Boosts Go Up. I Want to Go Through.

I discovered a new word today: liminoid. It’s the in-between place described by the word liminality but optional and secular because it doesn’t belong to a ritual.

It’s what I’m going to call this place between finishing an old WIP and starting a new one. It’s both freedom and lostness and it’s super uncomfortable.

I would like to be writing something new but as my free time is limited, and I would like to sell the book I just finished, I need to concentrate my effort on marketing, right?

Or do I?

I have no issue with considering myself a hobby novelist and while I enjoy the gratification of that sales graph climbing ever upward, making money has never been my goal.

Oh, but it’s nice, isn’t it?

When it comes down to it, though, I write for the pleasure of writing. I finish a story for the pleasure of seeing it through to the end. I self-publish for the pleasure of hoping my story means something to someone else. I collect a couple o’ pennies in royalties for the pleasure of a cup of coffee I didn’t pay for out of my day job paycheck.

All in good fun.

So maybe it’s time to start something new? To step through the threshold and find out what’s on the other side? To stop feeling guilty about not doing enough or posting enough or paying* enough to get my books sold and read?

Yes, I think so.

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*Paying for advertising when you’re not 100% invested in making money on a thing is just a dumb waste. Hear that, Facebook? Please stop harassing me about “boosting” things. There will be no more boosting for you from me, thankyouverymuch.

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I Can Troll My Own Self

Book promotions are the best! Where normally, my Amazon Best Seller Rank is up there in the millions, when I give these babies away for free, I get to see things like this:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,973 Free in Kindle Store

 

Does that mean tons of people are reading my book?! Noooo, not even a little bit. But some people are downloading it. Perhaps some of them are reading it. Maybe one of them might actually like it.

I can pretty much guarantee that the person who hates it leaves a review though. That seems to be how these things work.

81 star review By BigPartyPooper

Subject: Turd books I half-read but am somehow still qualified to comment on

This book deserves negative stars. It deserves black holes. Like 3 million of them. I like stories that are the same as the stories I’ve already read. I want the characters to be so incredibly original that they defy my expectations by doing exactly what I expect them to do. I also want them to think like I would and act like I would and it would be cool if all the chick characters were super hot and into me and all the male characters justified my bad behaviors while also having a smaller penis than me. Also, I’ve never written a book in my life, have no idea what goes into it or any respect for people who try, but I am an expert narrative critic and spellang chompian. Please engage me by disagreeing with me. Please. Somebody pleaaaaase engage me (I’m so lonely).

I should start writing book reviews. I’m like, REALLY good at it.

Anyway, my very first novel, The Homecoming Effect, is still free for the next few days on Amazon and actually, the one and only review I got on it is really positive! And… also written by someone I know who, by the way, is terrible at trolling and needs to worsify her spellang and grammerizing if she ever wants to be a real online book reviewer.

homecoming5.0 out of 5 stars
on March 14, 2016 

I adored this book! The characters are multifaceted and relatable, even when they are unlikable. A great choice for fans of dystopian fiction, with a fresh voice and vision. Buy and read this book, and you will be wishing for more from this author.

Keep This Gif Handy as You Read

Phase two of giving my lovely books away has begun!

The Homecoming Effect is freeeeeeeeeeee 7/27 through 7/31 on Amazon.

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They could also be considered Before and After

Based on a dream I had one time where I sat on a park bench with Daniel Grayson from Revenge fretting and scheming how to take care of the children who weren’t really ours while the world fell apart around us, The Homecoming Effect is a pseudo post-apocalyptic, somewhat dystopian, found family story about a woman who does whatever she has to do to keep her brood safe. It’s fun and dirty and tragic and heart-warming and even though my unconscious dream Daniel looked like Josh Bowman, when I was writing it, he looked a lot more like Tyler Hoechlin (Teen Wolf’s Derek Hale) aaaaand you’re welcome for that mental image… think of him while you read this excerpt:

51aUpM62MIL._SX312_BO1,204,203,200_“There’s a condom in my back pocket,” he whispered, his lips grazing her ear as he spoke. His hands occupied themselves on the top buttons of her blouse. Her hands had been busy stroking the hair at the nape of his neck.

“Wait, what?” Bunny said, pulling back to look at him. Daniel pushed his lips against hers and the temptation to taste his tongue was too strong. She wasn’t going to lie to herself and pretend she wasn’t wanting the same thing, but this being their first kiss, pushed against the kitchen counter in her mother’s house during an unexpected mid-morning visit, she wasn’t sure she was quite ready to throw down that quickly.

His hands slid down her back and over her back side, squeezing then lifting to sit her on the counter. He leaned between her open legs, and she pulled him against her.

I should stop this, she thought, her mouth working against his. He’s… young and I’m…  and… there are so many things wrong with this, she thought, wrapping her legs around his waist. His hands traveled up her skirt by way of her knees, her thighs, resting at the crevice below her hips, his thumbs tracing the elastic line of her panties. But… isn’t he starting a job soon, she wondered, and I’ll… be busy with my son, she justified, and we’ll… probably never see each other after that so maybe…

She slipped a hand into his back pocket and there it was, the condom. Two, actually. Ambitious, she thought.

How did this even happen, she asked herself. Not 12 seconds ago, he was knocking on the kitchen door. Not 12 hours ago, he was crying on her shoulder.

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Have I mentioned how excited I am for the return of Derek on Teen Wolf Season 6b? No? Well, don’t get me started because I AM VERY EXCITED FOR THE RETURN OF DEREK ON TEEN WOLF.

The Homecoming Effect. In my head, that hot dude is Derek Hale. You’re welcome.

Meet My Irresponsible Muse

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My Muse is definitely a drunk girl in a bathroom.

What incredible inconvenience, my mystery muse, to give me an idea whose time has come just in time for me to have NO TIME for writing! I’m already juggling enough, my muse! How can you just slap a story across my face and expect me to comply?! Don’t you see those IKEA boxes full of children’s furniture sitting on my nursery floor? Can’t you tell my mommy brain is in full effect? Don’t you see my struggling to get up into my cafe table desk chair? Why? Why now?!

 

So good news, I have a great idea for my next book!

Bad news, I’m like… SO pregnant and so busy and so distracted that I don’t think it’ll happen any time soon.

Meanwhile, I’ve got a preorder on my last new book so… cool! Thanks, Mom. Or ladyfriend. Or… stranger?! Regardless, you won’t be disappointed. Lay Her Ghosts to Rest is the best thing I’ve written so far and I’m super proud of it. Tell your friends! Make them order it too. Momma’s going on maternity leave soon and needs some residual income, if only enough to buy a few more ice creams before the summer ends.

 

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Cheeky preview of my next new thing. 

What’s Your Workplace Inequality Rant?

I’m a short lady who doesn’t necessarily look her age (from afar, at least) and while I have very healthy self-esteem and can command a room with just the power of my saucy attitude, I still deal with a whole lotta dismissive, condescending, underestimating bullcrap. Especially in the workplace. Especially from old men who call me sweetheart or honey and treat me like a precious little princess.

And we’re not talking Elena of Avalor or Merida of the Arrow in your behind if you sass her. I mean more like those people who dress toddlers up like pageant queens. Might as well just pat my head and wax my arm hair, because Momma needs to live out her beauty queen fantasies through you, my little princess.

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Pointed… at… your butt.

It’s infuriating. And even as I get older and start to look older, graying hair and wrinkly eyes and Anne Tayloresque ensembles and, you know, seniority and all, I still get treated this way because it has nothing to do with me or who I am or how I’m qualified or what my title or place in the hierarchy may be.

Little girls get lollipops, not respect.

I have no solution at present, other than possibly to borrow Merida’s bow, but I want to feel that I’m not alone so I like to put my stories out there and provide a forum for thought or discussion, much like the main character in my new book, Lay Her Ghosts to Rest, eventually does in her own workplace*.

I’ve added a discussion question on GoodReads for this purpose. What’s your workplace bullcrap behavior story and would you care to share it in my forum?

You can find it here. 

 

*Excerpt from Lay Her Ghosts to Rest

“Catori, that’s all so wonderful and truly a remarkable breakthrough but I have to tell you–this is what I’ve been waiting to tell you–that there absolutely is a better way and you’ve already found it. You’ve already implemented it. You have already made significant, compassionate, beneficial changes to this Institution and you did it just by being your own, admittedly flawed, self.”

Catori furrowed her brow. She wasn’t in the mood to celebrate whatever had made Dr. Sunkireddy so happy to see her. She wanted to wallow in the gravity of reality for a while. She wanted it to be clear in her own mind what she was saying and thinking and feeling and connect them all in a significant way.

But she didn’t want to be rude either. “How so?” she asked with little enthusiasm.

“You’ve started what could accurately be called a grassroots revolution among the employees here. They’ve been coming to me and the other counselors in droves over the past week, talking about you and the discussion groups you’ve been having in the Lounge after hours. They’re excited and relieved and hopeful and every single one of them credits you.”

“Oh.”

A Little Something on the Side

FREE THIS WEEK

(before the novel it’s based on becomes free NEXT week)

it’s A Flash of Effect!

 

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Four short stories that take you inside the world of the post-apocalyptic chick-lit novel The Homecoming Effect and the character of Bunny, a fast-talking, bull-slinging, fiercely loyal adoptive mother with a powerful Mama Bear instinct and the hots for her young neighbor.

Why should you read it? You mean other than that it’s free, fast, and full of some Strong Female Protagonist love? Because it’s all about those universal themes. Sex, love, children, religion, and government.

Go ‘head now, give it a read!

 

 

 

Excerpt from Safe Sleeping:

“Tell me, though. How did you land yourself some a handsome young thing? You ain’t no spring chicken, girly, but if that man ain’t hardly just a man, then I’m a gov’ment agent myself, come to take your children away.”

Bunny bristled despite herself.

“Oh no, no, don’t go gettin’ upset. I’m so far from bein’ gov’ment, I can’t even spell it proper. But I am a curious bystander here. How is it you’re not hopping on that joy ride in a shelter right now?”

Kat continued to ignore Thea as long as she wasn’t talking about her. For a woman who prayed on the rosary every few minutes, it was odd that she wouldn’t protest such a conversation. But as the belief that Bunny and Junior were legitimately married and biological parents of all three of their children was paramount to their survival, in city or township, she played along with whatever Thea threw at her.

“Oh darlin’, ain’t nothing I wouldn’t like better than to be a good wife to my husband,” she winked. “But three little mouths are enough to feed and rationing don’t cover family planning, if you know what I mean.”

“Rationing don’t cover much of anything a woman needs, does it?” she agreed. “Shame.” She shook her head. “My husband wasn’t hardly the stud that one is but I would take any opportunity I got to get under him again. Crazy or no, he was my man.”

Bunny’s eyes glossed over for just a moment as the sentiment hit her hard in the chest. She wished she could say the same. She wished things had been different after the war. But if they had been, her life wouldn’t necessarily have been better and three of the four boys she spent all her energy protecting would be out on their own and probably separated by now. No, she thought, there was no use dwelling on what could have been when what was here now was what she needed to focus on. She had gotten all the information she needed from the women and felt secure enough in their sleeping arrangements for the night that she could relax and maybe rest a bit with her family.

A Flash of Effect is free on Amazon 7/20 – 7/24. Look for The Homecoming Effect on Amazon, free next week!

All the Adventures Belong to Men

I’m looking through free stock images on this helpful resource (https://unsplash.com/) for purposes that have to do with my NEW BOOK and finding that most of the women are relaxing and throwing their hair back or taking pictures on their cell phones or wearing hip, youthful clothing whereas the men are doing… like, all sorts of things:

White river rafting, mountain climbing, checking their watches, being beautiful, being old, soldering, making music, making movies, bathing in mountain streams, jogging, biking, getting some ice cream, driving old cars, jumping in puddles, playing with kids, working in an office, and exploring the abyss.

Oh and there’s another woman relaxing and throwing her hair back while wearing a hip and youthful hat and taking pictures on her cell phone.

Totally representative of real life. Totally.

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Good hair must be an amazing adventure.

Heal the Ghosts and Let Them Go

KDP says 72 hours so I assumed I’d be making this announcement in a couple of days, but here we are, Monday morning, and guess what?

This lady is ready to (pre) party:

Lay_Her_Ghosts_to_Rest large coverLay Her Ghosts to Rest
Available to preorder right now on Amazon

The official description is available both on the Amazon page and my Work page so why don’t I just lay it out for you here.

What this story is really about is recognizing negative patterns and realizing how difficult it is to break them. It is told from the perspective of a woman who cares deeply for others but can’t seem to give herself the same kind of care. The context is a pseudo post-apocalyptic institutionalized solution to restless spirits. The real world connection is radical self-care being one of the steps in creating a better community; creating a better community is one of the steps of having a healthy society. 

Plus, ghosts!

I’m excited about this one, friends. I put a lot of thought and feeling and personal musing and life lessons into this one so I’m eager to see what others think. As always, the protagonist is extremely not me, but she has suffered some of the same quandaries, some similar setbacks to personal enlightenment, and she also thinks wakes are the most disgustingly unnatural perversions of grief performance.

Preorder now. Read August 11. Review without being a turd, please.

And if it really wasn’t what you were looking for (*cough bigot who reviewed my last book*), then you go start writing what you want to read, sir or ma’am, because that’s the only real way to get the story you’re looking for.

Everything’s Coming Up Self-Promotion

Hold on to your hats, my honeys, because this month and next are all about self-promotion.

I’ve got some freebies comin’ atcha! I’ve got some discounts! And then… well, I got a brandy new book available for preorder (soonish) launching on August 11.

Oh yes, that story I’ve been working on since November’s NaNoWriMo? It’s just about done and I’m ready to release that little monkey into the world and see if she climbs.

Apologies to the people on Twitter who liked my tweet:

It’s still true. I don’t follow people and then DM them to buy my book when they follow back. I don’t tweet so much self-promotion that it’s hard to tell if I’m a person or not. And while I don’t always follow back, I do like and RT hashtag tweets I think are swell.

Despite the appearance of hypocrisy, however, I do tweet about my free and discounted and new books when the time comes because… that’s what Twitter is for. That’s what all those free book hashtags are for. I’m not harassing the #amwriting crowd, kids. I’m trying to reach a larger audience.

Still… sorry for saying I don’t appreciate spammers immediately before going into full-on BUY MY BOOKS mode. Sentiment is the same. I guarantee you’ll never ever get a direct message from me.

Coming up:

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A Flash of Effect free on Amazon.com 7/20 – 7/24

Short stories that happen between scenes of The Homecoming Effect and expand on the character of Bunny and the world she inhabits. If it was possible to write fanfic about your own work, that’s what this would be.

 

 

 

 

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The Homecoming Effect free on Amazon.com 7/27 – 7/31

What does one do when the world changes dramatically right in the middle of a steamy summer fling? Travel across state lines with your younger paramour and his school-aged brothers, lie about your marital status and claim the children as your own, and settle down in a religious community where only your deception keeps your found family safe?

Sure, why not?

 

 

ltot-book-coverLike Two Opposite Things $.99 on Amazon.com 8/1 – 8/8

Eda’s got a thing for summer flings, my friends, but this one goes waaaaay back to a campground in the mid-90s where our 15-year-old protagonist gets it all wrong in her head before facing the choice between a fantasy relationship full of big gestures and dramatic declarations or the safer alternative of friendship with feelings.

It’s teen 4-EVA love without the sparkly vampires or terminal cancer.

 

And my new book launches on 8/11. More on that to come …

I Like to Tell Stories

One of my toddler’s frequent declarations lately is, “So much fun take tings apart an put them togethah.”

“I’m glad you like your toys, bud,” I say as he yanks all the face parts off a potato head for the 15th time in a row.

But he’s got a point. When you find something you love to do, something that makes sense to you and provides you with a certain amount of satisfaction even in repetition, it is so! much! fun!

Mommy says, “So much fun, writing stories, ripping them apart, and then putting them back together.” Even when I complain about editing, it’s still part of an overall process I really enjoy.

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Although… I can say that now because I’m pretty much done.

Details to follow! A new book! About ghosts and self-care and workplace issues and feminism! Oooooohhhhh!