She walked away from
her fairytale wedding in search of her true happily ever after.
She hadn’t counted on
it coming searching for her first.
Eight months after canceling her wedding, Ava Callahan
finally has her life in order and sees nothing but blue skies ahead.A chance encounter with the man responsible
for ruining her wedding has her newly organized world in chaos.
Brian McCabe waited eight long months to seek the woman he
loves out and his patience was at an end.Purposely putting himself in every path Ava was on might not always work
to his advantage, but he wanted to make sure that she truly saw him for who he
Today I got to do something that I've never done before - I had a real photo shoot! That's right, I went out with a photographer and took a bunch of pictures so that I could choose one to use as my author profile picture.
So what do you think???
The new book is coming along very well and I think that it will be done and ready for the final editing phase this week! YIPPEE!!! So which one of these pictures should I use for promotional stuff?
I'm not going to lie to you...I TOTALLY want to go to this! I believe it is the first one EVER and I think that I've had a pretty good experience thus far as an Indie Romance Writer and would love to go to a convention and meet other like-minded people and sort of brainstorm and network and see what I can do to get even further along.
Will there be a red carpet? Probably not. Which is too bad really because I happen to look fabulous on the red carpet. Don't believe me, check out my post from the Carolina Music Awards. I rocked it!
So anyway, other than being a smokin hot hottie on the red carpet...oh, wait, there won't be one. So why do I want to go to this thing again? That's right, because I'm a smokin hot Indie Romance Writer, that's why! It's a two-day convention, it's in Tennessee and to me, I would feel like I totally "arrived" if I could go and be a part of it. But what would be better than just going and being a convention guest.
I'm gearing up. I started Weight Watchers today. I'm getting some professional author head-shots done on Sunday. I am totally in "If you dream it, you can do it" mode. Thank you, Walt Disney. Help me make 2013 the year that I achieve literary success beyond what we've done so far with this little holiday romance novella. It really has gone far beyond what I ever imagined it would do and I don't want to lose steam.
It's been pretty cool seeing so many reviews pop up that are from people that I have no association with. People are reading it and enjoying it and wanting to share that enjoyment with others. It makes me smile every time a new one pops up. People have gotten kinder and that has made it more enjoyable, too!
So in conclusion, go to Amazon and LIKE the book; then BUY the book and then go over to the Indie Romance Convention ballot and VOTE for the book. LIKE, BUY, VOTE. Three little steps and the pleasure of knowing that you helped someone achieve their dream.
Twenty-one years ago I became a mom. It was the most amazing moment of my entire life. Staring down into the little face, the life that I helped create, and seeing him look back at me and hold my finger just made my heart stop. He was so beautiful, so incredible and we began an a journey into our new roles in life.
A new journey begins tomorrow... he leaves for college tomorrow.
He moved out of the house almost two years ago so the transition will be easier than it could be but still, just knowing that he is not two miles up the road is going to take a little time to get used to. He's all packed up; the trailer is loaded. He's spending his last night in town here with us and I kind of feel bad because I took my prescribed cold medication and finding it difficult to remember how to type (barely know my own name) and Frank is asleep on the couch.
We're not an exciting group by any stretch of the imagination.
Tomorrow morning we take the trek up to school to move him in to his new apartment and help him get settled into his new life. I AM SO NOT READY FOR THIS!!!
Have we raised him for this? Yes. Is he ready for this? Absolutely. Will this be a good thing for all of us? I am sure. Do I want him to go? No. Selfishly, I want him near by where I can see him whenever I want. I want him to be happy - just living near by while doing it!
Sigh...being a mom is the hardest job in the world! Just when we hit a point in our relationship where we are friends and that he enjoys the company of his parents, he's leaving! When he and his brother are finally friends, he's leaving.
As sad as I am, as much as my heart is breaking and I just want to sit here and hold him close while I cry, I will let him go. I will wish him every success that there is and beam with pride at all that he accomplishes.
Tomorrow I will say goodbye and drive away while a piece of my heart stays behind.
...I almost couldn't even type that without laughing hysterically!
I'm sick. And no, just the funny/sick in the head sick, but physically sick. I have bronchitis and I am miserable. I had the opportunity to tape that morning talk show tomorrow but I am sick. Who would want to watch a cooking segment where the guest coughed all over the food? Or who would understand what a book was about when the author couldn't say three words without coughing!
Dang it, people, Samantha Chase/author has a book to promote and she's too sick to do it!!! I have to snap out of it because I'm not that big of a name yet where people are going to remember me in a week's time. Humbling, I know, but the truth nonetheless.
I went to the doctor yesterday, a big burly guy who talks a lot like Yosemite Sam and it's sometimes hard to take him seriously, but he listens to me and he doesn't fuss around a whole lot. The entire appointment took less than ten minutes and he gave me some fabulous prescription cough medicine. The problem? It has codeine in it so I clearly can only take it at night.
This is no help to me whatsoever during the day when I am out and about at my job and around people. Although I can guarantee you that I am HILARIOUS while on this stuff. It took Frank all of five minutes last night of listening to me ramble and then almost trip over my own feet before he asked "What's going on with you?"
I'm a lightweight with this stuff but I don't want to be because all I want is to feel better!
I was author and book of the day today on BookPinning.com. A pretty cool little site and I would have loved to promote the heck out of it more but I am just so run down! I wanted to just bask in the glory of being in the spotlight on the website and it's hard to feel shiny giddy when you're coughing up a lung.
And believe me, I look as bad as I feel right now. Although not in that picture. Don't I look sassy there?
So check out BookPinning.com and see me in the spotlight! Go to Amazon.com and buy "The Christmas Cottage" or go and click like. I just need a few more weeks in the top 50! Share the link with your friends and co-workers!!
Making progress on the new book too during all of this. I'm working with an artist on the cover and I think that we're going to be okay with having the rough draft done for January 31st and hopefully a full blown media launch for mid-February and then a full book release by the first of March. Stay tuned!!
So this is the first time that I am freely writing with a self-imposed deadline. No, not this blog, my new book. I'm used to the frenzy that goes with writing for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) but I know that the deadline there (30 days) is just a somewhat meaningless deadline. That sounds awful, I know, but at the end of those 30 days, if I don't hit the 50,000 word mark there's no consequences except I don't get the neat internet badge or the certificate to print out. No harm, no foul.
I have a deadline of January 31st to finish this new book because I want to have a month to do edits so that I can release it for March 1st. I want to have time to build up the buzz about it starting several weeks BEFORE the release. I have all good intentions but my brain and my life are just not cooperating with me.
I thought that one of the benefits of being an indie writer was having some freedom but that only works if I allow myself to have it and having it, in my world, makes me lazy. Even now I feel a little bit lackadaisical about the whole thing. I do really well on a time crunch but it stresses me out. Then again, I'm stressing right now and we're not at critical mass yet.
So the book is essentially worked out in my head, it's getting it on to the screen that is making me crazy. I sit down to write and I am so easily distracted by anything and everything that I want to smack myself! I'll play solitaire on Facebook, I'll offer to make Frank and Michael dessert - anything to keep me from writing!
So here's the thing, I have the blurb, I'm working on the cover design, I'm at about the mid-way point in the story. In the next couple of weeks I have to move Nick to school, have Frank and Michael's birthdays and a party for Michael all while working a full-time job and being a wife and mom. I have no idea how to do it!
Oh, and I'm trying to keep "The Christmas Cottage" in the top 50 in Women's Fiction on Amazon until the end of the month. Will you help? Please go to the Amazon page for it (HERE) and click "LIKE". Please!
And on a somewhat related note, a cool thing happened today, I opened my email inbox and there was an email from Amazon and in the subject line it said "New and Similar to "The Christmas Cottage" by Samantha Chase"! I thought that was WAY cool!
Being a writer can be so much fun when I let it...
Life is crazy. Am I right? We are just moving forward at warp speed it feels like and yet somehow nothing feels like it's getting done! My boy leaves for college in a week! A WEEK! I thought we had everything planned; I know I did. The boy is packing, I've booked the hotel and am making sure that everyone will have what they need and all my husband really needed to be "aware" of was the fact that we needed to rent a trailer to hitch to the back to our little SUV.
Clearly, somehow he missed the memo.
So now we are trying to do the math on what exactly we CAN tow with our lightweight SUV and you'd think that we were doing rocket science! I still don't know if we can hitch the damn trailer and we are picking it up in FIVE DAYS!!! For real???
Oh, and did I mention that there are no cargo vans available to rent for a 100 mile radius?? Will we get the boy up to school? No one knows.
Book sales are still chugging along and reviews - from people I don't know (take THAT Amazon!) are coming in and they have been very encouraging. I'd have to say that the number of daily sales has cut in half but at least there are still sales! I am amazed because today I compared the two BIG sites that I'm selling on - Amazon vs. Barnes & Noble - and they really don't even compare. I've sold over 12,000 ebooks on Amazon compared to 50 on Barnes and Noble. So heads up? The next book may only be coming to you via Amazon.
I got a very nice surprise today from author extraordinaire, Susan Mallery. She invited little known authors (like myself) to introduce themselves and put the link to their work on her Facebook page! She has over 31,000 fans! And you know what was even sweeter about it? Her wonderful assistant, Jenel, messaged me personally telling me about it! I was so glad she did because I hadn't been on Facebook yet and had no idea that Susan had issued the invitation! So a super big THANK YOU to Susan Mallery for being so gracious today and promoting "The Christmas Cottage"! Love her!
Tonight was the season premier of "The Biggest Loser". LOVE. THIS. SHOW. What I don't love? Watching people vomit. Seriously? Do we have to show this? I understand that it adds to the drama of what that first workout is like but hey, I'm trying to eat some popcorn here and seeing these people throw up is ruining the buttery goodness for me!
There is a LOT wrong with that statement, isn't there?
The new book is coming along slowly. I can't seem to stay focused. I KNOW what I want to write, it's all there in my head, but for some reason staying focused to get it all down is just not happening. I need a whole day of nothing to do to get some serious writing done. I don't see that happening for at least another month and I just don't have that kind of time. I have to make some serious decisions this week on how to find time. There are things that are going to have to be let go and I'm going to have to be okay with it.
But should any of you have some sort of way of helping me add a couple of hours to my day, feel free to let me know!
Just when I think I am finally getting the knack of the whole internet and social media thing, something new comes along and suddenly I feel like I am still using a hammer and chisel while writing on a piece of slate. Good grief is there a lot to learn! I barely know how to use my iPhone and my computer is 8 years old and I am barely even wanting to know about anything new because as soon as I think I've got it all figured out, something new will come along and once again I'll be in the dark.
I have been charging forward with all kinds of internet marketing and promo stuff and I felt pretty good with the whole thing. I have the blog, I have a website, I've got a Facebook page, a Twitter account, I'm on Pinterest and Google+ but the other day I was out with my now-21 year old child and he's like "you should totally be on Tumblr".
Like it's not enough that I have no idea what he's talking about but when I looked it up and saw the spelling I wept for our youth. What in the world?? Can someone please explain the spelling of that word to me?
*Note: For those of you interested, visiting time at the old-folks home is between 5 a.m. and noon - then I go down for a nap.
So I had to admit to my cluelessness and he promised that once he got settled at school that he would set one up for me and this would be HUGE for my book promotions. Sure, we'll see. Everything that has "guaranteed" me huge success for my book has fallen short of my expectations.
Today I got a very sweet note from one of my dear aunts. It was just a quick note telling me that she's proud and that she loves me and that she thinks that it's wonderful that we're experiencing some success. I cried. I literally cried when I read that because there are many CLOSE relatives that haven't said a word to me about the book's success. I thought that it was amazing that my aunt took the time to just send me a note that was just so encouraging to me! Don't you love getting a little uplifting surprise like that in your in-box?
I've received so many kind words of support from people that I barely know! I had the opportunity to meet some great people last week at my cousin's house and one great lady friend requested me on Facebook and then promoted my book on her page! She wasn't looking for anything in return, just wanted to be encouraging. Love that!
I reached out to a fellow Indie author - Noelle Adams. She's written three novella's and I've enjoyed them all - and so I reached out to her on Facebook and asked if she'd be interested in a little cross promoting and so she promoted "The Christmas Cottage" on her page and liked my author page, while I did the same for her with her newest release, "One Night With Her Bodyguard". If you're looking for more novella's (until my next one comes out in March!), then check out Noelle Adams works. She's wonderful!
So the next book - yet to be titled - is going to be released (hopefully) by the first week of March. Want a sneak peak? Here's a tiny peak:
When Ava Callahan
walked away from her fairytale wedding, it was in search of her true happily
She hadn’t counted on
it coming searching for her.
Tonight I left work and had to stop at the Super Target to get some last minute stuff for Nick's birthday dinner lasagne extravaganza. I was not feeling very well all day and all I wanted to do was get home and put on my jammies. But in an effort to be a good mom, I stopped at the store.
I roamed around, bought the necessary ingredients and got on the check-out line. I'm waiting my turn and an older gentleman gets in line behind me and smiles. He looks at the contents of my order and says "Mmm...what time's dinner?" I laugh we joke and I tell him how my son passed up a chance at a dinner out at a restaurant in favor of my lasagne. He said "That must mean that it's good". Naturally, I agree. I tell him of my life-long love of cooking, coming from a long line of people who loved to cook, been in the deli and catering business, blah, blah, blah. He turns to me and says "I have a show on the CW22...would you like to come on and do a cooking segment?"
I KID YOU NOT!!!
So I'm speechless (surprise, surprise!) and then he asks if I do any catering here in Raleigh and I told him no, I didn't carry on the family tradition down here so he asked what I do. Now, I could have gone with what my full time job is, but I was feeling a little spunky and said "I'm an author" and his eyes lit up! "We can do a segment on that, you know", he said and I just about wept with joy!
WHAT ARE THE ODD OF THIS HAPPENING???
We walked out together, he gave me his card and contact information and I have to get in touch with him on Monday! EEK!! I could quite possibly be on TV cooking AND promoting my book! How flippin cool is that?? Thank GOD my son is difficult and didn't want to go to the Outback for dinner! Thank GOD I didn't give in to my craving to stop at Chick Fil A for a milkshake to soothe my super sore throat!
The show is called "The First Choice Life Show with Dr. Tim Weir" and it's on every morning at 8:30 a.m. on the CW22. I've never had the chance to see it because I'm at work by then! I don't have a DVR (and it pains me to admit that) and so I may have to invest in that technology so that I can see what the show is about and actually record myself should I get on!
Now all I have to do is think about what I would realistically cook - I don't use recipes and I don't measure...that could be a problem, right? Oh, and did I mention he's kind of into healthy things and I cook like a Paula Dean cheerleader?
The book I can promote all day long! I can promote "The Christmas Cottage", I can promote the new book, I can totally talk about the struggles of being an indie author and the stigma's that go with it...I have visions of one of those long canes with the hook on the end coming from stage right to yank me off camera because I've run out of time for my segment! LOL!
Say a little prayer and I will keep you posted on how this all progresses!
In case I haven't mentioned it recently, I'm exhausted. Seriously, seriously, exhausted. I think I have been that way since Thanksgiving week. Why? Let me give you a run-down of what life is like here in my world from the end of November through the end of January:
Thanksgiving week: all of the shopping and prepping and cleaning and cooking that goes in to making a Thanksgiving that everyone loves. We celebrate at home so I am the hostess and chef. Then I released my book the last week of November because I thought, "Why not?"
Early December: my birthday and then there are weeks of Christmas shopping and Christmas preparation - tree shopping, tree decorating, house decorating, writing out 4 dozen Christmas cards, mailing out gifts and just trying to be merry.
Christmas: Again, I am the hostess with the mostess. I make the traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner (which is delicious but expensive and time consuming) and then we open our homes to at least 30 of our closest friends for a dessert open house. I crash on Christmas Day but still prepare a full-on restaurant quality breakfast and dinner.
Then there's New Year's.
My older son's birthday is the first week of January. Then there is the un-decorating of all of the Christmas wares. We move him to college the second week of January. My husband and younger son's birthdays (the same day!) are the third week of January and by the fourth week, I barely know my own name.
Oh, and did I mention that I plan on having my next book written and ready for editing by the end of January?
I want to go on vacation but I will need the kind of vacation where I lay around and do NOTHING for at least a week; no driving, no visiting with people, no touring or hiking or running around a theme park. Just a "lay on my lazy butt for a week" (and maybe take a shower) type of rest. Anyone know where I can find one of those on the cheap?
It's not good to wish your life away but right now, I really wish it was the end of January and all of that stuff was done. I want to sleep without someone waking me up, I want to have nothing to do and all day to do it. It would be bliss.
I did manage to find a Groupon deal on a massage that I am going to be utilizing at the end of the month as a reward for merely surviving the month. I plan on eating chocolate and wearing a tiara during it. Is that allowed? LOL!
Book sales are still there - which is a good thing. Trying to maneuver how to keep sales at this level until the next book comes out. Right now we are doing 250 books a day. Not too shabby. If you haven't gotten your copy of "The Christmas Cottage" yet, still .99 cents on Amazon and we're still looking to hit 100 likes. Drop by, click the link, make me smile.
Why? I don't know. My theory is that I am more comfortable in the role of failure than I am being successful. Some shrink would have a field day with me! But I think the key to keeping the resolution is making it one that is realistic. Saying that I am going to get down to a size 5 is NOT realistic. Saying that I will lose 5 pounds is. Saying that I'm going to save $10,000 to put down on a house is not realistic. Saying that we'd like to save even $1,000 is.
It's all in the reality. Which usually sucks.
I was a little bit sorry to see 2012 end. It was a really good year for us. It was the year that both Frank and I got jobs; real jobs. Full time jobs. We actually had time to enjoy our lives while having our bills get paid. Believe me, it's been a LONG time since we'd lived like that. This was the year that Frank's band Motrendus finally started playing local gigs; they cut a demo CD and it was all pretty exciting. 2012 was the year I became a best selling author on a little Christmas novella that I wrote in 3 weeks.
Are we rich? No. Are we happy? Yes. If you think about it, we're kind of an artsy couple - rock star husband, author wife. We're a reality show waiting to happen.
I started working on the next book. This one will be Ava's story and I have to tell you, it's hysterical how many people have chimed in with who they want to see her with and how they think her story should go. It's kind of cool getting some feedback but so far no one's guessed what I'm doing! So there will be lots of surprises and I'm hoping for the same success with her story.
I missed hitting the 10,000 ebook sales by midnight on New Year's Eve by 120 books. I guess I still hit it on "New Year's" but it was 2013 and it sort of took a little of the fun out of it for me. BUT...we're still selling and people are leaving some awesome reviews and so I am VERY happy. I'm no longer considered a "Hot New Release" but I'm still in the top 30 in women's fiction. It was an amazing ride and if I can just keep it going for another six weeks or so, we'll start again with the next book.
So what are some of your realistic resolutions? Do you make them? Do you keep them? If I had to really go big and make one, I'd say that my goal is to sell 100,000 ebooks this year.
Your gentle face and patient smile with sadness we recall, you had a kindly word for each and died beloved by all. The voice is mute and stilled the heart that loved us well and true, ah, bitter was the trail to depart from one so good as you.
You are not forgotten loved one nor will you ever be as long as life and memory last we will remember thee. We miss you now. Our hearts are sore. As time goes by we miss you more, your loving smile, your gentle face. no one can fill your vacant place.
Grandma & Nick
"A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove.... but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child."
I am a 40 year old mother of two who is still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up! I am a wanna-be author, a homeschool mom, wife, and all around mom-on-the-go who does her best to avoid her crazy, extended family!