Friday, December 19, 2014

Another Social Media Site? My Take on Tsu by @KarynGerrard #Networking



Okay. I've joined Tsu (pronounced Sue). Not another social media place! *groan* So why join? I really can't stand Facebook, never did. There, the truth.(If you like it and it works for you, yay!)  Also, I don't like the fact Facebook follows my every move and decides what content I should see, demanding I socialize more if I want to see more people in my newsfeed.

Bugger that. First off, I'm a writer. I write. I don't spend huge chunks of my time on any social media. Its a few minutes here and there during the run of a day. Also, who has time to interact with all your 'friends'? I have 3100 on FB. Its impossible. So people dropped out of my newsfeed into a black hole never to be heard of again.

I recently deleted a whole ton of photos from Facebook and was shocked to see how much interaction there was when I first joined in 2011. Photos I posted would have 80 likes, 40 comments. Then around 2013, it all changed. FB monetized, tweaked their algorithms, and interaction dwindled to nothing.

I see now having too many friends is quite insane. No normal person with a job and a life can keep up with it all. Yes, I know Facebook is a social site, not a place to sell your books, and Facebook will be pounding that point home come January when they will supposedly start cracking down on any posts that smack of promotion or selling something (on profiles, I mean) FB wants that limited to pages.

Fair enough. But out of 2050 likes, only 24 people see my post on my page. So FB says "Buy an ad!" That tears it.

And its the reason I am trying Tsu. I've seen people curl their lip in disdain over the concept, calling it a pyramid scheme, and in a way it is. The more you share, comment, like, interact, get people to sign up using your link, the more money you make. I don't give a tinker's dam about making money on a social media site. (I've made 7 cents so far, *snort*) If it's something you would like to try, have at it.

All I want out of Tsu? To have everyone I am 'friends' with to see everything I post, and I in turn, want to see everything they post. That's it. Simple.

There are some limits. (pictured left) As there should be. The interface is much like Facebook and encourages the use of hashtags like on Twitter.

Some are grumbling already their streams are full of promo. Well, yeah. Your 'friends' are authors, bloggers, and readers. They are talking and sharing about...books. I'm fine with that. And yes, the more popular authors are getting more exposure and shares. It's the way of the world.

I've friended or have been friended by many reviewers and bloggers on Tsu, a better connection than I ever had with them on FB or Twitter. If a blogger comes across my post about one of my books on sale for 99 cents, shares the post and even decides to give me a try, I say mission accomplished.

One thing I will be doing different. I will not be letting the friend numbers get out of hand. I want a good mix of authors, bloggers, and readers. If I don't know a person and they are not involved in the romance world in some capacity, I won't be friending back. I've had some guy keep friending me after I declined 3 times. I just found the block button. Done. I am keeping a firm control on who I want in my circle. Wish I had done that with Facebook.

Thanks to Tsu, I am interacting with authors I lost track of on Facebook. Also, when you post on Tsu, you can also post on Twitter and Facebook at the same time with a click of a button. I like that as well.

So far Tsu is all right. I am cautious about it, they don't seem as intrusive as FB but who's to say when Tsu gets bigger they won't introduce their own draconian rules and regulations? They have signed up 1 million users in less than five weeks.

I will keep my eye on it so how it goes, post promo, pictures and recipes that catch my eye (and man candy) Keep it social enough, but keep my private life private, and have fun discussing books. It was all I ever wanted out of Facebook (and never seemed to accomplish). Willing to see if Tsu will deliver.

~Happy Holidays! Back in Jan 2015~

Sunday, December 14, 2014

HAPPY HOLIDAYS, News and a Hiatus...@KarynGerrard #takingabreak



Happy Holidays to everyone and all the best for 2015!

Personally, I am glad to see 2014 in the rear view mirror, not the best of times either personally or writer wise.

And not only do I need a bit of a rest, but I am dealing with my hubs and his health issues, and decided to turn my attention to him for awhile, especially over the holidays. We are planning a getaway at the end of the month, so looking forward to that.

I will see to my obligations regarding book spotlights at E-Romance News, and will visit Triberr now and then to share posts, but other than that, I am staying off the grid.

I did decide to join Tsu. Why? Joining another social media site makes me twitch, but I am so frustrated with Facebook and the fact no one sees anything I post on my personal profile or my pages. And coming in January, more changes are afoot to make it even more difficult.

I'm not completely sold on Tsu either, they did sign up 1 million users in five weeks, which is amazing. The earning money thing? Not interested. I just want people to see my posts, and in turn, I would like to see what ALL my friends are posting! Supposedly you can at Tsu, but for how long? I am sure the bigger Tsu gets, they will start implementing their own draconian rules, but until then, I will take this for a spin. Check me out HERE and friend me, or follow...whatever. :)

I will not be setting a firm release date for my first self-pub effort, THE BARON AND THE MISTRESS. I will take it as it comes. Early 2015 sometime. I do have a release date for my historical ebook from Kensington Publishing. BOLD SEDUCTION-Sept 1, 2015. Let you know when I get cover art.

So to everyone, all the best and see you next month~

Friday, December 12, 2014

REVIEW: Sons of Anarchy Series Ender: Did it Satisfy? #SonsofAnarchy #Review @KarynGerrard




*SPOILERS: For Season 7 and the entire series, be warned~

So, I did a review at the end of season six, read it HERE, I predicted Wendy would leave with Unser and Jax's kids. Instead, it turned out to be Nero, a better choice actually.

Also predicted Jax would be the bringer of death. Wow. The body count for season seven done by either Jax himself or the result of the lies that piled up like cord-wood was stunning in its execution. Visually gruesome and ultimately—cool. None of this was really a surprise. After all, Kurt Sutter, the show-runner, said long ago this was Hamlet on motorcycles. The ending was expected.

Also predicted Jax would kill his mother (not a stretch, so did Hamlet) I thought he might strangle her, but shooting her in the back of the head (ep 12) was cold, calculating, and as Gemma said, 'who we are'. For a brief moment, you see remorse as Jax hesitates, a last spark of compassion, but its quickly gone. *blam*. Goodbye Gemma, She really was a piece a work, and well played by Katey Sagal,

It can be argued this story could have been wrapped up in five seasons, making the show tighter, and the shocking scenes would have come faster making the impact more astounding in its depth. You know what? I don't care. So it dragged a bit here and there, I enjoyed spending the extra time with these over-the-top, at times sociopathic but ultimately loveable characters.

Jax wasn't likeable at all this season, and that was the whole point of the entire series. His journey to the dark side. He said to Nero in the last episode: When the time comes she (Wendy) needs to tell my sons who I really am. I'm not a good man. I'm a criminal and a killer. I need my sons to grow up hating the thought of me. 

 He finally accepted who he was. Who he became. He had chances to leave, or turn things around, but Jax in essence, is a thug, through and through, (with some major anger issues right out of the gate in Season 1, ep 1) albeit with deep emotions and the capacity to love. He's not a good man, but does possess a good heart when it comes to the people he loves. And that is what makes him so damned tragic.



I love as Nero and Wendy are driving away from Charming, Abel is in the back seat, spinning the SONS ring on his finger that Granny Gemma gave him, hinting that maybe this tragic story won't end with Jax. Perfect.

The writer in me balked at Jax burning the manuscript and all his meticulous notes, but when he killed Unser in the previous episode, I knew Jax was done. And so did he. He spent most of Ep 13 tying off and tying up loose ends and saying goodbye, and some complained it was slow and plodding. I say after seven seasons, let the prince have his curtain call. Besides Jax, Chibs had his moment in the sun this episode as well. Kudos to both Charlie Hunnam and Tommy Flanagan for bringing their A-game.

The multiple Jesus references were a little eye-rolling (The bread, the wine, etc) but the visuals worked in context with the story. And I just knew Jax would take his hands off the handlebars and outstretch his arms, Christ-like as he slammed into the 18-wheeler head-on (driven by Michael Chiklis from The Shield—cool) The seven crows flying off into the sky was a nice visual touch (for the seven SAMCRO guys who died?) And I loved the song 'Come Join The Murder' by The Forest Rangers that played over the final minutes. (lyrics written by Kurt Sutter) Apt, fitting, and an emotional kick to the gut. Which is why I loved this show.

Besides the fine acting from everyone through the seven seasons, I have to applaud the story itself. Storytelling at its finest, a sweeping epic, lots of emotion, peppered with bike chases, sex and violence. What a canvas.

Come Join The Murder by The White Buffalo on Grooveshark

All in all, the last episode was satisfying. It wrapped things up and hit all the right notes. Was it perfect? Not quite, but neither was the series itself. But it was emotional (Yeah, I teared up and more than once) This was a tragedy of epic proportions wrapped in a juicy, violent soap-opera . And it was entertaining as hell.

Bye, SAMCRO. I'll miss ye~



My Sons of Anarchy playlist at Grooveshark HERE

Thursday, December 11, 2014

MERRY XMAS SALE! #99Cents That Christmas Feeling by @KarynGerrard #Erotic #Holiday




THAT CHRISTMAS FEELING

short story/holiday/contemporary/erotic
Evernight Publishing release December 13 2012
NOTE: this is a re-release/reissue of Christmas Memories (briefly pubbed in 2011)



This short story makes me all warm and fuzzy inside as I harken back to a lot of my own Christmas memories. It is short, but well worth the 99 cents! Hope you check it out On sale at Amazon and All Romance the month of December.


BLURB:


Jimmy Doyle is at the top of his game, but his life is empty. Karin has resigned herself to a Christmas alone in her wilderness lodge. A spur-of-the-moment holiday trip brings the devastatingly handsome Jimmy to her doorstep on Christmas Eve. Memories of a past Christmas haunt him and he is surrounded by joy and holiday anticipation, and a searing hot attraction he can’t deny. Will that Christmas feeling be enough to heal a painful past?




EXCERPT: (PG)

Jimmy was already sorry he came. The two hour flight, the three hour drive—and for what? He was in the middle of nowhere. The trip seemed like a good idea looking out over the balcony of his downtown Toronto penthouse. Some quiet time, some poker, and maybe some turkey sandwiches with lots of Miracle Whip.

He should have stayed in Winnipeg and taken a suite at the Sheraton. He hadn’t brought his boots either. Idiot. He was standing with his feet ice-cold in the snow, much like the Grinch. He felt like the damned Grinch. He had the overwhelming desire to run around and pull down all the outdoor Christmas lights, wreaths, and other Christmas crap evident on the property. Jimmy remembered a homemade turkey dinner was included. Just  great,and he, the Grinch himself, would carve… he snorted aloud, not finishing the thought.

“Did you say something?”

He glanced down at the woman in the parka. Clear, beautiful blue eyes stared at him in amusement. Shit, she must have heard him. She took off her woolen mitten and held out a slim, feminine hand. “Nice to meet you. I’m Karin Kellegher.”

He looked at the hand then back at this Karin. She was pretty, perhaps not a raving beauty, but attractive. She had dark blond hair, pulled back tightly in a pony-tail. The shade reminded him of caramel. Her skin appeared crème brûlée against the dazzling white of the snow. There was a smattering of freckles across her pert nose, which was red from the cold. Her breath puffed out in icy huffs. He took her offered hand. “Jimmy Doyle.”

****

Karin was shameless. She headed toward the most handsome man of the group and introduced herself. Jimmy Doyle looked familiar, but he did have the generic tall, dark, and handsome look. He looked like any number of the beyond-gorgeous men who graced magazine covers. His hair was black and wavy, not too short or too long. His jaw was rugged and framed by chiseled, high cheekbones. His dark blue eyes were a color that could not be natural, contacts she thought cynically. When they shook hands his large palm all but swallowed hers. A bolt of warmth shot up her arm from the contact. Wow. Karin glanced down. His hand was beautiful, but masculine, with long fingers and lots of veins. Why she found his hand attractive, she had no idea. She slowly scanned his broad chest and even broader shoulders. He was wearing a winter leather coat, but he still must be feeling the cold, as the temperature was ten degrees below zero.

Her gaze met his face again. Oh yes. Way, way handsome. Jimmy Doyle knew he was gorgeous too. She could see the amused glint in his eye. She pulled her hand out of his tight grasp at last and walked away. The loss of his potent touch was disturbing. Forget him, he was here for drinking and male bonding, nothing more. 

Buy at AMAZON/ALL ROMANCE/



Karyn Gerrard Bio: 

Karyn lives in a small town in the western corner of Ontario, Canada. She whiles away her spare time writing and reading romance while drinking copious amounts of Earl Grey tea. Tortured heroes are a must. A multi-published author with a few best-sellers under her belt,

Karyn loves to write in different genres and time periods, though historicals are her favorite. As long as she can avoid being hit by a runaway moose in her wilderness paradise she assumes everything is golden.

 Karyn’s been happily married for a long time to her own hero. His encouragement keeps her moving forward.

                                 Karyn's Site/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Weekly Roundup of News in my Publishing World Dec 4 @KarynGerrard #Sale #ComingSoon





THAT CHRISTMAS FEELING

short story/holiday/contemporary/erotic
Evernight Publishing release December 13 2012
NOTE: this is a re-release/reissue of Christmas Memories (briefly pubbed in 2011)

This short story makes me all warm and fuzzy inside as I harken back to a lot of my own Christmas memories. It is short, but well worth the 99 cents! Hope you check it out On sale at Amazon and All Romance the month of December~Karyn Gerrard


BLURB:


Jimmy Doyle is at the top of his game, but his life is empty. Karin has resigned herself to a Christmas alone in her wilderness lodge. A spur-of-the-moment holiday trip brings the devastatingly handsome Jimmy to her doorstep on Christmas Eve. Memories of a past Christmas haunt him and he is surrounded by joy and holiday anticipation, and a searing hot attraction he can’t deny. Will that Christmas feeling be enough to heal a painful past?

                     


COMING SOON: The Baron and the Mistress




Forget the horrors. Remember...me

A shivering young woman leans against a lamppost in Shag Alley; the most notorious street of ill repute in all London. For Asher Colborne, Baron of Wenlock, this is a haunting vision of beauty and wretchedness. Uncharacteristically halting his carriage, he is shocked to discover the thin, dressed-in-rags creature is none other than Chastity Armitage, a beautiful angel who captured his heart at a grand ball more than two years past. For Colborne, her circumstance is a mystery he feels honor bound to unravel.

Chastity and her siblings have been on the run for more than two years. Desperate for food and lodging money, she is forced to sell herself. She never expected a tall, handsome man to appear as if from mist and change her life forever. She is given a choice, continue down the path of  neverending poverty or become the baron's mistress.

Though they are both determined the arrangement remain an emotionless business transaction, the attraction between them is scorching. Many barriers and obstacles lay in Chastity and Ash's path. Can the baron and the mistress embrace true love?

~~~~~~~

Cover by: Cora Graphics WEBSITE HERE

This will be my first self-pubbed story (and who knows,  it might be my last, lol) Coming early 2015 Historical romance 28,000 words approx. Heat Level: Very sensual. Stay tuned for updates

OTHER NEWS: I do have a release coming out this month, KNIGHT OF CHRISTMAS, my one and only release with Ellora's Cave. click HERE to read about it. In a nutshell, I'm moving on.

I was without internet for five days and wow did I feel cut off from the world. Also relaxed and read a lot. Also did a lot of thinking, as in where do I want to focus my energies in the coming new year.
There are a lot of challenges out there as sales have plummeted for a lot of people. Those who gave up their day jobs to write full time may have to rethink it. Bummer.

I am so relieved I did my time in the work force and now no longer have to work. I don't rely on this money to live on. I don't feel compelled to write full time and that will continue into 2015. I will do it when the mood strikes me.

What's on tap for 2015? Besides my self-pubbed historical, I do have a release date for BOLD SEDUCTION, Sept 21 2015. I am doing edits now, and considering I am dealing with a New York publisher, (Kensington) I expected the 'hurry up and wait' scenario. So far, edits are going very well and I am learning a lot. I continue to learn.

Also will be eligible to get back a couple of stories from publishers later in 2015, and the plan is to re-do them and eventually self-pub them. Also getting a submission ready to send to new-to-me publishers. Writing wise? I hope to start book 3 in the Wicked Men of Rockland series, but not sure when. Also have an idea for another historical. One thing at a time. One day at a time.

Keep writing, keep reading, and keep cool~






Friday, November 28, 2014

One and Only Post for @KarynGerrard One and Only Ellora's Cave Release #Historical



KNIGHT OF CHRISTMAS
Approx 26,000 words 
Historical/Erotic/Holiday/ Victorian Romance
Release date: Dec 19-24th
Here is the Cover: done by Allyse

Here is the Blurb: Christmas is the last thing on Brandon Knight’s mind when he returns to his hometown after ten years away. Arriving in time for his foe Viscount Ravenhurst’s funeral, his plans of vengeance are now thwarted. Instead he focuses retribution on the lovely widow Lady Angeline. They share a debauched, painful past though a fiery passion had grown from their brief time together. Broken hearts were left in the wake of their desire.
Angeline feels nothing inside. After suffering a devastating loss and a horrible marriage, she and her son are now destitute. Bran steps forward with an outrageous offer and Angeline has no choice but to accept.
Bran will have to surrender his plans for revenge to help bring Angeline back to life. The attraction still sizzles between them. They once loved each other but doubt they are able to do so again. However, it’s Christmas and anything is possible.
A Romantica® historical erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave


Here is the back story: This story was contracted in 2012 by Silver Publishing before everything went to hell in a handbasket. Luckily, I got the rights back to this (it hadn't been edited as yet) and two other published stories when the problems first started and long before they imploded and went out of business.

So in Jan 2013, I submitted this to Ellora's Cave. Long story short, got a contract offer Sept 2013. I turned down a second contract offer for a historical in May 2014 (since contracted by Kensington) and made the decision then and there EC was no longer on my radar. Not sure what is up with this publisher, and how it will all shake out (supposed money problems, lawsuit (they are suing blogger Dear Author) etc) This poor story has been through the ringer. Cursed? You have to wonder.

Here is what happens next: I move on. And watch the calendar for the day I can contractually request my rights back.

Here is the release date: It says Dec 19th at the EC site, and it says at Amazon (where it is up for pre-order) the release date is Dec 24th. So who knows.

Here is the link at Amazon: KNIGHT OF CHRISTMAS

Am I bitter? Not really. Life is too short to get in a snit over this whole (non)experience. Looking forward to 2015 and hopefully a more satisfying year in writing/publishing, because frankly, 2014 kinda sucked.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Blog Tours Review: My Recent Experiences by @KarynGerrard #BlogTour #Promo


So just what is a blog tour?  Got this snippet at http://atomrbookblogtours.com/what-is-a-book-blog-tour/

A book blog tour is a virtual tour to help an author promote their book without traveling. It’s the same concept as going to a store or event signings but instead of physical places, the author is going from blog to blog during the time frame of the tour. It’s just one form of PR that reaches all the readers/followers of the blogs who participate in the tour. Tour “stops” will be a combination of reviews and guest/promotional posts that make the tour interesting and hopefully encourage readers to buy/read the book.
There is also typically a tour giveaway that help draw readers to participate. 


Sounds like a plan. What is my experience with blog tours? Next to nil. I did one in the fall of 2011 and haven't done one since. It wasn't a great experience. But when you get down to it, I got what I paid for. (yes it was cheap, so was the tour)

So with a couple of new releases, I decided instead of spending days and days sending out emails to blogs looking for spotlights/reviews (a tedious task that garners few results, most higher-traffic blogs are backlogged with requests) I would try blog tours again.

I picked three.

First up, NK Author Services for His Wicked Celtic Kiss

They offered half-price off tours to all Ellora's Cave authors for their non-EC books in support (nice idea).

So after I paid, I never heard from this tour company again. Did not receive schedule of stops or of who was even doing reviews on the book. No promo material or banners sent to me, I went to their Facebook page, no mention of my tour. At the blog Ebooks Galore, I did find a brief mention of my tour, (with missing graphics) but again, no schedule.

Did every scheduled stop post your material? ~ Finally sent an email and got a list of the stops. (Family emergency, understandable for the delay) Graphics were missing from many of the posts, I sent an email, told they were looking into it (hacked). Buy links, which I sent separately, were also missing from posts.

So out of 12 stops on the tour, 11 posted the material (such as it was) and 10 did reviews, though some had no ratings. Actually, not a bad turn out at all, but some of the posts were cut and paste jobs, with missing graphics and buy links- not a proper media/blog tour post you would expect.

Reviews posted at Amazon? So out of the 10 reviews done, 4 were posted at Amazon.

Did the blog tour company re-tweet or tweet your stops?—No, not that I saw, and only a few of the blogs did. A couple of postings at Facebook.

Would you use this service again? I don't think so. Even though most blogs posted, I was not completely satisfied with the quality of the posts as mentioned above. Also, not much communication, very little promo. But ultimately, this was very cheap, so what did I expect?  However, since I do expect a little more for from a blog tour, (regardless of price) I'll be looking elsewhere for a tour in future.

Next: Love Bites and Silks for Wild Pitch

Disclosure: I am a blog tour host for this company. Never rec'd any items late, they are always on time sending out the promo materials for all the tours.

At least this tour company kept in contact after Gayl Taylor (the co-writer) and I paid. Information was laid out about how many stops, communication regarding giveaways and links helpful. They made a banner and a promo teaser to include with the media kit.

Only glitch was regarding review copies, (not the blog tours fault) but was quickly taken care off. Was sent a full schedule in plenty of time before the tour started.

Did every scheduled stop post your material?  No. Out of 16 blog stops, 15 posted the material. Very good turn out though. Out of the 7 who said they would do a review, 5 actually did.

Was any reviews posted at Amazon?  Out of  5 reviews done, 2 were posted at Amazon

Did the blog tour company re-tweet or tweet your blog stops?—Yes, and post on facebook, tagging us so we were aware of it. And Pinterest and Google Plus. Very good spread across social media. Also a lot of the blog tour hosts also promoted.

Would you use this service again?  Yes. I definitely got my money's worth.

Next: Tasty Book Tours for His Wicked Celtic Kiss

Disclosure: I am a tour host for this company. Professional, open communication with newsletters and a Facebook group for the hosts. Lisa, who also owns Tasty, leaves a comment on every blog post, meaning she checks to see if they were posted.

They are extremely busy and the nearest tour I could book was in Feb 12-14 A book blast, more expensive than the previous two put together, but a much wider reach. It has been posted for bloggers to sign up, and outside of the book blasters, there are  not many takers so far. Will see how this plays out. Check it out here, if you wish to sign up to review and host: CLICK HERE

I will do a follow-up and let you know how it went.
~~~
A few things you should know about a blog tour, the main function in my mind is to get your name out there to readers and bloggers who may not have heard of you before. You may sell a few books along the way, but not many, so don't expect it. Tours are for exposure. And hopefully a few reviews. A giveaway is a must, and don't do a giveaway on the book you are touring with. You want to get people interested enough to buy it.

Becoming a blog tour host may be a good idea if the tour company in question offers incentives to authors who become tour hosts (Love Bite and Silks does, so does Tasty Book Tours, either extra stops at no cost or a % off a tour)

Beware of deep discounts. You often get what you paid for. Big time. Lesson learned for me.

So, am I sold on book tours? Depends. My advice? I don't think it would pay for itself to do this with every release. Pick and choose. Depends what you want. Me? I wanted reviews and I wanted them posted at the almighty Amazon. Not an easy thing to get as not all bloggers post reviews on Amazon (and some with good reason) Thanks to those who did post their reviews at Amazon and other vendors. Appreciated!

I had a bit of royalty $$ in reserve to buy these tours. Not every author does. The bigger companies can charge over $100 dollars or more for a tour. Already you are starting out in the red if the book is your first release. Do your research, decide what you want out of the tour before booking. Remember you are dealing with humans and mistakes and glitches and miscommunication can happen. Good luck.
~~~

Cheers!


 
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