I am right there with all of you! It is hard to stay on your book budget when you have tons of your favorite authors releasing books every Tuesday You can tell yourself you won't read them right away anyway, but that doesn't stop you from wanting them! And it is harder and harder for new authors to break out and be found, especially if a reader has to make a choice...take a chance on a new author or buy three other books from authors they already know for the same price.
The market is crazy right now, but you don't have to be book poor! Here are five ways to get your hands on books (LEGALLY!!!! HINT HINT) without breaking the bank!
Lesson the First...
If you didn't already know, there is a place in most towns brimming with books...especially the newer books readers are waiting for. You guessed it, I'm talking about a library! Usually, you can get a library card for free within the city limits; I lived outside, so I paid $30 bucks a year and was able to check out six books at a time. When I was a stay at home mom with two kids, I devoured books like Girl Scout cookies and that membership more than paid for itself! And the best part is, the library has already paid for the book, so the author doesn't get screwed and if you want to be really nice, you could always pop onto any book seller site or Goodreads and leave a review. Reviews are like giving authors a warm hug of acknowledgement (even if the book wasn't to your taste.)
Lesson the Second...
Invest in an ereader. I know, it takes some getting used to and I still prefer the smell and feel of a print book in my hand...but, my wallet thanks me, as I can get ebooks a lot less than the print version. You can get a great basic tablet on sale for $30 bucks (watch Mother's Day, Father's Day, and Black Friday) or an ereader for around $60. And if I read it, love it, and want it on my keeper shelf, I can always invest in the print copy later. If the ereader is out of your budget for now, check out Facebook and Twitter for any hashtag that reads #Kindle #Nook or #iPad #Giveaway and just keep entering contests. You can also enter contests for #giftcards if you still aren't sold on the ereader, and buy print books with them! Usually, these giveaways are run by authors that ask you to share book releases and trailers. So, you're helping them out by spreading the word and getting a chance at a devise that will save you money in the long run. And make sure you are following those authors you can't get enough of, because guess what? We do a lot of giveaways of ebook, printbooks, and Advanced Reader Copies! So stalk us!
Lesson the Third...
Let's talk about the ebook sellers...there are sections in every genre for #Free reads. I have an iPad, so I love #iBooks. It is easy to navigate and I can see the top 150 free romances. There are always books available from best selling authors and debut authors I can't wait to try. And if I adore the author's writing style, I start buying their other titles because I got a taste and I just can't stop! But the best way to find out about free books is by following ebook newsletters like FreeBooksy or Bookbub. FreeBooksy is a daily newsletter that updates you on fantastic books in your preferred genre that are permafree (free all the time) or are marked free for a limited time. Big publishers will do this sometimes and another way to track these deals is by using hashtags on Twitter and Facebook #Free #Reads #Romance...and following your favorite authors! (And be sure to share news of a free book you loved with a friend!)
Lesson the Fourth...
Used Bookstores and Thrift Stores have been dying off the last ten years, but I still like to frequent the ones in my town. Why? Because I can turn in books I have already read, that aren't staying on my keeper shelf, and I can replenish my shelves with new reads. Used bookstores usually have a credit system for books, and the author has already received payment for it. However, you can share the love by loaning the book to someone and getting them hooked on the author's writing or leaving a review. You are probably sensing a theme here, but reviews aren't just for readers to determine whether they want to spend money on a book. Reviews help authors get book promotions that put their books in front of more readers. More reviews give their books visibility on Amazon. Reviews are crucial and authors are appreciative of readers who take the time to post.
As far as thrift stores, I can sometimes find old out of print books or books in mint condition I've been dying to read, and if the thrift store supports local charities like animal shelters and women's shelters, I feel like I am giving back to my community.
Lesson the Fifth...
The Dollar Tree! Did you know that they have actual books by large publishers available? I didn't until a few weeks ago, when I discovered two new to me authors who wrote for Zebra and Harper Teen. A dollar for a brand new paperback romance gives me a serious happy, and I know if I love the books, I'm going to go back and buy their back list. It doesn't help the author as far as sales on this book, but if I fall in love with the story, leave a review and buy her backlist, she's gained a lot from this one book...and I can still grab a cup of coffee to drink while I read.
Now, some of you may be rolling your eyes and saying, "I already knew this!" That is fantastic and you keep finding those gems and deals! But for those of you who didn't, I hope this helps. :-)
For those of you who have been with me since the beginning, you know all about my first series set in Rock Canyon, Idaho. The picturesque small town is the back drop to some pretty colorful characters and fun, flirty romances! I started the series with my very first book that was never published, and was incredibly terrible. But it did give me a cast of characters I could work with...and fall hard for.
Since The Trouble with Sexy, the characters of Eric and Gracie have been on readers minds. They are the couple people ask me about and have been wondering about for four years. And now, after one novella, five full length novels, and one short story collection, readers will get their Happily Ever After.
On February 28th, four years and twenty-three days after The Trouble with Sexy debuted in the Kiss Me Anthology, Good Girls Don't Kiss and Tell will hit ereaders everywhere. I love this series, and I have been waiting to write this story. Later this year, Mike and Ellie's novel will tie off the series with Good at Being Bad.
Wait...you didn't know that I was FINALLY writing more Rock Canyon? I can't believe you didn't see my excited and annoying posts!
Since you didn't know, I'll clue you in on one more thing...
I am putting together a Blog/Review Tour for Good Girls Don't Kiss and Tell and am looking for bloggers and reviewers with at least five reviews on their Goodreads account. ARCs will go out on February 14th! (HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!) https://goo.gl/forms/w2J1wXlEoD4gl7Yo2
Big hugs and I hope you all are as excited as I am to get back to Rock Canyon!
They used to be enemies…
Gracie McAllister has never been the relationship type…until now. After a brutal visit from her happily married parents, Gracie is looking for Mr. Right…not Mr. Right Now. And despite their recent truce, there is no way sexy Eric Henderson is anything but.
Now they’re allies…
Eric has always had a thing for Gracie, but they could never manage to get on the same page long enough to explore the heat between them. When Eric gets the opportunity of a lifetime, he asks Gracie for help…and swears her to secrecy.
But is that all?
Now the whole town thinks their romance is real, but it’s just a business arrangement. There’s no way they’re actually falling in love…right?
As writers, we have a job to do. An amazing, wonderful dream job that we love. We have to get the words down and we have to get the edits done and we have to meet our deadlines.
But sometimes, we forget that we are human. We get sick. Our kids get sick. We lose loved ones. We have to clean the house because it is starting to look like an episode of Hoarders or shower because we can't remember when the last time was and we are starting to attract flies.
Sometimes the story fights us. Sometimes our characters are stupid and we want to hit them. We realize that we've been eating nothing but saltines and pickles all day because we forgot to go grocery shopping. And honestly, we really don't want to change out of our yoga pants and deal with people.
Sometimes we fight with our husbands or boyfriends or girlfriends and we're not feeling very romantic. No, we don't want to write a love scene...we want to write a fight scene. We want to fictionally punch someone and break their nose.
Sometimes we worry about money and bills and healthcare and other things that cause our heart rate to speed up. Our hands become clammy and we're sick to our stomach and we're suddenly dizzy and we're sure it's a heart attack...
By the way, it's probably not...most likely it's an anxiety attack, so just go lay down in a dark, quiet room and breathe. Try not to think...
What the hell am I talking about, right? Because you're a writer...you never stop thinking. Thinking about characters and plot lines and sales numbers and edits and marketing and reviews.
We are always thinking. It's hard to shut our brains off, even with other wonderful books, shows, and movies to distract us. It can be overwhelming and sometimes, we wonder why we put ourselves through the stress...
And then you get a PM on Facebook or an email from a reader. Just one, but she tells you that she loved your book. That it made her laugh and cry and she can't wait for the next book.
Your heart grows three sizes and a smile spreads across your face.
Then you find yourself singing, "I'm walking on sunshine," while you do the dishes.
And even when your kids are screaming and fighting or your significant other is being a pain in the buttowski, you can't be brought down.
Because a reader took the time out of their day to make yours.
And that's why we are writers. For the readers who love what we do.
_Want a chance to win one of two $25 Amazon Gift Cards? Just sign up to be a part of Sara Jane Stone and my week long blitz and release day extravaganza! Media Kits will be sent out May 25th with everything you need, and it is super simple! If you're interested, just fill out the Google Form, and look out for the email. If you fail to post, you will not be eligible to win.
I have some amazing news!
So, back in January, my amazing agent, Sarah, emailed me asking if I had time to chat. Chat was usually code for something really good is about to happen or something very…VERY bad.
Lucky for me, it was the former.
She wanted to know if I’d be up for working on a super-secret proposal. Like if-I-utter-a-word-about-it-I’d-be-swimming-with-the-fishes secret.
Okay, so not that secret, but you get the gist.
Once she gave me all the deets, of course I was in. I mean, there was no way I was going to turn down the chance to write for James-freaking-Patterson.
That’s right, that James Patterson. I was crazy excited and nervous. And when he picked my proposal, I was beyond floored. But still I had to keep silent until he went public…
Well, he went public this week with a New York Times article, and now, I can shout it from my front yard (I don’t do hilltops.)
So now, I’m working on the last leg of the book, which will be releasing sometime in early 2017 for his new BookShots imprint. It has been an amazing experience, and I’ve fallen in love with Laura, my editor for BookShots. She is so encouraging and seems really excited about the book, which I hope means y’all will love it too.
I’ll have more to share in the coming months, but I was just so excited to finally get to share this news with you guys! Thank you for being the best fans in the world; I love your guts!
As a kid, I remember watching A League of Their Own and loving the first three quarters of it. I adored the humor, the fact that women were kicking ass and it is just an all around great movie...
I have a few complaints, though.
The first complaint is the character of Kit. I have always hated Kit. I will even go so far as to say I LOATHE Kit. Even Mae and Doris had redeeming qualities and moments where you actually feel for them, but not Kit.
As a writer, my characters won't always be perfect, because that isn't realistic. However, there was nothing good about Kit. Kit was a sullen, sulky, spoiled jealous brat who literally made my skin crawl every time she got this look on her face. One redeeming quality would have been nice, but there wasn't any. She wasn't even as good a ball player as Dotty.
I mentioned I like my characters with some flaws, right? Well, on the other extreme was Dotty. Dotty was so fun and likable; a loyal wife, a good sister, a terrific ball player, she stood up for herself and people genuinely adored her. The only flaw she had was catering to Kit's tantrums. This sisterly dynamic did absolutely nothing for me, and I understand that the writers needed contention and conflict, but it just made the last 20 minutes painful to watch.
Which brings me to my next complaint. The playoffs. The final game. Poor Kit is in the dug out crying because she'll never be as perfect or good as Dotty, wah wah wah...
So Dotty let her win.
It's true. You can't watch Dotty's face when she sees Kit crying and not know that this whole scene was Dotty throwing the game so that her bratty little sister could feel good about herself. UGGGGGGGHHHHH!!!
No. Just no.
This moment ruins the rest of the movie for me so I never watch it. I fast forward to the final scene forty or fifty years later at the Baseball Hall of Fame, and then the two of them hug and again, my stomach twists with revulsion.
And then this...this moment is another gut wrenching, I can't bear to watch scene.
Because after two hours of fighting to keep the league alive, of proving that women are as good as men and just being freaking awesome, Dotty is ready to pack it in, give up something she loves, and go home with her husband. To give it all up, something she was made to do, to have kids and be a perfect wife.
Nothing wrong with that, and in fact, Dotty has said that was all she wanted the whole movie. That she didn't even want to be in the league....
She loved it. She was amazing at it and it made her feel alive, but she just couldn't admit it to herself. So she played one season, threw away the only chance she'd have to win it all, and walked away. And people still talked about her being the best player in the league.
I say screw that! She is not! Because if she was any kind of player or hero for that matter, she would have fought harder. She would have never walked away and kept playing.
I understand it was a different time and that she loved her husband and did want a family, BUT Kit wasn't wrong when she told Dotty she had plenty of time to have kids.
Maybe I just feel so dissatisfied because the Peaches didn't win. If they had, maybe I'd feel fine with Dotty going back to Oregon and never playing again.
But she didn't and they didn't and instead, Kit kept playing, but without having to compete with her perfect sister.
The only reason I can still watch this movie with love is Jimmy (played by Tom Hanks) and the rest of the cast of hilarious characters (except for Kit.) A League of Their Own has some spectacular moments of humor, and if I could rewrite the last 20 or so minutes, it would be a perfect ten for me.
Over the last few years, I have been bemoaning the crappy movies Hollywood insists on putting out. Unless it was a movie based on a book, the majority of Hollywood's taste run to crap. The Hollywood Reporter wasn't a fan of this movie because they called it cliched...Well, guess what? It's a romcom! There is supposed to be cliches and predictable moments and a happily ever after! That's what makes them fantastic!
This delightful Indie flick was funny, sweet, frustrating, and sigh worthy! It was FABULOUS! In fact, my husband and I were just talking about how much we were starting to prefer indie flicks to mainstream. Maybe because Hollywood always has to have some kind of weird twist on their movies and have forgotten the simplistic joy movies by John Hughes and Gary Marshall brought to the masses once upon a time. Instead, the romcom has been replaced by stoner flicks, horror/violent films, and super hero movies. Don't get me wrong, I can enjoy any of these if they're done right, but I miss falling in love with a few mishaps along the way. I miss the Two Weeks Notice and Pretty Womans.
So, in conclusion, if you haven't watched this yet, it is available on Netflix and Amazon Instant, as well as for sale at most major vendors! Watch it and tell me what you thought!
When browsing the top 100 on iBooks, I noticed a trend among covers...they are either a picture of a couple/man in black and white with a colored title or a full colored picture with muted colored title. However, there are a few covers that buck the trend and stand out in my mind, and make my one click finger twitch! What covers have caught your eye lately?
From the cover of Ask Me Anything, I expected a quirky, coming of age tale that would end with some uplifting, sage moral. Yeah, that didn't happen. Sure, it's a cautionary tale about the dangers of sharing every detail of your life and that whether they are teenaged boys or elderly men, they generally suck. (Hey, I didn't write the movie.)
I started the movie thinking, okay, she'll learn from this...then poor thing...then WTF...and then the ending...good GOD the ending...SMH...
After that emotional suckfest, I needed something lighthearted and fun. Luckily, I picked Life Partners, which was so adorable and had the best friendship in a movie I have seen in a long time. The love story was also genuine and awesome! It was a movie I liked and would watch again.
As for Ask Me Anything, I wish I could erase it from my mind.
Avid writer of small towns, true love, and laugh out loud moments. Romance novel entusiast. Addictions include Coffee, Twitter, and TV Shows.