Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Update On The Fat Chance Review ...

My last blog post was about the process of submitting Fat Chance to be reviewed over at Bookend 2 Bookend! At the time of that post, I didn't know (so couldn't tell you), when the review would go up or what rating I'd be given ...

And now? I know.

Seriously. I know the rating. I have been received a message from Jessica, the amazing blogger who will be reviewing my book, and she has been perfectly clear about her thoughts on the story.

I also know when the review will go live. Wanna see it when it comes up?

Keep watching ... February 5th, the blog review for Fat Chance, book one of the Kingsley series, will go live over on Bookend 2 Bookend!!

(Update: Bookend 2 Bookend is no longer an active blog site. However, Jessica's review can still be viewed here.)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Upcoming Review!

A few days ago, I caught a lead on Facebook about a blogger who was planning to take on some Indie authors and review their books on her blog. Wildly excited at the possibility and also horribly terrified of the process, I marched across the keyboard to this post, written by Lauren Dawes on her blog, and I entered both of my books in the comments to be considered.

And yesterday I received news of my status - on this post! And the news is ...

I was one of those chosen for review!

The review will be posted by Jessica on her blog! I can't say when yet, but as soon as the details are all ironed out, you can bet I'll be right here all over again, sharing the news with you! In the meantime, if you read and liked (or didn't like?) either of my books, please don't forget to leave reviews!

If you want to take an extra step to let me know if you liked (or hated?) either of my books, please feel free to check out my Goodreads author page. Also, if you haven't clicked the like button on my Facebook page, go on over and make the connection. In the next week or so, I'll be debuting the first designs for my personal stash of prize swag!

(Update: Bookend 2 Bookend is no longer an active blog site. However, Jessica's review can still be viewed here.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Swag.

Swag. ""Stuff we all get."

Yesterday, I spent a lot of time studying up on the whole swag concept.

I read blog posts that brainstormed ideas, and found everything from boring and trite to useful and unique. So, what are people using for swag these days? It seems like if there's a way to customize it and give it to someone, someone is giving it away. There are pens, notebooks, candies, mints, mirrors, and squishy stress balls. You can give away coffee mugs, water cups, post-it notes, posters, bumper stickers, or t-shirts.

In the author scene, the busy little mini-world made up of those (like me) who spend their time back and forth between reading books and writing them, there are bookmarks, cover flats, bookplates, stickers, even temporary tattoos!

But what really got my attention was the idea of trading cards. How many of you collect them, trade them, make them, sell them? Keep them?

How many of you remember them - the Topps craze from earlier days when every kid had boxes and boxes of baseball cards, basketball cards, or football and soccer cards? Or in more recent years, Pokemon cards and things like that?

Would you keep romance trading cards? Would you want to trade them? And what other swag would you want, if you knew that your favorite author was making up a swag prize kit? In the comments, give me your opinions on the subject, and tell me all about your favorite swag!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fat Chance Is Now Available!

Due to the awesome loyalty of the fans on Facebook, Fat Chance, the first book in my brand new Kingsley Series, has released on Amazon Kindle!!


Meet Cassaundra Keaton, an adult orphan raised in the foster system. She's overweight and struggling to survive in a world that makes her feel like she can never fit in. Follow her journey as she learns to trust and love herself, and watch her grow as she finds love. But will an issue from her past rise up to ruin her new life?

Read her story to find out what happens and to watch Cass as she walks an entirely new path in life, the path to her own self-discovery and sense of confidence.

Purchase the Amazon e-book here!

(Update: This book is now FREE! For a glimpse at the most current cover, information about other books in the series, and updated download links for all available markets, please click here.)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Because My Fans Are Awesome ...

As a big thank-you to all the fans working hard toward the early release of Fat Chance (book one of the Kingsley Series), welcome to the third and final excerpt from Cass Keaton's amazing story! In this excerpt, I hope to give you another glimpse at this set of characters I've fallen so in love with: Cassaundra Keaton may not be the most confident woman, but she definitely rose to the occasion of a steamy shower with Drew Kingsley ...

Drew drops my hand, and for a split second, I'm afraid he was just teasing about the shower. Then he shuts the bathroom door, kicks off his shoes, and grins. "Oh no," he says, spreading his arms wide. "I can't seem to undress without help." 
"Ha! You didn't even try!" Heat fills my face. I've never stripped anyone but myself before. 
"And risk injuring myself more?" He shakes his head. "I think I'm going to have to report you to the nursing board, Miss Keaton." 
Just do it. You can't live in fear. 
"Well, we can't have that, now can we? Surely, sir, there must be something I can do to appease your temper," I tease, placing a hand gently on his chest, looking up at him as innocently as possible. 
His breath catches, his eyes widening. "Well, I'm sure if you try really hard, we can think of something." 
It takes us forever to get him out of his shirt, both of us in turn laughing and groaning as we figure out how to get the shirt off without hurting him. Catching sight of the healing incisions on his chest, I look up at him. 
"Can you get those wet?" 
"Yep, sure can. They're glued or something, so I'm good as long as I'm not stressing the glue. Water is fine," he assures me, reaching out to slowly lift the hem of my yoga top. 
"Oh," I whisper, heat beginning to leave my face and pool instead between my thighs, as he steps back with my shirt in his hands, taking in my ugly sport bra, struggling to keep control of my breasts. 
"Does that work?" he asks quietly, lifting my chin and urging me to meet his eyes. 
"The, um, the bra?" I ask stupidly. 
"Yeah. Does it help in your classes? Because it doesn't look comfortable." He reaches toward me again, flicking one of the many hook closures down the front. It pops open easily, leaving the bra with a "v" neck appearance. 
"Um, it helps, some," I answer, blushing as he flicks another hook open. He works his way down the front of the bra, and though the fabric spreads, it doesn't fall away. I swallow, gasping, standing helplessly as he cups my breasts, spreading the bra with his fingers until it suddenly springs free.

Don't forget to check out Excerpt #1, and Excerpt #2 - and, to see more of Cassaundra's journey to confidence and love, keep watching for the release of Fat Chance, book one of the Kingsley Series, coming soon!

(Update - this book is now live! And as if that wasn't enough? It's also FREE! For more information on where to find and download a copy for yourself, click here.)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Only Eight Likes To Go!

The third phase of the little game I've been playing over on Facebook is nearly complete! The goal is to reach 60 likes on my Facebook page, and that will trigger the early release of Fat Chance, Book One of the Kingsley Series - if you'd like to participate in the game, you can click the link above and then click like on my Facebook page.

Another little game we're playing is "Fan of the Week." In this little game, the chosen fan of the week will be publicly recognized for being an active follower of the Facebook page, so come on over to Facebook, click on that like button, and get active on the page by commenting to chat with me!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Fat Chance, Cover Reveal!

The votes are in, and the Facebook fans who voted for an early Fat Chance cover reveal have won the vote! And so, without further ado ...


(Update: This was the original Fat Chance cover - the new cover, along with covers, blurbs, and purchase links for all of the current Kingsley Series novels, can be found here. Be sure to click over and find out how you can now read this book totally FREE!)

The Race Is On!

Yesterday, I posted about a little game I'm playing with the fans on the Facebook page. Part one of the game required people to go click "like" on a Facebook status on my page that said,

Today, I had a reader ask me to release Fat Chance early. So I've been cooking up an early release plan ... but it all depends on you guys! Here's step one ... ten likes on THIS status begins the Fat Chance early release process!!

We are now on stage two of the game, which is to go to my page and vote for what you want next from the Fat Chance release! The vote is on until noon today (eastern time), and the choices are:
  1. a peek at the cover design of the book, or
  2. a third excerpt, to appear here on the blog.
Excerpt #1 and Excerpt #2 are already up, so go vote! After that, take part in step three, which is the final step of the Fat Chance early release game!

What's part three?
Well, part three is fairly simple. What you need to do is go to my Facebook page (linked above) and click that like button. Then share my page to your page and invite all your romance-loving Facebook friends to click that like button, too. Spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, wherever!

When we hit sixty page likes on my Facebook author page, I'll go ahead and trigger the early release of Fat Chance, the first book from my new Kingsley Series!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Fat Chance Excerpt #2

Sneak peek number two (see peek number one here), and not much longer until Fat Chance releases to Amazon Kindle! Thanks to the loyalty and activity of the Facebook page fans, here's a sample of an encounter between Cass and her "frenemy."

"Here we are," he says, washing a plate and handing it over to me to rinse and dry. 
"Mmhmm," I say, drying the plate, wishing I could slap him with it, for all the times when I was young that he made me feel horrible about myself. 
"Washing up all the dishes," he continues, passing me a glass. 
"Do you have a point?" I ask. I leave the glass in the sink, and bunch the little yellow dishtowel on Janet's pretty granite counter. Crossing my arms, I stand firm, though my inner child is still cowering. 
"Just that it's like old times," he chuckles, as if we're old friends. "Cleaning up the mess after the family piggy has her slops." 
"Yep. And just like old times, you're being an insufferable bastard." With that last statement, I leave the glass, and I leave the towel. I leave the kitchen entirely, and I tell Janet that Rick has offered sweetly to finish the kitchen so that I can get home before it's too late. 
I kiss my mama Janet, and I hug my sisters, then I gather my purse and dig out my keys. Making the necessary promises to call when I get home, and swearing that I can't stay overnight because I have to work tomorrow, I peek through the kitchen door one last time. Rick is washing furiously, scrubbing a cookie sheet in what looks like a vicious rage. 
"Thank you so much for doing all that, Ricky," I call sweetly, knowing how much he hates the nickname. "I just love that you thought of my safety so that I could get home early. Have a good week!" 
Walking out of the house, I know that Rick will finish the kitchen alone, and I celebrate my little victory. It's only one day, but for the first time, I didn't cower away from Rick, I didn't let him tell me who I am, or what I'm worth. 
For the first time, with Rick, anyway, I stood up for myself. I'm not thrilled that I had to do it in such an ugly way, and I'm not thrilled that I had to be cruel to myself in order to get the job done. It felt good though, even the nasty things that I said, because I got to watch his eyes grow wide with surprise, and I got to see a glimmer of respect in them.

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Cass's story - she's such a great character, and I'm so proud to have been able to write her story.

(Update - this book is now live! And as if that wasn't enough? It's also FREE! For more information on where to find and download a copy for yourself, click here.)

Change Of Plans?

Today I was talking to one of my readers, and I happened to mention that Fat Chance is finally fully FINISHED. The cover images have been received, reviewed, and approved. The text of the novel itself is read, edited, and approved.

The book is ready to go, two full weeks early! The problem is, I'm not good at waiting. And most readers aren't so great at it either. At least, mine don't seem to be.

And that's why we're playing a little game over on Facebook, letting readers get in on the action! As a result of that game, excerpt #2 is coming up right away (view excerpt #1 here), right here on the blog!! In the meantime, go check out the Facebook link above, click like on that page, and keep playing with us right 'til the release of Fat Chance!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Fat Chance Excerpt #1

With Fat Chance coming out on the first of February, I thought you might like a little sneak peek between the virtual covers of the book. So here's a little tidbit from Cassaundra's first therapy appointment! Enjoy, and don't forget to keep watching for more!

"Let's start with something easy. Tell me about your hobbies." He leans back and settles into the chair, waiting to see what I will say. 
 "I don't really have any," I say, wrinkling my forehead in an attempt to magically call some enthusiasm to my mind. I don't craft, or do a lot of fitness stuff -- obviously -- or anything like that. I don't build, I don't write or sing or anything. 
 "I go to work, and then I go home. I talk on the phone with my sisters." 
 "You have sisters," he smiles. "That's a good start." 
 "Well, they aren't my sisters, really, they're foster sisters. I sort of grew up with them." 
 "They feel like family to you?" he asks. I nod, and he breaks into an easy grin, which makes dimples appear in his cheeks. To my sheer embarrassment this causes something inside of me to click over, like an engine suddenly starting that hasn't been run for a while. Goosebumps race over me, and I pray he can't see my reactions to him, that he can't see how attracted I am. 
 "They count then," he says, and I relax. If he notices my attraction, he has chosen to ignore it. I follow his lead. 
 "They've been good to me," I tell him. "Their mother, too. They, um, they don't know I'm here. I can't tell them I'm crazy." My eyes are in my lap, my fingers helplessly twisting and smoothing the fabric of my dress, the only physical sign of my inner distress. I hadn't realized I was doing it. 
 "Crazy? Oh, you're crazy," he says, as if only noticing for the first time that I must be. "I didn't realize you were crazy, I just thought maybe you were having a hard time and needing some coaching. Crazy, though, is very serious." 
 "Thank you," I say to him. My voice is cool but my face is growing more heated by the second. "Did they teach you how to mock your patients in medical school? Or is that just a little freebie you throw in?" 
 "I didn't mean to mock," he chuckles, raising my temper another notch. Briefly, I wonder how much trouble I'll get in if I throw something at him. There's a nice, weighty candle in a glass jar, sitting lonesome on the end table beside me. I wonder if I could throw it far enough; it looks heavy. On the table at the other end of the couch, there is a vase of flowers; this is heavier than the candle. Candle it is, then.

(Update - check out a second excerpt from this book here. Also, Fat Chance is now live! And as if that wasn't enough? It's also FREE! For more information on where to find and download a copy for yourself, click here.)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Interview with Brenna O'Connor, From To Love A Selkie

Sitting here, looking into the blue eyes of Brenna O'Connor, I remember the bits and pieces of her story, pieces that I learned myself through the voice of Annie Jacobs. As we talk about Annie, Brenna is once again touched by the pain of grief and the shock of loss. When she is ready, we begin.

Brandi; "What was it like for you, moving to America and then experiencing such loss when your husband died?"

Brenna; "It was exciting, and dramatic, and just totally crazy. Thomas had a lot to teach me, and even though I miss Ireland terribly, I love it here in Bar Harbor. I miss him, though. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be able to move past the grief."

Brandi; "You were very proud of him, weren't you?"

Brenna; "Oh, I was. He was like an old fashioned hero; giving up so much of his time and his life to help those in need. I mean, he loved the travel and the adventure, mucking through wild countries and learning all the new customs. But he lived for the sick; it was just who he was. And then just suddenly, he was gone. I'm still very proud of his memory; he was my best friend."

Brandi; "Was it hard for you to reach out of the grief and start the friendship between yourself and Annie Jacobs?"

Brenna; "It was. I remember being terrified she'd think I was insane, reaching out to a perfect stranger like that. And then to find she was a famous author; it would have been so easy for her to brush me off as a wild fan playing pretend or something, you know? But she didn't, she was kind and easy going. It was Annie who made the friendship, not me."

Brandi; "What's it like, being friends with her?"

Brenna; "She is an amazing person to be friends with, open and funny, smart and energetic. She's always up for a talk, always willing to be there for me, right from the beginning. Meeting Annie was like suddenly finding out I'd had a sister I hadn't known about."

Brandi; "What about Malik?"

Brenna; "Oh, he's really something. That dark hair, and his eyes ... like gorgeous little pools. You could just fall right in; he's mesmerizing. And he loves Annie so deeply. Honestly, I worried things might be too fast - but watching them together, I was just so happy for her. He stepped up right from the beginning, to show her that he wanted to be there for her, to be someone she could depend on. And I loved that for her, after the way things had gone in her divorce."

Brandi; "What about the whole Selkie thing? What was it like for you, knowing what he was?"

Brenna; "You know, I really can't say much, other than how odd it was for something like that to happen. We always think extraordinary things can only happen to other people, and there he was, fresh from the ocean, so to speak, and so adoring of Annie."



To find out if Annie and Malik had their happy ending, or if they followed a long line of tragic legends, go and read their story, To Love A Selkie - now available for Kindle on my Amazon Author page. For more information, to find out about new releases, and for more interaction with me, make sure to "like" me on Facebook!

Edited to add: To Love A Selkie is no longer available for sale. TLAS has now been absorbed into Selkie, the first book in the Selkie Trilogy.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Fat Chance, Coming February 1, 2013


Meet Cassaundra Keaton, an adult orphan raised in the foster system. She's overweight and struggling to survive in a world that makes her feel like she can never fit in. Follow her journey as she learns to trust and love herself, and watch her grow as she finds new love. But will an issue from her past come back to ruin her new life?

Book one of the brand new Kingsley Series is due to release on February first!

Stay tuned for excerpts and other information to come as the release day draws near. Also keep watching for a sneak peek at the book cover - and don't forget to find me on facebook.
REAL CHARACTERS. HONEST LOVE. BRANDI KENNEDY BOOKS.