OH MY GOSH!

Hello, my lovely blogging friends!

It is very hard for me to step out of the blogosphere, but I have been on a self-imposed two-week blog hiatus, because I simply must take care of my work-from-home business and a few other important things. I’ll be taking time this weekend to park myself at your blogs to see what I’ve missed … but I do know that Zen is giving up chocolate. 🙂Image

However, I had to drop everything and pop in today, because I’m squealing, and excited, and if I don’t share this with someone other than my dog, I will burst!

Amazon was fantastic to work with when I asked to have the price of Sunshine Hunter set to free. I wrote directly to KDP and pleaded my case. We had a short series of emails back and forth, and the price was lowered to permanently free this past Monday night – only four days after my initial inquiry.

Sometimes it takes me a little while to figure things out. I looked at my Amazon sales figures yesterday and a few sales for Sunshine Hunter trickled in. I checked this morning, and the numbers were the same. I wondered if I would see any bump due to free downloads. Well, silly me! About an hour ago, I finally realized if I scrolled to the right while looking at my sales report, I would see the free downloads in the very last column. LOL! They are already in the thousands!

The next thought bubble above my head was, “I wonder if this affects my ranking?”

Oh my gosh!! It does! ImageBut I had to look at it a couple of times. Was that my book? #1 under Women Sleuths? Susan isn’t a very good sleuth, but until chick-lit/mystery is a first choice, she ends up where the book sites want her.  And #45 under romance!

Here, I’ll click the link and show you what you’ll see (at least as of noon today):

ImageSquee!! Next to J.D. Robb!!  LOL!!

Thanks for letting me gush. I have no idea what will ever happen with these crazy Susan Hunter books, but today is a day that makes me want to run outside and yell as loud as I can to anyone who will listen, “I’m number one on Amazon!”

When a Comment Becomes a Review

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Sometimes a comment comes along, and it’s just too good to let it slide off into the sunset. That happened last Friday night in the wee hours of the morning.

Piper George’s blog Talk About Cheesecake is noted as “Musings, meanderings and meditation for my mind.” I enjoy Piper and her variety of blog topics. She’s married with two young children, three chickens, one cat, one puppy, and a varying number of fish. She has a lot of material to work with, and she’s writing.

It was nearly 3:30 a.m. when I was closing things up for night before heading on up to bed. I checked my notifications one last time and saw a comment from Piper on my post about the new cover for Sunshine Hunter. I’m pretty sure I squealed when I finished reading it:

“I finally got around to reading your books. Yes, all of them. I downloaded one to read last week and went on to buy them all.

This is not my usual style of book, there were no vampires or werewolves and I don’t do mystery. I would never have picked them up if I had not read your blog and been nosy.

But, I have to say thank you. Brilliant, funny light hearted reading – perfect for a weekend chill. I really enjoyed them.

I also like your character. Susan is girly, again, not my usual read. But also kick arse. Good to know that you can be both – I think more girls out there should learn that. I like that she is a normal human, she makes mistakes, she gets moody, she is funny. One of the things that struck me the most was that she had fallings out with people. You know, like normal people do and book heroines normally don’t. Shouting at the nosy old lady in the supermarket for spreading rumours of an orgy – very funny.

Thanks for the great read. I’m sorry you are only doing 6 books, but start working your next theme please because I want to read them all. Expectations are high now.

I am so appreciative Piper took the time to tell me what she thought about the books, and why she liked them. I had no idea she was reading even one book, let alone all five. It is a writer’s dream – that a reader will read the first book and keep on going until they’ve read them all. I’m still smiling a big smile over her comment/review. Thank you again, Piper.

There are a few more ladies here at WordPress who have read all of my books, and a couple who are in the process of reading all. A huge thank you to them as well.

I’ve been cleaning up, tweaking, and adding to my website for my books. I’m pretty tickled here, too. Take a look! Breezy Books

It’s All Good News!

The cover for Sunshine Hunter has been updated. Hurray for no more gym clothes! Image

We’ve come a long way from the first cover:

ImageMy niece has done a wonderful job for me. I was delighted with my first Susan Hunter cover, and I’ve been delighted with every cover in between. I think we’re both getting better at what we do. 🙂

My next big news is that I’ve decided to make Sunshine Hunter a FREE book – permanently.  Now that there are five books, with a sixth on the way, I think having the first book in the series for free is a good move. I’m finding that many people who have read the first book have gone on to read more (if not all) of the books in the series.

ImageI’ve already made the cover change and the price change at Smashwords. You can go there and download the book for any eReader (to be sideloaded) – or to read on your PC. When the book is approved for their premium catalog in a few days, it will be distributed with the new cover and pricing to all of their outlets – Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, Apple, and Diesel Books.

Amazon doesn’t allow me to list the price as free, but they will match the price when the other outlets have updated to free. When the changes have been made everywhere, I hope to do some fun marketing.

I’m looking forward to a good year!

Edited to add: A few minutes before 6:00 p.m. today (15th), the changes to Sunshine Hunter were approved for the premium catalog at Smashwords. Less than 24 hours! That was so fast! It will be going out to major outlets soon.

I Adore My Husband (Part Three)

smoochesHappy Valentine’s Day!

This is the perfect day for the next installment of I Adore My Husband.

In Part One, I told how my husband is usually the adult in this relationship, and in Part Two, I shared how fantastic he is as a person. However, when it comes to our banter back and forth via email and text, there is little maturity from either of us, and we are many times out of control. He makes me laugh every day.

Without further ado, here are the sweet and loving comments that have come to me via email or text from my husband over the past few months. Notes in parenthesis are mine.

The morning greeting is always tender:

Good morning, sweetie pie. Happy November!

What time did you roll out of bed?

I hope you slept well last night.  You were making noises like a caged gorilla.

Sometimes there are comments about our Dr. Mario marathons:

I hope you got some good rest last night.  You should be sleeping quite well lately since you are going to bed the victor every night.

Christmas brought some fun notes:

I’m bringing home an imported bottle of gin and some chocolate.

I had a bite of chocolate today that cost $250k per pound.

There’s a box of meat on our porch!

Of course, there are food related notes:

I just had some pizza, chicken and jo jo’s, a coke, and a lap dance from a midget stripper.  What an awesome Friday.

No more Healthy Choice Chicken Florence and the Machine for me!  Yech.

I’ll make something special for us to snack on tonight.  Pickled heart, tongue, jerky… something.

I’m telling you, that darn stuffed cabbage and taters are the cat’s ass for lunches.  250 calories, 50 fat calories, protein AND carbs all in a lovely little package.  I darn near licked the dish out.

I put two piles of M&M’s on my desk; a pile for you and a pile for me.green_m&ms1  I’d eat some out of my pile, then eat some out of your pile then wash it down with a slug of coffee and a slug of Coke. You should have no cravings now.

He gets bored on the way home from work:

Who’s your daddy? That’s right, I AM you boiling cauldron of passion you!
(Followed immediately by):  Oops, wrong number. So sorry.

There’s an accident on 77 North, north of Rt 62, which has traffic backed up to the hospital. There’s one accident on the West side of 62 right at the 77 on ramp, and also an accident on the West side around the 30th street area.  What.The.Hell.  Roads are dry; no black ice, no nothing.  People are just insane!  Like how I used the word “just” there?

When we up in the club, all eyes on us.  (♫ ♪ ♫)

Texts from the den to my office – in the same house:

Wanna watch some Family Guy?
Wanna go upstairs and play Family Guy?
Wanna play Dr?
Wanna play any Nintendo?

You ready to vote and then come home and have a nice romantic Cheerios supper?

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Johnny Depp doesn’t always go to the Grammys, but when he does, he drinks Dos Equis.

Our son drives a 1984 Chevy Caprice. It needed new tires. Rich traded cars with him in anticipation of a snow storm:

I survived another ride in the pimp mobile this morning.  We thought he had girls hanging all over him because he’s a young and good-looking kid.  Boy have we been wrong!  There are still ladies outside around the car waiting to see if the driver is going to come back out any time soon.

Of course, I never tell you the things I say to him, but I’ve received these responses to a few of my texts:

I’m filing harassment charges. You’re making me uncomfortable.

You need to straighten up or I’ll be forced to put you in a home.

We were trying to determine my next hair color:

ImageHow about a really dark red?  In a French maid’s uniform with a skirt that just stops one inch below your butt.

I’m thinking you should try coal black. That would be very sexy against your fair skin.

There are random thoughts:

I bit my cheek yesterday. Bit it two more times today. Ouch.

Now that I know my vacation is officially official, I’m excited.  I think we need to fix the shower.

I used acetone to remove lines off of my white board in my office and I feel like I’ve had a beer or two.  It’s an early Super Bowl Celebration!

He still gives me a hard time about my perceived boyfriends:

Oh, I see how it is.  All your boyfriends on your blog must be busy, so now you have time for me.  Well sissy, I suggest going elsewhere.  — (I waited until very late in the day to respond to his morning email.)

Well, well, well, if you aren’t super talkative today.  Must be lip-locked with the neighbor again. — (I never responded to any of his emails on this day.)

I didn’t get cigars today and haven’t had any since this morning.  I’m ready to kill somebody.  As soon as I get home, I’m walking over to Bill’s house and punching him in the face.

Of course, his closings are always sweet:Image

I love you sweetie pah-tootie.  I hope you have a good day.

I love you, and I know you look beautiful today!

Huggs ‘n smooches!

Hugs and smooches to all of my blogger friends, too!! Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Oh, My Aching Back!

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Here’s something different today. Let’s talk about PAIN.

I’ve mentioned it a few times. I have two depleted disks in my lower back and nerve damage in my right shoulder. Playing sports hard for more than a decade can do a lot of damage to your body.

When I go over to the den to sit and read, I can’t stay in the chair for more than an hour at a time. A recliner naturally puts your weight on your tailbone, and the pain builds. We have to take frequent breaks when we’re out on the motorcycle to give my tailbone some relief. After playing a few hours of Dr. Mario, my right arm feels like it wants to fall off. Lying in bed at night is when I feel all of the pain everywhere at one time. Sometimes I can’t sleep because of pain and turning over is a killer.

What to do?

I don’t take anything for pain during the day. My aches and pains are bearable, and because I sit in an office chair at my desk, I can lean forward a bit and stay off of my tailbone. However, every night before bed, I take four ibuprofen. Without them, it’s nearly impossible to sleep.

An article on pain caught my eye last year. It extolled the benefits of Imagecurcumin, which is the major component of the spice tumeric. Curcumin is supposed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and antioxidant properties. I didn’t really care about anything but the pain claims.

I read quite a bit of information about curcumin before I ordered a bottle. It was being touted as a miracle cure for all manner of ailments, and I’m sure some of it was hype, but if it could give me any relief from pain, I was in.

At first, I took it as recommended, but gradually upped my pills to take two in the morning and two at night – four grams per day. I had no side effects whatsoever.

One night it dawned on me that I hadn’t taken any ibuprofen for a few days. I hadn’t been having any pain that would send me to the IB bottle, and I was sleeping through the night. I realized my pain level had gone down dramatically. By month’s end, my arm wasn’t bothering me, and I was comfortable in bed at night. Riding the motorcycle this past summer was much easier, and I could ride for an hour before wanting to take a short break.

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The Longaberger Basket building. An hour and fifteen minutes from our home, and we made the trip down without stopping for my back.

The day-to-day pain associated with my arms and back was completely gone!

I thought about this today, because in my complacency, I haven’t ordered any curcumin for several months, and I’ve become a miserable wreck with pain again. After I took four ibuprofen last night before bed, I knew I needed to order another bottle, and I did that first thing this morning.

For me, it works for pain, and it works great.

If you’re curious, I take Doctor’s Best Curcumin C3 Complex with Bioperine (1000 mg tablets). I order it from Amazon. I am not a paid or unpaid spokesperson.

Disclaimer: If you take blood thinners, this isn’t for you. As with any supplement, check with your doctor before taking.

Have any of you tried curcumin for pain? What do you take for pain?

Happy Anniversary!

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Today is my one year anniversary of becoming a writer. On February 8, 2012, at 11:00 p.m., I used Microsoft Word for the first time in my life and decided to write a story. Susan Hunter and M&M’s showed up.

To this day, I still wonder where all of this came from. I had no burning desire to write a book, and I wasn’t even reading very much at the time. I’m sure I was quite bored – in addition to having the winter blues. I suppose most of it came from Rich giving me a Nook Tablet for Christmas. It opened my eyes to the number of indie works out there, and I simply thought, “I’ll give it a go, too.”

And go I did.

Five books in one year. I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around this. Maple Leaf Hunter is the sixth book, and the story is underway. I think I have a solid first line this time:

The hot, sweaty man lying on top of me was dead.

Pretty good, eh? (Eh? I’m already practicing my Canadian for the book.) Here’s the rough draft of the first paragraph:

The hot, sweaty man lying on top of me was dead. At least I think he was dead. He didn’t appear to be breathing, while I, on the other hand, was gasping for air from his dead weight on my chest.

We’re off to a good start! And no, for all you pervy types, this isn’t something tawdry. Susan is with Samantha at the food court in the mall.

I’m having fun writing again. I keep reading that we should write to entertain ourselves, and I have that down pat. Already events are taking unexpected twists, and I can’t wait to start writing every day to see what’s going to happen next.

I want to do more marketing this year. With six books in the series, I think I’ll be able to find more creative ways to get Susan Hunter out there than I have in the past. Before I go gung-ho though … please control the shocked look on your face when I tell you …  I’m messing with covers again.

I know!!

We’re supposed to leave the covers alone, but I can’t. Not yet. As much I love the cover of ImageSunshine Hunter, I’m taking Susan’s racquet and gym clothes away from her, and putting her in a sundress. She’ll be walking barefoot on the beach with shoes in hand. I think the look will be more cohesive with the other covers, and it won’t impart such a strong sports theme, which is not the main theme of the book in the first place.

The cover for Big Apple Hunter is then going to be polished and given a more realistic, detailed skyline in the background. I’m one hundred percent happy with the remaining covers. Once the covers are completed and distributed to all sales outlets, I’m going to do my best to try some different avenues for marketing. I’ll keep you posted.Image

 

But for now, champagne for everyone!