Wednesday, April 26, 2017

New Adult Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to New Adult Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was inspired as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 96 hours!

Go to the New Adult Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are TWO contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I’m a part of the TEAM PURPLE–but there is also a TEAM BLUE for a chance to win a whole different set of books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the New Adult Scavenger Hunt page.

***THE SCAVENGER HUNT***

Directions: Collect the lucky book numbers of all the authors on TEAM PURPLE, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).

Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by October 30th, at noon Eastern Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
LET THE HUNT BEGIN!


Sneak Peek for Rougarou Chronicles Novella Book 2 by Cadence Rae.


Chapter 1~ Mother of the Pack

Emmaline led me to the sitting room. There was a two plush chairs on either side of the most comfortable looking sofa with a coffee table in front on them, all facing a floor to ceiling window that had a magnificent view of the mountains and the quickly setting sun. Gorgeous could not even come close to describing this view. The sky was painted with blues, pinks, and purple as a yellowish orange sun fell behind the trees in the distance. We were on the side of the city where there were more housing developments than city living. It was nice to live in a quiet, seemly safe and drama free gated community with mansions contained in their own gated property just for extra privacy and plenty of land. The houses were far enough that you could throw a party with music blasting to high heaven and it wouldn’t faze your neighbors.

A young lady brought in ice tea and cucumber sandwiches, which I never had before but were pretty good, if I say so myself. Emmaline asked if I enjoyed the snack and tea and I replied I was satisfied with the nourishments provided. Here in the south we love our ice tea so that was a nice semblance of home, although home wasn’t the best of places and I’m happier away from there. Emmaline was sitting next to me on the sofa.

She gently took my hands in hers urging me to look at her, as I looked into her eyes she spoke, “Ari, I want you know you can always come and talk to me if you need, I’m here to listen and give advice if you want it, don’t be afraid to ask. As pack mother, just like any other mother I’ve sat with many who just needed a listening ear, someone they could confide in, or advice.” “Not my mother.” I mumbled, not really wanting her to hear but I monetarily forgot about those heightened wolf senses and more than excellent hearing. Crap!

“Ari, I’m sorry you had a mother who was less than what you needed her to be, but not all mothers are that way and as part of our pack and my son’s mate, you essentially my daughter. We take family very serious here, everyone one is important and I make sure all needs are met including emotional ones, so as your pack mother/mother in law, I promise to show you how a mother is supposed to treat their children and try to help you heal from the scars that were left by her neglect.”

I felt my eyes start to sting threatening to bring on the waterworks, but I was tired of crying so I took a deep breath and answered her, “Thank you Emmaline, that means a lot to me, I can see why Kyler loves you so much and holds you in such high esteem.”

She hugged me and as she pulled back she replied. “Thank you for that but I think Kyler may be bias, I have my flaws like everyone else. I just try my best to help and comfort others where I can. I’ve always had the desire to help others, I guess it’s part of my personality. And speaking of that, is there something I can do to help ease your doubt or fear of being Kyler’s mate or part of this pack?”

I swallowed hard, took a deep breath and blew it out slow, I hope I wasn’t overstepping my bounds by asking this but Kyler did mention it. “Well, I do have something to ask you but please by no means am I trying to be rude and you are more than welcome to tell me it’d none of my business and decline to answer.”

“Go on sweets, never be afraid to speak your mind with me.”

“Kyler said you has issues when you first found out you were Dante’s mate and you may have more insight into what I’m feeling since you have been in a similar circumstance as me.”

Emmaline gave me a sad sweet smile, I guess remembering still brings back some negative emotions, “Dante’s father was Alpha of our pack. I grew up with him but we never really talked, we ran in different crowds, so to speak. I was still just 17 until July and had a few months left of my senior year of high school, and we aren’t usually claimed by our mate until we are 18 or older. So, when Dante approached me and made it known that he planned to claim me the month after I turned 18, I freaked. How was I supposed to mate this boy, well I guess you can call him a man because he was 20 at the time, anyway I barely knew him and no way was I prepared to Alpha Female. I was shy and kept to myself and my small group of friends. Well he decided we should date so we can get to know each other, though I wasn’t very keen on this idea I agreed out of respect for my future Alpha. Don’t get me wrong, Dante took me on some romantic dates and was a gentleman, always opening doors and pulling out my chair and respected me by never trying anything past a chastised kiss after out third date. He was sweet and I was beginning to fall for him, of course I wasn’t ready to admit it to anyone, including myself. One night when he received a call from his father to go take care of some of his boys who had gotten into a bar fight before the cops arrived and complicated the matter. Not surprisingly, the boys where drunk beyond reason and fighting over a girl, who apparently had walked off when the fight begun, deciding she didn’t want either boys if they were going to be so childish. Dante hulled the boys back to pack house while his soon to be beta took the other kid home and talked him out of pressing charges seeing that they were all underage drinking. When we exited the vehicle at the pack house, Dante grabbed the boy that was in the fight by the front of his shirt and slammed him against the vehicle. That made me flinch to see him so angry and things went downhill from there, pulled the Alpha card on him and proceeded to what the kids these days say, ‘tear him a new one’. I am sure the guy was scared senseless because I know I was, I was shaking from head to toe. I’d never seen Dante use any violence or hear such anger in his voice, I’m sure his wolf was on the verge of taking over. Well, being the weakling I perceived myself to be, I ran thinking there was no way I could mate and marry a man prone to violence. I quickly packed my bags, emptied my savings I had hidden in a box under my bed, and took the first bus to anywhere.”

Right about then I was in a war between shock, fear for her, and amusement of how we had both ran fast as far as we could get. She must have seen it in my eyes or maybe she just smelled my emotions because she responded by saying, “Yes Ari, we do have some things in common and I have been in your shoes once upon a time, and it may be ironic that my son’s mate reacted the same as his mother to the mating idea.” “So what happened next? I can only imagine how furious Dante was when he realized you skipped town.” “Yes, he about lost his mind, he told me later shortly after I snuck away to my room to pack to run, his father showed up and calmed him and dished out punishment to the boy who fought and the other boys who were drunk out of their minds; drinking and drugs and any trouble with the law was not acceptable in our pack, we were taught better than that. From what Dante tells me, when he didn’t see me outside he went to my room to apologize and realized I was gone. After informing his dad of the situation, he and his beta were about to set out to follow my trail and bring me back home. However, his mother intercepted them and insisted on going along and allowing her to speak to me first before Dante came blazing in. He begrudgingly agreed and waited very impatiently outside my hotel room. His mother helped calm my fears about mating an Alpha and promised that a wolf would never allow harm to come to their mate, even by their own hand. She also said she could see the leader in me and my compassion would make me a great Alpha female and that she would guide me in growing into that leader. I guess Dante had reached his patience level because just about that time he banged on the door and demanded in. His mother opened the door, quietly chastised him for being rude and demanding, after he apologized she stepped aside and let him in the room. I could see the hardness on his face and was prepared for a tongue lashing but strangely when our eyes met he immediately calmed, his face softened, and I swear I saw love there but I was not ready to acknowledge that latter part. He slowly stalked toward me and I suddenly thrown into fight or flight mode but my mind was at war about which path to take and before I could decide he was in front of me softly cupping my face, apologizing for his outburst, promising it wouldn’t happen again. For some reason I believed him and as I nodded my head in acceptance he wrapped me in his arm where all of a sudden I felt safe and a sense of home. I have a revelation that this was where I truly belonged and apologized for running and promised not to do it again. He let go of our embrace, cupped my face in his hands a gave me the sweetest, softest kiss that made me weak in the knees, that was the point I came to terms with being his mate and Alpha Female. His father did think it was a splendid idea for us to attend pre-marriage counseling with our church pastor. To our astonishment this aided us it growing closer as a couple and learn to also be friends, which is important in a relationship.”

Lucky Number: 4

Continue the scavenger hunt by going to Kelsy Ketch's blog.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction Giveaway

Today, I have a fun surprise that I’d like to share with you.

I’ve teamed up with 45 post-apocalyptic sci-fi book authors to give away a huge collection of novels to 2 lucky winners, plus a Kindle Fire to the Grand Prize winner!


You can win my novel Humanity's Hope, plus books from authors like S.B. Sebrick and Ann Christy.

Enter the giveaway by clicking here: bit.ly/post-apoc-apr17

Good luck, and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Taking Risks

As authors, we constantly take risks. From the moment we send out our first query to an agent or publisher, we risk them saying no. Once our book is published, we risk readers hating it and getting bad reviews. For some people, these notions can be debilitating and stop them from ever trying. But for some of us, it’s par for the course. No matter who you are, there will be people who love and hate what you do.

We are willing to take the risks because we love to tell stories. And part of loving to tell stories is wanting to see those stories in different mediums, including on the big screen and on TV.

I was thinking about this the other day, and I thought it was rather ironic. The vast majority of us authors would love to see our books turned into movies, and yet, we are always distressed about how movies are nothing like the books, and in a way, inferior. It’s quite amusing to think about.

What I think the real draw of seeing our stories on the big screen is all the money we’d make, especially if we get merchandising rights. No, I’m kidding—although that is probably part of it. I think the real draw is introducing our story to a new audience. It’s seeing how others view our work and what they take away from our worlds. It’s seeing them being inspired by something we created.

Movies and books are two different mediums, and things can be done in movies that can’t be done in books and vice versa. Sure, I compare books and movies all the time, but that’s an unfair comparison—it’s not comparing apples to apples. Now, I try to look at each medium in their respective rights and understand why the director made the choices they made, but it can still be upsetting when I feel the movies stray too far from the book.

Seriously, doesn’t it seem weird that authors would want their books turned into movies at all?

Again, I think it boils down to wanting to share their story.

Authors take yet another risk when their work is made into a movie or TV show. It could be a resounding success or fall completely flat. Audiences could either love it or hate it. But that is the world of storytelling.

I’ve been trying to get my young adult zombie book into the world of movies and TV shows. A few years ago, I pitched Life After the Undead to several different agents and producers. Nothing came of it, but I met an incredibly nice indie producer who gave me some fantastic advice. The most important of which was that zombie movies aren’t selling right now. Producers are steering clear of them, but I didn’t let that dissuade me.


Within the last year, I decided to try my luck at having Life After the Undead adapted for TV. That involved posting my pitch on a site called TV Writer’s Vault. I researched this site for a long time before finally deciding to take the plunge. The reason for my hesitance was the fact that it costs.

As authors, we’re always told that if something costs to do, it’s not worth doing or it’s a scam. I went into this believing that to be true. After reading about the site and asking questions, I still don’t know for sure, but I told myself I had to take a risk. Besides, someone has to fund the site’s overhead and keep it running, why shouldn’t it be us writers?

So far, nothing has come of having Life listed on the site. A couple of production companies have looked at it, but nothing more. I Googled the companies, and they seem legit, so I’m happy they took the time to look over my proposal.

Maybe I’m not getting any action because I’m pitching a zombie show. I will continue to love the zombie genre, but the rest of the world might not. I’m fully aware that producers have to take calculated risks and go after projects that are going to make them money. Personally, I feel like I have more freedom when it comes to being creative because my livelihood doesn’t depend on my work—I get to create just for the sake of creating, and the royalties are a bonus!

By nature, I’m a cynical person. I always think the worst is going to happen, which means when something good happens, I’m usually surprised. But at the same time, I’m well aware that nothing is going to happen with my books unless I take some risks. While the fantasy of a producer stumbling across my book, falling in love with it, and offering me money to make a movie is a wonderful thought, the chances of it happening are slim. The chances of me getting my book turned into a TV show are slim, but they increase slightly by me putting my work out there.

At the end of the day, even if nothing happens, I can at least say I tried. Sure, taking risks is risky, and the potential for something bad to happen increases, but so does the chance of something good happening. I’ll never know which one it will be unless I take a chance.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Recovery

I hope all of you are recovering from your chocolate bunny and tons of food hangover. I also hope you had a fantastic time hanging out with friends and family this weekend. I know I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Well, I enjoyed most of it. I’m over this house nonsense. I think we finished our last big project this weekend, so I should be able to recover over the week. We had to replace some doors. I’m more than certain that there’s a rule in the universe that says no home improvement project can or will go right on the first try. It’s a stupid rule.

I did have a chance to watch a movie with the boys (Monster Trucks), and they were able to dye Easter eggs with their cousins. We also had a fantastic Easter Dinner with my in-laws. I ate so much I thought I was going to pop!


What kinds of fun things did you do for Easter?

With a little luck, I’ll be able to work on more edits this week. Edge of Humanity is so close to being ready for the editor. Of course, we’re still waiting for Humanity’s Hope to come out, but that should be any day now. Any day now. If nothing else, it will be sooner rather than later.


I’m looking forward to being a little lazy this week. I’m hoping to catch up on some of my shows. I’m pretty far behind on most of them. I’m also looking forward to getting back into my schedule. I thrive so much better when I have my schedule.

Here’s to the beginning of a great week and getting things accomplished!


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Branding, Marketing, and Trying to Sell Things

For the past month or so, I have been working at my local paper as an ad rep. In essence, my job is to sell ad space in the newspaper to local businesses. It’s one of the most challenging jobs I’ve ever done.

On average, I would say more than half of the people I talk to would rather stick white hot needles in their eye. I’m not a pushy person; in fact, most days I question my ability to do this job at all. I’m not shy, but I’m not going to make anyone buy ads from the paper. But to watch how business owners act, you’d think I had devil horns and a pitch fork.

I try not to let it deter me. After all, my goal is to help these businesses be successful, but to do that, I have to get them to part with their money—and no one wants to part with their money unless they know that it’s going to be worth it. They want to know that they are going to get a return on their investment.

I don’t blame the business owners for wanting a return on their investment. That’s the name of the game: spend money to make money. And it’s their money, so they can do with it what they see fit.

When it comes to marketing, I can talk the talk. I’ve been marketing my books for a long time, and I’m always looking for ways to improve. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert in marketing—far from it—and I know there’s always more that I can do. Like the business owners I deal with, I’m pretty shrewd when it comes to spending money. I don’t have a lot of it, so I have to be careful where I invest.

When it comes to marketing, there are so many different options out there—and it’s hard to know which one is going to be successful and which one isn’t. When it comes right down to it, what works at one point in time might not in the future and vice versa, and there’s no way to know—unless you take a chance.

If you read any kind of marketing articles out there (and there are tons), they all have advice on what you should be doing. Write a blog. Get a Twitter account. Have a Facebook page. Get on Instagram. If you’re like me, you’ve done all that (with the exception of Instagram. I have a Pinterest page, but I’m terrible at posting on there).

The nice thing about these sites is that their free. At one time, I think they were novel and really helped businesses and authors get their message into the world. But like everything, they’ve grown—to the point where it’s super easy to get lost in all the other posts and messages that people put on these sites.

And let’s not even get started on Facebook and their analytics. If you have a business or author page, you are aware the FB limits the amount of people who view your posts—and it’s because they want you to pay for people to view them. If you pay, then they expect you to pay all the time, so there’s no way you can win.

Twitter is so busy. I refrained for a long time before posting on Twitter because I was afraid of getting lost. And I’m sure I do, along with thousands of others who are Tweeting. It’s chaos in 140 characters.

Blogging can be just as difficult. Once you write a blog, you have to get people to read it. Which brings you back to the marketing conundrum.

Advertising in print media can be expensive. But at the same time, people expect ads to be in papers.

There’s no magic bullet when it comes to marketing, and each medium has its share of pros and cons. However, if there’s one truth when it comes to advertising it’s this: if we are trying to sell something, we have to advertise.

Social media and print media get your information in front of different audiences. While there may be some overlap of who sees your posts in both places, more often than not you’re targeting different demographics, but how can you tell if you’re actually reaching an audience?

That’s where the marketing game gets tough. You can’t. Unless someone specifically tells you they saw your advertisement, you have no idea if your plan is working. On Facebook and Twitter you have analytics so you can see if people are interacting with your posts, but you have no idea if that interaction turns into sales.

Marketing is an incredibly frustrating pursuit. And marketing is different from branding, and advertising is a tool of marketing. The whole thing gets convoluted and confusing. It’s no wonder most business owners/authors don’t want to mess with marketing.

But we have to. If we want an attempt at being successful, we have to put ourselves out there. And just because there is no clear-cut way for us to know if Twitter or Facebook or blogging or ads in a newspaper are working, we still have to try. In the long run, it’s better than doing nothing.

My new job has forced me to look at my own marketing methods and scrutinize what I’m doing. I think a lot about how I am viewed and treated when I go in to a business to sell ads, and I can’t help but think the consumers out there feel the same way. I imagine they’re thinking, “Oh, great. Here she comes again trying to sell me one of her books.” And then they try to hide or act busy—anything so they don’t have to interact with me.

It’s hard. We want people to know how wonderful our books are and get readers to read them, but consumers, like business owners, don’t want to part with their money unless they know they’re getting something of value in return.

I wish I had an easy answer for a way to fix the problem, but I don’t. It’s like shooting in the dark and hoping to hit something. Every so often, we get lucky. The one thing I can offer is to not give up. Keep trying new things, revisit some old attempts and see if they make an impact now.

Another thing I can tell you is this: make a connection. It’s not always about selling things, it’s about forming relationships. Don’t always talk about your books or whatever it is you’re trying to sell, talk about other things—your passions, things that make you happy or ask your consumers what they’re passionate about and what makes them happy.

The hardest thing I do as a writer is marketing. I’m trying to get better and looking for different ways to get my name out there, but I’ll be honest, it’s exhausting. Still, if I keep at it, I’m sure my efforts will eventually pay off.

Monday, April 10, 2017

New Adult Scavenger Hunt - Coming Soon!

NewASH Banner 6

Hello Everyone! Hope you are excited as I am, because we have less than three weeks until the Spring 2017 New Adult Scavenger Hunt begins!

Here are the Spring 2017 #NewASH teams:
TEAM BLUE
 team-blue-S2017
TEAM PURPLE
 team-purple-S2017

The New Adult Scavenger Hunt begins at Noon Eastern Time on Wednesday, April 26th and runs through Sunday, April 30th. For more information, visit newadultscavengerhunt.com.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Reason Things Have Been so Crazy

First of all, thanks for being patient with me while I get things together. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it’s amazing to me how quickly life can change—and change it has.

In the past few months, it’s been a roller coaster of emotions for me. Most of the time, I was waaaaay down in the dumps, but there were a few high points. I finally felt like things were getting back to normal, then my spouse got a promotion and was moved to another dealership. Which means the boys and I will also be moving soon.

I’m excited about going to Nebraska. I’m ready for a change. This is an amazing opportunity for all of us. The boys are going to finish out the school year here, then we’ll be on our way. That decision was also based on the fact that we have to sell our house—and that is where my stress has been coming from lately. It’s a lot of work getting a house cleaned and ready to put on the market.

As you can imagine, working on my house has cut deeply into my writing and social time. I’ve been exhausted and out of sorts, so mornings have been a struggle to get up and get ready—there’s been no way I’ve had time to post to my social accounts. That’s going to change soon…

Technically, at this time, the house is done enough. There are just a few loose ends to tie up, but the house is ready to be shown. Keep your fingers crossed we get an offer!

There will still be some stress, but it won’t be as much as before (I hope!). I’ll get some time back (I hope!), so I’ll be able to get back to writing and doing posts. Once we move, there will probably be a short time when I take a break again, but it won’t last long.

Thanks for bearing with me!