Easter Freebies and a Makeover!

I am off work today and I bet many of you are as well. So to help ease us into the holiday weekend, I thought I’d share with you some books that are free now and throughout the weekend from my friends over in the Indie Author Group.  (Although I am including the free days here, be sure to check that before you click to the “buy” button.) Happy Reading!

Valerie Douglas –Dirty Politics , Song of the Fairy Queen , and Nike’s Wings  Thurs 5th – Sat 7th

Stephen H. King – Cataclysm: Return of the Gods– Friday and Saturday, April 6 and 7. Blog: http://theotherstephenkingonwriting.blogspot.com

Kelly Rimmer – Suspending Reality – – Thursday 5th – Sunday 8th

Sarah Barnard – Earthlink: Impact –  (UK) (US) Free from Friday 6th April through Monday 9th April. Blog: http://sarahbarnard.co.uk

Elena DeRosa – The Valentine’s Day Curse Saturday, April 7th – http://MsElenaeousRants.blogspot.com

Candy Ann Little – The Unwilling Bride  – Saturday April 7th

And a special treat: Edge of Shadows is free TODAY ONLY as well in celebration of its makeover!  I am in love with this new cover and I think it really showcases better what Edge of Shadows is all about.  Pick up your copy here.

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The Anatomy of Sequel

Ever since I released Edge of Shadows, I’ve had readers asking when the sequel was going to be available. As an author, that is truly one of the best compliments in the world. Not only did someone read my book and liked it, but they want MORE.  Sweet.

At the time, I already had the first draft of The Soul Garden complete, and was halfway through Heiress of Lies so it didn’t make sense to stop midstream and go back to take a look at where Ellie and David’s path was going to lead them next. And I have always intended to start work on the first installment of the Purgatory series before the EoS sequel.

But as I’ve started sketching out and writing the first opening scenes to Purgatory, a strange thing started to happen. There was a little voice in the back of my head that questioned my decision to plow ahead on another new series. Was this move going to annoy and irate my fans? Probably the biggest reason that I gave some validation to that voice was because new fans were starting to read Heiress of Lies, and starting to ask about that sequel.

Hmmm.

Not surprisingly, I hit a roadblock with Purgatory. The words weren’t flowing, and I wasn’t happy with what I wrote. So I started over again with a new angle and still I got stuck rather quickly. After journaling a lot, it didn’t take me long to realize that my head and my creative spirit were out of alignment.

It has always been my intention to have the next installments for all 4 series out by the end of the year. (Despite late nights and sore fingers.) But until I got my head on straight, I was going nowhere fast and that in and of itself just won’t do.

I had to make a decision.

Edge of Shadows fans can rejoice, because the sequel is cooking as we speak! Once I gave myself permission to start thinking about Ellie and David again, things started falling into place pretty quickly. And I have to say, I got pretty excited about it.

I have a lot of people ask me questions about my characters and the plot and particularly about what’s coming up next. Honestly, that’s always been fuzzy to me too. There are a lot of loose ends that need to be addressed, and sometimes trying to tie those up have resulted in more questions that I feel like I will need to answer.

I am a pantster type writer as opposed to a planner. And contemplating a sequel requires a certain amount of planning. The main ingredients of your story (your main characters) have already been established. Even though you are putting them into a new situation or period of time, there is a structural framework that you established in the previous book that has to be honored. Because it’s what you did in the first book that made people want more.

So for those of you who want to know what’s up next in the Edge of Shadows sequel, and without giving any too much of a spoiler for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, this is what I know for certain:

  • It will be told again from both Ellie and David’s point of view
  • The house is as much a focal point as it was before, and you’ll learn a lot more about it.
  • From a supporting cast standpoint, Jeffrey will definitely return.
  • Things are going to get a lot darker.

That’s what I know. The rest is up for grabs. But what I have planned (I think) is pretty spectacular. I don’t know yet if this is going to be just a sequel, or if the story will continue into a third book to make this a trilogy. Guess I’ll find out soon enough.

Hopefully this is some happy news for my fans out there. And don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or drop me an email at cege@cegesmith.com with any specific questions you may have. I’ll try to answer all of them, assuming I have the answer. 🙂

Photo credit: Jayneandd

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CG News: January Wrap-Up

January was quite a month in the Cege Smith universe. I made a big decision and decided to enroll Edge of Shadows into Amazon’s KDP Select program. (If you have no idea what that is, google it because there just isn’t enough time in the day to go through all of the opinions, rants, outrage, and support that this program has generated in the indie writing community and I won’t be able to do it justice.)

In any case, net net of that decision was that EOS is exclusive with Amazon until mid-April. Ultimately, I felt like this was a good decision for me because it wasn’t getting a lot of traction through any other distribution channel. And by enrolling in the program, Amazon gives authors 5 “promo” days where you can set your book for free. If you are wondering why that’s attractive- it helps boost your overall rankings in the Amazon store which in turn makes you more visible to potential readers.

EOS went free Jan. 21-22nd and the results were nothing less than astounding:

10,500 downloads in 48 hours

Let’s just sit with that number for a little bit…

That kind of exposure money can’t buy. If even a 1% of those people read EOS then I have (hopefully) gained visibility of 105 new readers who, if they liked the book, will return to buy more. This is good stuff!

I also received 2 new reviews for EOS, and was interviewed on two blogs in January:

Were Vamps Romance (includes a review of EOS)

Book Bags and Cat Naps

I had a pretty grueling end of the month with the “day job” and traveled all over the U.S. for 2 consecutive weeks.  Despite that severe restriction of time, I was able to finalize my manuscript for Heiress of Lies (formerly titled Angeline’s Quest) which I expect to release the week of Valentine’s Day.

Whew- seems like a lot. But things are only going to pick up from here!  I’m going to make “CG News” a regular feature for anyone who is looking to keep up to date on what I’m up to.

And as always, THANK YOU for your support. The Cege Smith Universe wouldn’t exist without you, Dear Reader.

Top photo credit: Neeta Lind

Heiress of Lies cover design: Scarlett Rugers

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You asked for it- You Got It!!

I have been overwhelmed by the amount of love, support, and encouragement I’ve received from my little tribe of fans over the last week.  I know that I still have a long way to go in my writing journey and a lot still to learn, but the feedback I’ve received is making all of it so worth it!

By far the most popular question I’ve gotten so far though is: Where can I get a physical copy of the book?

I admit this surprised me.  With ebook sales exploding and everyone diving into the tablet market, I thought for sure my digital versions would be the most common request.  That may be the case soon, but as of right now, people want the paperback!

So I am delighted to share that the paperback version is now available on Amazon!!

But I wanted to do a little something special with the holidays right around the corner, knowing that you may be purchasing a book for someone special on your list. So I’m offering:

FREE Shipping for Autographed Paperbacks!!!

Here’s the deal.  From now until 12/2 you can buy as many autographed copies from me (for the same $9.99 price that you would pay on Amazon) as you want and I’ll ship them to you for FREE.  Here’s what to do:

  1. Send me an email at cege@cegesmith.com with the subject line: HOLIDAY OFFER.
  2. Include your name, shipping address, # of copies, if you want any personalized autographed copies (e.g. “Please sign the book to my grandma Rose”), and your preferred Paypal email address if different than that email address you are sending from.
  3. I will send you a Paypal invoice once I receive your order for you to complete the transaction. ($9.99 x # of copies ordered)
  4. I will be placing my inventory order on 12/3 and will be shipping the copies out no later than 12/10 to ensure a timely pre-Christmas arrival.  (Depending on demand, I may place 2 orders so you may get it sooner.)

That’s it!  It’s that simple.   And don’t forget that if you just want to purchase a regular paperback copy, you can do that now on Amazon.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

Thank you and Happy Shopping!!

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Edge of Shadows is now available!

It’s hard to believe that today has finally arrived!  After weeks of planning and years of preparation, Edge of Shadows is finally published and available to readers.

Often accomplishments like this feel like they take an army to make happen, and so there are a few people that I definitely need to recognize who helped me get to this place today.

This first is Christine LaPorte, who took on the task of editing my manuscript.  Even when you feel like you’ve scrubbed the words a thousand times, there is still room for improvement. Christine worked with my deadline and delivered my manuscript full of suggestions and tweaks to make my story stronger.  Hopefully the quality shows through to anyone who reads the book.

Second is Scarlett Rugers, who designed the book covers for both the ebook and the upcoming print version.  Scarlett was responsive and inquisitive and gave me some great concept ideas right out of the gate for me to consider.  I think the final product is beautiful and will hopefully catch the eye of browsing potential readers online.

Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank my husband Jason for giving me the freedom and latitude to make publishing this book a reality.  He was always there to give me a different perspective or advice as I agonized over some of the big decisions, and I know that I couldn’t have done this without him.

Things are going to start being a lot busier on the blog in the coming weeks as I start promoting not only my book but work of fellow authors that I think would be interesting to my readers as well.  Along the way I will sprinkle in more Edge of Shadows news and lessons I’m learning from the self-publishing trenches.

If you are interesting in purchasing your own copy of Edge of Shadows, just click the