Create, Pitch, Sell

What's Happening

Not only has this been a very strange year it's also been a very stressful one. I completed several stories. Made new covers for some books. Changed the content on others.

On the 12th of this month, I made new covers for the Bad Mojo Series [book one shown below]. I was pleased with them. For a little while. Um, that's a picture of a Voodoo Lily, folks. Sheesh. :)

I've known from the beginning how this series is going to go. But I've really struggled with the covers. So. Today, I made these covers: Bad Mojo. I love them. And they are here to stay.

The other thing I've had to deal with this month is learning how to make a Table of Contents for my books. None of my books had one. I found out this is why Apple has been slow about uploading my stuff. The ToC is a requirement of theirs. I couldn't figure out how to do it, though. Following the step-by-step directions on the Style Guide from Smashwords I made them in just a few minutes. It was so easy to make the ToC's I couldn't believe I was reluctant to do them sooner.

Another thing I did was to add a Review Request at the end of all of my stories.

I'll put everything [new covers/text/ToC's] on Apple, Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Sony, Diesel, and Smashwords later this week. I'm waiting for the holidays to be over and done with.

By the way, my books are available on Kobo and Diesel, again. I'll put the links on this blog as soon as everything has been uploaded.

It's a shame I didn't have everything in place before the Christmas-shopping season began.

Merry Christmas

New Look For Serial Quiller

This is cover image number five for book one in the Bad Mojo Series. I think. It might be number ten. Or forty. Seriously. I've lost track of how many times I've changed the covers for this series.

After I went with the critter pictures (shown below) I noticed I'd lost the subliminal theme of this ongoing story: sex and voodoo.

So. What do you think? Are the new covers here to stay? Or do I need to go back to the drawing board?

sharon [dot] austin43 [at] gmail [dot] com

SERIAL QUILLER 5 is available on Amazon.

I don't know why, but Sony hasn't uploaded SQ 5, yet. And for some odd reason, Apple only put SQ 1, 2, 4, and 5 on their site. I contacted Smashwords. Hopefully, book three will soon be available.

New Release – SQ 5

SERIAL QUILLER 5 is now available.

Nook .. Smashwords

Coming soon to: Apple, Sony, Amazon

During a séance in Charleston, South Carolina, the ghost of America’s first alleged female serial killer, Lavinia Fisher, possesses Alma LeJeune. Taking up where Fisher left off, Alma drugs traveling businessmen spending the night at the Wayfarer Hotel. Before they pass out she escorts them to their room where the bed is rigged to a mechanism that lowers it to the cellar through a hole in the floorboards. In the cellar the sleeping men are hacked to pieces by Lavinia and her husband, John, who has also returned from the dead. After dark, she feeds the body parts to her pet, a great white alligator. One man who didn’t drink the tea escapes and leads authorities to the hotel. Alma – still trapped in a trancelike state and getting closer to becoming completely transformed into Lavinia – is unable to resist arrest, much less defend herself when she’s on the verge of being hanged by the neck. Where is BJ? Why did she leave her there all alone?

Bad Mojo Series

Coming Soon

Charleston, South Carolina

Possessed by the ghost of a female serial killer from the 1800’s, Alma LeJeune drugs traveling businessmen then feeds their dismembered body parts to her pet, a great white alligator.

Bad Mojo Series

What's Happening

I took down my three 'free preview' books. It was a lot easier than explaining what kind of books they were considering they were incomplete stories. An excerpt book is what they're called, for those who don't know. But it doesn’t matter anymore. They’re gone.

While on hiatus, I read my stories. Discovered I had one of my characters trying to "span his horizons". Good grief. I made a few minor changes to all of the stories. Then I made new covers for all of them.

I also started writing a new series for kids. I hope to have the collection ready for release next summer.

I'm working on Bad Mojo. I truly love this series, and I am not going to rush through it just to get it done. Some parts are very near and dear to me. A little hint about my serial Quiller: she's not going to be filled with murderous rage forever.

I'm looking into AudioBooks.

As for not using Twitter and Facebook, my focus is on my stories and getting those stories to readers. That's it. I’m more interested in writing the next book. When I did use Twitter, I noticed the majority of my followers were other writers. I didn't want to turn my Twitter account into a writers forum. This is the very reason I don't enable the comments section of my blog. If someone has something to say to me, please, feel free to send me an email at: sharon (dot) austin 43 @ gmail (dot) com [no spaces]

The novels in my Hellfire Trilogy are selling on Nook and Apple. The same three books no one in New York wanted. Just thought I’d mention it.

Another month of No Sale on Amazon. Out of frustration, I unpublished all of my novels, leaving just the five short stories on Kindle. Nothing changed, good or bad. After I made the new covers I decided to give my novels another chance. I uploaded everything I had to Amazon. And... all I hear is crickets, not one-clicks.

I’m about to release book five in the Bad Mojo series. Number six won’t be far behind. Other than that, I don’t have too many things left to do this year. Maybe I'll learn how to scuba dive.


New Release

SERIAL QUILLER 4 is now available.

Made the brunt of a sick joke by The Six, a snobbish group of writers, BJ shows them what make believe is all about when she uses the legendary Robert the Doll, a child's toy created by voodoo magic, to hit back.

Nook .. Amazon .. Smashwords

Jealous over the remarkable success of BJ Donovan’s debut novel, six close-knit members of the Lieu de Crime Club get drunk at a writers conference in Key West, Florida and come up with a plan to play a practical joke on her, just to knock her off her high horse. They aren’t the only ones who know how to create a scenario that fits a real-life situation for a novel. Using the legendary Robert the Doll, a cursed child’s toy on display at the East Martello Museum where he is kept under lock and key, BJ gets even with The Six.

Bad Mojo Series

SERIAL QUILLER 5: Charleston, South Carolina - Coming Soon

SERIAL QUILLER 6: Salem, Massachusetts - Coming Soon

Get Your Free Novel

I am offering my mystery novel, SMOKE ON THE WATER, Book One in the Hellfire Trilogy, free of charge for the next seven days.

The gruesome discovery of a woman's corpse in the small tourist resort of Point Jove, Missouri draws Sheriff Josh Wolfe, a widower who enjoys tinkering with his award winning hot rod, into the most perilous case of his career. Hounded by the townsfolk and media, Wolfe exhausts every conventional method for solving the crime. The investigation comes to a standstill. Then, four more residents disappear. Everyone is convinced Rhone County is harboring a serial kidnapper who chooses his victims by chance. Wolfe believes the people are not only related to one another but are somehow tied to the last surviving member of the county's namesake. Time is not only running out for Sheriff Wolfe but for his lover, dissatisfied wife of a homebuilder, held against her will at the Rhone family's abandoned sawmill where spilled gasoline awaits a lighted match.

Currently available for free on: Nook, Apple, Sony, and Smashwords.

The Hellfire Trilogy: interwoven tales of love, mystery, murder... and arson.


I’m taking time off to do a lot of writing and a little boating.

See you in September.


Ebook Reviewers

DAILY EBOOK REVIEWS ... Reviews for Your Kindle, Sony Reader and Nook
THE INDIE READER ... Bargain Books For Your Nook
BOOK’D OUT ... Book Reviews and News
BOOKS ON THE KNOB ... Bargain Reads, Free eBooks, Book Reviews
AN ECLECTIC BOOKSHELF (Formerly known as Books and Things)
EARTH’S BOOK NOOK ... Journey to other worlds with me.
THE LL BOOK REVIEW ... What’s Next?
A SOUL UNSUNG ... Book Reviews

THE BOOK DIVA’S READS ... A book review blog for the basic reader by a basic reader.
THE BOOK BEE ... Love nothing more than sharing my views on books with the world.
THE HAPPY BOOKER ... Reviews, Giveaways & More!
GOOD BOOK ALERT ... Great Finds in Indie and Small Press Books
READING REVIEW ... Book Reviews by Conan Tigard & Associates

This And That

** I do write every word of this blog.
** I don't actively use Twitter. It just doesn't work for me. And I don’t want to work for It. I haven’t tweeted since... I can’t remember when.
** I don't actively use Facebook either, though I have a page in there. Somewhere.
** I’m selling more books on Nook and Apple than I am on Kindle and Diesel. If Amazon would let me upload my ‘free preview’ books, I might sell a novel or two.
** Seventy-five copies of my free books have been downloaded on Sony.

** My books are no longer available on Kobo.
** I’m finishing the Bad Mojo series before Christmas. I re-did the covers for the first four books. Just finished making the covers for books 5 thru 13. The covers for TWILIGHT and SHADES OF GREY were my inspiration: Less is more. I'll upload them when SERIAL QUILLER 4 is done.
** My idea of adapting one of my novels [KILLING SUMMER] to a screenplay is on the backburner until the Bad Mojo series is completed.
** Although my serial Quiller drinks tequila like it’s going out of style, I’ve never tasted the stuff. If and when I do have a drink I like Jack Daniels.
** Half a year is gone and I still haven’t panned for gold in California.
** Haven’t learned how to snorkel, either.
** I’m still thinking about writing a romantic short story. Maybe around the end of January.

Writers Conferences & Festivals 2012

June 1-3: Bloody Words XII – Hilton Toronto Downtown – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
June 7-8: 8th Annual Clarksville Writers Conference – Austin Peay State University – Clarksville, Tennesse
June 8-10: 64th Annual Philadelphia Writers Conference – Holiday Inn Historic District – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
June 8-12: Kachemak Bay Writers Conference – Lands End Resort – Homer, Alaska
June 9-14: Santa Barbara Writers Conference – Hyatt Santa Barbara – Santa Barbara, California
June 12-16: Western Writers of America Convention – Albuquerque Marriott – Albuquerque, New Mexico
June 21-24: RomCon – Crowne Plaza Denver International Airport – Denver, Colorado
June 22-24: Writer’s League of Texas Agents Conference – Hyatt Regency – Austin, Texas
June 25-28: Romance Writers of America Annual Conference – Anaheim Marriott – Anaheim, California
June 28-30: Jackson Hole Writers Conference – Center for the Arts – Jackson Hole, Wyoming

July 7-13: Antioch Writers Workshop – Antioch University Midwest – Yellow Springs, Ohio
July 11-14: International Thriller Writers Annual Conference – Grand Hyatt New York City – New York, New York
July 13-15: Public Safety Writers Conference – The Orleans Hotel and Casino – Las Vegas, Nevada
July 19-22: Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference – 51 Tamal Vista Boulevard – Corte Madera, California
July 22-27: Napa Valley Writers Conference – Napa Valley College – Napa Valley, California

Aug. 3-5: UNF Writers Conference – University of North Florida, Florida Writers Association – Jacksonville, Florida
Aug. 8-12: Authors After Dark Convention – Royal Sonesta Hotel – New Orleans, Louisiana
Aug. 11-12: SEAK Writers Conference for Physicians & Lawyers – The Resort and Conference Center at Hyannis – Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Aug. 16-19: Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts – Rockwood Centre – Sechelt, BC, Canada
Aug. 19-22: Pacific Northwest Writers Association Conference – Hilton Hotel – Bellevue, Washington

Sept. 20-22: Hampton Roads Writers Conference – Doubletree Hotel – Virginia Beach, Virginia
Sept. 20-23: Writers’ Police Academy – Guilford Technical Community – Jamestown, North Carolina
Sept. 21-23: The Southern California Writers Conference – Hyatt Regency – Newport Beach, California
Sept. 28-29: Central Ohio Fiction Writers Conference – Holiday Inn – Worthington, Ohio

Oct. 4-7: Bouchercon Crime Fiction Convention – The Cleveland Marriott Renaissance – Cleveland, Ohio
Oct. 5-7: Moonlight and Magnolias Conference – Hilton Atlanta Northeast – Atlanta, Georgia
Oct. 6-7: Write on the Sound – The Frances Anderson Center – Edmonds, Washington
Oct. 19-21: Surrey International Writers Conference – Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel – Surrey, BC, Canada
Oct. 27: Boston Book Festival (Free Event) – Boston, Massachusetts
Oct. 27-30: Algonkian Writers Conference – The Old Stone Inn – Niagara Falls, Canada
Oct. 19-21: Florida Writers Conference – Orlando Marriott Lake Mary – Orlando, Florida
Oct. 19-21: South Carolina Writers Workshop – The Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Oct. 26-28: Emerald City Writers Conference (Romance Writers of America) – Bellevue Community College – Bellevue, Washington

Nov. 1-4: World Fantasy Convention – Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel – Toronto, Canada
Nov. 2-4: The La Jolla Writers Conference – Paradise Point Resort & Spa – San Diego, California
Nov. 9-11: The New England Crime Bake Conference – Hilton Boston – Dedham, Massachusetts

Dec. 13: Murder Mystery Theater – Details to follow.

New Release

SERIAL QUILLER 3 is now available on Amazon and Nook.

Coming soon to Apple, Sony, Smashwords, and Diesel.

Strolling across Wrights Square disguised as Suite Sue, a high-priced call girl, Alma LeJeune encounters the ghost of Alice Riley, an indentured servant who was executed in January 1735 for the murder of her cruel employer, William Weiss. The first woman to be hanged in Savannah, Georgia, Alice was left hanging from the gallows for three days while bystanders gawked at her decomposing body. Taking the life of her employer was defensible. Hanging her was not. Enraged over the harsh treatment and public humiliation thereafter of the young Irish immigrant, along with the knowledge that Weiss wasn't punished in any way for his abusive behavior, Alma hunts down the descendants of those responsible for this undeserved execution.

Bad Mojo Series

SERIAL QUILLER 4: Key West, Florida – Coming Soon

An iBooks Author

I’m selling books on Apple.

Some of my sales come from Australia and Canada.

Most of my sales, so far, are for my novels and two of my short stories: STAY WITH ME and NIGHT OF THE DARK.

How cool is that?

Coming Soon

The Bad Mojo series continues with SERIAL QUILLER 3: Savannah, Georgia.

With a little help from BJ Donovan, Alma Lejeune exacts revenge on the descendants of the people who had willingly participated in the unjust conviction and public hanging of a young Irish woman in 1735.

Available by May 20.

Now Available On Sony

My Special Preview books – A SIMPLE PLAN, BAD MOJO, A BURNING DESIRE – are now available on Sony eReaders.

And they are FREE!

A SIMPLE PLAN – Prelude to KILLING SUMMER, a gritty tale where one partner in crime concocts a plan to extricate himself from murder. Inspired by a true story.

BAD MOJO – Prelude to SERIAL QUILLER 1, a spooky tale of voodoo magic, murder, and make-believe.

A BURNING DESIRE – Prelude to the Hellfire Trilogy: interwoven tales of love, murder, and lies.

(Also available on Nook and Apple)


My short horror story, GAR, which was enrolled in an exclusive program for the past ninety days, is now available on Smashwords and Nook.

GAR: A small group of amateur anglers learn payback bites when they try to get rid of a very large alligator gar before the start of a major fishing competition.

Synopsis: A recognized tournament is coming to Redmoon Lake. If word gets out that a fifteen-foot alligator gar has not only taken over the lake it has taken someone's life, the event would surely be called off. More than likely, it would never be rescheduled. The members of the Castaline Bassackwards fishing club decide to take matters into their own hands. When someone gets carried away and kills a young gar, the adult male retaliates in the worst way.

PubIt! Love

I am feelin' the love at Barnes & Noble. People are finding my books. All of them. And they're buying them. All of them.

This is very encouraging.

Thank you, to everyone who bought one or more of my stories.

What's Happening

I'm finishing SERIAL QUILLER 3. Beginning SERIAL QUILLER 4.

Smashwords – Read An Ebook Week was a success. I plan to use coupons more often (instead of pricing my stories at 99 cents).

Barnes & Noble – Almost 3,000 copies of my Free Preview books (BAD MOJO, A SIMPLE PLAN, A BURNING DESIRE) have been downloaded on Nook. Readers are now buying the novels. Awesome.

Amazon – On the first of April I'll upload GAR to all venues.

Last year was very stressful. Very. This year I'm slowing down. After all, I'm living on Island Time, y'know. Piña colada in the hand. Bare feet in the sand. Add the excitement of seeing my sales ranking go UP for a change, and I am (almost) at peace with the world.


Get Your Free Novel

March 4-10, 2012 -- I'm offering my mystery novel, SMOKE ON THE WATER, free of charge during Read An E-book Week. In addition, KILLING SUMMER is 50% off, SERIAL QUILLER is 75% off, and all of my short stories are Free (not SERIAL QUILLER 2).

While you're at it, check out what other Smashwords authors have to offer.


Short Stories:

Special Announcement - Update

I guess everything's okay.

This whole thing started when I received an email stating my account was going to be closed because of some virus they'd detected, and if I wanted to reopen the account I'd have to give them my password along with an alternate email address and password.

I didn't do anything. Mainly because after reading the notice again it didn't sound legit. Time will tell.

I used a Hotmail address to open an account with Blogger in order to have this blog. Lately, I've been having problems with Hotmail. I'm attempting to make the primary email address (Hotmail) the secondary email address and then make my Gmail address the primary one. From what I've read about it, doing this is more complicated than it sounds.

In the event something goes terribly wrong I won't be able to access my Blogger dashboard anymore, which means I won't be able to add new content to this blog. I'll have to start over with a brand new blog.

If there are no new posts by the end of February consider this blog closed.

Something Amazing Happened Today

I met a fan I didn't know I had. The chances of two RVer's crossing paths again, anytime soon, are slim to none.

How cool is that?

We met last year at an RV Park in Oklahoma. I couldn't believe it when I saw her and her husband arrive in the familiar Class-A this morning. She remembered my name. Told me she bought both of the books I had for sale back when we first met. She said she loves my writing. Wanted to know if I had written anything else. I thanked her for asking and then told her I've written several stories, novels and shorts, which are available on most eReaders. She said she knows best-selling author Max Allan Collins. He lives in her neighborhood. What an awesome morale booster it was for her to praise my work with the same respect and enthusiasm.

I'm still smiling. Working on my story-in-progress. Eagerly counting down the days until the 90-day free trial offer for my short story, GAR, is over.


What's Happening

Thought I'd take this opportunity to share the outcome of my experiment with the book I enrolled in Amazon's KDP Select program.
Free downloads: 118
Borrows: 0
Royalties: 0
Reviews: 0
Other Sales Resulting From Experiment: 0
Current Sales Rank For Enrolled Book: #704,367
Take it for what it's worth and nothing more.

Among other things lined up for 2012, I plan to have a ghost story collection ready by Halloween, have several children's books available for Christmas, and shop around my first script. Currently, I'm working on the third book in the Bad Mojo series, enjoying spring-like weather in the South, and trying not to get discouraged.

Coming Soon

The Bad Mojo series continues with SERIAL QUILLER 3: Savannah, Georgia, a psychological thriller short story.

With a little help from BJ Donovan, Alma Lejeune exacts revenge on the descendants of the people who had willingly participated in the unjust conviction and public hanging of a young Irish woman in 1735.

Free Event Ending

My paranormal romance short story will no longer be free of charge after Valentine's Day.

STAY WITH ME – A senseless act of murder unites two lonelyhearts.

Following the untimely death of his parents, Daniel, a teenage outcast, reluctantly moves into his uncle's home in the country where he's left feeling even more friendless and isolated. He discovers a lonely girl is haunting the old mansion when he sees her standing at the outside entrance to the cellar. Her name is Lizze, she tells him, and this is where she stood the night she was murdered in 1897 on her seventeenth birthday. Daniel's great grandfather shot her because he had reason to believe his wife was about to find out he'd been having an affair with her servant. Lizze's body was hidden in the cellar and then forgotten. Daniel and Lizze become fast friends. By year's end they are deeply in love. When he turns eighteen, his uncle orders him to go out and seek his own fortune. Torn between two worlds, a foiled robbery attempt changes Daniel's life forever.

My Amazon KDP Select Experiment

As more and more success stories about writers who had gotten thousands and even tens of thousands of downloads of a book they'd enrolled in Amazon's KDP Select program started popping up on writers forums and blogs my competitive spirit kicked into high gear. I love to win. Even more, I love the chase.

I submitted one of my books. The clock started ticking on January 25.

On the night of the 29th I viewed the results of my 5-day experiment. The total number of downloads wasn't what I had... expected? Honestly, I believe the only reason I didn't have better results is because I am still an unknown writer. Possibly, my expectations were set too high? Perhaps I should've submitted a novel instead of a short story? Maybe I should've just waited.

I know it sounds like it, but no, I am not bitter about the outcome. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? I'll chalk it up to a lesson learned, and leave it at that.

On the plus side, because of this program a few more people know my name. Thank you, to everyone in the US and the UK who downloaded my book. I am very, very grateful.

It's a beautiful day. I think I'll go for a walk on the beach and concentrate on the things I can control such as my new work-in-progress.

Promoting Indie Authors

Indie Writers Zone Indie Insider
Excuse Me, Miss Bargain Ebooks
Pixel of Ink Free & Bargain Ebooks
Go Indie Discover the Best in Indie Publishing
Ccebooks How to Make, Market & Sell Ebooks
Spalding's Racket Making a Noise About Indie Authors
The Indie Spotlight Where the Independent Author Shines
Week in Rewind, Nook Free & Bargain Books for the Nook
The Frugal eReader Frugal Finds Under Nine for the Kindle
The Tale's The Thing Sharing Work by Outstanding Authors
Week in Rewind, Kindle Free & Bargain Books for the Kindle

The Plot Thickens

New Release

My psychological thriller short story, SERIAL QUILLER 2, is available now on Smashwords and Amazon.

In SERIAL QUILLER 2, BJ Donovan embarks on a murderous rampage after someone at a writers retreat steals her handwritten manuscript of a new novel containing details of a true crime that were never made public.

Bad Mojo Series

Coming soon to Apple, Nook, Sony, Kobo, Diesel

SERIAL QUILLER 3 - Coming February 2012

New Look For The Hellfire Trilogy

New E-Book Releases For January

BAD WISDOM By Christine Cook
IN A FLASH By William Mangieri
SAINT MUDD By Steve Thayer
Il BERSAGLIO By Domenico Martusciello
SCOFFLAW BLUES By Marc Krulewitch
SEA OF DARKNESS By Sarah D'Almeida
DIED ON THE VINE By Joyce Harmon

...SORRY, WRONG NUMBER: Suzie B. Mystery #1 By Gene Grossman
ALREADY GONE (Young Adult Mystery Thriller) By Christopher Fulbright
TICK TOCK (A Detective Shakespeare Mystery Book #2) By J Robert Kennedy
LOST IN LONG COVE By Suzanne Ouimet ... A DEADLY AFFECTION By Cuyler Overholt
A GHOST OF A MURDER By Elizabeth Pulford ... FORBANNELSE AV GUDINNAN By Ratan Lal Basu

Coming Soon

My psychological thriller short story, SERIAL QUILLER 2, will soon be available.

Initially, Florida was the setting of this story. I decided to use Corpus Christi, Texas instead. As usual, my Quiller goes wherever the hell she wants to go. Was it the haunted lighthouse? Or something far more sinister that drew her to the First Coast? She's there right now. BJ and six other newly published authors have descended on St. Augustine to spend two weeks at a popular resort and workshop where their manuscript will be critiqued and given the attention it deserves.

So. What could possibly happen in this beautiful and historic city to cause BJ to seek out a bokor and then go on a murderous rampage?


In SERIAL QUILLER 2, someone at a Florida writers retreat steals BJ Donovan's manuscript, an unpolished first draft of a thriller novel, packed with unpublicized details leading up to the murder of Detective Lucas Cantin of New Orleans in Louisiana.

Writers Conferences 2012

Jan. 20-22 ... Writer's Digest Conference – Sheraton Hotel – New York City, New York
Jan. 20-24 ... The American Library Association Midwinter Meeting – Dallas Convention Center – Dallas, Texas
Jan. 27-29 ... San Diego State University Writers Conference – Doubletree Hotel – San Diego, California's Mission Valley

Feb. 3-4 ... Cape Fear Crime Festival – Wilmington, NC
Feb. 4 ... Murder in the Magic City – The Homewood Library – Birmingham, Alabama
Feb. 3-5 ... Love Is Murder Mystery Conference – Chicago, Illinois
Feb. 15-19 ... Savannah Book Festival – Savannah, Georgia
Feb.16-19 ... San Francisco Writers Conference – San Francisco, California
Feb. 16-19 ... San Miguel Writers Conference – San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Feb. 17-20 ... The Southern California Writers Conference – San Diego, California
Feb. 22-26 ... Fisherman's Wharf Writers Conference – Algonkian Writers Conference – San Francisco, California

Mar. 1-4 ... Sleuthfest – Orlando, Florida
Mar. 3-4 ... Whidbey Island Writers Conference – Whidbey Island, Washington
Mar. 10-11 ... The Tucson Festival of Books – University of Arizona Campus – Tucson, Arizona
Mar. 16-17 ... The Write Stuff, Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group – Allentown, Pennsylvania
Mar. 30-31 ... Northern Colorado Writers Conference – Fort Collins Hilton
Mar. 29-Apr. 1 ... Left Coast Crime Mystery Convention – Sacramento, California
Mar. 29-Apr. 1 ... The Maine Festival of the Book – Portland, Maine

Apr. 11-15 ... Romantic Times Book Lovers Convention – Hyatt Regency O'Hare Hotel – Rosemont (Chicago), Illinois
Apr. 13-14 ... Houston Writers Guild Conference – Sugar Land, Texas
Apr. 14 ... TMCC Writers Conference – Truckee Meadows Community College – Reno, Nevada
Apr. 16-21 ... Philadelphia Book Festival – Pennsylvania
Apr. 19-21 ... Las Vegas Writers Conference – Sam's Town Hotel and Casino – Las Vegas, Nevada
Apr. 20-22 ... Missouri Writers Guild Conference – Doubletree Hotel and Conference Center of St. Louis
Apr. 20-21 ... Kentucky Writers Conference and Southern Kentucky Bookfest – Bowling Green
Apr. 21 ... Alabama Book Festival – Montgomery
Apr. 21-22 ... Pikes Peak Writers Conference – Colorado Springs, Colorado
Apr. 25-25 ... Mystery Writers of America Edgar Awards & Symposium – Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York
Apr. 26-28 ... American Society of Journalists and Authors 41st Annual Writers Conference for nonfiction writers – New York City, New York
Apr. 28 ... Unicorn Writers Conference – Portland, Connecticut

May 3-5 ... The Oklahoma Writers Federation Story Weavers Conference – Oklahoma City
May 5 ... Ontario Writers Conference – Garden Hilton Hotel, Ajax, Ontario, Canada
May 4-6 ... Tallahassee Book Festival and Writers Conference – Florida
May 11-13 ... Algonkian Writers Conference – San Francisco, California
May 18-20 ... SC Book Festival – Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center – South Carolina
May 24-26 ... Backspace Writers Conference – New York City, New York
May 24-27 ... CrimeFest – Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel in Bristol, UK

June 1-3 ... Bloody Words XII, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
June 1-3 ... Wyoming Writers Conference – Casper, Wyoming
June 8-12 ... Kachemak Bay Writers Conference – Lands End Resort – Homer, Alaska
June 9-14 ... Santa Barbara Writers Conference – Santa Barbara, California
June 12-16 ... Western Writers of America Convention – Albuquerque, New Mexico
June 22-24 ... Writers League of Texas Agents Conference – Hyatt Regency – Austin, Texas
June 25- 28 ... Romance Writers of America Annual Conference – Anaheim, California
June 28-30 ... Jackson Hole Writers Conference – Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Special Announcement

I thought it would be fun to jumpstart the new year with a sale to go with all of those new eReaders.

For a limited time, my short stories regularly priced at $1.99 will be on sale for only 99 cents. The ones I'm offering free of charge will remain that way.

Since I write in several genres, hopefully, you will find something of interest to read.

New Perspective, New Goals

To be on the safe side, I'm having black-eyed peas, and later, a thin slice of chocolate cake today. Lucky Foods for the New Year :)

At the start of 2011, I said I would:
—have no less than six titles available by December.
—use CreateSpace to turn my ebooks into paperbacks.
—learn how to snorkel.
—pan for gold out West, just for fun.
—find something good to say about rainy days.
—reclaim the little things in life that used to make me smile [being awakened by songbirds, sunny days, starry nights, hiking, boating, the sound of waves lapping against the hull or the shore, the smell of fresh-baked bread, the smell of fresh-cut grass, wind rustling autumn leaves….]

By year's end:
I had more than six titles available by December.
Never got around to using CreateSpace.
Never learned how to snorkel (too many jellyfish!).
Didn't pan for gold out West.
Closed the blinds so I couldn't see rainy days.
Reclaimed all of the little things in life that used to make me smile.

I've prepared a list of everything I'd like to accomplish this year. Instead of posting the whole thing now, then spending all year worrying whether or not I can meet my goals, I'll just post a few every month.

Mostly, I will:
—experiment (book prices, genres, sales venues).
—send books to reviewers.
—request to have a book listed on promotional sites.
—have bookmarks and business cards printed to hand out wherever I go.
—promote new releases of indie authors.
—try something different every month: outdoor adventure, food, etc.

Here's to better days and happier tomorrows. Cheers!