Painter’s book, so I’ll report in September what I thought of Kiss the Dead.
Contests: My Facebook Author Page hit 20k likes last month. In thanks I tried to do a contest giveaway on the Page for followers, but it didn’t get many responses. I decided to do a “Become a Character” giveaway instead. If you’d like your name immortalized in fiction forever, please enter. Oh, and I’m cleaning out my house this summer, so there are almost fifty other prizes up for grabs, too.
We had two more winners confirmed for June’s Fresh Fiction contest: Faye Boss & Maura Scherrer. Because of the delay in reaching them we are finally getting the swag pack prizes out this week. Terribly sorry for the delay.
July’s contest is now over, and we should be hearing from FF in a few days on the winners, but wait—more good news! Here’s the link to August’s contest, complete with blurry pictures of the fantastic prizes. I’m giving away over fifty books from my recent trip to Romance Writers of America’s National conference.
Special Sales: I will be re-releasing Vampire Vacation later this month. My debut novel has been re-edited to match the stronger writing found in later books. Ah, the joys of self-publishing means if you want to change something, you most certainly can, even three years later. Scenes have been revised & removed, new additions will be noted by avid fans. In honor of this re-release, V V will be offered at $.99 for an entire month! Sale starts on Aug 26th. I’m in negotiations now to have graphic art included in the re-release. If this happens you’ll hear about it in September’s newsletter with a sneak peak at some of the drawings.
Online Events: July’s Facebook Reader Party was another huge hit! So far, for August 21st’s party we’ve got the following Guest Authors lined up: Terri Osburn - 3 eBooks, Meg Benjamin - 1 eBook, Mary Hughes - 1 ARC and 2 eBooks, J.D. Brown - 3 eBooks, L.H. Nicole - 2 $20 Gift Cards (one to B&N and one to Amazon), Calinda B - 3 eBooks, Cara Marsi - 3 eBooks, Jennifer Bray-Weber - 2 eBooks, one $10 Amazon gift card. If you’re an author and would like to join us that night, please email email@example.com for inclusion. We’ve got room for two more authors this month.
Appearances: I’m in Vegas this month at the Romance Novel Convention and later at Authors After Dark down in Savannah. I included the info in last month’s newsletter, so I won’t repeat the info again. You’re welcome to check back on the front page of my website for full dates and links.
My favorite paranormal of the last month was Boone Brux’s Suddenly Beautiful. The book left me smiling from ear to ear at the heroine’s witty rejoinders and hysterical innermonologue. Brux’s take on Gods and Goddesses reminded me of why I obsessed over them in college. I loved the intricacies of the flawed but oh-so-powerful immortals and the antics of seeing them mingle in a modern setting. The two main characters are the God’s half-human offspring and I thoroughly enjoyed watching their chemistry leap off the page and pull me under their spell.
On the romance front, last night I read Laura Kaye’s Hearts in Darkness. Talk about one powerful little novella! If you’re looking for a short escape into a captivating tale don’t miss checking it out. Her ability to bring her characters to life with snappy dialogue and fleshed-out foibles never fails to leave me in awe.
This month is bringing a lot of exciting developments for me. I’ve branched into the world of non-fiction to teach my first online author class to writers attending RWA Nationals later this month. I’m both nervous and excited. Will it be considered worth the money, or will the subject matter covered in the videos be too advanced? I’ll find out for sure on the 12th when the condensed course is completed.
In addition, I’m hosting an author chat on July 10th at Savvy Authors. It’s a live chat designed to teach authors how to reach readers on Facebook. If you’re an author and interested in attending the free event, please check out the details here.
Avoiding Mr. Right is on sale for 99 cents until July 14th. If you have the time and inclination I’d really appreciate it if you could share the details with fellow readers. A copy and paste works great in a Facebook status, but I’m grateful however you’d like to spread the word:
C.J. Ellisson is celebrating the season with a #SummerEbookSale! For a limited time you can get AVOIDING MR. RIGHT, book two in her NYT Bestselling contemporary erotic romance series, for 99 cents!
I’m banding together with other paranormal authors for a special two-day sale July 20-21. All my V V Inn books will be priced at 99 cents, but only on Amazon. For more details on other great books on sale, please click here. And if you don’t have a Kindle? Not to worry. I’ll be doing another sale in August for the series, at all retailers. Details to come in the next newsletter.
Contests & Online Events:
There’s a cool contest running on Fresh Fiction again this month. It’s for one of four bags stuffed with swag and goodies from several conventions I attended the past year (Authors After Dark 2012, Anne Rice's Undead Con 2012, Old City New Blood 2013, and RT Book Lover's Convention 2013). Some have signed books in them from other authors, all have signed books from me.
Winners from last month: (your prize will be mailed out this month) Debbie Lord, Janice Conklin, Dona Teal. Fresh Fiction is still waiting to hear back from two winners. If they don’t respond by the 11th new winners will be picked. I’ll include them in next month’s stats.
Last month’s reader party on Facebook was such a huge hit I decided to run one every month for my fellow authors to meet and mingle with readers. Please click here to be taken to the Event on Facebook. In addition to prizes from me, there will be goodies from the following authors: Margery Scott, Gina Conkle, Gem Sivad, Karen Duvall, Kim Law, Emelle Gamble, Vanessa Kelly/V. K. Sykes, Mina Khan, Lisa Kessler, and Jennifer Faye, it’ll be a blast with so many authors in attendance.
Last month I shared July’s events, but this time I’m going to share everything I’ve booked in case you’d like to plan ahead to come party with me somewhere (first drink is on me! Woohoo!):
August 7-11: Romance Novel Convention in Vegas. I’m teaching a class and attending all the parties and signings. With Jimmy Thomas planning it, you know it’s going to be a smashing good time!
August 14-18: Authors After Dark in Savannah, GA. This is a paranormal/urban fantasy reader con with 100 authors in attendance. There’s two balls planned, ghost tours, panels, meals with authors, cocktail events, and parties every available minute. Including a special private one I’m doing with a few author friends of mine. More details will follow in next month’s newsletter.
October 11-13: I’ll be back in Vegas for the Writer’s of Southern Nevada convention, Fiction Writing in the Digital Age. I’ll be teaching a class on social networking through Facebook.
October 25-27: Hallowread in Ellicott City, MD. This is a new reader mini-convention in downtown historic Ellicott city. Forty authors are attending for a weekend filled with cemetery tours, a Shakespearean production of Dracula, a Steampunk Tea, author panels, and a public signing.
November 8-10, 2013: Readers-n-Ritas hosted by Fresh Fiction in Allen, Texas. I signed on late so I’m not a featured author, but I’ll still be at every meet and greet, planned meal, and the public signing. I’ve got a few readers coming from my street team for this one, so you know we’re going to party!
February 6-9, 2014: Coastal Magic Convention in Daytona Beach, FL is a super casual, weekend party for authors and readers of urban fantasy and paranormal romance fiction. There will be panels, meet & greets, and random tomfoolery. The schedule will be designed to give readers plenty of time to hang out with their favorite authors, and chat about the stories with other fans. A charity book signing will be open to attendees and the public.
Thanks again for showing an interest in my work and subscribing to my newsletter. I won’t be sending out another one ‘til next month and it will have details on the latest contests, August’s Reader Event at Facebook, as well as a sneak peek on what I’m working on now. As always, please feel free to forward this email on to anyone you know who likes to read or loves a deal on books. Until next time, I wish you a safe and happy summer!
- I’ll be hosting a Facebook Book Release online Party on June 19th for Avoiding Mr. Right. You can sign up to join if interested. There will be two time slots to accommodate overseas readers and I plan on having a lot of guest authors appear with prizes of their own. All you have to do is comment on a question to be entered.
- I’ve just signed up for a month long contest to be posted at Fresh Fiction. Entrants must sign up at Fresh Fiction. Five random commenters will be picked to win a signed swag pack filled with goodies from all three of my latest releases this year. International entrants are welcome. Prizes will be mailed within one month of the contest ending.
- I’m participating in a month long book blog tour. Bloggers are still signing up now and a full list will be added to this newsletter as soon as it is ready (you’ll need to stop by the website and view the update here if interested). The tour will consist of 20-40 stops, with prizes awarded at each stop to commenters. I’m letting the bloggers handle the entries, so some may require additional steps to enter. Prizes will be mailed at the end of July.
- Reader Appreciation Giveaway: From June 4th to June 30th I will host a private contest for readers who leave reviews. To enter you must leave an honest review of Avoiding Mr. Right at two locations (it's okay to copy and paste). One place should be the retailer you bought the book at, and the other should be a reviewing site like Goodreads, Shelfari, or LibraryThing. This contest is not open to people I have gifted the book to, unless you have also purchased a copy for yourself or someone else. You must send you review URLs to firstname.lastname@example.org (please note the two Ss in my last name). Winners will be drawn randomly and announced in the July Newsletter. Five prizes will be awarded (swag and "vanilla" sex toys) to US entrants. You can enter and win if you are an international reader, but you must pay your own shipping.
I have seen great success for authors who lower a recently released book to 99 cents for a limited time. For those of you on a tight budget, I will be lowering Avoiding Mr. Right to 99 cents for ten days only. This reduction will run from July 4th to July 14th. I will not be sending out an additional email announcing this sale, but you’ll probably see it on Facebook.
I’ll be at the Romance Writers of America’s National Conference in Atlanta, GA from July 17-21, with a public signing for all of my books at the “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing on Thursday the 18th. Hope to see you there!
As always, thanks for your continued support. The past six months have held a whirlwind of change for me and I'm grateful to have each and every one of you in my life.