Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cover Reveal for Dangled Carat

When my friend Hilary Grossman told me she was updating the cover to her first book, Dangled Carat, my first thought was, "Well, that's too bad. I really like her book cover. I wish she wouldn't change it."

Now, I'm eating my words because I LOVE this cover! Here it is, the all new and improved cover:


Intrigued? Want to know more about it? Read on:

For every girl who wondered if she should love him or dump him.....
For every girl who listened to her heart instead of her friends advice....
For every girl who l wondered if she was wasting her time dating that guy....
meet Hilary.... 
She had gotten used to dating the commitment-phobic Marc, thirteen years her senior. They had a great relationship--why rush into things? She saw no need to pressure him for marriage, believing that when the time was right, he would propose. But after they had been together for four years, their friends decided to take matters into their own hands, pushing Marc to propose and making Hilary realize how much she really did want to marry the man that she loved. Unfortunately, Marc still wasn't ready--and their friends' meddling in the form of a faux engagement party led to a disastrous New Year's Eve that brought their relationship to an inevitable turning point.
For anyone who has ever dated a commitment-phobe, who has found their patience wearing thin with the one they love, or who has sat around wondering if he is ever going to pop the question while trying to remain the very picture of patience and grace, Hilary's humorous and honest story will hit home. 
"Dangled Carat sparkles with humor and shines with wisdom. It is a gem of a book." - Christina Baker Kline - New York Times Best Selling Author of Orphan Train.
"Fans of Sex and the City - Grossman makes a reference to Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big - will enjoy the story, but its real-girl charm should draw an even wider crowd." - Kirkus Reviews.

When I first read Dangled Carat, I didn't realize it was a memoire until I was at least 1/3 of the way it. It reads like a contemporary romantic story.

Here's what you need to know about the author:
Hilary Grossman dated a guy so commitment-phobic that she was able to write a book about their relationship.  She has an unhealthy addiction to denim and shoes.  She loves to find humor in every day life.  And she likens life to a game of dodgeball - she tries to keep many balls in the air before they smack her in the face. When she isn't writing or blogging she is the CFO of a beverage alcohol importer.  She lives on Long Island.
And here's what you need to be able to find the book:
Links for the book:Ebook $2.99, Paperback $9.93Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did! (And if you do, please make sure to leave your reviews on Amazon, Goodreads and Barnes & Noble)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Best Date Ever

It started probably close to thirty years ago. Somewhere, in our basement, in the rack of cassette tapes, there was a pirated copy of Queen's Greatest Hits. My eldest brother had recorded it from somewhere and penciled in the names of the songs in his block handwriting.

Occasionally, we listened to this cassette and the songs became part of my childhood. Part of the MTV generation, I remember watching bits and pieces from Live Aid. I listened to my other brother's Iron Eagle soundtrack just to hear 'One Vision.'


By 1991, I was a Queen fan. I owned the album, Innuendo, and played the shit out of it (the cassette tape, of course). My brother had given me the VHS of Queen Live at Wembley '86 for my birthday. I killed time in my sophomore English class by writing out all the lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody. It was more entertaining than paying attention (sorry Mr. DiPrimio). Then, I remember with heartbreak, coming home from school one Monday in November to hear that Freddy Mercury had died. I wept that day. I was a naive child (just shy of 16) and could not fathom how he could just be diagnosed with AIDS one day and die the next.

I was heartbroken because I would never get to see Queen.

But my love of them did not die. I stayed home on a Saturday that following April and recorded the whole tribute concert. While I know they did a good job, it was not the same. No one could ever compare to Freddy Mercury in my book. I was very involved in summer theater, and was thrilled to find people there who loved them as much as I did (again, being naive, never really made that connection). The cassettes stayed on high rotation in my beat-up old Ford Escort's tape player.

Fast forward a few decades. I have replaced my cassettes with CD's. I make my kids listen to them. They make my father listen to them. And then, on my Facebook feed, it appears. Queen is touring with Adam Lambert. I know, without a doubt, that I have to go. I mentally marked the day in my head that tickets would go on sale--February 28th--and informed my husband.

Now, he's a bit older than I am. He knows many of the older songs, and I even catch him singing along. We've watched several Queen biographies on TV together, so I never even questioned whether he would want to go to this concert. I went online on February 28 and (after consulting with him about Madison Square Garden or Mohican Sun), bought the tickets.

It's been at the back of my mind recently, that this concert was coming up. Well, it finally got here. Last minute, we decided to drive to NYC. It was great until we hit the Lincoln Tunnel, which took us about an hour to get through. We found out hotel without difficulty, including the parking facility across the street. We were only two blocks from MSG, so it was perfect. It never really occurred to me until, after listening and singing along to Greatest Hits I and II on the way down that the hubs is not really a huge Queen fan. But he is a good sport.

The show was phenomenal. Adam Lambert is certainly a gifted vocalist. To me, he lacks some of the stage presence that Freddy Mercury possessed, but no one will ever replace Freddy.


I tried to record this song for my friend, as it is her favorite. I'm going to blame my crappy phone for letting me down, but know it probably had more to do with my beer consumption.


I knew most of the set list, but the most touching moments were when Brian May and the audience sang 'Love of My Life' and got teary eyed at the end of it. It contained some of this video which made the crowd roar.


Also, Roger Taylor singing 'These are the Days of Our Life' from Innuendo had me in tears. This is not from the MSG show, but is from the tour. I was crying during this one, for sure.



It was just such a great show. I'd go and see it again and again if I could. We couldn't have asked for a better day, which included perfect weather, a clean hotel with a free breakfast, a leisurely stroll around Chelsea and the Village and an uneventful drive home.

So, after a good twenty years, I've now had the perfect date. Seeing the band of my dreams with my partner in crime. It's going to be hard to top this one. I don't even want to try. 

(But I do have to put in one more video from last night, just because I love the song so much.)



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for...

In case you didn't know, I don't have a lot of patience. I want things to happen NOW. One of the benefits of being an indie author is that sometimes, I can make them happen NOW. Conversely, one of the drawbacks of being an indie author is that I have to make myself wait to make things happen.

But today is not one of those days. For today, I shall unveil the cover to my third novel, I'm Still Here.



Once again, Becky Monson has really outdone herself on this one. This cover was a group effort though. The ladies at ChickLitChatHQ weighed in endlessly on what makes a good cover. Heather McCoubrey  came through with this image. Interestingly, I had picked a different image from the same photo shoot, but this one was the one.

Here's the blurb for I'm Still Here:

It started out as an ordinary day for Esther Comely-Cox, if you consider simultaneously totaling your car, smashing a Ho Ho in your face and meeting a handsome doctor ordinary.
Estranged from her family over her sister's mental illness and death, Esther can't help but feel alone. And when Esther hears the voice of her twin sister who committed suicide seven years ago, she begins to question her own sanity, leading her to wonder if anything is what it seems. Searching for answers, Esther must confront her past while looking towards a new future—one in which she is finally accepted.
Through humor and heartbreak, Esther learns that blood does not mean family, that absence does not make the heart grow fonder and that silence can speak volumes.

You can add this book on Goodreads! I'm doing a giveaway for five advanced review copies from 7/18/14-8/18/14. You can win a signed, print copy before it is even for sale.



So, there it is--my new book. On sale through all major distributors on September 2, 2014.

Friday, July 4, 2014

I know, like young lovers parting at summer camp, I promised I would write. And I have been. Just not here. But trust me, I've been busy. Here's what I've been up to lately:

Editing my third novel and working on the cover. Now, mind you, when I say "working on the cover" I mean looking at things that my cover designer sends and being a complete and total pain in the butt about it. My first round of edits have been completed. The book is with a second critiquer/editor. After that, it gets printed out and goes to my copy editor. Then, all the formatting begins.

Which leads me to what else I've been doing. Formatting. I seriously spent FOUR HOURS last night re-formatting Good Intentions. You might ask why I spent that much time on a book that has been out for 13 months. Well, that is a complicated one. Actually, it is pretty simple. As much as I love the cover of Good Intentions, especially after my cover designer spruced it up in December, it really does nothing to tell the story or draw the reader in. In a digital thumbnail, the beach scene just looked kind of blurry. So, I've been on a hunt for a better cover. This was a process and a labor of love. I searched for images. My cover designer searched for it. Other author friends searched. I asked for opinions after opinions (thanks ladies!). Once the image was found, then finding the perfect font was a process. But after blood, sweat and tears (not to mention about five pounds of chocolate and a case of diet Coke for Becky), Good Intentions has a brand new look. Without further ado, here it is:


Isn't it gorgeous! Becky Monson really outdid herself this time. I feel like this is a better representation of Maggie's conflict and struggle to find happiness. And since I was redoing the cover, I decided to fix some formatting things that have been bugging me. In order to change the cover for the paperback, I have to take it off sale for a bit, so this seemed like the perfect time to fix the format. Seemed like a wise thing to do. I've learned a lot about formatting since I first published, so it was time to put it to practice.

But wait, there's more!

I'm writing my fourth novel. I'm participating in a writing exercise in July (Camp NaNoWriMo) to get me writing again. I've been carrying paper with me where ever I go and scribbling away when I have some down time. I didn't get to type up what I wrote yesterday because of all the formatting, but I'll hopefully get to it today. I hope to write 40,000 this month, which would be the first half of my novel. I hope to release that book in spring.

Aaaaand speaking of book releases, I'm getting ready to release my third novel. I'll do the cover reveal in a few weeks, and release it in about eight weeks. So, be on the lookout for that.

But for now, I'll leave you with a promo poster I did for my redesigned Good Intentions. And I promise, I'll write soon!



Monday, June 23, 2014

I Should Be...

I know, I know. I've been terribly remiss with my blogging lately. It is just another thing to add to my list of things I should be doing. Here's what's on the list so far:

  1. Cleaning my house for company that is coming in a few days
  2. Finalize summer camp plans for the kids
  3. Plan a summer vacation
  4. Fold and put away laundry
  5. Editing novel #3
  6. Reading a book for review
  7. Writing novel #4
  8. Wrapping teacher presents
  9. Sleeping (because that has not been going so well lately)
  10. Writing bloggers asking them to review my books
  11. Marketing, marketing, marketing

What I have been doing:
  1. Wrapping up the school year
  2. Dance recitals
  3. Playing Candy Crush
  4. Watching World Cup Soccer
  5. School carnival
  6. Cleaning out rooms of the house
  7. Book signing at the library
  8. Watching True Blood (I was a season behind and may have binge-watching)
  9. Swinging in the hammock
  10. Playing Bubble Witch Saga and other assorted time suck games
  11. PTA stuff (I'm winding down my 2 year term as treasurer)
  12. Marketing, marketing, marketing
School is finally done this week. It has been a hectic few months and I hope to get some rest over the summer (famous last words). I am hoping to put the final touches on my third novel by the beginning of August so that I can get it out to reviewers. I'm also planning on re-doing the cover of Good Intentions because my current cover is just not working. I've been doing a lot of promotional stuff for Hold Her Down, including a $0.99 sale (still available at that price on Kindle, Nook, iTunes and Kobo). I plan on doing a considerable amount of writing in July, so I'm giving myself the next week or so to mentally prepare for that.

Ok, so tonight before bed, I WILL get my dedication and acknowledgments written. I will get to bed at a decent hour. Well, at least I should...

Friday, June 20, 2014

AWOL

I'm sorry for being AWOL lately. Things have just been busy here. Nothing exciting, just busy. I'll try and catch up this weekend. Bear with me.

And speaking of bare, I'll just leave you with this...


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

It's an Honor Just Being Nominated

Color me shocked today when I found out that Kindle Ninja had nominated me for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award. It sounds totally cool and prestigious right? Right. This was how I felt...


The Very Inspiring Blogger Award is given by bloggers to bloggers.  Here are the rules:   




1. Link back to the person nominating you for the award
2. Display the Very Inspiring Blogger logo
3. Reveal seven things about yourself
4. Nominate seven others to receive the award 


So, again, a shout out to Kindle Ninja for thinking that I am even remotely inspiring. Here are my seven things:

1.  I like nothing orange. I can tolerate the occasional shredded carrot, but I find any orange food (or drink) pretty much repulsive. Even the smell of oranges makes me want to wretch.


2.  If I had a better singing voice, my career aspirations would have been to be on Broadway. I originally wanted to be a Rockette, but it was pretty apparent by the age of 13 that I would never make the height requirement.

3.  I never let my kids have Play-Doh at home because I'm too anal and don't want to have to clean up the mess. I make my parents keep the Play-Doh at their house.


4.  I could visit a zoo or aquarium every day. If I had my wedding to plan again, I would get married at the zoo. In front of the penguins. Or tigers.


5. I may have a touch of OCD, especially about the way my bed is made. I have been known to get up in the middle of the night, straighten the blankets and tuck them in again.


6.  I eat chocolate every single day, with the exception of the 40 days of Lent. I need at least just a bit each day.


7. I honestly think that I was meant to have curly red hair and that there has been some great cosmic mistake that left me with wavy (not straight, but not curly) brown hair that may have more silver than I'd care to admit.

So, here are 7 bloggers/authors who inspire me:

1. Jessica Miller at Life and Motherhood. College roomie, mom to 5, 5 and under, OT. 'Nuff said.
2. Anne McDonald at Our Little Nuthouse. Uber-mom of 6 1/2 kids. Plus, wicked funny.
3. Becky Monson. Author, photographer, (my) cover designer extraordinaire. Best cheering section.
4. Kate Leong at Chasing Rainbows. If she doesn't get to you, then nothing will because your heart is made of stone.
5.  Rants from Mommyland. If they don't make you laugh, then nothing will because your heart is made of stone.
6.  Tracie Banister at Books By Banister. Another author I aspire to be like when I grow up.
7. Stacy Menz at Starfish Therapies. Great PT, OT and Speech ideas for kids. Keeps me grounded in my actual profession.