Diet and Scouting

Sins of the Flesh bookcover

First off, I want to share my latest cover. Isn’t it pretty?

This week I took two dives. The first being a diet. Proud to say I’ve already lost 7 lbs in 4 days. Water weight but I’ll take it! The treadmill was an experience. I tthought I would croak, but I persevered. It’s going to be a while to reach my goal but I’ve got to keep trying.

My next new item is Kindle Scout. Sins of the Flesh, the book above, is up for nomination now. I weighed the pros and cons and decided to try Scout before I take a dip in my next project…self-publishing.

I would love your nominations though. If you vote for me, you will receive a copy of the book if Amazon decides to publish it. So check out Kindlescout.Amazon.com and pick your favorites! I’m in the romance genre. My good friend, Ann Gimpel, also has a book up, so share the love!

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You’re Invited!

It’s almost wedding time at the ranch, and you are all invited! White Collar Wedding is now available for preorder for only $0.99!

Wedding Invitation

Exclusively for Kindle and Kindle Unlimited, White Collar Wedding is a 7,700 word bonus short story from the Shadow Maverick Ranch series. You asked for it – here it is! :)

 

ParkerKincade_WhiteCollarWedding_HR

 

You’ve been cordially invited to the wedding of Gavin Mathis and Lauren Delgado.

What’s a cowboy to do when his bride-to-be cancels the honeymoon?

He takes matters into his own hands…

 

 

“A delightfully sexy addition to the Shadow Maverick Ranch series. Can’t wait to see what’s up next for Parker Kincade’s hunky cowboys.” — Monette Michaels, author of the Security Specialists International and Prime Chronicles series

RSVP (preorder) NOW, exclusively at AMAZON. ONLY $0.99!

Spread the word … and I’ll see you at the wedding!

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300 Days of Sunshine a Year!

The_Sun_by_the_Atmospheric_Imaging_Assembly_of_NASA's_Solar_Dynamics_Observatory_-_20100819I can’t for the life of me figure out why Florida’s called the Sunshine State.

We’re in Mountain View, California visiting our wayward one who works for Google. While waiting for him to pick us up at the airport, I perused a brochure about the area. First of all, it’s stunning, picturesque, and the weather’s perfect. Between the Redwood-lined avenues, the small-town ambiance because of a lack of buildings over eleven stories, and the three hundred days of sunshine a year, it’s no wonder my son’s boss paid over $800K for a 1875 square foot two-bedroom apartment.

Getting back to sunshine days, in South Florida, where we reside, there are 249 days where you see the sun. Over 149 of those 249 days are partially sunny, which means it rains every day for at least three hours after lunch. Here in Mountainview, you’re guaranteed over 200 cloud-free days.

So why is Florida the Sunshine State?

The Viking just pointed out the word state. Ok, so more research. I compared the average days of sunshine for the major cities in California and Florida. It turns out that except for Eureka, all the California cities outdid their Florida counterparts by at least 40 days.

Genius marketing—that’s my conclusion.

Now the big question – does sunshine equal more sex and romance? Do Portland natives enjoy the big kahuna as frequently and as intently as Floridians? (I’m speaking as a Floridian)

Here’s some great pics of Google, Mountainview, San Jose, and their environs.

My favorite part of the Google tour - the sushi bar - one of the 32 restaurants on the campus. Googlers are encouraged to take home food.

My favorite part of the Google tour – the sushi bar – one of the 32 restaurants on the campus. Googlers are encouraged to take home food.

Below is Santanna Row, which was built during the dot.com boom. Right before the officially opening, there was the dot com bust, and a mysterious fire that razed the whole area and 30 neighboring houses. The city forced the investors to rebuild. Now rents for less than 2000 sq ft apartments average over $4,500/month. Wonder how big those investors made out between the insurance and the current <2% vacancy rate in this part of California? Maybe you can get away with crime?

IMG_2218[1] IMG_2215[1] IMG_2217[1]IMG_2216[1]

The Viking hates shopping, but when he spied the Tesla store-he drooled! We overheard the salesperson saying, “We’re accepting reservations for a year from now.”

Really?

Then the wayward one told us the tale of an engineer they were trying to recruit. He refused to accept the over 500K salary & signing bonus offer unless they moved him to the top of the Tesla waiting list. What do you think happened? Sheesh, to be a young genius these days.

The viking hates shopping, but when he spied the Tesla store-he drooled!IMG_2225[1] IMG_2223[1]

Merry Monday,

Cheers,

Jianne

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Guest blogger Karyn Gerrard!

It’s a great pleasure for me to welcome fellow Canadian and romance author Karyn Gerrard. She always has a lot on the go, including her hot stories and active blogging, so I’m thrilled she could spend some time with us today. Welcome, Karyn!

Karen LB

Thanks to Love, Lust and Laptops for having me! This book is a big step in a new direction for me, as it is a category, contemporary romance that is not erotic, the heat level is sensual. Also its one of my longer pieces at 60,000 words. It is also book 2 in the Wicked Men of Rockland series, so it is also my first detailed series that will feature multiple characters and overlaying plots.

I started out writing short stories and novellas, and I always believed writing is a learning experience. I have certainly learned a lot along the way and am eager to learn more. I want to write at various heat levels and have more characters and intricate plots going forward.

Though a voracious reader, I only came to romance about 8 years ago when I picked up a second hand copy of a Mary Balogh historical at a yard sale. I haven’t looked back. Never dreamed I would be published, and am still in shock my first submission was accepted back in 2011.

Romance books are escapism, taking us away for a while from the complications of real life, but they also show us the importance of emotion, love and sex in our lives. I love reading and writing romance and hope to continue!

Look for BOLD SEDUCTION (by Karyn Gerrard), a historical from Kensington Publishing’s digital line, Lyrical Press in early 2015~

 

HIS WICKED CELTIC KISS by Karyn Gerrard
  • Book #2 Wicked Men of Rockland
  • File Size: 688 KB
  • Print Length: 181 pages
  • Publisher: Crimson Romance (October 20, 2014)
This is book 2 in my series, WICKED MEN OF ROCKLAND. Book 1 is THE WICKED BAD

Category, contemporary romance of approx 60,000 words, not erotic

 

Thanks to Love, Lust and Laptops for having me! This book is a big step in a new direction for me, as it is a category, contemporary romance that is not erotic, the heat level is sensual. Also its one of my longer pieces at 60,000 words. It is also book 2 in the Wicked Men of Rockland series, so it is also my first detailed series that will feature multiple characters and overlaying plots.I started out writing short stories and novellas, and I always believed writing is a learning experience. I have certainly learned a lot along the way and am eager to learn more. I want to write at various heat levels and have more characters and intricate plots going forward.

Though a voracious reader, I only came to romance about 8 years ago when I picked up a second hand copy of a Mary Balogh historical at a yard sale. I haven’t looked back. Never dreamed I would be published, and am still in shock my first submission was accepted back in 2011.

Romance books are escapism, taking us away for a while from the complications of real life, but they also show us the importance of emotion, love and sex in our lives. I love reading and writing romance and hope to continue!

Look for BOLD SEDUCTION (by Karyn Gerrard), a historical from Kensington Publishing’s digital line, Lyrical Press in early 2015~





BLURB: It took just one teasing wink and a sexy Irish lilt from bad boy Lorcan Byrne to turn Julie Denison’s world upside down. The problem is, he’s only in town for six months, and happily ever after isn’t in this world traveler’s vocabulary.

Julie’s worked hard to get her life in a good place—dropping substantial weight and getting a great job at her friend’s bakery. But this handsome charmer is just as tempting as any of the decadent pastries she sells, and she can’t resist his advances for long. Julie fully expects Lorcan to break her heart—but she’s planning to enjoy every second she can of their explosive chemistry.
After years of danger as a soldier and a spy, Lorcan fled to tiny Rockland, Maryland for some boring downtime. He didn’t count on meeting someone who could ignite his libido and soothe his damaged heart, and their passion soon leads to deeper feelings. But can Julie convince Lorcan he has more to offer her than just his wicked Celtic kiss?
Sensuality Level: Sensual
EXCERPT:

“Julie. You look beautiful,” he whispered with awe. The smile slid from her face and her lip trembled. Oh, damn. What did I say? He wasn’t lying. He held out his hand, she took it and stood. “You’ve done your hair. Like ribbons of golden sun.” He dropped her hand and stepped close so her breasts brushed against his chest. He bit back a groan, then framed her face and stroked her flushed cheeks with his thumbs. A sheen of moisture glittered in her beautiful eyes. “Brings out those adorable gold flecks in your lovely eyes, darlin’.”



“Thank you,” she murmured.



Her vulnerable response touched him in a deep uncharted area of his heart. He lowered his head and tilted her face up. “I’ve been aching to do this since that night at the pub. Indulge me. Only a taste.”



His lips barely touched hers, but it sent roaring heat to all parts of his body. Lorcan suddenly had a vision of sprawling her across the counter and plunging himself into her feminine heat. Where did that come from? Just from an innocent kiss? He didn’t dare suckle those lips any more or he’d lose all control. He stepped back. Julie’s eyes were closed and her lips still slightly puckered. A slight whimper of protest came from her when he moved away.



“Thank you,” she whispered.



Lorcan smiled broadly. “You’re welcome. You’d best prepare yourself, Julie.

Whenever we find ourselves alone like this, I will be kissing you. You’ll never know when it’s coming or just how wicked it will be.”



Her eyes snapped opened. “Wicked?”



“Aye, I’ve been told I’ve a wicked kiss.” He winked at her. “Shall we head out? Nick recommended this place so if it’s no bloody good, we can blame him.”

Julie smiled and nodded. He took her hand. Simmering flame, bloody hell.




THE WICKED BAD
(Book #1 Wicked Men of Rockland)
  • File Size: 531 KB
  • Print Length: 210 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1440573468
  • Publisher: Crimson Romance (April 15, 2013)
Nick Crocetti is an imposing figure in black leather riding his motorcycle about the town of Rockland. Owner of a bar, The Chief, whispers of criminal dealings and a murky past swirl around him. Dark and brooding, Nick is “the wicked bad” in looks and demeanor.
 Veronica Barnes, leaving a husband from a disastrously quick Las Vegas marriage and her high-paying consulting job, returns home after ten years to follow a lifelong dream and open her own bakery. Despite the mutual physical attraction – and a shared past – Nick and Veronica are wary of each other and have protective fences around their hearts.
 Can they break down the barriers of past heartbreak, or is Veronica just a good girl who longs to rub against “the wicked bad”?
 Sensuality Level: Hot
FREE READ: The epilogue to The Wicked Bad Click HERE
For a limited time, you can get The Wicked Bad in this box set, 10 novels for the low price of 99 cents!
 
SUMMER HEAT BOX SET 10 SPICY NOVELS! 
99 CENTS!
 
For a limited time, you can buy the Summer Heat box set, which includes 10 novels from Crimson Romance’s Spicy line! Not short stories, not novellas…but novels.

BOX SET BLURB: When the summer sun beats down on the beach, Crimson Romance turns up the sizzle between the pages. From hot bikers to powerful venture capitalists and those oh-so-sexy military men in—and out—of uniform, these ten books put the spotlight on the heroes who make us melt. It’s a collection of our steamiest stories by these rising stars:
The Wicked Bad—Karyn Gerrard
Infamous—Irene Preston
Prelude to a Seduction—Lotchie Burton
Inventing Sin—Alicia Thorne
His Fantasy Maid—Susan Blexrud
Island Pursuits—Heather Rodney-Diaz
Dangerous Love—Lilou DuPont
Her New Worst Enemy—Christy McKellen
Blitzkrieg Love—Livia Olteano
As If You Never Left Me—Katriena Knights




BUY LINKS


AMAZON/AMAZON UK/AMAZON CANADA

CRIMSON ROMANCE/ADAMS MEDIA STORE

BARNES AND NOBLE

ALL ROMANCE

Karyn Gerrard Bio: 
Karyn lives in a small town in the western corner of Ontario, Canada. She wiles away her spare time writing and reading romance while drinking copious amounts of Earl Grey tea. Tortured heroes are a must. A multi-published author with a few best-sellers under her belt,
Karyn loves to write in different genres and time periods, though historicals are her favorite. As long as she can avoid being hit by a runaway moose in her wilderness paradise she assumes everything is golden.
 Karyn’s been happily married for a long time to her own hero. His encouragement keeps her moving forward.
                                 Karyn’s Site/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest
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What was I talking about?

This is one of those weeks when I just don’t know what to talk about. It’s just a week until Halloween. Do we discuss costumes? (I totally want to go as a sharknado!) Or perhaps the immense conflict of Stranger Danger vs Trick Or Treating (don’t take candy from strangers…except this one time…)?

Bette Midler released a cover of TLC’s Waterfalls and it is scrumptious. You know I love me some Bette. Probably not blog worthy though…

Oh, hey, I got it! I went to my very first writer’s conference last weekend. In Denver. And I didn’t even take the kids and the husband with me. It was me. On my own. With real grownups. It was ahhhh-mazing. I talked about things that weren’t related to PTA, poop, or pets… no, wait, we did talk pets. Literally, at the dinner table, people were passing their phones around and oohhing and awwing over pets. Is that normal at a writer’s conference?

This picture of my corgi in an owl hat was a big hit!

This picture of my corgi in an owl hat was a big hit!

Anyway, I took pitches for Kensington and it was a blast. I heard some really great ideas. Actually, I didn’t hear any bad ones. I asked everyone to send me their manuscripts because if I didn’t want it, I was sure someone else would. Really, the pitches were just that good. Or maybe I was just so happy to be there, that I was overjoyed and everything sounded good.

I also …gasp… pitched my own book to an agent. And he wants to read it! I was super excited until I realized he had probably succumbed to the same writer’s conference joy that I was under. Well, damn…

Anyway, I thought I’d share some pointers for those of you with upcoming conferences who may be delivering pitches.

  1. Even if the person across the table from you isn’t interested in your story, they aren’t going to be mean to you, so relax.
  2. Be prepared. More than one person rambled aimlessly while fidgeting with my business cards. If they’d taken just a few minutes to think about what to say, it would have gone more smoothly. **disclaimer** I totally pitched to the agent on a whim and was one of those rambling people. It was horrible.
  3. Share your characters, their motives, the conflict, and the resolution. Don’t talk to about the publishing biz. This is your time to sell yourself, chatting can be done throughout the conference.
  4. Smile and be confident. We like that.
  5. Did I mention breathing?

 

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Critique Buddy

cheri and moniYes, I finally met my critique buddy, Cherise Sinclair. We’ve been trying to find a conference where we both were attending, and finally managed to meet at the Novelist’s Inc conference in St. Petersburg, FL. Needless to say, I was stoked.

The beginnings of being crit buds were founded in being fan girls of each others books.  I loved Cheri’s books.  I re-read them when I need a comfort read.  Her voice calls to something in me.  It’s as if I “know” her like an old, dear friend or twins separated at birth. She also writes clean, tight prose with romance, kink, and just enough action to make my thriller-writing soul happy.

She likes my books which is very flattering. She says I write erotic romance.  I’m just thankful she likes them and wants me to critique her books.

As crit buds, we’re tough on each other–but that just makes us strive to be better writers.

Meeting her wasn’t awkward at all.  She is very nice.  Down-to-earth.  She put up with my babble and rapid change in topics. We are both normally introverts.  We both like to sit at the back of a conference room in case we feel the need to leave.  We both like our nests where we write. And we are both married to men named Tom who are retired and finding their way in that retirement. And I have to say we are both married to men who let us be what we need to be.

Yes, as I said, twins separated at birth — friends and crit buds ever since my Stormy Weather Baby and her Hour of the Lion. And I hope, friends forever now that we’ve met.

 

 

 

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Website – the Foundation of Author Marketing

When was the last time you updated your website?

Screenshot 2014-10-22 09.24.46

My KaLyn Cooper updated website

As some of you know, I teach social media workshops and I recently took my own advice and updated my website. I will admit, I still have more to do especially after conducting research for this blog. Check out my website at http://www.kalyncooper.com/

In a recent study of Romance readers, the author’s website was the number one place readers went to find information about an author and upcoming book releases. Unfortunately, most authors get swept up into Facebook, twitter, blogging, etc. and forget about their website for months at a time.

I’ve compiled some tips for revamping your website.

  1. Streamline your design. Just as readers judge a book by its cover, they judge the author by their website. It should look like your brand. Even though you personally like the color orange and wispy lines that swoop into tight curls, it’s not going to work if you write romantic suspense. You want it to look as professional as possible.
  2. Create a HOME page that teases the reader to delve deeper into your site. Give them only a little of the most important information with links to pages with more about each specific book.
  3. Make sure it’s easily navigated. Not sure how to do this? Ask someone over fifty with limited computer skills to check out your website. It needs to make sense. If you are going to have a separate page for each book, great! Then label each page accordingly. Separate page for each series? Same.
  4. Give the reader something new or different. That doesn’t mean to give away some swag, it means give them something interesting about you and/or your books. Your website is social media, be sociable. Talk about your work in progress, unique research into your last book, a quote from a great review.
  5. Be sure to have a Call to Action on every page. Ask yourself what you want them to do while on that page. Want them to sign up for your newsletter? Put a link to the sign up page. Buy the book on that page? Include your links to Buy Now button prominently and in a stand-out color. That reminds me, every book page should have the cover, blurb and excerpt of about 150 words. Include something interesting about this book.
  6. Make it sharable. Admittedly, I didn’t do this on mine but read this idea just yesterday. Create quotes and a Click to Tweet button. This makes it easy for readers to share your information socially, tying them to you and spreading your info to their friends.
  7. Deftly add key words to your headlines and first sentences. Search Engines read your headlines. You can also embed hidden key words into your headlines that SEOs will hit. Be sure these are words that people search for and then search for them yourself to see just how deep your website is. Once you find your site, be sure to click through the search engine to it. It raises your visibility within the SEO.
  8. Type your name into Google, Bing, etc. and see what comes up. It should be your website. This is also a good way to check to see what Search Engine Optimizers are doing with your name.
  9. three men running on beach

    These men were inspiration while writing Christmas in Cancun which will be out December 1, 2014.

    Increase your use of quality images. Nothing screams amateur louder than bad pictures. Keep in mind the larger the picture, the longer it may take to download and in the world of impatience, readers may give up and move on with a negative feeling toward you. Be sure to lock aspect ratio so you don’t get elongated features or squashed bodies. You can add a link so your readers post your pictures to their Pintrest boards, increasing your exposure. Be careful of copyrighted photos! (Speaking of Pintrest, thought I’d share here. Check out my Hunks and Junks board.)

  10. Fonts, bold, italic, colors all help keep the reader engaged. Direct mail houses have used these techniques for decades. Use them to highlight something important by drawing the eye and thus attention to it, but be careful not to overuse. Be sure to proofread every word and phrase. Nothing turns off a reader more than typos and bad grammar. (Fingers crossed I proofed this blog well.)
  11. Link everything together. Check all your author pages and be sure they are linked correctly to your website. Don’t forget Amazon, Goodreads, B&N, ARe, Fresh Fiction, The Romance Review, and anywhere else.
  12. Install Google Analytics and USE the information. The program is free and it tracks who visits your site.

Hope this has helped!

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