Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflecting...

As 2011 draws to a close (approximately one hour left as I write this) I sit reflecting over the past year of my writing career. There were some unexpected surprises along the way and I have to say that I am most grateful for everything.

2011 provided me with my first Top 100 bestselling romance novel on Amazon. In fact, I had a total of 5 novels place in that Top 100 bestselling list, with one of them landing as high as #8 in Contemporary Romance, this  year. This was a first in my fifteen year career as a published romance novelist. I also had two additional titles place in Top 100 bestseller lists for smaller categories. What can I say? A banner year.

The thanks go to all of you, who bought and read my books. Without you, I wouldn't have a career, and I'm forever grateful for your readership. I hope the stories entertained, made you laugh, cry, sigh... Hey, whatever they are supposed to make you do, I hope they did!

There were two other significant events that contributed to my writing year. The first, is the growth of Turquoise Morning Press. You might know that I am the owner of the publishing house, although I do that work under my "real name" and not my Maddie James pen name. Still, I make no bones about the fact that I'm also my own publisher. (Yes, I still have an editor!) In this new age of publishing, it makes sense if I am publishing other author's works, to also publish my own. Will I always put everything in my own house? Perhaps not, since all eggs in one basket may not necessarily the best thing, but I certainly do like being in control of my career. :) But me aside, I have to say that I am totally into being a publisher, and love working with authors and helping them to move their careers forward. It's a joy to work with each of them every single day. I love being writer and publisher.

Enter another unexpected surprise. In 2010, I was freelancing and writing full time, with TMP emerging early in the year. Then in April of 2011, I was presented with the opportunity to go back to work full-time for my previous employer. It was not in the 2011 plan to do this. After some thought and discussion, I decided to accept. It threw a kink in the plan, yes. I had to reshuffle the workload, and hire and train more staff at TMP, yes. I had to re-prioritize my role in the company, yes. And more....

Friday, December 30, 2011

Backlist Friday - Kentucky Blues by Cat Shaffer

I met Cat Shaffer many, many years ago and our writing careers have sort of paralleled each other over time. I remember an RWA conference many years ago, where we were waiting for agent appointments, lamenting over the fact that either a. ) our careers seemed to have stalled, or b) we were not where we wanted to be at this point in our writing careers. We both said, "we need a five year plan." 

That was way past five years ago and today, Cat is a multi-published author writing under two pen names and for two publishers (let's not forget she's also a managing newspaper editor and writes tons of non-fiction on a regular basis). We still talk about that day years ago and our five year plans, and how far we have come. 

I've recently started featuring a backlist book from one of my author friends on Fridays, so I'd like to introduce you to Cat, and her Kentucky Blues....

 
Kentucky Blues
by Cat Shaffer

Elise Drummond never forgot her first love—and never expected to learn via the grapevine that he was back in Brookville and living with her mother. Sam McCade had broken her heart, and she wasn’t about to let him destroy her mother’s as well. A quick trip back to Kentucky to lay down the law and she could head back to the safe life she’d built for herself in Kansas City.

When Sam McCade went “on the run” in the middle of the night to save his sister from her abusive husband, there was only one person he could trust to help them, Hannah Drummond. He expected the local gossips to have a field day with his return to Brookville, but he never dreamed Elise would roll into town to check out the situation for herself.

Reviews
“A truly good read, perfect for an afternoon swinging away with the wind chimes playing and the spring sun shining.” ~Amazon Review

“…a large dose of sexual tension--the chemistry between Sam and Elise sizzles--some great suspense that keeps the pages turning and you have a sure winner in this story of love lost, regret and redemption. If Kentucky Blues is typical of Cat Shaffer's books, prepare to add her to your automatic read list.” ~Amazon Review

Saturday, December 24, 2011

My wish for all of you...

For happiness,
For health,
For love,
For wealth,
For wisdom,
For patience,
For friendships,
And for family.

Have a wonderful holiday season, one and all.

Maddie


Monday, December 19, 2011

Do dead guys still want it?

Three sisters, Southern-fried born and bred, and the men ghosts who love them...

Good old Southern fiction humor, a naughty ghost, a hint of mystery, and a smattering of romance. What more could you want?

Yesterday, the launch book in my new series was released. This series is a little different for me, combining a few genres all into one novella. You might think--how can you have a mystery, romance, and a ghost story all wrapped up with a twist of humor? In a novella?

Well, I hope I've pulled it off. I guess my readers will be the judge of that. I'm eager to see. If you read Freshly Dead, let me know what you think, okay?

I'll give you a little taste of the story here.

First, the blurb:

All Mitzi Winston wants is enough money to pay this month's mortgage payment. That's the only reason she even considers the phone sex job. Ever since her husband's disappearance, she's held things together quite nicely--until recently. And now, well, she just needs the money.


So, she bites the bullet and goes for the interview, only to find that the phone sex job isn't real and she's too late--not for the interview, but to save her husband. For there he is, dead on the floor, a bullet to the back of the head. To make matters worse, his ghost is hovering around and chiding her for being late. Not to mention he's horny as hell and trying to cop a feel.


Which only begs the question, "Do dead men still want it?"


And, an excerpt:

Friday, December 09, 2011

Maddie's Recommended Book of the Week

Raeliksen
by Renee Vincent

Buy at Amazon!

Mara, the daughter of an Irish clansman, was raised to believe the men of the North are heathens - murderous pagans without a moral bone in their bodies. Despite warnings of the Northmen's raids, and the growing threat of another incursion, Mara is continually drawn to her favorite place - the River Shannon.

Dægan Ræliksen, a wealthy chieftain from Norway's frozen fjords, secretly discovers Mara at the water's edge. He is charmed by her beauty and sensuous grace. As the days pass, his contentment with watching her grows thin. He can no longer deny his desire.

Mara and Dægan come face-to-face in a time when every Irishman is being called up to fight against the Nordic foreigners. In these times of upheaval, can Dægan make peace with Mara's father and acquire the woman he treasures? Can Mara move past her fears and find the noble man within the savage?

Friday, December 02, 2011

The Bachelorette Party 101 Series is Complete!

About a year or so ago my daughter was the party planner for her older half-sister's bachelorette party. Of course, I was not invited, and that was perfectly fine with me. I am, afterall, way past the bachelorette stage of my life. But I did experience the party second-hand, voyeur-style almost, via Facebook.

I'm here to tell ya, the pictures posted were, um, questionable. So much so that I called my daughter and requested that she "unfriend" family members immediately!

The bottom line is that the girls were having a whole lot of harmless (abeit decadent) fun, and me? Well, I got a series out of it. Nice, huh?

The Bachelorette Party 101 Series by Mia Jae
So, the Bachelorette Party 101 Series was born and this week, the last novella in the series was released.

And yes, these titles are released under my Mia Jae pen name and they are, quite a bit more risque than the regularly-scheduled Maddie James title. But they  are cute stories, all with their humorous moments, and of course, laced with a heavy dose of naughty.

I Want, is book three, and here is the book blurb: