Please check out my NEW Free Short Story

Hello Everyone!

I had some free time and decided to write a new short story.  Perhaps I phrased that incorrectly.  A new idea entered my head and refused to remove itself until I wrote it down.

The end result is the short story:  My Dirty Bet:  An alpha male mafia comedy short story.

The story takes place four years before the events in “My Dirty Detour” and follows Sergio, Rocky, Dmitry, Vasily, and Irina as they find some adventures one night.  Since it is a prequel, it is not necessary to have read “My Dirty Detour” to be able to appreciate the short story.

I tend to be long-winded so it was extremely difficult to write a complete short story with only 5,400 words.

This story is dedicated to everyone who enjoyed my book and had a taste for a little bit more of Rocky and his crew.

The short story is posted on my website.  You can find it by clicking the tab at the top of the page, or simply click the link here:

My Dirty Bet: An alpha male mafia comedy short story

Thanks for your support and happy reading!

 

Naturally Curly Hair…Blessing or Curse?

It seems that everyone wants what they don’t have…the girls with straight hair want theirs to be curly, but the girls with curly hair want theirs to be straight. I fall into the latter category.  Having been born with naturally curly hair and spending my entire life trying to manage it, I would like to share the wisdom I’ve learned thus far.

Naturally curly hair is extremely dry, extremely fussy, and completely impossible to control. That being said, it is somewhat easier to manage if you’re using the right products.

SHAMPOO: Do not use products that contain sulfates.  Evidently sulfates are the main ingredient that goes in dish soap. Do you know how dry your hands get after you do the dishes?  That’s what you’re doing to your hair.  So step one is to find a shampoo with NO SULFATES.  I recommend:  L’oreal Ever series.  EverStrong, EverPure, EverCurl.  I use the EverCurl one.  I was afraid it wouldn’t have as much lather as the usual ones, but it’s exactly the same and you don’t have to use a large amount either.  Highly recommended.

CONDITIONER: Curly hair is naturally dry, so you want something that will give back the moisture.  When it is humid outside, curly hair sucks up the humidity and that’s what causes frizz and fly-away strands.  That’s my scientific explanation.  I highly recommend Tresemme Conditioner.  They have several varieties to deal with curly hair.  I use Moisture Rich, Anti-Breakage, and Flawless Curls.  I also like that the bottles come in a 28 ounce size.  They used to be 32, but Tresemme made them smaller, thinking they could charge the same price and no one would notice.  I noticed, Tresemme, I noticed!  I also LOVE Herbal Essences Hello Hydration conditioner.  It smells AMAZING and it makes my hair super smooth.  I’m sure there are other great products on the market, but they all have pretty high price tags.  I look at a 14 ounce conditioner for $19.95 and just can’t pay that.  More often than not, I try new products to find that they don’t work on my hair and I have to give them away to people.  If there was a way to but a once ounce sample size for $2.00 just to try it and see if I liked it, that would be way better.  Get on that, fancy hair companies!  Let me try before I buy!

MOUSSE: After you wash and condition your hair, which I recommend doing only every-other day and not every day or else your hair will dry out, you need to put on a finishing product.  I’ve found that mousses work better than gels, sprays, or creams.  A mousse is light and fluffy and doesn’t end up greasy or sticky.  I recommend Tresemme Flawless Curls Extra Hold Mousse and Herbal Essence Totally Twisted Curl Boosting Mousse.  I know it sounds like I’m a paid spokesperson for Tresemme and Herbal Essence, but I guarantee that is not the case.  It would be nice if I was.  I just find their products to be affordable and effective.  I’ve tried other products that just did not work.  Suave and Pantene both had curly mousses but they were not as good.  I tried Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Anti-Shrinkage Coil Moisturizing Souffle and that was a total waste of money.  It SHRANK my curls to 1/3 of their normal size.  I only bought it because it was supposed to be ANTI-shrinkage.  I guess there’s not a magic formula to keep curls from shrinking.  In my experience, creams just make my hair greasy-looking.

LEAVE-IN-CONDITIONER: I would recommend using Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Intensely Smooth Leave-In Conditioner.  This smells amazing and I feel like it’s good for my hair.  I also liked Tresemme Leave-In Split End Conditioning Treatment.  It goes on smooth and doesn’t weigh hair down.

I have no other magical products to tell you about, dear readers. If anyone of you out there has naturally curly hair and you’d like to add ANYTHING at all to this discussion, please feel free to comment.

If you are a representative of L’oreal, Tresemme, or any other company that would like to give me free hair stuff to try….wow…that would be awesome, but I’m not going to hold my breath on that one.

As always, have a great day and thanks for reading!

 

My Crazy Experience with the Amazon Kindle Countdown Deal, March 8-13, 2016

Hello. As you may or may not be aware, I am an independent author who just published her first book with Amazon.  I am enrolled in the KDP Select program which means I get 7 days every 90 day period to discount my book and still get the same royalty rate of 70%.  I am a good researcher by nature, so I browsed countless message boards and forums to make sure I maximized this deal as much as possible.  Here are my results for any authors who have done this in the past and want to compare stories, or for any new author about to embark on this adventure.

2 Weeks before the deal:  I googled around to find the best bargain ebook sites to promote the deal and sent them emails. These are all places that are FREE to promote your book.  I also booked a deal on Fiverr.  Total cost on my part for the whole week = $4.50.  (I got a coupon code on retailmenot.com for fiverr and saved myself fifty cents.  Am I cheap?  Heck, yeah!)

The Day Before the Deal: The Day before the deal went live, I got my little notebook and wrote down a daily to-do list. (Am I neurotically organized?  Heck, yeah!)

Sales Rank Before the Countdown: 222,295 in paid kindle store, 6970 in Kindle Romantic Comedy, 7817 in Kindle Romance Suspense.

Mood: Beyond excited for my media blitz and plan to take over the world!

Day One, Tuesday March 8, 2016:  I woke up at 5 a.m. with a plan to advertise on all platforms in which I was a member. I checked to make sure the deal was live and the price for my books in the US and UK was indeed 99 cents and £0.99.  I then did a Facebook post and a blog post on my website.  My website blog RSS feed goes straight to Goodreads, so I made sure to manually update that too, so any Goodreads followers could grab the deal.  I posted the countdown deal in any Goodreads groups that I’m a member of.  I was very careful to post in all the right places and follow the rules so as to not be spammy.  I also posted in the Kindle Boards (Kboards.com) and Kindle Users Forum (kuforum.co.uk).

Total Sales for the day: 10 Units sold and 533 KENP Read

Summary: I was happy with this result.  My book is normally priced at $3.99 and the most I’ve ever sold in one day was 5 copies.  The most KENP I’ve ever had in one day was 3500.  I do way better with page reads than with sales.

Day Two, Wednesday March 9, 2016:

Today’s plan was to cross my fingers and hope that all the bargain sites I had emailed previously would actually feature my book. I had a great day!

Bookscream (bookscream.com) – featured me in their email newsletter. This is a very cool newsletter with links to click on the books and it’s not cluttered or spammy.  I actually downloaded another book on their site that was on my “to be read” list and it was free.  Double score!!!

Readcheaply (readcheaply.com) – I was in their newsletter and on their site. This is also a very good site with easy to find books and no ads taking up the whole page.

Total Sales for the Day: 21 units sold and 103 KENP Read

Summary: Totally amazed to sell so many units. Amazon Author Rank: 13819 in paid kindle store and 940 in Romantic Comedy.  Quite the jump from two days ago.

Day Three, Thursday March 10, 2016:

This is the day that my paid Fiverr promo went live. I booked a gig through BKnights because they were highly recommended on several message boards.  They sent me a link to the page where my book was featured.  I was disappointed to find the book was about 25 down on the list.  It was mixed in among books of every genre and I doubted how much exposure it would get.  I expected more from this.

I was also promoted on several more sites.

Readingdeals.com – listed in the newsletter and on the site. Another good site to find bargain books without a ton of ads.

BookZio – listed in the newsletter and on the site.

Newfreekindlebooks – listen in the newsletter and on the site. This another good site and very easy to navigate.

BookHippo – not in a newsletter and buried very deeply on the site. Could only find with the search feature.  But any exposure is better than none, especially if it’s free.

My book was also reviewed on two popular romance review sites, which might have helped too.

Total Sales for the Day: 7 units sold and 3135 KENP Read

Day Four, Friday March 11, 2016:

I contacted the BKnights promoter on Fiverr and explained the results of their campaign and how few sales I received. They promptly responded with a refund and told me that they usually promote free books.  I would assume they do a lot better with those.  I appreciated their willingness to give me a refund and thanked them for their great customer service.  I have to assume that this is a good company, it just didn’t work for me personally.  I would recommend it to anyone who has a free promo instead of a reduced price sale.

I was also promoted on two more sites that day.

Bookloversheaven – featured me in their newsletter and I was the second book on the list on their website. You have to have 10 reviews to apply here.

Bestebooksfree- also featured me in their newsletter and on their site. This is another great place to find books.  Very easy to navigate and no ads all over the place.  You have to have at least 10 reviews to apply here too.

Total Sales for the Day: 3 units sold and 971 KENP read.

Day Five, Saturday March 12, 2016:

Not featured anywhere. Riding the wave of the previous day’s advertisements.

Total Sales for the Day: 3 Units and 1060 KENP read.

Day Six, Sunday March 13, 2016:

Also still riding the wave and seeing what happens on the last day.

Total Sales for the Day: 1 Unit and 1551 KENP read.

One very disappointing side note: Amazon has a dedicated page to Kindle Countdown Deals.  My book was NOT on this page at any time during my deal.  I called to find out why and I was told that Amazon just randomly picks books to feature and not all will be on the page.  I’m assuming they want their cut of my book sales, yet they won’t feature me on the site to help boost my exposure?  I even asked if that was something I could pay for (to be featured  there) and I was told no.  I guess the old adage applies…if you want something done, you just have to do it yourself.

All in all, it was a fun experiment. I was extremely pleased that so many websites picked up my book and promoted it, considering I didn’t pay them.

I would also like to add that my posts on Kboards got 37 views and the Kindle Users Forum got 227 views. I don’t know if it translated into any sales, but it’s always interesting to see how many people viewed your posts.

Am I rich? Heck no.  Was it totally fun to check the sales charts every hour to see how many I sold?  Absolutely.

I hope you can gain some knowledge from the results of my Kindle Countdown Experiment, or at least find some new free places to submit your book.

Please feel free to comment if you have anything else to add or any other suggestions for helping to achieve a successful Kindle Countdown Promotion.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

 

0.99/£0.99 Kindle Countdown Deal…March 8-13 only!

Get a copy of “My Dirty Detour” for the low, low price of 99 Cents or £ .99!

That’s right… 323 pages of entertainment for under a dollar! Or read FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

Do you enjoy Alpha Males, Feisty Ladies, Humor, Suspense, and Steamy Bedrooms scenes?

Check, Check, and Double Check!

Do you want your books to be Full Length, Stand Alone Novels with a Happily Ever After?

I’ve got you covered!

Do you hate insta-love, cheating, and love triangles? Me too!  That’s why you won’t find any in the book!

If I’ve convinced you to give my book a try, please click on one of the links below:

US Link:

http://www.amazon.com/My-Dirty-Detour-Comedy-Romance-ebook/dp/B01AU6674G

UK Link:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Dirty-Detour-Comedy-Romance-ebook/dp/B01AU6674G/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

As always, thank you very much for your time and for giving my book your consideration!

Grace

Congratulations to the Goodreads Giveaway Winners

 

Congratulations to Corinne, Jennifer, and Nancy…winners of an autographed copy of “My Dirty Detour.”

Thank you to the 571 people who took the time to enter the Goodreads Giveaway for a chance to win a print edition of my book.

I’m grateful that Goodreads offered such a great opportunity to get the word out and I really feel like it helped put my book on the radar of many wonderful readers.

If you didn’t win a copy of the book…. don’t despair.  Next week there will be an amazing March Madness Kindle Coutdown Offer where “My Dirty Detour” will be on sale for the low, low price of  $0.99 or £0.99 if you’re in the United Kingdom (I just learned that if you hold down the “alt” key and type 0163 then it makes the pound sign.  I already learned something new today and it’s only ten after eight in the morning.  Loving it!).

More details to follow about the Kindle Countdown, so stay tuned…..

Grace