Christmas Handbells for Children

Last night, I had my Christmas piano recital, and I left my little handbells out, along with some simple music I put together so the kids could play around. I’m amazed how even the littlest kids can figure out these bells because of the colors. In fact, one little boy (6yo) who is not a piano student yet, and who has not done anything with music, picked up the bells and started playing “Jingle Bells” by himself. They love it!

Several parents have asked about these bells and the music, so I thought I’d share here.

I bought a pair of simple rainbow-colored handbells years ago, like the ones found here. There are 8 bells ranging from C to C, and from red to pink.

Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells pg1

And here’s the free music I put together.

Songs are:

  • Jolly Old St. Nicholas
  • Jingle Bells
  • The First Noel
  • Joy to the World
  • Angels We Have Heard on High
  • Away in a Manger/Cradle Song
  • Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer

So if you have kids, try it out. It’s seriously the easiest thing ever, and they love it!

 

Black Friday Deals: Give the Gift of Reading for $0.99


Want to give the gift of reading AND shop at home in your PJs? Well…

Black Friday – Cyber Monday:
My books are $0.99 on Kindle!

That’s:
88% off CITIZENS OF LOGAN POND: LIFE
93% off SADIE (on sale Friday only)
75% off AUGUSTINA.

And…all of my Christmas sheet music is FREE!

Click the pictures to purchase or download.
And please share with anyone who might be interested.

Continue reading “Black Friday Deals: Give the Gift of Reading for $0.99”

LDS Authors Giveaway Hop

LDS-Updated

I’m participating in the LDS Authors Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not a Writer & American Night Writers Association.

I’m giving away an autographed, personalized copy of SADIE or AUGUSTINA (US only) They’re both LDS romantic suspense novels written by yours truly. You can get extra chances to win by sharing about the giveaway or following my facebook/twitter/blog, etc. 

The giveaway ends on my birthday, October 15th. How cool is that?! My readers give me so much, I love giving back to them/you. So this is perfect!

SadieAugustinaboth
WIN AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY

SADIE: 

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. (more)

AUGUSTINA:

Against the odds, Sarah Augustina Dawson survived the wrath of Guillermo. But not without a price. Forced to leave her beloved Montana behind, she and Josh are on the run. Within the warmth of the South, she’s determined to find peace and conquer her past, even if only in her mind. But Guillermo can’t let go. He’s still orchestrating, hunting, and devising ways to exact his own kind of justice. When the law swings in his favor, he’s ready to end the feud that started the moment Josh walked into Sadie’s life.(more)

Once you enter, make sure to jump from link to link (see bottom of this post) to win tons of other books. There are 53 links down there. That’s a lot of chances to win!

BUT FIRST…I want to put in a quick plug for the Whitney Awards. I’m the secretary of LDStorymakers, and we’re trying to get the word out about the Whitneys. The Whitney Awards recognize the best novels written by LDS authors in a certain year. Awards are given in the following categories: Best Novel, Best Youth Novel, Best Novel by New Author, General Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance, Mystery/Suspense, Speculative, YA General, YA Speculative, Middle Grade. They are completely dependent on reader nominations. See the winners from last year here. Several were written by NYT Bestselling authors. So, if you win a novel and love it, or if you’ve already read and loved another novel written by an LDS author (published this year), please nominate it for a Whitney Award here. You can nominate as many books as you’d like.

Alright. Are you ready?  :)

Good luck!!!

Each of these blogs is hosting a giveaway as part of this hop:


Why My eBook isn’t $1.99

Why My Ebook Isn't $1.99

I’ve debated writing about this for awhile. But…well…I’m just going to say it. (Don’t hate me.)

If you don’t know, I write novels and music. I’ve been writing music for quite a bit longer, so I’ve published far more songs than novels. I’m fairly comfortable as a composer. As an author though, even though it’s been two years since I published my first novel, I still feel new to the whole book industry. Crazy industry, btw.

This last year I decided to branch out and try self-publishing with both my music and my latest novel. Self-publishing is really taking off in the world for many reasons:

  • It’s easy
  • It pays higher royalties
  • The author/composer is in control of the content, start to finish

There are also cons to self-publishing. You probably already know these, so I’m not going to delve into them.

Well, I’m going to delve into one.

As I put my latest novel Augustina up on Amazon and B&N, I had this big debate within myself:

What price should I choose for my ebook?

I had a pretty good idea on the paperback price based on the price of my first novel. Plus, CreateSpace had a minimum price I had to charge, so that gave me a good baseline to work from.

But as I researched ebook prices, they seemed to be all over the place. $7.99 to $0.99. Some were FREE (a lot were free), while others were up around $12.99. All for books similar in length.

So…I picked a spot somewhere in between: $2.99. Sounded reasonable. I’d self-published, which for some reason made me feel like the price needed to be lower (even though the work on my part was MUCH higher). But $2.99 it was.

Last week, I finished up some new arrangements of How Great Thou Art, and I went to upload the digital version onto Sheet Music Plus.

As I did, I noticed the minimum price set by Sheet Music Plus is $3.99. They don’t allow me to sell my sheet music for less than that. No discussions. $3.99 is the minimum. That’s fine with me. My songs have been selling well on their site, and I’ve never complained about that price. Four dollars seems fair for a song.

Here’s the thing though.

It takes me a week or two to write a song. Maybe a little more if it’s complicated or has several different parts, like a choral number.

I spent four years working on my novel.

Four.

Years. Not weeks. Not months.

And I’m supposed to sell it for less than my songs? I’m sorry, but I just can’t, people. And honestly, I don’t think other authors should have to either.

*deep breath*

*still don’t kill me*

I didn’t twiddle my thumbs for four years on Augustina. I edited and edited, and had friends read it, and English grammar people read it, and I edited it more. I had a publisher willing to publish it, but for various reasons, I decided to self-publish. I’m glad I did.

I think.

Look, I’m as cheap as the next person. Probably cheaper. I’ve bought plenty of cheap ebooks. I’ve downloaded many FREE ones, too. But looking at the trend happening on Amazon and in the book world in general makes me sick.

What are we doing to authors by cheapening four years of hard work and selling it for $1.99? Are ebooks easier to write than paperbacks? Nope. They take just as much work. 

I don’t mind the occasional sale. In fact, I look forward to it. Books go on sale. Food goes on sale. Even sheet music goes on sale. Just last week I offered some of my sheet music for free.

But to set your base price at $1.99 or $0.99 is just so sad to me! I love books too much to cheapen them like that. And yet, in the ridiculously huge world of 8 million books on Amazon alone, authors are forced to do just that to get ahead (or to get more readers).

My husband likes to tease that I’d make more per hour working at McDonald’s than I do as an author. Sadly, that’s true for most authors. Unlike J K Rowling and Stephenie Meyer, the typical author gets paid pennies per hour.

So…

I’m expanding my wallet. If I can pay $10 for a movie ticket that entertains me for 2 hours, I can pay more than $2 for a book that entertains me for 7-8.

I’m willing to invest more in an author’s time so they won’t quit their pathetic-paying writing job and give me more wonderful stories to immerse myself in.

Are you?

*rant officially over*

Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I’m really curious to know what you think on this topic either as a reader or writer (or both).

Free Christmas Sheet Music

It’s that time of year again. It’s the most . . . won-der-ful time . . . of the year. I know it’s too early to think about Christmas. (Way too early. Seriously store people, settle down.) But, this is the time of year musicians start planning carols and Christmas melodies to perform under starry lights.

So…

Like I did last year, I’m offering a few of my Christmas arrangements for FREE. Yep. Free..

HERE ARE THE SONGS:

  • COME THOU LONG EXPECTED JESUS: SATB

HOW TO GET FREE MUSIC: 

  1. Go here.
  2. At checkout, enter the promo code “FREE MUSIC”

Getting free stuff shouldn’t be hard. If it is, email me here, and I’ll figure out how to get it to you.

Here’s a video of “Noel Medley,” piano solo version.

Thanks!

Merry almost (no, not really) Christmas. 

 

Oh, How I Love Reviews!

I’ve been sick and feeling kinda bleh for the past little bit. Ugh. But there have been a few things which have cheered me up! :)

Augustina received 2 reviews that totally made my day. As part of one review, I shared 10 fun things about me. Plus, there’s another giveaway for Augustina! 

Shauna over at ilovetoreadandreviewbooks.blogspot.com said this about Augustina:

Only Rebecca Belliston can start off a story with the main character’s funeral and turn it into a happy ending. You will keep turning the pages of this book long into the night anxious to find out what happens next! LOVED. LOVED. LOVED. IT! Didn’t want it to end! (more here)

And Charissa Stastny from joyinthemoments.wordpress.com said this:

This sequel to Sadie is intense. Belliston did a good job taking the reader on a very emotional journey of guilt, grief, fear, want, rage, and ultimately redemption. Sadie’s a sweet character who’s been dragged through a lot of muck in both books, but she becomes strong…and it has been a wonderful journey with her. I couldn’t put the book down near the end–it got so tense and scary. Bravo!  (more here)

And then my friend Braden Bell over at bradenbell.com gave Augustina a nice shout-out here. I feel blessed to have such support for this project I love so dearly.

  • Win an autographed copy of Augustina here. The giveaway is only open until August 27, so don’t wait
  • Read 10 fun random things about me here
  • Buy Augustina here
  • Read the first two chapters here

Love you guys!