Not your first love, although we all remember that like it was yesterday even fifty years later. Your first book. Although most of my peers here at Soul Mate Publishing are seasoned masters of our craft, please take a minute to celebrate with me as The Circle Unbroken makes its debut. I’m grateful for your encouragement and support as we spread a little love in the world together.
Love is supposed to be forever. So what divides you from people you used to love? Or maybe even people you still love? Wounds cut deep, and grief or hurt can sever the strongest bonds. You pull away to avoid further injury. Or you build walls to protect yourself from potential harm. Loving turns to hating, or at least that’s what you’re saying out loud, because it’s too painful to speak the ache in your heart.
laugh, avoid, deny, eat, drink, binge-watch, [insert your favorite addiction or
guilty pleasure here] to convince the world and yourself that you’re perfectly
fine. But you’re not. And in your most honest moments, you admit it.
we all wrestle with broken relationships in our own ways. Meet Mavis Powell,
the young woman severed from her family in The Circle Unbroken. She’s
trapped in a cycle of loss and regret that feels like a vortex spinning out of
control. And no one, least of all Mavis, is willing to step out from the fear
or anger that isolates them in order to repair the damage done.
Come on a journey with me through despair, hope, and restoration in my novel, The Circle Unbroken. Like any story, like life itself, it is not without pain or loss, for it is life that births our stories. But it offers hope that we, like Mavis, can get through the hurt that once crippled us. Not without scars, maybe, but with more strength, more love, more goodness, than we ever thought possible.
A good friend of mine, who is also a Soul Mate Publishing author, has an exciting week happening. Not only is the third, and final, book of a series releasing on Wednesday, but her first book is also on sale today through Friday…for free. Not only does Iuliana Foos write about vampires, but she’s from Romania, the “birthplace” of those creatures. How cool is that?
To celebrate the release of Book 3, Bloodline Revelations, and the sale of Book 1, Bloodline Origins, I thought I’d ask her to share a bit about herself to Soul Mate nation. Since she’s already given the basics on other platforms—after all, it is her third book—I tried to ask some original questions. I hope you enjoy her answers as much as her vampire stories.
What “fuel” (food or drink) do you use to sustain your writing day? To celebrate the completion of a manuscript?
Iuliana: Coffee, coffee, and more coffee. Black, one sweetener is my go-to fuel every day, but in the weekends I spoil myself with a coffee Frappuccino from Starbucks. Usually, I celebrate the completion of a manuscript with a glass of champagne. On the release day of my books, I like to have a mimosa and stare at my book listed on Amazon. It always reminds me that I’ve accomplished a life-long dream. And that deserves celebrating.
What’s your bucket list activity that’s book/literature related?
My ultimate goal is to have one (or more) of my books made into a movie. I
think that would be the absolute recognition of my writing. It probably won’t
happen in this life time, but a girl can dream, right?
Is there a knick-knack on your desk that inspires you? What is it and why?
There is one. My sister gave me a Swarovski desk clock incased in glass,
with a few words engraved on it: She believed she could…So she did. I
love it, mostly because it’s so true.
If you could eat lunch with 3 authors, who would they be and why? What about 3 fictional characters…who and why?
Iuliana: Lunch with authors sounds like fun.
First would probably be Alexander Dumas. I could never get tired to listening
stories about musketeers. If time travel was possible, I would definitely like
to visit those times. Second, it would have to be Margaret Mitchel. Growing up,
I always dreamed to become one day a writer just like her. Considering I grew
up in Romania, in the communist era, that was quite an ambition. As for the
third, I’m thinking George Lucas. I’m a huge Star Wars fan, and I find
inspiration in his originality. The first fictional character I would like to
have lunch with has to Dracula. I visited his castle when I was a teenager, but
unfortunately, he wasn’t home. And, no, I wouldn’t be afraid. I might even ask
him to turn me into a vampire. The second one would be Princess Leia. She’s the
inspiration behind many of my female characters. And the third, but not last,
maybe Johnny from Dirty Dancing. I love dancing, and to me, he will always be
the perfect dance teacher.
What’s your reward for
this release…the final of a series?
I’m not sure yet, but it will involve some champagne. At
this point, knowing I’ve finished the trilogy is giving me a sense of
accomplishment. I’m looking back, and I still can’t believe I did it.
If you had all the money in the world, where would your ideal writing spot be, what would it be like, and why?
My ideal place would be a house on the beach. I love the ocean, white sand, and
palm trees. Having a house with the ocean in my backyard is the other one of my
dreams. I find it inspiring, calming and intriguing, all at once. Maybe after I
have my books made into movies, I’ll afford my own piece of heaven.
How long did you have the Bloodline idea in your head before you started writing it? Are all your stories like that?
Iuliana: The original
idea first appeared my mind when I visited Dracula’s Castle in my teens. It
took over three decades to put it on paper, mostly because where life took me.
Writing in a language that’s not my first, had been and will always be a
challenge. Of course, the idea grew and morphed into a trilogy, but the thought
that vampires could live among us, first sparkled when I was walking the dingy
corridors of that castle. Soon after that, I started to believe that Earth is
not the only populated planet, that life exists outside what we see and know.
It was just a matter of time to put the two together. Throughout time, more and
more ideas planted themselves firmly in my mind, and are now slowly coming out.
When are you most creative…morning or night?
I write best when it is quiet. Sometimes it happens in the middle of the day,
some other times at night. But I’m definitely not a morning person. Not before
I have at least two coffees, anyways.
What’s your next idea? Is it romance? Explain a little about it. And if it’s not romance, do you have a story in your head that we can anticipate in the future?
Iuliana: My next series, ‘Star Class’, is science-fiction, and yes, there is a central (sweet/clean) romance story in each of the seven planned books. The series follows a group of girls. The day they finished high school every girl had a gold star tattooed on the inside of their wrist, and they all wished for happiness in a ritual they made up around a camp fire. Each book in the series follows a girl’s pursuit of happiness in a different world. I thought it would be interesting to make the separate books/worlds a different color. So far, I’ve written the first drafts for three of them: orange, purple, and white. I still have to write turquoise/blue, red, gold, and green. But all their stories are lined up in my head already, fighting to get out. I think they’re just as unconventional as my Bloodline series, and I like to push the limits of imagination.
There you have it. And on Wednesday, she’ll set aside her coffee cup for a champagne flute. Well-deserved, Iuliana!
Here’s what Bloodline Revelations is about: Theodora De Croix, the vampire Princess of the New Coven, followed the path chosen for her for five centuries. When she unearths an ancient alien in the desert, his awakening sets a prophecy in motion. Alex, learns about life on Earth, and the intricate coexistence between humans and vampires. In the process, he conquers Theodora’s heart, and decides to re-evaluate the blue world as a possible new home for his people. In the frontline of an alien invasion, Theodora and Alex unite their efforts, trying to save the planet they both want to call home. Who will claim it, and at what price?
In Perfectly Honest, Dr. Mikaela Finn jumps in and helps deliver a baby in the middle of a hotel foyer. I couldn’t write the scene without her using gloves, so she whips out a CPR keychain from her purse and voilà, she had a pair of gloves to use. One of the cardinal rules of writing is that things can’t happen by coincidence, so at the launch party for Perfectly Honest, I handed out CPR key chains to everyone. It wasn’t a coincidence that Mikaela carried a CPR keychain – everyone has one!
You never know where your words will take you…
When Mikaela Finn agreed to be Sam’s “fiancée” for a weekend, she probably should have told him that she’s a doctor. Sam O’Brien, aka “Dr. Eye Candy,” is trying to shed his playboy reputation and convince a small town hospital that he’s ready to settle down. But when his “fiancée” helps deliver a baby in the middle of the meet and greet, it’s a bit of a shock. If he’d known the whole truth, he might have done things a little differently because somehow his “fiancée” ends up stealing his job and his heart. Not exactly the change he wanted. Lies and deceit – it’s a match made in heaven!
Award-winning author Linda O’Connor started writing romantic comedies when she needed a creative outlet other than subtly rearranging the displays at a local home décor store. Her books have enjoyed bestseller status. When not writing, she’s a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic. She shares her medical knowledge in fast-paced, well-written, sexy romances – with an unexpected twist. Her favourite prescription to write? Laugh every day. Love every minute.
Sometimes I feel as though my books are all floating in this gigantic ocean of books out there, impossible for anyone to find unless I actually pluck one out and stick it under their nose. I’m sure all my fellow Soulies feel the same way, but what’s the best way to do that? Facebook has become a circus, Twitter isn’t much better, and I never have been able to figure out how to make Instagram or Pinterest work for promoting my books. Sure, there are dozens of “services” you can pay for to blast out tweets or email their “thousands of avid readers” to get book sales. But what really works?
If you find out, let me know.
In the meantime, I thought I would share a list of book promotion sites that I received from a website called Author Support. Here’s the list, and here’s what I discovered:
Although all of these sites look different, they have suspiciously similar platforms and pricing – all except the first one wants $10-55 for you to list your book – complete with Amazon buy link – on their site. I believe they are all probably owned by the same company. Number 6 came up as a broken link, and Olto Books looks like a Facebook-esk social media specializing in authors.
But that’s the thing: they target authors. Sure, authors read too, but I want to get my books in front of avid readers, not just other authors.
Of course, I listed one of mine on Best Reads – it was free, and we’ll see if I notice an increase in sales. In the meantime, I guess I’ll just hang onto my life vest in this ocean of books and see where the tides take me . . .
Hi there Soulies. It’s me again, Amy Deason and I’ve got a question.
Have you ever gone on a writing hiatus?
A hiatus, of course, means a temporary gap, pause, break, or absence in something. For example, you might take a hiatus from work or maybe even watching a favorite tv series. It doesn’t mean it’s forever though. It’s just a break for a little while.
Well I want to think that’s what I’m on. But I’m not so sure.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I want to write. I want to finish book 3 in my series. I want people to know about the motley crew of operatives in The Perfect Order. And of course how Charlie started it all.
I’ve also got several books just waiting to be written-detective stories, romantic stories, kids’ stories.
But it seems I never have the time to do it. It’s been over 2 years since my last book was finished and published.
I fully intended to write at least 1 book a year.
Well, we can see how that’s gone… 😒
But like I said, I can never find the time. I work 50+ hours a week (Sun-Fri), take care of my home and kids, spend time with the hubby, and make time for my parents and sis. Which leaves little time for me. And my writing.
So you see, I’m not sure that what I’m on could actually be called a hiatus. I mean, it is my choice to give my time to everyone else.
But I still WANT to write.
Actually this is the most writing I’ve been able to do in nearly 2 months. 😮
I don’t mean to sound whiny or like I’m complaining. I’m so happy to have my family and my job. But sometimes a little me time might be nice you know?
Anyway, my time is limited today so I’ve got to go. Thanks for stopping by. And if you would like to share your own hiatus story or offer some advice, please feel free to do so.
Over the years, I’ve had at least thirty book signings. I admit I’ve slowed down because it’s much easier to promote my work via social media while at home in my yoga pants (or let’s face it, pj’s.) Sometimes as writers we prefer to stay in our cave and avoid…people. Not that writers are all introverts; but many are. I’m in between. I used to be horribly shy, but basically forced myself out of my shell in high school.
Meeting excited readers face to face is exhilarating and motivational. I’m always shocked by people who tell me they heard from a friend of a friend about my books and have read them all. Others are new to me, and once we chat, almost always decide to give my books a try.
I’ve been in crazy writing/rewriting mode to finish COWBOYS AT COCONUTS #4, so it was tough for me to agree to leave my laptop. But a good friend opened a new boutique called CC Boutique. She is a doll, knows retail in and out, and is very attentive to local artists. She invited several to this event. In addition, she loves my books saying, “Beth, you know I don’t like to read, but I can’t put your books down. When’s the next one coming out?” How could I say no to that?
The event was a fall shopping extravaganza which brought in a variety of people. One woman sold fresh flowers; another launched a tee shirt line; yet another made candles. Others created beautiful wreaths, gorgeous glass-blown jewelry, and a cute, funky jean line. It was great fun, wine was served (need I say more!) and I sold over twenty books and have an order for three more. Three women asked to join my reader group, Beth’s Book Babes, and are already active. I’d call that a success.
My message is this: You can meet readers anywhere. Be open to book signings at unique locations. Don’t think they only have to be at book stores, libraries, or conferences. I’ve had signings for my kids’ books at a cupcake shoppe, a yogurt place, grocery store, schools, and the library. For my Coconuts series, I approached the manager of a bar named, you guessed it, Coconuts. He was a bit astounded but agreed. I sold several books and meet people from six or seven states who were visiting Florida. Many still follow me and read my newest novels. Do you enjoy having book signings? Have you had signings at unusual places? Here’s to writers meeting readers!
Watch for my new release, COWBOYS AT COCONUTS, on December 4!! Catch the Coconuts craze and read the other books in my series: THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS, CHAOS AT COCONUTS (#2), and BABIES AT COCONUTS (#3). Each may be read as a standalone, but if you read more than one, I recommend going in order!
I am a firm believer that the stories in a book are a collaborative work between the writer and the reader. As a writer I work hard to find just the right words to describe my world and bring my characters to life, but until those words are interpreted and those worlds imagined by the reader, the story is essentially lifeless. Writers are the guide, while readers are the travelers.
Because of this, I’m always excited to meet readers and find out what they thought of the adventures I write. I’m also an ambiverts, so any excuse to get out of my writing cave and talk about books is very welcome. And next month I get two chances to meet readers in person!!
On October 5th I’ll be in the Dalles in Oregon for the 2019 Columbia Gorge Book Festival. It’s the first year for this festival, so I’m not sure what to expect. The area is gorgeous, though, and they’ve got a great line up of writers and fun activities for most of the day, so I’m sure I’ll have a great time. I’m also really excited to have available super early print copies of my second book Deadly Courtship. Get them there before you can get them anywhere else!
Then just a couple of weeks later I’ll travel to Bellevue Washington for the Emerald City Writers Conference. Emerald City is one of my favorite cons of the year since it focuses on romance writing with top notch workshops and presenters. It is also the host of my favorite “booktail” party of the year–the Passport to Romance Reader Appreciation Event!Seriously if you are a fan of romance and anywhere near Seattle on October 19th you will not want to miss this event! Admission is completely FREE, there are goodies and swag and free books galore, and a few authors run games and raffles. It is a total celebration of romance and romance readers!!
For extra fun, there is a cover contest for the Passport to Romance. Last yearTaxing Courtship won the contest, and this year Deadly Courtship is in the running with a lot of stiff competition. Please hop on over and vote for lucky number 13— Doesn’t this gorgeous cover deserve some love?! Online voting determines the finalists. Only the top four covers move onto a live voting round at the party.
After those two events, it will be a long dry spell before I get a chance to meet readers again next summer. Though I’ll certainly be in touch online throughout the year!
How about you? Do you prefer to meet authors or readers in person or interact online? Do you have any favorite reader events that you recommend?
Jaycee Jarvis has been an avid romance reader since devouring all the Sweet Dreams books her middle school library had to offer. Also a fantasy fan from an early age, she often wished those wondrous stories had just a bit more kissing. Now she writes stories with a romantic heart set against a magical backdrop, creating the kind of book she most likes to read. When not lost in worlds of her own creation, she resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children and a menagerie of pets.
Jaycee is a Golden Heart® finalist and author of the Hands of Destin series. The award winning first book in that series, Taxing Courtship, released in June 2018.