Release day for Forever Rome

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My first contemporary stand-alone romance novel is now live. Although I have published three other books in the past year, they have all been romantic suspense. I have to say, I absolutely loved writing this book, and I am already working on the next in my Forever series (which takes readers to different cities around the world). I started with Rome since it’s one of my favorite places I’ve visited. A lot of the elements of the story are a blend of my own personal experiences in both life and in Rome (minus falling for a football player, of course . . .!)

The book is on sale for only 99cents right now & there is a great giveaway pinned to my FB page:

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A football fanatic sports columnist. A sexy Italian soccer player. When in Rome . . .

Maggie Lane, a sports columnist and diehard football fan, is not exactly enthused when her editor-in-chief sends her to Rome, Italy, to write a feature story on Italian soccer star Marco Valenti. The last thing she wants to do is spend three weeks covering soccer right before the American football season begins. But Maggie’s job becomes a lot more appealing after meeting a sexy Italian man on her first night there.

One hot kiss and she is done for . . . but once Maggie discovers her mysterious Italian is Marco Valenti, she’s not sure if she’ll be able to write her story objectively, or if she’ll even have to. Marco stuns the world when he announces his retirement, and without an explanation as to why, rumors fly and the tension mounts. Despite Maggie’s protests, she is forced to stay, but with each passing day, she becomes enchanted with the beautiful city, as well as finds herself breaking her cardinal rule—never fall for a player.

As Maggie learns the truth about Marco, she has to make a decision: protect him or keep her job. Will Marco be able to trust her with his secrets? Can she trust him with her heart?

Find at:
Amazon/us ->
Amazon/uk ->
Amazon/ca ->
Nook ->
Apple ->
Kobo ->


EDITING 101: 03 – THAT’s the Problem in Revising…

Great advice!

I also go through and control find the word “just” and “and then” … I always find them when editing & cut almost all if possible (the ones my editor doesn’t catch). I didn’t know to do all this with my first books– all a learning process!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

THAT’s the Problem in Revising

What’s the problem?”

That’s the problem.”



I don’t get it.”

That’s the problem.”

Sound like the old “Who’s on first” routine? Extraneous words that make a writer’s work bulky need to be eliminated. But how can you eliminate words that you don’t even see? That’s the problem, and that is one of those words that can usually be cut. Dialogue that is casual regularly contains many incidences of that word, but when it comes to writing, that can usually be deleted.

Are you still confused? If a sentence is understandable without “that” in it, take it out.

Example: “She told him that she was leaving” reads just fine…

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Release day for The Truth She Knew!


Happy release day to the talented author, J.A. Owenby! I was super excited to have the opportunity to read an advanced review copy of The Truth She Knew, and wow, what a great debut full-length novel by Owenby.


Mama didn’t want me. In fact, she would’ve traded my soul back for someone different if God would’ve let her, but he didn’t, so she was stuck with me. 

For eighteen-year-old Lacey, life at home is a rollercoaster. She doesn’t think she’ll ever be good enough to truly deserve Mama’s love. 

But when Lacey enters college and meets Walker, everything starts to change. Suddenly, Lacey is face to face with the realization that maybe what she’s always seen as normal really isn’t. Her entire life—and everything she’s ever believed about herself and her family—is abruptly hanging in midair. 

Lacey is left facing two paths, and she has to make a choice. The first means walking away from everything she’s ever known. The other means never really knowing the truth. 

The Truth She Knew offers an honest and powerful glimpse into mental illness, the meaning of true love, and the psychological waltz that a daughter dances as she endures her mother’s unpredictable emotions, manipulation, and abuse. 

*** Ages 17+ Contains language, sex, and violence 
*** This is book 1 in a series


My Review:

I read J.A. Owenby’s short stories last year, and they left a memorable impression upon me. Learning she was writing this book, The Truth She Knew, I was very excited to read! I was blown away with the author’s style of writing and found myself highlighting several passages as I read. I was intrigued to learn more about Lacey and mother from the very beginning, and I kept turning the pages until I almost finished in one sitting to see how the story unfolded. A truly powerful book dealing with sensitive issues in a sensitive and thought-provoking manner.

This really is an extraordinary story and a must read for 2016. I eagerly look forward to reading the next book by this author.

What are other readers saying?

“J.A. Owenby has outdone herself! The Truth She Knew is a beautifully written, thought provoking story that will leave you wanting more. The feelings and emotions come through page after page, and I while I could not put the book down, I also didn’t want it to end.” ~ Sarah J.

“I’m in love!! I could NOT put this down and I read the entire book in half a day!” ~ Nancy S.

“A bittersweet story of young love, independence, and soul-crushing manipulation.” ~ Dr. Sheri Kaye Hoff

“I could not put this novel down! Be prepared for an emotional roller coaster ride and have the box of tissues handy.” ~ Colleen C.


“You can’t run from yourself,” I whispered.

“What?” he said and moved closer.

“You can’t run from yourself,” I said louder. “When you’re the problem, if you run, it just follows you. No matter what I do, no matter how hard I try to change, I’m not getting better.”

Confusion clouded Walker’s face as he struggled with my words.

“Are you sick?” he asked as his voice hitched.

“I . . .”

He didn’t step any closer and wrap his arms around me. He didn’t promise things would be okay this time.

“Yes, Walker, I’m sick.” I bit my lip and forced the tears back. I was so tired of crying.

Find The Truth She Knew at:


Barnes & Noble



Featured Author: A.R. Hadley

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I am excited to introduce author A.R. Hadley to my fantastic list of featured authors. She has recently published her first novella: The Drazen World: Release. I am anxious to read it, and it is coming up soon on my tbr list! A.R. Hadley is also working on other books as well, and I eagerly look forward to the release of her books! Be sure to check out her novella & send her some review love!

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I chose Jessica. 
I married her. 
She saved me. 
Me — Jonathan Drazen. 
What would happen if the wind shifted direction? If I made new suggestions? 
I changed my line of sight. I started to focus on the unattainable because nothing was out of my reach. Nothing. 
I had the universe by a string. A yo-yo. I could bring it up or down. I could fit it inside my pocket and carry it anywhere I pleased. 
Then why did I have an uneasy feeling? The kind of sensation an animal feels just before a storm or an earthquake? It was subtle enough to ignore, yet strong enough to prick me, reminding me that denial would result in severe repercussions to my psyche or my marriage. 
Suffer now or suffer later. 
I had a choice. 
Fly away from the clouds or dive head first into the nebula. 


Who is A.R. Hadley?

A.R. Hadley writes imperfectly perfect sentences by the light of her iPhone. 
She loves her husband. 
Her children. 
And Cary Grant. 
She annoys those darling little children by quoting lines from Back to the Future, but despite her knowledge of eighties and nineties pop culture, she was actually meant to live alongside the lost generation after the Great War and write a mediocre novel while drinking absinthe with Hemingway. Instead, find her sipping sweet tea with extra lemons on her porch as she weaves fictional tales of love and angst amid reality. 
A creative writer since elementary school, A.R. all but gave it up after her children were born, devoting herself to the lovely little creatures, forgetting the pleasure and happiness she derived from being imaginative. 
No more.
She rediscovered her passion in 2014 and has not stopped since — writing essays, poetry, and fiction. She is currently working on completing several novels as part of a romantic trilogy. 
Day or night, words float around inside her mind. She hears dialogue when she awakens from sleep. She is the one who has been awakened. Writing is her oxygen. Cary Grant fans the flames.

**I LOVE HER BIO. Mine is not nearly as cool!!**

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Eeks. Love these teasers–looks like a sexy and interesting read!! I may not be able to wait for my tbr list to shorten…

Check out her Amazon page by clicking here.

For Authors: Email Marketing Companies Compared, Pt3 : Launching a new release!

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I am a little late on this post, but it relates to my marketing strategy used back in June with the release of my 3rd book, Buried Lies. In this post, I plan on mostly focusing on using 99cents as a strategy for a new release, as well as discussing/comparing the email marketing companies I used to spread the word for the new release.

So, for the first time I decided to make my new release 99cents for a limited time. I saw a lot of other authors using this strategy, which helped get them great sales/ranking, so I thought- what did I have to lose?


Part 1 of the plan: Include an extract from Buried Lies in my other books with a note that the book is at a special preorder price of only 99cents (before going up to $2.99). I put the link to buy directly before and after the extract. I also mentioned to my readers they can get all of my books at only 99cents when they’re released–so they might want to sign up for my email newsletter, so they’ll be the first to learn when my books are a/v for preorder or just released. (Note: Smashwords- you cannot mention price in your books, so I noted it is on sale for a limited time. Amazon- you can note the price of 99cents).

Part 2 of the plan: Preorder blitz – Had a blog company advertise (this to me was a waste of time) & I emailed my subscribers & boosted a post of my Facebook page. A lot of traffic was driven to my Amazon page, which prompted Amazon to quickly add the “customers also viewed…”- and I believe this adds some legitimacy. Once I had enough preorders–it switched to “customers also bought”.

I use a bitly address for the links in connection to my extracts in the back of my book to track how many people are taking action and (assumption is)- then preordering after reading the extract. Most of my preorders were from the extract. I had about 5xs the number of preorders than my other books- most likely because I’d begun to build a fan base (coupled with the seductive 99cents offer).


Part 3 of the plan: Sign-up for email marketing companies for the week of release. Plus, I had a 2 week blog tour set up (I do this for reviews, not for sales… but now Amazon has begun to remove reviews related to blog tours–more about this in my next post)…

I chose Monday as the release date so I could maximize advertising for the entire week (normally Tuesday is the release day). My preorders credited to the day before (Sunday).

**Note: You need to meet the review/rating requirements on your backlist for most of these companies to feature a new release without any reviews**

Monday- ($90)

Tuesday- Fussy Librarian (2 categories) $24

Wednesday- Book Gorilla ($50)

Thurs- Bargain Booksy ($70)

Fri- E News Reader Today ($45-50)

*One day I had ERomance/Manybooks– I just can’t remember which day.

Note: PAIDAUTHOR- Great website, which gives coupons for some companies & offers real numbers about results:

THE RELEASE & ranking of above companies + results:

I don’t have individual numbers on hand, but in the 6 days I advertised, I generated about 1,000 sales across retailers. This was def. the best launch I had. Now, the royalties are only 35cents on Amazon (60cents on others), but the great thing was I began selling the other books in my series on a regular basis without any advertising.

Best results in order.

  1. Myromancereads
  3. Bargain Booksy
  4. Book Gorilla – They had way too many books on their list in my opinion, and I wonder if sales were down because of that- or because it was a Wednesday (and I seem to have the lowest sales this day). I have read Tuesday’s, Thursday’s, and Friday’s are the best days to advertise…jury is still out.
  5. Others (about the same)

Other results:

I was in Amazon’s top 100 for my category briefly – and next time I may stack some of the companies together (my next month’s release)- to generate a higher ranker. BUT… Amazon had me for a few days in their “Amazon’s new release best seller list” for Romance Suspense and Romance military. I didn’t even realize this existed until I stumbled upon it accidentally. I did hit #1 in romance military in Canada (not too hard to do), but it was still pretty cool to see.

Barnes & Nobles was the real shocker. They featured me in their new release best seller list (overall + romance)- and I began getting dozens of dozens of sales daily + my backlist while I was on there, and even hit #4 in my category. A FIRST FOR ME.

APPLE– Looks like Apple does not feature books on their recent bestseller list if they are 99cents. They do list you as a new release though. As soon as my book went back to the regular 2.99 price- I was on their recent bestseller list.


Book trailer: I also used a book trailer I had made once my book was back at regular price. I had great results on FB using this trailer, and I was very pleased. Of course, the longer an ad runs on FB the cost per click tends to increase, so you need to delete the boost and retarget to lower the cpc.


Will I do this again? I am already setting up the same plan now for my next release, Forever Rome, which comes out 9.20. As I mentioned before, I may stack a few email companies for the same day and I’ll see how this impacts results. My new release is the first in my new series & a different subgenre- so I will be targeting other readers.


I recently made the first book in my romantic suspense, Hidden Truths series, free. This is a whole other topic–needing a new post. I plan on sharing the good, the bad, the ugly… and the fantastic… about advertising a free book next. So stay tuned!









Featured Author: Phil Price


I am excited to introduce author, Phil Price. I recently stumbled upon his work on Twitter, and I purchased his book, Unknown. Not only is Unknown an awesome book, but Phil Price is a great guy, and a huge supporter of other authors. I highly recommend you check out his work! He’s currently rocking a solid 5.0 on!!

 Blurb for Unknown:

Every year across the world thousands of people disappear.
Many return home safe and well. Some are never found.
A select few end up far from home, harvested by two feuding brothers who need their blood.
How on Earth can this happen?
It doesn’t happen on Earth.

My review:


I don’t normally read books of this genre, but I decided to download it not sure what to expect. From the first page I was hooked by the author’s style of writing, then he kept me reading with the unique plot and characters. I highly recommend this read & I look forward to more works by this author!!

What are other people saying?

“For a debut novel, you cant get any better than this.” -Amazon review

“Fans of occult, mystery and Vampirism will love this novel.” -Amazon review

Phil Price is a master story-teller. This book will take you to lands you couldn’t even dream of to face monsters you wish you didn’t.” -Amazon review

Who is Phil Price?


Phil Price was born in Sutton Coldfield in 1974. He lived in various places until his family settled in Rednal, Birmingham in 1979. Growing up with and older brother and sister he always flirted with reading as there were always books lying on shelves around the house. Then in 1997 he embarked on a travel expedition that took him from Greece to Thailand, via East and Southern Africa. Sitting in dusty bus stations in Kenya, Tanzania, and Malawi gave him the opportunity to ignite his imagination fully. Since those far off days he has never been without a book to read.

He toyed with the idea of writing a book in 2009. After writing a few short stories he caught a whiff of a story in his head. It grew and grew in 2010 until he had enough to begin. Marriage and two children came along, with the story being moved to the back burner for periods of time. However during those periods of writing inactivity the story continued to evolve until it just needed to be written down.

Links to buy:

Where else can you find Phil?



Amazon Author Page– check out his book trailer!

Twitter: @PhilPrice19


Are Your Readers Getting Digital Fatigue … and, Are You?

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Extract from an article by Author Judith Briles on The Book Designer site:

Back in 2012, I shared with my own author community that I suspected that “e” …or digital books would begin to decline in sales. In 2013, “e” sales were reporting a decline that has continued. I know, I know—many of you will report that your “e” sales are healthy or increasing. But, overall, the reading “e” world is not growing in leaps in bounds.

To read the full article, click on the link or her photo blow:

Readers Getting Digital Fatigue

Ashography Event Photography

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Blog Tour: Buried Lies by Britney Sahn

Thanks for sharing & the great review🙂

She's a Lip Biter


Title : Buried Lies 

Author : Brittney Sahin
Genre : Romance 
“Some people say that time heals all wounds, but no. Time only deepens the wound. And when I saw Olivia that night in the club, I realized I hated her now more than ever.”

Connor Matthews, former Marine and gun for hire, is not what you’d call the quintessential businessman. But when his father’s unexpected passing leaves the family business to him and his brother, Connor agrees to take over until his brother finishes his last tour of duty. Connor resigns himself to a life of dull meetings and paperwork, but quickly finds himself mired in his father’s web of shady business deals. And in the midst of the mess is Olivia Taylor, his gorgeous and headstrong ex-girlfriend.

Since they last parted, Olivia has known nothing but grief, heartache, and loss. Despite it…

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