Tag Archives: In Plain Sight

Reviews and FAQs

I got my first official Amazon review!!!

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It’s a solid 3-Stars and overall very positive, along with some very good feedback that I absolutely appreciate. Some of the issues were things that I was aware of – a general use of more casual/modern language in places (and that was a choice I made, even knowing it would likely be an issue for some), while others were things that, quite honestly, I just missed, even though I was careful about researching particular things.

I will probably make a separate FAQ page as time goes by, but for now, I wanted to address some things just to clarify for myself (and anyone else who might have been wondering), but also, particularly for the things I missed – so I know to do better next time!

To start – though it was not a common name, and to be sure it was more often seen as a surname, Rylee as a name is not a completely modern thing. At least not according to my search through Ancestry records of the mid-1800s. In Ry’s case, it was her mother’s family name that her father, in his grief, decided would make a great baby name for his newborn daughter as a way to honor his wife.

While I did spend quite a bit of time looking up individual words to ensure that they were not too out of place – I missed “mantra” completely. I can honestly say I didn’t even think twice about it as I was writing it, or any of the numerous times that I read back over it in the various editing phases. The same goes for “kudzu.” That stuff is all over the place and it never occurred to me that it hasn’t always been that way. But I learned something new, so today is a good day!! XD

I really can’t tell you all how much I value thoughtful, specific feedback like this, because no matter how much we, as authors, think we’ve covered all our bases, there’s always stuff we’ve missed (and I will endeavor to be much more detailed in the future). But if our awesome readers don’t tell us – we might never know. So please – and this isn’t just for In Plain Sight (or any other of my books to come) but for anything you read past or future from other authors – when you read something, especially if you really like it, write a review. Be enthusiastic about what you liked, but if there are issues, don’t be afraid to mention what things didn’t quite work for you. For my books, if there is something truly glaring that you come across, you can also always message me if you don’t want to leave negative public feedback.

I was browsing through the reviews I’ve done for others over the years, and realized that I actually haven’t done that many, which is a travesty because I do read frequently. Not quite as voraciously as I used to, but still… the lack of reviews I’ve done is pretty appalling. I aim to fix that and I  want to challenge my readers to do the same. Especially for books that you really like and/or authors who are not as well known, your review can make a difference to other readers who are considering reading that book. So if you’ve got thoughts about a book, be sure to share them and encourage others to do the same!!

 

Countdown: One Week To Go!!

It’s hard to believe it, but In Plain Sight will released into the wild this time next week. From concept to completion, the telling Ry’s story has been a long time coming – over 10 years. For those of you who have stuck with me along the way,  there aren’t words enough to express how thankful I am for your support and feedback. I couldn’t have done it without you.

allmylove
Giphy

Anyway, to celebrate, I’m having a little release party over on Facebook on August 7th from 7p to 11p EST. Drop on by anytime during that time to hang out and party! Lots of fun and maybe even a few giveaways!! Can’t wait!!!

PS… Don’t forget that I’m donating 50% of all presale royalties to help a friend in need (you can read all about it here). So it’s a good time to get a great book to read and help someone out of a rough situation. ❤

 

 

Best Laid Plans…

So… apparently (even though it said it would take 6-8 weeks), there are print copies of IPS available in various places. I’m waiting on an email to see what can be done to reverse this (if anything) – because I really, really wanted the release date to be August 7th. For REASONS!!

If not, I’ll eventually get over it, but either way, you may want to wait a bit before buying a physical copy. I mean, as much as I would LOVE for you buy my lovely little book (GO RIGHT NOW>>> BUY IT!!!), I don’t want any of you to pay the $14.75 sticker price that is currently listed.  Eww!

On release day (August 7th) or shortly there after, the Amazon price for the paperback will be just under $10. It’s still a bit higher than I want it to be, but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. I had to split distribution (hence the early release hiccup), because if I did it all in one place, I would have been stuck with just the higher price and honestly – I wouldn’t pay that much for a book (I mean… potentially I would… but it would really depend on the book). And I know I’m awesome, but $15 is a lot to ask for an unknown author’s first book. So yeah, just hang tight a little longer!

Obviously, the Kindle version, which is currently up for pre-sale*, is the best deal (I have so much more leeway with that pricing). But I also know that some people really, really like having a physical book in their hands. In the meantime, I just want to make sure that you aren’t overpaying.

🙂

 

* Don’t forget – 50% of all pre-sale royalties are being donated. (read more about it here)

A Little Fundraiser

L and V
Credit: Shot in the Dark Photography

I recently had a friend who passed away after a long battle with stage IV breast cancer. She was an amazing woman and a true fighter, and though she was very much not ready to go (nor were any of us ready to lose her), sometimes cancer just doesn’t care about our own desires.

My primary way of dealing with grief has always been to just keep as busy as possible, all while not talking much about it – and this is pretty much what I’ve been doing. However, I have also been wanting to do something to help raise funds for her fiance because I know he’s still got a lot to take care of even while struggling with his own grief. So I got to thinking, since my debut novel In Plain Sight is coming out on August 7th, and with the Kindle version currently available for presale on Amazon, I am going to donate 50% of all presale royalties raised between now and August 7th to her fiance’s GoFund Me campaign.

I invite you all to help me make this an epic gift in Larissa’s honor!

 

Release Date for In Plain Sight

In Plain Sight preorder

My debut novel, In Plain Sight, will be released on August 7, 2018!! The Kindle version is currently available for pre-order on Amazon. Print copies will also be available by that date (not sure about pre-order yet).

For those of you who have been working with me on this project over the years, you may recall that particular day is a significant one in the book. Once I realized how close I was to getting everything together and ready for publishing , it quickly became clear that was the perfect day to launch Ry and Eli’s story into the universe.

I’m still working on pricing for the print copies – that’s my main hold up at the moment, now that I’ve finished all the last minute editing. My original set up is pricing a lot higher than I want it to (due to some of the distribution options I’ve picked), so I’m going to fiddle around with it some more to see if I can’t get the price down some. Either way, the Kindle version will be $3.99 when it’s released, and for those that don’t have a Kindle, there is a free Kindle reader app that is available for almost any device. But if you are like me, having a physical book in-hand is a lovely thing, so I will definitely continue to look for a solution that allow that happen in the best possible way.

I’m so happy the way this all worked out and I really can’t wait to share my book with you all.

 

An Editor’s Work Is Never Done

Take notice… this is why we always order a proof copy first!!

corrections

I really thought I was done editing, but as I was reading through, I found a lot more issues than I was expecting. Thankfully, most of it was minor stuff – spacing, a few random typos, duplicated words in short proximity, etc… I mean, it was probably fine as it was, but if I noticed them, I’m sure someone else would have too.

I expect that there are still things I’ve missed (and once it’s released, if you find something please let me know), but at this point I really think I’ve done just about as much as I can to it. Of course, I thought that before too.

What? I’m a perfectionist. I can’t help it. XD

 

Proof In Hand

IPS proof

I have the proof copy in my hands. THIS IS NOT A DRILL!!!

I may have done a happy dance. Ok, I totally did a happy dance. No… there is not a video. XD

Still working on a few last minute details, but I will be posting all about the upcoming release within the next few days.

Hope you all are as excited as I am!

 

Emerging From My Cave

It’s been a bit on the quite side around here. Admittedly, with the change in seasons – and despite the fact that Fall is my favorite season, once the time change hits, I’m fairly useless. I was already feeling somewhat unmotivated beforehand, and after… well… yeah…

Didn’t help either that my beloved computer finally died. I’m not even sure how old she was, but let’s just say, she was still running Vista and leave it at that. >.>

So now that I’m not in fear of losing files every time I turn my machine off, it’s time to do a little more work. And perfect timing too!!!

In Plain Sight is currently up for nomination on Kindle Scout, which at the end of 30 days, if it gets enough votes, could be picked up for a publishing contract. It’s sort of like a Kickstarter for books, except it doesn’t cost you guys anything. Win-Win!!  So, even if you’ve read and reviewed an excerpt before, if you could check me out one more time and nominate me, I would seriously appreciate it!!

Best part, if it’s picked up for publishing – everyone who nominates gets a free copy of the book!!

🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publishers Weekly Review…

One of the benefits of participating in the ABNA and making through the quarter-finals, is getting a genuine Publishers Weekly review of your manuscript. If you are self-publishing, this is something that normally costs about $150 to submit, and it’s still sort of hit or miss as to when (or if) they will actually publish your review, so as a prize it’s a pretty cool deal even if one doesn’t make it to the final round.

So, even though the next round isn’t announced for another couple weeks, our PW reviews came in the other day. Judging by the amount of moaning and groaning in the various ABNA related forums, there were a lot that were fairly brutal. Even in cases (like mine) where the review was overall positive, it’s still one of those things that is more like a back-handed compliment in places, and trying to come up with a decent blurb out of it will likely take a bit of cut and paste.

The good news, is that it wasn’t a bad review… YAY!!!! There are even parts of it that are really encouraging, but the summary part is a bit funky in places – not that it’s necessarily wrong, just think it could have been phrased better.  Also… I beg anyone to find a romance novel these days that doesn’t have cliches. I’m pretty sure that there are very few truly “never been done before” stories in any genre at this point. Personally (as a reader) I don’t care either way as long as I enjoy the characters and the actual storyline, which thankfully my review seems to have felt the same way (at least in some aspects)…

Set against the backdrop of Civil War Virginia, this absorbing novel has clear enough prose and charming characters to transcend it’s familiar plot devices such as Confederate-Yankee romance, a woman in drag, and tired sexual cliches: “Ry was flying. Nothing in her life had prepared her for the multitude of sensations that were flooding her body.” Rylee James, a young beauty with dead parents, is getting through the war, holding her home together with the help of her two devoted (and free) African American servants.  She is counting the days until peace returns and her beloved brother Matthew can return home. When she learns that Matthew has been taken prisoner by Union troops stationed nearby, she hacks off her hair, binds her breasts, christens herself James Rylee and uses the medical know-how she learned from her father to talk her way into the Union camp. There she not only finds and helps her brother – she also falls in love with the sexy Union captain. The very real question of whether all the principals will make it through the war adds a bit of suspense to this engaging romance.

So…

“Set against the backdrop of Civil War Virginia… clear prose and charming characters… this absorbing novel … transcends.”

” Engaging romance.”

As to what this actually means in terms of moving to the next round, I truly have no idea. The next round relies solely on the PW reviewer and the score that they compiled while doing that review, based on the following (1-5 points for each section)…

  • Character development
  • Originality of idea
  • Plot
  • Prose/style
  • Overall strength of submission

Clearly I’m going to get dinged on “originality”, but hoping that the other ones might be at least fairly high scoring. But of course it will depend too on how the other entries do, so still a nail-biter till the end.

The thing too is that really the next round doesn’t really mean a whole lot, there’s no extra prize for it (other than the … hey I made it to the semi-finals blurb I could put on my book cover), it just narrows down the pool to the top 5 in each genre for the judges to pick the 5 finalists from (1 from each genre). I’m fairly certain (though it would be really cool if I was wrong), that I won’t make it all the way to being a finalist. But if I could make the top 5 that would still be awesome!!

Anyways… back to pulling my hair out waiting for the announcements. XD

 

ABNA – Excerpts Available to Review

Just realized I never posted this here. Sometimes I swear if my head wasn’t attached. XD

Excerpts of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award entries are available on Amazon.com for the public to read and review. Anyone who would like to read a couple chapters of In Plain Sight and leave a review, can do so here (or click the image below).

For those who have already left theirs, THANK YOU!!!!! I really appreciate it. ❤ ❤