Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Real-Life Scary Story for Halloween


From Buster & Tess...

Now go read my real-life, scary ghost story at Confessions of a Bookaholic. She said it was one of the scariest ones they posted all month and there were some pretty creepy stories. So check it out and tell me what you think. While you're there, enter to win a Purpose ARC.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Six for Saturday

I totally missed Five for Friday. WAY too much going on yesterday. And I've actually missed quite a few FFFs, so I'll make it up with Six for Saturday.

Six things you should know for this weekend:
  1. You can now pre-order signed copies of Purpose!!! Do it right here with our fancy new shopping cart.
  2. You have extra time to enter my contest and giveaway to win a Purpose ARC, other books, a gift card or a Kindle. We've extended the deadline for the contest and giveaway. Details here.
  3. You can read my scary ghost story for #HauntedHalloween and win a signed copy of Promise on Jessica's blog over at Confessions of a Bookaholic on Halloween (Sunday).
  4. NaNoWriMo starts Monday, so if you haven't decided whether to do it or probably ought to this weekend. We writers are known for procrastinating, but this is getting a little ridiculous, don't you think? (Do you think I've made a definitive decision? I keep thinking I have, but...)
  5. Be sure to (re)stock your candy bowl before Sunday. Because it is Halloween, ya know? Please tell me this is not the only house that goes through all the candy before the day even arrives. All. Five. Bags.
  6. Be sure your pets are inside and safe Halloween night - there are some sick people out there! And speaking of pets...I can't even pull together a costume for myself these days and look at these beastly get-ups.

Have a Happy Halloween!!

Contest/Giveaway News - Deadline Extended

EDITED: Promise is now available internationally at The Book Depository! To celebrate, we've opened this contest worldwide!

We're extending the deadline for Mr. Beautiful's Halloween Hop and Birthday Bash! The new deadline, as seen above, is Friday, 11/5 at midnight. They'll judge the Halloween Hop entries over that weekend and I'll announce winners on Monday, 11/8.

For a Purpose ARC, swag and other free books (see the full list of choices here), simply click here and fill out the form or scroll down below for the embedded form. Earn entries by tweeting, blogging and Facebooking about it (just be sure to tell me about it by completing the form!). You can share this page's link or the original page. Get even more EXTRA ENTRIES by taking a picture of your copy of Promise and posting it on your blog or FB page...or email to me at kristie (at) kristiecook (dot) com.

For the Halloween Hop, sign up by entering your blog address or Facebook page below. Then post your entry between now and midnight on 11/5. What can you do? Anything, as long as it incorporates the photo to the left (right-click it to save and use the image). Some ideas:
  • Use a photo-editing program to add some kind of fun saying.
  • Make a mock book cover using his photo.
  • Save the photo, enlarge it, print it out and take a picture of you and Mr. Beautiful.
  • Create a video with Mr. Beautiful.
  • Draw the rest of him.
  • Check out the original contest page for a little background on Mr. Beautiful (pictured here). You can also learn about him in some of my blog fest entries, there was an interview with him in the May archives...or meet him by reading the first two chapters of Promise here.
To enter the contest for a gift card or Kindle, enter your blog address or Facebook page (wherever you'll be posting your entry):

For entries for the book giveaway, complete this form:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

For the Writers of the World: Live YOUR Purpose

Just wanted to share this video with my lovelies. Even if you're not a writer, I know you've overcome adversity at some point in your life. Keep picking yourself up. Keep going. Live your purpose!

The title to my second book, which was originally the first book, is more than just about my MC discovering her life's purpose. While writing it, I realized my own. This is what I'm supposed to do. So even when things get tough - rejections, obstacles and less-than-stellar reviews - I persevere. How about you? What is YOUR purpose? Are you living it? What keeps you motivated when life tries to drag you down?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Big, BIG News!!!

Holy Blazin' Stars, Batman! I am full of all kinds of big, exciting, awesome news!

First, I have to share this link, because he's saying pretty much what I've been saying about self-publishing and the publishing industry in general. Now, if only New York would listen! Thank you, Karly, for originally sharing this with me. Karly's YA book Into the Shadows comes out on Kindle next week, by the way. You should totally check it out!

Second...because I can't hold it in any longer...


That's right! First Place in Fantasy (Published). Woot!!! I get the scoring rubric in the mail this week. I'm not sure what to think about it, though...if I should even open it. After all, the book is published, it won the award and any suggestions for improvement will just result in me getting all worried and upset about something I can't change. On the other hand, I can use it to improve future writing. And I know I wouldn't be able to just toss it unopened anyway... I'll let you know if I learn anything useful.

I'll also be sharing a recap of what I learned at the Florida Writers Conference this past weekend later this week. I attended as many marketing workshops as I could because they're most pertinent to me right now and because a lot of the craft workshops were genre specific and didn't apply to my writing (i.e., nonfiction, memoirs, etc.). Although I have a marketing background, you never know what you can learn from others who have been there, done that. Unfortunately, not as much as I'd hoped, but I do have a few little nuggets to share.

Third...Promise is FINALLY available at Barnes & Noble. As in, you can walk into a B&N store and request it. They'll probably have to order it, but if they get enough requests, then maybe they'll start stocking it on their actual shelves. It's on sale, too! $11.51 instead of $15.99. Order here. If you've already read it, I'd love you forever and ever if you'd post a review on that page (and Amazon, too).

This also means Promise is finally listed correctly in Ingram's, the big book distribution/cataloging service for major booksellers, indies, libraries, etc. So hopefully Promise will soon be available on The Book Depository for all those outside-the-US peeps who have been requesting it. (Which also means I can open up contests and giveaways internationally again! Yay!) If you're one of those peeps and happen to see it listed, please let me know. I try not to be all maniacal about checking it several times a day, so you might see it before I do (not that you're just might be there before know what I'm sayin', right? hehe).

In the last Monday Marketing, I discussed Place and this is a huge example of how Place can affect sales. If you don't have your book available in as many places as possible, in as many formats as possible, you're losing sales. For self-publishers, this might mean you get a smaller cut. But a smaller cut is much better than no cut at all. Don't think of it as losing dollars. Think of it as gaining readers - who next time might buy where you do make more profit and also tell their friends who might buy where you prefer. I just don't understand self-publishers who forgo the possibility of having their book in all the major outlets and in the indies because they'll only make 50 cents or a dollar. Just my little marketing rant there...

Finally...Sunday is the last day for my two giveaways/contests! So far, we only have two people who have signed up for the Halloween Hop - the one where you use Tristan's picture somewhere and somehow and post it on your blog or Facebook page. We need A LOT MORE for the Kindle prize! If you're planning on participating but haven't signed up yet, please go sign up. To participate: Make a video. Take a picture of you and Tristan. Draw a picture. The possibilities are limited to your creativity!Then post it on your blog or Facebook page this weekend.

We have a lot more entries for the Birthday Bash, but there are never too many! And I don't have a "Promise in the Wild" photo yet. If you have Promise, all you have to do is take a picture of it and send it to me (for 25 entries) or post it on your blog or Facebook page (for 50 entries)...and fill out the form. EASY!! Even if it's on your ereader, just take a picture of the cover page. Some great prizes to choose from and both winners get to be one of the first to read Purpose!

Ok, that's all for now. As if that's not a lot already. Whew! I can't believe a Monday can be so great and exciting, so another bonus there. I hope your weekend went well, too.

P.S. Would you mind sharing why you haven't signed up for the contests? Please comment below, because I'm just a little baffled here...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Stuff...and Ramblings...and Some Official, um, Stuff

As I mentioned last week, this week is absolutely crazy. But all good crazy. I'm sitting in a hotel room in Orlando, here until Friday morning for day-job stuff. Then I move to another hotel on the other side of Orlando for the Florida Writers Association conference and Royal Palm Literary Awards banquet this weekend. Promise is a finalist for an award. I try not to think about it too much, because when I do, my stomach gets that feeling like when you're going over that first hill of a roller coaster.

I also announced last week that Purpose has a release date. In case you missed it, because I know you really want to be sure you mark your calendar ;-), it's December 15. It's officially off to the printers for a proof and ARCs. It's also officially on Goodreads! Woohoo!! So, you know, it wouldn't hurt my feelings if you go mark it "to-read" or, better yet, "can't-think-about-anything-else-dying-to-read". Haha! Sheesh. Just kidding, guys.

And now it has an official "blurb" (it doesn't have a jacket, not even a sweater, so how can I call it "jacket copy"?'s a blurb, not to be confused with blob). Which you can find on its official website, It's still under construction, but I'm working on it. Cuz that's also my job.

Finally, in case you missed it (because there aren't many entries and if I don't get some people to sign up and enter, I may be forced to call it off)...I'm having a contest. I mean, contestS. Yes, TWO contests. Purpose ARCs, other books, swag and possibly a Kindle are all up for grabs. Please at least enter the Birthday Bash, where all you have to do is fill out a form. And if you're still working on your Halloween Hop entry, please at least sign up by typing your blog or website URL into the little linky thingy. I just need to know that people are actually planning to play along. Kthnxluvu

In other news...I'm still planning to separate this blog. This one is supposed to be my official author's website, which is why it's used to promote my books. But it was originally more related to writing stuff - you know the voices in our heads, first-draft-brain-dump-pukes, the horrors of editing and revising, blogfests and other craziness only other writers understand.

It used to be called A Mused Writer. Well, that blog is back up, right here. If you're a writer, please go follow it. It's not being used right now, but I'll soon be moving all my writing-related posts over there. And then this one will be used for communicating about my books, other books and authors I know and adore, and...whatever else pops up. As well as contests...and giveaways...and maybe guy-candy shots for your viewing pleasure. :-)

That's all for now. What? Isn't that enough? Thought so. Have a Happy Hump Day!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Harleys, Books, Kindle & Other Ramblings

Starting tomorrow, life gets even crazier than it has been for the next 10 days. Tomorrow I'm taking off with The Man and some friends to Biketoberfest in Daytona. Anyone familiar with the world of Harley-Davidson and motorcycles knows that Daytona Bike Week and Sturgis Bike Week are the two BIG rallies of the year. But Daytona has a smaller one, called Biketoberfest that's supposed to be more fun because it's not as huge. I'm excited for a real break...and possibly a beer or two. ;-)

I've been trying to figure out how to take advantage of this trip because, you see, Tristan (aka Mr. Beautiful up there in that picture) rides motorcycles. He has a crotch-rocket (well, um, two, if you think about, sorry, as you can tell I'm ready for a break!) and a Harley, which he and Alexis ride on throughout Promise. But I just can't see myself walking up to biker dudes and chicks, asking if they'd like to read my book. So, the idea of how to do a tie-in is still germinating and will have to wait for the next rally.

But while writing this, I had a great idea for the Halloween Hop contest. Too bad I can't enter my own contest, though. Maybe one of you lovely readers will take the hint of Tristan and motorcycles and run with it... Remember, a Kindle is up for grabs!

Speaking of the contests, I've seen many tweets, FB and blog posts about them. I'm eternally grateful, but not all of you who have spread the word have entered the Birthday Bash giveaway. The one where you get entries for tweeting and posting! If you're going to do it, you may as well enter the contest for books and swag! Don't forget, you can enter that one as many times as you want by filling out the form each time you tweet or post about the contests.

As for the Halloween Hop, just put the link of where you'll be posting your entry in the linky-thingy. The more people who sign up there, the better the prize (like that Kindle).

Okay, real quick, other things going on next week, in case I'm somewhat absent:
  • My usual bi-monthly trip to Orlando for the day-job will keep me up there through the end of the week. Because I have to be back there for...
  • Florida Writers Association Conference! Next weekend. I'm so excited for my first big conference. PLUS, Promise is a finalist for the Royal Palm Literary Award. I find out next Saturday night if it won.
  • While I'm sitting in my hotel next week, I'll be Skyping for the first time with a book club. They're all the way in Minnesota! I'm chewing my nails about this. I hope they're nice. I think they will be, based on the hostesses.

So, yeah, lots of ramblings of my chaos. But it's all exciting stuff. more thing. Twitter Party tonight!! Hosted by Jess at Confessions of a Bookaholic and Lisa at A Life Bound by Books. Starts at 9 p.m. ET, at #HauntedHalloween. They're giving away books, swag and Halloween goodies. I'll be there. I wonder what other authors will be. Follow @TotalBookaholic and @BoundbyBooks

Have a great weekend, everyone!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Purpose-ful News!

It's official! Purpose has a release date! Find out what happens to Alexis in the next installment of the Soul Savers Series in...

9 weeks...

or 63 days...

On December 15th!

Here's the tentative jacket copy. Tell me what you think! Compelling? Suggestions? If you make a suggestion and the publishing team uses it, I'll send you a free Purpose ARC!
Lost in grief and despair, Alexis teeters on the edge of insanity, feeling her lifeline of hope fraying into a thin thread. If it snaps, she’ll plunge into an abyss of darkness. With the help of her son and her writing, she’s been able to hold on. Until now.

Torn between clinging to hope or letting go to assume her Amadis responsibilities, Alexis runs to the only place that can provide the answers she needs. But just as she begins to see a brighter future, she finds herself at the center of another battle with the Daemoni. As she confronts them, she must conquer her own demonic blood, survive the Ang’dora and serve her purpose – defending souls from the grip of evil. And the first one she must protect is the one she loves most…if he doesn’t kill her first.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Five for Friday

Five reasons you must enter my new contests!

1. Two contests - one fun and one easy-peasy
2. THREE winners!!!
3. Prizes include books and swag and either a $25 B&N gift card, an iPod Shuffle or a Kindle 3 or Nook!
4. It's the weekend, giving you lots of time to think about and do all those things with Tristan.
5. Because you love me...or Tristan...or Promise...and want to help a new author and fellow blogger out. :) Even if it's just because you feel bad for me and my crappy week (to which I must add that my oldest is 18 today, a horrible reminder that I am no longer 18!).

Yes, I'm begging. Please help me spread the word this weekend and throughout the month. I soooo want to give away an awesome prize like a K3! Kthnxluvyabai! And have a fantabulous weekend!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mr. Beautiful's Halloween Hop & Birthday Bash Contests

UPDATE!!! The deadline has been extended to 11/5 for both contests!! Get yours in for free books, a gift card or a Kindle!! Click here for more details.

ANOTHER UPDATE!! Promise is now available internationally at The Book Depository! To celebrate, we've opened this contest worldwide!

EDITED: In case there is any confusion, there are TWO contests here. The Birthday Bash contest starts immediately, going until 10/31 (the second one below with TWO winners who will win books and swag). Or click here to complete the form. Spread the word about both contests for entries. The Halloween Hop takes place Halloween Weekend, but sign up NOW. The more who sign up, the better the prize!

Meet Tristan Knight, a.k.a. Mr. Beautiful

He goes by other nicknames, too, such as Hawtness, but Alexis calls him Mr. Beautiful. Because mundane terms like "handsome" and "attractive" just don't quite cut it when it comes to Tristan. He's inhumanly beautiful. Unfortunately, he doesn't like his face photographed, but I think this angle is nearly as good!

His birthday is on Halloween, although he prefers not to acknowledge it. But I've decided we're going to anyway with the Mr. Beautiful Halloween Hop Contest!

And you get to borrow Tristan for this contest! Consider him your treat for Halloween. Yum!!

What do you do with him? Whatever you want! Take the picture above (or email me at kristie(at)kristiecook(dot)com for a higher resolution pic) and get creative with it. You can blow the picture up, cut it out and paste it to foam-board, then take Tristan on some outings in your corner of the world - just be sure to take pictures. Or create a video with him. Or, if you're an artist, give him a face (hint: sandy-brown hair, hazel eyes with green around the outside and gold flecks around the pupil, square jaw, full kissable lips). The sky's the limit and the more creative, the more likely you'll win.

Whatever it is, you MUST include the above picture in some form (so the judges can recognize Tristan!) and post your photo(s), image(s) or video on your blog, anytime during the weekend of October 29-31. (If you don't have a blog, you can post it on your Facebook page.) Give Tristan an actual post so we can find it the following week for judging. My publishing team and I will decide on the most creative entry and I'll announce the winner on Friday, November 5. Sign up here and don't forget to post your entry at the end of the month! The more who sign up, the better the prize!

What can you win? How about a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble? Or an iPod Shuffle? Or maybe a Kindle 3 or B&N Nook? Really?!? Seriously!! The grand prize depends on how many people we can get to participate - the more who actually post a Halloween Hop entry, the better the prize.

How are we going to get more people involved? With another contest!!! Woohoo!!

Start spreading the word NOW to win...

1st Prize
Purpose (#2 in the Soul Savers series) by Kristie Cook (ARC)
Promise Bookmark
Plus your choice of 2 of the following:

2nd Prize
Purpose (#2 in the Soul Savers series) by Kristie Cook (ARC)
Promise Bookmark
Dark Days and Wicked Nights (Free sampler featuring various authors)

Complete the form below to enter as many times as you'd like. You can return and enter to win every day, between now and 10/31, by tweeting and posting. Get up to 50 BONUS ENTRIES for taking a picture of you and Promise in the wild...or your home or whatever (for me, home and wild are synonymous). Don't have Promise yet? Buy it here or here. Have the ebook? Just make sure the first page shows up on your ereader in the picture. Email the picture to kristie(at)kristiecook(dot)com for 25 extra entries or post it on your blog for 50 extra entries!

Good luck!!!

Fine Print: Both contests are only available for U.S. mailing addresses. The Birthday Bash form can be completed as many times as you want until October 31, 2010, but each tweet, post and status update MUST be a new one to qualify for additional entries. Both contests end at Midnight (EST) on October 31. Winners will be announced on this blog on November 5. Halloween Hop winner will be chosen by my publishing team. Birthday Bash winners will be selected by By participating, you give permission to Kristie Cook and Ang'dora Productions, LLC, to use your submitted photo(s), image(s) and video(s) for marketing and PR purposes in exchange for credit and link-back to your site or blog.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Life Happens & TWO Contests Coming!!

Have you missed me this week, lovely followers? I apologize for being absent, but I suppose it's better than being boring. LOL Not that life has been boring. Not. At. All. So here's the deal...

This week:
  • Craziness in the day job. It's GOOD craziness, but it's meant lots of focus there and break-up in the routine.
  • What little time left over has been used wrapping up Purpose edits so I can get ARCs ordered by next week, which means next step is formatting and finalizing the cover.
  • Add on top of that - a call yesterday afternoon from son #2's football coach...from the ER...son broke his arm in practice. :( Everything drops to take care of him.
  • And to really top it off - my grandmother has been in the hospital for a week and it's not looking good. She's being going through chemo and has complications. She's fought various forms of cancer for over a decade, but my heart and soul are sad because I fear that she's tiring of the battle.

I ask for your prayers, thoughts, good vibes, etc., for my son, my grandmother and my own sanity. Thank you in advance!!

Now onto the fun stuff... I had hoped to post this today, but focus has been fleeting with everything going on. So the official post will go up tomorrow.

TWO Major Contests!!!

What's up for grabs? Let's see...books...swag...maybe an iPod Shuffle...maybe even a Kindle 3 or a Nook. A K3?!? A Nook?!? Yep, that's right. So stay tuned, pay attention and come back tomorrow to get the deets on how you can be a winner. (Hint: For an eReader, you'll need to put a little thought and creativity into it, but I "Promise" it will be fun!)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Five for Friday

It's October!! Which means Halloween-y fun! Halloween also happens to be Tristan's birthday, but, shhh, he doesn't like to acknowledge it. We might just have to anyway...but more of that later.

There are tons of things happening all over the blog-o-sphere this month, including giveaways, blogfests, scary stories from your favorite authors and more. Here are just 5 to get you started:

1. Haunted Halloween by Jessica at Confessions of a Bookaholic & Lisa at A Life Bound By Books - I will have a scary story posted there later this month, including a giveaway!!

2. Book or Treat to support UNICEF!

3. Halloween at the Haven (Paranormal Haven)

Witch Button

4. Halloween Giveaways at From the Shadows

5.Not-Really-Southern Vamp Chick's Countdown to Halloween