Electrify Me – review

electrify me cover

SYNOPSIS

All Gloria Falcon wants is to have a nice New Year’s Eve with a nice man. Is that so much to ask? But after seven disastrous New Years in a row, this year she’s trying something different. Committed to spending her New Year’s Eve manning the phones at a suicide crisis phone line, Gloria is sure the karma she earns will break her New Year’s curse. But when a blackout cancels her night of philanthropy, rather than spend the night moping in the dark, she goes on a ride along with the cute electric company lineman who failed to fix the power.

Charlie Zhang is not much of a New Year believer either. He’s coasting through life after being discharged from the army and trying not to let his cynicism of pretty much everything define him. When Gloria Falcon climbs into Charlie’s life, and his repair truck, neither of them expect this to be the New Year’s Eve that changes their minds, and their fate, forever.

Content Advisory – includes scenes of a highly sexual nature and some violence.

 

My Review:

As part of the Reader Round-Up for The Masquerade Crew. See the information here.

3.5 out of 5 Stars

I love the way the story started. Gloria was given an interesting history (backstory).  A New Year’s Baby dealing with historically horrible New Year’s Eves. It sucked me in because I’ve never been one to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Where the story lost me was the lack of development of Charlie. His story felt thrown in at the last minute and there was a part of the plot that was never resolved. And doesn’t look like it will be. As a reader, that irritates the heck out of me. It’s a shorter book and didn’t take too long to read. I just feel these characters had the potential to be so much more. If you’re looking for a quick read with sexy hookups, this is your book. If you’re looking for a fulfilling book with complex characters, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Melanie

What’s coming up on FP, TD – It’s exciting!!

I’ve been working on revising the trilogy and now have them all uploaded and available for sale with shiny new covers. (See the Quick Buy Links tab on the blog) The next few months look to be just as busy as the first three have been.

Next month is the annual A-Z challenge starting April 1st. Which also happens to be the first day of the first Camp NaNoWriMo session. I will be doing both.  I’ll also be part of the Authors in Bloom Blog Hop which runs from April 8th through the 17th. Hosted by Dianne Venetta, you can find the list of participants here. There are also prizes and recipes :)  Also, the online Conference of Indie ReCon will be April 15th through the 17th. Click here for the full schedule. There are always some great posts by industry professionals, I would definitely recommend checking that out.  Throw in my niece’s b-day party and spring in general, and April looks to wipe me out! Luckily, I’ll be able to schedule the A-Z posts in advance, so that should help a bit. Although…that would be a good camp motivator. No. I’ll be working on the new story I’ve come up with that has me pretty excited.

For May, I’ll be working on the last round of edits on Bradley’s Letter to get that published. I’m still not sure about the title because it’s so different but that’s what I’ve been calling it for over four years now and I’m not really sure what else would work. I’ll be needing a few beta readers, so if anyone if interested, let me know!

If things go well, BL will be ready to release some time in June. I still don’t have a cover for this book. I have a good idea of what I want, it’s just finding the images and getting them to blend together.

Also, during the month of May, a group of writers I ‘hang out’ with on Facebook will be taking over the blog. This group, titled the Badass Book Bitches, brought together by one crazy redhead by the name of Deena Harrison Schonfeldt (of E-Book Builders, and the podcast Bluebonnets, Bagpipes, & Books), has helped me refocus on writing and given me so many tools that are easily integrated for any publishing style. And they’re crazy supportive, which is fantastic.

I’m looking forward to the next few months. I feel reenergized and just hope that things at the EDJ tone down a little so I have enough energy when I get home to be able to write as much as I’d like to.

How many of you are participating in the A to Z Challenge?

Melanie

The Unlikely Samaritan – Release Tour

Jolie Mae Miller is celebrating the release of her second book The Unlikely Samaritan.

TUS header

Jolie is a fabulous woman who managed to weave real life into what some what some might consider an unlikely scenario and make it all seem real. I read her first book, The Good Samaritan and was pleasantly surprised by her storytelling. I know I have a lot of sweet romance readers who follow me and this is definitely not a book for those readers. But I really enjoyed it. The sex scenes were part of consensual relationships and made sense within the story, instead of being just a gratuitous addition. All of Jolie’s characters are realistically fleshed out and easy to care for…and hate. I can’t wait to see what happens to to them in the next installment.

Excerpt

It’s been two months since he died—today is Valentine’s Day. Two months that I haven’t taken a breath. I’m a walking zombie who is barely existing. This is a day couples are happy. They’re excited about young love, reminiscing about old love. I hate this day. It just reminds me of how circumstances took my happiness away. Alcohol ruined a once, good husband and father. The kids are suffering, and I know it. I try to be a relevant influence in their lives right now, but even they know: I’m a failure. Every time my beautiful daughter, Hope, looks at me, she has this look in her eyes: desperation. She needs me to be the mom but reality is, we’ve had a role reversal. At only ten-years old, she has taken on the traditional mom role, making breakfast and packing their lunches. Oftentimes for dinner, I’m comatose and she makes us grilled cheese sandwiches. Yep, I totally suck.

Ways to connect with Jolie:

Jolie MillerWebsite    Twitter    Facebook    Goodreads

 

 

 


 

TGS promo picGet Book 1 on sale now.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/…/e/B00PMJ660M/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id941769243
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/…/the-good…/1120790229…
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-good-samaritan-9
Page Foundry: http://www.inktera.com/…/765b883e-480b-4ee9-bb8a…
Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/246589538/The-Good-Samaritan

Sorry I didn’t respond immediately…

I was busy spending time with my small family.

Immediacy. Too many of us have fallen victim to the instant gratification syndrome. Texting, social media notifications, read receipts, etc. When I first got my smart phone, about 4 years ago, I left notifications on. Facebook, mail, texts…woo hoo! Or so I thought. Within two days all notifications were silenced, nullified, beaten off my screen.  Text messages and missed calls are all that show up on my phone.

I think a few of you were just horrified by that statement. I can almost hear. ‘Why? You won’t know when someone message you! What if you don’t answer them right away?’

They’ll probably live. Or find someone else to answer their question. If it’s important, I would hope they call me. Or, heaven forbid! have to wait for my response.

Yes, I said it. Wait. Remember the adage, “Good things come to those who wait”?

Waiting, patience, a reminder that everyone is not immediately at your beck and call. It’s something that’s sorely lacking in our society. And it’s something I have a tough time dealing with considering I’m trying to promote myself as an author on social media.

There are some days that things are so crazy at the EDJ that the absolute LAST thing I want to do is turn on my computer and fiddle with stuff. I’ve gone entire Saturdays without turning on a radio, the television, or even my computer. I’ve learned that my mind is already geared in a slight OCD/manic-depressive manner that instant – and constant – notifications simply serve to set me on edge quicker.

They mess with my focus. If I didn’t have to respond to client emails at work, I would only open my email two or three times a day. Although, I may start to do that, that way I can focus on that email without worrying about getting back to the tasks that checking my email just interrupted.

Focus. Something I’ve noticed I’m lacking lately. There are so many distractions at our fingertips. I’ve gotten to the point where there are certain places I don’t check my phone. The car – no brainer there. My life comes first. I’m not texting you back until I get to my next stop – and that doesn’t mean stop light. The grocery store. I still use a hand-written list and thanks to narrowed aisles and everyone else not paying attention to the world around them, it’s easier to bob and weave without worrying about dropping my phone. At a restaurant. There are a few times I’ve given in because no one else at the table is paying attention to the physical bodies sharing the space with them but I try to refrain from checking mine as much as possible.

So no notifications for me. I’m sorry if it frustrates you that I’m not immediately responding to your texts/chat/tags/etc. At the heart, I’m an artist and for me, getting away from technology is the perfect way for me to reset, recharge, and renew the creative muse that lives within. Has it lost me online friends? Maybe. But more than likely, these are the same people who either never respond to or don’t read a full text from me so no big deal in the long run.

I’m probably shooting myself in the foot, but at this point I really don’t care. We all have lives to live and families and tasks to take care of. If I don’t hear from you in the next 10 seconds, I’ll understand. I almost miss the days of snail mail where it took up to two weeks to receive a letter, read it a few times, then craft a lengthy response that answered any and EVERY question contained in the original missive. We crafted our responses instead of popping off the first thing that comes to mind. That things will get you in trouble faster than anything!

Am I swearing off social media completely? Nope. I’ve made a ton of friends and some wonderful connections. Will I log out for hours on end? Absolutely. Sometimes even days. (Oh Grand Canyon trip I miss you – no wifi, no service, no plugs – simply river, sand, stars, and sky)

This is a friendly reminder to unplug from the technology and reconnect to those around you. If you’re someone I miss, I can kiss your picture on the screen, but I can’t hug a monitor. Scent, touch, and auditory memories last so much longer in the heart.

I’ll see you when I see you :)

Melanie

Surviving a book release

(or How to Not Drive your Family Crazy during a book release)

Book releases can be exciting. I’m told it’s a similar feeling to giving birth, sometimes similarly physically painful surrounded by feelings of euphoria.

It can also be stressful.

It never fails that the EDJ will become absolutely hectic or I will get sick the week of a book release. I’ve wracked my brain trying to think of a way to make it not only less stressful, but also a way to market the new book without bombarding everyone’s newsfeed on release day. Also, I tend to get overwhelmed with everything that needs to happen to release a book. These steps have helped alleviate that feeling somewhat.

Here are my tips to surviving a book release.

1) Set a realistic deadline and stick to it: This means edits, cover art, or just writing the damn thing. Stick to your schedule. That means you should add in some wiggle room when real like inevitably intrudes.

2) Pinterest: Call it what you want. Time suck, the devil in disguise, what have you. If you have a Pinterest account, create an board for the book you’re working on. Not only will it help those of us who are visual writers, it’s another way to immerse the readers into the story and get them excited ahead of time. I don’t have it linked to any other social media account at the moment because not everyone wants to know that I’m looking at furniture designs that hide a litterbox or that I’m trying to find a new way to organize my closet/kitchen/life. But once complete, it’s a good link to add to the back of the book if the reader is curious about what inspired the book.

3) Grabbing snippets along the way: I’ve found this one the most useful. While I’m editing, if a sentence grabs me, I copy it and put it into a new document. I’ll try to grab at least six or seven. These become my teaser snippets for Facebook or Twitter promos that I can add to the buy link posts.

4) Grabbing excerpts along the way: Process for #2 also applies to excerpts. Have a blog tour you want to schedule? If you’ve already grabbed these during edits, you can make each post a bit unique.

5) Schedule, schedule, schedule: About three weeks out, I will start scheduling posts on my Facebook fan page. I also need to re-download HootSuite so I can schedule Twitter posts.  These are my lifesavers. I get so overwhelmed and burned out trying to remember to post about the book on this day, add the link here, here, and there. For these posts, the meat of it is already there. If I want to add a link to the post, I can just update it and viola! Done.

6) Make a list: I have a 70-pg spiral notebook that contains what I do for each release. From formatting -including fonts, margins, and past issues – to what pages the buy links need to be added to. I’m in this alone, so there’s no one to delegate this work to. It all falls on me, which is why I panic and get so overwhelmed. Even with the list, I sometimes forget something until after the fact. But the list has helped alleviate some of the worry that I’m going to forget something absolutely vital. I really need to type it all in and make a printed “publishing bible” for myself. Then update it whenever technology changes or my needs change.

7) Have fun! Releasing a book should be fun. Readers finally get to read what we’ve been working on for months, sometimes years. This is vital for me because I absolutely HATE marketing. I suck at it…but I know this about myself which is why #2, #3, #4, and #5 on this list are essential for me. It helps make it more fun and I don’t feel like I’m harassing my readers/followers and it doesn’t completely overwhelm me.

What strategies do you use when marketing a new book or your business?

Melanie