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Book cover poses and the people who test them

24 Apr

My daughter gave me a hard time about the cover of Mending Fences when she first got a look at it. She zeroed in on the way the woman’s shoulder and arm look. Something about the top line seemed unnatural to her. It wasn’t until I took her in front of the mirror and positioned her like the cover that she saw, yes, indeed, that’s how her own arm looked in that pose.

The discussion reminded me of an awesome post back in January by Jim C. Hines. Mr. Hines is a fabulous writer. His series about Jig the Goblin is delightful, unique in its choice of hero, and very funny. His Princess Novels are another stroke of creative genius, twisting old fairy tales, using their darker origins, and turning princesses (Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty,  and Snow White) into fantasy versions of Charlie’s Angels. Seriously, if you like fantasy or fairy tales, check these out. You will not be disappointed.

Now that I’ve told you a bit about Mr. Hines, I’ll explain how this relates to the book cover poses. Mr. Hines decided to discuss the frequently unnatural and downright ludicrous poses of women on fantasy and urban fantasy novels. Since pictures are worth a thousand words, he posted with photos of him mimicking the poses beside the actual book covers…and then discussed the pain involved in getting into those poses. And the post is a scream: http://www.jimchines.com/2012/01/striking-a-pose/

Now he has decided to take on male poses on UF and paranormal romance novel covers! http://jimhines.livejournal.com/628418.html His analysis of what is expected of men and women on covers is great.

Equally brilliant, I thought, is a post by Anna, a book blogger, who ran with the idea and did a side-by-side comparison of men’s vs. women’s poses. http://genrereviews.livejournal.com/371367.html

Really great stuff! I have only occasional flashes of brilliance myself, but I’m happy to take the opportunity to share the good things I stumble across.

What book cover poses have made you think the model must have been in pain or Photoshopped because a real body couldn’t possibly achieve that position?

My Fun Saturday Find

14 Apr

I have Google Alerts set up to let me know if Mending Fences comes up on web pages. I primarily use this to track possible pirating, but today, it returned notice of a review I didn’t know existed. I am grinning from ear to ear! Please have a look, and explore the blog while you’re there.

The Write Roads

7 books in 7 days . . . .Spring Break Must Reads!

Day 1 – Her Highland Champion by Alexa Bourne

Day 2 – Moonlight on the Nantahala by Micheal Rivers

Day 3 – Legends of Tsalagee by Phil Truman

Day 4 – Two Moons of Sera by Pavarti K Tyler

Day 5 – Mending Fences by Lucy Francis

I ran across this release while perusing the Kindle lists for a contemporary romance. I looked at Ms. Francis bio and it appears this might be her debut novel. If so, give the lady a round of applause. Very well written. Good plot. Flows nicely. Evoked a sigh at the end (always a good sign for a romance.)

Last I checked, Mending Fences is garnering rave reviews by other readers. It maintains a solid ranking in the Kindle store as well as contemporary romance. Another good sign.

The story follows a…

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It’s FREE! Two Days Only

29 Mar

I’m running a promotion on Amazon. Mending Fences is FREE on Thursday, March 29, and Friday, March 30! Here are links:  Amazon    Amazon UK

A quick recipe for Mending Fences, a sensual contemporary romance…

Take one reformed hotshot CEO playing rancher. Add one strong woman, an abuse survivor with a lot of secrets. Toss together for one searing kiss on Halloween, then separate. Fold in a slightly deformed pet bison who creates accidental serendipity. Stir together. Add discoveries, revelations, angst, heartbreak, suspense, and generous helpings of both healing and sexual tension. Layer with family relationships and a secondary love story and simmer to a Happy Ever After.

Don’t miss it! Download a copy before Friday at Midnight, PDT.

Going Exclusive with Amazon

18 Mar

Since the launch of Mending Fences, I’ve been very methodical about promotion and learning where I could create movement. Some techniques work for generating sales, some don’t. While I’ve sold across all venues, the majority of my sales happen at Amazon.

Amazon offers tools to an author that have serious potential to increase visibility and drive sales. There is a price to be paid, though. An ebook must be sold exclusively through Amazon to use those tools.

So, I’m planning to move Mending Fences exclusively to Amazon for a 90-day period, not only to help it along, but also with an eye toward better visibility for Finding Refuge when it is released in May. The paperback book will not be exclusive, just the ebook version.

If you want Mending Fences in an ebook format other than for the Kindle, you might want to pick up a copy today. Otherwise, my books are DRM-free, so if you buy the book from Amazon, you can convert it to your desired format using software such as Calibre (which is awesome, I might add).

Any questions?

Read an Ebook Week promotion on Smashwords

4 Mar

March is Read an Ebook Month, and over at Smashwords, we are celebrating Read an Ebook Week (March 4-10). Thousands of authors have put their books on sale for the week, anywhere from 25% off to free, so it’s an excellent time to try out one new ebook, or stock up!

Mending Fences is on sale during this promotion week for $1, so if you haven’t had a chance to pick up a copy, this would be a good time. http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/131449

Saturday Stuff

3 Mar

Random notes for Saturday:

  • I always have a wide variety of birds using the feeders in my little urban forest. Two new species have shown up to eat, and I’m trying to get good photos of them so I can get professional help identifying them. I’m pretty sure one of them is a Pacific-slope Flycatcher. Interesting, because that species doesn’t belong in Utah. I’ll post photos when I can.
  • We worked HARD in dance class today. My calves are killing me from being on my toes for an hour. I wouldn’t trade it, though. Irish dance just makes me smile.
  • I’m participating in a St. Patrick’s Day Blog Hop! It’s going to be a lot of fun, and there are even prizes to give away. Every blog in the hop will be giving away a prize, including mine! Stay tuned for what that will be, and click on the Blog Hop sign to the right to learn more.
  • I’m also participating in the Read an Ebook Week promotion on Smashwords. Starting at 12:01 a.m. on March 4, through March 10, Smashwords will offer a catalog of books discounted by the authors. I’m offering Mending Fences at 75% off, to help entice readers into the world of ebooks. Trust me, reading digitally is cool! More on this tomorrow, when the sale begins.

Cracking the Whip

23 Feb

Today is the day when I really have to switch over to concentrating on the next book.

Mending Fences is finally fully loaded. I’d noticed a problem with the italics font in the paperback proofs and corrected it. The new proof arrived today, it looks great, and I gave final approval. So, the paperback edition is now available at CreateSpace, http://bit.ly/wDYYsl. It will show up on Amazon by March 1 and will roll out to other retailers over the next month or two.

I’m awaiting reviews from some excellent websites, which is terrifying. In the meantime, I’m deep into Finding Refuge, the book to be released in May. It’s another contemporary romance, loosely linked to Mending Fences. ::glaring at the impudent paranormal romance that’s been nudging me for two weeks. It knows it has to wait until fall::

Time to crack the whip. I’ve had my head so full of details for getting MF completed that everything else was shoved aside. This weekend’s goals include finishing a magazine article, hitting the grocery store, practicing hard for the St. Patrick’s Day siamsa, and at least completing the pile-of-stuff-to-donate part of Spring Cleaning. Oh, yeah, and did I mention I want to complete this draft of the new book in the next week?

Wish me luck, friends!

Featured on another blog

21 Feb

Mending Fences is being featured on Kindle Romance Novels today. Please hop over and have a look! http://kindleromancenovels.blogspot.com/

Now it’s a “real” book

20 Feb

I’m very, very happy with UPS right now. I didn’t think they’d be delivering today, given that it is President’s Day. But deliver they did, and I’m sitting here with a big grin because I finally have a physical book…See?

They’re much prettier in real life, but my camera did what it could.

If you want a paperback copy of Mending Fences, they should be available on Amazon or Barnes & Noble by the weekend. I’ll post with a link for sure when they’re up and running.

This was a great way to start the week. I hope it continues!

Word for Saturday: Tired

18 Feb

It’s been a long Saturday. We are just a few weeks out from the St. Patrick’s Day parade and siamsa, so, accordingly, dance class kicked my butt today. Of course, in Irish dance, that’s part of the steps…when you kick your foot up behind you, the goal is to tap your butt. Hmm, I need a bumper sticker…Irish Dancers Kick Butt. Bet I can find one on Cafe Press.

Anyway, the rest of the day has been equally tiring, but I got everything done that I needed to, and I’m now giving some love to the next book, Finding Refuge, which goes on sale May 4.

In honor of Sample Sunday tomorrow (it’s a Twitter thing), I’ve added an excerpt from Mending Fences for your reading pleasure. Just click on the book cover to the right or on the Books tab above. You’ll find the text below the book blurb. Enjoy!