Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Quality Vs. Integrity

I could have called this post "Soul Savers 5 Release News," because I do have news for you. However, this news deserves more than a quick and simple announcement. Because, you see, although it may be simple, it's not easy. Not for me. And you, my awesome readers, deserve more.

Which is really what it's all about.

"Um ... what?" you say. Let me explain by starting with a couple of examples.

Example #1 - An Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance series that's extremely popular, best-selling, with a TV show and everything. I started reading it years ago. I stopped a little over halfway through because the author was losing me. The quality of the stories had gone from good to meh, and when the next book came out, I just wasn't interested at the time. I've never caught up. I've heard it's gone downhill even more, so I probably never will.

Example #2 - An Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance series that's extremely popular, best-selling, doesn't have a TV show but should, with a fabulous on-going story line. I've only read the first six because they came in a box set. There's no specific reason I haven't caught up, except that the books haven't been right at my fingertips like the hundreds that are on my shelves and my ereader. I've heard the most recent release is amazing. I can't think of any fans who have complained about their interest sliding as the series progresses.

I've always been scared to death that the Soul Savers Series would become like Example #1. With each book, I've worked hard to make it better than the last one. Readers tell me the series keeps getting better, and if reviews are any indication, that must be true. I really like this trend. I want to stay on it. I want you to love each book just as much if not more than the others. I want to be Example #2.

But this is where my integrity comes in. See, at the end of last August, when we were getting ready to release Power, we didn't want to leave you hanging with nothing about the next book. So I at least gave you a release time of Spring 2013. That was 8-9 months - surely I could have it written, revised, edited, polished, and formatted by Spring.

At that time, however, I didn't expect to be going to the London Book Fair, doing a UK tour and attending RT Booklovers in Spring 2013, causing me to basically lose a full month of productivity. I also didn't anticipate writing and releasing another book - The Space Between - right before then. Toward the end of 2012, when we started looking hard at our 2013 production calendar, I figured, "Well, June 21st is technically the first day of Summer, but I can do it. I've made a promise, and hopefully this is close enough to Spring 2013 that readers will forgive me."

So way back before I even started writing the book, I publicly announced a release date. I also made a commitment to myself to write more and write faster. After all, I'm a writer. I'm a full-time writer now. Others produce lots faster than I do, so I need to pick up the pace. I. Can. Do. This.

Except I can't. I can't bring myself to rush my writing and editing process just to get a book out on a certain date although it may not be the best it could possibly be. I cringe every time I read a book that's been hurried to market before it's ready. Indies have been slowly overcoming the low quality stigma, only for it to return as these rushed books are full of errors. Some have even become best-sellers, but the poor editing and proofreading is going to backlash on all of us. I can't bring myself to contribute to that. I also can't bring myself to destroy my health and family and home life any more than I already have.

Most of all, I can't bring myself to disappoint you. As I said in the beginning, you deserve so much more from me. You deserve the best damn book I can possibly write for you. You deserve an amazing story that you can't put down until the last page is turned. You have stuck with me and the series thus far - you deserve only my best.

And I've made the decision, along with my publisher, that you deserve a high quality book that you'll get to read one day this summer, rather than a crappy story you might read on a specific day in June. I hate - let me say it again, HATE - backing out on a release date. I've never missed one before and usually deliver early. I feel like I'm breaking a promise, and it's killing me.

But ... I've also set a promise of a good book for you. I hope Soul Savers Book 5 won't break that promise, especially since you have to wait even longer for it. I know right now, though, that if I were to release it on June 21st, you would totally hate it. And I'd rather keep the promise of quality than the promise of a date (which means I won't be giving a specific date right now - just sometime this summer).

So I guess it's not really quality vs. integrity. It's quality and integrity. I can live with that. I hope you can, too. *pleading smile* okay *drops on knees and begs and kisses your feet*

I thank you in advance for your understanding and support and forgiveness. Like I said, I hope the story in Book 5 will make up for it.

Bottom line:

Soul Savers 5 Coming Summer 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Like Food? Call for Submissions & Giveaways

I have some exciting news! And we can use your help! This is your chance to see your name in print, show off your love for food and cooking and support a good cause. PLUS, we have giveaways going on!

Food has always been near and dear to the characters in the Soul Savers Series. From Alexis and Tristan cooking together on their early dates to Owen's cheesy eggs and Blossom's fabulous cakes, food has been a recurring theme. In fact, my publisher and I have often discussed how fun it would be to create a Soul Savers cookbook. Well, we've decided that Fall 2013 is the perfect time to release this book, and we need YOUR help!
Not only will the book contain recipes from the characters and from me, but there will also be room for fan submissions. If you have one or more recipes that you believe fit in with the characters and stories of the Soul Savers, you could see your name in print. And it's all for a good cause. A portion of proceeds will go to a charity to be announced in the near future.
Interested? Here are the details for submissions:
Please submit your recipe(s) to on or before June 15, 2013. In addition to the recipe, please include the following:
  • Your name
  • Preferred email address
  • A brief personal bio
  • Why you love the Soul Savers Series
  • Why you chose this recipe
  • How this recipe relates to the Soul Savers Series

1 WEEKLY WINNER will be randomly selected from submissions to win Soul Savers swag.

1 LUCKY WINNER at the end will receive an awesome gift basket of Soul Savers AND kitchen goodies.

The more recipes you submit (up to 5), the better your chances of winning!

Small Print: A maximum of five recipes may be submitted per person. All recipes must be original content; please do not include anything previously published elsewhere, print or electronically. There is no guarantee that a submitted recipe will be included in the cookbook. All content decisions will be made by Ang'dora Productions, LLC, and are final. If your recipe is selected to be included, you will be asked to sign a release stating this is your original recipe and you are giving us the rights to include it in this book. You will not be financially paid for any recipes that appear in the publication or elsewhere, print or electronically. However, contributors may receive prizes at the discretion of Ang'dora Productions, LLC.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Help Me Help OK!

My dad, stepmom, stepsister and her family live in the Oklahoma City area so you can imagine the terror I felt yesterday when the news started coming in, especially since I couldn't get a phone call through. Fortunately, they are all okay. Sadly, there are a lot of people hurting today and they will be for some time - some parents and loved ones will never fully recover.

When I was a newspaper editor and reporter in Kansas, I had to cover tornado damage. My heart broke every single time, although there'd been no human deaths in the ones I covered. The devastation is like nothing you can imagine unless you've seen it for yourself. The loss of animal life is gut-wrenching. I remember a young girl having to watch the sheriff put her horse down because it had landed in a ditch thousands of feet away from its barn, its back broken.

My husband's aunt lost her home and their belongings in a tornado in 2008.

Yes, this hits very close to home. No, I can't not do something for the people of Moore, OK.

So I will be donating to the Red Cross $1 for every book I sell from now through May 31, 2013.

I hope you will join me. Like last year's drive for The Domestic Violence Hotline, I have something for everyone who buys my books during this time or donates to the Red Cross:

  • Email me** your receipt(s) for any of my books with the purchase date between today and May 31, 2013, and you'll be entered to win a giveaway of all of my signed books plus swag. Gift receipts count!
  • For everyone who makes a donation to the Red Cross for $10 or more and emails me** a receipt (dated 5/20/13-5/31/13) and their shipping address, I'll send you a pack of fancy bookmarks and a Kristie Cook can-coozie.

Remember - if you've already bought all my books, you can gift them! All ebook retailers allow gifting. Links for each book are below. And to make it even better - The Space Between is on an ENT special so it's only 99c for Kindle. But hurry! That deal won't last.

You can easily donate $10 to the Red Cross by texting Red Cross to 90999. Your donation will be added to your cell phone bill. Otherwise, you can donate here:

If you can't afford to buy/gift books or make a donation, I hope you will at least forward this to everyone you know, share it on social media and otherwise help me spread the word. My readers are AMAZING and I can't wait to see what you can do for this great cause!

**Send your receipts and contact info to If you donate via phone text, take a screen shot of the confirmation and email it to me. (Free downloads of Promise are not included in this event.)

Thank you in advance for your help!!!

Where to Buy

Kindle at
Nook at B&
iBooks at
Kobo at

Signed Paperback
Kindle at
Nook at B&
iBooks at
Kobo at

Signed Paperback
All other ereaders at
Audiobook at

Signed Paperback
All other ereaders at
Audiobook at

Signed Paperback
All other ereaders at

Kindle at
Nook at B&
iBooks at
Kobo at

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Winners & Pictures

We have winners from The Space Between Release Tour giveaway! Congratulations to...

Shannon R.
who won the $200 gift card


Nicoleta D.
who won the swag bag full of goodies


Both winners have been notified by email! If that's you, please be sure you get back to me so we can get your prize sent off. :)

I also have pictures of the UK tour to share with you. Finally!!! There are actually over 1,500 pictures between my phone and my "official" photojournalist (*snicker*), Heather. Here are just a "few":

My traveling companions, Jody and Chrissi, with me in front of Buckingham Palace not too long after landing in London. We carried those coffee cups for HOURS because there are no public trash bins in London.

A drink at our first London pub after checking out Harrod's. We're about ready for bed, though it's only about 5 p.m. local time.

Heather and me on the London Eye with Big Ben and Westminster Abbey in the background.

Inga from Estonia and the Me and Reading book blog. I still can't believe we got to meet in person! We're getting ready to watch The Bodyguard on stage here.

Oh, yeah, we went to the Warner Bros. studios where they filmed Harry Potter.

Chrissi and Heather on Hagrid's motorcycle with the Knight Bus behind them.

Chrissi and Heather in front of the actual model they used for filming Hogwarts.

Me with Christina, owner of Treadwell's Books (the location of the London signing), and her assistant Diane.

The European half of my Kristie's Crew, who helped coordinate the entire UK tour.

After London, we headed for York, where we got a 2-day tour in 3 hours. This is the York Minster. Beautiful! York was my favorite place of the whole tour, full of history. I hope to go back with the family some day.
Part of our tour of York included proper English tea at Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms. YUM!

Readers who came to the signing in York. He wanted to kidnap me and keep me until I told him the whole Soul Savers story!

The Crew at the York signing.

Heather and me in front of the tower in York - all that remains of the York castle - during our ghost tour.

Now we're in Liverpool! And getting a little close with John Lennon in front of The Cavern, the first place the Beatles performed.

The Duckmarine we rode for a tour of Liverpool.

A fan at the Liverpool signing!

This was us A LOT - either in a cab or on a train.

The four of us Americans in Birmingham.

The Crew at the Birmingham signing.
There was a LINE (queue) at the Birmingham signing! I couldn't believe how many people came out! I couldn't possibly get everyone's pictures here, but I snagged a few to post.

Me with Donna, manager at Bebo Cafe, the location of the Birmingham signing. She is now a fan of the Soul Savers, having read all four books over the last few days!

Kate, who made this fabulous TSB banner for the Birmingham signing.

Off to Bristol now! On Sunday, our last day in England, we woke up in Birmingham, traveled to Bristol, then went to bed in London. Here's me with a fan at the Bristol signing.

The Crew at the Bristol signing - about to say our final good-byes.

The gorgeous Bristol train station - about all we saw in Bristol, as our time was short.

A common sight for us - a train station!

Back in London, the night before we fly home. This is our last pint at an English pub.
There are so many more photos I could share! We had a wonderful time with some amazing hosts throughout the tour. A special shout-out to Julie, Claire, Stacey, Debbie, and Kate for all of their hard work and assistance. Hopefully we'll be back soon!