It’s Here!

SSR Front CoverMy new book SNAKE RIVER RENDEZVOUS was released on June 15th!

Here is the back blurb:

“Live dangerously,” he joked.

She had no idea how serious

the danger would become.

The dilapidated motel and gas station next to the Snake River look like the set for a zombie movie—and Hailey Burke has just inherited the whole mess after finishing college. Now, armed with a business degree, a crowbar, and a few cans of paint, Hailey is setting out to make a calm, practical living for herself. Until a man she knew for one day, and lost oh-so-many years ago steps through the door.

FBI agent Jacob Hayden Robie is on a search for a terrorist hideout somewhere between Salisbury Junction and the Snake River in northeastern Oregon. The old motel by the freeway is his best bet for a distraction-free central location, even if its owner is the one who got away. Someone around her, though, is the man or woman he’s hunting. To flush out the enemy, he’ll have to hide his real identity—and his feelings for Hailey—even if it means she’ll never trust him again.

To buy online, go to this Amazon Link: SNAKE RIVER RENDEZVOUS

The Third Call

By the time I sold my first book, I’d already had it critiqued many times and few editorial changes were needed. With my second book, I had one person critique the first chapter and the publisher/editor made the other changes. I think we went back and forth six times before it was ready for a contract. I’ve heard this happens to authors when the second submission isn’t as finely tuned as the first and the agent or editor likes the story enough to spend time making the story work. I was lucky.

The first sale was surreal. The second had so many changes that over time I realized that it would sell and I was prepared for the good news. The third contract was offered by email about three weeks after I’d submitted it. She didn’t say please change blah, add blah. Take out blah, blah. It was just, “I want to offer you a contract…” I was caught off guard and squealed with delight.

I immediately wondered if perhaps my first attempt at another genre besides contemporary (a historical novella) was my fit, what I should have been writing all along. Just maybe I’d finally found my true calling. Why yes, of course. But when I told my brother-in-law about my new revelation, he said something perhaps more realistic. He said that he’s been a carpenter for many years. His first attempt at building wasn’t remarkable compared to what he could do now. “I imagine it is the same for you,” he said. He’s right you know; practice makes perfect.

I know for sure that I’ve written 6 1/2 manuscripts and I should get better along the way. I’ve learned from critique partners, conferences, blogs, books on the craft, reading how others put words on the page. Time, plus all of this, makes me a better writer. I suppose it is more “romantic” to think that I’m only better because I’m called to do a particular work.

All but one of the stories I write take place in the mountains of Northeast Oregon, an area rich in gold mining history. My third book, I mentioned above, is called WANTING MOORE and it goes like this:

Independent beyond what’s good for her, Isabella Moore leaves her brothers and parents in Prairie City in search of her true calling. Traveling to Haines, Oregon, by way of the historic Bourne-Haines Stage Road, she runs across the type of people from whom she’d been sheltered, leading to an accident and a man she’d only dreamed about.

Blacksmith Gabriel Stone saw enough of death during the Civil War to last him a lifetime. To him, Isabella is a broken wildflower in need of his care-but caring for her may bring back unwanted memories of this former life as a doctor. And dare he entrust his heart to a woman filled with ideas of gold mining and adventure?

They were lost until love put them back on the right path.

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Wanting-Moore-ebook/dp/B0058IY06E/ref=sr_1_16?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1309711735&sr=1-16

New Book on the Horizon!

The new book is finished! Whew! I just now sent it to a couple of people to read and then off to the publisher to see if it works for them. It’s a trip back to Salisbury Junction, re-visiting some of the characters of Maya’s Gold and A Place to Land. The hero is an FBI agent looking for a terrorist and the heroine is restoring her family’s motel. No name for this baby yet.

Self-Publishing 4

aHauntTRILLIUMfallsCVR01Do it yourself self-publishing can be a scary thought, but if you can write a book and get it ready to publish, then you do have enough skills to get that book out there. I took the plunge and so can you.

What made me change my attitude from scary to possible? Sure, I talked to others who had done it, but I was still hesitant, until I came across a book by Lucinda Moebius called Write Well Publish Right. First of all, I was interested in reading a book about writing from a high school and college teacher. Her book is what she teaches her students from beginning to the end at publishing. Mainly, I thought maybe I could implement some of her concepts into ideas for teaching language to small groups. Moreover, what I really took away from this book is that it is possible for me to self-publish a book.

Lucinda states that it is easy with the use of the formatting guides available through ePublishing platforms. She hired a formatter for the Kindle version of her science fiction books, but formatted the Smashwords version on her own. Also, she had help with her cover, hired an editor, and went through Amazon CreateSpace as her printer. Many times she states that it is up to you to do your own research and do what is best for you.

Yes, she inspired me, so I went to createspace.com and got started. There an author can put in the title and paste in your manuscript and cover. Remember you have to have an ISBN number for your e-book, another one for your print book and CreateSpace can provide them for you. I did have to hire help with the e-book, my son did the front cover work, then I hired Fiverr for the spine and back cover for which I paid a little extra. Instead of five dollars with Fiverr, it was ten dollars and I’m very happy with their work.

I learned that the CreateSpace process for me was somewhere between adding art and print to a Vistaprint writing advertisement to doing my own taxes (on an easier year).

Yesterday, I went to hear multi-published author, Joanne Pence, give a talk about self-publishing at my local writers group in the Boise area. After already using CreateSpace, I learned the following information:

For those of you that want to add a publishing name to their self-pubbed books, Joanne says that you can go through SBA.GOV for your assumed business name. Registering a name will cost you $25.00. For my writing business name of Melland Publishing, LLC, I went through the Secretary of Idaho and paid $100.

Joanne also says that off-white or cream is the paper color of most fiction books. The 6 x 9 inch book size is becoming the industry standard and costs less than a book sized 5 ½ x 8 1/2 inches. You can buy a cheaper, older version of Adobe Photoshop on eBay for making your own covers.

Finally, Joanne adds that, especially for multi-published authors, the value of going to kdp.amazon.com and using them exclusively to sell your e-book for your first 90 days can give you five free days on Amazon. It’s a way to get your name out there in hopes of readers choosing to buy and read your other books. After 90 days you can renew with them, or you can put your book into an .epub format and download it to other bookselling sites.

Yet, as Lucinda says, you need to do your own study and then decide what is best for you.