Readers: What to do to Help Your Favorite Authors

This article was first posted in August 2012 by Nancy Cohen.

By Nancy Cohen

If you’re an avid reader, no doubt you’d like to encourage your favorite authors to keep writing. What can you, as a consumer, do for the writer who bares her soul to you in each story? Beyond buying her latest title, is there more?

You betcha! Here are some things you can do on your end that will be appreciated.

Write customer reviews of author’s books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, Shelfari, and Library Thing.

Add author’s book to your Wish List on Amazon.

Search for author’s website, author name, and book titles periodically to raise their rank in search engines.

Bookmark or add to Favorites the author’s online sites.books2_thumb

Like author’s Facebook page; Share and comment on her Facebook posts.

Retweet author’s Twitter updates; Mention author and her books on Twitter.

Like and Tag author’s Amazon author page as well as each book title and edition.

Share author’s newsletter with your friends.

Recommend author’s books online on various reader forums.

Create a Listmania list on Amazon and add author’s books.

Look for good reviews of author’s book and click Yes to “Was this review helpful to you?”

Follow author’s blog tours and leave comments.

Repin author’s photos on Pinterest. Go to online bookseller and Pin author’s book covers into one of your albums.

Offer to hand out bookmarks for author.

Initiate a Street Team of fans to spread the word about author’s works.

If you live in the same region, suggest the author as a speaker to various groups.

Buy the author’s latest book or ask your librarian to order it and put your name on the wait list.

Anything you can do will help, especially in this era of viral content. Word of mouth still has the most clout. So share your pleasure in the author’s writing and make her job easier so she can concentrate on writing the next book.

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Nancy J. cohenNancy J. Cohen is an award-winning author who writes romance and mysteries.

Her popular Bad Hair Day mystery series features hairdresser Marla Shore, who solves crimes with wit and style under the sultry Florida sun. Several of these titles have made the IMBA bestseller list, while Nancy’s imaginative sci-fi/paranormal romances have garnered rave reviews and a HOLT Medallion Award. Active in the writing community and a featured speaker at libraries and conferences, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets.

Website:  http://nancyjcohen.com

Blog: http://nancyjcohen.wordpress.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/nancyjcohen

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nancy-J-Cohen/112101588804907

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/91508.Nancy_J_Cohen

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Published in: on February 22, 2013 at 6:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Cowgirl Falls in Love

Dreams 1 5 X 2In my first novel, Cowgirl Dreams, Nettie and Jake are working horses together when they are caught in a sudden hail storm. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m offering this excerpt:

For just a moment the force of the hailstones seemed to let up, and Jake wrenched his saddle loose. “Here, grab one side.” He hoisted it over their heads. The sky grew a shade lighter as the hail turned into rain that fell in sheets, driven diagonally by the wind. Nettie stumbled along with Jake, bumping into each other. Both held the saddle up with one hand and led their horses with the other, the storm pushing them from behind.

Lightning slashed through the murky sky. A thunderclap rattled her teeth. The horses shied and tugged at the reins. Barely able to breathe, Nettie could no longer feel her hands. Her whole body was numb. She felt the saddle slip. They wouldn’t make it. She was going to fall. They’d both be hit by lightning.

“Hang on, we’re almost there.” Jake shifted the heavy saddle to take more of the weight himself. “It’s OK. You can do it. Come on. Just a few more steps.” Together they staggered the last few yards to the old shack. Jake dropped the saddle on the refuse-strewn porch and tethered the horses under the roof overhang on the lee side. Then he pushed the door open and helped Nettie through the opening. She nearly fell into the room, relief flooding over her.

He pushed the door shut against the gusts of wind and rain, and struggled to latch it. Then he knelt beside her, his wide eyes examining her face. “Are you all right? Are you hurt? Anything broken?”

“I’m OK.” Nettie looked up at him, gulped and blinked. “Oh my gosh, your eye …” She sat upright and reached up to caress the rapidly swelling bump.

“I’m just fine.”

“Oh, Jake, we coulda been killed.” She shuddered as the realization washed over her, then broke into great hiccupping sobs.

He encircled her with his long arms and drew her face to his chest. He smelled like horsehair and tobacco. It didn’t matter that his sodden denim shirt stuck to her cheek. She closed her eyes and snuggled close inside his embrace as he stroked her wet hair.

The rain beat a vicious tattoo on the roof. Just like those hailstones on her head and back. Her skin still stung, and her hands were raw and tingling. She shivered again. The ice seemed to have penetrated her blood. Her teeth chattered. Never in her life had she been so scared. They were lucky to be alive. Safe in his arms now, her sobs gradually subsided.

Jake hugged her closer, his face only inches from hers. She felt his warm breath on her cheek.

He rubbed a hand up and down her back, sending warm shivers through her body. “I have to let you go for a minute and see if I can get a fire going.”

Nettie clutched at him. She didn’t want him to go, even a few feet away.Love-Couple-Vector

Murmuring in her ear as if soothing a skittish colt, he eased out of the embrace and off the floor. He picked up an old horse blanket from one corner of the nearly empty room and shook the dust off. Gently, he wrapped the worn, dirty wool pad around her shoulders.

Nettie glanced around the room, wallpaper peeling in strips, cobwebs strung over the windows, the floor rotted and splintered. Wonder what happened to the people who lived here? A wooden chair slumped on its side, a leg missing. Jake stomped on the remaining legs to break them, then the rungs and the back, into pieces. He pried up a loose floorboard to add to the pile of firewood

Nettie watched him squat before the fireplace, moving with such confidence. Gosh, he knows just what to do. He whittled shavings from the wood, then struck a match from a little tin canister in his pocket. He’s so handy. And so caring. He protected me.

Jake blew on the flame, coaxed it to catch. Above the sunburned line on his forehead where his hat usually rode, his skin was fair. His reddish blond hair shone softly.

The flame caught and grew, its flicker kindling a spark of hope in her. She heard the snap as it spread to the other shavings and sticks of wood.

Jake added more fuel to the fire. He coughed as it smoked, but then the smoke drew up into the chimney. He sat next to her again, cradling her in the curve of his arm. He took out a small flask from his pocket. “Here, have a slug of this. It’ll help warm you.”

She coughed at the harsh fire that ran down her throat. But it did warm her, and her shivers diminished as her clothes dried.

“Thank you for saving my life.” Nettie raised her face to his and kissed the corner of his mouth. Then, to hide her blush, she leaned against his strong body. He tightened his arm around her shoulders.

They’d made it. Together. They were together, and that was all that mattered right now.

Cowgirl Dreams and the sequel Follow the Dream are available through my website and as a Valentine’s week special, I’m offering FREE SHIPPING! Be watching for the third book in the series, Dare to Dream, coming in 2013.

Re-introducing Sweet Romance Series

Mellinda coverWelcome to my guest, Linda Weaver Clarke, who is celebrating the re-release of her sweet romances. She has Five Books To Give Away until Feb 14th: You have a chance to win one of five historical romances by Linda Weaver Clarke. Books: U.S. Ebooks: International.
To enter the contest, visit http://lindaweaverclarke.blogspot.com/2013/02/five-historical-sweet-romances.html

You are the author of a historical sweet romance series called “A Family Saga in Bear Lake Idaho” that can be read by teens and adults alike. What was the inspiration behind the first novel?

In Melinda and the Wild West, I included one of my own experiences as a substitute teacher. An eight-year-old student had been labeled as a troublemaker by her teacher. The students had listened to the teacher and steered away from her, not wanting to be her friend. This not only made her feel degraded, but she wanted to fight back and she did. She stopped doing schoolwork, refused to be part of the class, and got into a few fights. She seemed angry at the world but after working with her for a while, I soon learned what a sweet and wonderful child she was. She had characteristics that I was impressed with. When she realized that I really cared, she was willing to do her work, just to please me. In fact, her mother was impressed that her daughter wanted to please me so much. I’ll never know how this young girl’s life turned out, but in my novel I chose a happily-ever-after ending, just because Melinda cared and made a difference in the girl’s life.

Why was this subject important to me? Because something similar happened to one of my own daughters when she was little and it was so difficult to see my child receive an unjust label from a teacher.

This novel has “sweet” romance and adventure. What kind of adventure? When Melinda takes a job as a schoolteacher in the small town of Paris, Idaho, she comes face-to-face with a notorious bank robber, a vicious grizzly bear, and a terrible blizzard that leaves her clinging to her life. But it’s a rugged rancher who challenges Melinda with the one thing for which she was least prepared—love.

Do you ever add true family experiences in your historical novels?

After writing my ancestors’ and parents’ stories, I felt so close to them and wanted to add their experiences to my “sweet” romance series. In Melinda and the Wild West, I added one of my father’s experiences as a boy. When he was thirteen, he was asked to bury the skunks that his father had shot. But before he buried them, he drained the scent glands of each skunk until he had a jar full of “skunk oil.” Then he took it to school with him to show his classmates. He was so excited as he explained how he had done it. But in all the excitement, the bottle slipped from his hands and landed on the schoolroom floor and splattered everywhere. The stench was so terrible that everyone held their noses and ran outside as fast as their legs could go. The teacher excused school for the rest of the day and my dad was considered a “hero” by his classmates because he had closed down the school.

What kind of research do you do for one of your novels?

 I put a great deal of research into my novels. The subplot of Jenny’s Dream, the 3rd book in this series, is about OldJenny web cover Ephraim, the ten-foot grizzly bear. The research about this old grizzly was exciting to me because Old Ephraim was from southern Idaho, where I was raised. He wreaked havoc wherever he went, killing sheep and scaring sheepherders so badly that they actually quit their jobs. He was so powerful that with one blow of his paw, he could break the back of a cow. I found out he was the smartest bear that ever roamed the Rocky Mountains. No one could catch him. Every bear trap Frank Clark set was tossed many yards away from where he had put it, and the ones that weren’t tripped had his tracks all around it. How did he know? Because Old Ephraim only had three toes. So they called him Old Three Toes. He was too smart to be caught so Frank Clark had to outsmart him. In this story, I included every detail about this bear and his deeds.

The Bear Lake Monster was a fun one to research. Scotland has the Lock Ness Monster and Bear Lake Valley has theirs. In my 4th novel in this series, Sarah’s Special Gift, the subplot is about David trying to disprove the legend of the Bear Lake Monster. I was raised just over the mountain from Bear Lake so the research about the monster was fun. I discovered that it was 90-feet long, his eyes were flaming red, and his ears stuck out from the sides of his skinny head. Its body was long, resembling a gigantic alligator and it could swim faster than a galloping horse. It had small legs and a huge mouth, big enough to eat a man. (Ha-ha.) I was surprised about what I found. I even got an email from a woman who said that her grandfather had seen the monster. In fact, many people still believe in the Bear Lake Monster today.

What was the inspiration behind the last four novels in this series?

Edith coverEdith and the Mysterious Stranger was inspired by my parents’ courtship. They didn’t meet the traditional way. They met through letters. Their story was so romantic that I patterned this book after their courtship and used my father’s sweet, romantic letters. Can people really fall in love through letters? Absolutely! With mysterious letters, cattle rustlers, a spunky woman, Halloween, and young love, there is always something happening.

Jenny’s Dream was inspired because of some unpleasant childhood experiences that I experienced as a young girl and now Jenny must learn forgiveness before she can choose which dream to follow. Meanwhile, a legendary ten-foot grizzly is seen in the area and its boldness has frightened the community.

Sarah’s Special Gift was inspired because of my great grandmother who was deaf. I wanted to learn more about her life and how she coped with her disability. I learned so much about her and how courageous she was, so I decided to give her experiences to my character, Sarah. This story has deep-rooted legends, a few mysterious events, the mystery of the Bear Lake Monster, and a tender love story!

Elena, Woman of Courage is my last book in this series. My inspiration was the “Roaring Twenties.” This was a new Elena coverdecade of independent women, when they raised their hemlines and bobbed their hair. I found that if a woman bobbed her hair, she was fired from her job. A new language grew from this time period. They used words like: Cat’s pajamas! Horsefeathers! Baloney! When referring to a woman, they used doll or tomato. What was the difference? A tomato was a woman. A doll was a good-looking woman. A woman’s legs were called “gams” and her lovely shape was referred to as a “chassis.” If you were in love, you had a “crush,” were “goofy,” or “moonstruck.” And when a woman was not in the mood for kissing, she would say, “The bank’s closed.” Thus, my new novel was born! As Elena Yeates fights to prove herself as the newest doctor in town, the town’s most eligible bachelor finds it a challenge to see if he can win her heart.

Visit Linda’s Website or her Blog and read a review at  Page One.com

Travel Destination: Prescott AZ

Cottage driveway & trailerMy husband had the fun job of backing the trailer down this l-o-n-g driveway after dark the first night we arrived. Glad it wasn’t me!

We’ve been in Prescott for 10 days now and have experienced the gamut of weather. The first day, we had 63 degree temperatures and unloaded our vehicles and U-haul trailer in shorts and T-shirts.

The next couple of days were partly sunny, but then it commenced to rain for three days straight! We thought we were back in the Pacific NorthWET! The temps plummeted and suddenly we were in the middle of a snowstorm!

But at this writing, it’s back up to 48 degrees and the beautiful sunshine is making me smile!

Cottage

The little cottage we’re renting on Mount Vernon Ave. in Prescott. Must be an omen!

Day 3 sunset

Another gorgeous sunset on the road between Prescott and Chino Valley.

Mt Vernon Ave

The tree-lined Mount Vernon Avenue in Prescott, our temporary home.

Mansion Mt vernon avOne of the beautiful old homes on Mount Vernon Ave. Reminds me a lot of the University district in Missoula, Montana.

Prescott (pronounced Preskett, emphasis on the first syllable) has an official population of 39,900 (although a Money Magazine report says 42,000), and Chino Valley (15 miles North), where we will be living in April, is listed at 10,800. The area has been named one of the top 25 places to retire, sits at 5,300 feet, with  four-seasons:  mild to somewhat cold winters and warm to hot summers. Highs range from 50 °F  in January to 89 °F in July, and the average annual precipitation is 19.2 inches.

Prescott is the county seat of Yavapai County. In 1864 Prescott was designated as the capital of the Arizona Territory. Phoenix became the capital in 1889. Prescott also has a place in western folklore with the fact that Virgil Earp, Wyatt Earp’s older brother lived in Prescott in 1879 and told him of the boom town in Tombstone, Arizona. It is also rumored that Doc Holliday spent some time in Prescott just before heading to Tombstone.

The “Quad City” area encompasses Prescott, Chino Valley, Prescott Valley and Dewey-Humbolt in Yavapai County. It’s a beautiful, sunny place to explore, and we’re happy to be here!

Published in: on February 1, 2013 at 8:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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