10 Books all for $.99 Each!

fall in love sale

Each one of the great novels showcased in the sale is from an independent author and features romance from a tidbit to a whole dollop. So go ahead, fall in love with reading this fall by picking up any of these titles from October 1-7th.

Love Exactly by Cassandra Giovanni

Love ExactlyEmma Walker was a writer who’d lost herself to someone else’s anger–who had given up on ever feeling like herself again.
Evan Levesque was a rock-god–the one all the woman wanted, but he’d never gotten used to the loneliness between the stage and real life.
With just one cup of coffee they’ll begin a journey of self-discovery at each others sides, but can Emma handle Evan’s fame while dealing with her own demons? Emma’s checkered personal past, a bad relationship that haunts the edges of her memories, threatens to make everything implode on them when Evan takes matters into his own hands.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words…they’ll destroy my soul–Can Emma handle being put back together and facing who she’s become because of it?

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo

Casted by Sonya Loveday

CastedJade had spent the majority of her life running from the Triad. The Triad, are a powerful group, who would stop at nothing to obtain Jade and the missing spell book for leader, Lorenzo’s, nefarious plans. And now that she has absorbed the highly coveted magic contained inside the missing book, there is nowhere left for her to hide.
With the help of her friends, Jade steps out from the shadows and learns how to fight back. But no one is prepared for Elinor-the woman bound inside of the book that’s trapped in Jade’s mind. Now she not only needs to protect herself from the Triad, but from what’s hiding inside her mind as well.
Jade never expected the answer to it all would revolve around love.
Edge is dark, mysterious, and a sworn member of the Triad. He also hides a secret past that threatens the thin line he walks between good and evil. Lives are at stake when Jade and Edge’s two worlds collide. Can Jade learn to trust him when he says he is her pre-ordained and vows to do everything he can to protect her? But more importantly, can she trust herself and the woman in her mind?

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

 Waterfalls Down by Danielle Rohr

Water Falls DownWhat have they done to me here, to cause me to be unable to see beyond my cage?

Three teenagers committed and locked away in a mental institution act on impulse, and manage to escape. Without a plan, money, ore even identification Lynn, Chelsea, and Garret must find their way in a very big, and very predatory world. After a great deal of travel and agony, they find paradise in the form of Yosemite National Park. Battling the elements of nature, as well as mental illness leaves these three broken, and defeated. Will they find the solution that can save them, or will they fight against the current until they grow weak, and become just another statistic?

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

Mere Enchantment by Alicia Rivoli

Mere EnchantmentA World Like No Other…

When a newly formed group of friends finds themselves fighting for survival, little did they know that was just the beginning.

When Chloe, Megan, Jason and Zach are forced to take cover in a nearby cave from a violent storm they find their new friend Preston there as well. Zach guides the group through the cave but as they go deeper strange things begin to happen and they find themselves separated in a magical kingdom surrounded by unusual people and wizards. Things get even more dangerous as they travel the kingdom in search of the city of Mere and each other.

As their journey unfolds, Preston discovers that the bedtime stories he was told as a child are true and that his rightful place in time must be realized. The kingdom itself has gone under attack as Jacan, a traitor to the crown, forces his armies through the magical borders.

Looking back Preston should have recognized that it was all real. He should have seen the signs. But how could he have known? After all, Jacan was just a villain in a story that took place in a far off mystical land. How could he have imagined that the stories that his father told him as a child were true?

How could any of them have known that their destinies were already written, and that to discover who they really are would take courage that they never realized they had?

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords

American Girl on Saturn By Nikki Godwin

American Girl on SaturnThe summer after graduation is supposed to be that first real taste of freedom – but not for eighteen-year-old Chloe Branson. Just as that breeze of freedom is making its way into her galaxy, her secret-service-agent dad drops a meteor-sized bomb of bad news on her and her sisters. An attempt has been made on the lives of Canadian boyband, Spaceships Around Saturn, during their USA tour, and the guys have to go into hiding ASAP. The only problem? In the midst of the crisis and media frenzy, their dad volunteered to hide the guys…in their house.

Six-year-old Emery is as ecstatic as any self-proclaimed Saturnite would be, but Chloe and her seventeen-year-old sister Aralie watch their summer plans crash and burn like a falling star. The SAS guys aren’t happy with the situation, either. Bad boy Jules picks fights with Aralie about everything from his Twitter followers to his laundry, and heart-throb Benji can’t escape Emery’s fangirlisms for more than three minutes.

But after the super-cute Milo kisses Chloe during a game of hide-and-seek, she finally understands what Emery means when she talks about SAS being “out of this world.” If this is what Saturn feels like, Chloe doesn’t want to come back to Earth.

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords

First I Love You by Genevieve Dewey

First I Love YouOne part Godfather, two parts Emma and a dash of Casablanca mixed together, “First, I Love You” isn’t a detective novel, a gangster novel, a mystery, a romance or a family saga. It’s a little of all of the above.

Imagine being a detective with a mobster for a father, or a mobster with a straight arrow, good cop for a son. This is a relationship that is tricky on its best day. Add in some well-meaning meddling from a mob princess sister, an arrogant DEA agent, and gangsters running a human trafficking ring and you have a recipe for a book that refuses to follow the rules. Told from the perspective and point of view of each the six main characters this is the first novel in a trilogy about love, loyalty, revenge and redemption.

Omaha Detective Tommy Gates has kept his gangster father at arm’s length his whole life. Mickey Downey has spent the better part of the last two decades trying to find ways to get back the son he lost through Witness Protection. Now Tommy has taken an opportunity to work on a Federal Human Trafficking Joint Task Force in Chicago where his father lives. Tommy’s sister Kiki and his mother Mary see this as an opportunity to build a relationship between the two. Tommy’s new DEA partner James Hoffman sees it as an opportunity to gain leverage over Mickey Downey. Tommy’s other partner, FBI Agent Ginny Sommers wants to keep Tommy’s family as far from the case as possible. When Kiki and James join forces, sparks fly and it sets fire to a maelstrom of unexpected consequences for everyone involved.

Amazon

A Construct of Angels by Andrew Toynbee

A Construct of AngelsAfter accidentally triggering the spontaneous resurrection of a dead student, an ordinarily routine day for York-based paramedic Sara Finn erupts into a series of events that propel her on a terrifying journey, promising to forever change her pragmatic opinions of life and death.

Still haunted by her domineering and abusive stepfather and driven by a life-long search for her missing younger brother, Sara finds herself caught in the crossfire between warring forces, powerful beyond human comprehension, that threaten to plunge civilisation into hellish chaos and eternal darkness.

This, the first in the ‘Angels of York’ series, follows Sara’s increasingly dangerous adventures during the six days that lead up to the September Equinox, a time of increasing darkness. As the population of York is plunged into panic, overwhelming the emergency services, Sara finds her loyalties torn between her newfound companion, now incarcerated within York’s largest mental institution, and her sworn medical duties.

Should she lend any credence to his insistence that his purpose on Earth is to prevent an imminent catastrophe? Or that it is being orchestrated from within the city itself?

As her nights are filled with terrifying dreams and she is once again confronted by the memories of her abusive childhood, Sara is forced to accept that only one avenue remains open to her – to put her own life to one side in order to help prevent the rapidly approaching doomsday.

Amazon ~ Amazon UK

Deer in the Headlights by Staci Hart

Deer in the Headlights

Sweary, Sexy 18+ Romance

How do the Greek gods kill time? Because they’re always bored. It’s an unavoidable downside of being alive for thousands of years. So, they play games. Games with human players. Remember Shakespeare? Yeah, that was Apollo. Bonnie and Clyde? Aphrodite vs Ares.

It’s Aphrodite’s turn once again in the rounds of competitions, and she’ll defend her domain: Love. She hasn’t lost a competition on her turf in over three millennia, and she’s not about to start now. Apollo is her first competitor, and he’s on a mission to win. If he wins, he’ll get a token; a favor that Aphrodite must fulfill. And with that favor, he’ll finally get the one woman he’s never been able to have.

Aphrodite and Apollo will choose their human players, and if Aphrodite can’t get them together before the clock runs out, Apollo will get his way. And she couldn’t have that.

Lex and Dean are perfect for each other. They just don’t know it yet.

Dean is a perpetual bachelor, and a man-whore. A brooding, gorgeous, rock star man-whore. Lex always has a boyfriend, but she’s never let anyone in enough to let herself go. Not really. Not ever. Aphrodite has her work cut out for her, but if she can’t make it work, no one can.

But she has more at stake than just Lex and Dean. Apollo killed her mortal love, and that beef has been dragging on for thousands of years. Ares, the douchebag, is forever trying to start a fight, and get Aphrodite into bed. And Persephone, her best friend, is the one person she can confide in, laugh with, and always count on for a healthy helping of bacon when she’s having a bad day.

Follow the gods as they fight, laugh, cry, lose love, and gain power. Making a mess with humans has never been so fun.

 Snake in the Grass by Staci Hart

Snake in the GrassIt’s Round Two of high stakes Love Connection on Olympus, and this time, everything has changed. For Aphrodite, at least.

Ares is on deck, and Aphrodite is nervous. As much as she loves to hook up with him, she doesn’t trust him as far as she could throw him, which isn’t very far. He’s a big dude. They haven’t been together in a very long time, but she can’t resist him. She never could. Even when every part of her screamed that he was a liar.

Ares has a plan to keep Aphrodite, for good this time. He wants to win the game, but he’ll hold back to get what he wants. He’s sitting on a chance that he’s been waiting thousands of years for, and he’ll do what he has to do to convince her to stay forever.

The only thing that could stop him is the secret that he’s been keeping from her for eons. If she finds out, it will destroy everything.

Kat and Dillon have been through a lot, and everything has been to protect their younger siblings. They have sacrificed everything to make sure their brother and sister are safe. The players are tough and loyal. Fierce and determined. But they become each other’s weakness, even though they fight it, and even though it means danger for Kat and her sister.

If Aphrodite can get the players over their egos and issues long enough to see that they’re meant for each other, the competition will be a piece of cake. One that she’ll eat a la mode, right in front of Ares, if she beats him.

Amazon ~ Smashwords

 What the Heart Wants by Staci Hart

What the Heart WantsIt’s 1984, and Tanaka Katsu is paving his way in the Yakuza. His marriage to Yuki was a business deal, and one that he has paid for with his happiness.

Aphrodite can’t stand that he’s so miserable, and Hera, the goddess of marriage and monogamy, has a strong hold on Yuki, who will do whatever it takes to get what she believes is hers. Aphrodite won’t sit by and watch Katsu’s life slip away with no chance at love, so when he takes a trip to Vegas, she’ll introduce him to his match.

Kim never thought she’d be in the situation like the one that’s coming her way, but what the heart wants is a powerful thing, and one that’s impossible to walk away from.

Amazon ~ Smashwords

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Sales Saturday: Go Team!

As an Indie author marketing can be hard, and no matter what you do it can feel like you are working against an impenetrable wall of thousands of other Indie books, some of which, where put out there by people who just decided to hit the magical “publish” button. It’s frustrating to see a book you’ve read and know is riddled with errors surpass yours. Even more frustrating to watch some of the things that hit the shelves by major publishers. I know that sounds arrogant, but there’s a little green eyed monster inside of us all, isn’t there? The thing to NOT do is sit there and just think about those “ideas” you have in your head. The thing TO do is to keep pushing forward and think of more things to do to put your novel out there. Keep emailing bloggers, Facebookers, and tweeters, most of all keep writing and formulating bigger and better marketing plans. A marketing plan is the key to a proper roll-out of a novel, and while it will never guarantee you become the next Jessica Sorenson, Colleen Hoover or Jennifer Armentrout, it puts you ahead of the game because it allows you to measure what you’ve done and what you can do better. For more about marketing plans click any of these articles:

Marketing Plan: Part 1

Marketing Plan: Part 2

Marketing Plan: Part 3

Marketing plans can evolve, and very often times do, due to the element of “measuring failures and successes”. As I looked at falling numbers of sales for Love Exactly I realized that I needed to find a unique way to increase numbers on a novel when it was reaching the end of it’s cycle. (We’ll talk about the book life cycle another time). I currently run an independent author support group on Goodreads called the FBI (Fabulous, Bold, Indies), and after interacting with many other authors that are also struggling in the Indie world I took a step back and looked at the group and it’s reasoning.

I began the support group because of the slush of author groups that I’d seen that were only a means of promoting one’s novel. This is great–we need that, but we also need other support–somewhere we can talk about the difficulties of marketing, writing, editing and the publishing world.

Then I thought–why not utilize both of these things to test the theory of “The Power of the Team”. I’ve been a supervisor for some six plus years (which doesn’t sound impressive, I know, but I’m also only 24), and I know the power of working as a team–and the effects of a floundering team. As authors we are independent vehicles; every single one of us is working against the other–pushing, shoving and sometimes kicking, one another aside to get a piece of the “sales” pie. I stepped back and looked at my sales career. At my day job I’ve had to be a strong team player, but I was also a strong independent seller. I’ve learned through my career that both of those things CAN indeed go together. So, why can’t they go together in the publishing world? I think they can, and to prove that I’ve teamed up with a handful of other great (struggling) authors to put on a “Fall in Love with Reading $.99 Sale”. Each one of the great novels showcased is from an independent author and features romance from a tidbit to a whole dollop, so go ahead, fall in love with reading this fall by picking up any of these titles from October 1-7th.

fall in love saleLove Exactly by Cassandra Giovanni

Love ExactlyEmma Walker was a writer who’d lost herself to someone else’s anger–who had given up on ever feeling like herself again.
Evan Levesque was a rock-god–the one all the woman wanted, but he’d never gotten used to the loneliness between the stage and real life.
With just one cup of coffee they’ll begin a journey of self-discovery at each others sides, but can Emma handle Evan’s fame while dealing with her own demons? Emma’s checkered personal past, a bad relationship that haunts the edges of her memories, threatens to make everything implode on them when Evan takes matters into his own hands.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words…they’ll destroy my soul–Can Emma handle being put back together and facing who she’s become because of it?

 

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo

Casted by Sonya Loveday

CastedJade had spent the majority of her life running from the Triad. The Triad, are a powerful group, who would stop at nothing to obtain Jade and the missing spell book for leader, Lorenzo’s, nefarious plans. And now that she has absorbed the highly coveted magic contained inside the missing book, there is nowhere left for her to hide.
With the help of her friends, Jade steps out from the shadows and learns how to fight back. But no one is prepared for Elinor-the woman bound inside of the book that’s trapped in Jade’s mind. Now she not only needs to protect herself from the Triad, but from what’s hiding inside her mind as well.
Jade never expected the answer to it all would revolve around love.
Edge is dark, mysterious, and a sworn member of the Triad. He also hides a secret past that threatens the thin line he walks between good and evil. Lives are at stake when Jade and Edge’s two worlds collide. Can Jade learn to trust him when he says he is her pre-ordained and vows to do everything he can to protect her? But more importantly, can she trust herself and the woman in her mind?

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

 Waterfalls Down by Danielle Rohr

Water Falls DownWhat have they done to me here, to cause me to be unable to see beyond my cage?

Three teenagers committed and locked away in a mental institution act on impulse, and manage to escape. Without a plan, money, ore even identification Lynn, Chelsea, and Garret must find their way in a very big, and very predatory world. After a great deal of travel and agony, they find paradise in the form of Yosemite National Park. Battling the elements of nature, as well as mental illness leaves these three broken, and defeated. Will they find the solution that can save them, or will they fight against the current until they grow weak, and become just another statistic?

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

Mere Enchantment by Alicia Rivoli

Mere EnchantmentA World Like No Other…

When a newly formed group of friends finds themselves fighting for survival, little did they know that was just the beginning.

When Chloe, Megan, Jason and Zach are forced to take cover in a nearby cave from a violent storm they find their new friend Preston there as well. Zach guides the group through the cave but as they go deeper strange things begin to happen and they find themselves separated in a magical kingdom surrounded by unusual people and wizards. Things get even more dangerous as they travel the kingdom in search of the city of Mere and each other.

As their journey unfolds, Preston discovers that the bedtime stories he was told as a child are true and that his rightful place in time must be realized. The kingdom itself has gone under attack as Jacan, a traitor to the crown, forces his armies through the magical borders.

Looking back Preston should have recognized that it was all real. He should have seen the signs. But how could he have known? After all, Jacan was just a villain in a story that took place in a far off mystical land. How could he have imagined that the stories that his father told him as a child were true?

How could any of them have known that their destinies were already written, and that to discover who they really are would take courage that they never realized they had?

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords

American Girl on Saturn By Nikki Godwin

American Girl on SaturnThe summer after graduation is supposed to be that first real taste of freedom – but not for eighteen-year-old Chloe Branson. Just as that breeze of freedom is making its way into her galaxy, her secret-service-agent dad drops a meteor-sized bomb of bad news on her and her sisters. An attempt has been made on the lives of Canadian boyband, Spaceships Around Saturn, during their USA tour, and the guys have to go into hiding ASAP. The only problem? In the midst of the crisis and media frenzy, their dad volunteered to hide the guys…in their house.

Six-year-old Emery is as ecstatic as any self-proclaimed Saturnite would be, but Chloe and her seventeen-year-old sister Aralie watch their summer plans crash and burn like a falling star. The SAS guys aren’t happy with the situation, either. Bad boy Jules picks fights with Aralie about everything from his Twitter followers to his laundry, and heart-throb Benji can’t escape Emery’s fangirlisms for more than three minutes.

But after the super-cute Milo kisses Chloe during a game of hide-and-seek, she finally understands what Emery means when she talks about SAS being “out of this world.” If this is what Saturn feels like, Chloe doesn’t want to come back to Earth.

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords

First I Love You by Genevieve Dewey

First I Love YouOne part Godfather, two parts Emma and a dash of Casablanca mixed together, “First, I Love You” isn’t a detective novel, a gangster novel, a mystery, a romance or a family saga. It’s a little of all of the above.

Imagine being a detective with a mobster for a father, or a mobster with a straight arrow, good cop for a son. This is a relationship that is tricky on its best day. Add in some well-meaning meddling from a mob princess sister, an arrogant DEA agent, and gangsters running a human trafficking ring and you have a recipe for a book that refuses to follow the rules. Told from the perspective and point of view of each the six main characters this is the first novel in a trilogy about love, loyalty, revenge and redemption.

Omaha Detective Tommy Gates has kept his gangster father at arm’s length his whole life. Mickey Downey has spent the better part of the last two decades trying to find ways to get back the son he lost through Witness Protection. Now Tommy has taken an opportunity to work on a Federal Human Trafficking Joint Task Force in Chicago where his father lives. Tommy’s sister Kiki and his mother Mary see this as an opportunity to build a relationship between the two. Tommy’s new DEA partner James Hoffman sees it as an opportunity to gain leverage over Mickey Downey. Tommy’s other partner, FBI Agent Ginny Sommers wants to keep Tommy’s family as far from the case as possible. When Kiki and James join forces, sparks fly and it sets fire to a maelstrom of unexpected consequences for everyone involved.

Amazon

A Construct of Angels by Andrew Toynbee

A Construct of AngelsAfter accidentally triggering the spontaneous resurrection of a dead student, an ordinarily routine day for York-based paramedic Sara Finn erupts into a series of events that propel her on a terrifying journey, promising to forever change her pragmatic opinions of life and death.

Still haunted by her domineering and abusive stepfather and driven by a life-long search for her missing younger brother, Sara finds herself caught in the crossfire between warring forces, powerful beyond human comprehension, that threaten to plunge civilisation into hellish chaos and eternal darkness.

This, the first in the ‘Angels of York’ series, follows Sara’s increasingly dangerous adventures during the six days that lead up to the September Equinox, a time of increasing darkness. As the population of York is plunged into panic, overwhelming the emergency services, Sara finds her loyalties torn between her newfound companion, now incarcerated within York’s largest mental institution, and her sworn medical duties.

Should she lend any credence to his insistence that his purpose on Earth is to prevent an imminent catastrophe? Or that it is being orchestrated from within the city itself?

As her nights are filled with terrifying dreams and she is once again confronted by the memories of her abusive childhood, Sara is forced to accept that only one avenue remains open to her – to put her own life to one side in order to help prevent the rapidly approaching doomsday.

Amazon ~ Amazon UK

Deer in the Headlights by Staci Hart

Deer in the Headlights

Sweary, Sexy 18+ Romance

How do the Greek gods kill time? Because they’re always bored. It’s an unavoidable downside of being alive for thousands of years. So, they play games. Games with human players. Remember Shakespeare? Yeah, that was Apollo. Bonnie and Clyde? Aphrodite vs Ares.

It’s Aphrodite’s turn once again in the rounds of competitions, and she’ll defend her domain: Love. She hasn’t lost a competition on her turf in over three millennia, and she’s not about to start now. Apollo is her first competitor, and he’s on a mission to win. If he wins, he’ll get a token; a favor that Aphrodite must fulfill. And with that favor, he’ll finally get the one woman he’s never been able to have.

Aphrodite and Apollo will choose their human players, and if Aphrodite can’t get them together before the clock runs out, Apollo will get his way. And she couldn’t have that.

Lex and Dean are perfect for each other. They just don’t know it yet.

Dean is a perpetual bachelor, and a man-whore. A brooding, gorgeous, rock star man-whore. Lex always has a boyfriend, but she’s never let anyone in enough to let herself go. Not really. Not ever. Aphrodite has her work cut out for her, but if she can’t make it work, no one can.

But she has more at stake than just Lex and Dean. Apollo killed her mortal love, and that beef has been dragging on for thousands of years. Ares, the douchebag, is forever trying to start a fight, and get Aphrodite into bed. And Persephone, her best friend, is the one person she can confide in, laugh with, and always count on for a healthy helping of bacon when she’s having a bad day.

Follow the gods as they fight, laugh, cry, lose love, and gain power. Making a mess with humans has never been so fun.

 Snake in the Grass by Staci Hart

Snake in the GrassIt’s Round Two of high stakes Love Connection on Olympus, and this time, everything has changed. For Aphrodite, at least.

Ares is on deck, and Aphrodite is nervous. As much as she loves to hook up with him, she doesn’t trust him as far as she could throw him, which isn’t very far. He’s a big dude. They haven’t been together in a very long time, but she can’t resist him. She never could. Even when every part of her screamed that he was a liar.

Ares has a plan to keep Aphrodite, for good this time. He wants to win the game, but he’ll hold back to get what he wants. He’s sitting on a chance that he’s been waiting thousands of years for, and he’ll do what he has to do to convince her to stay forever.

The only thing that could stop him is the secret that he’s been keeping from her for eons. If she finds out, it will destroy everything.

Kat and Dillon have been through a lot, and everything has been to protect their younger siblings. They have sacrificed everything to make sure their brother and sister are safe. The players are tough and loyal. Fierce and determined. But they become each other’s weakness, even though they fight it, and even though it means danger for Kat and her sister.

If Aphrodite can get the players over their egos and issues long enough to see that they’re meant for each other, the competition will be a piece of cake. One that she’ll eat a la mode, right in front of Ares, if she beats him.

Amazon ~ Smashwords

 What the Heart Wants by Staci Hart

What the Heart WantsIt’s 1984, and Tanaka Katsu is paving his way in the Yakuza. His marriage to Yuki was a business deal, and one that he has paid for with his happiness.

Aphrodite can’t stand that he’s so miserable, and Hera, the goddess of marriage and monogamy, has a strong hold on Yuki, who will do whatever it takes to get what she believes is hers. Aphrodite won’t sit by and watch Katsu’s life slip away with no chance at love, so when he takes a trip to Vegas, she’ll introduce him to his match.

Kim never thought she’d be in the situation like the one that’s coming her way, but what the heart wants is a powerful thing, and one that’s impossible to walk away from.

Amazon ~ Smashwords

Sales Saturday: Professionalism in the Workplace

You’re probably wondering how in the world “professionalism in the workplace” has anything to do with being an author, or publishing, but I assure you it does. It means even more if you’re indie. If you’re traditional, you have the robotic mechanics down–someone else is posting on your website, sometimes your blog, but either way there is a vetting process. When you’re indie there is one vetting process–YOU. What I’ve seen time and time again is the fact that some forget that this really is a career to some people. I’ve had fights with my husband about this very same thing–why do I have to post on a regular schedule on my blog, why do I have to spend 3-4 hours a week marketing, but he never questions the actually writing. He used to tell me it was a hobby–he doesn’t anymore. Maybe it’s because I actually started to sell enough that it constitutes more than a $20 per month stipend from Amazon–or maybe it’s because he’s seen how seriously I take this. I imagine this as my sole career, with a marketing company to help indies on the side, someday and thus, I must always think about presenting myself in a professional way.

The Author Workplace AKA the Internet

Part A) The Blog

It’s a soft line in the sand, professionalism VS. way too much information in the author world. Every author is told you need to have a blog, but the guidelines from there get very vague. What do I put on my blog–what do I say? How do I present myself? The presentation is where things tend to get a bit, let’s say, soggy. As an author you do want to let your readers get to know you. It makes everything about reading the books you write that much cooler. It makes you that much more human. I’ve learned after countless times of explaining my two part job–one as a Retail Banking Operations Manager and then as a published Author, that no matter how insignificant you feel in the publishing world, the second you say I’m published, people go nuts. Their eyes widen and they say “So you’re like famous?”. The other reason I get a jaw drop is because I apparently look like I’m eighteen, that being put aside, being able to say I’m published usually leads into the conversations about where they can find you. The best place is your blog–and that’s the last place you want to put information that say, your main employer could find, that’s unsavory, or as I’ve seen just a tad bit oddThe sogginess of the blog dilemma is knowing exactly where the line is that crosses from letting your readers get to know you, to just way too much information. I’m not going to lie, I’ve read things I just didn’t want to know about authors on their blogs, or that frankly, I just didn’t care about. You want what you convey on your blog to be of value to your readers, because you might find some of those readers are solely readers of your blog and not your novels. I’ve made several business contacts in the business world that I know follow my blog, but would never read my books–they enjoy the content of the blog, especially my Saturday ramblings about sales. So how do you determine what to post on your blog? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Would this fall under TMI to those who don’t know me?
  • Am I portraying myself the way I’d like to be seen?*
  • Does this add value to not only the readers of my novels, but the sole readers of my blog?
  • Does this make a person want to go out and buy my book? (This doesn’t always have to be yes, but if it pertains directly to your book, it should be yes)
  • Would I find this information useful or pertinent on someone else’s blog?
  • Would I be comfortable with my grandmother reading this?
  • Would I be comfortable with my employer reading this?**

*In thinking of portraying yourself you must also think about the content of your novels. I know several writers whose blogs are never serious, which is fine, but the question that occurs is–are your books jiving with the appearance that you are giving? If you are never serious on your blog, your books shouldn’t be serious either. The reason being, and some may disagree, that if you portray yourself as silly–then that is what the reader is going to believe your books will be. You create the image of your books by creating the “brand” of you as an author, so if your books are serious, but you never are, then your readers will end up confused. It will especially confuse those readers that have never read your novels, because you are the first stop on their impression of what that novel might be like.

**Yes, the big employer question. I’m not going to lie there are somethings I wouldn’t really want my employer to read on my blog–like the steamy excerpts, or the excerpts that contain swears, but there’s another line–one that’s harder to define. It isn’t really about professionalism in this case, because it’s a part of my job as an author to market my novel and it’s content. I would be doing an injustice to my readers if I let my stringent professionalism in my day job not allow my characters to swear! So there it is. My characters swear, and yes, they have sex, but I don’t think that’s a secret.

Part B) Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Ah, yes, the social media craze. I’d say that most social media follows the same general guidelines as your blog does. You want to ask yourself the same questions about each of your posts, and make sure that you are comfortable with your answers. There is, however, another very helpful hinter I can give you. I’m a part of an author group where an author got flamed by a parent who saw their daughter looking at their slightly provocative Facebook. The reason was that they didn’t have their settings in Facebook correct. Please, especially if you’re a New Adult or Adult author who posts pictures of half-naked promos, make sure these settings are correct.

Edit Page> Edit Settings> Age Restrictions

Edit Page> Edit Settings> Profanity Filter

Part C) Responding to Reviews

Now this, this, is a hot topic of debate across many boards. What do you do about nasty, unhelpful, ridiculous reviews? You LEAVE THEM BE. Do not respond. Do not attempt to delete them. Do not sit there and seethe like a child who just got their toy taken away.  DO NOT have a friend or family member respond. Move on and keep on moving. It is extremely unprofessional to respond to a review of this nature, even if you “try” to do so subjectively. The end game is, your book is your baby, and you can’t respond subjectively.  The most important part is that everyone is entitled to their opinion of your novel, and after some period of time you will get to the point where you see a bad review and you can laugh at it–not spitefully, but just in general, laugh. I finally got to that point, and boy, did it feel good! The other side of the coin is responding to good reviews. I’d say you can do this, it’s not unprofessional, but at some point you just won’t be able to anymore. I do a simple “like” on GoodReads and move on.

You’re a author, take it seriously, just like it were your day job. You represent the masses of authors that are Indie, and everything you say and do leaves an impression of how Indie authors are. Don’t be the bad apple that spoils the bunch.

If you’re indie, don’t forget to join the FBI!

indie author grab

Sales Saturday: Check-Points

Does anyone remember this little guy from my post back in January where I talked about Setting Goals? There were a few steps I mentioned in the process–Goals must have the following elements:

  • Specific
  • Challenging
  • Accepted
  • Feedback

We’ve come to a bit over the half-way point in the year, and thus we need to reach a Feedback check-point. It’s time to look at the goals and evaluate progress. I’m going to warn you–my life took an unexpected turn that I never expected, so here are the results:

Book Related:

  • Distribute 400 books this year between giveaways and real sales. Last year I distributed 240 books between InBS and WITS

Results: I’ve sold over 1000 books, SOLD them, this doesn’t include giveaways. With giveaways I’m looking at close to 1200 books. I’m still in shock, but as is natural with my personality, I WANT more. I NEED more. Watch out Colleen Hoover, I aim on being as successful as you.

  • Publish 3 novels. Last year I published 2. I have one set in stone to publish this month, and I would like to release one in the Summer and one in the Winter. Which ones they will be really depends on the development of what I am currently writing.

Results: I admit I got seriously side-tracked. I mean it. When I wrote that blog post I was working on Deadly Sins and hadn’t even thought up Love Exactly. Imagine that only 5 months later I’d published a novel I’d not even thought of yet, and it’s the one responsible for the 1000 book mark. I marketed that thing to an inch of my life. I poured everything I had into it, and the results speak for themselves. I hit #1 in Books on Dysfunctional Relationships. My pride begged me to keep it there, but I couldn’t once I looked at the other books on the list. They were true-stories, Love Exactly is fictional. Thus, I contacted Amazon and fixed the issue. I hated to see it drop from #1, but it wasn’t in the right playground. So I’ve got 2 novels down, one more to go to hit my goal. Can I do it? I hope so, but when I intended on getting back to Deadly Sins, I got side-tracked again with the newly named Flawed Perfection (Beautifully Broken, #1). Then the readers begged until I caved, and I announced Love Exactly would become Love Exactly (Sticks & Stones, #1).

  • Reach 250 followers on my blog. I am at 139 now, and that was since May.

Results: This is the most shocking bit to me…I now have 1400 followers. I exceeded my goal be even more than my sales goal, and each week I’m moving up by about 10%. Seriously, thank you guys. You’re amazing!

  • Have 4,000 views on my blog. This year I got 2,800 views since May.

Results: Again, I’ve exceeded my goal, and I am currently at 5871 views.

  • Reach 100 fans on Goodreads.

Results: I’ve reached 190.

  • Get some five stars, get some two stars, maybe some one stars: Stop reading every review and making myself feel like a bug pinned to a board. Reviews are important, but when they make you feel like less of a person, less of a writer, like an insect–it’s time to stop reading them. I’m also hoping I will get so many that I can’t read them all.

Results: EPIC FAIL. For the life of me I can’t stop reading them, but I’ll tell you this, even with the fact that Love Exactly is loosely based on my own experience, I feel more immune to it. I had a reviewer apologize because they thought Emma was all over the place, and they didn’t like her. I frowned, not because I was upset–Emma is much like me, and honestly, I am well aware there are people out there that don’t like me (you have a right to feel whatever way you wish)–but because she apologized. She owned it as her opinion, she explained why she didn’t like Emma. She has that right. Now I can even look at the review that made my blood boil–the one of InBS where the person told me I should rot in hell for writing it, and any one who liked it should join me, and I laugh. I think that shows some growth. Now that I say this I’m going to get a review that has me in tears–I just know it!

  • Design at least 10 book covers for myself and other authors.

Results: EPIC fail…or maybe not. Honestly, I haven’t had time to design them for anyone but myself, although I’ve had requests.

  • Get better at writing and marketing my book.

Results: Yeah, I’d say I’ve done that, but guess what–I will always be striving towards this goal. There is no way I will ever accomplish it completely.

  • Continue to post at least three times a week.

Results: I’d say I do this 85% of the time, that’s pretty good considering my current schedule.

  • Maybe, just maybe, make some money doing this.

Results: I might be able to payoff the “book credit card”. I have reached the threshold where I have to report the earnings on my taxes, and hire an accountant because they’ve become too complex between earnings and business costs.

  • Have a successful book reading.

Results: Errm…I had a successful signing, but I’ve moved away from readings. They just aren’t popular in my geographic area.

  • Inspire someone.

Results: I don’t know what the results of this are. Have I inspired anyone? Have I inspired you? Let me know 😉

Personal:

I can’t share all of these because anyone can view my website 😉

  • Receive my Associates Degree in Marketing.

Results: Not there yet, but my Financial Accounting books are here for me, and I’ve reached the half-way point in my degree.

  • Look into getting my Bachelors Degree.

Results: I’m not sure if and when I will look into this. Once I finish my degree I’d like to solely concentrate on getting out as many high quality books as possible. School does get in the way of this, so I might opt to see where being an author takes me.

  • Continue to expand my photography company Gio Design Studios–post at least once a month on there.

Results: EPIC fail, but again, I just haven’t had time. Photography is a fun side job for me–I’ll be leaving shortly to view a venue where I am doing a wedding. 🙂

  • Begin the process of converting the photography company into a publications marketing company (designing covers/back covers, advertisements, book trailers).

Results: The conversion is complete. The company now has two slogans and websites: Gio Design Studios, More Than Just Cameras and Cars–photography; Gio Design Studios, More Than Just a Book–book marketing.

  • Start to actually save some money.

Results: Fail, or not? I’m not sure. My husband and I hit troubled waters, more bills than money, but we’ve been there and done that. We’ve hit an impasse, and are now able to save money as of this month–I’ll explain the reason to this, which was something I didn’t want to post on here in January. I’d been looking for a new job that better utilized my skills, and would be a promotion. I got it, and the best part is, it’s at the company I’ve worked at for the past 5 years. I’m so happy that I was able to stay with the company as it grows and evolves. I went from an Assistant Branch Manager to Branch Administration, Retail Banking Operations Manager. THE best part is, although I’m working 42-45 hours a week, I actually love my high-stress, run, run job. It takes every part of the jobs I’ve held in the past that I loved and combines it into one job, with the added perks of being involved with our marketing department. It’s amazing. I’m still in shock that I got my dream job, and that it actually is what I wanted, for we all know the grass isn’t always greener! 😉

  • Be able to say that I’ve kept the weight off for two years.

Results: I’ve kept the weight off for OVER two years.

  • Try not to let people asking me if I eat bug me. Tell people to shove their sandwiches in their own mouths.

Results: My husband now asks me if I ate anything when I get home, but only because I’m go-go getter 🙂 Those that asked me if I was eating are no longer in the picture.

  • Get my In Between Seasons tattoo.

Results: Scratch that. I want a different one, and I’m sold on it. I’ve designed it, and I’d like it on my other wrist. My husband is dead set against it. 

  • Help my dog lose some weight, too.

Results: Bubski is at the perfect weight for his little ChuRussellness. (Chihuahua Jack Russell), and has been for about two months. The vet was thrilled! 🙂

  • Continue to work out three times a week.

Results: The new job has caused a need for adjustment in my schedule. I didn’t work out last week, but next week I’m setting a schedule that works with the new job, and I’m sticking to it.

  • Start taking my camera with my everywhere so that I stop feeling like I’ve missed that perfect shot.

Results: If I forget mine, Jeff usually has his, so I just steal it! 🙂 I also have a cell phone with a 13 megapixel camera!

  • Manage my time better.

Results: Husband says: No. I say YES, I published a book in under 5 months…start to finish!

So how are you doing with your goals?

In Between Seasons Series Annoucement

9781477413685Changes In Store for Young Adult Author Cassandra Giovanni

There are a few things that I have been debating in the past month or so. I’ve stepped back and looked at who I am as an author and where I intend to go with my writing career. I plan on going very far, but as in all things, goals and dreams evolve; we naturally fall into our paths. In Between Seasons gave me the strength to put myself out there. I’m not sure what I thought would happen. I was so scared to jump in, and honestly, that fear spikes in me every time I think about publishing something else. The thing is, now I have fans–I have readers that count on me to continue to produce new and better creations. I was in between seasons when I wrote the novel. I was a bit lost as an author–trying to fit myself into a niche that maybe I just don’t fit into. In Between Seasons is a Young Adult novel, and so is Walking in the Shadows, but in all honesty, I’ve been told more than once that my characters are older by years because of the things I’ve put them through. This fits me perfectly; people pretty much have to pick their mouths up when I say I’m twenty-four. It’s interesting because at times I feel like I haven’t done enough. I really haven’t. I started writing before I knew what it was, yet it took me until I was twenty to fight the demons that came to me in high school to start writing again. It took me three more years, although I’d written six full-length novels by that time, to actually publish one of them. Now, looking back at everything that has occurred in the last year I’m ready to make some key announcements, and I hope my readers will understand and support me as I make these decisions. They will affect you guys. I’m sorry if I’ve disappointed you in any way with these announcements. When I began to write Deadly Sins, I knew it wasn’t Young Adult. Then I started to send my editor snippets, and when I started Just One Cup I sent her snippets of that, too. I remember reading her email that said she had nothing to say except that I’d found my niche. I needed to keep writing this. Thus, I have made the decision that once The Fall series is complete I will no longer be publishing Young Adult novels. I will devote my time to focusing on New Adult novels that better fit my writing style and time in life. This decision came on the tail of a reoccurring dream I had begun having where I was stuck in the bane of my existence–high school. What was worse was the fact that I was stuck in high school with very adult responsibilities and feelings (sound familiar, check out the description of Walking in the Shadows). It was agitating and then I started to see why I was having the dream. That was the way my characters felt–or more the way I felt writing them. As I came to this decision I also decided that I need to wrap everything up for my readers with the ending of The Fall. There were many requests for Hunter’s story. I’m going to give that to you. Thus, the second announcement is this:

The Fall Series

In Between Seasons, #1–Available now–Re-release Summer 2014

Permafrost, #2 (Mara and Rob’s Story)–Summer 2014

Name TBA, #3 (Hunter’s Story)–Winter 2014

No clue what book I’m talking about (but boy is that a pretty cover)? Well, you can get to know In Between Seasons for FREE now by downloading your copy from Kobo.

Download your FREE COPY here!

US Residents enter two win one of three fabulous InBS autographed key chains!
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One Year Reflection

In Between Seasons

One Year Old

one year anniversary

I came to the sudden realization the other day that today it has been one year–one whole year since I first published my first novel, In Between Seasons. The novel wasn’t ground breaking, but it was different. It didn’t make waves–I’ve only sold about 186 copies since that day, but it gave me the will to hit the ground running. I’ve learned so much in this past year, and so much has changed–oh, how I have changed, as a writer, and a business person.

  • I finally gave in and joined Facebook
  • I published two other novels
  • I was approached by a fellow author offering to be my mentor–I graciously accepted
  • I have an editor now
  • I realized that those icky publish yourself into print books are just that icky
  • I started a website
  • I started a blog
  • I started three weekly posts: Muse Monday; Work-In-Progress Wednesday; Sales Saturday (or Sunday)
  • I found Goodreads
  • I found LibraryThing and then decided to no longer use it
  • I did my first book signing and the only people that showed were my parents, my brother and his girlfriend, and my best friend
  • I did my first book expo, spoke on a panel, was told I was an inspiration by a successful, traditional published author, and sold one book…
  • I have fans–Oh.My.God. I have fans…
  • I’ve gotten fan mail…FAN MAIL!! And MORE than once!
  • I’ve met so MANY great people
  • I was in the newspaper three times
  • I figured out what a blog tour was
  • I opened up Gio Design Studios for business for cover designs, formatting and advertisements for other authors
  • I decided, with the help of my readers, that In Between Seasons would be a series
  • I decided, and this may be news to many of you, that the last book in The Fall series will be my last Young Adult Novel.
  • The Fall is planned to be a 3 book series: Permafrost–Mara and Rob’s Story; Name TBA–Hunter’s Story
  • When Permafrost is released, a new, thoroughly edited version of In Between Seasons will be re-released
  • I realized that I did so many things wrong when I published In Between Seasons:
  1. I took too much advice from a person I’d never met or spoken too–a book
  2. I only knew what Kindle was
  3. I didn’t market the book pre-publication
  4. I just put it out there with no preparation such as blog tours, press releases, cover reveals…nothing at all
  5. I got really mad at my first bad review…and I let it eat me up
  6. I didn’t have an editor
  7. I hadn’t already established a presence as an author
  8. A lot more I can’t think of right now…

What I did right? I worked my butt off figuring out what I could do better. I didn’t give up and most of all I did it–a year ago I clicked the “Publish” button.

Let’s Celebrate!

Giveaway Time!

3 SIGNED KEY CHAINS AND E-BOOKS (US ONLY)

keychains

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11 AM Daydreamer with a secret clue to WIP

 

Maybe you noticed my headliner has changed? Maybe you didn’t but now instead of talking about my three favorite material things (laptop, Starbucks and my Nikon) it has a quote from the song that I am using today on Music Musings Monday. This song is so powerful for me. It’s something I put on and I find myself literally singing to (I’m not that bad at singing this song…but I can’t promise any others). It makes me feel better when I am entrenched in self-doubt–a self-doubt that I rarely let people see because I keep hammering ahead even when it feels like I am crumbling. It reminds me of what I am doing as an author and helps me to continue. It gives me strength when I feel weakness.

There’s also a specific sentence that I have placed in bold as another clue to the puzzle that I am creating for my readers about what my current novel is. 😉

SONG: 11 AM Daydreamer

ARTIST: 10 Years

CD: Division

GENRE: Alternative Metal, Post Grunge, Progressive Metal

LYRICS:

I can’t seem to change you or open up your eyes
So go on and sing your sad, sad song.
I don’t even blame you, the routine is nice.
Nine to five in a suit and tie.
Fear of failure in comfort zones kill.

Brace yourself and give into the moment.
You’ve got nothing to lose.
So what is your excuse?
Save yourself, you’re dying in slow motion.
You’ve got nothing to lose.
So what’s your excuse?

Life can’t seem to teach you the safe card is right.
So stray from the fight.
Don’t you realize
The daydreamer’s nightmare is to never even try.
Your time has slipped by.
Fear of failure in a comfort zones kill.

Brace yourself and give into the moment.
You’ve got nothing to lose.
So what is your excuse?
Save yourself, you’re dying in slow motion.
You got nothing to lose.
So what’s your excuse?

Take a step back and find a way out of here.
Can’t you see the answer is loud and clear.

Brace yourself and give into the moment.
You’ve got nothing to lose.
So what is your excuse?
Save yourself, you’re dying in slow motion.
You got nothing to lose.
So what’s your excuse?

Find a way out of here…

ANALYSIS: 10 years is an amazing band with lyrical prowess that isn’t really matched by others in the genre. Their song lyrics are deep and meaningful, coupled with unique vocals, and tons of instrumental skill. To say the least, these guys kill it. I pretty much enjoy every CD that they have released, why? They are all different–they aren’t inundated with songs that all sound the same. There’s a great mix of both slow and fast paced songs and each CD shows their growth as musicians. I like to look at this the same as an author–each book should show growth. I’m proud to say that this band is helping me grow as an author by helping to set the dark mood of my current book, but balancing it out with the lighter notes, just like their songs. I feel like this band fights to break the stereotypes that are brought on by being in a metal world, and I admire that. I want to try to break the stereotypes of the writing world, especially in Young Adult/New Adult novels. Unique music will hopefully inspire a unique book.  Oh, yeah, and did you ever think that that voice would come out of that guy?? Amazing, I know! Oh, and they sound just like that live, or so teases my husband. Pain. 😉

Sales Saturday: Setting Goals

Here piggy, piggy! Here piggy, piggy!

Oh, the irony is that piggy bank looks like it has a boat load of money beneath it, but IT doesn’t. By my banking eye calculations it has about $30.00 max underneath it because it’s all dollar bills. Luckily, I probably made about twice that this year in book sales since May…That is unless you minus all the stuff I gave away as far as e-books, etc. Then I would probably have a piggy bank like this:

Last year I set out on a whim to self-publish. I got In Between Seasons out there and then after lots of hard work and sweat and finding mentors and lynch mobs, literary snobs, and literary elitists, and the fans (I have 46 fans on GR, and you know what? I only know 2 of them personally!!!) I published Walking in the Shadows, a much cleaner and better demonstration of my writing style, voice, and what I hope is skill. I also started to develop my own advertising and marketing prowess with what people either loved or hated for covers, and advertisements. The thing about my covers is, it’s something new, YA covers DON’T look like that. They have girls in fluffy dresses, hot shirtless guys and pretty girls sobbing, and more than half the time they HAVE nothing to do with the book–absolutely NOTHING. I don’t want to be like everyone else. Will some of my covers have pretty girls in dresses on them? Yes, but I’ll have taken the pictures, or my husband because I don’t know many people other than myself to put in them. Will they have shirtless guys on them? No, sorry, you can’t see my husband shirtless. 😉

Though, I am having a dilemma with the cover with my current work in progress…although, I do have a option floating around in my mind deviously…I think, if I can pull it off, it’s going to be awesome!

After all that I decided that I thoroughly despised medical coding and switched my degree to marketing, which I love, and I always have. I should have listened to my heart and not the imaginary dollar signs that were thrown at me. That was something else I learned in writing and publishing as well. If someone has a book called “how to make $46,000 a month selling your e-book” run the other way, if there is a book called “edit yourself into print” burn it. Those were the mistakes I am willing to admit I made with InBS. I listened too much to sources like that and didn’t go with my gut. I also lacked any sort of planning. I walked blindly into the world of publishing, and to be honest, I’m still stumbling–dealing with my own failure in the face of those that say they’ve done less, but they’ve sold more. Maybe they just have more friends than me, who knows. I’m going to keep trying. This year I’m going to use my business management skills, though. I’m stepping in more knowledgeable and applying those skills I’ve learned elsewhere. Along the way I’ll continue to share them with you on Sales Saturday, but mind you, don’t step forward with the advice unless you believe in it and you feel good about it.

Goal Setting

In business goal setting is a very important skill to have, especially when you own and operate your own business. I’ve seen so many blind goals thrown at people–one’s that say we want you to do this, but we aren’t going to tell you how. I’ve pretty much been thrown on my face for most of my business life. I’ve had to teach myself things and establish my own goals, and have devastated the goals set by others, but never met my own goals. I’ve seen the other side as well where the goals established by others are unbelievable in the fact they are not able to be accomplished–they devastate the person’s confidence before they even try.  The goal setting theory states that people are motivated by goals that they accept and are specific, challenging but not too much so, and they receive feedback and reinforcement. Being a writer, the feedback portion can be challenging. Why? Often times the feedback isn’t all that great–AKA the lynch mob. Other times it’s amazing–AKA the fans. Good reviews can be just as useless as bad ones though. The people giving the feedback–besides your editor and if you use a publisher, your publisher, are most likely not trained to give feedback. It’s all over the place and it lacks guidance checkpoints. You have to set your own goals as a business person and a writer, and although you aren’t setting them for someone else the same basic concepts can still be beneficial. Goals should be:

  • Specific: This will help you know what you want to accomplish it and let you chart how you plan on accomplishing it. The goal must be something that will satisfy your needs in your business.
  • Challenging: Don’t take this overboard–make a goal that is challenging but realistic. You don’t want to make a goal to sell 3 books a month if you already sell 3, but you don’t want to make the goal of selling 1000 either.
  • Accepted: Now this is more towards setting goals for others because they must accept the goals and understand them, but you should also accept your own goals–this ties directly with making it challenging. If you set the goal of 1000 when you sell 3 currently you are burning yourself out before you even begin.
  • Feedback: There should be a way for you to track your progress now compared to your progress in the past. A simple way to do this is to create an excel spreadsheet of your sales and track them weekly. This can act as a motivator to get you going and a way to realize your own accomplishments. I would say that one goal to not set is reviews because like I said they lack guidance checkpoints. They can help you to see if one book is better than another, but then again it’s an opinion so you could have all four or five stars and then get a few two stars that will plummet your overall score, while you can get mostly three stars and have the same balance of a score as the novel with mostly four or five stars.

So now that you have read all that you are probably wondering what my goals are for this year. Here they are:

Book Related:

  • Distribute 400 books this year between giveaways and real sales. Last year I distributed 240 books between InBS and WITS.
  • Publish 3 novels. Last year I published 2. I have one set in stone to publish this month, and I would like to release one in the Summer and one in the Winter. Which ones they will be really depends on the development of what I am currently writing.
  • Reach 250 followers on my blog. I am at 139 now, and that was since May.
  • Have 4,000 views on my blog. This year I got 2,800 views since May.
  • Reach 100 fans on Goodreads.
  • Get some five stars, get some two stars, maybe some one stars: Stop reading every review and making myself feel like a bug pinned to a board. Reviews are important, but when they make you feel like less of a person, less of a writer, like an insect–it’s time to stop reading them. I’m also hoping I will get so many that I can’t read them all.
  • Design at least 10 book covers for myself and other authors.
  • Get better at writing and marketing my book.
  • Continue to post at least three times a week.
  • Maybe, just maybe, make some money doing this.
  • Have a successful book reading.
  • Inspire someone.

Personal:

I can’t share all of these because anyone can view my website 😉

  • Receive my Associates Degree in Marketing.
  • Look into getting my Bachelors Degree.
  • Continue to expand my photography company Gio Design Studios–post at least once a month on there.
  • Begin the process of converting the photography company into a publications marketing company (designing covers/back covers, advertisements, book trailers).
  • Start to actually save some money.
  • Be able to say that I’ve kept the weight off for two years.
  • Try not to let people asking me if I eat bug me. Tell people to shove their sandwiches in their own mouths.
  • Get my In Between Seasons tattoo.
  • Help my dog lose some weight, too.
  • Continue to work out three times a week.
  • Start taking my camera with my everywhere so that I stop feeling like I’ve missed that perfect shot.
  • Manage my time better.

What are your goals? Are they specific and challenging? Did this post help you at all?

2012 The Beginning of The Fall

InBS button

I didn’t know what caused the government to collapse or why things were the way they were, and when I met Hunter he knew little more. When it started we were too young to see why, and when we were old enough we were too indoctrinated in fear to care. This is the toll of following a leader blindly—you openly accept that some things just are. Then the lies drown the truth, and you are left with little understanding of why. In the end it doesn’t matter.  Surviving the downfall is all that matters.

2012 marks the beginning of The Fall, a recession that is far closer to a depression is wreaking havoc on the US, and no one seems to be able to agree on anything. Fast forward to 2016, it’s over, The Fall is complete. There’s nothing left to the US government and the dooms day preppers are bathing in the glory that they were right, and they were prepared. These preppers have divided into factions called Tribes, led by a Chief who assigns Generals to train the soldiers to fight the dirty battles to keep what they’ve pillaged. These soldiers are ranked as Trackers, who track and obtain information, but are never supposed to be seen and Hunters, glorified Trackers who have gained the right to kill enemies just by surviving their missions. While all of this is going on a child is sheltered from the truth and trained to be a heartless killer, a robot of a General and another child is sheltered from it all and told that nothing is going on. The woods give both of the children solace–the children of the those that believe they are the two strongest men in this corrupted world. Fast forward to 2031: What happens when their worlds collide as adults, already molded by hate and fear, and one sent to kill the other? They will find the truth in the most unlikely of places–inside themselves and each other.

In Between Seasons is the first novel in the post-apocalyptic romance series, The Fall. Join Kate and Hunter as they fumble through a world they don’t understand, hunger for the truths that they hunger for and in the end discover that none of it matters as long as you survive.

For the truths that were well hidden away from Hunter and Kate, follow this blog to get updates on the second novel in the series, Permafrost: Mara and Rob’s Story release date TBA.

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In Between Seasons now on Kobo and Google Play

CoverI’m excited to announce that In Between Seasons is available now on Kobo and Google Play!! Kobo was an easy endeavor, simple, quick and easy to set up just as Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Google Play…what a mess. It literally took a month and a half to get the books on there. I had to sign an affidavit of copyright, I had to email them several times because absolutely nothing has gone right. Then, there was the issue that the website is just simply not easy to use at all (archaic at best). Every time you need to do anything you have to click “Contact Use”, do a search and find the steps. Kobo, BN and Amazon all walked you through each step, in order, I might add. Google Play is all over the place. I’m very computer literate–I can’t imagine what a hassle it would be for some one who is not. The website doesn’t really function right when it’s working anyways, and even now I still can’t get the cover of my novel on there. In order to do that I would have to redo the whole epub file with the cover included, whilst Kobo and BN, who also operate off of epub don’t require it (you upload the file separate and thus if you need to update either file you don’t have to redo both), but convert my files to epub. So, I would have to change the file, upload it to BN to get the epub file with the cover in it and then remove it from BN and upload the original because the cover doesn’t need to be in the file itself there or on Kobo. Not to mention the file naming requirements of Google Play–it has to be your ISBN, even though because it’s just e-book the traditional print ISBN isn’t even valid. (OH, and let me say they don’t even make it clear how you should name the files until you are done and then you have a mess of files that aren’t right and have to upload new ones to satisfy their requirements). The reason I spent a month and a half grinding my teeth, cursing at my computer to get the file on Google Play is to try to further my reach and increase sales. Right now I mainly sell off of Amazon; in fact I sell 1 book on Barnes and Noble compared to every 10 I sell on Amazon. Those stats aren’t very bright for BN. It has me wondering how popular the Kindle is in comparison to all other e-readers. So, the experiment has begun. I’ve made it so almost every platform and e-reader can purchase my novels, minus iTunes. This is because the Kindle application is available there and thus the $150 I would have to throw down to get a special e-ISBN (that ONLY iTunes requires to sell) isn’t cost effective at all. Let’s see if this increases readership!

Kobo HERE

Google Play HERE

Post-Apocalyptic Romance

“Giovanni’s writing style was a breath of fresh air in the midst of a stagnant world of writing styles.” -Cause I say So Blog

At eighteen there is one thing Kate Ericson is certain of—the world is at war and has been since she was two years old. That was when her father pulled her family and a group of close friends to a God forsaken place in the middle of nowhere. For Kate there is no escape from the sea of lies she is drowning in until her world collides with Hunter Marks—the son of her father’s biggest opponent. An opponent that Kate didn’t even know existed. What Hunter kidnaps Kate for, and what her family will try to kill her to keep secret, is a knowledge that she doesn’t have. Now Kate’s innocence seems to becoming undone at the seams of reality. Hunter then finds himself fighting the hopelessness that is creeping into the edges of her heart as she learns more about the corruption that has devoured their lives. As Hunter and Kate forge a strong and unique relationship it becomes clear that their love is something that the bureaucracy never expected, and that Hunter’s father will do whatever he can to destroy it. Hunter believes he must sacrifice love in order to teach Kate that the world’s deadliest weapon is her. Hunter and Kate will have to find the strength to rise above a deception that is so great, even the ones who created it don’t realize its depth.

In Between Seasons is a new kind of post-apocalyptic novel, one that focuses on the characters and uses the lack of understanding of a corrupt world as the backdrop to shape them into who they are as people.

Praise for In Between Seasons

“This is an intriguing debut novel. I’ve just started reading dystopian fiction and “In Between Seasons” had me thinking, wondering, rooting for Kate, and later Hunter. Ms. Giovanni gives nothing away with her realistic voice and the plot. As you read, you are given glimpses of what has happened to the world, and just who really is the enemy, and who is in charge. There was a twist at the end that I didn’t see coming, and it made me want a sequel right now. The tension between the characters keeps you guessing and you do have to wonder about those ladies on the sofa and what they have to do with the world situation. Even better, nothing is spelled out – the story unfolds in action and dialogue…”

– Ellen L. Ekstrom, Author

“…It reminded me very much of an Underground Railroad or Nazi resistance story which I have always found fascinating to read… Ms. Giovanni does a great job of also introducing great secondary characters (Rob, Mara, Kate’s family) that leave you wanting to know more about their background and hoping for more stories about them. Ms. Giovanni does a great job of world building her description of not only the different tribes but also the anti-tribes. I really enjoyed the book and am definitely reading anything else the author writes. I hope she writes more soon.”

-Jo Anne, Dallas, TX

“Cassandra Giovanni has, if not invented a new genre here, certainly revived a little-used one – the Post-Apocalyptic Romance… The tension created by the budding romance parallels the increasing tension of the story plot, as things grow ever more dangerous around them and they grow more desperate to escape to Freedom. There is the fear of being “found out”, of their humanity and realness being exposed as well, two things which are not looked on favorably in their society. There are several surprises interspersed throughout the book, as well as two big surprises at the end (which I won’t give away) which add to the richness of the story and make you realize there is far more going on in this story and its world than meets the eye…In Between Seasons has earned the coveted 5 Stars! Highly Recommended.”

-M.R Jenks, Author