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June 30th - July 6th

Taking a break from blogging this week.  Not because of the holiday, but because of deadlines.  Stay tuned for two exciting announcements July 1st and the 4th.  Back next week, I hope :)  The 15th at the latest.

Happy 4th of July


Have a safe and happy holiday!

Friends on Friday: Author Dee Davis


A-Tac Series

Dark Deceptions
A-Tac Series Book 1
April 1, 2010
9780446542012
Click for more...

Dangerous Desires
A-Tac Series Book 2
July 1, 2010
9780446542043
Click for more...

Desperate Deeds
A-Tac Series Book 3
August 2, 2010
9780446542029
Click for more...

Daring
A-Tac E-novella
July 1, 2011
9781455507115
Click for more...

Deep Disclosure
A-Tac Series Book 4
August 23, 2011
9780446582926
Click for more...

Deadly Dance
A-Tac Series Book 5
April 1, 2012
Click for more...

Double Danger
A-Tac Series Book 6
December 18, 2012
Click for more...

Dire Distraction
A-Tac Series Book 7
Coming July 2013
Click for more...

Getting to Know Dee:

If you could pick any career besides writing, what would you be?
I'd love to be a rock singer, but I think that ship has sailed. I'd also love to be an actress, or maybe own a winery. And I've always wanted to work in the White House. Or maybe write for All My Children.

So what's your favorite place in Manhattan?
You know, that's an impossible question. There are so many. But coming immediately to mind. Bemelman's Bar in the Carlyle Hotel. The walls are decorated with original drawings from the author of the Madeline books. The cocktails are wicked. And there's this fabulous feel of Manhattan at its glamorous best.

Do you have pets?
I do. I have a cat named Sasha – black and white tuxedo. And I have a dog named Max – cardigan welsh corgi. They both are good sounding boards for plotting.

What are your hobbies?
I love to traveling, trying out new restaurants, cooking, hanging out with my family, exploring Manhattan and of course reading!

Visit Dee:  www.deedavis.com 

Indie Authors: Premade eBook Covers only $29 (Cover 007 Monochrome Kiss) #couple #kissing

007 MONOCHROME KISS $29
I'm starting to skip numbers.  Three of my original ten covers have sold.  I've since added another fifteen premade covers and just commissioned my third multiple book custom cover job for July.

I know, I'm cheating--my website says I'm not scheduling until August (I'm going to go change that right now).  I have a hard time saying no when I really do love the work.

July is completely booked.

Can you wait until August, September or October?  Please feel free to drop me an email.  Or stop by www.sweettoheat.blogspot.com.

If I'd been paying closer attention to this particular cover number before now, I would have titled 007 something much more clever than Monochrome Kiss.  I chose to off set the title in minty green freshness, but you can have your color of choice with this image.

     

Weighty Wednesday

It's Weighty Wednesday again.  I'm about three weeks into my walking routine and it's time to add a new challenge.

Water.  No, not Aqua Aerobics or Water Walking, though I'd love to get back to both, my walking is land locked for the time being.

I'm talking hydration.

I don't know about you, but I need to drink more water and less Diet Dr. Pepper.  I can track water intake on my handy walking app MapMyWalk so I'm going to start doing that.

How much water do we really need?  Here's what the Mayo Clinic has to say about that.

Drinking plenty of water while writing will also ensure you get up and out of your seat for a stretch every now and again.  How do you stay hydrated?




Teaser Tuesday: A Stranger in the Family



A STRANGER IN THE FAMILY

PROLOGUE

Coronado, California
“Freeze!”  Her voice shook almost as badly as the Sig Sauer in her hand.  After twenty weeks of G-man U in Quantico, Virginia, twenty-two year old rookie FBI Agent, Mallory Ward, never imagined facing down her first perp in her sister’s kitchen.  “Freeze, Nash.  I mean it, damn it!”
Her false bravado lost all conviction as she tried to comprehend the bizarre scene that played out in front of her.  Her brother-in-law, covered in her sister’s blood, cradled a blue bundle in the palm of his hands.
“Dear Lord, Nash, what have you done?”  She’d just stepped outside for a minute to get the cell phone he said he’d left in his pack.  When she couldn’t find his phone, she’d taken those precious extra seconds to grab hers from the rental car parked at the curb.
Mallory kicked passed an overturned chair and the cordless phone unit that had been ripped from the wall.  Her sister’s still warm body lay lifeless on the cold tile floor where her brother-in-law had been performing CPR.
Had she punched 911 before dropping her cell phone to reach for her gun?  That seemed like a lifetime ago.  She’d been willing to give Nash the benefit of doubt—until the Navy SEAL had sliced the swell of her sister’s belly.
“She’s gone, Mal.”  His voice never wavered.
“You have the right to remain silent…”
“There was nothing more I could do for her, except save our son.”  Nash dropped his K-bar in the puddle of blood.
Mal tried to sidestep the slick pool, but still managed to step where she shouldn’t, leaving the imprint of her soles behind.  Biting back the copper tang of panic, she continued to read him his Miranda Rights, Article 31 in the military.  “Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law…”
Nash covered the teeny nose and mouth with his mouth.  The tiny concave chest expanded and contracted with each puff.
“Do you understand these rights as I have read them to you…?  She couldn’t afford to make any more rookie mistakes now.
Sirens blared in the distance, emergency responders, too late to save her sister.  Mallory felt her world spinning out of control.
The tile floor rushed up to meet her.

© Rogenna Brewer.  All rights reserved.

This is from my WIP (work in progress) and upcoming Harlequin Superromance:  Deadline 7.15.13

Can Ambient Noise Boost Your Creativity?

My first office was a 3ft x 5ft coat closet off the living room of an equally small house.  Prince Charming had to cut the width of a pre-assembled desk down to size in order to make it fit.

I was surrounded by crates of writing supplies and there wasn't even enough room to close the door or twirl around while sitting in the chair.  Not that I would have--closed the door, I mean.

Every night after PC went off to work and the heirs to the kingdom were tucked into bed, I'd sit down to write.  I'd leave the TV on in the living room and always knew when Leno came on.  I'd listen to and laugh along with the monologue, skits and guests--all while writing--and when Leno was over that was my cue for bed.  I couldn't tell you what came before Leno, probably a sit-com with a laugh track.

I have friends who swear by writing to music.  I've tried and can't stand anything in my ears, but even without earbuds find music lyrics distracting and music without lyrics boring.  There are exceptions--the Top Gun soundtrack, for one--probably because I've listened to it so many times it's become background noise.  In fact, I won't even allow myself to break out the CD unless I mean business.  Those first pulse pounding beats of Danger Zone send my fingers flying across the keyboard.

So I found it very interesting when a friend sent me a link to coffitivity.  Based on research that ambient noise boosts creativity, this website brings the sounds of a coffee shop right to your computer.  I haven't tried it yet, but I'm falling behind on upcoming deadlines and up for anything.  I'm going to give it a whirl today along with Top Gun.

Do you need peace and quite in order to get anything done?  Or do you find ambient noise helps boost your creativity?

While you're trying out the online coffee shop experience have a virtual Starbucks Green Tea Frappuccino on me:
    


Friends on Friday: Author Day Leclaire


Contemporary romance author Day Leclaire
Day’s interest in writing started at an early age. “There were four kids in our family, the three girls all close together in age. We were home from school one winter day because we’d had a blizzard and Mom…. Well, she was practically pulling her hair out in an attempt to keep us entertained.
“We’d fought our way through any number of board games, had read all the books in the house and were basically making a total nuisance of ourselves. Out of sheer desperation, Mom told me that if I didn’t have any books to read, I should go write one.
"So, I did.  It was a historical.  A Cinderella story set in the Wild West with a wicked stepmother and two wicked stepsisters.  As I recall those two step sisters bore an uncanny resemblance to my own two sisters.  I guess I was out of charity with them at the time!"

Once Upon a Ghost

Once Upon A Ghost by Day LeclaireBook One in The Wacky Women Series
Zach Kingston, physic’s professor and famous ghost debunker, despises con-artists who profit from ghostly scams. And he isn’t about to change his mind just because this scammer’s drop-dead gorgeous and offers the most seductive kisses. Ever.
Rachel Avery is just trying to save her family home. And no nasty, rotten–surprisingly handsome–cynic can change that. If only he weren’t so damn sexy. And if only he didn’t offer the most seductive kisses. Ever.
But they have a deal, witnessed by the media: If Zach can’t scientifically disprove her ghost by Halloween, Rachel wins.
Then Zach meets Rachel’s grandmother and discovers the real reason the Averys are so desperate to sell their story.
Too bad his reputation is on the line…

Buy for Amazon Kindle


Once Upon a Cowboy

Once Upon A Cowboy by Day LeclaireBook Two in The Wacky Women Series
Cami “Tex” Greenbush is 100% pure Texan, despite having grown up in Virginia. Cowboying is in her blood. All she needs is one chance to prove it.
Holt Winston desperately needs a decent wrangler for his working Colorado dude ranch and Tex Greenbush’s resume seems perfect.
The instant Cami arrives at Holt’s ranch, wearing a pink feathered Stetson and fringe hanging from every seam, he fires her on the spot. Unfortunately, they’ve agreed to a two-week trial and a cowboy–a real cowboy–is always true to his horse, his woman, and his word.
While Cami spends her days roping the ranch dog more often than the cows and dragging Holt through the mud, her sky-blue eyes and itty-bitty freckles have him kissing her as often as he wants to strangle her.
Maybe that’s because he doesn’t need a wrangler… He wants a wife.

Buy for Amazon Kindle 

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon A Time by Day LeclaireBook Three of The Wacky Women Series
Handsome, efficiency-expert Julian Lord loves his rules.
Unfortunately, the mayhem at Willow’s End is breaking every last one of them.
First, there’s his aunt’s young and beautiful caretaker, Callie, Ms. Disorganization herself, who couldn’t say “no” if her life depended on it. Then here’s Brutus, Callie’s 200-pound St. Bernard who thinks he’s human, and his aunt’s two juvenile delinquent fosters bent on tearing apart her house in search of her missing will.
Julian attempts to tame the juvenile delinquents. Callie is dedicated to un-taming him. But no one can tame Brutus. Watching all the craziness come together is simply too fascinating for the humongous beast, especially since he knows exactly where the will is hidden.
Too bad the old boy isn’t talking…

Buy for Amazon Kindle

Indie Authors: Premade eBook Covers only $29 (Cover 005 Cave Dive) #diving #action #adventure

005 CAVE DIVE $29
Most of my covers are designed for the romance genre.  Although I'd really like to cast a wider net, it will take me some time to build  up business.  But here's one that's more action adventure than romance.

I chose this image as inspiration for, The Frogman, Prince cover, which I had designed by fellow Harlequin author Kim Van Meter.  My skills as a designer were little more than a brain bubble back then and no match for what I wanted.    

Kim has designed a couple covers for me and I would use her, and perhaps even another designer, again.  It will depend on how the scales are balanced at the time.  Do I have the time, the money or not enough of either.

These are all things to consider when choosing between a do-it-yourself, premade or custom cover.  Of course, I'm hoping you fall in love with one of my premade covers or like my work enough to commission a custom cover, but above all I want you to have the right cover for your book.  

On my site sweettoheat.blogspot.com I have a growing link list of cover designers.  Why?  Because the world is small and life is short and I believe in good karma.  There are a lot of talented designers out there and that list reminds me I have to earn your business.

What can I do to earn yours?      

You Need An App For That?

There's an app for everything these days.  But walking, seriously?  Call me old school, but I thought all you had to do was lace on, or in may case slip on, a pair of sneakers and put one foot in front of the other.

Until I tried the free versions of MapMyWalk for iphone.  I won't even go into all the bells and whistles because I'm not there yet.  Last year all that rebound weight gain stressed my knee (yes, only the one) and I had to stay off my feet for six weeks.

Needless to say, I gained even more weight and never got back into a walking routine.  Part of that was the pain of trying to do too much, too soon.  This year I was headed down that road again.

After a sluggish spring of sporadic walks that would keep me off my feet for days afterward, I needed to turn things around.  A friend sent me a link to a pedometer app, which I promptly forgot to load onto my cell phone.  By the time I remembered, I'd forgotten the name and was too embarrassed to ask.  So I googled "walking apps" and one kept popping to the top of the search.

It wasn't the app my friend recommended, but I downloaded it just the same.  I push a little button and it tells me to start walking.  Then it uses GPS to track me.  I think I accidently broadcast my whereabouts to facebook that first day.  Kind of stalkerish, but deletable--so okay.

I knew I needed to start slowly and stop way before the pain if I was ever going to build up.  The first day I walked up to the park and back, about 20 minutes.  Mind you, for the 76 year-old grandmothers who walk this route it would take 10 minutes.  I know because they pass me all the time.

The next day I went a little farther and slow didn't seem so bad when I had GPS Gal telling me what a great job I was doing.  I'd always thought my old three laps through the park, sometimes twice a day, amounted to a mile a lap, but soon realized my route was 1.5 miles.  No wonder I couldn't make it there and back with a bum knee.

Anyway, in two weeks I've built up from .5 miles to 1.5 miles pain free.  And every week MapMyWalk sends me an email to tell me how far I've walked and how many calories I've burned.  I can't wait to start exploring the other features and challenges of this app.  So maybe I don't need an app for walking.  But I kind of like having one :)

Are there any apps you need--or don't need--but have fallen in love with?

         

Indie Authors: Premade eBook Covers only $29 (Cover 004 The Bride) #brides

004 BRIDE $29
Last week I mentioned the Lifeguard as one of my favorite covers, topped only by this cover the Bride.  I could have sold her this week.  The author was just as enamored of her as I am.

But after an exchange of emails with the potential client, and changing the Bride's hair color to blonde, I realized we were both trying too hard to make this elegant creature fit into a romantic comedy.

Long story, short.  I have my first commission from that exchange for two custom covers.  They're going to be awesome.  I can't wait to get to work on them.  Meanwhile, the Bride remains a redhead and up for grabs.  My guess is she's not going to be around much longer.  Someone out there has her perfect story.

If a cover image inspires you to write a story that's one thing, but don't fall into the trap of trying to make a premade cover work for your story when it doesn't.

A cover is the first impression the reader sees.  You want to make it the right one.  Luckily, there'll be plenty more brides to come.  To recap...I've sold two covers, commissioned two more.  Created a landing page for Covers by Rogenna at sweettoheat.blogspot.com.  And have three new favorite covers out today.  Not bad for a first week.

Email me if you have any questions.        
  

Writing Is My Day Job

Once upon a time I had a day job...  Wait a minute, writing is my day job.  It's taken me longer to realize that than it should have.

Six months ago writing full time was little more than a dream.  So what's the reality now that I've had time to settle in to a routine?

Routine, what?

I'm in my chair most days before I'd even be leaving for work at my old job.  I'm still here most nights right up until I go to bed.  I'm working on those boundaries, trust me.

It feels like the work is never done.

Because it's not.  These days a working writer wears many hats.  It's easy to forget that writing is the most important part of the job.  Some of the others?  Critique partner, editor, publisher, formatter, cover designer, web designer, IT tech, book keeper, manager, virtual assistant, publicist, blogger, social media specialist and author co-op partner.  I'm sure I forgot something, which is why I created two virtual assistants to help me keep up with it all.  Unfortunately, they're both moi.  

I thought I'd be blogging more.

I pictured myself sitting at Starbucks with a Green Tea Frappuccino while journaling about writing.  I've managed to post most Mondays.  Although, I'm trying to improve upon that with daily features that don't involve much writing on my part.  The frappuccino is a once a month treat.

I thought I'd be writing more.

All those online distractions.  Most of which feel like work because my fingers are still flying across the keyboard.  Actually, my fingers meander--like my brain.  There really is no room for compromise here.   I still break out the timer to keep my writing sessions on track.  I also use it to limit social networking.  But I could still use some better time management skills.

As of today The Frogman, Prince is still in revision.  I've revised and self-published my first novella.  Turned in a contracted proposal and am on a 7.15.13 deadline for a full.  It feels like things are starting to come together.  I'm just not their yet.

Friends on Fridays: Author Barbara McMahon

Contemporary romance author Barbara McMahon
About Barbara McMahon

Barbara grew up in northern Virginia, moving to California to attend the University of California at Berkeley. Upon graduation, she remained in California, making the San Francisco Bay Area her home base while she worked as a flight attendant for an international airline.

When her flying days ended, she began to work in the computer industry, rising to a vice presidency in a software development firm. In her "spare time," she decided to give in to a long cherished desire to try her hand at writing.

One of the first things she discovered was that writing was one thing, but getting a book written was much more difficult. Persevering until she made that first sale, she then sold another, and then another. To date she has published 84 novels and one novella.

Cowboy Hero Series



Never Doubt A CowboyCowboy Hero: Never Doubt A Cowboy by Barbara McMahon

When Molly Spencer meets footloose cowboy Tell Hardin while she's working in Acapulco, she's captivated by him.

However, Molly's practical, and a future with a fun-loving, unemployed cowboy doesn't fit in her plans. Still-it can't hurt to have a little fun together.

She'll be gone before long.

She'll be fine – unless Molly throws caution to the wind and allows herself to fall in love.





Cowboy's BrideCowboy Hero: Cowboy's Bride by Barbara McMahon


When Kalli Bonotelli inherits a ranch in Wyoming, she immediately leaves Boston for the west and a new life. She's spent summers here as a teenager and always dreamed of running the ranch. However, she hasn't a clue how to start.

When neighbor Trace Longford offers to buy her ranch, she turns the offer into a chance to learn what she can about operating a profitable cattle ranch. Only Trace doesn't believe she can stay the course--or learn enough to run the place. Despite their differences, one thing they have in common--an unexpected intense attraction to each other.

When Trace tries to teach her the ins and outs of ranching, he's handicapped by the way his mind keeps imagining taking her to bed instead of teaching her how to brand a calf.

Kalli wants it all, the ranch and Trace. But can they ever agree on anything? Or will she give up her dream and return to Boston with the memory of the sexy cowboy the only thing she takes with her?





One Stubborn CowboyCowboy Hero: One Stubborn Cowboy by Barbara McMahon


When crippled rodeo cowboy Kit Lockford meets children book writer Kelly Adams, sparks fly.

She's intrigued, he's elusive. Neither can forget the encounter.

Despite his vow to stay away from entanglements, Kit can't resist the town's newest resident. Can she convince him that disabilities don't matter-it's the man who faces all challenges head on who can capture her heart?






Crazy About A CowboyCowboy Hero: Crazy About A Cowboy by Barbara McMahon


They divorced for all the wrong reasons. Now he wants her back for all the right ones.

Texan Sam Haller and his wife young wife Lisa ended their stormy marriage two years ago. Lisa left Texas and took their infant son with her. Now she's back, and Sam wants his wife back in his life. Are there too many hurtful words and heartaches to overcome?

From the stockyards of Fort Worth to the rolling Texas ranch land, the two try to recapture what they once had, in spite of their past and Sam's startling complication.





Bluebells on the HillCowboy Hero: Bluebells on The Hill by Barbara McMahon


Country singing star Amanda Smith was seeking a refuge from the busy concert schedule when she finds the perfect hide-away in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

The only problem is neighbor Mac Mackenzie who's had his eye on that patch of land for years. When he can't bribe her to leave, he changes tactics.

The only problem is it becomes hard to tell if he's trying to drive her away, or convince her to stay.

Indie Authors: Premade eBook Covers only $29 (Cover 003 Pool Side) #chicklit

003 POOL SIDE $29

This bold and bright image makes a perfect book cover.  Finding the right font and color for the title is not always as easy as it sounds.  White also works well in this case.  

Do you have the perfect Womens's Fiction, Chick Lit,  Contemporary or New Adult story for this look?

I'd love to add your name to the cover!  For more info click here.  Please feel free to email me with any questions you may have.  

Indie Authors: Premade eBook Covers only $29 (Cover 002 Bridal Steps) #runawaybride

002 BRIDAL STEPS $29

I love the timeless elegance of this image.   The angle of the pose adds a little intrigue that makes me wish I had a story to go along with it.

Is she waiting for someone, ready to run...

Or perhaps a marriage of convenience that will turn her world upside down or set it right.  

Do you have the perfect story to go with this beautiful bride?

I'd love to add your name to the cover!  For more info click here.  Please feel free to email me with any questions you may have.  

Indie Authors: Premade eBook Covers only $29 (Cover 001 Lifeguard) #NavySEAL


001 LIFEGUARD $29
If not my favorite, then one of my favorites.  Every time I look at this cover design I want to keep him.   I could see this guy as a Navy SEAL.

A sailor, a lifeguard...

Beach bum or billionaire with beach front property that's up to you.  Do you have the perfect story to go with this guy?

I'd love to add your name to the cover!  For more info click here.  Please feel free to email me with any questions you may have.

New Book, New Look!

Meet my new virtual assistant, skinny me.  It's not that I don't appreciate mini me.  She'll still be around for Q&A with her quirky sense of humor and for some diet and exercise tips.  

We're planning on writing a weight loss book together.  First I have to lose the weight, again, and this time keep it off.

Speaking of which have you voted to send me to campreboot?  Competition is fierce.  I've fallen from #33 to #36 and there are only a few days left to vote.

I may not be skinny me, yet, but my new VA better represents the high wire act of a hybrid author with one foot in traditional publishing and the other in self publishing.

I suppose you've heard I have a novella out?  

One Night in Reno is my first venture into self-publishing.  To be followed by One Start Spangled Night in early July.  I'm very glad I started with short stories.  It's helped to alleviate some of the anxiety about self publishing The Frogman, Prince.

I know you're waiting :)  And I love you for it.  I've been waiting eighteen years to see The Frogman, Prince in print.  There will be a trade size paperback and ebook versions out before the end of the year.  

Just as soon as I turn in A Stranger in the Family to my editor at Superromance it's back to revisions on Frogman until the book is done.  I'll be keeping you up to date on my WIP page, which is hidden at the moment.  I wanted to take the multiple progress meters out of the sidebar and give them a page where I could also add little snippets about the stories I'm working on.  Just don't look for the page to be active until the end of June or the beginning of July.  

001 LIFEGUARD $29
You may also have seen the book cover designs splattered all over my website.  I will soon have a landing page for Covers as well.  At this point you may be wondering why in the world I'd want to take on anything else (see picture above).  Well, along with social media, cover design is another form of procrastination for sure, but both also compliment the writing.  

Even the most introverted author needs some form of social interaction.  I just hit save for this post and was asked to prove I'm human.  What does that tell you?  Plus having a social media platform is almost a job requirement for authors these days.  It's so easy to get lost in the crowd.  

Frankly, it's not been easy since I quite my day job and I could use the income.  Juggling doesn't pay that well.  And I have a design degree I'm not using.  Interior Design, but they're both visual mediums.  I enjoyed making my own covers so much and expanded my bag of tricks by experimenting.  There's no better way to learn something than by doing it.  

These were too pretty to toss.  I'm hoping that at $29 a cover, someone other than my friends will take a chance on me and I can build up a referral business.  For now I'm sticking to premade covers because of deadlines.  But as I get better I hope to expand into custom covers.  If you need a custom cover designer contact Kim Van Meter.  She did The Frogman, Prince cover for me.  

I think that's quite enough for today<g>.  

What do you think?  Do you like the new look of my website?  I'm quite a whiz with templates.  Check out the new look at Superauthors.  I'm also blogging there today.  Now you know why I chose my new juggling VA.  

Oops, one very last thing...  Don't forget to enter my contest.        

Premade eBook Covers only $29


 Introductory offer!  
Premade ebook covers only $29 while they last!

New covers added every week starting at $39
  • Premade single image covers starting at $39.
  • Customized with Your Title (includes subtitle or series if applicable).
  • Your Name (includes bestselling status or reference to previous title if applicable).
  • Up to two tag lines or review quotes.  
  • Image size 625 x 1000 pixels (standardized to Amazon's minimum specs for ebook covers). 
  • All cover designs retired after the first sale (please note I use stock images which may be or have been used in other designs or by other designers).
  • Paypal accepted.  
  • To purchase your cover email me: rogenna@aol.com
001 LIFEGUARD $29
002 BRIDAL STEPS $29

003 POOL SIDE $29
004 BRIDE $29


005 CAVE DIVE $29
006 RED MAGIC $29


007 MONOCHROME KISS $29
008 NOT SO INNOCENT $29


009 HUNK $29
010 VAMP NIGHT $29


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