Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Technical Glitches and Tequila

I'm a very positive person, but when it comes to me and technology, if something can go wrong, it will. I'm not sure if I jinx myself because I'm so nervous when I click send or publish or just because I have not yet fully adapted to the new world. In any event, yesterday was a prime example of technology kicking my butt.

Any author will tell you that we spend a lot of time on Amazon checking our rankings. Those numbers under our books mean everything to us because they let us know how many books we've sold and how much exposure our books are getting. Money, for most of us, is not the end goal of writing novels, but knowing that people want to and do buy our books means that we have made the right decision to enter into an often gut wrenching and challenging profession. So, when I woke up and checked the Amazon page for Finding Lucas, I had to shake my head and rub my eyes. Shocked, I stared at the words "currently not available." The buy button for Finding Lucas had disappeared, and I was devastated.

I immediately contacted KDP support, and they got back to me quite quickly, letting me know that the issue would be resolved by February 4th. The 4th?! That was a week away. My stress levels, never low at the best of times, could not handle a week of my novel being "unavailable." What was I going to do? I moaned and groaned to friends and family (who were lovingly supportive), but I knew that the only people who would truly understand were the authors in my support group.

I sent out a frantic message and within seconds, I got words of encouragement, love and kindness. I instantly felt better, and for the next eight hours, they checked on my book, looked after me and sent me a great deal of virtual hugs and drinks. Every author needs a support group, and mine is the Chick Lit Goddesses, founded by the amazing Isabella Louise Anderson. I don't know what I would do without them, and I've never even met them in person. For someone who still struggles so with technology, this always astounds me.

In fact, one of them, the fantastic author Jackie Bouchard, created a drinking game that I am sure I will play often. Whenever the words "technical glitch" come up, I am going to reach for the nearest bottle of tequila. I might be drinking a lot! So, if you are an author and don't have a group of writers you can turn to, get one. It will make this whole crazy adventure a lot easier and more fun.

There are so many people I have to thank for being there for me yesterday, but I need to give a special shout out to Tracie Banister, Susan Buchanan, Sibel Hodge, Sharon Moore, Lizzie Lamb, Louise Wise, Laura Donohue, Jackie Bouchard, Libby Mercer, Sarka-Jonae Miller, Meredith Schorr, Cat Lavoie, Francine LaSala, Cindy Roesel and Eva King. They are not only wonderful support, but amazing authors, and you should check them out.

I am sure there will be more technical glitches in my future, but at least Finding Lucas is now available again (KDP support acted quickly!) and I have some great people to turn to when things get wonky. And if you'd like to check out what the Goddesses are up to, follow our hashtag #GoddessLit on Twitter!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Girly Books Blog Hop: Location, Location, Location!

The giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much for stopping by, commenting, following my blog and entering to win. Congratulations to Stephanie Haefner for winning!!!
Thank you so much to Libby Mercer for organizing another fantastic Girly Books Blog Hop! I'll be giving away a $5 gift card for Amazon and one ecopy of Finding Lucas. Be sure to check the list of amazing bloggers at the bottom of this post and swing by their blogs to read where they might be taking you. There are some incredible giveaways on this hop and one HUGE grand prize!

Who doesn't love a road trip? Well, when you're stuck in a car with your boss, trying to hunt down your ex "friends with benefits" who you haven't seen or spoken to in ten years, the journey might not be the thrilling, fun-filled car ride a road trip usually brings to mind.

In Finding Lucas, Jamie Ross is sick of her toxic relationship. When her job as the associate producer of Chicago's sleaziest daytime talk show (think Jerry Springer for the new millenium) lands her a segment on reuniting lost loves, Jamie remembers Lucas. And goes on a cross country hunt to track him down. 

A business assignment with her new boss, Andrew (and a secret desperate search to find Lucas), turns into a hilarious and revealing road trip. From Indianapolis and Milwaukee to Detroit, talking, arguing and soul-searching fill the hours in Andrew's small, messy Honda Civic until Jamie can fulfil her fantasy of finding and getting back together with Lucas.

We're on the highway, and with the cool breeze coming in from the window, the tension in my body dissipates and I relax. Derek was always so concerned that someone might nick his car that we never talked or enjoyed the scenery. Now, though the scenery from Chicago to Indianapolis leaves much to be desired (flat, barren nothingness), the ease of being with Andrew is making the long drive ahead of us seem more pleasant. The smooth, smoky voice of Norah Jones fills the car, and as I listen to the lyrics, tears spring to my eyes.

"So I guess you like this?" Andrew asks and reaches over me to grab some Kleenex from the glove compartment. He hands me a tissue, and I quickly dab at my eyes.

"You know, I never cried until a few weeks ago, seriously. Now, even the long distance telephone commercials make me want to bawl. But, yeah, I do like this. It's, hmm, what's the word? Soulful."

"Yeah, I think so too. Kelly prefers Top 40, but I like the more eclectic stuff better. The right music just makes you think about things you might otherwise push to the back of your mind. So, what's on your mind that triggered the tears?"

I tuck a strand of hair behind my ear and smile at him. "Are you sure you're a man? You really want to know what I'm thinking about or are you making polite conversation?"

"Jamie, we've spent enough time together by now that I don't need to make polite conversation. And when a woman is crying in my car, and she'll be in my car for hours, I think I kind of need to ask or it'll be one tense ride."

It's not the scenery or the spots they hit, but the heartfelt conversations along the way that make this one memorable car ride. Often it isn't the destination but the journey that will change your life.

I'd love to hear about your road trips! Enter to win a $5 gift card for Amazon and one ecopy of Finding Lucas by following my blog and leaving your email address and a comment about your craziest, funniest, worst or best road trip! The giveaway ends on January 21st at midnight EST. Thanks so much for stopping by! 

Winners will be chosen at random old school style out of a hat (okay, a bowl, but I'll wash it first) and announced on January 22nd, 2103.

One lucky winner will win the ultimate girly books goodie package. Unbelievable prizes to be won so don't miss out! Click HERE to enter!