Not one, but two . . .

I’ve been trying not to drown everyone with marketing, but I’m a part of two promotion blogs right now.  So it would be easy to fill my content with stuff about ME, ME, ME.  Except that it’s so nice to work with other wonderful writers and bloggers.  Kensington set up a book tour with Silver Dagger Book Tours for SPECIAL DELIVERY that stops at a different blog every day from Nov. 21 to Dec. 21.  That’s a lot of blogs.  It’s awesome!  And even though I don’t put every single stop on my blog or webpage, I do make an effort to retweet them and leave a comment.  After all, some nice, compassionate blogger took the time to host my book, and I appreciate it.  They deserve a little spotlight on them, too.

At the same time, I signed up to join with some fellow awesome writers to do a December giveaway.  Two Fort Wayne writers are part of it, along with me:  M. L. Rigdon (aka Julia Donner) and Kyra Jacobs.

Avenue to Heaven cover-Julia DonnerHer Unexpected DetourCoockingupTrouble


Here’s more information, available on B. L. Blair’s blog:

Giveaway for Dec.

At the end of the author giveaways is a drawing for a $100 Amazon gift card:

$100 Amazon Gift Card


If you follow the giveaways, good luck to you!  And there, my shameless plug is finished for the moment.  Have a great December!

Stop #2 on my blog tour

I’m trying a blog tour for Mill Pond romance #4, SPICING THINGS UP.  This Tuesday, I’m at the blog Fabulous and Brunette.  Fun name, huh?

My daughter and grandson both love Thai food, so when I created a chef for this book, I came up with Tyne Newsome–a man who traveled widely after culinary school to cook in different countries.  His favorite foods, though, are spicy, especially Thai cuisine.  I can’t do super spicy–too wimpy–so I’ve fiddled with recipes to come up with something Holly and Tyler both like, and my hubs and I can eat.  I’m always stocked up on fish sauce, ginger, and lemongrass these days, along with sambal and chili paste.  The recipe I included for Ally’s interview has a little heat, but it won’t set your mouth on fire:)

If you’d like to pop by for the interview, here’s the link:


The Last Chapter of Bruin’s Orphans

I put the last chapter of Bruin’s Orphans on my webpage.

I wrote the book for my two daughters when they were young.  It’s a bit on the bleak side and has a folktale feel, but Robyn loved a book of fairytales that were a little dark.  She read Stephen King’s SILVER BULLET when she was in second grade and wrote to him, and he wrote back!  Both girls loved Greek myths, and those aren’t always cheerful.  When they asked me to scare them, this is what I came up with.  Just a series of little scares:)

When I first wrote this, I had an old model computer that stored writing on little, hard, square disks that I can’t use anymore.  Luckily, I had a paper copy, so I could type each chapter into my current computer so that I could share it.  Boy, am I not good at just plain typing!  Anyway, now I have it again for the girls.  They asked about it, and I had to dig around to find it.  I wrote a myth-type story for them that year, too, but it’s going to stay in the box for a while.  Typing isn’t my strong point:)

Also, just to let you know, tomorrow I’m starting a blog tour.  I’ll visit a different blog every Tuesday for eight weeks.  Each stop is unique with something new on each one. Answering all of the questions the bloggers sent was fun.  I’ll share the link here each Tuesday, and I hope you’ll check them out.




Have you tried to make yourself sound interesting?

I’ve never worked with a book publisher before.  I’ve worked with editors of magazines and anthologies, and I’ve gotten feedback from my agent–the wonderful Lauren Abramo, who–by the way–looked at the last pitchmad on twitter.  Which means she’s looking for new writers, if you have a spare pitch lying around. But boy, is she picky. In a nice way.  All agents and editors are.  They know exactly what they’re looking for, so if they turn you down, it just means you’re not writing what they think they can sell.  Nothing personal.  They might have all the horror or fantasy writers that they can find homes for.  Writing’s a business.  It’s market driven.  It also means if you haven’t tried pitchmad or pitchwars or whatever kind of pitch tweets they’re into on twitter, you should.

Both editors and agents have the same goal in mind–to push your writing to its best and find something that’s saleable.  But when I signed with Kensington, I didn’t just get John Scognamiglio as my editor–which was lucky enough.  I got a whole team of talented people who are determined to get my name out there.  They’re great at promotion.  I’m not terrible, but I’m not wonderful either.  And sorry to say, promotion makes a big difference if you want readers to find your book.

I realized I’ve been a slacker at promotion when I got a list of questions to answer for Kensington to use on a book blog tour.  Every blog needed something unique to submit to its readers.  Absolutely fair.  A blogger is taking her time and being generous enough to do a sales pitch to her readers for my romance, COOKING UP TROUBLE.  Each blogger wants to offer her audience something special, just for them, that they can’t find somewhere else.  And I appreciate every single person who signed up to help me get the word out.

My only problem?  I quickly discovered that I’m a pretty boring person.  I spend a lot of each day in front of my computer, writing.  I love to cook, but if I revved up about that, most people would fall asleep.  My sisters would.  Their idea of food is take-out.  I have a few perennial gardens that bring me a lot of pleasure, but that doesn’t mean I keep them neat and tidy.  Kyra Jacobs, who was a guest on my blog last week, has well-tended, beautiful flower beds.  Me?  It comes down to survival of the fittest.  A rose bush has to want to live to bloom here.  I love to read, but I don’t even read as much as I used to, because I now divide my time between reading and writing.  Honestly, it’s hard to make me sound interesting.

While I answered questions for various blogs, it occurred to me that I’m not an expert at much of anything.  My cat and chihuahua sound like more fun than I do.  But then I remembered the poem About Ben Adhem, by Leigh Hunt–  Maybe I don’t need to write about what I do or who I am, even though I’m happy to share, but the things that make me passionate are what I love.  And I have many loves, and those I can go on and on about.  And I did.

Have a wonderful Easter, (if you celebrate it), or holiday (if you don’t), and Happy Writing!

COOKING UP TROUBLE comes out April 12th.  The book blogs start soonCoockingupTrouble