NEW REVIEW! Ducks in a Row still has it!

Ducks_CoverSaturday Love
What a great way to end the old year…especially when I’m kicking off the new one with another book. If you check this page out closely, you’ll see what I’ve been up to besides happy holidaying with my family. Yes, I’m getting ready for the release of SATURDAY LOVE (sequel to DUCKS IN A ROW), which will definitely be available for purchase on January 1, 2014.

And what better way to celebrate the end of the old year than with a FIVE STAR review of DUCKS!? Read below for a bit of what WE’RE JUMPIN BOOKS had to say about DUCKS:

One of the best books I have read this year, very thought provoking…Michelle brings you close to the characters, you can understand their logical, or what seems to be, thinking. This book has so much depth on so many levels. The thought process, and how everything played out was so great! —WE’RE JUMPIN BOOKS

You might want to pick up DUCKS IN A ROW now for only 99 cents on AMAZON…and catch up on the story before it continues in SATURDAY LOVE.

It all began two years ago on a winter afternoon…

Saturday Love Final CoverThis year I will self-publish another book on January 1. I’ve done it for the past two years, and I now think of it as my way of renewing my pledge to keep on keeping on at the writing and publishing thing. But it does have a story…

It was after Christmas, everyone was content, and for once I wasn’t running anywhere or doing anything. That’s when I decided to take the leap into self publishing. I already had two ebooks out (Secrets of the Lotus and Winter Solstice) through Lyrical Press. And I had this third manuscript just kind of hanging out on my computer desktop. (Stephen King calls them “trunk novels”, and the description is pretty apt. Because you don’t know what to do with them, you tuck them away somewhere, but every now and then you open the trunk and have a peek.)

Weeds and Flowers coverThat was how Weeds and Flowers came to be published. Half young adult romance, half coming of age novel, a sprinkling of mystery and a pinch of autobiography, Weeds and Flowers doesn’t fit in any particular genre, but I always knew it was a good story. Even if it is a tough sell. I first published it on New Year’s Day 2012 through Kindle Direct Publishing, although it’s gone through revisions and is now on its third edition (and available in paperback as well as ebook).

Ducks_CoverLast year I found myself in a similar situation. Kids happy, husband happy, everyone content to stay in for an afternoon…and lo and behold, I had another trunk novel just begging to be published. That’s how Ducks in a Row found its way into the published world through the magic of CreateSpace and KDP on New Year’s Day 2013.

This year, I’m doing it again, but I’m doing it on purpose. Saturday Love is the sequel to Ducks in a Row, the story of Will and what happens to him after the events of Ducks. In Saturday Love, you’ll become better acquainted with Will’s loving and lovable family, including his handsome brother Patrick (the one who coins the phrase “Saturday love” to describe the way he feels about his new girlfriend), his younger sister Lisa (who may yet have her own story…) and his beautiful, strong mother Anne, the matriarch of the Hubbard clan. And yes, it’s a romance, so there’s a new lady in Will’s life. You’ll be able to find Saturday Love on Amazon and many other online retailers in paperback and on Amazon for Kindle on January 1, 2014.

What the heck is “Saturday Love”?

Saturday Love Cover

It’s been asked. What the heck do I mean by “Saturday Love”? Is it a once a week thing? A one-night stand? If so, why did I choose that for the title of the sequel to Ducks in a Row? This is, after all, the book that follows the further adventures of Will Hubbard, the man many people was done totally wrong by Cady Summers in Ducks. We want him to have a happy ending, don’t we? So why not call his book “24/7 Love”?

Well, in addition to not sounding like a 24-hour gas station, Saturday love is a feeling that refers to more than a time period. It’s forever love. The kind of love that lets you rest, safe in the knowledge that you’ve reached the prize you were aspiring to. It’s the kind of love that lasts fifty, seventy-five, even a hundred years if it’s called on to do so. And even if there are hard times and difficult passages, Saturday love is still there.

Saturday Love, the sequel to Ducks in a Row, will be published January 1. As you can tell by the cover above, it’s in the final editing stages right now. I’m cleaning up the final typos in my last thorough read-through. So you’ve still got time to get up to speed if you haven’t read Ducks. Plus, Ducks in a Row, the novel that has been called “thought-provoking”, “unsettling”, “wonderfully beautiful” and “painful”, is currently only 99 cents for your Kindle on Amazon!

In the meantime, here’s a bit of Will’s introduction to “Saturday Love”:

“Being in love with Stephanie is awesome.” Patrick looked out at the vineyard for a second, thinking. “It’s kind of like Saturday morning when you’re a kid. Remember those?”

“I’m not sure I get what you mean.” Will shook his head.

“Remember how it felt to wake up on a Saturday morning and know there wasn’t anything you had to do? You’d slept late, and maybe you had a few chores around here, but other than that, most of the day was yours. It’s kind of like that with Stephanie. It’s like I spent my whole life working and waiting and looking for her, and now it’s Saturday and I don’t have to do that anymore.”

Will felt a slight hitch in his chest at his brother’s words. He wanted that and he suspected he could find it with Accalia. He’d seen that kind of Saturday love: between his mother and father, now with Patrick and Stephanie. And even, if he admitted it, between Cady and Neil. He reached over and grasped his brother’s shoulder. “Thanks. I’m really happy for you, man.”

“Yeah, me too.” Patrick stood and stretched. He looked down at Will. “I’m happy for you, too, you know. You know why?”

Will shook his head.

“Because even if you haven’t found it yet with Accalia, you’re getting there. You haven’t asked me even once about Cady.”

Patrick went back inside, but Will remained where he was. His chest felt strangely hollow. Strange, because it wasn’t a totally unpleasant feeling. It felt clean, not empty, and he knew why. Whether Accalia was his Saturday love or not, he’d finally faced the fact that Cady wasn’t.

I need to be writing. Even if I sometimes ask what’s the point?

Here’s a little peek at how I as an indie contemporary romance author often feel: Hello? Is this thing on?

I recently read a very good blog article about why indie writers need to avoid underpricing their books. The author made several very good points, but one in particular stood out to me. Unless we write as a hobby, we’re hoping our writing will eventually support us. It’s hard to do that when you’re selling your work for 99 cents.

I’ve spoken up several times on this subject in support of writers selling their work for whatever the hell they want to sell it for—provided they can find buyers. It’s survival of the fittest out there in the publishing world, and anything you can do to give yourself an edge is fair game.

The problem is, pricing your ebook at 99 cents is no longer going to give you that much of an edge. In fact, giving it away is no longer going to give you an edge. The only real way to get an edge in today’s market is to study your craft and write and promote and study and write and promote…and pray. Yup, that’s right. Pray. Pray to God or Buddha or your muse. Pray for that magic moment when, for some unknown reason, the words you wrote catch on. Something snags the attention of the reading masses and it’s your book that’s being tweeted and talked and posted about.

I’m still waiting for that. Reviewers (for the most part) like my writing. But hey, most of them get my books for free. (Want a review copy? Email me. I’ll send it out. Kindle or paperback. Your choice.) So I’m still trying everything I can, including different price points, to catch that wave.

Just the other day, I dropped the price of Ducks in a Row from $2.99 to $1.99 in the hopes that it would spur some sales. The sequel, Saturday Love, is with an editor now and I hope to publish it in January. I think there are literally dozens of people waiting for that sequel, and I have no intentions of disappointing them. If I could grow those dozens to hundreds by January, that’d be pretty awesome, though.

And, can you keep a secret? Next week on July 1, Close Up Magic will be free for one day only. I’m not telling everyone yet, just you guys. I’d hate to discourage anyone from paying for the book now.

But as I wait for that moment when it all comes together with pricing and readers and promotions and magic, be assured I’m writing. And I’m striving to write each book a little better than the last one so that eventually my readers won’t even look at the price of my novels. Eventually, they’ll see another book by me and buy it without worrying about how much it costs because they know it’s worth it.