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Authors are readers too…

            Hello, everyone!  Today’s blog post covers a few books I’ve recently read…

It’s pretty much impossible to be an author without being a reader, too.  I love to see what new genres and interesting plotlines my fellow authors are coming up with.  The indie author community is full of talented and hardworking artists that slave away over the keyboard to bring you tales of romance, wit, wisdom, and fantasy.

I’ve been extremely lucky enough to get two ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) of books that I’ve enjoyed so much I’d like to share them with you.  Both books are currently available on Amazon.  Please keep in mind that while I received both books for FREE from the authors, I also went out and bought them when I was done reading them and they became available for purchase.  Amazon can be a bit difficult sometimes, and unverified purchase reviews have a habit of being pulled.  In order to try and avoid that scenario, I find it’s easier to buy the book and look legit.

Please also keep in mind that I would NEVER write a blog post reviewing a book that I haven’t read.  You’ve probably become accustomed to me sharing a monthly blog post as part of the Book Boast Newsletter Swap program where I feature author’s books in my newsletter and, in turn, they feature my books in their newsletter.  This is just my way of saying, “Hey…check out these books that you otherwise might not have heard of.”   However, in this case today, I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed both these books.

Why am bothering to explain all this ad nauseum?   Because I want you to understand that I’m an extremely picky bitch when it comes to books and I would NEVER pretend to like something and say, “this was awesome!” if I really didn’t enjoy the story.

I’ve found that my patience for certain books has greatly diminished since I’ve become a writer.  My writer brain notices a lot more grammar and punctuation issues.   There was one erotic book that I attempted to read last week and couldn’t even enjoy the sex scenes because there were NOT enough commas in the sentences.  I’m a bit paranoid about commas for some reason.

Anyway…back to my original purpose for this blog post… I read two very good books and I’d like to share my reviews with you today.

Book One: 

The Best is Yet to Come by J E Benoit….  $2.99 on Amazon, Free on Kindle Unlimited.

Blurb:   Adaline Reynolds has very little time or desire to worry over her non-existent love life, regardless of what her best friend thinks. Perky Jo’s, the café she inherited from her beloved aunt, has demanded all her time and energy since returning to Little Creek. But that all changes the day a damaged photograph mysteriously shows up at her feet.

When she’s suddenly swept away to find the man in the photo waiting to show her some fun, Adaline’s convinced that she’s finally lost her mind. With no logical explanation for these meetings, she soon finds herself giving in to this charming stranger and feeling more and more like her old, happier self.

As she draws closer to the truth about the man in the photo, will she find who she’s been looking for? Or will she discover that the best is yet to come?

*** The Best is Yet to Come is a STANDALONE contemporary romance with a twist. Due to mild language and sexual situations, this book is intended for readers 17 & up ***

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07322TML5

This is the debut book from J E Benoit.  With a debut author, there’s always a thrill of, “Is this going to be awesome or total crap?”  Let me tell you, it was awesome.  No grammar or punctuation issues in the entire book.  The plot was very original and had a small supernatural aspect.  Now please let me explain this…there are NO vampires or werewolves or ghosts or shifters.  It is a SMALL supernatural aspect of …hmm…I want to tell you but I don’t want to give spoilers.  Let’s just say there was a bit of an influence from the great beyond.  The main character, Adaline is very relatable.  The entire story is told in her Point of View, except for the epilogue.  Adaline’s love interest is very real in the way that he could be anyone off the street that you or I come into contact with.  He’s not your typical alpha male jackass.  What did I like about the book?  It was a very unique idea that was ORIGINAL.  I’m all about finding something NEW that hasn’t been done a million times before.  I liked the suspense aspect of the book and I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next.  I was pleased to see the characters using PROTECTION when they had sex.  I can honestly say it’s a giant pet peeve of mine when the characters don’t use a condom.  The instant I read a sex scene with no mention of birth control, I inwardly cringe and pretty much predict that there will be an accident in the next few chapters and the main lady will wind up pregnant.  When I read books that I intend on reviewing, I always take notes so I can write a good review.  My notes for this book literally say, “YAY!  SAFE SEX!”  This book was more about “all the feelings” and only had a few sex scenes.

There was also an unexpected twist in chapter 32 that had me tearing up.  Normally books do NOT make me cry, because I’m not a mushy person.  But when something does hit me, it hits me hard.  Obviously I’m not going to say what happens in chapter 32, but it was something I didn’t see coming at all.

While the story didn’t have very much in the way of humor (I’m a sucker for comedy…you know this if you’ve read any of my books), I enjoyed it anyway.  It was a very good, well thought out story.  This was a stand-alone novel and I felt like everything was wrapped up and the epilogue really pulled things together.  Highly recommended!  I can’t wait to see what the author writes next!

Book Two:

Unbent by Wysteria Wilde… $3.99 on Amazon

 Warning: For Mature Adult Audiences 18+.

BLURB: In book three the final installment of What Was Everything: Four years had passed since Annabel LaFrance last saw Nick Bignanni. Four long years of trying to get over him and moving on with her life – the same life he had saved – but the same life he had destroyed, too. She’d been certain that he was The One, and he’d told her he loved her and felt the same way. But he’d been lying to her from the beginning – about everything. He ended up leaving her, and then the unthinkable happened, and he’d been sent away, ultimately choosing to cut off all contact with her. He’d simply shut her out of his life completely. For four long years.

Now, he was back—watching her, waiting for her, wanting to apologize and tell her the truth about everything, promising that he had changed and asked for another chance. She knew trusting him again would not be easy, and there were more disturbing revelations and some additional mountainous obstacles to be overcome if their relationship was ever going to work. And the Universe always seemed to be working against them.

Ultimately, Annabel has to decide if she’s willing to risk giving Nick another chance, which would also mean giving him the power to destroy her once again. She wants nothing more than to put their past away and focus on a future with him. But sometimes that’s easier said than done, especially when they would be facing another uphill battle.

And sometimes, it’s just too late for true love…

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072MM33R9

This book is the THIRD and final installment in the “What was everything” series.  If you haven’t read the first book, you will probably not fully appreciate the third one because you won’t really be invested in the characters.  Full disclosure…I read the first book, BENT, in February, but I never read the second book in the series because I think it accidentally got deleted from my kindle.  I’m not good with technology.  Let me also say that I read BENT in February, but the characters stuck with me so much that I needed no refresher in preparation for this third book.  Blah Blah Blah…now let’s get to the good part.

Much like J E Benoit, Wysteria Wilde’s books are extremely well written with no grammar or punctuation issues.  This book had altering viewpoints, with different chapters told by different characters.  I really felt like this helped the book flow smoothly from one plot point to the next.  Basically the story is the conclusion of the epic love saga between Nick and Annabel.  But it doesn’t really end there.  Yes, Ms. Wilde does an amazing job of ending their story and the reader really gets the melancholy feel of, “oh no, this is the last I’ll read of these characters!” but I got totally hooked on the supporting characters.  Brooks, Annabel’s gay BFF, really stole the show with his humor and down-to-earth attitude.

In case you were unaware, I’m very much a “root for the hero” kind of girl.  But in this story, I found myself literally falling in love with one of the villains.  I can’t give away his name because I’m all about avoiding the spoilers.  But you’ll know who he is as soon as his character comes into play…because he’s a giant sex-a-holic.  I found myself looking forward to the chapters with his point of view, enjoying his thoughts (and they were STEAMY!), and being a bit disappointed when his time as the narrator was over.  Yes, I wanted MORE of the villain!  That’s how well he was written.

Being an erotic author, I’m ashamed to admit this, but sometimes I skim over sex scenes because they can get to a point where they all sound the name.  Not with my villain boyfriend in this story.  I wanted MORE of him.  If that makes me creepy, so be it!

I also have to mention the suspense aspect of this book.  There were several unanswered plot points in the beginning of the story in order to drawn the reader in and make them question, “Oh… what did the character mean when they said said?  Will it be explained later?”  Normally, I get bored easily and find myself skimming to find the answers to the unanswered questions.  I wanted to skim ahead SO BAD, but I couldn’t in this story.  Why?  Because there was NOTHING boring in it and I couldn’t skim ahead!  I thought, “I’ll skip this part…” but then I got sucked in.  “Okay, I’ll skip the next part…” but it was narrated by my favorite villain hottie so I had to read it.  By the time the story ended, I hadn’t skimmed a damn thing!

I honestly didn’t expect to fall for the characters as hard as I did.  I felt like their story wrapped up nicely and all my questions finally got answers.

Both of these stories were FIVE STAR READS in my opinion.

Thank you for reading my reviews today and please be on the lookout for my blog post next week around July 1st.  Why?  What’s coming next?  I’m taking part in a Science fiction/fantasy book promotion where all the authors involved are giving away FREE stories.  Yes, you read that correctly.  FREE!!!!!!   I have no idea what the other books are because I haven’t got all the details yet.  I promise to make it interesting and not just copy/paste links and blurbs.  What does that mean?  How am I making it interesting?  I have no idea yet, I have a week to figure it out!

Til then, thanks for joining me this week and have a great day!

Grace

Happy Anniversary to Me!

            No, this blog post has nothing to do with any authoring/bookish anniversary.  I’m talking about my 17th Wedding Anniversary.  So please prepare yourself for a mushy, gushing post about the immense love I have for my amazing husband.

            Just kidding.  I’m many things, but sappy really isn’t one of them.  That doesn’t mean I’m not going to pay tribute to the man I married seventeen years ago…it just means I’m doing it “Grace Style.”  (Funny and brutally honest).

Hence forth, my husband shall be referred to as RLR.  No, these are not his initials.  My first book is “My Dirty Detour” and the character of Violet is based off of me, while the character of Rocky is based off my husband.  Therefore, RLR stands for Real Life Rocky.  Yes, I suppose it was a bit narcissistic to base a character off myself, but I believe in the old adage, “Write what you know.”  Who do I know better than myself?  It’s simple logic, people.

Anyway…back to the topic.  Love and marriage.  This blog post will cover all the wonderful things I love about RLR.

—  After seventeen years, he’s realized that flowers are a waste of money and he gets more points if he brings home a donut.  Let me explain.  1) You can’t eat flowers, but you CAN appreciate the fine nuances of a crème filled chocolate long john.  2) It proves he’s LISTENING to me.  A few weeks ago it suddenly came to my attention that we hadn’t had any donuts in a while.  I casually remarked on this awful turn of events.

Me:  “We haven’t had any donuts in a while.”

Him:  “Yeah, we haven’t.”

Yes, he’s a man of few words.  Yes, we both like donuts.

So do you know what happened?  Not more than two days later, he brought home donuts.  If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.

— He leaves me love notes.  While you may picture him sitting at a roll top desk with a quill fountain pen, pouring over just the right words to profess his love on paper…that’s not the type of letter I’m referring to.  Although I do applaud you for thinking such inspiring romantic notions.  He actually went fishing last week and he wasn’t home when I got back from work.  So he left a note.

“Gone fishin’      Be Back Later        Love ya    RLR”

Yes, you read that correctly.  He signed the note with RLR.  That is a HUGE deal.  It proves that he actually LISTENS when I talk about all the crazy shit I’m writing, and he paid attention long enough to know that he has a nickname.  Swoon!  Yes, I saved the note because I’m sentimental like that.

— He worries about my well-being.  Whenever we go anywhere and it just happens to be raining outside, he’ll ask if should drop me off at the door so I don’t get wet.  That is so sweet!  Never once in the past seventeen years have I taken him up on this offer.  Why?  Water won’t make me melt because I’m not the bad witch in the Wizard of Oz.

— He warns me of danger.  I tend to be a little klutzy and NOT street smart at all.  I’ve lived a sheltered life and would probably die within fifteen minutes of any real apocalypse scenario.  My husband KNOWS this.  We were driving home from the grocery store last week and I spotted a giant turtle walking down the sidewalk.  I shit you not, folks, this turtle was the size of a manhole cover!  Just walking down the sidewalk as if it had somewhere important to be.  I screamed, “STOP THE CAR, PULL OVER, TURTLE!” at the top of my lungs.  Let me also mention that I do not live in Florida, so I should not be seeing giant turtles walking down the sidewalk on a random Sunday morning like it’s an everyday occurrence.  Let me also explain that I love animals of any variety and I want to rescue each and every one of them, whether they need my help or not.  So RLR glances out the car window and thus began our exchange:

Him:  “That’s a snapping turtle.  If you try and touch it, you’ll get your finger bitten off.”

Me:  “But we have to SAVE it!  Go get it.”

Him:  “And do WHAT with it?”

Me:  “We’ll take it to a creek or a pond or somewhere safe.”

He says nothing in reply.

Me:  “So…go get it….we have to save it!”

Him:  “But where are you going to put it?”

Me:  “We’ll take it to a creek or a pond or somewhere safe.”

He says nothing in reply.

Me:  “GO GET IT!”

Him:  “But where are you going to put it?”

By now this is turning into some Three Stooges/ Laurel and Hardy  “who’s on first” skit and I’m losing my patience.  He ended up NOT getting the turtle and driving away.  I went home, googled it, and realized that you’re not supposed to remove turtles from their environment, just let them be.  So…I didn’t get my finger bit off, he’s quiet stubborn, and I appear to have forgot what caused me to tell this story in the first place.

—  He’s full of surprises.  For one of our anniversaries, he took me to a nice restaurant.  I must have been using the ladies’ room when the waitress came to take our salad order.  Upon my return, I found a lovely salad with Thousand Island dressing sitting at the table.  Here is the exact transcript of the conversation that followed:

Me:  “What is this?”

Him:  “Salad.  Why?  What’s wrong with it?”

Me:  “This is Thousand Island dressing.”

Him:  “Yeah, cuz that’s what you like.”

Me:  “Are you kidding me?  This is our TWELVE YEAR WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!  You don’t know what salad dressing I like after TWELVE YEARS?  Are you even paying attention at all?”

He laughed.

Just for the record, I used to eat Ranch Dressing before I got married.  My husband likes French.  In order to save money on salad dressing (and to prevent it from expiring due to non-use) I switched over to French and it’s fine.  Yes, you understood that correctly.  I eat the same damn salad dressing as he does, yet he still didn’t know what to order me.

But it’s not all unicorns and sunshine.  Marriage is a lot of work.  In case you want a negative example, I shall be happy to oblige.

—  He won’t let me drink out of his beverage after seventeen years of marriage without throwing a major hissy fit.  If he gets a soda of any variety, he insists I get my own straw.  It’s pretty much a rarity that he’ll even agree to share one in the first place.  Evidently he’s under the false impression that I ‘backwash’ into the bottle.  I believe his exact argument is something to the effect of, “You wrap your whole mouth around the top of the bottle and half your food goes back into the soda.”  Clearly he’s delusional.

pepsi

So in conclusion…HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to my beloved husband and thank you for putting up with me for so long!

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Grace…

P.S.   In case you were wondering if he’ll ever read this blog post….the chances are somewhere around 10% at best.  He’s also never read one single page of one single book I wrote.  I show him the covers and offer to let him read them.  His response?

“Is it all words or are there pictures?  I’m not big on words.”

OR

“I don’t need to read it, baby.  I’m RLR.  I LIVED IT!”

Hunting for Treasure…

            Hello, everyone!  It’s me again.  This blog post actually has TWO purposes.  The first part is to tell you an amusing story and, not gonna lie, the second half is going to be sort of spammy and tell you about books you could buy if you have the urge to buy a book.  I feel guilty pimping out books (even though one of them is my own!), so that’s why I’m giving you an amusing story FIRST.  It takes the pressure off and alleviates my guilty soul.  Ready?  Here we go!

Blog Post Part One: Amusing story:

So last Saturday we had a one day rummage sale.  I was debating whether or not it was a wise idea to have a garage sale over Memorial Day Weekend, but we ended up with a lot of customers and made some decent money.  Rummage sales are always a shit ton of work just to make a few bucks.  However, the crap in my house was piling up (we go to estate sales and buy stuff thinking we’re going to sell it on Ebay and make a fortune.  The stuff doesn’t sell, or sells for two dollars and we lose money after shipping, and then it starts to take over the house).

I spent SIX HOURS setting up the merchandise and pricing items.  Let me tell you, we had ROCK BOTTOM prices in order to sell, sell, SELL!  The universe smiled down upon us and the sun was shining that morning.  It also helped that my neighbor across the street also had a sale.  I think people are more apt to stop when they see two sales instead of one.  I actually had no idea the neighbor was having a sale.  We’re a bit anti-social and don’t talk to people unless we have to.

The sales traffic was good and the customers were amusing, as always.  One elderly gentleman bought two Hawaiian shirts for a dollar and decided to entertain us with a joke.  I have no clue what it is with old dudes and telling jokes.  I think there’s an unwritten law that if you’re a male over the age of seventy-five, you have to tell a witty joke to every single person you meet.  The joke of the day involved a woman running over a rabbit, a farmer sitting on a tractor and witnessing said bunny destruction, the woman sprayed the rabbit with a can of something, the rabbit miraculously came back to life, and the farmer went to see what was in the bottle and…….. any guesses???

I was one hundred percent sure the punch line was going to involve HAIR SPRAY, but it was HAIR RESTORER.  Get it?  Hair/Hare?  Yeah, I wasn’t impressed either.  Neither was my husband.  He’s actually the most unfriendly person you’d ever want to meet.  His usual response to people is a grunt instead of human conversation.  So it’s endlessly hilarious to watch him be a ‘salesman’ at our rummage sales.

“Yes, ma’am, that weedwacker works just like new!  Here plug it in and try it out!  Don’t like a price?  Make an offer!”

It’s like he’s a carnie at the fair trying to get rubes to his booth to throw a dart at a balloon.  Total transformation from his normal self.  I literally thought, “Who the hell ARE you?”

Along with the good, there also comes the BAD with any rummage sale.  I had an item priced at a dollar and some lady came up and told me that she’d be paying me a quarter for it.  Yeah, she TOLD me.  There was no, “Will you take any less for this?” but rather, “I’ll give you a quarter, here.”  Excuse me, ma’am?  Since when do you make the rules at my fine establishment of priceless merchandise?  I’m almost ashamed to admit this (almost, but not entirely), I refused her offer.  “No, I’ll take fifty cents,” I replied.  Yes, I’m an asshole.  I couldn’t help it.  I was nice ALL day and the façade just cracked.

What happened?  Are you on the edge of your seat?  She paid the fifty cents and walked away.  No confrontation.  Sorry to build that up for a giant let down, but my life isn’t that exciting.  That’s why I write books!

Speaking of books…. (ooh….so proud of myself for that seamless transition to our next topic….)

BLOG POST PART 2…shameless book spamming!

Here are some books that might interest you.  You are under no obligation to buy them.  You are under no obligation to click on them.  You are under no obligation for ANYTHING.  I’m just throwing them out there for your viewing pleasure.

Book #1….  “Unexpected Treasure.”  Yeah, this is MY book.  Okay…HALF my book.  I wrote this story with talented Miss Aidan Willows.  We threw our insane ideas on paper and came up with quite an interesting tale.  Here’s the blurb and buy link.  It’s currently on sale for the low, low price of 99 cents.  (It just came out on May 30 and this is our way of attracting BUZZ at a low, low price.)

Blurb:  Lars is a man of mystery with one focus in life; searching for hidden treasures. If his latest risky expedition actually pays off, he’d be wealthy beyond his wildest dreams, and might finally be on the road to real happiness.

Helena is witty, charming, and utterly fed up with her life. Her whole future has been carefully mapped out, yet all she wants is to escape her controlled existence and live life to the fullest with no one dictating her every move.

A chance encounter of these two lost souls leads them on an adventure neither could have predicted. Accompanied by a rag tag group of treasure hunters, will Lars and Helena find what they’re looking for?

Or will they finally realize that the most important treasure of all has been hiding in plain sight?

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Please note, both authors are lunatics who don’t do “normal”. If you are expecting historically accurate facts or a romance that isn’t bat-sh*t crazy, this may not be the book for you. For mature/ immature readers aged 18+ only.
This book contains explicit sexual content (as one author is trying to live out her lesbian fantasies vicariously through her characters), and also contains unrealistic portrayals of treasure hunting (as the other author thinks she’s a history nerd… but really isn’t).

https://www.amazon.com/Unexpected-Treasure-Hunters-Book-ebook/dp/B0714QC67T

Lars Cover

Book #2….   Fires of Revenge by Laura Fletcher…  FREE!!!!  (I have not read this but the blurb sounds good and what’s cheaper than free??)

Blurb:  Mary, young and all alone has been living in poverty trying to make ends meet to look after her dying mother. Although she finds it impossible to put out a burning fire of revenge. After the passing of her mother, Mary must exact revenge on those who have wronged her and her mother.

She enlists the help of two unlikely sidekicks, Anna, her best friend and Elliot a poor, rough kid from the streets. Together, they join up to seek an adventure of life changing experiences. Where will they up together?  Don’t miss out on this historical romance fueled by the heated emotion of revenge and justice.

https://www.bookboast.com/link/1647/28256

 

Book #3….  Good Grief by Vera Ella Unita ($2.99 New Release)  (Please note….I DID read this and it was a very good story.  There was a dog on the cover and that hooked me right away.  This is a great read with ‘all the feels’ and a heartfelt ending.  Yes, I did get just a tiny bit teary reading the epilogue.  That usually doesn’t happen with me.)

Jasmine Frost had imagined the first day at her new job quite differently. How on earth could she have known the arrogant billionaire Cole Ward would insist on her leading the renovations of his mansion?
To oversee the renovations, Jasmine moves in with Cole. Turns out, the mansion needs more than a little makeover, and she is stuck with that growly bear of a man for weeks. He doesn’t even like her French bulldog—who the hell doesn’t like puppies?
Still, they can’t withstand the strong attraction between them. The dark look in his eyes is intriguing and Jasmine can’t keep herself from digging into his past. But what if she doesn’t like what she finds?

Standalone Romance │ No cheating but bad language, explicit scenes, and a happily ever after.

https://www.bookboast.com/link/3148/32313

 

Book #4…… Icarus Rising by Robb Manary  (99 cents)  (I haven’t read this, but it sounds juicy.  For anyone who loves rockstar romances….why not?)

How does a Billionaire woo the Rock Star Goddess who has Everything?

LIMITED TIME INCLUDES ICARUS ASCENDANT AND STRANGERS ON A BUS! THREE STANDALONE ROMANCES FOR THE PRICE OF ONE – $0.99!

Brandon Fahr, international playboy and world-renowned artist, has set his sights on a new conquest. A conquest so bold that he’s decided to chronicle it in a diary. Further, he’s given himself a deadline — thirty days to capture the heart of Rachel St. Claire.

Rachel St. Claire, a Rock Goddess, has been at the top of the charts for years and has finally let go of her tumultuous relationship with her controlling manager/boyfriend. Now that he’s gone, it’s the perfect time for Brandon to strike.

Rachel feels the heat as soon as she meets Brandon, but what if she finds his diary and learns that it was just a game to him, a conquest? And what if Brandon finds that he might actually be falling in love… for the very first time?

This is a rock star erotic romance written by a man with a male point of view. It is a standalone with an HEA!

https://www.bookboast.com/link/2578/28699

Book #5….. Alix (Coven’s Grove Chronicles Book 1) by Virginia Howerter  FREE on Instafreebie!  I didn’t read this, but it’s FREE and the cover is beautiful and it’s about witches!  I should probably read it.  I like free and I like witches!)

Description

Building friendships isn’t easy…building a coven is even harder. Join Alix in a race for survival and her discovery that love and magic aren’t that far apart.

https://www.bookboast.com/link/2201/31473

Book #6…. Lovin My boss by Miss Brandy K  (FREE!)  This is free…and I haven’t downloaded it…but I really should because it sounds HOT as HELL!

Description

I want you to get on your knees.

“I’m not sucking it,” I say. Defiant.

“I didn’t ask you to. I’m satisfied with this, for now. On your knees. Between my legs, like that.”

I get down, between his knees. His hand strokes the big c*ck in front of me, so close that I can almost taste it. I don’t realize that I’m staring until I hear his voice above me.

“See something you like?”

What if you told your friend that you’d love to get your hands on your boss’s meat?

Now what if you sent the text to the wrong number? The most wrong number you could possibly send it to?

And what if he told you to come into his office?

This hot novel is all about power plays, sexy billionaires, marriage contracts, and babies. There are NO CLIFFHANGERS and a guaranteed HAPPILY EVER AFTER!

What would you do?

https://www.bookboast.com/link/3166/27759

 

That is all we have for today, ladies and gentlemen.  As always, thanks for reading and have a GREAT day!!!!

My Laziness FINALLY pays off…

Hello, people of the world.  I’d like to share my latest adventure with you.   (No, this has nothing to do with books, writing, or spammy blog posts begging you to buy my stuff.  What?  Did you just audibly sigh in relief?  Geez…I’m not THAT bad.)

This blog post is a story of my latest purchase at a rummage sale.  In case you weren’t aware, my husband and I are addicted to seeking out estate sales, rummage sales, and thrift stores.  We search for hidden treasures to resell on Ebay and Craigslist.  No, we have not discovered any Picasso Paintings or buried pirate treasure yet.  If I do, trust me, you’ll be the first to know.

Here’s our strategy:  my husband combs through the newspaper and Craiglist, searching for the best sales.  Usually estate sales yield more rewards than rummage sales.  I also love going in people’s houses and seeing old décor from 1974.  Last week we went into an average house that appeared to have belonged to a kindly old lady.  Then you entered the basement.  Holy shit!  Party Central!  There were colored strobe lights on the ceiling, a MASSIVE bar area that would have given any pub a run for its’ money, and tons of party decorations.  If those walls could talk…they would write a story better than anything I could have come up with.  But I digress.  We’re actually here to talk about Exercise Bikes.  This is the reason my books have 125,000 words.  I can’t stay focused.

During a trip to a different estate sale roughly two weeks ago, I stumbled upon a recumbent exercise bike in someone’s basement.  Let me show you a photo so you can understand.  Evidently a recumbent bike is different from a normal exercise bike because the pedals are situated at a different angle.

It looks pretty darn close to this.

bike 2

So the bike had a price tag of ten dollars.  In most cases, there are always exercise machines sitting in someone’s basement because people don’t ever actually USE them.  People start with great intentions of getting fit and changing their lives.  That never happens.  So this particular bike looked brand new and even had the COBWEBS to signify how often it was put into service.  It had a fancy battery operated display that showed progress around a lighted track so you could watch as you pedaled.  It also showed speed, distance traveled, and calories burned.

One of my friends has this type of exercise bike and I know they cost a LOT more money than the standard bike.  So I knew it was a bargain at ten dollars.  I immediately motioned for my husband to come over and showed him my find.  He was unimpressed at the prospect of having to carry the damn thing up the stairs.  I explained that we absolutely needed this so I could be cool like my friend, get fit and muscular, and that I would totally 100% use it ALL THE TIME.  Of course he knew better, but he merely asked, “Where are you going to put it?”

This is a valid question.  He must have known that if it went down to our basement, I would never use it.  So I told him that I would put it in our spare bedroom (it’s not really a bedroom, but actually an “office” because it has a computer and a desk.  It’s actually the desk that he gave to an ex-girlfriend as a present when she graduated college.  She never took it, so he’s had it for the past THIRTY YEARS.  Yes, I hate that fucking desk.  Yes, I plan to smash it with an axe the first chance I get.  No, I have not had a chance in the twenty years that we’ve been together.  One of these days though…oh yeah….you WATCH OUT!).

I explained that I could pedal my fancy bike while I read magazines, or plotted out new story ideas, or did anything else creative like that.  He knows I love to read, so I think that helped sell him on the idea.

I stood guard by the bike so no one else could snap it up, while my husband went to inform the lady that it was indeed sold.  He likes to dicker on price and see what kind of a deal he can get.  I would have been happy to pay the full ten dollars, but he did no such thing.

He came back downstairs and happily informed me that he got an even BETTER deal on the price.

HIM:  “I told the lady that we might be interested in the bike for the right price.”

ME:  “You got it for LESS than ten dollars?”

HIM:  “How does a dollar sound?”

ME:  “No fucking way!”

So…we got the bike for a dollar, I was extremely excited and texted my friend about the deal of the CENTURY, and my new shiny cobwebbed toy found a home in my office.

But the story doesn’t end there.  Because that would be boring.

I adjusted it to my perfect foot length so I could reach the pedals comfortably.  The display did not work because it needed a new battery.  No problem.  I went and got some fresh batteries.  What?  You need a screwdriver to remove the battery holder plate because it’s in a totally inconvenient location?  WHATEVER.  So I huffed and puffed and contorted myself to unscrew, replace the batteries, and rescrew.  My husband jokingly said, “That’s probably the most exercise you’ll get out of that damn thing.”

Yes, he knows me too well.

So, batteries carefully in place, I started pedaling my ass off.  After being totally impressed with the speed in which I was whizzing around the track….which seemed too good to be true….I realized it was in KILOMETERS and not MILES.  Damn it!  I pulled out the book (because this gem actually came with the ORIGINAL owner’s manual) and discovered how to fix the display to show miles.  Success?  WRONG!  To get the crap-heap to change the display, I had to reboot the system.  What does this involve?  Any guesses?  If you said, “Take out the battery,” then you were correct.

Swear.  Get screwdriver.  Take out battery.  Find hidden switch on back of bike.  Flip switch to say Miles and not Kilometers.  Swear some more.  Replace the battery.  Screw in the screws.  Swear some more.

Now I’m FINALLY ready to do this properly.

Did we live happily ever after?  Fuck no!  What’s the problem now?  Evidently at the tender age of 40, my body decides it does not WANT to exercise and my damn knee started popping.

Well I’m sure as hell not going to blow out my knee and spend thousands of dollars for some fancy bionic knee surgery so I can become a test subject experiment and get filled with lead like I’m fucking Wolverine.  (Ok…adamantium is not lead, and it would actually be freaking AWESOME to have Wolverine claws pop out, but that’s neither here nor there.)

Obviously I made the tough decision to sell the exercise bike.

Yes, I’m lazy.

Yes, I put the bike on Craigslist.

Yes, I sold it within TWENTY-FOUR HOURS of the listing and made a sweet profit.

How much?

I sold that bike for a whopping $30.

I’m that much closer to my retirement home in Hawaii.

And we all lived happily ever after.

 

Thank you for reading and have a great day!

Grace

Number FIVE is ALIVE!

No, the subject of this blog post has absolutely NOTHING to do with the movie “Short Circuit” with Steve Guttenberg and Ally Sheedy (although if you did pick up that reference, good for you!).  I wouldn’t promote that movie because I’m sure at some point it had a scene where the robot guy got deactivated and I probably started sobbing my eyes out.  It was from 1988 (when I was 12) and I’m ashamed to admit that I’m a horrible crier when it comes to movies.  If there is an animal or an alien (E.T.) or a robot that has human tendencies…and it gets hurt…then you better pass me a box of kleenex.  However, if there is anything close to something touching where human emotion is required (for example if a person gets sick or dies) then I’m usually totally heartless.  Why?  I have no idea.  That’s just the way I am.  Don’t get me started on those damn Disney movies either.  Bambi?  Hell no.  Care for an example?

Person I’m watching the movie with:  “Are you crying?  For real?  Over a CARTOON?  You do realize this is ‘Lilo and Stitch’ right?  It’s not real.  It’s all make believe!”

ME:  “I’m certainly NOT crying.  Geez!”

Person I’m watching the movie with:  “Then why are your eyes all red and watery?”

ME:  “I have allergies.  Leave me the hell alone.”

But I digress.  This post is supposed to be informing you about the release of my FIFTH full length novel, “My Dirty Vacation.”  This is the FIFTH book I wrote and it’s LIVE on Amazon as of today, May 7, 2017.  Hence the blog post…Number FIVE is ALIVE.  Woot Woot!

Since I’m a writer and this is my blog, it’s absolutely necessary to spam you with all the information on my new book.  Here is the blurb and the buy links and the cover.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35080627  (Goodreads link…so you can add it to your TBR list and all your friends will see and they will think, “Damn…that books looks AWESOME” and then put it on THEIR TBR list and then it will go VIRAL and the whole world will know me.)

https://www.amazon.com/My-Dirty-Vacation-Comedy-Adventure-ebook/dp/B071L5359F  (Amazon link to buy the book on AMAZON US Website.  If you’re a member of Kindle Unlimited, you can read it for FREE and I get paid for page reads.)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071L5359F   (Amazon link to buy the book on AMAZON UK Website.  If you’re a member of Kindle Unlimited, you can read it for FREE and I get paid for page reads.  My book actually went ‘LIVE’ about five hours ago and I already sold TWO COPIES.  Where did I sell them?  Amazon UK.  Love my British friends!)

Blurby Blurb (Because you probably want to know what the book is about):

When you think of Las Vegas, what comes to mind?  Most likely it’s fine dining, extravagant shows, and lots of gambling.  Not in my world.  Not when you’re surrounded by alpha males with a penchant for violence who ignore your meticulously crafted itinerary and expect you to ‘go with the flow.’  Why does nothing EVER turn out like I plan?”

Come along for the ride with ex-mafia enforcer Rocky, his germaphobe girlfriend Violet, and a few of their friends as they take a little excursion to fabulous Las Vegas.  Emotions run high, loyalties are tested, and danger lurks around every corner.  With new villains emerging and game changing opportunities presented, their vacation is anything but relaxing.

Please note:  This story contains a zombie survival paintball course, popcorn eating fish, several curse words (the heroine has a fondness for swearing), and a few descriptive bedroom scenes.  Vegas has a tendency to bring out the wild side in some of us…and things that happen in Sin City can get pretty exciting.

This 96,500 word full length novel is the second book in the Dirty Detour series, but can be read and understood as a stand-alone story.  Each and every one of my books has a Happily Ever After, no cheating, no cliff hangers, and a butt load of humor.  Sit back, strap in, and enjoy the journey!

My Dirty Vacation Amazon Cover

Thank you very much for reading and have a great day!

Why are vacations so short? (Vacation story with photos!)

I don’t do very well with vacations.  I know, you’re thinking to yourself, “What the hell is her problem?”  I’ll tell you what my problem is…

My husband wanted to get away from work for a few days and he suggested going to the beach and renting a condo for five days.  Our plane would leave at 7am on the last day, so that really doesn’t count as a day.  The plane arrived at 3pm on the first day, so I’m not counting that either.  What’s my problem then?

Packing:  I ran through my house like a crazy person trying to find everything I might need for three full days away.  What did I want to pack?  Everything.  We’re hoarders and we can’t leave home for five minutes without the insane need to bring everything with us.  A million panic scenarios run through my mind.  What if I spill something on my shirt and I run out of clothes? (That’s why they have laundromats).  What if I get sick and need cough medicine/cough drops/a thermometer/anti-biotic cream? (That’s why they have grocery stores and pharmacies).  What if I get hungry on the plane and don’t want to pay $4 for a small bag of crackers? (oh shit, better bring food for the plane!)  I usually ending up needing NOTHING that I actually packed and everything that I didn’t pack.  (This time I could have used a different bathing suit.  My husband asked me why the hell my bikini bottoms were hanging off my ass to the point that it looked like I shit myself.  I had no reasonable answer other than, “DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO FIND ONE OF THESE THINGS THAT FITS?!”)

TRAVEL: I’m not a fan of the airplane and sitting next to strangers.  I booked a window seat.  I paid EXTRA for this.  (Okay…I had to pay extra for EVERYTHING on the flight…we each got one “personal bag” like a purse or a small backpack, but the carry on cost EXTRA.  Since I wasn’t going to pay for TWO carry-ons because I’m insanely cheap, that meant I had to cram a house worth of stuff into one purse, one backpack, and ONE carry on.  I also had to pay extra to choose my seats.  I’m honestly surprised they didn’t charge me for the use of the oxygen on the plane).  So we board the plane by groups and for some odd reason my group went first and my husband’s group went third.  Totally weird.  I got to our row first and I see some lady sitting in my window seat.  I said, “Um…I think you’re in the wrong seat” and probably had a very grouchy look on my face.  She pointed to her leg (in a cast) and said, “They let me sit here.”  Well I can’t argue with her, now can I?   She was also in her 60s so I didn’t throw down.  My husband gets on the plane and he’s all, “who cares?  Sit in the aisle!” and he’s consoling her about her leg like it’s a fucking heart transplant or something.  “Are you okay ma’am?  How did that happen?  Let me know if I’m taking up too much room.”  EYE ROLL!

I’m part of the 99% and NOT the ONE PERCENT:  The condo that my husband found on AirBnB was absolutely amazing.  I’m talking granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, a breathtaking view of the lagoon behind the condo, not one but TWO screened in balcony porches, and walls that are not REALLY walls but instead are floor to ceiling window doors (I guess you’d call them sliding glass doors…I’m a writer…I should know words to describe things!) facing the lagoon.  Not sure if it was a lagoon or a marina or a canal or what.  It was fancy water that boats traveled to and fro upon.  I have none of these things at home.  And I want them ALL.  I’m sorry, I forgot to mention the most important part.  There was a swimming pool.  No.  There were TWO swimming pools.  And no one was using them.  So it was like I had my own private pool for THREE STRAIGHT DAYS!  I swam laps and pretended I was a movie star.  Okay…that’s a lie.  I pretended I was Michael Phelps and did every single swimming stroke I knew and some that I made up.  While I did this, my mind wandered and I came up with a new book plot.  For the present time, we’ll call it “Sexy Condo Story.”

Food is Weird:  The food on vacation is very hit or miss and I usually love it or hate it.  I got expensive shrimp that tasted dry and flavorless.  I got cheaper shrimp that tasted amazing because they added mango salsa on top.  I want to live in a place that has mangos and salsa combined.  I currently do not live in such a fantasy land.

I annoy the native species:  While this is not a problem for me, per se, it annoys my husband to no end.  I feel the need to get as close as possible to every wildlife creature and take pictures of it like I’m a National Geographic Photographer.  No pelican, gecko, or bird was safe from my camera.  At one point I threw a bread crust to the bird on the beach and got in trouble.  My husband said, “You’re going to KILL IT!  That bird can’t digest all the preservatives in white bread!”  Oh really?  Then why the fuck did he lunge for my bread crust like he hadn’t eaten in a week and it was as appealing as shrimp covered in mango salsa?  Mmhmm…that bird devoured my bread crust and came back for more.  Unfortunately I had none to give him.  Sorry bird friend, that sandwich was too good to share any more with you.

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(Actual photo of Actual Bird eating the Actual Crust I Actually threw for him.  Her?  Not sure.  Pretty bird though!)

I’m obsessed with time:  What time is it here?  What time is it at home?  Are we missing meals?  I’m not hungry because we’re on vacation and my time schedule is messed up.  Should I be hungry?  Why am I going to sleep so early?  Why am I waking up so early?  Is my phone the right time?  Did it switch over?  Are we late for the flight?  Why are we so early for the flight?  Why do I care?  I’m neurotic, that’s why.

I dislike coming home again after the vacation:  It seems like you plan and get excited for the vacation for MONTHS… and then before you know it, you spent all that money and the damn thing is over with and you’re stuck back at work staring at the clock thinking to yourself, “Exactly 48 hours ago I was swimming in my private pool living like a rock star and now I’m answering phones and forcing myself to be polite to customers.  How the hell did this happen?  Why did I come back?”

Sigh.  Tis better to have vacationed and returned home to the bland routine than to have never vacationed at all.

I also got a sunburn on my feet.

But I did see a pretty sunset.

IMG_0968

(Actual sunset that my husband actually took with his camera.  Pretty!)

In case you’re in the mood for a vacation, but can’t get the time off work or don’t have the extra money right now…maybe you can take a mental vacation without ever leaving home.  What the hell am I talking about?  Take a trip to a fictional world full of amazing characters you haven’t met yet…READ A BOOK!

Here are a few suggestions to get you started.  Remember I told you I signed up to do the Newsletter Swap Program where authors promote me and I promote them in return?  Here is a mix of books I’ve read lately OR authors that have requested to be included in my newsletter.  Broaden your horizons and read on…

1) Kinky Carnival Games by Chris Genovese… find out what happens when Mandy goes on a blind date to a carnival…   (this book was freaking AWESOME…total 5 star read!)   99 cents on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Kinky-Carnival-Games-Romance-Novella-ebook/dp/B00TC3608M

2) Forging History by Hanleigh Bradley… this book comes out TODAY (May 1) so you can be one of the first to grab it and check it out!  It’s book 3 in the trilogy, so you won’t have to wait to find out what happens because the series is finished!

https://www.amazon.com/Forging-History-Hanleigh-Bradley-ebook/dp/B06XBRM4ZY

3) Serving Strangers by Mr. Silence… this is FREE on Instafreebie and it looks sexy as hell…this is one of the newsletter swap people so I have no idea what the story is about…maybe it’s not for the faint of heart?  Consider yourself warned!  Here’s the blurb:  Rachel is a twenty-year-old waitress who only wants to earn enough money to take care of her sick mother and get back into school. When a handsome new boss, Richard, shows up one night with a new idea to boost business with sexier uniforms, all Rachel can think about is the impact on her tips, and Richard’s charming smile. However, things get out of hand when Richard makes the uniform a little too revealing. Rachel finds herself in an uncomfortable situation with a group of intoxicated customers who, with Richard’s encouragement, can’t seem to behave themselves. Before she realizes it, Rachel is giving a level of service she never imagined.

https://www.bookboast.com/link/3103/27583

4) Bedazzled by Madison Michael    (Looks good, but I haven’t read it)  $1.99 on Amazon

A sexy twist on a cinderella story….

Keeli Larsen, a modern day Cinderella, dreams of success, jewelry designs and the out-of-her-league, gorgeous man in the penthouse office – her very own Prince Charming. Although they have never spoken, a crowded elevator, a chance encounter and a misplaced hand are about to change everything.

Millionaire and sexy hunk, Wyatt Lyons Howe is trapped by four generations of family loyalty and tradition until a brief moment with Keeli rocks his staid world. Is Keeli his ticket to freedom or Is she just an opportunist looking for a bankroll? Unsure of her motives, but unable to stay away, Wyatt is bedazzled.

https://www.amazon.com/Bedazzled-Beguiling-Bachelors-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01EUJBPZA

5)  The Billion Heir by Nikky Kaye  99 Cents on Amazon (Also looks good, but I haven’t read it yet)

If you had to reform the public image of a bad boy billionaire, where would you start? Well, hiding your own scandalous past might help. You can’t spell “manners” without a man, but if an urban cowboy can fight in a tuxedo and scare away paparazzi… Is he more trouble than he’s worth?

https://www.bookboast.com/link/2501/24341

5.5) Crash into me by DD Sparxx   $2.99 on Amazon  (haven’t read it but the cover is hot as hell!  Here’s the blurb:  Ashford Westinghouse is handsome, well built, and successful. He certainly doesn’t see himself as lonely. He often uses one night stands as a coping mechanism to help him blot out the pain of losing the only woman he’s ever loved. She left him without a hint as to why and he has no desire to ever let his heart get destroyed like that again.

Isabella Alfieri is beautiful, independent and successful in her own right. Her world is almost perfect, but she still can’t seem to forget the man she loved and left seven years ago. And she’ll never forget the reason she had to go. She’s kept her secret all this time. Aside from her family, there’s only one other person that knows her secret and she would never tell a soul.

What will happen when fate intervenes and puts her on the flight he’s co-piloting? The flight that sets them on course for their worlds to come crashing back together after all this time.

**Crash Into Me is a full-length, standalone romance with an HEA, no cliffhanger and no cheating.**

https://www.bookboast.com/link/2493/27606

6)  Sheer Indulgence (Free on Instafreebie…since it’s free…why not?)

Ten tantalizing, titillating, tear-jerking, pulse racing, fall-in-love today book samples from some of today’s hottest writers.

https://www.bookboast.com/link/2781/24656

7) Kiss me, Promise me by Brea Viragh  (99 cents on Amazon..haven’t read it yet)

He’s arrogant, hot, and hard to resist…can she keep saying no?

Travel back to the mountains of Heartwood in this steamy, small-town contemporary romance.

https://www.bookboast.com/link/2697/24811

8)  Queen of Emeralds by Kelsey McKnight  ($3.99 on Amazon)

Historical Romance that actually had me hooked since page one.  Read it and loved it!

British heiress Charlotte Holloway never had any interest in marrying…
However, a woman in Victorian England spends her life in the control of men, making finding a husband necessary.  The handsome Scottish laird Conner MacLeod crashes the social scene. He sets her body on fire with a mere touch, but he has a bad reputation of leaving a string of women in his wake. Nonetheless, when Conner offers his emerald queen sanctuary in his Highland castle, Charlotte flees with him into the night…but those who wish to trap her are never far behind.

https://www.amazon.com/Queen-Emeralds-Scottish-Stone-Book-ebook/dp/B06XT66GGR

9) Powerless by Liz Gavin  (Free on Amazon!)

I just grabbed a copy because I saw it was free…  Here’s the blurb…

This short-story is intended for adults only! It contains graphic language plus kinky scenes involving a stressed out stock broker, her gorgeous ex-jock assistant, and a naughty young receptionist. Plus first-time lesbian action, naughty toys, and light BDSM.

https://www.amazon.com/Powerless-Liz-Gavin-ebook/dp/B00FHNW530

10) Come they told me by Eden Connor  (Free on Amazon)

I read it….it’s a hot menage story m/f/m and it’s FREE!

https://www.amazon.com/Come-They-Files-Banger-Lever-ebook/dp/B00R8TCJQ4

Thanks again for reading and have a great vacation…whether you’re traveling near or far or never leave the house at all!

Grace

My Amazon Free Day Kindle Countdown Deal Book Experiment Results March 31-April 4, 2017!

Last year I did an experiment with a Kindle Countdown Deal on Amazon where I lowered the price of one of my books.  But that was soooo 2016.  What am I doing now for fun?  This year I tried the FREE Kindle Countdown Deal promotion to see what would happen. Curious? Read on….

Hello, everyone!  If you’re a reader of my books, this post might be boring and I apologize for that.  If you’re a writer who has books on Amazon, you might find this post a bit more interesting.  If you’re not a reader OR a writer, then you’re missing out.  Books are wonderful!

But I digress.  The purpose of this blog post is to share the results of my Amazon Kindle Freebie Countdown Deal.  In case you have no idea what that even is, I’ll explain.  If you have a book enrolled in the Amazon Kindle Unlimited Program, they let you put it on sale for a week while still receiving your same royalty.  (Most people usually have books priced at $2.99 or higher and receive a 70% royalty.  Amazon lets you price your book at 99 cents for a week and still receive the 70% royalty for this special “countdown deal,” instead of the 35% royalty you would normally receive if a book was priced at only 99 cents.)

Amazon ALSO lets you price a book for FREE for a week.  Normally Amazon doesn’t like you to give stuff away for free, because they can’t make any money that way.  I’ve heard of authors giving away books for free and I honestly thought they were crazy.  Most writers normally do this when they have a series out…give people a taste of the first book for free and they’ll want to pay for the rest of them.  I can respect that as a solid strategy. I’m always up for trying new marketing ideas.

HOWEVER, I worked damn hard on my four full length novels and I didn’t really WANT to give them away for free.  Also, my best-selling book, MOWED, is only 99 cents to begin with, so it’s not like I’m asking for an arm and a leg.  Thus begs the problem…what am I giving away for free if I refuse to do that with a full length novel?

Fortunately, I have a 76 page 14,000 word short story that I just released a few months ago (February of 2017).  I was feeling like I needed a challenge, so I decided to do an entire story (from concept in my mind to fully edited and published on Amazon) in a week.  Thus “My Dirty Crown” came into existence.  Since I only spent a week of my life creating the book, I didn’t feel bad about offering it up for free.  It’s normally 99 cents on Amazon.

I’m sorry that I’m so long-winded, because I know you’re thinking, “I don’t CARE about your book, lady…get to the part where you tell me the results of your free day!  I haven’t got forever to read your ramblings.  HURRY IT UP!”

Fine.  Gee.  Settle down, already.  We’re getting there.

Okay.  So I googled around for places to promote my free book for FREE.  Yes, you read that right.  I am sure as hell NOT paying to promote a book that I’m giving away for free.  In my opinion, that’s insanity.  I know you might not agree at all, but that’s just my school of thought.  NOTHING, and I mean absolutely NOTHING, that I did to promote my free book cost me one dime.

I submitted my free book (It’s in the genre of women’s fiction/action adventure/comedy romance) to the following 18 websites  (I made sure to submit it at least 2 weeks in advance):  bookhearts.com, ebooklister, bookscream, bookzio, choosy bookworm, ebookshabit, ebookasaurus, kindle book promos, ebookmountain, itswritenow, indie book of the day, lovelybookpromotions, one hundred free books, frugal freebies, people reads, new free kindle books, freebooks.com, and reading deals.  I paid NOTHING at any of these sites, instead choosing to take my chances with the free option and NOT upgrade to a “guaranteed paid listing.”

In order to give you a fancy statistical breakdown of what I did each day, and my final daily results, we’ll break this down by day.

Friday, March 31, 2017.  Day one of the Amazon Free Countdown Deal.  The book started the day with no rank at all.  I assume that’s because it was freshly added to the “free category” and took a while to get ranked.  I “bought” a copy just to get the ball rolling.  I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to call it when someone downloads the book.  I can’t call it a “sale” or a “purchase” since no money was involved.  For argument’s sake, we’ll just go with “downloads” because that’s easiest.  So, I “downloaded” a copy.  I was surprised to see three downloads already with no promotion at all on my part.  I went online to Facebook, where I posted the freebie on my author page AND my personal page at about 7am.  I also posted it in 13 different Facebook groups.  Fourteen of my Facebook friends were kind enough to “share” the post.  (Thanks, people!)  One of my Facebook friends is an AMAZING book pimper who’s in a ton of groups and she posted my book ALL OVER THE PLACE in at least 30 other groups (Love you, Steph!).  I had to quit spamming Facebook and go to my “day job” where I actually make money.  I did sneak some peeks at the internet throughout the morning.

9 am – 36 units

10 am  – 45 units…finally I have a ranking….#2233 in “Free Kindle Store.”

12 pm – 79 units, ranked #1495 in free books

1 pm – 93 units, ranked 1344 in free books

3 pm -112 units, ranked 1046 in free books

5 pm -121 units

9 pm- 148 units

10 pm – 155 units.

By the end of Day one, with no promotion outside of Facebook, I had 172 downloads.  Not bad.  I expected this number to SKYROCKET once the newsletter websites began to hit.

Let me first explain that I wanted to do this experiment scientifically.  I needed to be able to track WHERE my downloads came from.  In keeping with this goal in mind, I submitted the book information to the websites listed above, requesting promotion dates of April 1 to April 4, thus leaving March 31 free to see how I could do on my own, ONLY through Facebook.  That’s how I know that my book was on NO OTHER websites for Day One.

In the interest of full disclosure, I feel like I should also let you know how many of my other books I actually SOLD and how many page reads I had (in case you want to see if I had a spike in sales from the free days.)

Total sold books: 3    Total Page Reads: 1262

Saturday, April 1, 2017.  Day 2 of Amazon Free Promo.

7am – 8 units

1 pm – 62 units

10 pm – 119 units

By the end of the day I had 134 total downloads.  Where was the skyrocket I had hoped for?  Good question.  It never happened.

What sites chose to advertise my book?

Ebookasaurus, ebooks habit, ebooklister, it’s write now, and frugal freebies ALL had my book on their website.  BookScream featured me in their newsletter.  (I absolutely LOVE BookScream.   Great newsletter that usually always features me.) I’m not entirely sure if the other sites had me in their newsletter, or just listed me on their site.  I believe it doesn’t make much of a difference to merely be listed on the site, because who goes to those sites every single day and checks for new books?  I’m not sure.  But I was very grateful to be listed and I appreciated any exposure I could get.  THANK YOU SITES THAT FEATURED ME!

Total books SOLD for the day: 3    Total Page Reads:  1007

Sunday, April 2, 2017.  Day three of promotion.

By now I was starting to realize that the promotional websites were not going to cause me to magically hit the jackpot, so I got off my butt and started spamming Facebook groups.  By 11 am, I had only had 20 downloads, so I got to work.  I posted my book in 43 Facebook groups.  It was also on the New Free Kindle Ebooks website.

By the end of the day, I had a whopping 37 downloads TOTAL after all my copy/pasting in groups and having the scary threat of Facebook cracking down and throwing me in jail (which has happened before).  This time Facebook played nice and I didn’t even get so much as a warning.

Total books SOLD for the day: 8    Total Page Reads: 2373.  Sweet!

Monday, April 3, 2017.  Day four of promotion.

Okay.  After all the time spent at the computer over the weekend, I was honestly starting to get burned out and was too lazy to do anything.  My book appeared on the Lovely book promotions website.

Total free downloads for the day: 18  (Shameful!)

Total books SOLD for the day: 0    Total Page Reads:  1439

Tuesday, April 4, 2017.  Fifth and FINAL day of the promotion.

I realized I never posted in any Goodreads groups OR on KUF forums OR on Kboards.  After mentally smacking myself for this oversight, I got to work.  I posted in four Goodreads groups and then on Kboards (post received 10 views) and KUForum (post received 51 views).

Total free downloads for the day:  20

Total books sold for the day:  4   Total page reads:  2228.  (Very nice!)

In conclusion…

I was very happy to have given away so many books on the first two days, I expected more from the newsletters, and I was happy with the nice spike in page reads.  In case you’re wondering what an average week looks like for sales for me, I honestly couldn’t tell you.  I don’t have an average week.  Some days come with NO sales or page reads, some days are better.  It’s a roller coaster.

As to the other sites where I applied to promote my book?

Bookhearts.com, Bookzio, choosy bookworm, Kindle book promos, ebooksmountain, Indie book of the day, one hundred free books, people reads, free books, and reading deals….they never listed me at all.

Actually Indie book of the day hasn’t been updated since 2016.  So I would perhaps recommend avoiding that for obvious reasons!

All in all, it was a fun experiment that didn’t cost me a dime.  Unless you count my time invested, which is always a lot.  I’d do it again.

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

Grace