Self-Promotion Is Frustrating!

buyWell, It’s the end of January and I feel as if I’ve been spinning my wheels in the self-promotion game. I thought the hardest part about writing a book was the actual writing of it. Then reality set in, and I realized after I wrote and polished it to gleaming perfection, I had to sell my opus to a publisher or publish it myself. The thought of self-publishing scared me because of the costs and time involved, but eventually, I realized it wasn’t that bad. I’ve published three books on my own–quite proud of that, but the bottom line is the same whether you have a publisher or do it yourself.

Once you sell the book, it comes back for editing. Whether you’re uploading it to Kindle or Createspace or sending it back to an editor, you’re making changes–sometimes minor, sometimes major. WOW! Can that be an eye opener. At times, as you struggle with all the suggested changes, you have to ask yourself if there was so much wrong with the book, why did they buy it in the first place? Eventually, everything gets fixed and edited, a cover is designed and a release date chosen. You proof your book, searching for the elusive typos, which you never completely eradicate, and then wait for release day.

Yay! You did it. You wrote a book. So why aren’t people clamoring to buy it? The answer is simple. They have hundreds of thousands to choose from. Why should they pick yours?

After two years as a bona fide author, I have 9 books out under my own name as well as a short story, and 2 books out as Misty Matthews, the pen name I use as a coauthor, and I don’t know how to promote myself to save my soul. I have all the necessary social media sites, I try to get on them each day, but I feel as if I’m flogging a dead horse. The same people are subjected to my posts every day, whether it’s the 1084 people on Twitter, the 1651 who follow me on Facebook , or the 2200 who’ve stopped by my wedpage this month, and I feel incredibly guilty for bombarding them this way. My apologies, people.

The other way I get my views and books out there is by hosting other bloggers and having them host me in return. Does this get my name out there? Does it generate sales? I don’t know, and I have no way of discovering the truth.

ebook The Captain's PromiseThis week, I tried something new. I took one of my self-published books and offered it free for 5 days. As of one o’clock this afternoon, 1288 people had downloaded my book. Do I expect all those people to read the book? No, not really, but I hope those who do will like it and maybe buy another one of my books. When will I know if this promotion succeeded? I don’t know, but I’m at my wit’s end. Promo is hard work. I don’t know how to go about it successfully. My solution’s going to be to keep writing and hope one of these days, I write the book that will grab everyone’s attention. Others have done it–so can I.

So, if you read this before midnight, January 30, 2015, go over to Amazon and pick up your free copy of The Captain’s Promise. If you miss the time frame, comment here, and I’ll see what I can do for you.


Look Who Dropped By Today: Sheri Velarde

6a90f-blog_tour_badge_85_x_55This morning, my SCP author guest is Sheri Velarde here to introduce you to her vampire novel, Curse of the Blood. For those who love the genre, this is a must read. There is a fascination with the undead that has transcended time. From the early exploits of Vlad Dracul to weekly adventures of the characters on Grimm, Supernatural, and the Vampire Diaries. Who didn’t fall just a little bit under the spell of Bella and Edward?  People are drawn to the larger than life immortals who survive on the blood of others.
About Curse of the Blood:
After serving his king during time of war, all Melvil wants to do is get back to his family estate in the French countryside. Weary and homesick, he doesn’t even stop at night to rest in his eagerness to see his family. On the side of the road in the middle of nowhere he finds a lost and disoriented woman all alone. The chivalry he’s lived by
insists he stop for her, even if everything else tells him something is wrong and he should run.
That night, that moment, changed everything for Melvil. If only lightning had not illuminated the sky,everything would have been different. One act of kindness dooms him to a life that he never wanted. How can he live with himself now? And what can he do about the creature who made him? The woman he loathes and lusts after at the same time?
Excerpt from Curse of the Blood
Honnor was standing over him smiling when he next awoke. He must have passed out around dawn as he still prayed for release from this nightmare. Now it looked as if his prayers and protection
spells had been ignored. The she-devil had come to make her work complete and destroy him as promised. This time he didn’t bother to scramble away, all he could hope for now was for her to change her mind and kill him instead of
turning him into a monster. Fate would not be so kind to him, though it seemed for Honnor was not the only other presence in the room. There was a human man.
Melvil could hear his heartbeat and the blood pumping in his veins. It was the most wonderful thing that he had ever heard in his entire life. A powerful lust that he had never felt before overtook him. Despite himself and the disgust he felt, he craved the blood that smelled more delicious than any previous meal. Melvil moved against his conscience toward that which he craved to the point of insanity.
The man cowered as he approached, begging for his life, but all Melvil could hear was the faster beating of his heart, feeding his blood lust. Instinctively he grabbed the man and bent his mouth, biting his victim’s neck, gnawing
through the skin as he didn’t have fangs, until the delicious nectar of life began to flow into his mouth, causing Melvil to moan with pleasure. Soon the man stopped struggling, the last of his fight and life drained out of him.
Melvil raised his head and wiped the blood from his mouth, then looked down at the dead man. Now that his hunger was
satiated he came back into his own mind. Horrified at what he had done, he dropped the body and moved away, shaking his head and mumbling, “No, no, no…”
Honnor clapped her hands together, smiling broadly. “Fantastic, you are now complete! Even your fangs have grown
in. Doesn’t the first kill feel fantastic?”
He turned to her, thinking she must be daft to not notice how disgusted he was with himself, not to mention the
hate that he had for her. “Fantastic? I just killed a man!”
She tilted her head to the side, “But you have seen war with the king, have you not? I found the evidence in
your belongings. Surely you have killed before.”
“Not by drinking their blood!” Melvil spat. “You have turned me into a soulless monster, like yourself!”
Buy Links:
Author Bio:
Sheri Velarde, who sometimes uses the pen name Kelly Ryan, lives in New Mexico and grew up with a fascination for
all things that “go bump in the night”, so it is no wonder that she turned to writing paranormal romance. In her spare time, she fancies herself a cryptozoologist and loves to paranormal related outings, searching for things that might not really exist. She is an avid exerciser and gets some of her best ideas while on runs. She also has a bit of a wild side, which only leads to inspiration for her writing.
Being an avid reader since an early age, she has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. She has
been writing all her life, but only recently started to actually try to pursue her dream of writing for a living. She is constantly putting out new material, so it is best to keep up with her on her website.
Sheri is a multi-published author; you can keep up to date with all things Sheri Velarde at:

Paranormal Love Wednesdays: Echoes of the Past

paranormal love wednesdays 2-1Hello, and thanks for inviting me to participate in your blog hop. The book I’d like to feature my book Echoes of the Past.

He lies on his side on the animal hide, his head propped up on his elbow, watching her sleep. How long does she think her excuse of gathering roots and snaring rabbits will last, especially when she has so little to show for the time she’s been away?

EchoesofthePast_MEDThe naked woman beside him stretches in her sleep. Her copper skin glows even in the dimmest light. Her ebony hair spreads fan-like around her head. Her features are fine, her lips lush, begging to be kissed. When open, her almond-shaped brown eyes, flecked with gold, add to her exotic beauty. She’s unlike any woman he’s ever known, and he’s known many despite his mixed blood. It’s craziness to stay here like this, but he can’t leave without her. The odds of getting caught increase with every visit she pays to his secret grotto, but he loves her more than he’s ever thought possible.

He reaches for her, runs his calloused hand down the side of her warm, silky torso. Her nipples pucker at his touch. Her eyes open, and she smiles. She raises her arms and pulls him down on top of her. His lips meet hers with an insatiable hunger. His tongue delves into her warm, willing mouth, feasting on her sweetness, and he hardens painfully.

Please visit the other authors and read tidbits of their paranormal offerings.

Mid Week Tease: The Captain’s Promise

MWTease15Good morning! It’s a lovely, cold (feels like -8F) but sunny winter morning, the last Wednesday in January. It seems as if time is whizzing by. I’ve put the Christmas decorations away, left a few wintry things out, and the grandkids will help me set out my Valentine goodies this weekend. As I get older, I almost wish time would slow down. I’ve got so many things to do before my hourglass runs out of sand.

This morning I have what I hope some of you will consider a treat. I’m trying to raise my profile as a writer. It’s the only thing I have on my resolution list this year. For step one, I’ve made The Captain’s Promise, the third book I published, available free until Friday. This is one of the books that got caught in the mess with the unscrupulous publisher last year who basically stole royalties from all her authors and left us all in a lurch. The book was re-edited, and I released it through Amazon and Createspace last June. My good friend Melinda De Ross who was here last week, provided the new cover. I hope is to give away as many copies as possible, so please download yours and tell your friends. It’s a historical romance with a touch of the paranormal, and I hope you’ll enjoy it.

About The Captain’s Promise

Etienne Blouin left Danielle de Cherbourg in tears, promising to return; he didn’t. Ten years later, Etienne learns she’s been widowed and left almost penniless. Now a wealthy ship’s captain, he offers to help her, but the only reply he gets is from her aunt telling him to leave Danielle alone. Convinced she’s in trouble, he determines to rescue her whether she likes it or not, even if it means losing her love.

Danielle is shocked to learn that her companion is going to the colonies, while she is to marry a cruel and powerful man as repayment of her husband’s gambling debts. Despondent, she sees no way out of the horrendous situation. When her carriage is waylaid and she’s kidnapped, she fears the worse.

Etienne has enemies who don’t want La Belle Rose to make port. Can he outfox them to save his ship and the woman he loves?

Download your Kindle copy free.

ebook The Captain's PromiseToday’s tease:

“Monsieur.” One of the serving girls whose breasts threatened to spill from the low-cut white blouse she wore bent low beside him. “Madame Celine is in the back and asks that you come into her now.” She smirked. “If you want something young and firm after, I can come to your room in a couple of hours.”
He swatted her soundly on the behind. “Ah, Irene, you know full well when Celine milks a man, he’s got nothing left to give anyone else, but the next time I come to the Faucon d’Or, I promise to spend some time with you.” He tossed her a franc and left the main room. Her laughter followed him.
“Be sure you do,” she called after him. “I promise you value for your coin.”
He walked down the dim hallway to the room at the end and knocked twice. He realized he’d been followed by two men, one of them his, the other unknown. It mattered not. If Henri thought the man was a threat, he wouldn’t be long for this world. Henri’s knife was swift and
dispatched his enemies without mercy. He hoped the man had made his peace with God. This was too important to allow a stranger to upset their plans.
Etienne opened the door wide as he’d been instructed, so that both of the men in the hall could see into the room. Celine, wearing a red silk robe barely hiding her voluptuous figure, sat on a chaise. She smiled broadly and gestured for him to join her.
“Chérie, you’re late,” she pouted. If the man who had followed him saw them, he’d think they were about to enjoy a tumble in a well-used bed. If Henri considered him a danger, it wouldn’t matter what his Peeping Tom thought.
He closed the door. As soon as he did, Celine righted her robe and stood.
“Captain, I apologize for the subterfuge, but we’re dealing with a very dangerous man. Powerful men have spies everywhere—especially in places like these where the patrons would just as soon knife you as buy you a drink.”
“Celine.” He removed his hat and smiled. The tavern owner was a good friend, and the fact his second-in-command had married her spoke to her trustworthiness. “A man is never insulted when he sees a beautiful woman. It amazes me you managed to control vermin like these for so many years.”
“It was easier when George was alive, but he wasn’t a smart man; he didn’t know how to keep his mouth shut. In this neighborhood, you live longer if you’re mute—it helps to be a little bit blind too.” She laughed, and Etienne did as well.
“I take it my lieutenant is here somewhere? I wouldn’t want to see my gullet slit accidentally by a jealous husband suspecting I was about to cuckold him.”
A loud guffaw presaged the arrival of Jerome, a black-bearded hulk of a man dressed in the leathers preferred by the coureurs de bois in New France. He and Celine had been married secretly in Rouen a fortnight ago. No one in the tavern was aware of Celine’s new husband; for so large a man, he could be very discreet. It was safer for both of them that way. He was a remarkable man, not easily forgotten, and it was important no one remember his visit to the inn.
“Mon Capitaine, so nice of you to join us. We’re almost ready to go. If it must be as you suspect, I’ve everything ready. If not…”
He shrugged his shoulders, grinned, and reached for his petite wife. “Well done, my dear.” He kissed her and turned to Etienne. “Everyone will believe you’ve satisfied your most basic needs this night, Captain. Irene is out there complaining that Celine keeps all the best ones for herself. You must have tipped her well for her to be so irate.”
“Good! As long as no one ever realizes who I really am.” Etienne turned to Celine. “You’d better finish your packing. I want to leave here as soon as this interview’s over.”
“Yes,” added Jerome giving his wife a hug. “We must be well away from here before dawn to ensure our departure remains a secret. The wagons, carriage, and horses are ready whenever you are. That is, of course unless my lovely wife, has changed her charming mind and decided to stay here.”
Celine laughed and swatted at him. At barely five foot, she looked like a child beside her six foot six husband. “Philippe is prepared to take over the management of the tavern for a fifty percent share of the profits. He’ll invest my share with the Swiss banker as we discussed, believing I’m living there.”
She turned to Etienne and sobered. “The man you wish to meet is waiting for you, Captain.” She pointed to the door on the other side of the room. “He has his head covered to protect both of you. You can’t identify and denounce him, and he claims he can’t do the same to you. The man you ask about is very dangerous. I hope you know what you’re doing. Be careful, the Spider isn’t a man to be trusted either.”
Now, please take time to visit this week’s teasers. You won’t be disappointed.

Look Who Dropped By Today: John Davidson

Bricks bannerGood afternoon. It’s my pleasure to introduce you to John Davidson and his new book, Bricks, part of the Surge, imprint from Anaiah Press. Welcome, John. 

Hi Susanne! Thank you for having me on the blog. I thought I’d write about what inspired me to write BRICKS. Most of the stories/books I write start with a idea—a “what if…?” BRICKS was a little bit different.

On May 19, 2013, a tornado swept through my hometown of Moore, Oklahoma. Having lived in Oklahoma my whole life, I’m no stranger to tornados. I helped friends dig out from storms in 99’ and 03’. But nothing was like the one that came through that late May day.

We knew there was a strong possibility of a big storm, and with my job working for the school district we were all on alert.  When the sirens sounded, we abandoned a smaller building my department occupied to make our way into the larger one. I went about setting up several projectors and large tv’s we had to allow people to see what was going on. I honestly didn’t think too much about it until it started hitting landmarks we knew.

By the time it hit the building we were in, it had swept through the neighborhood of our first home; destroyed the school where my son had first attended; leveled the elementary school I attended; wiped out a large part of the neighborhood I grew up in, and hit the junior high my daughter attended. When we came out of the building, I saw the building my department occupied had been destroyed—a boat sat in the front lobby. My truck lay upside down on the roof.

Luckily, my wife had already picked up my daughter from the junior high, so I walked about a half mile to get my son. Because I had some documents the school district needed, we walked more than ten miles that night. It was very surreal.

As we walked, I saw people pulling suitcases with whatever they could salvage thrown over the shoulders. Their faces were expressionless, and though I had no idea where they were going, I felt for the long journey that lay ahead of them.

It was several weeks later as we were watching the Wizard of Oz that the idea came to me for BRICKS. I began to think of the storm in terms of Oz—people had their hearts torn out. Some wanted to forget. Some were afraid. But most all just wanted to go home—wherever home may be. And behind it all was a witch—an EF5 tornado.

In many ways, the story was too close to home, and I wasn’t sure if I could tell it. However, a twenty-hour vacation drive to New York inspired me. Some of the best writing time isn’t filled with writing at all. By the time we arrived, I had the story fanned out in my head. I wrote the first chapter the day we arrived, and continued to flesh out the details in my mind. I guess it was fitting that we’d gotten tickets to Wicked.  After another twenty-hour drive home, I had the story ready to go. It was the fastest first draft I’ve ever written.

BRICKS is really about weathering life’s storms, but not by rebuilding. What we build and rebuild can be destroyed. It’s about keeping on—refusing to give up. In life, bricks do construct buildings, but they also form roads, like the one Dorothy and her friends traveled. Those roads might lead you to the other side of the rainbow, but the most important part is being willing to get there—to be willing to find the abundant life that is waiting out there and enjoying the journey.

Thanks John. Best wishes for the success of your book.

Bricks cover


Sixteen-year old Cori Reigns learns that not all tornadoes take you to magical places. Some take your house, your school, and life as you knew it. Struggling to put the pieces of her life back together, Cori learns to rebuild what the storm destroyed by trusting a family she didn’t know she had and by helping friends she never appreciated.

Release Date: February 3, 2015

Book Links



Rafflecopter code (US entries only):

John D author

Author Bio:

Married to my bride for twenty-four years, I have an amazing son and a wonderful daughter.

Born and raised in central Oklahoma, I work in education, first as a teacher now in technology curriculum. I write. I read. And in the summer I make snow cones.


Twitter: @jdavidsonwrites


Cover Reveal: Dominick, by Kara Jamal

It’s my pleasure this morning to participate in the cover reveal for DOMINICK, a prequel to Inferno, by authors Kara Jamal. This is a YA dystopian novel due out  March 2015 from Glass House Press. Hop over to Goodreads and mark this new novel to read.

And, here it is:

DOMINICK _ Book Cover

Blurb: Dominick Grant had the perfect life: parents who loved him, a beautiful girlfriend, and a best friend who always had his back.  He knew who he was, and how he wanted to live his life.

But in Dominick’s world, that choice belongs to someone else — a totalitarian government that dictates the lives of its citizens, decreeing that Dominick must be separated from his girlfriend and forced to work for the very government he detests.

The question is…will Dominick accept his predetermined path, or risk making his own choices and bringing his world crumbling down around him?

About the Authors:

AUTHOR PIC 1Kara Jemal is the writing duo of Kara Leigh Miller and David Jemal.

Kara is a 30-something, stay at home mom, multi-published romance author who enjoys writing across a variety of genres & categories: adult, young adult, new adult, romance, dystopian, and thrillers just to name a few. When she’s not writing tall-tales of love, she’s spending time with her family, friends, and good books.

David Jemal_Author PicDavid is a nineteen-year-old college student with a background in real estate who is eager to breathe life into the many stories and characters banging around in his head.  When’s he not writing, he’s reading or working out.




Rafflecopter Giveaway: Don’t forget to entyer for your chance to win:

Look Who Dropped By Today: Tricia Andersen

Wow! The last Monday of January. Where has time flown? This week, I have a variety of authors lined up as guests, so stop by and visit each day.

6a90f-blog_tour_badge_85_x_55 Today, on my leg of the SCP blog tour, I’d like to welcome Tricia Andersen. Last week, it was my pleasure to introduce you to Tricia and her Black Irish Series. This morning, I’m welcoming her again, but this time to introduce her new series Hard Drive, and its first novel,  Hard Drive, a prequel, released January 19, 2015. Hard Drive is a Contemporary/Sports/Sweet Romance Novel, different from the Black Irish Series but just as well-written and intriguing.

harddriveprequelcoverfinalAbout Hard Drive:

Rising MMA star Max Thomas has it all.  When a fight takes a devastating turn, will it all stay the same?

Fast rising MMA superstar Max Thomas seems to have it all for a college student – the beautiful girlfriend, the loyal best friend, the supportive parents and every agent in the area pounding down his door.

But looks can be deceiving. Tori, his girlfriend, is more concerned about his career in MMA than about him. Quinn, his best friend, is jealous of Max’s every move. And is a life in mixed martial arts what he really wants?
When Max suffers a devastating injury in the octagon, will his life and those in it stay by his side as he recovers? Or how fast will his perfect world unravel?

Excerpt from Hard Drive:

The expo center was dark, the shadows of bodies mulling around the floor flickering on the bare concrete walls. Everything was dim except for the punishing spotlights that rained down on the octagon in the middle of the cavernous room. Seven fights had already occurred there. The ash grey mat peppered with sponsors’ logos was already smeared with someone’s blood.

The whole scene made Max’s stomach churn. He was certain he was going to hurl, which would be difficult since he had hardly eaten anything in the last week so that he could be certain to make weight.

He turned as a gentle hand rested on his shoulder. He met his coach’s warm brown eyes.

“How are you doing, Max?”

Max exhaled slowly. “Nervous as hell, Chuck.”

Chuck laughed as he patted Max on the back. “Understandable. But you’ve got this. You’re more than ready.”

Max looked down at his taped hands, glancing briefly at his brand-new fight shorts. “I hope you’re right, Chuck.”

“Of course, I’m right. Once you get done in there, you’ll want to go back. You won’t ever want to stop fighting. Trust me. Just relax. You’re up, right after intermission. You’d better get your gear on.”

Max nodded then stooped over his bag. He pulled free a pair of fingerless MMA gloves lying on top and tugged them on. He examined them briefly, silently grateful the athletic commission approved them. Any little thing was making him anxious at this point.

Rustling through the rest of his belongings, he scooped out his mouth guard case and popped it open. Max slipped the chunk of rubber indented with his teeth marks into his mouth and nudged it into place with his tongue. Following Chuck, he approached the curtain and held his breath.

The thudding beat of Saliva’s “Ladies and Gentlemen” echoed off the walls of the building. Max’s heart thundered along with the bass. He’d always loved this song. And now, he was walking into the cage to it. He didn’t turn as he heard the rustling of his teammates gathering behind him to escort him to his fight. Knowing they were there was enough.

The quick trip from backstage to the octagon seemed to take an eternity. The officials patted Max down from head to toe then asked to see his mouth guard. He popped it between his teeth obediently then sucked it back into his mouth. Once they were satisfied, Max turned to Chuck and closed his eyes.

He shivered a bit as his coach rubbed the cool petroleum jelly on his face while barking final instructions over the loud music. “Keep your hands up! Don’t stop moving! Fight smart!” Max hardly heard a word Chuck said over the pounding of his pulse. His thoughts were focused solely on what was about to happen.

His stomach lurched once more. Max opened his eyes, shooting one last glance at his teammates before stepping into the metal structure. The smile from his best friend, Quinn, boosted his confidence a little.

The announcer drew out the introductions a little longer than Max liked. The crowded cheered louder for his opponent than him. It didn’t surprise Max. The guy had a three-and-oh record. Max wasn’t supposed to win.

Finally, the fighters were called from their respective corners to go over the rules with the referee. Max listened intently. He ignored the fact that the bald, heavily tattooed guy he was about to go to war against was staring him down, trying to psych him out. Let him try. I’m not falling for it.

The ref sent the fighters back to their corners. Max bounced from the ball of one foot to the other. It was time. His heart leaped in his throat as the official shouted out, “Fight!”

Max approached the center of the mat hesitantly, scanning his opponent as he did. The steel-gray eyes that met his glared as the bald fighter threw a jab. Max blocked it, readying himself for the following cross. It never came. Max frowned for a split second as the other fighter danced around. This is how he wants to do it? I don’t think so.

Launching off the balls of his feet Max charged after the bald man with his fists flying. He threw jabs and crosses with lightning speed, catching the retaliation shots on his cheek and temple. None of them were enough to daze him.

As his opponent raised his hands to block the blows to his face, Max dropped to one knee and lunged, wrapping his arms around the other man’s waist and burrowing his head into the other fighter’s stomach. Lifting, Max dropped him onto the mat, instantly scrambling into side control. The bald man struggled for all he was worth, bucking his hips to throw Max off.

It was all Max needed.

He grabbed his opponent’s arm, wrenching it into a Kimora behind the fighter’s back, who tapped to the submission in seconds. Being tugged off the man by the referee, Max rocked back on his heels in disbelief.

His first fight had resulted in his first win. It was amazing. Chuck was right. He already wanted more, and he hadn’t even stepped out of the octagon yet.

Max’s head snapped up as he heard Chuck’s voice calling him back to the corner. He hopped to his feet and returned to the wall, watching the officials make the final decisions. It was only a matter of minutes before the ref called him back to the center of the ring and raised his arm in victory. It was an incredible feeling.

Buy Links


Author’s Bio:

Tricia Andersen lives in Iowa with her husband, Brian and her three children – her sons, Jake and Jon, and her daughter, Alex.  She graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in English and from Kirkwood Community College with an Associate of Arts degree in Communications Media/Public Relations.  Along with writing (which she loves to do), Tricia practices mixed martial arts, coaches and participates in track and field, reads, sews and is involved in many of her children’s activities.

Tricia is the host of the Blog Talk Radio show Freshly Booked, a part of Writers Online Network.

Author Links: