SADIE is 65% off!

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Looking for a cool read on a hot summer day?

SADIE is 65% off at Deseret Book for a limited time.

Wahoo!

SADIE is a fun, fast, clean read with a little bit of suspense and a lot of romance. There’s roasting marshmallows, learning to snowboard, and lime green snow beasts (sort of). There’s everything from a bowl of Lucky Charms at four in the afternoon, to a beautiful meal of hallaca. It also has some Rachmaninoff, so you can’t go wrong.

Get it for you, a friend, a daughter or a mom.

Check it out here.

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Ditto on Edenbrooke (and clean reads)

(reading)

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I recently read Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson, published by Shadow Mountain in March. This is a regency romance (think Jane Austen) and was a lot of fun. I loved the book. (Check out my full review here). I’m not the only one who loves this book either. It has an average 4.5 rating on goodreads, with 650+ votes, which if you’re familiar with goodreads, you’ll know is a great rating. 

The author, Julianne Donaldson, was just interviewed on USAToday and her interview said exactly what I feel about clean romances and the need for less smut in the book market. I applaud her for making a public stand on it. Since I’m turning into a huge proponent of clean reads, I had to share her interview with you guys and remind you to read the book if you haven’t. You won’t be disappointed. The USAToday interview is here. Let me know what you think.

(If you missed my earlier rant about clean romances, check it out here.)

Now you won’t be surprised why Julianne Donaldson is making my list of favorite authors on tomorrow’s 100th post, even though this is her first book. (Speaking of tomorrow’s post, if you have a second and want to answer some questions to help me with this HUGE post, go here and scroll to the bottom.)

That’s it for me. (Sorry for all the parenthesis in this post.) I’m going to work on my clean romance now before the rest of the kiddies wake up. :)

Have a great one.

Have you read any good, clean romances lately? I’m always looking for books to read so let me know.

FF: Hunger Games, Host, and Hope

(hodgepodging)

My 10yo son loves facts. All day long he’s reciting these random facts–usually scientific. I’ve learned not to question him because he seriously knows his useless information. One “fact” he told me recently is  “An apple wakes you up more than a cup of coffee.” I have no idea if this one happens to be true, and quite frankly, I’m too tired to google it. Really, there’s no way for me to prove it either because I don’t drink coffee. However, in my own scientific (not) opinion, it can’t be true. I just downed my third apple and let me tell you, I’m still dragging. Why am I so tired, you ask? If you haven’t guessed it, I’ll tell you with a picture.

I’ve mentioned before that I love the Hunger Games. I devoured the books (pun intended) and anxiously awaited the movie. But we all know and distrust Hollywood, right? I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would they stray from the book? Mis-cast the characters? Let me say, it was AWESOME! I took eight 14yo girls with me and we all loved the movie. Even those who hadn’t read the books thought it was great. So if you love the books, here’s my hearty endorsement. Go see the movie! You’ll love it.

The even cooler part (if cooler isn’t a word, too bad. I’m tired) is that while I was waiting two hours in the theater for the movie to start, I finally wrote the synopsis for my new book, which I have struggled to synopsize (I’m definitely making up words now) for three years. So that was fun.

After taking home my daughter’s friends, I didn’t crawl into bed until 3:30am. My husband and son wake up at 4:45 for early morning seminary, and while I didn’t wake up with them today, I still heard them rustling around. I tossed and turned after that, finally rolling out of bed to be a parent at 7:45. So yeah. Popping apples like crazy.

It’s going to be a fun day. I have a love/hate relationship with sleep.

Since I’m at it, I might as well throw in a plug for my dad’s newest book. It’s a non-fiction LDS book, part of a three-book doctrinal series. It’s about how to find hope during challenging times. It’s really amazing. (There’s even a story about my husband and I in there.) Since my dad was just interviewed about his book, I thought I’d show the trailer. I know, nothing Friday Funny-ish about Hunger Games or my dad, but my brain is a little sluggish. The apples haven’t kicked in yet.

It’s called Look Up My Soul: The Divine Promise of Hope, by Gerald N. Lund. He’s an award-winning author and inspirational speaker. (Do I sound like a proud daughter yet?) Check it out on Deseret Book’s website here. It’s amazing and will lift you up. (How about now? Love my dad.)

Okay. Time for a nap. If I’m not careful, I’ll break into unprovoked giggles soon. But I made it all the way to 9:15am. I’m so proud! And sorry about being a loser on the whole Friday Funnies thing. I had pictures of my dirty purple van to show y’all (sort of a real word) but I guess I’ll save those for another day when I have my brain back. Here’s a few older Friday Funnies if you’re interested:

It’s Official: I’m a Fish Murderer
Why I Hate Sleep
Signs That I Have Five Children
No More Talking
Need a New Career?
My Son’s Pink and Yellow Toenails

Have a good weekend!

Have you seen the Hunger Games yet? What did you think? Great adaptation or a let down? Or if you haven’t gone, will you?


Oh man! I have to add a PS here. Look what teaser trailer just came out. YES!!! Any other HOST fans out there?

MBM: 10 Marketing Tips (what not to do) with JoLynne Lyon

MARCH BOOK MADNESS is something where people share their thoughts on writing and books and we’ve had two awesome posts already (see the links below).      

         

    Lynn Wiese Sneyd: Thurs, March 8, Querying 
          Tobi Summers: Tues, March 13, Plotting vs. Plodding
          JoLynne Lyon: Thurs, March 15, Marketing
          Cassie Mae: Tues, March 20, Editing
          Jessica Khoury: Thurs, March 22, Editing
          Tricia Pease: Tues, March 27th, Reading
          Sharon Belknap: Thurs, March 29Reading
          (if it’s blue, you can click on it to go to that post) 

Fun stuff. Great people. I’m totally lovin’ this! 

Today JoLynne Lyon is talking about marketing and social media for authors. I must say, I really appreciate JoLynne’s sense of humor. Her post made me laugh which is always a good thing. So here it is:



JoLynne: Using social media to build a bestseller in 10 easy steps

Step 1: Start before you are published. Set up a blog with a name that reflects your self-confidence like, Destined for Greatness or Seeds of Glory. Use your corner of the Internet to vent. Writing is hard. The publishing world doesn’t get you. Everyone should know.
 
Step 2: Leave comments on other blogs inviting readers to visit yours. Don’t waste time reading their posts. “You are invited to visit my blog” and a link is enough.
 
Step 3: Stop working on your manuscript and build your platform. Bestsellers owe their success to marketing, not plot and character development.
 
Step 4: When you are published or self-published, it’s time to move to Twitter. Use the word “ninja” or “guru” in your profile. Follow absolutely everyone. Direct message them about your book as soon as they follow you back. Tweet hourly, and only about your book.
 
Step 5: Ask fellow bloggers and Goodreads friends for a review. If they didn’t give you at least four stars, blast them in the comment section and ostracize them from your personal and professional life.

 

Step 6: Shock people as you interact in social media. Drop the F-bomb. Everyone loves an edgy writer.
 
Step 7: Don’t neglect your Facebook friends as potential customers. Stop posting about anything but your book. Your writing is your life now.
 
Step 8: Be on every social network that exists. Don’t wait to get a feel for a new platform before you start commenting.
 
Step 9: If your book is in a contest, go to the website or blog that’s hosting and diss your competition.
 
Step 10: Now that you’re networked, spend all your time blogging, tweeting, pinning, chatting and updating. There will be time for going to kids’ events/cooking dinner/exercising/persuading your family not to disown you after you’re famous. Which should be any minute now.
 
Follow these tips to fame and wealth because social media is the new multilevel marketing. 
 

Bio: JoLynne Lyon is the public relations specialist in a unit in a college in a university on a hill in a mountain town. (Utah State University wants you to know that her opinions don’t represent her employer.) She’s never sold a book, but she’s observed all the strategies presented here. You can find her at www.mountainlyon.blogspot.com and on Twitter, @jensenborger6.


Rebecca: The first time I read JoLynne’s post I laughed. It’s awesome! I think we’ve all been there, seen that. The annoying self-promoter. They’re everywhere with an in-your-face kind of approach. But I have to say the second time I read it, I thought, “Oh shoot! Have I done those things?” If so, I’m very, very sorry to all of you. It’s hard to remember that other people aren’t as excited about my book as I am. (By the way it’s called Sadie, and it’s about this girl who . . . just kidding.) 

Like everything else in life, I think it all comes back to balance. You want to get your name and product out there because you believe in it. Otherwise you wouldn’t have created it. And the reality is that in today’s publishing world, most of marketing falls to the author. So how do you do it without bugging the snot out of people? I love the suggestions JoLynne gave of what not to do. If I had to add one thing to do, I would say: Be nice. That’s it. Everything you ever needed to know you learned in kindergarten, or something like that. Just be nice. 

I’ve become a people watcher of late, especially an author watcher. My favorite ones, the ones I look up to, are genuinely nice, classy people. (Classy. That’s a word I’d love to be some day.) These authors mention their product, sure, but they also mention others they love and believe in. They’re always grateful for their readers and supporters. When praised, they’re humble and acknowledge that they didn’t get to where they are solely because of themselves. I love that! When they talk to people they’re appreciative. They’re real. They’re nice. That goes a long way in my book. In fact, I’ve met some authors who impressed me so much I’ll buy anything they write for the rest of their lives. How’s that for reader loyalty?

So that’s my marketing tip. Be nice. And please don’t do the things JoLynne mentioned. It really bugs people. :)

What do you think? What marketing strategies have you seen that you like? That you hate? What authors do you respect and why? What are you having for dessert? (Sorry that last one crept in there. Craving chocolate right now.)

Taking a Little Leap

(leaping)

Happy LEAP Day!!! I have a friend whose birthday is today and for that reason alone, I think she is the coolest person (although she’s pretty great without the awesome birthday). What a fun day today is, an extra day, and I hope you do something extra fun, extra happy, and/or extra special. I probably won’t because I’m a very dull, boring person, but I’ll feel better if you do. :) Oh, and if you have any fun Leap Day traditions, let me know. I’m sure I could check Pinterest (couldn’t I?), but I’d rather just stick around here and ask you guys. 

I might add that writing has been a huge LEAP in my life. In fact, the last leap year, I hadn’t even considered the possibility that I would be an author some day. Or that I’d have a website, or a blog, or twitter, or any of the other new leaps I’ve taken. Kind of makes me curious what the next four years will bring. Even now when old friends find out I’ve written a book they look at me a long minute and say as politely as possible, “Really? You? The music lady?” Big leap. That’s probably also why it’s been so fun. 

(Reminder: it’s not too late to get a free, autographed copy of SADIE. There are over 160 entries on goodreads, but not that many on my blog. So if you want to up your chances, hop over to this blog post and drop me a note that you want to be considered.) 

Today I’m going to take a little leap and talk about myself. Christine Tyler tagged me recently and asked me to answer 11 questions. I’m only now getting around to answering. Sorry Christine. I’m slow.

1. What do you eat when you write? 


Anything and everything (okay, not everything. See #11). I’m a snacker, meaning I eat every hour or two, all day long. Bad habit I know, but it’s my body, not yours. :)

2. What do you do when you experience despair and crippling doubt? 

Curl up in the fetal position and cry. Just kidding. I don’t know. I usually take a break, do something different like read a book, play the piano, or goof around with my kids. Sometimes I’ll read the nice notes people have sent me the last few months (big thank you, by the way!). When those feelings have lost their intensity, I get back to work. They always do–thankfully. One of the few benefits to having a short attention span.

3. How did you find your first critique partner, or what are you looking for in a future CP? 
My family. Best place, right? I lucked out in that my sister-in-law Sarah was the first person to read SADIE and she’s encouraged me ever since. We swap manuscripts and bounce ideas off each other all the time. My dad has also been great in giving me writing tips and such. As far as what I look for in a CP, I appreciate someone who can tell me the brutal honest truth in a less-than-brutal way. I suppose we all do.

4. What is your biggest distraction when you write? 

Kids. I should probably state that the other way around, though. Writing is the biggest distraction to my parenting. Sometimes I have to remind myself which is the hobby and which is the life-long dream (writing is the hobby in case you didn’t catch that). I’ve set time limits on when I write and blog because of the tunnel vision I acquire when I’m in the mode. In a year and a half they’ll all be in school full time and then I will write more.

5. What character in your writing are you most proud of development-wise? Why? 

I would say the character I’m working on right now, Greg. He’s a real jerk to the main character and it was hard to let him be. Knowing the why behind him and seeing him pull out of that jerkiness has been very rewarding. He still can be a jerk at times and I struggle to rein him in (so does the MC), but if he was perfect, he wouldn’t be fun. Or real. Hopefully future readers will forgive him. I have.   

6. What is the worst thing you have ever written?

Worst? No idea. I’m sure there’s plenty to choose from, but referencing question #2, I’d rather not search my memories for an example.

7. Do you talk to yourself, get up and act things out, or make faces when you’re writing? Tell us about one of these times :D

I definitely talk to myself. I don’t get up and act things out though. Hmmm, maybe I should. Nope. Too weird for me. Sorry. The first year when I was writing, one of the kids or my hubby would walk into the room and give me a “Who are you talking to?” look. Now they don’t bother. They know I’m crazy. It’s great!

8. Where do you go for inspiration?

Life. 

9. What is the hardest part about writing for you?

Letting go of a good idea in pursuit of a better idea (I posted once about this dilemma here). I tend to hoard words. I need to work on letting go. It’s not like I’m writing in stone. Things can change and that’s okay. It’s okay. I can let go now. Let go…Take a deep breath. It’s fine. 

10. If you were a world-famous author, what advice would you give aspiring authors?


World famous? Really? Wow. Ummmm…work hard and edit like crazy. Just when you think it’s done, it probably isn’t, so go back and tweak some more. And then some more. And then a little more.

11. Have you ever had Ketchup Chips? 

Sadly yes. I was introduced to Ketchup chips by my Canadian brother-in-law. He also gave me Vinegar and Pickle chips. I think there was another heinous kind in there but my mind has mercifully wiped that night from my memory. Bleh. Nasty stuff. Does anybody really like Ketchup Chips? I mean really really? 

So that’s a little bit about me. If you’d like to answer these same 11 questions, leave a comment for me and I’ll come check out your answers. However, if you say that you like Ketchup Chips, we just might have to chat.

Take a LEAP on something new today. Make it count because today only happens every four years.


related post: Rebecca Belliston interview

Win an Autographed Copy of Sadie (or two)



Hey, I wanted to let you know about two copies of SADIE I’m giving away starting this week. This giveaway includes an inscription and my lovely (not) signature The first book is for my blog followers here, just comment below if you want to be considered. The other copy is on goodreads, details here if you’re interested. Yes, that’s two free copies of SADIE, one here for my followers and one over at goodreads. Both giveaways are open until March 15th

If you don’t know anything about my book, here’s the book trailer and a quick synopsis:



Sadie Dawson thinks she has the perfect life until accusations and misunderstandings throw her life into turmoil. Fleeing her boyfriend’s wrath in a blinding Montana snowstorm, she is rescued by four friends on their annual ski vacation. While she knows there is more to a perfect life than diamonds and dinner parties, she must discover who has her best interests at heart and who she can trust . . . before it’s too late. Click here for more info.  

I could tell you how much I like my own book, but that would be really weird and, quite frankly, a little desperate, so here are some reviews from some very nice people: 

Deseret News
Tristi Pinkston
Amazon
Deseret Book
(If you’ve read SADIE and want to share your thoughts, post a review or send me a note at rebeccabelliston at gmail dot com. I love hearing from readers!!!)

That’s it for now. I hope you win. Well, one of you reading this will, but I hope that it’s you. Yes, you! The last person who won a copy was the fabulous Cassie, who has since become my friend–at least, I claim her as my friend. I’m not sure she claims me. :)  Don’t worry, my friendship is optional with all entries, so don’t let that deter you. (Wow. Can you tell I haven’t been getting enough sleep? I’m in a strange mood. Sorry. I should quit typing.)

Enjoy the sunshine! If you don’t have any where you are, come to Michigan. We have blue skies in February for once. Yahoo!!!

Hodgepodge

(hodgepodging–spell check doesn’t think this is a word. Oh well. It is now.)


Today is a little bit of everything. First, just a quick note to let you know I won’t be blogging much this week. My two cute nephews are staying with me for a little while and rather than spend my time in front of a computer, I thought they would enjoy it more if we did Auntie things like bake cookies or play SORRY; or maybe play SORRY while baking cookies. I don’t know. I should probably get on Pinterest for some ideas. (Anyone know how to use Pinterest?) My youngest is so excited to have his cousins here because usually it’s just him and me alone all day every day and now he’ll have not just one boy but two to follow around. Fun!


So the hodgepodge. 


1) I’m happy to report that my son has forgiven me for killing his fishes. Yes! He also made his first shot in basketball this weekend, so all is well.


2) Two of my favorite YA authors are teaming up to make a movie based around my all-time favorite author, Jane Austen. So I’m just a little teeny bit excited. :)  Check out Stephenie Meyer’s website to read about Austenland, the movie. Very, very, very cool (three verys for three awesome authors). And even more awesome was to see that The Host is well on it’s way to becoming a movie. Stephenie is super cool to me for many reasons, and since The Host is my favorite of her books, I’m very excited to see it on the big screen. I just might have to read it for the fourth time. :)


3) A little promo for my dad, Gerald N. Lund, who is also super cool. That’s really not the right word for him–sorry Dad. How about super amazing. A little better. Anyway, he has a new book coming out in March, called Look Up My Soul: The Divine Power of Hope. It’s a nonfiction book about finding hope in today’s troubled times. As I mentioned last Friday, a lot of people I know are going through tough times right now, so I feel like this book is very timely. You can check it out on his website, www.geraldnlund.com and I’ll let you know once it’s available for pre-order. This is his third nonfiction book in what he calls a “Doctrinal Trilogy.” All three are on his homepage if you’re interested. 


Also, Deseret Book is giving away the first five chapters of the first book, Hearing the Voice of the Lord. All you have to do to get these is fill out a little survey on ebooks. Check it out here.


4) It’s not too late to sign up for Rach’s Writer’s Campaign. Check it out here.


5) Hmmm, anything else? Oh yeah. Hello to all the people who have dropped by recently! Thanks for the nice comments!


6) What else? Can you tell I don’t want to do laundry?


7) Or clean?


8) Or shower?


Alright. I’m done. If I don’t check back in this week, I’m playing SORRY. Have a good one.