Preview PICTURE IMPERFECT on Amazon Direct on Your Browser

October 21st, 2016

If you’re a reader you’re probably familiar with the Look Inside feature over on Amazon, but as I was getting ready for PICTURE IMPERFECT’s release week, I realized that Amazon now has a cool little pop-up app you can direct folks to, and if they click on it they can start reading my book right where they are, on their desktop or tablet and likely also their phones.

Testing it out here.

Yep, it works!

You can read up to around the beginning of Chapter Four without having to go search on Amazon for my book. Just click and read! (If you like what you read, you can then buy directly from the app, which would be nice the next time I need to buy some bulk cases of Kraft Dinner). (Mama needs royalties to keep DH in KD…)

I do have an excerpt on my website, but the Amazon preview app thingy is very cool!

Q and A at Publishing Spark!

October 20th, 2016

I have a Q and A at Publishing Spark today. Hop on over and check it out.

What is Publishing Spark, you ask? It’s an email/newsletter list provider. If you’re an author, it’s a super easy version of MailChimp. Right now I have email lists on MailChimp, Mailer Lite and Publishing Spark, and I’m testing each out for various lists. I started over on MailChimp, and I really like them, but as my subscriber base grows I’m just in a place right now where I really want the automation features but my writing income, um, still needs work and MC is a tad on the high end for my needs. Enter Mailer Lite and Publishing Spark, both of which offer automation on their lowest tier or free trials. I’m trying out both over the next twelve months.

At the Publishing Spark blog today, I’m talking about my new book, PICTURE IMPERFECT, how I use my mailing lists, and basically offering some writerly advice. I hope to see you there!

Allie’s 15th Birthday and Release Day for PICTURE IMPERFECT!

October 18th, 2016

Yahoo!! It’s Allie McBeagle’s 15th birthday!! Only one more year until she beats the record set by our old Siamese cat, who cantankerously lived to 15 and a half. Gotta say, I’m not sure Allie will make it to 16, but I wasn’t sure she’d make it to 15 either, and yet here she is.

allie_15

 

It’s also Release Day for PICTURE IMPERFECT, my 130,000 word sassy suspense (by which I mean humorous suspense “lite” or romcom/mystery). PICTURE IMPERFECT is a bit of a genre bender, with both mystery and suspense elements as well as a romantic comedy tone and family entanglements, several points of view, and a fully developed romance. I usually dedicate my books to my husband, but PICTURE IMPERFECT is dedicated to Steve and our two sons as well as…Allie!! There’s not a beagle to be had in the book. There is a beagle in my next book, but in case Allie isn’t around then she wanted a dedication in PICTURE IMPERFECT. And when you’re a dog of 15, ya gets what ya wants. The average age range for a beagle is 12-15, so she kinda feels her work is done. We’ll see.

Here are links to check out my book, or you can visit the PI page on my website. The Pre-Order/Early Release pricing of $2.99 USD extends to Friday and will begin going up to $4.99 on the weekend. Amazon, as is their practice, usually keeps the lowest price the longest. I have no clue if the other vendors’ price increases will occur Saturday, Sunday or Monday, but between now and Friday is your best chance to grab PICTURE IMPERFECT at $2.99.

Here are some links!

Amazon: http://kindlel.ink/PictureImperfect

Amazon Canada: http://kindlel.ink/PictureImperfect_CA

Amazon UK: http://kindlel.ink/PictureImperfect_UK

Amazon Australia: http://kindlel.ink/PictureImperfect_AU

iBooks: http://ibooksl.ink/PictureImperfect

Kobo: http://kobol.ink/PictureImperfect

NOOK: http://nookl.ink/PictureImperfect

Cover! Designed by the Fabulous Killion Group!

pictureimperfectcover400

Blurb!

Just when she thought she had her life on autofocus…

Photographer Ursula Scott is six short months from buying her boss’s studio and helping her family knock down a massive debt. She can put up with his hairball antics for that long, right?

Right?

But, oh, he makes life difficult. She can barely restrain herself when he hogs credit for her assignments, and now half-naked weirdos are responding to his ad for her first magazine photo spread. On top of that, someone is sabotaging the studio. Worse, she discovers her sexy apprentice is a former cop practicing his newbie PI skills on the case—and she’s a suspect!

Suddenly, Ursula’s dreams and hard work seem about to go up in smoke. In more ways than one.

Well, not on her watch.

When Gabe McKenzie moves home following the shooting that kyboshed his career, he doesn’t expect to get sucked into finding the culprit wreaking havoc at his uncle’s photography studio. He certainly doesn’t expect to fall for Ursula Scott, a long-legged brunette with a definite motive and a desire to play Nancy Drew. Even as he clears her, the sabotage escalates into a bizarre stalking, placing Ursula…and Gabe’s hopes for their future…in danger.

If only he can convince her to stop snooping around and let him do his job as a PI, before an unknown menace threatens not only her dreams—but her life.

~~~

Please say happy birthday to Allie in the comments!

Now I’m off to try not to burn the chicken soup.

Love Small-Town Contemporary Romances?

October 13th, 2016

Have you read my novel, WHERE SHE BELONGS? Today you can enter to win the book plus more than 60 fantastic small-town contemporary romance novels from an amazing collection of authors, PLUS a Kindle Fire!

Enter the contest by clicking here: http://bit.ly/small-town-rom

When you’re done, leave a comment to let me know you’ve entered!

small-town-contemp-romance-procter-king-cindy

One Week to Release!

October 11th, 2016

PICTURE IMPERFECT releases in a week! My website is now fully updated with an excerpt, the cover, and buy links. Don’t forget, the pre-order savings will extend only a few days after release (like 3-5 days, depending on how long it takes each vendor to apply the regular price of $4.99 USD), so if you want to take advantage of pre-order savings, please do so quickly.

Nifty graphic:

pi_preorder2106

All buy links are on my PICTURE IMPERFECT book page!

Picture Imperfect Cover Reveal and Pre-Order!

October 6th, 2016

All who were losing hope, please join me in celebration, because I finally FINALLY FINALLY have a new book coming out! PICTURE IMPERFECT: A SASSY SUSPENSE is my longest book to date. At 130,000 words (around 420 printed book pages), it is easily double the length of WHERE SHE BELONGS. Now, some of you might say the extra length is why it took me so long to write PICTURE IMPERFECT, and some of you might be right. But there was also a lot of Life Stuff tossed in there. Meanwhile, I was doing some writing as my pen name. But now I am back and working on more and more stuff as Cindy. I will continue to write as my pen name now and then, but, mainly, my focus will be on my Cindy stuff going forward. And I’m very excited about that.

There’ll be lots of news in the coming months, but today I want to focus on PICTURE IMPERFECT, because I’m super excited to announce Special Pre-Order Pricing with a savings of up to 60% off the Retail Price, which will go into effect shortly after the release date of October 18th. Yep, that’s right around the corner. Less than two weeks remaining until release!

Here’s the cover, which, IMNSHO, rocks.

pictureimperfectcover400

Yes, it’s big! And it’s beautiful! If you want to catch a look at the paperback layout, please visit this special page on my website and scroll down.

And you can read an excerpt here.

Okay, how about I let you know what it’s about?

Photographer Ursula Scott discovers her sexy apprentice is an ex-cop investigating threats at his uncle’s studio–but is she a suspect or a target?

Just when she thought she had her life on autofocus…

Photographer Ursula Scott is six short months from buying her boss’s studio and helping her family knock down a massive debt. She can put up with his hairball antics for that long, right?

Right?

But, oh, he makes life difficult. She can barely restrain herself when he hogs credit for her assignments, and now half-naked weirdos are responding to his ad for her first magazine photo spread. On top of that, someone is sabotaging the studio. Worse, she discovers her sexy apprentice is a former cop practicing his newbie PI skills on the case—and she’s a suspect!

Suddenly, Ursula’s dreams and hard work seem about to go up in smoke. In more ways than one.

Well, not on her watch.

When Gabe McKenzie moves home following the shooting that kyboshed his career, he doesn’t expect to get sucked into finding the culprit wreaking havoc at his uncle’s photography studio. He certainly doesn’t expect to fall for Ursula Scott, a long-legged brunette with a definite motive and a desire to play Nancy Drew. Even as he clears her, the sabotage escalates into a bizarre stalking, placing Ursula…and Gabe’s hopes for their future…in danger.

If only he can convince her to stop snooping around and let him do his job as a PI, before an unknown menace threatens not only her dreams—but her life.

~~Did I mention you can Read an Excerpt?

And following are links to the Special Pre-Order Pricing, with savings up to 60% (depending on where you live). Short form, for the eBook the USD Retail Price of PICTURE IMPERFECT is $4.99. During pre-order, the book is available for $2.99 USD and $2.99 Canadian. I’m especially excited about the Canadian price, because that ol’ exchange rate can do a number on the wallet. If you pre-order PICTURE IMPERFECT from an eRetailer using Canadian dollars (ie. for Amazon that would be the Amazon Canada site and not the Amazon U.S. site), you can get the pre-order pricing of $2.99 Canuck.

I buy my Kindle books from the U.S. Amazon store myself, and there’s no way to make the book available for $2.99 CDN if you buy from Amazon US. Instead, it will have one of those wonky prices reserved for Canadians buying from the US. Sorry about that.

PICTURE IMPERFECT is also available on Kobo, iBooks, and for NOOK. So check it out!

iBooks

Kobo

NOOK

Amazon

Amazon Canada

Amazon UK

Amazon Australia

International Amazons, please visit this link and then click the Kindle icon, and you should be taken to the store for your country. Or, visit your Amazon of choice and search for “Picture Imperfect by Cindy Procter-King.” (Spell Procter with an E). (Yes, I’m on a mission; why do you ask?)

Picture Imperfect Progress Report

October 4th, 2016

I have website updates to do!

My sassy suspense, PICTURE IMPERFECT, is currently getting uploaded to various eBook retailers for pre-order, and the release date has been set for October 18th. That’s a 2 week pre-order period. I have some fun stuff planned, but need to wait until the pre-orders are all live.

Meanwhile, the print files are getting prepped and review copies are going out. I can’t wait to get my hands on a proof copy of the print book! But right now I’m waiting for the printer to approve the files before I can order a proof.

Here's the title page to give you a little taste of the upcoming Cover Reveal!

Here’s the title page to give you a little taste of the upcoming Cover Reveal!

My First Time

August 26th, 2016

Formatting a book for print, that is.

Actually, I’ve never formatted an eBook, either. I usually farm out my work. But this time I’ve decided I should learn to format myself. It makes updating files so much easier. For some unfathomable reason, I decided to start with print formatting.

CreateSpace has templates for use with Microsoft Word, and it would probably be a lot easier if I just downloaded one of those templates. Only problem is, my copy of Word is so old (the 2003 edition) that I can’t save as PDF, which I need for uploading to CreateSpace. And…years and years ago, when I built this site and my pen name’s site, I decided to upgrade my Dreamweaver and PhotoShop. They came combined in a program called Adobe Creative Suite 2. Creative Suite has since updated to a cloud-based service, but for someone like me the $20 U.S. a month when I only put out maybe two books a year (that’s being generous, LOL) isn’t worth it. And I don’t design my own covers. So, being the obstinate sort, I decided to try learning how to format my print interior pages with the very old InDesign CS2. The problem? Back when I was buying how-to books for Illustrator and PhotoShop, I didn’t buy one for InDesign, thinking I would never need it. Now, there are a lot of great free templates available for InDesign book interiors, but try finding one for the CS2 version of the program. So, instead of downloading a premade template and creating my book from there, I’m building the template from the ground up. Thanks to YouTube and Google, there are a lot of places I can go for help, but the set-up is never quite the same because, you know, Cindy has old software. This might take me awhile…

Just to prove I’m really at work, here’s a shot of Page 1 of PICTURE IMPERFECT in my Word doc, followed by how far I’ve gotten in InDesign (I finally created page numbers on my Master pages, but they aren’t starting in the right spot. My next challenge is creating running, alternating page headers.)

PI_page1PI_Print

The idea is that once I have the template down pat, I can use it for future releases as well. And, if you can read Page 1 of the Word doc, that’s the world’s first peek into PICTURE IMPERFECT! (Which will go up for pre-order just as soon as I’ve got the cover commissioned).

Yup, I need to create a new website page for the book, too.

Oh, Dear, Summer Happened Again!

August 23rd, 2016

I know, I know. I had high hopes for blogging over the summer. What can I say? Once Eldest Son comes home from China for a few precious weeks every year, I lose sight of everything else. And it seems most everyone is on social media these days rather than blogs.

Well, today ES and DILly 2 departed for Shanghai again, and I won’t see them for another ten months. So it’s back to writing–and hopefully back to some semblance of blogging. I have good intentions, I really do. But right now I’m delving into formatting for PICTURE IMPERFECT, which IS coming out this fall! This is my first time trying to format, both eBook and print. I have a professional in the wings, should it come to that. But I really would like to be able to change out my backmatter, etc., as needed without hiring out, so it’s time to get technical.

Gulp.

Chile and Patagonia 2016 – Buenos Aires and Home!

June 24th, 2016

Dates Explored/Endured (this last regarding Air Canada F-Ups): February 18 – 21st

My last blog post about our four-week trip to Chile, Patagonia, and Argentina!

It was a wonderful trip, but Air Canada made sure we were extremely glad to be home. Talk about a cluster-frick.

But first, Buenos Aires!

We decided to fly from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires and stay a couple of nights before beginning the long journey back to British Columbia, because otherwise it would have been too exhausting. It was exhausting, anyway. That’s about the only downside to traveling to South America–it takes so long to get home. Otherwise, I love South America.

The flight to Buenos Aires is about 3.5 hours. We were already settled at the Ushuaia airport when I realized I had left my headphones at the Mysten Kempen B&B. This caused me much anxiety, because I was pretty sure I had left behind the headphones but I wouldn’t know for certain, having already checked my bags, until we arrived at Casa Calma in Buenos Aires. You can read my last post about how the Mysten Kempen and Casa Calma staff worked together to get my headphones back in my possession before Steve and I needed to fly back to Canada. Our travel-mates stayed two nights in Buenos Aires with us. The day we left for Canada, they continued on to Iguazu Falls. I would have loved to see the Falls, but four weeks was the longest my husband could take off work without them thinking he might have suddenly booked early retirement. So SILly and BILly continued on without us.

First, it’s a superb idea to stay in Buenos Aires before returning home. The Casa Calma is a wonderful little boutique hotel within walking distance to shopping, people-watching at outdoor cafes, steak houses, and about two kilometers away from the presidential palace known as Casa Rosada, or The Pink House. The folks at the Casa Calma can hook you up with whatever you want to do while you’re in town, whether it’s a half- or full-day city tour, restaurant recommendations, Tango shows, etc. They provide you with a list when you arrive, so you don’t have to book in advance.

We decided to book the half-day city tour for the morning after we arrived. It was raining, but the tour took us through the various neighborhoods, of which there are a ton. Steve and I returned to some of the areas the following day, once the sun was out. The half-day tour ends at the above-ground cemetery where Evita was buried (although I think her body was later stolen…). From there, we walked back to the hotel.

The San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires. Steve bought a soccer shirt in this neighborhood featuring a local junior team. He made the locals happy. :)

The San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires. Steve bought a soccer shirt in this neighborhood, featuring a local junior team. He made the locals happy. 🙂

San Telmo is very colorful, a really fun neighborhood to explore. I love this next photo. It’s a window in a bathroom:

Juxtaposition of "old" and "new."

Juxtaposition of “old” and “new.”

"The Pink House," the Argentinian version of The White House, the presidential palace. BILly and SILly had left for the Falls, so we just strolled around for the day.

“The Pink House,” the Argentinian version of The White House, the presidential palace. BILly and SILly had left for the Falls, so we just strolled around for the day.

One of the things you can easily do from the Casa Calma is walk Florida Street, which is supposed to be very elegant, but it was more like running the gauntlet when we did it. Constant hawking of wares. It’s an experience, but not one I necessarily feels needs to be experienced. You’ll be offered so many opportunities to exchange money, it’s not funny. And I have a hankering there’s a good chance you’ll be ripped off. But there’s an exchange kiosk in the Galerias Pacifico shopping mall, on Florida. We primarily used Santander Bank ABMs, both in Chile and Buenos Aires. Yeah, it’s a PITA because the banks only allow you to take out a wee portion of money and then slap a tourist tax on top, but at least you have funds. It’s Argentina! Take the hits and soak up the atmosphere!

It’s also a good idea to take along U.S. dollars. We didn’t use them a lot in  Chile, but in Argentina they were very handy.

The food in Buenos Aires was excellent. We only had one crappy meal, and it was during our only day on our own! We had lunch on the sidewalk near this beautiful park where we spent most of the day (our flight left at 10 p.m.), and it was the worst meal I had in South America. That's what I get for making fun of BILly. He cursed my meals after we parted ways.

The food in Buenos Aires was excellent. We only had one crappy meal, and it was during our only day on our own! We had lunch on the sidewalk near this beautiful park where we spent most of the day (our flight left at 10 p.m.), and it was the worst meal I had in South America. That’s what I get for making fun of BILly. He cursed my meals after we parted ways.

We returned to our room to find this nice note reminding me not to forget anything like I had in Ushuaia.... Ahem.

We returned to our room to find this nice note reminding me not to forget anything like I had in Ushuaia…. Ahem.

As for the trip home, don’t get me started. I’ll try to make this short.

We booked our flights on Air Canada through Expedia, and even though we booked them like eight months in advance, for some reason we weren’t assigned seats for one of the legs, between Houston and Calgary. We didn’t think much of this until we couldn’t print out boarding passes, because 24 hours before our flight, we still weren’t assigned seats.

So we decided to go to the B.A. airport early. It was very confusing, as most airports are when there’s a language barrier and your first flight leaves at 10 p.m. We did have assigned seats for the B.A. to Houston leg, thank God, because it was 10 hours long. The lovely Air Canada clerk in B.A. assured us in her broken English that we would be assigned seats for Houston to Calgary once in Houston. We settled in to be called for our flight when, in typical Cindy fashion, I stood up and turned and walked into a short table, and near about split my shin bone (I have a mark to this day).

We boarded our first plane–and noticed a woman was trying to sneak our entire row, LOL. We had made sure to leave an empty middle seat between us, crossing our fingers it would not be sold, and it wasn’t. But it’s not so unusual in South America for travelers to sit in the wrong seat on purpose. I’m not sure what they mean to accomplish, but we experienced the same behavior on our flight to Easter Island weeks earlier.

At first we thought we had suddenly gained a row companion, but she fled as soon as she realized the row wasn’t empty.

Ten hours is a long flight, but we’ve done this several times now, and if you can fly 14 hours from Melbourne, you can fly 10 hours from Buenos Aires. No problemo! Until we arrived in Houston.

There, we raced to get to the Air Canada counter (where we had been told we would be assigned seats), but the clerk said we were “too late,” even though we were well outside the 90-minute window. We headed to the gate regardless. At the gate, the Air Canada staff informed us, with no apologies or even a smile, that the flight was overbooked. We came to learn that the flight from Houston to Calgary is routinely overbooked, but this flight was overbooked by a dozen people! We were numbers 7 and 8. A single female traveler was #6, and she told us this had happened to her more than once in a two-month period.

The three of were sent to the United Airlines counter, a partner to Air Canada, and the single female arrived before us so managed to snag a seat on a United Airlines flight leaving a couple of hours later. The United Airlines folks were very nice and tried to help us, which is more than I can say for Air Canada (for shame). They placed our luggage on the next flight to Calgary and said to pray for a cancellation. We made it to the gate, but only one seat was available. Would I leave my husband behind in Houston to catch up with me later? Uh, no. We were either going together or not at all.

Lo and behold, at the very last minute, a passenger didn’t make his connection, so both Steve and myself got on the flight, just several rows apart.

The very first thing one of my row-mates asked was if I would take the middle seat instead of the window, to accommodate the fellow in the middle, who she didn’t know at all. Note, she wasn’t giving up her aisle seat for him but thought I might give up my window seat at her behest.

Uh, no.

LOL!

We wound up in Calgary to discover our luggage hadn’t made it onto the plane. Don’t ask me how, in this day and age, we managed to travel internationally without our luggage, but we did. It arrived home a day or so after we did, much bedraggled but with a wealth of memories I wouldn’t trade for anything despite the Air Canada travel woes.

But will I travel Air Canada again unless forced to because of scheduling restrictions? Uh, no. Now I understand why A.C. is my dh’s last choice in travel. Sorry, Air Canada, overbook your seats if you must but let the travelers know that’s what’s happening. I guess I should have clued in. A less expensive seat bought through Expedia meant…not much of anything at all. Too bad it wasn’t another country’s airline that treated us so shoddily, and at least we got home. But, man, that customer service sucked, Air Canada.

Adios!!