Sunday, June 28, 2015

Lots Of Firsts This Week

Yes, dear friends, it's been one week of triumphs. First steps on my new hip, first BookBub ad for the Cotillion Ball Saga bundle of three books which vaulted sales into the top 100, first novella trending well on Amazon. All good things.
Your Deals  
The Cotillion Ball Saga by Becky LowerThe Cotillion Ball Saga By Becky Lower
Ginger, Heather, and Basil Fitzpatrick were raised to follow their hearts — even if it means defying all of society’s conventions. Passion, suspense, and adventure combine in these captivating novels set in the tumultuous years before the Civil War. 
$0.99 Originally: $2.99 
Amazon   Barnes & Noble 
Category: Historical Romance

I live in a Cape Cod house in a quaint college town, which has two bedrooms upstairs and two down. There were several reasons why I bought it, not the least of which was for the wide-board pine floors in the two massive upstairs bedrooms. Having lived in small spaces for so many years, I reveled in the largesse of the master bedroom upstairs. Sadly, those days are gone. The house no longer works for me, since it's best that I avoid stairs now. Thankfully, my great neighbor gathered the troops and got the bed moved down. So, now I am living all on the first floor.

My first novella, An Unconventional Courtship, is selling well this week, too. It was such a fun story to write, since I am already very aware of the personalities of Charlotte and George, the heads of the Fitzpatrick family. Now I got to explore exactly how they got that way. One of the reviewers said the book was quirky and fun, which pleased me immensely, since that's exactly who they are.

While I was laying around with my bum hip, I took a workshop from one of the masters in the industry. I applied her principles to the next book in the series, number 8. The edits are due back to me on Monday, and my editor told me her suggestions are very light, which was a first. So that worked, too.

Like I said, a week of firsts. What will next week be like?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

One Step Forward, Fourteen Back

I know you're all tired of hearing about my hip dilemma, and I wish, believe me, to have better news. But the sad truth is I'm starting over again. My hip dislocated a second time and this time I went down hard. Now it's not just my hip but my shoulder. Surgery for the hip is scheduled for Monday, and a cortisone shot helped the shoulder. One thing at a time.

Anyway, I'll be in the hospital until at least Wednesday, and then on heavy drugs, so I'm counting on you, loyal followers, to help me announce my 99 cent deal of the bundle of the first 3 books. Here are some sample Facebook posting and tweets you can use, but by all means, create your own if you feel so inclined. And email all your friends, since this is such a deal–3 complete novels, 660 pages total, for only 99 cents. The sale is from June 24-July 1 only.


Start at the Beginning. The Cotillion Ball Series features the nine siblings in the Fitzpatrick family who each find their true love. If you’re new to this terrific series, here’s a great way to start. The first three books are being offered for 99 pennies from June 24-July 1.

If you’re a fan of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series, you’ll enjoy the Cotillion Ball Series, about the nine Fitzpatrick children who come of age in New York in the years leading up to the Civil War. The first 3 books in the series are being offered at $.99 from June 24-July 1.


Start at the beginning. A bundle of the 1st 3 books in the Cotillion Ball Series. #BookBoost Only $.99 from 6//24-31.

Will Ginger and Joseph overcome the odds? That book, and 2 others, in this bundle for only $.99. #history

Wagons West as Temperance tries to get her family to Oregon and Basil does everything he can to keep her in St. Louis.

Can an abolitionist and a slave owner ever find true love? This book and 2 others in this bundle. #BookBoost

I will repay your generosity any way I can upon my return to health. Thank you for being so supportive, energetic and helpful in my time of need.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Is It All A Matter Of Position?

I find it interesting that the Kama Sutra, the bible of sexual positions, lists 100 different scenarios, yet when writing romance, you have only so many positions from which to choose. Shouldn't romance have as many different positioning options as sex itself?

i recently received some very good feedback on my latest contemporary, which is book one in a trilogy about a mother, daughter and granddaughter who all retreat to the family lake house when they get into romantic trouble. Because each book deals with an individual love story, the heroine for the first book is in her 30s, the mother will be in her 50s and the grandaughter, who, when it's her turn for a story, will be in her 20s. How do you position a series like this, when the heroines are all different ages?

Here's the short answer–you don't.

It's not women's fiction, since it doesn't have multiple subplots or deep female relationships. It's not category romance because the age of the heroines is all over the place, instead of being cute young things just getting started in life. The advice I was given was to choose one or the other, and rewrite my book to fit neatly into one of these existing positions.

But I don't want to write about cute young things just getting started. I love the fact that my characters have had a life before my story starts. That they've earned every line on their face. That they've loved and lost before. This is second chance romance, even for the granddaughter. Why isn't there a category for that?

Guess what? There is. It's called self-publishing.

Maybe it's time to take the plunge.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Beard Stubble Season in Ohio

Spring came late to Ohio, so it stands to reason that the fields are only now beginning to sprout with the summer crops of corn and soybeans.

The neatly cultivated fields every spring and summer remind me of beard stubble on a man's face. At least in the early days. And, of course, that reminds me of writing. Romance. Men's faces. You get my drift.

Here's how I see it. A writer gets an idea–a seed, as it were–and begins to plot. A little fertilizer, a bit of water, careful cultivation of the soil, and before long, that writer has a full-blown story. A first draft. Joy and rapture reign.

Until you realize your road to publication, or market if you're an ear of corn, has only begun. You may have a great story, one that stands tall, has multiple plot points, a solid foundation, firm roots. But until the corn gets picked, placed in the produce section, purchased and enjoyed, it's only another product in the field.

Which is why I spend almost as much time on the editing process as I do writing the first draft. I have multiple checklists, different colored highlighters, words to avoid, cliche alerts, etc. I want my product to be as pretty and polished as it can be. When people strip off the casing, I want my ear of corn to have lovely straight rows of kernels, to be eaten quickly and enjoyed, and leave my reader with a great memory.

I think I need to go talk to one of the local farmers.