Lesfic Party Today for Authors and Readers

New year, new books! Lesfic is growing and we’re throwing a party to celebrate. Join me and several other authors and readers on Facebook today for a Lesfic Party. The party starts at 1:00 Eastern time and ends at 11:00 PM. You can join in anytime you’re available throughout the afternoon and evening and chat with some of your favorite authors and other lesfic readers.

So Who’s Coming to this Lesfic Party?

Lesfic Party for Authors And Readers

On the author side, Isabella kicks us off at 1:00, as you can see. She’s followed by Annette Mori at 2:00 and yours truly at 3:00 and then there’s a whole slate of talented ladies to follow well into the evening.

There will be questions flying both ways between all of the authors and the readers, contests, games and GIVEAWAYS. Most of the authors (if not all!) are giving away copies of their books. I’ll have eBooks and a paperback or two to give away. Rumor has it there will be some gift cards up for grabs too!

Everyone is invited. Tell your friends who enjoy lesfic and give them the link to join us. Here it is in all its ugly old hyperlink form for you to share fare and wide: https://www.facebook.com/events/1306543452749734/?active_tab=about.

I hope to see you at the party! As always, thanks for reading!

 

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Paperbacks are Now Available

As 2016 comes to a close, I’ve been doing a lot of admin and detail work so I can spend 2017 WRITING. I didn’t do nearly as much of that as I would have liked to in 2016.

So, What’s Up?

I’ve made multiple updates to this site. I’d still like to change the template – the way it’s laid out – entirely but, for now, it’s a bit more user-friendly than it was in the past.

Secondly, I’ve taken a few more of my digital books ‘wide’ to other vendor sites (besides Amazon) as they’ve come out of the Kindle Select Program. By the end of February, all of my older books should be out of the program and available on all sites. An eight book boxed set of The Morelville Mysteries will still be available via Kindle Unlimted (KU). Other boxed sets of my other work will be forthcoming as well for bargain purchases and in the KU program.

Hannah's Hope Book Cover Finally, I’ve also gotten in touch with my go-to cover designer and had him design five full wrap covers for the books that were not yet in paperback. I really slacked on that. They should have all been released in paperback from the start but, I’m fixing that.

Everything is out there now except for Hannah’s Hope, the most recent Morelville Mystery. There was some glitch with the way the cover renders for the printer. They’re telling us that text gets cut off because it’s too close to the edge of the cover. The eBook cover is to the left. Nothing there should be a problem and there’s nothing at all unusual about my designer’s spine or back cover designs. Neither of us can figure out what they’re talking about so they’re ‘investigating’. Stay tuned for that one.

Future books will be released in paperback along with or very shortly after their digital releases.

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Reading Ahead and What’s Behind

Did you miss me?

For those of you that celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas. If you celebrate any of the other religious holidays of the season, I wish you blessed days ahead as well. As for myself, I’ve spent the past couple months or so not writing, but instead tending to our haunted house business, to family health-related issues and mainly to cleaning up my own publishing related mess so I can move forward into 2017 at full speed.

Healing Embrace CoverIf you’ve been waiting for the lesfic romance, Healing Embrace, to come out, I apologize. It’s primarily finished but a little rough. It needs some edits and I won’t be undertaking those until we cross the threshold of the New Year. The 9th Morelville Mystery will actually come out first. In all honesty, it should have been out before Thanksgiving but it wasn’t to be. The theming may be a little off for the season but it’s a good story (or so I’ve been told by the wonderful woman who Beta read a very rough draft) that will take Dana, Hannah and Mel (to a slightly lesser extent) into an unsolved local murder mystery involving Faye’s family before Faye ever became a Crane. Look for it in mid to late January.

So, what have I been up to in the moments I could sqeeze in between business, work and family obligations? Lots of stuff, in dribs and drabs, as I could eke out a little time!

The 5 Self-Publishing Lessons I Learned in 2016

They all come down to what the readers want:

  1. A functional website is key. It’s almost transparent to anyone reading this – right now – but this website moved. I was paying for hosting at WordPress.com but there are things I wanted to do to revamp the site to make it more visual and more visitor/user friendly that I just couldn’t do there. Paying for a site through them doesn’t give you much more functionality than using a free one there. Lesson learned…the hard way. Over the next 2-3 weeks, look for some changes here as I work on the site a little each day. Rest assured, the lesfic list you all love will remain a fixture here. I update it with new names and/or new genre’s all the time.
  1. I took a look at my 2016 marketing and the return on investment. It was pretty bad. Most of the stuff that I paid for didn’t return any more than a little name recognition. Being active social on social networks, when I could squeeze in the time, was better for me. I’ve been going back and forth with a couple of other author friends on better use of social mediums – more presence but less time suck away from writing. Is that even possible? I think so. Instead of paying for BookBub PPV ads (I can’t seem to get one of the biggie feature ads anyway) and Amazon and Facebook ads, I’m devoting a lot less dollars a month to two mediums that will help me manage Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn a little better. I’m still on my own with Pinterest. Overall though, the best book marketing has been publishing new books. Can you imagine that?!
  1. All books must be in print. Half of my stuff is/was; half wasn’t. By the end of 2016, it all will be. It’s such a simple process, there’s no excuse for this but my own laziness. I just released A Crane Christmas in print and Hannah’s Hope and the two cozies are almost ready to go. I have to do a review of Mad for Mel before I can release it in print and then they’ll all be out there. In the meantime, I’ve reviewed and lowered pricing on many of the print editions, especially for international distribution.
  1. Wider is better. Amazon is amazing for authors. Kindle Unlimited is amazing for readers…in the U.S. and some other English speaking markets. In October, I came to the realization that my two books and the two, four book sets that are available at most major book e-retailers were gaining a little traction, especially outside the U.S. Amazon is queen here and in the U.K. but Kobo is king in Canada and making inroads everywhere else including the U.K., the Apple iBooks platform is pervasive among the tech and younger sets and GooglePlay is huge in many countries (if you can get in). Traction with all of those sites can take 4-6 months but it does come. It’s worth it to be on them and to wait. My books now go to Amazon for 90 days to benefit from Kindle Unlimited and then they’re going wide.

I wish I’d have learned this lesson sooner. I’ve turned off auto-renew on all my books in the Kindle Select program (which makes them exclusive to Amazon and available through Kindle Unlimited) and, as they come out of Select, I’m taking them wide. By mid-February, the only things left in select will be my 8 book boxed set which will always be there and – temporarily – the 9th Morelville Mystery and the romance, Healing Embrace.

  1. Finally, for a self-published author, an email list is a must have…and I don’t have one. At all. I intend to remedy that in 2017. More details to come later but, if you want to be on my list, click the contact link now. I promise plenty of sneak peaks, a few freebies and more as we move into 2017.

As always, thanks for reading!

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Review of ‘Opera House Ops’ by Anne Hagan

Kitty Kat reviews my latest cozy mystery, ‘Opera House Ops: The Morelville Cozies – Book 2’

Review of ‘Opera House Ops’ by Anne Hagan

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My Heart Breaks

I’ve spent many happy hours over the past 20 years vacationing, relaxing and playing in the Great Smoky Mountains. I’ve stayed in and spent lots of time in Gatlinburg and in the National Park.

In February of 2014, my wife was introduced to the Smokies for the first time when she and I and her sister and our now brother-in-law rented a cabin in Pigeon Forge for a weekend. We spent most of the day Saturday in downtown Gatlinburg. The three of them were so enamored of an area I’d long known that during the 7+ hour ride home, we planned a ‘family’ vacation for Labor Day week, 2014 and, when we got home, we called a family meeting to tell everyone about it.

We took that Labor Day week vacation and my wife’s sister and her fiance got married on one of the decks of our cabin with a backdrop of the Smokies while we were there. marriedIt was a vacation we’ll never forget and it was the crux of a decision by my wife and I to buy a second home down there near Douglas Lake in the Sevierville area where we could have a boat and where we could spend winters. We have a little ways to go to realize the dream, but it’s in the works.

Rainbow in the Smoky MountainsThe three of us; me, my spouse and her sister, have been following the news out of Gatlinburg and the surrounding area with heavy hearts. My emotions have run very high these last few days as I grieve the people who have lost their lives and I worry about the firefighters, other emergency personnel and the people who have lost their homes, their businesses, their jobs and their way of life.

I’m praying for, and hopeful for the people of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the entire East Tennessee region. The rainbow picture is one I took on our way back out of the Park in September of 2014 one day as the fog had rolled in suddenly, thick and heavy and then nearly as fast it rolled away to reveal it. It symbolizes that hope for me.

Forever the Great Smoky Mountains! I’ll be back again one day…soon. Until then, I wish all of the people there all of the blessings possible as they rebuild their homes and their lives.

Peace…

smokies

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Opera House Ops Novel Released

Just a quick post to let everyone know that Opera House Ops, Book 2 of the Morelville Cozies series that was originally released in serial form with ten episodes has now been released as a novel. It’s currently exclusive at Amazon for the Kindle and free via Kindle Unlimited. After 90 days, it will be released for wide distribution.

Opera House Ops Book CoverSinister goings-on at a vacant 1800’s era opera house in Morelville have the residents of the village all tied up in knots and Faye Crane trying to solve multiple crimes to play savior to history.

Faye Crane and Chloe Rossi are back in the latest Morelville cozy mystery. This time, sinister goings-on at a vacant late 1800’s era opera house in Morelville have the residents of the village all tied up in knots and the meddling mothers trying to solve multiple crimes and play savior to history. Who’s responsible for all of the strange occurrences? What will it take to make the crimes stop, make a developer go away and to save the historical building for future generations?

Originally released as a serial mystery in ten episodes, this latest cozy crime drama from the Morelville Cozies series goes great together with Book 1 of the series, The Passed Prop. To get all of the Crane and Rossi families back story, you should check out that book available for the Kindle and via Kindle Unlimited but this book can also be read as a stand-alone mystery.

Enjoy and thanks, as always, for reading!

 

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I Have a Double Deal for You!

I Have a Double Deal for You!It’s the most wonderful time of the year; a time for family, friends and the holidays. A time to go 100 miles an hour from event to event and a time to slow down, relax and savor all life’s moments. Forget about Brexit. Forget about the U.S. elections. Put it all aside and enjoy you and yours through the holiday season. And, while you’re at it, you can take the time to have a go at me – in more ways than one!

grill-adFirst, on Sunday, November 27th, from 2:00 PM Eastern (1:00 Central, Noon Mountain and 11:00 in the morning Pacific Time) I will be tossed onto the grill by Dawn Carter of the Lesbian Book Readers Club on Facebook for three hours of flipping, poking and prodding by anyone and everyone in the group. Not a member? Go to Facebook and click to join the group now so you can get in on all the fun.

Ask me anything on Sunday. I’m an open book…it’s all fair game! I’ve been interviewed before but never like this. It should be fun…

Second, on a related note, I told Dawn I planned to give away an eBook boxed set of my lesfic mystery/romance series featuring Sheriff Melissa ‘Mel’ Crane and Special Agent Dana Rossi and a copy of my romance, Broken Women, in either paperback or in eBook form. Well, scratch that!

bb-ad-2Oh, I’ll still give away one of each but have I got a deal for the Kindle users among you: Beginning at Midnight tonight (Pacific Time), the boxed set of 8 Morelville Mysteries mystery/romance novels goes on sale in the U.S. and the U.K. for the low, low price of $.99 (cents and pounds). In all other countries, I’m dropping it as low as Amazon will let me drop it from the current U.S. equivalent price of $7.99. Get this while you can! The price goes back up in all countries Tuesday night.

For those of you who prefer not to use Amazon, most of my books are widely available. Broken Women is available on just about every platform out there including Amazon, Apple (iBooks), Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo, Smashwords and many more. Click here to get a page with all the links. The mysteries series is available on all those sites too, but as two boxed sets (The Full Circle Collection featuring books 1-4 plus a companion guide not available at Amazon and The Morelville Mysteries Books 5-8 Collection) at a low cost per book ($1.00 US or less, typically).

Never read any of my stuff before? Relic, the first book in The Morelville Mysteries series and the book that started it all is free to download on every major site and a whole slew of minor ones.

So, I’ll see you at the grilling on Sunday but, until then, enjoy and, as always, thank you for reading!

 

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Christmas is Coming! – The Lesfic Author List

Back in June of this year, I created a blog post titled The Top 153 Lesfic Writers Alive (and Still Writing) Today. My motives were pure. Yes, I write lesfic myself but I’ve been an avid reader of it for years and I was getting frustrated in my online searches for new stuff. I still read paperbacks but, because Kindle software can be loaded on just about anything electronic and I have it loaded on everything now, I read a lot of eBooks from Amazon. If you don’t know this, then let me be the first to tell you that Amazon is the queen of the personal search experience but it isn’t always a good thing.

 Amazon looks at all of your previous search history and, when you start typing into their search bar, it makes suggestions to you based on that history; YOUR HISTORY. Two different users, logged into their own accounts and using the same search terms will see completely different things.

As an author, I’m constantly looking for resources on all sorts of crazy stuff to research things for my fiction novels so I don’t come off sounding like an idiot. That leads Amazon to invite me to look at things that really aren’t relevant to my searches for some new fiction to read. Too, not every author I run across in Facebook groups or that I find on Goodreads or elsewhere via social media sells ebooks or sells on Amazon. I wanted a place that I could go where I could find lesfic authors and only lesfic authors where I could link directly to their websites or to another profile (like Goodreads) that potentially listed all of the places where their books are available. No such website or list existed then. It does now.

 I started to create a list with links to the top 50 lesfic authors I wanted to follow. That became 100, then 150 and, tired and wanting to post it online for others to see and use, I stopped at 153. I linked to my original blog post in a few lesfic Facebook groups and it went totally viral. The post got thousands of visitors. Readers made suggestions and so did the less shy authors among us who weren’t on the list. I kept updating the post with new names and new links as they were suggested to me.

 When the post ballooned to well over 200 names, and approached 300 (as of this writing, there are 288 active authors on the list and another 10 that are no longer with us), I knew I couldn’t keep just adding to it and I knew we – all of us – needed something more permanent than a post that gave readers – and potential gift givers – more information. This page was born: Lesfic Author List. Lesfic List Logo‘The list’ now has a permanent home on my site.

It’s not a stagnant list. New names are added as often as I run across them or someone forwards them to me. I’ve also started adding notations for everyone who writes books other than lesfic romance. Most everyone on the list writes romance too but so many of them write about characters that reflect us in many other genres (mystery, paranormal, sci-fi…), myself included.

 I’m publicizing the list again because I know there are authors out there that should be on it. If you don’t see your name, contact me via this site or through Facebook. We’re coming up on the time of year when people give gifts and the time beyond that when people curl up inside and spend hours reading. It’s a place to go to find links to old favorites and to discover some –  or many – new ones too.

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BTB Review of The Passed Prop by Anne Hagan

Sheryl Hagan-Booth (no relation) of ‘Booth Talks Books’ reviews my first cozy mystery, ‘The Passed Prop’.

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Episode 1 is Free today through Monday

Whew! October was a crazy month. A guy retired at work and I was ‘involuntarily’ promoted. I’ve been picking up lots of extra hours while waiting for someone to be hired and on-boarded to fill my old slot.  Then, we were so focused on the haunted house through the first half of the month and then dealing with the aftermath of a ‘voluntary’ shut down (long story) that I found very little time to do any writing. The haunt will be up and running again next year – plans are already under way for that. In the meantime, it’s time for me to get back at it and finish some things…several things…that I started.

Opera House Ops - Episode 1 CoverFirst things first though. I have a cozy mystery out in serial form, Opera House Ops. It’s exclusively at Amazon (temporarily) and free via Kindle Unlimited. If you don’t have Kindle Unlimited, I’d like you to know that Episode 1, Breaking In, is free today through Monday at Amazon. The first link will take you to the page on this site where you can read about the serial. The Episode 1 link or clicking the photo on the right will take you right to the Amazon page where you can download it and give it a shot. Enjoy and please, let me know what you think. I’m considering doing more books in the Cozies series this way – as serials. It was fun to write in that format and many readers seemed to like it.

 Healing Embrace CoverMy lesfic romance, Healing Embrace, was due out in mid-late October, depending on the schedule of my proofreader. That obviously didn’t happen. I severely underestimated the time I’d be devoting to all things haunted house related. The first draft is done and my own edits (second draft), are about half or more finished. With any luck at all, fingers crossed, I’ll have it proofed near the end of the month and published no later than early December.

 A project I started working on in late October, after all the hubbub about the haunt died down, the 9th Morelville Mystery, The Turkey Tussle is almost completely plotted. I had that on my calendar to release by Thanksgiving. That’s not going to happen but it’s okay; it wasn’t really a Thanksgiving story, despite the title. I’ll release the blurb soon and you’ll see what I mean. Now, I need to come up with a cover for it that reflects the story rather than the bird the title references. My usual designer seems to be a little stumped by this one. Sigh….

 I had a short NA romance – a novella I suppose I should call it – that I had planned to release around Christmas. I’m still planning to write it and, because my cover designer did come up with a great ‘image’ to use as a base for the cover, I’m planning on keeping it Christmas themed. Maybe if I make it a longish short story instead and burn lots of midnight oil between now and the end of the year, I can produce all three…hmmmm. There’ll be plenty of time to sleep when I retire in 9-10 years, right?!

 I’m off today for Veteran’s Day. I have a to do list that includes working on all of the above plus several more things so I’ll be working on those. I served 22 years combined in the Army and the Army National Guard. I’d like to wish all of my current and former brothers and sisters in arms a Happy Veteran’s Day. It was a pleasure to serve with all of you that I did and I thank you and all the ones who came before and after me, in every branch, for your service.

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