Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Great Deals on Clean YA & Romance Novels

Hello, all!

It's time for another Clean eBooks Author Promotion! Yay!

This promotion runs from Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 10:00pm MST until Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 11:59pm MST. Enjoy these fantastic, clean eBooks :-)

Discern, Katon University Book One

Andrea Pearson
Kindle, Nook, Smashwords

Nicole Williams is an Arete—a fourth child with magical abilities—yet no matter how hard she tries, she can’t Channel her power. In fact, she seems to be the only student at Katon University who fails at magic.

That doesn’t stop magic from finding her. It starts with magical currents and possessed books before moving quickly to cursed spiders and freaky shadows. Nicole turns to her best friend for help, along with fellow student Austin Young, who is considered by all a magical rarity. He also happens to be the hottest guy on campus and just might be interested in her.

Nicole soon finds herself competing to be included on a university-led expedition to Arches National Park. She is determined to show everyone, but mostly herself, that she does belong. Yet, to qualify for the trip, she must produce at least a speck of Wind magic, and that appears to be impossible.

As the competition progresses, Nicole wonders if she’s making the right choice—especially when she learns that the strange fossils they’ll be studying in Arches might not be as dead as everyone thinks.

Prejudice Meets Pride

Rachael Anderson
Kindle, Nook

After years of pinching pennies and struggling to get through art school, Emma Makie’s hard work finally pays off with the offer of a dream job. But when tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to make a cross-country move to Colorado Springs to take temporary custody of her two nieces. She has no money, no job prospects, and no idea how to be a mother to two little girls, but she isn’t about to let that stop her. Nor is she about to accept the help of Kevin Grantham, her handsome neighbor, who seems to think she’s incapable of doing anything on her own.

Prejudice Meets Pride is the story of a guy who thinks he has it all figured out and a girl who isn't afraid to show him that he doesn't. It’s about learning what it means to trust, figuring out how to give and to take, and realizing that not everyone gets to pick the person they fall in love with. Sometimes, love picks them.

Your Eyes Don't Lie

Rachel Branton
Kindle, Nook

Sometimes Surviving Isn't Enough . . .

Years of living on the street and fending for herself have made Makay Greyson tough and resourceful, if a bit disillusioned. She's come a long way from sleeping in parks and scavenging for food. Her entire focus is on providing a better life for her young brother, one without fear of loss and

That certainly doesn't leave time for Harrison Matthews, who from their first meeting sends fire through her veins and upsets all her carefully laid plans.

Makay has done things she isn't proud of to survive, and those choices now threaten the small amount of security she's created-and any chance of a future with Harrison. They've been raised in two very different worlds, and the secrets they both hide can only lead to disaster.  There is only one chance to make it right, and one misstep could be fatal.

Your Eyes Don't Lie is a story about facing fears, sacrificing for those you love, and about a girl who thinks she isn't worth loving and a guy who knows she is.

A Fantasy Christmas

Cindy C Bennett, Stephanie Fowers, and Sherry Gammon
Kindle, Nook, Smashwords

Three mystical tales that make for fun reading as the weather turns cold. Enjoy the romance, the magic, and the joy of Christmas and fantasy while you snuggle up in a blanket and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate.

Ride to Raton

Marsha Ward
Kindle, Nook, Smashwords

Thinking he's been treated unjustly by his father, James Owen leaves the family homestead to make a new life for himself.

The turbulent world of post-Civil War Colorado Territory is fraught with danger and prejudice that increase his bitter loneliness as personal setbacks threaten to break him. Then James's journey brings him into contact with another wayfarer, beautiful young Amparo Garc├ęs, who has come from Santa Fe to Colorado to marry a stranger. Through a twist of fate, their futures are changed forever when their lives are merged in a marriage of convenience. James and Amparo undertake a hazardous horseback trek over Raton Pass to Santa Fe, battling their personal demons, a challenging language barrier, and winter's raging storms.

"Ride to Raton is a pure western, complete with bad guys and broken hearts and even a dog. The sequel to The Man from Shenandoah features James Owen, the younger brother. Marsha Ward writes a fantastic romance against a vivid southwestern backdrop. James begins this book as a hurt young man, but by the end of the book, I really could see him grow up and become a man. Made tougher by circumstances he has no control over, James realizes that the love he thought he had lost was nothing compared to what Amparo shows him. Amparo is a young Hispanic lady, forced to leave her home in Santa Fe to marry a stranger in Colorado. She bravely faces her uncertain future, relying on her faith to get her through. She is sweet, loving and she provides a great contrast to James's rough exterior. With an ending that surprised even me, Ride to Raton is not your usual romance. However, I do recommend it for western lovers—even the cover is wonderful! Marsha Ward once again shows us her gift for old fashioned storytelling!" ~Jen Hill, Roundtable Reviews

The Husband Maker

Karey White
Kindle, Nook

Charlotte’s a girl with nicknames. She may not love being called Charles or Chuck, but the hardest nickname to take is the one she was given in college, the one that’s followed her now for too many years. They call her “the husband maker” and sadly, it fits. Every guy she's dated since high school has gone on to marry the next girl they date. Not two or three girls down the road. The very next one.
Is she doing something wrong or is she just cursed?

When Kyle Aldsworth enters the picture and sweeps her off her feet, Charlotte begins to hope that maybe she's not destined to be single forever. A senator’s son with political aspirations of his own, Kyle's wealthy, handsome, and in need of a wife. Will Charlotte be disappointed yet again, or will she finally be able to make a husband for herself?

Life, Love, and The Pursuit of  Free Throws

Janette Rallison

Josie loves hottie Ethan Lancaster, the captain of the basketball team, but she never can do or say the right thing in front of him. So how can it be fair that Ethan is only interested in her best friend, Cami, when Cami isn’t even trying for his affection? Or is she?

Cami dreams of winning her basketball team’s coveted MVP award, and earning the chance to take the court during a special halftime demonstration with WNBA star Rebecca Lobo, but her best friend, Josie, is a better player. So how can it be fair that Josie is a shoo-in for the honor if she is barely interested in basketball in the first place and isn’t even trying to be the best? Or is she?

Told from two points of view, this novel of freshman life, love, and the pursuit of free throws displays the same delightful humor as Janette Rallison's other comedies.

My Forever: A Triple Treat Romance Box Set

Annette Lyon, Karey White, Cami Checketts
Kindle, Nook

A Portrait for Toni  by Amazon bestselling author Annette Lyon 
Toni has no idea what she’d do without her best friend, Carter. Who else would she be able to vent to about her parents, her job at the dance studio, or her latest relationship woes? That is, until he starts questioning Toni, saying he thinks she has an eating disorder. Then she starts dating Clint, and somehow that puts a deeper wedge between her and Carter. When she’s hospitalized after an on-stage collapse, and Carter stupidly starts in with advice about food and weight, she sends him away. One night after a performance, Toni tries to mend the hurt between them. Instead of finding Carter, she stumbles onto proof that he has feelings for her that go way beyond those of a friend. Toni is left with the very real prospect of losing Carter forever, unless somehow she can return his feelings—but that’s impossible. Isn’t it?

My Own Mr. Darcy by USA Today bestselling author Karey White 
After being dragged to the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice by her mother, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth’s life changes when Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy appears on the screen. Lizzie makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. During the six intervening years, she finds all of her suitors lacking—they just aren’t Mr. Darcy enough. Coerced by her roommate, Elizabeth agrees to give the next interested guy ten dates before she dumps him. She starts dating Chad, but she believes her dream comes true in the form of wealthy bookstore owner Matt Dawson, who looks and acts like her Mr. Darcy. But as Elizabeth simultaneously dates a regular guy and the dazzling Mr. Dawson, she’s forced to re-evaluate what it was she loved about Mr. Darcy in the first place.

The Broken Path by Amazon bestselling author Cami Checketts 
Injured in a debilitating accident at age six, Ethan Searle believes women eye him with a mixture of pity and disdain. He’s tried love before. He won’t again. He meets his match in a precocious two-year old who loves him despite his disability, even while her mother seems bothered by everything about Ethan. Autumn Reader escaped her abusive marriage with her beautiful daughter and a stack of fear. She can’t make the mistake of trusting a man again. Autumn’s daughter becomes enraptured by Ethan. Despite Autumn’s best intentions, she finds herself following her daughter’s example. When her ex-husband reappears, threatening everyone she loves if she won’t submit to his demands, Autumn has to learn to trust or lose her chance at real love.

Still Time

Maria Hoagland
Kindle, Nook, Smashwords

Thrust into the chaos of her mother-in-law’s hoarding and forgetfulness, LDS church member Alyssa Johnston wishes she could retreat to a simpler time when her kids were small and almost anything could be fixed with a hug. But reassurance and a quick distraction no longer erase the pain of a missionary son who is struggling, a young teen who is bullied, or a daughter who is distant. As Aly’s own life and relationship with her husband plunge out of control, she wonders if her faith will be enough to keep her family—or herself—from falling apart.

Still Time is a deeply moving story about a woman’s faithful journey into the next phase of her life. You will laugh with Aly, feel her sorrow, and see yourself in Maria Hoagland’s realistic, heartfelt portrayal of a woman’s struggle to keep her family safe and hold back time as long as she can.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Blog Hop!

So it takes a blog hop for me to write a post, apparently. Regency Romance author Anna Elliott tagged me with three questions. I "met" Anna over email. I've read a couple of her books and thought they were great, so we invited her to contribute a novella to our All Regency Timeless Romance Anthology coming out January 2015. Here's a sneak peek at the cover:

Anna sent me 3 questions to answer, and you can read her own answers about her own writing on her blog.

1. What are you working on?
I'm writing a Biblical novel on Miriam and Moses, which is due to the publisher in October, so it's my top priority right now. It's the first in the series of 3 (or 4) books. I'm also working on the next contemporary romance novel in the Tangerine Street Romance series that we're calling Boardwalk Antiques Shop. The first was The Fortune Cafe. It's a ton of fun to co-write with Julie Wright and Melanie Jacobson. And, I've outlined the regency romance novella for the anthology mentioned above that I'm doing with Anna Elliott, et al. And just yesterday, I finished going through the final copyedits for the re-release of Finding Sheba, which is being republished February 2015.

2. How does your work differ from others in the same genre?
Since I've written mostly historical novels and thrillers, I'd say that the way my work differs from others in the same genre is that I have a very strong religious base in those books. I also bring out strong female characters and make them a main part of the storyline. Ironically, I'm a discovery writer, which means that although I have a very vague outline due to historical events, I don't know from one day to the next what I'll be writing. Many times not even from one paragraph to the next.

3. Why do you write what you do?
I love to learn about the past and to learn why people do what they do. What were their motivations and how does their upbringing affect their actions? Writing historical is very fascinating, and not only am I creating characters, but I'm world-building as well, which deepens the layers of those characters.

4. How does your writing process work?
I look at the calendar and when I determine what my deadline is for the first draft, I divide the days by word count. Currently, I'm writing 2,000/words a day, 5 days/week. I rarely work on weekends. Normally with my historicals, 1,000 words a day is pretty intensive. With contemporary, 2,000 words a day isn't too daunting. But I don't do this year round, just when I have a commitment that I need to fulfill.

Up next on the blog hop is Jennifer Moore. We are not related... I met her a couple of years ago at a writers conference, and so we'd chat here and there at conferences after that. She's been a fun person to get to know. Jenny had her first book come out this summer, a Regency Romance, Becoming Lady Lockwood. By next summer she'll have 4 books out. So you never knew when your writing career will take off. (Just keep writing!) Check out Jennifer's blog here.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Book Birthday for TYING THE KNOT...

 I'm excited to announce the official release of TYING THE KNOT. We're doing a week-long launch with fabulous prizes. Hop over to the Newport Ladies Book Club blog to enter the Rafflecopter.

TYING THE KNOT is the 9th book in the series, and all of the women have voices in it. My co-authors, Josi, Annette, Julie, and I wrote the book in round-robin style, editing each other as we went. It was a really fun process, and the best part was getting the book back, and seeing how much it had grown in size. Sorta felt like cheating. Haha.

Anyway, here are some pictures for nostalgic purposes:

 Restaurant where we met and brainstormed for the first time.

Books selected by the Newport Ladies Book Club

 Book launch for OLIVIA

Book launch for DAISY

 Book launch for PAIGE (featuring Frank Cole)

 Book Signing

 Book launch for ATHENA

 Book launch for ATHENA

  RUBY'S SECRET displayed at LDSBA

Monday, April 28, 2014

Whitney Awards and Cover Reveals!

On Saturday night, Esther the Queen won the 2013 Whitney Award for Best Historical. I was so surprised, and you might find it strange since I actually had 4 books as finalists. But in the historical category I was up against amazing historical fiction writers Carla Kelly, Gale Sears, Phyllis Gunderson, and Jennie Hansen. It was quite a shock.

Here's a pic of me and my hubby:


And also very exciting was that Jeff Savage, a member of my critique group, won the Whitney for Best Speculative (beating out my Heart of the Ocean). His book Dark Memories is extremely creepy. Also, a shout out to two others in my critique group, Sarah M. Eden and Robison Wells, whose books were finalists as well.

And this is just a random picture from the LDS Storymakers conference with me and my former editor, Eliza Nevin.

Now, for the 2 new book covers I got last week. First, it was really fun to see the cover for the 9th and Final book in the Newport Ladies Book Club series. It's four-authored by all of us (Josi S. Kilpack, Annette Lyon, Julie Wright, and me)... and it has all of the characters featured in it. Coming this summer!

And, finally, the cover for our next romance anthology, Summer in New York Collection, is ready. Featuring Janette Rallison, Me, Luisa Perkins, Sarah M. Eden, Annette Lyon, and Lisa Mangum. Coming July 2014:

Monday, April 21, 2014

Don't Take this the Wrong Way

I was thinking about my next writing project this morning. I feel like I'm constantly in several stages at once: drafting, editing, final proofing... of different manuscripts. There are many considerations I take into account when I'm brainstorming a project. #1 is "will anyone read this?" #2 will the time I spend translate into sales? #3 can I do this justice, ie. is this book idea an award-worthy idea?

I've been very blessed, and probably even lucky, that so many of my books have received literary recognition. I've won 2 Whitney Awards, 3 Best of State medals, and 2 Golden Quill Awards, among several other awards. I'm currently a finalist in 4 categories for the 2013 Whitney Awards with 4 different books.

This is a Catch-22, meaning that I'm very grateful for the awards. Yet... I definitely feel the pressure of writing my next book and making sure it's up to par. I know that readers now have certain expectations. I know that they will compare my books. Readers will say "this is better than... this wasn't as good as..." So one of my considerations when writing a book is that I have to look at it as not just "this is a great idea I can be passionate about" but "this is a great idea that I can be passionate about and I have to write it well enough that it's award-worthy."

Of course writers all want their books to be award-worthy, but I have reached a point that I won't write a single-author novel unless I think it will be award-worthy. Don't take that the wrong way. It doesn't mean that I feel like my writing is necessarily award-worthy, no matter what I write about, but it means that I'm going to put a lot of advance planning into it, run it through many advance readers, do the right research, and focus on creating a compelling story... All so that I can continue to raise the bar on my own story-telling. Once a writer thinks she has it made is when things will start to fall apart.

Have I created a set of goals that will dictate what I can and cannot write? I don't think so because there comes a point in any writer's career where it needs to go from a hobby to a livelihood. And this is where I intend to take mine. In February I became a USA Today bestseller. This is purely on the merit of SALES. Not fabulous writing or story telling. There is a darker side of the business out there, and it's necessary to feed both. Some of my writing might be aimed toward garnering those awards, not for the award itself, but because it's a measuring stick that I've achieved my goals... touching the life of another reader (judge) in such a way that it changes them.

This is what reading a good book does to me. It changes me.

What if none of my books ever earned an award? Does that make them worthless? No. The readers who contact me and the reviews that are posted are also measures that I go by. Did my story touch someone's life? Did it give them an understanding? A wider perspective? Did it make them laugh, cry, think?

I may never win an award again, and that's okay. But I will continue to write and work hard at creating novels that are "award-worthy" even if they aren't publicly recognized as such.

Here's an example of where I am at this moment. Books 1, 3, 4, and 7 are on the "award-worthy" path. Books 2, 5, and 6 are on the "sales" path. It would be nice if these paths cross for some of the books, but I'm very well aware that it may not be so.

1. LOST KING (thriller). 2nd draft complete, received 2 edits back from beta readers, working on 3rd draft. Next step, another round of readers. No official due date, although I hope to start the submission process in the summer to my new publisher.

2. TASTE OF SUN (romance novella). 2nd draft complete. Just emailed to 1st beta reader. Due date is the end of May and it will go through copyediting & proofing & final approval by me.

3. SALEM book. 100 pages drafted. Stopped when I reached a major researched hurdle. Have been sitting on this hurdle for over a year. I hope to get over it this summer and have the book ready for submission this fall.

4. BIBLICAL NOVEL. Started page one of a novel about Miriam, Moses' sister. Thinking about turning it into a "Moses trilogy"... Miriam (book 1), Aaron (book 2), Moses (book 3). An epic story needs an epic series. This novel has been requested by one of my publishers and due date is OCTOBER. Yes. I need to get working on it.

5. CHRISTMAS NOVELLA. I haven't started this yet, but it will be due at the end of August. Not too intimidating, except that it will need research since it will have a historical setting (yet undecided).

6. TANGERINE STREET SERIES. Recently THE FORTUNE CAFE came out and my co-authors, Julie Wright and Melanie Jacobson, and I will be plotting the next in the series in about a week. We hope to have it written in early fall and will possibly release in November/December of this year.

7. EVE: IN THE BEGINNING. This book is completely done and I even have some cover comps. It will just need a final copyedit and proofread. I have a couple of publishers I'm going to query this summer, and if there aren't any bites, I will self-publish it in October.

Friday, March 28, 2014

New publishing house for FINDING SHEBA & BENEATH!

So I've been sitting on this news for a bit as things were progressing.

On March 5, I received an email from Sr. Editor Anh Schluep at Thomas & Mercer. I do some indie publishing so I thought it might be an answer to one of my Amazon questions (which I'm regularly asking), but thought it odd that it came to my author email account. Anh wrote to me saying that she'd read FINDING SHEBA and she loved it, and would I be interested in republishing the book with them? She also said they wanted to re-release in 2014. So, of course I looked up Anh, and the imprint (owned by Amazon), and some of their authors. Thomas & Mercer publishes thrillers and suspense novels, and many of their authors are major New York Times bestsellers.

I showed the email to my husband and said, "This might be a game-changer."

The next day I scheduled a conference call with Anh (pronounced "On"), and we talked about the publishing contracts that Amazon offers. The only glitch was that I needed to get my rights back from the publisher who currently held them. So after reading through my original contract again, I contacted my publisher and he agreed to reverse the rights. In most cases, this is no small feat, and I'll be forever grateful for a publisher who saw that my overall career could benefit from this change.

Since Anh said they'd like to have first rights to anything in the Omar Zagouri thriller series, I decided that I wanted to use an agent to handle the business side of the contract deal. I emailed a couple of agents on a Friday afternoon (one who was listed in the top thriller agents) and the other I'd met at a writers conference previously and had been impressed with. Both agents came back interested, and Jane Dystel replied even though she was out of the office for the weekend. First thing on Monday morning she offered me representation and said she'd worked with Amazon on other occasions (which is one of the reasons I queried her). I signed with Jane, and in the following communications, Thomas & Mercer also requested BENEATH, which is a companion short story.

Tentative release date for the new editions of FINDING SHEBA and BENEATH is June 2014, and they will have new covers as well.

Here's the deal as reported in Publisher's Marketplace:

March 27, 2014 Fiction:General/Other
Indie bestseller Heather Moore's FINDING SHEBA, along with an accompanying short story, BENEATH, swirling around the seductive legend -- and perhaps reality -- of the tomb of the infamous queen, to Anh Schluep at Thomas & Mercer, by Jane Dystel at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management (World).