Cover Reveal- A SHINE THAT DEFIES THE DARK by Jodi Gallegos

A Shine That Defies The Dark

by Jodi Gallegos
Published by: Changing Tides Publishing
Publication date: December 5th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance

Synopsis:

Gripping, romantic, and evocative of its time— A Shine that Defies the Dark is a spellbinding story of one woman who will stop at nothing to survive during a tumultuous time in American history.
After a six-year exile, Ophelia Breaux and her mother are overjoyed to return to the Louisiana bayou. But it seems the ghosts of the epic feud that drove them away still haunt Plaquemines Parish, and with the Great Depression sweeping the nation, the two soon find they can’t make ends meet.

Seeing no other option, Ophelia’s mother takes the drastic step of sharing her bed with the town judge in exchange for a reduced rent. The judge has had a life-long obsession with Momma, and Ophelia is desperate to end this arrangement and get her away from him.

When Remy Granger shows up, Ophelia knows it could mean more trouble—and that’s the last thing they need. Handsome and dangerous, he’s the first boy she ever kissed, and a member of the most notorious family in southern Louisiana—but he’s also got an opportunity for fast money in rumrunning. Ophelia goes all in, and it turns out she may have a knack for the business. But she’s going to have to run even faster if she wants to save Momma… dodging the cops, rival gangs, and her traitorous heart at every turn.

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AUTHOR BIO:
Jodi is a YA writer, black belt, registered nurse and case manager for a busy home health agency. She lives with her husband, three sons and an evolving herd of undisciplined animals in Colorado. She has a well-earned fear of bears, but tolerates the Teddy and Gummy variety. She has been obsessed with books, both reading and writing them, for most of her life and prefers the written word to having actual conversations. The most current projected completion date of her To Be Read book collection is May 17, 2176.

Author links:
https://disgruntledmom.com/
https://twitter.com/DisgruntledMom
https://www.facebook.com/JodiLGallegos/

Happy Release Day WHITE LIES by Julie Wetzel


Title: White Lies
Author: Julie Wetzel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: Marya Heidel at Strong Image Editing
Publisher: Changing Tides Publishing
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb:
When her identical twin comes down with stomach bug, Molly finds herself suckered into a huge favor. Impersonating her twin for a romantic dinner… With her sister’s amazingly hot boyfriend.
After a minor accident has Molly spending the night in his arms, she swears off ever again standing in for her sister. But life rarely turns out as planned…
When a chance meeting changes everything, Molly is faced with the hardest decision of her life. Should she keep her sister’s secret and continue pretending to be her twin, or follow her heart and tell the man she’s falling for the truth about her deception? Both choices will lead to the destruction of a relationship. But how do you choose between a sister you love and the man of your dreams?

Originally from Ohio, Julie always dreamed of a job in science. Either shooting for the stars or delving into the mysteries of volcanoes. But, life never leads where you expect. In 2007, she moved to Mississippi to be with her significant other.
Author Links:


HUGE YA CONTEST~ The YA Scavenger Hunt

For all of you who love finding new reads, I have just the thing for you. The YA Scavenger Hunt is coming, and yours truly is going to be part of it. If you’ve never heard of it, the hunt runs twice a year in the spring and in the fall. During the hunt we showcase new and upcoming YA releases, give out tons of prizes, and release special bonus material. Sound interesting?

This Fall we will have one hundred forty authors split into seven teams of twenty. Each team is assigned a color (you can find me over on TEAM ORANGE). The blog hop begins Oct 3rd and runs through Sunday, Oct 8th. It’s easy to play. All you have to do is either start on Colleen Houck’s blog or head directly over to the YASH website. There you’ll find a list of all the authors participating as well as an answer sheet you can print off to gather the info you’re hunting for and to keep track of any bonus contests you may have entered. Collect the numbers hidden in each post (not too well hidden, we WANT you to win!) and add them up to enter! Easy peasy!

Are you ready to see all the books featured this season? Here they are!

 

This giveaway starts sooAre you as excited as I am? Best part, this giveaway is open internationally, so everyone can enter! A few lucky people are going to walk away with a LOT of amazing books! Which ones are you looking forward to?

 

Cover Reveal~ BRAVE by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I’m so excited to bring you the newest cover reveal for not only one of the most talented authors I know and one of my favorite series, but she’s also one of the best people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with, Jennifer L. Armentrout. Without further ado, let’s be BRAVE.

Series: The Wicked Trilogy, Book # 3

RELEASE DATE: December 11th, 2017

Available Formats: Paperback (U.S./Canada) and E-book

 

About BRAVE:

Ivy Morgan hasn’t been feeling like herself lately. Not like anyone can blame her. After all, being held captive by a psychotic fae prince hell-bent on permanently opening the gates to the Otherworld is bound to leave some mental scars.

It’s more than that, though. Something dark and insidious is spreading throughout Ivy, more powerful than she could ever imagine… and it’s coming between her and the man she’s fallen deeply in love with, elite Order member Ren Owens.

Ren would do anything to keep Ivy safe. Anything. But when he makes a life altering choice for her, the fallout of his act has far reaching consequences that threaten to tear their lives apart.

If Ivy is going to have any hope of surviving this, she must put aside the hurt and betrayal she feels, and work with not only those she loves, but with an enemy she would rather kill than ever trust. War is coming, and it soon becomes clear that what Ivy and Ren thought they knew about the Order, themselves, and even their enemies, has been nothing but a cluster of dangerous, deadly lies. Ivy knows she must be more than just brave to save those she loves–and, ultimately, to save herself.

 

Because behind every evil fae Prince, there’s a Queen

Pre-order here!

And did I mention there’s a giveaway? Yep. Enter Here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And if that wasn’t cool enough, she’s also hosting a virtual book signing!

To celebrate the upcoming release of BRAVE (book 3 in the Wicked Saga), Jennifer is offering an exclusive virtual signing! Through this virtual signing, you will be able to order SIGNED & PERSONALIZED copies of WICKED, TORN, and BRAVE!

And best of all — This is OPEN INTERNATIONALLY! Click here for more info and to submit your order! 

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. She spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Website

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BookExpo Signing and Speakeasy Party!

 

 

Hey there lovely people! I’m excited to announce I finally have my schedule for BookExpo 2017! I will be signing copies of CANARY CLUB at the Midpoint Trade Books booth #2539 on Thursday 6/1 at 2:30pm! 

 

 

 

And that night, after the halls of the Javits have closed up, I’m heading over to a notorious NYC speakeasy for some fun, and I want YOU to join me!

I will be hitting up THE BACK ROOM at 8pm Thursday night for some prohibition era shenanigans at the club that inspired the book! YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE ATTENDING BEA TO JOIN US! Myself and some feisty dames from my publishing house will be getting our flapper on till after 10 pm, so stop by and see us! Listen to some great tunes, kick back some giggle water, and floor flush the night away with me! I will also have some special goodies for anyone who RSVP’s by commenting on THIS POST. It’s going to be the bee’s knees!

See you there!

 

A New Look And A New Name

Hello interwebs! It’s been a heck of a month here in book land. I’ve been gearing up for the Canary Club pre-launch (the 3-6 month marketing period before a book releases) and some really cool things have been happening on that front. If you are interested, the best place to keep up to date with it all is over on my FACEBOOK PAGE, only becasue things are happening too often and too fast to put it on the blog every single day. But highlights include my upcoming feature in Publisher’s Weekly (in MAY, the Book Expo edition) and the new book trailer which just dropped!

But that’s not what I want to talk about today. What I want to discuss today is the changes coming to my website and to my overall brand. (Not sure what an author brand is or how to create one? Check out my post HERE.) Now, I’ve worked hard to build my author brand over the years and I have created a recognizable author presence with it. So when I say changes, I do NOT mean a complete overhaul. When people see my name on a book, they (mostly) know what to expect. I write in many subgenres but all under the umbrella of YA/NA, so people don’t come in expecting lit fic or horror or any of those things. I worked hard for this, and the last thing I want to do is confuse readers or disassociate myself from my brand.

But, and this is key, a good brand should be fluid. It should be able to grow with you as you grow. Sometimes as we write and publish more, who we are and what we’re writing evolves. A great brand evolves with you. Which is why its key to do routine brand maintenance and updates. Just as you should be refreshing your website design every year to two years, you should continually be reevaluating your brand. Does it still fit? Are you sending the message you hoped to send with it? Is it functional for you and your readers?

If not, its time to do a little tweaking.

If you haven’t changed your website design (not just updating content, but the actual layout and images), its probably time to do a little tweaking.

Now, my only word of caution is this, you want to avoid changing things so much that you change your BRAND. You don’t want to go from a brand like this to a brand like this. You see what I’m getting at? Again, your brand isn’t just your logos and colors and fonts, its YOU, its what you write and how you present yourself to your readers. If you go from being a fun loving, cat meme posting YA author to a naked dude posting, steamy erotica author, that changes your BRAND. Its a fundamental change of what people expect from you, both online and on the page.

However, updating your site is important, so how do you do it and keep your brand in tact? A good example can be found here. Scroll down and see what Lauren Oliver’s site USED to look like, then click the link to the current site to see the update. She has updated her brand to include not just her teen books, but her adult and young reader titles as well. But, it hasn’t changed so much that she has confused her fanbase or muddled her brand. She’s changed her logo, evolved it. But you still know what you’re getting when you navigate to her site (or to any of her online accounts) which is key.

So on to what I’m doing here. Over the next week, all my online accounts, beginning with this website, will be changing. We have created a new logo and will be changing up the basic design of it all. The logo change comes for a number of reasons, partly becasue I’ve outgrown the current one, and partly becasue it was brought to my attention that another author is using it as well. This happens, especially when you’re dealing with stock images. No need to get upset about it (though I may have whined to my graphic designer about it for a day or two), best to just move on and focus upward. The new logo is everything I love, its sleek, a little edgy, and full of subtext. Plus, when I asked my fans what they thought of when they thought of me, the overwhelming response was “royalty’ or “crowns”. So, we went with a crown. But not just your basic, run-of-the-mill tiara. I wanted something a touch more unique than that…

The Old Logo

And the new logo:

New Logo

What I kept was the fonts, the basic color scheme, and the tag line. In my banner I also kept the clouds and the very whimsical vibe (which is just my personality), and I plan to carry that over to the website as well.

 

This is the mock up for the banner, it may be tweaked a bit still…

 

You may (or may not) notice one other change. I dropped the D in my name. So why was it Sherry D. Ficklin in the first place? Well, when I began publishing many years ago, the first thing I did was google my name, to make sure some author wasn’t already using it. And to my surprise, there was. A wonderful lady with my name was the author of several nursing articles and journals. She occupied the first full page of google search results. Not wanting to be confused for her, I added the D to my name. But now, nearly a decade later, even if you search just Sherry Ficklin, I occupy the first 30+ search pages. So, I figured it was time to let it go. It doesn’t help that some of my books are listed on retail sites as simply Sherry Ficklin, as well as my website being sherryficklin.com (with no D.) So, with very little fanfare, I leave my middle initial by the wayside and simplify my branding.

Make no mistake, updating can be tricky. Deciding what to keep and what to change, wanting to be on trend but not ‘dated’. Not to mention the expense of ordering new business cards and new banners, etc. My advice is this, get your fans involved in the redesign as much as possible. Talk about it online, show them logos and get their input. Make your tedious upkeep an fun event for them to be a part of. Remember, your author brand is one of the few things in this industry that really does get to be all about YOU, so don’t be afraid to let your personality show!

Canary Club Official Teaser Trailer

The Canary Club

By Sherry D. Ficklin

Coming 10/16

From Crimson Tree Publishing

Don’t miss the book that’s sure to be the bee’s knees!

“Bad Luck” Benny is more than just a fella from the wrong side of the tracks.Recently released from jail, he has vowed to keep his head down and stay out of trouble. But he also needs to care for his ailing sister and the rest of his struggling family, and he’ll do anything to make that happen–even if it means taking a position with a notorious crime boss. He soon finds himself in over his head–and worse still–falling for the one dame on earth he should be staying away from.

Masie is the daughter of a wealthy gangster with the voice of an angel and gun smoke in her veins. Strong-willed but trapped in a life she never wanted, she dreams of flying free from the politics and manipulation of her father. A pawn in her family’s fight for control of the city, and with a killer hot on her heels, she turns to the one person who just might be able to spring her from her gilded cage. But Masie is no angel, and her past mistakes may come back to burn them both.

Two worlds collide in this dazzling story of star-crossed lovers in gritty prohibition-era New York.

Pre-order your print edition NOW on Amazon! 

Visit the official website

http://thecanary.club

BookExpo2017~ Changes and Canary Reservations

The main floor of the Jacob Javits convention center is seen during the Book Expo America in New York, Wednesday, May 25, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)

Hey all! It’s almost that time again. Of course I mean BOOK EXPO AMERICA (though they have dropped the “America” and are now just BookExpo). For those of you who have no friggin idea what I’m talking about, BookExpo is the largest publishing trade show in North America. It’s back home in NYC this year after a jaunt to Chicago in 2016, and publishers, authors, and media peeps are gearing up for the event.

Firstly, let me make a few things clear about BEA. Firstly, its not a reader con. It is for “Industry Professionals and Media ONLY”, meaning that to attend, you have to be a publisher, author, blogger, librarian, store owner or buyer, agent, etc. Its not open to the general public. HOWEVER right after BEA is BookCon, which IS a public event anyone can attend. Either way, tickets are spendy and the event is a 3 day gauntlet of forthcoming titles. Publishers are showing off the books releasing in the next few months (normally fall/winter releases are featured, but sometimes new releases and even next year’s books can show up). At BEA, all the books are free. You just ask for one (or in some cases, you just take one from a huge pile). At BookCon *some* books are free but most are for sale. (this distinction is part of the reason they have fully separated the two events, to keep the general public from scooping up free ARCs meant for media and bloggers only).

Secondly, BEA is not for every author or every book. In fact, its so expensive to attend (and don’t even get me started about how much it costs to have a BOOTH there) that for most indie authors, it’s a huge black hole of time and money.

So what’s the point? Well, the point is to get your title in front of people who either want to order it for their shelves (book stores and libraries) or to sell foreign rights (so many agents and meetings happen on the trade floor) or to get ARCs in the hands of reviewers.

This year, BEA has come down on a rule change when it comes to the bloggers they allow into the event. Before now, you could just say you’re a blogger and get in. But now they have staff who are carefully vetting each blogger who applies, to make sure they are who they claim to be and that they are BOOK bloggers. This is a double edge sword because it might prevent smaller bloggers from attending, or it might discourage first timers from even applying. But in a digital world, how many people DON’T have a blog of some kind? When publishers are forking out thousands of dollars not just to attend, but to print all those books being given away, they want some guarantee that their books are landing in the right hands.

(If you are curious about the rule change, its explained fairly well HERE)

Where you can find me…

Now, I’m going to be there this year signing copies of my new novel, The Canary Club, with my distributor, Midpoint Trade Books (they have a huge booth, it will be hard to miss, I promise). But, as we get ready for the event, I want to make sure that we have enough copies for everyone who wants one (and the more accurate I can be, the better since my publisher has to pay for those books, even though YOU don’t!) AND to make sure no one who wants one ends up empty handed. This was an issue with Queen of Someday when we took it to Book Expo a few years back. We had many bloggers show up late to the signing to find that they were already all gone. So, in an effort to keep this from happening again, we created this handy reservation form.

It’s super easy, just fill it out and I will hold a copy for you, plus I’ll shoot you an email letting you know where and when you can pick it up at the event! Again, this is ONLY for BEA attendees, but this way no blogger leaves disappointed. I mean, You’ve spent a lot of time and money to go to this event, the last thing I want is for you to miss out–and there is so much going on, missing out on a book is a VERY easy thing to do!

If you are attending as an author or blogger or whatever for the first time and are looking for some tips and tricks, I recommend going over my past BEA posts. They are SUPER helpful, I promise.

And until next time, my nerds. Happy travels!

Book Expo America Survival Guide pt. 1

Book Expo America Survival Guide pt. 2

Book Expo America Survival Guide pt. 3

Book Expo America Survival Guide pt. 4

 

 

 

The Canary Club Cover Reveal

The Canary Club
Sherry D. Ficklin
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: October 16th 2017
Genres: Historical, Young Adult

“Bad Luck” Benny is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Recently released from jail, he has vowed to keep his head down and stay out of trouble. But he also needs to care for his ailing sister and the rest of his struggling family, and he’ll do anything to make that happen—even if it means taking a position with a notorious crime boss. He soon finds himself in over his head—and worse still—falling for the one dame on earth he should be staying away from.

Masie is the daughter of a wealthy gangster with the voice of an angel and gun smoke in her veins. Strong-willed but trapped in a life she never wanted, she dreams of flying free from the politics and manipulation of her father. A pawn in her family’s fight for control of the city, and with a killer hot on her heels, she turns to the one person who just might be able to spring her from her gilded cage. But Masie is no angel, and her own dark secrets may come back to burn them both.

Two worlds collide in this compelling story of star-crossed lovers in gritty prohibition-era New York.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

 

Author Bio:

Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Your Author Vendor Table

We’ve talked about this before, but this, like so many things relating to your author brand, should be an ever evolving project. Just as you update your website regularly, you should also be updating the look of your author vendor table.

What is an author vendor table? Well, depending on the event, its the table you use to display and sell your books. Now, if you are doing a book signing at say, B&N or your local indie bookstore, you might not want to do an entire vendor display. BUT if you are at a reader convention or something similar where you are direct selling your books, an eye-catching table display is going to be your best friend.

Before I get into the design of a table, let’s review what sort of things your table should have.

1) Books. Duh. And how many? Ah, the eternal struggle. That depends on the size of the event and your individual popularity. If it’s your first release and you don’t have much of a fan base yet (hey, that’s cool, we all start somewhere!) then you don’t need as many as a seasoned, well-known author. My friend and book guru Jo Michaels suggests between 0.5 and 1% of the total number of people expected to attend. She explains the math on her post here, and I think that’s a very good rule of thumb. Unless you are in a city where you know you have a ton of friends/family/fans coming, go with 1%. (also keep in mind that the turn out for your first book in your home town will almost always be high, so plan accordingly)

2) A cash drawer and a credit card slider for your smart phone. People need to pay for the books they buy. Be sure you have change (I suggest charging a nice round number for books rather than having to fumble with nickles and dimes) and a Square or other CC reader. People expect to be able to pay with cards. BE SURE you are charging and reporting any state sales taxes as needed. If you’re not sure, call up your local Small Business office and they will help you out. (You can also go here for tips and advice.)

3) Business cards. Sometimes the people you meet at events aren’t just book lovers. Agents, producers, and other industry professionals also browse them, so be ready.

4) A sign up sheet for your newsletter. This is a HUGE deal. You can offer a raffle prize to people who sign up, or special swag items. But get people to sign up. This is going to be extremely beneficial in the long run. If you prefer, you can also use a tablet and have people sign up online right at your booth.

5) SWAG. Not everyone buys paper books anymore. Swag serves dual purposes. It gives them a reminder later of a book they may have wanted to buy and where to get it, and it acts as a walking billboard to other potential book buyers. I have a whole post on SWAG here.

6) Author brand/display items. This includes any knick knacks that tie your brand into the decor, as well as instructions on how to find you online and a price list for anything you are selling.

*7) Depending on the event, you may also want to sell branded merch (mugs, shirts, etc) or handmade items. I have a friend who sells crochet dragons (her books are dragon theme) and she often makes as much on those sales as she does her actual books, especially at events like Comic Cons.This it totally optional!

Ok, that’s not terrible, right? Now, depending on the venue you may also need chairs, table cloth, heck, sometimes you even have to bring your own table. I suggest asking beforehand so you know what to expect. It also helps to know what size your table will be and to do a practice run through of what your setup will be.

I set up my table several different ways and let my Facebook fans choose their favorite arrangement. This is what they choose.

One thing that I’v discovered is that the more books I publish, the harder the table setup becomes. When I began, I had only a few books and used decorative plate stands to display them. Then, I had to move to a three tiered display box. (If you are interested in getting one like mine, you can buy them here) Now I’m overflowing even that and need to buy a second, probably before next year’s events begin. I’ve also discovered that the display I do may vary slightly depending on the type of event, if I have a full table or half, and I often change up the table decor to represent any new releases. What I maintain is my color scheme (which matches my website and logo branding), fonts, and similar items. (FYI I keep my newsletter sign up list behind my display stand, to help protect people’s privacy. But I keep in the frame on the left a note about signing up, so people can ask for it)

So what makes a booth/table great?

You should be eye catching. Now, if say you write steampunk, then you can decorate your whole table with steampunk goodies, trunks, goggles, etc. For romance, go with red satin and flowers. You get the idea. I will say that bright, colorful, eye catching booths do better than dark, bland ones. Clean and uncluttered is best, but not so perfectly symmetrical that people are afraid to approach it.

Think of the theme of your books and see if anything strikes you. For those of you like me who write in multiple genres, our job is a bit trickier. This is where a really good, flexible author brand comes in real handy. I, personally, am mostly known for historical stuff, and my preferred aesthetic is a sort of mellow, laid back vibe with hints of classic romance. I like distressed things and vintage items. So these are the small things we incorporated into my branding and display.

My friend Elizabeth Sharp does an AMAZING table display. She, like her table, has a bright, vibrant personality, and it really comes through in her display. *Note this was from 2015 so she may have changed it up by now.

11694948_1122051727808428_2332594168633498212_nHer table has many things going for it. It’s bright, it’s trendy, its NEAT, organized, and visually inviting. Her name and author logo are prominent, as is her newsletter sign up sheet. Also notice how her books are stacked below the display stands? This creates lift, raising the books like this gives the table height and dimension–much more attractive than a flat, one story display.

Also very useful are vinyl banners with your author name/logo.book covers. It can be horizontal and attached to the front of the table like a skirt or it can be vertical and sitting beside or behind your table. This is a pic from UtopYA 2015. The attending authors always do an amazing job with their displays:

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Here’s my banner. The colors are a little off here, but I’ve pulled the robin’s egg blue and deep purple for my primary table colors, along with a simple black tablecloth.

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Or you can go with a combination of table banners like author Casey Bond. Notice she uses shelves to elevate her books:

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Do you only have one book? That’s no problem! Put two or three on stands in varying heights and scatter them on the table. To add more height you can use balloons, flowers, and tall decor. Another thing I’ve seen used is battery operated strings of mini lights strewn about a table.

So think about your theme, your genre, and your personality. Your table display doesn’t have to ‘match’ your covers, but it should be in line with your overall author brand. The idea is to make your table look fun and welcoming, to invite people over to have a look and stay for a while. The best way to do that is to make it a place where YOU feel comfortable and look professional.

Here’s the final table you can expect to see at my 2017 events, and you can find a list of places you will be able to stalk me IRL this year in the menu bar above under the FOR READERS tab. Hope to see you!

Cheers!