"Judge A Book By Its Cover" Contest Now Open

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I have only 2 words to say about the Houston Bay Area RWA contest Judge A Book By Its Cover, or JABBIC as it's commonly known.

It's baaacccckkkk!

JABBIC was the first to celebrate book cover art, and it's now open so get your entries in early.

Why Enter JABBIC 2014

The submitted book cover art will be judged by booksellers around the world. The winning cover in each category will be featured in a full-page color ad on the inside front cover of the April 2015 Romance Writers Report, the official Romance Writers of America publication.

Again this year, Reader's Choice Winners from each category will be featured on the Houston Bay Area RWA web site. Hundreds of thousands of votes were cast for the JABBIC 2013 covers during the Reader's Choice voting!

This contest is open to self-published authors as well as traditionally-published authors. (This is a chance to celebrate the cover artists who work with indie authors.)

  • Entry Deadline: Entries must be received by January 15, 2015

  • Entry Fee: $15

  • Eligibility: Published in 2014

  • What to Enter: The cover of your book or novella published by a traditional house, self-published, ePublisher, or POD during 2014

  • Entry Format: Electronic files (JPG or GIF) only

  • Categories: Contemporary Series, Single Title/Mainstream, Historical, Romantic Suspense, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Paranormal, Sexiest Cover, Young Adult and Inspirational

  • Judges: Booksellers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia

  • Top Prize: Winners in each category will be featured in a full-page color ad on the inside front cover of the April 2015 Romance Writers Report
More Information

For more information, an entry form, and rules, please visit the JABBIC contest website or contact Contest Coordinator Leslie Marshman at: judgeabook at hbarwa dotcom.

Takeaway Truth

It's easy to enter, and you'll get a lot of exposure for your book and the artist you used. Enter today!

Thursday3Some: The Unwanted Christmas Guest by Penny Estelle

T'is the week before Thanksgiving, and all through the house, the Thursday3Some Spotlight is shining--on an author, not a mouse! Today, the spotlight shines on Penny Estelle and her holiday romance The Unwanted Christmas Guest.

About Penny Estelle

Penny was a school secretary for 21 years and retired in 2009. She and her hubby moved to their  retirement home in Kingman, Arizona, and now live on 54 acres in a very rural area.

Penny explained, "Actually we live “off the grid”. We live on solar and wind. A real adjustment for a city girl. I must say – I love it. Nothing like walking out your front door and hear coyotes howling in the distance and seeing a sky bursting with stars. It is breathtaking!"

Penny's writing career started with stories for the tween kiddos. She's "advanced" to a few romances, family drama, two historical western romances, and even a non-fiction shorty about living life off the grid!

Find Penny Estelle Online

Website: http://www.pennystales.com
Blog: www.pennyestelle.blogspot.com
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Penny-Estelle/e/B006S62XBY
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Pennystales
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pennystales

About The Unwanted Christmas Guest

Elizabeth McMurphy is an up and coming high powered attorney and is after vengeance, involving one of the richest and most powerful families in Colorado. Steve York is an obnoxious reporter that thinks the ice queen has gone too far and does all he can to get under her skin.

When one of the worst blizzards in history hits Colorado during the Christmas holiday and leaves a hurt Steve York, stranded with Elizabeth in a mountain cabin, her hatred for him starts to thaw. But this attorney has a secret that she will guard, even at the risk of losing her only chance at love.

1. When did you write The Unwanted Christmas Guest?

In July of 2013, my publisher put out a call for holiday stories. I had never tried one, so I thought I would give it a shot. It was released December 2, 2013

2. What was the spark that gave you the story idea?

I wish I had a snappy answer for that. In most stories that I write, I have a beginning and then the story just goes from there. I wanted this one to be a sweet romance, but I wanted some mystery in it also. The heroine of The Unwanted Christmas Guest has a huge secret. She will keep that secret even at the cost of her own happiness!

The other part is (dum da dum dum) I have 7 grandkids, and I have used all of them in one story or another. In The Unwanted Christmas Guest, there is a three-year-old little girl who has Downs Syndrome. Her name is Katy. I also have a three-year-old little Downs granddaughter, Caity. Now, I’ve used them all, and my job is done!

3. Why do readers buy The Unwanted Christmas Guest?

It’s a story that keeps you guessing. It’s a love story that starts out as a hate relationship, but things quickly change when the main characters are trapped in a cabin during one of Colorado’s biggest snow storms.

Buy The Unwanted Christmas Guest

Amazon Kindle Edition

Nook Edition

iTunes Edition

Smashwords Edition

Muse It Up Publishing

But Wait! There's More

Penny is giving away 1 PDF Copy of The Unwanted Christmas Guest! To be eligible to win the book, leave a comment with your email address written out--not as a hot link or the evil web spammers may harvest your email address.

Takeaway Truth

Now is the time to take advantage of the great holiday bargains in books. Start your collection today.

Meet Witty Author Elaine Raco Chase

Elaine Raco Chase, a longtime friend, dropped by SlingWords today and agreed to answer a few questions.

About Elaine Raco Chase

Elaine is an Amazon bestselling author who writes contemporary romantic comedies – some more explicit than others. Her heroines are NOT: thin, petite, clueless or submissive. They are strong women who aren't looking for a man - until the right one comes along! And those men! Tough-guy, alpha males who don't know what hit them! But do know they want MORE!

Elaine also writes explicit mystery/thrillers and non-fiction. Her book, How to Write the Amateur Detective Novel, was nominated for the Agatha Christie Award, and it's in the FBI Forensic Library at Quantico.

Find Elaine Online

Website: http://elaineracochase.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElaineRaco
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elaine.r.chase
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/elaineracochase
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/elaine-raco-chase/32/38/353

Now, settle back while Elaine Raco Chase tackles the Dirty Dozen.

1. In which genre do you write and why that particular genre?

I started writing contemporary romantic comedies back in the 'heyday' of romance 1978...yes on papyrus paper! Why romantic comedies? Because I'm a firm believer in mixing love and laughter. Even my mystery/thrillers have a comedy thread...although it's more like M.A.S.H. sardonic style. I don't do slapstick but a sophisticated style of verbal one-liners.

2. What's your most recent book and what's it about?

Caught in a Trap is my new release. Kit Forrester has saved forever to take the vacation of her dreams – a cruise. One day out at sea, she gets not only the worst case of seasickness the ship's doctor has ever seen but also the horrible stomach virus that has hit the country. She couldn't tell her friends THAT..so she invented the perfect cruise vacation and created the man of her dreams, Rafe Morgan, all from material in her tiny stateroom.

There was just one big problem, retired Navy Seal and Texas billionaire Rafe Morgan did exist, and he was positive he was being set up by this New York redhead with a background that was ripe with suspicion.

3. As an author, what can readers expect when they read one of your books?

I think the reviews say it all – characters who are so real, you feel you can call them. I don't write heroes who think Jell-O-shots are a food group. I don't write heroines who can't take care of themselves physically or financially. I like writing complete books...not 'cliff-hangers.' I mix fact with fiction. As in the case of Caught in a Trap – a book that's dedicated to my father – it's very funny but brings to the forefront: child abuse, child hunger, PTSD, plight of the returning vets, and politics. While those themes seem to be more 'dramatic' than romantic comedy oriented, as an author I can get across more information to readers than if it was non-fiction.

I highlighted the Wounded Warrior Project, WWP, in Caught in a Trap as I did in Rules of the Game. WWP actually promoted Rules of the Game on their Facebook page, and it was part of a blog tour that gifted the WWP with nearly $2000 in donations. I've had readers/reviewers post that they donated after reading the book. And even though there was this focus, Rules of the Game was voted #1 erotic romance by the readers of Turning Pages.

4. How did you "become" an author? For instance, was there a moment when you said: "I think I'll write a book."

I come from a radio/TV background as well as public relations. So I guess you can say writing any style is in my bones. I use to write and voice radio shows on WGY-WGFM radio in upstate NY (NBC affiliate) and then did in-house voice-overs for network shows and PSA's. I started writing longer stories – romances, mysteries and some very bad science fiction – and attended a writer's conference where an agent actually heard me talking about what I was writing, asked if I had any material with me (I had 100 pages of a romance novel), took that back to NYC and – I know this sounds like a fantasy – but actually sold that book in two days to Dell Publishing. When I got my first check and new it wasn't a dream...that's when I said: 'you are a writer.'

5. Best thing about being an author.

Learning that your stories are being read by others and liked.

6. Worst thing about being an author.

Hearing/seeing a review that says your story is terrible. It's like someone telling you that your child is ugly!

7. Do you have editions of your books available other than eBook editions?

Yes, I have audiobook editions available at Audible and iTunes. I'm also planning on producing print editions of my popular romance novels too. All but 2 of my original romance novels have been updated...so you can buy very old paperbacks of No Easy Way Out and One Way or Another (original title: Tender Yearnings) from used bookstores. Those two are 'retro-reads' and I really wanted them to stay in their original 1980's form. No Easy Way Out highlights the 'birth' of Epcot Center in Orlando – my husband worked on the audio animatronics for Disney (as does the heroine in the book) and with One Way or Another (Tender Yearnings) – the heroine goes one-on-one with computers, the rise of credit cards and technology. Also that book set a record for Dell Publishing's Ecstasy Line – it went into a record 3 printings in a few weeks and was their first book to hit #1 on the Walden's Bestseller List.

8. Do you listen to audio books? If so, what device do you use?

I love...love audiobooks! I listen to them on my kindle as well as Mp3 player. All eleven of my eBooks are available in audio (Caught in a Trap will be the next one out)...and two of them have made Audible.com's Stellar Reviewed list....One Way or Another was their Stellar reviewed romance for October 2012 – narrated by Janina Edwards. And Special Delivery was their Stellar reviewed romance #4 out of top 10 and the only Indy audiobook for the entire year – 2012. Special Delivery has been on Audible's Erotica bestseller's list for over 2 years now and features award-winning, dual narrators: Destiny Landon and Lee James as well as original music and some fun sound effects.

9. What device do you use to read eBooks?

I have an older 'keyboard' style Kindle and love it! It plays the audiobooks as well.

10. If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?

Write what you love to read...trust me, your love will show in your characters and words. Don't imitate what's 'hot' because that changes every minute.

11. If you could tell readers one thing, what would it be?

I proudly put my name on everything I write.

12. What is your big dream (or goal) as a writer?

To write each book better than the last!

Buy Caught in a Trap

All Romance eBooks

Kindle Edition

iTunes Apple Bookstore

KoboBooks Edition

Nook Edition

Takeaway Truth

Time is ticking away to the weekend. Better grab a great book now.

Send Smashwords Book to Kindle

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Smashwords offers a lot of free ebooks, and authors often give away Smashwords Coupons for free books. Some of you Kindle users may not know how to get a Smashwords book onto your Kindle.

(Every six months, I like to run this post to help new ebook readers learn how to get a book on Smashwords and send it to the Kindle device to read it.)

Smashwords offers eBooks in multiple formats. One of these is usually the .mobi file format used for Kindle. It's very easy to download the .mobi files and transfer them to your Kindle. Here are step by step instructions for you.

How To Transfer a Smashwords Book to Your Kindle

1. Set up an account with Smashwords so you can purchase an eBook or download a free book with a Smashwords coupon. Then when you buy an eBook from Smashwords, the book is automatically placed in your Smashwords library. You can download the eBook in any offered format immediately or at a later date.

2. Even though you have Manage Your Kindle set up for buying and managing your Kindle books from Amazon, you will need to download the Kindle for PC app to your computer. When you do this, the download installation will set up a My Kindle Content folder, listed under My Documents on your computer. Then, when you download an ebook from Smashwords in a .mobi file, the file will automatically be saved in your My Kindle Content folder.

3. Download your selected book from Smashwords. The book will be placed in your Smashwords Library, and Smashwords will save the book as 2 files on your computer. The first file will be the My Kindle Content .mobi file, and the second file is a .mbp file. Once those 2 Smashwords files are saved on your computer, the Kindle for PC app you already installed on your computer will be able to open the eBook. You can read it immediately on your computer.

Most of us with Kindles though want to read on the Kindle. So let's continue.

Transfer Book from Kindle for PC to Your Kindle Reader

There are 2 ways to do this.

1. Connect the USB end of your Kindle cable to your PC. Open the Kindle drive, copy the Kindle Content .mobi file into the Documents folder on your Kindle drive. (It’s just like transferring a file to an external hard drive or a thumb drive, etc.)

2. If your Kindle device has a WiFi connection, you can use the free email address set up with your Amazon Kindle account and email your .mobi file to your Kindle via that email address. If in doubt as to what that email address is, login to your account / Manage Your Kindle. In Left sidebar, you'll see Your Kindle Account and below that, a number of choices, one of which is Personal Document Settings. Click that. A window opens, and you'll see at the top Send To Kindle Email Settings.

3. Click Learn More to read the instructions given by Amazon on how to set up the free Send-to-Kindle Email Settings under “Personal Document Settings” in your Amazon account. It's easy to understand.

4. Once you have your Kindle email address set up, just open your email app, create a message sending the email to your Kindle Email that you plan to use, attach the Kindle Content .mobi file, and click Send.

5. When you email a .mobi file to your Kindle account, you'll find the eBook listed in your Kindle Library under All Items. Just use the Actions button to select where you want to deliver the eBook. (This is for those of us who have multiple Kindle reading options, i.e., smartphone, Kindle, Kindle Fire, etc.)

6. Turn on your Kindle reader device so that it will receive the eBook just as if you'd bought it from the Kindle Shop. The book will download just like any other eBook purchase.

Actually, it takes less time to buy the book from Smashwords, download it to your PC, send it to Your Kindle Account, and download onto your device than it takes to read this.

Takeaway Truth

Now you can shop on Smashwords more often, knowing you can easily transfer the books you obtain to your Kindle.

Thursday3Some: Capri's Fate by Daryl Devore

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Today, the Thursday3Some Spotlight is shining on Capri's Fate by Daryl Devore. Please welcome her to SlingWords.

About Daryl Devore

Daryl Devore lives in an in old farmhouse in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, a large salt water aquarium full of fish and some house ghosts. She's touched a moon rock, a mammoth and a meteorite. She's been deep in the ocean in a submarine, flown high over Niagara Falls in a helicopter and used the ladies room in a royal palace. Life's an adventure, and Daryl's having fun living it.

Find Daryl Online

Blog: http://myeroticnotions.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/daryl.devore

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Daryl-Devore/280168402052520

Twitter: http://twitter.com/daryldevore

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/107866370365154406917

About Capri's Fate

Corporate business woman, Capricious Gray, is dragged to a sex toy convention by her best friend. Once a shocking, mysterious disembodied voice helps her with her purchases, it follows her home. Passion ensues, leaving Capri torn between lust for her fantasy lover and the desperate need for reality in her life.

When did you write Capri's Fate?

Two years ago. Took about six months to write then through critique partners and beta readers then off to my editor. That took the majority of time.

What was the spark that gave you the story idea?

There was no spark. I decided it was time to write another book. I sat down at my laptop, put my fingers on the keyboard and typed the first thing that popped into my head. That turned out to be the opening line and then I went: "Hmmmm. Now what?" I don't plot out my books, so when I wrote that opening line I really had no idea where the book was going to go.

Why do readers buy Capri's Fate?

1) It's a different kind of erotic romance. It's light and cheerful. Pairing up uptight, corporate Capri wither fun loving best friend Kathy, provided several humorous moments.

2) Reviews, non-solicited and non-paid reviews.

"Truly very creative lovemaking. I had to stop to fan myself and sigh a lot of times. My toes really curled."

"I applaud the author. It's worth your time and money."

"It was a story that left you angry, sad, plus hot and bothered. I loved this book!!!"

That's why readers buy it!

Buy Capri's Fate by Daryl Devore

Buy from All Romance eBooks

Buy from Amazon Kindle

Buy from Smashwords

Takeaway Truth

A little vacation can always be found between the covers of a book. Buy a book today for a getaway from the mundane.

Free! HOLIDAY DECORATING Celebrates Christmas on Main Street

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Holiday Decorating, by the Authors of Main Street, is our gift to you, dear Readers. This Companion Book to Christmas on Main Street is now live on all platforms.

Holiday Decorating, free to all readers, is our book of favorite holiday crafts, with step by step instructions. We hope you enjoy our traditional crafts and will share them with your family and friends.

Make It Free

We want this book to be free. It's already offered free at Nook, iTunes, and Kobo. Amazon is still charging 99cents for the book.

If you want it free on Amazon, just go to Holiday Decorating book page and scroll down until you see:

Would you like to give feedback on images or tell us about a lower price? Click that and fill out the form with any of the links where the book is offered free: Nook, iTunes, or Kobo.

Links for Holiday Decorating

Defaults To Your Country's Amazon Kindle Shop

Barnes & Noble Nook

iTunes Books


Buy Links for Christmas on Main Street, Box Set,  Only 99 Cents

Defaults To Your Country's Amazon Kindle Shop

Barnes & Noble Nook

iTunes Books


Takeaway Truth

Get your free copy of Holiday Decorating and grab the Box Set of Christmas on Main Street, the Christmas Romance Collection of 12 novels for only 99cents. Happy Reading!

Holiday Decorating: Christmas Crafts from Main Street

Holiday Decorating is the book my Authors of Main Street did to celebrate the release tomorrow of CHRISTMAS ON MAIN STREET. We are waiting for the craft book to be live at all the ebook sellers so we can price it free. Right now, it's listed at 99cents on Amazon which is still a bargain, but wait if you wish, and it will be free.

Takeaway Truth

Get your holiday spirit on. This video will help.