Archive for the ‘Book signings’ category

June 3, 2013

Ahh, a red rose...

Ahh, a red rose…

I guess I know how Meryl Streep feels when she’s up for an award, or two or three, and finals but doesn’t win. So my 3 books that finaled in the Write Touch Readers Award didn’t win in their categories. But my books DID final–and with some best-selling, well-known, wonderful writers who’ve been around far longer than I have.

As a writer, that is.

So I’m still very proud of my books–an my accomplishment.

And because I’m such a generous soul, have I got an offer for you, dear readers.

Last week, before I left for the conference, my boxed set of all the Soul String novellas went live on Kindle, Nook, and Kobo. The introductory price for the bundled set of 5 (sold individually for $2.99) is $5.99.

That’s a savings of $8.96.

A mini series in the making

A mini series in the making

Here are a couple of reviews for the series.

From Amazon:

These five books about B.J. Kelley are amazing. I read the first one and couldn’t wait for Book 2. Now all the books are out. This is a saga you shouldn’t miss. The main character, B. J. Kelley, is smart, interesting, and wonderful. This is a woman you can relate to and love. You only want the best for her. The men in her life are also exceptional from her father to her boyfriends. Finally, she grows up and the love of her life is hers. The plot moves right along including the mystery aspect. You will not want to put these books down. They are perfect summer reading.  5 stars


This series is well worth the wait for each section, and Clifford is good at portraying life as a wavy line, not straight up–or down, either. I liked all the books in this series, and if this is the end of Brenna & Company’s story, then I’m okay with it. But Clifford left open the possibility that Brenna’s story could continue, and I’ll want to read it if we follow these characters into new adventures. One of the things I like best about Soul String is the complete cast of great characters that show up in these books, plus all the different locales. The whole gang is back in Full Circle, too, including the creepy, dangerous guy, so in a way, there are many endings. I’ve read other books by Casey Clifford, and I’m looking forward to whatever book comes out next!  5 stars





I hope you’ll take advantage of this introductory offer.

Have a great week and I’ll see you next week.  Keep smiling and reading… 🙂


A Gulley Washer & The Book Club

July 11, 2010

Happy Readers

Last Wednesday we had torrential rains in the late afternoon.  Weather stations were cautioning drivers about flooded streets and roadways.  The skies turned so dark and angry 4:00 PM looked more like 8:30 PM.  When the storms moved out sometime about 6:30 PM, we had gotten 3.5 inches of rain.  A real gulley-washer.

During this storm, I was preparing to leave for a gathering of book club members who had invited to me come and talk to them about Black Ribbon Affair.  They had read my book and extended the invitation through a friend of mine who belongs to the club.

Once again, this event though informal and social as it would start out around a few appetizers and dinner, was a first for me. I’d be in a social situation with people I didn’t know, and really, other than knowing they had read my book, I didn’t know what they might be expecting.

Being Irish, a worrier and a titch superstitious, I hoped the storm wasn’t a foreshadowing of a disaster.   On my drive to the address for the book club meeting, the worst of the storm moved beyond us to wreak havoc on any boaters still unlucky enough not to have made it safely to shore.

As I parked my car I decided the storm moving on was a “sign” that the evening would go well, the local farmers and gardeners needed rain, and anyone on the lake would have gotten to shore.  When I left my car, the rain stopped.

I met the women of the book club.  Interesting, energetic women, and from their conversation, voracious readers.  Exactly what every writer dreams about.  They all appeared as excited to have me at their meeting as I was to be there.

During a dinner which was perfect for a hot, humid summer evening, we talked in general ways about topics readers would chatter about: favorite books, authors they enjoy, bits and pieces of their lives.  About the time dessert was served (the most incredibly delicious bread pudding—and I love bread pudding), I got the first question about Black Ribbon Affair.  We moved into the living room and more comfortable chairs and the questions kept coming.

What questions they were!  Thoughtful, challenging and very helpful to me.  In answering their questions, I learned a few things I’ll keep in mind when I’m doing future revisions.  I also found it so interesting to see how they interpreted my characters: how they looked, what drove them, what they’d love to see if I write another Affair series book.

Author in the Middle

Of course, I had the pleasure at the end of signing their books and adding the stickers representing the book’s recent awards.

We had a marvelous time.  I hope they ask me again when my next book is published.  I decided on my drive home that the evening was a gift.  One I’ll carry with me as I work on future scenes and new books.

I’ve taken another step forward in this journey.  I’ve found fans.

This time the gulley washer brought joy. 🙂

Bowls & Books

April 3, 2010

Soup's On

This past week buzzed with activity for me.  Not that I’m not always busy.  But two very different and new activities for me filled two days, one right after the other.

On Wednesday late afternoon I participated in the Bowls and Books fundraising event for the ongoing restoration of our local community theater building.  Area restaurants donated different soups which were judged by the eaters.  Bragging rights for the next year is one of restaurants best rewards.  Also the event lures new customers to a restaurant in the future.  The community theater group gets funds to continue their work rehabbing the gorgeous theater, and local authors get the chance to do a meet and greet as well as the possibility of selling books.

Amazing soups, appetizers and dessert as well as meeting potential readers?  How could I not agree to do so? 🙂 Seemed like a win-win situation for all of us.

The three hours went very well: For the group putting on the event, for the participating restaurants with fantastic soups, appetizers and desserts, and for the authors.  While I talked with many potential readers and sold books to some, the memory of two readers will stay with me.

Writing takes characters

One was a young man (13 years) who stopped by my table because he was attracted to my book cover.  I was intrigued by his shirt (as you can see from the photo; its slogan tied into the last few posts on characters).  We talked about the book and writing. He mentioned he wanted to be a writer.  Then he left to get his soup.  He came back about 20 minutes later and asked “What’s the most important trait for someone who wants to write?”

I thought a moment, answered, and then he asked another question and another—all on elements of how I plot, do research, use characters, set goals etc.  Each time I answered, he left, then returned to ask another one.  His questions were incisive and well thought out.   I’ll never forget him or his questions.  He asked to take a photo of me so he could tape it to his computer.  “For inspiration,” he said.

He didn’t buy a book.  I told him the book was aimed for an older audience.  “Oh, I get it.  I’d enjoy it more in a few years.”  I nodded.  “That’s what you mean when you mentioned to always think about who you are trying to reach.”

Wow.  His teachers must consider him a gift in the classroom.  I know I would have. 🙂

I agreed and wished him all the luck in the world.  Imagine what this marvelous young man will be like in ten years!  I expect he will have already done some writing and gotten it published in student magazines and school newsletters.  He’s already pursuing the dream.

The second person I’ll always remember was a man there with his girlfriend.  They  were both attracted to my book because of the cover.  (Got to love that great Wild Rose Art department) They skimmed the laminated article I had on my table about my first book signing last fall.  They also asked a lot of questions about the book.  From their questions I inferred they were avid readers.  After several minutes they entered the area where the soups were but not before the man told me he would buy the book before he left.

I didn’t see him again and at the end of our time, I started packing up.  Just as I reached the exit door, the man came running up to me.  “Please tell me you didn’t sell all your books!” were his first words.  I shook my head.  “Great, I was afraid I’d missed my chance.  Can you please sell me one now?”

Well, you know my answer to that one.  Pleased as punch I walked back in, signed the book, talked to him a bit more, and took his money.  He told me he’d email from my website to let me know how he liked it.

I’d say those three hours were well-spent.  Everyone who stopped asked great questions about writing and my book and others I’m working on.  Not all bought a book, but I think they might remember my name and buy the next time I encounter them.  On so many levels, those hours were productive.  Next week I’ll post about doing Career Day at a middle school in my hometown.  It too was an awesome experience, one I’ll be happy to do again.  What have been your awesome experiences lately?

If you are celebrating Easter or Passover, may your holiday be blessed and spent with family.

Yet Another Step as Published Author

December 6, 2009

Coastline near Santa Barbara

I tried something very new for me yesterday.  That’s not easy to accomplish at my age, but with this new venture of being a published author, I’ve encountered several lately.  Almost makes me feel like a twenty-something woman but with a wealth of experience. 🙂 

So what was the new experience? 

Well, not quite this elegant

I set up a table at a holiday/craft/market affair in an old art deco theater lobby in this area.  I didn’t bring my camera and I should have since the chandeliers in the lobby above my table were magnificent.  And the marble staircase right behind me?  Awesome. 

As shoppers and lookers filed into the theater lobby on a frosty but sunny Saturday morning, I found my little table with some artfully placed books, a informational sign about Black Ribbon Affair and a laminated copy of the recent news article about me and Black Ribbon competing with Santa and his merry elves, marvelous aromas of rich hot coffee and flavored popped corn.  

Right next to me the vendor, a friend since high school was doing a booming business with her handmade children’s books, scarves and jewelry.  On the other side a friendly woman Patti did brisk business selling her hand-made soaps and lotions. A bit further down a man offered some beautifully crafted wood pieces.  And so much more enticed from homemade bread, cheese and sausage to apples, jams, jellies and did I mention Santa? 

Writer at work?

However, could I and my book compete?  Maybe I should have dressed as Santa and brought my laptop along?

Well, my table was different and my wares were also.  They made the crowd curious.  People stopped to ask about the life of a writer, how I worked and where.  They asked about the book, sometimes bought one for themselves or as a Christmas gift for a reader on their lists.  I reconnected with people I haven’t seen in years or someone who knew my mother, or a sibling, or a child. 

I did sell books.  Maybe not as many as I might have liked, but I met people, made connections to other people and venues I might consider doing a signing or a meet the author event, places I didn’t know about.  I exchanged information with people who might be helpful in the future and this published author journey continues. 

That glittery cloth enhances the books

What did I learn yesterday?  That the joy in a person’s face and eyes you see reflected when they ask about your passion and show interest in what you do can be as important as another immediate sale.  They may go to or their nearest bookstore and order a copy.  They will read my website and my blog and perhaps stay in touch.

If I only gain two solid fans from yesterday, that’s two more than I had on Friday. 

And found a topic for today’s blog posting. 🙂  

Am I wearing rose-colored glasses about this?  Should I be grumpy that I didn’t sell out?

The Continuing Saga of a Debut Author

November 22, 2009

A Fall Bouquet

My posts the past few weeks have been about new experiences since Black Ribbon Affair has been released.

Sorry, okay–not really :-), you’re getting another post on new experiences for a debut author.

On Monday morning I had my first phone interview with a reporter from our local newspaper.  She does several continuing columns and I have long admired her deft hand with words and topics. Those of you who are writers and interact with other writers are familiar with the pitfalls and/or skepticism of some interviewers.  No matter the genre of romance writers or the excellent writing quality, we often have to endure less than flattering portrayals of our work.

I’m very happy to report my reporter was interested, friendly and positive.

The result was an interview I’ll always treasure and probably have to reread often when I encounter less positive reports.

Another result of the interview was  many phone calls, emails, and cards from friends, relatives and acquaintances who had read the interview and wanted to send me congratulations.

Needless to say, that pushed me through the rest of the week.  One that had more than normal crises and problems in my daily life.  Good thing I learned long ago that establishing priorities and handling stress when it mounts higher than Mount Rainier was a survival skill I had to depend upon.

My week closed on Saturday.  First up, not a new experience but one I appreciated.

My writing group hosted  an excellent and thought-stimulating presentation by Leanna Renee Hieber.  She described her cross genre book, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, published by Leisure Books as a Victorian Gothic romance, a cross between Jane Austen and Ghostbusters.  This talented young woman not only writes, but is also involved in the theater and uses acting and directing techniques in developing her writing scenes.

Toward the end of her presentation, she asked us to use one of her methods and apply it in our minds to a scene we are currently writing or going to write. Now I had been working one a scene all week but I wasn’t quite sure about its place in the progression of my heroine’s growth.  Nor was I happy with it.  Using Leanna’s exercise brought me to better understand the importance of this scene and how to pull it together. I feel much more confident about next week’s writing and what I must accomplish from here on out in this project.

Wow!  But I often have light-bulb moments when I’m fortunate enough to attend a writers  meeting.

My week still offered me one more new experience.  My first booksigning in a PUBLIC setting.  This time a Waldenbooks in one of the larger shopping malls in our corner of the state.  Saturday was a lovely day.  The mall was very busy and crowded.

That was a good sign.  After all people were out and in a shopping mood. Maybe my worst fears wouldn’t happen.  I wouldn’t be left sitting in the bookstore surrounded by all my books.  But no one was interested in buying them.

Leanna Renee Hieber and I at booksigning

Leanna was also signing her book.  Having a colleague made the experience not quite so daunting.  We could talk about writing topics if no one showed up to talk to us about our books.  Or to buy them if they were interested.

Yes, Leanna and I learned a bit more about each other during the infrequent lulls at the signing.  She’s a delightful, interesting woman.  We had steady streams of people stop, chat and buy books during the hours of the signing.  The whole event proved very successful.  The bookstore manager and employees were very pleased with the result.

Needless to say, so was I.  I’m sure Leanna was, too.

Two Happy Authors

One perfect piece of my favorite chocolate truffle capped the afternoon for me.  I hope Leanna enjoyed the treat also.  How did that delectable treat arrive?  Through the magic that embodies Edie.  She always seems to provide the perfect ending.  Thank you, Edie. 🙂

I am truly blessed.  This past week held major firsts for me.  I’ll live on those memories for a very long time and use them to keep me focused on working toward other new goals.  My memories will also serve as consolation when life doesn’t go smoothly.  Those memories will prod me into not giving up hope or quit on my journey.  Real life is all about peaks and valleys, sometimes, fathomless dark pits.  Just like what I do with my characters in books.  But I can control the outcomes.

My niece Beth--One of my greatest fans & supporters

Too bad, I can’t do that with my life.

What do you do to help you get out of the pits and treasure the peaks?

A Booksigning to Remember

November 15, 2009

Ivan's gifts and books

Black Ribbon Affair is introduced

I survived my first book-signing on Friday, the 13th.  Scary?  Frightful? 

Not a chance.  Everything behind the scenes ran smoothly.  I managed my pre-signing jitters.  I’m too mature and seasoned to worry about a zit or suffer a bad hair day.  I’ve come to terms with my body image. 


Using my booksigning pen

With my virgin book-signing pen, which my dear female friends since school days gave me, I was ready.  For my maiden voyage.  Hard to believe it’s only taken me a few decades to see this event happen.  But it did. 


Desserts & appetizers--yum yum

Thanks to my dear sister who decorated the room and those great forever friends who provided fantastic desserts and appetizers, a great punch drink, we were ready. 

Even our local newspaper sent a photographer who was personable, chatty, asked great questions and looked great enough to be a very interesting hero in a novel. 

But would people come and be interested in Black Ribbon Affair, my book or just to enjoy the desserts, punch, coffee and tea?  After all, it was Friday, the 13th

I should worry about world peace or the economy or healthcare… 


I have the answers

We had steady groups of people arrive, over a 100.  Many already had their books and had read them.  They had wonderful questions, great remarks, and all asked, “When’s the next book with Caitlin and Mike?  We want more about them.”  All who wanted their books signed and were already telling their reader friends about what a great read Black Ribbon Affair is. Others bought a book or two for friends who couldn’t make the signing. 

Those who came who didn’t have the book bought one, sometimes more than one and wanted them signed.  All agreed to spread the word about my book.  

I know all book-signings won’t be as productive but I have to say my virgin experience was one to remember always.  My readers are unanimous: Black Ribbon Affair is a page turner. 


I got flowers from a grateful reader

This week I have two more scheduled, a private one for a book club which has read the book and another one at Southridge Mall in Milwaukee at the Waldenbooks.  2- 4 PM., Saturday, November 21st.  If you can make it, I’d love to see you there. 

BRA props

Ivan left a few "gifts"

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a few comments.  Perhaps they will whet your reading appetite.  “That fireplace scene – wow, really hot.”  “Where did you find Ivan?  Did you really know someone like him?”   “What happens to Rachel?”  “What a fantastic ending.  How did you think of that?”