Archive for January, 2013

Where She Belongs Hits #1 in Kindle Free Store Again!

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013
On the last day of its promotional free run, WHERE SHE BELONGS hits #1 again! So happy!

On the last day of its promotional free run, WHERE SHE BELONGS has hit #1 again! So happy!

It’s the last day of my five-day free promotional run on Amazon with my small-town contemporary romance, WHERE SHE BELONGS. Yesterday, Tuesday, the book logged over 80,000 downloads and remained #2 in the Kindle Free store until the afternoon, when it briefly climbed to a second hit at #1. That was super exciting. Later, it dropped to #3 overall and #2 in Romance as another worthy author (and fellow Golden Heart finalist sister from the year WHERE SHE BELONGS finaled) took the #1 romance slot.

This morning I woke up totally expecting the book to still be the #3 spot or lower. After today, I imagine it will drop off the Top 100 Free Kindle list completely, because, well, it will no longer be free. I don’t believe the books slowly drop off the list. If they aren’t free, they aren’t on the list at all. Whether I hit the paid lists or not once the book goes back to paid status remains to be seen. I’m not holding my breath for that to happen, although it would be wonderful if it did.  I obviously would like to make some paid sales of the book, but it’s not something in my control. Just like this entire wonderful free run hasn’t truly been in my control. I am totally amazed at how readers have responded to the opportunity to download my book and to give me a chance as an author. Thank you so much everyone for taking a chance on a pretty much unknown-to-most-of-you romance author.

I just had to take another screen shot this morning. I have no clue what will happen with WHERE SHE BELONGS up until the point the free promotion ends just before midnight. So I have to enjoy these moments. It might never happen again!

If you haven’t grabbed your free copy yet, here’s the link!

Over 65,000 Downloads!

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

It’s the fourth day of my 5-day promotional run with WHERE SHE BELONGS on the Amazon Kindle store. The book remains free for download until very late in the evening January 30th. Here’s a link to find out more.

As of 7 a.m. this morning, WHERE SHE BELONGS remains #2 in the Kindle Free store, although a different book than yesterday has taken the #1 slot. It looks like the book that was in #1 yesterday has finished its free run, because I didn’t even seen it in the top ten.

The truly excellent news is that WHERE SHE BELONGS, as of this typing, is #1 in Fiction, Genre Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Romance and Contemporary Romance. The #1 overall Kindle Free book is Non-Fiction.

My Golden Heart finalist book has received over 65,000 downloads from around the world! This is amazing to me because it took literally years—I’m not sure I should admit how many—for a traditional publisher to buy the book. That was Five Star/Cengage, a library publisher, which bought WHERE SHE BELONGS for its now-defunct Five Star Expressions romance and Women’s Fiction line. WHERE SHE BELONGS was the last contemporary romance published by Five Star/Cengage, and due to contract restrictions I could not bring it out in ebook or trade paperback until a year had passed. Sales to libraries have been okay, but nothing spectacular. So to see my book get this kind of exposure on the Kindle Free store has been an experience I will never forget.

A new 4-Star review appeared on the book page today! The book doesn’t have many reviews, so I appreciate every one, especially when a reader, such as this latest reviewer, has taken the time to thoughtfully and kindly express her opinions.

To answer a question a reader put to another reviewer about swearing and love scenes in the book, I don’t feel I as an author should reply on the Amazon review page. Everyone has a different opinion about cursing and love scenes. This book has mild swearing (the characters never say the F word, but you can find several hells and damns and the odd S word). The characters do make love and the bedroom door is not closed when they do. The language in the love scenes, however, is not explicit.

Tomorrow is the last day WHERE SHE BELONGS will be available free on Amazon. So if you haven’t downloaded your free copy yet, pop on over!

Where She Belongs Hits Number 1 in Kindle Free Store!

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Yesterday, January 27th, was very exciting for me. I honestly never thought I’d see this. I certainly didn’t expect, on the second day of WHERE SHE BELONGS’s five-day free promotion on Amazon that the book would hit #1 in the Free Kindle Store. Yes, Number One! Woot!!!

WHERE SHE BELONGS dropped to #2 last night and remains at #2 this morning. However, it had the #1 spot in the Kindle Free store for most of Sunday. As of this typing, the book is still #1 in Romance, #1 in Contemporary Romance, #1 in Contemporary Fiction and #1 in Women’s Fiction!

Later, when I saw that the book had dropped from the #1 slot overall, I realized there were a couple of other bestseller lists to check. Genre Fiction, where the book currently sits at #2 and Fiction, where the book also sits at #2. I don’t know if the book hit #1 on either of those lists yesterday, because I didn’t think to check them. I was too excited about the others.

To date, since just after midnight Saturday, January 26th, over 54,000 downloads have occurred. Wow!

The five-day promotion doesn’t end until January 30th, inclusive, which means you can still get a copy for free now.

So, I just had to take some screen shots. I mean, this might never happen for me again. Here they are!

Blew my mind! NUMBER ONE IN THE ENTIRE KINDLE FREE STORE!!

Blew my mind! NUMBER ONE IN THE ENTIRE KINDLE FREE STORE!!

Number one in Romance!!! Woot!!!

Number one in Romance!!! Woot!!!

Number One in Contemporary Romance!!

Number One in Contemporary Romance!!

Number 1, Contemporary Fiction, Kindle Free store.

Number 1, Contemporary Fiction, Kindle Free store.

January 27th, 2013, Number 1 in Women's Fiction, Kindle Free Store

January 27th, 2013, Number 1 in Women’s Fiction, Kindle Free Store

I’d love for the book to remain in the Top Ten for the duration of its free promotion on Amazon. So if you haven’t downloaded your copy yet, please do so. And tell your friends, tell your goldfish, tell your puppies!

Thank you for your support!

Number Four in Contemporary Romance Free Kindle Books!

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

It’s the second day of WHERE SHE BELONGS’s five-day run in the Kindle Free Ebook store. This morning, I am thrilled to report that the book is #10 in the Kindle Free store overall, #7 in Romance, #4 in Contemporary Romance, and NUMBER ONE in both Women’s Fiction and Contemporary Fiction.

Also, yesterday I received a wonderful new five-star review from a reader on Amazon. I have no idea if this review is a result of one of the free downloads or from one of the paid sales (on which I earn royalties) from December. The reader says, “This story made me laugh and cry. I absolutely loved the characters and their love story.” She also remarked on the book’s lack of grammar and spelling errors. Thank you, dear reader!

The free book downloads from Amazon continue until January 30th, inclusive. If you haven’t downloaded your copy yet, please do! Here’s the link again.

Also, thank you to Michael Gallagher of Free Kindle Books and Tips for mentioning WHERE SHE BELONGS on his blog this weekend.

Where She Belongs Free on Kindle Until January 30th!

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

WHERE SHE BELONGS is FREE on Amazon to download to your Kindle from Saturday, January 26th to Wednesday, January 30th! That’s five whole days during which the book will be free. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can still download the book to your PC or tablet and read it on whichever free reading app works for your device. You can even read it on the Kindle Cloud Reader.

This is the only time I know of that the book will be made available for free, so don’t miss out!

If you check the link to the Amazon page very early on January 26th (like, say, at 1 a.m.) and the book isn’t free yet, just give it a couple of hours and check back again. Amazon might make the book downloadable for free one minute after midnight, or a few hours might pass until it’s available. That is completely up to Amazon mechanics.

You have five days to grab your copy. Please share on Facebook and Twitter and tell your friends. Thanks!

WHERE SHE BELONGS Ebook cover.

Sticking Up My Eyeball

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

I haven’t blogged in a while. That’s because, on Jan. 11th, I had touch-up laser eye surgery on my right eye—the distance eye. The eye that didn’t “take” when I originally had laser surgery on both eyes over a year ago. Today I had my third post-op follow-up appointment, however, so it’s time for a report. And then, unless I have something newsworthy to announce, I will take a break from blogging until my right eye can withstand the bright, 21-inch desktop screen. Right now I’m wearing my Panama hat to help shield the brightness. As I’m editing BORROWING ALEX for re-issue, I’m finding it much easier on my eye to work on my netbook and check email, etc. on my iPad.

Back to the surgery…

I went in January 11th expecting to have the SBK procedure, which is what I had last year. However, the optometrist had warned me that if my “flap” (created by LASIK and SBK) was resistant to lifting, I might have to have PRK (I’d link to articles explaining the differences in the surgeries, but I don’t want to spend more time here than necessary, and if you Google PRK versus SBK, or PRK versus LASIK, you’ll find them). (P.S. when my son had PRK, the cost for the LASIK and PRK were the same; when I had SBK, it was quite a bit more expensive. The idea is the benefits of achieving best vision quickly make up for the cost. However, when you experience a regression, like I did, in retrospect the extra money would have been better spent elsewhere).

The flap was resistant to lifting. This is something they don’t discover until you’re flat on the table with your head squished in a pliable pillow thingy, your eyeball frozen, a bit of drugs flowing through your veins, and the surgeon attempts to lift the flap with an “instrument.” I didn’t get a look at this “instrument,” and I didn’t want to. If it had looked anything like a scalpel, or even a crochet hook, I would have been all that much more nervous.

Despite the Atavan, and despite that I had experienced surgery in both eyes before, I was nervous. I like to think the surgeons have everything under control, but of course I never believe that until it’s over.

So my surgeon is digging around in my eye with the “instrument,” trying to lift my flap. I felt him try four places. I thought maybe the flap was lifting and he just needed to pry all four places loose. So I just held my breath and tried to remain calm. Then I heard him utter, “Damn it.” That was during the fourth flap-lifting attempt. He inhaled, sat back and said, “I’m sorry, Cindy. This isn’t going to work.”

I thought, Crap, they’re going to send me home. Because that’s what a technician had mentioned—that if the flap couldn’t be lifted, they would send me home and “try PRK another time.” PRK is when, instead of lifting your flap, they “melt” (my word for it) the top layer of your eyeball off. Well, they don’t really melt it off. They use a little brush type of thing to sweep it off. My son had PRK two years ago, and I watched his surgery on the TV screen in the waiting room. I thought the sweeping off of the epithelium (after it had been doused with a VERY cold solution) would feel horrid. But, actually, now that I’ve experienced SBK and PRK, I far prefer the PRK. The surgeon stepped away from my head after telling me that my eye had already been traumatized and so they wouldn’t send me home. They would proceed to the PRK. They then needed to switch things around a bit, so I just laid there.

Once we got going again, they added more freezing agent to my eye, then, as far as I can remember, swamped it with the ice-cold solution, then brushed off the epithelium, which was nowhere near as horrendous as I expected. If I had to do it again (and I don’t think I can ever do it again—if this time doesn’t work, I’m out of luck), if I had to do it for the first time, I’d choose PRK. Now, you might think I’m saying this because the SBK didn’t work. And that’s partly it. Why not give the PRK a try? But I somehow also thought the PRK would be a worse experience; however, I discovered I prefer the sweeping away of my epithelium to a suction cup clamping my eye while a laser makes an incision in the epithelium.

Once the SBK or PRK preparation has occurred, the procedure is the same from there. You focus on these little red lights that make zapping sounds (and you smell your hair burning, but it’s not really your hair, it’s the lasering of your eye). Because this was a touch-up, I didn’t see as many red lights or smell as much burning or hear as many zapping sounds as I had last year. The nice thing about laser eye surgery is it’s over very fast.

Then a technician helped me up, and I spotted a teddy bear by one machine. “What’s the teddy bear for?” I asked.

“If someone’s very scared, we’ll give them the bear to hold.”

“I was very scared!!”

I guess I wasn’t as scared as I’d thought.

Recovering from SBK, for me, was horrific the first day as the eyes unthawed. And my eyes were super dry for months afterward. This year, with PRK, I knew from my son’s and others’ experiences that the third or fourth day is generally the worst, and this stood true for me. I didn’t have that much discomfort on days 1 and 2 (however, I had only had a touch-up, not a full-on eye-frying), but day 3 was a nasty little witch. This year, I was prepared. I had purchased eye drops up the whazoo of the brands and types that I had experimented with over the last twelve months when it became apparent that the regular old eye drops they supply you with weren’t going to work.

The day after surgery, I returned for my first post-op. With SBK, I was seeing at 20/20 minus one on day one (which means I missed one letter on the 20/20 chart). However, my astigmatism did not go away from the treatment and by the time I reached 3 months post-surgery my eye was reading 20/30 (what a normal person could see at 30 feet, I could see at 20 feet). Last summer and this fall, my vision had regressed even more, to 20/50 (what a normal person can see at 50 feet, I could see at 20 feet…you can understand how that might have annoyed me).

Well, today, ten days post-surgery, I am back to 20/30, which is good for PRK recovery at this time. Unlike SBK or LASIK, with PRK you can’t expect to be back at work or driving after 72 hours. Luckily, my left eye, my reading eye, didn’t require a revision treatment, so I found that I could read and use the iPad within two or three days…as long as I kept my right eye plenty saturated with eye drops.

As well as my eye not being as dry from the revision, my eye isn’t as light-sensitive as it was last year. It’s sensitive, just not as much. I go back again a month post-surgery (about three weeks), and I look forward to reporting even more progress. The optometrist was very happy with my progress today. With PRK it takes about 6-8 weeks before you know where you really stand, and you see the clinic again at 3 months and 6 months. It can take up to six months to achieve your best vision.

Cross your fingers that the touch-up works! So far, I’m happy.

By the way, I do have some good news to report, but I must save it for another day. Time to get off the desktop and douse my eye in drops!