Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Little Book That Could

The Little Book That Could

If any readers noticed, over the last week my book The Granite Rose climbed to the #8 spot on Amazon's bestseller list. It wasn't 'the bestseller' list, but it was on the romance/historical/ancient world list. I have to tell you, it was a pretty awesome thing for this author. Especially when I get a look from a certain individual or two who said, "that book?"

The Granite Rose is the definition of the little book that could.

I wrote the first really, really bad draft many years ago after having a very vivid dream. I was young, really young and thought it was the novel of novels. I edited, very badly, I polished very badly and I let my mom read it. She of course liked it. She said it reminded her of Louis L'Amour western without the cowboys. Well, I have to tell you this girls heart soared at that statement. I too loved Louis and his books.

To tell you how long ago this was originally written I typed the manuscript on a typewriter. It was electric and it did have one of those self-correcting ribbons. (Younger people will have to Google this! LOL) But it was 300 or so pages long, without cut and paste.

I promptly sent it to Simon & Schuster, yes I was that naive and young. Needless to say it came back unopened. My mother said they were idiots and to send it out again. Undaunted, I sent it to several more publishers. Rejected and crushed I put the manuscript away and went on with college and life. Mom would ask about it here and there, but I shrugged and let it go.

Fast forward a few years. I'd had many magazine articles published, worked in advertising and public relations and I pulled out the typewritten pages and thought, man this really does suck. The story was good, but the mechanic, plotting and grammar were - well bad. No wonder it was rejected.

I reworked the story, and again sent it out into the world only to be rejected. At least this time I got some feedback -- Rome books aren't selling, no one wants a romance without sex, there is too much politics, too much history, not enough romance, too much dialogue. It was the little book that could find no home.

Even when movie blockbusters like Gladiator and HBO's Rome were smashing records, no one wanted the Granite Rose. The biggest reasons: No sex, too much violence, and a heroine that was too strong.

So, again, I put it away.

Shortly after I was accepted by a small publisher for another series, I approached them about this little book. Though skeptical, they agreed to give it a try. With a professional editor it began to shine. It was originally published back in January of 2012 to very lackluster sales. Although I tried to promote it, no one wanted to blog or advertise a little book about two people in ancient Rome. So even trying to promote it was a struggle.

Everyone loved the beautiful cover, reviewers thought it was a great book (4/5 star ratings), but still I couldn't pay someone to promote it.

Then this week a magical thing happened. Someone, some where bought a copy and then someone else, and so on. Amazon priced it at $1.99 (hoping to get rid of it since no one was buying it!) and I hollered at my readers and friends and they went on there and bought a copy and praised it.

The Granite Rose stayed in the top ten for a week. Although I was absolutely stunned and happy it was a rather bittersweet moment. You see, it was the first completed manuscript of mine my mom ever read, and the revised version was also the last one of my works she read before I lost her. How badly I wanted to call and say "mom, mom guess what, you know that little book of mine no one wanted....." I hope somewhere she knows. She's the one who told me those publishers were 'idiots'. Mom's are are good at saying things like that, at least she was.

So, thank you to all who bought a copy, to my publisher Desert Breeze who took a chance, and to my mom, who thought it was a bestseller all along.

May all the Write Words be Yours,

Friday, September 20, 2013

Welcome Author Tonya Kappes

My sweet friend, and bestselling author Tonya Kappes is making a much awaited blog appearance on Makenwords today. She has just released her latest novel, Grooming Mr. Right, one of fun "Bluegrass Romances." AND - Tonya is giving away a copy of Grooming Mr. Right to one lucky commenter!! So, post away!!!

Welcome Tonya! Let's begin with what attracted you to writing in the first place?
The idea that I could tell a story.

What genre are you most comfortable writing?
I consistently write in two genres: romance and mystery. I love them both. Once I finish a romance, I have to have a break and I get a chance to do that by starting a new mystery.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
Every novel of mine is set in a small town, I grew up in a small town. Every novel I write has to do with a strong family unit, my family is thick as thieves. I guess you could say that I want everyone to experience the love of a small town and the love of family that I did.

Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from?
Everywhere! It might be an overheard conversation, a situation, or just an idea that pops into my head.

Do you have any writing rituals or listen to “mood music” when you write? Where is your favorite place to write?
I do have some type of white noise going on in the background. Most of the time it is music. I love to write in my office or on my back porch starting at 6:00 am.

What’s your favorite place in the entire world?
My parent’s house.

Fame or fortune, which would you prefer?

What was your favorite part of this book to write? Which part was the hardest?
I love writing the coming of age of the protagonist. I love developing that storyline. The hardest part was when my protag realized what was truly important in her life and what she believed was never the case.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?

If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
I do have an outside career. I’m a Child Intervention Therapist. I guess you could call it my part time job where I work two half days a week. I love working with children and their families to become the best person they can be.

If you could live inside the world of a book would you choose?
I would have to pick Whispering Falls from the Magical Cures Series. It’s a magical place with talking crystal balls, fairy dust, and fairy god-cats~how fun is that?

Give your fans three fun facts that they may not already know about you.
I’m addicted to Red Hot candy. I order a large diet coke with extra ice in a stryofoam cup every single time I go to McDonalds. AND I’m scared of the dark.

Chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry?
Hands down, chocolate.

If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?
Pen, paper and my hubby

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
It’s 285 pages that is filled with fun, love, laughter and coming of age.

You just made the USA TODAY BESTSELLERS list with TWO novels in the same week. WOW! How did that feel?
AMAZING! Nothing short of amazing! I was shocked with one, but two…..le sigh. The Perfect Ten is a box set collection of nine other bestselling authors that we put together in order to reach more readers and cross-promote, so I knew it would be well received by readers. But STRUNG OUT TO DIE! To make the list on my own is a dream come true. I couldn’t be more honored and grateful for it. I’m still giddy over it.

So what’s next for you as an author? Any last words?
I’ve got another book coming out in a brand new mystery series, A GHOSTLY UNDERTAKING. Plus I just had two novels debut on USA TODAY Bestseller list, and I’m excited to see where that goes.

Thank you Tonya for dropping by today. I want to ask all my readers to head out and grab a copy - if you want a fun, humorous, small-town romance, this book should be on your "MUST" read list. Below are all the links to buy Grooming Mr. Right, and find out more about Tonya!

About Tonya:
USA Today Bestselling Author, Tonya Kappes writes humorous cozy mystery and women’s fiction that involves quirky characters in quirky situations. Not only have her novels made the USA Today bestsellers list, but they are an Amazon Top 100 author, Amazon Movers and Shakers, and International bestsellers.
Splitsville.com, the first novel in the Olivia Davis Mystery Series, is a double finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Mystery and Humorous Categories.
Carpe Bead ‘em is 2012 winner in Amazon’s eFestival of Words in the Women’s Fiction Category.
A Charming Crime, the first novel in the Magical Cures, is the 2013 eFestival of Words in the Fantasy Category Winner.A New Tradition the Indie Romance Convention 2013 novella of the year.
When not being the princess, queen, and jester of her family of three teenage boys, an adoring husband, and three fury kids, she travels to various writing groups as guest speaker on “How to Market and Promote Your Novels Effectively,” where she is known as a marketing guru.
Become a member of Tonya’s STREET TEAM! It’s a gathering place of readers who love Tonya Kappes novels and Tonya gives away monthly prizes! To sign up for Tonya’s STREET TEAM, newsletter, view book trailer, and upcoming news, check out Tonya’s website, Tonyakappes.com.

And be sure to stalk her on Facebook and Twitter!
Buy Links:

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Heading to Maryland!

Hey Everyone! I am just getting ready to depart for Hagerstown, MD participating in Lora Leigh's Reader Appreciation Weekend! 

Food supplies laid in for hubby.
Snacks and treats for Diesel the Wonder Dog.
Snacks and treats for the road trip.
Promo packed.
Cowboy boots shined and ready.

If any of you are in that neck of the woods, please stop by, I'd love to say howdy!!!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Twenty Questions Answered


I was asked to play twenty questions on Long and Short Reviews. They are celebrating their 6th Anniversary! Yeah, congratulations LASR!!!! Wow, I've never been asked such interesting questions.

The blog tour of myself and many other authors begins today!!! There are prizes, swag, giveaways, books, and oh, yeah, a $100 Amazon gift card. Not bad for reading all the weird things about authors like me!

So, if you ever wanted to know -- Do I have a phobia or more than one -- Do I have a tatoo? Or any imaginary friends? Well, this is the blog to hop on over to!

While this is going on - I will be doing a really cool giveaway - a little Baer Necessities, Baer Facts and maybe even a Granite Rose will be included. One winner will be selected on Friday from blog commenters, and those that comment and Like my Facebook page. So, go ahead talk among yourselves then post. LOL

May all the Write Words be Yours,

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Just a Few Days Ago

Just a Few Days Ago

It was just a few days ago that I was wishing for high school to be over. Oh, how I wanted to be unleashed from the confines of that building. How I wanted to take on the world, discover new things, not be limited by a building, a town or a textbook. I threw that mortar board hat in the air, and ran for the exit.

..............a few days ago

I was fumbling with a wrench under a car hood and a handsome man offered to help me. My car played matchmaker and we were soon married and I had my very own knight with a tool box.

..............a few days ago

There were three of us. An amazing little girl with chubby cheeks and bright blue eyes.

............a few days ago

We became a family of four. Handsome hubby was suddenly outnumbered by females as another
darling girl came into our world with blue eyes and strong will.

...............a few days ago

We were camping, laughing, playing with animals, occasionally fighting and slamming doors. There were sleepovers, and potlucks and band practice and 4H critters.

..............a few days ago

My world was perfect.

.............a few days ago

I realized everything I loved and cherished could disappear in a blink. My world was rocked and by the grace of God, prayers were answered and my world was righted. Priorities changed.

................a few days ago

There were two sons-in-laws added. Then another little blue eyed girl to frustrate another father. And a son already strong and willful. A grandparent? Me? Wait.....I just got out of high school.

.................a few days ago........yes, that how it feels. Not years or decades, but days ago. I blinked and ten years passed. I turned around and the world had changed again. I sat for a minute and things passed me by.

I hope in twenty years, I'll still be able to smile and say........just a few days ago.

May all the Write Words be Yours,

Friday, July 26, 2013

It's a Bash!

Hey all!

I am participating in a Birthday Bash. My friend and fellow author, Leah Braemel writer extraordinaire is celebrating her birthday today! To celebrate, she is giving away a very cool bag with dozens of author signatures - Including Mine! It's filled with books, swag, and a $50 gift certificate to Amazon.

This girl knows how to celebrate a birthday!

You have to do a couple of things to enter - honest, it's not hard and there will not be a test afterword.

All you need to do is like my Facebook page and like Leah's Facebook page. See, I told you it was easy. If you want MORE chances to win, all you have to do is like other participating authors pages. We are all pretty likable, and the more of us you 'like', the better your chances of winning. Besides, what a great way to find new books and authors. Instead of wondering around the aisles of a bookstore, you can wander around author FB pages. Yes, I love bookstores too, but this is pretty fun!

The other fine authors participating are: Dee Carney, Jayne Rylon, Hildie McQueen, Anara Bella, Cat Johnson, Robyn Bachar, Lissa Matthews, Dana Marie Bell, Cheryl Brooks, Margaret Ethridge/Maggie Wells, Rita Heuber, and Alannah Lynne.

Leah will have links to each of these authors - so head on over there!

PSST! - I have some goodies to give away too! I have an autographed print copy of Baer Truth, awesome cowboy boot earrings, and a surprise - maybe a bare Baer.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you in advance!!

May all the Write Words be Yours,

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Just the Baer Necessities!

Just the Baer Necessities!

It's here! The print edition of Baer Necessities - Book Two in the Three Baers Trilogy. All three books are available in eFormat, but many readers have ask for the print edition. So.......I'm excited to announce it is now available.

Baer Necessities - Book Two of The Three Baers - One of them will be just right. 

Connor Baer left the ranch to see the world. 
He wanted no part of small town life, no part of ranching, and the only reason he came back to Sentinel was to help his brother.

Jessie McIvey didn't want a cowboy in her future. She wanted to see the world beyond the barbed wire fences. But her job brings her right back home to Sentinel, Wyoming.

Sometimes the thing your heart wants the most, you've had all along. Two people left one small town to find what their hearts were searching for, only to find everything they'd ever wanted right in their own backyard. 

Here's an excerpt:

She just let Connor Baer plant one on her. Not only did she let him kiss her, but she returned the kiss, and heaven help her she liked it -- a lot. It's a good thing her toes weren't inside her cowboy boots, because they curled so tight, they probably would have to be cut off her feet. The man knew how to kiss.
Then his hand went to the side of her face and tingles rounded across her back like a summer breeze.
She was in serious trouble. Oak, think about Oak. He was her, her, boyfriend. Yes. No. Oak hadn't kissed her once in the week he'd been Sentinel. Hell, he'd never kissed her like that.
Cowboy she reminded herself. She'd left home to get as far away from cowboys as possible. Yet, here she was in a cave, ringing wet, covered in mud with a cowboy who still wanted to kiss her. Oh yes, she was indeed in serious trouble.
Just when she was about to put as much space between her and Connor as was possible in the small cave, the brush snapped at the entrance.
In two steps, Connor was in front of her. That was something she hadn't expected. She hadn't expected any of this, not being rescued from that river, not being carried to safety by him, and certainly not being kissed. Now, the man was putting himself between her and whatever was coming inside that cave.
The branches snapped hard, whipping back as the large dark thing entered the cave.
"Is that what I think it is?" She whispered into Connor's ear, her hands on his shoulders.
"Yeap." He whispered back. "Don't scream or make any sudden moves."
Into the cave lumbered a huge, dark brown, stinking, very wet bison. It stopped suddenly as surprised by them as they were by it. It snorted, pawed the ground and shook its massive head from side to side.
"I can't move, I'm too freakin scared." Her voice squeaked. "Aren't they afraid of fire?"
Connor reached down, and slowly picked up his boots. "I don't think they are afraid of anything." He leaned against the rock, his back pressing against her legs, as he slid the boots on.
"What is he doing in here?"
There was no other exit. The cave became suddenly very tight. Connor turned slowly toward her. "Get your boots on. Once he comes farther inside, we'll sneak past him and out of the cave."
Jess nodded, reaching for her boots without taking her eyes off the hairy beast.
Lightening etched shadows inside the cave, thunder hammered and the wind was getting strong enough to bend the brush across the entrance sideways. She felt her heart skip a few dozen beats. The buffalo seemed a lot more gentle than the storm that was raging, the storm that had nearly killed her.
"No." She whispered to Connor. "I'm not leaving. That overgrown furball is not making me leave this cave." She jumped off the rock.
"Buffalo," her voice was louder, but sweet and gentle. "We're not leaving. I am so not going out in that storm. So, pull up a rock and join us, but we're staying." She sat on the ground next to the fire, leaning her back against a large rock.
Connor knelt beside her, his voice still a whisper. "Are you nuts? That's a wet, two-ton, beast that is not known for being sweet." He glanced at the buffalo. It stood firm, not charging at them, but not leaving either. "Get up, we'll sneak around him." He pulled on her arm.
That was it right there, the reason she didn't want a cowboy, they were bossy, always bossy, and always right. You couldn't tell one of them they were wrong. Oh no, that was the start of range wars.
Jessie gave him a long, hard look. "No. I'm not moving.
The buffalo gave a hard snort, shook more rain water off its hide and took two steps toward the fire.
"Don't you go all stubborn on me, not now." Connor yanked her arm again.
The buffalo inhaled deeply, then it's front legs bent underneath it, followed by its hindquarters. Then it's mouth started to work on the cud that was stored inside.
Jessie glanced around Connor at the big, hairy thing, than up at him. "It looks like he's good with us staying here."
"Or sizing us up for later." Connor warned.
Jessie snorted nearly as loudly as the buffalo. "Nah, he's just wet and cold too." The buffalo seemed very contented. "I think he likes the fire." A stiff breeze blew inside the cave. Her nose wrinkled. "Man, does he stink."

Sometimes you get to keep your boots,

Sometimes you got nothing left but your spurs,
And sometimes neither one is as important as staying true to your soul

Stay tuned! I have a brand new series coming in September. It's fun, it's got bad guys, it's got a couple of antagonistic reporters, and a few good Druids. 

May all the Write Words be Yours,