Attention Authors: Judge A Book By Its Cover Closes Soon

That's right. This year's JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER CONTEST 2017 (JABBIC), sponsored by Houston Bay Area Chapter of RWA, closes in 7 days. Have you entered yet?

This is JABBIC's 13th year as the biggest, best book cover contest around! Enter your cover and be seen by booksellers and readers alike!

Your covers will be judged by booksellers around the world, and the winning cover in each category will be featured in a full-page color ad on the inside front cover of the April 2018 Romance Writers Report, the official publication of Romance Writers of America, as well as on our web site.

Even if you don't win, there's still a benefit for you. Your book cover will be seen by thousands of romance readers, other romance writers, and the judges. Since art is subjective, your cover may be the favorite of many who will be interested in your book simply from viewing the cover! That's because while the booksellers are judging, JABBIC opens the Reader's Choice portion of the contest. That's when the public gets to look at the covers.

The Reader’s Choice Winners from each category will be featured on the Houston Bay Area Romance Writers of America web site. Each year thousands of readers log on to view and vote for the JABBIC 2016 covers during the Reader's Choice portion of the contest!




Entry Deadline: Entries must be received by January 15, 2018

Entry Fee: $15

Eligibility: Published in 2017

Enter: The cover of your book, novella, short story or anthology published by a traditional house, self-published, ePublisher, or POD during 2017

Entry Format: Electronic files (JPG or GIF) only

Categories: Contemporary Romance, Historical, Romantic Suspense, Science Fiction, Sexiest Cover, Fantasy/Paranormal, Young Adult, and Inspirational

Judges: Booksellers around the world

Top Prize: Winners will be featured in a full-page color ad on the inside front cover of the April 2018 Romance Writers Report

For more information, entry form and rules, visit the Contest Website or contact Contest Coordinator Leslie Marshman at judgeabook @ hbarwa dot com (be sure and adjust URL).

Takeaway Truth

Winning this prestigious contest is a feather in any author's cap so enter today.

Writers, Make This Your 2018 Mantra

I love writing, but there's a vast difference between writing and publishing.

We who write and hope to make a living doing that often feel as if we're treading water--barely keeping ourselves from drowning in this huge sea of millions of books as we compete for a reader's attention.

It's easy to yield to the feeling that you'll never make enough to pay the electric bill much less make a living at this. That's a terribly depressing thought.

When I find myself thinking negatively, I make a conscious effort to stop it. Immediately. I think it's too easy for negativity to invade your thoughts and discouragement immediately follows.

I'd like to give you some ideas or truths that I wrote back when I started this. You may have heard all these before from different people, but I encourage you to read this again, print it out in a huge font. Make a poster of it and hang it where you can see it every single day.

Internalize these thoughts. Make them your Writing Mantra, not just for 2018, but for the rest of your career. I have.

My Mantra

Ebooks are forever because shelf space is infinite.

You'll always be selling once you're published and your ebook stays available.

Ebooks are here to stay.

Ebooks AND print books will always be in demand as long as people have the desire to read.

Ebooks are global. There are more than 50 countries where your ebooks can be sold when you distribute through Apple via one of the aggregators like Smashwords or Draft2Digital. A few here and a few there can add up to some nice sales.

Sales fluctuate. Get used to it. Christmas sales can be huge; middle of summer sales can be discouraging. New books can hit big--so can old books.

Being an ebook writer/publisher is a marathon, not a 100 meter sprint.

I’m a writer, and I’m in this until the day I die.

As long as I continue to write good books, I’ll find readers.

Takeaway Truth

Smile and remember to enjoy the journey.

Sign up for my Mailing List and be the first to know about new books and giveaways, plus, you'll receive a free ebook just for joining.

Review: Christmas in Eastport by Susan R. Hughes

I've been catching up on my reading and thought I'd post reviews as I read.

Actually, today's review is for a book I read back in November when it was first published. I posted a review for it on Amazon, but they didn't publish it.

I don't know if that's because I'm in the U.S., and the book was published in Amazon Canada--although that shouldn't matter.

In the hundreds of reviews I've posted to Amazon over the years, this is the first time that has happened. So I thought I'd post the review again here.

Christmas in Eastport by Susan R. Hughes

I love just about anything by Ms. Hughes. I keep raving about her Christmas romances because they're topnotch--Hallmark should be knocking on her door for story ideas.

Susan R. Hughes has a way with characters. She creates flawed people, but at the same time she makes them people we understand and subsequently root for.

In Christmas in Eastport, her latest Christmas romance, Carly Nolan is living a life that's out of control. She's unhappy, and it shows. When she reluctantly returns to her hometown, she runs into her first love.

Just when you think this is going to be a quick happily-ever-after story, the author turns the tables on you. Carly and Mitch must work for that HEA--just the way real people must.

If you're a fan of New Adult fiction, you'll love this book. If you're a romance reader, you'll love it too.

Takeaway Truth

This edgy romance is only 99 cents so get Christmas in Eastport today.

Make Minutes Matter

I usually post a New Year message, but this year I'm getting a slow start.

As each year draws to a close, I always look back--often wondering where those 365 days went.

That leads me to analyzing how I spent my time. Time, like money, is a commodity we all have so I try to determine if I received value in return for the time I invested in various activities.

I recommend you do the same. Analyze how you spent the days, weeks, and months of the past year. Was your time spent wisely?

If you're not happy with what you find, make a plan now to do things differently. In fact, figure out what didn't work last year. Make notes. Write down what you want out of life this year.

Notice I didn't say set goals? Goals have a rep for being impossible to keep. So just write down what you want. In fact, write it down and create a campaign as carefully as the Allied Forces planned D-Day.

Points To Consider

1. Know exactly what you want.

2. Know what it takes in terms of time commitment to achieve what you want.

3. Know what you need to learn in order to attain what you want.

4. Know what you may have to sacrifice to get what you want.

5. Know the steps you need to take to get from where you are now to where you want to be.

How To Break Down the Steps

1. If you want to achieve something by the end of the year, then what do you need to do each month to make that happen?

2. What do you need to do each week to achieve the monthly step?

3. What do you need to do each day to achieve the weekly step?

4. Every day, ask yourself 2 questions. What do I want to achieve this year? What do I need to do today to make that happen?

Every day, do at least 1 thing--no matter how small--to work toward achieving your year-end big thing, regardless of what it may be.

Takeaway Truth

You can increase your wealth, dollar by dollar, but you can’t ever add more minutes to your day. Always spend your minutes wisely.

Happy New Year 2018

I crawled to the computer to post this. The Reeves household started the New Year sick. Yep. Both of us.

I wanted to wish the rest of the world peace, prosperity, good health, and happiness in 2018.

We'll be pursuing those worthwhile goals too. As soon as we recover from sinus infection, bronchitis, and upper respiratory illness.

In the meantime, be sure and shop the book specials posted in December.

Santa's Book Shop: Ebooks by bestselling authors.

Celebrate Boxing Day: Box Sets by some of the most popular authors around.

Just check the price on the ebook's webpage to make sure it's still at the price listed in the holiday posts.

Takeaway Truth

Happy New Year!

Celebrate Boxing Day 2017

What is Boxing Day?

Boxing Day, celebrated mostly by the United Kingdom and Commonwealth nations, is a holiday on the day after Christmas.

I guess you could say I've adopted boxing day because--let's be honest--I sometimes have a problem getting presents sent on time. In fact, when I finish writing this post, I'll be writing my Christmas newsletter for family and friends and addressing Christmas cards. (Maybe I should just call them New Year cards?)

Boxing Day Perfect for Readers

I think this day after Christmas holiday is perfect for readers who want to fill the Kindles received as Christmas gifts. So this post containing bargain book box sets will help you load your Kindle at a rock-bottom price.

Box sets, collection of several novels, novellas, or short stories, usually feature bestselling authors, and the price for the box set is often only $0.99. These sets are designed to introduce new readers to the authors' works. You can be adventuresome and try new genres and authors for very little money.

No Ereader Device Needed But If You Have One...

In this world of ebooks, you don't even need a dedicated device to read a digital book. You can download the Amazon Kindle app and read on a tablet like a Kindle Fire or on your cell phone, laptop, etc.

If you did receive a Kindle as a Christmas present, congratulations! You'll love it. Just load it with dozens of books and drop it in your purse whenever you leave the house. Read something you love while standing in lines, riding as a passenger, or relaxing at home. It's great for reading in bed at night.

What's so great about all these bargain ebooks is that you can give as presents for any special occasion. Give a few of these to your family and friends who read. You can give an ebook even if you don't know the email address your recipient uses on Amazon.

Stay away from those crowded after Christmas sales. Get a nice cup of cocoa or tea--or even a glass of wine--and put your feet up, relax, and let me tell you how easy it is to give an ebook.

Click to enlarge Image
How To Give Ebooks from Amazon

To give a free ebook, copy the link and send it to your friend or just click to get it for yourself.

To purchase any of these box sets of ebooks as gifts, all you need to do is click the embedded link for the book that takes you to the book page.

Click to GIVE AS A GIFT and fill in the form as shown to the left. (Click the image to enlarge it.)

If you do not know your recipient's address, click to buy and a gift email will be sent to you. Then you can forward it to the recipient by email or print it out and give it in person. They can then go to Amazon and claim their gift.

Enjoy browsing these books put on sale just for you. Call, text, or email your friends and family so they can take advantage of these bargains too. These books will be on sale for several days, but always check the book's page to make sure the price coincides with the sale price.

If you're tired from holiday hoopla, then fill your Kindle--or whatever app or device you use--with these box set bargains and take a well-earned day or two off relaxing and reading.

By the way, many of these box sets were put together for the holidays. This means some of them will be pulled from Amazon after the holidays are over so grab them today while you have a chance.

Happy Boxing Day!

Shandra Higheagle Mystery Books 1-3 by Paty Jager, $5.99.

Visit Paty Jager online.

Potter Shandra Higheagle’s Nez Perce grandmother visits her dreams, revealing clues that help Shandra uncover murders.

Get SHANDRA HIGHEAGLE BOX SET from Amazon Kindle now.

The Patricia Kiyono Christmas Collection by Patricia Kiyono, $0.99.

Visit Patricia Kiyono online.

Celebrate the holiday with two contemporary and two historical novellas by best-selling author Patricia Kiyono.


The Sage McGuire Romance Series by Sharon Kleve, $3.99.

Visit Sharon Kleve Online.

Sage’s wild spirit, crazy red hair, and quirky sense of humor take Carter for the ride of his life and he’s more than willing to stick around and see what kind of trouble Sage can get herself into next.


A Christmas She'll Remember, free on Kindle Unlimited, or 99cents to buy and keep forever.

Holiday Romance Collection of 7 books from these NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors: Mimi Barbour, Patricia Rosemoor, Joan Reeves, Tamara Ferguson, Alicia Street, Ev Bishop, and Stephanie Queen.

Get A CHRISTMAS SHE'LL REMEMBER from Amazon Kindle now.

Reign of Tarot by Juli D. Revezzo, free on Kindle Unlimited or $3.99 to buy and keep forever.

Visit Juli D. Revezzo online.

The Reign of Tarot Duology is a Gothic fantasy about a family fleeing revolutionary France, rebuilding their life outside the troubled capital, and a supernatural debt they find they owe.

Get REIGN OF TAROT from Amazon Kindle now.

Season of Seduction, a Collection of Holiday Romances by 18 Authors, $2.99.

Follow Bonnie Edwards online.

A boxed set of sweet to steamy romances by 18 popular authors.

Get SEASON OF SEDUCTION from Amazon Kindle now.

Mistletoe, Snow and Suspense by Various Authors including Pamela S. Thibodeaux, $0.99.

Visit Pamela S Thibodeaux online.

4 Acclaimed Christian authors in an irresistible collection of 5 Christmas novels and novellas--suspense, romance, and intrigue.

Get MISTLETOE, SNOW AND SUSPENSE from Amazon Kindle now.

Spicy Christmas Kisses 2 by Bonnie Edwards and 8 other authors, $0.99.

Follow Bonnie Edwards online.

9 MORE romances to heat up your holidays.

Get SPICY CHRISTMAS KISSES 2 from Amazon Kindle now.

Love, Christmas by 20 NY Times & USA Today bestselling authors, free on Kindle Unlimited, or $0.99 to buy and keep forever!

Put a song in your heart with the collection that has been a holiday bestseller for 2 years!

Get LOVE, CHRISTMAS from Amazon Kindle now.

Kiss Me, Thrill Me by NY Times & USA Today bestselling authors, free on Kindle Unlimited or $0.99 to buy and keep forever.

From romantic comedy to second chance at love, this contemporary collection features several sub-genres of romance.

Get KISS ME, THRILL ME from Amazon Kindle now.

Snowflakes & Christmas Kisses by 7 NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors, free on Kindle Unlimited or $0.99 to buy and keep forever.

Cuddle up with these “Happy Ever After” romances. They'll brighten a dreary winter day and delight your romantic soul?

Get SNOWFLAKES & CHRISTMAS KISSES from Amazon Kindle now.

Dangerous Encounters: Love on the Edge by 5 NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors, free on Kindle Unlimited or $0.99 to buy and keep forever.

Love and Suspense, Heart-pounding romance and thrills!


Unforgettable Christmas by 9 NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors, free on Kindle Unlimited or $0.99 to buy and keep forever.

Heat up your holiday with nine Unforgettable Christmas stories of love and giving, hope and desire.

Get UNFORGETTABLE CHRISTMAS from Amazon Kindle now.

Sweet Heat by 6 NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors, free on Kindle Unlimited or $0.99 to buy and keep forever.

Where Love and Romance meet.

Get SWEET HEAT from Amazon Kindle now.

Sweet and Sassy Christmas by 11 NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors, free on Kindle Unlimited or $0.99 to buy and keep forever.

11 holiday romances to captivate and seduce.

Get SWEET AND SASSY CHRISTMAS from Amazon Kindle now.

Love on Fire by 6 NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors, free on Kindle Unlimited or $0.99 to buy and keep forever.

Sometimes passion takes you and there's nothing you can do to resist it.

Get LOVE ON FIRE from Amazon Kindle now.

Sweet Christmas Kisses 4, 14 wholesome and clean romances, $0.99.

14 heartwarming all-new, stand-alone stories from NY Times, USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors.

Get SWEET CHRISTMAS KISSES 4 from Amazon Kindle now.

A Well-Stacked Trio by Elaine Raco Chase, $2.99.

Visit Elaine Raco Chase online.

Three romantic comedies--3 sexy, sassy women know WHO they want.

Get A WELL-STACKED TRIO from Amazon Kindle now.

The Garden Series by Cynthia Wicklund, $

Visit Cynthia Wicklund online.

This collection contains all 4 of the bestselling Garden Series.

Get THE GARDEN SERIES from Amazon Kindle now.

The Music Box Series by Susan R. Hughes, $5.99.

Visit Susan R. Hughes online.

Three romances set in 3 different eras.

Get THE MUSIC BOX SERIES from Amazon Kindle now.

Takeaway Truth

Fill your Kindles with these box sets, and you too will think Boxing Day is a great holiday! Pass on this post to all your friends and family who read. They'll thank you for it. Happy Boxing Day!