Authors, Apply the 80/20 Rule by James M. Jackson – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. James M. Jackson will be awarding the chance to name a character who will appear in FALSE BOTTOM (Seamus McCree #6) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Authors, Apply the 80/20 Rule

In 1906 an Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto analyzed the distribution of wealth in Italy and discovered 20% of the people owned 80% of the wealth. Fast forward to the 1930s and 40s. Dr. Joseph Juran, an early quality management guru, discovered the broad principle of “the vital few and trivial many.” In the magic of naming conventions, this broad observation, combined with Pareto’s economics work led to this phenomenon being labeled as “Pareto’s Principle.”

Pareto’s work was a single statistic. Juran’s a broad principle. Combined they became the ubiquitous 80/20 rule, which in one general form states that 80% of the results are due to 20% of the actions.

For example, many corporations discover that 80% of their profits are derived from 20% of their customers.

One result of this kind of analysis is frequent buyer programs. Airlines, for example, want to capture business flyers who regularly travel and often pay more for a ticket because they don’t qualify for advanced purchase pricing or multiple day stays. These fliers provide a disproportionate share of airline profits for the same or less cost than the typical family traveler. That’s why airlines heavily promote their frequent flyer programs to retain these profitable customers. The program costs provide relatively large benefits.

How can this concept apply to an independent author?

Let’s look at some statistics from Cabin Fever, the middle of my five books in the Seamus McCree series. It was traditionally published by a small publisher. During the three years of that contract, 85% of the ebooks sold through Amazon (Kindle). Only 15% sold through the combination of Google, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and others. The publisher did not promote the title on any of the platforms, so the sales were essentially organic.

When I took back the rights from the publisher, I decided my main task was to grow readership of the series. Given limited time and budget, I doubled down and concentrated my online sales on Amazon. That’s where my buyers were. Selling the electronic version of Cabin Fever exclusively on Amazon meant they would include it in the Kindle Unlimited program (Amazon’s subscription-reading service). My bet was that I would earn more income through Kindle Unlimited than I gave up by eliminating the other venues. As a bonus, it meant I would only have to manage one vendor, one form of the ebook, etc.

After going exclusively with Amazon, I invested in some promotions. In the year and a half since I took over the publishing rights, I have earned as much net after expenses from Amazon sales as I had the first three years with the publisher.

But did Kindle Unlimited replace the 15% of revenue I gave away? Yes, and then some. For every $1.00 I gave up in nonAmazon sales, I made $3.50 from Kindle Unlimited! After seeing the initial results of that experiment, I made all my novels exclusive to Amazon and ratios for the other novels ranged from $2.50 to $4.00.

Here’s another example of applying the 80/20 rule that I learned the hard way: Bookstore signings are generally a waste of time. I read a blog by Joe Konrath that said he no longer went on book tours. And at a local Sisters in Crime meeting, CJ Lyons told me she only does one or two book signings, and those in her home town. I thought to myself – yeah, but they’re already best sellers.

I should have done some analysis instead of going with my gut instinct. Taking Cabin Fever again, I paid a publicist a lot of money to schedule an extensive bookstore tour. Final tally, less than 20% of the paperback books I sold resulted from that tour. The other 80% came from local events I scheduled myself, contingent sales at area bookstores and online. Lesson learned: the extra effort to get those 20% of sales was a poor application of my time (not to mention my money).

The thing most likely to increase overall sales—especially for those who write a series—is a new book. Time spent marketing current books takes away from time writing new books. As an exercise, every author should consider what would happen if she eliminated the least productive 20% of her marketing time and applied that time to writing or editing new material.

Continue to experiment to see what works for you. Remember, fun and enjoyment have intangible benefits. If you really love doing something and would miss it if you didn’t, then keep doing it—but don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s a good business decision; it’s a life decision, and that’s okay.

If you love the suspense and plot twists of domestic thrillers, this page-turner will be for you. Seamus McCree’s first solo bodyguard assignment goes from bad to worse. His client disappears. His granddog finds a buried human bone. Police find a fresh human body.

His client is to testify in a Chicago money laundering trial. He’s paranoid that with a price on his head, if the police know where he’s staying, the information will leak. Seamus promised his business partner and lover, Abigail Hancock, that he’d keep the witness safe at the McCree family camp located deep in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan’s woods.

Abigail is furious at his incompetence and their relationship flounders. Even his often-helpful son, Paddy, must put family safety ahead of helping his father. Seamus risks his own safety and freedom to turn amateur sleuth in hopes he can solve the crimes, fulfill his promise of protection, and win back Abigail. Wit and grit are on his side, but the clock is ticking . . . and the hit man is on his way.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Dread joined us in the car. Even normally bubbly Megan grew silent.

Loggers had cut a narrow lane through the sixty-foot spruce I had watched come down at the beginning of the Grade, leaving most of the tree in place and towing the cut section to the side. They’d wasted no time on smaller branches littering the road and were opening up a one-lane path. I tiptoed the Outback over the debris and moved through the gap.

At first the downed trees were scattered, although limbs and branches dotted the entire road. But the further north we drove, the worse the damage became until the downed trees were a nearly continuous hazard. Paddy frequently left the car to remove branches with sharp breaks that might puncture a tire. I was regretting we hadn’t taken my old beater truck into town with its multi-ply tires. The Outback carried a donut spare, which wouldn’t last thirty seconds on the gravel roads. We had yet to see any other cars or people.

By the time we passed the five- and six-mile markers without any letup in the damage, tightened metal bands had taken up permanent residence around my chest. I feared for Elliot. I feared for my property. I worried whether I’d get a flat. Whether there would still be a hotel room if I had to send Paddy and Megan to Tall Pines. Megan, on the other hand, had given up her concerns and was in the back seat, singing along with a CD, a cheerful canary amidst the devastation.

About the Author: James M. Jackson authors the Seamus McCree series consisting of five novels and one novella. Jim splits his time between the deep woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Georgia’s Lowcountry. He claims the moves between locations are weather-related, but others suggest they may have more to do with not overstaying his welcome. He is the past president of the 700+ member Guppy Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

His Valentine by Megan Slayer – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtul book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Megan will be awarding a bracelet made by the author and a signed swag pack to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Brandon Kidd thought he overcame his demons. He thought he’d conquered his addiction to booze and his need to be promiscuous. He thought he’d left his depression behind. Why? He met and is dating Aydin, the man who stokes his muse. But the depression and his insecurity have come back, and he’s also got to pass his annual review for his fine arts program. He’s got to get through the grueling review, open up to Aydin and have the Valentine’s Day he deserves?

Aydin loves Brandon. He sees the changes in his boyfriend and wants to help, but how do you help when you don’t know the problem exactly? To compound the problem, Brandon’s brother, Benson, has started causing trouble. Benson doesn’t want his brother to be gay, let alone in a relationship. Aydin found the strength to admit he wanted to be with Brandon. Aydin’s come into his own. Will he be enough for Brandon or will the crushing outside influence be too much to overcome?

They’ve come together for Valentine’s Day, but can the romance last?

Enjoy an Excerpt:

©2018 Megan Slayer, All Rights Reserved

“It’s Valentine’s Day. What’s on your docket?”

“I’m not sure. Aydin said something about a plan and celebration. I’m the lousy boyfriend this time. I hadn’t gotten him anything and was going to on the way home.” The tips of his ears burned. “I was so worried about the review, I kind of forgot it was Valentine’s Day.”

“You forgot?” she blurted.

“I did.” He walked beside her. “I was going to get him flowers.”

“Flowers?” She stopped in her tracks. “Are you serious?”

“He likes them.”

“Not chocolates?”

“He doesn’t like them. I thought he did, but he just ate the ones I got him for Christmas because he didn’t want them to go to waste.” When she started walking again, he fell into step beside her. “I know what he likes—now.”

“Flowers, eh?” She laughed. “And what else? Some hey-hey?” She elbowed him. “Right?”

He wasn’t about to tell her the other gift would be a blow job.

“Well, good.” She stopped at the classroom door. “I hope you have a good night.” She poked her head into the classroom. “Bye, Aydin. Have a wicked hot night.”

“That’s the plan.” Aydin left his spot on the desk and picked up the portfolio. “Ready?”

Heat slid through Brandon’s body. He couldn’t wait to get home. He’d strip Aydin down and taste every inch of him. “Yeah.”

“Good. Let’s go. I drove, so we can blow this popsicle stand.” Aydin carried the case out of the room. “Goodnight, Georgie. Do you need us to walk you out?”

“Nah, I’m meeting my friend Durand upstairs.” She waved. “Night! Do all the things I can’t do but want to watch.”

“We will,” Aydin called.

Brandon stood rooted to the spot for a second. Do all the things I can’t do but want to watch…holy shit. And Aydin hadn’t batted an eye. Damn. Excitement radiated through Brandon. He had the guy, the grade, and good friends. Now, he’d have a hot Valentine’s Day. Sweet, indeed.

About the Author:

Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and BDSM themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been the runner up in the Kink Category at Love Romances Café as well as nominated at the LRC for best author, best contemporary, best ménage and best anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice.

Website | Blog |
Facebook | Amazon Author Page | BookBub | All Author | Instagram | Goodreads | Twitter |
Newsletter
Buy the book at MLR Press or Amazon
.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Can’t Stand the Heat by Peggy Jaeger – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

With three successful TV series under her belt, including her cousin Kandy’s, executive producer Stacy Peters is ready to helm her own show. But to make that happen, she has to do her network boss one favor first—spend two months on a ranch in Montana wrangling the notoriously difficult director of Beef Battles. Apparently, he eats producers for breakfast. Yet all Stacy can think when she meets the lean, rugged man is how hungry he makes her . . .

Dominic Stamp—Nikko to his very few friends—has had enough interference from TV newbies. And when Stacy climbs out of the car in Montana, he’s not convinced she’s even old enough to drive, much less produce his show. But he can’t deny that the long-legged blonde with the stubborn will and the dazzling smile whets his appetite. And as Stacy proves her talent with the crew and the budget alike, Nikko vows to prove to her that love is on the menu for both of them . . .

Enjoy an Excerpt

This couldn’t be the new executive producer.

She looked like an intern, barely out of college, not the seasoned television producer Teddy Davis had emailed him about.

The one he’d emailed back saying he neither wanted nor needed.

Hair the color of champagne fell just below her shoulders in a soft cascade of waves and ripples. Even in the heat and humidity engulfing them it looked fresh. Her face was a perfect heart, a tiny dip in the center of the hairline bifurcating her brow into two perfectly aligned sections, her flawless chin falling into a delicate point. She had one hand out to shake his, the other shading her eyes from the strong and harsh afternoon sun, but underneath her fingers he was able to make out a pair of sloe-shaped eyes in a deep, forest green.

Taller than average but small boned, her legs took up most of the lissome body. With her lips held together in a tight line, she reached him.

“I’m Stacy Peters, Mr. Stamp.”

He stopped and planted his feet, his gaze shifting to her outstretched hand and then back up to her face without taking it. Her eyes narrowed into a determined glare and it looked as if she wasn’t going to back down until he shook it. With reluctance, he did.

Like the rest of her, her fingers were narrow and thin as they coiled around his.

A blast of heat instantly warmed and calmed his entire body like a few shots of his favorite Irish whiskey did after a rough and painful day. The subtle aroma of vanilla floated to him, filling his senses with the sweet fragrance. The persistent, throbbing ache in his left leg the liquor helped chase away was momentarily forgotten with his hand rooted in hers.

About the Author: Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

Tying into her love of families, her children’s book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law.

Peggy holds a master’s degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer’s Disease during her time running an Alzheimer’s in-patient care unit during the 1990s.

In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance.

In 2017 she came in 3rd in the New England Reader’s Choice contest for A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS and was a finalist in the 2017 STILETTO contest for the same title.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

Website | Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | Instagram | BookBub
Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Totally Devoted by E.M. Bannock – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. E.M. Bannock will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

I’m E.M. Bannock. My book, Totally Devoted, has just been released by 5 Prince Publishing. I’d like to thank my hosts at Long and Short Review for having me here today. I welcome you out there and hope that by the end of this blog you’ll be enticed and intrigued enough to buy a copy for your entertainment pleasure.

I’ve chosen to tell you a little about the background of this book. It’s a meshing of real life and imagination. In the early 1990’s I found out, with the rest of my family, that one of my younger sisters had Breast Cancer. The news was devastating. My sister was in her mid 30’s and had two beautiful daughters; her oldest was just getting ready to start Kindergarten. She fought a hard battle; surgery, chemo, everything. Within two years she was gone.

Just before she was diagnosed she found out her husband had been cheating on her. When she confronted him he promised he would break it off but he never did. This should sound familiar with anyone who has already read Totally Devoted, since this story line is threaded throughout the book.

I’ve mentioned in previous stops that the idea for the book came to me in a dream and I thought of the storyline details on a jet circling the city of Detroit. I had always intended for my sister to be a mention in the book, it wasn’t until I actually started writing that I thought I would extend the mention and develop it into a sub-plot with a situation and solution at the end.

Without going into specific details let me just say that the majority of the storyline regarding “Shelly” is absolutely pulled from memory. The rest is what I call Therapeutic Sweet Revenge.

As for the main storyline, except for the two main characters sharing some characteristics of me and my husband, it’s pure fiction. We did in live beautiful southern Oregon for a time. We rode horses through the mountains. The descriptions of the town of Grants Pass and the mountain trails are drawn from memory. I hope I’m able to convey their unique quaintness and beauty.

One other interesting fact about Totally Devoted is that the short stories that Marie wrote in high school that she eventually turns into the book called Dirty Stories of a Rich Girl, do exist. I’ve just never turned them into a book, and I wrote them later in life, not high school.

I believe that the best writing comes from things you know. I would never write about a place I hadn’t been to myself. I’m planning on a trip to Nevada in the coming year to research my new book, Zoey’s Place which is about a woman who opens a spa/brothel for women. Prostitution is only legal in certain counties in Nevada and I’ll have to scout locations. I love to travel so chances are, no two books will ever take place in the same location.

I try to write in plain but descriptive language. I use everyday talk and words that normal people use. My book is strictly for entertainment but at the same time it is an example of the struggles and cruelty of life. How everyone deals with what they’ve been handed. And how, against all odds, two people, different as day and night, can find each other and, overcoming their differences, fall in love. The trials they face demonstrate the strength of their love and prove that love conquers all.
I hope I’ve given you just enough to make you hungry for more of Marie and Wil, and curious enough to find out how I take Therapeutic Sweet Revenge on the cheating brother-in-law.

This has been lovely and I want to thanks again my hosts at Long and Short Reviews for the opportunity to introduce everyone to Totally Devoted. Happy Reading and never stop believing in love.

Ten years after the death of her husband and young son, Marie Trousdale decides to move from Los Angeles, California to a small rural Oregon town and hires Wil Townsend, a local contractor, to build her dream home on property she inherited from her deceased husband.

Although they couldn’t be more different in every way possible the two fall in love. Things get complicated when Marie changes occupations. When she is put in danger, Wil must decide if his love is stronger than the differences that separate him from Marie.

Enjoy an Excerpt

From the description she was given by the hotel desk clerk, she figured she wouldn’t have much trouble finding the guy—grungy black cowboy hat, well-worn cowboy boots, scruffy beard, jean jacket, and Levi’s, sitting at the corner table. She was right. He wasn’t hard to spot. It was Monday night, and there were only a handful of people in the place. There he was, sitting at his regular corner table, with his back to the wall, his chair up on two legs, and his feet propped up and crossed on the chair next to him. There was a glass of beer and a half-empty pitcher in front of him. She wondered how many pitchers he had drained before this one. The desk clerk said he had a lot of funny habits. The clerk said the guy always sat with his back to the wall, so no one could get the jump on him. He probably watched too many John Wayne movies.

About the Author: E.M. Bannock was born in 1950 and grew up in the Detroit suburbs. Her love for writing began during high school where she excelled in writing short stories and poetry. Born with the wanderlust, she found herself in Los Angeles, an exciting place to be in the early 70’s, and E.M. experienced all that it had to offer. It was here she met her husband. She has lived in California, Oregon, Alaska, Florida, and Wyoming, where she now lives with her husband, son, daughter-in-law, grandson and a menagerie of cats, dogs, chickens, and horses.

Facebook | Twitter | Publisher

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Finding Michael by Megan Slayer – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Megan will be awarding a bracelet made by the author and signed swag. (International) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Going home could be just the thing his muse needs and his heart desires.

Tristan Paulson needs the words to return. He loves his career penning novels of small-town love, but his muse has gone missing. If he can’t write, he can go back to his roots and sort through the items his newly deceased uncle left behind. Once in Sullavan, Ohio, he realizes just how much he loved the place. Then he sees the handsome librarian—Michael is just the kind of guy he’s always wanted. How can he go back to the big city when Sullavan calls to him?

Michael Kane wants nothing more than to be surrounded by his books and the written word. He knows heartbreak and isn’t in the mood to put himself out into the dating pool again…until he sees Tristan. He wants to be with Tristan, but he’s too shy. A handsome man like Tristan wouldn’t be interested in a quiet man like Michael…would he?

Enjoy an Excerpt

©MeganSlayer 2018, All Rights Reserved

“There’s a bookstore and it has a coffee shop. I go there. I spend a lot of time with Molly because she’s alone at the B&B. Her last boyfriend was a real peach and when he left, he screwed her over. Stole her money, wrecked her car…so she’s kind of touchy.” He stretched his legs. “Otherwise I do my own thing. I spend a lot of time at the library and working with the ladies group who helps the library.”

“No boyfriend?”

Isn’t he full of questions again? “No.”

“Me either.” Tristan blew out a long breath. “Why don’t we go down to the diner? I’m starving and…why not?”

“Sure.” He eyeballed Tristan. The guy wasn’t asking him to come home with him. Just a meal together. Why did this feel like more? Because he wanted more? Christ, he hadn’t gone out with anyone since Barry and even then, the connection wasn’t strong. He stood and stretched, then settled next to Tristan. He could be crazy, but he’d like to find out more about Tristan.

Tristan remained beside Michael as they walked to the diner. He could get used to being with Michael. He’d only been in town for twenty-four hours and he couldn’t fathom not having Michael in his life. As friends? Absolutely. As lovers? If he had his way, then yes.

About the Author:

Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and BDSM themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been the runner up in the Kink Category at Love Romances Café as well as nominated at the LRC for best author, best contemporary, best ménage and best anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice.

Website | Newsletter Sign Up | Blog | Facebook | Amazon Author Page | Book Bub | All Author | Instagram | Goodreads | Twitter
Buy the book at Amazon or Pride Publishing.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Written Together by Wendi Zwadak – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Wendi will be awarding a bracelet made by the author and a signed swag pack to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What if the woman he needs is the one he thought was out of his league?

Adam Pallas knows what he wants out of life—to teach history, to be happy and to have a hot woman by his side. He’s got one out of the three. He should be happy, but he’s not. There’s one woman who grabs his attention every time. The catch? She’s very much out of his league. Can being himself actually snag him the woman of his dreams?

Melissa Murphy isn’t looking for love, but every time she sees Adam her plans go sideways. The English teacher knows there’s a confident, hot man hiding behind the slightly nerdy history buff façade. But her past and the things she wants between the sheets tend to scare men off. She believes the odds may be stacked against them. Could it be their lives are perfectly written together after all?

Enjoy an Excerpt

©Copyright Wendi Zwaduk 2018

Adam stood beside her and went through his battery of stretches. He couldn’t help but watch her flex and bend next to him. Would she be that limber in bed? His cock twitched and he stifled a groan. Heat centered in his groin. Dear God, he had to look away or he’d embarrass himself. He shifted upright and focused on the football players.

“Ready?” She swatted his forearm.

Adam fell into step beside her in an easy gait.

“So, what’s new in the life of Adam, besides being freaked about having an extra class?” Her ponytail swished as she jogged at his side. “New girlfriend? You deserve one.”

“No. I’m not seeing anyone. Tessa showed me she wasn’t interested for good.” He winced. He hadn’t planned on admitting that—again. “I thought she might be the one.”

“She’s happy.”

“But not with me.” And here he was thinking about another woman anyway. Their footsteps thumped on the rubber surface. He had to stop worrying about his regrets and move on to the now.

“Did you ever wonder if you tried too hard?” She glanced at him, then stared ahead again.

“No—yes.” Might as well be honest with her. “I tried way too hard and wanted too much from her. I know I shouldn’t have, but the chase was too good.” Kind of like chasing Melissa. Most women saw him and ran the other way, claiming he was a good friend or one of the guys, but not dating material.

“Sometimes women like a challenge. Sometimes they’re honest with you and you don’t see it.” She picked up her pace a bit, leaving him in her dust. “Bye.”

About the Author:

Wendi Zwaduk is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to BDSM and LGBTQ themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been the runner up in the Kink Category at Love Romances Café as well as nominated at the LRC for best contemporary, best ménage and best anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com and the former AllRomance Ebooks. She also writes under the name of Megan Slayer.

When she’s not writing, she spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lessons Learned from the Heroine by Philip Wilson – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Philip Wilson will be awarding a signed paperback copy of the book to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Lessons Learned from the Heroine
Allison is bright, pretty and popular, and has her whole life ahead of her when she is diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Not only is the disease almost inevitably terminal but her prognosis is for a steady decline in cognitive ability, growing physical disability and increasing pain requiring heavy doses of narcotics. The novel deals with the next few months of Allison’s life as she vacillates between thoughts of suicide, making the best of the time she has, and hoping for a miracle.

After moving to a hospice in a small town she meets various people who gradually influence her perceptions and decisions. Terri Wright, a resident of the same hospice with the same medical condition, is determined to get the most out of the time she has. She pushes Allison to play tennis, go kayaking and sing in the local pub. When Allison has moments of despair and considers giving up, Terri urges her ‘to fight the darkness.’ Jack Rollins is the pub owner who falls in love with her despite knowing her situation and urges her to ‘make the best of the time we’ve got.’ Jack’s nine-year-old niece, Lucy, sees in Allison the mother and role model she’s never had. As Allison continues to struggle with her own feelings and emotions, she begins to realize that, despite her circumstances, she’s finding happiness and fulfillment, and making a difference in the lives of the people around her. She learns to appreciate whatever time she’s got and fights to make each day count.

That’s the lesson I hope readers takeaway from Songs for Lucy – the notion that whether faced with a terminal illness or not, every day should count. Allison’s journey leads her to pursue new interests and opportunities, some of which she may never have thought to make time for otherwise. Her character development highlights the importance of following your true passions to find happiness and fulfillment.

It’s spring, and Allison Connelly has it all – pretty, popular and smart. With a summer job teaching tennis and starting Harvard Law School in the fall, Allison plans on a successful law career, marriage and kids – and dreams of becoming a Supreme Court Justice.

When relentless headaches drive her to her doctor, Allison receives a terrifying diagnosis that destroys her plans and imperils her life. Devastated, Allison struggles to accept her shattered dreams and uncertain future. One night, she happens into a small-town pub and, on a whim, takes a job singing, finding solace and a measure of peace in her music. She settles in the town, and from that small beginning finds love, a new life and a new reason for living.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Dean Richardson went to the podium, looked back at Allison, and smiled. “It is now my great pleasure and privilege to introduce Allison Connelly to give the Valedictory Address. Allison has made an extraordinary contribution to our school. Not only has she achieved the highest academic standing in her graduating class, but she captained the tennis team – which won the Northeastern Intercollegiate Championship – and was on both the swim and debating teams. Rumor has it that she also sings occasionally at one of the local pubs. I really don’t know when she found time to study. It had been my hope that Allison would stay at BHU and continue with our MBA program, but… I am delighted to announce that she has been accepted into Harvard Law School. While I’m very sorry to lose her, Allison is the first BHU grad to be accepted into HLS in almost a decade and I’m sure you will all share my pride in her achievement. Allison.”

There was a burst of applause. Prepared to stand and approach the podium, she again felt a searing pain over her left eye. She remained seated and again breathed deeply, fighting the pain.

“Allison,” the dean prompted again.

To Allison’s great relief, the pain dissipated. She stood, walked confidently to the podium, and looked out at her classmates and others in the auditorium.

Allison paused and the audience waited expectantly, anticipating the usual salutation acknowledging students, friends and families, alumni, the dean, and the faculty.

“Hi Guys,” Allison began with a smile.

About the Author:Philip Wilson is a retired financial executive who spends winters in Florida and summers sailing on the Great Lakes in his 32-foot sailboat. Songs for Lucy is his second book. His first, The Librarian, was rated one of the best reviewed books of 2017 by IndieReader and featured in the Huffington Post.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For This Moment by Holly Bush – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Holly Bush will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

1871 – Born to privilege and duty in Virginia, Olivia Gentry comes of age as women begin to find their social and political independence. She has been raised and educated to carry on the Gentry family’s successful horse breeding stables with her brothers at Paradise, their family home. Having been deceived in love as a young woman and unsure of her instincts, she is wary to commit to a marriage, but she cannot deny her long-buried feelings for a family friend.

Jim Somerset has been in love with Olivia Gentry from the moment she gazed up at him as a young girl. A farrier by trade like his father before him, he and his business’s future are inexorably entwined with the Gentry family. He has watched her be courted by statesmen, and considers her and her goals out of the reach of a common workman, like himself. But he is fearful that he will never rid Olivia from his mind and from his heart. Has the moment come for him to reveal his passions for her? Find out in the third installment of the Gentrys of Paradise.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Twilight had descended, though, and she wasn’t walking into the woods, where tree cover had already made it dark. But Olivia was heading toward the woods, where she could skirt the cool edges, away from the crowds until her breathing and sense were restored. She noticed two things as she walked. The sound of human voices had dimmed, and Jim Somerset was standing directly ahead of her.

“Of all people,” she said softly.

He pushed off the tree he was leaning against and walked toward her. He didn’t stop until he was standing close to her.

“Are you engaged to him?”

She shook her head. “No.”

“What did that kiss mean?” he blurted out.

“I didn’t kiss him,” she said and looked so forlorn, so lost, that he wanted to gather her in his arms like he would a sister or brother who’d skinned a knee. But that wasn’t quite true, or even true a small amount, because he wanted to ease her to the ground and cover her body with his. He wanted to touch her face and hair. He wanted to put his lips on hers.

“At the creek when you kissed me,” he clarified.

She was silent for so long he wondered if she’d heard him or was ever going to answer if she had heard him. He was staring at her, waiting, when the tears began to roll down her cheeks and drop off her chin. The muscles in his chest contorted and twisted as he watched each tear fall. He had to force himself to breathe. Her hurt, her pain, was constricting his heart’s ability to beat and his lungs’ capacity to draw air and he understood at that moment with some clarity what poets meant by heartbreak.

About the Author:

Holly Bush writes historical romance set in the U.S.in the late 1800’s, in Victorian England, and and occasional Women’s Fiction title. Her books are described as emotional, with heartfelt, sexy romance. She makes her home with her husband in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Website | Twitter |
Facebook | Amazon Author Page

Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Edger by David Beem – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. David Beem will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

It’s been said every story must start somewhere. Ours begins with a professional dork. The kind who fixes computers and lives in his gran’s basement. The kind tapped by destiny (that saucy minx) to become the world’s first superhero!

And not a moment too soon…

A nano-sized artificial intelligence is on the loose! It got itself dart-gunned into a cow butt by a frog man in a porn store! Two stoners are corrupting it on twitter! And that’s just the first three pages!!

Join our dork of destiny as he channels the collective unconscious—his psychic superpower—in a harrowing tale of high drama, romance, betrayal, revenge, jesus chickens, cocaine, weirdos, magicians, ninjas, nfl spies, and disco ball water torture administered to the tune of rapture, by blondie. My god, man, what does it all mean!?

It means uncorking that next bottle of wine isn’t only a good idea—it’s advisable.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

“Morning, sleepyhead.”

I roll onto my side. A bar of honey-golden sunlight is bisecting a bare and definitely female leg in my bed.

Something like a popped clutch hitches in my chest.

I snatch the blankets and try to yank them up to my neck. They won’t come, because Mary—beautiful Mary Thomas—is sitting on the edge of my bed. The blankets are trapped beneath her beautiful butt, which happens to be wearing my favorite boxers. And the rest of her is in my Notre Dame jersey.

“What’re you—how’re you—what’re you—are you wearing my clothes?”

“I got to thinking,” she says, standing and sashaying over to my desk, where she picks up the picture of me and Dad. Her blonde hair is gleaming in the morning sunlight. Her legs are long, toned, and tan. I bite the side of my tongue, and my gaze snaps to eye level just in time; she sets down the picture and faces me.

“I’m going to help you.”

I yank my sheets up to my neck and count to ten. I’ve missed something. Maybe more than one critical something. Probably an entire chapter of critical somethings torn from the story of my life while I was sleeping.

I release the sheets and sit up. “How did you get in here?”

“Through the window.”

“I mean—okay. Not to be rude or anything, but…why are you in my room?”

“I’m glad you asked that, Edger,” she says, like her sitting at my desk and wearing my boxers and jersey is the most normal freaking thing in the history of normal freaking things. “I know we just met yesterday, but I think it’s time we moved in together.”

About the Author:David Beem enjoys superhero movies, taekwondo, and flossing. He lives in Djibouti with his family and crippling self-doubt. Help actualize David’s inner confidence. Visit his website today, and buy all the stuff.

Website | Facebook |
Twitter

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Critique Groups and Contests? No Thanks. by Charlotte Hubbard – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Critique Groups and Contests? No Thanks.

Although a lot of writers feel they benefit from belonging to a critique group, I’ve never been one of them. I don’t like group members—especially if they haven’t published any full-length fiction—telling me what they either love or would “fix” about the pages they’ve read because you come away with such a mix of advice, and their opinions often contradict each other! What are you supposed to believe?

Same goes for entering contests. Unless the contest judges are editors of a publishing house looking to acquire new authors, the comments and critiques really don’t count for much, the way I see it. Other readers, no matter how well-intentioned, are just giving their opinions, after all. They have no stake in the fate of your book.

I admit it: I’m a bit thin-skinned and I dislike criticism. Over the years, I’ve come to believe my own gut intuition about which elements of a story I should include—and I believe my sense of storytelling is right for the fiction I create.
Do I get revision letters and requests for changes from my editors? You bet I do. Some of the books you’ve read—including A MOTHER’S GIFT—are different in print from the manuscript I originally turned in. Originally, Leah raised deer to sell to a hunting lodge—and I know an Amish family in Jamesport, MO who actually does this for income. My editor felt some readers would be offended or upset about the fate of these deer, so in the final version, Leah raised cattle instead. I trust my editor’s judgment, so I rewrote those parts of the story. Her sensitivity overruled my authenticity.

Here’s my final answer about critique groups and contests: the only person who gets to have an opinion about my work is the one who signs my checks.

Does this sound arrogant? Maybe it is. But if you’re a struggling writer, maybe that piece of writing advice is exactly what will free you from the frustration and confusion that comes from listening to too many voices that drown out your own. Pay attention to feedback from agents and editors who are interested in your work—because they know the market and your genre’s requirements—but otherwise, shut out the noise of other people’s opinions. What do they know?

For Leah Otto, marrying Jude Shetler is a long-held dream come true. As a young girl, she was captivated by his good looks and talent as an auctioneer. When Jude, now a widower with three children, begins to court her, Leah doesn’t hesitate. Other men may not appreciate her tomboy ways, but Jude values Leah’s practical nature and her skill with the animals she tends, and both enter the marriage with joy and optimism.

Three months later, Leah feels as if her world is coming down around her. Her twin teenage step-daughters, Alice and Adeline, are pushing boundaries and taking far too many risks, while five-year-old Stevie deeply misses his mother. Leah, more at ease in a barn tending her goats and chickens than in a kitchen, struggles with her housekeeping duties.

Then a baby is abandoned on their doorstep, and Leah must search her soul. Caring for little Betsy fills her with renewed purpose and the strength to begin pulling her family together. With Jude’s steadfast support, Leah finds that what she once thought of as a happy ending may be something even better—the beginning of a life rich in love, faith, and unexpected blessings.

Enjoy an Excerpt

As Lenore Otto sat on the bed with Leah, wistfully watching the dusk of late November fill her daughter’s room, her heart was torn. The two of them had shared this evening ritual of talking and praying since Lenore’s husband, Raymond, had died last year. It had always brought her a comforting sense of peace, along with the certainty that she and her daughter would move forward with the plans God had for them. After all the cleaning they’d done and the preparations they’d made to host Leah’s wedding festivities the next day, she was ready to relax—but she needed to speak the words that weighed so heavily on her heart.

Tomorrow, when Leah got married, their lives would follow separate paths. Lenore knew she would be fine remaining on the small farm alone, making and selling her specialty quilts. She supposed some of her qualms about her daughter’s marriage plagued every mother . . .

Lord, I wish I could believe my Leah’s reaching toward happiness rather than heartache.

Before God’s still, small voice could respond to Lenore, Leah let out an ecstatic sigh. “Oh, Mama, it’s a dream come true,” she murmured. “Starting tomorrow, when I marry Jude, my life will finally be the way I’ve always wanted it. My waiting is over!”

Not for the first time, Lenore sighed inwardly at her daughter’s fantasy. As she returned Leah’s hug, savoring these precious moments in the room where her little girl had matured into a woman of twenty-eight, she didn’t have it in her to shatter Leah’s dreams. No mother wanted her daughter to forever remain a maidel, yet during these final hours before the wedding, Lenore thought she should try once again to point out the realities of marrying Jude Shetler. Jude was a fine, upstanding man any parent would be pleased to welcome as a son-in-law, but as a widower he carried a certain amount of . . . baggage.

About the Author:Charlotte Hubbard is the acclaimed author of Amish romance and fiction that evokes simpler times and draws upon her experiences in Jamesport, the largest Old Order Amish community west of the Mississippi. Faith and family, farming, and food preservation are hallmarks of her lifestyle—and the foundation of all her novels. A deacon, dedicated church musician and choir member, she loves to travel, read, try new recipes, and crochet. A longtime Missourian, Charlotte now lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her husband and their border collie, Vera.

Website | Facebook

Buy the ebook at Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, iBooks, iBooks, iBooks Canada, iBooks Australia, iBooks New Zealand, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Google Play.

Buy the print book at Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, Chapters Indigo, IndieBound, or Book Depository.

a Rafflecopter giveaway