Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Birthday Queen

Sewing Time

My birthday is in the month of May and, of course, so is Mother's Day. Every few years the two days collide and fall on exactly the same day. While this year that didn't happen, I still managed to cash-in on a lot of bang-for-my-birthday-buck. This means the Birthday / Mother's Day Queen stretched out those two special days into five days of Royal Queenship.

Since my newly published book, The Bunco Club, has been taking up a lot of time marketing/promoting/tweeting I chose to do something wonderful and comforting for those special days...I ignored my computer (for the most part) and sat behind my beloved Bernina sewing machine piecing together a 1930s reproduction quilt.

What I learned (or should I say re-learned) is that doing something you love is time well spent. I tend to get so wrapped up "in the moment" that down-time often takes a backseat. While I have thoroughly enjoyed the after-publishing challenges my book has created, sometimes my batteries need recharging and my brain needs a good mental cleansing.

I have to remind...no, force myself to make a teeny bit of time every few days to plug in to one of the many things that will help to sort out the brain clutter.

...And then it's off to the races with a fresh new approach!
 









The pattern is Aunt Grace Circle of Friends. I used mostly fabric from my stash. I've got a long way to go but I'm getting there.

=)


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Audiobook in the Works

A Meant-to-be-Moment...


I’m happy to announce that I am close to signing a contract with an incredible narrator and producer for the audio version of The Bunco Club

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am an avid listener of audiobooks. I love to multi-task while I’m painting/drawing, quilting, cooking, and driving any length of time. I’d so much be playing an audiobook than watching TV, listening to music, or have the radio on.

In the process of finding a narrator, I listened to pages of audio samples. There were about three that I felt were acceptable...but there was one that was perfect! I kept listening to her four samples again and again, and without over-thinking it too much (which is rare for me) I contacted her.

Within hours she wrote back to me and when I opened her email I was stunned by her first paragraph…Amy who lives in faraway Florida, Amy with the perfect voice, Amy who I was sure would be unavailable to work on my project had been in our frame shop in the Chicago suburbs only months ago with her mother! It was one of those meant-to-be moments and I don’t know what happened first—the chill that went down my spine or the smile that sprung to my face. Amy and I hit it off like long lost friends. Not only does she have a wonderful voice but she is a kind person and patient teacher; walking me through a new world of audio terminology. 

Ahhhh! I’m so excited to get this new project under way and to be sharing the journey with Amy. I'll keep you posted as to how it’s going and what our deadlines look like.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Goodreads Giveaway is Over

I'm excited about the turnout for my Goodreads Giveaway for The Bunco Club.

A total of 539 people requested the Giveway with 268 adding it to their "To Read" list. The three winners reside in very different parts of the world--which I'm hoping will be helpful in getting the word out for my book. One winner lives in Virginia, one in Missouri, and the third is from Great Britain.

I'm feeling it was a very successful Giveaway!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Milestones

Saturday Surprise

Book sales are moving along, not anywhere near a stunning pace, but about where I thought they would be for a first timer after only three weeks. I've been working on marketing, book/library talks, bookmarks, bookplates, publicity, business cards, press releases, securing professional reviews, updating my blog and Goodreads, and numerous other projects to help promote The Bunco Club. Today while checking Amazon to once again make sure that this is not a dream, and that my book, author page, and  wonderful reviews from readers are really there, I note two new milestones added to my budding career.

My paperback is priced at $15.50, but at this moment it is listed for $13.95. I'm thinking what the heck--what gives? After some research I find out that Amazon can put a book on sale at will but (here's the good news) my royalties stay the same! Other authors claim it's a good thing and Amazon is trying to tempt buyers to notice your book. Okay, sounds good to me.

The second milestone (and I'm really excited about this one) is The Bunco Club finally (I know, I know, the book hasn't even been on sale for a month yet) has a "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" such-and-such book. Well, it's not just any such-and-such book, it's Marie Bostwick's brand new book, Between Heaven and Texas (Cobbled Courts Quilts Series)! So I click as fast as I can to see Marie's page, scroll down to her "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" section--fingers crossed and breathless...I don't see my book. But wait! She has fifteen pages of books listed--click, click, click. There it is, on page six, The Bunco Club by Karen DeWitt!

This is momentous to a rookie author--we all look forward to this day. I realize page six is not exactly the front of the pack, but it's also not page fourteen or fifteen. I'm solidly in the middle AND it's by an author whose readership is very similar to mine.

I am elated! Every day I'm more and more happy to be on this journey and look forward to what might happen next.



Wednesday, May 1, 2013

YUM!

That's What I'm Talking About!

 


Yesterday in Chicagoland we had our first 80+ degree day this year and after spending all day at the computer "Marketing" my book I had a hankering for some scones. By 5pm I just had to do it! 

I have perfected the making of this recipe to the point where I can have buttery-melt-in-your-mouth scones and the kitchen clean-up done in 30-40 minutes. The Hubster (aka Bob) comes home about 7pm and I was planning one of our favorite (VERY easy and fast) Crushed Crouton Encrusted Pork Chops with a garlic/spinach/thin spaghetti side...one hour from start to finish--max.

By the time my scones and pork chops were baked, the temperature in my kitchen had to be at least a million degrees...but I didn't care. I knew that after dinner I would snag two of the blueberry studded beauties, head to my spot on the couch, and melt into a near coma from the luscious taste sensation.

When I prepare scones for my Bunco group I usually serve them with any flavor of jam and firm whipped cream that is about one second shy of turning into butter. But when I make them for myself (which I admit to doing often) I enjoy them most without the toppings. Scones are at their best when homemade and fresh--buttery, light, and with a hint of sweetness.

In The Bunco Club the character of Helen has the perfect "light touch" for scone making and the rest of the women don't even attempt to duplicate her treats. I have included her (our) recipe in the back of the book.