Monday, April 30, 2007

New Review for "The Earl's Enchantment" from Love Bites Romance Reviews

I received a wonderful review by Kelly Wallace at Love Bites Romance Reviews! It's the very first review I've ever received, and I'm so grateful to Kelly and the Love Bites review site for checking out my story.

The first two lines of the review are:
"Sara Freeze has taken a traditional phantom-love story and added some interesting twists that all make sense in the end. The Earl's Enchantment was a short, fun story that kept me intrigued straight through."
Kelly, Love Bites Romance Reviews

To read the full review, please follow this link for Love Bites Romance Reviews.

Friday, April 27, 2007

New Release and Contest News

To celebrate the release of my first publication, "The Earl's Enchantment," I'll be running a contest between now and May 26th. "The Earl's Enchantment," available now at The Wild Rose Press, is a time travel romance featuring the Regency era. Since the heroine, Caitlin, is an avid reader, as well as a bookseller, I'll be offering a $10 gift card to Borders. In addition, Caitlin and the story's hero, Adrian, have a spirited debate over Jane Austen's standing as an author. Therefore, for all you Jane Austen lovers out there, I'm also offering a Jane Austen action figure to watch over you and inspire you as you read (you can view it below). Last but not least, the winner will receive a free copy of "The Earl's Enchantment."

All you have to do to enter is sign up for my newsletter by May 26th. Please note: If you're already subscribed to my newsletter, you're automatically entered into the contest.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Release Date and Excerpt for "The Earl's Enchantment"

"The Earl's Enchantment" will be released at The Wild Rose Press this Friday (April 27)! It's a time travel romance that features the Regency era, and on Friday, I will be posting details for a contest to celebrate my very first publication!

Adrian Knighton, Earl of Holworth, hated the twenty first century. Adding to his ire, as a ghost trapped within his own castle, he had limited options regarding his current domain. He glared at the latest inhabitant who’d entered the Holworth Castle…well…Bookshop. Adrian snorted. A bookshop b’God. That the venerable Holworth Castle, which had protected the Dorset countryside for centuries, was now a receptacle for lurid novels and dusty tomes vexed him to no end. Peasants of any kind could simply wander in whenever they wanted, which they did with alarming frequency.

Take this latest peasant, for instance. Back in his day, Adrian thought indignantly, a man dressed in such dishabille would have been expelled from the Holworth keep on his arse. A torn shirt, filthy shoes, and his hair…Adrian had once seen a book on mammals in North America, and for the life of him, he couldn’t understand why an Englishman would want his hair to stick up like a porcupine.

It was simply unbearable and entirely unacceptable…except for her."

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech Tragedy

Like many other Americans, I was stunned to hear the news about the Virginia Tech shootings. It's difficult to comprehend that such a tragedy could occur on a university campus, and I know it will be many months before we can make sense of such a senseless act of violence.

I wish I had some words of wisdom to share, but all I can say is my thoughts and prayers go out to the students, faculty, and staff at Virginia Tech.
Frodo: "I wish none of this had happened."
Gandalf: "So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."
J.R.R. Tolkien

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Promotional Tips for Authors

So, you have your contract in hand and a release date set with your publisher. Now comes the scary stuff: Promotion. When you're first starting out and money is tight, it helps to focus on establishing an Internet presence. All the sites I've listed below are free, and they're ideal for the new author keen on jumping into the marketing and promotion game.

1. MySpace: The ultimate networking tool. Numerous authors have joined MySpace over the past few years, and by doing a simple search, you can find some of your favorite authors and begin making new friends. Also, by joining romance friendly groups, you can find people with similar interests and perhaps even potential readers.

2. AuthorsDen: "Where authors and readers come together." You can upload your bio, add news and stories, and include links to your other sites.

3. Bebo: A cool new site I recently found out about. Again, it's a wonderful networking tool, and it allows authors to register their books on the site.

4. Blog: Blogger is a user-friendly way to set up a blog, and I've also heard positive remarks about Wordpress and Livejournal. The only downside to blogging is you have to be willing to invest some time into posts; ideally, you should post new material about 2-3 times per week.
Happy writing!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Romance Fun at The Colbert Report

At the end of March, The Colbert Report had a hilarious spoof on the romance cover model search being conducted by Harlequin. I just caught the show on Tivo and thought I'd share some of the images for fun. The covers of actual romances that he showed were really from Avon, and both eHarlequin and the Avon Romance Blog seemed entertained by Colbert's take on the romance community. You can check out the video clip at the Comedy Central web site.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Online Etiquette for Writers

My fellow Wild Rose Press author, Sonja Foust, has a wonderful article on her website called "Miss Manners for Ebook Authors." It consistently surprises me to see the types of comments writers will post about their fellow authors, and Sonja includes some sage advice about maintaining a professional image in the online environment.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Redesigned Blog and MySpace Account

As an ebook author, I know how important web exposure, especially when it comes to attracting prospective readers. And, I did a fair enough job of assembling a blog and MySpace account, incorporating the basic information and using templates. However, I wanted to achieve a more professional image, something that would reflect the focus of my writing, so I turned to the experts. My best advice is to first consult your fellow authors and see who they recommend. That's how I found Jump Start Promotions, which provided a comprehensive questionnaire about what I was looking for regarding design and then was flexible with that design and very responsive to emails. Final result: I now have a beautifully designed blog and MySpace account that I don't have to tinker with anymore.