As I mentioned in the last post, I'm one of the authors writing the Java Cupid series. I'm doing two books while the others are doing three or four. At the moment there are fourteen scheduled. Java Break by Lynn Donovan is already out. Here's the schedule for the series:
June 12 Java Muse - George McVey
July 3 Java Footprint - Lynn Dononvan
July 24 Java Priority - Sophie Dawson
August 14 Java Harmony - George
September 4 Java Dreams - Lynn
September 25 Java Blend - Parker J Cole
October 16 Java Masterpiece - Lynn
November 6 Java Rift - Parker
November 27 Java Protect - Sophie
December 18 Java Claus - George
January 8 Java Echo - Parker
January 29 Java News - George
February 14 Java Cupids - Lynn
I'm working hard on Java Priority.(No final cover yet.) It's the story of a widow who was neglected in her marriage, never being the priority in her husband's life. Rigs is a divorced, retired Marine Special Ops veteran who runs a security company. Lori is a website designer who is going to build Rigs' website. I thought you all might like to read the first chapter. So, here it is. Oh it's a first draft so there will most likely be typos.
Rigs looked at the email again. ‘Meet me at the Java Cupid Coffee Shop @ 9:30 tomorrow.’ He looked at his watch 09:20 He had ten minutes. He looked around the parking lot noticing the potential for attack. No security cameras, but the lines of sight to the glass front of the building were clear. So while an attack is possible, witnesses could be plentiful. Still with enough cars, not ideal from a security standpoint. This was why he needed a website. So he could help clients like this coffee shop know how to be more secure.
Rigs stepped into Java Cupid Coffee Shop. Stupid name if you asked him, but it was it was a long-time favorite in Mystery Canyon, and it did have the best coffee in town. It had all those fru-fru coffee drinks. Rigs’ choice was large black. That came from all those years in the service.
His time in the Marines made him survey the room carefully, though others would never realize he’d sized them up. He knew who could be a threat and who would likely get in the way if there was a need for action.
Just a quick post letting you now I was on a radio show tonight. Parker J Cole's BlogTalk Radio show.
Multi-Author Series and Why You Should Do Them -- Write Stuff -- 5/30/2017
I was a guest and my friend George McVey was the co-host. Lynn Donovan was also a guest. We talked about writing multi-author series as you can see from the title. Since George, Lynn, Parker and I are doing the Java Cupid Series together we were able to talk about how much fun we are having writing our stories and how we are all gaining as writers because of our collaboration. Anyway, the link is in the title. You can listen to me ramble away about how much I'm enjoying working with these authors.
As I stated, I’m going to be posting reviews of books I’ve read. All will be indie authors. As one myself I know how hard it is to get your book noticed and garner reviews. So, here’s the first one. I need to be upfront and say I’m not entirely impartial with this review. The author, Lynn Donovan is a friend of mine, though we have never personally met. We chat daily online and critique each other’s work. I’m also writing two of the books in the Java Cupid series which has debuted with Java Break.
Also, as I stated in my previous blog, I will tell you that this books does have pre-marital sex. It is not explicit but if you object to reading such scenes then this might not be the book for you. My first book in the series will be the fourth one and released in July. It’s Java Priority and will not have pre-marital sex.
Okay, that disclaimer out of the way, on to the review.
The Java Cupid series centers around the mysterious messages that appear on some of the cups from the Java Cupid Coffee Shop. The messages speak of love coming to the person who receives the cup. And the Java Cupid is never wrong. The person finds the love of their life. It’s not always an easy journey for the couple to get together but there will always be a HEA.
Here’s the description for Java Break:
Contemporary Romance, Steam level 4.
Wendy Ashton and Dillon Cayne were both inspired by broken bones of their own. She to become an orthopedic nurse, he an engineer, designing more efficient and effective equipment for those recovering from orthopedic incidents. Their two paths so closely aligned, yet never intersecting.
Until a mysterious message appears in heat sensitive ink on Wendy’s coffee cup. A message of love that makes her take notice of the handsome barista who must have written it. Brought together by the message, their lives begin to merge. Could this be true love?
Then together they learn that his dad is dating her mom and Dillon worries about the stigma of dating his possible step sister. Add a crazy ex-girlfriend who won’t take no for an answer and a misunderstood phone call, the trust issues become almost too much to bear.
What will it take to bring these two together? Can the Java Cupid show them their Happy Ever After? Or was it all a mistake? Will broken bones turn into broken hearts? Answers can only be found with a Java Break.
As you can see there’s a complication for the couple. Can you imagine having your parent dating the parent of your boy/girlfriend? How weird is that? It’s a good premise and the story does a good job of dealing with Wendy and Dillon’s angst about the situation. The other complications just add to the storyline. It’s a fun quick read. And the mystery of who is the Java Cupid isn’t revealed. That’s part of the fun of the series. Just who is writing on the coffee cups?
At the time of this blog post the price is $0.99 and the book is available on Kindle Unlimited.
Here’s the link to its Amazon page JAVA BREAK.
I think you’ll enjoy it.
In an effort to not only promote my own work but to help other indie authors I'm planning on letting you know of books and websites where you can find books you might enjoy. All the books will be independently published by their author or a small publishing company.
Getting the word out there about your books is extremely difficult. Getting reviews and people to sign up to newsletters even more so. I'm not sure why but it seems to me that Christian readers are less willing to write reviews than secular readers. I see books with sexual content garnering hundreds of reviews. I know these have a larger audience to pull from so one would expect more reviews.
However, I've given away thousands of of copies of my works. In one give away there were more than 13,000 books downloaded. So far this month I've given away nearly 5,000 books. Out of all these downloads I've been given maybe ten reviews scattered over ten different books. Not a very good return rate.
I posted a poll in several Facebook groups asking if readers posted reviews and if not why. The reasons why they did not were pretty consistent. Not wanting to discourage other readers since they might like the book. Amazon requires too many words. Not enough time.
Personally, as an author, I'd rather have a well thought out comment on why you didn't like the book rather than no review at all. Does it hurt? Somewhat, but if it's a valid reason I appreciate the critique and try to learn from it. I'm always looking to improve my writing and constructive criticism is helpful. This book just stunk, isn't a valid reason and is not helpful, although it does add to the number of reviews.
Although Amazon claims to require twenty words for a review, it doesn't. I've seen and received two word reviews, 'Good book.' which Amazon posts. So the word requirement is pretty flexible. Also, the people who claimed this as a reason not to post reviews used an average of thirteen words to explain why they couldn't post reviews. Which leads me to the final reason why readers claim not to post reviews.
I don't have time. Yet, these same readers have time to get on Facebook, read the posts they want and post comments. Huh, they have enough time to do that but not enough time to post a review and help a Christian independent author in their struggle to promote their works.
I guess any excuse is a good one when someone simply doesn't want to do something.
As I said before, I'm going to be promoting and reviewing books and sites of other authors in my blogs. Be warned, some of the books may have sexual scenes in them. Not graphic but some may have premarital sex as part of the story. Most will not and I will state in the review that the book contains such. No book reviewed will be more than PG in content. I will also warn if there is language.
I'm including such books since there is a variety of tolerance for these types of things and I don't want to be limited and legalistic, but in deference to more sensitive readers I will warn of such content.
The first site I want to promote is Clean Romance Books.
Clean Romance Books is a site where you can find just that. It's purpose is to help readers connect with indie published authors who write clean books. Not all will be Christian, per say, but all will be clean. I'll be promoting my books on this site. I hope you stop by there and find a good book to read.
Here's another in my series of reviews of good reads. You should recognize the author of this book. It's my good friend George McVey, lovingly known as PG, and my brother in the Lord. We go way back to when he first insulted my writing. We've been friends ever since. We're able to help each other out as we write. We wrote a book together, Redeeming Love.
All that said, I don't want you to think my review is biased. Believe me I let PG know when I don't like what he's written. The results of my comments go directly to him and sometimes he sees the error of his ways. ;)
There are some words and illusions to hard body parts.
I really enjoyed Java Muse from start to finish. I helped with the editing so my copy was rough as only PG can make them.
The premise is cute. A successful author, R.G. or Rob, has writer's block, something I'm familiar with. He's at Java Cupid Coffeeshop when he meets Aurora, a struggling writer. They get acquainted and the Java Cupid strikes. My love is your Happy Ever After shows up on a cup of coffee R.G. buys Aurora. Thus starts the romance.
As the story progresses Aurora loses her job and Rob hires her as his assistant. There's a method to his madness as he is really attracted to her. There are past relationships, jealously, parents, siblings, work relationships all complicating the budding attraction between the author and struggling writer.
I was so captivated by the story I read (and edited) the story in one morning. Yes, it's not a really long book. I did start pretty early with my reading of it. Never did I feel like the plot was rushed. The progression was well paced and the didn't have that cut off quickly ending some shorter books have.
It's definitely a fun read for summer, or anytime. Grab Java Muse on Amazon. It's available in Kindle and if you're a KU subscriber... well you know the drill.
Java Muse is the second in the Java Cupid Series. Java Break book 1, written by my friend Lynn Donovan came out May 17 and the next book in the series Java Footprint, also by Lynn, hits cyber space on June 29. Watch for it.
Okay, shameless plug here. I'm writing Java Priority book 4 in the Java Cupid series. It's just about finished and will be released July 20. If you want a sneak peek at it you'll have to sign up for my newsletter as I'll be sending out the first couple of chapters really soon. You get the free short story Keith's Coming when you sign up.
Don't For those of you who don’t know, I live on a farm in western Illinois. Yes, there is a lot of Illinois that is not Chicago. The county I live in only has 16,000 people. We are an agricultural based area.
For the past few years I’ve wanted to document the growth of the corn from the time it emerges from the ground to when it tassels out. This year I’ve finally begun doing that. I set up a yard stick next to a seedling the day I saw it poke its little head out of the soil and begin reaching for the sun.
The temperature, sunshine and moisture all play rolls in how much the plant grows each day. Early on it grows relatively slowly. As the days progress the grow rate increases. Some days it can visibly grow inches from morning to evening. That’s what I hope to document. When that happens we tend to say, “You can hear the corn growing.”
I’ve uploaded a gallery of photos from the past couple of weeks. These show the growth from emergence on Tuesday, May 8 through May 16, today. The seeds were planted on Friday, April 21. That was about days. We had corn that emerged in 10 days this year that was planted earlier but we had a cold snap which slowed everything down.
Now that I’ve posted these here I plan on posting the photo I take each day on Facebook. You can check the progress there.
I’m so glad I finally decided this year was the one I’m doing this. I’ve gotten through two weeks of daily photoing. Now I just want to keep it up. That can be challenging for me. Today I just took the photo and it’s after 7:30 PM. Forgot this morning then was gone the rest of the day. Finally remembered a few minutes ago.
Well, I hope you enjoy the documentation of corn going from seed to knee high by Memorial Day to tassel high by the Fourth of July. Don't forget to go to my Facebook page daily for the next photos.
Corn growth May 8 - 16
Are you seeing a trend here? First, the Cottonwood covers. At least for the first three books. (PG's resistant to changing the covers.) In the works now are the Stones Creek Covers. Even though it is the most recently released, I asked Sam to do Chloe's Sanctuary first since it is on free promotion today and tomorrow. I think the cover is lovely.
All the books will feature a single lady in a beautiful dress. I love dresses and especially late 1800's garments. Though I loved the image of Chloe I used on the original cover this one is also beautiful. As soon as the other two are ready I'll post them here and on Facebook.
It's so exciting. There are new covers for the first three books in my Cottonwood Series. I decided they needed to be updated to appeal to today's reader. Samantha Fury of Fury Cover Design did a great job and I love the new covers. I chose the couples because they reflect something in them that reminded me of their story.
Head over to my Author Page on Amazon to download them because they are free this weekend. Oh, Chloe's Sanctuary is free, too.
After he had passed through the kitchen, he stopped in the doorway to the living room and smiled. Whitney was doing a happy dance around the coffee table, holding a check high above her head.
“Not at all happy about having fewer puppies are we?” Keith asked, leaning against the doorframe and crossing his arms across his chest.
Whitney stopped, freezing in place. Her face turned red, and she slowly lowered her arms. Then she ran across the room and enveloped him in a hug as she jumped up and down.
“The spotted horde is smaller by three. And even better, they are going to a wonderful family. Those puppies will be loved and happy for a long time.”
Keith wrapped his arms around her and held her close. A difficult task as she kept bouncing in her excitement. He started laughing, and soon she joined him.
“I’m so happy. We need to celebrate. I want triple chocolate, caramel pecan ice cream with marshmallow topping and sprinkles and a cherry on top, but you have to eat the cherry because I don’t like them.”
Whitney wiggled out of his arms and grabbed her purse from the counter in the kitchen. She put the check in her wallet and turned to look at him. “You coming? I know the best ice cream place. Did you bring the Healey? I deserve to ride in it today. This is the best day in a long time.”
Keith followed her out of the house. They went through the front door to avoid the puppies. “You mean meeting me wasn’t the best day?” He caught up with her and held her hand.
“I was bleeding and in pain. No, it wasn’t the best day. But you did help with posting the ads about the puppies for sale, so the ice cream is my treat. I don’t think I’d be three puppies lighter without you.” She flashed a brilliant smile at him.
Keith’s chest tightened. He was really attracted to Whitney and was hoping their developing rapport led to something more permanent.
Spots Before Marriage Available May 16
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Sophie Dawson has made up stories in her head all her life. It wasn’t until 2011 that she began writing typing them out.
Her first books were all historical fiction romance. They’ve won multiple awards and garnered rave reviews. Now, Sophie is branching out into contemporary romance though she plans to continue writing historical and hopes to add more books in her popular Cottonwood and Stones Creek series.
Sophie lives with her husband and cat on a farm in western Illinois. She’s an avid seamstress and was a professional quilter for a number of years before the writing bug bit. She’s just thankful it’s not fatal.