Posts Tagged ‘Diva in the Dugout’
I signed my first print autograph recently … and promptly spent the rest of the afternoon dancing in my seat. My coworkers probably thought I had ants in my pants.
One of my coworkers bought a copy of DIVA IN THE DUGOUT and brought it to the office for me to sign. Such a thrill!
It was the first time I’d seen the print version. I ordered copies for the RITA judges, but had them shipped directly to RWA HQ to beat the early deadline so I’d have a chance to win either an iPad or conference registration. I haven’t ordered my own print copies yet.
Soon, though. I’m headed to the Chocolate Affaire in Glendale in February, and am taking DIVA to sign.
It looks great, by the way. Can’t wait to get a copy for my keeper shelf!
Want one for your shelf? Click here.
I admit, I’ve been nervous about book reviews.
Who wouldn’t be after reading the horror stories about authors who refuse to read their reviews … authors devastated by one-star—or, worse, no-star—reviews …
Putting my books out there, in the world at large, wasn’t hard. I’ve wanted to be a writer, to tell my characters’ stories, since second grade.
Opening them up to strangers’ criticism was a different story. That scared me to death. I get that my voice won’t appeal to everyone. There are some authors I love and some that I struggle to read. But the fear that someone will dub one of my heroines “too stupid to live” or hate one of the heroes that I love? Those worries are the ones that keep me up at night.
I’ve been lucky so far, though. Not that I have a ton of reviews (yet), but the ones I’ve received have been positive.
My holiday novella, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, just received a lovely 5-star review from Brianna at Girl Seeks Place. Among her thoughts:
This was another novella that left me wanting more. I like novellas because I can read ‘em quickly, especially when I don’t have a ton of free time, but I also dislike the short length of novellas. Ms. Hittle’s story left me wanting more and I look forward to reading her other book in the future.
On Amazon, a 5-star review from Firefly Girl had this to say about HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS:
This little romp to Willow’s Grove is the perfect read for the holidays or any time. Short, sweet and punctuated with Ms. Hittle’s trademark wit, it’s the perfect length for a quick getaway when you can’t handle another minute of the holiday rush.
The reviews for DIVA IN THE DUGOUT are also good. From the book’s Amazon page:
I love baseball. I love romance. So what’s not to love about a baseball romance? I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Ms. Hittle created lovable characters who make mistakes, but find a way to rise above. I fell in love with Dave, whose life revolves around baseball’s seedier side until he’s given an ultimatum. In the end you will swoon with his maturity and love for his family that outweighs all else. Mel is spunky, cautious and will do anything to protect her daughter. Tara is smart and insightful and way too cute! Fun, easy, heartwarming read. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author.
(Firefly girl might well be my biggest fan!)
And from Patty:
I bought this book because I love romance. I finished the book because I believe in true love. A one night stand can b just that, one night or it can change your life. For Dave and Mel it was the one love that never was or was it? True love conquerors all and families are made with acceptance and of course love. I highly recommend this book and can not wait to read more by Arlene Hittle.
My stories are faring slightly less well on Goodreads. DIVA has an average rating of 3.5 (with a 2-star and 3-star factored in); HFTH is at 4.67.
I find that a bit odd, considering my roommate, who’s read both, said she enjoyed them both but liked DIVA a little bit more.
Thanks for reading, everyone. And for taking the time to leave a review. You’ve helped make my 2013 a year to remember. And for someone who until recently hated the number 13, that’s no easy feat.
I have so many things to be thankful for in 2013, including discovering this cornucopia photo on Wikimedia Commons. I find old advertisements like this, described as a “propaganda poster to get immigrants to move to California” (circa 1876), fascinating. Did you note how California is “a climate for health and wealth, without CYCLONES or BLIZZARDS”?
Fun, eh? I love to pore through historic ads selling miracle cures or, more recently, claiming smoking is good for you.
Anyway, this is Thanksgiving Day, so I’m here to list the things for which I’m giving thanks. This is a special year for me, being newly published and all.
In no particular order:
— Thanks to the folks at Turquoise Morning Press for taking a chance on DIVA IN THE DUGOUT. It’s been amazing working with such a talented group, and I look forward to getting Books 2 (BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER) and 3 (still untitled) out next March and April, respectively.
— Thanks also to those who’ve helped me ready my first foray into indie publishing, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS. (It’s not a terribly original title, by the way. There are about 100 pages of them on Amazon … I blame the Christmas carol, which is where I took inspiration for the title.) I couldn’t have done it without my talented cover designer, Rogenna Brewer; former coworker and editor Dani Crabtree; and Marie Force’s Formatting Fairies.
— Thanks to the Boyfriend for always believing in me, even when I have a tough time believing in myself. He’s more excited about my first royalty check than I am … I think he thinks I’ll suddenly be flush with cash, while I know better. I’m not going to disabuse him of the notion, though, because he gives me plenty of time to write.
— Thanks to the people who are buying DIVA and HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, reading them and leaving reviews. HFTH just got its first 5-star review on Amazon. Among the highlights:
Short, sweet and punctuated with Ms. Hittle’s trademark wit, it’s the perfect length for a quick getaway when you can’t handle another minute of the holiday rush.
Grab a latte or a hot toddy and relax with Home for the Holidays. You won’t be disappointed.
I’ll take that high praise any day of the week (and twice on Sundays!).
— Thanks, too, to my fellow authors for their support and commiseration. I don’t know where I’d be without the gals from NARWA; my Golden Heart sisters, the Starcatchers; and the LaLaLas. They’re always around to bounce ideas off of, cheer me on and listen to me worry. They say writing is a solitary pursuit, and you need a strong support system. Thanks to these folks, I have one. They’re all a phone call, text or email away.
— Thanks to my coworkers, who listen to me squeal with excitement (or groan in disappointment) whenever I check DIVA’s Amazon sales ranking. Even if they don’t really care, they do a good job of faking interest.
— Thanks to my web designer, Larissa, who put together this beautiful website. It’s exactly what I wanted, but had no clue how to build for myself.
— Last, but certainly not least, thanks to Starbucks. Their drinks and pastries keep me going. Oh, the pastries … have you tried the new pecan tart yet? Mmmm …
… 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.