Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Cover Reveal - A Better Promise

When I first started writing romance, I wrote only Inspirational Romances. I really believed that's what I wanted to do the rest of my life. I sent off my manuscripts and didn't get any contracts. I finally realised I had a tendency to get a bit preachy in my books. So, I glutted myself on some gorgeous Harlequin Love Inspired romances. None of them were preachy. They had soft, gentle romances, some even with spunky heroines, all learning something about their faith along the way. I knew my books just didn't do that. So I branched out into sweet, contemporary. Then at least I wouldn't resort to preaching. That's when my breakthrough came, and I knew I'd found the sweet spot for my writing.

One of my inspirational romances sat in my computer unused. I did put it on Amazon kindle for a while, but it got bad reviews - probably all that preachiness. So I took it off and left it. But the book didn't stop whispering to me - I have a message for the world. Send me out there. I struggled with it. Didn't think the book could do it. Years later, several contracts later, I opened it up again and edited it armed with all the knowledge I'd gained from working with seasoned editors. I asked a beta reader to check if it had any merit. She said it had a chance. So I sent it off to Decadent Publishing as Book 3 of The Creators series after tweaking it even more. I was surprised and pleased to get a contract. Still nervous. Even when I was assigned a wonderful editor with DP to content edit my book, I actually told her about my insecurities about the book, lol. Deadra was a gem and helped polish it up, assuring me it was fine.

Anyway, A Better Promise, which was originally called "A Vow to Keep" now has a cover. And a stunning one.

Blurb (unedited):

When Braedon hires shy and serious Alicia as secretary in his furniture business, he falls for her instantly. Alicia admires Braedon for his kindness and warms up to him despite her decision not to. Soon her feelings toward him run deeper than friendship. But Alicia has plans to enter the mission field and follow her vow to remain single the rest of her life. When she takes up an offer to help out teaching the Basotho teenagers in Lesotho, things don’t go as smoothly as she hoped. Braedon soon gets wind of her troubles and joins her for a few months to assist. The managers quit suddenly, leaving Braedon and Alicia to run the mission. Their friendship deepens and love grows, but will Alicia open up her heart to love or hold fast to her childhood pledge?

Friday, January 2, 2015

Recap and Launch

Well, 2014 is done and dusted.

I heard from several family members and friends that 2014 was a hard year. Every year seems to have its challenges, and I think, for many, 2014, stepped it up. It wasn't without its challenges for me, but it also had some good things.

Here's what I learnt in 2014:

1. The more books you have contracted, the more editing you will have to do and the more promo you will have to pay for.

2. Editing is hard work. So is promo.

3. Dieting isn't good in any form. I'm being serious. I went on the paleo diet for two and a half years and got sick from it. I didn't realise my thyroid problems were connected to what I was eating until one day, in desperation, I broke the diet. I haven't looked back. I feel amazing (except for today with this ridiculous heat wave.) When we eat a balanced, whole food diet and follow the principles of intuitive eating - eating what our bodies crave, we'll be healthy. I've put on weight since I broke the diet, and I'm really, really glad I kept my bigger clothes in case. Else I would be spending a lot on a new wardrobe. I'm learning to love my body even if it's not perfect. I'm being kind to it - accepting my shape and accepting that I need to eat carbs to be healthy. As nice and skinny as I looked while on the diet, I couldn't sustain it long term.

4. I've gone through a lot of struggles with my faith and the religion of my childhood. I've come back to believing just about what I did believe in the beginning with a few tweaks here and there. I'm a bit sad that my family don't believe the same as me, and I'm trying to let go and not "convert" them. Every now and again, an ugly doubt rears its monster head at me. I don't think I'm totally out of the woods yet. Will I ever be?

5. I learnt a lot about writing, but I don't, unfortunately, feel like I've arrived. In fact, I feel a lot of people have had more success than me after 1, 2, or even 5 books out. I have about 8 books out, but I'm still waiting for that breakthrough. I'll keep on writing though. And learning to do it better.

6. I've learnt that no publishing route is perfect and problem free, but we need to find what works for us - most of the time. We can't follow what others do because it worked for them. Everyone's journey is unique.

2015 awaits. Today, I went for my Friday walk and pondered the year ahead. I don't know why, but standing at the brink of a new year always makes me kind of nervous. This time, I had those troubled thoughts come - what if I can't write anymore books? What if the muse has gone? A silly thought really because I've often had it, but still written more books.

I have several projects planned for the year. I want to finish The Album series. That means three more books to write. I still have to get that contract for the first book and it's busy going through some beta reads first before I send it off.

Other than that, nothing else planned yet. Phew, I have to get my creative juices in gear, don't I?

What do you have planned for 2015? What did you learn from 2014?

My book, Cosmetic Heart, was set during New Year. I'd love to offer free PDF copies to anyone who'd like to review it for me. Just comment on the blog with your email address.

Happy 2015! May the muse be your bloodhound.