So, I had a new release…

That’s it to the left.

And here’s where you can buy it…

Amazon Everywhere Else

And… I suck at marketing.

But I love the book. And the two people I’ve heard from who bought and read it said they loved it, too. Everywhere else there’s been crickets. That’s cool, though.

I watch a lot of Gary Vee and one of the things he said recently was… Okay, well, he said a lot of things recently that I’ve taken to heart. I need these little nuggets to remind me where my focus needs to be rather than where it would normally be which is not constructive or creative.

Some of what he’s said that stuck with me…

Insecurity fucks you up. Yep. 1000%. It has fucked me more times than i care to admit and it didn’t even use lube. It’s been painful as hell my whole life.

Fall in love with what you want to say. And also, Fall in love with No. These are two things that tie into insecurity for me. No is a personal rejection even though it’s not in most cases. And loving what I want to say… I can do that so long as I don’t look at what others are doing or saying and I keep my eyes on my own page. It’s harder to do than you think.

Focus more on what you’re saying, more than judging what you’re creating. Well, fuuuuuuuck. But it’s such a true statement. I will judge and judge and judge what I’m working on and ultimately decide it’s not good enough, it’s not as good as this author or that author or those authors over there. Again, if I just keep my eyes on my own work, and get lose in it, I won’t have time to judge myself or compare myself with what someone else is doing.

It all comes down to insecurities. Not being confident. Being scared. Being uncertain. Caring more about what others think or say than what I’m doing, than what I’m trying to say.

And if you’re wondering what this has to do with marketing, well, it has a lot and practically everything to do with marketing. If I don’t market, then more people can’t read what I write, and more people can’t hate it (in my head everyone always hates what I write, whether I love it or not). But is that fair? To me? To readers? Nope. It’s not. It’s not fair at all. So, I need to change it.

In this, I do watch what others are doing. How they’re marketing their books, how they’re getting the word out and I’m just… Paralyzed with fear that I’ll do it wrong, that I won’t deliver, that I will be laughed at, that… You name it, I’ve thought about it happening… Except, success.

All of this, ladies and gentlemen, is insecurity at it’s finest. Fear at it’s finest.

Gary would say, so what if people laugh at your efforts, at least you’re doing something and not just waiting for everyone to happen upon your book.

But what does that mean? What kind of marketing should I do? Ads? Blogs? Blog tours? Bookstagrammers? Email list? Paid promo through marketing sites? Facebook group? Or should I just go on video? Should I just post pics of my book cover? Should I fill up my feed with nothing but my book? I don’t know. Should I do a little of it all? Or do I wait until I have X number of dollars to put into it?

I was writing in my journal today about this, that I’d like a step-by-step guide of do this, then this, then this, and then this. I’d like a blueprint, or one of those diagrams… Did you write a book? Yes or no. And if yes, then do this. And if no, go write one. You know the one’s I’m talking about?

Unless I do something, I won’t know what might work or what might not. Unless I do something, anything, no one will have the chance to know if they like or hate what I write.

I don’t have a lot of author friends. I can’t just turn to a group of writers and ask for help, for shout-outs. Once upon a time, yes. Now, no. It’s up to me to figure it out and fear and insecurity jack me up every damn time. Analysis paralysis. What if…

I suck at marketing. I suck at knowing what I should or shouldn’t do. I don’t suck at writing. I’m pretty fucking good at that, but in this game, that’s not enough.

So, I better figure it out, huh?

 

Lissa

A Few Updates and Slide Is Up For Pre-Order

There are only a few more contemporary re-releases left to come back out this year. None of the M/M re-releases will be out, but I’m hoping to revise them for next year.

There are also a few, older titles I’ll be making available for free once I revise them and I’ll keep you apprised of them here.

I know there are a lot of you waiting for the Artic Shift re-release to come out, along with some new paranormals and those will hopefully start coming out in the Fall.

For now, though… if you haven’t read Slide (formerly Slide Down On Me), please pre-order now! It’ll be on your Kindles on April 20th.

~lissa

Slide


Pre-Order Now!

Amazon Kindle

Small town mechanic and tattooed, bad boy Travis keeps his profile low, his needs satisfied, and his business running smoothly. He doesn’t cause trouble and he certainly doesn’t want any, only, as luck would have it, fallen from grace heiress Arabella Drake owes him money.

Bella and Travis’ situation requires a creative solution, one Travis is bold enough to propose. It won’t satisfy her debt to him, but it will satisfy his long-held wish to have Bella naked, writhing, and sliding down on every inch of him.

Author’s Note: Slide was originally published as Slide Down on Me with Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc. It has been lightly revised.

 

 

 

 

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I Miss Bookstores

I know I’ve used this image before, but I love it. A stack of books reaching high into the sky and mixing into the scenery, weaving stories. I mean, really, for lovers of the written word, what isn’t there to love about it?

The loss of bookstores makes me sad. The lack of a variety of bookstores makes me sad when I used to spend hours and hours and hours combing the shelves, grabbing a stack, sitting in comfy chairs, and flipping through pages, then often taking most of my stack to the cashier, and walking with new worlds and ideas to explore, words to get lost in.

What’s brought on my sudden melancholy for bookstores, my pining for the good old days?

A trip to Barnes and Noble.

A couple of days after Christmas, I went out looking for a journal. I haven’t found ‘the one’ yet, but I will.

I walked in to the two story building and at once, fell madly in love again, and felt my heart break.

Books were my escape growing up. They were my journey into understanding life and ultimately pieces and parts of myself.

I loved browsing in bookstores, going to the book section in any store. My three favorite places to go as a teen were the book store, the music store, and the pizza place. One day I’m going to go on a lament about how much I miss music stores, too.

But in Barnes and Noble the other day, I looked and looked at the journals and notebooks. I picked them up. I touched them. I put them down. I wandered through the coloring books and the bargain books. Then, I wandered upstairs to the fiction section and the children’s books. I didn’t go through them. I simply walked along the perimeter. I know my face showed my longing. I know my eyes spoke of my sadness and my elation. The store was packed. It was busy and it was alive. People were buying books… a lot of books!

The Starbucks was busy, too, but more than that, people were looking and flipping through pages while sipping coffee or cocoa or noshing on a piece of cake.

My son doesn’t have an affinity for reading more than the sports pages.

My daughter doesn’t have an affinity for reading any more, either.

But me? I never grew out of it. It’s a temptation and a love affair I’ll never tire of…

There are 4 or 5 Barnes and Noble stores left in the greater Charlotte area.

There are a couple of Books-A-Million stores, but they never held for the wonder that Barnes and Noble always has. There was something about walking into one and just… Wanting to live there among the stories.

There are used bookstores and libraries. But there’s something about new books with spines never cracked or folded over, with new pages and freshly unpacked, new ink smells.

There are two local bookstores as well that sell new books (neither of which have a romance section at all). But they are loved. They are small, pigeon hole size shops. They serve their communities well. But when I lived in Florida, there was a local bookstore I used to visit all the time. They had a romance section to rival any larger bookstore. I would spend a lot of money and a lot of time sitting on their stools, reading.

I love a discount as much as anyone. I love a good deal on anything. But there’s something about paying full price in a bookstore for a book you’ve been longing for, that you’ve been waiting months, or longer for, that makes my heart ache.

I miss bookstores. I miss Barnes and Noble being everywhere. I miss Borders. I miss Waldenbooks. I miss walking in empty and walking out full of endless possibility.

Something profound has been lost with brick and mortar stores that you can’t replace with online ones. In this business of publishing, we try. And in this world, we love convenience and right now and 1-Click shopping. I love it just as much as the next guy.

Something is missing, though. For me, that something, is wonder.

One of my goals this coming year is to visit Barnes and Noble and the two local shops more often. Much more often. They’re all out of my way. I don’t venture into those parts of town very often. But I am going to make an effort to do so because I miss bookstores.

~lissa

 

Tempting You On Tuesday – Chloe & Eros by Brandy Walker

My good friend, Brandy Walker, has a new release out. It’s the 13th installment of her Mystic Zodiac series. I fell in love with the cover when I first saw it and pestered her until she got me an excerpt I could share with all of you!

You’re welcome.

And buy links are below…

Chloe&Eros

What was meant as a scathing remark has turned into a twelve-month long bet between Chloe (Clotho, the Fate of Birth) and Eros (the God of love and desire.)

Chloe and Eros are revered Gods on Olympus. Their station in the otherworldly life is that above the mere mortals and Mystics of the world they hold power over. What they aren’t above, though, is lashing out in a jealous rage and coming up with the biggest wager the realm has seen in some time.

Chloe must perform Eros’s job of matching one Mystic a month with their fated soulmate. If she wins, she gets Eros for an entire month, with no interruptions, to do with as she pleases. If she loses, Eros gets one favor, no questions asked. What Chloe doesn’t know is that Eros wants her to win the bet just as much as she does.

*Includes the Prologues and Epilogues from all 12 books in the Mystic Zodiac series

Excerpt:

Eros scraped his fork over his plate, scooping up the last bite. He popped it into his mouth then moaned happily. “Maybe I should take up cooking. Imagine the number of women I could lure into my bed with the promise of a meal.”

Chloe rolled her eyes at him.

“Admit it,” he crowed. “This was a fantasy you had. I expected you to want me to cook naked, but I don’t mind the clothing.”

“Cooking naked is ridiculous. Exposed flesh around things that could cut or burn does not make for a sexy scene.”

“So, you’re admitting this was a fantasy. Maybe you’ll indulge me in one then.”

Chloe raised a brow, giving him an imperious look.

“I want to see you in a frilly apron and cleaning up.”

“I am not one of your handmaidens,” she frowned. His train of thought was not where she’d hoped he would go, yet she should have expected it.

“That is a brilliant idea though. Serving girl wearing short skirt and frippery. I would be the talk of the realm.”

Buy Links:

kindle_buylinknook_buylinkibooks_buylinkkobo_buylink

 

 

Click below to find out more about Brandy:

Website: http://www.brandywalker.net

Blog: http://brandywalket.net/blog

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/BrandyWalkerfanpage

Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/brandywalkerromancereaders/

Facebook S&W Romance: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SWRomance/

Facebook MilBrat Romance: https://www.facebook.com/groups/milbratromance/

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Movie Monday – Holiday Style #3

It’s over. The holidays.

The tree is down. The lights turned off. The village packed. The decorations put away.

The music is no longer playing and the movies have turned to non-holiday romance. The following list are the final holiday movies I watched from Christmas to New Year’s. Overall, I LOVED them. The majority of them. Some, I’ve really disliked. But overall, I can’t wait until the holiday movies start all over again in 11 months…

A Christmas Mystery – High strung, overly dramatic newspaper reporter is looking for someone who sent her mother Christmas cards every year. She’s baffled that they weren’t signed with anything more than a printed heart and hires a PI, thinking her mother had a boyfriend who would want to know she’s passed away. Enter former Marine PI who… I’m thinking this one might be a DNFW… Did not finish watching. This is the 3rd movie on ION Television that I’ve watched this year. They need some help with casting. Some help with dialog. Some help period. It’s awful, really.

The Flight Before Christmas – Cute little movie. Girl is dumped right before Christmas and decides to take a flight at the last minute across country to visit her family. She meets up with a man who has been trying to make a long distance relationship work for 5 years. Mishaps. A meddling ‘Santa’. The Winslows from Family Matters. This little movie was fun.

The Spirit of Christmas – Paranormal. Ghost comes back for 12 days before Christmas every year. A lawyer is visiting his manor to sell it for the family trust. He trues to get rid of her. She doesn’t budge. While turning him and her around on Christmas spirit, the set to solving his murder from 95 years before and freeing him to move on. It was sweet and romantic.

Dear Santa – Rich, do nothing but shop girl intercepts a little girl’s letter to Santa asking for a new mom. She soon finds out that her parents are going to cut her off if she doesn’t find something to do or finds a man. Rich girl decides to follow the father and little girl around, then infiltrates their lives. She’s sweet enough, starts working in the father’s late wife’s soup kitchen, which comes complete with a gay too much lip gloss chef who’s too scared to strike out on his own. Rich girls shops in her closet for items to give to the homeless and shops in her pantry for spices and ingredients to give to the soup kitchen (Walmart brand, at that. Girl has never been in Walmart. Girl can’t cook either. But has a pantry full of spices and herbs.) in the end she gets the dad and daughter and supposedly changes. But the premise is a little… I don’t know. Bugs me.

Christmas Melody – My first issue with this movie was Mariah Carey. Why did they seem to show her in golden, angelic light every time she was on screen? Her character was bitchy and every movie has to have one of those, even Hallmark Christmas movies. My second issue was the final school festival song. Why do these movies have to out dramatize everything. It’s a small town elementary school production. It was to raise money, but it would’ve cost more money to put on than they’d ever make. I’d love a little reality check. I can suspend belief, but only to a certain point. The romance between single mom and music teacher was sweet. Oh and Folgers once again played a huge sponsoring role in this little film. Like right in your face huge. Subtle would work, too.

Christmas Belle – Dramatic much? Dear heavens… Grumpy man (beast). Too sweet girl (belle). Complete with a dog named Beast. She’s sent to settle an estate’s library. Lots of footage of the ‘beast’ running shirtless around the estate. A vineyard. A Christmas tree grove. ‘She’s gone back to the house.’ ‘I’m going back to the house.’ And a crazy ass overly dramatic proposal. Just… Wow.

The Twelfth Day Of Christmas – Secret Santa for all the right reasons. A really lovely, heartwarming movie… Aside, again from the obvious Folgers product placement, to the way Christmas threw up all over the girl’s house.

A Family For Christmas – Woman leaves to start a career. She was supposed to be gone 6 months. That’s where the movie starts out. Then skips to 10 years down the road. She’s still single and can’t see beyond her career. Her ex friends her on social media and memories pull her back in her mind. A Christmas wish later, she wakes up in an alternate life where she’s got a family and is married to said ex. She’s a full time mom, a wife, fully involved every minute of every day with her kids and family. Over several days, she learns that she really wants the ex and the family, but she also wants the career, just a modified version of the one she had. It was cute, but not one of my favorites.

I may give my thoughts on the Hallmark Winterfest movies, if I have time. I am looking forward to watching them. I never have before. But romance, even vanilla feel-good romance, makes me smile and fills me with hope.

I learned that I like a little reality in my holiday movies. I also learned I will NOT watch ION Television movies again. They were awful. I really like royal holiday movies. I’m not all that in love with Candace Cameron-Bure, but think Lacey Chabert is adorable.

Until next time… Have a wonderful January!

~lissa