… No, not “Catching Up with Depeche Mode,” although that disc had most of the essentials from DM’s early years.
I’m talking about catching up with my busy, busy author self.
The days—has it really already been a month?—since DIVA IN THE DUGOUT‘s release have been a whirlwind. That’s probably no surprise to anyone who’s been there, done that with their debut novel … or any new book, really.
Since I’m not making enough to quit the day job (yet), I’ve been juggling a 40-hour work week with:
- Finishing the first draft of still untitled Book 3 in my All Is Fair in Love & Baseball series. (Finished Oct. 30 and am about to start self-editing.)
- Prepping BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER for its March release. (Got edits from my TMP editor in late October and am about to shoot an updated MS back to her.)
- Getting my holiday novella, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, ready for its indie debut on Nov. 25. Edits courtesy of my former Daily Sun coworker, now a freelance editor, Heather Danielle Crabtree, and formatting by Marie Force’s Formatting Fairies.
- Being NARWA’s president, with all the fun and worries that entails.
- Promoting DIVA in as many ways as I can.
I bought a Facebook Flash ad on TheCheapEBook.com, stuffed DIVA bookmarks into books from some of my favorite authors at Barnes & Noble and Bookmans stores in Phoenix and have been making the rounds with guest blog posts.
In case you missed it:
- I chatted with fellow TMP author J.M. Kelley about my debut—before it had actually debuted—and answered questions about my high school days and my favorite season.
- I visited with the Rubies to talk about my trouble with the (learning) curve. I asked what everyone wished they’d known before they published their first novel and discovered, much to my disappointment (but not surprise), that the writing biz doesn’t get any easier once you’re published.
- I stopped by Lynn Cahoon’s blog to share my favorite writing advice. I wish I’d been at RWA Nationals to see Kristan Higgins’ keynote speech live, but I’ve watched the YouTube video twice, and my advice is from it.
- At Just Contemporary Romance, I revealed my dirty little secret. (Hint: It involves balls … or a lack thereof.)
- At Chicklets in the Kitchen, I whipped up one of the meals that makes an appearance in DIVA. Nothing fancy here. Think something a busy single mom would feed her 4-year-old.
- This Wednesday, I’m set to visit with Barbara Bettis for her Writers Wednesday feature. Among other things, I’ll be sharing an excerpt from DIVA. (You’ll be able to see for yourself why the hashtag #BadDadIncident, coined by one of my healthy living blogger friends who’s reading the book, fits …)
I’ve been watching DIVA’s Amazon bestsellers ranking closely. Not like a hawk, though I admit to checking it more often than I probably should, for my sanity’s sake. It’s been up and down, though it seems to be hanging tough right around 10K. You might have seen some of the posts on my Facebook author page.
For a brief, shining moment Wednesday night, it was at 6,800-something. (Yes, I took a screen shot … I’m nerdy that way.) Whatever magic bullet propelled it to that height on the Amazon Best Sellers list has since worn off, and it’s back in the 10K-15K range.
Because I’ll only have one stab at Best First Book (and because habits die hard), I decided just this week to enter DIVA in the RITAs. It’s up against some stiff competition (like my friend Abigail Sharpe’s WHO WANTS TO MARRY A COWBOY), but I figured what the heck. I’ll only have one first book, so why not try?
You can’t win if you don’t play!
Disclosure: Book links in this post are Amazon Affiliate links. I’ll make a few extra pennies if you use them to buy.
Does anyone say stoked anymore? Probably not. I’m hopelessly uncool—and mathematically challenged. (More on that in a future post.)
To celebrate my upcoming indie debut, I’m dedicating this week’s My Sexy Saturday snippet to HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS.
Since I’ve been too busy to play for a couple of weeks, here’s a quick refresher on the My Sexy Saturday rules:
Post 7 paragraphs or 7 sentences or 7 words. The choice is yours. It can be from a WIP or something you already have published. Your post should be live by 9 am US Pacific Time on Saturday. Put those lucky 7s to work for you!
In this sweet and sexy holiday short, singer Cheryl “Cher” Stanton reluctantly returns to her tiny Indiana hometown for Thanksgiving—and some forced R&R. When her mom’s SUV swerves into a ditch to avoid a cow in the road, she hits her head on the dash. One of the paramedics answering the call is Derrick Mullins, her high school friend and the one guy who didn’t know she existed … or so she thought. She couldn’t have been more wrong.
In this scene, Derrick has—at his best friend’s urging—returned to the scene of the accident to talk to Cher, whom he hadn’t recognized at first. She was more than a bit put out that he’d called her “ma’am.”
… She found herself hurt and angry he hadn’t seen through the disguise. “You know me well enough.”
His eyebrows shot skyward. “After ten years? I don’t think so. A lot’s changed since then.”
“Well, excuse me for not peaking in high school.”
The smoldering fire in Derrick’s gray eyes set her soul ablaze, offsetting the chill in the crisp November air. “Sweetheart, you can trust me when I say I’ve improved with age.”
To distract herself from the flash of desire his comment sparked, she lowered her lids and tapped her inner smart-aleck. “You think so, huh? You’re not wine or cheese.”
That was a line of crap and she knew it. Even in the watery gray earlymorning light, he looked as good now as he had in high school. Better even, if she took into account the broader shoulders and more masculine presence. He knew it, too, judging by his sly grin. Damn the man. Why couldn’t he have developed a paunch orbetter yet, started balding?
A low, sexy laugh rumbled from deep in his throat. “Wine and cheese aren’t the only things that get better with age, Cher.”
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, coming to Amazon and Barnes & Noble Nov. 25 … just in time for the holidays. Can’t wait to read more? Find the first chapter at TheCheapEbook.com.
DIVA and I are guest posting on Lynn Cahoon’s blog today. Stop by for the details of my call story and my advice for writers.
It’s been a whirlwind from getting the call in July to seeing my first book available for sale. I keep pinching myself, expecting to wake up and find the last few months were all a dream.
But so far, it seems to be real. DIVA now exists in cyberspace. Type “Diva in the Dugout book” into Google and you get links to Smashwords, All Romance Ebooks and various blog posts I’ve written in the last few months.
Leave off the word “book” and the results aren’t quite as clear-cut, though. You get a Facebook page for someone called “The Dugout Diva” and the Sioux Falls, S.D., Canaries Dugout Divas. I suppose you can’t win ’em all.
Diva In The Dugout by Arlene Hittle
A Turquoise Morning Press VINTAGE CATEGORY ROMANCE #106 (and All Is Fair in Love and Baseball, #1)
Classic Romance, Heartfelt Happily Ever After
Can the Condors bad boy step up to the plate and knock out a home run for fatherhood? And if he does, will his daughter’s mamma be ready?
After a successful stint in drug rehab, Arizona Condors shortstop Dave Reynolds is still trying to outrun his bad boy reputation. When the team’s new owners tell him to shape up or be fired at season’s end, he vows to change. He doesn’t count on fatherhood playing a part in his transformation.
Melinda Cline makes a rash decision: take solace in the arms of a sexy-as-sin ballplayer whose name she tells herself she doesn’t want to know. Big mistake. Now, a single mom to a four-year-old, Mel strives to live as cleanly and quietly as possible. But fate intervenes and she comes face to face with the man who insists on being included in their daughter’s life. The attraction between them is still strong, but it may not survive Dave’s reputation or his attempts to do the right thing.
Release: October 18, 2013
Category: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary (Category-Vintage)
Rating/Heat Level: Sensual-Sizzle
Length: Novel, 51,000 words
Ebook Price: $2.99
Digital Download – Available Formats – EPUB, PRC/MOBI, LIT, LRF, PDF
I started a mini blog tour Friday, chatting with J.M. Kelley about my book, where I do my best writing and the eternal debate: Print books or ebooks? Click through to see where I stand …
On Monday, I’ll be at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood, talking about my trouble with the (learning) curve of a debut author. (No, I haven’t seen the movie yet, but it’s on my list.) And on Wednesday, Oct. 30, I’m guest blogging with Lynn Cahoon. We’ll talk about DIVA and the best writing advice I’ve ever gotten.
Want to get your hands on a copy of DIVA IN THE DUGOUT?
Check out these screen shots from the various websites:
If you want to add DIVA to Goodreads, you can do that here.
As for me, I’m so excited, I doubt I’ll be able to sleep tonight. Time to go down copious amounts of carbs in an effort to knock myself out, because I have to drive 3-ish hours to Payson bright and early in the morning.