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Book Blast By the Numbers February 13, 2013

The cover for Winter's End compliments of Laura Wright LaRoache at LLPix.

The cover for Winter’s End compliments of Laura Wright LaRoache at LLPix.

February 3, as America sat down to watch the Super Bowl, I was anxiously watching my Twitter feed, Facebook account, and Bing searches as I monitored the progress of a book blast for my newest novel Winter’s End.

Crossreads is a new website, recently founded by some lovely ladies that I had previously met through Body & Soul Publishing. One of the services they offer is a book blast to help get more exposure for your books. I was quick to jump on this opportunity, especially since they were offering it at reduced price for a limited time. When the date rolled around I found a comfy spot on the couch and started surfing the net looking for the blogs that were participating in the blast. I was excited to find 15, but I have learned that there were actually 25. These bloggers promote your book for one week and visitors to their sites have the chance to enter to win an Amazon gift card. For this promotion the gift card was $25, but anyone who purchases the full price package will be giving away a $50 gift card.

I was overwhelmed by the number of tweets and new followers I saw rolling in through the day. Since this was the first book blast for Crossreads there were some learning curves for both of us, but overall, I’m very happy with the experience. While I don’t have final, official numbers yet, I wanted to share with you a general idea of the exposure and growth I saw, in case you are thinking about participating in a book blast yourself.

Page views on the main Crossreads site- 2,193
Number of blogs participating- 25
Number of contest entries- 8,159
Number of times blogs were shared on Facebook- 84
Number of times blogs were shared on Twitter- 418
New followers on Facebook gained- 150
New followers on Twitter gained- 205

I wasn’t able to gather shares on Facebook & Twitter from several of the blogs, but I do know that I kept seeing at least 20 mentions of the contest in my Twitter connections every day. There were also tweets that didn’t include my Twitter handle that I found using the search option & keywords book blast.

I wish I had kept a notebook next to me to log the exact number of tweets I found, but I will be better prepared in the future. To keep the momentum going and in honor of the Valentines weekend setting of Winter’s End, I am running Sweetheart $.99 sale. Get your copy February 13-16 on Kindle, Nook, or Smashwords for all your reading needs.

But that’s not all. This week is the official launch of the Crossreads website and there are giving away all kinds of great treats, including a copy of my book, Julianne.

“Encourage each other daily”


a new place to meet, read, and fellowship… CrossReads Logo
Find books that uplift, authors that inspire, and a whole community of
fellow Christians who are looking to encourage and be encouraged.
Join the Community today, and
be entered to win one of 169 prizes!

Click here to ENTER the CrossReads Giveaway


The Next Big Thing January 31, 2013

Welcome to the next big thing blog hop! Join the fun blog hopping our way through some new reads, including works in progress and new and upcoming releases. For those who haven’t been part of a blog hop before, you read my blog and hop on over to the next blog link for more entertainment. Bloggers hand picked by yours truly!

Thank you to Charles Dougherty for tagging me in this blog hop. Charles is a successful writer and has provided me with immense support as I have struggled to start my writing career. His books are quick entertaining reads. Learn more about Charles on his site here.


Part of the Blog Hop is to introduce you to my latest release by answering ten interview questions.

I hope you’ll take some time to follow the links to my author friends’ blogs as well. See the end of the post to see who I’ve tagged.


What is the title of your book?

Winter’s End

The cover for Winter's End compliments of Laura Wright LaRoache at LLPix.

The cover for Winter’s End compliments of Laura Wright LaRoache at LLPix.


Where did the idea come from for the book?

Winter’s End is the second book in the Seasons of Faith series. I fell in love with the characters while I was writing book one, Summer Storms. The inciting incident in Winter’s End came from a “what if” thought I had one morning at work. I get into the office long before anyone else and one morning when I went into the restroom I wondered what I would do if I ever stumbled upon a dead body in there. That thought niggled at my mind for months while I was writing Summer Storms and then I figured out how I could use it to kick off the next book.


What genre does your book fall under?

Inspirational fiction

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I worked with reference photos when I was writing these books and meshed the characteristics of some celebrities and some people I know. Lizzie I envisioned as Drew Barrymore, specifically her character in Never Been Kissed (post Jossie-Grossie make-over), for Jeffrey I saw Bradley Cooper, Ian, maybe James Marsden, and Michelle, while I didn’t know it then, I think she would be played by Kat Dennings.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Winter’s End packs a powerful message of love, passion, and forgiveness.

 Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Self-published. I like to have control over the cover and release date.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I decided to participate in National Novel Writing month in 2011 and this was my project. First draft was completed in about 60 days, mostly over Thanksgiving break.

 What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Terri Blackstock has been a bit of a role model to me. She writes Christian books with suspense and romance, but they aren’t as predictable as some other books in the genre. I especially like the grittiness of her recent Intervention series dealing with drug addiction and the effects that has on an entire family.


Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Since Winter’s End is a continuation of the Summer Storms story, I would have to say my love for those characters inspired me to continue writing about them.

My next book, Jessie, was inspired by much of my childhood, growing up on the Space Coast and being so immersed in the Shuttle program. With the end of the program, I felt compelled to look at how it all began. I’m only seven chapters in, but my research has taught me things about the town I grew up in I had no idea about before. I have a whole new appreciation for the area and those who pioneered space exploration. I am excited to share this story about determination, sacrifice, and overcoming bitterness.


What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Valentine’s day is right around the corner, and while I’m personally not a fan of the holiday, there is a very determined man in this book who will make you swoon.


Next week, stay tuned for more posts in The Next Big Thing blog hop. Watch for posts on February 7 from these authors:

DiVoran Lites, a dear friend I have known since childhood, who has recently published her first book, Sacred Spring. It is a tender story of a young woman struggling to hold her family together and protect the Florida wilderness she loves more than anything. You can learn more about DiVoran here.

Jenny Gentry, a new friend who has a Christian fiction series called “The Gifts.” She has a book signing coming up in March. Learn more about her here.

V.K. Ramsey writes fantasy and currently has two books out in the Guarding Light series. Find out more about V.K. and his books here.

Richard L. Sanchez is another dear friend. Although he has been writing for years, he only recently started publishing his work. He has several short stories and a novel currently available. Learn more about him here.

Mary-Anne Crooks I met on Facebook. When I visited her website I was completely drawn in. While her first book isn’t published yet, she has already started on her second and could use some support from the community. Please stop in to visit her here. 

I hope you enjoyed learning about Winter’s End. Stop back by for more on my writing process and of course, the wonderful recipes I find along the way.


Preview of Winter’s End November 2, 2012

Filed under: Books,Cooking,Recipes — itsrebekahlyn @ 11:55 AM
Tags: , , , , , ,

On Wednesday I shared with the recipe for a wonderful butternut Squash soup I discovered while doing research for my new book, Winter’s End, which will be available in just a few weeks.  I thought I would give you a sneak peek of the scene that grew from this recipe.  Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!


The cover for Winter’s End compliments of Laura Wright LaRoache at LLPix.



When they reached a small alley with white lights crisscrossing overhead, Lizzie followed as Ian turned and they walked toward a small courtyard. Snow crunched under their feet, not having been cleared after yesterday’s shower. The narrow walls of the alley made it impossible to see anything in the courtyard other than a fountain, now silent, with icicles hanging from the three levels. When they emerged into the courtyard, Lizzie was surprised to find an elegant bistro at the far end, topiaries stood on either side of the large plate glass window in the shape of hearts, with red silk roses woven into the greenery. Bistro Amore was written in black letters across the front door.


“I hope you’re hungry,” Ian said, stopping in front of the bistro.


“Famished actually,” Lizzie replied, stepping through the door he held open for her. Inside the restaurant was dimly lit with hundreds of candles scattered on the tables and perched in sconces along the walls, but only one table, in the center of the room, was set, ready for service.


“It doesn’t look like they are open yet,” Lizzie whispered, turning back to Ian.


“I don’t know, maybe you should ask the hostess.” Ian pointed.


Lizzie turned back around to find a young woman with long black hair, wearing a red velvet skirt that flowed to her ankles coupled with a white blouse standing before her, holding two menus.


“Good evening Ms. Reynolds, Mr. Cavanaugh. Your table is ready for you.” The hostess led them to the center table and pulled the chair out for Lizzie, waiting until Ian was seated to hand out the menus. When she did, Lizzie gasped.


The front of the menu had Lizzie and Ian’s names on it, with the date, and a photo from their first date at the Samba Room.


“Happy Valentine’s Day Lizzie,” Ian said.


“But Valentine’s Day isn’t until Monday,” Lizzie gave him a confused look.


Ian reached across the table and took her hand. “I know you aren’t the biggest fan of this Hallmark holiday, but I wanted to do something special for you. I thought maybe if it wasn’t on the actual day, you wouldn’t think it was just part of the commercialism.”


Lizzie felt walls built up over years of disappointment, crumble in her heart. She wrapped his hand in both of hers and gazed into his eyes, hoping he understood how much his words meant to her.


“Do you want to look at the menu?” Ian asked


“I don’t know if I can take my eyes off you,” Lizzie whispered.


“Maybe I should read it to you then. There aren’t many choices, though. To start a butternut squash soup, followed by a Caesar salad, then maple glazed salmon, mashed potatoes, and asparagus, and for dessert, well, I’ll let that be a surprise.”


“My favorites,” Lizzie said, her heart racing.


“I’m happy to hear that,” Ian replied with a laugh.


“How did you do this?” Lizzie asked.


“I just made a reservation,” Ian replied innocently. ”Isn’t that something you do all day at work?”


Lizzie looked around the restaurant and laughed. “Hardly. I don’t think I have enough pull to get an entire restaurant for one guest.”


“I guess you just don’t know all the right people then.”


“Come on, you have to tell me.”


“I went to school with the owner, and I have to be honest, they will open to everyone else at eight. He agreed to open early for me as a favor.”


“Very impressive favor.”


“A high compliment coming from the queen of making the impossible happen,” Ian replied.


A waiter approached with a tray containing their soup and a bottle of wine. Lizzie leaned over the bowl of soup and breathed in the warm aroma, feeling any lingering chill in her bones fade away. The server poured a taste of wine into Ian’s glass. He swirled it around, gave it a good smell, swished a bit in his mouth, and gave his approval. When their glasses were filled, the waiter retreated. Ian raised his glass.


“A toast. To the first of many Valentine’s Days together.” They clinked their glasses and took a sip of the chilled Riesling.


Lizzie slurped at the hot soup, her taste buds going wild as the liquid slid over them. She closed her eyes, allowing her sense of taste to take over as she picked out the flavors of saffron, nutmeg, and cinnamon. 



“You can never repeat this, but this soup is so good, I may have to suggest Chef Gustave visit your friend for some pointers.” Lizzie opened her eyes to find Ian watching her with pleasure.


“I’m glad you like it,” Ian said dipping his own spoon into the creamy yellow soup.


The salad and then the main course were served, each bite seemingly better than the last. Lizzie cleaned each of her plates and sat back with a sigh of contentment as the waiter removed the empty dishes.


“I know you said there was dessert, but I don’t think I could eat another bite,” Lizzie said and dabbed at the corners of her mouth with her napkin.


A look of disappointment clouded Ian’s face and Lizzie regretted her words.


“But, I could probably share with you,” she quickly added.


“I understand if you are too full. We can always have something later. The night is still young.” Ian pushed his chair back. “Wait here a minute.” He turned toward the kitchen and slipped through the door.


Lizzie rubbed her stomach as if that would speed along her digestion, and glanced around the restaurant. She could see twenty other tables, each covered in a black cloth. She could hear more voices from the kitchen as they prepared to open to the rest of their patrons. Without warning, the hostess appeared at Lizzie’s side.


“How was everything?” the hostess asked.


“It was perfect. Please send my compliments to the chef. I can’t remember a better meal,” Lizzie smiled and extended her hand. “Thank you all for making this such a memorable evening.”




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