Those of us in the community of independent writers and readers might know there are few book review sites that focus exclusively on indie authors. Big Al’s Books & Pals is one of those sites. They also keep the bar high. Name recognition might get you moved up the list, as blog founder Big Al himself said in an interview with Martin Crosbie, but you know that review is going to be fair: no passes here. That’s why I’m so excited Playing Charlie Cool was nominated for one of their 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards in the category of contemporary fiction. Out of the thousands of books that Books and Pals received last year, just over three hundred were reviewed. And an even smaller selection made it into the thirteen categories for the award. I love writing Charlie, and even though we’re on a little hiatus right now, I’d definitely pour him a scotch and put some Sinatra on the playlist if he decided he had more stories to tell me. I’d like to ask for your vote, if you think Charlie and I are worthy, in the contemporary fiction category. It’s easy and you don’t have to vote for every single category, although the more votes you submit, the greater your chances to win some goodies, including a selection of the nominated books and a sweet, sweet $75 Amazon gift card. Just click here to go to the Rafflecopter page where you can vote. Scroll down to see the instructions and categories, and click on the category name to see the nominated books. (Note: Older versions of Internet Explorer don’t like Rafflecopter much, so if you use a different browser, it might work better.) A few of my author compadres were also nominated, so I hope you’ll check out the stellar work of Lynne Cantwell (Scorched Earth, nominated in Fantasy), DV Berkom (A One Way Ticket to Dead, nominated in Thrillers), Julie Frayn (Mazie Baby, nominated in Women’s Fiction), Donna Fasano (Following His Heart, nominated in Romance), Jackie Weger (No Perfect Secret, nominated in Romance), and Shawn Inmon (Rock ‘N’ Roll Heaven, nominated in Paranormal). Thank you for your time, and thank you for continuing to give independent authors a chance. Voting ends March 28.
Another Friday, another two-minutes-go writing challenge over at JD Mader’s Unemployed Imagination site. We joke each week about “breaking the blog,” but I think this time we actually did it. Flash fiction bits were going up, comments followed, until…well, let’s just say that we kicked some serious interwebs. Here are three pieces I threw down. Hope you’ll pop over to that link and see some amazing writing by David Antrobus, Julie Frayn, Mark Morris, Ed Drury, Leland Dirks, Lynne Cantwell…hope I’m not leaving anyone out…and of course, our own wicked awesome Pied Piper. Enjoy. As always, lightly edited for your protection.
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Some of you may know this already, but among the world of indie authors, getting a review from BigAl’s Books and Pals is no small accomplishment. According to statistics released by the site, “In the twelve months ending February 28th, 2014, BigAl and the Pals will have received over 1,400 books to consider for review and published 368 book reviews.”
I’m wicked excited that one of those titles was mine: Sliding Past Vertical has been selected as one of the books they felt stood out as an exceptional example of indie writing. (Their words, not mine, and they’re enough to make a girl mix up a pitcher of virtual margaritas and dance. No, not on the pole. Not since the last time.)
Anyway…B&P divided these books into thirteen categories. Sliding Past Vertical has been nominated for Contemporary/General Fiction. Starting now, you can vote for your favorites in each category. If you think the book is worthy, I hope you’ll swing by and give me your vote; I’d appreciate your support. Thank you! Voting enters you into a drawing for some cool prizes, and I hope you win!
Voting automatically enters you into B&P’s giveaway. You can learn all about that here. Voting ends at midnight, March 12, and final results will be announced the morning of Wednesday, March 15. Winners get a shiner badge and some cool exposure on the B&P website. Exposure (not the kind when you’re swinging around on the pole) for indie authors is a really good thing.
Some of my friends and colleagues have also been nominated. Lynne Cantwell’s Tapped, the third book in the Pipe Woman Chronicles, has been nominated in the Fantasy category.
DV Berkom’s wild ride, Yucatan Dead, sixth book in the Kate Jones series, was nominated in the Thrillers category.
Good luck to all the nominees and remember that if you vote, you can win!
[Voting notes: The form doesn’t like Internet Explorer. Once you click on this link that takes you to the site, log in with Facebook or your email address. Click on the downward-facing arrow in each category to see the books nominated. Click the open circle to the left to make your selection and “Enter” to register the vote. Clicking on the title will give you more info about the book.]
October is my favorite month—Indian summer, apples, beautiful leaves, that lovely crisp feeling in the air. After a completely insane September culminating with the release of Sliding Past Vertical, I had been looking forward to kicking back a teensy bit. Okay, I know that’s not really possible, since once the book comes out, the work really starts. At least I hoped to get outside once in a while before my schedule heated up again.
Not so, it seems, but it’s all good. I woke on Monday to find that Don’t Tell Anyone had been chosen the category winner for literary fiction in The Kindle Book Review 2013 Best Indie Books Awards. (see shiny badge to the right). Snoopy dancing! As my entry progressed from semi-finalist to finalist in September, I was happy to see enough editing work and book promotions on my calendar to keep me from thinking about October 1.
One great thing about indies is their generosity and eagerness to support other authors. I entered the contest along with a bunch of talented author friends and did little happy dances when Nicole Storey, DV Berkom, Julie Frayn, Rosanne Dingli, and Carol Wyer made it to the semi-finals, then again when Nickie and I were in the finals (with Hugh Howey in a different category!) When I got the “you’re a winner” email from Jeff Bennington at The Kindle Book Awards, it had also been sent to the other category winners. We immediately began contacting each other with congratulations and requests for Twitter handles.
After a bit of flutter, I forced myself back to earth, because Husband and I needed to get the print version of Sliding Past Vertical done. And here she is! I was so excited to get the proof in my hands. Four books in, and the feeling of holding the finished copy hasn’t yet gotten old. I hope it never does.
Have a great week!