Monday, February 27, 2012

Manic Monday

It's been an odd weekend. My Android is once again refusing to let me listen to voicemail. Good thing I have two phones. I was in a hurry in the shower last night and decided to use the 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner. Only after I was out of the shower and dressed did I discover I had washed my hair with conditioner. Just conditioner.

When I say I can no longer walk and chew gum simultaneously, I mean it.

I woke up--at 4:30, to get Collin off to work (craptacular as always)--and found I'd received an email from my good friend and fellow author Beth Muscat. Beth had been monitoring the start of Final Hours' free book promotion at Amazon. The early numbers are very good, but I couldn't figure out how it had ranked so high in suspense and literary fiction. This novel is neither of the two!

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Could you live a lifetime in twenty-four hours?

Jamie Randall thought he had it all...until a close brush with death brought him face-to-face with the one thing that was missing from his life. Now, facing his own mortality once again, he will have to make a choice: one chance to live, or one chance to set things right in his troubled life....

Norma Beishir is the author of sixteen novels, many of which have been bestsellers. Check out her website at

Product Details

But those numbers are good. I'm going to just hope everyone who downloaded it read the product page and reviews and knows what they're getting.

Then I went to the product page for Chasing the Wind and found a new review. Was it helpful to me? Oh, yeahhhhhh! I think I'll just shut up and stop complaining now....

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
4.0 out of 5 stars AwesomeFebruary 27, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Chasing The Wind (Messiah Project) (Kindle Edition)
I could not put it down. This book has everything, romance, adventure, suspense. 
You will have strong feelings for these characters, whether it is love,respect 
or hatred. One of the best books I have read.
The reason I gave it four stars is because a few pages were repeated and 
all through the book it would change from being written in first person to 
third. Poor editing not writing. I am trying to find the sequel now. 
Haven't located it on Amazon.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Saturday, February 25, 2012

An Interview, An Update, and a Meltdown!

First off, I'd like to thank Penelope Crowe at Hot Books Daily for interviewing me in connection with the re-release of Chasing the Wind. If you'd like to read the interview, click here.

And now...after revising Chasing the Wind, I had planned to expand Final Hours to three first-person points-of-view. But after considering how far behind I am on almost everything, from writing to laundry, I decided against it. Collin did, however, reformat the book and the updated version will be free at Amazon for five days, starting tomorrow!

Getting there has not been easy. First, I discovered the first file Collin had used was missing about twenty pages. I stupidly created a whole new now, the Kindle edition of Chasing the Wind has TWO product pages and is confusing prospective buyers. Since it's been blocked by KDP, I can't post a notice to readers to direct them to the right location, nor can I get rid of it. The link on my Author Central page there is to the defective edition. Run a search for the title or my guessed it! I'm trying to get the whole page removed, but I suspect it will require customer complaints to get results.

Then, I went in this morning to edit the product info for Final Hours. Now the book is listed as being "In Review" instead of published....

That blood-curdling scream you just heard was me!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Surprise, Surprise!

This was a surprise. I recently received paperwork from Harlequin--the parent company of my romance publisher, Silhouette--regarding the ebook publication of those of my books for which the rights had not yet reverted to me. There were four in all. I told my agent I was willing to allow all of my backlist to be issued as ebooks. I'd been planning to do it myself, but if the interest was there, I as certainly willing to deal. I'd much prefer to focus my attention on my current books.

What they didn't tell me was that two of the books had already been epublished. I found them on Amazon this morning:

And now I have to buy copies of my own books. The author is always the last to know....

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Rebirth of a Novel

On January 31st, Collin and I relaunched Chasing the Wind with a new multiple first-person-POV...and officially launched the Messiah Project series. The first thing we did was to enroll the book in Amazon's KDP Select program and set up free copies through Valentine's Day. So far, so good...very good! We've moved 334 copies since the relaunch....

Product Details

Monday, February 6, 2012

Here We Go Again....

We have two new additions to our family: a Kindle Fire and an Acer Iconia W500 tablet PC.

(This is beyond cool!)

Eleven years ago, I got my first cellphone. I resisted the idea at first. Collin had seen a display for Virgin Mobile phones at Target and decided he wanted one. For him, it made sense. He was working nights at the time and had to walk several blocks from the bus stop to our place--it was a good idea, for safety reasons. I didn't want one for myself. The idea of having a phone I could carry with me didn't appeal to me at all. Leaving our phone behind when I went out didn't bother me at all. But I soon changed my mind and became the proud owner of a very simple little phone that didn't do anything but make calls and send text messages.

That was good enough. For a while, anyway.

Three years later, Collin decided he wanted to trade up. The new phones also took pictures, had cool ringtones and limited web access. Okay, I was again sold. And I chose a special ringtone for people I didn't really want to talk to: the sound of a flushing toilet. If I was going to be stuck with nuisance calls, I was going to at least get a laugh out of them. And I became very good at composing messages with a limited keypad--I could do it accurately without even looking at it.It took me a while to get used to a QWERTY keyboard again!

Then, in 2009, when April came to stay with us, Collin wanted a phone like hers--a T-Mobile Sidekick. This time, we didn't get the same kind of phone. I opted for the Dash, which was a lot like the Blackberry I'd been craving after hearing an author being interviewed on TV talk about composing part of her novel on hers. Unlike the Blackberry, it had Windows Mobile--easier to sync with my computer. I loved my Dash, and even after my next phone came along, I continued to use it for editing and for email in wi-fi areas until very recently.

Late in 2010, Collin decided he wanted an Android. I wasn't interested--at first. Once I saw all his phone could do, I quickly changed my mind, so he got me one for Christmas. It took me about a year to learn how to use it without screaming for help (I am, after all, a technomoron!), but I was convinced I finally had one device that could do everything.

Then Collin decided he wanted a tablet.

(He took this photo. I wish he'd turned it on. The wallpaper is gorgeous.)

It wasn't a frivolous thing. His little netbook didn't have the RAM to handle Photoshop and other programs and files he needs for his graphic arts work. He'd first decided on a desktop--then discovered the Iconia had twice the RAM as his netbook. It has, in fact, everything he needs and is portable (we like being able to work in the living room, parked in front of the TV--what can I say?)

Tired of getting the "memory nearly full" message on my Android--in spite of the 16GB memory card that supposedly held most of the apps as well as my files--I toyed with the notion of getting a tablet to accommodate the larger apps, like Kindle and Audible. I decided on a very inexpensive model. Collin talked me out of that. He pointed out that warranties are almost nonexistent for off-brands, as is tech support. He felt I should go with the Kindle Fire. Along with being able to read and listen to books, I have web access and can use it for writing and editing.  And it has games and other apps--I'm especially fond of Birdland.

I am so glad I took his advice!

So once again, we have a bunch of gadgets for which we have no use. Each new arrival has more and more capabilities, making things like cameras, digital voice recorders, etc. unnecessary. Mind you, these are perfectly good devices that have had good maintenance and little use. We still have all of our old cellphones--unlike many people, I don't throw stuff away if it's still in good working order. I suppose we could have an electronics yard sale....

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bring Back the Pony Express

Recently, the U.S. Postal Service hit us with yet another rise in first class postal rates. As if they weren't already overpriced! 

I'm starting to think this isn't really a joke.They aren't getting enough volume to stay out of the red ink, so they're going to make it up by overcharging for every item we are forced to send through them.

I'm not whining here. When I send a package to Ontario, CANADA and it ends up in Ontario, CALIFORNIA, I figure somebody isn't earning his government salary.

We've played musical mailboxes on many occasions. When you have a large number of mailboxes clustered together and a substitute carrier, things happen. Even this. Seriously. I suspect, however, that most of my mail has been picked up or delivered by this fellow....

If the postal service wants to get people to use their services again, I suggest they stop raising the rates. E-mail, after all, is free. 

Or maybe a change in HOW the mail is delivered is in order. I think the Pony Express was far more efficient, and look what they had to deal with.

Carrier pigeons are a possible alternative. Or these guys....

It would have to be an improvement.

Why do I get the feeling that from now on, only junk mail will find its way to my mailbox?