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!