Friday, December 5, 2014

Holiday 'Round Up!

Hi Everyone!

I hope you're having a wonderful holiday season!

It gets all kinds of crazy, I know, but it's been a while, so I wanted to pop in and say hello. I actually go into more detail about where I disappeared to in my post On Writer's Block.

Basically, the majority of 2013, for me, was about getting a baby here instead of writing and book promoting. I had a super productive summer 2014, though, so I'm really excited about future projects.

It took a while to get back into a routine after the baby, but here are Four Things That Changed My Writing World in 2014. I followed this up with Five Ways to Turn "One Day" into "Today." If you're an aspiring writer (or aspiring anything), I hope this gets you thinking about your goals for 2015 and what you'd like to accomplish. 

In conjunction with those "Four Things," fellow indelible Susan Kaye Quinn posted an awesome blog about how to use Scrivener to organize your research and marketing. If you're a writer, you *must* read. I also still refer to her brainstorming post all the time.  

The Indelibles still have TONS of free books available, and Lee Strauss and I just released our holiday novellas. If you're in the mood for something seasonal, check out Peace and Goodwill and Once Upon a Christmas Eve.

Otherwise, I'm working on getting into the holiday spirit and "keeping it real." I'm really enjoying the posts over at Becoming Minimalist these last few weeks--especially the ones on clutter and not "overdoing" Christmas, and Nine Things That Shopping Can Never Deliver. It's so easy to get caught up in the rush this time of year.

So . . . I hope you'll take some time for YOU over the course of the next few weeks. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a hot cup of coffee (or hot chocolate!) and a good book.  

You deserve it! :D


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Indie ReCon LIVE! Vote For RaShelle's Pajamas

Have you taken part in the online conference Indie Recon? If not, you should. It's an amazing conference founded by S.R. Johannes and Ali Cross.

Coming October 10-11th, 2014 the first ever Indie ReCon LIVE! will be held in Sandy, Utah.

WHY IndieReCon LIVE?

Take control of your publishing career by discovering and enhancing the necessary skills to indie success.
You’ll learn from industry experts everything from building your own publishing team, navigating online vendors, packaging, marketing and everything in between.
Three education tracks means there’s something for the Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced indie author.


The only conference in North America dedicated to self-publishing, IndieReCon has two years of experience and credibility under its belt. In February of 2013 and 2014 we hosted the first online indie author conference with rousing success. The feedback and enthusiasm for what we had to offer proved to us there is a need for more excellent information on the ins and outs of self-publishing, so October 2014 will be our first LIVE conference.

Several of the classes that will be taught are by our very own Indelibles, including:

Psychology of Writing by Christine Fonseca
Beginning Formatting by Cheri Lasota
Making Your Book Signing Successful by Cindy Hogan
Interior Front and Back Matter by Elana Johnson
Advanced Formatting by Ali Cross
Full-Time Writing/Brainstorming by Chanda Hahn
Boxed Sets/Audio Books/Swags by Cindy Hogan & RaShelle Workman
Using Facebook for Marketing by Laura Howard
Basic Marketing by Leigh Talbert Moore

plus so many more.

And while the classes are going to be a wealth of knowledge the stuff after the classes is going to be a blast.

On Friday night Indie Recon LIVE! is hosting an *author/reader Pajama Rama party.

It'll be a place to meet, hang, eat, shake your booty to fantastic music (should you choose to) and get autographs from your favorite authors and meet some new ones. Since it's a pajama party I need help picking out a new pair of PJ's. Please vote: 

#1 Cotton blue and red plaid
#2 Satin with black hats
#3 Navy t-shirt & plaid pink, navy, white pants

On Saturday, we'll get a little more serious about our fun with the Howey's. It's an awards ceremony similar to the Oscar's but the winners will be self-published authors/books who've shown extraordinary excellence. Anyone can nominate their favorite. Click HERE to see the contests. 

And if you're a self-published author, please think about adding some swag to the Indie ReCon LIVE! swag bags. It's only $10 to be included and every attendee will receive a bag. 
Click HERE

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

AudaVoxx: for the audio book enthusiasts among us

Indelibles Author Cheri Lasota has launched an exciting new venture. One of the first of its kind--if not THE first--AudaVoxx is an email newsletter devoted to promotion and giveaways of Audible/iTunes audio books. If you're an audio book fan or an author/narrator/publisher looking to promote a title, read on...

Discover amazing audio books and enter to win FREE audio book coupons!

The inaugural editions of the free AudaVoxx Newsletter will be released on May 30th! We'd LOVE for you to try it out and see what you think.  

The AudaVoxx Email Newsletter brings together listeners, authors and narrators of audio books. Audio book listeners need quick, reliable sources for discovering audio books. Authors and narrators need a way to share news of their audio books and a platform to give away their promotional coupons. AudaVoxx serves both needs at once.

Listeners sign up to receive email newsletters based on the genres they like to listen to and authors and narrators now have an opportunity to reach their listeners in a way they never had before.

The idea is simple

    iPod Earbuds
  • Sign up for the audio book genres you love.
  • Receive a new edition featuring your favorite audio book genres via email every Friday.
  • In each edition, you'll discover new audio book possibilities and also enter giveaways for free audio books, if you like. Audible audio books are rarely on sale, so having a chance to win audio books from your favorite authors--NYT and USA Today Bestsellers have already signed up!--would be awesome, right?
  • Also learn about the accompanying e-book versions for some audio books. If you purchase the audio book you'll often receive a discount for the e-book and vice versa. And with Whispersync technology, you can switch seamlessly between the e-book and audio book for an immersive experience.
  • Learn more about the producers who narrate these great audio books with our Narrator Spotlights.
The newsletters available to sign up for are below (and you can change your subscription preferences at any time. 
  • Scifi & Fantasy
  • Romance
  • Nonfiction
  • General Fiction
  • Historical Fiction
  • Young Adult
  • Mysteries & Thrillers
AudibleSo if you've not listened to audio books before, you might be wondering what Audible is. It's the easiest way for folks to listen to audio books and for authors/publishers to create audio books. Via their free Audible app, you can listen to audio books on any smart phone, tablet, or computer. And you don't have to sign up for a monthly subscription in order to win a free audio book or buy the occasional audio book via AudaVoxx. Pretty cool!

Listeners: Sign up for the AudaVoxx Newsletter HERE. Happy listening!

Author, Narrators, and Publishers

A new way to share  

With companies like at the forefront of a popular trend, we can now listen to audio books anywhere on any device. There’s no better time to check out audio books!

Why promote your audio book titles, service or product, e-book, or coupon giveaway with us?

EqualizerThere are many e-book advertising services available online, but there are few if any services to help promote Audible audio books, audio book authors, or narrators. AudaVoxx fills this need and then some.

AudaVoxx Features

  • First come first serve for qualified Audio Books.
  • Audio Books are not required to be discounted.
  • Many ad types available: Top Banner Ads, Main Newsletter Ads, Sidebar Ads, and Bottom Banner Ads.
  • Our competitors in the e-book advertising market are upwards of $500. We want to make advertising your Audio Books extremely affordable, with prices starting at just $3!
  • Raffle your Audible Free Coupons to a larger audience than ever before.

Authors and Narrators: Learn more about AudaVoxx HERE.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Getting to Know Ali Cross!

Wow, it's my turn to introduce myself to you and I'm kind of nervous! Bear with me, while I clear my throat, shuffle my notes and say "um," and "uh," a lot.

So, I'm Ali Cross. I've published seven young adult/adult sci fi/fantasy books since December 2011. I've also published one sci fi adventure book for middle grade readers under the pen name Alex Banks.

I've tried a lot of things with my life from human resource management to professional opera performance to photography. Bless my husband's heart, he's always supported me in my adventures. But this one--this writing gig--has been the only one to stick.

I'm grateful for all that risk-taking and adventuring I did. My mom taught me that to truly live you had to take some risks and I know first-hand that had I not given myself permission to try new things I never would have found the work that has brought me the most happiness.

I've been writing since 2002 and I. Love. It. It brings me immeasurably joy--and I hope you can feel that in the stories I write.

The first books I published were in the Desolation series--a story about Desolation Black, the devil's  (aka Loki) daughter and her journey to find her own way.

In 2013 I released my first middle grade book, Jump Boys: SOS. I decided to publish it under the name Alex Banks because I wanted a safe and easy way for young readers to identify those books without confusing them with the darker, more grown up story lines of my ali cross books. (Oh, and when I write "ali cross", it's not a typo--I have a thing for the serif "a" and have built my brand on the lower case "ali cross".)

I've kind of farted around as an author and it's taken me a bit of time to get my act together. I'm not going to say I've figured it all out (I'm bound to have a spaz attack any second now!) but I expect to have an awesome 2014!

In January, I released my first audiobook--Become (Desolation Trilogy #1), narrated by the amazing actress Kelli Shane.

In February I released my first non-Desolation book, Blood Crown. I can't tell you how excited I am about that!

And there's so much more to come! You can expect more Desolation audiobooks, at least two new middle grade stories (I'm dying to tell you about these! But . . . not yet!), a new YA dystopian serial called Children of the Gods, and my first YA contemporary romance. I'm trying it all (remember what I said about taking risks?) and working very hard!
But March is all about Blood Crown,
a sci fi romance--with a Cinderella twist!

Androids have claimed power over what remains of the human race. They rule without remorse. They are the Mind and humans exist only to serve them.

But it wasn't always so.
Before the android uprising, select droids, called Servants, were pivotal in engineering a new human race with nanotechnology enhanced DNA. The Blood Crown theorem was to be humanity's crowning glory and the key to their survival in deep space.
But Serantha, Daughter of the West, was the last female to receive Gifts from her Servant and when the Mind mutinied, she was hidden away, and presumed dead.
Without Serantha there is no hope of the Blood Crown being realized so Nicolai, Son of the East, abandons his crown to join the rebel forces. He might not provide the future for his people he had once dreamed of, but he will not go down without a fight.
When Nicolai discovers Sera among a small compliment of kitchen staff, everything changes--but Sera's Gifts were never completed and she is ill-equipped to face a legion of androids determined to wipe her, and every other human, out of existence.
Their only hope is the Blood Crown--but even if Serantha and Nicolai can realize their potential it may be too late to save mankind.

I am pretty much in love with this book, and with the series as I envision it--I hope you will enjoy it, too!

You can buy Blood Crown at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and iTunes. And if you want to save it for later, you can add it to your Goodreads list here.

I've chatted your ear off! If I haven't lost you yet, I hope you'll consider signing up for my newsletter. I promise not to spam you and only email you when I have real news to share. Also, to thank you, I'd like to give you any one of my Desolation books for free. Just sign up for my newsletter and choose which book you'd like to read--for free!

<3 ali
Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Indie Life and Perseverance in 2014.

Indie Life has been a wonderful chance for indie authors to post about indie life, find each other, offer support, encouragement, news, helpful hints, and anything else that makes life as an indie author a little easier.

2014 has definitely brought changes to the Indie/self publishing scene. What worked in 2012 does not work in 2014. The impression I’ve gotten from authors and professionals is that this is the year of testing, and it’s all about perseverance.

Do you agree? Disagree?

That being said, the Indelibles are streamlining their efforts in social media as we are all busy writing and publishing. We will be blogging less. And, unfortunately, this will be the last Indie Life post.

As many of you already do, we suggest signing up for Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group. You can sign up here. And like the Facebook community too.

As a farewell, I’ll add one more thing to encourage you all. If I’ve observed one thing it's don’t compare yourself to other authors because there are always authors selling better and then there are authors who would kill for your level of sales. And I would venture to say that this goes for all publishing, regardless of whether you self publish or go traditional.

Best of luck, Indie Lifers!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Indie Life - The newsletter and a cool brainstorming app.

What is Indie Life?
How: Sign up on the Linky at the bottom of this page
When: Post on the second Wednesday of the month (starting 1/9/2013)
What: Write anything indie related: something that will inspire or help a fellow indie; something that celebrates a release or a milestone; something that talks about the ups and downs, joys and heartaches of Being Indie.
Grab: The banner below to include in your posts!

Because being Indie doesn't have to mean going it alone.

Hello Indie Lifers! 

1. Welcome to another month of learning and sharing along with other Indie authors. Maybe some of you don't know it but we started a newsletter that goes out the weekend before Indie Life has a reminder. I also try and include a post that struck a chord with me or helpful links! So if you haven't joined it's the time!

**If you'd like a monthly reminder please sign up for the Indie Life Newsletter!**

2. While shopping for a sketching app on my iPad for my son, I decided to search for writing apps - big mistake! There are so many cool ones out there. I wanted to share the one I did choose for brainstorming purposes. It's called Mindmeister and I love it. It's creating a visual map but I can also add notes and branch off just as if I were using a pencil and paper.

Check out the Mindmeister app.

Have you signed up for the Indie Life newsletter yet? Do you have any cool writerly apps that you love?

Monday, January 6, 2014

What is a Stand Alone Series?

Everyone is familiar with the book series: Twight, Harry Potter, Pretty Little Liars, for example. These types of series involve the same set of characters, the same setting and often complete a story arc from book 1 to the final book. Some like Pretty Little Liars can go indefinitely but usually revolve around the lives of a set of characters introduced in the first book.

But there's a new kid on the series block. (Okay, I don't know if it's new, but it's fairly new to me.) The "series" that is basically stand alone books linked by overlapping characters and settings.

Some authors are finding huge success with this type of series. Belle Andre is probably the leader in this category, with her ongoing Sullivan family series. Each book features a new Sullivan family member and each is a complete story on its own. Belle Andre was recently interviewed by Bookbub and is worth reading (link).

Other authors finding success writing linking stand alone books are Melinda Leigh and her She Can Series(link) (romantic thriller/suspense), and Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss).

More readers are turning to companion book series because they find they're suffering from series fatigue - a malady resulting from the recent onslaught of series and trilogies where one has to read on and on and on to get to the end of the story arc.

The other side of this is the stand-alone book, which can provide a quicker resolution to the story, but readers often loath saying good-bye to characters and new worlds they've spent several hours investing in.

The companion books series is a reasonable answer to both issues. Story arcs resolved without having to say goodbye completely.

This is a perfect scenario for me as a writer. I don't have what it takes to write an on-going series (believe me I've tried and three books for one story is the most I've got in me.) But I do like to spring board off of characters and settings I've already established, because I also get attached! :)

This is why I'm loving my new project so much. It's a series of stand alone books set in the singer-songwriter world, a world I'm familiar with after being married to one for almost 27 years.

So let me introduce THE MINSTREL SERIES.  And don't miss out on entering the contest at the end!

Sun & Moon by Lee Strauss
(Book One in the Minstrel Series)

Coming January 26th!

If you’re a fan of the movie Inside Llewyn Davis, ABC television’s Nashville or Colleen Hoover’s upcoming novel, "Maybe Someday", the Minstrel Series is for you!

The Minstrel Series is a collection of contemporary romance novels set in the singer/songwriter world. The books are companion novels, with shared settings and characters, but each are complete standalone stories with a HEA (happily ever after) and no cliffhangers!

She has a past. He has a secret.
Katja Stoltz is a risk-taking singer-songwriter hoping to make it in the indie music scene in Dresden, Germany. Micah Sturm's a brooding uptown banker on a quest.

Driven to the streets, Katja is picked up by Micah - but he doesn't want what she thinks he does.

There’s an undeniable attraction between them, a gravitational pull they both struggle to resist. Katja knows she mustn’t fall in love with this handsome enigma. There’s something dark lurking beneath the surface. He could be dangerous.

And even if her life isn’t on the line, her heart most definitely is.

*not erotica - no explicit sex or coarse language

This series is an exciting collaboration between Lee Strauss as an Indie Author and several very talented Indie Singer-Songwriters. Four original songs produced by Norm Strauss(link) are featured in Sun & Moon and are performed by award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter KimMcMechan(link). MP3 links are included at the end.

Check out the music video!

All the songs from the Minstrel Series can be found at Bandcamp (link)

The Minstrel Series also has its own Facebook page(link). Go Like it to follow all the upcoming Minstrel Series news!

Pre- orders now available at the pre-release price of 2.99! (price goes up after launch)

itunes | kobo | Barnes & Noble

Lee is giving away prizes to celebrate the upcoming launch of Sun & Moon

Enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card, MP3s of all four songs featured on Sun & Moon, and a 12 month calendar from Dresden, Germany featuring many of the settings found in Sun & Moon.

Dresden, Germany

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 3, 2014

15 Winter Reads Box Set - an INSANE deal

That's right! FOR TWO WEEKS ONLY the Indelibles has put together an incredible set of fifteen complete best-selling novels by Indelibles authors including Addison Moore, Susan Kaye Quinn, RaShelle Workman, Chanda Hahn, Magan Vernon, Laura Pauling, Elle Strauss, LM Preston and more! As if the deal couldn't get any better, the Indelibles is offering this limited-edition for an even-more amazing price:
That's right. For less than a cup of your favorite coffee you can get fifteen full-length YA novels to feed those readers you got for the Holidays. The deal is only good until 1/11/14, so get your copy TODAY! 
So,Sit back, relax in your favorite reading chair and enjoy 15 Winter Reads from 15 bestselling YA authors. 
There is something to delight every reader in this box set - paranormal romance, futuristic sci-fi, historical, time travel, and contemporary. 15 Winter Reads includes: The Iron Butterfly by Chanda Hahn: Escaping an experimental prison, Thalia tries to hide her past and her gifts, from her friends. But her past isn't always easy to escape, especially when it hunts you down.

Tremble (Celestra Series) by Addison Moore: Sixteen year-old, Skyla Messenger is a dead girl walking. When her newly remarried mother moves the family to Paragon Island, to a house that is rumored to be haunted, Skyla finds refuge in Logan Oliver, a boy who shares her unique ability to read minds.

Exiled by RaShelle Workman: Venus wakes to find herself no longer on her home planet of Kelari, but on Earth with a week to get back or she'll die.

Dragonfly by Leigh Talbert Moore: Gossip Girl meets VC Andrews in this contemporary family saga. Love, lies, and betrayal become the new normal when Anna enters the world of Jack and Lucy Kyser.

Open Minds and Closed Hearts by Susan Kaye Quinn: When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.

Untraceable by S.R. Johannes: When Grace's forest ranger dad disappears on patrol, she fights town authorities, tribal officials, & nature to prove he's alive. Torn between a new hot boy and cute ex, she heads into the wilderness to find her dad. Soon, she is caught in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder.

How to Date an Alien and How to Break Up With an Alien by Magan Vernon: Alex Bianchi takes an internship at an alien operations center to pad her college applications but doesn't plan on falling in love with one of its residents. But as Alex's senior year progresses, everything changes and she can't figure out if it is interstellar or if it is just time to break up with an alien.

Flutter of Luv by L.M. Preston: Dawn, the neighborhood tomboy, is happy to be her best friend's shadow. Acceptance comes from playing football after school with the guys on the block while hiding safely behind her glasses, braces, and boyish ways. But Tony moves in, becomes the star Running Back on her school's football team, and changes her world and her view of herself forever.

Watched by Cindy M. Hogan: It takes more than a school trip to change Christy's life. It takes murder.

Clockwise and Clockwiser by Elle Strauss: A follow up to Clockwise, Casey and Nate travel back in time and race against the clock to rescue Casey's rebellious brother Tim from frontline battle in America's civil war.

Glimpse (Zellie Wells #1) and Glimmer (Zellie Wells #2) by Stacey Wallace Benefiel: While working together to figure out what their shared vision means, Zellie discovers that Benjamin is a worthy friend and mentor. If only he could keep his hands off of her - if only she wanted him to...

A Spy Like Me by Laura Pauling: After dodging bullets on a first date, Savvy must decide how far she'll go to protect the ones she loves.

Grasping At Eternity by Karen Amanda Hooper: An eternal soul mate, a supernatural family who has known her for centuries, and lifetimes of erased memories: this is Maryah Woodsen's life. She just doesn't know it yet.
Lacrimosa by Christine Fonseca: In the world of angels and demons, one thing is clear - some sacrifices should never be made. Even for love.

The Secret of Spruce Knoll by Heather McCorkle: The town of Spruce Knoll hides many secrets--and many dangers, among them are that the untimely death of Eren's parents was no accident and that she is far more than she realizes.
 So pick up this beauty between now and January 11 at these retailers:
  Barnes and Noble
And enjoy all of the wonderful reading you'll be doing as you ring in 2014!