Monday, January 27, 2014

Name Our Town Poll Results!

First, let me start by saying, you all are amazing! I was hoping for fifty responses. Nope - we got one hundred and fifty responses. Thank you so much for sharing your opinion about what to name our fictional town. And may I say, y'all surprised us. Heather thought for sure Rusty Creek would come out on top. Me, I liked all three, but couldn't choose. But after the votes were tallied, the winner had a good 54% of the votes. And the winning town name is . . .

Crystal Creek!

And our town founders are . . . (Thanks to Random.org!)

#37 - Rebecca Belliston

#82 - Tamera Westhoff

#114 - Stephanie Taylor


Now that I know about the Belliston's, the Taylor's and the Westhoff's, I wonder, were they best friends or feuding neighbors??? Hmm, story development time.


 Before you hurry off, be sure to check back for the Sweet Confections cover reveal on February 10th. In fact, if you'd like to share in the fun by blogging, Facebooking or Tweeting the cover reveal (and by doing so see the cover before anyone else!), please sign up below. I'll email you the cover, blurbs and links so you don't have to search for details.

Thank you again, everyone, for all your amazing support!



Friday, January 24, 2014

Book Cover Reveal for Elevated by Elana Johnson and a Cash Giveaway!

I absolutely LOVE Elana Johnson's YA books. So when she emailed and asked me to participate in her cover reveal, I was like--YES!!!   I love her edgy cover, which really hits the YA crowd. =)

PS - Don't forget that today is the last day to cast your vote on my new series' town name.  Now, on to Elana's awesome book!

The last person seventeen-year-old Eleanor Livingston wants to see on the elevator—let alone get stuck with—is her ex-boyfriend Travis, the guy she's been avoiding for five months.

Plagued with the belief that when she speaks the truth, bad things happen, Elly hasn’t told Trav anything. Not why she broke up with him and cut off all contact. Not what happened the day her father returned from his deployment to Afghanistan. And certainly not that she misses him and still thinks about him everyday.

But with nowhere to hide and Travis so close it hurts, Elly’s worried she won’t be able to contain her secrets for long. She’s terrified of finally revealing the truth, because she can’t bear to watch a tragedy befall the boy she still loves.


Praise for ELEVATED:

"ELEVATED will take you on an emotionally gripping journey through the highs and lows of first love."
~Carolee Dean, author of Take Me There and Forget Me Not

"Poignant, raw, and intense, ELEVATED is a novel that will grip your heart and linger in your mind long after you turn the last page."
~Stasia Ward Kehoe, author of Audition and The Sound of Letting Go


Find ELEVATED on the web!
 

About the AMAZING Elana Johnson: Elana Johnson’s work, including Possession, Surrender, Abandon, and Regret, published by Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster), is available now everywhere books are sold. Her popular ebook, From the Query to the Call, is also available for download, as well as a Possession short story, Resist. School teacher by day, Query Ninja by night, you can find her online at her personal blog or Twitter. She also co-founded the Query Tracker blog, and contributes to the League of Extraordinary Writers.

ELEVATED Giveaway!
Enter below for a chance to win $15 PayPal cash! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Book Announcement and Help Needed!

*** Drum roll please! ***

My novel, Sweet Confections, is coming out in April!!!

I am so absolutely, completely, fabulously thrilled/excited/on-top-of-the-world! And cooler than that, Sweet Confections is the first book in the Indulgence Row series - which means MORE books will follow! Next month, I should to have a cover to show y'all, too. Eep!

Sweet Confections blurb:

According to Rachel Marconi, chocolate heals all wounds. That and throwing darts at a picture of her ex-boyfriend. Burned by yet another bad relationship, Rachel decides to reprioritize her life, putting her dream to compete on a Food Network Challenge at the top of her to-do list and dating at the bottom crossed out with red Sharpie.

But what’s a girl to do when a certain sexy guy keeps asking her out? Cue in Graydon Green, a former pro-hockey player turned restaurant owner. After a lot of persistence and humorous teasing, he finally convinces Rachel to commit to a date. Just when things begin to warm up, threatening notes directed at Rachel arrive. When her bakery is vandalized, Graydon’s protective streak goes on red alert. Is it her obsessive ex-boyfriend stalking her? Or maybe a challenger trying to sabotage the competition? Either way, Rachel is definitely going to need some more chocolate—perhaps drizzled over ice cream and devil’s food cake.


Hmm . . .  I need to fit in a few more exclamation points somewhere. Oh, yes - I need help before my book can be finalized. And that means YOUR help! There's something totally fun about the Indulgence Row series. My writing buddy Heather Tullis and I are setting our new book series in the same fictional town. The idea is that our main characters will show up as friends and other cross-characters in each others' books. It's going to be awesome!

Now, this is where I need your opinion. We can't decide on a name for our fictional town. I can tell you that it's a small town near Kansas City and both series is centered around revitalizing the community through different projects. Here's a short blurb about each series.

In The Garden series by Heather Tullis 
“All of the world’s problems can be solved in a garden.” --Geoff Lawton
Piper hopes this is true when she organizes a community garden. With the help of some friends, an elementary school class, and community members (enthusiasm optional), they find that digging in the dirt nurtures life, peace—and most importantly—love. 
 

Indulgence Row series by Danyelle Ferguson
Come visit ? Creek's newest shopping district: Indulgence Row. This charming shopping area is spearheaded by the Women's Chamber of Commerce. Come sample tasty treats, great books, and discover delightful shops built in ? Creek's historic downtown community. We're sure you'll find something —and possibly someone —to fall in love with. 

Please check out the poll below and vote for your favorite town name. And, as always, there are some fun prizes to say thank you! Hurry though. The poll only lasts until Friday night. Thanks!




Thursday, January 16, 2014

How to Create Tabs for Facebook Fan Pages

Since creating my author Facebook Fan page, a lot of people ask how I added tabs and then put design covers on them, too. So I wanted to share Isaac A. Wardell's awesome tutorial videos that walked me through the process. I highly recommend checking out his other YouTube videos. They're easy to understand and proceed at a nice pace. I also love that he doesn't babble for minutes at a time about unrelated stuff while you wait for the next step.  =)


Here's the video to initially create the tab and content.





Once your tab is created, you'll want to customize it by making a Tab Cover. I love this fabulous Facebook page dimensions worksheet, put together by Jon Loomer. It takes all the guesswork out of getting your images to fit. Then I use Paint.net (a free software download) to create custom tab images that are the correct size. I use Paint.net a lot to make my cover banners, website images and other promotional materials. It's a great tool to learn how to use. If you own PhotoShop, that works great, too.



When your custom image is ready, watch this video tutorial by Isaac A. Wardell to upload it onto the correct tab.




It's a fairly simple process. The most time consuming part is making the tab cover, but overall, it comes together quickly. Enjoy making your Facebook Fan Page fun and interesting!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

True Friends Are Always Together in Spirit

My all time favorite book and movie series is Anne of Green Gables. I have fallen in love with Anne, Gilbert and the inhabitants of PEI over and over and over throughout the years.

Recently, I saw a post on FB where someone talked about bosom buddies and what that means to her. And it made me think . . . what does it mean to me? Who are my bosom buddies?

Growing up, I had a few best friends. I wasn't the popular kid at school. I was the poor girl from a single parent home who knew she was different from the other kids. The one who was either really liked or was the bullies target for teasing. But still, there were a few really best friends. In early elementary school, it was Nicole. I was devastated when her family moved away in 3rd grade. Then there was Myranda and Ashley in the older elementary years through high school. In high school, Amy and Apryl joined our group. One by one, we all graduated and moved on. Some of us kept in touch, others have not. One ended in a heart-aching friendship break up.

In college, there were more friends, but one truly amazing friend. During the Mommy Years, I've made more friends - great friends who I adore. But I learned that a best friend isn't necessarily a bosom buddy.


True friends are always together in spirit. 
- Anne of Green Gables


So what makes a bosom buddy?

There is no one formula. Thinking of my bestest girlfriends, each is uniquely different and amazing in her own way. But for some reason, when we met and got to know each other, we just clicked. Like we had known each other forever. Even though our lives have taken different directions and we may not talk for months or years at a time, when we do, it's like we just saw each other yesterday. I know if one of these ladies called me and she was in need, I would drop everything, hop a flight if needed and be there to help. And I know she would do the same for me.

It's a very rare, special gift that, once found, you cherish forever. And if you lose it, you mourn the loss for a long, long time.

My bosom buddies are MY family. The family I chose, rather than the one I was born into. Don't get me wrong, I love my siblings (some more than others  :P  ), but my chickie chicks, they are the sisters who I trust with my secrets, who get the real me (and love me anyway), and we provide much needed sanity for each other. 

I'm curious. We all live such different lives, with different personalities. What does being a bosom buddy mean to you? How do you know if you've met one? Please share your stories and experiences!
Review Disclaimer: Sometimes a book I review has been sent to me for free by a publisher or an author. This in no way effects my review, which is my own opinion about whether the book was a good read for me, fit my tastes, and if I would recommend it to others. Other than possibly a free book, I am not compensated in any way for posting a review.