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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I am updating this post that I sent out last year for two reasons. First, I'm on deadline and secondly I needed to remind myself that I do enjoy the marketing aspect of selling fiction because my new novel, CHAMELEON  is out and available. This week you can leave a comment here at Lena Nelson Dooley's blog to have a chance at a free copy and you can also check in at Regency Reflections on Wednesday for a chance at a free copy and some interesting questions I answered regarding the time period of my novel.

If you think marketing is difficult, don't panic. Once you are published you do have to work hard to help push your sparkling new story into the world so you can reach readers. You don't have to have all the answers and all the knowledge, this develops over time, but I'd encourage you to educate yourself. I'm no expert but I'm learning a lot and I'm not afraid to try things that I haven't done before. Be brave! Be bold! Be creative!

Discover what color your marketing parachute is and jump. Prior to the release of my debut novel on May 3rd 2011 I had taken what I consider two very important steps for marketing my novel. I hired Kelli Standish and team at PulsePoint Design to help me achieve the look I wanted for my online presence. Kelli has moved on to another life phase and she left me in the capable hands of Jones House Creative. This is an investment in your career and I encourage you to look at it that way. Your website is hopefully going to be where your future readers are going to visit and you want to practice hospitality or no one will visit often. There are many places on the web for readers and writers to visit, so ask yourself why they may want to stop by your online home.

Get yourself some classy business cards. The PulsePoint gang also helped me with that and coordinated my book cover and my web design to be on my business card. The Jones House Gang is now helping me with updates and keeping me current. It was Jones House that did my timeline for me on Facebook This makes a great impression. My husband who also happens to be my best publicist talks my novel up all the time and hands out my business cards. He and I both asked the hospital gift shops where we work if they would consider carrying my book and both said yes!

Realms/Charisma, my publisher created a beautiful video trailer for my first book. You can see it here: Secrets of the Heart. You'll also notice that you can click on the book and go to Amazon to order it. I think it's really important to make buying your book as easy as possible. I also have all my endorsements listed on this page for my first novel and will be doing that for my second novel as well. I also asked my publisher if they could help with promotional items. They gave me postcards for Secrets of the Heart and for Chameleon I got bookmarks. I asked for these items knowing that the answer might be no due to the fact that I'm a new author and budgets are tight.

Last year I took advantage of another opportunity, made a suggestion, and here is the outcome over at Christian Fiction Online Magazine I hope you'll take a look at this column that launched last August called The Well Writer.

Talk to your librarian. I have lots of friends at my local library. They ordered my books for the Cincinnati Public Library and they also told me about Books by the Banks which I participated in on October 22nd 2011 because I followed my librarian, Betty's, advice and applied to get into this event which brings in hundreds of readers. My video trailer (on this page) for Secrets of the Heart, which also introduces me as a new author will be running with other video trailers at Lori Foster Reader and Author Get Together on June 2nd where I'll be signing both novels. You can also read the first chapter of both my novels on this page So be open to opportunities that come your way. We writers are a creative bunch. There's no reason we can't be creative marketers too!

These are the marketing ideas I've utilized these past two years. Some of the others include a radio interview, an Amazon Author Page, and besides this blog I also blog at  Just The Write Charisma. You can find me at and

I hope you will find encouragement related to the many things YOU can accomplish as the director of marketing for your own novels.

What's in your marketing tool box?

Smiles and Blessings!

Regency Ease and Authors

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Prince Regent
The regency era can be difficult to understand if you don't know the time period. There are many places on the web where you can find information and I'm going to supply you with some links if you're interested in exploring.

One specific issue I wanted to address has to do with character names in novels and how members of the aristocracy are addressed. For instance, in my first novel, Secrets of the Heart, The Ravensmoore Chronicles, the hero, Devlin Grayson, is an earl. His estate is known as Ravensmoore, therefore he is addressed as Lord Ravensmoore, the Earl of Ravensmoore, or, for those who know him well, simply, Ravensmoore, but NOT Lord Grayson. He would not be called Devlin in public and his family may or may not call him by his given name.

In Chameleon, the second book in the series that just released, Jonathon Denning is Lord Witt, or the Lord of Witt. He is also an earl. He would be known as Witt to his familiars. It can get rather confusing. An earl's wife is known as a countess. If Witt marries then his wife would be known as Lady Witt or the Countess of Witt. There are several authors in the CBA who are well known for writing during this period in history. An excellent resource regarding the peerage can be located on Jo Beverly's  website.

Vic Sanborn has an incredible site that you'll really enjoy. This is one of the places I go when looking for my own answers regarding the regency. You can find it at Jane Austen's World.

You may also enjoy, Nancy Mayer who is an incredible regency researcher. Those of us who have been reading and writing within the regency for years are well aware of Romance Writers of America's, The Beau Monde.And author Gaelen Foley also has an incredible history site.

Within the CBA there are also many regency authors. Linore Rose Burkard has a great list of resources for readers you will enjoy. Author Julie Klassen has some great pictures under her resource tab. And here are the 10 Essential Voices in Regency Romance within the pages of Family Fiction Magazine. By the bye, Ruth Axtell Morren has been a fabulous mentor to me over the years and she's a fabulous writer.

There are many regency romance authors out there within both the American Booksellers Association and the Christian Bookseller Association. Immerse yourself in a great book.

What's your favorite regency novel? Do you have a favorite resource site for the regency time period?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Thanks to everyone who entered my give away. It's always exciting when a new book is released especially when it's only my second one! Wish I could give everyone a free book, but alas . . . 
Secrets of the Heart by Author Jillian KentThe winners according to Random.Org are Michelle Witt and Tammy G. Congratulations!!! Hope you enjoy the reads and pass on your opinions. And for those of you haven't had an opportunity to read the first chapters of each of these novels, please visit this page. You can also watch the trailer of Secrets of the Heart and read the endorsements.  ENJOY THE JOURNEY!

Celebrate Launch Day for Chameleon With Me And Possibly Win Both Books One and Two!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Today is the day! It's the official launch for Chameleon, The Ravensmoore Chronicles, Book Two. If you are a historical romance fan who loves the mystery/suspense element in your novels than you should definitely read the first chapter of Chameleon here. If you like it and you're interested in leaving your comment and e-mail addy you could win an autographed copy of both books in the series.And my publisher, Charisma Media, Realms has also agreed to send a set of the books to a  lucky winner.

So what's this book about? Here's the back cover copy.


Lady Victoria Grayson has always considered herself a keen observer of human behavior. After battling a chronic childhood illness that kept her homebound for years, she journeys to London determined to have the adventure of a lifetime.

Jaded by his wartime profession as a spy, Lord Witt, understands, more than most, that everyone is not always who they pretend to be. He meets Victoria after the regent requests an investigation into the activities of her physician brother, Lord Ravensmoore.

Witt and Victoria become increasingly entangled in a plot targeting the lords of Parliament. Victoria is forced to question how well she knows those close to her while challenging Witt's cynical nature and doubts about God. Together they must confront their pasts in order to solve a mystery that could devastate their future.

Last week I asked about Series or Stand Alone? over at the Realms Blog. This week I'd like to know if you are buying more books for your Kindles and Nooks, etc., or if you are buying more print books and why? How do you make your decision? I'm looking forward to hearing from you.


Ideas Worth Spreading/Stories Worth Sharing

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

 I think I might be the only person on the planet that didn't know about TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design). If you need inspiration, encouragement, a laugh, then I hope you'll click on these links I found fascinating and I'm just sharing four of them with you.

Here's the first one: Elizabeth Gilbert on Nurturing Creativity and Eat, Pray, Love Writers will love this and any creative will too.

"Elizabeth Gilbert faced down a ­pre-midlife crisis by doing what we all secretly dream of – running off for a year. Her travels through Italy, India and Indonesia resulted in the mega-bestselling and deeply beloved memoir Eat, Pray, Love, about her process of finding herself by leaving home." ~From the TED website.

Stroke of Insight/Jill Bolte Taylor   This is a fascinating speech from an incredible woman who had a stroke and tells you just what that was like. "One morning, a blood vessel in Jill Bolte Taylor's brain exploded. As a brain scientist, she realized she had a ringside seat to her own stroke. She watched as her brain functions shut down one by one: motion, speech, memory, self-awareness ..." ~From the TED website.

Brene Brown is a social worker and so am I. I appreciated this speech a lot. I've been a social worker for 32 years and it has a lot with my decision to write fiction. And Brene is a storyteller that delves into what I would call the creatives vulnerability.
Brene Brown on on The Power of Vulnerability
"How do we learn to embrace our vulnerabilities and imperfections so that we can engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness? How do we cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection that we need to recognize that we are enough – that we are worthy of love, belonging, and joy?"

Ric Elias: 3 Things I Learned While My Plane Crashed   We all remember the pictures of the plane that landed in the Hudson River. Here's a perspective you'll appreciate.

 "Ric Elias had a front-row seat on Flight 1549, the plane that crash-landed in the Hudson River in New York in January 2009. What went through his mind as the doomed plane went down? At TED, he tells his story publicly for the first time." ~ From the TED website.

If you get a chance to listen to these talks or another one on the website TED Talks let me know which ones you enjoyed. Live a great life!

Can't Resist the Mist, Setting as Character

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

When we talk about setting as character, I believe mist is the best setting of all. Think about the book you are currently reading or writing. What is it about the setting that intrigues you? One of the reasons I read and write books set during the Regency period ( England 1801-1811) is that the setting calls to me. The beautiful manor homes and castles. The gorgeous gowns, the sexy cravats and Hessian boots. But the mist calls to me more than anything. I have a thing for any setting in any era that has fog rolling in or out. Mist so dense you can't see far enough in front of you to take a step and know you'll be safe.

I love a great mystery/suspense novel. I add a lot of these elements to my romances. So is the fog thing something strictly for mystery/suspense folks or are other readers and writers drawn to it? Other genres? You bet!

I know horror writers have got to love it!  "Everyone thinks of it as a harmless lightning storm. When Dave Drayton notices a strange mist on the lake, he thinks nothing of it." The Mist

 There are other ways to invoke mist that are romantic and not scary. Any Pride and Prejudice fan will remember and love this photo. Regency period! Also hangs on my wall at home. If I have a scene without mist in it at sometime in the novel I'm writing then I must be off my game.
So is the mist forming in your mind yet? Have you thought of something that evokes mystery/suspense, or horror, or romance? 

And then there is the mist of all mists in the Sherlock Holmes books and movies. Nothing like being out on the moor with the Hound of the Baskervilles or in a Game of Shadows.

Let's see there is also Sharyn McCrumb's, Foggy Mountain Breakdown, Christina Skye's, Bride of the Mist, Laurie Alice Eakes, Lady in the Mist, and Kathleen Morgan's, Child of the Mist.

And some of us consider ourselves seat-of-the-pants writers. But author, Jo Beverley calls it, Flying into the Mist. Regency writer, mist, hmm . . .

I simply can't resist the mist! How about you?  What are some of your misty favorites?