Friday, December 12, 2014

The Rich Author Myth - Money Post Revamped



How much money do writers really make?

Last year I wrote a post about how much money I made as an author, and it got a LOT more attention than I could have anticipated, both positive and negative. The purpose of the post was to correct a common misconception that all authors are “rich,” and to explain to readers why I could not send everyone books and swag when they wrote me requesting free stuff. But what happened was that the post was used by some as an anti-traditional publishing platform, which was never my intention. Many called me a fool for staying with traditional publishing and “outing” myself as a broke midlist author, but those kinds of judgments didn’t and don’t concern me. Only the truth concerns me.

I think that post went viral because it touched a nerve and surprised people. Authors have a way of projecting a certain persona, and it's not always accurate. I remained publicly positive, but I was struggling at the time, not sure I'd be able to afford being a full-time writer much longer, and not certain if any more of my books would be picked up for publication.

As is the way with publishing, a lot has changed in the year since I wrote that original post. Now that I’ve experienced a much broader spectrum of the publishing process, I want to republish my original money post, making minor revisions and adding new information. I learned the hard way that it’s a no-no to give exact amounts regarding my advances. Though it is my right to share that information if I choose, I’m going to respect the unspoken rule and give estimates instead. You’ll still get the big picture.

Please understand that my purpose of this post is to be brutally honest to readers and budding authors—there is no information booklet you get when you publish. If you don’t have a mentor, you have to learn everything as you go, and I would have appreciated a post like this five years ago so I could have known what to expect.

ORIGINAL POST (revised):

I'm going to talk about money.

Are you cringing yet? I am, a little. It's just one of those taboo subjects, you know? Sort of...tacky. But I'm an open book so I don't mind sharing personal stuff for the sake of informing people. Mostly because I think there's a huge misconception out there—one that makes me feel bad almost on a daily basis. I get asked for free things a lot. I'd be willing to bet that I get as many requests for free books and swag as I get fan mail. It's just part of the industry, but when I have to say no, and I get a sad-face response I feel even worse.

I'm not mean and greedy. I promise you. Us Higginses are your average North American family working our butts off to keep our heads above water and be able to send our kids to college someday and retire in peace.

Before I begin, please know that I am NOT bashing my publisher. They are a business, so it's safe to say their goal is to make money along with spreading the love of reading.

In fall 2010, when my first agent told me the publisher was going to make an offer I remember his exact words. He said, "Now, don't go thinking you're going to be able to buy a beach house." I thought perhaps he was being a bit cynical. Then told me to try and stay grounded and focus on my family. So I braced myself. And he was right. I was given a 5-figure advance (think low end), which was very decent for a brand new author. Not all publishers offer advances. (More about what advances mean later.)

Shortly after I accepted this offer, I came across a conversation on Goodreads that made me laugh. Readers were discussing upcoming books and they mentioned a new author who they believed was given over $100K for her book. The reason this was funny to me is because I knew that author and I knew her deal was about the same as mine with the same publisher. See, the average debut author does not get a 6-figure advance. It’s rare. But I think a lot of people have the assumption that that’s the kind of money being thrown around to authors.

The thing people don't realize about advances is that: 1) You don't get it all at once - you get the first half when you sign the contract, which can come months after the offer, and you get the second half when you turn in the final manuscript, again months later, 2) It's not "bonus" income - it's an advance on future royalties you will make from your portion of the book’s sales. When the book publishes you have to pay ALL of that advance BACK from your royalties earned before you start getting paychecks, 3) You have to share that advance and all income made with your agent (not complaining, believe me, they earn their 15% and I'm happy to pay it!!), and 4) You have to put a percentage of that money away to pay taxes.

Essentially, from the time I received a verbal offer for my first book, I received my advance over the course of that following year, earning a grand net total in the 4-digit realm. We used it to pay my husband’s business taxes. It was depressing.

Now to forge ahead into regular pay.

I got the offer for my book in October 2010. I received my advance in 2011. My book published in 2012. I did not get a paycheck during my publication year because all earnings went to paying back the advance, and my sales were not stellar.

I did not start getting paid until eighteen months after my book hit the shelves. From what I hear, this is completely normal for an average traditionally published author who hasn't hit any of the bestseller lists, but I was shocked at the time and my husband kept asking, “When are you going to start getting paid?” I had no idea. I didn't even know my sales numbers at any given time. Since then, I've learned that many authors never pay out their advance, and therefore never receive royalties. It's impossible to know how your book will do. You can be a hyped book that flops or an unknown book that suddenly explodes. All you can do is wait and see. For me, it was all slow. Slow sales and slow pay, while working full time hours to keep my face out there and write, write, write despite feelings of desperation and disappointment.

After my advance was paid back and regular paychecks began to trickle in, how much did I make? In my first year of getting paid, I received one paycheck of 4-digits. After much worry that the publisher wouldn’t want anymore of my books, we were able to sell books two and three to them, yay! My advances on those two books were .5% higher than my first book advance, but all I cared about was that my complete trilogy would be available together on shelves. That was my dream, and I achieved it.

Now let’s talk book royalties.

The Sweet Evil trilogy books are paperback originals—not hardbacks. I make 6% of the paperback sales, and 25% of ebook sales—these are average/common royalty amounts for traditional publishing. Publishers take a big chunk because they have a lot of employees to pay, and print costs are high, and well, because they can. Of my percentages earned I share 15% with my agent and put away approximately 20-30% for taxes. That means for every $10 paperback of mine that is sold, I pocket approximately $.50.

You read that right. Fifty cents per book. So it's not that I don't want to send books and swag when people ask for them—believe me, I'd like to send a book to every person on earth who wants it. But I' have to sell 60 books in order to send one internationally. Pretty crazy when you think of it like that, huh?

I read once that this is how it is for musicians, as well. They make only a small percentage from each sale. Now it's clear why musicians and authors get so upset when we come across sites where people have downloaded our books and music for everyone to enjoy without paying. Piracy sucks. I may be living my dream, but I still need to feed my children and pay my bills like everyone else. Being in the entertainment industry doesn't mean someone is filthy rich and it's okay to steal from them. (I digress...tiny rant over.)

(end of original post – now I will share my updated/new info)

The funny thing about traditional publishing is that if your book catches on with readers, if word of mouth does its job to market you, if you keep your face out there and continue to write and interact with readers, each year when a new book of yours publishes your sales go up and your pay increases a bit until it eventually steadies.

Let me break down the five years since I got my first offer for traditional publication:

Year one – nothing Year two – nearly nothing Year three – fast food worker income Year four – starting small-town teacher income Year five – comfortable (by my middle class standards) *happy sigh* Next year - who knows??

SELF-PUBLICATION:

In March of this year I decided to independently publish an Irish fantasy that my publisher passed on. One financial difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing is that you begin getting paid 6-8 weeks after you self-publish your book, and then you get paid monthly thereafter. Awesome, right? My indie book, See Me, did well that first month, hitting the #1 spot in all three of its Amazon categories, and breaking the top 100 on B&N. I was thrilled! My first paycheck for that first month of sales was in the upper 5-digits. I made as much from that first month as I did from my first book advance. That’s because with self-publication you can earn up to 70% of the proceeds. The downfall of self-publishing is that it’s hard to keep those numbers. Each month my sales dropped by nearly half. So, you start strong and teeter off to something steadily lower unless you can keep publishing consecutive books every 3-4 months (which I cannot).


HITTING A LIST:

In May 2014, six months ago, the third book of my trilogy released (Sweet Reckoning), and to our great surprise it hit both the USA Today and NY Times bestsellers lists. This changed everything, folks. I was only on the lists for one week, but that's all it took to ensure I could continue to be published, for now. Mine was one of the only books in the series category that week that was not being made into a movie. It was surreal to see my little book there with the biggies. I didn't break rich that week, but I was able to pay back my advance in a month, rather than a year and a half, so things were looking up!

For eight months prior to that we’d been trying to sell my fantasy duology idea, with no luck. When I hit those lists, I was offered a 3-book deal for those books plus a forth Sweet book, with advances five times the advance for my first book. It’s nowhere near Stephen King/J.K. Rowling/Stephenie Meyer kind of income, but I’m making a living now off my books, officially, and after all these years that’s a huge achievement for me. (Writers, please note that it can take eight months on average from the time you are given an offer to when you actually get your contract and advance money.)

This year I have been able to support our family financially (albeit tightly) through a major move to a small town where my husband is building a new veterinary business, opening next year. While he’s been out of work, I’ve been the “breadwinner,” and I’m so thankful to be able to help him achieve his dream since he stood by me while I reached for mine and finally grabbed hold. My story really could have gone the other way. Being a writer is a tricky business. So many ups and downs, good years and bad years. There’s no guarantee I’ll keep earning as much in the future. I might never hit a list again. It’s not a steady or secure job. All I can do is work hard and keep hoping.

It’s best to go into writing for the love of your story and the desire to share it. Those reasons make this job fulfilling on a level that no other job has ever been able to do for me. I love interacting with readers. I love making stuff up and crafting it into a world that will transport someone's mind away from the harshness of reality for a bit. That's what it has to be about. That has to be the pay to get you through when you're not actually getting paid.

I hope this post will help dispel the myth that all published authors are loaded with money. It's an unhealthy assumption that hurts and disappoints all involved.

Here are a few other author facts concerning funds that are not general knowledge:


1) Publishing houses do not send all of their authors on book tours. In fact, some don't send any, and some select only a choice few authors who are either huge sellers or who they're trying to promote into becoming huge sellers. I have never been sent to any signing events. Anything I attend comes out of my own pocket (and just to give you an idea, full cost of attending an out of state event can cost around $1,000 for fees, hotel, food, travel, etc.) I'm lucky if I get to do one big event a year. As far as signings, I will generally only agree to signings that are in driving distance - day trips, woot! - or I’ll set up events in places where I'm planning to travel.

2) Publishing houses do not provide swag for most authors. Some might, but mine doesn't. All bookmarks and buttons, launch parties, etc, are paid for out of pocket by the author.

3) Authors do not get a lifetime supply of their books. We get a certain amount of our books up front, and after that we have to buy them (I get 25 of each book when it publishes). I can contact the distribution warehouse to order them at 50% off, which is awesome, but not free.

Unfortunately, we also don't get a bunch of free books by other authors. I naively thought this was going to be one of my author perks. I was very disappointed to find out I'd have to wait and buy the books on release day like the rest of the reading world, LOL! Poor me.

4) Big publishing houses pay their authors twice a year. I receive a paycheck every six months so we have to budget carefully.


I hope all of my divulging has been informative and not abrasive. Remember, this is just one story. Every author's situation is different, but you can bet there are many, many authors out there just trying to get by and keep readers happy while struggling to afford the lifestyle of doing giveaways and attending fun author events. As for self-publishing vs. traditional publishing, to each his own, and I will be more than happy to go both routes again. It’s an ever-changing business, and we have to roll with it.

For most authors it’s not about getting rich. We’re lucky to feel comfortable financially. We do it because we love books and we love book people. We appreciate everyone who buys our stories and spreads the word. Thank you.


(In case you're interested, here's a link to a guest post where I share more things about publishing that I learned the hard way.)


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Monday, December 8, 2014

SWEET TEMPTATION December Teaser!

Happy December, Sweeties!


Kaidan's story, Sweet Temptation, publishes exactly 9 months from today (September 8th, 2015).  Each month on the 8th I will give a teaser as a countdown.  I've given this month's teaser quote to artist Jennifer Munswami, and she could not have found a more perfect image to pair it with.  This quote from the book pretty much sums up his attitude when we first meet him.  By the way, I'm not certain who the model is - it's a stock image - but WHOA.  Hellooooo Kai!


Enjoy.  ;)


The official cover will likely be revealed in February.


Add Sweet Temptation on Goodreads, and check out the official blurb. 


I hope your holiday season is off to a great start!  Cheers!







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Promo Image - Not the Cover



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Thursday, November 13, 2014

My Unfortunate Writing Side Effect



I've been a voracious reader since the moment I began to read, gobbling up words and stories, letting them transport me and fill me and cover me. Books helped me through every rough time of my life. Pieces of stories from years and years of reading have imbedded themselves into my soul, probably taking the places of real memories that my mind deemed unworthy. Yes, books have always been a huge part of my life.

As a little girl I would hide behind my father's recliner in the corner with a blanket and a Ramona book while my family watched television. As a middle schooler I'd hole myself up in my room with spooky R.L. Stine books. As a teen, things were different. It became more difficult to find books that fit my frame of mind--there wasn't the massively awesome teen selection that there is today. I think I can blame a lot of my teenage depression and early stages of anxiety on the fact that I was mourning the loss of my old friend, reading.

Thankfully, once I hit my twenties I delved into the world of adult books and found my peace once again. While I was a flight attendant my best friend and I read the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and called one another "Dahling" for weeks. Then I went through a chick-lit humor phase where I devoured everything written by Marian Keyes, Rachel's Holiday being my favorite. Next I dove into "serious," literary books and nonfiction, things like Poisonwood Bible and Angela's Ashes (think Oprah's Book Club stuff). I was reading a book every 1-2 days. I could not get enough. While my husband was in vet school, he begged me to get a library card because we were broke and books were my primary spending vice. You all know how it is. Book nerd problems. Then as a high school English teacher I fell absolutely in love with young adult literature while trying to find books to suit my reluctant readers' personalities. Next up was romance of every variety.

I've been through every book stage and loved them all. All sorts of genres. I don't believe there's such thing as a guilty pleasure when it comes to reading. Books and guilt don't belong together. In the mood for a gruesome historical nonfiction? Do it? Spicy romance? Have fun. I certainly have.

But somewhere along the line, right around 2012, something happened--something that changed my ability to escape into books.

I became a writer.

It pains me to say this. I always loved writing, too, right along with reading. I wrote stories all my life, but it wasn't until 2012 when I was thirty-two years old, that I wrote my first full novel and began to seriously critique fellow writers.

At first, I thought I was just in a slump. I'd been doing so much beta reading that I found myself trying to beta read the published books I was reading. I wanted to change lines and cross out words, and I kept reminding myself that this was pleasure reading. Put down the red pen, Wendy. But it only got worse. It became harder and harder to enjoy the words on the page without turning phrases over in my mind and thinking about how I would have described that moment. Or, worse, finding myself shamefully jealous of said writer's skills. Over the years, it has only become more difficult. It began with reading the first book in a series, and enjoying it, but not feeling a burning desire to pick up the sequel. And it only went downhill from there. I still find books that I love, and series that I continue reading, but they are few and far between now.

In the past year I have found myself feeling that same sense of loss and depression that I did as a teen, because I miss my old friend. You have no idea how sad it is for me to admit that. I buy books ALL the time. I still love how they feel in my hands, and how they smell. I love the thrill of watching a new book upload on my Kindle. I love the possibility that *maybe* this will be the one I love and finish. Because most of the books I buy these days do not get finished. They are left somewhere between 20-70%. And it's not that they're bad. They're not. Five years ago I would have adored them. But it's so hard for me to fall for a book now. It's so hard for me to get lost in the story, from start to finish, and let myself be carried away without overthinking it. I don't know why. It's a horrible feeling. (That being said, please know that when I endorse a book on Goodreads, whatever I say about said book, I mean it. I would not BS and blow smoke up your bum. I've been lucky to find a few gems each year and to meet many lovely authors.)

All of that being said, I can't help but wonder...is it like this for a lot of writers? I've talked to a couple friends who also sadly admit they have a hard time escaping into books now. But I wonder if it's across the board in the publishing world - writers, agents, editors? That could explain why it's so hard to get published. If agents and editors are so submersed in the writing world that they're as word-burned as me, I can see how it would be harder to fall for a book enough to want to represent it and publish it. I can understand how so many good books would slip through and go unnoticed, hence the widely-loved indie movement.

I never dreamed that being a full-time writer would have an effect on me as a reader. I'm to the point now where I need to face this reality and embrace where I'm at. I'm a writer. It seems that my brain now prefers to be lost in story worlds of its own creation. Am I okay with that? Not yet. I'm still very sad. But being a writer is my dream-come-true. I would choose being an author over any career in the world. I'm beyond blessed. I love the worlds I make and the characters who live in them. I do. And maybe this is just another phase. I have faith that my love of reading will renew itself someday when things settle down in my life. Until then, I need to be satisfied with the fact that I get to provide other readers with the escapism they crave and need. If I can't have both, then I choose writing. I choose you.

Whatever book you're reading, friend, savor it. For me and you both.




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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

November SWEET TEMPTATION Teaser and Update



Hello sweeties!  I hope you're all having a wonderful fall so far.  :)  It's been lovely here on the eastern shore of Virginia!


Yesterday I completed the first draft of my 2016 fantasy-romance, The Great Hunt.  To celebrate I ate sweet chili Doritos, drank orange soda, and watched Catching Fire with my husband after the kids went to bed.  I'm always a little behind on movies, so it was my first time watching it (loved it!!)  I was a happy girl.  And then I received this amazing teaser image made by Jennifer at J.M. Rising Horse Creations, inspired by a quote from Sweet Temptation, and I'd like to use it as my November teaser. Isn't she awesome?    



I can't wait to put Kaidan in your hands!  Only 10 long months away...sigh.  And the cover reveal will happen in January or February (it's my favorite cover yet).  I have no control over these times - I'm just as anxious as you to share ALL THE THINGS!   





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Monday, October 6, 2014

About SWEET TEMPTATION and Teaser!


Sweet Temptation is the book I swore I'd never write. Funny how that happens, eh? I had written several chapters from Sweet Evil and Sweet Peril from Kaidan's point of view and posted them to my blog as bonus materials. "Extras," which are still available over there on the side tab. --->

When I completed the Sweet Trilogy, I found myself really missing Kaidan and the other characters. So I approached my agent with the idea to write a Kaidan novella for the HarperImpulse line. As time passed and the third book published and did well, HarperTeen decided they wanted to publish the fantasy I was working on, a 2-book duology called The Great Hunt, but they really preferred doing a 3-book deal, so how would I feel about doing an entire Kaidan novel??? My initial response was to be thrilled beyond belief. I was happy dancing like a Footloose character around the house.

And then it came time to sit down and write his novel in 4-6 weeks.

Freaking whoa. WHOA. What had I been thinking?

When the idea started, the thought in my mind was that I'd write a compilation of Kaidan bonus material, like a collection of scenes from the trilogy from Kai's point of view similar to the ones I'd already posted. But then I started thinking about all the people who would undoubtedly pick this book up without having read the original trilogy, despite any warnings about this being a companion story and not a stand-alone entity. To a new reader, it would feel disjointed and confusing. I HAD to write it as a novel. The entire trilogy. In one book. From the point of view of the most infuriating character ever.

To say I was intimidated is an understatement. But I accepted the challenge and dove in, right smack in the middle of our family's huge move to the countryside of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, where we'd have no internet for three months. Again, friends, WHOA.

The absolute hardest part of the process was choosing what to show from the original novels, and what to leave out. I had one shot to condense all three books into one novel that 1) made sense, and 2) showcased the emotional roller coaster Kaidan lived behind the scenes. Now I know how movie screenwriters feel when they have to condense a book into a two-hour film. It's difficult deciding what stays, what goes, and what gets skimmed over briefly. Some scenes I adore didn't make the cut, because ultimately I could only choose to show the scenes that moved the plot forward. When you condense, there's no time to frolic in one spot too long. One scene has to catapult us into the next scene. (But don't worry, many of our favorite scenes are in there!)

The most recent copy of Sweet Temptation, currently in copy edits, is 122,000 words. My longest book yet, and appropriately so. I'm happy to answer any questions you might have about what made the cut, and what you can expect to see. It's all Kai, all his feelings, a little about what his life was like before he met Anna, a lot about his relationship with his father and his own personal "demons," a lot of sexy thoughts and sexy actions and rough language. I tried to give Kaidan free reign, while still keeping the story upper YA, slightly crossing over in NA territory. The book ends in approximately the same place Sweet Reckoning ends.

I wish I could share the entire story with you now, but alas, we must wait until September 8, 2015. In the meantime, here is a graphic teaser made by the wonderful Jennifer Munswami with a quote from the book. Hope you enjoy!










Add to your Goodreads shelf!  :)  Official cover coming this winter - I've seen a mock-up and I'm in luuuuuuv!
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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Compelling Reads Tour and HUGE Giveaway!


I'm excited for this! My favorite debut YA novel of the year, Compulsion by Martina Boone, comes out  October 28th!  Martina has asked me to take part in a couple of the stops on the Compelling Reads tour, and I'm glad to be able to attend two in Arlington, Virginia and one in Bethesda, Maryland. Info can be found on my "Events" tab above or by visiting the Compelling Reads website.


A fun tour announcement was drawn up on Hypable if you're interested, with quotes from many of the tour authors and more information, as well. 





Enter to win by sharing the graphic and letting us know on the entry form how you shared (U.S. Only)


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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

SEE ME Giveaway!

(Note: Buying links at bottom of post)


Not everyone seems to know that I have another book published - something separate from the Sweet Trilogy. It's a fun, swoony tale called SEE ME, which I independently published this spring. It's an urban fantasy about a magical American girl named Robyn who travels to Ireland after graduating to meet her betrothed, McKale, for the first time - a coming of age romance that'll have you laughing along the way.






I've always had a thing for ginger guys, so this was the perfect opportunity to write one. McKale is a quiet, serious character, always thinking, always watching. These pictures of actor Stefano Masciolini are how I imagine McKale (ironically, Stefano is Italian). Num num...











YES!  This picture!  This!  *stares*



Nice, eh? ;) 
 If you haven't met McKale and Robyn yet, 
SEE ME is half-price on Kindle and Nook for a limited time - 
only $1.49!!




I'm currently brainstorming a sequel, which would center around Robyn's sister Cassidy and her miscreant love interest, Rock. If you have an extraordinary plot idea, please let me know, teehee.


In the meantime, enter to win signed SEE ME bookmarks - open internationally! Luck of the Irish to you, friends.
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fan Appreciation and SWEET TEMPTATION News


Moments ago, I finished a gigantic revision of my new book, Sweet Temptation. For those of you who haven't heard, this book is the entire Sweet trilogy from Kaidan Rowe's point of view - it's a companion novel. It was my toughest book yet. It's due to publish September 8th, 2015. We're officially under the one-year mark, woohoo!

During the summer I had a bit of fun with y'all on Facebook and Twitter. I asked for songs that you think should be included in Kaidan's book, and you provided in a big way! It took a while to go through them all and choose. I've listed the 40+ songs to be tentatively featured/mentioned in Sweet Temptation. Please note that this list is subject to change, as needed.

I can't thank you enough for your input!! Even my husband suggested one that I ended up loving and using ("Mad World"). Hope you enjoy!


SONGS TO BE FEATURED IN SWEET TEMPTATION

Chapter Headers:
“Bite My Tongue” by You Me At Six
“Break Your Heart” by Taio Cruz
“Casual Sex” by My Darkest Days
“Down In The Valley” by The Head and The Heart
“Murder On The Radio” by My Favorite Highway
“I’m Not The One” by 3oh!3
“Undressed” by Kim Cesarion
“Born To Die” by Lana Del Rey
“Hero/Heroine” by Boys Like Girls
“Like Sugar” by Matchbox 20
“Voodoo Doll” by 5 Seconds of Summer
“Demons” by Imagine Dragons
“Save Yourself” by My Darkest Days
“Logan to Government Center” by Brand New
“Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak
“No Interruption” by Hoodie Allen
“Without You” by My Darkest Days
“Hospital For The Souls” by Bring Me The Horizon
“Before The Fall” by The Rescues
“My Demons” by Starset
“Let It Rock” by Kevin Rudolph
“Secret Love” by Hunter Hayes
“Monster” by Skillet
“Walk Away” by The Script
“Only Exception” by Paramore
“Aviation High” by Semi Precious Weapons
“Daylight” by Maroon 5
“Worth Dying For” by Rise Against
“Alive” by P.O.D.
“Sabotage” by Beastie Boys
“Hurricane” by MS MR
“Mad World” by Gary Jules
“The Only One” by Hot Chelle Rae
“Run” by Matt Nathanson & Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland
“Feel Again” by OneRepublic
“When You Can’t Sleep At Night” by Of Mice and Men
“Work Song” by Hozier
“Wrap Myself Around You” by Kill Hannah
“Angel With A Shotgun” by The Cab
“Drive” by Incubus
“Fancy” by Iggy Azalea
“Young Volcanoes” by Fall Out Boy
“Free Now” by Sleeping With Sirens

Mentioned within chapters:
“Sex and Candy” by Marcy Playground
“Bulls on Parade” by Rage Against The Machine
“I Knew You Were Trouble” by Taylor Swift
“You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful” by One Direction
Nine Inch Nails (in general)

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And now for the super duper exciting part!!! The other fun thing I decided to do was to use fan names in the book. I asked readers to let me know if they were interested. Hundreds of tweets and Facebook messages gave me LOTS to choose from! I was able to work 13 names into Sweet Temptation. I cannot guarantee that your character will be flattering - they are not based on you guys, they're just pretend characters to whom I've attached your names. All I can promise is that each character has an interaction with Kaidan of some sort (mostly smexy). If you entered this contest and your name is on this list, then consider yourself the winner! It wasn't feasible to include last names.) SO CONGRATS!!
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FAN NAMES TO BE FEATURED IN SWEET TEMPTATION:

Brittany
Tasha
Celeste
Catherine
Mandie
Vanessa/Nessa
Alina
Fátima
Emily
Iva
Jessica
Jamie
Jen


Thank you all so much! I'll post a juicy teaser this fall. Until then, please enter to win signed bookmarks - open internationally. I love you guys!

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Interview with Mystery Guy Cover Model!


The cover for my first book, Sweet Evil, was debuted in Fall 2011. Since that day, the most frequent question I receive is, “Who is the guy on the cover??” At one point around the publication of Sweet Evil, I came across an article online from the male model’s agency announcing that one of their models was going to be on a YA book cover. I’ve always remembered that model’s name, but then the article disappeared from online and I could not find him. I was hesitant to share the name I’d learned, in case he wanted to remain anonymous.

Soon after, I met the female model on Facebook, a college student from New Jersey named Alexa. She’s an absolute sweetheart. But no luck on finding the guy who modeled for Kaidan.

After three years of constant queries about the male model’s identity and referring to him as “Mystery Guy,” I decided to Google him once more and guess what? My stalking paid off. I found Dominic Natale, and not only does he have a very cool name, but it turns out he’s also a very cool guy. He’s agreed to do an interview, given me permission to share his name, and even said he’d be open to attending a book event with me in the future! How nice is that?

So here you are, sweeties! Meet Dominic! :)


Dominic Natale
Tell us a little about yourself…

In high school I played many sports. I was the captain of both the swimming and diving teams and I also played lacrosse, ran cross country and wrestled part time. I was part nerd and part jock. I loved physics, quantum mechanics and numbers.

Post high school I focused on my passion for triathlons (which is a combination of swimming, biking and running respectively). I participated in the Ironman race when I was 18. The race consisted of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run. It was a very long and painful day, but absolutely worth it.

Currently, I attend a college just outside of Philadelphia where I study business and network engineering and I just started classes to become a commercial truck driver. I also work in a high end restaurant as a server. I am an entrepreneur at heart. Over the past 5 years I have started 3 businesses ranging from a tech company to an urban lifestyle magazine. None of them have been wildly successful but that doesn't mean I am giving up!

In my free time I enjoy traveling, exploring, hiking, photography, fishing, surfing, and cooking.


Kaidan is huge into music. What kind of music do you like, and do you have any favorite songs or bands?

I love all music. From classical piano to country, australian hip hop, blue grass, reggae etc. Can't say I have one favorite but just to name a few.... SOJA, Hilltop Hoodz, Luke Bryan, Blink-182, Andrea Bocelli, Citizen Cope... I can go on and on!
(PS, Dominic does not play drums, teehee.)


Can you speak in an English accent (or do you botch all accents like I do??)

I cannot do it confidently but I have absolutely tried. (Typically when I'm in the shower or when no one is around.)


Dominic Natale and his grandmother
Are you nervous and/or excited about a bunch of Sweeties fan-girling over you? (Be nervous, Dominic!) ;)

Nervous of course! It might take some getting used to but hopefully my outgoing personality will prevail.


From what I understand, you and Alexa (the cover model for the character Anna Whitt) were photoshopped for some of the cover art. Is that correct?

Alexa and I spent HOURS trying to get the perfect shot. We spent about half of the day shooting together and the other half taking turns in front of the camera. On the cover of Sweet Reckoning I am, in fact, touching her shoulder but for the others I believe we were photoshopped together.


Alexa and Dominic on the Sweet Trilogy covers


I still remember back in 2011 when my editor sent me pictures of you and the other model the publisher had narrowed it down to, and she asked my opinion. I said definitely YOU, and I've been thrilled with how the covers turned out. Can you tell us anything about the photo shoot? Any behind-the-scenes stuff?

Well first and foremost, THANK YOU! I am so excited to see your books doing so well and with me on the cover! The photo shoot was honestly very tough. On the Sweet Evil cover I am actually jumping in the air with a running start because that's what the photographer thought would get the perfect shot (and it totally worked!) the difficult part was that I did that over 100 times! Another fun fact is that the hair stylist is the number one leading stylist for L'Oréal. It was awesome to get tips and pointers from him for my personal styles.


Do you still do any modeling?

Sadly enough I have not been pursuing many modeling gigs. Every now and then I get a phone call or accept a decent offer but it is very time consuming and competitive. But I definitely enjoy it when I am there and in the moment.


Dominic Natale
Do you like to read?

I am a boring reader. I basically read education books, magazines, blogs, editorials and so on. I enjoy reading/learning about zen and meditation as well as business related practices. I am currently reading a book called The Undefeated Mind by Alex Lickerman. Can't wait to get my hands on your books though!

(I am sending Dominic a signed copy of the trilogy. He needs to own the books he’s on, right?? Though, meeting Kai may not put him in a zen frame of mind, lol.)


Last question - this one from a reader - do you have any brothers??

I do in fact have a younger brother named Nicholas and he is 18.



Woohoo!
Thank you so much to Dominic for being a great sport and being open to meeting readers! Hopefully he'll make it to a signing with me someday! Feel free to show your appreciation to him in the blog comments below.

Dominic Natale on Twitter

Dominic Natale on Instagram


Friends, please keep an eye on my blog for an upcoming contest and update - I STILL do not have wifi at home, but I NEED to have this contest asap for names to put in Kai's book!  :D


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Friday, July 25, 2014

SWEET TEMPTATION Summer Teaser!!


Happy summer, friends! I hope yours has been better than mine, lol. Actually, we've had lots of good excitement to match the not-so-good kind since we moved five weeks ago. I feel like I've been out of touch because we're without wifi at home, so I want to share a big, fat Kaidan teaser. ;) This one is from the early chapters of Sweet Evil when Anna shows up at Kaidan's house right after his band has practiced. Disclaimer: Kaidan cusses, and I let him. I've let him get away with a LOT in this book, because that is what felt right to me. What can I say? Kaidan is hard to say no to...
Hope you enjoy.


I jump from the couch and lunge at Anna, grasping her shoulders hard and pressing my ear to her cheek. I whisper as softly as I can. “My father is here.”
She stiffens under my hand. Yes, she knows what we are, therefore she knows Father is a demon. Be afraid, Anna.
I pull her to the couch and fling her down. Thank God for shirts with buttons. I rip it open, needing this scene to appear realistic. When she sucks in a shocked breath I press a finger to her lips. Her aura is a swirl of gray tones, both fear and embarrassment. This is not the time for modesty. I can’t have her appearing terrified if we’re supposed to be making out. So I toss a throw blanket at her and rip my own shirt over my head. I point to her shirt and she starts rolling her shoulders to get it off.
God, she is sexy. Even in that innocent white satin bra. Let’s hope I haven’t been a fool, and she doesn’t shove a dagger in my spine as I lower my body over hers and taste the skin at the base of her throat. I move upward to the curve of her neck and shoulder, and let out a low moan. Our skin touches and she moves underneath me in a sultry way, grasping the nearby pillows in her fists. I suddenly want all her clothes off.
The sound of Father coming down the stairs erases that thought from my mind. He knows by now I’m with a girl, but he has no notion of privacy.
When the door opens, Anna’s body jumps under me and she lets out a bleedin’ squeak. I turn my head to the door where Father stands, smiling, inching further to the side to get a better look at Anna. Damn. I can’t hide her any further without being obvious.
“My apologies, son. I didn’t realize you had company.” He is still moving casually across the room, staring.
Before I can say a word, the politeness slips from his features and his eyes flash red. I look down at Anna, who has foolishly backed away from me and allowed the blanket to fall enough to give Father a side view of her badge. I hold my breath. They definitely do not seem to know each other.
“I never imagined you’d care to entertain female Nephilim,” he grits.
Not good. Not fucking good. Neph can work together, but they are not to play together. Especially in the one-on-one way.
“I don’t normally.” I stand and move away, as if coming to my senses. “She caught me while I was bored and alone after practice.”
His face sours as he scents the air. “You will come up for tea. Both of you.” He leaves, and I ball my hands. Close my eyes. I want to punch something.
Anna is my problem. My mystery. I don’t want to share her with anyone, especially not the wolf upstairs. It’s clear now they weren’t working together. The blood has drained from Anna’s face as she clutches the blanket to her chest. I simultaneously feel sorry for her and want to shout at her that she’s a stupid, stupid girl for coming here.

I love you all bunches! Kisses and hugs from the boonies of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. xoxo
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer Reads Scavenger Hunt!

The Summer Reads Scavenger Hunt will run from TODAY (July 16) until midnight on SUNDAY (July 19). To enter to win FORTYsigned paperbacks by a wide range of authors PLUS $30 worth of Amazon Gift Cards, simply hop around ALL participating stops, collect all of the highlighted numbers, add them together, and then go enter the requested details along with your calculated answer in the ENTRY FORM. You can find more information on how the stop works HERE. All stops will direct you to the next place to hop across to. And don’t worry if you get lost, because the entire list of participating authors can be found HERE.




My Top 5 Summer Reads:

My summer reading list is not going to be traditional.  There's only ONE published book I plan to read (which I've wanted to read for a long time), plus one ARC to be blurbed, and the rest are beta reads I'm doing for friends!  :)


1) Published novel:  The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

2) Beta read for Nyrae Dawn

3) Beta read for Morgan Shamy 33

4) Beta read for Jen Armentrout (possibly two...woot!)

5) ARC of Love and Other Theories by Alexis Bass



Next Stop on the Hunt:

My girl Cindi Madsen!

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Need Help! Kaidan Music?

Hi friends!

I am in crazy-woman mode here at our new house.  We are NOT fully unpacked, we're still awaiting major appliances and furniture, and it turns out that 100-year-old houses have a lot of quirks to be learned.  The house has been unoccupied for over 2 years, so we're trying to clear out all the bugs and critters that like to linger inside and outside.  It's been wonderful and stressful, all at once.

In the midst of all this I am trying to write Sweet Temptation, Kaidan's book.  It's bits of the entire trilogy compiled into one book from Kai's point of view.  I am 3/4 through Sweet Peril, so more than half way done!  I am loving every moment of being lost in Kai's head, but it's been far more time consuming than I expected.  I'm having to read through the original books carefully to make sure Kai's story is consistent. There are cool things I want to do with this book, but the deadline is looming and I'm afraid I cannot do it all.

That's where you come in...

My idea is to start each chapter with 1-4 lines from a song.  I have a few in mind, but I would love to hear what songs come to mind for you!  Please be as specific as possible - band/artist name, song title, and even exact lyrics/lines if you know them.  You have no idea how helpful this will be!  Eep!  Anytime over the next few months, if you hear a line that makes you think of Kai, please run over to my blog and comment here or email me at wendyhigginswrites at gmail.com.  It's probably not a good idea to tweet me with lyrics, because I'm having a hard time keeping up with my feed these days, and I don't want your comments to be lost in cyberspace. DMs are a definite no-I never check them.

I love you, I love you, I love you.  Sending big hugs, lightening bugs, and bay breezes from our new southern home.  And kisses from Kai.  xoxo

Teasers coming soon...

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Never Say Never



FINALLY I CAN TELL YOU!

I am so incredibly super thrilled and elated to share my latest news with you!  I've accepted a 3-book deal from HarperCollins/HarperTeen!  And wait until you hear the details.  I swear, I giggled and clapped and jumped up and down at my kids' soccer practice the evening I got the message from my agent.  

Last fall I started a new fantasy based on the first paragraphs from a Brothers Grimm tale, and the working title is THE GREAT HUNT.  You can read more about how I got the idea here.  The general gist is that it's going to be a 2-book "duology" (Yes, that's really a word! I didn't make it up, haha).  It's told from the dual point of views of Princess Aerity, the rugged hunter Paxton Seabolt, and the princess's cousin Lady Wyneth.  So much about this story is different for me, but I love the mystery and the romantic tension, and I cannot wait to share more about it with you guys!

Okay, so that's two books.  What about the third, you ask?  


Wait for it...


Breathe...(This is mostly for my benefit because I'm hyperventilating as I type this.)


You see, I said I would never write this *particular* story, and I truly did not think I would.  Many of you have begged me time and time again to write more of the Sweet series from a certain character's point of view and I could NOT see it happening.  The thought alone was overwhelming because this character exhausts me and challenges me and tests my limits in the best possible way.  I didn't think I'd ever be able to tell his story.

Until the trilogy ended.  And I missed him more than I could possibly imagine.  I started to kind of crave having him in my head again, and I couldn't stop thinking about it.  So I wrote my agent who wrote my editor, and we weren't sure if it was going to happen, but IT HAS!  They want it!




I'm writing a complete novel from Kaidan Rowe's point of view!!




Oh, my freaking gosh.  I am.  I really, really am!  The story will begin just before Kaidan meets Anna, to show what his life was like "before."  And then I'm going to highlight all of the big points of the three books, and show what he was up to in the long spans they spent apart.  It might be hard to condense it all, but I must, which means not all of the story can be told from his point of view.  I have to be selective.  This book is meant to be a companion novel to the Sweet Trilogy, not a stand alone book, so it won't make complete sense to someone who hasn't read the other three books.  You should also know that I don't plan to filter him, so reading Kai's thoughts will be much grittier and darker and sexier than Anna's.  (My editor will tone it down where necessary, I'm sure, but she gives me a lot of free reign.)  I'm still going to try and keep it YA because it's with HarperTeen, but it will most definitely be upper end.  

The working title of Kai's book is SWEET TEMPTATION.  It takes a long time to get a book to publishing, as you guys know, but I promise to give teasers and info along the way.  We're talking tentatively about publishing it in Fall 2015, which means I need to write it ASAP.  As in, like, one month.  I've never written a book that fast before, and my family is in the middle of a big move.  However, I'm remaining positive and excited, and I will keep you updated with information as I receive it. This is all I know for now.  THE GREAT HUNT book #1 will likely be out the season after SWEET TEMPTATION.  THE GREAT HUNT novels will be out in hardback, and SWEET TEMPTATION will be a paperback original to match the first three books.  No talks yet on the possible cover, but that should be a fun topic when it's time!  ;)

For the next month please don't be offended if I am unable to respond to your tweets and messages.  I'm going to dive into story mode as soon as we move this weekend, and if all goes well I won't have time for much more than quick Facebook and Twitter updates.  But I do read your comments and they help encourage me more than you know.

This is going to be a wild ride, Sweeties. Hopefully one of those crazy rides that leaves us with messy hair and idiotic grins.  ;) 

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

There Aren't Enough "Thank You"s




Thank you. THANK YOU! I can't say it enough!

My journey to publication has not been traditional, and it has been...bumpy, to say the least. Those of you who've been at my side from the beginning will remember two years ago when the 2nd and 3rd books in the Sweet Trilogy *almost* did not get picked up for publication (it wasn't anything personal, don't worry - just business stuff). But a fateful blessing swept in and pushed us to the next step. And in retrospect I can honestly say that I'm grateful for each and every obstacle that has been in my path, because every hurdle we've jumped has made this moment that much SWEETER.

I knew something was up last week when the buzz for Sweet Reckoning's release felt off the charts. I could not keep up with the tweets and Facebook posts, and I usually try to respond to everything. It was crazy! And I realized that a lot more people were reading it than I'd anticipated. I started to feel a spark of hope that maybe, just maybe, my wee little paperback book that YOU GUYS have pimped out to one another like mad, just maybe that little book was going to squeeze its way into the huddle of big dogs. But I didn't let myself hope too much, because I knew it was a long shot.

Last night was a normal evening. I'd just sat down to dinner with my husband and kids, and we were all in happy moods. A roofer was coming to look at a possible leak spot, and it was just about time to dive into my nightly mom routine (piano homework, baths, reading Harry Potter, etc). I went upstairs to get the piano stuff and happened to glance at my email and see a message from my editor with the subject "I have good news - call me!!"

She's never asked me to call her before. My heart started pounding and my hands were shaking when I dialed her number. My editor, Alyson, was there with a bunch of amazing, EXCITED HarperCollins girls, and she said, "You made the New York Times list!!!" And they all started screaming and cheering, and I started crying. Then my phone was on the nightstand dinging away with messages from Jennifer Armentrout saying, "WHERE ARE YOU? OMG! ANSWER YOUR PHONE!" She was giving me the news that I'd also hit the USA Today Bestseller list!

Wholly schmolly! No freaking way! This was beyond, beyond anything I'd ever dreamed for myself. My Sweeties brought the heat - that's all I can say. You guys did this. I wrote a book from my heart, and you took it and ran with it, proving that word-of-mouth is the most powerful marketing tool. So here sits my little bundle of pink joy, full of love, right in the middle of some amazing books, almost all of which have movies.  But that's a dream for another day...





Thank you, once again, for supporting me and my books. There aren't enough Thank Yous in the world! I'm not sure what's next, friends, but I do have some stuff in the works, and promise to tell you when I have any news. Until then, much love to you. *group hug*

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Monday, April 28, 2014

SWEET RECKONING Blog Tour!


I cannot believe release week is here. Three years has led to this moment! I hope you will enjoy the finale to the Sweet Trilogy as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thank you all for hanging with me through it all! I love you to pieces, and this blog tour was created with your entertainment and curiosities in mind. Blog tours are always fun, but this has been my favorite one yet. We tried to pack it with as much steamy, swoony Kaidan Rowe as possible! I hope you'll check out the stops each day and enter to win one of 3 Kaidan Rowe Prize Packs or 10 Bookmark Bundles!



A HUGE THANKS to Jenny and Danny at Kismet Book Tours for their hard work hosting and putting this tour together.

Here are the tour stops with links. Enjoy!


Monday, April 28 - Author Interview with Supernatural Snark
Tuesday, April 29 - Top 10 Places in the World where Kai wants to Kiss Anna! with Danny Bookworm
Wednesday, April 30 - Anna Interview with Jenuine Cupcakes
Thursday, May 1 - Author Interview with Krista's Dust Jacket
Friday, May 2 - Blake Interviews Kaidan with Two Chicks on Books

Monday, May 5 - Author Interview with Curling Up With A Good Book
Tuesday, May 6 - New Kaidan Song! with Parajunkee
Wednesday, May 7 - Kaidan Interview with Fiktshun
Thursday, May 8 - Kaidan Pinterest Board Reveal with Bookcrush.in
Friday, May 9 - Belial Interview with Alice Marvels



Okay, now some things to keep in mind during the release craziness... There are big events in this book that I want readers to experience for themselves firsthand, not via spoilers they accidentally run across online, so please, pretty please, refrain from posting details publicly on Goodreads, Twitter, etc.

Also, as much as I love you, if you tweet me with something spoilery, I won't respond because I don't want others to open the thread and see. AND, if you post anything spoilery on my Facebook page, I will have to delete it - I know that's extreme when everyone's just excited, but I'm hardcore anti-spoilers.

Thank you for being considerate!! Happy reading, Sweeties!!!



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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sweet Trilogy Recap Post - Get Ready!


Y'all know I pretty much stink at this blogging thing. I do it sporadically when something "important" comes up, if at all. When possible, I like to highlight things that readers have done, because when fans take the time to do stuff it never ceases to amaze me and warm my heart! Today I received an email from a reader named Amelia in Minnesota - she put together Anna's outfit ensembles for different parts of Sweet Evil and Sweet Peril, and I thought it'd make a great recap in preparation of Sweet Reckoning, the trilogy finale that publishes in SIX DAYS! (Ohmigosh!)  Thank you for this, Amelia!  It's so fun to see people's passionate interpretations of things I've written.  :)

Friends, when you get to the bottom of the post there's a special surprise...


Anna Whitt meets Kaidan Rowe for the first time in Sweet Evil:



Anna and Kai's Road Trip in Sweet Evil:



New Year's Eve Party in Sweet Evil:



Anna Meets Kaidan at the Music Store in Sweet Peril:




Anna and Kopano Meet Flynn in Australia in Sweet Peril:




Anna and Blake go Dancing in Sweet Peril:



Now for your surprise!  

Epic Reads has blogged a recap of SWEET EVIL and SWEET PERIL in preparation for the trilogy finale, and they have included the first seven chapters of SWEET RECKONING!!!  (Give or take a few pages.)  Just be warned that the conversion/formatting gets a little funny in these sort of excerpts, so sometimes italics are lost and it's not as reader friendly as a book.  Have fun, Sweeties.  Much love and hugs!

Click HERE for the recap and excerpt.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April SWEET RECKONING Teaser!


We are in the home stretch! It's publication month for SWEET RECKONING! I am beyond thrilled that it's finally this close. I wasn't going to do a teaser for April, but I'm feeling so happy that I've changed my mind. I did have a cruel April Fool's teaser, but it truly upset some people so I'm taking that down and just having the real teaser. Sorry lovies!! This teaser is the beginning of an "uh-oh" moment leading into the finale. We have Anna with Kaidan and his father, Pharzuph...


Something inside me screamed that I was supposed to be careful and scared, but for the life of me I couldn't remember why. I pulled away from Pharzuph's embrace. Both of the guys were giving me menacing stares. I tipped back the rest of the gin and threw the empty bottle on the floor. These guys were getting annoying. I wanted to have fun.



Seriously, though. I love you guys to pieces. You made my March so awesome with all your support of my independent publication of SEE ME (go to "Books" at the top of the page for buying links!) :) And your excitement for my trilogy throughout the past year has warmed my heart to toasty levels. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

If you would like to preorder SIGNED copies of any or all of the trilogy, click the "Events" tab at the top of the page and scroll down to the Georgia Event for information. FoxTale Book Shoppe is taking orders now, and I'll be there to sign the books May 24th.


Big hugs,

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Happy St. Paddy's Birthday to SEE ME!

It's here!!! SEE ME is live in the world!

It's been a crazy road to publication for this one. Lots of bumps along the way. It's a story that started as a scoffing challenge from my husband, and turned into something totally fun for me. I hope it makes you smile and giggle and swoon. I hope it makes your St. Patrick's day a little merrier. Especially those of you who are stuck in the snow, like me. We need a little Shamrock Shimmying up in here.

For today only, to honor SEE ME's St. Paddy publication, the ebook is being offered at a discounted price! Here are the links - get it or gift it today, because tomorrow the price won't be quite as "wee." Hehe. Okay, nerves and lack of sleep are making me silly.


Kindle
Nook
Kobo

iTunes/iBooks - will go live as soon as their LONG processing time is complete

Also, here's the link to buy the Paperback on Amazon (for those who prefer a physical copy). It may take a day or so to show on all of the Amazons. It will take up to six weeks for it to be available on Book Depository (free worldwide shipping). I will announce when it's up on BD. This title will not be automatically shelved in bookstores, although you should be able to ask your local bookshop to order it for you at no extra cost. Email me if you have any questions!



Thank you all so much for your massive support on this journey to independent publication. This story would still be collecting dust without your encouragement and excited nudging.

Giveaway winners will be announced tomorrow! Now go forth and have yourselves a very Happy St. Patrick's Day! CHEERS!


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Thursday, March 13, 2014

SEE ME Teaser & Giveaway!


I won't lie. I'm always nervous when a book comes out, but I've never been this nervous. Firstly because this book is a bit different for me, and secondly because YA fantasy does not always do well in the self-published market. Many in the publishing world say paranormal is dead and publishers are burnt out on magical realism. For a reader and writer like me who thrives on non-contemp worlds, this is saddening. But I know I'm not alone. I know a lot of you still crave paranormal and urban fantasy as I do, however, the fact of the matter is that contemporary is what's selling most in the independent publishing world. So, yeah. A bit anxious here. This is me...



(Sorry, gross!)


When how I really want to feel is this...



(Yippee! Much better.)


But at some point I just have to let it go and hope for the best. No, scratch that. I have to MAKE the best of it. And what better way than with a teaser and a giveaway?? Woot!

Just a bit of information before we get to the fun stuff. I will post all of the buying links here on my site when SEE ME goes live on St. Patrick's day. The ebook will be $1.99 on St. Paddy's day, so snatch it up at that price on Monday! The paperback will be $11.99 (more than I wanted, but they set a minimum price based on pages & the distribution availability that I've chosen.) If you have any questions, let me know!



Teaser time, baby!

Something moved by the hen house and I looked up, heart accelerating.

McKale was leaning there with his arms crossed, waiting for me. My body reacted to the sight, heating and buzzing. I got my act together, gathering my things and moving toward him.

“Hey,” I said, feeling shy and self-conscious about the potato-sack apron that covered my shorts and t-shirt. “Is everything okay?”

He stared at me warmly for a minute without replying, and then he ran a hand through his red locks.

“Aye, all is well. I needed to see ye once more before I took to bed.”

“Oh,” I breathed. His voice sounded different. More confident and serious. The heat that began when I saw him now completely took over my body. Unlike when we’d first met, he didn’t try to avert his eyes from me. He was openly drinking me in with an inquisitive newness, unperturbed by my less-than-attractive clothing ensemble in the morning light.


GIVEAWAY TIME!!! There are three prizes. The contest is international, and it will run through Sunday, March 16th. Winners will be announced right here on my blog Monday, March 17th (St. Patrick's Day) - Check back to see if you've won!


You may enter once. Good luck!

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Add SEE ME on Goodreads!

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

SWEET RECKONING March Teaser!

Yay! Another teaser! We're down to the two month mark, Sweeties! (Does that still seem far away, or is it just me?? *sigh*) I'm sharing another light moment from the story with you. Enjoy! :)

Halfway through the meal, while we were all laughing and telling stories, I made the mistake of placing my hand on Kaidan's upper thigh without thinking.

He let out a groan loud enough to silence the room. I slipped my hand back into my own lap, and Kaidan cleared his throat.

"Wow," he said. "The corn pudding is fantastic."

I snorted, which started a round of snickers. Patti smiled at Kaidan like he was a precious boy.

"Isn't it good? Anna found the recipe a few years ago. She's a great cook."

"Mm-hm." Kaidan gave a tight-lipped smile. "That she is."
If you haven't preordered Sweet Reckoning yet, here are links to discounted prices! Grab it for cheap while you can! :)

Paperback on Amazon

Paperback on Book Depository (free worldwide shipping!)

In the meantime, my new Irish Fantasy Romance (YA) will be publishing this month on March 17 - St. Patrick's Day! Stay tuned!!

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Deleted Scene - SEE ME

I'm nervous as heck about the upcoming self-publication of my YA Irish fantasy, See Me, but also extremely excited.  I guess I feel this way with every book that comes out, but this one has definitely been a different journey for me than the Sweet books.  This week I finished a huge revision, and now the book is off to proofreaders.  During the revision process I had to delete a flashback from childhood, but I loved this particular moment and I want to share it with you.

Deleted Scene from See Me, publishing March 17, 2014:

The Fae race and their realm were only considered folklore and fable because magical humans like our family made it so. But even in our home Faeries were a taboo subject. I never understood why. I wasn’t even sure what my parents did for them. All I knew was that my mom would rather have the sex talk ten times over than speak of the Fair Folk.

When my little sister Cassidy and I were young, we found Cinderella on cable one night and turned the volume low, crawling close to the screen in our playroom. We felt like rebels. Every other girl owned the movie, but we hadn’t even been allowed to rent it. I still wonder how long Mom stood behind us, because she didn’t say a word until the Fairy Godmother swooped in and saved the day.

“Bah! Load of rubbish!”

We spun on our bottoms. Her face was pinched and red—I’d never seen her so worked up. Mom pointed a finger down at us. “Don’t think for a moment that Faeries do anything from the goodness of their hearts! They are cold, selfish creatures who take what they want and place no value on human lives! Never forget it!”

She practically snarled the words before huffing away, leaving my sister and me to stare at one another with hammering hearts.

I’d never met a Fae, and I hoped I never would.

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