Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Cuz, I Won't Give Up

It’s hard for me to believe that in less than a week I’ll be launching my new book, House of Cards. It took me  f o r- e -v e r  to complete this story...don’t ask why. Suffice it to say, I just got in my own way.  But, what’s really mind-boggling is that this will be my third published book in less than a year.  Of course, with electronic publishing, I guess that isn’t too hard to believe. Technology has made life so much easier...makes me glad I was born in the middle of the twentieth century. I mean, what would I do without my microwave popcorn?? 

Anyway, as I was saying, my new book will be out on Monday, October 15th....the same day my oldest child turns 25!! (Happy Birthday, Adam!) But, what’s different and crazy about this release is....I’m self-publishing it.  Why is that crazy? Because for the longest time, I’ve been against the whole self-publishing thing...mainly because I’m of the old school of thought...if you can’t get a publishing house to consider your work, then it’s not good enough. I even felt the same way about electronic publishers...until I published my novella Her Will His Way.  Of course, even after publishing that I still set my sights on the Big 6 (as they’re known) because I wanted the prestige and respect of the publishing world. But, as much as they gushed over my work, they didn’t believe it was good enough to warrant them printing it out and shipping it to retailers. So, on a whim, I sent my beloved novel, Forget Me Not, to a new online publisher....and, well....I welcome me to the twenty-first century.  I’m very pleased with those results. My novel became one of their highest sellers, especially considering how long it was (83K words as opposed to the 60K preferred by e-readers--according to demographics). So, with those numbers I decided to sell my next book, Dark Obsession, to another online publisher. Those sales didn’t do as well....which is not because the book isn’t good...it’s awesome!...but...well....I won’t go into that...let’s just say, I’m disappointed.  Anyway, despite that, I was still not so sure about doing the whole self-pubbed thing.  I had just finished House of Cards and I knew this novel was going to be my breakout book because it’s that good! I planned to start querying agents and editors, especially after the first chapter took third place in the TARA contest for best romantic suspense.
On the referral of another writer, I submitted it to the senior editor at Harlequin Intrigue. Thankfully, she rejected it. (Talk about a BIG SIGH OF RELIEF!!! I don’t really like their books and never wanted to write for them. Call it a lapse in judgment and desperation that I even submitted.) After that rejection, this same author suggested I self publish. He’d recently published one of his novels and was so very happy with the process he became a poster child for it. Hah  But, still, I wasn’t sure if that was the right move for me because I still had the doubts of self-publishing at the back of my mind.  Then I thought, did I really want to go through the whole submit and wait forever with the big six?  While I was in L.A for the RWA conference this past summer, I got interest from a couple of the editors there (although I doubt they’re sitting at their desk waiting for the email..haha). Then, I spoke to Jayne Ann Krentz (big fan!) during a book-signing and mentioned I was considering self-publishing. She told me it was one of the best moves she made---self-publishing her backlist---then she handed me her card with the name of the company she uses. So....I made up my mind. Self Publishing World....here I come!
Like with any release, I’m both excited and terrified! I know there will be many who love the book but there will also be those who hate it....such is the life of an author. This is my fourth published work so I’m not so neurotic about the critics anymore...to each his own. I will say if you base the book on its cover, you’re in for a thrill!  Special thank you to Robert Gregory Browne for the design!
And, because you’ve made it this far into my blog post, here’s a sneak peek at my book, House of Cards.
The needle wavered at sixty-five miles per hour. The engine gunned and the car shuddered seconds before the tires left the pavement. Metal crunched against metal, sparks igniting across the highway. Jesse squeezed her eyes shut and braced for the impact. Her body bucked against the backseat as the car rolled, the seatbelt strap pinning her against the vinyl and cutting into her neck. Glass shattered against her skull as the car tumbled to a stop in a shallow ravine. Jesse struggled with her seatbelt, fighting to unclasp the latch.  The burning odor of gasoline stung her eyes. 
Outside a shadowed figure stepped forward and crouched beside her door.
“You should have left it alone,” the voice said.
Even through her petrified fear she heard the unmistakable scrape of a match. The figure took a step back and tossed the tiny stick into the car. 
Her scream woke her. 
Jesse bolted up on the sofa, her arms flailing, fighting the restraints of the chenille blanket tangled around her. The soft glow of light from the laptop on the coffee table caught her attention and it took her a moment to realize it had been a dream. She wasn’t that helpless child anymore. She wasn’t trapped in a burning car with her parents. She was at home, in her apartment where she’d lived for the past five years.
She shoved the blanket off and pressed the heel of her hands to her eyes to push back the burning tears. She was safe. She was fine. She was alive. She tried to repeat the mantra but the images from her nightmare continued to play in her head. 
“Damn it.”
After giving herself a moment to steady her pulse she slapped the computer closed and staggered into the kitchen. She didn’t need to look at the clock above the sink to know what time it was. Three o’clock in the morning. Same freaking time every night for the last two weeks.  With a frustrated sigh she yanked open the refrigerator and grabbed a water bottle.  She took a long drink, the cold liquid soothing the rawness of her throat.  Outside lightening flashed, followed by the sonic boom of thunder. She jolted, her heart slamming against her breastbone like a sledgehammer. The dream flashed in her mind. The car tumbling across the highway. Her mother’s terrified screams. The explosion that turned her parent’s flesh to bones and ash. 
Jesse closed her eyes and held her breath, counting against the thump of her pulse. After the accident the doctors had told her she’d lead a normal life; that her injuries, though life threatening at one time, wouldn’t keep her from doing whatever she wanted to do. She slowly exhaled and slid a look at the orange pill bottle on the window sill. They just didn’t say anything about her mind debilitating her.
She took another pull from the bottle, her gaze shifting to the blinking light on the old answering machine buried under a newspaper. The calls she’d ignored earlier. She mentally ran through a list of possible callers–her boss at the paper, a student from her computer research class wanting her notes again, or her friend Amy dying to tell her about her latest date. Most days she enjoyed living vicariously through Amy’s erotic encounters, since Jesse hadn’t had a serious relationship in over three years but, thanks to her nightmare, she was no longer in the mood.
“Whoever you are can wait.” She finished the bottle and tossed it in the recycle bin before leaving the room.
After a hot shower, where she stood for half an hour to let the beating spray massage the tension in her muscles, she poured herself a glass of wine then pressed play on the answering machine. A soft rustling sounded before a voice came on the line.
 “Jesse. Are you there? Pick up. I know you must hate me and I’m sorry. You were right. I should have believed you. I’m so sorry I didn’t listen. Please, pick up the phone. Mierda. Where are you?  I need you. Ay, dios mio, I don't know what to do. Please Jesse, you have to help me. I think he’s going to kill me.”
Look for the book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or ITunes beginning October 15th!
I also wanted to mention, from now until the end of October, I will donate $1.00 of every book sold to the Texas EquuSearch Organization. Just click on the link to learn more about them.

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The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews