The New Year, goals for 2015 and reflections on 2014

Since we’re close to the end of the year, I’ve been thinking a lot about my goals for this year and my goals for next year. I always have the goal to simply read more books than I read the previous year (for pleasure only) and I certainly accomplished that.

This year I started a blog review site with another reading and writing cohort. It’s provided a lot of work and a lot of greatness. The goal is to read three books a month, so I know for a fact I succeeded in reading more than last year. It wouldn’t be hard since last year I think I read four books total for pleasure. The wonders of being in graduate school.

My second goal is writing/editing related. My goal is to publish 2-3 books a year, which means I have to look forward a lot. This year, 2014, I’ve managed to do that. I published For by Grace (Spirit of Grace #1), Across Worlds: Collision (S. A. Snow pen name), and Ashes Fall (James Matthews #3). I was really worried about not having anything to publish in 2015 because I didn’t really start writing until July. Life was a bit crazy there for a while.

But I did. In 2015, I will be publishing Memoir in the Making on May 1 and Fallen from Grace (Spirit of Grace #2) on June 1. I’m hoping to have another two in there, actually. Yeah—go figure. Quarter Life: Unbound, which I’m almost done with my edits before I send to the publisher, and a co-written novel with Rachael Orman that we haven’t quite finished writing but are close and that we have yet to name.

So here we go…goals for the year 2015

Reading – more books than last year, so more than 25

Writing –

Grace through Redemption (Spirit of Grace #3)
Bronzed Mask
De-Termination (The Second Quarter Life)

Maybe I’ll add in a fourth book in there. I feel like three is too few even though that’s my goal. It really depends on how quickly I get to writing this year unlike last year. Also why my focus this December is editing, so I can knock most of it out of the way before the new year starts. I’d love to get going with writing right off the bat.

Advertisements

The Sordid Promise by Courtney Lane #authorcorner

 

Title: The Sordid Promise
Author: Courtney Lane
Genre: Erotic Suspense/Psychological Thriller
Publication Date: March 26, 2014
Tour Host: Dreams Come True Promotions

 

Warning: Contains graphic language, frequent graphic sex, disturbing violence, and very dark themes.

When physical pain allows you to escape your reality; what do you do when the pain is no longer strong enough to quiet the emotional ache?

Diouana “Nikki” returned to her hometown six months ago to tend to her sick mother. She thought she’d left her “baggage” behind her on the opposite coast, only to find that it never left her side. As her self-destructive thoughts begin to consume her, her mother — realizing Nikki’s torment — pushes Nikki to complete her last wishes.

Eric Brenton, Nikki’s new neighbor, lives in a dark, chaotic world that is easily hidden behind his model good looks and cocky demeanor. Unapologetic about his dirtier intentions, he sets his sights on Nikki with an offer to help her. But his help comes with very unorthodox conditions and a huge price.

And Eric…comes with an extensive black box warning label.

 

 

I’ve been creating my own little world since I was very young. When I was eight years old, I began to bring those worlds to life with pen and paper.

While I write across genres (I find it hard to stick to one genre), I do have an archetype when it comes to the female protagonist — they have to have certain type of strength, strong convictions, and layered personalities. There will often be a lot of darkness and depth to my stories, but I don’t see the point in writing vapid characters who are thrust into “safe” situations.

Writing Science Fiction/Fantasy is my first love. If there is one thing for sure, I’m a bit of a misfit when it comes to Romance. I prefer my romances dark. The elements that will be common in my stories are: depth, controversy, and misfit characters.

 

Facebook: facebook.com/AuthorCourtneyLane

Twitter: twitter.com/AuthorLane

Author Website: redcherrypunch.com

Author GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7453351.Courtney_Lane

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Courtney-Lane/e/B00H0IS7SC/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J752LME

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-sordid-promise-courtney-lane/1118960202?ean=2940149511822

iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-sordid-promise/id849147064?mt=11

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-sordid-promise

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00J752LME?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

WIPpet Wednesday!!! January 8, 2014

Whew! it’s been a long time since I’ve been around for this. Through struggling with depression and three trips last month, and advent at church and reading for a one week intensive course of which I’m currently taking, it’s no wonder I didn’t get ANY writing or editing done! But now I’m back!

I mentioned the class I’m taking. It’s really an intensive course. Try smashing one whole semester into a week and then having the topic we’re studying be very emotional. We’re talking about war and moral injury. I bring this up all for a reason, so bear with me. Moral injury is the type of injury an individual receives when their moral codes are forced to be broken. This is often seen in the military with soldiers who are forced to kill (adults, women or children), forced to participate in prisoner abuse, forced to participate in a war they don’t think is just, and those who feel betrayed by their government. It’s a conflict of conscience.

My end of the “year” project for this class, my final basically, has to do with moral injury, but we’re allowed to be very creative with it. Since I worked alongside the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and because I have an affinity for police officers and writing them, I have decided to write a short novella. This means that my WIPpet Wednesday’s will consist of this novella that I’m working on. I have until the beginning of March to come up and write the first draft of this piece. It’s going to be outside my norm, and it’s going to be focused on a male officer experiencing moral injury and the recovery process necessary to feel as though one is human again.

Since I’m smack dab in the middle of this insane course right now, I’m just going to write for 8 minutes to see what I come up with for the beginning of this story. I do already have an idea in my head, so we’ll see how it goes. If you would like to join in WIPpet Wednesday, it’s open to everyone and the rules and very simple. Write a post with your current WIP (work in progress) that in someway correlates to the date. It can be 8 sentences, 1 word, 14 paragraphs. And feel free to get very creative with the math. Once you’ve made the blog post, head on over here and link it up with everyone’s. Then go out and read as many posts as you can. Don’t forget to comment, because we’re all comment whores!!

Thanks to MyRandomMuse for hosting this event each week!

Now…for the start of this Moral Injury Novella

The gun didn’t feel right in his hands. They weight felt off, and the handle wasn’t quite warm enough. He slid his fingers back and forth along the barrel, feeling the oil from the cleaning he had just done. He should do it again. Biting his lip, Shayne Laurence started the whole process over.

Carefully, he took apart each piece, cleaning them to perfection. Then slowly he put the weapon back together again. The room was dimly lit, and by the end of the second cleaning, he had to squint in order to see. The alcohol flooded his brain, making him fuzzy and his world so narrowed that he could see every piece of it. It looked like a 9 mil.

Reaching over blinding, Shayne picked up his warm long neck and glugged the rest of it back. He didn’t sigh and he didn’t release a breath as the alcohol flooded down his system and into his stomach. Instead he felt his body churn and protest the liquor as it flowed through. Once again, Shayne lifted the handgun and held it carefully, the oil making the rough skin of his palm softer than it had been before.

He moved his hand up and down, once more testing the weight. It still wasn’t right. It wasn’t his service weapon. Shayne shook his head and leaned back in his chair. Reaching over to the side, he pulled up another longneck from the case he’d bought and hadn’t bothered to put in the fridge. It’d all be gone and drunk before it would have had a chance to get cold anyway.

A sound upstairs made him stop. Shayne shot his head up and looked toward the stairs to his basement as he listened intently for the sound again. Nothing happened. The refrigerator made a buzzing sound and the wind outside howled through the windows. The light flickered as if it was going out, but when Shayne reached over and tapped the metal head to the desk lamp, the light became fixed and brighter.

He listened for the creak and groan of wood that would tell him someone was walking through the living room of his house. He listened for the shuffle of footstep that would tell him if the person was male or female. He listened for the stumble and the fall as they tripped over the chest he’d left in the middle of the hallway in the pitch black house in order to stump the intruder before they reached him.

Shayne let out a breath when after thirty minutes of listening there was nothing there. It was the first time he truly remembered feeling in danger since that evening. Shaking his head, Shayne went back to his weapon and started rubbing the soft cloth over the metal, removing any excess oil that might still be there.

For any of you interested, on Monday I had a guest post from Francis James Franklin about being straight and writing LGBT and the whole slew of messiness that labeling means. There’s also a giveaway going on with two of his books and one from author Jaye McKenna, who will be interviewed next Monday. PLEASE oh PLEASE! go and sign up to win the books. =P why not? they’re free and they’re from awesome people!

LGBT Giveaway

Jumping in, two feet forward

I feel as though I’m completely jumping into part of the market world. I’ve signed and paid for my first ad to be placed (no, I’m not saying where or how much–maybe if it works or does work, there will be another post on that). I’ve been doing a lot of giveaways with eBooks and even a few with printed copies.

What I’ve found is this. I have no clue if my sales have increased. I should know at the start of next month. This month I got a whopping $6 on royalties. Which isn’t bad, considering it could have been $0 and the book has been out for nine months with little to no promotion! I have to say, it’s done far better than I thought it would.

But I have bigger expectations for Dying Embers. I want it to sell more, and I want it to help sell more of Forever Burn. The question that remains is just how to do that. From everything that I’ve read, discoverability of the book and of me is supposed to be far more important than sales. I supposed that’s because if people can find you, they will buy you–so the two are actually related.

In order to achieve this discoverability thing that I keep reading about, I jumped head first into a lot of giveaways. I upped the ante to try and get facebook likes as well as twitter followers. I’m ignoring sales and trying solely to be “around.” I think it might have actually worked.

Starting the second week in November, I’ve participated in about 3 or 4 giveaways as well as some other promos for other authors. It’s suggested on twitter that 5 out of ever 6 tweets for promotion should be about other people, not me. I’ve upped that, and my own promotions on twitter. I’m also still on there writing random things as I usually do.

There is a giveaway going on right now, Morgan Jane’s 2500 Likes Giveaway that I think has given me the most Facebook likes. I went from a mere 167 to well over 500 in the span of about 3 weeks. I’m still in shock over it. I’m also participating in Diane Rinella’s giveaway. For this I just did the post on the 6th as an author spotlight for her. Likewise, today I spent an hour on This Redhead LOVES Books page on Facebook doing a giveaway of Dying Embers and talking up my books. I’m also participating in a Strong Women in Fiction Giveaway that came up and I couldn’t resist it. I’ve done a guest post and provided a print copy of Forever Burn for it. Likewise, I’m also doing my own giveaway right now, for the pleasure of having achieved 500 likes on my Facebook author page.

It seems that I have jumped in with both feet into the marketing world. I was very hesitant to market at first and to take any risks. I didn’t know at all what I was doing or what I should be doing. Back in March–when Forever Burn was released–I don’t think I even really knew what a guest post was! I certainly didn’t know how to use raffelcopter. The learning curve for marketing has been steep and sharp, as well as having lots of rapids on the way. But something my mother always taught me when rafting down the river was to keep two feet forward–that way you only break your legs when you crash into something and not your head.

So, upon taking her advice, which she certainly did not intend for the writing world, I have jumped two feet forward into the waters of marketing, and I’m letting the current and rapids take me where they go. The theory remains the same. If I push my discoverability rather than sales, then the sales will come as a result of being found. The likelihood that my sales go up because more people actually know about the book seems rather logical (I think Spock would even like that answer).

So, ttfn folks, I hope you see me before I see you!

Excitement and more!

As most of you know, I spent two weeks traveling around the US from the East Coast to almost the West Coast. What you don’t know is that on my way back from Montana to Texas, I had an amazing visit with fellow WIPpeter and friend, Sarah Hart. She met up with me at the airport, and we had a great thirty minute conversation during my layover. Sarah is beautifully spirited and a wonderful person!

Sarah & me

Yesterday afternoon I spent some time talking with my publisher. She IM’d me to say that she’s really enjoying my novel For by Grace and that she wants to publish the series! Yay! It’s been a few weeks since I had sent it to her, and I’m always nervous that she won’t like it. But she wants it! *does the happy dance*

Secondly, she told me that she had nominated my novel Forever Burn for the 2013 Rainbow Awards. She put it into two categories, debut novel and paranormal romance. I doubt I’ll win anything, but I’m completely appreciative of the nomination and the confidence that she has in me.

We were also talking about the publishing company itself. In April, I will hopefully be traveling to Tampa, FL for the very first Rainbow Con. While I’m not going as a writer but as a general admission, I still think the experience will be great. I should have goodies from my stuff and goodies from my publisher as well (apparently she’s a tid bit shy about going to cons).

So far, 2013 and 2014 are looking to be big and great years for me! I’m hoping for the release of three novels next year: Ashes Fall, For by Grace, and my co-written piece, Across Worlds: Collision.

I have also copy-edited seven books since May, which I didn’t think was a lot until I really sat down to look at it. Since May, I’ve done those seven novels, edited one of my own, written one of my own and started that editing process, and edited my co-written piece. I am BUSY!

I’ll keep you notified of any further updates. Also! I’ll be posting my book reviews of my last summer reads as soon as I find the time.

Keep it strong, people

Books Updates! June 2013

I’ve been slacking in my reviewing and posting about the books that I am reading. YES! I am actually reading books, so this will be a mass update. I’ve been reading mostly indie authors lately, gotta support and honestly a lot of them are damned good. But I have read a few mainstream books. I think I’m definitely achieving my goal of reading more than last year! I didn’t realize how many books I had read since the last time I updated.

1. Claimed (Book 1 in Brides of the Kindred Series) by Evangeline Anderson

This book was recommended and loaned to me by a friend. I have to say I was skeptical–sci-fi erotica. Not that because I have to write it, but because of the concept in the book. It’s a good book, however. An interesting read. My only problem with it is that the author skirted around and came very close to the rape line in concerns to the MC Olivia Waterhouse. It was a typical romance erotica, taking most of the plot to build the sexual tension before it could be released. All the action (and I don’t mean sexual action) happened at the end of the novel. I would have loved to have seen more of the action part and less of the introspection of the characters. 4 stars

2. Hunted (Book 2 in Brides of the Kindred Series) by Evangeline Anderson

Second book is FAR better than the first! There is so much action, sex and plot alike, that the story moves so much faster and is far more interesting than the first book. Sophia (Olivia’s twin) has a similar personality to her sister, and it isn’t until the middle of the book that they really seem different. The pace and the writing in this story are excellent, although sometimes the explanation of things gets a bit repetitive. I don’t need to know a hundred times what bonding sex for a blood kindred involves particularly if it’s the main point of the story. 4 stars

3. Bound with Pearls by Sidney Bristol

So…This is my first BDSM erotica novel to read. And it was fantastic! I loved the characters, I love the story line, I love just about everything about it. It really was great to read! Sidney did it again and dragged me into the story so much that I really could NOT put this book down at all. AND! I hear there’s going to be another one! w00t! There is the D/s aspect going on here as well as a personal relationship between the two MC’s, there’s also the annoying sister that always gets what she wants. 5 stars

4. The Next Always (Inn BoonsBoro #1) by Nora Roberts

I’m a sucker for ghosts and there are so totally ghosts in this book! LOVE IT! The love story in this novel is great. There are aspects that make it a non-traditional romance (previous marriage, widowed, three children). It all adds to the characters and their relationship. Again, still a typical romance novel, they do fall in love and get engaged at the end of it. =P 4 stars

5. Unfinished Business by Nora Roberts

This novel has a pianist in it. A book after my own heart. There is a musical aspect here that adds to the character, but not to the storyline by much. This novel has so much miscommunication between characters that it’s almost amusing but borders on annoying. It’s as if each character is too afraid to speak or say something that they might offend another character so nothing ever gets said. Usually people say things they shouldn’t and then just work through whatever issues arise from that. 3 stars

6. Wergild by J. L Hickey

I’m going to be honest–I never finished this story. I couldn’t. It might just not have been my cup of tea, but the plot and characters were so uninteresting that even after getting well over halfway through it, I couldn’t continue. This novel tries, I think, it be literary fiction, but it fails in the interesting and keeping of attention categories. It is a short read, a novella, so if you want to try it out, go for it. But I won’t be finishing it. 1 star

7. The Giver by Lois Lowry

I’ve read this book once before and I read it again. I still like it. I read it again because I plan on reading the rest of the series. This book makes me think so much about our society and what we are doing and what we want. It’s hard to have total equality and have individuality, and even this book cannot achieve total equality because there is still the giver. Check it out, it might blow your mind away. 5 stars

8. Vallidin by J. R. Brule

I didn’t finish this book either. The author contacted me and gave me a free copy to read for an honest review. I couldn’t push myself through the book. It’s not that the story might not be there, but the writing is so bad that I couldn’t overlook it. The sentences are short and choppy, there are a lot of continuity errors (sometimes in the same sentence), there is no hook to pull the reader in and I lost track easily of what was going on. I was not the only reviewer that felt this way. The book is no longer available, so my guess is that the author took it down. 0 stars

9. Little Disquietude by C. E. Case

Okay, so I might be slightly biased about this book because this here peoples, this is my publisher’s book and she is AWESOME! This is an awesome and sweet little femslash romance between some small-time actresses. And OMG talk about sexual tension! I was like…just do it already! but they didn’t and when they did it was awesome! The characters are so sweet and a good balance for each other. This really is a great read for just before bedtime. 4 stars

***

So that ends my reviews of the books I’ve read so far this year that does not include school books! yay for reading for pleasure!! There will be more as I have about 20 books left on my kindle that I need to finish and all the series that I started that have more books to them. I’ll try to keep this posted far more often, this is way too many for one blog!!

 

%d bloggers like this: