What I did on my Summer Vacation

The short answer is . . . write.

You guessed it. I’ve spent most of my summer finishing off the “Felix and Rose” project which is now titled Love Like Blood. It’s a full length novel in my brand new paranormal series, The Night Kind, and it will be available exclusively this year in Other Worlds: A Limited Edition Collection of Science Fiction Romance and Paranormal Romance releasing on October 17, 2017.

If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy, you can do so from Amazon. It’s only 99 cents for 20 books from some awesome paranormal and science fiction romance authors. It’s also available for a limited time for iBooks, Nook, Kobo, and Google Play.

So right now, Love Like Blood is with Amanda and I’m in a holding pattern while she starts her editing magic. I’ll be back in the hot seat in a couple of days, but at the moment, I’m kinda suspended in limboland. It’s a weird feeling and not one that sits well with me, but I’m trying to be grateful for the downtime because it’s not going to last long.

But as I sit here listening to the band Pink Turns Blue, my brain keeps returning to Tybee and my beloved Shining Ones characters. I have mixed feelings about starting Destroyer if I was honest. I know everyone is waiting and I’m only one step away from open revolt. I hear you. I just, well, I’m not sure I’m ready for it to end. This last book is going to be hard. In more ways than one. To say good bye to Poesy, Birdie, Haylee, and Adam will be extremely difficult for me especially knowing where it’s going to end. I’ve known since Book One how this thing was going to play out, but I’m not sure I’m ready for it yet, but the show must go on, right? That’s the reality of the situation. The Shining Ones was always planned to end after four books. So it’s time to pull up my big girl pants and get on with it. Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts.

What else?

I’ll be at Penned Con in St. Louis September 29th-October 1st. It’s rapidly approaching and I’m soooooo not prepared, but it’s going to be a stellar event. If you’re thinking about coming, I still have some FREE tickets so email me or PM me on Facebook if you’d like one. You’re not going to want to miss this one – last year they had over 1,000 attendees and that’s not counting the authors and their assistants. It’s probably the biggest signing of my career to date. Yeah, no pressure, there. You can read more about Penned Con on the website.

I think that’s it for now. 

See you on the other side.

xo shawnee

 

 

Sultry & Sinful made it to No. 1

Hello gang,

I’ve been meaning to write up this blog post for over a week now. Unfortunately, I was rather stupid on Friday last week and picked a fight with a tree in my yard. Sadly, I lost. Big time. And ended up in the ER with a partially herniated disc in my back. So I’m struggling along at the moment on a sea of interesting drugs and ice packs still trying to stay on top of things. It’s not really working, but the drugs make it so I almost don’t care. Hahahaha.

I’m mostly lucid. Mostly.

But while I’m still upright and awake, let me share the news. After many struggles and some resistance for the romance community, The F/F Sultry anthology made it to No. 1 on Amazon and we’ve stayed pretty high in the rankings in the LGBTQ categories. We also got our BESTSELLER RIBBON. Hurrah! So thank you lovely readers for taking a chance on us.

Here’s a snapshot.

 

 

 

 

 

No other news to report right now, but I’ll be back on Friday with another round up. 

xo

shawnee

 

 

The blog post I didn’t want to write . . .

 

Hi guys,

So. This is a blog post that no author ever wants to have to write, but unfortunately, sometimes things happen in our author world that is beyond our control. And this just happens to be one of those times. And more often than not, it involves the hand that feeds most of us . . . Amazon.

The upshot is this – the pre-order for Sultry & Sinful will release tomorrow and everyone who has ordered it to date from Amazon will get the WRONG file. Yep, you heard that right. You may be asking, “Well, how does this happen?” and I’m going to tell you how:

When a box set or an anthology is set up up, often the person who is running the set will put a placeholder file in place on Amazon. The reason why this is done is that we can’t make a pre-order live without a file and traditionally pre-orders are available three (3) months prior to a book being released. 

This is standard practice for lots of box sets and multi-author books. I know it may seem weird to the outside world, but there’s lots of reasons why the final file isn’t ready until closer to release date. Authors are still trying to get their stories edited and formatted. Sometimes authors have to drop out last minute. Having a final file ready to go three months out is rare. There are so many things that can change before release date.

But again, uploading a placeholder file is common practice.

The thing is this. Lately, Amazon has been questioning box set owners (and individual authors as well) about their validity to publish a book especially if it includes the work of someone else. And when that happens, the box set owner is left scrambling trying to email Amazon all the contracts, emails, correspondence, etc. to show that they do indeed have the right to publish what they say they are going to publish. The problem is that Amazon has been waiting until the last minute to do this. This is problematic due to Amazon’s own rules about pre-orders, which is that the final file must be in place and locked down three (3) days prior to the book’s release date.

In our case, the final file was uploaded a week prior to release date and Amazon didn’t question the box set owner until four (4) days prior to our release date (which is tomorrow). By the time our box set owner got all the documents together, she got locked out of the release window and the file couldn’t be updated.

We are not the first group to have this happen to us. And we won’t be the last either. And it sucks, believe me. Every author in Sultry & Sinful has already lined up their fans, promos, parties, etc. hinging on this file.

And now we’re likely to get slammed with bad reviews because the file they are going to get at midnight tonight is not what they paid for. And there isn’t a thing us authors can do about it.

If you’re one of my fans reading this then I would like to say I’m sorry. Amazon will fix the problem, you WILL get the right file, but it might take twenty-four (24) hours or more for the right one to appear. It’s not fair and I completely understand the frustration. Right now, you have nine (9) authors who are desperately trying not to freak out. By the way, it’s not working – we’re all freaking out.

This is my personal appeal for you to have patience. We are doing everything in our power to get the problem rectified. If you have personally pre-ordered the book and are disappointed, email me shawnee@shawneesmall.com or PM me on Facebook and I will personally send you a free gift in the way of apology.

Again, I’m sorry that this has happened and I would move mountains to get this sorted before it gets to you, but my hands are tied right now.

If you did pre-order Sultry & Sinful, thank you for supporting us and for standing behind indie authors. I know it’s not a lot, but we really do appreciate everything you do for us. Sometimes bad things happen. We will get through it.

xo

shawnee

Roanoke Author Invasion

So I’ve been AWOL for a while. From here. From social media in general. I’m trying to finish a book, which is fighting me the whole way. Felix and Rose as some of you know. Right now, I sort of want to punch myself in the face for even trying to tackle the delicate subject surrounding this book (that I can’t reveal because it’s, you know, a plot twist) but I’m going to be optimistic and say that it’s par for the course sometimes with writing that your characters don’t place nicely.

Anyhow before I start a runaway author rant about characters . . .

I’ve left my writing hobbit house to sing the praises of a signing that I just got back from called Roanoke Author Invasion.

AMAZE. BALLS.

I have to say that I’m still a bit of a novice when it comes to shows and signings. My very first signing was in fact only a year ago almost to the day of this one. It was in Atlanta, and I really didn’t know what I was doing or what to expect. It was a bit like baptism by fire. Banners. Swag. Postcards. Biz cards. Books. Parties. More Swag. More Books. So many things that I didn’t really have a good grasp on. 

So fast forward to a year later with a few more signings under my belt to RAI2017. 

I have to give Liz and Tobi some credit here. I had no idea what to expect for a local signing having never done one before. And yes, Roanoke is relatively local for me. Anything within a 2-3 hour jot and in my own state counts for me. Why I’ve never pursued one before now seems like absolute folly because RAI knocked my socks off.

Why was RAI so awesome?

  1. There was no drama 
  2. The event coordinators were extremely professional
  3. The event was well-organized and well-attended
  4. The authors were diverse, approachable, and happy
  5. The volunteers were probably the most caring and attentive staff I’ve ever seen at an event
  6. Everyone laughed HARD
  7. Did I mention there was no drama?

I can’t overstate how important these points are when you’re an attending author at an event. There is enough chaos with the amount of stuff you have to lug around, pre-orders to fill, hotel check-ins to take care of, travelling, frantic set ups and break downs of stands . . . the last thing you need is for someone else to instill more chaos into your life. And no matter how much we smile and chat, signings are more stressful than we authors like to admit.

So I felt more than relieved when it became quickly clear that someone was doing a damn good job of steering the ship AND everyone was having a good time. It was like having a giant boulder lifted off my shoulders.

It probably also helped that I met and bonded with two amazing authors – Carey Heywood and Jen Luerssen. It was love at first sight and honestly, we were like the Three Amigos for the entire thing, which again, was a huge comfort for me since I was flying solo anyhow. This is the level of awesomeness that they brought to the party –

 

See what I mean? Jen and the chicken says it all really.

I miss them already. I’m busily planning writing retreats in my head with them as I type.

And the readers? There were tons and I mean tons of them and everyone was friendly, outgoing, and had a smile for me. And when you’re sweating blood because you’re characters aren’t playing ball, those smiles mean a lot. Every. Single. One. And when they tell you they love your books, it makes you remember why you’re doing it in the first place.

So thank you to all of you who made my first ever Roanoke Author Invasion such a success. I can’t wait to see you all again next year.

xo – shawnee

P.S. Special shout out to Karin Anderson for being an amazing fan and friend.

 

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Ahhh. The day when the whole world becomes Irish. And invariably hungover.

That aside, it’s Friday, which is blog day. Sometimes I rant. Sometimes I just have news and updates. Today’s post is more of the latter and less of the former. Luckily, I’ve been too busy with book stuff to really notice what’s going on with the world, but I did see that Donald Trump is trying to intellectually hamstring the American people by defunding public arts and humanities aka Sesame Street and everything else that PBS and NPR has to offer. 

WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS? WHY WOULD YOU TAKE AWAY SESAME STREET?

If you want to save Big Bird, I’d suggest you sign the petition here.

And if you’re feeling really generous, go give NPR some money love because god knows they are going to need all the help they can get. Try this link.

Okay so let’s resume normal broadcasting . . .

What else is going on so you ask? What is looming on the horizon?

Hang out with me tomorrow night, Saturday, March 18th from 5-6PM EST

Yep, that’s right. I will be one of several authors taking part in the Book Nymph PR’s March Round up party. I’ll be online to talk about all things the Shining Ones, my upcoming paranormal romance novella in the Sultry & Sinful anthology, and also doing a reading from my new project, code name “Felix and Rose”. There might be some games and there will definitely be prizes now that new Shining Ones t-shirts have arrived hurrah! So maybe I’ll see you there.

Shining Ones t-shirts have arrived. WOO HOO.

Technically, you’re not winning a t-shirt. It’s the only image I had. Sorry!

If you didn’t see my post on Facebook, I’ve got brand new Shining Ones t-shirts. Technically, they are meant to be for events and shows BUT if you really REALLY want one, I will ship them to you if you can’t make it to one of my events or shows. The cost is $16 and that includes shipping & PP fees. You will need to paypal me – shawnee@shawneesmall.com and don’t forget to tell me which Unisex S, M, L, X-LG size you’re after and your postal address. 

There’s going to be a release party for Sultry & Sinful: The Femmes of Paranormal.

Yep. Us authors love to party. It’s online, of course, but you should come join us, it’s going to be awesome sauce. Tuesday, April 18th starting at noon. I’ll be on from 1-2PM EST so sneak a peak while the boss isn’t looking. Be forewarned – this is a saucy lot. There may be NSFW content. Just sayin’. In addition, there are going to be some amazing giveaways including a grand prize for one lucky winner that includes a Kindle, books and a $50 Amazon gift card.

If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy of Sultry & Sinful, why not? It’s only $.99 during pre-order. Support your indie authors, and we’ll keep writing awesome stories (again these are scorching hot – just so you know).

Okay, that’s it for me. Have a festive St. Paddy’s and remember to drink plenty of water, folks.

xo shawnee