Drifting Along With the Tumbling Tumbleweeds

Today I had a second to walk off and catch my breath and a feeling washed over me that I described as feeling as if I’m tumbling through time. Not tumbling at any particular angle but just like a tumbleweed on a flat surface. I need to just stop for a minute and get myself in order.

PUBSLUSH:

My Pubslush campaign ended last night. No, I didn’t even come close to my goal but it was an interesting and sometimes frustrating experiment in crowdfunding but only frustrating due to the negativity I saw in regards to the whole process. I never let it get to me and never once turned back. I kept tumbling along and saw it through to the end. That’s how I roll. (Yeah I know…you saw what I did there) The most important part of this section is this: THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO DONATED TO MY CAMPAIGN!!!! YOU ALL ROCK!!!

WRITING:

I haven’t had much time to work on my sequels to either of my novel series’ because my life has been a little out of sync but the outlines are done and I know how I write when the fire takes hold so I’m not worried that at least one of them will be ready to head off to the editor by January. Hang in there folks. I promise they are in the works.

COLLABORATING:

I’ve recently joined the wonderful  LIT WORLD INTERVIEWS web site as a contributor. I’ve been working on my first article for days and since I’m contributing, I want to make sure what I have to offer is worthy of Ronovan’s hard work in building this site. I don’t mind a face plant now and again because it keeps me grounded but turf in my own face-mask is fine. Putting turf in a team mate’s isn’t. I’ll be working along side several wonderful writers so this is an honor.

NANOWRIMO:

Yep. I’m in. I’m hoping the stress keeps the brain cells firing and puts me back on the writing track with a whip and a chair. I’m ready. Let’s do this.

BOOK MARKETING:

I can always use some help with this. If anyone feels like tossing out some retweets and Facebook posts or reblogs, I promise to return the favor. I’m hoping to get some more reviews from all of the free advanced copies I gave away. HINT HINT. So far the feedback on The Blue Diamond has been fantastic and humbling at the same time.  I’m here for the taking if you have an empty white space to fill. I’m ready when you are. I’m also thinking about a book trailer. I dear friend gave me some great ideas today. Now to find the time to do it.

DAY JOB:

Yep. 40 hours a week. Selling, admining, advertising, marketing and herding cats in the printer and copier business.

BOOK SIGNING PARTY:

My better than I deserve family and friends have joined forces to help me throw a big, fun filled afternoon–pirate style!!! They’ve been procuring, collecting and assembling some awesome raffle items and door prizes. If you’re in the Baltimore metro area, order yourself a book from Amazon and come on down! Here’s the link to my event on Facebook. Pirate attire is not mandatory but yours truly will definitely be wearing hers.

FAMILY LIFE:

Beautiful…love them all.

So, this tumbling tumbleweed may be riding all day long but at least I’m headed in the right direction. I know I’ll get there if my mind and body hold out.

I am so blessed but I could really use a good stiff wind to blow me down the road.

 

So now my friends, it’s time to roll on off and get some shut eye. 😉 No time to edit this…ignore the typos until tomorrow. XOXO
Sons Of The Pioneers – Tumbling Tumbleweeds

I’m a roaming cowboy riding all day long,
Tumbleweeds around me sing their lonely song.
Nights underneath the prairie moon,
I ride along and sing this tune.

See them tumbling down
Pledging their love to the ground
Lonely but free I’ll be found
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.

Cares of the past are behind
Nowhere to go but I’ll find
Just where the trail will wind
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.

I know when night has gone
That a new world’s born at dawn.

I’ll keep rolling along
Deep in my heart is a song
Here on the range I belong
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.

An Update on My #Pubslush and A Personal Commentary About the Literary #Crowdfunding Contraversy

I’ve posted several times here that I was fortunate enough to win my Pubslush campaign through a pitch contest for Pubslush and Booklogix. This isn’t something I set out to undertake but I figured due to my current financial situation, what did I have to lose? Creativity and the arts are something I am passionate about and I see absolutely nothing wrong with anyone trying to raise funds for their project–no matter what it is. If a person can raise thousands of dollars for potato salad…you know what I’m saying? People do it all of time for movies, businesses etc. Why not books?

Apparently, there are some authors out there who feel it is wrong to participate in crowdfunding in order to either publish your book or for whatever other reason you want to use the funds for. According to some, it is beneath them and they would never think of asking anyone to help them out. Well bully for you! Of course, the few I’ve seen say this are best selling authors who write full time and apparently do quite well and have for some time now. Unfortunately, many of us still have to work a day job and perhaps have just as much talent but lack the financial security to afford our own marketing. Some of us work our asses off just like you and still can’t make ends meet. So, does that still make us slackers in your book?

Why am I explaining myself? Why should I even have to?

What difference does it make how I fund the marketing for my book? That’s my business. It’s my choice and although you are entitled to your own condescending opinion, how dare any of you assume I don’t work my ass off in every aspect of my life, let alone my writing?

I don’t see anyone twisting arms for donations. Perhaps there are some people who may go about marketing it the wrong way but they don’t deserve to be publicly stoned for making bad choices…assuming of course they are bad to anyone but you. Here’s an example of a scenario that may help you see what I mean: You’re walking down the street and someone asks you for a dollar for whatever. Do you stop and say, “Get a job you loser!?”

Of course you don’t! You just keep walking if you don’t want to give.

Well basically, that is what these authors are saying about their peers. How about if you don’t want to donate, just walk on by or ignore the email or blog post? How about hitting the old delete button? How about not being so catty and self righteous about how people choose to go about their business?  How about not being so judgmental of others and making assumptions that this person or that person doesn’t work hard…just like you did/do? What about live and let live?

A while back, another best selling author pulled me aside and told me not to toot my own horn too loudly because there are some authors who will want to stuff a sock in it. I truly didn’t want to believe this but unfortunately, now I understand. To be honest, the majority of authors I have met or developed relationships with have been the most supportive, encouraging and generous souls I could have imagined. I’ll never allow a few bad apples to spoil my pie.

I’ve held this in for quite some time now and I have touched on it before but I finally saw and heard enough and I want the record to state that I’m not out here panhandling to fund my book marketing. I am a dedicated, hard working author who just happens to want to sell my books, quit my day job sooner rather than later and also be able to keep my lights on.

If crowdfunding books is something you don’t agree with then by all means, walk on by, there’s nothing to see here. But if you believe investing in someone like me is worth your hard earned dime, I appreciate you more than you know.

Can we all just get back to writing the best books we can and do what’s best for our readers? After all, they are the most important people in all of this.

Here is the link to my Pubslush and I’m damn proud of it!  

Let The Blue Diamond #Blog #Tour Begin!

Even though it feels like it’s taken forever to get here, today, October 1, 2014 marks the first official day of my virtual book tour for The Blue Diamond – The Razor’s Edge.

The Blue Diamond

Here is the official link to my publisher’s blog tour page.

Here are all of the sites and links:

9/23 – Lit World Interviews

9/29 – Ch’kara SilverWolf

10/1 – Author Leigh Michaels (Guest Post)

10/1 – Coffee, Books and Art  (Posted)
10/1 – The Book News Journal (Posted)
10/1 – Sammy the Bookworm (Not Yet Live)
10/9 – Beach Bound Books (Review)
10/10 – Elizabeth McKenna (Interview)
10/18 – Books Direct (Guest Post)
10/18 – Book Lover’s Life (Guest Post)
10/19 – CBY Book Club (Guest Post)
10/30 – My Fictional World (Review)
11/1 – Willow’s Author Love (Guest Post)
11/1 – Ms. Nose in a Book (Review)
11/3 – A Place in the Spotlight (Guest Post)
All Amazon Links:
US – IN – UK – DE – FR – ES – IT – JP – BR – CA – MX – AU
Thank you so much for stopping by!

How Readers Talk to Each Other – VS – A Synopsis

I often blog about finding readers. Tonight, although in a bit of a pizza coma–overdid it just a pinch–I started reading back over a synopsis I was working on and decided it’s a little difficult to generate interest in a novel without at least letting readers in on what they’re getting for their time and money.

For a little while, I sat here with my heavily lidded eyes and a cup of coffee, and figuratively stepped outside of the author and back into the reader and recalled conversations with friends and relatives when we would ask each other that all too important question about a book they’ve read;

“So, what’s it about?”

I rambled on as they can all testify to, starting at the beginning and many, many minutes later, it dawned on me giving a synopsis of a 376 page manuscript is HARD. Okay, if you are a writer, it isn’t as if you didn’t already know that but even when you try to tell someone about a television show or a movie you watched, how do you explain something you enjoyed and are excited about without blabbing on and on until you’ve practically ruined it for them?

I’ve read many other authors’ advice on how to write a synopsis without giving it all away but honestly, when you compare the telling with the doing, it’s like telling someone how to drive a car and handing them the keys.

CRASH!!!!

So, here I am about to give you my best shot at a synopsis for “The Blue Diamond,” because I want you to get excited and one: of course buy the book when it is released on October 1st and two: be interested enough to perhaps even support my Pubslush campaign so that I can afford to market it to the masses.

There is also a three, which is the cherry on top; I want you to recommend it to your historical fiction, romance and adventure loving reader friends! After all, from everything I’ve read and from experience, word of mouth is absolutely the overall best way to find your readers.

So, without any further pizza coma babble from me, I give you my heart, my pirate alter-ego, my female powered tale of fortune and romantic woe…a best effort synopsis of “The Blue Diamond – The Razor’s Edge.”

First, the blurb:

Ivory Shepard didn’t want to be a pirate when she grew up but she didn’t plan on being orphaned and alone at thirteen with her three cousins either.

After a Spanish raid in Charles Towne left them with nothing, Ivory held her cousins together, trained them to fight for their lives and led them to a life of quiet refuge on the banks of the Ashley River. Out of reach of the hands of unscrupulous men, they found life on the farm a tolerable substitute for the traditional alternatives life would force onto them—until the night the pirates showed up.

Setting foot on that first pirate ship was nothing compared to the life of freedom and adventure awaiting them, once Ivory and the girls were through playing nice. Only one man believes he can stop her and he won’t need a ship full of guns to do it.

If it were only that easy…

The quick and simple aka the “Let me tell you real quick ’cause I’m in a hurry!”:

When four young women take a leap into the Golden Age of piracy, they not only survive, they thrive and blaze a trail of freedom and adventure. The greatest quest of all begins when they capture a merchant ship smuggling diamonds, of which Ivory happily relieves them, as well as the ship itself.

However, she isn’t the only one who knows the diamonds exist—most of all, the large and valuable blue one. In the end, her true mission becomes trying to prove she can have it all on her own terms; true love, the blue diamond and her freedom.

Now for the big ramble aka the “Damn, you have to read this!” aka a phone call between myself and my sister-in-law Kim and how that would play out if I were simply telling her about the book as a reader:

P – Hey girl, let me tell you about this book I finished writing over the weekend.

K – Okay cool! What’s it about?

P – Well it takes place around 1700 and there are these four cousins. Wait, think Charlie’s Angels meets Pirates of the Caribbean but anyway…they came to America when they were little with their great aunt and uncle and settled in Charles Towne, South Carolina but when they were like, thirteen, the Spanish raided the town and murdered their aunt and uncle, leaving them orphans.

K – Awww…so then what?

P – Well, they had to work as maids and what not but the eldest one—her name is Ivory Shepard, well, she more or less protects them and teaches them how to take care of themselves and how to fight and what not. Apparently, she’s been doing more than cooking and cleaning to earn a living but anyway, they manage to save up enough money to buy a little farm on the bank of the Ashley River—that’s the river that..

K – Whatever, just tell me what happens.

P – Okay, well, one night, these pirates are raiding the farms along the riverbank and they come to hit the girls’ little farm but the girls see them coming and take care of business! So, they put their heads together because they know the pirates won’t take what happened lying down so they get ready for another attack but what happens is, they end up going with the pirates to Jamaica to start their lives over as free women. Of course that’s after Ivory kicks the captain’s butt and…

K – Holy crap! How old are they?

P – They’re like in their late teens when this happens. This is just the background stuff Kim but the story starts out when they’re already established as pirates themselves and Ivory has this ship called the Blue Diamond and this other pirate—super hottie too, imagine Henry Cavill here okay?

K – Who?

P – Henry Cavill, the guy who plays Superman nut!

Cavill2

K – Oh! Ohhhhh…..

P – Anyway, so he blows her ship to bits and she escapes in like a dinghy but ends up floating around for days before he sends his men to capture her and he holds her prisoner in his house in Kingston which is like across the bay from port Royal but anyway, she has a bounty on her head of fifty thousand pounds and he makes a deal with the guard that if he turns her over, he’ll not only collect the reward but he’ll get a pardon for all of his own pirating.

K – So what does she do? Does she get away? What’s the reward for?

P – Well I can’t tell you everything but over a few days while she’s held captive, something sparks between them and holy crap girl, they hook up one night and it’s like fireworks on the fourth of July!

K – Hot stuff aye?

P – Oh yeah but well, you know they are both pirates so there’s no such thing as happily ever after and neither one trusts the other so regardless of the cherry bombs and sparkles, he’s not letting her go.

K – Get out of here!

P – No, seriously. He’s hell bent on that money, even though you know something’s going on there beneath the surface and the tide could turn at any moment.

January Jones HD Photo -104

K – Oh haha, I see what you did there. So does she get away or what?

P – Seriously? You want me to tell you the whole damn book? What’s the point in that?

K – Okay well at least tell me a little about the other characters.

P – Okay well Maddox has this quartermaster named Alphonse Green. Another super hottie, he’s Jamaican and well, let’s just say there’s some history there with Ivory’s cousin Cassandra. Cassandra or Cass as they call her is the voice of reason in the bunch. Then there’s Keara who’s like a little drill sergeant and keeps everyone in line. Then there’s Miranda, she’s the lover of the bunch but she gets herself in a bit over her head with her love of the men lol

K – Damn, I have to get this book…

P – Wait, I haven’t even told you about the diamonds yet! That ship Maddox blew up to get to her belonged to an English merchant company and apparently, they were smuggling some diamonds and Ivory took them when she took the ship. In the bag was this one big blue diamond worth a whole lot of money girl.

K – Ahhh…so that’s where the blue diamond comes in.

P – Yes. Well, let’s just say that she’s not the only one who knows about the diamonds and the plot thickens as they say.

K – So do the cousins rescue her or not?

P – Wait, I didn’t tell you about Richard. He’s Maddox’s cabin boy aboard his ship, the Black Cat and he’s so adorable and sweet—sweet on Ivory that is, and I didn’t tell you about Zara his housekeeper either.

K – Never mind, just tell me when I can get a copy of the book!

P – Well, it comes out on October 1st but since I love you, I may let you read it now.

K – Hand it over or walk the plank, Peg!

P – Now you know pirates didn’t really do that, right?

K – Book, please?

P – Check your e-mail. Bye!

tbd_preview

PubSlush is Complete and Ready to Go – Let’s Do This!

I finished my PubSlush campaign last night and it has been approved!

First, here’s a little video to give you more information about PubSlush and their mission.

The Pubslush Cause from Pubslush on Vimeo.

I’d be ever so grateful if you’d go take a peek at it and perhaps even register as a fan to receive updates on my progress. 🙂 Just click on Ivory below to go to my PubSlush Profile.

tbd_preview

Although the official launch date isn’t until September 1, 2014, I’m so excited and grateful for this opportunity to be able to take part in such an innovative concept in crowd-funding.

If you follow my blog, you know I won this opportunity through a pitch contest for my new book, “The Blue Diamond – The Razor’s Edge.” I’m very proud of this book, as I’ve moved my writing in another direction and although I was afraid in the beginning to take such a leap, I’m still in the genre I love but trying out a different angle and story type–romance and adventure.

September 1st is going to be a pretty big day all the way around because that is also the day I find out if “Fireflies” has won in either category in the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards contest. There are so many wonderful books in my category and as cliche as it sounds, I’m just thrilled to be a finalist in their company. Of course I’d love to win but it’s been a thrill to just have that finalist badge on my book cover.

“The Blue Diamond” will be released on October 1, 2014 and I’m putting my blog tour together with the assistance of my incredible publisher, Ravenswood Publishing.  If you’d like to participate in my blog tour, please e-mail me at authorpsbartlett@aol.com.

Thank you all so much as always for stopping to read my ramblings.

Have a wonderful night!

Sorry for my absence. Here’s my excuse note…

I’ve been both busy and lazy for a few days.

I’ve just recovered from pneumonia and a bit of exhaustion set in. I realized I was pushing myself too hard, so besides a few hours at the Inn Saturday evening having some hard apple cider with my favorite crew, watching pre-season football, I slept this weekend…a LOT. What lead me to snoozeville was a weeks worth of working on my future and trying to align the stars. Aligning stars takes a lot of hard work and lack of sleep. So…

Pirate cartoon2

Let’s get on with the busy, shall we?

I usually do my best not to put too many irons in the fire but lately, I realize that there are times when you have to in order to forge ahead. (Yep, I know you saw what I did there)

I’m on a mission to hire an advertising and marketing company to assist me with promoting my books. They cost a lotta loot folks. Money is something I am in very short supply of.

When I think back a hundred years and beyond to those famous writers who had benefactors or were already wealthy, I want to punch them in the nose. Okay no, not really but having someone or someones to sponsor you so that you can take your writing to the next level is no longer a thing of the past thanks to crowdfunding.

I’ve been mentioning here and there over the past month about my PubSlush campaign which launches on September 1st. There is quite a bit that goes into one of these campaigns and as of this evening, mine is finally complete and ready to go. I’m hoping that sometime tomorrow, it will be live on the site and showing the countdown clock to when the campaign actually starts.

My PubSlush goal is $5,000 but I hope to surpass that over the 45 days it will be up and running. Please wish me luck and if the notion strikes you, feel free to donate too.

I will be doing some smaller fund raisers as well, starting with a Facebook Partylite event. Here’s the link if you’d like to see what that’s all about. If you like candles and pretty decorative ways to show them off, Partylite has everything you need. One of my oldest and dearest friends is running the event for me and she is donating 25% of the proceeds to my marketing fund. How cool is that?!

Pirate cartoon

Since “The Blue Diamond” will be released on October 1st, my awesome sister-in-law came up with the idea for us to do a pirate themed book signing at our favorite watering hole the week of Halloween, complete with pirate costumes. I’ll be sure to post some photos of this unconventional yet brilliant idea for a book signing event!

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I’ve also been working nightly on my edits. I found an editor who is both excellent and loves my book. Now there’s a plus! We’re like peas and carrots or rather a skull and crossbones…let’s just say we work extremely well together and the book is getting better by the day!

Tonight, I donated three autographed copies of each; “Fireflies” and “Hope From the Ocean” to my county library system for Goodreads raffles. That felt great!

Still have the day job…for now, so it’s time for some shut eye mateys.

Fair winds!

Thanks to KDP you may now PRE-ORDER your copy of “THE BLUE DIAMOND!”

Pre-Order your copy today!

The Blue Diamond - The Razor's Edge

The Blue Diamond – The Razor’s Edge

 

Ivory Shepard didn’t want to be a pirate when she grew up but she didn’t plan on being orphaned and alone at thirteen with her three cousins either.

After a Spanish raid in Charles Towne left them with nothing, Ivory held her cousins together, trained them to fight for their lives and led them to a life of quiet refuge on the banks of the Ashley River. Out of reach of the hands of unscrupulous men, they found life on the farm a tolerable substitute for the traditional alternatives life would force onto them—until the night the pirates showed up.

Setting foot on that first pirate ship was nothing compared to the life of freedom and adventure awaiting them, once Ivory and the girls were through playing nice. Only one man believes he can stop her and he won’t need a ship full of guns to do it.

If it were only that easy…BD