Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bestsellers at a great price

Just browsing. Seriously, I was just browsing at Fictionwise, and clicked on the right-hand side of the front page to check out the New York Times bestsellers. Did you know you can buy each week's bestsellers in your choice of electronic formats at Fictionwise, for $9.95 each?

Not being one to follow the list all that closely, I hadn't paid much attention to this. But how cool. And how thrifty. And how not limited to a single format. Check out the Fictionwise NYT page here.

Magdalena

Friday, May 29, 2009

Slug Day

Here we are at Friday again! Already!?! Seems this week has gone quickly, but maybe that's because I've been busy. Heavily into research, you know. Read about it at SisterWriters, because today is Slug Day here in Magdalenaville.

Happy Friday!
Magdalena

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Confessions of a Little Black Gown by Elizabeth Boyle

Okay, I seem to have been seduced over to the dark side... Or not so much the dark side, as the historical side. Yes, I'm reading another historical romance, and absolutely loving it!

Seems I came into this series at the perfect time, since the first book, Love Letters from a Duke, was released almost two years ago, this is the second one, and the third, Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress, is already out.

And, well, Fictionwise has them all on sale. I don't think I caught the sale price for Confessions of a Little Black Gown, but I am itching to buy the other two. Read about each book by clicking on the titles above.

I have one question for you: Is this a great cover, or what?

Or is that two questions?

Magdalena

The 28th is my day to blog at Resplendence Publishing. Today's offering is about the learning experience of creating a prequel. Go here to read it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Pampered Chef Lady

I know you probably wonder why I'm not a professional photographer. Uh...right.

Anyway, here is Tammi. I didn't know her real name until last night at the Kingfish soiree. Tammi is the Pampered Chef Lady I've told you about. (I think she may have been thinking of me as The Book Lady.)

Tammi was with us nearly every Tuesday night for these events. Last week she demonstrated some of the Pampered Chef tools, which went so quickly I almost missed it--but I didn't miss enjoying the results from the Pampered Chef serving pieces. Yummy fresh pineapple chunks, and pieces of French bread dipped in Italian spices. Tammi's demonstration food was a definite highlight of last week's event!

Last night I exchanged contact info with her, and with Kat and Hope, the Jewelry Ladies. It was a bit sad, because I won't see them next Tuesday night. Sheryl Brennan and I have decided to cut our Girls Night Out-ings to once a month. So, unless I forget, or unless the event is discontinued before then, I'll head to Jeffersonville on June 30.

Meanwhile, if you want to learn more about Pampered Chef, and live in the Metro Louisville area, contact Tammi. She has such a fun personality--and she has some openings for parties this summer! You can email her at glitterfiedgadgetgirl (at) yahoo.com.

Tell her The Book Lady sent you!

Magdalena

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

They're back -- and they're so pretty!

I never, ever expected the maxi dress to come back. Never. Ever.

Yet, here they are again, and I'm falling for them. Maxi Dresses.

The last time I wore a maxi -- or rather, the last time they were called that -- was when I was in junior high school, right? It's been eons ago, hasn't it? I'm short, so when I buy longish dresses, quite often they hit me just above the ankle when they're probably supposed to hit somewhere lots higher. I think long flowing dresses like this are so romantic. Just what a romance author ought to wear to a summer booksigning, huh?

Well, heavy sigh, the bucks simply are not here for me to buy one of these gorgeous dresses. The only thing that makes it okay is that if I put one of them on, they'd probably be so long I'd have to lop off six or eight inches at the hem.

Okay then, tonight is the thingie at Kingfish in Jeffersonville. Sheryl Brennan and I will meet there, set our beloved books on a table, and see if anyone's interested. We're curtailing our trips to Girls Night Out, and will only attend on the last Tuesday of each month. At least, for now that's the plan.

If Sheryl shows up in a pretty chiffon maxi dress, I'm gonna be so jealous. But don't tell her, okay? I'll try to be very grown up about it. Oh, I just realized--Sheryl is too young to remember the first time maxis were in fashion. Now I'm really depressed.

Magdalena

Monday, May 25, 2009

Cue the music!

We have heard some wonderful music in the last few weeks. A fifty member choir singing southern gospel, a twenty member choir performing a wide array of music including classical, and "Back Home Again in Indiana."

One group we heard recently is Lick Creek Band. I see they have a website, and some clickable songs so you can sample their stuff. Definitely worth it.

Yes, in the last few weeks we've heard beautiful music, from Bach to The Beatles--sung by people you've never heard of. I guess I'm writing this to suggest that, if you have an opportunity to get out and see some local talent, do it!

Music can help lift your spirits--I once heard a choir director say you can't be sad if you're singing. It's simply impossible.

So sing, or listen to someone else sing, or play. It might be the best gift you give yourself this summer.

Magdalena

Saturday, May 23, 2009

L-o-n-g weekend

Boy, I should have been resting up Friday instead of piddling around doing yard work and laundry...wasn't thinking this weekend will be busy!

We have a choir event,








two birthday parties,











a high school graduation celebration,












and Memorial Day.








Definitely should have napped Friday.

So... What are you doing this weekend?

Magdalena

Friday, May 22, 2009

We interrupt this blog...

...to bring you the announcement that I finally finished the novella, Under the Mistletoe, last night. Good grief. It only took me approximately six years...

Okay, not really six years, but way too long. But now it's finished! And I love it! And we'll see what my editor says!

Today I will either clean house (which may require the rental of heavy machinery) or work in the yard.

Mistletoe smooches, everybody!

OH! Pop over to SisterWriters and read about happily ever afters.

Magdalena

Thursday, May 21, 2009

If you are SURE you want an e-reader

Received notice of this deal in my email recently, from Books on Board. The price of the Sony ereader is cheap if you have the money to front a $500 gift certificate at the same time.

I'm still in love with my IPAQ, so won't be taking advantage of the opportunity. I thought someone out there might be interested, though.

An IPAQ story. Tuesday at Girls Night Out, when I wasn't visiting with people, or eating crab cakes, or staring at the river, I took out the IPAQ and read. Also checked my Outlook calendar, showed a couple of people pictures of my son, the cover from the book I'm currently reading, and my cover for Where Her Heart Is (see right column here). You know IPAQ is multi-talented, right? I could have checked email, but the restaurant's wireless doesn't work on the downstairs patio.

One lady drooled with me over the cover of the current read, and later she saw me reading--and was so intrigued that I had the book with me in that tiny little device. I guess, before, she just thought I had pictures stored in IPAQ.

She wants to read ebooks. I could see it in her eyes.

Magdalena

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Small press section

Behold! The small press section of your local bookstore! Probably also resembles the small press section of your local library.

What can we do to fix that? There are lots of great books published every day by small presses--those publishers that do not send huge shipments of books to the major bookstores. Many readers don't even know these small presses exist. I live this every day.

Not long ago we had a terrific discussion about how to get the word out about small press books, how to get these books into stores--especially independent bookstores. Go here to read about it.

I admit I haven't quite dusted myself off from the last go-round, but I know some of you have been working on this. Care to tell us about it? What went well? What could have gone better?

And here's another question. What's the best small press book you've read lately? Tell us the author, title, publisher, and a brief description of the story, so we can all know what's worth checking into. Sounds like fun to me. I've loaned a couple of big bags of TBR lately, so the cupboard is nearly bare (except the digital cupboard).

I look forward to reading your bookstore stories, and the small press books that have taken your breath away!

Magdalena

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

This isn't where I planned to be

Weekend. There was one, right? I had plans for it, too. And then...other things happened. On Saturday, I was over one hundred miles away from where my plans said I would be. It happened again on Sunday. I had plans to be at Point A, but a phone call (actually a series of phone calls) changed that and we headed for Point B.

But I tried very hard not to stress about the things that threw my plans into the garbage. I tried instead to do what I needed to do, and try to put a positive spin on it all. That helped. Stressing would not have helped. Writing a frustrated blog would not have helped, which is why I plugged in the pink sandals blog for yesterday.

On Monday, I was just a few miles from where I planned to be. I was at a funeral, which of course is never in anyone's plans. But I was privileged to attend the beautiful celebration of life for a dear friend's father.

I can't say that what I plan is necessarily better than the way things turn out. I even wonder if it's possible I'm finally growing up a bit. I still allow myself to make plans, but now I add the caveat "barring unforeseen circumstances."

Tonight is Girls' Night Out. There's talk of a live band! Wouldn't that be fun? I plan to be there--barring unforeseen circumstances, of course.

Magdalena

Monday, May 18, 2009

Beware of jumping sandals

So there we were, my Writing Conscience and I, innocently doing a little shopping at Target--when all of a sudden this sandal and its mate jumped off the rack and onto my feet.

What can I say? They make me smile.

Did you expect a substantive blog today? Oh dear. Maybe tomorrow, after my brain is rested from a big weekend. Not that the weekend involved wearing these sandals, of course. It seems we are back to late winter again. I have the fireplace running as I write this.

Magdalena

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Anniversary sale

Fictionwise is having a sale to celebrate its 9th anniversary. Ebooks are 30% to 50% off. Yay! Somebody please restrain me.

Go here even if you don't want to buy an ebook, because it's fun to watch the confetti fall.

I know, I'm easily amused.

Magdalena

Friday, May 15, 2009

Slug day...and travel

It's Slug Day here, our Friday tradition. I've posted a blog at SisterWriters about travel "by book." Click here to help with my itinerary.

Happy Friday!
Magdalena

Thursday, May 14, 2009

All in the name of research

The year is 1975. Dorothy Robbins, my heroine in Under the Mistletoe, works in Jim Bob's Saloon, earning money for her "Leaving Legend Fund." She wants to get out of her boring little hometown of Legend, Tennessee, finish her college degree, and never return.

Meanwhile, of course, she fulfills her current roles--daughter-big sister-friend-waitress. Maybe it would be a little easier if the patrons of Jim Bob's didn't play this song on the jukebox over and over again. Do you remember it?

Magdalena

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The view I didn't see last night

Pretty, isn't it? This is the view from the patio at Kingfish, last Tuesday evening.

I wasn't at Girls' Night Out this week, due to a scheduling conflict. I'm sorry I didn't get to see the Ohio River last night. I missed it.

I don't suppose...it missed me back?

Magdalena

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I never met a king I didn't photoshop

Talk has turned to vacation, so I started looking at previous vacation photos. This is from the stands at a Renaissance Faire in Michigan. We were all there to watch a jousting match. Very interesting indeed.

I thought it quite democratic of the king to sit among the rabble, even though he seeems well guarded. I absolutely had to take his picture, because he was the spitting image of a former pastor at our church.

There was someone else in this picture, on the king's right, and I decided I didn't want that person there. So after we got home, I photoshopped him or her out. The king seems okay with it, doesn't he?


Magdalena

Monday, May 11, 2009

The boots were a bonus

Sunday afternoon the family went shopping. My son had a gift in mind for me--a footstool--since I sit in my writing chair so much. We looked at footstools, but didn't fall in love with anything (always a prerequisite for my purchases). We had such fun, though, looking at the different designs, peeking inside the ottomons that double as storage units, trying them all out.

Being silly.

Later, we looked at shoes. I tried on a pair of brown "alligator" ankle boots, which fit great and felt great. I looked at him and raised an eyebrow. He said, "Okay." Yeah, he bought them for me. Just like a kid, I put my black clogs in the bag and wore the ankle boots the rest of the day and evening. (I know they're not springy or summery. Call me a rebel if you must.)

Bye-bye, footstool (and we totally missed ya, car wash gift certificates). Goofing around, laughing, understanding each other with just a look--those were my Mother's Day gifts. I just happened to get ankle boots, too.

Magdalena

Saturday, May 9, 2009

No dusting required

You may recall I've been cleaning out closets and getting rid of extranea (my new favorite, though made-up, word). But Mother's Day is nearly upon us, and I'd like to offer a gift suggestion for anyone who is desperate to buy a gift for a mom like me (or, in fact, for the actual me).

It doesn't require dusting if you use it correctly, storage is minimal, and it always brings a smile (at least when I'm the one receiving it). Answer: Car wash gift certificates. I love these things!

My favorite local car wash sells the certificates in multiples for a lower price than if you buy one at a time. And they come in a little envelope with a cute picture on it. Ready-made gift. I put them in Liberty Ann's side pocket, and anytime she's in need of a bath, she gets it. Each time I use one, I appreciate the giver.

So, do with this suggestion what you will. I hope it'll make a few moms out there happy! As for me, since my son doesn't predictably read the blog, could someone please forward him the url?

Magdalena

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday is Slug Day

I know you've been missing this little guy. We haven't celebrated slug day in a while.

Slug Day is the [usually] weekly observance of me being too lazy to post at more than one blog in a single day. Friday is my day to blog at SisterWriters, which I have done. Hop on over and read about the Lori Foster-Dianne Castell Readers and Authors Get Together.

Happy Friday!

Magdalena

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Lost sales opportunity?

You know I was bummed the other day after the bookstore visits. I'm rather easily bummed. Sometimes though, I'm rather easily cheered up, too.

Supper at Cheeseburger in Paradise, complete with a margarita, helped. But so did the ride home...a portion of it, anyway.

Can you tell what's in front of us? Did you guess "motorcycle?" If so, you've got part of it. But who is riding the motorcycle?

Well, let's see...there's a man with white hair, and a dog with brown hair and goggles! Sorry our windshield isn't terribly clean, and that I'm too short to take the picture without also including the wipers.


Can you see his little canine goggles? And his doggy motorcycle recliner?

Maybe I should have hopped out--we were at a light--and asked both of them if they read romance. I had my books in the car. Hey--every sale counts!

Magdalena

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Unlacing of Miss Leigh by Diane Gaston

I guess what I'm learning about myself is that even I can't predict what I'll do next. This is not the type of cover you usually see here, is it? Well, I was accidentally browsing ebooks Monday night and saw this cover. Read the blurb. Had to have it. Now. And since it's an ebook, the fact that it was 9:00 pm or so didn't matter. I bought it here, downloaded, moved it to the ipaq, and read it. Yummy!

I love a good "beauty and the beast" romance. Read the blurb and see if it's one you'd like, too. It's spicy, beautifully written, and a quick read.

The only bad part is that I finished it--sigh--and found myself wishing I were smart enough to write historicals.

Magdalena

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New cover art

Pardon my heavy, happy sigh. I am so pleased to introduce to you the cover art for Where Her Heart Is, a Ladies of Legend novella that will release in June (ebook) and September (print).

Cover artist Rika Singh has done it again. Feel free to stare at it. That's what I'm doing.

Here is the blurb:

Two years ago, Betsy McClain gave up on her husband and her hometown. She packed up her baby daughter and moved to the City. Now she’s temporarily back in Legend, Tennessee. But when Betsy agreed to this house-sitting job, she didn’t know her favorite room was being renovated, or that her handsome almost-ex-husband was the carpenter.


After his wife and baby left him, Mike McClain was forced to grow up. Now he considers himself Mr. Responsibility. LizBeth Ann soon falls in love with her big handsome daddy, who takes her for picnics and is her “date” for little girl tea parties. But though Betsy, with her big blue eyes and cascades of golden blonde hair, looks like an angel, she seems determined to treat him like the devil. How can they let go of the past so the little family can have a future?


♥♥♥



Tonight is the weekly Girls Night Out--Country Style at Kingfish Restaurant in Jeffersonville, Indiana. This may be our first night on the patio, if it's warm enough. Join us if you get a chance. I can't predict who will be there showcasing their wares and giving away prizes, but it's been a nice event each time.

Magdalena

Monday, May 4, 2009

In praise of independents

If you read the comments to the previous post, you know I went to a couple of independent bookstores on Saturday and inquired about them carrying my books. I chose poorly, it seems--these stores were more into literary books. And science fiction. And, well, graphic novels.

But not romance. Their romance sections were tiny, and I immediately knew I was in trouble. One woman said romance readers in the area get their books at the chain bookstores, discount stores, or at the grocery. Independents simply cannot compete with the discounting.

Well, in my unrealistic mind, I envision independent bookstores stocking small press romance--the books you can't buy at those other brick and mortar outlets. One of the owners showed me the catalogs she receives from which to order books. It's a hassle to her, finding time to go through all the catalogs and decide what to buy. Our books, of course, aren't in any of those catalogs. They might as well be invisible. I might as well have been invisible.

I didn't handle the conversations as well as I should have--so, much of the disappointment I felt afterward was my own fault.

I did meet a couple of very interesting store owners who feel passionately about books. And there were other customers in the stores, so I guess what they're doing is working for them. But I do wish things had gone differently. I believe customers would give small press books a chance if they actually saw them on store shelves.

I'll likely go to more independent stores before long, because I refuse to believe this is impossible. And because I think independent booksellers are, as a group, cool.

Magdalena

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A little pout

So Friday was pretty much of a wash. I had grand plans, but as usual, plans and reality didn't mesh. Did a little on the Christmas novella, but not much, and that's aggravating. I think maybe I had my own personal dark cloud, because by mid-morning I was in a rotten mood. (Might have had something to do with the arm wrestling Blogger and I went through, beginning shortly after six o'clock a.m.)

Today is the Kentucky Derby and I'm not going to be there. Again. This is, in fact, the 135th Derby in a row that I have not attended. My favorite 11.5 inch fashion doll gets to be there--just like she was at the Oaks yesterday, cheering on my new favorite horse. Where is the justice in that? I even have a dress that looks a lot like her Derby dress. And it still fits, after, well...my son was a toddler when I bought it... But it still looks good.

I do not have a hat like hers, though. In case you wondered.

I guess, lemons/lemonade. I can wear the floral dress and my ivory silk sandals to church tomorrow and see if anybody asks me the big question: "Did the toy manufacturer call you for fashion advice?"

Oh well--happy Derby Day, everybody! Even those of you who are 11.5 inches tall.

Magdalena

Friday, May 1, 2009

Buy Indie Day

Now here is something I can get behind. Independent booksellers.

Today is Buy Indie Day, and everyone is encouraged to buy a book at an independent bookstore.

Go here to learn more about Indie Bound, and support your local bookseller--today, tomorrow, etc. Otherwise, you know, there may not be independent booksellers for us to enjoy.

They make it easy for us. Here is a link to find an Indie Bound bookseller in your area.

As much as I love e-reading, there is simply nothing like a wonderful bookstore. And I guess because I'm such a rebel anyway, independents always have a special place in my heart.

Sorry I didn't realize earlier that today is the official day. I'm guessing if you don't read this til Saturday, it's still okay to buy independent then. That's my plan!

Okay. Happy Friday again!

Magdalena

Happy Friday!

Yesterday was crazy. I spent a lot of time begging for pictures for the SisterWriters celebration of the Kentucky Oaks race today.

Very few people were willing to send pictures (several people who intended to decided against it), and I understand. I really understand. My hat pictures are a lesson in humility. It hurts to realize that I do not look like my favorite 11.5 inch fashion doll. Please take a moment to visit the SisterWriters blog today and salute the people who were brave enough to send in a photo.

Besides the hat picture project, I did a lot of online promotion--mostly yahoogroups. I get discouraged with online promotion because I never know what works. I made a couple of interesting contacts yesterday, though, and was actually able to share something of worth for a change. So that was nice. But it sure ate up the time. My own fault, of course.

Today after getting both blogs posted and sending a couple of online promotion thingies, I'm back to the Christmas novella. In spite of yesterday's frustrations, I actually made some progress on it. I stumbled onto the hero and heroine's main conflict. Yay!

I'll be posting the cover for my June release soon. I'm so excited to show it to you, but it isn't finalized yet.

In the meantime, Happy Friday... Happy Oaks Day... And, as always, thank you for reading!

Magdalena