Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Has it really been a week since I last posted? Sheesh. Where did the week go? And what happened to April anyway? I swear I've been cheated out some days. *looks around to see where they're hiding*

Actually, my hours, days, nights, weeks...and so on...have been chock full of awesome stuff. For one, I actually let myself have a life two weekends in a row. Not just one day of the weekend. Not just one weekend. I played and hung out with family and friends for TWO. WHOLE. WEEKENDS. Unheard of since I started this gig called writing.

Of course, now I have lots of catching up to do. And you probably really don't care about all that, right? You're here to see what I'm teasing you with this time and are tapping your foot impatiently for me to get to the point. Yeah, I see you.

This week's tease is one word:


We are making over all kinds of things and it's so freakin' exciting. This includes:

New Soul Savers Series Logo!

And this:
New Swag! Tote bags, key chains, notebooks, pens, magnets and coffee cups.

And more new looks to come, including this website, the book websites and the series website. But for now, we're working on a Top Sekrit Project that must be done before anything else can be re-done. I can't say what it is - hence, the Top Sekrit name - but let me just say one thing. If you have Promise and/or Purpose paperbacks with the flower covers, hold onto them. They might be (maybe, probably not, but you never know) valuable one day.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My True Addiction

Many - if not all - of you have an addiction. I know you do. Don't lie. It's okay. We're all friends here. I know what your addiction is, too. I share it with you. It's reading. And if that's not your addiction, I'm not really sure what you're doing here...but don't worry, we'll get you hooked in no time.

I've come to realize lately, however, that my addiction goes beyond the general term of "reading." It's more than ignoring laundry and dishes and those little people looking to be fed because I. Just. Can't. Stop. until the last page. More than figuring out how I'm going to afford another trip to the bookstore to score my next fix. More than rushing out to buy the next book in the series. Or, if it's not out yet, waiting for it with the patience of a two-year-old and when the time comes, standing in line or watching the Kindle clock with caffeinated jitters for midnight to strike on release day.

It's more than loving a story so much that I don't want it to end. More than appreciating the beauty of just the right words strung together perfectly. More than the thrill of an unexpected plot twist.

I'm addicted to characters and the worlds they live in.

When I fall in love, I fall hard. I can barely get through the day without thinking about the characters and where they left off when I had to put the book down for much needed sleep. I go to the store or the gas station and imagine taking care of these mundane activities in the world between the covers. And when I turn the last page, I want to cry. Because I don't want it to end. I love these people. I love this world. I don't want to leave it just yet. So...I read it again.

Yes, that's the painful realization I've come to. I frequently read books more than once - I read for enjoyment the first time and, as an author, to learn the second time. At least, that's what I've been telling myself. And it's sort of true - I do pay closer attention to world-building, character development, story structure, etc., the second time around. But if I want to be completely honest, I read it again because I don't want to give up the world or the characters yet. Because I only re-read those stories that I truly love.

Most recently, it's Graceling by Kristin Cashore. I have to read it again. And perhaps even again. I can't get enough of Katsa and Po. If you haven't read it, hurry right now to get it. Beautifully written, adventurous story that has no dull moments and the best characters I've read in a long time. Better than Jace and Clary, my previous loves.

I've also realized this is one of the reasons I write - because when one story of Alexis and Tristan is over, I can always write more. I can spend time in their world whenever I want to and not even be limited by the same story over and over. But no, I can't do fanfic. It just doesn't feel right to me. I feel like it's going into some stranger's home and trying to impersonate their life. I might be able to get away with it from everything I can learn, but I can never really be that other person. Just as I can never write someone else's characters.

Unfortunately, writing my own characters in my own world and spending time with them whenever I want to just isn't enough for my addiction. There are too many other fantastic characters and worlds to enjoy, get lost in, become addicted to. The next hit is always out there.

What is your addiction? Is it just reading in general or do you have something more specific that you can't get enough of? Characters? Worlds? Thrilling plots? Blood and guts? Or, perhaps, hot and steamy smexy scenes? Which characters and/or worlds do you suggest I fall in love with next?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Five for Friday

The book bloggers have a meme called In My Mailbox where they brag about share all the awesome books they received the previous week. Well, I'm not a book blogger, just an author. I don't get all that great loot...except for the past week or two. And I'm so excited, I have to share!

What I've received in the past couple weeks:

  1. Eldala by Michelle Gregory - signed by the author!!!
  2. Insight by Jamie Magee - signed by the author!!!
  3. Wrecker by Dave Conifer - signed by the author!!!
  4. New Soul Savers stuff - bookmarks and - LOOK! - a beautiful coffee mug!!! I'm so excited about it that I'm afraid to actually drink coffee out of it.
  5. Handmade jewelry - necklace, earrings, bracelet and anklet - from a reader! Isn't it gorgeous?! Autumn at Midnight Creations created these. Yes, they're purple and black (and green). :D Autumn's just getting started in selling her crafts and will custom-make whatever colors you want.

I bought all these - I didn't get free ARCs or anything. I think I'm supposed to disclose this. I'm not sure, but all the book bloggers do, so thought I would just in case. Just wanting to be a kool kid. ;-)

After the signing at B&N tomorrow (where I will be picking up a special letter edition of City of Fallen Angels!), we're heading over to Borders (yeah, I know, ironic) to see what they have left. It closes for good on Sunday. So sad. But hopefully we'll be able to snag a few more good buys.

Did you get anything good this week? Any good reads?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Signing at Barnes & Noble!!!

Saturday I'm signing copies of Promise & Purpose at the Barnes & Noble in Naples (Florida, not Italy haha), from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Hopefully some peeps will come in on their way to the beach and pick up a couple of good beach reads. Hehe

It's B&N's Local Author Event, which I think is really cool of them to do. I'm excited to see the other local authors and look forward to meeting some new friends.

Southwest Florida is home (at least part of the year) to a ton of authors. It's one of those places a lot of people imagine (whether they realize it or not) when they think, "If I could live anywhere..." because it's so incredibly beautiful, relaxed and you can't beat the weather...except maybe in August. And since writing doesn't dictate you live in a certain geographic location, many writers come here.

It's also the place of retirees and how many times have you heard people say, "When I retire, I'll write that book I always wanted to." And some people actually do that!

What's funny is you don't really realize just how many authors live here until an event like Saturday's. Last week was the Naples Book & Author Festival. I didn't make it this year, but we went last year and it was amazing to discover all the local writers! I guess we all hide in our little author places and no one really knows that we're here.

What about where you live? Are there lots of authors in hiding and when they come out, they surprise you? Or are they out all over the place? Or do you feel lucky to drive 100 miles to go to a signing? I've lived in many of those places, too.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Five for Friday

It's been ages since I've done a Five for Friday, so here we go! I've been thinking a lot lately about traveling. I've been feeling so antsy and realized why. It's been three years since I've been on an airplane and, actually, almost three years since I've left the state of Florida. I started flying in planes by myself at the age of 5 and have traveled nearly every year since.So this is kind of a big deal.

Now, I've been to Tampa, Orlando, Daytona, Miami and the Keys (some multiple times), but I haven't done any real traveling in Way. Too. Long. I'm overdue.

When we can't go, we can always day-dream. So today's Five for Friday is...

I wish I were in...
  1. L.A. for RT Convention - RIGHT NOW
  2. NYC in May for BEA
  3. A cabin on a cruise liner getting ready for dinner or an excursion
  4. Tuscany, Italy, just because
  5. Greece, not only because I've wanted to go there since I was about 9 years old, but also because I need it for both stories I'm working on right now.

So day-dream along with me and finish the sentence: "I wish I were in _______"

*For writers: talking about loving the little guy over on the other blog

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

When Do You Buy Books?

The Big 6 publishers release most, if not all, of their books on Tuesdays. Just like DVDs and video games. I've yet to figure out why this is. Do more people buy these things on Tuesdays? That doesn't seem right. I don't know about you, but I'm rarely at the store on a Tuesday and I usually won't make a special trip.

Maybe that's why. Maybe the retailers have conspired and demanded that all new releases be on Tuesdays so they can attract more shoppers. I don't know. Whatevs.

But I am curious... When do you usually tend to buy books? Unless I just finished a book in a series and have to have the next one (which I'll usually get on my Kindle), I buy on the weekend. Especially if it's a dead-tree book because I just don't have the time to get to the store during the week. If I'm looking for something new to read on my Kindle, it's usually on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, when I'm procrastinating I find myself with free time.

But am I weird? Um...already know the answer to that. Ignore it.

Just tell me, please, when do you buy books? Does it depend on whether it's a dead-tree book or ebook? What about if it's a new-to-you author or an old favorite? Or the first in a series or a later installment?

P.S. If you want a peek into a writer's mess, check out my other blog.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Giveaway Coming

Giveaway! Giveaway! Woot-woot!!!

So here's the scoop...I'd been promising a giveaway over on my Facebook page for a while now - back when I hit 400 followers. The whole relief auction thing delayed my ability to pull anything together and by the time I did, I was at 450! Wow. Seriously.

Then I realized there were 278 followers here and 861 on Twitter - close to some major milestones.

So we're doing a mini-giveaway on FB that you can still get in on for some swag bags, so that I can keep my promise for that one. :) Just answer the question about swag.

But I'll also be doing a major giveaway soon.

I thought I'd make it a race of getting to 500 FB fans, 350 blog followers and 1,000 Twitter friends. FB already won the race, though! How did that happen??? I'm not quite sure but it was pretty cool to watch because it jumped from 450 to 514 in one day. Crazy.

So now we're just waiting on Twitter and the blog to catch up. Then I will do something major. Bigger than I've done in a while. Multiple prizes. Multiple winners. Lots of fun.

If you're excited and want it to start sooner rather than later, then please invite your friends to follow me. Here and at Twitter (@kristiecookauth). Of course, everyone's welcome at the FB page, too. Thanks, lovelies! Your support is greatly appreciated.

Also, if you have Promise and/or Purpose - ebooks or paperbacks - and would like a signed bookmark or bookplate (sticker), send me a picture of you with your book(s) or of the cover page(s) on your ereader, along with your mailing address and which piece of swag you want. I'll drop one in the mail for you. Send me pics of both and I'll send you both pieces. Please note, though, that by participating in this, you're giving me permission to post your picture here and on Facebook. You can send to kristie (at) kristiecook (dot) com.

Okay, back to writing. I'm finally kicking this novella's arse!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Price Drops, Sales & Promise Breaks 100 List!

I am so freakin' excited! Promise and Purpose are listed in extremely popular and competitive categories on Amazon, so it's really hard to break into a Top 100 list. But Promise finally did! Check this out:

I caught it last night right at #100 in the category and it's since dropped a few notches. Yay!!! Finally!!!

Sales had been increasing all through March, but maybe what finally did it was this: price drop to 99 cents. That's right. Promise ebooks are dropped to 99 cents on Amazon and Smashwords and should start showing up on other retailers soon. Purpose ebook has been dropped to $4.99.

Amazon and Barnes & Noble also have both paperbacks on sale!

So there's no time like RIGHT NOW to get Promise and Purpose. Want a taste first? Excerpts at http://www.ihavepromise.com/p/excerpts.html and http://www.ihavepurpose.com/p/excerpts.html