CHOCOLATE FONDUE giveaway announcement


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I’ve listed a giveaway (two copies) of CHOCOLATE FONDUE, the sequel to my début novel, CHOCOLATE FOR BREAKFAST, on Goodreads. If you don’t know about Goodreads, it’s the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. Their mission is to help people find and share books they love.

Just click here and you’ll be taken to the Goodreads page, where you can sign up to win one of two signed paperbacks!

Yes, if you’re wondering, my days have been filled lately with book marketing and promotion. It’s not my favorite thing, but it’s necessary to get the book noticed outside my circle of friends and family (aka my loyal readers and reviewers!). Last week I sent a copy of the book to the Hotel Walter in Lugano, Switzerland (the hotel is mentioned in the book), and I’ll be sending copies of both books to the Hotel de la Rose in Fribourg. Meanwhile, I’ve had some interest from a couple of book clubs, and will be appearing on three blogs this month.

I’ve begun my third novel – which has absolutely nothing to do with Switzerland or chocolate! – but the challenge I’ve found lately is writing darker passages when my mood is light and optimistic. After all, it’s spring, we’ve had gorgeous weather, everything is blooming all around me – and I’m struggling to write passages that are dismal and ominous. Perhaps a couple of rainy days this week will help.

To Be Free or Not?


It wasn’t an easy decision. Should I use some of the free days allotted to me by being in the Kindle Select (exclusive to Amazon) program for 90 days? That’s one of the benefits, if you call it that. Five free days to give away your book to whoever wants it.

One half of me thought, ‘I worked so hard on this book, spent a lot of money on editing, formatting, and besides, this is my full-time job now. I haven’t had a paycheck in over a year – why would I want to give away something I’d worked so hard to create and perfect?’

The other half said, ‘But the purpose of writing a book is for that book to be read, by as many people as possible. So even if you have to give it away, you’ll gain more exposure, and maybe (maybe!) those readers, if they like this book, will want to read your next novel.’

This past month was heady – because a lot of friends and family members downloaded my book and provided wonderfully positive feedback. They posted terrific reviews on Amazon. They shared the link with their own friends and helped me to promote it. Even some strangers let me know how much they liked it. It feels pretty good!

But now that we’re past the first month, it’s time to get this book noticed by people who don’t know me. So I’m on board with the free promotion, for today and tomorrow. If you haven’t had the chance to read “Chocolate for Breakfast” yet, here’s a great opportunity! If you had, you can gift it to someone you know.

Get it here: http://www.amazon.com/Chocolate-for-Breakfast-ebook/dp/B008UGBUIW

Pre-Launch of My First Novel


For nearly a year now, I’ve been working on my first novel, and it’s almost ready for publication.  I finished it!  It just needs to be formatted for e-readers.

I’ve decided to self-publish, and to have a digital version only.  Why?  Well, a lot of people now have a Kindle, or Nook, or iPad.  And if they don’t, they still can read a digital version of my book on a computer.  I’m self-publishing, meaning I format the manuscript, create the book cover, write the bio, and do all the marketing.  I chose this after a year of reading posts by authors and publishers, understanding that the publishing world today is so different than it was thirty years ago (when I was dreaming about a career as a writer), and, if I am to be honest, not wanting to spend months or years sending electronic queries to publishing houses, waiting for replies (rejections), when I can get my work out there.  I don’t believe that traditional publishing is validation.

Look, I don’t know who will read “Chocolate for Breakfast.”  I know some of my friends will.  But I didn’t write it to make a lot of money.  I wrote it because I love to write.  Whether it’s these weekly blog posts (or daily last April during the “A to Z Blog Challenge”) or writing and rewriting my first novel, I’m doing what I love.  I hired an editor to, well, to edit, to polish the manuscript, and I believe it’s the best it can be.  I’ve built my platform through Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and, thanks to the fabulous Tonya Kappes (http://tonyakappes.blogspot.com/), I’ve learned how to market.

One thing Tonya suggested was to create a Pinterest board for my book.  Are you familiar with Pinterest?  I joined months ago, put up some recipes, some of the places I’ve traveled to, but never really got into it.  To me, it seemed better suited for a bride-to-be or a home decorator.  But I had a lot of fun creating a board for “Chocolate for Breakfast.”  I found pictures of places relevant in the book.  Then I thought about who should be cast in the movie version (hey, a girl can dream!), so I posted photos of some of the people I imagined in the roles of Timmy, Karl, Hanna.  Now, you can look at the board http://pinterest.com/marthari/chocolate-for-breakfast/ and have an idea about the book, even before it’s out.

Hoping for a July 3rd launch date, but a lot of it depends on the formatting and getting it all ready for Amazon.  I’ll be back here to shout when it’s ready!