Seasonal Meaning

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I love to place words in an order to make a story come alive and having a sweet-happy-ending gives the tale a happy-happy-joy-joy feeling to the reader. The best time to market my books is during the holiday season, but the days are filled with friends, work events and family. As a result forgiveness is the theme for my seasonal blog.

I forgive my friends and myself for not being a good friend to the people from my past life…distance does not make the heart grow fonder. How about you? Do you have friends you’ve lost contact with and this season want to reconnect? Facebook may make it seem quick and easy, but face-to-face is more important-right?

Work events are what they are-I like to dress in evening/formal garments and chat with strangers. I hope the new acquaintances forgive me for not listening to their blah blah blah while I create new characters by using their behaviors and sometimes-odd physical anomalies.

Family, whew this is a deep well and  I don’t want to expose all of my vulnerabilities. My father and I are close; he was my mentor, guardian, teacher, confidant, and stable platform that allowed me to grow as an individual. I recently learned my siblings  might not have had the same perception of our family as I do. I’m not sure how to describe the heartbreaking lack of familial connection over the years. I guess I’ll just say I forgive them.

Happy holidays to all and to all a forgiving new year!

 

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Promote like a Food Network Star

I love to write a story, its especially thrilling to get the characters and their tale out of my head. But marketing…ah that is a beast I’ve yet to conquer.

Food Network Star is a program I’m becoming addicted too, not because of hot Bobby Flay or even the eye-rolling Giada De Laurentis, it’s because of their marketing tips. Food Network Star provides cooking information and marking ideas…how can you go wrong with recipes and promotion suggestions.

During the show a contestant must cook an impressive original food and get in front of the camera to try and convince people to eat said dish. The producers create many scenarios, like Beauty and the Beast dinner party, Flashback Dinner (recreate a old staple into a yummy contemporary) and All-Terrain Eats, an experiential restaurant experience.

My favorite star hopeful is Jason Smith. He has a charming Kentucky accent and clever euphemisms. As winner of Holiday Baking Championship, he has certified cooking abilities, but the camera segments each week are new. He’s adapted well and adds his sweet personality to sell his dish.

Like the food network star hopeful, an author must sell his or her book. Even if the author has an outstanding, interesting, story, if the book doesn’t wow the public with the possibility of what’s between the covers the book won’t sell and make the top one hundred.

The chef presents his/her dish, making it as attractive as possible. The book cover needs to draw the attention of reader.

Once the dish is in place the chef describes what the person will taste. And the author needs to create a tagline and blurb to entice the reader farther into desiring the book.

Presence, visual beauty, description and taste are key to becoming a Food Network Star. Bobby told a contestant to keep the film bit simple, the same concept should apply for the virtual presence for an author.

An author’s marketing plan should include presence in the venues where fans/readers might hang out. A writer should include a cover visually attractive to a reader, a blurb that draws the reader to add the book to the cart and check out. The book, like the dish, must have substance and flavor so the reader will get a sublime experience.

As Jason from Kentucky said, “It’ll make your tongue slap your brains out.”

The Tarot Card

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A stalled elevator.
A sexy gypsy.
A Straight-laced CEO.
Fate has a sense of humor.
Kerry McClure must secure her future as head of her father’s corportation. She needs to sign a contract with Rune Technologies to ward off a hostile takeover. When Kerry’s mistaken for a fortuneteller, she plays along, but could one night of fun jeopardize her CEO confirmation.
Stein Laxdale needs the business deal with McClure Ventures, or he’ll lose control of Rune Technologies to his ex-partner. He discovers Kerry McClure was the gypsy he gambled with and must decide if she is his biggest threat or his promise of a happily-ever-after.

Buy it today print or e-print: The Wild Rose Press 

Amazon:Print copy of The Tarot Card at Amazon

 

Excerpt:

Stein Laxdale walked down the corridor reviewing his notes. He spun around to find the elevators. Damn, somehow he had gotten lost in the maze of Yellow Fever. Who named a hotel, Yellow Fever? Who would arrange a high-level meeting at a hotel called Yellow Fever? Kerry McClure, that’s who.
Rune Technologies would not succeed without the deal with McClure Ventures. Everything he and Ian had worked for depended on this one business contract. So, if the man wanted to meet in a casino, then Stein would meet him in the casino. He’d meet him in the kitchen, if needed, to get the agreement signed.
He had to secure this deal.
A service elevator door swished open. He shoved the notes into his swim trunk’s pocket, folded the shirt over his forearm, and stepped inside. He’d never get used to jet-lag. He punched the dim yellow button, and took a step back as he ran a hand through his hair. He had to get some normalcy in his life.
“Stop,” a woman’s voice said, as a small hand pressed against his back.
He turned and took a pace back. A gypsy stood before him, a sexy gypsy wearing a long flowing orange and gold skirt, with a white off-the-shoulder blouse and no bra. He had to look, it was Vegas after all and he was a man in need of creature comforts. He guessed her to be about five-foot-six with breasts that didn’t appear to be silicone-based. They were full, smooth and pliable as they rose and fell as she breathed, pushing against the tiny bit of supportive elastic of the see-through blouse.
He raised his gaze, her head remained bowed. She smelled like an exotic flower. He placed two fingers under her chin and lifted her face. She pulled back. Startled from his touch? In the next blink, her eyes softened. When he lowered his hand to hang limp at his side, her stance relaxed. Magnificent dark brown eyes stood out on her beautiful, delicate face. The gold scarf wrapped around her head hid most of her light brown hair, but added a glint to her eyes. She shifted from foot to foot as she straightened her blouse and tightned the belted scarf around her tiny waist.
“I’m sorry… Magda?” he nodded toward her name badge.
She shoved her blouse up onto her shoulders, closing off the gap which had allowed him full view of her breasts. “Quite all right. You didn’t see me.”
Kerry didn’t correct him. Her name badge sported Magda because she would perform as a gypsy in the Magda tent for the library fundraiser. She ran her glance from his eyes to his bare chest to his tight swim trunks, keeping her gaze there a little too long. “Are you with the Chippendales?”
She clamped her teeth on her quivering lip to hold the nervous laughter inside. Goodness, he was gorgeous. His swim trunks weren’t the typical boxer style, but tight fitting, with bulging pockets. Bits of white paper peeked out of one and the imprint of a cell phone outlined the other.
“No.” He unfolded his shirt and slid it over his head. The elevator jerked to a stop.
She crashed into him and grabbed at his waist with both hands. He’d pushed his arms through the sleeves, but the cloth hadn’t dropped into place before her fingers slid over the heat of his stomach. The cords of his slim waist and muscular stomach made her want to explore. Her heart pounded against her ribcage.
Chart the unknown.

Larkspur at Long and Short Reviews had this to say: Holy Cow what a great read! Ms. Keller gives us a love at first sight story. Stein and Kerry make a great hero and heroine.
I loved the characters, they were well developed and enjoyable to get to know. The writing style was great and was a credit to the author telling such a well written story confined in 148 short pages.For more visit: buy

TRS
August 30, 2009

A true-to-life Kerry McClure had this to say:

“J.J.,
I just finished the book and I absolutely loved it!! I felt like I (Kerry McClure) was on a little vacation! I have told many friends about it so I hope they purchase it too!! My middle name is Jessica and my Maiden name was Cameron so the part about the limo driver and Jessica – I was seeing my ‘names’ everywhere! I really liked the end! Great twist and it explained so much! Thank you and good luck on your next novel!
Sincerely, Kerry McClure”

I must say, I don’t think a review could make me as happy as this one. Thank you!

Best Selling for over two months!