Sometimes, you gotta get stuff off your chest #authorlife

You know when you have a bad case of heartburn and you lay down in bed, and it burns the hell out of your chest? You wonder if you’re having a heart attack, remembering if you had any tingling in your arms or not. You turn on your right side, then your left. You eat a graham cracker, which provides only momentary relief. You chew some tums, take an antacid, or swallow something stronger. These too only provide short-term relief because at the end of the day, you need to find out what the heck is causing the heartburn…

 

That’s what this blog post is like for me. It’s been sitting there, festering, eating away at me slowly. Despite several momentary lapses in my thinking, the idea still sits there, hammering away in my brain.

 


If I don’t put these thoughts out there, I will continue to be agitated to the core…so, here you go.

 

…Sometime in 2013, I wrote a piece on E.L. James and the Fifty Shades Trilogy (I would link to it, but I’ve taken my blog down since then). Anyway, I began to cover the book series from a mom-in-business perspective. Disclaimer: I and devoured all three books, and I would do it again. That being stated, I looked at James and her series from the perspective of creating a name/brand for oneself. Hot damn, Erica did that—whether you liked the subject matter or not doesn’t matter. Who the hell doesn’t know who E.L. James is?

 

Around the time I published this blog post, I was contacted by a producer for the Katie Couric show. We chatted about my theory. We talked some more on the idea of the trilogy spicing up bedrooms. I was invited on the show (I had to politely decline for an unrelated reason). Somewhere in there, I mentioned I always wanted to write a book and had been sketching out an idea for some time. Needless to say, this producer encouraged me to do just that. She loved my blog, had been following for some time, and liked my voice.

 

Flash forward to early 2014, book in hand, editing underway, and other decisions to be made. The notion of self-publishing appealed to me; I was a business woman too and wanted to control marketing and what-not. The biggest question was whether to use a pen name or not. At the time, I already ran a successful blog of my own, was syndicated on several other outlets, and had a pretty significant audience. If I had a quarter for every time I heard, “You should use a pen name and then you can self-promote without people knowing it’s you,” I could retire.

 

I AM NOT JOKING.

 

The notion of this felt like such a slap in the face. Did I have what it took to be that disingenuous? I consulted with several big-time blogging, writer colleagues, and decided honesty was the only path I could take.

 

Not long after that, I hit publish using my real name. It’s been a pretty vast journey since. Initially, there was a lot of money and success to be had…I found readers, hosted blog tours, started a newsletter, continued blogging and writing, and on & on. 

Tough times fell on the Romance category. We don’t know the specific reason, more than likely many factors contributed. A flooded market, Kindle Unlimited, sales, freebies, voracious readers, signings gone bad, the closing of brick-and-mortar stores. You name it, and I’ll list it. Mostly, there were a lot of newcomers to the category (and I was still relatively new myself). The stupid fucking algorithm changed and changed again—keep in mind, we never fully understood it to begin with. There were theories and rumors, but never anything proven. We needed 30 reviews, then we needed 50, now I think we 1 bazillion in 24 hours. What we needed was to be noticed. There were sales and a whole slew of websites who promoted your sales for a fee. There were freebies, and blitzes, and READING GROUPS became a thing.

 

None of these tactics were wrong. In fact, used together or separately on any given day (while running ads), you may see some traction.

 

The thing was, we only wanted to be seen, discovered, and read. It became harder and harder. The tapestry of our individual lives varies differently, and authors have extremely different output levels. 

 

And there came the mills: the faceless authors who published continually, recycling themes and ideas, padding books, sometimes found to be copying content, yet were burning up the charts, dominating KU and sales, pushing hard-working authors to the far ends of the algorithm. These authors love chocolate and red wine like you and me. They have a dog or cat and live in the foothills of some gorgeous rural setting. You see where I’m going with this?

 

Some of this is speculation, some is founded. Plagiarism continues to be discovered. 

And all this has both me and many others saying: WE need to reinvent ourselves, create a persona, who can compete in this made-up market.

 

I don’t want to do that, which is why I mentioned my backstory. 

I want to be me.

I want to own my words and ideas and love my readers.

Isn’t that what every writer wants? 

Competing against a “machine” is a bigger blow than a bad review or two. 

 

I’m not certain of the solution. When I have an idea, I will let you know. 

 

What I am CERTAIN of is this:

I write my own words.

I spend time staring at each and every one on my laptop screen while often drinking cold coffee.

I’m not fast. I’m not slow. I’m just me, and that’s all I can expect of myself.

 

coming-soon2.jpeg

If you’re curious what I’ve been writing…it’s something new. A little different for me. More Women’s Fiction, with romantic elements, and a lot of complicated relationships amongst friends and couples. I LOVE it, and I hope to have it in your hands sometime soon.

Xoxo, 

R

Golly, I'm just getting around to updating this -

I cannot tell a lie: I literally just put away all my clean laundry from BEFORE Christmas! I'm not KIDDING. That's what happens when you release a book. BUT it is so worth it.

 

Break Point is LIVE, and this is what they're saying (read on after because I say something profound):

"Sensual and forbidden, a mesmerizing love story that leaves no feeling untouched." ~ Katy Evans, NYT Bestselling Author

---->KATY said that!

"Addictive! Sexy! A romance with unexpected turns and a heartfelt story of love and forgiveness." ~ Jewel E. Ann, Author

 

"Rachel Blaufeld is a queen of a sexy romance and when I am in the mood for an angsty story with some incredibly hot moments she is an author I go to." ~ Miranda, Red Cheeks Reads

 

"...a well balanced story, some funny moments and some good old angst." ~ Michelle, After Dark Book Lovers

Anywho...I said the other day, if you make a reader FEEL, you're job as a writer is DONE! It may be rage or affection, love or animosity, dreamy or angry...it doesn't matter. When words evoke feelings, it's a job well done.

BUT the most important job is YOU as a reader for taking the time to 1 click your finger and sit down and read my book.

SO THANK YOU!

If you haven't met Drew and Jules yet, you can do so here:

Amazon US  

Amazon UK

Nook

iBooks

KOBO

ALSO, if you want to read something laugh out loud funny, check out my interview here.

xoxoxo, R

♥ What's really behind my upcoming release? To See You... ♥

Have you ever fallen for someone who was so completely opposite of your ideal? Or your idea of the ideal? There has to be that one time when some guy got you thinking...

Right?

I'm so excited for my upcoming release, To See You, for this reason. It is about unexpected love. The kind of attraction that blooms when it is least expected.

 

 

Layton came to me on a trip to Disney. I was seated across from a dude. He wasn't my type nor the other girl seated next to him (I could tell). YET, she liked him. He was funny and confident in a fresh way——

Anyway, this story blossomed in my mind and IT is coming soon!

In fact, it is available for EXCLUSIVE preorder on iBooks

 

 

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

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

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

 

My own personal #MARCHMadness

"I'm never doing that again. EVER!" -- These were my words early yesterday morning as my prices went back to normal after a three-day sale on Electrified. My friend and fellow author, Susan Ward, replied with skepticism. She didn't believe me––to which I answered, "You're probably right."

Electrified was free for 72 hours. It started out as my way of thanking new readers who may have started with Smoldered or my newest series, Redemption Lane. It turned into 24 frantic hours of me hassling Amazon and Nook to adjust my prices. I know, it was naive on my part to think I could just set my book to free. With Amazon, I must be exclusive to their platform to do so and with Nook, I needed to use a third-party provider to deliver my ebook in order to do so. Neither one would allow me to offer my readers a freebie.

I wasn't going down without a fight as I learned about these policies. I started bombarding Amazon with emails, and I have to say their support people were the BEST!!

Hot guy for no reason -- Rachel Blaufeld, author

 

I'm not joking. I don't know if I got lucky or what, but they were insanely responsive. They heard my plight, could sense the worry and fear and anxiety jumping off my emails and worked quickly to price match Electrified to FREE. Nook not so much. They kept passing the buck and passing the buck, and finally I waited 3 days to hear back from someone, who said it just wasn't possible. DUH! Good for everyone involved, I'm not a quitter and I found out over the weekend how to get around this policy and set that plan in motion. These are the not-so-glamorous days of independent publishing.

Anyway, the point of this is not to complain, but to say thank you. Not just by offering the sale but from the bottom of my heart. Thank you. For reading and supporting me. And know this -- I will do whatever it takes to keep making you all happy.

CHEESE ALERT --- I know!

And because I love you all so much, I'm part of this giveaway HERE with a number of other authors...hurry up and enter.

Also, I'm going to be giving away a ♥ primo ♥ prize next week for readers. You need to be signed up for my mailing list to receive the details. There is a little tab right there in the sidebar --->

 

I hope you are all enjoying your reading––whether it be my books or not!

♥ Leave a comment with a great book you are reading, so we can share the wealth! ♥

RB

 

 

 

Why Reviews Matter to Independent Authors

From time to time, you may have heard me saying something like, "If you liked my book, please leave a review where you purchased it or on Goodreads or both..."  

And you probably think, "GOD, that Rachel is such an ego-maniac. First we have to buy her book and now we have to go write a review about her writing. How much ego-stroking does this lady need?'

I know it appears that way, but let me explain why reviews are important to any author, but especially an independent one. We [I] do all our own marketing. We make teasers, interact daily/hourly in Facebook and Goodreads reading groups, we love to talk to readers, and we take time every day to do all of this and more. It's time-consuming, and I'm sure it sounds like I'm whining, but I would not trade my relationships I have with readers for anything. Nothing. Not even my own Dunkin Donuts franchise.

LOVE a Book, Leave a Review

But I also want to write more books and I can't keep up with everything, and this is where reviews come in. Reviews are really helpful marketing tools for authors. They live and breathe on the pages where readers visit to peruse and buy books. They are read by potential customers and influence their purchasing decisions. Yes, that was a mouthful, but basically, your kind [or not so kind] words help me promote my books, which let's face it––I appreciate that immensely. I spend a lot of time writing each and every title, and I want to share them with as many readers as possible.

An ego-trip is the furthest thing in the world that I want or need, but don't think that your reviews go unnoticed. I try to like, comment and touch base with as many reviewers as possible.

What did you say? You don't want your name associated with a romance review. NO problemo.

Reviews can be short, sweet and to the point. A quick little note, and if you don't want to include your name––that's cool. Just put Amazon Customer or Nook Lover or Reader Extraordinaire. You can call yourself whatever you want, and I don't even have to know it's you.

 

Ebooks

So far, today had been one of those oh-so-NOT-glamorous days, being an independent author. Mostly, I'm already pulling my hair out regarding uploading Redemption Lane to the various places you'll be able to buy it. Currently, it's stuck in review purgatory at iTunes and from what I hear, Amazon is running slow in approving titles. So, I'm panicking. All the while, I'm trying to rush getting the paperback approved because I know there are a number of you who prefer the feel, touch, and smell of a real book.

And even though all this seems so crappy, I'm super excited to share my latest title with YOU. Seeing your feedback after it releases lets me know my hard work was not for nothing.

At the moment, I look ghastly, and that's being generous. Still, I am about to publish my third book, and my stomach is a mix of nerves and mostly excitement.

So, if you happen to read Redemption Lane and enjoy it, please leave a quick note where you purchased it. And to those of you who have read my other titles and left a review -- THANK YOU! And if you haven't written one yet, you still CAN!

~ Rachel

XOXO

 

p.s. Smoldered is on sale for 99 cents --> EXTENDED through the release of Redemption Lane on 2.19.15

amazon 

iBooks 

barnes&noble

 

Win an ARC for Redemption Lane

Redemption Lane by Rachel Blaufeld  

As I sit at my desk and the snow falls outside, I'm growing even more excited to share my new Crossroads series with you. Set between Ligonier, Pennsylvania and my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania––with a jaunt or two to Miami––Redemption Lane is certainly special. An angsty, emotional story between two broken souls both in need of repair, Lane and Bess find peace in the most unlikely of places.

 

With the snow-lined trees peeking through my window, I may as well be sitting in a setting or two of Redemption Lane. There I am reveling in my own little world when it hits me! I haven't even shared an extended teaser for this book...

SO, I decided to do something about that-->

Actually TWO things.

Please sign up for my mailing list and during the first week in February, you will receive a special preview of Redemption Lane delivered right to your inbox! There is a little sign up box right in the sidebar over there -->

AND one lucky random winner, will receive an ebook Advanced Reader Copy of Redemption Lane. You don't have to do anything else other than sign up for the mailing list.

[Winner will be selected by random.org by midnight on Wednesday Feb, 11th]

 

ADD Redemption Lane to your TBR list on GoodReads here.

Find my new column, In Bed with an Author, on Facebook here.

XOXO

R

 

Redemption Lane by Rachel Blaufeld teaser

 

 

 

 

 

This Author's 2015 Bucket List

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! from Rachel Blaufeld, author So, if I'm correct we're already two days into 2015. At least in my time zone.

And I'm yet to make a list of what the hell I want to accomplish this year––goals, trajectories, long-range plans. In other words, the ugly side of self-publishing.

 

So, without further ado, my 2015 Bucket List.

  1. Get dressed each and every day. Work as much as I can in my robe.

  2. Release THREE books and hopefully one novella.

  3. Go to bed on time, making sure to get my 8 hours every night.  Stay up late into the wee hours reading for fun, reviewing other indie's ARCS and editing my own.

  4. Give back. Send books to the troops and the women's shelter.

  5. Give up sugar and caffeine. Install a coffee maker in my office. Maybe a bat-phone to Dunkin Donuts too.

  6. Run a half-marathon or three to counteract the donuts and writing while sitting on my ass.

  7. Hide out in my office or coffee-shop. Hit the road and meet readers and other new authors.

  8. Lend support [and a shoulder to cry on] to other authors.

  9. Shove all my receipts into a drawer until April 14th. NOT! My accountant will shoot me.

  10. Answer every message, email, tweet, fb post, or as many as I can. Because without you––READERS––I am nothing.

 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for a great year in advance...and making last year the absolute best debut year EVER!

RB

AND a very special thanks to Becca Manuel for this fan-made trailer.

Have you seen it?

 

 

 

 

Happy Holidays [and I'm not on tsu]

happyholidaystunnel  

Just yesterday it was the end of the summer and I was putting the finishing touches on Smoldered. Now––it is almost Christmas Eve, and I'm blown away how quickly the time went.

This has been one hell of a year. From releasing both Electrified and Smoldered to meeting many of you. Cliche', yet so true,

 

without readers, an author is nothing.

 

For the last nine days, I've been giving away books on Facebook––on my page––but I'm told that will not be a viable place to touch base after the new year. FB is apparently adding fees and further controls to make connecting more difficult.  Many authors and readers are jumping on tsu. I'm not there yet.

I barely have time to keep up with the social media channels I'm currently on let alone new ones––and keep putting out books.

I hope to stay connected on FB, but if that's not possible...I am prepping a new subscription form where you will be able to sign up and receive updates and fun, probably naughty, notes from me. Maybe even teasers?!?! Stay tuned for details.

I adore each and every one of you. Thank you so much for stopping in to say something exciting about the books or to ask me about upcoming releases on FB or here or by email or at a signing.

I wish all of you the most spectacular holiday season.

Love, RB

2014 Holiday Reading Recs

The elf is hiding and everyone is having twelve days of Christmas or this or that...and I'm editing. And maybe doing a little internet shopping. But with winter break coming, I thought I would share a few of my holiday reading recs.

Grab any or all of them and enjoy them by the fire or while ignoring your kids or when you're on vacation.

 

The Redemption by SL Scott

 

The Redemption by S L Scott

The second book in the Resistance Series. I think I loved the Redemption more. While the Resistance was frisky and fun, this installment is angsty and painful. But oh so, so good. Rochelle is a widow and a single mom. Dex, her late husband's closest friend has been in love with her from afar––since they met. Now, he has his chance, but there are so many misgivings and secrets that their romance is cloaked in twists and turns and more twists.  A holy hot mess of a rocker,  Dex has a sweet side and it makes this read totally worth it. It is an absolute one sitting read because there's simply no good point to put it down.

The Signature by Susan Ward

The Signature by Susan Ward

I picked this book up one afternoon and didn't put it down. Krystal, a rockstar fugitive, and Devon, an investigative reporter, should stay away from one another, but they don't. And sparks fly. Emotional ones. This is a fabulous contemporary love story with the beauty of old school romance woven through it. A perfect read for someone who is looking for a book without all the erotica. But have no fear...there is still steam and sparks.

with Everything I am by Kristen Ashley

With Everything I Am by Kristen Ashley.

Although this is an older read, the next book in the series comes out after Christmas and I LOVED this one. A werewolf and his betrothed carry secrets and as their love unfolds, these secrets become more and more entangled. A perfect paranormal romance, there is beauty and passion. And it is KA––so you know, it's amazing. And, at the time of writing this, it is on sale for 99 cents.

Unscripted by Christy Pastore

Unscripted by Christy Pastore

With a sneak peek at the end of Smoldered, I luckily had the chance to read an ARC of this book...and it is on fire. Sexy, sensual, and dreamy Ronan Connolly falls for Holliday Prescott, a contradiction of a woman. Strong yet broken, Holliday refuses the Irish actor's advances until she can't hold out any longer. An affair ensues with many ups and downs, and we are left hanging...I know, I know! It is tough. but it will be worth the wait. This book is a fabulous escape for any romance reader. Debuting on 12/9, it is avail for preorder now.

 

Electrified by Rachel Blaufeld

Smoldered by Rachel Blaufeld

 

And if you read either Electrified or Smoldered...THANK YOU! from the bottom of my heart.

Redemption Lane teaser by Rachel Blaufeld

2015, Get ready! Coming in February, the first book, Redemption Lane, in my newest series, Crossroads.

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! xoxox, RB

What's on My #Kindle? A little of this & a little of that. ALL #indie

Smoldered by Rachel Blaufeld  

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I get ready for release day and I'm not so patiently awaiting my formatted books to start uploading, my Kindle is FULL.

I get to spend a few days catching up on reading. Lucky me.

So, I'm going to be quick because I want to get back to reading...

BUT here is another edition of what is on my Kindle:

 

Keep You From Harm by Debra Doxer

 

Keep You From Harm by Debra Doxer is everything and nothing what it seems.  It is a YA/NA, coming of age paranormal story full of mystery, suspense and young love. I am hooked. Doxer is an incredibly talented writer, transporting the reader to Main Street U.S.A. in rural New York to follow Raielle and Lucas on their journey of finding themselves, each other and the powers they hold.

 

When the Perfect Comes by Susan Ward

 

AYE! There is a Pirate aboard my iPad and from what I hear––he is SMOKING HOT!. When the Perfect Comes by Susan Ward is a historical romance, an often forgotten but amazing genre. If I know Ward, and I do...this will be nothing bu the best and I will be hooked for the rest of the series. I happened to be obsessed with Ward's rocker, Alan Manzone, in The Girl on the Half Shell.

 

Here with Me by Heidi Mclaughlin

 

 

I had the pleasure of reading Here With Me while it was being written, and people...it made my toes curl. Heidi Mclaughlin brings us a story of deep love and passion between twin brothers, Navy SEALS, Evan and Nate Archer, and Ryley, the girl of both their dreams. Beautiful, romantic and suspenseful, this book details Ryley being Evan's until he goes MIA and then Nate steps in to take over his brother's life. It is a one sitting read, so make sure to get comfortable.

 

Take a Bow by CJ WELLS

 

Okay, I haven't read Take a Bow by CJ Wells yet, but A. the cover is magnificent and B. I am not so patiently awaiting the return of Alex Tate after meeting him in Perfect Plans. It is available for pre-order and I have it on very good authority, we are not going to be disappointed.

 

Smoldered by Rachel Blaufeld

 

And of course, I am reading Smoldered. I CANNOT wait to release Asher's story on 10/16/14. Saying goodbye to Asher and Natalie was hard, but I am excited for you all to hear their story. *sigh* It is a painful one, but oh-so good, I am told.

 

What I learned this summer [about doing it on a couch]

So, I've been largely MIA for two weeks. No, I didn't go to Bora Bora.

No, I didn't quit doing what I do.

No, I wasn't captured by aliens.

 

Definitely, NO, I've Not been having 24/7 sex and unable to come up for air.

 

All that being said, I've been consumed with catching up with family and being a mom for the last 14 days.

Packing, unpacking, rinsing and repeating, and ending it all with a destination wedding.

 

Now, I'm back in the saddle (and ouch, it hurts after being gone for so long), but I am in it, thankfully.

Today, marked back to school for my kids, so I guess, summer is officially over in my house, and it is only appropriate that I share the top TEN pieces of shit I learned this summer:

 

1. Summer is no fun as a responsible adult. There are no midnight rides to nowhere or make out sessions on the 18th hole.

2. Two things come from hanging in a hammock in the garden of a posh hotel in South Florida with lights flickering above and the ocean crashing in the background: great ideas and bug bites.

 

what I learned this summer by Rachel Blaufeld, author

 

3. Indies write amazing freaking books with the freedom to create the best characters, and all of a sudden I lust cowboys like Mason in MoonDance in Red by Salem Archer and Grayson in Perfectly Imperfect by Fabiola Francisco.

4. Couch sex is so not what I remember...

5. My twenties were all they were damn well cracked up to be, and books like Fifteen Weekends by Christy Pastore remind me of just that...and, deep inside, I am an "Emily."

6. When the characters in your head star playing out a scene on a big extended family vacation, pretend you have to pee and go write that shit down.

7. There are advantages to being a morning person, such as getting to know people on the other side of the Atlantic.

8. Speaking of rockers, I fell head over heels with one over the summer. Alan Manzone from Girl on the Half Shell by Susan Ward.

9. I also happened to begin to carry a flame for moviestar playboy, Alex Tate in Perfect Plans by CJ Wells.

10. I love fall and being back in the saddle...

 

So, get ready to Smolder Soon.

 ~RB

 

 

Holla! Win FIVE debut romance ebooks this holiday weekend

5 ebook giveaway including Electrified.  

 

I'm not going to lie: Being a first time, debut author is scary. Its downright, flat-out nail-biting, hide-in-your-closet or underneath a blanket frightening. As an author, you're putting your words, characters, and ideas out there for everyone and anyone to read or see, and that is intimidating enough. BUT, then there is the added fear of no one, other than your mom or sister or sister-in-law, even picking up your brand-new, shiny novel.

 

Which is why I have been on a mission  to check out as many debut romance authors as I can. On my adventure to read, I discovered Susan Ward, Terri Lyndie, Salem Archer, and Elle Michaels––AND their books.

 

Each story so distinctly different in feel and style, yet all of them compelling, I am crazy, run around naked, excited to be able to giveaway an ebook copy of each one this holiday weekend. LOOKS like one lucky winner, will have a very busy weekend of reading by the pool, lake, beach, or locked away in your bedroom.

The giveaway will run from 8 a.m. EST on 7/1/2014 through 8 a.m. EST on 7/5/2014 through rafflecopter, and then each author listed above will gift one lucky reader a kindle copy of their book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What does your husband think?

Over the last two months, I've heard "What does your husband think?" more times than I care to count. If asked, he will tell you he is the inspiration behind all my alpha men, even the ones who dwell in my head, despite the fact that I tell him to say "Its fiction" in response.

But, it is a work of fiction. A world of make-believe that came to me a long time ago––on a trip to Las Vegas. The characters in my story are a result of my overactive imagination, a little bit of wine, and yes, my background in psychology/human development/social work. [And, maybe just maybe, my husband.]

Inspiration in writing romance

I've spent the better part of my life studying people, so in a way––that has helped me build my characters. Each and every one is a labor of love and intensity and focus. Your reviews of them, kind words, even the not so kind words, mean the world to me because you chose to spend time with them.

 

My husband knows better than anyone how much time, effort, attention that building characters takes because he has heard from me, "Shhh. I'm writing right now" about as much as I have heard "What does your husband think?"

 

Ultimately, I think he's proud. He thinks its great.

[He thinks he's Carson.]

 

 

What's on my Kindle? #indieauthors

I admit...I'm a little behind in my reading since launching my first book, but I have been trying to catch up over the last few weeks. That and write and write, but it is my kindle that I find some escape at the end of the day. AND, I freaking love that time. Freaking.  

Another indie author friend once said to me,

"I consider myself a reader first."

I could not agree more.

 

It is the stories I fell in love with that made me want to add my own to the mix.

 

So, without further ado, this is what is loaded on my kindle right now.

Very Bad Things & Very Wicked Things  by Ilsa Madden Mills

Both with spunky, free-spirited heroines trying to break free from preconceived notions and stereotypes and steamy alpha heroes, I don't recommend picking either of these up unless you have time to read each one in its entirety because you will not be able to put them down.

*A personal thank you to Ilsa for both LEO and being so kind and helpful to me!

 

Very Bad Things by Ilsa Madden Mills

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very Wicked Things by Ilsa Madden Mills

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Archer's Voice by Mia Sheridan

Ugh, this book is so good. So good. The story, full of pain, loss, and love flows from one to the other and captures the reader, pulling them in deeper and deeper. And, Archer. Oh. Archer.

 

Archer's Voice by Mia Sheridan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Education of Sebastian and The Education of Caroline (combined series) by Jane Harvey-Berrick

One of my all-time favorite reads has a new cover and BONUS scenes (yes, I am screaming in all caps, but they are that good). A heart-stopping, gut-wrenching story of forbidden love...and, then reacquainted love, Caro and Seb are another duo hard to put down.

 

The Education of Series by Jane Harvey Berrick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Happens Tomorrow by Elle Michaels

This is next on my TBR list. Elle, a debut author like me, is already getting great reviews on her book, and I cannot wait to open it. Apparently, I should have a box of tissues on hand. Who doesn't love a good cry?

 

What Happens Tomorrow by Elle Michaels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AND, of course, my book is there residing next to all these greats, and I can't stand it!

Electrified 

 

Electrified book cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HAPPY, peaceful reading in bed, the bathtub, or the carpool lane.