Thursday, May 11, 2017

Social Media - Author - Frances Caballo

Today I'm welcoming author, Frances Caballo.  Frances is currently on tour hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions.  The tour is for her latest book, Social Media Just for Writers.  I've gotten a chance to read the book and found it full of invaluable advise for anyone trying to get a handle on social media.  But my review comes later, first let's introduce the author.

Frances Caballo

Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers.  She's a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference.  In addition, she's a contributing writer at and blogger and Social Media expert for BookWorks.  She's written several social media books including The Author's Guide to Goodreads and Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day.  Her focus on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, finding new readers, and selling more books.  Her clients include authors of every genre and writers' conferences.

The intent behind her book:
"You wrote your book and sold copies to everyone your know.  But you have goals that extend beyond the dozen copies you sold.

How do you achieve your dream of selling books around the world?  With social media, you can build your platform and reach readers in locales you never imagined possible before.

In this book you'll learn how to:
-  Create a Facebook fan page and actively engage with your readers.
-  Optimize your LinkedIn profile.
- Tackle Instagram, Tumblr, and SnapChat.
- Build and optimize Pinterest pinboards for SEO to maximize exposure of your books, blog, and other landing pages.
- Improve your blogging.
- Excel on Twitter.
- Create images for your blog and social media posts.

The second edition of Social Media Just for Authors is both a primer for authors new to social media
and an advanced study of platforms that weren't widely known four years ago.   Whether you write romance, historical fiction, young adult or steam punk novels, you'll find help in reaching your online audience of new dedicated readers.

An excerpt:

Chapter 1

Not sure how to approach social media.  CARE about your readers.

Among all the rules you'll find online- the 80/20 rule (only 20% of your posts should be about your books or blog posts while 80% of your posts should contain content from other sources), the admonitions against using social media as a bullhorn, the warnings about over automating - there's also an unspoken tenant.

The tenant isn't a rule that comes up on the blogosphere.  Instead, it's more of a system of approach and an acronym that I created while preparing for the San Francisco Writers Conference.

If you follow the approach I'm about to explain, you can be sure that all the time you spend on social media will generate the type of engagement with readers that you want to have.

Once you start to use social media, be prepared to CARE about people.  I know that it seems evident to care about people online but give me a moment to break down the acronym.

  • C - Communicate with your readers.
  • A - Answer your readers' questions.
  • R - Relate to your readers.
  • E - Educate with stellar content.

And most of all simply care about people.

Joanna Penn devised the term social karma.  If you want book sale, buy books.  If you want book reviews, write reviews for all of the books you read.  If you want people to like your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter, like your readers' and friends' Facebook pages and follow them on Twitter.

Reciprocate actions.  And just as you might offer money to a homeless stranger, smile at a person walking down the street, or invite a new family from your church over for tea or dinner, take the types of actions online that will help you to get to know the people who follow you and want to connect with you.

In other words, be kind online.  Be inquisitive.  Be open to meeting people and revealing parts of your life.

Let's look more closely at CARE.

(end of excerpt)

My review of Social Media Just for Writers:

Social media plays a large role in promoting for today's author.  But are you using social media as efficiently as you could? Are you using the right sites?  If you're an author, unless you're a social media guru, this book is for you.  The most popular sites, from Facebook to Snapchat. Goodreads, Twitter and more, are laid out, analyzed for their advantages and disadvantages - what works best and what might not work at all.  The author reveals invaluable nuggets of information such as the 80/20 rule where twenty percent of content posted should be about your books, the other eighty percent from other sources.  Shorter is better and of course, then there's the pictures.  On social media, pictures rule!  Referencing such terms as social karma, the author explains how your actions directly affect your sales and goes through the step by step process from setting up to wielding the sites like a pro.  It is a clearly written manual that will help you connect with your readers easily and efficiently.  Well written, well researched - well thought out.  This book is a must have!

Reviewed by Ryshia Kennie

Frances can be found:

Frances will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN gift certificate to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

To enter:  


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Check out the remaining tour stops for the rest of May here:

May 15: Hope. Dreams. Life... Love
May 16: Readeropolis - review
May 17: Notes From a Romantic's Heart - review
May 18: The Avid Reader
May 19: Straight From the Library
May 19: Mixed Book Blog
May 22: The Reading Addict - review
May 23: Books Direct - review
May 24: Edgar's Books
May 25: Booklove - review
May 26: Laura's Interests

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Desert Justice - Sheik's Rescue

While the paperback released mid-April - this week the e-book of Sheik's Rescue is available.  What's to say about the second in the Desert Justice Series that may not already have been said - quite a bit...

For one, Emir Al-Nassar's twin is a fairly laid back and easy going hunk of a sheik.  While he wouldn't admit to the last part and his actions rather dispute the first, that's how I saw it, at least in the beginning.  But as every author knows, sometimes the story and especially the characters take on a life of their own.

The setting was like going home, not home to the prairie but home just the same.  I've driven through Wyoming so many times that it was like I was along in the backseat with Zafir and Jade - at least some of the time.  Being a love story, it begins with Zafir being knocked on his, so firm -you want to grab it, butt; when he sees Jade.  And all of that is in the midst of a "so-called freak spring snow storm" which everyone who lives anywhere on the North American plains, knows isn't such a freak thing.  Add to the inclement weather, an instant attraction and the character of a very strange Moroccan royal that they must protect - then, toss and stir with a dose of evil.  Okay, I admit, he was kind of a fun bad guy to write, at least in the beginning.  Fun in the fact that he was suitably creepy, if there is such a thing.  But, I do love my bad guys creepy.  So writing what he was thinking or feeling was a chilly bit of work.

An inside scoop  - Jade Van Everett is probably the hottest of all the heroines in the Desert Justice series.  She's also got a mild gun fetish and is more than a match for Zafir.

Zafir?  Well I'd say that he was the hottest too but he's an identical twin and even without that he's got some pretty stiff competition with his other brothers.   While the story takes place in Wyoming, there was a point that things turned for the worse and we headed to foreign shores - Morocco where the characters meet their fate, hopefully stop the evil and maybe, just maybe - find love.

Things looked pretty rocky to begin with.  Jade had barely picked up her strange client before things fell apart.  Here's an excerpt:
She pushed up over the balcony, looking left and right down the street.  A movement to her left; she watched with bated breath.  It was nothing but a jackrabbit that had made its way into the city.  The hare took its time.  It seemed to lope, hopping this way and that, stopping to sniff the air.  Finally, it disappeared between two buildings.  The street was again empty.

She sank below the railing as she put the Colt down and pulled her phone out of her pocket.
“Zafir,” he answered with a concerned tone, for this number was never used except in case of an emergency.

“Code red,” she said simply.  “I’m pinned down at the client’s apartment.  Shots from across the street at the client’s balcony.  The client’s secure.”
“Last count?”
“Unknown shooter.  Three shots fired.  Four, if you count mine.  He has a silencer.”  She looked where the planter used to stand.  “It’s been quiet for over two minutes.”
“Did you see…”
“Nothing,” she interrupted.  “No visual.  Like I said, I got one shot in, that was it.  I never had a clear shot, and on a public street, well, that’s just made it difficult.”
“I can imagine,” he said.  “Keep it contained if you can.  I’ll be there in five.”
The call disconnected as abruptly as it had begun.
Keep it contained if you can.
With gritted teeth, she shoved the phone into her pocket.  For a second she really wished she could shove it somewhere else.

Rourke and I in Wyoming - 2012.  When it's windy - it's windy!

Sheik's Rescue is available at:


May 6 I'll be at Tia Trooper's Facebook party.  It's an event to raise money for MS and goes on through June.  Saturday, May 6 is my day to take over the event that author, Janie Crouch created, organized and runs - an awesome cause.  I'm giving two e-copies of my books that day - find out which ones by joining the fun:

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Is The Smoke Detector Part of Every Meal?

I should have known when I came home and found that hubby had removed the shower enclosure from the bathtub to fix a crack that had emerged and was now causing the structure to seep water, that it was not going to be a good day.  The shower is out of commission for, well, not sure how long.  And baths are something you lounge in, not try to have a quick clean up in early in the morning.  Sigh.  I missed the omen surrounding all of that.  Instead, I ventured forth anyway with my plan to prepare the occasional vegetarian meal.

Why was this a deal?  Well, I cook rarely now - why cook when someone does it better?  There was a time I was a fairly good cook, if the barks were any indication - great as far as canine meals went.  Unfortunately, those days are gone - at least for now.

Just part of the cooking sprawl - uglier than urban sprawl.
I began what the recipe assured was an  "easy" vegetarian supper.    I began chopping up a potato and then grabbed the bag of rice.  Oops, forgot to soak.  Not only that I got a type that required longer than normal soaking.  Small oversight - I managed to compensate for that.  Rice came out unscathed.  But the tofu - don't let anyone tell you that cooking tofu is easy.  And if you're one of those that think it is, stop right there.   I don't want to hear about it.

I had a second cookbook that said one should marinate and slightly crisp the tofu.  I think the slightly crisping may have been the first problem.  The kitchen began to fill with smoke before any browning had even appeared and the smoke detector went off.  I flapped my tea towel at it and it quit only to go off again and again and again...  A few choice words finally caused it not only to go off but kick in a second detector that I swear hubby hid, just to persecute me in such a moment. Okay, maybe not but I sure felt so at the time.  So I got hubby out of the garage to resolve the smoke detector issue as cool spring air ran through the open doors at both ends of the house.  Meantime there was still all that vegetation to chop and a lime to zest - did I mention I also zested a piece of my finger.

I survived - I think.
Juice of this, juice of that, pinch of this, can of that - if I could find the person who said it was under twenty minutes I'd give them a piece of my mind.  As it was - production time was closer to an hour and a half and the result - edible.  I didn't save the leftovers.

So I live to cook another day and a midweek vegetarian meal cooked by me is still on the table but hubby doesn't have to worry that he can no longer barbecue burgers.  That might be something to look forward to after last night's meal which I'd rate as on par with a good bowl of porridge - it was filling.

Oh, and this morning, I'm pretty sure I saw a trail of hickory sticks leading to the couch.  Someone was having a late night snack, maybe something about last night's supper...

Just saying.

...a world you never imagined.

The first in the Desert Justice series, Sheik's Rule is out and Sheik's Rescue is next!

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