Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Writers' Wednesday: A Review of Eleanor & Park

Hello readers! Today I'm gushing about one of my new favorite books & authors: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.

This is a YA novel, and it's about as beautifully written as they come. Eleanor has bright red hair, some extra weight, above-average intelligence, and a home life made up of a beautiful but spineless mother, 4 younger siblings, and an abusive stepfather. Park is part-Korean, loves comics and music, and thinks Eleanor is the biggest misfit he's ever met...until they sit next to each other on the bus and become friends. The book unfolds over the course of a year as 16-year old Eleanor and Park slowly fall in mad, all-consuming first love with each other, amid bullies and parental crises. It's heartbreaking at times, uplifting at others, and has a *perfect ending*. It took me 2 days to read, and only because I put it down a few times because I didn't want to get to the end. This is a must-read for everyone! I'll leave you with some of my favorite lines (there are so many; these are only a few):

"Holding Eleanor's hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive."

"When Eleanor smiled at him, something broke inside him. Something always did."

"There's only one of him, she thought, and he's right here, He knows I'll like a song before I've heard it. He laughs before I even get to the punchline. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes me want to let him open doors for me."

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Monday Mentionables: The Power of the Boxed Set on Sales

Well hello there! Happy Monday. Today a very quick talk for writers about how participating in a boxed set can drive your other sales. Most of you know I've been involved in two boxed sets, Passionate Kisses and Passionate Kisses 2, and among the many benefits is the way your book in a set can drive sales of your other titles.

I saw this incrementally with the first set. My story in Passionate Kisses was Beacon of Love. It was ninth of ten books in the set, and sales of Inferno of Love, the book that follows it in the Hometown Heroes series, picked up around 1-2 months after the set released. Inferno continues to sell moderately well, and I attribute that to new readers picking up the set and finding a new story/series to buy.

This time around, the effect has been much faster and more dramatic. My book in Passionate Kisses 2 is Setting Sail, the prequel to my Cocktail Cruise series. It's also fourth of the ten titles in the set. Since last Tuesday, release day, my sales for the full series, the first title in the series, and (interestingly enough) my one free title, have all picked up. What makes me even happier is that the Cocktail Cruise series is $7.99 - not a cheapie purchase by any means, but people are still buying it.

This is why I highly recommend anyone participating in a boxed set to use that set to springboard your own sales. An author friend of mine said it very eloquently on a Facebook group I belong to, so I'll leave you with this thought. Happy writing!

"Since we are essentially "giving away" our books in the boxed set, the big payoff comes when new-to-you readers buy your next book. It's really important to have your next book available at the time of our boxed set release, so that when they finish your story - and loved it - and want more - there is more for them to buy. That's how you make your money. That's how you build your readership.That's how you harness the power of a series."

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Writers' Wednesday: It's Release Week!

Hi everyone! Ooh it's been a crazy busy week so far - and it's only Wednesday! But yesterday, Passionate Kisses 2: Love in Bloom released, so the PK2 sisters and I have been promoting like mad!

 Among other things to mention:

We are featured on the USA Today "Happy Ever After" Blog today, talking about our most memorable kisses.

We've been partying all day over at our Facebook party site (stop by before Thursday morning and you could win some great prizes!)

We are currently in the Top 100 at Barnes and Noble and on 3 Top 100 lists at Amazon.

And we are running a Thunderclap campaign this Friday that we'd love you to support. Not sure what Thumderclap is? It's a way to harness the power of social media by agreeing to use your Facebook or Twitter accounts to post one single, focused message at a single time. We'd love your support, and all you have to do is click right here to join. 

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday Fun Facts: Just in Time for V-Day

Happy (early) Valentine's Day! No matter how you might be spending tomorrow, here are some fun facts you might not know about this day...

More than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are sold for Valentine's Day each year.
On average, men shell out $130 each on candy, cards, jewelry, flowers and dates. That’s more than double what women commit to spending.
About 8 billion candy hearts will be produced this year; that’s enough candy to stretch from Rome, Italy to Valentine, Arizona 20 times and back again.
About 1 billion Valentine's Day cards are exchanged in US each year. That's the largest seasonal card-sending occasion of the year, next to Christmas.
Worldwide, over 50 million roses are given for Valentine's Day each year.
Women purchase 85% of all valentines.
In order of popularity, Valentine's Day cards are given to teachers, children, mothers, wives, sweethearts and pets.
73% of people who buy flowers for Valentine's Day are men, while only 27 percent are women.
Men buy most of the millions of boxes of candy and bouquets of flowers given on Valentine's Day.
In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. To wear your heart on your sleeve now means that it is easy for other people to know how you are feeling.
The Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare's lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet every Valentine's Day.
Richard Cadbury invented the first Valentines Day candy box in the late 1800s.
Alexander Graham Bell applied for his patent on the telephone, an "Improvement in Telegraphy", on Valentine's Day, 1876.
The oldest surviving love poem till date is written in a clay tablet from the times of the Sumerians around 3500 BC.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Writers' Wednesday: Welcome to Summer on Main Street!

Well, here we are at another Wednesday. Happy Hump Day, everyone! I have a project I've been working on, in the very newest stages, but I'll share with you some of the news today: it looks like I will be part of another boxed set, releasing this summer! This time all the stories will be set in small towns -- because there's just so much delicious conflict and characterization that can happen there, right? We're tentatively titling it Summer on Main Street, and we hope you'll look forward to spending part of YOUR summer getting to know each of our small towns.

I'm happy to say that the following authors will be part of this set as well. Please check them out, follow them on Facebook, sign up for their know, all the usual stuff so you get the earliest peeks at when this set is releasing!

Crista McHugh
Rebecca J. Clark
MJ Fredrick
Cerian Hebert
Liz Kelly

Monday, February 09, 2015

Monday Mentionables: Get in on the Good Stuff!

Happy Monday, everyone! Well, as the white stuff is coming down outside, I have two mentionables to warm your day. First, in honor of Passionate Kisses 2 releasing next week, we're holding a day-long Facebook party, with lots of sneak peeks, excerpts, yummy pictures, and of course GIVEAWAYS! Join us by clicking below:

And....speaking of giveaways, A Girl and Her Kindle is giving away a Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader AND a year's subscription to Kindle Unlimited (all the books you can read for a year!). Want to enter? Just click below to see all the ways you can win chances. And stay warm!

Friday, February 06, 2015

Friday Fun Facts: Did You Miss Tweet-It-Up Thursday?

TGIF, everyone! Boy it's good to see the end of the week :)

By now, I'm sure you know that the Passionate Kisses 2 Boxed Set I'm part of is releasing in just under 2 weeks. Yesterday the other authors and I decided to "Tweet it up" at 5 pm EST and share a whole bunch of teasers for a sneak peek into what you're going to get in this set.

In case you missed it, here were just a few:

“Oh yeah? Let me show you how it’s done.” His words were laced with his hot breath against her ear.

"If you dump him and he’s available three months from now, I’m going to pursue him like there’s no tomorrow."

Her mission to break up with him did not include throwing herself at him.

"Betty tells me the young man who does their yard is quite the stallion.” “Grandma!” “What? We’re old. Not blind.”

"I can barely shower in twenty minutes with everything I have to wash, condition, exfoliate, and shave. It’s hell being a girl.”

“I can barely keep my hands to myself. Now should we go in for a drink?”

If you're on Twitter, you can search by #10kisses to see the rest. Lots of fun! And our Amazon ranking jumped for a few hours last night, so even better!