Saturday, July 30, 2011

My Summer Reads

Open Country-Kaki Warner
How do you forgive a brother's betrayal? How far do you go to protect the family you love? Hank and Molly find out in OPEN COUNTRY, Book II of the 1870s family saga, the Blood Rose Trilogy.
~*~"This is the first book I've read by Kaki Warner, and I was enchanted. Her heroine, Molly McFarlane is desperate and is forced to flee with her late sister's children, while outrunning the relentless tracker the children's vicious stepfather has set on their trail. With no other options, she marries a man badly injured in a train derailment, assuming when he dies, the railroad settlement will provide the money they need to keep moving West.
But there is one small problem. The man doesn't die.
Any romance reader will love this story. It has a little of everything in it, and is written in a pleasing way that makes the reader see the scenes as if they were a movie." Celia

Cutting for Stone-Abraham Verghess
Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon. Orphaned by their mother’s death and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution.
~*~"I will admit, this hefty 547-page novel is a bit of a trial to read. I had to be patient, because once I began reading, I could not stop. The only criticism I have are the long passages of intense surgery, with complete details. Although I'm fine with this sort of thing, some may not be. But if you read one literary novel this year that's on the NY Times Best Seller list, make it this one." Celia

The Bikini Car Wash-Pamela Morsi
After Andrea Wolkowicz abandons corporate life to help care for her twin sister, she quickly wears out the want ads in their rust-belt hometown. Time to be her own boss.
Every mogul knows the best idea is an old idea with a new twist. So Andi proudly revives her father's business: an old-fashioned car wash...staffed entirely by bikini-clad women. That ought to get traffic--and blood--flowing on Grosvenor Street!
~*~"First, I'll say that Pamela Morsi is one of my all-time favorite authors. I've read most of her books. Each one carries a certain thread, so when I saw this book cover I thought, "Nope. This won't be like her others." Do I ever judge a book by its cover?" Yes, obviously. But let me assure you this story is a very good Pamela Morsi book. Please read it—it's not exactly what you think." Celia

This Time Forever-Linda Swift
Against his family's wishes Philip Burke volunteers to defend the Union and instead becomes a prisoner of war, bartering his medical expertise to remain out of prison.
When the Union Army invades Tennessee, Clarissa Wakefield's antebellum mansion becomes a Confederate hospital. Philip is placed in charge and against propriety she stays on and helps nurse the wounded while her Confederate soldier husband is elsewhere.
~*~"This is a classic Linda Swift novel filled with the passions of love and war. You may be thinking of Gone with the Wind, and you would be correct making the comparison. While this novel is different on most levels, they do share the horrors of war and the intense yearning for home. This Time Forever is a LASR Five Star Book of the Week winner." Celia

A Western Saga Anthology
Four romance stories of the American West:
Every Girl's Dream by Cheryl Pierson
Along Came Will by Celia Yeary
Storm Riders by Karen Michelle Nutt
Safe Hands by Cindy Carrier
~*~"Since I have a story in the Anthology, of course I read the anthology. Each story centers on family descendent of the early McTavish clan. For quick, fun, summertime reading, get this one in eBook or print." Celia

2011 Summer Collection
Six stories of romance by six talented authors to enhance your reading pleasure and stir your passions:
Addie and the Gunslinger-Celia Yeary
The Tripany of Calazar and Trulene-Charlotte Raby
Distracted-Rita Hestand
The Test of Time-Kate Kindle
The Grey Queen and the Silver King-Christine E. Schulze
One Magic Night-Cheryl Pierson
~*~"This anthology contains six short stories—a real bargain! The genres are mixed in this book, giving you a sample story by six different authors who write different genres. So, please add this one, also to your list. It's a lot of fun to read." Celia

Summer at Willow Lake-Susan Wiggs
Real estate expert Olivia Bellamy reluctantly trades a trendy Manhattan summer for her family's old resort camp in the Catskills. A posh resort in its heyday, the camp is now in disarray and Olivia is forced to hire contractor Connor Davis—a still-smoldering flame from her own summers at camp.
~*~ "Susan Wiggs is another favorite author. This one is the first—I believe—of the Willow Lake Series. I've never been disappointed in any of her stories. If you haven't tried her, this is a good first read." Celia

His Leading Lady-Paula Martin
Jess Harper’s predictable life is turned upside down when she discovers that Lora, her twin sister, has disappeared. It’s just a week before rehearsals are due to start for a new West End musical in which Lora has the lead role. Jess decides to pose as her sister in order to save Lora's career.
~*~"This romance begins slowly, lulling the reader into thinking she knows what will happen. I can say, however, that feeling is short-lived when the action and mystery picks up. The characters are sophisticated, and this is a novel that I call "a grown-up story," complete with tension and passion running high. Try it—you'll like it." Celia

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas

Friday, July 15, 2011

How Do We Effectively Promote? Or...Let's Talk About Tags on Amazon

This summer, I've read no less than a dozen articles about promoting yourself and your book. Most of the articles have been very good, listing concise ways to accomplish the one important goal when your book has a release date. These articles appeal to me just as how-to article always have. I'm a self-learner.

I believe I have all the steps memorized. Yet, I find myself turning into a lackadaisical author who loves to write, sign contracts, edit (yes, I like the editing process—if I have a nice editor who doesn't scold me), see a book cover for the first time, but then….the difficult part stares me in the face.

How do I promote this book? As of this month, I now have eleven releases scattered among six publishers. Some have done fairly well; others seem to sit there. I admit, like most of us, that I have my favorites, those I wish more and more readers would find.
In addition to the usual website, blog, FB, Twitter, LinkdIn, various Yahoo loops, and a few .ning loops, there are numerous tricks to the trade that I vaguely understand, but I don't have the energy to implement them.

For example, Tagging on Amazon: Theoretically, "tags" help sell our books. I've read explanations by other authors, and always wonder…"exactly how does this work?" Here is Amazon's explanation about tags:

TAGS: Find other items with similar qualities: Are you a photography enthusiast? Find a photography book that you love and tag it with the category "photography book." Click on the "photography book" tag you created and see other items that were tagged similarly. Because people's tags are (by default) visible to others, a great effect of tagging is that you can navigate among items through other people's tags. Add a tag and check out what other items people have tagged as "robot" or "gardening" or "chocolate." Also, you can assign as many tags as you wish to each product, so tag away!

I was under the impression that the more your friends tag your books, the higher your book rises in the "ranking,"--do they mean "numbering?"-- thereby making it easier to find. Hmmm. I'm not sure about that. The process seems nebulous and bewildering. And this explanation from Amazon does not mention repeating one tag many times.

With my scientific background put to use, I tested this phenomenon the best I could, and this is what I learned:

Suppose I was a customer looking for Western Historical Romances. Using Books/Kindle Store, I would type in "Western Historical Romances." Up pops a list of hundreds of WHR novels in numerical order. How does a book get a number? By the number of times WHR has been clicked on the tags? No, I don't think so.

First, there are Rankings on your Buy page for each book as to where it stands among the millions of books on Amazon. I usually just look at the Kindle books because for romance books, more are sold for the Kindle than the prints. This ranking will appear as something like #1000 in the Kindle store.

Then there are numbered lists for every category imaginable. Examples: (I left out the author's name)

Category: Western Historical Romances:
1. Wild Montana Sky Series-Ranked #315 in Kindle Store (on this buy page, WHR was clicked 9 times)
2. Her Montana Man-Ranked #22,004 in Kindle Store (on this Buy page, WHR was clicked 0 times—in fact, this book had no tags at all)
3. Widow Woman-Ranked #7,548 in Kindle Store (on this Buy page, WHR was clicked hundred over a hundred times.)
(This list contained about 500+ WHR.)

So for this category, the numbers tell a story: Her Montana Man, had No Tags At All, not even for WHR, yet it is numbered one above Widow Woman that had WHR clicked over a hundred times. If tagging helps, then shouldn't Widow Woman be above Her Montana Man? In fact, shouldn't Widow Woman be in the Number 1 position under Western Historical Romances?

Why am I bringing this up? For the simple reason that I feel somewhat amiss because I don't tag books unless I'm on that Buy page for some other reason and I think of it. The practice seems time-consuming, and unless someone tells me otherwise, I just don't believe it's so necessary.

If anyone sees a flaw in my logic, please point it out.

If anyone understands how a novel is assigned a number under a category, please point it out.

What is your position or belief about Tags on Amazon?

Thank you—
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas

Saturday, July 9, 2011



What is the origin of this term? I've heard this quotation more in the last few years than I ever have. What does this actually mean? I found definitions such as these:
"Full of big talk but lacking action."
"Talking like one is more important than one is."
"High-falootin' goals."
"I aim to be rich and a big shot."

I kept searching and believe I have found the original source:
An old Texas gal and her guy are in Paris and she is sort of teasing him/flirting with him, calling him a cowboy (which he isn't) and saying he's "all hat and no cattle," which may or may not teasingly mean that he's a pseudo-cowboy or low-level cowboy in the cowboy pecking order.

This term came to me as I watched the local news here...yep, in Texas. A sheriff was in front of a microphone explaining a break-in assault, but I became more intrigued by his Western wear, especially his hat. Now, let me say that wearing cowboy or Western hats in Texas is as common as grass burs so, I have no quarrel with the practice. Texas Rangers have always worn the Western hat since the mid-1800's, and they do today, even though they drive cars or pickups. (Note: in the open western part of the state, some law enforcement members drive pickups.)

I rather like a man in boots, jeans, and a cowboy hat, even though he might not be a rancher or ride a horse. It's only a manner of dress, when one gets down to it.

Did any of you see the photo of Prince William in Calgary in his white cowboy hat? I thought he looked so handsome! He'd pulled it over his forehead a little, and he could have been a hero on the cover of a Western romance novel.

These are some of my favorites.
 Now I've had my fun today. Most of the time, I've worked on something either inside or outside the house, so to entertain myself, I Googled "Men in Cowboy Hats."
What do you think of my choices?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy Reading for Your 4th of July Holiday!

GREETINGS! I offer three new releases for you. I hope you see something you'd like to read.
Happy 4th of July!
Blurb: The Stars At Night
New Yorker Kate Norwood meets Jesse McCoy on her trip to Texas with her young nephew. She learns her plan to leave Nicky with his grandmother -- Jesse’s mother -- is hopeless, and faced with the improbable prospect of rearing the boy herself, she turns to Jesse for help. Kate and Jesse bond easily, but problems arise which may drive them apart and leave the child with the wrong person. With hearts full of love and hope, they work together find the answers they need.
Desert Breeze Publishing  

Heart of a Hero-Blurb
Matt Carrington escapes a terrorists’ prison while in the Army, but he has difficulty escaping the trappings of a demanding fiancĂ© and his own parents. To get away to think, he meets pretty, girl-next-door Lauren Delaney, the kind of woman he desires. But his fiancĂ© and his parents have other plans, and they determine to have their way—no matter what Matt wants.

Lauren Delaney is an independent young woman who quickly befriends the soldier hero who comes to town. Knowing he has another life in Dallas, she holds a secret, too. But she pretends neither have a problem in order to have the summer with him.

During the long hot months, a hurricane almost destroys the town. Matt and Lauren work with a team to save as many residents as they can, and in the process fall deeply in love. When the danger is past, the two lovers suffer from their own lies and misunderstandings. Can they find peace and happiness without hurting others?
LINK: Available July 4

Blurb: Angel and the Cowboy
He needs a wife…

Because the sheriff summons him, U.S. Marshal Max Garrison rides to town. He resents learning he must supervise a young man just out of prison who will work at his ranch for a time. But when he meets the beautiful young woman who owns the teashop, he knows his trip is not wasted. Max decides she's the one for him.

She faces another lonely Christmas…

Daniella Sommers lives alone above the book and teashop her English parents left her. When U.S. Marshal Max Garrison walks in and asks for tea, she almost laughs. Soon, her merriment turns to hope. Then Daniella learns a shocking truth about herself. If she reveals her past, will Max still love her?

Christmas is near, the time for miracles and surprises. Will the message of the season bring Max and Daniella the best gift of all?
LINK: This is a short story available for 99 cents.

Thank you and may you have a wonderful holiday weekend.
Happy Reading!
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas