3 Questions Wednesday with Darlene Franklin

Good morning! It is my pleasure to welcome back multi-published author Darlene Franklin to the Inspired Prompt.

Good morning, Darlene.

Can you describe yourself in three words?

Darlene: I could go all Myers-Briggs and say I’m Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging. Or spiritual: I’m a daughter of the king!

Great choices 🙂

Someone offers you a fully-paid writing research trip to any place you desire to go. Where would it be and why?

Darlene: I would like to spend several weeks in Mason County, Kentucky, where my father’s family came from. I’d learn more about myself in the process, and the possibilities for more stories than I can imagine!

Sounds like a wonderful trip.

If someone made a movie of your life, what would be the theme song? 

Darlene: Blessed Assurance.

Hymns make good theme songs. We’re so glad you dropped by, Darlene.

Click to tweet: Five contemporary romances in a box set where furry felines play a part in romance. And you have a chance to win. #giveaway #romance

Readers, Darlene will give away an e-copy of Loves Comes on Kitten Paws, which includes her novella, Of Cash and Cats. 

Love Comes on Kitten Paws

Five contemporary romances where furry felines play a part in romance.

LAYERS OF THE TRUTH
As the attraction continues to grow, can Aamon keep Cady safe as they peel back the layers of lies connected to the two fires? Or will a killer bent on keeping his deadly acts secret send them both to their graves?

OF CASH AND CATS
In this retelling of the classic fairy tale, Puss ‘n’ Boots, the kitten Max Roy finds in a pair of fisherman’s boots brings him good fortune and love. But the going isn’t easy. When do-gooder Alyvia Bailey meets Max riding a bike and living in a ramshackle fishing shack, she assumes he’s one of the transients she wants to help. She’s puzzled when he refuses pay for working on her project–remodeling a center for those needing a place to stay. Two cats weave in and out as they move forward to a surprising finish and bring love on kitten paws.

KITTENS FOR KEEPS
Widowed Brandon Woodall’s daughter Olivia wants a mommy and a kitten, in that order, more than anything. Kindergarten teacher Melissa Hewitt is lonely but has given up on falling in love, so she goes to the shelter to adopt a couple of kittens. Melissa and Olivia bond over the kittens, while Brandon falls madly in love with the schoolteacher. By the time she tries to back away, it’s too late. Can Melissa resist her feelings for the man who has invaded her mind and her heart? Can Brandon resist the stunning teacher who has a big heart and a couple of kittens his daughter has fallen in love with?

PURR-SUASION
Animal lover, Zoey Pappas leaves the rat race of Seattle to move to the small town of Leavenworth, Washington to open her new pet grooming salon, Puppy Dooz. Having given up her former dream of acting, she is miffed when her cat, Sofie, is constantly pursued by a theater cat named Valentino. Especially, when his owner, Dawson, runs The Backstage Theater playhouse in town and wants Zoey to audition as his leading lady in the Jane Austen production of Persuasion. Zoey turns him down flat. Come for opening night and find out how a chivalrous cat, a rat named Sir Galahad, and handsome Captain Wentworth, all worked together to PURR-suade Zoey otherwise.

AENGUS, ABBA-DABA, AND FATE
As Kelsey tries to find out who embezzled a hefty sum of money from the animal society, she realizes the murder is related. Aengus and Kelsey discover a love of cats, Corvettes, mystery, and each other.


Best-selling hybrid author Darlene Franklin‘s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. She published her fiftieth book, Mermaid’s Song, in July 2017, and has contributed to more than thirty nonfiction titles. Her column, “The View Through my Door,” appears monthly in two national venues and three regional. You can find Darlene online elsewhere at http://darlenefranklinwrites.com/  

Rescue Operation by Lenora Worth

Good morning! It is my pleasure to welcome my friend Lenora Worth to the Inspired Prompt. Lenora’s new Love-Inspired Suspense book is Rescue Operation, a story involving military K9 units and the FBI…and, of course, love ❤

Good morning, Lenora.

Do you have any interesting writing rituals?

Lenora: Hmm. I like to warm up by clearing out e-mail and I always read over the chapter I finished yesterday before I start today’s work. I have to have a spiral notebook next to my laptop to jot down notes. And I have a stash of chocolate nearby at all times!

What is the book about?

Lenora:  This is Book Five of a suspense continuity written by eight different Love Inspired authors. It’s a military K9 series so it was definitely a challenging book. My heroine is a Senior Airman and a Search-and-Rescue military working dog handler. My hero is an FBI agent with a vested interest in finding a serial killer.

What is your favorite part of the book?

Lenora: I love the scenes were they get to know each other away from the woods and searching for the killer. In those scenes, they open up to each other in a way that helps them fall in love.

Is there a message in your book you hope readers will grasp? 

Lenora: Yes, that we all need redemption. My FBI agent feels responsible for something in his past and my heroine is a very strong woman who shows him he’s worthy of redemption.

Where can readers find you online?

Lenora: www.lenoraworth.com (where they can sign up for my newsletter) @lenoraworth on Twitter, and @lenoraworthbooks on Facebook.

Click to Tweet: Lenora Worth talks about her new Love-Inspired Suspense book, Rescue Operation, today on Inspired Prompt @InspiredPrompt #romance #giveaway


Rescue Operation
Racing to rescue a child
Danger heats up in the Military K9 Unit series.
A little boy is missing, and it’s up to search-and-rescue K9 handler Ava Esposito and her dog to find him … before the Red Rose Killer does. FBI special agent Oliver Davison is hot on the trail of the escaped convict and joins forces with Ava. But when the killer turns his crosshairs on them, Oliver must protect them all before time runs out.

 


Lenora Worth writes romance and romantic suspense for Love Inspired and also writes for Tule Publishing. Three of her books finaled in the ACFW Carol Awards and several have been RT Reviewer’s Choice finalists. She also received the RT Romance Pioneer Award for Inspirational Fiction. “Logan’s Child” won the 1998 Best Love Inspired for RT. She has made the NY Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. With eighty books published and millions in print, she enjoys adventures with her retired husband, Don. Lenora loves reading, baking, and shopping … especially shoe shopping.

What’s the Best Way for an Indie Author to Promote Their Book?

By Jennifer Hallmark

Maybe we should start with why authors want to sell their books.

Don’t give me that blank stare. I know it seems like a given but many writers go to all the trouble to put a book together then only do a little marketing. Either they are fearful of what people will think or they lack the skills to market, or maybe they wonder if they even should laud the praises of their own work.

Authors should not skimp on marketing.

If a person goes to the trouble of completing a book and then publishing it, whether traditional or Indie, it seems they should get it in front of readers. And at least that gives people a chance to decide whether they want to read it or not.  

Now that the why is settled, let’s look at what ways are best. Here are some positive steps to take in the promotion of your work:

  • Start by building a blog or website or having one built for you. You need a landing page for your readers to find you. Yes, it’s good to create an author page on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, and other places but make sure if a reader Googles your name, they can find you.
  • Email list. You need to have an email list of your readers and potential readers so you can reach them with news. Not spam them with constant bombardment. My favorite way to accomplish this is with my email newsletter. And people love presents so be sure to include a gift for the sign-up: a recipe, chapter of a book, short story, etc.  (You can subscribe to mine here for an example plus get a gift of ten of my favorite recipes. 😊Just look for the pop-up.)
  • Social media. There are all kinds of social media you can market your book through. I’d pick two or three and build a presence. Remember to build relationships with people and your books will sell. I use Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest as my main three. Experiement and find what works for you.
  • Speaking/book signings. You’ll want to have a few events to allow the people in your area or areas you’re visiting to meet with the author. You can arrange to speak at a church, social club, library, or school. Make sure to set up a book table and sign books. Also have something set up to show people how to order the e-book if they’d rather read on the Kindle or Nook. Book stores are great places to have a book signing since your potential readers are already there.

Here’s our own Betty Thomason Owens at a book signing.

I also have four tips to speed up marketing:

    1. Be reliable and ready. Set up a pattern in the beginning and keep your name out there. You want people to know that you’re serious.
    2. Book links. Make sure you have book links on your blog/website, all social media, your signature in emails, and any guest posting you may do. If someone is curious, you want them to have a link to click on.
    3. Everyone loves a sale. I once bought a mystery e-book for 99 cents and liked it so much that I paid regular price for the next five just to see what happened. It really works.
    4. And finally, the most important tip of all: The Golden Rule. “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12 NLT) Be good to people. Sow seeds of kindness and I believe at some point you will reap a return. Build a network with other authors and promote them the way you would like to be promoted. It will bring a positive investment before it’s all over and you’re sure to make some lifelong friends.

Start today to put some of these principles in practice. Find what works best for you, then be consistent. The readers are out there and waiting for the next author to follow.

Show them where you are.


Writing Prompt: Jillian reached into the mail box and snatched the book-shaped package, clutching it tightly as she ran toward the house. She’d finally get to see…

Click to tweet: What’s the best way for an Indie author to promote their book? You might be surprised. #marketing #IndieAuthors

First Saturday Extra: Indie Author Traci Tyne Hilton

Today, we are super excited to welcome popular Indie author, Traci Tyne Hilton. She’s published over 20 books and teaches publishing at conferences and writer’s groups around the country.
Traci, tell us a little about yourself.
Traci: I’m a mom first, publishing nut second. My two daughters are teens now, but when I started writing novels, they were toddlers! Everyone told me time flies, but I had no idea. Keeping that balance between mom and obssessive publisher is hard work. My indie friends harass me for not having good enough focus, and my kids ride me for being on my laptop all day long. But what can you do? I wouldn’t give up either role.

When and why did you decide to go the Indie publishing route?

Traci: I fell into indie publishing. The short story is that I participated in Nanowrimo for a few years as a young mom. In 2009, I completed a novel and achieved my award of a free Createspace paperback. After you make your paperback Createspace asks you if you want to make your book available for sale on Amazon. I said: “Why not?”

A few months later I was encouraged to make it an ebook, so I did that, too. It sold ten thousand copies that winter and I was hooked.

Do you hire an editor or use Beta readers to try and perfect your work? 

Traci: Not the first time! Whoo-boy, did I learn my lesson!

But even now I seem to have a hard time keeping a good proofreader–the really talented ones book up fast and get too busy for my somewhat spontaneous needs, lol.

Please share three marketing tips for our friends considering Indie publishing.

Traci:

  1. Buy ads.
  2. Buy ads.
  3. Buy ads.

and a bonus for you all: Buy ads. Buy all the ads you can at all the sites you can. Keep close track of sales on the days your ads run to figure out which sites work well for you, then buy more ads at those sites.

What mistakes did you make when you first started out?

Traci: Well, I already mentioned I didn’t have any editing whatsoever when I launched my first book!  Don’t do that! The indie world is way too competitive for that kind of rookie mistake these days.

Also, take your work seriously as a business. Have a plan and work it. Your success will come from the consistent release of quality books, and that, in reality, is just a lot of work.

 Any final words?

Traci: I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of both the indie literature community and the Christian literature community. It’s been rewarding, challenging, and immensely satisfying. If I could do anything different at all it would be to spend every penny I have ever earned on editing and advertising. Thanks so much for chatting with me today!

So glad you dropped by! We loved having you as our guest and I know our readers will gain a lot of insight from the interview. Thanks again!

 


Traci Tyne Hilton is the author of The Maura Garrison Mysteries, The Plain Jane Mysteries, The Mitzy Neuhaus Mysteries and the Tillgiven Romantic Mysteries. When not writing she has been known to knit socks, play the spoons, and teach Sunday School.

She was the Mystery/Suspense Category winner for the 2012 Christian Writers of the West Phoenix Rattler Contest, a finalist for Speculative Fiction in the same contest, and has a Drammy from the Portland Civic Theatre Guild. She blogs at TheWriteConversation.blogspot.com.

An active member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and Oregon Christian Writers, Traci teaches publishing at conferences and writer’s groups around the country.

Traci attended Fackelbararnas Bibelskola in Holsby Brunn, Sweden, and earned a degree in History from Portland State University. She lives in the rainiest part of the Pacific Northwest with her husband the mandolin playing funeral director, two busy teens, and their pets, Doctor Watson and Kitty Biscuits.

Learn more about Traci at www.tracihilton.com


The Book of Judges

All things work together for the good for those who believe. Too bad Maura Garrison, a private investigator, isn’t a believer. The murder she was hired to solve hinges on its parallel in the Old Testament book, Judges, but she was just dumped by her pastor-husband so the Bible is the last thing she wants to turn to for answers.

Rick Styles, Maura’s husband, is a popular marriage and family counselor with a thriving writing and speaking side business. He’s also the member of a city council committee dedicated to getting homeless children off the streets of Portland, Oregon, a worthy goal that seems to have attracted the attention of a sick and twisted killer.

She’s working the hardest case she’s ever faced during the hardest time of her life with few friends she can count on and only her cat Rhoda for support. Solving this crime means digging deep into issues Maura wants desperately to avoid, will she be able to see her way through this tangle in time to stop a serial killer?

The Book of Judges: A Maura Garrison Mystery is classic Christian murder in the spirit of Chesterton, Sayers, Peretti, and Rushford.

Hilton’s prose is beautiful and clever. She draws readers into the story with vivid descriptions of places and emotion states. –The BookLife Prize

Hilton opens up a thought-provoking mystery in The Book of Judges, exploring the idea of forgiveness and belief through Maura’s personal relationships. A must-read for mystery lovers! –Reader’s Favorites

Links:  Amazon

Barnes and Noble

iTunes

June and July Winners

Summer.

Sunshine. Swimming. Vacations. Hot weather. Winners.

Winners? Always at the Inspired Prompt. In fact, the months of June and July heated up with  winners. Who were they? Read on…

June

Melissa (Mimi) won a copy of Deborah Dee Harper’s upcoming release, Misjudge, or one of my Laramie books (winner’s choice!)

LelandandBecky won Jennifer Slattery’s book, Dancing in the Rain. Congrats!

Laura Shuck won a print copy of River to Redemption or choice of Ann H. Gabhart’s  other recent Revell novels. Woo hoo!

July

Ellen Fannon has offered an e-book of Other’s Peoples Children, to LelandandBecky. Yay!

Michael Ehret graciously gifted Laurel Blount  with an e-book version of Coming Home.  Way to go!

Marilyn R. won a copy of Laura V. Hilton’s latest Amish novel, Firestorm. Cheer!

Glenn Haggerty recently released Chase, the third book in the Intense Book series and the winner of this e-book is Karen Sargent.

Cara Lynn James has offered a paperback copy of Love on a Dime to Caryl Kane .

Linda Yezak has won 3 silver bookmarks that coincide with the Promises to Zion series by Traci Wooden Carlisle.

And I want to shout a big THANK YOU to all our faithful readers for taking the time to stop by and comment. We appreciate YOU!

Please continue to leave comments while you wait to see if you might be our next winner…