Category: Writing Tips & Life Lessons

IN LOVE BY CHRISTMAS A HOLIDAY ADVENTURE ROMANCE AND PARANORMAL VISIONARY NOVEL!

In Love by Christmas – Not Your Ordinary Holiday Romance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, darn! My Christmas book, IN LOVE BY CHRISTMAS, was free for two days. Before I could get this post out, I see they changed the price back. However, it’s deal at any price and I’ve got a special holiday surprise for you, besides.

How about three Sandy Nathan books for the price of one? Here’s the deal:

FIRST BOOK:  IN LOVE BY CHRISTMAS is a Christmas love story of a perilous kind. Leroy Watches Jr. is a holy man and healer whose power is a bit quirky. Sometimes it makes things worse. You may have met Leroy in LEROY WATCHES JR. & THE BADASS BULL. Yes, it’s that Leroy, the one who ended up the FBI’s Most Wanted Fugitive. This adventure offers more opportunity for misadventure.

Despite his flaw, Leroy has to save his soul mate from her addictions, her father, and Evil Incarnate or she’ll be damned forever.

Trying to unite with his true love, Leroy embarks on an adventure that takes him to the highest–and lowest–realms.

The book is currently $3.99  as an Amazon Kindle. Not free, but not super pricey, either.

 But here’s what I’m doing for my Readers: I got a new website! YAY! And many thanks to my “web guy”, Don Herion of The Sorcerer’s Workshop! Here’s my new website:

Isn't it pretty? It has all the info of my old site, in a pretty new WordPress package.

WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT MY NEW WEBSITE? “YOUR FREE BOOK” YES! If you go to new website and click on FIND OUT MORE or YOUR FREE BOOK, you’ll go to a page that will invite you to join my READERS’ GROUP.

What is my READERS’ GROUP? Well, it’s something new. Through the GROUP, I’m going to keep you in the loop about my doings–I have a bunch of new books planned for 2016. I’m also going to let you know about authors I’ve discovered and think are terrific.  If I find out about deals coming up or am having specials myself, READERS’ GROUP members will be the first to know.

You are not signing up to be spammed! I can hardly get out a blog post a few times a year; I’m not going flood your inbox with junk. Nor will I sell or give away your email address. I am techno impaired; even if I wanted to, I doubt I could find your email on my server. Plus, I got writing to do!

WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER FREE NEW BOOKS, SANDY?

If you read  IN LOVE BY CHRISTMAS, you will come upon a character named Vanessa Schierman PhD. She’s a PhD with all her bonafides and the head of an ancient lineage. Vanessa figures large in  IN LOVE BY CHRISTMAS and other Bloodsong Series books. In the first free eBook READERS’ GROUP members receive, you’ll find out lots more about our resident witch. 

Vanessa Schierman's estate. Never go there.

SECOND BOOK, THIS ONE FREE: Vanessa Schierman PhD WITCH At this point, Vanessa Schierman PhD WITCH is available ONLY to my Readers’ Group members. It consists on two longish short stories and an introduction by Vanessa herself, in which she blisters my hide. I’ll add more stories to the book as I write them. I’ll contact you when I’ve got a new story. If you’ve got IN LOVE BY CHRISTMAS you really should join the Readers Group and get Vanessa. She appears in many more Bloodsong Series books.

Stepping off the Edge: A Roadmap for the Soul contains everything I learned, in school or out, that actually HELPED me in my life.

THIRD BOOK: THAT’S THE BONUS YOU GET FOR JOINING THE READERS’ GROUP. What is it? A goodie. STEPPING OFF THE EDGE: A ROADMAP FOR THE SOUL. STEPPING OFF THE EDGE  is a memoir that contains every insight, bit of wisdom, or academic theory I learned in school or anywhere else that actually helped me navigate the shoals of life.  STEPPING OFF THE EDGE is what I did to tame my demons so that I could sit here, writing to you.

Part guide-book, part memoir, part laugh-a-thon, STEPPING OFF THE EDGE won six national awards when it came out, including a couple from the largest and most prestigious contests. The interior is gorgeous, with a Native American theme. I illustrated it myself!  An intensely spiritual book, Stepping doesn’t favor any particular denomination, though I am true to my own. People who have read all my books have told me, “Sandy, I like your new stuff, but I like Stepping Off the Edge best of everything you’ve written.”

STEPPING is my gift to you: I hope that the book is as useful to you as it was to me.

I’ll be sending you STEPPING OFF THE EDGE: A ROADMAP FOR THE SOULhopefully the day after you join the Readers’ Group. (In addition to a new website, I’ve got a new email service. We’re working on this automatic delivery stuff. If need be, I’ll just email it to you!)
HAPPY HOLIDAYS! ENJOY EVERYTHING! AND HERE ARE MY GIFTS TO YOU:

In Love by Christmas: sterling, romantic adventure. Vanessa Schierman PhD WITCH: short stories about a person you’d just as soon not know; Stepping off the Edge: A Roadmap for the Soul. And a toolkit, too.

All the best at the holidays,
Sandy Nathan
HEY! LET’S WATCH MOVIES! HERE ARE SOME VIDEOS ABOUT THE THREE BOOKS:
VANESSA SCHIERMAN PhD WITCH

 

STEPPING OFF THE EDGE: A ROADMAP FOR THE SOUL

The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy is an Amazon Bestseller and I’m an Amazon Ranked Author!

Here I am with Diana Gabaldon, my all time favorite author. I have read her Outlander series, all fifty million pages of it, THREE times. We're hanging out in cyberspace for a few moments of eternity, the 65th and 66th most popular authors in Action & Adventure Fiction. WAA-HOO!

Every once in awhile, life presents the opportunity to be outrageously out there, to the point of being obnoxious. This is one of those times.

I recently did a promotion of my eBook, The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy. It was free for a couple of days and then went back to being one you had to pay for. The results astonished me. Lots of people downloaded it, and then more bought it.

The book’s rankings dropped spectacularly (in book rankings, lower is better) and my AUTHOR RANKING, which I didn’t know existed (because it didn’t before then) put me in the company of some of the world’s most famous authors, and my favorite authors. [However briefly. These rankings change hourly. I am probably in the potato cellar of the Amazon world again. Or will be soon. This book-selling world is not for sissies, compadres.]

So, it’s my time and I’m gonna crow about it.

I’ve done promos by myself before, but this time I was assisted by folks who knew what SEO meant. Turns out, that’s very important in today’s marketing world. My partners in success in this venture were Genius Media, Inc. They are primarily publishers, but also do book promotion. It was a lucky day when I ran into Genius Media.

If you are planning on giving your book away on an Amazon KDP promotion, don’t think it will necessarily turn out the way my recent extravaganza did. Don’t think it won’t, either. You never know. I’ve done KDP free days in the past, running the campaign pretty much by my lonesome self. What was it like? Think days of non-stop, back breaking work, not knowing what I was doing, going down lists of what to do posted online by people I’d never heard of. Fingers aching, eyes watering. I did get results, but it was awful.

If you’re fortunate and have professionals who know what they’re doing to assist you, something like this may happen–and getting there won’t be a nightmare.

THE FREE PART ENDED UP LIKE THIS:

This is how my rankings showed up at their highest, which is measured by closest to #1, the top ranking. Amazon reports results in terms of all the free books on the site, as well as the book's categories. Yes, that's #20 out of all the books free that day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Free results also ended up like this: 

Midway through this promo, without telling anyone they were doing it, Amazon changed its categories from these, to what's above. This makes people who know SEO really upset, because they're settings are now wrong.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you end up in the Top 100 Free or Paid, Amazon does a nice little thing like this with your ranking and book cover:

Here's The Angel, flying to #1 Tree in Metaphysical & Visionary Fiction. This was a lovely sight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ENOUGH OF THE FREE RESULTS. EVERYONE’S INTERESTED IN SALES:

When The Angel went off of free, what happened? This. Took a long night of screen-gazing to get this screenshot. Waa-hoo!

OK. THIS IS BLATANT GRANDSTANDING, BUT THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN TOO OFTEN, NOR DO I KNOW IF IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN. I’M GOING TO PUT UP SOME PICS OF ME AND MY NEW FRIENDS, COURTESY OF AMAZON. (AND THANK YOU, AMAZON, FOR CREATING THE VENUE FOR THIS TO HAPPEN.)

Years ago, I gave a talk on “Celebrate Your Victories.” I think I’ll post the text of that talk on this blog. Mitigating/explaining what I’m doing with this post, my talk said that we need to celebrate our wins! We need to toot our horns and let the good times flow when something wonderful happens.

Why? Given the transitory nature of success and life’s high points, you’ll be slogging through the muck soon enough. You’ll forget the wonderful high and that life is a joyful process that includes UPS as well as downs. We tend to focus on the later.

SO, HERE I AM, WITH A BUNCH OF MY NEW FRIENDS:

For years, I was too snobby to read Stephen King. When I finally started, I didn't read everything he'd written–that's HUGE. But I sure gave it a try. So, hey, Stephen, hope to hang out a lot more, buddy!

OMG. The guy who brought Jungian writing and depth psychology to everyone, my old buddy, J. R. R. Tolkien! Here I am, rubbing rankings with the master.

Orson Scott Card, maybe the brainiest sci-fi writer ever. Here we are, lovingly stacked together. Thank you, Amazon! And my READERS! Yay!

Classic sci-fi from the master George Orwell, author of 1984, Animal Farm and so much more. Nice to hang out, George! My The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy has been compared to 1984. And our own contemporary pundit, Chuck Wendig. Glad to meet you, Chuck!

WHAT CAN HAPPEN IN LIFE IS TRULY UNLIMITED. YOU NEVER KNOW WHO YOUR NEW FRIENDS MIGHT BE:

MAY YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE AND YOUR COMPANY REFLECT YOUR TRUE NOBILITY AND GRACE!

FREE BOOKS!!!! $$FREE BOOKS$$ UNTIL OCT. 31, 2015, I’M GIVING FREE BOOKS IN RETURN FOR HONEST REVIEWS. WHICH BOOKS? THE WHOLE EARTH’S END TRILOGY BOXED SET EBOOK We have promotions planned for Lady Grace & the War for a New World, Earth’s End II, and The Headman & the Assassin, Earth’s End III. These three books represent a treasure of adventure and … well, pretty near everything else. Romance, time travel, aliens, guys from the past, monsters, you name it, Earth’s End has it. Unfortunately, unless we get more reviews for the last two books of the series. We can’t even BUY advertising for it. [Did I tell you the three books have won SEVEN NATIONAL AWARDS BETWEEN THEM?] BECAUSE OF THIS, I AM GIVING AWAY THE EARTH’S END TRILOGY BOXED SET EBOOK in return for an honest review.

If you’d like to get the three book set for $FREE$, contact me at vilasapress@gmail.com. I’ll get them to you pronto! OFFER GOOD THROUGH OCT. 31–THAT’S MY TREAT!

All the best from Sandy Nathan, who, in addition to being a new mule owner, is also a bestselling and award-winning author. Check out my Amazon Author Page.

Old People, Computers and Technology–It’s Simply Cruel

Sandy's Sad

All I wanted to do was make a lousy video …

I’ve been grappling with Animoto.com all day, trying to produce a really good video for my new Christmas paranormal romance In Love by Christmas, also known as ILBC. I did create such a video. I produced about twelve, all sightly different. Different music, theme, words. I also fixed typos on the videos I’d just made and the ones I produced yesterday. As you know, typos multiply any time you take your eyes off your text. God knows what goes on on my hard-drive or in the cloud at night. Typo frolics of a reproductive kind.

Yesterday, I made some other videos of ILBC and posted them. Actually, I didn’t post them. Unbeknownst to me, my Animoto account has tentacles more invasive than an octopus’s, so that any little thing I finish is promulgated all over my cyber/social universe. All the “toss this stinkeroo in the trash” versions seem to end up on my FB wall. Other places, too, most likely. But, to continue …

Despite this, I really like Animoto.com as a way to make book videos. I can use their technology and produce stunning results. But PLAYING videos from their site … I don’t like so much. Those files hit so many snags they might have been using some of my old pantyhose as a power source. Takes so long to play a vid that even my MOM wouldn’t hang in there.

My web guy, Don Herion, suggested hosting my videos on Vimeo or Smugmug, as faster, higher quality places to mount my results. I tried Vimeo and found that it had superior play back to Animoto.com’s , but NOT superior enough. My MOM would lose interest after the second stall, plus all that jiggling made me dizzy. So I got on Smugmug and signed up for their free trial. Yesterday. If you hit that link in two weeks, it may not exist, as will be explained below.

Smugmug gives you this amazing website, all yours, if you can figure out how to use it. It’s very chic and stylish, design-wise, which means that if there are any controls for the site, I can’t find them. So, I won’t sign on for more than the free two weeks unless I make amazing progress in the cyber dimension. If a 69-year-old woman with two advanced degrees can’t find the friggin’ controls in two weeks, it’s not worth paying for.

Although I seem to be rambling, I’m writing about the elderly and technology. Did I mention that my husband got not only a brand new iPhone 6+, but a new Apple laptop to go with it? GO BARRY! After a week, he can competently answer the phone, without dropping the device from his belt holster. Today, he was working on ANSWERING EMAIL with his new laptop.

This afternoon, we practiced the New Intimacy: he sat at one end of our family room with his new toys while I sat on the other end with my sturdy 27″ iMac, attempting to produce the perfect video for In Love by Christmas, or ILBC, as I may have said, perhaps several times. I did make several, if I could remember which ones were the good ones. Also, I somehow erased the vids I’d previously sent to Vimeo and to Don Herion, my web guy, to post on my website. So those are all screwed up, as is the video embeds and locations I sent my publicist. This is really important, because THE BIG PUSH starts soon and he needs to get the visuals out there.

IN LOVE BY CHRISTMAS ANIMOTO

This is how the front image of "winning vid" for ILBC looks on my Animoto page.

This afternoon, I sat in my ergonomically designed chair, swearing softly at the short, computerized films bursting from the screen, listening to my husband swear at his new computer and phone. I did help him once or twice, “Push this arrow to return an email.”

This is how people relate in this new age. Sort of like sitting on opposite banks of a river, throwing electronic tomatoes at each other.

Basically, technology for those over sixty is dicey. Even for younger people, sometimes. I believe the cyber age responsible for the degeneration of our social order, which isn’t saying much. You’ve been out to dinner and looked at the next table, to find everyone on his or her smart phone. You’ve shaken your head and tskked sadly, until you got a text you had to answer.

The the problem is not technology, it’s learning how to use it. Every family should be assigned a 12-year-old from the local elementary school to teach the elders how to at least get to the gaming apps. That’s only right.

Meanwhile, here’s the vid I made on Animoto, transposed to Vimeo. You should be able to watch it easily by clicking appropriately, though it may stutter a bit the first run through. The Smugmug version will take me longer to post. I have to find the controls.

So, I did produce the #@^!! video. I’m not saying that the elderly can’t do tech stuff. We can. We may simply use unseemly vocabulary for long periods while doing it. This is not a sin. Old folks have feelings, too, and need to express them. Sometimes, %&*%#!! isn’t enough. But it was today. Enjoy the video.

Next time I’ll tell you about making Christmas presents for your loved ones using the graphics of your book covers. This is not as easy as it sounds, even given the plethora of companies promising the mouse pad of your dreams, or your hubby’s dreams. (Or porcelain mugs, my particular weakness.) That’s another story.

Sandy Nathan

And here’s the beast itself:

IN LOVE BY CHRISTMAS – NOEL VERSION 12/12/14 from Sandy Nathan on Vimeo.

Leroy Watches Jr. is a shaman whose Power sometimes makes things worse. Despite his flaw, he must save his soul mate from her addictions, her father, and Evil Incarnate, or she’ll be damned forever.

Leroy embarks on a pilgrimage that takes him to the highest levels of European society. As he travels, his shamanic Power grows. So does the Dark Lord’s hatred of him.

His prospective father-in-law demands that Leroy and Cass be in love by Christmas. Can they be?

If that doesn’t work, this link to the video on Vimeo will.

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