ILS

This year’s #NaNoWriMo project is underway. It’s day 5 and I’m still on target to hit 70K. Yes, I know #NaNo is about hitting 50k in 30 days. I need to finish this project. It’s been speaking to me for months.

ILS is an abbreviation for the title. A title that I’m not sure is going to stick yet so I refuse to announce it. Once the book is finished, I’ll have a better idea if I’m in love with the title or if I plan to scrap it for something else.

Before I get started writing today, I wanted to share with you a little excerpt I wrote yesterday. As my story is beginning to unfold, I’m falling further and further in love with my characters. All of them, not just the main two. I think my favorite so far is a supporting character named Becky. Mom to Wyatt (the male lead), she’s reminds me of my own mom. She’ll call you out in front of your friends, not because she wants to embarrass you, but because she needs to get her point across.

Meet Becky…

“Enough about me,” Wyatt finally says, standing from the table. “Why don’t we get some food and show Chloe the spot we found the other day. If there’s time, we could catch the matinee at the theater.”
“Hell yes!” Jones hollers in delight.
“Watch your mouth, young man,” Wyatt’s mother says as she drops two baskets of fried goodies on the table.
Becky’s an amazing mom from what I can tell. She doesn’t take shit from either of her children, or apparently her nephew.
“Sorry Aunt Becky,” Jones quickly apologizes as he shoves fries in his mouth, causing his words to be muffled.
“Where are you three headed to this afternoon?” she inquires, taking the empty chair next to me and reaching for a fried pickle.
“The guys want to show me some place they found I guess.” Shrugging my shoulders, I reach for the basket of fries but Wyatt pulls it away, grinning in triumph, until his mom’s words catch him off guard.
“The kissing hole?” she asks, her question directed at Wyatt.
“They don’t really call it that, mom.”
“My ass they don’t. It’s been called that since I was a kid. Who do you think they named it after?”
“Ewe!” both guys say in unison while Becky and I laugh at the look of disgust on their faces.
“Keep it PG-13, boys. And Chloe, don’t let them talk you into any funny business. I know they’re cute but they’re not that cute.”

*the above excerpt is an unedited passage from a to-be-titled book and the intellectual property of the author, Rachael Brownell.

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 everythi…

Source: Release Me!

Who doesn’t love a FREE book?

The answer is nobody.

I’m no exception to this. I love to read and when I see that an author has a book that’s free, I immediately get my one-click on. In fact, I have three or four books on my Kindle right now that are waiting for me to read and if I remember right, two of them were freebies.

So why do authors give away their hard work for free? It’s simple. We love our readers and it’s a small token of our appreciation. At some point in time you took a chance on me. You had probably never heard of me before. My book may have been recommended to you by someone or you may have stumbled on it by chance. Either way, you took a chance on me and my work. I appreciate that more than you will ever know.

That’s the biggest reason why authors run sales, hold giveaways and from time to time, make their books free, either permanently or for a period of time. Me? I have two that are prema-free and four others that are free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

Why am I talking about free books? Well, the last time I posted about my free books there was only one and now there are SIX! Plus, we have some new faces that follow the blog and I thought they might want the deets on the freebies. So, here’s my small token of appreciation to all of you for taking a chance on little ‘ol me.

Print  Holding On, book 1 in the Holding On series

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/holding-on-14

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id879255847

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/holding-on-rachael-brownell/1117229555

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KDKOGSE

 

part 1 pawn  Dark Bishop Part 1: Pawn, Dark Bishop Serial Series

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T17UU6M

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dark-bishop-part-one-casey-l-bond/1121151054

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id963803640

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/dark-bishop-part-one-pawn

Gamble cover  Take A Gamble, stand-alone Novel

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KEPVAMI

*** FREE for Kindle Unlimited Subscribers ***

A Seret Life Cover  A Secret Life, Secrets Duet book 1

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H3HIBEU

*** FREE for Kindle Unlimited Subscribers ***

Secrets_&_Lies_Cover_for_Kindle   Secrets & Lies, Secrets Duet book 2

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MRGVYS2

*** FREE for Kindle Unlimited Subscribers ***

5.5x8.5Template  Next, A Kiss Series Novel

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B013AB1HPM

*** FREE for Kindle Unlimited Subscribers ***

Embracing my fears

Today is release day. My normal routine would include a copious amount of coffee, a few standard posts about the release on social media, and then a small panic attack immediately after I disconnect my laptop from the wi-fi. After that I would normally force myself to write. Those sentences and chapter normally get deleted later on for lack of structure and poor content. My brain basically shuts down and I hide from the outside world.

Not anymore.

Today, I’m going to embrace what I love about release days. I’m going to celebrate my release. I’m going to scream and shout that it’s LIVE on every social media outlet. I’m going to read the reviews – the good and the bad. I’ll embrace the good and learn from the bad.

I will stalk my GoodReads and Amazon pages for new reviews hourly (at minimum). I will stalk my author rank and sales rank and everything that I’m normally too afraid to look at for fear of failure.

Why?

Because failure is in the eye of the beholder. I love my book. Not everyone will but it matters that I do because I put my name on it. I put my stamp, my seal of approval on it. I wrote the damn thing. It took me hours and weeks to make it the way I wanted it. It took time to figure out how I wanted it to end.

This book may sell one copy of a million copies. Either way, I’m happy with it. I love my characters. I love their story. Those simple facts alone make this book a success.

I’m embracing release day.

So… here’s a little sneak peek into Next for all of you.

Once I finish, we both sit back in our seats and digest what I just said out loud for the first time ever. It felt good to get it off my chest, but I’m now waiting for Elliot to blow. He’s going to have an opinion I’m sure. I’ve kept this from him for so long that hearing it now makes the situation ten times worse.

“Say something. Please. I need to know what you’re thinking right now. I need to know if you hate me.” I beg him to speak to me. He’s staring at me, studying me. You can see the wheels inside his head turning, going over everything again and again.

“He’s not coming home, Reagan. He signed up for another four years. I don’t know what you want me to say. I love you. You’re my best friend and you always will be. I’m not angry, maybe a little disappointed that you didn’t tell me sooner, but I’m not angry. If anything, I’m sad. I’m sad for you because he’s probably never coming home. He doesn’t want to even come home to visit.”

My heart drops and shatters in my chest. All my dreams of being reunited with Luke when he was out of the Marines… gone. He’s not coming home. I have no idea when I’ll see him again or if I’ll see him again.

#Next

I’ve been using the hashtag #Next for a while now. If you don’t know what’s happening, I’m releasing a new book. Let me tell you a little about it…

Next is the first in a series of 3 novels, the Kiss Series. Each book can be read on their own, in any order you choose. Characters will overlap a little but the focus will we on a different set of characters in each book.

Next is Reagan and Luke’s story. It goes a little something like this…

 

What if one kiss could change everything?

It did, for Reagan Brooks. Her fascination with Luke Evans went from a school-girl crush to heart-wrenching love in an instant. Then he left town, leaving a starry-eyed Reagan in his wake. No one will ever be good enough. No kiss will ever compare to his. Reagan’s standards are high. When someone doesn’t meet them, she moves on.

“Next in line, please.”

Moving through life with unrealistic expectations can be damaging. Letting those expectations go… It’s in that moment we find out who we are and what we really want.

 

I’m really excited about this book. I fell instantly in love with the idea and put everything else on hold to work on it. Of course, I hope you love their story as much as I do.

Earlier this week I sent Next to my editor. Once those wheels were in motion I knew that I had a few decisions that I needed to make. First, when was I going to release the book. Second, where was I going to release it. Tough decisions, both of them, but I was mainly focused on the “where” aspect.

After going back and forth, and back and forth again, I’ve decided to release Next ONLY on Amazon. For those of you that are part of Kindle Unlimited, this means you’ll be able to read Next for FREE.

The “when” part wasn’t a cake walk. I wanted to make sure that I gave my editor, myself, my formatter and my cover designer enough time. So…

next release teaser 2

September 1st is the big day!

That seems like forever away but I know that the time will fly right by. Plus, I’ll keep busy with edits and I’m still working on Saving Bliss. I promise to get that finished one day. Bliss is still being a b***h when it comes to wanting her story her way and not mine. Characters can be like that sometimes. I apologize for her, of course.

Since it’s still 8 weeks away, I thought I would give you a few teasers to tide you over. Enjoy!

Next teaser 7 teaser 5

teaser 3 teaser 6

 

As always, to get the exclusive content that you desire, from Next, Saving Bliss and other upcoming projects, you should sign up for my monthly newsletter. Don’t worry, I won’t spam you. I don’t really have the time to be honest. 🙂

Click HERE to sign up!

18 divided by 8 equals…

Tomorrow marks exactly 18 months since my first book was released. It also marks the end of the Holding On series. Flawed Reality releases at midnight TONIGHT!

As with every release, I’m nervous. I’ll be hiding in my office tomorrow with the internet off, beta reading for a friend. I won’t check Facebook. I won’t hop onto GoodReads or Amazon and continually hit refresh to see if new reviews pop up. Release days are the scariest for me.

So much has happened in the last eighteen months that I am thankful for. I’ve made many new friends, found my footing in the Indie community and found a bit of confidence in myself and my writing. It’s a tough road, a long road, but I am grateful for every moment and I look forward to so much more in the future.

It seems like it was yesterday when Holding On was released. I watched its rank on Amazon sit in the hundred-thousands and not move. I released A Secret Life and it did the same thing. I didn’t let it get me down. I kept writing and pushing forward. I finished Weakness, the third in the Holding On series, and Take A Gamble. I started Secrets & Lies and hit a road block.

I was burnt out. I had been writing non-stop for over a year. Editing books back to back. Sales were still minimal. I was happy if I sold a book two days in a row. I was getting down on myself and it was starting to show in my work.

I took a break and, even though I contemplated not attending, forced myself to go to a big signing in Nashville that I had already paid for. It was the best decision I could have made. UtopYA is an amazing experience, one that will stick with me for years to come. I’ll be attending again this year in only a few weeks.

I came home rejuvenated and ready to wrap up Secrets & Lies. I wrote the second half of the book in about 4 days.

I took a break after I hit publish on S&L and focused on promoting my work. Things picked up a little and so did my spirit. I started planning a book con here in my hometown and that kept me occupied. I wasn’t writing but I was still involved with books and the community and that’s exactly what I needed.

I spent some time working on a project called Saving Bliss. The entire time I was writing I was getting messages from readers wanting to know when Brad’s story was going to be released. Brad’s story wasn’t written. I hadn’t planned to write his story. I never even thought about it.

When the 1 year anniversary of Holding On’s release came around I decided that I was going to make it free. It’s been free for the last six month and ranked in the top 100 Free books in the UK and US for the first two months it was free. Over 40K people have downloaded it and it’s still ranked in the top 1,000 Free Books in the UK.

I also decided that I was going to give Brad the ending he deserved. I started Flawed Reality in January, took a break to write Dark Bishop with my bestie, and wrapped it up at the end of February.

So…

What does 18 divided by 8 equal? 2.25

Not the answer you were looking for? How about 1 book every 2.25 months. I’ve released 8 books in the last 18 months as of tomorrow morning. I have two in the works right now – #Next & #SavingBliss – both of which I hope to release by the end of this summer.

What was this post really about?

This is a HUGE Thank You to ALL of you. I write for you. I write because you want me to. I write because you love my characters. I write because I love my characters. So, Thank You for taking a chance on me. Thank You for being a part of this amazing journey that I’m on.

THANK YOU!

 

PS – you may want to watch for a giveaway. You know how much I like to send out signed paperbacks.

 

Cover Reveal Day!!!

I’ve been waiting for this day to arrive for a while now and I’m so glad that it’s FINALLY here. Before I show you the cover for Secrets & Lies (or you can scroll down to the bottom of this post if you are impatient like I am), I need to thank a handful of bloggers for supporting the book.

The following blogs have recently reviewed A Secret Life AND agreed to review Secrets & Lies by the time it releases on 8/22. ONLY 3 MORE WEEKS!!!

A Book Vacation

Gin’s Book Notes

Amazeballs Book Addicts

Breny’s Book Blog

So Many Books, So Little Time

Mystic Reviews

Love Us Some Books

My Secret Book Spot

Two Ordinary Girls & Their Books

Sweet Yet Naughty Book Blog

 

Go give their pages a like and tell them that I love them. Without the support of the amazing bloggers above, Indie authors wouldn’t be where they are today.

On top of that, the following blogs have agreed to do a cover reveal for Secrets & Lies today on Facebook of their personal blog website.  Go show them some love and like their post for me.

Breny’s Book Blog

Dowie’s Place

The Violet Hour Book Review

Book Junkie Not So Anonymous

Comfortably Read

Paisley Reader

Novelty Books

Book Whisperer

Panty Dropping Book Blog

Book Worms United

Amazeballs Book Addicts

Two Ordinary Girls & Their Books

Sweet Yet Naughty Book Blog
Casey Bond, Jennifer Matusik Ingman, Giana Racine, Marnie Warren, Laura Collins, Laura Dogsmom, Ashley Ragsdale and Brenda Knees.Those are just a few of the people who have made Secrets & Lies into the wonderful story that it is.  Without the feedback I received from my beta readers, my bestie, my PA and, of course, my fabulous editor, I may never have been able to finish the book and it may never have reached any of you.  I have a wonderful team behind me that supports me every step of the way and they need to be recognized.  So a HUGE Thank You to the following people…

 

Now, to finally get to what you have all been waiting for…

 

Secrets & Lies, a companion novella to A Secret Life

“He wants me.  He wants all of me.  What he doesn’t know is that 90% of what I tell him is the truth.  The other 10% is all secrets and lies.”

MAGDELYN BECKER lost her entire family when she was seventeen.  Ever since, she’s avoided relationships at all costs: personal, physical and emotional.  She doesn’t trust anyone and won’t allow herself to get close enough to create a connection.  It’s the way she is – take it or leave it.  Her new job as an FBI agent has her letting her guard down, and letting the wrong person into her life, her mind and her heart.

TAYLOR DONOVAN is sexy, powerful and dangerous for Maggie’s heart.  He doesn’t show emotion and can spot an agent a mile away.  The thought of her being an FBI agent is the farthest thing from his mind when he lays eyes on Maggie Becker.  She’s beautiful, sweet and brutally honest, and honesty is not something Taylor is used to in his business.  It’s her beauty which blinds him though, and it might be what costs him everything, including his heart.

No one can be honest 100% of the time, not even Maggie.  It’s her job to lie to Taylor.  It’s her job to break him down and then bring him down.  The only problem is she has to do it without Taylor realizing it’s happening.  After all, Taylor Donovan is supposed to be dead.  The FBI shouldn’t be looking for him.

 

Secrets_&_Lies_Cover_for_Kindle

 

I hope you all love it as much as I do. Don’t forget, we are having a party to celebrate the release on 8/22/14 on Facebook. Everyone is welcome to come. Just click HERE and it will take you to the party!

Want to add Secrets & Lies to your TBR list on Goodreads? Click HERE.

What’s next…

Apparently, now is the perfect time to submit the next book in the series for review.  So, Book II will be headed to my editor probably next Friday.  I need at least that long to make sure that I am confident in sending it.  It’s done, beginning to end, which is a good thing but I still can’t help but feel that something is missing from the story.

So, Book II is almost ready… maybe.

Book I, it’s in the process of being made into an actual book.  When I say that I mean they are formatting the content to set it up like a book and as soon as the cover design is finished (hopefully by the end of the month) it will be printed for me to do a final once over.  It’s all starting to feel a little more real these days.  I think that once I have that first copy, the one where it’s still a little rough but it’s all put together and bound and looks like a “real” book, is in my hands that I will untimely accept that this is all real.  Until then, it still kind of feels like a dream.  I actually wonder sometimes if someone will pinch me and I will wake up from it all.  Hopefully not!

So, as soon as I have the pdf of the cover I will share.  As soon as I have the release date I will share.  What I need for you to do for me is share this post.  Tell your friends to FR me on Facebook.  Help me spread the word.  Without all of you and all of your support my dream will remain just that… a dream.  Writing the book is the easy part.  Selling the book, enticing people to want to read what you put so much hard work into – that’s the hard part.  So yes, I need your help and your support.  Please and thank you!

A little teaser…

I could still feel his kiss. I could still smell his cologne mixed with his soap and all that made him smell so amazing. I could still picture the deflated look in his eyes when I woke up to find him sitting at the end of the couch. I couldn’t get him out of my head. Every time I closed my eyes, he was there—I could see him clear as day. Every time I opened my eyes, I could smell him and feel his touch. Every time I tried to block it out, all I could feel was the pain. The pain was more real than anything.

Sneak Peak #1…

Okay, time for the first sneak peak.  Keep in mind that the content is unedited at this point.  As editing begins I will be able to post some material that will actually show up in the book word-for-word but until then this will have to do.  I hope you like it, let me know if you do.

My phone began ringing in my pocket but I didn’t even bother to look.  I knew it was probably my mom wondering where I ran off to.  Wanting to finish our very one-sided conversation.  She wasn’t asking us, there was no talking about  this, she was telling us that we were moving.  The ringing stopped and then started again right away.  Really? Can’t she just let me be alone right now.  Does she not understand how upset I am?

“No,” he said from about ten feet away.  Had I just said all of that out loud?  Probably.  When I get emotional that tends to be my M.O.  “You are not allowed to be alone right now.”

As I turned my head I couldn’t help but smile.  He was such a beautiful person, inside and out, and he was mine.  He towered over me in height and could probably bench press me as a workout.  His body was always in great shape because he was always at the gym trying to strengthen his upper body for football.  He was doing a great job.  I could see how impressive his build was, even through the sweatshirt he was wearing.

We have been best friends since 7th grade and I wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world.  This was not the first time I had noticed how incredibly desirable he was.  I have been pushing those thought from my brain for years now.  It’s a dance I’ve been doing for a while and have perfected.  I start to lose control of the fact that we are friends and the next time we see each other he has a girl on his arm, usually a new girlfriend.  It always helps to bring things back into perspective for me.

I’m staring at him, taking in the ‘view’ as his long legs bring him the ten feet or so in about four steps.  “What are you doing here,” I asked him as he sits down next to me on the bench and wraps his long, muscular arm around my shoulder.  I put my head in the crook of his neck and exhaled the breath that I didn’t even know I was holding.

“You mom called me when you left the house.  I was running about five minutes late so I took a detour and figured you would be here if you were upset.  I saw your car but I didn’t see you on the courts so I called your phone and listened for the ring to find you.”  He knew me too well sometime.  As he hugged me tighter I began to shiver.  He gave my strange appearance a quick once-over and started to laugh.

“What’s so funny?”  I know I sounded defensive but I really didn’t see the humor in anything at that moment.  The only thing I was focused on was the pain in my stomach and the fact that my brain was refusing to process what was going on.  I was starting to get a headache.

“Do you see what you’re wearing?  You would be laughing too,” he replied while trying not to laugh too hard.  He was successfully failing.

I looked down and started to laugh too.  I had on my hot pink rain boots with my favorite purple sweat pants and a very deep red and black sweater.  To top is off my blanket was an ugly burnt orange, school colors.  I looked like a very ugly rainbow of colors.  I had to laugh and once I started I couldn’t stop.  Brad always knew how to make me laugh and he always knew how to make me feel just a little bit better about any situation, or at least make me forget about it for a moment.  I actually felt the tension begin to melt from my body.