Friday, September 1, 2017

How About A Soothing Cup Of...

Happy Friday All,

I'll get back to RWA Nationals and I'll give you all info on how I weathered Hurricane Harvey (we're fine and the Averie house didn't get flooded), but for now, I've been meaning to get this review up for a while and now I finally am able to do that.

Theodosia, Haley, Drayton, and co, are back in the Tea Shop brewing up cozy cups and sweet treats, as well as murder.

Well, not them specifically however...

During an event that Theo and Drayton attend one of their hosts drops dead in a rather dramatic fashion. But who could've killed Doreen Briggs' husband?

As the mystery evolves, and Theo gets sucked into yet another investigation (this time at Drayton and Doreen's behest) it's clear there's more to the business and family than what meets the eye.

But who could've been the rat? Was it one of the servers of the Tea Theo and Drayton were at, or was it Doreen? Perhaps an employee?

Unraveling this will take Theo's quick wits and thorough investigating or else she or someone she cares about could be next to imbibe a cup of poison.

You can pick up your copy of author Laura Childs' newest Tea Shop Mystery, Pekoe Most Poison at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Have A Fabulously Fun Friday!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Back & So Much To Tell...

Happy Monday Everyone!

Sorry I've been MIA for so long. A ton of things have been going on:

For one thing, I attended my first Romance Writers of America National Conference (RWA Nationals) in Orlando, Florida in July. While there, I got to go to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom (my very first time going to Disney World and my first time going to Nationals since I joined RWA in 2009).

Nationals was an amazing experience. Normally I'm nervous when going to conferences, but for the first time, I wasn't. I'm not sure why. Maybe I had a lot of people praying for me, and sending me positive thoughts. Maybe I went in with the right attitude. Either way, or both, I am not sorry one bit that I went!

We--that is, the whole Averie clan--arrived in Orlando, Florida on Tuesday, July 25th. Everything went smoothly with getting our luggage, and despite a little issue at the rental car place, that even went smoothly.

Then came trying to find the hotel. Our GPS kept sending us in a circle, and we didn't quite understand the directions people gave us. It took circling the same
area FOUR TIMES before we managed to figure out what to do. And then, came finding the hotel itself. We got lost and had to call the hotel twice. So needless to say, either know your way around, have a reliable map or really good GPS. We finally managed to get to the hotel.

Raspberry Sorbet
Lemonade Smoothie
I had with dinner (yum!)
We got to our room without a hitch (and the hotel staff were super-nice). Soon after, we found a place to get dinner and felt much better afterwards. The Disney Boardwalk was just a short walk away, so we decided to go explore it. 

Juggler we saw while on the Disney Boardwalk

Disney Boardwalk was all lit up at night. It was so pretty!

I had my nails done before I left for Nationals. On my left thumb 
Right thumb with purple/pink
butterfly wings
Left thumb with blue
butterfly wings
was half a blue butterfly, and on my right half a purplish-pink one. The blue one represents my deceased friend, Sarah. Blue was her favorite color and butterflies were special to her. The other one represents my writing. On my business cards I have a purplish-pink butterfly. When I put the two thumbs together it made a whole butterfly. I don't have that on my nails anymore, but it was nice for Nationals...until I fell and broke the purple one! But oh well. I was okay. Mostly just embarrassed, but I can laugh about it, now.
Together the thumbs made a pretty butterfly

I have a ton of other pictures, so I'll have to do a whole series of blog posts because there is so much to tell and show you.

August isn't as busy despite Offspring being back and school and some of the other activities we have going on. They're doing well, and enjoyed going to Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Magic Kingdom. They also went to Legoland, which also looked like fun, but Real Life Hero (my husband) said Legoland was even hotter than Disney World. But our Offspring enjoyed it, so I call it a win.

I'm working on Book 5 in the Immortal Dreams series and some other thing that's been playing in my head for a long time now. I hope everyone who is reading Book 4, Perfect Love, is enjoying it. I've already had some readers say that they thought it was my best work so far, which made my day.

I'll do more posts talking about Nationals and my visit to the Magic Kingdom, but for now, let me assure you, I had a fantastic time. :-)

What's been going on with you? What are you reading? Have you had a good summer?

Have A Marvelously Magical Monday!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Pop A Cork! It's Release Day...

Happy Wednesday Everyone,

Wow! Can you believe it? It's release day for Perfect Love!

Perfect Love follows after the events in the first 3 books of the Immortal Dreams series (Divine Love, Astral Love, Immortal Love) and picks up several years after Immortal Love.

Perfect Love is Hailey, Laney's best friend's story. When I wrote the first 3 books I didn't think about Hailey's story until Immortal Love. It was then I thought, "Hmm. I don't know. I might write Hailey's story. Some time. I better give myself a jumping off point." That's where her letter to Laney near the end of the novel comes in. I needed a place for Hailey's story to start. I thought some people might pick up on it, but I didn't think it would be a big deal.

Imagine my surprise when nearly every reader asked me:  "Is Hailey an Immortal? Are you going to write her story, too?"

I had toyed with the idea of writing Hailey's story, but I wasn't sure. I didn't want to say much because I knew that it was possible the story wouldn't come to me. So I said "I would like to, but I don't know if it will happen."

And then, it did. The idea for Hailey's story came a lot sooner than I thought. And I discovered I had a leading man already built into the series. (You first meet Arion in Astral Love).

So I wrote Perfect Love. I already knew I wanted it to be about Hailey and Arion having to be perfect at everything. At one point, I thought it would be the first in a new series, but then I scratched that idea and decided it fit in with the rest of the Immortal Dreams books.

Perfect Love is a combination of a thank you to my readers for asking about Hailey (which was another form of motivation to write her story) and a gift to myself--showing myself I still had Immortal Dreams stories to write.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Hailey is sassy, straight-forward, and driven. Arion is a reformed partier-turned-gentleman trying to escape his past. Together, they're trying to figure out whether perfect sucks or if it's just perfect.

Currently Perfect Love is only available in Amazon Kindle. I'll let you know when and if that changes.

Have A Wonderfully Wishful-filled Wednesday!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Everybody Wants To PreOrder...

Happy Wednesday All,

Wow, I can't believe that Perfect Love's release is NEXT WEEK! It's incredible. Two years ago, I wasn't even sure this novel would
Book One
Where you first meet Hailey!
become a reality, but here we are!

Book Two
Where you first meet Arion!
(who is in PERFECT LOVE)
As I've mentioned before, there is a little something at the end of the story. It's meant to be a gift to my readers. Something fun, kind of a "thank you" for being so loyal and enthusiastic. Part of the reason Hailey's story became a reality is because you, my darling Immortal readers, asked me about her. I hadn't thought there would be so much interest, but I kept getting asked. I had wanted to write it, but I was afraid I couldn't. I left myself the opening at the end of Immortal Love just in case. So between the fact that I wanted to write her story and there was so much interest in it, it became a reality. So thank you, darling readers. Thank you so much for your kind words, awesome reviews, and asking me for this book. You all enjoying what I write makes my day. I really hope you enjoy
Book Three
At the end of which I left
myself an opening

Perfect Love!

Book 4
Hailey & Arion!
Perfect Love releases next week on June 7th, but you can Preorder it for your Kindle now. Just click here!

Have A Wonderfully Whimsical Wednesday!

Friday, May 26, 2017

5 Things I Didn't Know About...

Happy Friday All,

Lately I've been doing 5 Things About... type posts, and I like this format. Eventually I'll do other kinds of posts again, but for now, this seems to work. And yes, I don't have a consistent day, yet. Still trying to figure that out, but I am trying to post at least once a week.

So what's the 5 things topic today? 

5 Things I Didn't Know About Publishing

Years ago, before I really got serious about writing, I didn't know much about the publishing world. In fact, I'd say I knew next to nothing. I don't think I know everything now, or even half of what someone can know, but I know more than I did then, and so I thought I'd share some of that.

1.  I didn't know an author didn't HAVE to pay to publish his or her work.

This is a big one because it's a common misconception. Unless you are self-publishing, you do not pay up front to have your work published. Typically agents and publishers will take a percentage of what you make and you keep what's left. If you self-publish, depending on how you do it, you might keep more, but you could still end up giving a portion out to whatever you use to publish (like Amazon, etc.) in some cases, in self-publishing you might have up-front costs (like cover art). I don't pay for any of it up front because my publisher covers it, and takes a percentage of my royalties (what an author earns from sales of the book).

2.  Publishing is a waiting game.

You wait for email responses to queries/pitches/submissions. Agents and editors are INUNDATED with requests/pitches/queries, etc. It takes time for them to go through their inboxes and it takes time for them to go through manuscripts, and get things done. Very
few things in the publishing world happen quickly. Expect to wait. No one is super-fast at any of it (after all, it took you more than a day to write, polish, and format your work, right? You didn't finish in one day, and if you think you did, you probably have some editing and polishing left to do, or you wrote something very, very short--like a blog entry, novella, or an article).

3.  Typically you will do the majority of your promotional work.

Those glossy posters or displays you see at bookstores? That's not the norm. Especially if you're not well-known.

For my upcoming release,
I put together this graphic.
Not too many publishers do much promotional work in general. Some will do a little, but the majority of it is up to the author. This means you figure out Tweeting and Facebook posts. Unless you have an agent, you're the one scheduling appearances (unless you have a publisher that sends you on a book tour, but that's very rare, or someone approaches you for an appearance/event). So you have to get used to "blowing your own horn" so to speak. Get used to telling people you're a writer and what you write and what's published. All of that. Expect to pay for promotional items like bookmarks, or pens or whatever. There are ways to use cost-effective places for these things, but on bookmarks and business cards you can spend $25-$500 depending on what you do, where you have them printed, and how many you order. Business cards you can spend $25 or more for 250-500 business cards depending on where you go (I like Vistaprint and many authors really like Zazzle--I almost went with them--for business cards).  Some authors have gone to Next Day Flyers for items. I used Got Print at one point for one of my bookmarks. Also, I was told that Pens.Com is a good place to order some promotional items, but I haven't ordered from there, yet.

4. Every author has a stack of rejection letters. Yes, even the big names. And, very rarely will an agent or editor give you details on why your work was rejected.

An NY Times bestseller that I know personally has done many talks where she pulls out folders, and boxes, and suitcases full of
rejection slips of all shapes, sizes. Rejection happens. It can suck, but it doesn't mean you'll never sell your work.

Also, most rejection letters are form letters. In the rejection slip/letter you might get something along the lines of "Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately, this isn't what we're looking for at this time."

To deal with the sting of rejection, most authors (including myself) will recommend chocolate, wine, or some other comfort methods (perhaps a massage?)

What else can you do about it? You can dust yourself off, get up, and keep trying. Keep writing. 

5.  Writer's groups. I knew there were magazines and books for writers, but I had no idea about groups. I'm glad I found Romance Writers of America (RWA) and my local chapter. It's made a difference in my life and career.

Happy writing!

Have A Fabulously Fantastic Friday!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

5 Things Throwback Thursday Style...

Happy Thursday All,

In honor of Throwback Thursday, here's 5 things you might not know about yours truly...

1. I was never a fan of most boy bands...not even New Kids On The Block, N'Sync, or the Backstreet Boys, but I knew people who were. However, I've always liked the Ramones. And I am a fan of Straight No Chaser.

Me and Sarah on the occasion of her wedding
2.  I got a B in Shakespeare Class (the English course I took in high school). My friend, Sarah, (who died in 2013) tutored me. My learning disabilities made some of the lectures the teacher gave hard for me to understand, but I was too shy to tell the teacher that, so I asked Sarah for help. She got an A. LOL (Nowadays I'd probably ask, but back then I was too nervous--I'm sure my teacher would laugh to know this--she was a wonderful teacher, and I enjoyed having her for a teacher, I just was shy to ask for help from her).

3.  I took horseback riding lessons starting from around the time I was about 12 and continuing until I was about 16. I learned how to ride both English and Western styles. (I even did some low jumps in the English style riding).

4.  The only time I ever attended a school dance was my school's prom, and my date's school's prom senior year of high school. I never went to any other dances.

5.  I learned how to two-step at my wedding reception.

Have A Thrillingly Terrific Thursday!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

5 Things To Know About...

Happy Wednesday All,

As the time draws closer, I'm working on the edits from my publisher and getting ready for the big day...

RELEASE DAY for Perfect Love.

In preparation for the June 2017 release, here are 5 things you should know about Perfect Love:

1. It takes place years after the events at the end of Immortal Love.

2.  Hailey and Arion are the main point-of-view characters.

3.  Laney and Jason make cameos.

4.  There is a special surprise at the end of the story. (No, I'm not dropping any hints).

5.  I don't know whether or not it's the last book in the Immortal Dreams series. I haven't decided, yet. So, I've left myself an opening in case I continue the series. I'll let you, the reader, see if you can figure out the opening...you probably will...a lot of readers figured out Hailey's story was next. I'm sure you readers figure out the room I left myself in this one. (And no, this isn't the surprise, the surprise is something else).

So, the question you have to ask yourself now is...

Are you ready for Perfect?

June will be here soon!

Have A Wonderfully Whimsical Wednesday!