My current #SocialMedia obsession…

So you can probably guess the answer to the blog title today. I discovered TRIBERR a little over a year ago when author (and good friend) Marianne Rice spoke to my NHRWA chapter about using social media to build a target audience. It was a great workshop overall, but when she told us about TRIBERR, I immediately looked into securing a spot on the media site.

So, what is Triberr and why is it such a worthwhile Social media site to be a part of? Here’s a great article on exactly what it is and does, link, but in a nutshell, Triberr hooks you up with other bloggers on  the web who will share your content to their sites, blogs, social media posts, etc. When I first joined the social media world I had a world wide web “reach” of maybe ( on a good day) 100 people. That included Twitter, FB, and Instagram.

After one week of joining Triberr, I saw a 10 percent increase in traffic across my sites and within a month, that had risen ten fold. My Triberr reach as of today is 171,ooo. I don’t even know 100 people, much less 171,000!! My Twitter followers increase daily ( this morning they number 2,220) and my FB author page is up to 1,301, up nine since  last Monday. I know those numbers may not seem impressive, but when you’re a virtual nobody like I am, getting your name out there so poeple can buy your books is hard. The fact that when I started writing for publication I had 1 follower on Twitter ( my darling daughter) and now I number 2k+ is amazeballs!

How I increased those numbers is no secret: I joined TRIBERR and then started following other TRIBES devoted to writing, marketing, and author branding. This is my own site (called a TRIBE) Strong Women. Loving Men

where my blog postings get listed daily, and where other authors/bloggers/readers ask to join my tribe. I’m a member of about a dozen other tribes where I read and post those bloggers’ content daily, thereby increasing my own web reach. It’s a win/win situation as far as I am concerned.

Since I’ve limited the type of tribes I want to be associated with – all romance writing, marketing, and review sites – I can target my reach to those individuals who read and write and review romance books. If I wanted to really expand my reach, and I probably will in the next year or so, I’d include book bloggers, readers, and reviewers of all book genres, not only romance. But even if you wanted to narrow down your scope to, say, just romance readers/bloggers/reviewers who only read/review/blog about Paranormal Romance, or historical romance, you could do that as well.

The site is free, the only cost – the time you take to share the posts you want to each day. And you don’t even have to do it every day. I do because I typically blog every day, but if you’re a once a week blogger, that’s fine. As long as you share other posts in your tribe, you’re fine.

If you’re looking to grow your on-line and social media presence, Triberr is a great way to do so with very little every and a whole lotta reach! I’ve even included it in my search engine sites.

And when I’m not on Triberr, you can usually find me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, Contemporary Romance, Romance, Romance Books

Clothing…required. #MFRWauthor Blog challenge Week 27

This week the MFRWauthor blog prompt is THE MOST FUN YOU CAN HAVE WHILE DRESSED.

Hmmm….so many possibilities, esp. for a romance writer, (heehee).

But if I’m going to be truthful, the most fun I have while dressed is when I’m cooking.

It’s no secret I lovelovelove to cook – and eat! I even wrote a romance series about a chef and her family – all of whom cook. Many of my treasured recipes where incorporated into those stories and I have to admit, people who’ve read them have commented many times they got hungry while reading them.

Okay…for a romance writer that pun leaves a whole bunch of stuff open to the imagination, but…I digress.

I am never happier than when I am surrounded by me dearest friends and family around my huge dining room table and they are all eating a meal I’ve put together.

 

I’m usually the first person to volunteer to bring a dish to an event, and I’m always grilling people ( another shameless pun!)  on how they made something that’s a new flavor profile to me so I can replicate it, reconfigure it, and then serve it when I’ve got it perfect.

I’m not a snotty cook, either. I don’t care if something is made from scratch, half from scratch with boxed stuff added as filler, or a meal put together from those old childhood friends Hormel, Chef Boyardee Green Giant, or Heinz. I’m an equal opportunity taster and cook. Of course, I always try to redo any dish I try where I’m told that it was half scratch or store bought, just to see if I can make it without using any commercial boxed products. I think my success rate is somewhere in the 90th percentile!

Creating the perfect tastes to entertain the dearest and most loved people in my life is my idea of true, complete, happiness.

And let’s be honest here: you should never prepare food without clothes on! Think of all the sensitive places you could burn or sear or – God forbid – slice while you are cooking!!! There’s a reason cooking aprons are a necessity in my kitchen. They not only protect my clothing from grease spatters, but they are an added layer in ensuring none of that hot grease crosses to my skin! Think about that for a second…..

So…I love to cook with my clothes on. Let’s see what some of the other authors and bloggers in the challenge like to do while dressed. And I’m really hoping next week’s prompt isn’t THE MOST FUN YOU CAN HAVE NAKED! Hee hee MFRWAuthor 52 Week Blog Challenge.

And when I’m not cooking, you can find me here doing….other things than cooking!! Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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#ChristmasInJulyFete

For the entire month of July, NNLightsBookHaven is sponsoring a Christmas In July Fete featuring dozens of romance authors  and a grand prize of a $100 Amazon ( US) gift card as a rafflecopter. Here’s the link for the contest: RAFFLECOPTER  

I’ll be featured on July 17, so make sure you check back at The Christmas in July Fete that day to see what I’m promoting for the (summer!) holiday season!

And when I’m not out celebrating the holiday season waaaaaaay early ( hee hee) you can find me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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Summer Book Sale…

Fabulous news! My wonderful publisher is having a HUGE sale – 3 ebooks for $10.00 now until August 31 – so if you haven’t filled your summer reading list yet, now is the perfect time to do so. Here’s the link , and my first Lyrical book, COOKING WITH KANDY, book 1 in the Will Cook For Love series is featured in the sale! Start with this one, then if you like it – which of course you will(!) you can order the rest.

I love a book sale, don’t you?!

When I’m not attending book sales, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buy Links for the WILL COOK FOR LOVE SERIES:

Kensington/Lyrical

Amazon

Barnes and Nobel

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Filed under Author, Characters, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

Pre-packing…

In just 2 weeks I will be jetting off to the annual RWA conference in Denver, Co. My first time EVAH to Denver!!!

I, truthfully, can not wait! For sososo many reasons, not the least of which is the Pro-Literacy Event that takes place every year and is opened to the conference attendees and the general public. This year, once again, I will be signing books! YAY! Along with hundreds – YES, HUNDREDS  of other romance authors. IF you’re in Denver, or the vicinity, on Saturday, July 21, then come see us from 3-5 pm at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel. All the proceeds from book sales goes to ProLiteracy, and benefits local and national literacy organizations. It’s a win/win: see your favorite author, buy a book you’ll love reading, and know that your purchase will help other people learn to read. Love that!!

I’ll be blogging about the Conference – as usual – which I’m attending it, so look for those posts from July 17-22. I’ll try to  post daily – sometimes I even manage twice.

I hope to see many new and familiar faces ( yours included) at the event.

And when I’m not busy conferencing, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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Face-time…

Week 26 already?? Yowza. Okay, so the prompt this week is My Favorite Indulgence. Why, then, is my post titled Face-time…?

Good question, and easy to answer.

I’ve mentioned about a million times on my writing blog and my menopause one  I am a skin care fanatic. F-A-N-A-T-I-C. I wasn’t always this way, though. In my teens, and through my early forties, I was a total sun worshipper. The darker I could tan in the summer, the better I  liked it.

Than I got melanoma and the fun went out of sun bathing for me. Now, I shun the sun like a vampire queen. After the melanoma was treated I switched my sun worship to skin worship. I began getting professional facials on a monthly basis – no inexpensive thing, that! I invested in 100 SPF sun lotion – again, not cheap, and I now have an entire wardrobe filled with wide brimmed hats in every color imaginable. I typically wear mid-to- long sleeves and I never go out of the house with first slathering myself in sun block.

A little excessive?
I prefer to to think of it as a self indulgent process of prevention.

The real self indulgence here though, is that I still get those monthly facials from an aesthetician. The prices have gone up yearly, but I don’t care. She keeps my skin glowing and healthy and is my first line of defense if she spots anything untoward cropping up. If she does, she tells me and I make an immediate appointment with my dermatologist.

If I had to give up something in order to continue paying for those treatments, rest assured I would. Even if it was something vital, like dessert!

To see what the other authors in this hop consider self indulgences, click here: MFRWauthor

And when I’m not getting facials you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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So…Iceland, part III

Food is an integral part of my life. Really. I get HANGRY often, like every 1-2 hours. So when we were in Iceland I needed to eat on my regular schedule. Unfortunately, after day 1 of paying the unbelievably ridiculous prices for food costs there, I had to amend and alter my usual eating habits.

Case in point: This bowl of Mushroom soup in a bread bowl cost 1,950 Kronurs, or $19.50 American. Add in the soda for $6.50

and a simple lunch for the four of us was over $100.00.

Case in point 2: The place we ate this meal was voted the # 1 food spot in all of Iceland according to YELP( my daughter and niece are big viewers of reviews for everything.)

A bowl of sliced chicken ( with some really spicey spice that I didn’t know it had until I took a bite and then gave the entire thing to hubby to eat) some plain salad greens and cardamom noodles plus a bottled water was 2,200 Kronur total so $22.00. I didn’t even eat it because of the spices.

Case in point 3: There are typically Western eateries in Iceland as well as the traditional faire. The prices, though, are strictly unAmerican. This was the Krispie Kreme vendor in the supermarket we shopped in on day one so we could keep groceries for breakfast in our AirBnB:

Now, the last time I had a Krispie Kreme donut was in Las Vegas about 15 years ago. It brought on a gall bladder attack so violent, I needed emergency surgery to remove the organ. First and last time I ever had  a Krispie Kreme. I think I remember that donut costing $1.50 ( Plus $20,500 for the surgery I needed after). In Iceland, each donut was 699 Kronur, so $6.99. For one friggin’ donut. I don’t know how in the world Icelanders afford to live, much less eat.

Maybe that’s why every native we spotted was so skinny. Really. Not one obese person did we spot anywhere in the country we traveled. Charge way too much money for the food and people don’t eat as much.

Food for thought, eh?

When I’m not bemoaning the cost of food in foreign lands you can find me hereTweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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So…Iceland

Last week I promised I’d share some memories of my recent Iceland trip and I’ve finally gotten a moment to sit down and put something together. This was a trip orchestrated by my daughter and which included myself, hubby, darling daughter and one of my fabulous nieces. This is us at the start of the trip. Notice the excellent and wicked expensive hiking boots we all have on. Necessary for walking, hiking, and basically existing in Iceland.

On my last blog I shared the things I liked and didn’t like so much about the tiny island. One of the things I had trouble with is the weather. I rained everyday. Every. Single. Day. All day. So we spent a great deal of time in the car, traveling to sites. One of my favorite places was to a waterfall, about 50 miles from downtown Reykjavik. Touring a waterfall on a warm, sunny day would have been bliss. On an already 45 degree, raining and windy day it….wasn’t. But it was fun! We actually got to climb up the perimeter of the waterfall and go behind it. I filmed a few seconds of our time as we stood behind the powerful rush and took a bunch of photos.

After the waterfall we drove to a LavaRock Tunnel. Think Carlsbad Caverns, but in Iceland. We went down into the bowels of Iceland about 60 meters ( 180 feet for you Americans, like me!!). I have to tell you, I was scared. Of so many things, but the biggest thing was the fear of being trapped underground should the lava shift and fall in on us.

You can see from this picture that this is the start of the “tour.” There is a huge whole in the ground where snow routinely falls into all year long. Notice the black rock we maneuvered over – that’s lava rock. 1,000,000 year old lava rock. Okay I’m not sure that’s how old it is, but you get the idea. It didn’t form last week. Not even last century! And yes, those are hard hats with lights attached to our heads. Second biggest fear? The lights would burn out and we’d been in total and complete darkness and unable to find our way back to the beginning of the cave. Told you I was scared!

On the last day of the trip we spent the day sightseeing in Reykjavik. Since it was yet another cold, rainy, and windy day, we figured we’d museum hop. 

I was able to take one picture before my daughter silently pointed to a sign that said “photography prohibited” in eight languages. Ooops. One cool thing about the city: tucked into sidestreets and painted along the sides of buildings and random houses, are dozens of street art painting. This one was my favorite:

It covered the complete side of an office building, so to get some perspective on it, the entire mural was about ten feet wide by 30 feet tall. Impressive!

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the food and some other places we went. Here’s a hint: it was rainy and cold. (Heehee)

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A first for me….

Recently, I penned my very first Sweet romance. ( I hate the new industry term clean romance because it makes all the others sound  a little….dirty. Just saying. ) Can I just tell you how hard ( no pun!) it was for me to write that story, sans sex? And it wasn’t only the lack of sex that was difficult to leave out. It was the fact I couldn’t curse, and had to convey desire in ways that didn’t detail any kind of sexual physical reaction. You know: nipples hardening ( and other things!).

I have to admit it wasn’t easy. But it was a great exercise in writing because I had to figure out other ways to show the h/h were falling in love.

In the June 2018 edition of Romance Writers Report, Stacey Donovan, the director of Hallmark Publishing ( yes, that Hallmark!) and Rhonda Merwarth, a freelance acquisitions editor for Hallmark, wrote a detailed and valuable article titled,  Fifty Ways to Show the Spark Without the heat about how to show chemistry between your characters while keeping it “chaste.”

Some of the best tips mentioned were:

1.Finding a quirk or flaw that endears one character to another. I love this tip because we all know there are weird and quirky things about our lovers that we simply adore.

2.An increased heart rate. This can be described or shown in so many ways, that I can’t believe it isn’t one of my regualr go-tos!

3.Disclosing something private or vulnerable to another. Lovelovelove this!! Can you see how valuable this is in building trust and allowing someone “in?”

4.taking extra care with grooming before meeting someone. Again, the heroine changes 16 times before she meets the hero for — whatever! The hero realizes his hair is in bad need of a barber. Clothing selection is key, too.

5. A grand gesture to demonstrate love. Le sigh. Don’t we all simply adore a grand gesture?? Think about the guy in the movie LOVE ACTUALLY who showed up at Kiera Knightly’s door and was holding all the cur cards. Or John Cusak with a boom box over his head.

6.Flushed cheeks/mouth going dry/ prolonged eye contact without words. All signify desire and want without throbbing, pulsing, or lengthening descriptions.

7. A brush of fingers, accidental at first, then purposeful. Can we just say, Pride and Prejudice?

You may think these things sound trite, but believe me, when you’re used to writing about body parts thrumming, cores quaking, and certain areas of the body growing….damp, these little examples are gems.

I actually had to dig deep and remember what it felt like to fall in love. Hey, what can I say: it’s been a while. I’ve known and loved my husband for 2/3 of my life and my memory isn’t what it used to be, peeps. When I explored the way I FELT  falling in love with him, it was easier to picture any and all of the sensations mentioned in the article happening. And if I could experience it, so could my characters.

It will be interesting to see if my readers appreciate this physically scaled-down version of my romance writing. I’ll keep you posted once the book is released into the world.

Until then, you can find me here, where I’ll be writing about body parts doing…interesting things once again.Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, love, Romance, Romance Books, RWA

On why I write it all down….

The prompt/question this week is do I keep a journal or diary.

Duh!!! Of course I do. I’ve been a life-long diarist since I was given my first “big girl” diary at the age of 8.

It was a 3×5 sized, hardbound book, complete with it’s own lock and key, hundreds of sheets of lined paper, and Barbie pink, my signature color. I kept the key on a ribbon that perpetually hung from neck. I wasn’t going to let anyone get a hold of that key and find out all my deepest, darkest, secrets, my newest boy crush, or my thoughts about myself.

I got to the last page by my tenth birthday. At that birthday, I received a new one – a little bigger at 4×6, but still pink, keyed, and the paper was lined.

I filled that one up by before birthday # 12.

I was a very diligent writer back then. I sat down on my bed most nights and just wrote. Anything. Stuff about how my day had gone, what teacher had reamed me for talking in class – this was a common occurrence and all my report cards back then had one common theme “Margaret-Mary needs to learn to sit quietly when she is done with her work, and not visit with the other children. She tends to be done faster than everyone else and has a tendency to disrupt the others who are still working.”

I would write about tv shows and the latest plotlines for my favs like Hawaii 5-0 ( the original one), The Brady Bunch ( hated Marcia AND Jan), Love American Style ( I learned everything I ever needed to know about sex with that show!).

I’d write about new books I’d read. Nancy Drew, Trixie Beldon and Agatha Christie were my absolute favorites.

I wrote a lot about what I was feeling at the time. My preteen, then Tween, then full teen angst was real, bold, and vibrantly displayed in the pages of my Barbie pink journal. Inadequacies about my body, my personality, my basic worth, were all tortuously categorized and detailed in vivid, descriptive words.

By the time I was in college, I was still writing down my thoughts and using a journal for an emotional outlet, a friend, and a confidant. The fact that the pages never offered advice, censure, or any kind of validation to my thoughts, didn’t seem to matter at the time.

Fast forward a few years and I got married, then pregnant. While I was waiting for my daughter to be cooked, I started a new journal just for her. It detailed all her vitals and personal stuff, how she was doing in utero – how I was, too. We didn’t know the sex and kept it unknown until she popped out. From day one of her actual life on earth, I started a new journal for her, again detailing all the events in her life, the milestones, my hopes and dreams for her.

I stopped keeping a diary for her when she started doing her own journaling at 7 years old.

What’s that dopey expression about apples and trees? Black pots and kettles?

Let’s see what the other authors in the hop think about diaries, journals, and writing all your thoughts down for prosperity.

Click the link here: MFRW AUTHOR HOP

 

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