What an amazing year this has been! I’ve gotten to see so many of my readers on the Love Unscripted/Unrehearsed book tour, hugged a lot of you, praised husbands and boyfriends for carrying your piles of books at the signings, and taught a few out in Seattle the proper way to take “selfies” to make those pesky double-chins go away.  Many of you braved the cold in Boston, endured the heat and  humidity in Orlando, and flew around the globe just to hang out.

how cool of you

Thank you for making the 2013 tour memorable!

 

I’m so excited to take this opportunity to show you my new website! The amazing team of Rachel and Stephen over at CRE8D-DESIGN.COM hooked me up.  I hope you find it easy to navigate and informative. We are still working on some of the pages and links, but the rest is all live and ready for you to surf.

Oh, and then something else amazing happened last night. As if Christmas came early, I woke to a very sweet present.

13000 fb likes copy

This, of course, is totally a good reason for a celebration.  Totally.  13,000 of you like me? I hope you are all huggers, because I feel a massive group hug coming on. Okay, so maybe some of you are not into hugging; that’s cool.  How about a chance to win this instead?2013-09-17_112126

      2 Lucky winners will win one!

If you haven’t seen the new Paperwhite, it’s really cool.  It’s thin and backlit for those late night reading marathons. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t try to tell me you haven’t hid under the covers at least once, trying to get one more chapter in.

Due to overseas shipping costs, this is available to U.S. Residents only.

 

ONE of you will have a chance to win a set of Love Unscripted/Unrehearsed signed paperbacks.  This is open to INTERNATIONAL ENTRIES, TOO.

2x6_bookmark LOVE both covers copy

 

TEN of you will have a chance to win one of these – a $10 Gift Card from Amazon!

gift card

This is open to INTERNATIONAL RESIDENTS BUT MUST ACCEPT US DOLLAR ONLY. Currency conversions will NOT be made for winners. Please don’t ask.

 

 

 

 

 

THIRTEEN of you will have a chance to win a “LOVE IS UNSCRIPTED AND UNREHEARSED” bracelet, along with some signed swag.

THANKS FOR ALL THE LOVE!  GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And the winners of the 10,000 Likes on Facebook celebration giveaway are:

Kindle Fire – AMY ADAMS

Set of signed books – JENNIFER LAVIGUER

Set of signed books – BLAIR ACKERMAN

Custom made LU necklace – CHELSEY SEBUK

$25 Amazon E-Card – ANDREA BRONSON MILLER

$10 Amazon E-Card – NICHOLE CRIPPEN

$10 Amazon E-Card – TIFFANIE JONES

$10 Books-a-Million Gift Card – KATIE PRUITT MILLER

$10 Books-a-Million Gift Card – ROBBIE BAULDREE

Congratulations to all of the winners! Check your emails please as I’ve sent instructions to each of you. Thanks to all who entered!

Hitting 10,000 fans on Facebook is a major milestone, so what better way to celebrate and say “Thank YOU!” with another giveaway!

Prizes include a brand spankin’ new Kindle Fire 7″ 8 GB, a signed set of both Love Unscripted and Love Unrehearsed, a custom “Love Unscripted” necklace made by yours truly, and a bunch of Amazon gift cards.

Here are the rules for entry:

One entry per person. Amazon gift cards will be in ECARD format in US dollars only via Amazon.com. Winners must have a valid Amazon account to enter. Winner of the Kindle Fire must be a US Resident ONLY. Custom necklace, signed books, and gift cards are open to all international entries.

Contest ends this coming Sunday, April 21, 2013.

THANKS FOR ALL THE LOVE, FOLKS!  GOOD LUCK!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

I recently had the displeasure of reading some comments left by a disgruntled person on a fellow author’s blog following a celebratory moment of success.  The comments left were so harsh, I was shocked that such hate could come about from another’s success.

Before we continue, I totally stand behind the freedom of speech, but there is a fine line between expressing your educated opinion and personally attacking someone.

Let’s put this in perspective. 

If a reader posts, “I have no clue why this book is so successful. I found the dialog stilted and the plot lacking substance,” I can presume that the reader did not connect with the material.  Got it.  Everyone has different experiences from reading the same paragraph.  Even now, you as a reader, are forming interpretations of what I’m writing here because that is how adults process new material. We equate and compare new input to past knowledge, experiences, and situations. And no, I’m not just pulling that out of the air; I have read and studied tons of material on how adults learn because I used to be a corporate trainer, training adults, so my statement comes from years of psychological study.  It is why many book reviews refer to and compare to other published material that the reader has read prior.  “This book is a rip-off of Twilight.”  Sound familiar?

Back to point.  If a reader posts, “There is no way this book is worthy of 5 stars. You must have paid for all of those reviews and tricked the publisher into buying this load of crap, you fat bitch.  Your writing sucks. My dog can crap better work,” well, to me, that is way beyond a product review. 

So I’m left wondering – when did we as a population of consumers get so harshly opinionated? Can I presume or assume that the reviewer who felt compelled to “tell us how they really felt” is a disgruntled consumer or can he/she be a frustrated writer whose own work is not as successful? 

I don’t know about the type of home you grew up in, but my mother (and many others) reinforced the principle, “If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.”  But then again, I, as a consumer, have the full rights to be vocal and to rate a product any way I choose if it didn’t meet my expectations.

So let’s talk about expectations.  Books, novels, are a work of art.  Like a painting, movie, or a song, they are left to be interpreted by YOU.  Years ago, when I started reading, I never once had the desire or urge to write to an author to tell him how much his/her work sucked or may have offended me.  I often refer back to one of my first experiences reading “adult” material, which was “Flowers in the Attic” by V.C. Andrews.  It was brilliantly written, compelling, but dealt with very controversial topics for the time.  I’m sure she received a ton of flack back when her novel first published, but no matter how much negative press she received, the book took off and was loved by millions.  I couldn’t put the paperback down either (And Fran, if you’re reading this, I still have your paperback. I know it’s been like 30 years since you lent it to me. You can kick my butt for it next time I see you.  The book is on my bookshelf in the loft. I dust it often.)

When you buy a book, you are expected to be entertained for X amount of pages.  Let’s face it; that’s what reading IS.  It is entertainment. As a novelist, it is my job to entertain you.  Some may find me funny, some may find me annoying.  You are entitled to form your own opinion.

But when you reach out and post your opinion in a personal space, like on the artist’s very own blog, you are now directly infringing on the artist’s rights to have a blemish-free marketing tool.  As the owner of the marketing tool, you shouldn’t feel pressured or guilty if you decide to remove the hate-fueled rant left on your platform.

I think out of most of the “artists” out there, authors have made themselves the most accessible and available to interacting with their following.   If you wrote to Channing Tatum to tell him how hot he was in “Magic Mike” would he send you back an “aw, thanks so much! Hugs!” message to you?

Maybe he would.  I haven’t written to Channing so I honestly don’t know.  Would I send a message to Channing Tatum?  Hell no. If you’ve read my novels, you know where I stand on reaching out to movie stars.

Do I respond to everyone who writes to me?  Hell yes.  (Disclaimer – I don’t really answer mail on Goodreads or Twitter. I’m a Facebooker to the core. Hook up with me there and you’re guaranteed to get a reply.)

The point to all of this is this:  If you want to reach out and connect, do so positively.  If you didn’t like a novel, rate the work without resorting to name calling and being offensive.  (No, we as authors don’t have that many well-connected family members, family with tons of Amazon accounts to leave fake reviews, and most of us have been on a diet at least 5 times in our lifetimes so pointing out the size of our asses is truly pointless.)

If you feel so compelled to look up my website and leave me a hate-fueled rant on how much I suck, know that this is my zone and stuff like that has no place in my zone.  I would never come to your house and pee on your carpets so don’t expect me to tolerate if you come to mine and try to squat.

And the final point:  without readers, we, as novelists, are just words on a page.  A story that was in our heads that we had to put into a Word document.  We don’t start our days thinking about how we can effectively piss people off with shoddy writing.

All we did was try to entertain you.

Be kind.  Make the world a kinder place. Be an example to our future generations.

Thanks for listening.  HUGS.

I can’t wait for this!  I’m even going to go a bit fangirl as some of my favorite authors will be there too! 

Here is the link to the BAE event, March 16, 2013 in Boston!
Boston Author Event

http://bostonauthorevent.blogspot.com/

I love Aesta’s book blog.  See, I even have a link for her right over there on the left.  No, the left menu, silly.  Right there under Super Cool Blogs.  See it? 

Anyway, I’m glad to participate in this epic event where YOU the AMAZING READERS get a chance to ask your favorite authors a question or pose one to our characters.  This is so much fun!   You are going to flip when you see all of the authors in this thing.

So you want a chance at winning a signed copy of Love Unscripted?  I’ve got paperbacks now in preparation for the launch of the physical books this January. 

Click on the banner below to redirect.  Good Luck!!

I am happy to participate and support one of my favorite book bloggers, Autumn at http://www.autumnreview.com, celebrate the first anniversary of her blog. 

Enter for your chance to win copies from the awesome Jamie McGuire, Tracey Garvis-Graves, myself, Jenn Cooksey, and Courtney Cole!!

Here is the link to enter!  Good Luck!  http://www.autumnreview.com/2012/11/autumns-epically-awesome-one-year_27.html#more

I am proud to announce that Love Unrehearsed was nominated by thousands of readers to be a Goodreads Reader’s Choice in the 2012 contest! There are a lot of wonderful titles in the ROMANCE category; will I make it to the second round? I hope so. Still, I am just overjoyed that my novel was even nominated for this! Thank you to all the wonderful readers who nominated and voted for it! Bless you all.

 

I received the following question from a reader, and I thought more of you might like to know the answer to it, so here goes:

 

The QUESTION:

 I am just curious, where did you get your insight on what it is like to be a celebrity and be followed like Ryan and Taryn are? Also, what it is like to have a bodyguard, do movies, walk the red carpet and so on and on and on. For a while, while I was reading the books I wondered if it was a celebrity writing it under a ghost name. It really became quite real to me for a while. Very interesting. These books really got under my skin and gave me a real inside look on the side of things from a celebrity point of view. Thanks again for that.

The ANSWER:

It all came from doing hundreds of hours of research.  I’ve watched tons of film footage and Youtube videos. I’ve studied celebrity interviews, behind the scenes footage, and thousands of paparazzi shots to get the inside look at everything from celebrities arriving at premiers to them running from fans and photograhers.  While you are busy watching the celebrity arrival, I’m watching what’s going on around them.  How does their bodyguards move them from place to place?  What role does the manager, the agent, the publicist play in the appearance? 

I scour through celebrity gossip sites, gleaning as much as I can.  I’ve interviewed a bodyguard who has worked private detail in NYC for several well-known celebrities.  I’ve also researched how to become a bodyguard, programs and courses available, and noted that female bodyguards are in demand.  Why?  Because they tend to blend in more with the celebrity entourage.  You know Prince Williams’ wife, Kate?  She has a female bodyguard who is just as lethal as any male.   Assailants don’t consider females to be a challenge or that they are even part of the security team, until SHE has you flat on your ass.  Lady Gaga has two bodyguards.  Recently she was filmed leaving her hotel and while she was still in the lobby, an enamoured male fan tried to get her autograph.  The two man team was important; one has the job of securing the primary (the celebrity) while the other neutralizes the threat.  Her bodyguard kneeled on the guy’s head until Lady Gaga was secure in her car. 

I have an entire binder of film terminology, movie crew job title descriptions, publicity agreements, appearance riders, and have researched several celebrity lawsuits.  I may or may not have copies of police handbook to classify offenses.  I interviewed about 5 police officers just for the scene where Ryan scuffles with the photographer in Pittsburgh. 

 In Love Unscripted, the police/ambulance scene was choreographed with a friend who is an EMT.   

 So in summary, no – I’m not a celebrity hiding behind a ficticious name.  I’m just a mom, a wife, and a tenacious researcher, doing what I can to make it as real as possible.

Nook Giveaway

 UPDATE:  AND THE WINNER IS!!!

Congratulations to Jamie Kiser, winner of the fancy shmancy Nook Tablet in my latest giveaway!!! Thanks to all who entered. ♥

Time to give away a brand spankin’ new 8 GB Nook Tablet to one lucky winner!  Enter below to win!

 

Good luck !!