Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Fat Chance Is Getting Reviewed!

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.

I know the rating. I have been spoken to by Jessica, the amazing blogger who will be reviewing my book, and she has been perfectly clear about what her thoughts are on the book.

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!!

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 also through personal contact, which is an entirely other post. Anywho, the news is that ...

I was one of those chosen for review! The review will be posted by Jessica on her blog, Bookend 2 Bookend. 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 on Amazon, and if you want to take an extra step to let your opinion be known, check me out on goodreads.com at my author page. Also, if you haven't clicked "like" on my facebook page, go on over and do that ASAP, because in the next week or so, I'll be debuting the first designs for my personal stash of prize swag, designed by my awesome graphic designer, Heidi Hoffmann! These little bits of awesome swag will be used as prizes for game winners, exclusive to the facebook page, so come on over and play!

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 to 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!

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 the book! In this excerpt, I've opened the window to give you another glimpse between the virtual covers. Cassaundra Keaton may not be the most confident woman, but she definitely rose to the occasion of a steamy shower with Andrew 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!

Want to see more of Cassaundra's journey to confidence and love? Keep watching for more information on the release of Fat Chance, book one of the Kingsley Series, coming to an Amazon Kindle near you!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

8 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 the 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 in the paragraph above and then click like, or simply click like in the facebook like box on the upper right of this page.

Another little game we're playing is "Fan of the Week", where the chosen fan of the week will be publicly recognized for being an active member of the facebook page! At a later date, at some as-yet un-chosen like number, this weekly fan will be awarded some sort of swag. So come on over to facebook, click like, get active on the page, and stay tuned for more fun as the page grows!

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 ...


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: a peek at the cover design of the book, or a third excerpt, to appear here, on the blog. Excerpt #1 and Excerpt #2 are already up! So go vote, and then take part in step three, which is the final step of the early release game!

What's part three? Well, part three is fairly simple. What you need to do is go to my page and click like. Then share my page to your page and invite all your romance-loving facebook friends to click like too. Spread the word on facebook, twitter, your blog, wherever, and 60 page likes on my facebook author page, will 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, 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.

Change Of Plans?

Today, I was talking to one of my readers, and happened to mention that Fat Chance is 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 aren't.

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, click like on the page, and keep playing with us right till 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.

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.

I wait patiently until she gathers herself for the interview, drying the tears that sparkle in the red of her lashes, clearing a wet streak from the freckled skin of her cheek. 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 do miss him, though, terribly. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be able to move past the grief."

Brandi; "I'm sure you will someday. Love has a way of finding us when we least expect it. Was it hard for you to move into the lighthouse alone, with all the dreams of what it would have been like to do it all with your husband Thomas?"

Brenna; "Well, we'll see. Right now, I'm not really looking, since I stay so busy with the lighthouse, and taking care of Lugus is my thing right now. We hike a lot these days, and I think of Annie sometimes. She would have loved Thomas; she always loved everything I told her about him. She was always willing to listen to my stories."

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 travels, 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 was it like, being friends with her?"

Brenna; "She was an amazing person to be friends with, open and funny, smart and energetic. She was 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. I still have the plaque she gave me, hanging in the same spot in the lighthouse."

Brandi; "What about Malik?"

Brenna; "He was really something. That dark hair, and his eyes were like these little pools. You could just fall right in; he was mesmerizing. And he loved Annie. 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 for her in the 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. He took amazing care of her when she came down sick, and I think after that kind of intimacy, they just couldn't bear to be apart."

Brandi; "What did you know about the Selkie stories, before all this happened?"

Brenna; "Well, I had known a lot at one time, but then when I started seeing little things about Malik that made me wonder, then Annie and I started researching a bit more, trying to being back things that I had forgotten. There are lots of stories about Selkie women, rising up from the sea to enchant men, but we couldn't really find much about Selkie men, to be honest. And what we could find, well, the things we found we were usually emotional and somewhat terrifying for Annie to see. That was a hard time for her."

Brandi; "Why was it so hard?"

Brenna; "Well, we couldn't find any stories with happy endings. So we just crossed our fingers and hoped that Annie and Malik would get one."

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

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

***

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?

***

Stay tuned, right here, for excerpts to come as the release day draws near. Also, keep watching for a sneak peek at the cover! Don't forget to find me on facebook too, for even more!
REAL CHARACTERS. HONEST LOVE. BRANDI KENNEDY BOOKS.