Palm South University – Season One!!!!

I’m so excited to spread the news of this upcoming launch! “Black Number Four” was my first Kandi Steiner novel and it was flipping awesome!!! Naturally, I jumped at the chance to get my hands on the details of her big announcement and next highly anticipated cover!! And now I’m sharing it with all of you!! =)

FYI – Kandi does all her own covers and they are SO fabulous.

Title: Palm South University (Season 1)
Author: Kandi Steiner
Release Date: Aug 25, 2015
Find on Goodreads

Drama. Lies. Sex.

Welcome to Palm South University.

The weather isn’t the only thing heating up in South Florida. At a school where fraternities and sororities don’t exactly play by the rules, relationships are bound to be tested. Parties and sex are definitely key ingredients in the Palm South recipe, but what happens when family issues, secret lives, and unrequited love get tossed in the mix?

Follow Cassie, Bear, Jess, Skyler, Erin, Ashlei, and Adam as they tackle college at a small, private beach town university. Written in television drama form, each episode of this serial will pull you deeper and deeper into the world of PSU.

Where the sun is hot and the clothes are scarce, anything can happen.

Kandi knows that some of you, especially those who have read Black Number Four, probably have a ton of questions about PSU. That’s why she’s chatting *LIVE* with fans tonight (6/16) on Periscope and Twitter! Tune in at 8PM EST.

Sighing, I take my place in the same barstool as before and Jarrett slides a fifth drink my way.

I hold up my hands. “I should probably say no this time. It’s almost closing time and I need to drive.”

“Not necessarily,” he offers. I eye him curiously and the corner of his mouth pulls up mischievously. He finishes wiping down a glass and hangs it above his head before leaning across the bar, his minty breath tickling my drunken senses. “You’ve been trying all night to get with that douchebag when I could have told you from the beginning that he wasn’t available. And now, you’re left with an ache between your legs that you don’t want to take care of on your own. So yes, you could drive home, get up and go to work tomorrow and just try again another night. Or,” he pauses, licking his bottom lip and dragging his teeth across the top as his eyes fall to my mouth. “You could give me your keys, jump in my truck, and let me take you back to my place so I can cure you of your current situation.”

Oh hell to the fucking yes.

Kandi Steiner is a Creative Writing and Advertising/Public Relations graduate from the University of Central Florida living in Tampa with her husband. Kandi works full time as a social media specialist, but also works part time as a Zumba fitness instructor and blackjack dealer.

Kandi started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic (like most girls brought up on Disney movies).

When Kandi isn’t working or writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys beach days, movie marathons, live music, craft beer and sweet wine – not necessarily in that order.

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Release Blitz! “Not Your Hero” By Anna Brooks

 

Title: Not Your Hero
Author: Anna Brooks
Release Date: April 18, 2015
Find on Goodreads

Sam Monroe is cynical and trusts no one. He lives his life just the way he likes it – no promises and no regrets. All he wants is a willing woman a couple times a week to give him a few moments where there are no painful memories. 

Courtney Gallagher is a single mom doing her best at raising her young son. She longs to feel wanted again, to receive the touch of a loving man. Even though her heart is fragile, she has hope there’s someone out there for her and her son.

Courtney rents a place from Sam, and their relationship becomes complicated. Sam is willing to let her in his bed, but not his heart. Courtney feels a pull towards Sam, but learns that trust is definitely something to be earned.

Can she forgive his mistakes? Does he want to be forgiven?

Amazon

“Is it really gonna be like this?”
“Like what?”
I sit in my chair, back to him, and start twirling pasta. His arms cage me in from behind and his stubble tickles my cheek. “You acting pissed at me. I told you. I fucking told you that I can’t do more. I told you to make me leave, but you didn’t.”
He runs his nose behind my ear, and I clench the arms of the chair, forcing myself to stay still. I don’t want him to see how affected I am. “But you didn’t. So we fucked, Courtney. And we could do it again. In fact, I jack off thinking about doing it again. You know where I live if you want a repeat.”

Anna has always had a passion for writing, and is thrilled to have published her first novel. Along with several other projects, she is currently working on the next book in the It’s Kind Of Personal series. Born in Wisconsin, she’s lived in several Midwestern states. Anna enjoys reading, writing, and spending time outdoors with her husband and two boys.
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Taking It To The Street…Maybe With Some Wine And Cheese

In a world where virtual is no longer the alternate reality, there is still a lot to be said for direct human contact as a driver of prospects and sales.

Let’s face it, we’re all way too dependent on our mobile devices and completely absorbed in email, texting, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube…and on and on. But all the action is online, right??

Ummm, research shows that’s not exactly the case anymore.

Successful selling is rooted in relationships…personal relationships established via in-person meetings and informal, lighthearted conversations. So we need to turn our focus to OFFLINE advertising to differentiate us from the competition. Making yourself accessible to potential customers, giving them a chance to find out who you are and what you’re all about – it goes a very long way and may make them more inclined to patronize your business.

Hitting the pavement may be just the ticket to launch your company to the next level. If you were wandering around a bookstore, wouldn’t you think it was cool to run into an author in your favorite genre hosting a meet and greet? Maybe get a chance to pick their brain about their characters, what drives them to write, where they draw inspiration from? Maybe you might buy one of his/her books because you were just so impressed with their warmth and engaging personality. Maybe you read the book, love it and recommend it to a friend. Maybe that friend is Ellen DeGeneres and the author gets picked up for a segment based on your referral and hits the New York Times bestseller list the next week. Just saying, it could happen. And so the story goes…no pun intended. =)

Don’t discount the importance of face-to-face interaction. A handshake and a smile feel so much better than a private Facebook message, don’t they?? Hosting a cocktail party is a great way to get to know prospective clients!

Red and white wine pouring on wood background

Just make sure you don’t kick back too much.  Remember, you’re working not partying on spring break. =)

Couple having fun in disco night club with body tequila party

Want A Chance To Win A $50 Amazon Gift Card???

Marketing. It’s a word that simultaneously excites me and makes me cringe. Platforms are constantly changing, making it difficult to reach a target market (ahem, Facebook), prospective customers are tuning out more and more because there is a constant glut of information being thrown at them, key performance metrics that trended positive six months ago may not mean much now because marketing channels are flooded with content and becoming largely ineffective.

So the question is…with all these obstacles, how can you make your company stand out against the competition?

Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer. But I can tell you that testing the effectiveness of marketing channels is becoming critically important to companies with small budgets and the best way to test is to first get feedback from your potential customers. Hence, the reason why marketing excites me. Valuable feedback yields potential for new ideas and opportunities for innovation. YAY! Right up my alley. =)

Vector Notebook with drawing charts

This leads me to my latest project. I NEED YOUR FEEDBACK!!!!! Why not give you all a shot to win a cool prize for taking the time to take my super-quick book marketing survey???

ONE random winner will win a $50 Amazon gift card and FIVE random winners will get swag packs! The contest will end on April 1 and I’ll announce winners on my Facebook page on April 2.

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE SURVEY

Cover Reveal! “Femme Fatale Reloaded” By Kirsty-Anne Still

Title: Femme Fatale Reloaded (Pericolo #2)
Author: Kirsty-Anne Still
Release Date: March 13, 2015
Find on Goodreads

I used to be fearful. I used to be admired. I used to be the Femme Fatale.

Until I fell.

I fell from my status, from the pedestal I had been placed, and I fell in love.

And that’s where it all went wrong.

I once thrived on one motto – Don’t feel, don’t deviate, kill.

Now, I thrive on betrayal, a reminder never to trust my heart, and the need to be Femme Fatale Reloaded.

It’s time I got myself back to the place I most belong – a cherished, yearned for secret weapon.

However, when a ghost from my past walks into my life again, pledging to be an Abbiati, my life turns upside down all over again.

My biggest problem was never the kill, but the thrill of the chase.

Apparently, love is the most dangerous game I can ever play, and my life is about to spiral out of control.

 

“Seeing as we’re all out of money, is it safe to say this evening is being cut short?”

“No, no, I don’t think the evening’s up quite yet. I reckon we should up the wager,” Andrew comments, leaning into the table. “Strip poker… I’d do anything to see Amelia stark naked and a loser.”

I don’t get time to roll my eyes and make some smart ass remark as Zane suddenly moves, lightning speed accompanies him, and he slams a knife down, nailing it between Andrew’s fingers, narrowly missing dismembering his middle finger. There’s total stillness in the room as he leans in, the creak of his chair is all that sounds out and we all watch with bated breath.

“Dare talk about my girl like that again and I’ll make sure it’s a bigger member I threaten next time, understood?” Zane asks, his voice dangerously threatening. “Well, Andrew?”

“U-understood,” Andrew stutters, his eyes wide, but he does the wrong thing of looking at me.

Zane, noticing, leaves the knife, and reaches up to grab Andrew around the face. He forces him, in a vice-like grip, to look at him. Zane’s fingers begin to go white while Andrew’s face squishes up with the tight hold. He waits a moment before chuckling and releasing his prey.

“You could never get a girl like Amelia, so dream on,” he states, sardonically executing the words. “I already beat two men for treating her any less than she is; don’t think I’ll make an exception for you right now.”

 

I used to be just another Fanfiction writer! That was until one person showed real interest in my work. And then another, and then another, until I had this whole group of people reviewing like crazy and wanting original work from me. I’d spent years writing for free online, I didn’t believe I had it in me to publish something!

But I’m glad I did!! I never imagined pushing my work and striving to reach my ultimate. I never imagined I’d be the girl who started The Viper Rooms! But who am I to deny the inspiration when it hits?

I love writing, it’s a lifeline. I love creating a world that others fall into. I love having the control to make a whole new world. It’s like a dependency, an addictive one. It’s one of the things I’m extremely proud of.

As much as I complain, I love the mini dialogues that go on in my head, the plotlines that attack me when I least expect them to. The ones that jump to life at the most inappropriate times and drive me totally crazy!!

For now I split my life between writing, dreaming, working, and volunteering with children.

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Happy Cover Reveal Day!! “Losing Her” By Mariah Dietz

I’m happy to announce the cover reveal for “Losing Her” by Mariah Dietz!

Title: Losing Her (His #2)

Author: Mariah Dietz

Release Date: March 1

Find on Goodreads

Synopsis:

“I loved her and she left. Maybe I wasn’t enough. Maybe I’ll never be enough.” I’ve been thinking these words since before we even got together.

Everything is new. The old no longer has a place here. Physical items are easy to replace. I’m constantly battling the ones that aren’t.

Every thought and memory I have is stained.

By you.

You weren’t even there for half of them.

How is she still present even though she left?

I can do this. I’m going to survive losing her.

*** This is the second book of the His Series, and it DOES end with a cliffhanger. The final book of the His Series, Finding Me, will release June 1, 2015***

 LH Cover

Excerpt:

“Dude, you’ve got to get up.” Jameson sighs as I pull the pillow back over my head. I don’t even know what day it is anymore. I don’t care.

What adds salt to my wounds is the fact that the world keeps turning. People continue waking up and going about their day. The sun rises and sets. I hear kids laugh and play, neighbors greet one another, and birds sing, and all the while I wonder how? How does the entire world appear to be surviving this nightmare of losing her?

****

Hank comes to visit in June. I still haven’t heard from Ace, and yet I’m still staying at my mom’s. I can’t leave. I can’t go back to that house. I’d moved rooms shortly after she left, and now reside in the guest room on the main floor. It’s better this way. There aren’t any pictures of her in here or random memories, like the one of her sitting on my bean bag chair when I was sick last summer. I also don’t have to face the window that looks out onto hers.

Hank knows that I know mom sent for him, hoping that he’d be able to “help” me. She of all people should know that having Hank around isn’t going to help me. He’s fucking married to the love of his life; he doesn’t have a fucking clue about the shit that I’m going through.

Of all things, Hank wants to go camping. I’m sure he thinks that getting away will help. He doesn’t understand that moving rooms has helped me realize I could go to Antarctica, and things wouldn’t change; the distance isn’t going to make the pain any less.

When we get camp set up, Hank opens a cooler and passes me a beer with a giant, shit-eating grin, like we’ve just overcome a huge hurdle. Deciding that I shouldn’t rain on his little douchebag tea party quite yet, I accept the beer with merely a grimace before taking a long swig. Before long, that single swig becomes a chug, and then a guzzle as I consume more alcohol than what three people probably should.

I sit by the fire and close my eyes. My mind automatically reaches back into that locked and forbidden drawer to pull out the image of Ace, striving to recall the sound of her laugh, the feel of her touch. It brings me back to our camping trip last September, when Jameson announced that was what he wanted to do for his birthday.

Couple on beach.

LH Banner

Author Info:

Mariah Dietz lives in Eastern Washington with her husband and two sons that are the axis of her crazy and wonderful world.

Mariah grew up in a tiny town outside of Portland, Oregon, where she spent the majority of her time immersed in the pages of books that she both read and created.

She has a love for all things that include her sons, good coffee, books, travel, and dark chocolate. She also has a deep passion for the stories she writes, and hopes readers enjoy the journeys she takes them on, as much as she loves creating them.

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Author

To Boost Or Not To Boost

I’m not a Facebook guru, by any stretch.

My fan page confuses the heck out of me, specifically why some posts get minimal reach whereas others get tremendous engagement…we’re talking mind-blowing numbers. From little old me. =)

I still have yet to figure out how these posts are evaluated by the elusive Facebook algorithms but here is what I suspect…they pick up on certain words and if there is anything remotely related to a contest or giveaway or solicitation of business, they hide those posts (or at least bury them in the News Feed).  This may not be a revelation to everyone but I’ve tested this on my own page and believe it to be true.

Here’s a simple example…yesterday’s post asking for erotic novel character names received engagement of over 500 folks to date, whereas a post that announced a giveaway with a $25 Amazon gift card mention got a pathetic reach of 13!!!!!!!

Facebook clearly holds the cards here.  =)

So, I decided to take the leap and BOOST.  I’m testing this over a non-consecutive two-day period.  I only went with friends and friends of friends and I paid $10 for the initial boost. I’ve heard negatives and positives associated with boosting but I figured, for $10, it wasn’t a really huge financial risk. Lord knows, I’ve spent much more on much less. =)

So we boost…today and again on Monday.  And let’s see what kind of activity my $20 can buy!!!

Don’t Go It Alone

Entrepreneurs aren’t superhuman. Sure, they have drive, vision and dedication but that doesn’t always guarantee success. It’s easy to get derailed and frustrated when things don’t go smoothly as planned. And trust me, they never do.

The road to greatness is fraught with challenges so why not rely on help from others who share your direction and passion and whose skill sets can complement your offerings? Realize early on that you can’t singlehandedly change the world, but with the support of your own team you can diversify and conquer.

We’re not alone.

Even Zuckerberg agrees.

Zuckerberg’s one piece of advice for struggling entrepreneurs (VentureBeat)

I’d Like To Join Your Anti-Aging Crusade, Mr. Thiel

Peter Thiel, a venture capitalist probably most known outside of Silicon Valley for his early investment in Facebook, is a billionaire on a mission to reverse aging.  According to Thiel, it is a category of innovation largely overlooked by investors.

Courtesy of VentureBeat

Courtesy of VentureBeat

Billionaire Peter Thiel Embarks On Anti-Aging Crusade

I’m a sucker for anti-aging technology.  If I had billions, you better believe I’d be investing.  Of course, I try every product I can get my hands on and few things really have an impact.  As an aside, I’m currently testing a series of products but I’ll reserve my opinion until I give it the full trial period.  Stay tuned…

I do prefer topicals.  I don’t love the idea of shooting my face up with fillers like Restylane or Botox or any others that may or may not have been approved by the FDA (because, does it really matter?).

There have been some innovations in the past year that look promising, although the “magical elixir” is still evading scientists.

I did come across a breakthrough that some are calling the innovation of the decade with regard to anti-aging.

Judgement: Anti Aging Breakthroughs 2014

Fractional Carbon Dioxide Laser Skin Resurfacing.  Yeek.  Doesn’t sound too comfortable.  But does it work? Because I’d suck up a little discomfort to look like I’m 20 again. =)

So how does it work?

Energy light makes tiny holes in the skin to target the deeper layers without causing extensive damage to the superficial layers.  As a result, the healing process is dramatically shortened and the surrounding healthy skin generates collagen and elastin to create a firm look.

Downtime is minimal and it’s pricey…at least for now.  But seriously?  It’s a small price to pay to recapture that youthful glow…for about 8-10 years.  Yeah, I can work with that.

Wanna Learn How To Start A Startup?

Lucky Stanford students get all the perks.

They get to learn how to start a startup in a class taught by some of the most successful tech founders in Silicon Valley. Sam Altman, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and president of Y Combinator, and Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook and Asana, delivered the first lecture.

Courtesy of Sam Altman via Twitter

Courtesy of Sam Altman via Twitter

I picked up a lot of great sound bytes in the video that are helpful to anyone trying to launch a startup.  And remember, this is not all about technology. These words of wisdom apply to ALL.

The big question of the session is why start a start-up?  Altman and Moskovitz don’t romanticize entrepreneurship. They urge the students to go into their endeavors eyes wide open and realize that the uphill climb will be much harder than they ever anticipated.  Starting a startup isn’t a great way to get rich quick.  The media does a great job of making it look so cool.  In reality, it’s not nearly as glamorous. It’s not The Social Network.

You need 4 things to be successful: a great idea, a great product, a great team and great execution.

Be passionate about your idea because you’ll be living, eating, breathing and sleeping it for the foreseeable future.  The dew will be off the rose pretty quickly if you’re not as invested in your idea as you expect your customers to be.  One of the best pieces of advice in the video is to find a small market, create a monopoly and expand quickly. And keep the concept simple!  You should be able to tweet the idea!!!! 140 characters or less!

Spend all your time on building the best, most effective product possible.  Get feedback from a variety of users and OFTEN.  Always refine the product so it meets the needs of your target audience.  The less complex it is, the easier it will be to enhance later.  Focus on building something a small number of users LOVE and not something a large group of users LIKE.

And once you have the product, take it to the audience.  One cool anecdote shared was about how the founder of Pinterest gathered feedback and raised awareness of the site. He’d go into the Apple store in Palo Alto and bring Pinterest up on every device in the store so it was the first thing Apple fans would see.  Brilliant, eh? It worked for a while too…until the geek squad (and I say that with affection) caught on and kicked him out.

Check out the video.  It’s very illuminating. =)

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