Hardcopy Release, Kindle Countdown Deals, and an Amazon Gift Card

I’m a little late writing this, but better late than never right?!

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This is our Vintage Jane Austen blog week. What does that mean? Well, the title of the post kind of says it all, but to clarify:

  1. The Vintage Jane Austen collection is now available in paperback. This is my first print edition in about 10 years, so I’m pretty excited.
  2. The Kindle editions of the Vintage Jane Austen novels are on sale all this week. So, if you are a committed Kindle user, this is your week!
  3. A lot of bloggers out there have joined in with the celebrating and through their sites we will be giving out a $25 Amazon gift card. See below for a list of the bloggers you can visit this week for reviews, interviews, and chances to enter.

November 5
Review of Emmeline – Once Upon the Ordinary
Review of Bellevere House – Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes
Series Spotlight – A Real Writer’s Life
Interview with Kelsey Bryant – Resting Life
Series Spotlight – Kelsey’s Notebook

November 6
Interview with Sarah Holman – J. Grace Pennington
Review of Emmeline – Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes
Mini-Reviews and interview with Sarah Scheele – Deborah O’Carroll
Interview with Rebekah Jones – Livy Lynn Blog
Review Suit and Suitability – Resting Life

November 7
Interview with Kelsey Bryant – J. Grace Pennington
Review of Perception – Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes
Review and Interview of Perception – Purely by Faith Reviews
Review of Second Impressions – The Page Dreamer
Series Spotlight – Finding the True Fairytale

November 8
Interview and Review Suit and Suitability – Once Upon the Ordinary
Review of Suit and Suitability – Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes
Review of Perception – A Brighter Destiny

November 9
Series Spotlight – God’s Peculiar Treasure
Review of Second Impressions and Suit and Suitability – Ordinary Girl, Extraordinary Father
Interview with Rebekah Jones – Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes
Series Spotlight – Christian Bookshelf Reviews

November 10
Review of Suit and Suitability – With a Joyful Noise
Series Spotlight – Liv K. Fisher
Review of Second Impressions- Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes
Review of Perception – She Hearts Fiction
Interview with Sarah Holman – Rebekah Ashleigh

November 11
Series Spotlight – Reveries Reviews
Review of Suit and Suitability – Faith Blum
Interview with Sarah Holman – Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes
Interview with Hannah Scheele – Peculiar on Purpose
Review of Bellevere House – Seasons of Humility

New here and not sure what the Vintage Jane Austen Series is?

What would it be like to see Elizabeth Bennet in 1930’s clothes? What if Emma Woodhouse was the daughter of a car dealership owner? What if Marianne Dashwood was seeking to become a movie star in the golden age of film? The Vintage Jane Austen series explores the world of Jane Austen, set in 1930’s America. Five authors took on Jane Austen’s five most popular novels and retold them set in the depression era, remaining faithful to the original plots. As an extra bonus to the series, there is a collection of short stories that were inspired by Jane Austen. Which of these books do you most want to read?

Emmeline by Sarah Holman (Emma): The talk of stock market crashes and depression isn’t going to keep Emmeline Wellington down. Born to wealth and privilege, Emmeline wants nothing more than to help her new friend, Catarina, find a husband. Emmeline sets her sights on one of the town’s most eligible bachelors, but nothing seems to go right. Even her friend and neighbor Fredrick Knight seems to question her at every turn.

Suit and Suitability by Kelsey Bryant (Sense and Sensibility): Canton, Ohio, 1935. Ellen and Marion Dashiell’s world crumbles when their father is sent to prison. Forced to relocate to a small town, what is left of their family faces a new reality where survival overshadows dreams. Sensible Ellen, struggling to hold the family together, is parted from the man she’s just learning to love, while headstrong Marion fears she will never be the actress she aspires to be. When a dashing hero enters the scene, things only grow more complicated. But could a third man hold the key to the restoration and happiness of the Dashiell family?

Bellevere House by Sarah Scheele (Mansfield Park): It’s March, 1937 and Faye Powell couldn’t be happier. After moving to live with her uncle, a wealthy banker, she’s fallen into the swing of life with his exuberant children–including Ed. The one she’ll never admit she’s in love with. But she hadn’t reckoned on the swanky Carters getting mixed up in that vow. Ed seems to be falling for charming, sweet Helene Carter. And when Faye’s cousin BeBe trusts her with a secret about Horace Carter, Faye is in over her head. Will she betray the confidence BeBe’s given her? Will she lose Ed to Helene? The days at Bellevere House are crowded with surprises and only time will tell how God plans to unravel Faye and Ed’s hearts.

Perception by Emily Benedict (Persuasion): Upstate New York, 1930. Thirteen years ago, Abbey Evans was persuaded to break off her engagement to a penniless soldier headed to the front lines of the Great War. A daughter of one of America’s wealthiest families could never be allowed to marry so far beneath herself. But Black Tuesday changed everything. With her family’s prominence now little more than a facade, Abbey faces the loss of her childhood home. As if that weren’t enough, the only man she ever loved has returned after making his fortune – and he wants nothing to do with the young woman he courted before the war. With the past forever out of reach, the time has come for Abbey decide her own fate, before it is too late…

Presumption and Partiality by Rebekah Jones (Pride and Prejudice): Coming soon…A retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice… set in 1930s Arizona.

Second Impressions: Jane Austen’s stories have inspired writers for generations…in this collection they inspire fiction across the genres! From the English Regency to the American 1950s, in Houston or a space freighter, fairytale land or a retirement center…Austen’s timeless characters come to life again.

Thanks for stopping by!

My Indie Story + Giveaway

Bio PicYes, I am ending the month of Indie Author April by actually interviewing myself. Strange, I know. But I’ve been asked before to write about my publishing experience, so I figured this might be a good opportunity to go about it. And, yes, this does end with a chance to win one of my books. :)

First tell us a little about your books.

My first mystery novel, Only Angels Are Bulletproof, was published in 2008. Since then I’ve published two novels in The Father Christmas Series, and have one novella, The Moment Max Forgot Me, available as a free download.


Angles CoverWhat formats of Indie Publishing have you used?

I used a self-publishing house for Only Angels Are Bulletproof. Both Christmas novels were published through Kindle’s ePublishing program. I used Smashwords for The Moment Max Forgot Me. They will host free books.

Do you have one you prefer above another?

While I enjoy the fact that a self-publishing house allowed me to have physical copies of my book, did editing and cover design for me and set up a few interviews, over all I’ve had a much better end result from Kindle’s program. Straight to the point, I lost money on a self-publishing house, but I’ve actually been able to make a little on Kindle. Their system is pretty comprehensive, including providing yearend tax statements.

Is there a reason you chose the independent route?

I think my initial decision to independently publish had a lot to do with both fear and impatience. Just the slightest bit of research on the publishing industry will scare you into certainty that your book will never see the light of an editor’s office. I was in my early twenties at the time, just coming off the recovery of a serious illness and not the least bit ready to face rejection like what I was reading about. I mean, really, are we ever ready?
However, in the end I’m glad I chose this route to start with. It allowed me to build some confidence, know trials and frustrations and failures in its own way, connect with readers and have amazing experiences like book signings and school events. Did I tell you I got fan art? (look here)

Do you do your own editing, cover design, and promoting as well?FCC JPEG 1

Nowadays I do it all. I actually love cover design. I did both Father Christmas Novels and The Moment Max Forgot Me. Photoshop and I have fond feelings for each other. Editing and I are trying to get along. I’m kind of an intense, get it all on the paper at once, writer. So, without the help of some very patient family member-proofreaders, I would be incoherent. I am looking into a professional proofreader, but I’ll just have to see what is in the budget for this year.

Any technical issues?

Kindle does not format itself!!! If you have never published through Kindle I will stress above all else that you have to learn how to format. If you just write a manuscript in MS Word and hit upload you are going to end up with tons of weird gaps and breaks in the middle of your sentences. Do your research on this one. Kindle doesn’t get along with most word-processing programs and its “Preview” feature lies!

What did you not expect when you came into the Indie world?

I didn’t expect to have to become so technical. When I started writing I was typing up simple manuscripts on a shared family computer. These days I work off of dual screens, know how to write some basic code, design and support my own website, Photoshop covers together and feature my work on multiple social media platforms. I’m no IT wiz, but I have to know my way around.

Are you considering traditional publishing any time in the future?

Yes. I would still like to traditionally publish a book and am currently working my way towards that goal. My life never works out the way I think it should and sometimes it just plain works out irrationally, so we’ll just have to see how things go.

FCP JPEG 1Any last words of advice for fellow Indie Authors?

Tons! Pay attention to your proofreading and formatting. A good cover is unfathomably valuable. Always be good to your readers and cordial to your critics. Try not to get bogged down by the people who are still trashing independent publishing like carriage company owners at the advent of the automobile, but also don’t be afraid to take a step into the traditional publishing world. And don’t Indie Publish if you aren’t going to enjoy at least a little bit of the ride. ;)

Finally, since this business is all about word of mouth, do you have any Indie Writers you enjoy?

All of the writers featured here over the last couple of weeks come highly recommended. Please, check each one of them out!
Tyrean Martinson
Loretta Boyett
Sarah Scheele
Warren Baldwin

And now for the giveaway!

Enter to win a $5 Amazon Card + a free copy of any of my books. By leaving a comment. (The Moment Max Forgot Me is always free, so don’t pick that one)Free MFM

And thank you again to all of the authors and readers who have joined me over the last month. I learned something from each author’s experience. Hopefully this month has helped writers considering this route of publishing, or opened someone up to the idea of reading independent authors.

Turns Out Interesting

So, Saturday was my first ever Library book signing. I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew it was being announced as a “talk” but I wasn’t sure if that meant I actually had to give some sort of speech or just talk to people as they walked by wherever I was stationed.
….Turns out I had to give a speech…. :)
When I arrived I was promptly directed to a back room with a few rows of chairs set up along with a podium. Yes, a podium. The only problem was it was almost as tall as I am so I had to stand in front of it. Lol.
When we realized in the upcoming minutes that I might actually have to give some sort of presentation my family suggested I test run standing up and talking. But I sat down instead. ;)
Honestly, over the past year and a half since my book came out one thing that has changed about me is the way I face stuff like this. I just don’t face it until I absolutely have to. LOL And by then it’s sink or swim so I just swim (by the grace of God, I assure you ;).
There is a verse in the Bible that talks about not preparing what you’re planning on saying a head of time and I sometimes feel like that’s my motto. Oh, I do run through a few things about what the book is about beforehand, but by and large I don’t think new situations like this through too much. It’s weird in a sense because I don’t get as excited about stuff as I use to, but I also don’t get as nervous. :)
So in the end it turned out fine. Groups of people sort of moved in and out of the room. I talked for a little while about the book and the writing process then they asked questions and I answered. :) Often I was speaking with people one on one.
I actually didn’t sell many books, but that’s okay because I think the experience was good overall. Plus we got chocolate chip cookies!!
One really interesting situation arose due to the way the event was advertised, but I think that calls for a little more in depth post. So, I’ll save that one for next Monday. (Sound interesting?)
Have a good week all! I’ve got one more week of job training to go, so hopefully by next week I’ll have a little more time to cyber-visit. ;)

The Author Paradox

I’ve decided that “author” is one of the most paradoxical careers someone can possibly have. Think about it. We start out spending all our time happily in front of a computer or notebook, writing out our stories. It is a quiet profession, characterized by long hours of peacefully plotting and editing…until you go from hopefully writer to published author. Then all of a sudden you have to turn into a salesman! You have to be out and about, pitching your story to everyone, calling newspapers in hopes that they’ll mention you book, writing things entirely unrelated to your story because you’re looking for new ways to get your name out there, and generally spending time you once used to write on hoping people will now buy your writing. It’s enough to send someone into culture shock!
Yes, this particular post formulated during a short conversation I had with a woman at my book signing this weekend. It was one of those “um, interesting” book signings. :P For the first hour to hour and a half I didn’t sell a single book. The managers were even starting to feel sorry for me. It was enough to make me wonder if I was going to go home that night and reconsider my career choice. But happily, traffic started picking up and peopled started making eye-contact with me. By the time it came to a close the stack of books on my table was reduced to one short pile which the manager had me sign and put out in the autograph copy section. (Praise God and deep sigh of relief) But still, one can’t help but stop and think about the emotional rollercoaster that is also known as authorhood. ;)
All and all, I really did enjoy talking with the people who were brave enough to approach my table. I got to meet a family of bibliophiles, several young writers, and a lot of sweet people who were willing to buy the book just because they knew it is my first. And there are those entertaining moments. I had one woman act like the book was literally singeing her fingers when she found out I write Christian fiction (a very strange “drop and run” maneuver followed). The last woman who came by was so excited to find out it was Christian based she bought several to give to others. That’s what I really like to hear. I didn’t write the book just to be an entertaining mystery. I’ve always hoped it would inspire people to think about the question, “What does it mean to say ‘I believe in God’?” I can hope and pray! :)

Do happy endings really exist?

I read an interesting book this weekend that asked the question, “Is there really such a thing as a happy ending?” You know, the type that takes place at the end of a book or movie.
Guy meets girl, they marry: happy ending.
Or, creative genius reaches his goal, his work is recognized: happy ending.
Well, the answer to that question is simply, NO. (Hold on with me her for a second.)
The answer is no because life goes on! Well, in the real world it does. Life doesn’t just stop in a blissful glow because we’ve reached a goal. There’s still work to do!
Trust me, getting a book published wasn’t the end of the story for me. In fact, it’s just a step on a path that still leaves me feeling out of breath sometimes. :-) But I’m still glad I’m here.
The point of this short post? Don’t think of happy endings as endings. They are in fact new beginnings.
In a sense, aren’t you glad that’s the way it goes?

By the way, if you’re looking for a good little book to spend a day or two on, I can recommend Beth Pattillo’s Jane Austen Ruined My Life.
I love that title. :)

My Misprint Saga Comes To A Climax

Okay, this weekend can official be classified as strange…and amusing.
You might have read in previous posts about the occasional misprints which have occurred with my book’s cover. Once it came out an interesting alien green and another time a definitive pink. I’ve blogged about it and laughed about it with my friends and family, but it was never a big deal. I just assumed mishaps were part of the process.
Then, on Saturday afternoon, I received a call from one of the managers at my publisher. He quickly began apologizing for the misprints….I’ve never mentioned it to my publisher!
Here’s where it begins to get weird.
Apparently, someone in the graphic art department of my publishers just happened upon my blog and then stumbled onto the most recent post I put up about the “pink edition.”
Horrified, she immediately called the manager, who in turned called me to discuss the issue. I told him I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, but he was quite disturbed by the idea. It seems this has only happened once before in the history of my publisher, and in that case the cover was much like mine in subtle color tones. So how are they going to fix this problem?
Instead of running off small batches of my book per request of the distributor or bookstores, they are going to print 500 copies of my book in one shot. Yes, 500 copies! Apparently, running large batches lessens the chance of misprints.
So, Only Angels Are Bulletproof has entered it’s very first large printing run…all because of a little too much pink and a little too much green.
Well, all I know for sure is this is a good time to start ordering books because the distribution time will be cut down by a few weeks.
….I’m thinking this is a good thing… :)

And They Did It Again…

So, my publisher’s printer has brought a new dimension to my book’s cover once more. In a previous post I told you all about how I opened the newest box of my books only to discover the printer had tinged the cover green, leaving my angel looking distinctly alien like.
Well, they’ve come up with a new one for the most recent run. A pink tint. Yes, pink. o_O
Maybe we’ll call this the girl power edition. What do you think? A friend of mine, who just happened to end up with a copy from this particular printing, is calling this the “magenta series.” Perhaps I’ll have a “blue period” next.

What? The pink just made me want to add a little more girliness.
And to think, my graphic artist and I worked so hard to get a really ethereal atmosphere on the cover as well as touch on specific points in the story. Who know we just needed a littl more pinkness?

My First Interview (Would you like to see?)

I found out the local TV station that gave me an interview put the video on their website, so I thought I’d put it up on here. :)
It turned out to be a lot of fun. First I was led to the “green room”…I’d say it was sort of a minty green.
Then we were led to an open newsroom/set. My brother, dad, and I all sat there, trying not to cough or talk too loud.
Then at last I was sitting at the news table with a microphone woven into my jacket. I just told myself “Don’t look at the camera. Just look at the people.” About six minutes later it was over. The funny thing is I didn’t start shaking until it was all over and I was walking back to the car.
The show was actually on air about an hour before I came on, so I was watching it as I got ready to go. The anchor had a copy of my book and every time they would go to a commercial break she would say “I’m going back to reading this great book!” and open it up. :)
At one point someone on the set yelled out, “Are there any vampires?” Lol. Happily, the anchor had read enough that she could say no and tell them what the book was about.
Have a look. By the grace of God I didn’t go blank or cough or anything like that. ;) It still feels a bit surreal.
(sorry, you will have to sit through a short commercial)

I’m Scared and other Announcements

Gasp! You are never going to believe this. It hasn’t completely sunk into my brain yet.
Right out of the blue I got an e-mail from a television station, asking me if I would be available to do an interview on their local morning show. Yes, me…on live TV! Gasp!
At this point I’m actually trying not to think too much about it because I’m pretty sure I would panic if I did.

This week has actually turned out to be completely insane, but in a very good way.
-I just got back from a local Jr./Highschool where I had my own table at their Career Day event. It turned out to be a lot of fun. The love of books and writing is a universal language whether you are 12 or 26.
-Then on Friday I’ll be at the local Fox station at 8:40AM. (Amazing :)
-And finally I will have my very first Christmas Book signing on Saturday. Which reminds me, if you are going to be in the Fresno area, or know someone who will be, please come on over to the Borders Books in the River Park shopping center. I’d love to meet you. See my EVENTS page for all the details.
-Oh, don’t forget, you have just one more month to enter my contest. Check out my Contest Blog.

I have to say, to all my friends with whom I correspond, please forgive me if I don’t get back to you until next week. I hate doing that, but you probably don’t want me this week. I’m a little scattered. ;)
At the moment, I’ve got to go find something to wear on Friday. I was told I cannot wear red, patterns, stripes, or too much white or black. I think that eliminates the majority of my wardrobe. Lol.