Rone Award Voting plus Audiobooks!

TWO THINGS TODAY:

Rone Awards

I just found out that LIBERTY is up for a RONE Award!!!! Yay. But to move to the next round, it needs A LOT of votes.

CaptureIf you guys have a second, can you vote for my book (new adult category)?

http://www.indtale.com/2016-rone-awards-week-one

The RONE Awards are hosted by In D’tale Magazine which said of LIBERTY, “this novel has a scary but very realistic premise which makes it a piece that should be required reading for young and old alike.” – In D’tale Magazine

They’ve placed LIBERTY in the NEW ADULT category, which has the reputation of a lot of hot, steamy, very adult romances. My book is NOT that type of romance. It’s squeaky clean, appropriate for readers of all ages, so it needs all the support it can get.

Plus, because I’ve been so out of it this week (2 kids with the flu; ugh), I didn’t realize voting has been going on ALL WEEK LONG. It’s Thursday now. Not sure how it is, but it is indeed Thursday today.

So anyway, if you have a second and can vote for my baby, I mean, my book, I’d love you forever! (I’ll love you forever even if you can’t.) :) 

Thanks!!!!

AND SECOND THING:

Audiobooks

The Citizens of Logan Pond trilogy is coming to audiobooks!!!

Trilogy 250

Most of the ‘reading’ I do these days is through audiobooks. I love them. For a while now, I’ve wanted to get LIFE | LIBERTY | THE PURSUIT onto an audio format.

Well, I’m thrilled to announce that it’s happening!

Rebecca_Roberts_headshot2-copy
Rebecca Roberts, audiobook narrator for the Citizens of Logan Pond trilogy

Rebecca Roberts, a talented narrator, is narrating and producing the three books, and Blackstone Audio, the largest independent audiobook publisher will be doing the distribution, getting it into bookstores, libraries, Audible, etc. So cool.

Rebecca is doing such a lovely job with the story and the characters. I can’t wait for you to hear! (See Rebecca Robert’s other works here and here.)

Here is the tentative release schedule for the audiobooks:

So if you’re a fan of audiobooks like I am, they’re coming!

(Speaking of The Pursuit, many have asked when the release date is for the print/ebook version. I don’t technically have a release date yet, but that too is coming. I’m working hard, trying to wrap up all loose ends in the trilogy to make sure it ends with a bang! I’ll keep you posted.)

 

An Invitation: March Book Madness

Good morning world! I had such a fun weekend with the fam, but now it’s Monday and I’m choosing to have a GREAT day! Actually, this week is going to be a lot of fun since I have visitors coming in from out of town. SO EXCITED! If I’m not around here much, you’ll know why. But that’s only part of why I’m writing. 

I’m finding that my life is becoming a tad bit busy of late. Just a tad. Only a smidge. (You probably can’t hear the heavy sarcasm dripping from my fingers.) Basically, I’m swamped. You see, I have this WIP, (ie my new manuscript), that really needs some TLC, elbow grease, blood, sweat, and tears. You get the idea. Which means that I should probably spend less time playing around on Blogger and more time tweaking the plot, character arcs, setting, yadda yadda yadda. 

So I had this idea.

I’ve been wanting to have guest posts on my blog for some time now, and while I had a few people weigh in on the whole Non-Verbal Stuff Week (which was great!), I’d love to have more guests. In the short time I’ve delved into the writing/reading/book community, I’ve realized how many of you in the virtual world are amazing people who are excited to share your craft and thoughts with others. 

So…here’s my invitation. 

LONG VERSION: I would like to invite you to do a guest post here on my blog. I’m looking for people to post on Tuesdays or Thursdays over the next few weeks and on a subject related to reading, writing, editing, or agent hunting. In other words, something Book-ish. That would be fantabulous! In fact, our family really gets into March Madness, so I’ll call it MARCH BOOK MADNESS. Very creative, I know. What can I say? (Note the sarcasm again.) And don’t feel like you have to be a professional blogger, writer, or reader to submit. The more real you are, the less dorky we feel. :)

If this interests you (and don’t be shy), drop me a note in the comments below or send me an email (see bio/contact page above). I have a list of topics you can choose from, or you can send me your own. If you do, I promise not to use the word fantabulous again. I’m not really sure what came over me before. Sorry. Besides, it’s a great way to branch out and meet new people/followers/friends.

Here are the topics: 

1) Reading: Character driven books or plot driven books? Which do you prefer? Why? Perfect characters (ie super heroes) or flawed ones (and if flawed, how flawed)?  Name two favorite characters and explain why they’re your favs. How much does the cover affect your reading choices?
2) Writing: Where do you get your ideas for writing? How do you develop those ideas? Are you a plotter or a plodder (meaning you plod through until you have a plot)?
3) Editing: First draft is done. Now what? What’s your style? What’s your advice?
4) Querying: a) How to write a query? Tricks you’ve learned? Sites or books you’ve used? And would you be willing to share one of your queries?
b) How to find an agent to query? Where do you go to research? How many agents to query?
5) Marketing yourself or your book: Tricks to building a writer’s platform. Which social networking sites are your favorite or not worth the time?
6) Or if you don’t like these, you can come up with your own in one of those areas.

SHORT VERSION: 



How’s that sound? Are you ready to branch out? Speak up? Share some knowledge? Drop me a note and then stay tuned for some great guest posting here in March. I hope!

Oh, and choose to have a great day!

Clean Romance: Old-fashioned Idea or New Trend?

(Warning: I’m stepping out of my comfort zone to get on a fairly large soap box.)

Why does everything have to be sexualized? I’m sick of it!

Last night, our family went to the Detroit Pistons game (basketball game for the non-sports people). It was such a riot and a blast, and I was having such a great time. Until . . . the dancers came out. Their moves, their outfits, their fake bodies. Everything reeked of sex and I was cringing with my five kids next to me, including my teenage boy and girl. (I would have been cringing without kids.) My husband’s company offered us great seats and as such, there wasn’t much to miss. I kept saying, “Hey, you guys want some popcorn?” “Hey, look at the mascot over there? He’s funny, right?” “Wow, look at all the pretty lights!” just waiting for the songs to be done.

FYI, I will be writing a letter to the Pistons staff because I write letters when I’m offended. Part of me believes it makes a difference, because I once sent a nasty letter to Google about an offensive ad and next thing I knew, I was emailing back and forth with one of their Senior Board Members. I haven’t seen the ad since. But even if my letters fall on deaf ears, I have no business complaining unless I speak up and try to do something about it (like I mentioned in a recent post). Watch out Pistons management, Mother Bear around the corner.

But I digress.

I’m sick of our sexualized culture. I’m sick of feeling like a Mother Bear all the time. Movies. Books. Video Games. Radio. Even harmless websites have harmful advertising in the sidebar. I mean, come on people!

Enough already!

Interestingly enough, I’m seeing a trend in the book world. There is a large group of people that are running to the Young Adult (teen) market. Readers and writers. Why? I think that many, like me, are sick to death of the of this over-sexualization in our culture and are hoping to find less prevalence in the teenage world. I say “less” because the YA genre is not free from sex. WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH THIS WORLD? Hmmmm, deep breath might be warranted at this point.

*Deep breath*

Okay. Back in control.

This new ‘clean’ trend in the YA is awesome, but…what if I don’t always want to read about teenagers? No offense to that group of people, but I already live with two teens. Do I really have to read and write about them too? I have friends who turn to the Christian market to find clean romances to read, but really, do I have to read cheesey religious books now too? No offense to religion or religious books, especially because I consider myself very religious, and SADIE has religion in it (although my next book doesn’t). Hopefully you are understanding my point, though.

There has to be a place somewhere that I can read about engaging, quirky, fascinating adult characters without muddling through the smut.

So here’s my plea to everyone out there.

I write romances. I write clean romances. But I can’t read my own stuff all the time. As much as I might like my stories, that’s lame and dumb. So please writers, PLEASE give me some reading with grown-up characters that’s safe for my 13-year-old girl to read. PLEASE! And it’s not just for me. I’m telling you, there’s a whole market out there that few are tapping into. Readers are running in droves to the YA market because they feel like it can’t be done in the adult world. It CAN! It has to for my sanity!

*Another deep breath*

My last point.

  1. Why is Jane Austen considered the greatest romance writer of all time? Her books are super squeaky clean. You might get a kiss out of the main characters. Maybe. But we totally and completely adore them–at least I do.

2. Why were 9 out of the top 10 grossing films of 2011 PG-13 or less, when over half (at least) of movies in theaters are rated R?

3. Why are people running to the YA market?

4. Why don’t authors and Hollywood understand this?

DARE TO BE DIFFERENT.

Enough ranting.

And if you haven’t heard about it, commonsensemedia.org is a great website for parents or non-parents who want to find out what content/smut is in movies and books. It isn’t all-inclusive, but it has the major ones. You can check out some of their book reviews here. Big thank you to them!!!

I’m still waiting for goodreads to come out with a rating feature so people not only rate how much they like a book, but where it would fit on the PG-XXX scale. Maybe someday.

(UPDATE: there is a new book website called literrater.com which rates books on content. Check it out!)

Okay, I’m done. Stepping off the soap box now. But I’m really hoping you’ll weigh in on this.

Do you agree with me? Disagree? Am I old-fashioned or could this be the new trend? What are your thoughts as a reader, writer, movie goer, music listener? As a parent? As a non-parent? As a consumer? 

A Quick Question and Friday Funnies

(laughing)

This question probably needs a quick explanation.
I’m in an interesting predicament with my novel, SADIE. I live in Michigan but my publisher, Deseret Book, is based out of Utah, and a lot of my readers live out west. I knew this going into publishing since SADIE has a few LDS characters and there aren’t a lot of LDS in Michigan. I’m not disappointed in the least. In fact, this whole thing has been an amazing experience! But I happened to mention this predicament when I was in our local Barnes and Noble store recently (actually, my husband told the associate that I was an author, and she started asking tons of questions). The nice lady said that even if there aren’t a lot of LDS people around here, they might still carry my book because I’m a local author. VERY COOL.
Then I asked my local library. Same thing. Very, very cool.
Picturing Sadie on a shelf in MI.
So here’s the catch. Both places use the reviews online to decide if they’ll carry it. SADIE has received some awesome reviews on B&N.comby some awesome people that I can’t thank enough, so that store should be no problem. (It’s not officially for sale on B&N.com yet, because it was published at DB and they have some deal with B&N and Amazon that is a long story, so I’ll just say that it should be officially for sale there sometime in February.) But the library uses Amazon.comto see what people are saying about my book, so that’s where I need a favor.
If you have read SADIE and liked it (preferably), could you take a moment and write a quick review over on Amazon.comfor me? The link is here. It would mean a lot to me! Seriously. Even if you only kinda sorta liked it, I think it would still help the library to see that people are actually reading it. (And if you’re feeling very generous, you could hop over to Deseret Book.)

Okay. Sorry. I hate asking for help—really hate it. But then again, I’m pretty sure they would frown upon me, the author, reviewing my own book. Yeah. Plus I think it would be super-uber cool to see my book in my own library. Super cool. :)

(For all the people who have written nice reviews on DB.com and over at goodreads.comalready, or everyone that has dropped me a note about SADIE, thank you, thank you, thank you! It’s been such a great experience.)

And for all my Michigan peeps, I’ve had some people ask if I’m ever doing a book signing here in the good old Midwest. If the Barnes & Noble in Brighton, MI decides to carry my book, I’ll ask about a sigining. It might be a long shot, but who knows. Wouldn’t that be sweet? For me at least.
Anyway…
Back to Friday Funnies.
This week was dentist week. Since I already had Bill Cosby on the mind from last week’s post, I nearly choked as the hygienist started asking me questions whlie my mouth was being held hostage by her metallic-smelling instruments. And they weren’t even yes or no questions. I’m looking at her like, seriously? You want me to answer here? Have you never seen Bill Cosby? You’re stretching my lips to their maximum capacity and my tongue is trying to keep up with all the stuff you’re shoving at it and you want me to tell you about my kids: their ages, gender, grades, favorite hobby, and plans for college?

It’s like going to a doctor’s office and as the nurse leads you back to the room, she inevitably asks, “How are you?” At that point, I usually smile and bite back my first response, which is, “If I was doing well, I wouldn’t be here.”

FBCs (Friendly But Clueless). Gotta love ’em.

In truth, the alternative is worse. I’d never want a hygienist who glared at me the whole time. They’re only two inches from my face. And again, the instruments. My life is in their hands. So I’ll take an FBC any day. It was just funny.

(If you haven’t seen the Bill Cosby Dentist bit, you have to watch it, because it seriously describes every trip to the dentist.)

The other funny thing at the dentist is that I’d taken my two youngest with me. My seven-year-old daughter came prepared though. She had scrounged through our couches and found two quarters because at the dentist office, they have those little toy machines they have in grocery stores where you put your quarters in and out pops the little bubble filled with cheap toys that are designed to last 30 seconds before breaking.
As she went to put her money in the machine, she said, “Is this how Dentist’s get their money?”
I looked at her and said, “Huh?”
She said, “You know. Daddy gets money when people buy cars (he’s an automotive engineer). Does the dentist get money when we buy toys?”
And I laughed.

Oh…if only it took two quarters to visit a dentist or doctor.

Favorite words of the week:

Buggagum (picture a four-year-old saying this with a huge wad of gum in his cheek. It’s awesome)
Fast rewind (because if there’s a fast forward, there must be a fast rewind–or so my daughter thought)
Threatening (how my middle child described his first trip to the middle school. Quite frankly, I have to agree with him.)

So how about you? Anything from your week that made you laugh? (Hopefully so, otherwise you had a really lousy week.)

Sadie Release Date

Just received word on the official release date for Sadie…

11-11-11

How cool is that? Not only is it a few weeks earlier than I was expecting, I don’t think I’ll have any problems remembering that date in the future. I was told that some stores along the Wasatch front might have it sooner, maybe even as early as next Wednesday, but the others should have Sadie November 11th!!!

Someone who lives in Utah needs to take a picture of it on the shelf for me. That’s one of the bummers of living far away from any LDS bookstores.

Nine days! Really only eight since today is basically over. And since Thursdays are completely pointless days in the week–I mean, seriously, who likes Thursdays?–then I can basically say I’m a week away from having my name on some store bookshelf somewhere. How seriously cool is that?

Have I mentioned lately how excited I am?

:)