Chasing Fate

Chapter One

“What do you mean, you quit your job?” Amber screams, bursting through my front door.

“Exactly what I told you on the phone,” I reply, not bothering to look up at her. I need to finish packing these boxes. The movers will be here in the morning.

“I don’t understand,” she says, her feet in my line of sight now and getting closer. “Jessa, you love your job. Why would you quit?”

“You’re right, I did love my job, but it’s also my whole life. I’ve done nothing except work since I graduated. I had big plans, remember? I was going to travel the world, do a bunch of fun things before I settled down. None of that happened. Not. One. Thing.” Plopping down on the floor, I lean back against the wall, looking up at Amber. I hope she understands this. I need her to understand why I’m doing this. “Look at your life. You have a husband, three kids, two dogs, and a house. The whole shebang. I want all of that someday, I do, but more than anything else right now, I want to live. I need to. Part of that is living for me.”

“So, what? You’re going on an extended vacation? You didn’t need to quit your job to do that. You could have asked for time off, Jessa. Can you call your boss, explain this to him? Maybe he’ll let you have your job back.”

Nope. She’s not getting it.

“I don’t want my job back. I’m almost done packing up my apartment. I sold off most of the big stuff that I won’t need. The rest of this,” I say, motioning around me, “is going to Mom and Dad’s basement until I need it again.”

“And where are you going to live then?”

“It doesn’t matter where; it’s how. I’m going to live free. That’s the point. I cashed in the vacation time I never used, cleared out my savings account. I figure I have at least a year’s worth of traveling ahead of me and enough money to travel for longer than that.”

That’s a bit of a lie. I might have enough for the next year if I don’t go crazy.

“So, you’re leaving. When?”

It’s hard to miss the disappointment in her voice. Amber’s been my best friend since college. When I decided to pledge a sorority, I ended up in her house with her as my “big sister”. She took good care of me, we had a lot in common, and, despite our two-year age difference, got along great. When she graduated, I panicked and quit the sorority. Things weren’t the same without her around. After I graduated, I was lucky enough to find a job close to her and her new husband. She was six months pregnant with their first, a boy named Jefferson, and it was nice to be able to be here for her when she needed me most.

“I’m staying through the holidays. My plane leaves for New York the Monday after Christmas.”

“When are you coming back?”

From New York? I’m only staying for a week at most, but I don’t want to tell her that. She’ll want my entire itinerary if I tell her that.

“I should be back a little after my birthday.”

“What? That’s four months, Jessa. What are you going to do in New York for four months?”

We are going to talk in circles until I give her the details she’s looking for. It’s always been this way. She can tell when I’m lying or withholding information from her. She claims it’s a gift. I disagree with that statement wholeheartedly.

“Listen, I’ll make sure to keep you updated. You know I’m going to call you every few days. Why can’t you support my wanting to do this? It’s not like this hasn’t been planned for years. I just never made the time to make it all happen until now.”

“What are you talking about? I don’t remember you mentioning traveling before.”

I swear she would forget her own name if her husband was any less needy. Any given day, he asks for more shit than I do from my parents in a year. Then, there are the kids who are constantly calling for their mother. I don’t know how she handles that with such grace, but this is upsetting her.

Digging into my front pocket, I pull out a folded-up piece of paper and hand it to her. Amber looks at me suspiciously as she unfolds it. When she finally directs her attention to the paper, I let out a breath. She’s making me nervous. I don’t like it that she can see the truth, even when I do a great job of hiding it.

“You still have this?” she asks, giggling as she reads. “I completely forgot about this. I think I threw mine away back in college. This is what you’re doing?”

“Yep. I plan to check each and every item off that list. Maybe I’ll even add a few more things to it.”

My bucket list. The ten things I wanted to do most before I died. We both wrote one back in college as part of a sorority bonding thing. There are a few things on that list that don’t interest me anymore, but I’m going to do them anyway. There’s a reason I put them on there to begin with even if I don’t remember why.

“This won’t take you four months, Jessa. Six weeks tops. And you can’t do it all alone.” Pausing, Amber looks up, making eye contact. Wiggling her eye brows at me she continues. “Maybe that hunk next door could go with you.”

“Stop it, Amber. We have a different kind of relationship. You know it’s not like that between us. We don’t even go out to eat together.”

“Maybe it should be. You only live once, right? Why not make every moment worth it? And from what you’ve told me, he’s worth a few extra moments.”

“Why thank you,” a deep voice says.

My front door is wide open. Jackson is leaning against the frame, his body consuming more space than an average human being. His forehead is glistening with sweat, and he has a dark line that runs from his neck to his torso where the sweat has soaked through his shirt. Not that his shirt covers much anyway. He’s ripped the sleeves off.

Shit! I’m staring.

“Hey, Jackson. Amber was just leaving,” I say, pushing myself off the floor.

“No, no I wasn’t. I was just telling Jessa that she needs to ask you to go on vacation with her. She shouldn’t be traveling alone.”

Before I think to grab her arm or my list back, Amber’s standing in front of Jackson. Handing him my list, Jackson reads it over, grinning the entire time. Either he likes some of my ideas, or he’s laughing at me. It doesn’t matter. Nothing is going to stop me from doing this. Things are already in motion.

“Are you really going to do all these things?” Jackson finally asks.

“I am. I leave next week,” I reply confidently.

“And you want company?” There’s a shit-eating grin plastered across his face. He thinks he’s hot shit. Well, he is, but I’ll never tell him that.

“Of course, she does,” Amber replies before I have a chance to. “Just think about it. You two would have a lot of fun traveling the world together.”

“Amber,” I growl. “Quit trying to make Jackson feel like he needs to go with me. I can take care of myself. I don’t need a chaperone.”

“What if I want to go with you?” he asks, his voice less certain that I expect. His shit-eating grin has softened into a smile.

Amber’s head whips in Jackson’s direction before he even finishes speaking. I’m only a millisecond behind her. What did he just say? Does he want to come with me?

“I can’t ask you to do that. I plan on being gone for a while, and you have a business to run. Some people,” I emphasize, looking at Amber even though she’s avoiding eye contact with me, “have jobs and responsibilities. They can’t up and leave on short notice.”

“The gym runs itself. I don’t have to be there every day. That’s what I have managers for. What about your job?” Jackson asks.

“I quit yesterday.”

Nodding like he understands completely, Jackson pushes off the doorframe and steps inside. Quickly gathering her things, Amber scoots past him and waves, closing the door behind her. I’m going to kill her for this later.

“Want to tell me what’s going on, Jessa?”

“Nothing’s going on,” I lie. We may be intimate from time to time, but we don’t share things with each other. Not personal things anyway.

“Well, even though I know you’re lying to me, I’d still like to come with you. If that’s okay.” Looking over his shoulder at the closed door behind him, I see him planning his escape if he doesn’t like my answer.

Guess what? You wanna come with me? Fine. The company would be nice, anyway. Plus, I’ve heard Paris is romantic. If I’m going to make this trip the best it can be, having Jackson on top of me would be an amazing perk.

“Sure. We leave for New York Monday morning. I’ll text you the flight number.”

“I wasn’t expecting it to be that easy,” he says, taking a step in my direction. “I thought I would need to convince you how much fun we could have together if you let me come.”

He’s got that look on his face, the one I normally love. All I can think about right now is how my bed isn’t put together anymore and I have no idea which box I packed the condoms in.

“What’s going on in that big, beautiful brain of yours, Jessa? I can see you’re thinking hard about something right now. Or, are you thinking about something hard?” he asks, waggling his eyebrows at me.

Laughing, I step toward him and swat him in his chest. I know we’re headed to my bedroom and there’s nothing I can do to stop it, but why would I? I may not be in love with Jackson, but I do love the way he makes me feel. That’s why our arrangement works out as well as it does. Neither of us is attached to each other. It’s all about the sex. It always has been. Two years strong. Now, it looks like our arrangement is taking a road trip. Let the fun begin.

***

My parents are not happy with my decision. It’s all they wanted to talk about over the holiday weekend. After the first few hours I was there, I avoided them like the plague. It didn’t work out well since half of our family decided not to come into town with an impending snow storm. That also meant we weren’t leaving the house. Once the storm passed, I took a walk down our snow-covered street just to get away from them.

I love my parents dearly, but they like to talk themselves in circles. Over and over again, I explained my plan to them, and they still didn’t understand why I wanted to leave. I left the part about Jackson accompanying me out of it. They’ve never heard me mention him before, and if I were to do it now, there would have been even more questions and concerns. I can hear them now.

When can we meet him? Why haven’t you mentioned him before? What do you mean he’s not your boyfriend? Who is he, then? I can’t believe you’re sleeping with him and you’re not even dating him. We raised you better than that, Jessa Marie. Are you pregnant? Is that what this is about? If you’re pregnant, you can tell us. We love you, you know that, right?

The walk really helped me clear my head. I’ve always loved the smell of winter, especially after a snow storm. It’s such a fresh smell, like the air is cleaner. I walked around the block twice before I got tired of trudging through the snow and headed back. I grew up in this neighborhood. My parents bought the house when I was only two years old. A lot of good memories happened on this street, in this neighborhood. Some of my friend’s parents still live around here. I wonder if anyone is home for the holidays. If I had more time, I would visit some of them.

My watch tells me that I have fifteen hours before my flight leaves for New York. That means I need to pack up my things and drive to Jackson’s. He’s arranged for a taxi to pick us up in the morning and take us to the airport.

All packed up, I’m ready to say goodbye to my parents, but knowing I’m not going to see them again for a few months makes me miss them the moment I turn off our street. They are some of the best people I know. Generous and caring, they’ll do just about anything for anyone, no questions asked. They’ve always been like that.

Jackson is waiting for me at the rental car center when I pull up. Since I sold my car last week, I had to find a way home for the weekend. Jackson offered to drive me. He also offered to let me borrow his car. Both of those options led to huge red flags waving. I politely declined and then asked if he would pick me up tonight. Thankfully, he agreed.

“How was your Christmas?” he asks, turning the heater on full blast.

“It was good. How was yours?”

“Eventful,” he says, looking over his shoulder as he changes lanes. My apartment, err his apartment, is only a few blocks away.

“What does that mean? Did something exciting happen?” I ask, looking to talk about anything other than my boring weekend.

“You could say that.”

“Um, care to elaborate?”

“Not really,” he says flatly, staring straight ahead.

“Why the hell not?”

“You said we didn’t do personal, Jessa. Your rule, not mine. Of course, I want to share with you because it’s funny as hell, but you made the rule, remember?”

Damn him. I did make that rule, but now I want to know what happened. I could use a good laugh at the expense of another person. The question is, do I let the rule go so I can hear his story. Why the hell not?

“We can cross that rule off the list. Now, tell me,” I demand.

“Are you sure? You were pretty damn serious about those rules when you made them. Don’t you remember that time I was drunk and tried to kiss you? You almost gave me a black eye.” He’s teasing me, I can tell, but he’s right. I’ve always taken the rules very seriously.

***

The day I met Jackson was intense. I was trying to get my apartment set up, and I could hear him going at it with some chick through my bedroom wall. At first, I listened, her moans and screams captivating my interest. After about an hour, I turned on music. It didn’t mask the noise, though. My ears were tuned into it, listening to her voice. Before I could stop myself, I started banging on the wall over my bed.

Dead silence. Thinking I had solved the problem, I went back to unpacking my apartment. There was a knock at the door a few minutes later. Thinking it was Amber coming to help, I answered without looking. Not Amber. Not even close.

Wearing only a pair of gym shorts that hung extremely low on his hips, Jackson proceeded to introduce himself. I was dumbfounded. Words would not come. I was staring at him, mouth agape, as he waited for me to tell him my name. It was what happened next that drew me to him.

“Are you enjoying the view? I can always try to go another round if you’re interested.”

Shocked, I snapped out of my trance and prepared to bitch him out. When I looked up, I could see that he was teasing me. If the huge smile on his face hadn’t given it away, the deep laugh that escaped him would have. We were instant friends after that. For about two days.

He brought me dinner one night and told me, flat out he wanted me six different ways. I promised to think about it, knowing full well that I was on board, but I wanted boundaries. That’s when I made the list. I wanted to make sure he knew that it was sex, just crazy-ass sex.

Rule #1 – No kissing on the lips

Rule #2 – No sharing personal crap

Rule #3 – No getting emotionally attached

Rule #4 – No other people in the bed

Rule #5 – The sex has to stop if one of us gets involved with someone else

My bet was it would last six months before he found a girlfriend. Rule number five was going to be the one broken first. I was wrong.

***

“Please, Jackson,” I say, begging him in a voice I know he can’t, or better yet won’t, deny.

“Fine. Both of my brothers made it home this year. Things can get a little rowdy around the house with all three of us there.” Pulling into the parking lot, Jackson lets his voice trail off as if there’s not more to the story than that.

“And…” I say, prompting him to continue.

“It was an interesting holiday, that’s all.” Opening his door to get out, he successfully ends the conversation. For now anyway. I don’t plan on giving up that easily, especially since I crossed one of the rules off the list for this story.

After dinner, I cuddle up on the couch. Jackson takes the seat at the other end of it. His focus seems to be on the television, but I can tell something else is going on inside his head. It could be work or our impending trip, but if I had to guess, it has something to do with his family. Even if I’m wrong, I want to know the rest of the story from earlier.

“So, two brothers, huh?” I ask, watching his reaction closely.

“Yep, and two sisters, too,” he answers without looking away from the television.

“And where are you in all those kids? Oldest? Youngest? Wait, you do have a little bit of middle-child syndrome.”

His head whips in my direction. “I’m the youngest, thank you very much.”

“How old are your brothers?”

“Devin is a year older than me and Thomas is two years older than him. Why?”

“I figured there was more to your story earlier. Just wondering how everyone stacks up. Do they fight or something?”

“You’re an only child, aren’t you?” How did he know that?

“Yeah…” I reply, stretching the word out a bit more than necessary.

“I should have known. All siblings fight. It’s what we do. We compete for our parent’s attention. We want to show each other up, prove each other wrong. It’s all a game. I don’t play the game well. I keep my mouth shut and let everyone else go head to head while I sit back and watch it all unfold. I hate conflict. My brothers are the worst. They seem to think that they still need to compete in every aspect of their lives. It makes them stronger, more successful, but it’s annoying. There’s no real story from earlier. It was an interesting weekend, that’s all. My brothers were especially caddy and my sisters egged them on.”

Jackson goes back to watching television while I let his words soak in. I never had anyone to compete with. It’s not like I missed having a sibling when I was growing up, but it makes me realize that one of the reasons I joined the sorority in college was because I needed that companionship. I’m glad I did. I wouldn’t have Amber in my life if I hadn’t. If not for her, I would be embarking on this next chapter of my life alone. Having Jackson with me is proving to be far more interesting already.

 

 

Cover reveal March 15th! Cover art by Samantha Giddis. Cover design by Marisa Shor of Cover Me, Darling.

Facebook Release Event: March 26th – click HERE to RSVP.

Releasing 3/27/17 EXCLUSIVELY on Amazon. Read it for #free if you subscribe to #KindleUnlimited.

Preorder and snag your copy for only #99cents!

Amazon US Amazon UK ✺ Amazon CA ✺ Amazon AU

 

Release Me!

I WAS FINALLY ABLE TO KEEP A SECRET!!!

And I hope I never have to again. It was frickin’ hard. I prefer sharing everything, all the time, with anyone who will listen. Well… not everything, but you get the picture.

So, now that the secret’s out, let me tell you a little more about it.

Marisa Shor of Cover Me, Darling and I teamed up to bring authors a guide that that will not only help keep them organized, but help them track the value of their marketing efforts with each new release.

As an author… I love this! I have a horrible memory. When it comes time to run an ad or pay for sites to promote my book, I can never remember which sites went over well, and which were a waste of time and money. This book will help you avoid those types of mistakes if you utilize it properly.

Here’s what you’re getting when you purchase Release Me! An Author Tracking Guide:

  • 14 pages dedicated to tracking your new release
  • a page to track your deadlines
  • a page to track the services you pay for
  • 2 pages to track your marketing efforts: the week before release, the week of release and the week after release
  • a page dedicated to tracking giveaways
  • a page dedicated to tracking sales during promotions
  • a page to track your newsletter promotion and your advertising demographics
  • 2 pages for notes

and so much more…

Want to snag a copy for yourself or an author you think might benefit from using the guide? They’re available on Amazon and CreateSpace for $15.00 each.

OR

If we are going to be seeing each other at any of my 2017 signings, you can preorder your copies from me at a discounted price.

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✫✫ Release Me! : An Author Tracking Guide ✫✫

Releasing a new book is hard work. Between deadlines and marketing, there is a ton of information to remember. Where do you keep track of it all?
Release Me! An Author Tracking Guide could be your answer!

✫ Meet your deadlines on time.
✫ Keep your marketing plan in one place.
✫ Track promotions, advertising, sales and results.

What worked? What flopped? With the tracking guide you’ll be able to have a better idea of how each aspect of your marketing plan contributed to your success. Then, look back later on and make the most out of every release.

***Each tracking guide will accommodate THREE releases with 14 pages for each release. Perfect for your next trilogy!

Avoid wasting money on advertising that didn’t make an impact! Snag your copy now and make the most out of EVERY new release.

New Year, New Additions & Release Dates!

January 6th – 6 days into the new year already. I feel like I’ve accomplished more in the last six days than I did the entire month of December. Why?

A few reasons, but mainly my PA (personal assistant). The stress of marketing on a daily basis is gone. I can focus on writing, planning, and everything else that goes into writing and publishing a book. Her name is Brenda. She runs a blog called We Read With A Glass Of Wine. The best way to describe her is FANTASTIC! I wish I had made her a part of my team a long time ago.

So, with Brenda in charge of marketing and social media, what am I doing? I have a list of things I need to accomplish this month. Here’s the short version (because the longer version scares me a little):

  1. I need to finish writing Sticks & Stones. I’ve recently changed the title of this book. If you’ve seen previous posts, it was originally called The Jane Project. The cover I purchased was a premade and the title fit perfectly, so I kept the title of the premade. I should be able to the cover is March. (tentative April 2017 release date)
  2. Chasing Fate is headed to editing at the end of the month. One more read through and it’s my editors turn to perfect it.
  3. The cover for Chasing Fate is partially finished. The artwork is done. It goes to design next month after formatting.
  4. Oh formatting! How I love thee and hate thee all at once. This is something I’ve been doing myself for a while now. I’ll disappear from social media all together once I start.
  5. I have TWO sales this month on books. Jumping Puddles will be on sale for 99 cents 1/10-1/14 and A Secret Life will be 99 cents 1/25/-1/29. If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, both of these books are FREE!
  6. After Sticks & Stones is finished, I need to start the companion novella for Saving Bliss. This is a book I wasn’t planning on writing. It never even crossed my mind until it was requested by a reader. They want Jay’s story and being the person that I am, I’m going to give it to them. Losing Chelsea has a tentative release date of June 2017.

Are you catching all these release dates?

Chasing Fate – March 27, 2017

Sticks & Stones – April 2017

Losing Chelsea – June 2017

If I disappear for a while you know why. I have words to write, stories to tell, and books to get in your hands.

The rest of my release schedule for the year is up in the air still. I’d love to release a book before OUAB in August and another before Penned Con in September or Great Lakes Book Bash in October. Five is my goal, six could be the magic number this year.

I think that’s all the updates I have for now. If you don’t subscribe to my newsletter, it’s the best way to hear about sales, see covers before anyone else, and read excerpts from my work-in-progress. Plus, I have a subscribers-only giveaway each month. Click HERE to sign up now!

Until next time…

What’s on your bucket list?

My current WIP is a bucket list romance. What does that mean? It means I’m doing a lot of research on places I will one day visit, talking to friends who’ve been to or seen the things my characters are experiencing and overall, living vicariously through my imaginary friends.

It’s been a blast so far!

It’s called Chasing Fate and it goes a little something like this…

It started as a simple list. Ten things I wanted to do before I died. Sometime between Grad School and starting my career, I put my list in a box and forgot about it. Until today…

Today I quit my job. I packed up my apartment, cleared out my savings account, and sold most of my valuables. I’ve decided to finally start living my life. I’m going to check all ten things off my list, and so much more.

My best friend thinks I’m crazy.

My parents don’t approve.

None of that matters, though. I want to live my life to it’s fullest potential, without any regrets. You never know when your time might be up.

The only thing I didn’t prepare for on this trip was him.

Wanna know where they’ve been? Where they’re headed next? I’m sure you do, but you’re going to have to wait.

This one has turned into a family affair. My niece is drawing the cover because she’s crazy talented like that. Then it’s slated to go to my designer in mid-February. My husband – yes, you read that right – who is an amazing cook is going to be writing a few recipes that will be included in the back of the book for those of you that love food. You’ll be able to create the amazing dishes they eat as they travel.

Me? I’m just writing the dang thing. And I’m moving right along too. By the end of the day today I should be at the halfway mark. WOO HOO!

So when can you expect to have this in your hands? How does March sound… good, I hope, since my goal is to have paperback copies at my first signing next year (Roanoke Author Invasion on April 8th).

Until then, I’ll leave you with a little taste of Jackson and his sexy mouth…

“I’ll take care of you,” he replies, taking a step in my direction as he tosses his shirt over the back of the couch. I see the change in his eyes, the grin on his face, and I know I’m in trouble.

“Jackson,” I say, taking a step back. “You need to get dressed. We’re both starving and I want to get going.”

“I’m hungry, alright. One little taste is all I’ll need to make the cravings go away. I promise.” He had a taste an hour ago before I took a shower. This man is insatiable sometimes.

“No. Feed me first.” Stopping dead in his tracks, he smiles at me, but I can tell he’s disappointed.

“Okay, let’s go then. I’m hungry for more than food, and if I have to wait until we get back, we need to get a move on.”

©Rachael Brownell, 2016, ALL rights reserved

 

Cover Reveal

For those of you that missed my social media posts or don’t currently subscribe to my newsletter… I revealed the cover for Saving Bliss earlier this week!

Cover design by White Rabbit Book Designs

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I’ll be announcing the release date for Saving Bliss in my October newsletter OR at the end of October for those of you that don’t subscribe.

#backtowriting #newproject

~Rachael

The not-so-Dirty Dozen

Twelve.

That’s how many books I’ve now written from start to finish. In fact, it’s been exactly 4 years since I first started writing. Almost to the day.

It’s amazing to me that I came up with that many different storylines, different characters, different places to write about. Especially since all my books, with the exception of one, are romance. I guess you could say I’m a sucker for a good love story.

Now, the next book I’m going to release – Saving Bliss – has been a work in progress for two years. A pain in the rear from the start, this book means the world to me. I won’t say it’s my favorite, or it’s the best I’ve written. I will say that I literally cried over this book a few times, threw things at my computer, slammed it closed and cursed out my character on more than one occasion. It was most definitely a labor of love. I’m hoping, by the time my editors works her magic, it was worth it.

I plan to release this book whenever the time feels right. I generally get anxious and release early. This one might take a minute. It scares the crap out of me to even think about releasing it to all of you.

What I can tell you is that my editor gets it near the end of October and my cover designer the second week of November. That means I probably won’t release it until at least Thanksgiving, maybe after. My beta readers have it right now. I’m hoping their feedback will soothe the inner crazy that’s going on right now.

If you subscribe to my newsletter then you’ve already seen the cover. For those of you that don’t (really? why not? I do cool giveaways and stuff) I’ll be releasing it soon. Probably in October. Maybe November. Maybe today? I honestly have no plan for this one. The only thing I know is that I’ll release it first on IG so if you don’t follow me (again… why not?), you might wanna look me up.

If you haven’t read any of the DOZEN books I’ve read, here’s a list, with links because I’m nice like that, for you to check them out.

 

Holding On, Holding On series book 1

Unglued, Holding On series book 2

Weakness, Holding On series book 3

Flawed Reality, Holding On series book 4

 

A Secret Life, Secrets Duet book 1

Secrets & Lies, Secrets Duet book 2

 

Take A Gamble

Next

Lucky 13

Jumping Puddles

Dark Bishop (note the word DARK in the title)

 

That’s all for now folks. Happy Tuesday! (I’m gonna grab a margarita now and hide until I hear from my betas.)

5 days, 21 hours

I can’t hide my excitement any longer. In less than 6 days I get to marry the man of my dreams, my soulmate, my best friend.

I’ve heard the saying “Good things come to those that wait” and I am now a firm believer that it’s true.

My fiance and I have been together for what will be 11 years, 2 months and 8 days when we finally tie the knot. We’ve been through purchasing a house, having a child, raising that child, and the stress of career changes together, and nothing has broken us yet. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us because I can only imagine that it will be greatness.

For anyone that would like to see pictures from my big day, more than likely as it unfolds, search the hashtag #GeraciWedding  on social media on Friday, August 26th after 5pm. I’m going to try and post a live video before I walk down the aisle for all my followers as well, blocking my future husband from seeing me in my dress of course.

I’m off social media until after the big day.

Kisses XOXO

 

 

I published a book today!

Yes, I published a book today. An AMAZING book. The best book I’ve written to date. No, I’m not full of myself. I see the differences in this book and others I’ve written. I can see how much my writing has developed over the years. AND, reviews speak for themselves. Unfortunately, today feels like any other day for me. Why? Well, it doesn’t feel like anything special happened today and that makes me sad.

So, here’s the thing about publishing a book (in my opinion).

It’s all about visibility. For weeks, I’ve been trying to spread the word about this book with the help of some amazing friends. (I see you Brenda!) I’ve posted on social media. I’ve scheduled ads. I sent out ARC copies to those that signed up. I even ran a special with the book priced at 99 cents for those that preordered.

I’ve essentially tried every strategy that I know at this point to make my book visible.

Guess what? It’s still not visible. The bigger problem? I have no idea why.

Sure, the market is saturated with books right now, most of which are as amazing if not more so. Yes, Facebook blocks most of what I post. Rather, it picks and chooses what it shows people. Yes, I’m a little fish in a big pond.

My question is this… as a reader, where do you get information about your next great read? Do you follow blogs on Facebook? Do you scroll through Twitter? InstaGram?

How do I reach you?

So please, in the comments below, tell me where you go to find your next read. I’d love to know. I’d love to connect with you. I’d love for you to at least see the books I publish so you can make the decision whether or not you might like to read them.

***NOTE*** As I’m rereading this post I can see how it seems a bit like a pity post but that’s not it at all. I’m just… curious. I want to know how to connect with you. You are who I write these books for. You are who I take time away from my family for. You are the ones I drink coffee all hours of the day for. (Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch since I love coffee and will NEVER turn down a fresh cup.) It’s about you.

 

Dear Kindle Unlimited…

It has come to my attention that some crazy s**t is happening over on Amazon. Things that are negatively impacting the lives of authors. It started a while back when reviews began disappearing. Now, it’s taken a turn for the worse.

The short story – an author was notified by Amazon that her account was being canceled, she can no longer publish on Amazon and they are removing all her books. Say what?!? Yeah, so apparently something about her sales led them to believe that she was scamming the Kindle Unlimited system. Did they ask? Nope. Did they assume that an accomplished author, with multiple titles, that sell fairly well, was somehow paying a click farm to earn her extra money?

They sure did.

The funny thing is, (which is really not funny at all) from what I know of this author, she’s as legit as they come.

As I stewed over this all afternoon after reading the article, I weighed my options regarding my involvement with Kindle Unlimited.

I do not want to end up in this situation. I do not want to worry that one day I might get an email saying I’ve been blacklisted by Amazon. I can’t even begin to imagine what she’s going through but I sure hope she fights back and gives Amazon hell.

Long story short, err short as possible, I’m pulling ALL my books from the KU program. If you are a subscriber, I apologize, but for an author that one day hopes to make this my main source of income, the risk has become too great. All my titles will become available through all other distributors as of September 1st, some sooner than that.

So… I have a few sales coming up that I thought you would like to know about. Here’s the lowdown on how July is looking.

First off, Jumping Puddles releases on July 25th. For preorders only, you can snag a copy for only 99 cents.

B&N

Amazon

For all my books currently enrolled in Kindle Unlimited…

SALES!.jpg

That’s my big news of the week. I hope you all snag some books at the discounted prices above.

Have a great weekend!

What’s next?

JP release teaser (2)

 

With the release of Lucky 13 behind me, some of you are probably wondering what I’ll be working on now. If you subscribe to my newsletter, you may already have heard the news. If you don’t subscribe and want to, click HERE.

Here’s the rundown of what’s going to happen for the rest of 2016…

  1. Jumping Puddles will release on July 25th. Click HERE to preorder your copy for the special price of only 99 cents. Are you a blogger and interested in receiving an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review? Click HERE to sign up.
  2. Saving Bliss – yes, it’s FINALLY finished – will be edited by the end of the summer and I’m working on scheduling both formatting and cover design.
  3. My new WIP is called The Jane Project. (I’ll share a little bit about that in the July newsletter.) It will be released late fall, early winter.
  4. I’M GETTING MARRIED ON AUGUST 26TH!!! Aside from being incredibly excited about this, I’ll also be taking a break from all things book related beginning August 22nd. I’ll be back after the Labor Day holiday weekend – Tuesday, September 6th.
  5. October and November are FILLED with signing and conventions. Click on the event title to learn more about each one.
    1. Glass City Author Event
    2. Carolina Book Fest
    3. Rebels and Readers Author Event
  6. If you are going to be at one of the above events, click HERE to preorder your books. I am making one large book order in September that will have to supply all three events so I won’t be able to guarantee copies of any book unless you preorder.

Yes, I have a busy remainder of the year. I hope you all join me for the adventure.