The Benefits of Blogging, Social Media and Facebook Parties!

I remember when, probably at least fifteen or twenty years ago, a former agent told me I should create a blog.

BLOG? What a weird word. I wonder who invented it. I had no idea what she was talking about and I never did anything with the idea – was still new to just using a computer and the programs for writing books. I had just registered an e-mail account, knew nothing about web sites and blogging, and things like Facebook weren’t even born yet. I knew nothing about the internet and figured e-mail was handy but I’d never go any farther than that.

Then a friend I met through her husband, who helped fix my computer glitches, offered to develop a web site for me. I fought the idea for a while. I finally agreed, and my Website is now HUGE! I get so many visitors from all over the world. It’s a wonderful way to inform readers about my books without me spending money mailing out newsletters, which in turn could never reach as many people as my web site does. My web site designer is Michelle Crean at At any rate, I thought e-mail and a web site were all I needed. I was off and running in the internet world.

When eBooks were talked about and still nothing big, that was another internet baby I thought would never go anywhere. I wanted nothing to do with books you couldn’t hold in your hand. I never dreamed readers would actually go for something like that. I felt I wasn’t a "real" writer if I was published in eBook form. While I was contemplating the value of eBooks, along came Facebook, and again, I wasn’t sure something like that could help my career. I thought it was invasive, too personal, a bit like inviting the whole world into your house. I was actually a little afraid of it.

Well, gradually I saw the advantages of Facebook over e-mail. You can post pictures and ads and reach complete strangers you don’t reach with e-mail. I saw that it could be a great way to find readers who had never heard of me. Then I found someone who could help me with Facebook - (my wonderful publicity pro, Florence Price, who is a member of my local RWA Chapter, Mid-Michigan Romance Writers of America). She’s great at publicity, so if you need help in that respect, you can contact Florence at The Novel Difference. Florence set up my Facebook page, and it took me a while to learn how to use it, but it wasn’t long before I saw the value of being on Facebook.

In the meantime, my agent (also great at her job – Maura Kye Casella at the Don Congdon Agency in NYC) found a publisher – Diversion Books – that was interested in reissuing a slew of my older titles in eBook form, while my print publisher was doing the same with my newer books. Low and behold, my eBooks began selling like hotcakes on Amazon, and things just took off from there. The internet has revived my entire writing career!

That brings me back to blogging, the last thing I became involved with – that strange word I thought was kind of silly. Florence helped me develop this blog – and I started to learn how much blogging can also help spread the word about my writing. I continue to be surprised and a bit overwhelmed at how many blog sites there are now – personal ones, professional ones, blogs for writers, blogs for readers, blogs for cooks, blogs for shoppers … the list is endless. It’s blogging that spread the word about my writing probably more than any other avenue I’ve used. And on blogs you can get even more personal – answer specific questions – and you can share new publications on other author’s blogs and open the door to reaching their readers while they in turn reach mine.

So, here I am "blogging," something I once never dreamed I would do. This 72-year-old writer still remembers writing her first book on a manual typewriter and remembers the only way to contact others was with a phone or a hand-written letter, which could take days to be delivered compared to the split second it takes for an e-mail or a Facebook message or a blog to reach the whole world!

I know there are even more avenues, like Instagram and Twitter and many more, but I need time to WRITE! So it’s impossible to keep up with all of it. I do use Twitter, but not much, and I don’t understand Instagram. I have just touched the surface of this internet world, but it’s been enough to see a huge upswing in my sales compared to only five or six years ago. My publisher now sends me questions to answer for numerous bloggers I don’t even know about, whom they contact when I have a new book coming out. Florence does the same and helps me with my Facebook parties for new publications, which leads me to the second topic of this blog.

August 31st we will celebrate the publication of my 66th novel, which is the fourth book in my Outlaw Hearts Series, by throwing a Facebook Party! The book is called THE LAST OUTLAW and will be published by Sourcebooks September 5, 2017. The book received a great review and a star from Publisher’s Weekly (a great accomplishment) - and national magazine Romantic Times made the book a top-pick for September. I absolutely love the story. This one could very well be the most emotional story of all four, and believe me, all the stories are packed with emotion. Romantic Times calls me an "emotional powerhouse." This particular story shows the personal inner growth of the hero, Jake Harkner, whose cruel childhood has haunted him his whole life and is the source of just about every decision Jake makes, and the source of the way he reacts to any kind of threat to his family. In THE LAST OUTLAW, Jake finally faces his past in a literal way. It’s a truly beautiful story I know readers will love.

So, come join me August 31st on Facebook! I’m giving away lots of prizes, including free books and a $50 Amazon gift certificate, as well as a "surprise" gift to the top winner of a contest I am sponsoring that day. You will have to answer questions about characters and events from the first three Outlaw books (OUTLAW HEARTS, DO NOT FORSAKE ME and LOVE’S SWEET REVENGE.) You will want to go back through and review those books before the 31st. You might find the answers to some of my questions, and you will refresh yourselves on all that has happened leading up to #4, THE LAST OUTLAW. I’ll "visit" with all of you August 31st on Facebook! Happy reading!

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True Love Never Dies

Times have changed, and the old Wild West is a thing of the past. Nestled in his beautiful Colorado ranch, surrounded by family, infamous former outlaw Jake Harkner's hung up his guns for good and finally found a measure of peace—but dark memories haunt the woman who has always been his strength, and not even Jake is certain he can save his beloved Miranda this time.

All he can do is swear to remain by her side. But it takes more than a hope for peace to outrun a past defined by violence, and it isn't long before Jake is embroiled in a rescue mission he simply can't refuse. Life has brought him back full circle as he rides into Mexico to save a young girl from a dreadful fate...leaving Miranda behind one final time, fearing that the man she loves more than anything is destined to die the way he's always lived—by the gun.

The Outlaw Hearts Series



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