Are You Ready To Get Plowed???

Plowed is LIVE for a special release price of $0.99! This is a limited time offer and the price goes up on Wednesday, so don’t miss out! And check out the $25 Amazon gift card giveaway. To enter, #LIKE,  #COMMENT, & #SHARE this Facebook post. Super easy!

Contest ends on 11/7. Winner will be notified by email.

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Synopsis

Sexy rock god Daxton Cole has everything… and nothing that can bring him peace.

Music, whiskey, pills, parades of silicone-enhanced groupies keeping his bed warm at any given time… none of it soothes his wounded soul. The demons always win.

His life is a toxic existence on a permanent loop, like a bad 80s movie.

Until…

Sara Russell, the junior publicist hired to salvage his tarnished image, plows into him. Innocent, naïve, and pure, she’s the only one who can piece together what has long been shattered.

But sometimes, when you’re so broken, it’s impossible to become whole again. And even more impossible to save anyone else.

GOODREADS

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Excerpt

 “Dax, where the hell are you going?” Finn’s question was followed by a yawn so loud, it could have woken the inhabitants of the neighboring buses. “We have sound check in an hour.”

Daxton ran a hand through his tousled, gel-crunched hair and pulled on a Houston Astros baseball cap. “I’m going for a run.”

“Sorry, I don’t speak that language. Come again?”

“I need to clear my head, okay? Buy me some time. I’ll be back.”

“Since when do you run? Don’t you want to get breakfast instead? Bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich, home fries, coffee?”

“Look, it was a shitty night. I need to get out for a while. Alone.”

“Dude, Merrick is gonna—“

“He’ll deal. I’ll see you later.”

Daxton slid open the tour bus door, breathing in the crisp, fresh air. Nobody in sight. Great, he finally had a chance to escape the questions he couldn’t answer, questions he didn’t even want to acknowledge.

The sun peeked over the clouds as he sank into a hamstring stretch. His muscles were so tight, just like the knot that had taken up residence at the base of his skull. Ironic. Excessive booze normally had the opposite effect. And he’d pretty much drank himself sober after last night’s debacle. How the hell had that guy gotten so close?

He rubbed the back of his neck, desperate to relieve the knot. “Dammit!”

“Rough night?”

That raspy voice made him jump about twenty feet into the air. Christ, did she know how sexy her voice sounded in the morning? He’d love to hear it waking him up after a very sleepless night infused with lots of carnal pleasures. Oh, fuck yeah.

“I didn’t mean to startle you.” Sara twirled her ponytail around her index finger, a sleepy smile on her face. The soft morning light danced atop her head, half-hooded green eyes making his cock twitch. Shit, even at this ungodly hour of the morning?

“I didn’t expect anyone else to be awake.”

“Thought you’d escape unnoticed, huh?” Sara smirked. “I’m going for a run. Figured it was my only chance for some peace and quiet before Merrick assigns me his list of errands for the day.”

“Uh-huh.” His eyes raked over the curves poured into hot pink spandex, mind unable to formulate a thought beyond peeling her out of those constricting clothes. Immediately, if not sooner.

“Okay, then.”

“Okay, what?”

She grabbed her ankles one at a time, pulling each toward to her perfect ass, stretching her quads. “Let’s go. You shouldn’t be by yourself, anyway.”

“So you’re gonna protect me?”

Her pink lips curled into a sly smile. “It’s my job. Now stop procrastinating and move.”

“You’re kind of pushy. Why can’t we ease into it? Nice and slow to start?”

“Nice and slow, huh? Kind of shocking. You don’t seem the type.”

He stretched his arms over his head. “I don’t know what you’re implying. I was talking about running.“

“Sure you were.” She tightened her ponytail. “Trust me, you’ll feel better once you sweat out all the alcohol.”

A slow trot increased in intensity much too quickly, and soon, they were circling the arena parking lot at full speed. Focus, focus, focus! His primary objective was not to collapse. A sidelong glance confirmed Sara had barely broken a sweat since they’d started. No words were exchanged, which was a good thing, since he couldn’t catch a single breath. A burning sensation erupted in the pit of his belly, spreading through his lungs, singeing his insides.  His legs, now feeling more like Jell-O than actual limbs, were on the brink of revolution. Why didn’t he grab a bottle of water? Panting only made his mouth drier, as if it wasn’t already more arid than the Sahara at midday. Sweat drizzled into his eyes, blurring his vision. How many more times were they going to make this death loop?

Sara pivoted to face him, tiny beads of perspiration glistening along her hairline, the only sign she was exerting herself at all. Jogging backwards. Not even changing her gait. He was a step above pathetic – a very short step.

“How is it that you can’t even make it a mile without looking like you’re about to pass out?”

Great, he needed to speak now?

“It’s not like…I’m…Britney Spears…shaking my ass…all over the stage.” His calf muscles ached as his sneakers pounded the pavement. Bacon, egg, and cheese had been a very delicious alternative, and he opted out for this self-inflicted torture? “I play guitar…and sing…doesn’t require…cardio.” He mopped his face with the edge of the t-shirt. “How the hell…are you…able to do this? I don’t think…your boy…friend is…keeping you…up late…enough.”

Croaking out those last words nearly killed him, for multiple reasons.

“You should really consider traveling with an oxygen mask.” She flipped around, giving him a glimpse of her shapely backside, just about the only thing keeping him going. “And, just so you know, he’s not my boyfriend anymore.”

“Not your…boy—“ A sharp pain shot through his foot, stopping him mid-stride. “Ahh!” His body rocketed forward, arms flailing, sending him to the pebbly concrete lot with nothing to cushion the blow except his pride.

Thump!

“Holy crap, are you okay?” Sara fell to the ground where he was writhing in agony, bits of pebble mashed into his skin. “Where does it hurt?”

He let out a loud groan and fell backward. “Fuck. Everywhere!”

“Do you think anything’s broken?” Her hand squeezed his and for the briefest of seconds, the presence of his very intense pain faded, replaced by Sara’s compassion, worry, and genuine concern. Somebody actually cared. That hadn’t happened in…shit, long enough that he couldn’t pinpoint an amount of time. It felt nice. Until the agony crashed over him again like a tsunami.

Sitting up was a struggle, but dammit, he was already hovering on the brink of being a complete and total pansy ass. Ignore the pain. Find out what happened with the boyfriend. Even a fall like that couldn’t quell his curiosity. He had to know, even if he was going to be in traction and unable to do anything about it for the foreseeable future.

“Am I allowed to ask what happened?”

A look of shock flitted across Sara’s face, quickly followed by a snicker. “Wow. Your focus is impressive, even with four potentially broken limbs.” Her playful tone couldn’t mask her nerves, though. She toyed with her ponytail again, normally bright green eyes darkening. “I walked in to find Laney riding him like she was competing for the Triple Crown.”

“Horse racing fan?”

“Yeah, we have a horse farm back home. Raised several thoroughbreds. I always loved to ride.” She averted her eyes, but not before he caught a glimpse of what she’d been trying to shield.

“Where’s home?”

“Minnesota.” She sat back on her heels, eyes still guarded. Conversation over. “So, what do you think? Are you able to hoof it back to the buses?”

“Eli is a fucking idiot.”

A slow smile brightened her flushed face. “Agreed.” She held out a hand. “Come on, let’s see if those legs still work.”

“Are you gonna carry me if they don’t?”

“You don’t pay me enough.”

Gritting his teeth, he pulled himself to his feet. “Christ, I feel like I’ve been run over by a freight train.”

Sara snaked an arm around his waist, hoisting him against her. “Take it slow, okay? You said you liked that.”

The scent of citrus wafted into the air between them. So delicious, like a fruit salad. How could she still smell so good after that run? “Yeah…I figured you’d use that against me soon enough.”

“Can I ask you something?”

“Looks like we have lots of time to kill before we make it back to camp. Shoot.”

“What happened last night? Who was the guy?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.“ How the hell did she even know?

”I’m sure your little groupies love the coy act, but I’ll pass.” She cocked an eyebrow. “Daxton, I’m part of your PR team. It’s my job to know everything that goes on during this tour. Sean from security told me someone approached you. I can’t do damage control without all the facts. Who was he, and what did he want? Or, maybe a better question might be what does he know?”

His face twisted into a grimace with each step. The buses weren’t even in sight. With any luck, they’d make it back by lunchtime. “You ever feel like you’re suffocating? That there’s air all around, but you just can’t breathe it in? Like your body resists what it needs to survive, and you feel like you’re constantly drowning? That’s how I feel most of the time. The air, everything around me – what people see, what they want to believe, judgments they make based on half-truths – it’s all toxic. Better not to inhale. The lesser of two evils, but either way, I’m fucked.”

She nodded, her hair tickling his shoulder. “I do know what you mean.” Her voice was soft, sad. There was something beneath that snarky exterior, something he was desperate to uncover, but her demeanor begged him not to press.

They walked for a few silent minutes that seemed to stretch into hours. He clenched and unclenched his fists as waves of pain assaulted his ankle. “Shit, that hurts.”

“I don’t think you should push it. Let me call Merrick.“

“No.” He stopped, teetering on one leg. “Please. Not yet. Can we just sit down for a minute?”

“Of course.” She eased him to the ground and sank onto the pavement. “Is there anything I can—?”

“The guy from last night said he knew my mother.” Daxton held his head, expelling a deep breath. “She disappeared after my brother died last year, without a trace. Without a warning. One day, she was there; the next, gone. With her clothes, car, jewelry. Everything…gone. My dad made a half-hearted attempt to find her, but I was too angry to try. I’d just lost my best friend, and my mother picked that time to bail. We should have been there for each other, but she didn’t care enough to even say goodbye.”

“I’m so sorry.” Sara grasped his hand. Her skin was so soft against his calloused fingers. It was an occupational hazard for a guitarist.

“I don’t want to have anything to do with her. She abandoned her family. Things between her and my dad were never great, but what the hell did I ever do to her?”

“So you had security get rid of him.”

“People always have an angle, Sara.” He raised his eyes to see the empathy reflected in her gaze. “I can’t trust anyone because everyone has an agenda. They want to know what I can do for them, how much I’ll pay to keep something from happening, what they can hold over my head in exchange for things they want. Even if this guy is telling the truth, I’m not willing to listen because nothing comes without a high price tag.Toxic. But the problem is, even though my body tries to protect me by resisting the urge to inhale the poison around me, I want to live, to be whole again, free from all this useless anger and resentment. I need to breathe.” He raked a hand through his hair. “I just can’t remember how.”

Shackled To The Past… Rejecting Hope For The Future

My latest read was one that gave me some pretty mixed feelings, Author Anonymous by E.K. Blair.  The writing was, as expected, fantastic because that’s just how E.K. Blair spins a tale. But the story itself… I had reservations, I’ll be honest.

This is the story of a woman named Tori, a stay-at-home-mom-slash-bestselling-author who has some deep-rooted issues she doesn’t discover until it’s almost too late for her to battle them. Her family, her husband, her life – none of it is important enough for her to fight against the allure of something different, which turns out to be a man she meets on a website while doing research for a new book. And the something, or rather someone different turns her into an addict in need of a constant fix. She can’t operate without it… without him.

No matter how many people try to save an addict, only they can ultimately save themselves. I hit peaks and valleys where I felt sorry for Tori and when I wanted to smack her silly and scream at her. I can empathize to a point, but when too many opportunities to fight for what is most valuable are ignored, I lose patience. One may argue – maybe what you consider most valuable isn’t what is most valuable to everyone else, Kristen. To which I would respond, you’re absolutely correct.

Everyone has different needs, and sometimes what we want isn’t actually what we need to be happy. Such is the case with Tori. In her mind, she wants to love her husband, to rekindle their fire, to have a happy family life. But that isn’t what she needs. She can’t be satisfied because it’s something she’d never truly experienced with her own parents during her childhood. So deep down, she can’t accept it.

It saddened me to read about her struggles, a woman who had a perfect life, but couldn’t accept her place in it. E.K. Blair brilliantly captured the raw emotion of this story and when the wounds were torn back open time and again, I felt the sting.

Side note… the cover? Freaking fabulous.

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Get It On Amazon

A.J. Morgan Is FINALLY Here…With A Giveaway!!!

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Cover Design: Jena Brignola
Photo Credit: Josh Edmonds
Models: Sam Anderton & Savannah Kaitlyn Jefferson
Release Date: August 29, 2016

~Purchase Links~

~Synopsis~

Notorious celebrity playboy A.J. Morgan has more emotional baggage than notches on his well-used bedpost, but bleached blonde three-ways and excess of whiskey are all the therapy he needs.

Live to indulge, indulge to fill the voids.

Those are his rules…. until he meets cunning financial analyst-slash-sexy club singer Lisa Embry, a woman whose heart is surrounded by more barbed wire than a high-security prison.

Rules? What rules?

One lust-filled romp with his female alter-ego turns A.J. into an addict in need of his next fix and he’ll pay any price for another hit.

But Lisa has her own rules… ones that can never be broken.

Goodreads

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~Giveaway~

Signed paperback & One of Five Amazon eBooks for Joint Venture

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

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~Also Available~

Unlikely Venture (Book 1) Purchase Links – FREE
Nothing Ventured (Book 2) Purchase Links
Venture Forward (Book 3) Purchase Links

 

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Romance Spotlight – Chasing Rainbows By Linda Oaks

I can’t get my arms around the fact that this is a DEBUT. Seriously, it is that well-written and heartfelt. It’s a young adult, which you know is not my go-to genre, but the characters were so well-developed, mature and multi-dimensional, it didn’t feel like a young adult story. It was such an emotional read. I experienced the angst and anguish of Addie – the horrors of her past haunt her throughout the story and I felt her emotional struggle with the flip of each page. And Jake…talk about a swoon-worthy hero. His past experiences give him strength to follow his heart and pursue the girl who’s captured his heart. You can’t help but fall in love with him and everything he has to offer Addie’s wounded soul.

***FIVE FLIPPING STARS!!!***

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Chasing Rainbows, A Young Adult Romance

By 

Linda Oaks

***Synopsis***

At the start of her freshman year, Addison Hayes’s world is tragically turned upside down and she finds herself spiraling into the darkness of destructive habits. Now three years later, she’s still battling the ghosts of her past.

With the start of her senior year, Addie finds herself entangled in a twisted game between twin brothers, Chase and Chance Logan. Their path of destruction leaves an already tormented girl feeling even more lost and confused. But sometimes out of complete chaos can arise a blindingly blessed insight whose name is Jake Riley.

Jake is like no other guy that Addie has ever met before. He doesn’t scare easily. Unfortunately for Addie, Jake wants her; darkness and all.

Will Addie lose herself in the darkness or will she be brave enough to finally set herself free?

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***Buy Chasing Rainbows***

Amazon Barnes & Noble  iBooks Kobo  Smashwords

***About The Author***

Linda Oaks has always had a passion for books. At the age of five, she was a book of the month club member. Her love for books eventually led her to a love of writing. She resides in Eastern Kentucky with her husband, two children, three dogs and a pet rabbit named Dozer. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. She can also be reached by email at authorlindaoaks@gmail.com. She loves connecting with her readers.

***Connect With Linda***

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***View The Trailer***

Chasing Rainbows on YouTube 

 

 

Happy Release Day! HOOKER HEELS By Ryan Ringbloom

I am so excited to share the news of Ryan Ringbloom’s 7th book launch! “Hooker Heels” is one of my very favorites by this fab author. And in case you were wondering, “Panic” is my all-time fave, so make sure to one-click that one as well. =)

Okay! Without further ado…I bring you Kenna and Zack…

Title: Hooker Heels

Author: Ryan Ringbloom

Genre: New Adult

Release Date: 10-1-15

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***Synopsis***

Kenna Winston’s world revolves around money, and the men who spend it. Men are mere pawns in the game that she calls life. However, her game is about to change once she’s offered a business contract with some interesting caveats. Kenna has to decide whether she is ready to up the ante and play in the big leagues. Or decide if the proposal being offered is crossing the line, even for her. With her heels high and morals low, she wonders what will happen if her heart gets involved?

Oh that’s right, she doesn’t have one.

Zackary Knight has always had things handed to him. That’s not the life he wants. Can’t anyone see that he goes deep, that he’s more than just a shallow dollar sign? Who is this beautiful woman who just appeared on his doorstep? Is she someone he can finally open his heart up to?

Because his heart, it’s a big one.

*Contains Mature Content

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***Excerpt***

“Perhaps you’d care to join me.” His eyes roamed down to my legs and he took a sharp breath in through his nose. He stood and extended his hand to me. “We can discuss my business some more and then maybe we can discuss yours.”

My business. I covered my gulp with a small cough. It was crystal clear what he was insinuating and yet I accepted his hand, gracefully standing from the tall stool. That was the kind of power that came with money. And at the moment, I was powerless.

“Send another bottle up please,” he all but growled, his hand on my back ushering me in the direction of the lobby.

“Right away, Mr. Parker,” the bartender acknowledged him.

Mr. Parker. That was the name of my wealthy suitor. Good to know.

A black card was slipped into a slot in the elevator and it took off to an unmarked floor on top of the hotel.

The doors opened to a posh hallway and I followed Mr. Parker to the only room on the floor. We entered the penthouse and were greeted by a butler dressed in black tails.

“Good evening, Mr. Parker. Miss.” He nodded at me. “I have your bottle of champagne set up on the bar. Shall I pour?”

I glanced around the enormous space. There was a bar near the windows with another bottle of Dom already waiting for us. A simple gesture was made, two glasses of champagne were poured and a crystal glass was placed into my hand.

Fancy nights courtesy of a man who was attracted to me and looking for sex was nothing new. I’d received many drinks, trinkets, jewelry and more from the many disposable men who had come and gone in my life. I had incredible assets and knew how to use them to get what I wanted. Or needed.

The butler disappeared. I didn’t even see him leave. We were alone. I placed my empty glass down on the bar. Time to work my magic and see what it would get me.

Hmm, what was Mr. Parker’s fantasy?

Figuring out a man’s desires was my gift. It was a talent I had perfected.

Once again, I found Mr. Parker admiring my long legs. They were toned and perfectly tanned. A winning combination that I learned early on stilettos accentuated even more.

I reached forward and pulled on his blue silk tie, walking backwards, leading him seductively over to a pristine white sofa. I gave a playful push, seating him in front of me. His eyes opened wide in lustful admiration.

I expertly unzipped my dress in one quick motion and let it fall. He groaned and leaned back. I hid a smile at his predictable reaction and stepped free, kicking the garment to the side. If I was wearing a bra or panties, I would have removed them next but… oops look at that, I wasn’t wearing any.

This left me standing tall in nothing except my heels.

My hooker heels.

***Review***

Redemption. A great book always has characters that need to be set free from their past mistakes so they can finally find the happiness that has eluded them. Such is the case with Kenna. Her collective life experiences and subsequent choices have led her to a crossroads. She can continue along her path, bleak and lonely as it is, because it is the safer option…one where she controls the outcomes and reaps the rewards. Or she can take a rather large risk, which **may** beget her the bliss and fulfillment she has been missing.

Trust. Zachary the white knight. God, I loved this guy. When he loves, he loves big and hard. But because of that, he is susceptible to hurt and betrayal and that makes him closed off. When he finally opens himself up to the possibility that unconditional love does actually exist, he pours his soul into his hope for the future.

Feeling (not just watching) these characters grow as individuals and together as a unit, experiencing their happiness and subsequent anguish…it all made the story that much more fulfilling.

In the spirit of baseball season, I’ll be a little cliché and say it…

Another home run for my dear friend Ryan Ringbloom. Congrats, love! <3

*****FIVE FLIPPING STARS!*****

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***Buy Links***

AmazonUS ~ AmazonUK ~ AmazonCA ~ AmazonAU

***Add To Goodreads***

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***Connect With Ryan***

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon Author Page ~ YouTube ~ Instagram

Sign Up For Ryan’s Newsletter

Sexy Stilettos, Steamy Shower Scenes & Silicon Valley…For FREE!

***Unlikely Venture By Kristen Luciani***

Read It For ***FREE*** Until 9/27!!!

Here’s the thing about keeping secrets…

After devastating news threatens her livelihood, Jessica Latham swears off men…until she meets Silicon Valley rising star, James Callahan. But when a vindictive frenemy exposes Jessica’s scandalous secret, James is forced to choose – his company’s future or his heart?

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ iBooks ~ Smashwords

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Whistle While You Work…Or Run…Or Play Foosball

My workspace is pretty standard, very practical, but kind of boring if I’m being honest. Lots of desk space, tons of papers covering said space, cabinets, laptops, ever-present mug of coffee. I try to keep it organized but it’s not easy when ideas are constantly flowing out of my head and onto Post-Its. My name is Kristen and I’m a Post-It addict. Whenever I get a thought, I jot it down and stick it…well, wherever I can find space, which is a commodity.

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I sometimes wonder, how awesome would it be to create a workspace according to my own dream specifications? Like maybe a space where I could take a quick break and run on the treadmill to keep the creative juices flowing? With plush couches where I can plop down when the knots in my neck tighten after being hunched over my laptop for hours on end? One with large, floor to ceiling windows, lots of greenery, light, airy rooms and a fabulous view for inspiration? Maybe one with a nicely stocked refrigerator with lots of champagne so I can reward myself after spending the day agonizing over scenes and plot twists? It would be awesome to have a large-screen wall hanging television for those times I just need a mental break and want to watch re-runs of Impractical Jokers. And of course, a huge whiteboard for all those dang Post-Its would be nice!

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Well, guess what? There is a company out there that can help me achieve my work zen, called WeWork. You signup to become a member and select from several packages that allow you different levels of access to custom workspaces. You can book a space for a day or longer, depending on your needs. Maybe you just want to have a couple of days a month where you venture off to another location to keep things percolating. You have that option with WeWork. And if you happen to be traveling to another location and need to reserve a spot while you are there, go to WeWork for options! It’s that simple.

The company has space in all the big hubs across the United States, with additional locations in Israel, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

So even if you aren’t traveling for business, maybe you just need a periodic escape to recharge your batteries. Comfort + mental calm = PRODUCTIVITY!!!

“Nothing Ventured” Is Live! It’s Giveaway Time!

It’s LAUNCH day!!!!!! Let’s CELEBRATE!!!! How about a giveaway, in honor of our delicious hero, Chris Camden?????

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Here’s to Chris, the Adonis and certifiable charmer with more lines than a supermarket before a snowstorm. With a panty-melting smile, ridiculous body that oozes pheromones, and a hot car, he’ll have your knees weak within minutes. I promise. <3

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of ‘Unlikely Venture,” Book One of the Venture Series.

The contest closes on 9/22/2015 and the winner will be notified by email. GOOD LUCK!

Buy Nothing Ventured:

Amazon  Barnes & Noble  iBooks  Smashwords

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It’s Almost RELEASE DAY for NOTHING VENTURED!

September 15 is almost here! Release day for “Nothing Ventured!” I’m excited beyond words (which is kind of odd for an author) and thrilled for the launch day events to kick off!

We’ll be running giveaways with awesome prizes, so be sure to check them out! I’ll post all the details here!

Nothing Ventured, Book Two in The Venture Series

After suffering a devastating loss that forever changed her life, eluding love is Mia Bradshaw’s primary objective…. until she’s granted a coveted career opportunity to partner with Silicon Valley heartthrob, Chris Camden. But when everything she’s been so careful to protect and control is put in jeopardy, can the guy with more lines than a supermarket before a snowstorm save her… and himself?

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So while I wait for Tuesday to roll around, I’ll need to find ways to keep calm and occupy myself…hmmm…this might do the trick.

So You Wanna Be A Blogger?

Blogging is a great way to connect with a target audience on a somewhat personal level on one condition… you actually BLOG. It sounds great in theory – start a blog, write about a cool topic, get a bunch of readers to follow you, and BOOM! All of a sudden you’ve graduated to Perez Hilton status, with 14,500,000 estimated monthly users. Who wouldn’t want THAT????

But you need compelling content that people crave. It doesn’t happen overnight and it definitely won’t happen unless you do a few key things right up front.

Your first step is to figure out your topic and blog name. It can be your name or something that is related to the type of content you want to write about. When I created my blog, I knew I wanted to write about innovation, entrepreneurship and startups. So I agonized for DAYS and finally came up with The Idea Mama. It’s catchy, right??? =)

Once you have a name, you’re ready to roll! So here it is… my top 10 list for starting a new blog! These steps come way before your fingers hover over the keyboard, itching to type that first entry. There’s a lot of prep that goes into the setup. Don’t rush the process. Take your time, think long and hard about your goals with the blog. These tips will help you get started.

Group of BLOG related 3D words. Part of a series.

  1. Buy the domain. You can’t have a website without a domain name. It’s your home address… on the web. Go to http://www.godaddy.com and find out if it’s available. If it is, GRAB IT! If you want to test the waters, buy it for one year instead of three.
  2. Select a blogging platform. I use WordPress and I like it. I’m not wild about TypePad. I’ve used that in the past and found it to be extremely frustrating. One of my other sites, Author Navigation, was built with Weebly. They have a free trial available. Weekly is very intuitive. You can drag and drop components onto your page according to the theme you select. Easy to use and very reasonably priced.
  3. Get a logo for your website. Fiverr is THE place to go for a cost-effective graphic. It’s one of my favorite places on the web. It’s a community of freelancers who offer gigs for graphic design, online marketing, advertising, music and audio, writing and translation – all starting at $5. You can always beef up your gig for an additional amount but let me tell you, I’ve gotten kick ass results with only $5. Go. NOW! If you need a recommendation, I’ve got a guy… =)
  4. Create a Twitter handle…I have a couple… @kristen_luciani, @theideamama. Use your new blog name and if it isn’t available, come up with some variation. Then, HAPPY TWEETING! You’ll share your own content, as well as content you come across on the web and with your fellow tweeps. We’ll get to that in the next tip…
  5. Create a CrowdFire account. This will help you find the right target audience to follow on Twitter. It helps to grow your following, which you NEED to grow. You’ll also be able to find INFLUENCERS using this tool. Influencers are people who are subject matter experts in your topic and have a large following, which represents a large opportunity for consumption of quality content. Establish relationships with a few key influencers. Retweet and comment on their content and hopefully, they will eventually return the favor.
  6. Create a Facebook page for your blog and start to get likes. Make sure you post to it several times daily. You can post images, links to articles or anything else that is relevant to your blog. The purpose is to engage with your fan base and sharing compelling content is the best way to engage. Videos are cool too. People really appreciate the personal interaction, so get out of your comfort zone.
  7. Set up an Instagram account. You can post images or 15 second-long videos. AND you can link your Instagram account to Facebook and Twitter, so any of your images will post to all three locations.
  8. Establish a Hootsuite account. This is a tool that allows you to consolidate all your social networks and post to all at once. TIME SAVER!!!!!!
  9. Register an account on Quora. This is a great way to get exposure to a new audience. Establish yourself as a subject mater expert on your topic by answering questions in that category. It really helps get your voice heard and people will start to become familiar with the value you bring to the table. AND, you can always use those questions/responses as blog posts!
  10. Subscribe to a photo site. I belong to Dollar Photo Club. It has great images and is extremely cost-effective. $99 per year entitled you to 99 images. Each additional one will cost only $1. There are plenty of other sites, but this is my preference. You can’t post random Google images on your blog, even if you credit the website. If you get caught, you’ll get a nasty letter warning  you to take the image down or else legal action will be taken and you’ll most likely be threatened with a fine.

There are also a ton of informative books on blogging. Here are a few of my faves:

Feel free to browse other titles…just be careful that the book wasn’t published too long ago otherwise the industry will have changed too much for the information to be really relevant. Sometimes, though, you can find diamonds in the rough.

Okay, I’ve gotten you started. Next steps?

WRITE, then SHARE!!!!

Social Media Ideas Designer Desk Architectural Tools Office Concept

Social Media Ideas Designer Desk Architectural Tools Office Concept

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