Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What's in a name?

A rose by any other name
still writes great fiction!
I've been talking to my husband this week about possible pseudonyms.  See I've written an adult paranormal romance and don't want the younger readers of The Soulkeepers (some are as young as eleven) to think this book is for them--although the current chart topping trilogy by EL James makes my book look squeaky clean. But I digress.

Suffice it to say, I've decided to call myself something different on these books, so as not to confuse anyone. But I struggle with pseudonyms for the same reason as tattoos.  How can you commit to something so permanent? With the tattoo, I wonder if I would sour to wings on my back and if then I'd want a fish on my toe instead. Or maybe on my ankle.  I'd want to change and rearrange it constantly, which is why I don't have one.

A name is the same, isn't it?  Do I feel like a Josephine today or a Savannah?  How will I feel tomorrow?  And every name under the sun already belongs to someone out there.  Will I be reduced to some nouveau spelling like SanDeE* from LA Story?

(If you've never seen LA Story watch this clip http://youtu.be/1HRzloVtUPA)

If you have opinions on author names, leave me a comment. I need all the help I can get.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Indelibles Beach Bash!


Summer is just around the corner.  Are you ready for poolside READING! Don't fret. The Indelibles have just what you need.  We are giving away the winner's choice of kindle or nook, along with 16 recently released indelibles books, including Return to Eden!

Dr. Abigail Silva has waited over 10,000 years for redemption and a chance at a real relationship with the angel she loves.  But when you're made from evil itself, it's hard to remember if salvation is worth the wait. With Lucifer's plan coming to fruition, she must decide if God's offer of humanity is all it's cracked up to be, or if a deal with the devil is the more promising solution.




Enter to Win
1. Visit the Indelibles Website between May 21st-May24th at midnight.
2. Follow the chain of links to each of the blogs on the hop
3. Collect the secret word from each blog (psst-mine is in purple and all caps)
4. Submit the secret sentence for your chance to win

Good luck and happy READING!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Indelibles Book Alert: Driven

I'm a member of the Indelibles, talented independent authors and publishers who specialize in young adult fiction.  When the Indelibles host a new release, I post it here because I think these books are an amazing value.  Great stories, amazing writing, and affordable prices. I hope you'll consider giving this one a try and tell me what you think!



The last thing on 16-year-old Jess DeLand’s wish list is a boyfriend. She’d have to be crazy to think any guy would look twice at her. Besides, there are more important things to hope for, like a job working on cars and an end to her mom’s drinking. Foster care is a constant threat, and Jess is willing to sacrifice anything to stay out of the system. When luck hands her the chance to work on a race car, she finds herself rushing full throttle into a world of opportunities—including a boy who doesn’t mind the grease under her fingernails. The question is, can a girl who keeps herself locked up tighter than Richard Petty’s racing secrets open up enough to risk friendship and her first romance?
~~~~~~~~~~
“The first romance is captured beautifully—just the right combination of natural and awkward, of eager and scared.”
~ Bob Martin, writing professor, Pacific Northwest College of Art
~~~~~~~~~~
In addition to being a YA author, Lisa Nowak is a retired amateur stock car racer, an accomplished cat whisperer, and a professional smartass. She writes coming-of-age books about kids in hard luck situations who learn to appreciate their own value after finding mentors who love them for who they are. She enjoys dark chocolate and stout beer and constantly works toward employing wei wu wei in her life, all the while realizing that the struggle itself is an oxymoron. Lisa has no spare time, but if she did she’d use it to tend to her expansive perennial garden, watch medical dramas, take long walks after dark, and teach her cats to play poker. For those of you who might be wondering, she is not, and has never been, a diaper-wearing astronaut. She lives in Milwaukie, Oregon, with her husband, four feline companions, and two giant sequoias.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Siren's Call of the Saxophone

This post has nothing to do with books.  It has to do with band. And, well, orchestra I guess.

I have two daughters who have both been musical children. I won't tell you their ages but I am much too young to have had them. Both play piano but we have reached the grade in school when they can choose a band or orchestra instrument. They have this special day at school where they demonstrate all of the instruments and then each kid can choose 3 to try. The music director sends home recommendations for what instrument they recommend for your child next year.

When my oldest daughter reached this age, she wanted to play the saxophone and lo and behold she we recommended for the saxophone. I gleefully trotted down to the music store to rent a saxophone with images of Lisa Simpson dancing through my head. Imagine my surprise when they gave me the list of rental prices for instruments.  $50/month people!  Sax's are expensive.

I noticed that the flute was like $15/month, the violin $20.  I concocted a conspiracy theory that the band director recommended the expensive brass to all the oldest children that came through, hoping to snare unsuspecting parents into paying for the "money pit" instrument. For my oldest, it was too late.  We'd already said yes. I signed on the dotted line and Saxophone she played.

For 6 months.  She lasted 6 months and then she quit. And BTW that was 6 months of hauling that monster on the bus and practice sessions that sounded like geese homicide every night.

Well, that wasn't going to happen to ME again.  I was older and wiser.  I started my younger daughter on violin in third grade.  She excelled.  Played for two years.  I rubbed my hands together thinking she would surely want to continue the violin into fifth grade.  Ha ha ha.  They wouldn't get me again!

Imagine my horror when younger one began making noises about quitting violin and taking...you guessed it...saxophone!  I said NO! Pick something else.  Anything!

My neighbor even helped me out.  She said they had a used oboe we could buy for cheap.  You know what they say about the oboe?  It's the scholarship instrument.  First oboe, then bassoon, then free college baby.  Nobody plays the bassoon.  It was brilliant!  No rental.  No dying goose.  I was so on board.

So youngest has the dreaded demonstration/recommendation night and guess what comes home on her paper.  Saxophone!  And now she's totally excited and completely dead set on Saxophone.

I think I know what's going on here.  Obviously, they have some cute boy demonstrating saxophone. I'll never win.  They've played the hormone card.  It's useless to resist.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Worm in My Apple

Under the categories of don't let this happen to you and learn from my mistakes I'd like to offer authors out there my recent experience with the iBookstore.  (If you are a reader, this will also serve as an explanation for the craziness that has been Return to Eden's journey to iPad and company.)

I published Return to Eden, book 3 in the Soulkeepers Series, via Smashwords on February 27th and on the other markets (KDP, PUBiT) soon after.  I've always used Smashwords to reach the iBookstore and I've never had any problems. This time however, my file wasn't approved right away.  In fact, some unusual technical problems at Smashwords delayed the processing for several weeks. (Smashwords was upfront and responsive to the problems.)

Meanwhile, desperate for an iBooks version, I spent several days jumping through all of the hoops to upload directly to Apple via iTunes producer.  One of the easier steps to publication was completing the "metadata" portion of the electronic form.
Unfortunately, when I entered my author name, I entered G.P. Ching (my preferred spelling),  not realizing that the first two books at Smashwords had my author name spelled with a space between the G. and the P., G. P. Ching.

It took four weeks for Apple to approve the file but Return to Eden hit iBookstore shelves on April 3rd.
Meanwhile, my file on Smashwords was approved for premium distribution after the longest wait I've ever encountered. On April 3rd, I opted out of iBookstore distribution since I already had a file there.

Here's where it gets interesting. Return to Eden was not linking up with my author name due to the lack of a space between my initials.  I tried to fix the metadata and learned that authors/publishers can not update their own metadata in the iBookstore! (That includes the book description BTW). I sent in a ticket to have the space added for me. I received a response that it would be changed.  It never was. I followed up with more emails that received no response.

A few weeks later, I was elated to see my Return to Eden file had been fixed and finally linked up to my other books. Only something was wrong.  I now had two versions of Return to Eden on the charts.  Upon closer inspection, the linked up file was the original Smashwords file I uploaded on February 27th! And yes - I checked- I was still opted out.

After several more emails to Apple that were ignored, I finally decided to pull the direct to apple version and keep the linked up Smashwords version.  Having two versions of the book on the same chart was confusing for readers and I was afraid if I didn't opt in at Smashwords I might not get paid for the sales on that orphaned file, not to mention I made some changes to the front matter to add my new publishing company's name and wanted that on all versions. I simply had more control to take the direct file down in a timely manner.

What did I lose from this scenario? 78 ratings/reviews on iBookstore, about 40 hours of my time, the higher royalties direct publishing would have paid me, and the newest version of the file still hasn't reached iBookstore.

Learning points:

  • If you upload directly to Apple make sure you will never have to change your metadata. It still amazes me that the brilliant minds at Apple couldn't have built a user friendly interface to do this or for authors to link books themselves to their author account as Amazon Author Central does.
  • Allow at least four weeks or more for processing
  • If you are changing methods of distribution in the middle of a series, compare the metadata as it appears in the Apple store to your new metadata (not as it appears at the distributor). Changes you made at the distributor won't be updated in iBookstore.
  • Understand that if you have to make changes you will either have to use a new ISBN, or go through a distributor which means you will lose your reviews.
There you have it.  My sad, sad, epic FAIL at the big Apple. Don't let it happen to you.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sore as A Gorilla

Have you heard of the Gorilla Workout?

It's this app that you can get for your phone that gives you daily exercises to do, slowly building your muscles until you are as fit as a big hairy primate.  Who wouldn't want that?

So, I downloaded it. First you're asked to be honest with the app about your current fitness level.  I'm a writer.  I've got a strong imagination but that is about it. So I started with level 1.

The first several days weren't difficult but then I got to this bad boy:
4 Rounds of:
8 Lunges
25 Squats

It didn't seem that hard really, so afterward I took a bike ride.

Today, I can't walk. Every time I have to lower myself to a chair or *gasp* the toilet, my hamstrings howl like a monkey.

For some reason I think I'll be looking like this guy for a really, really long time.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Indelibles Book Alert: A Spy Like Me

I'm a member of the Indelibles, talented independent authors and publishers who specialize in young adult fiction.  When the Indelibles host a new release, I post it here because I think these books are an amazing value.  Great stories, amazing writing, and affordable prices. I hope you'll consider giving this one a try and tell me what you think!

  Stripping your date down to his underwear has never been so dangerous. After dodging bullets on a first date, Savvy must sneak, deceive and spy to save her family and friends and figure out if Malcolm is one of the bad guys before she completely falls for him.

Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Smashwords 


 Head on over to Laura’s blog for the start of the Spies, Murder and Mystery Marathon. You won’t want to miss this sizzling series as we head into summer. Stock up on some great thrilling reads! If you dare…


In celebration of the official release of A Spy Like Me, Laura Pauling is hosting a three-week blog series: A Spies, Murder and Mystery Marathon. Woot! Woot! Authors galore, guest posts and book giveaways almost every day! Gemma Halliday, Cindy M. Hogan, Elizabeth Spann Craig, Nova Ren Suma, Elisa Ludwig, and Anne R. Allen! 


Visit www.laurapauling.com for more information!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Artemis Rising Blog Hop Giveaway!


On the voy­age home to the Azores Islands, Eva accepts the pagan name of Arethusa but learns too late that her life will mir­ror the Greek nymph’s tragic end. Her mother reveals that her des­tiny lies with Diogo, the shipowner’s volatile son. But Eva has a vision of another...

When the ship founders in a storm off the coast, Tristan, a local boy, saves her life and steals her heart. Destined to be with Diogo yet aching for Tristan’s for­bid­den love, Eva must some­how choose between them, or fate will choose for her.

Q:
If your main character were a real person in today's world, what would her room look like?  What kind of clothes would be in her closet?  Songs on her iPod? What would she watch on TV to relax?

A:
Wow, what a difficult question, G.P.! My character is a quiet and strong character who lives in a world that's time out of time--it's hard to imagine her anywhere but on her little island out in the Atlantic. But here goes... If my main character, Arethusa MarĂ©, were living in today's world (in the USA), her room would probably be filled with antique furniture shipped over from the Azores (Portuguese) Islands. She actually grew up in Massachusetts as a young girl, but Azoreans live quietly amongst themselves in farming communities, so she wouldn't have access to a lot of what most teens have these days. She'd have little trinkets and sea shells she'd picked up in her travels. Perhaps some love letters tucked away in a locked wooden box. And her room wouldn't be complete without a little jar of sand from Terceira Island. 

Even in today's fashion forward world, she might still be wearing dresses instead of pants. Though she might have a few pairs in her closet. I suspect she'd be a bit sporty, if given the chance. I think she really loves to run on the beach, feeling the sand between her toes. She'd love shoes--what girl doesn't?!--so she might have quite a few pairs scattered about her room. She lives most of her life in her mind, so I think she'd have a fairly messy room. One of the most interesting things about Arethusa is that she cannot speak. Because of that, I can see her gravitating toward activities like listening to music, watching movies and reading--and she'd have piles of books in her room. She's a reader of old-school poetry of the Byron/Tennyson variety. But she'd dig Pablo Neruda (if you don't know his stuff, check it out!) and (Portuguese) Fernando Pessoa's poetry as well. 

I think she'd be obsessed with romantic films--perhaps a little Titanic or Pride and Prejudice or even Twilight (who knows?!). And definitely Ever After.

As for music, she would have eclectic taste. I can see her obsessing over Coldplay, Adele, and Florence and the Machine like the rest of us. But I think she'd also love movie scores, classical music, and a touch of techno. We would catch her watching a little Vampire Diaries on TV, I think. She's dealing with her own immortal monsters, so I think she'd identify with that show. =)

Listen to Cheri read from Artemis Rising here:


 You can order the paperback on  Amazon.comBuy.comBook Depository, and Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Congratulations to the Week 4 Winners!

Congratulations to the winners of the week four giveaways!


$10 Visa Gift Cards: Delphina M., Arianna C.

eBooks:  Sian B., Princess Jen

Entry to win Paperback set: Paula B.



Thanks to everyone for entering!



As of now, I'm waiting for confirmation from two of the paperback entry winners that they live in the United States. Winner to come.