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Showing posts from 2013

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Writing from the Dark Side

Heh! I started out calling this blog post "Blogging from the Darkside" and then went to "Writing from the Darkside" and then went on to finally arrive at "Pubbing from the Darkside".  This little tidbit of information should be able to give you a little hint over what has been happening at the Oliver Homestead since I last posted.

Big News! I am part of a great collaboration with a collection of Writers who decided that if a romance book should be done, it should be done by us! Hence, the beginning of what is now know as Welcome to Serenity Harbor, Maine.

This is huge! This is ginormous! All of the books are set around the fictional coastal Maine town of Serenity Harbor. We didn't limit genre, only that their characters fall in love in Maine.

For me, this was a return to something that I love... well, yes... it was a return to writing. I've blogged a little bit about some of my struggles with illness that left with being unable to write for a whi…

Another Tale of Ebook Pricing

Almost a year ago I wrote this nifty little blog post about pricing on ebooks where I talked about the taco pricing (read it to get the full meaning) and how we shouldn't undervalue our work. But then, I went and did just that. I was convinced that if I priced OBSIDIAN at just .99 it would be picked up as a hot seller and spark interest. It did... for the first couple of weeks. But then, after time, the sales started lagging. There are any number of reasons why a book will languish in medium-ville. Not enough publicity. Not enough word of mouth... I can't really say why the book lagged in sales. I originally put it off to the fact that it had already been out as a hardcover for some time. I wasn't really sure.

Anyway, recently I pulled Stealing Darkness back from Smashwords and the places that they distribute to. I didn't like the lack of control. The total facelessness (not a word... I know) that I was finding by going this route. I love being able to see what a boo…

A Feel Good Read and Just .99 on Kindle!

Magic, destiny and fate… Katie Talmadge has had her fill of all three while living in Salem, Massachusetts. But when a mysterious woman promises to change her life with three fateful truths, Katie begins to believe in a magic that can only come from the heart.

Mayhem, Dangerous Intent and a Removal of my Precious Sanity... And that's just this week

Can I pick 'em, or can I pick 'em?

This should be a smooth sailing week leading to the luxury of a vacation, but instead I find myself surrounded by chaos and wishing for the soul enhancing dance of quiet writing time.

Should be easy. Right? You would think so, but even the best of intentions can be derailed by a family on the move toward the edge of reason and chaos.

Let me explain...

Hubby is hard at work, running lengths of beautiful bronze metal up on the roof. He trudges up and down the ladder, laboring in the heat, while moaning over the fact that he wasn't born to be a carpenter. The roof is truly glorious and it's going to be wonderful come this chilly, snow-laden winter. Especially, when he doesn't have to get up there and shovel off the roof. This is only the beginning of the chaos that will be River View for the next couple months. Electricity is getting updated and there are new windows and doors to be installed. I'm even getting a new kitchen floor…

Coming Back from Beyond? Booksellers and Ebooks

“In this market, you could actually pick up market share simply because you’re the only major bookseller left,” ~John Tinker, a media analyst at the Maxim Group

The above quote is from a July 22 article from The New Yorker, entitled"Ebook vs. Pbook" by James Surowiecki. (Great article! follow the link).

Ultimately, I prefer to browse the shelves of a bookstore, roaming among the aisles and picking up books at a whim. I confess, I have a Kindle. I actually love it, but a few things became abundantly clear to me when I started purchasing books for it.

1. Having an ereader appeals to the hoarder, or the instant society that has overtaken us all. No longer do we have to wait in anticipation for the next installment when we find a new author. We are able to browse amongst their backlog and find something else to ease that need for a read. But am I alone by saying that I will probably never read half of the books I downloaded. Once I got a look at the first page and was able to…

The State of the State (Or The Current Business of Books)

It's been awhile since I've posted on the business of books, but recently I started reviewing my past experience and how the business has changed since I got into it 20+ years ago. Here's just a few of the revelations that I've discerned.

In the beginning, (read: pre-internet) so much of the contact between authors and booksellers was a carefully constructed dance that required the help of multiple personages at the publishing houses. Promotion was based on previous sales and often those authors in the dreaded mid-list and (gasp!) below didn't qualify for much in the way of help from their publishers. It may still exist today, but for many it is a catch-22. Sales= $valuable sales promotion dollars and new authors with previous sales record = $0. From a business plan standpoint this idea makes sense, put the dollars where they will be the most effective. But somewhere along the way the authors that had to work hard for their sales and put blood, sweat and tears i…

Got Something for Tall, Dark and Insanely Hot?

Run, don't walk to your computer to get your copy of Tiffinie Helmer's Wild Men of Alaska. This boxed set is worth the price with not one, not two, not three, but four hot romances designed to have you researching plane fares to Alaska.

Impact starts with a bang when the man who arrested Wren makes an appearance once again in her life. He's been waiting for her...

Everything is Moosed-Up when Eva finds herself in the tiny Alaskan town of Chatanika. She needs the escape and the town needs her medical expertise, but nothing can prepare her for Lynx enters her life.

Dreamweaver is a surreal, ghostly love story that turns the tables on romance from the other side. Don't like ghost stories? You'll like this one...

and in Bearing All, enemies can be so much more dangerous when there is love as the prize.

Check out all these great stories and an added bonus of a preview of Edge, her first book in the Romance on the Edge series.

I can't wait!

A Change

I'm not adverse to change. Most of the time I am okay with it. I understand that change leads to growth and new opportunities, but sometimes change is hard to swallow. This would be the case with the current situation at hand. For 19 years I've been a member of Maine RWA. I was there for the first meeting of the current incarnation and I was there for a couple of the old ones. In the beginning I was a very green young writer with lots of hopes, but not much else. I found myself sitting silently at meetings soaking up the knowledge of many great writers. I was brought into the group and friendships and family-like bonds were formed. I will forever think of the RWA members as family. They've seen me through many trials and tribulations and the birth of my son. They were with me for the good and the bad and I know that if I needed them they'd be there for me. I wouldn't have gotten as far as I have without their support, friendship and even love. But the last few year…

He was a... How will you be remembered?

Confession time: They pick on me in the lunch room because I read the obituaries on a regular basis. You've heard the comments before. "Are you trying to make sure you're not in there?" or "Are you checking to see if you have to come to work today?" But the answer for me is really very simple. I've always been fascinated by the way that people live their lives. I'm intrigued by the choices they make and the obstacles that they overcome. Good or bad. I read them because I know that someone passed and the world needs to acknowledge this change. Sounds morbid, but it's not to my way of thinking.

"I don't want my kids to remember that I was ever afraid to tackle something," I said to my father one day. "I want them to know that no matter what they want to accomplish they can take it on and do it. No matter how scary." My father sort of shook his head and then quietly said, "you're kids will never think that". C…
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I just signed up for Indie ReCon. It's the first I've heard of it, but the presentations look great and the best part is it's FREE and you can do it in your jammies!

Check it out at

Happy Valentine's Day

You'd think that as a writer of romance I would be all gooey on the inside when it comes to this day. But the reality is that Valentine's Day is rather a quiet affair in our house and it doesn't hurt my feelings one little bit. I am blessed to have a wonderful husband who shows me every day how much he loves me so I don't need one day to make a statement over it. The same goes for my beautiful daughter and son. I'm blessed. But more importantly, I try to make sure they know every day how much I love them. Even when it's wrapped around a sarcastic comment.

I'm spending my Valentine's Day enjoying a day off from work. There's plenty to do, so I'd best get a move on with my chore list. Hubby brought home some wonderful scallops that made ME melt (another romantic everyday gesture) and I've got a special treat to make the hubby and son for dinner. In the meantime, I thought I would share a great picture with you all. I've been doing a lot …

Changes are here...

After much thought I've decided that I need to streamline things a bit. In the past, would forward you to a rather generic site that had book information, but not a whole lot about what makes me tick. It was on the Cup of Hot blog that I really showed my true self, as well as having the latest on book info. So, I combined the blog and the domain name and now you can read my latest blog hits at and at the same time find information on myself and my latest releases.

If you want to find out more information about my paranormal pursuits you can follow me at or for all things vintage at .

I hope you enjoy the visit.

Amazon’s At it Again

In case you haven't heard... Amazon’s At it Again Check out this post from Nina Pierce on the latest changes at Amazon that have most indie pubbers scratching their heads and trying to figure out the next course of action.

What To Do When Your Story Sucks

I didn't do too badly last year. I did manage to publish STEALING DARKNESS in April and OBSIDIAN in December. I wouldn't call it bad by any stretch, but wasn't there something missing? Something I promised, but couldn't quite deliver? Yup, it was the second book in the Darkness Paranormal Novella series.

So what happened to it? It sucked.

Oh, I wrote the story, but when it came right down to it I found that it wasn't the story that I was trying to tell. Somewhere along the way the magic in the story got lost and so did I. I started at point A... so where the heck did the point B go? I don't know.

Is the story lost? Nope. But it is still sitting in limbo until I can figure out just where I veered off the track with it. For now, I'm still hoping for the magic.

Reviews: Getting Perspective

Is this not an awesome cover?!
My longtime friend and fellow author, Michelle Libby just released her hot new book Crash and Burn from Lyrical Press. Anytime that you release a new work it's the equivalent to sending your child off to kindergarten and hoping you won't get a call from the Principal because they bit someone (long story). Still, there is that heart stopping rush that goes along with the fear of rejection. No one likes it. But one bad rejection is not the end of the world.

Offset the Balance...
Sounds like an odd thing, but the more reviews you have the less impact one bad review can have on your book page. We all have friends and relative who buy our books... ask them to write a review for you. Amazon likes to have that sale behind the review, but the more you have posted the better those little stars are going to look at the top of your page when a possible reader checks out your available book list.

Another option is to offer the book for review. Someone is g…