THE ROMANCE REVIEWS 4th Anniversary Party

trrIt’s a month long celebration and I’m there! Well, I’ll be there tomorrow for a Question & Answer type game.   I’m offering up an ebook copy of Drive Me Sane to the person who wins.  And along with me, there are hundreds of other authors with prizes galore!  Head on over to The Romance Reviews for all the details.  Please note that you must be registered and logged into their site to take part in the giveaways.

I must admit, I’m partial to this site.  Unknown to me, my publisher submitted Drive Me Sane to them for a review.  Needless to say, I was beyond words and in tears with their response.  No lie!  I bawled like a baby.

You can find Angi’s 4 Star Review here or below:

“They fell in love as teens but their fears and frustrations as young adults drove them apart. Years have passed and, now, both their lives are on a downward spiral. An unforeseen chance to reconnect is the second chance they both desperately need to exorcise old hurts, as well as conquer the troubles that are currently holding each of them hostage.

Discharged from the Army and suffering PTSD after a tour in Afghanistan, Sera Cavins makes a quiet return to her Uncle Roy’s empty home in Kentucky to attempt to get her broken life back together. The remorse, regret, and guilt she feels has manifested into fears she’s not ready to confess to anyone. Finding her former fiancé Tyler Creech at her uncle’s home brings back even older hurts that make it doubly hard for Sera to hide the many secrets that steal her peace of mind and sap her wounded spirit.

Up and coming country music star Tyler Creech’s life is being consumed by the demands of his career, and his life no longer seems his own. The mounting pressure is taking both a physical and mental toll on him, so a few weeks’ hiatus at his mother and stepfather Roy’s home in Kentucky is where he hopes to work through some of the issues that are leaving him sleepless and torn. He never expected to run into Sera Cavins, the woman who pushed him away and who still haunts him with unresolved heartache and regrets.

If they can bear to share the same roof, maybe they can finally uncover the reasons behind their broken engagement and broken lives, let go the pain and fear and, finally, heal and move forward together.

Debut author Dena Rogers makes a spectacular entrance to the field of romance with this nicely paced emotional tale that’s sole focus is on mending broken hearts and broken lives. In my humble opinion, one can’t help but applaud the author’s tackling of the subject of PTSD in a former female soldier, and I thought her handling of the subject was relevant, vividly moving, and very well done.

With regards to Sera, I found her attempts to repress her emotions, as a means of self-protection, to be utterly convincing and understandable, even though I found I didn’t always like her when she engaged these defense mechanisms. Ms. Rogers nicely countered Sera’s actions with the often understated actions of Tyler, whom she characterized with the compassionate ability to understand and sense Sera’s needs in the face of his own troubled emotions. This balance of give and take in characterization truly enhanced the gradual changes in this couple’s relationship and kept the plot moving with new revelations and just enough valid recriminations to keep Tyler and Sera’s relationship grounded and real.

Despite the novella length of DRIVE ME SANE, this tale has lots of depth, adequate back story, and there are few psychological or emotional issues that are left untouched. Crafting such a compelling story in approximately one hundred pages is a feat that deserves recognition and surely designates Dena Rogers as a talented new author to watch.”

Tis’ The Season

It seems like I just sat down to write my Hello December post and here we are three weeks into the month.  It’s a busy time for everyone, myself included.  Knowing that I’ll be off of work for twelve days, at the end of the month, means that I have to pack four weeks worth of work into two and a half weeks and since my oldest son turns thirteen in a couples days, I’ve got birthday shopping/party(cake and dinner at home) to do on top of finishing up my Christmas shopping.  As of today, I have only purchased four gifts, all of which were ordered online.

My family, some friends, and co-workers also sponsor a local boys home for Christmas gifts each year. Normally we do one cottage of approximately 13 boys, but my sister and her husband, who financially back the biggest portion of this task, decided this year we would take on the entire home.  We are supplying gifts and stockings to a total of 36 boys, ages 8-18.  Last Sunday was spent organizing what we already have and I’ll spend this Sunday getting the stockings ready so that they can be delivered on the 23rd.  By the time Christmas Eve at my in-laws rolls around, I’ll be exhausted, but like I said, I’ll have plenty of time to rest at the end of the month.

With everything going on, I haven’t actually sat down and written a post in weeks and I probably won’t get around to writing anymore until the end of the year.  I have some bookie things still going on.   Pure Jonel is hosting a giveaway of one print copy and one digital copy of Drive Me Sane beginning today and running through the 31st.  I’ll also be on her blog December 25th talking about things I love.  FYI, I’m sharing my super, easy and favorite white chocolate fudge recipe, so be sure to stop by and say hello.  InD’Tale Magazine also featured their review of Drive Me Sane in their holiday edition.  I’ll post that soon.

In the meantime, I’ve been critiquing and beta reading for two other authors.  So far, I have only scanned my NaNo project, hoping that a few of the hangups, I know it has, will work themselves out.  I’m excited to finally dive back into it while I’m off on Christmas break.  An author I met on NaNo looked at the first three chapters and gave me some positive feedback with some areas to develope.  I’m also hoping another author friend is still open to taking a look and critiqueing it with me after the first of the year.

So, yes like everyone, Tis’ The Season to be busy, but I’m trying to take it as it comes.

I’m over the moon today after reading Pure Jonel’s 5 Star review of Drive Me Sane.  Be sure to stop by and enter the giveaway for a signed print copy and digital copy beginning today through December 31st!  And if your needing a quick dessert to make on Christmas Day, check back in for that fudge recipe- no cooking required!Natural BridgeHad a blast at Natural Bridge State Park last weekend.  Thanks to all who stopped by!

Virtual eBook Fair & Author Bash

Tis the Season … Come join the fun!

ebook

JINGLE BELLS, MISTLETOE & MAGIC !!

Virtual Ebook Fair – Author & Book Bash!!! 

DECEMBER 13TH-15TH

Hosted by Award winning author: Tammie Clark Gibbs &
Reader’s Rock Lifestyle Magazine for Booklovers. 

*Meet Authors and Ask them Questions

*Prizes & Giveaways

*Find Amazing New Books

I’ll be giving away a digital copy (or two) of Drive Me Sane.  Join the fun at Jingle Bells, Mistletoe & Magic or stop by the VIRTUAL EBOOK FAIR WEBSITE for more information.  Hope to see you there.

 

 

 

 

NaNoWriMo

Participant-2014-Web-BannerYesterday was a tough day.  I wrote a pretty raw and emotional post and I wanted to say thank you to those that liked, commented, sent an email or tweeted a message.  It’s friends like you that make the day easier – and I appreciate that you didn’t all poke fun or point out all my mistakes 🙂  I’ll get around to fixing them someday.

Today is a new day and I’ve got my smile back.  My darling husband got me concert tickets to see Tyler Farr and Brantley Gilbert, so what’s not to smile about?  We’re also going away for the weekend, which will give me some time to think about, and finish plotting out my story for NaNoWriMo.  Yep, I’m giving it a go.  I’ve never tried it before, but I’ve been hearing so much that I couldn’t resist.  Plus I think having a deadline and a challenge will give me a little push and the discipline that I need.  I do have some worries.  Roughly 1600 words a day is a lot for me.  I don’t typically write every day and when I do, I strive for 1000, but it ends up usually being somewhere around 600-800. I’m not sure how this is going to work out with life being a little chaotic right now, but what can it hurt?  If I don’t complete it, I don’t and if I do … yay for me!

So feel free to look me up and add me to your buddy list and good luck to anyone participating.  To celebrate, I’m giving away a digital copy of Drive Me Sane on my Facebook page.  I like things simple, so all you have to do is comment where you’re from on the post.  Contest runs til noon tomorrow (or since I’ll be travelling, whenever I get to a place that I can pick a winner).  Best of luck!

  https://www.facebook.com/denarogerswrites

Hello September

Fall is in the air.  Although the mid-day temperatures haven’t yet begun to dwindle, Kentucky mornings and evenings already have a chill about them that make you want to stay curled up in bed and read a good book.  Soon the leaves will change painting a beautiful landscape across the state.  It’s my favorite time of year.  But September doesn’t only ring in my favorite season.  It also gives me a few extra days off of work and our county fair to look forward to.  If you’ve never been to a small-town county fair, then you’re missing out on something.  Kicking off with a beauty pageant, there are week long events.  A talent contest showcases those gifted in singing and dancing.  The pet show get’s our fury friends (and not so fury friends) involved.  The baby contest draws a huge crowd for those wanting to admire the chubbiest cheeks and prettiest hair. And for those that might like events with a little less flair, there’s the exhibit hall that houses everything from canned goods to all sorts of arts and crafts.  The animal show and greasy pig contest are big favorites too.  Yes, I said greasy pig contest!  And yes, both my boys enter.  My big guy was a finalist last year and has his eyes on winning this year.  What’s a greasy pig contest? Well, it’s when you grease up a pig (various sizes for different ages), turn it loose in a muddy pit and let the contestants chase it around until it’s caught and placed in a bucket.  It’s quite messy, but is hilarious to watch.  A parade, that shuts down nearly the whole town, and a car derby that can get pretty intense and interesting rounds out the weeks events.

This year, September brings a busy schedule in the writing world for me too.  All month long The Romance Reviews is hosting Fall Into Love Party.  One of my first reviews came from one of their reviewers, Angie.  Her full review can be found here.  In short she wrote:

“Debut author Dena Rogers makes a spectacular entrance to the field of romance with this nicely paced emotional tale that’s sole focus is on mending broken hearts and broken lives. In my humble opinion, one can’t help but applaud the author’s tackling of the subject of PTSD in a former female soldier, and I thought her handling of the subject was relevant, vividly moving, and very well done.

With regards to Sera, I found her attempts to repress her emotions, as a means of self-protection, to be utterly convincing and understandable, even though I found I didn’t always like her when she engaged these defense mechanisms. Ms. Rogers nicely countered Sera’s actions with the often understated actions of Tyler, whom she characterized with the compassionate ability to understand and sense Sera’s needs in the face of his own troubled emotions. This balance of give and take in characterization truly enhanced the gradual changes in this couple’s relationship and kept the plot moving with new revelations and just enough valid recriminations to keep Tyler and Sera’s relationship grounded and real.

Despite the novella length of DRIVE ME SANE, this tale has lots of depth, adequate back story, and there are few psychological or emotional issues that are left untouched. Crafting such a compelling story in approximately one hundred pages is a feat that deserves recognition and surely designates Dena Rogers as a talented new author to watch.”

This was a request that my publisher, Crimson, sent without my knowledge.  To say I was surprised by the kind words was an understatement.  So I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to be a part of their event.  There are over 250 participating authors with more than 200 prizes, including a $100 giftcard.  It sounds like it’s going to be a fun time, with a question and answer type scavenger hunt as part of the games.  I’ll be there on Tuesday, September 2nd.  Come check out the fun and please remember that you must register and be logged in at The Romance Reviews so that your points earned can be tracked.   FALL INTO LOVE PARTY.

I had a weekend feature on Fiction Vixen that includes an exclusive excerpt and my favorite quote and I’ll also have a spotlight on Deep In The Heart of Romance September 10th.  And don’t forget my Goodreads giveaway that ends September 20th.  It’s a busy month, but a good kind of busy!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Drive Me Sane by Dena Rogers

Drive Me Sane

by Dena Rogers

Giveaway ends September 20, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

5200 miles, 12states, 10 days and I still have a ways to go.

Two weeks of travelling across the US with my familly not only spoiled me, but my husband too.  We each keep saying “I just want to pack up and leave again.”  Although, I’m not so sure the boys would be up for it so quickly.  They were starting to miss the dog and riding next to each other was beginning to wear on them (me too!).  Yellowstone was a trip my husband and I had been planning for years.  We’d looked at pictures and talked about it so often, that I felt at times I’d already been there.  However pictures will never do justice for the beauty of that part of the country.  The Battle of Little Big Horn, Beartooth Pass,Yellowstone Park, Grand Tetons, Devils Tower, Mount Rushmore, and The Bridges of Madison County.  If you’ve never been to any of these places and ever get the chance to do so, I encourage you to take the opportunity.  They were stunning!  5,200 miles, 10 days and 12 states. It was a journey and a lot of memories made.

Now we are back to reality.  Paying bills, going to work and getting ready for the kids to start school.  Not nearly as fun as seeing Old Faithful erupt or enjoying the landscape while driving through South Dakota.  I do have the release of Drive Me Sane to look forward to.  Ten days to go! Yes only ten!!  I have to take a deep breath when I think about it.  It still seems a little surreal. Everyone keeps asking if I’m excited.  Stressed, nervous, and can’t sleep because my mind won’t shut down would be better descriptions right now.  Come July 28th, I’ll probably be exstatic, but now I’m overwhelmed.  I know I keep saying I’m going to write that post about things I’ve learned (I still will), but I’m going to go ahead and throw this out there.  I’ve never considered myself a naive person, but I realize there are a lot of things I have no clue about.  Publishing a book was one of them.  If your under the assumption that publishing a book means you write a story good enough to catch an editors attention and that’s it, think again.  Basically that’s what I thought it would be like.  I thought…hey, here’s my book, glad you like it, thank you!  Ha!  Not my luck.  But honestly no, I wasn’t that naive.  I knew a lot of self promotion would go into it and I knew I’d have a hard time doing that.  I’m not a social butterfly, nor could I have ever made a career in sales.  I’m more like here it is, if you like it great, if not, that’s fine too.  Now I’ve been thrown into the world of marketing, in which I have no experience in.  Social media is the way of the world.  I’m pretty okay with that.  I have all the “pages” and “sites” in place.  But how to throw your work out there without becoming annoying or overbearing is the problem I have.  “Now is not the time to be shy.”  I’ve been told that more times than I can count.  I’m trying…really trying and it gives me a stomach ache every time I reach out.  I’ll probably be on Xanex like the characters in my book before this is all over.

So what all goes into publishing a book?  A lot!  Much more than I ever anticipated, but I’m not going to dig into all the small details.  I will say that writing the book and going through the editing process was the easy part. It’s the what comes next that’s hard.  Of course my publisher has their own marketing tools, but they also send you a nice little packet (about an inch thick) of ways to do your own marketing.  Do any of you follow blogs? Maybe some of you have your own.  Mine is very generic, as you can see, but it works.  I’m a simple kind of girl and although there are a few upgrades I’d like to do, most likely this will never get too fancy.  Fancy means more upkeep and that’s something I don’t have the time, knowledge or patience for.  But back to the blogs.  Contacting reviewers or bloggers is one way to market your book.  If you follow any, you know that they are a great asset to whatever their cause may be. Most book blogs offer author/book spotlights, reviews, and will do giveaways- these are all ways to get the word out there.  And let me tell you…there are a lot of book blogs.  Being an avid reader, I followed a few, but had no idea how many there truly were until I started researching them.  So as soon as I received my ARC copy, I began contacting blogs requesting reviews, etc.  I sent a handful out and got one response.  One.  At least they were willing to review it.  None of the other even bothered saying “We appreciated your request, but…”  I know most of these are run in a person’s spare time and are done profit free and they can not accept or respond to every request, so I’m not dogging them in any way.  Please don’t think that.  I’m simply pointing out the frustrations of being a newbie in this industry and not knowing what to expect.  So round two, I sent out a few more.  Still haven’t heard from any of them, but at that point vacation was coming up, so I decided not to stress over it.  Back from vacation, I decided to give it another go around and I finally hit the jackpot.  Okay, so no money is involved, but I did finally get a few responses.  In fact, not only did I get reviews, I got a few opportunities to spotlight my book on their websites.  I also had one person have enough patience with me to talk me along and walk me through some promotional stuff too.  Banners, playlist, character Q&A, author interview, teasers, blurbs, excerpts, trailers, media buy links- I got lost somewhere in all of the things that could possibly be done.  Like I said, I follow a few blogs, I see this stuff, but what goes into putting it together…clueless.  I’m not a wing-it kind of person either.  So for the past week, my nights have been spent researching all these things, looking at different blogs to see how it’s done, checking out other author’s spotlights and playing around with different ideas.  This is what I mean by haveing no clue about what goes into publishing a book, but then again, I guess I really had no concept of what went into marketing a book.  I have no qualms admitting that I’m not all that tech savy and how to put some of the stuff that was requested together went way over my head.  However, I’m proud to say, a few banners later, a playlist on spotify and a whole list of other stuff, and I offically have a media package put together.  I slept better last night than I had in weeks.  So yes, today, finally I’m a little excited, but I’m pretty sure the nerves will hang around until this baby gets launched.  I may have traveled 5200 miles and seen 12 states in ten days, but I still have a ways to go when it comes to this book stuff!

If you’d like to hop on over to Shooting Stars Review and check out what I’ve been working on, click the banner below.  Be sure to enter the giveaway for an ebook copy of Drive Me Sane and $10.00 Amazon Gift Card while your there.

DREAMS DO COME TRUE

 “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

The past week and a half has been a wirlwind for me.  I got the best Mothers Day news.  Well it was a day late, but I’m still counting it as a gift; because anytime one of your dreams come true, it is a gift.  I haven’t shared much of my personal life.  Among many other things, I write.  I’ve never used the term author (it feels funny), but I’m happy to say that I can now add that to my list of titles.  My first novel, Drive Me Sane, was acquired by Crimson Romance and already has a tentative eBook release date of July 28th.  So yeah, it’s been a week of contracts and edits and updating profiles.  This has come at me a little quicker than I anticipated. It’s both exciting and scary at the same time.   I’m still  living on cloud nine- actually hope to come down soon so that I can accomplish some much needed work 🙂

So to celebrate my new adventure and the support that I’ve already received from friends and family on my new author facebook page, I’ve doing a little giveaway.  Check out the page for rules and details. www.facebook.com/denarogerswrites 

And for any of my author friends that may be interested, Crimson Romance is currently accepting submissions.  They’re looking for talented authors with fresh voices and engaging stories.  Check out thieir submission guidelines: http://www.crimsonromance.com/submissions/