Friday, January 31, 2014

Celebrating Small Things, Sequel Hints and Showing Off Another Book! Not in that Order


Celebrating: This month's moon pie making. If you don't know about moon pie, I'm very sorry for you. But if you want the recipe, stay tooned

Also Celebrating: A New Book! Here 'tis!


Sun and Moon by Lee Strauss
(Book One in the Minstrel Series)

 January 26th!

If you’re a fan of the movie Inside Llewyn Davis, ABC television’s Nashville or Colleen Hoover’s upcoming novel, "Maybe Someday", the Minstrel Series is for you!

The Minstrel Series is a collection of contemporary romance novels set in the singer/songwriter world. The books are companion novels, with shared settings and characters, but each are complete standalone stories with a HEA (happily ever after) and no cliffhangers!

She has a past. He has a secret.
Katja Stoltz is a risk-taking singer-songwriter hoping to make it in the indie music scene in Dresden, Germany. Micah Sturm's a brooding uptown banker on a quest.

Driven to the streets, Katja is picked up by Micah - but he doesn't want what she thinks he does.

There’s an undeniable attraction between them, a gravitational pull they both struggle to resist. Katja knows she mustn’t fall in love with this handsome enigma. There’s something dark lurking beneath the surface. He could be dangerous.

And even if her life isn’t on the line, her heart most definitely is.

*not erotica - no explicit sex or coarse language

Buy now!

Enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card, MP3s of all four songs featured on Sun and Moon, and a 12 month calendar from Dresden, Germany featuring many of the settings found in Sun & Moon.

Dresden, Germany

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Hint #2: Here's another HINT about writing those sequels. Thanks to 

Ruth Ann Hixson: "Write it as a sequel but also as a STAND ALONE book in case the reader hasn't read the previous book."

Monday, January 20, 2014

What Worked? What Didn't?

Arlee Bird -
Yolanda Renee -
Jeremy Hawkins -
Alex J. Cavanaugh -

In all honesty I think one strategy that's worked (even though on a small scale, 14 to 20 books sales in fifteen minutes) for me has been creating and presenting writing workshops. I'm able to meet readers in person and since many students return for two or three years, I build a small but steady reader base. They keep in touch, asking when my next book is coming. My biggest problem is having a new book ready for sale.

My Class of 2013!

Leslie Rose read Alligators Overhead to her fifth grade class and whether or not that sold books, I couldn't say, but I sure got a lot of feedback from her kids--wonderful notes and great pictures.
I think if I get my act into gear and finish that sequel, this classroom exposure might prove to be a great way to attract attention. Now I need more fifth grade teachers who want to read stories to their classes.

One Picture of the Haunted Mansion + Alligator

I contributed to two anthologies The First Time and Two and Twenty Dark Tales. That led to several bookstore appearances where I met other authors, but also booksellers. Knowing the people is a big part of getting books noticed. Plus I was well reviewed in both anthologies for Premeditated Cat and Into The Sea of Dew. Good reviews always help if only for the ego, but after the book signing, sales on Amazon went up for two of my books.

Me, Suzanne Lazear and Nina Berry at Mysterious Gallaxy Books

Friday, January 17, 2014

Hop, Hop, Hop!

I missed last week's Celebration of the Small Things, but I'll make up for it this week by celebrating extra hard. Hope that counts.


I'm celebrating finishing a rewrite on a YA manuscript. Yay! I'm jumping up and down in case you can't see me. And I sent it off to my miracle group, The Garret. Let me just give them a few celebratory kudos. Mel Higgins, Heather Couthard and Yvonne Ventresca are amazing readers and writers. We've hung out together for several years now and I couldn't continue if they weren't there.

Be sure to watch for Yvonne's book PANDEMIC when it's released this year.  It's a great YA read and so on topic.

Something else I'm celebrating is signing up for CHAPTER SEE. It's another site to showcase your books. Since I've just started, I can't say if it's effective, but I'll keep you posted.

I've got 16 votes for Alligators Ovehead on that contest at LinkedIn. Of course I need 40, so chances are now slim to none that I'll win. If you're on LinkedIn and have a minute to give me a LIKE, I'd really appreciate it. I hate to not even get half way to 40!

Carrie Butler has a new cover! WHERE ARE THESE MEN?
What do love about COFFEE? As for me, it's the aroma of freshly ground beans that hooks my nose and pulls me from between the sheets in the morning. The first coffee has to be a cappuccino and usually that's all I need. If I do have another cup, it has to be very dark and plain. So join the hop unless you're GARY, then don't. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Monday Ketchup or How to Make Goulash

I've been busy with wrapping up my mom's end of life business (there's a lot, believe me) and seeing to my son's care since his accident. Therefore, I've not really been HOPPING or FB+ING or SOCIAL MEDIA+ING very much. It's going to take a few more months before I'm at full strength, but I will be. In the meantime, here's what's up.


Today is very special because I get to share BISH DENHAM'S book with you. First, look at this cover. Who wouldn't pick this from a shelf or a webpage?
Please add this to your GOODREADS TBR 

About the Book

How do you escape a hungry tiger? Why do ram-goats smell? What happens if you get too greedy? In this collection of ten retold Jamaican stories, Anansi the spider tricks, sings, and dances his way into and out of trouble.

But who is Anansi? It was the Ashanti of West Africa who brought the spider into the Caribbean. He clung tight to the web he wove in the minds of those who had been captured, surviving not only the harrowing passage across the Atlantic Ocean, but hundreds of years of slavery.

As a trickster, Anansi has both good and bad traits, which makes him very human. Sometimes he wins, sometimes he loses. When he wins he dances and sings for joy. When he loses, he shakes it off and keeps on living, a lesson for us all.

About the Author

Bish Denham, whose mother's side of the family has been in the Caribbean for over hundred years, was raised in the U. S. Virgin Islands. She still has lots of family living there and visits them regularly.

She says, "Growing up in the islands was like living inside a history book. Columbus named them, Sir Francis Drake sailed through the area, and Alexander Hamilton was raised on St. Croix. Pirates plied the waters and hundred of years of slavery left its indelible mark. It was within this atmosphere of magic and wonder that I grew up. My hope is pass some of that magic and wonder on to my readers."


If you missed this on Michael's Blog, the link to his post about his very COOL and FUN COFFEE BLOG HOP is below. It's a commitment, guaranteed to wake you up!


If you made RESOLUTIONS or set GOALS. Check out this helpful list of TIPS for keeping those in place this year.

How did this Goulash taste? I love it when I have just the right ingredients to make a great stewy kind of blog post. Hope you'll check out Bish's book and join Michael's Coffee Hop.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Why An Insecure Writer Support Group?

Thanks ALEX 

I have no idea why we need IWSG. What does it do that's so important, huh?

Pardon me a moment, I have to open my email to see which agent is asking for my manuscript today. Such a drag. Nag. Nag. Nag is all they do. 

Please send me another of those sparkling, exquisite stories, C. Lee. 

What did you write today, C. Lee. Can't wait to read it.

You'd think since they're in the writing industry they'd come up with more original lines.

Oh, sorry. Back from my email, which doesn't seem to be working today. I didn't get anything except a PayPal offer. I'll check later.

Now to my question.

Hold on, my Google Calendar just sent me an alert. Let me take a look. 

What? I was sure I'd finished that last chapter, but guess not. Oh, right. I got stuck in that one scene and couldn't figure out where to take it. I stopped writing in February? Not possible. I never get the "BLOCK."

Where was I? Oh, yes. IWSG. Hold it. Just saw something pop up on Amazon. It's another review. Stellar no doubt. Two stars? Did the guy even read my book? Who does he think he is? 

*Reaches for box of Kleenex and an aspirin. Slumps in chair. 

You can all leave now. I'm not here anymore. I'm over THERE! 

Just a little heads up that Bish Denham has launched her book, ANANSI and COMPANY. It would be great if you'd add it to your TBR list on GoodReads. I'll be posting more about Bish and her book next Monday, but here's her amazing cover.

Be sure to visit these others on the Linky for IWSG