WE HAVE LIFT-OFF!

I’m so excited for this launch! 

So here’s a reminder of what it’s all about.

OIAA cover

 

On her 21st birthday, Princess Kailani’s father tells her that when she was a baby, her mother was abducted. She also learns she has family in another world.
 
Defying her father, she travels from her Cloud Castle home to the ice kingdom of Idenvarlis where Kailani’s instincts drive her to find the mother she doesn’t remember.
 
Gifted with the magic of two worlds, and skilled in the use of weapons, she journeys into unknown and dangerous territory. Despite her determination to rescue her mother, she’s forced to overcome new fears and find a way to cope with all she encounters.
 
However, a person in authority will stop at nothing to prevent either of them returning.
Kailani faces isolation, wild beasts, rogue  soldiers, and more as she battles to return to the Ice Palace. With the stakes so high, can she make it back alive?
 
YOU CAN BUY OF ICE AND AIR HERE. AND AT AN INTRODUCTORY OFFER PRICE OF JUST 99p/99c for 1 week ONLY!
 
And don’t forget the Facebook party later today at 6pm GMT – come along, I’d love to see you and so would my guests:
James Barclay

James Barclay

Connie J Jasperson

Connie J Jasperson

Alison DeLuca

Alison DeLuca

(plus you might win some swag)! Here’s the link if you want to join in: https://www.facebook.com/events/879601752136491/
 
 
 

And Tomorrow Becomes Today

Wow! What a day it was yesterday. What with the excitement of the book launch and the Facebook launch party last night, I feel quite mellow today.

The party was a huge success. I had some wonderful people attend and we had great fun with games and giveaways. The poor bartender was rushed off her feet; it’s a good job she knows how to make a mean cocktail (or several)!

vamp kiss

Anyway, on the blog tour today, our stop is with Stephen Swartz, a friend and fellow author at Myrddin Publishing. He has an exclusive excerpt to share with you from Heart Search: Betrayal. Just click on his name and be sure to pop in and see what’s going on over there.

Also just a quick reminder that this is the last day, Heart Search: Lost is free so if you haven’t got your copy yet, you’re running out of time!

I’ll pop back tomorrow and tell you where the tour bus is stopping!

Heart Search: Betrayal Launch, Trailer & A Special Treat…

The big day has finally arrived and Heart Search: Betrayal, the final book in the trilogy, is live on Amazon!! YIPPEE!!!! 😀 I’ve got a grin that just won’t quit at the moment!

Now I promised you some treats and I’ve got something really special lined for you, but first let’s just remind ourselves of the fantastic cover:

Betrayal front cover

You can either click on the cover in the side bar or use http://hyperurl.co/HeartSearch-Betrayal to take you straight to Amazon.

Now, my wonderful friend, Sarah-Jane Bird, the one who made virtually everything for the giveaway, is multi-talented. This fantastic lady has made me a trailer for the book and although it’s not very long, it suits the mood of the book so well. So sit back for a mo and have a look at this…

WOW! It blows my socks off every time I watch it and makes me tingle all over.

I hope you enjoyed that – it was just the warm-up act. The next part is exclusive to this site and because I’m the author, I can do things like this and get away with it.

DRUMROLL PLEASE… *loud clapping and cheering* I can’t hear you! *extremely loud clapping and cheering*

I give you the prologue from Heart Search: Betrayal:

Becky’s Diary Entry

I miss Remy and the twins so much. It’s been over six weeks since they went to stay with Josh for the weekend (although it seems sooo much longer) and I’ve not seen them at all. She hardly ever rings or texts me and when she does, it’s . . . different – she’s different. Remy still tells me she loves me and misses me, but . . . oh, I don’t know . . . I can’t exactly explain how . . . it’s sort of like there’s not the same feeling, the same . . . connection between us anymore. 

I know Mum & Dad are upset too, but they’re not talking about it – well not to me, at any rate. Typical!

Remy is vague about when they’re coming back and isn’t saying much about what’s happening either. She won’t tell me exactly where they are. She used to confide in me about everything and it feels strange not being a big part of her life.

I’m sure something’s wrong. Ever since she left I’ve had weird mood swings. I get angry much quicker than I used to. It terrifies me how intense that anger can be. My food preferences have changed – for God’s sake, I even opt for my meat on the rare side now where it used to turn my stomach just to look at it that way before. And I have trouble sleeping. I just can’t make sense of it all. What’s going on?

I NEED to get to the bottom of this. I don’t feel like myself anymore and it’s scaring the crap out of me. If Remy doesn’t come home by the end of the month, I’m going to hunt her down and find out what the hell is going on!

Are you intrigued? What with this and all the teasers I’ve been posting this week, you should be! Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it.

Now don’t forget to enter the fantastic giveaway, especially as you’ve seen all the wonderful prizes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don’t forget, the celebrate the launch, Heart Search: Lost, the first book in the trilogy is FREE today and tomorrow only on Kindle. Here’s the link: http://smarturl.it/HeartSearch-Lost Alternatively, you can just click on the cover in the side bar. So spread the word amongst your friends and get them to pick up a free copy quickly.

The Blog Tour starts today and I have four special things going on: Alison DeLuca unveils the first review of the book, Rachel Tsoumbakos has the first excerpt, Shaun Allen/Sin’s interview (they’ve really got a bacon fetish, let me tell you!), and last but not least Sarah-Jane Bird and I chat on her vlog with the tag of ‘Would you rather…’ (at least I think that’s what it was called). Anyway please show these people some love, visit their sites and share everywhere you can. (Please note: these wonderful people are in different time zones so if you can’t find the right post, just try again later)

Please come and join the Facebook launch party tonight from 7.30pm GMT as there will be goodies, games and prizes. I hope to see you there.

Catch you tomorrow!

 

 

 

Final Friday Teaser

This week seems to have gone so fast and I still have a long list of things I need to do before Heart Search: Betrayal goes live tomorrow and the launch with blog tour gets underway. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win one of those amazing prizes and if you’re free tomorrow, pop along to the launch party on Facebook. It begins at 7.30pm GMT and goes on until about 00.30am.

I’ll have a special treat for you all tomorrow, but for now here’s your final teaser from the last book in the Heart Search trilogy:

Photo courtesy of Etsi

Photo courtesy of Etsi

 

 

 

 

 

Exclusive Competition

Sometimes, naming characters is as easy as breathing. Mostly they jump into my head, fully formed, and their names just pop onto the page without a second thought. However, on occasions, minor players are harder to place. Whilst they have their parts to play, and some of them are quite integral to a certain section of the story, their formation isn’t always quite as complete as I’d like.

In Heart Search: Found, I have a character who needs naming so I decided to run an exclusive competition on my Facebook page. To enter, all you have to do is ‘like’ my page and come up with a name to suit the character, whose profile is shown on there. The winner will have the chosen name in my new book. To find out what else you can win, you’ll have to visit the page, but be quick – the competition ends midnight GMT tomorrow! Good luck.

Click this link to take you straight there:

http://www.facebook.com/CarlieMACullen

Oh, and before I forget, watch out for the cover reveal of the second book in the Heart Search trilogy – coming very soon to a blog near you. I’m also going to be looking for reviewers in the next couple of weeks so if you’re interested in showcasing the cover reveal, the book trailer &/or reviewing the book, please leave me a message below. I’m only looking for a certain number of people, so get your name down fast. Heart Search, book two: Found is nearly here!!

#AprilPrompts Day 18 – Betrayal

Betrayal can take many forms and has been the cause of numerous conflicts since biblical times, but this tale is very modern and a ‘double-whammy’.

Betrayal

Day 18 - Betrayal

Day 18 – Betrayal

Mel fired up the laptop and checked her timeline on Facebook. She had about an hour to kill before getting ready to meet Eliot, her boyfriend of two years, and fancied catching up with some friends.

As she scrolled down, a status update by her best friend, Cathy caught her eye. Staring at the screen in horror, Mel felt an icy chill roll down her spine.

Only two days earlier, Mel had tearfully confided in Cathy, telling her of an ‘indiscretion’ and how guilty she felt. It was a trite excuse, but in her case, true. She’d gone to a party with friends, but without Eliot who was out of town on business. Too many drinks later, and she found herself in bed with a cute guy she’d been dancing with. Mel hadn’t meant for it to happen – she adored Eliot and hoped he would propose soon.

Now, seeing her infidelity plastered all over Facebook, made her feel physically sick. What if Eliot saw it? Worse still was the betrayal committed by her so-called best friend. How could Cathy do this to her, humiliate her this way?

Mel’s phone bleeped. The text read “We’re through, you unfaithful bitch!”

Tears cascaded down her cheeks.

FB

Self-Marketing My Way

The third post to appear on the Heart Search Blog Tour was hosted by the lovely Maree Ward-Russell in New Zealand, home to the film sets of the fantastic Lord of the Rings films (among others, of course, but this series is probably the most famous one filmed in that lovely part of the world). Maree asked me to write about marketing tips and this is what I came up with.

Being an Indie published author means you have to do all your own marketing, right from day one and it’s a daunting task if you’ve never done anything like it before. Although I’ve done a great deal of marketing in my day jobs, marketing yourself online is a whole different story. However, some of the same general rules apply, which are:

1.         Word of mouth / recommendations are the best form of advertising

2.         All consumers (and books/e-books are no different) consciously or subconsciously have one thing in their minds when they see advertising – “what’s in it for me?”

3.         You need to create demand for your product

I’m going to start off with number three first (just to be different) as it’s what I’ve been trying to do for the last couple of months.

I’ve been talking about Heart Search a great deal on Twitter, Facebook and my blog. I’ve also had some really cheap but good quality postcards printed with the book cover on one side and on the reverse are the book blurb and my contact details. These have been handed to people during conversations – as soon as I find out they like to read they get the card shoved in their hands. Even during a recent trip to the hospital, I got chatting to some of the staff and ended up handing out about six cards and one said they would pin it on the staff notice board.

Secondly, I’ve been leaking teasers in advance of the book launch. About three or four weeks prior I revealed the cover and blurb and publicized it and two weeks before I revealed the book trailer, making sure I created anticipation with teasing blog posts leading up to it. But I haven’t done this alone. I decided, the best way to get a buzz going and get people to know about and talk about my book was to run a Blog Tour. I did this well in advance so the people who signed up could also participate in the pre-launch unveilings too.

Obviously, the more people who sign up, the more the word spreads and the more people get to hear about it. The majority of those who signed up for the tour, have also revealed the cover and trailer on their sites/blogs, and publicised it through social media channels. Now if we stop for a moment and think of reach, just from Twitter, let’s assume for a moment that every person who is on the blog tour has 1,000+ followers and there are twenty people of the tour, straight away you’ve reached twenty thousand people. Now if ten per cent of those twenty thousand retweeted the post(s), that has reached the followers of another two thousand people and so the cobweb or network grows of people who now know my book exists.

During the blog tour which is running from 8-31 October, there will be a minimum of two and a maximum of four different blog posts appearing every single day throughout the tour; reviews (which will be posted to Amazon and Goodreads as well), interviews, excerpts and guest posts like this one, plus a giveaway (and everyone loves to get something for nothing! Yes I’ve had to spend some money to put the giveaway together, but I believe it’s money well spent, especially if it has the desired effect of bringing my book to the attention of more people). Each posted blog item will be publicised and so the cobweb/network grows again.

*

Okay, let’s now look at number one – Word of Mouth/Recommendations. This is something I have little control over. If people love my book, they will tweet about it or share it on Facebook/other social media platforms and they will tell their friends. Hopefully, this will result in more sales. What I can do is use social media platforms to publicise good reviews. If someone gives me a five star review, you can bet I’ll be sharing it on all my social media sites and the more I get the more I’m going to share it. I’ll be taking a key phrase from a review which showcases the book at its best and tell everyone what this reviewer said – after all, a five star review is a recommendation and I have to capitalise on it!

If I get messages from people saying how much they enjoyed my book, I’m going to ask them politely if they would recommend it to their friends and maybe even write a review. A review doesn’t have to be 200 words long; it can be one or two sentences just saying something like “I loved this book and would recommend it to everyone” and ask them to give me a star rating. If you don’t ask, you don’t get, right?

*

Right, now let’s look at number two, which in some ways is the hardest. Everyone has different expectations from a book; some like lots of suspense, others like twists and turns, and some like lots of description so they can connect with the characters and scene. I have no way of knowing what people’s expectations are, what drives them toward a particular book so again reviews play a part in this. A well-written review is worth its weight in gold as it will usually say whether they loved the suspense/twists and turns/description, so by taking those phrases and publicising them, I’m going to be meeting the needs of those people who look for that particular characteristic.

The rest of this one is guesswork. I’m going to be picking out key sentences or phrases from the book which will address the main needs of the consumer and publicising them. I’ll be mixing them up so one day I’ll pick something descriptive, another day a little suspense and so on. One of those is going to strike a chord with someone who’ll be interested enough to want to look at the book blurb and then you have a potential sale.

*

I think networking plays a large part in getting your name and your book out to a wider audience. I have joined groups who are only interested in Fantasy and Paranormal. I’m making friends within those groups and publicising my book with them. Lo and behold, I begin to create another set of cobwebs within each group, just like with the Blog Tour.

I also think making myself accessible to my readership is very important. I will never turn away or ignore a reader who takes the time to contact me. If they’ve had enough faith in me to spend their hard-earned cash buying my book, the very least I can do is give them some of my time in return. In fact I’m seriously considering setting up a page on my website for that very purpose.

Finally, I will be running a few special offers and doing a little bit of advertising on those sites where I feel I’m going to get maximum exposure without it breaking the bank!

This ‘list’ is not exhaustive and I’m sure I’ll learn more as I progress, but I happen to think it’s a damn good place to start.

What are your thoughts on marketing? Have you got any marketing tips you’d like to share?