Christmas Reviews or The Evil Empire? Which Would You Face?

Christmas at my house means Star Wars. This year we had Star Wars coffee mugs, t-shirts from Vader and more video games than I can count. We even had Star Wars hot chocolate. Scout Son sagely informed me that there are only three Star Wars games that we do not currently own. He wasn’t asking for them, mind you, he’s analytical. He knows these things and feels the need to share.

Christmas came for me when my daughter got an Amazon gift card. After all the gifts were open, she went to the computer to carefully consider her purchases. Funny how when it’s their money the kids have to think about what they’re buying. When it’s my money, it’s how fast can we get the stuff into the cart.

So, she’s carefully shopping. Except for one thing. When she opened up our Amazon account, she looked at me and said, “Mom, can I buy your book?”

Merry Christmas to me! My kid wants to buy my book! Umm…hmm… My daughter wants to read my book?

Don’t get me wrong. I know she reads romance novels, and I’m fine with it. But now she’s going to read the one I wrote. That just seems like it’s skating on the line of Too Much Information. But it was so sweet, I couldn’t say no.

Luckily, Snarky Daughter reads about five books at a time, so there’s a really good chance I’ll never hear about this again. And it helps my sales numbers. Heaven help me if she decides to review it. Worse, what if it doesn’t hold up? What if she doesn’t like it?

Have I mentioned that writers are neurotic? Yes, it takes guts to put our books out there for people to read. But the reality is, once it’s out there, we can sort of ignore its existence and just accept the checks when they come in. If we don’t think about the fact that people are reading the books, we can get through the day.

On Christmas Eve, I got the email from Amazon that someone had reviewed The Heiress and Her Fake Fiancé. Remember that feeling you got in school when your teacher handed back the big assignment, but you hadn’t looked at the grade yet? Multiply that by 1,000 and you’ve got what a writer feels when they get a review.

I got the email in the middle of canceling a credit card, baking cookies, and last-minute wrapping. In the middle of all the holiday hoopla, I was not prepared to face a review. Who am I kidding? In the middle of winning the lottery I wouldn’t be prepared to face a review.

Please have it be someone I know. Please have it be someone I know…

Armed with a Hot Buttered Rum, I clicked on the link. Paranormal romance author, Regan Black, reviewed my book. I looked at the stars. Woo-hoo! A five-star review! And with that, I closed the computer and went back to making cookies. No, I didn’t read it right then. I couldn’t. Seriously, I had about a million more packages to wrap, and fingers to burn making pralines (another story) before I could go to bed and hope the reindeer dancing on the roof didn’t wake me up.

I did finally face the review, which is lovely, by the way. Even knowing it was going to be good, I still had pralines in hand. You never know when you’re going to need them! Because facing Darth Vader is easier than facing a review.

I should know. We face him daily, thanks to Santa.

Happy Holidays!


Six Shopping Days Left Until Sanity Returns

Six shopping days left. I think I’m done. Having said that, four cousins and a kid I have never met will appear, needing some sort of gift. But right now, I almost feel like I’ve got the holidays under control.


Never mind that there’s frosting and wrapping paper stuck to my hair. Cakes have been baked. Irish Cream Truffles are done, just waiting to be packaged each night and dropped off with the neighbors. All that’s left is baking cookies with the kids… and wrapping the last of the presents. Which would be all the easier if Amazon would deliver the last of the gifts.

There was a nasty rumor from the USPS that they’d be on my doorstep sometime this afternoon. These are the same people who tell me I can send flat rate packages from my door, but apparently only if I live in a cottage, because I can’t do it here. And though I have searched the yard, the garage and even *gasp* the mailbox, there is no package to be found. These are also the people who ran out of stamps. I kid you not. Out of stamps.

I can’t complain too much about that because without the stamps there’s really no reason to get on those Christmas cards tonight. Hey, last year the annual update became a Valentine’s Day letter, but I did get it out.

So tonight I am taking a break. Peace on Earth. Good will to men, women and children. All of which will be had if I relax and enjoy the twinkling lights on my tree, enjoy a cup of cocoa and play Lego Star Wars with Scout Son.

Tomorrow I will add photos to the letter and start addressing envelopes. Maybe the Post Office will even get stamps and find the missing Christmas present that they logged in to our post office on Saturday. But when they wonder why they’re going bankrupt, I will point to days like today. While singing the 12 Days of Christmas in line at UPS.

Shameless Holiday Joy Moment: If you haven’t heard them and need a laugh, YouTube Straight No Chaser and listen to Christmas Can-Can or their rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas. I laughed so hard I almost had to pull the car off the road.

Merry, merry!


The Heiress and Her Fake Fiancé is available now!

When it came time to announce that The Heiress and Her Fake Fiancé was available online, I had it in my head that I was going to be all business. *snort*

But the reality is, I’m in my living room today doing a Snoopy Happy Dance because three people bought the book before I could announce that it was for sale. My book’s for sale! My book’s for sale!

Better yet? I’ve checked with everyone who knew the book was floating out there, and they haven’t bought it yet! So real people are buying it. Not my mom (which would have been pretty impressive giving she passed away a few years ago). Not my critique partner or my best friend. Strangers are buying my book!

Yeah, the ‘all business’ thing is totally over-rated. Seeing my book available on Amazon and Smashwords is a dream come true. So, I’m happy dancing with a glass of wine. Good news for me; dangerous situation for the carpet.

In case you hadn’t pieced it together yet, my book is out there. You can actually go out and buy it today for $.99. It would make a great gift for the romance reader in your life. Don’t think you know any? Did you know that 7 out of 10 genre fiction book sales is a romance novel?

Yeah, someone’s going to call me on that stat, so I’ll just admit right now that it’s an old one from Romance Writers of America. But it was accurate a few years ago (the last time I checked), and it’s stuck in my head and people are always amazed by it. Don’t be. If you think you don’t know people who read romance, you’re wrong. Everybody loves a Happily Ever After.

I’ve had a lot of people ask about Smashwords and what it is. It’s a one-stop shop for most e-reader formats. It gets the book into all the major markets (Apple,, etc). You’ll see it popping up in those places over the next week, but in the meantime, if you can’t wait to read The Heiress and Her Fake Fiancé — or you just want to improve my sales numbers — you can go to and choose your download format. It’s also available at Amazon.

Don’t have an ereader or smart phone? Well, first ask for one/both for Christmas. Yes, pages are nice. You know what’s nicer? Having all your books with you when you travel! I never thought I’d be a convert, but the last four books I read, I read on my phone or Kindle. But, if you’re not quite ready to make that jump, you can download a PDF version to read on your computer. After you send your letter to Santa about a reader or phone.

Admittedly, having 24/7 instant access to a bookstore is not a good thing for me. Kind of like dropping me in the middle of See’s Candies with a credit card. Soooo bad. But I will never be a victim of a crappy airport book selection again.

Now I have to stop happy dancing, and get back to gift wrapping, chocolate making, cookie baking, Christmas card writing… oh yeah, and working on the next book!

I hope you all enjoy The Heiress and Her Fake Fiancé as much as I enjoyed writing it.