Hey Dudes: Mother's Day is Coming!

Mother's Day is fast approaching and over on my other blog, I often detail what that day means to me and/or what every mom needs or wants. Anyway, this morning at 5 a.m. (yes, I am up that early), I decided to pick out a few must-haves for moms who love to read.

Soooo, pass this little post onto your man and let him do the clicking.

I discovered this pillow on Etsy...and it's customizable. I think mine should read: Drink Coffee, Read, Read Some More.

 

 

I've been wanting these wine bottles for-freaking-ever, BUT they do not ship alcohol to Pennsylvania. For some of you who live in more lenient states, these are a MUST!

 

 

OKAY, this Mug DOESN'T really have to do with reading but I want it to use while reading.

Last but not least, did you know I offer signed paperbacks?

I DO! Which always makes a GREAT gift! Just sayin'

Happy Mother's day!

xoxox

Rachel

If you don't have anything nice to say...you know the saying.

This blog has sat dormant for a while, and there's no good explanation other than I don't have any words. SHOCKING! An author with no words.

I just don't.

And I shouldn't be using the word just.

I simply don't.

I've been saving all my words for my books, but every night as I go to sleep, I wish I had some extra words. I'd write about how hard self-publishing is and the many behind-the-scenes facets. I'd vomit up how important reviews are, and yet many are disappearing from Amazon. Daily. I would speak to the agonizing decision of participating in KU vs. NOT. Mostly, I'd complain about the loneliness that often accompanies writing.

It's a good thing I don't have any words left because they would come out all negative and twisted when I should simply be grateful.

And I am. 

For you.

Readers. Who make my world a little less lonely and A LOT brighter!

XOXO,

R

Coming Soon with all my words.

Coming Soon with all my words.

Love and Thanks and a Giveaway!

Thank you to ALL of my readers for making the release of Dolce a huge success. I couldn't do what I do without all of you, so <3 <3 <3! All my love, donuts, hugs and kisses.

If you posted a review of Dolce on Amazon and/or Goodreads, check out the Giveaway Below!!
 

Look at this extra special copy of Absolution Road, signed with love by over 40 authors all in attendance at Holidays with the Belles! I'm giving it + a $25 Gift Card to Starbucks to one lucky reader who follows me on Twitter, joins my private Facebook group The Electric Readers, and leaves a review of one of Dolce!

It's a regular party up in here. New Releases, Sales, Covers...

It has been an absolute whirlwind since I last posted.

In fact, I felt like I had nothing to say in the beginning of the year. SHOCKING, I know! Anyway, now I have a ton. 

First, I went to a signing this past weekend, and let me tell you....thank you Dallas for making me feel welcome. I loved meeting everyone who stopped by my table AND yes, I will continue to bring my signature lip glosses to every event. They are the biggest hit, and I'll tell you why....nothing like picking your own color. By the way, they're organic and all-natural glosses... in case you were worried.

I digress.

Second, the cover is out in the WILD for Dolce.

I know, so, so pretty!

I LOVE it only second to the actual story.

And that's about it for me. Oh, I have a few basketball games this week and a winter concert for my son's orchestra.

XOXO

R

Which brings me to my third point. Dolce is up for preorder (99 cents/special price!) and Vérité is on sale for 99 cents so it's a regular bargain basement this month. But I know after the holidays, it is rough getting back on budget so I felt in my heart this was the right thing to do with pricing.

Finally, I have a handy dandy signed paperback store right now. ^^ Right up there under PURCHASE. 

DOLCE Cover Reveal ALMOST Here!

I know, I know...it's agony waiting to see the cover of an upcoming book.

Believe me, I have the patience of a two year old, and there is nothing more that I would like to do than show you the teaser. BUT the gals over at Southern Belles would shoot me (okay, not really...but they are going to do a beautiful job of revealing the cover).

ANYWAY, get ready because DOLCE is coming. 

ADD it to your TBR here.

And because you are the best... a quick teaser.

 

XOXO,

Rachel

 

A New Site & Teaser AND A New Year!

Happy Holidays and here is to an amazing New Year!

What is at the top of your wish list this year?

You're looking at what was at the top of mine! A new WEBSITE!

Special thanks to Sarina Bowen from Author Clicks, who made it for me! It's so beautiful, and shortly after the New Year, you will be able to purchase paperbacks right from here! Yippee.

Happy Everything From Me to You!

Happy Everything From Me to You!

I would love to hear what your holiday plans include??

I hope to spend some time with my kids and enjoy in a little bit of quiet reading and cookie eating.

After the New Year, Dolce will be HERE!

Stay tuned for the cover, but in the meantime...how about a little teaser?

She didn’t say anything, just stared at me like she was trying to understand the opposing team’s plays. My cock was hard as shit, and my heart raced like I was at center court. I both loved and hated it. My whole life was ahead of me, and yeah, I wanted more. But was this it? This tiny outspoken woman from New Jersey who seemed to be so sure, yet unsure of herself?

~ Blane Steele

 

 

An Ode to My Readers

(I'm back to rambling instead of doing what I should be doing) Last week, I shipped my fifth book off to the editor.

Earlier this week, I wrote a prologue for book number six.

Does that make me an expert? A seasoned author? I don't know––

But every morning this week, I took pause. Time to reflect on my writing career, the romance industry as a whole and what we can be doing better...as authors, mostly myself.

My books have seen medium success. More than that, I have a really amazing group of readers. I talk to most of them. Ask them, and they will tell you. If they message or email, I write back. If they write reviews, I like them. It was easy with one book and one reader and with each release, it takes a little more time. BUT this is something, I will never give up.

Listen carefully, I'm going to share my biggest trade secret:

Readers make it all happen.

Whether they blog big time or for small peanuts, tweet, share on Facebook and/or simply leave reviews. Without readers, we are nothing.

Meeting a new reader, reaching a brand new pair of eyeballs is like grabbing the holy grail for an author. It's why we don't spend all day in our robes, eating donuts and writing books (that's only 50% of the time). We get online every day and chat, go to signings and hand out swag and smile for photos and sign kindle covers, and do giveaways.

Does my time on email and social media drive my family bonkers? Yes.

Do my eyes feel like they're going to cross at the end of the day? Yes.

Do I still love what I do? Yes.

Do I dream of my books making it big time? We all do. We just lie and say we don't.

This week among all the riffraff and chatter (low sales, new strategies), it was suggested I write "something en vogue" or join KU or every other theory as to what I could be doing to be more successful. Which is why I took pause...because what does SUCCESS mean?

Absolutely, this is my business––100%––and I have to sell books, make a profit, pay my assistant (because she is away and crap, everything is falling apart).

BUT still success can't just be in the number. It is but it isn't I told myself.

If it were only in a number, I wouldn't write what's in my head but rather what is expected.

If it were only in a number, I would NOT answer emails and messages and send signed books to Colorado when a reader cannot make a signing.

If it were only in a number, I wouldn't worry about Mandy (my first reader) and her health. Seriously, I do.

If it were only for a number, I wouldn't have created these stories and the ones to come. Stories from my heart and my head.

Hence,

Readers make it all happen.

SO, as I start book number SIX, I take pause and think to myself of all the blessings, the good parts, the highs and forget the lows because of the readers. They may be few, but they're mighty and growing.

Thank you. ~R

New Release - Vérité #readersaremyrockstars

It's here!! Today is the release day for my stand alone new adult book ~ Vérité. Picture me out of breath and shouting from the rooftops.

In case, you haven't heard (insert eye roll)...this is what it's all about...and make sure to read all the way to the bottom because I'm doing a very special giveaway!

That’s me – Tingly Simmons – athlete, foreign-language major, professor lover, obsessed idiot girl. Definitely not a frat rat or sorority slut. I’ve never ever played beer pong.

I ditched the vapid, soulless high-society life of Los Angeles for the promise of something more meaningful in rural Ohio. Accepting a track scholarship for college, I tried running my way to happiness, but instead I ended up sleeping with my French professor and falling head over heels for him.

When that relationship fell apart so did I.

Barely hanging on by a thread and using the most absurd coping skills, I was determined to hide behind my past indiscretions. That was, until I met Tiberius Jones.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d learn the truth about love from a six-foot-five basketball player.

Purchase Here:

Amazon

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Barnes & Noble

|

iBooks

 |

Kobo

Giveaway!

I'm offering a giveaway because of YOU -- #readersaremyrockstars!

**To win a signed paperback copy of the book, swag pack, and $25 Starbucks gift card, post a picture of Vérité on your eReader device and tag me on Facebook or Twitter and comment below that you did it!!

Good luck! I will pick one lucky random winner using random[dot]org on Tuesday June 23, 2015 at 10 p.m. EST

Mark your calendars: Vérité is officially coming. #TBR

“To be honest,” he said in a low voice, “I saw you outside the dining hall that first night we met. Then when I realized we had study hour together, I was pumped. I thought you were a freshman, and you took my breath away. Not only were you stunning, but I saw the way you consoled your friend in the courtyard. Don’t panic or any shit like that; I’m not some crazy stalker. I just liked the way you looked and acted, that’s all. After chatting with you for a quick second, I decided I’d never met someone tough and sweet like you. Yeah, I was turned on, but also interested or something like that. Where I come from, people are either tough or nice, but not both.” “Seems to me that you’re both,” I interjected, my kind words coming out of left field. I bit my tongue, silencing myself, and continued to listen quietly, finally raising my gaze to meet his.

“I wanted to get to know you, but I was nervous and made a stupid joke about your name.” Taking a deep breath, he seemed to gather his courage. “Look, I’m just a dude from the streets with a bad Jersey accent and a pretty good jump shot. I get where you’re at . . . you don’t want any part of a brother like me. But that’s not me. I’m not just some guy who plays ball. I’m a decent person.”

Looking up into his pale blue eyes, so amazing with their openness and vulnerability, I felt my protective barrier shift. His warmth chipped away at my outer layer of ice, melting it away as I admitted, “I was just being overly sensitive about my name.”

“Either way,” he said, “I don’t know anything ’bout your past, and quite frankly, I don’t care now that you told me. We all got secrets and history, so you’re not scaring me off with your sordid shit. But I get you don’t want anything to do with the likes of me, all young and ghetto, but I’m twenty and probably seen more than you ever did.”

“It’s not that,” I started to say when...

To read more of Tingly and Tiberius, add Vérité to your TBR pile here on Goodreads.

Available at Amazon, Nook, and iBooks on 6.15.15

Gratuitous Thanks and Run-On Sentences

Excuse me for a moment because I'm about to get all sappy...it could just be that Hello Again by Neil Diamond is playing. OR not. It may be...a year and a few days ago, I hit publish on my first novel. With one stroke of a button, I put all my hard work, blood, sweat and tears on the line. My friends bought it, my mom read it, and soon...a small group of unknown-to-me readers read it. Some loved it, others abhorred it. My editor told me to strap on a thick skin (in a much nicer way); my husband assured me that if I didn't receive any bad reviews, I hadn't really gone mainstream; my mentors said to just write another book.

What did I do? I dried my tears and wrote another book. Well, actually two more in a year's time. I just kept typing, dreaming, and marketing. OH, the fucking marketing. It's 97 & 1/2% of my day. Marketing. There are fun parts of this like talking to readers––the ones who like your books––and meeting bloggers. Bloggers are hard-working people who actually do work-for-free most of the time. If not, they make pennies while helping us––authors––with marketing. All for the love of reading and romance in my case.

There are not-so-fun parts like ad placement and reading bad reviews, feeling the need to apologize that my book wasn't your cup of tea (I really do feel this way), blogging myself, running giveaways, etc. Most of these are not all bad just tedious and keep me away from writing. I'm not going to lie, reading a bad review hurts, but I get over it now. AND I have Nicole now. She makes everything better...are you reading this Nicole?

Anyway, I digress (a bad habit of mine). A year after publishing Electrified, it's still growing and gaining new readers/fans (?!?!) and sometimes I run to the mirror and check that I'm still standing...and this is happening. BTW, Pam is going to shoot me over the run-ons here, but it's my party, and I'll clearly run-on if I want to!

I continue to be shocked how Electrified is still moving and shaking. Sienna is special to me...Asher even more so––at times. Smoldered was my most emotional to write, and clearly polarizes audiences to the max. I was still a new & fairly dumb idiot back then, and I made Asher an absolute cheating prick with a heart of gold. I love him that way.

Redemption Lane brought a new set of characters and a less glitzy background. Lane and Bess made me cry, Jake makes me swoon...I'm writing him now. And then there's my soon to be released, Tiberius. He's not what you think, debunks all those preconceived notions you may have, and was totally new for me to write.

It wasn't planned this way, but somewhat ironic that the cover reveal for Vérité fell on the same week as Electrified's anniversary. Yesterday blew me away, toppled me over––and that's not easy when you're 5'10. Thank you so much for all the messages, emails, texts, posts etc - bloggers, readers, friends, enemies alike.

Bloggers who were on vacation reached out, new reviewers sent messages for my current books and wanting to be on the list for upcoming titles, and my mom forgot (I think she did, but she played it off). There's also the other authors I've met and fallen in love with...too many to mention. But they really have circled around me when this author stuff got too hard and celebrated with me when it's going well.

So, just thank you. Thank you so much for making this last year incredible. I look forward to the next few - Rachel XOXOXO

1 year anniversary of Electrified!

This week is the 1 year anniversary of Electrified! MARYSE is sharing a never read before excerpt ...a wedding ...that took place in between Electrified and Smoldered. Head over to her blog to read it! P.S. And for all you Asher lovers...lots of him in this special excerpt.

In celebration of the anniversary, I'm giving away a $20 Amazon Gift Card! All you need to do to enter is write a review on one of my books and be subscribed to my newsletter! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sign Up for my review team!

I'm looking to start a list of reviewers who would like to be contacted when I have review copies available. 

Rachel Blaufeld's Review Team

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Saying Goodbye to Characters isn't so EASY #writerproblems

I’ve been a little down this week... After putting a few finishing touches on my latest work-in-progress and getting it ready to send to my editor, a huge let-down washed over me. It is hard to explain, but it happens to me every time I finish a story. There are those long endless days or weeks that all seem to blend together. The days I’ve spent all alone with those characters––in my robe, drinking coffee, eating nothing but snacks and breaking only for Chinese takeout with my family. My brain begins to think like the people I’m writing as I hum the music they’d listen to, and they are very, very real to me. Not in some psychotic sense, but in my mind, the main and side characters come to life, instructing me to put their story on paper.

As a person, I don’t generally squee or eeek or gasp over the people who come to life in my imagination. Perhaps, I’m overly attached and nervous to share. Maybe it is an unhealthy dose of separation anxiety or nerves over whether you––the reader––will accept my characters. Often, they’re flawed, not perfect beings trying to live their lives and fucking up while they do it.

 

Writer Rant by Rachel Blaufeld

 

With my latest project, I realized that if I want or need to do one simple thing as a writer, it is to make my readers think and question what they are told to believe.

Starting with my first heroine, Sienna. She’s a religious woman turned stripper––not for kicks, but for freedom and safety from her tyrant of a husband. At one book club, I was called a particular religion basher and asked why I wrote this? I took it in stride, as Sienna is a survivor, my woman of valor who commanded her own destiny, and wasn’t created without the necessary research. When you dig, you find, and that’s what I did. If I made one or two readers question what may be hiding underneath some, a very few, and definitely not all religious sects than I did my job.

Then, there’s Asher, the star of my Electric Tunnel series and Smoldered. He is such a psychological wreck, the product of no parental supervision and a degenerate of the Las Vegas streets who did the best he could. He cannot get his personal life together, and he cheats and acts a fool and tears down homes and ruins relationships when love is right in front of him. Some hate him, won’t read him for his lousy cheating ways. To me, he’s every bit as lovable and broken, and watching him climb out from under the boulders weighing down on top of him makes me fall a little bit harder for him. After all, the notion is not all of us came from the same loving place where we learned to cherish what’s in front of us. Sometimes, men and women need a swift kick in the ass as adults to understand this.

I’m not going to take apart each of my characters. They all have their own distinct issues and hurdles, and writing their journeys, bringing to life their passion and pitfalls––that’s my greatest passion. In my latest––Vérité––I decided to take a different approach. A good guy meets a screwed up, mixed up, train wreck of a girl. I take down stereotypes––not just gender roles, but way more. Creating people who are not what you think they will be, breathing life into them has been my main focus for the past two months, and now I’m sending them to get them ready to share.

I already miss them, hope you love them, and treat them with the same respect I’ve come to have for them. So, it is a bittersweet moment like sending your kid to kindergarten. It’s time to let go, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

 

Rachel Blaufeld Covers

 

 

Thank you to all of you who have cared for my characters. XOXO ~ R