I attended my first real book signing in early 2013. No one knew who I was. I mean, NO ONE.
(I really shouldn’t have bothered.)
At the time, I was in the middle of writing STRINGS. I hadn’t told anyone about it, so there was no buzz whatsoever. The only books I had to sell were The Ones Nobody Wanted. As I sat alone at my table, totally self-conscious and feeling like an idiot, I watched the woman straight across from me. Let’s call her Tara.
“Oh, Tara is so funny!”
“I love Tara’s books! You absolutely must read them!”
*Kendall sticks finger down throat*
Tara had been looking for some tape during the set-up earlier that morning. I loaned her mine. She thanked me and never gave it back. The bitch.
Okay, I’ll admit it. I was insanely jealous of this Tara harpy.
When the doors finally opened for the signing, Tara’s line of bouncing, giggling, and giddily squealing readers spanned the length of the room. The longer I watched her, the more jealous I became. I may have sold a total of eight books in the three or four hours I sat there. She probably sold that many in the first three or four minutes.
Tara was charming, engaging, funny, and extremely popular with readers. Hell, she even won me over, and I hated her guts for all of her shiny awesomeness. Positively green with envy, I kept thinking, “I want to be just like her. I want a line of readers like that. I want to sell millions of books like she does. I want to giggle and bounce and laugh with readers at signings and be the Queen of the Universe.”
Someday, Kendall. Someday…
That weekend was sobering as hell. I was an A-1 Loser totally eclipsed by the Legion of Badass Writers. The authors in that room intimidated the hell out of me, and I felt lower than dirt when I left. I seriously considered giving up on STRINGS and not even bothering to finish it. STRINGS was sure to become Book Number Four in the Pathetic Author Drowned in Obscurity Series by Kendall Grey, coming NEVER to a bookstore near you.
My stubborn ass finished the damn book despite the self-doubt, and I published it. Enough people ended up liking it that it broke into Amazon’s Top 100. Nowhere near Tara’s Level of Epic, but it was a hell of a lot better than I’d ever done before. Small miracles and all that.
Fast forward to a month or two ago…
I got a friend request from Tara on Facebook. I was surprised, but I figured she was just being nice and friending other authors. Shortly after, she sent me a private message saying (in much dirtier and typically “Tara” terms) that she enjoyed STRINGS. My fucking jaw dropped open, and I may have creamed my pants a little. She had to have read some other book entitled STRINGS because she sure as shit wasn’t talking about mine.
Guess I was wrong.
A couple weeks ago, she ordered signed paperbacks of all three Hard Rock Harlots books.
That a writer as popular, loved, and well-respected as Tara wanted me to sign books to her was one of the biggest compliments I’ve ever received as an author. All I could think about was sitting at that book signing, wishing so hard that I could be like Tara one day, and here she was, making me feel like I was somebody.
Tara, thank you for taking a chance on this nobody from Atlanta, Georgia. You have no idea how much it means to me that you a) even read my book, and b) liked it enough to pick up signed copies of the series.
The roundabout moral of this story: Writers, NEVER give up. Though right now you might be struggling with sales, recognition, rankings, ratings, getting noticed, or your own confidence-killing demons, your Tara could be right around the bend. Your success could be buried a couple of inches under Rock Bottom, and all you need to do is dig a tiny bit deeper to find it.
No one knows what the future holds. There will always be ups and downs in this business: devastating defeats, surprising support, crushing blows, or maybe even phenomenal success if you’re really lucky. Regardless of how your books are received, you write because you have a driving need to tell a story lodged in your soul that will murder you if you don’t let it out. So, set that bitch free.
In honor of Tara’s support and as a reminder to readers everywhere, I’ll end with one of my favorite quotes from writer/director/actor Kevin Smith:
“Remember: It costs nothing to encourage an artist, and the potential benefits are staggering. A pat on the back to an artist now could one day result in your favorite film, or the cartoon you love to get stoned watching, or the song that saves your life. Discourage an artist, you get absolutely nothing in return, ever.”
It’s been ten fun days of counting down to winter with some of my favorite author friends! Thanks to everyone who’s entered so far. Today is your last chance to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway at the bottom of this post (or click here to enter). The grand prize winner of ten signed paperbacks will be announced here on the blog tomorrow.
Our final featured author in the Countdown to Winter signed paperback giveaway is the awesome Melissa Collins…
LET LOVE HEAL by Melissa Collins
Perfection. We all strive for it, but what happens when the desire to be perfect consumes you? What happens when the need to bury your mistakes blinds you?
Melanie Crane has always been the perfect daughter, friend, student – she’s been perfect at everything, in fact. But when she lets her insecurities, the ones that she keeps hidden from everyone, get the best of her, she falters in her pursuit of perfection. Melanie crumples under the pressure and buries her pain. Numbed by sadness and guilt, she is determined never to let anyone find out how broken she really is.
Bryan Mahoney may appear to have everything in order. He’s charming, witty and completely swoon-worthy. In short, Bryan has life all figured out, but appearances can be deceiving. When the landscape of Bryan’s family changes in an instant, he’s left to pick up the pieces.
Not all bruises leave a mark. Now, weary and afraid, Melanie and Bryan must find a way to let love heal their broken and jaded hearts.
If you’d like a shot at winning a signed paperback of LET LOVE HEAL, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Need it NOW, or want to put it on your wish list? You can find LET LOVE HEAL at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo.
The multi-talented C.D. Reiss is today’s featured author in the Countdown to Winter signed paperback giveaway. (See the Rafflecopter link at the bottom of this post or click here to enter.)
BEG TEASE SUBMIT by C.D. Reiss
My name is Monica. I’m a singer born and raised in Los Angeles.
I’ve stopped dating. When I cut a record, or win a Grammy, maybe then I’ll be with someone, but every man in my past has done everything he could to make me submit myself to him, and it’s gotten in the way of my career. I won’t do it again.
But there’s Jonathan. He owns the high-rise hotel where I work, and he is gorgeous and charming. I refuse to fall in love with him, even though when he asks me to submit to him, I want nothing more.
When Jonathan was gone I couldn’t stop thinking about him, and the first thing he did when he got back was demand more of me. I’m willing to give him my body and my time, but I find myself giving up pieces of my heart.
My career is on track, and even though I can’t write a thing, I can sing. So I’ll go to the art opening with him, because his ex wife will be there. I feel this need to protect him from hurt, though in bed, his domination brings me to my knees.
This man is going to break me into a million little pieces.
“You’re mine. The minute I told you to spread your legs and you did it, you were mine. When I told you to beg for it and you did, you were mine. When you put your hands behind your back without being told, I owned you. You never had to say a word. You are a natural submissive.”
No. God, no.
My name is Monica, and no matter what Jonathan says, I am not submissive.
****18+ GRAPHIC LANGUAGE, SEX, AND ADULT SITUATIONS****
If you’d like a shot at winning a signed paperback of BEG TEASE SUBMIT, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Need it NOW, or want to put it on your wish list? You can find BEG TEASE SUBMIT at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo.
The wild and crazy K.A. Robinson is today’s featured author in the Countdown to Winter signed paperback giveaway. (See the Rafflecopter link at the bottom of this post or click here to enter.)
SHATTERED TIES by K.A. Robinson
With a former supermodel mother and a rock-and-roll legend father, Emma Preston has the best of everything. Nothing is as perfect as it seems though. After her parents divorce, she’s forced to live with her mother in a private Santa Monica community. Ignoring their parental roles, her mother becomes more focused on climbing the social ladder while her father is off on tour.
Growing up in a trailer park with his mother, Jesse is used to people looking down on him. When his mother begs him to submit an application for a scholarship to one of Santa Monica’s top private schools, he never expects to actually get it. When he does, he is forced to attend school with a bunch of rich kids. He ignores their stares as they judge him for having tattoos and a less than impressive car. As long as he has his surfboard and the guys at the tattoo shop, he knows he can make it through.
When Jesse shows up on the first day of school, Emma can’t help but be intrigued. Her mother would never approve of Emma talking to someone so poor, but she doesn’t care because something about Jesse draws her to him.
Jesse tries to hate Emma, but he discovers that he can’t resist her. Forced to hide their relationship from Emma’s mother and everyone else around them, things start to fall apart. When Jesse’s friend, Ally, decides to interfere, things go from bad to worse.
Can they survive their first love? Or will they be left with nothing more than shattered ties?
Book 1 of a 2 book series.
**18+ for sexual situations, cursing, and adult content.***
If you’d like a shot at winning a signed paperback of SHATTERED TIES, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Need it NOW, or want to put it on your wish list? You can find SHATTERED TIES at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, or Kobo.
Rocker chick C.M. Stunich is today’s featured author in the Countdown to Winter signed paperback giveaway. (See the Rafflecopter link at the bottom of this post or click here to enter.)
BAD DAY by C.M. Stunich
“That’s not a rule, that’s a compromise. Being in love means making sacrifices, you said it yourself.”
Turner Motherf*cking Campbell.
I’m into him, yeah, and I think I love him.
But the sh*t has just hit the fan.
Time for the angels and devils to crash.
Because if we don’t, then this all falls apart, and we lose everything. The fans, the music, the relationships that are just beginning to blossom. This is it. Let’s kick as*, take names, and let the world know who’s boss.
& & &
Naomi Isabelle Knox, she’s everything to me.
And I know I love her.
But I can’t ignore the sh*t storm that’s taken over this tour, my tour.
Time to get serious; time to dig deep; time to take back the music.
Because if we don’t, then I could lose her. She could die; we all could. Or worse. Time to show the world what we’re made of, that we’re here to stay. Say hello to your idols, baby. Your new gods. Say hello to Indecency and Amatory Riot. Your latest obsessions, your greatest desires.
If you’d like a shot at winning a signed paperback of BAD DAY, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Need it NOW, or want to put it on your wish list? You can find BAD DAY at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo.
My book signing buddy Carey Heywood is today’s featured author in the Countdown to Winter signed paperback giveaway. (See the Rafflecopter link at the bottom of this post or click here to enter.)
HIM by Carey Heywood
Sarah Miller hasn’t been home in seven years. She thought she could stay away forever. If it wasn’t for her big brother’s wedding, that is. Part of her even feels silly for staying away this long. It’s not like anyone even knew what happened. Well, except for him.
That guy. The one she compared all others to. The one who set the bar so high no other guy after him could even compete. The one who made her feel like anything was possible. The one she thought she would never be good enough for. The one she spent the last seven years trying to forget.
All she needs to do is make it through the next week without running into him.
If you’d like a shot at winning a signed paperback of HIM, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Need it NOW, or want to put it on your wish list? You can find HIM at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo.
The hilarious Debra Anastasia is today’s featured author in the Countdown to Winter signed paperback giveaway. (See the Rafflecopter link at the bottom of this post or click here to enter.)
CRUSHED SERAPHIM by Debra Anastasia
How does a foul-mouthed angel end up as the last hope for all of Heaven and Earth?
When Seraph Emma is maimed and tossed from Heaven by a rogue angel who’s taken charge, she fears she’ll never be allowed to return. Tasked with the impossible job of showing the self-loathing (and not even human!) Jason his worth, Emma is sure she’s doomed to fail.
Meanwhile, having wormed his way into Heaven, the corrupt Everett has trapped God in Hell and has designs on unleashing evil everywhere. Fortunately, if there’s one thing Emma can’t do (in addition to minding her language), it’s give up. Determined to save Jason and get back to Heaven-even if it means going to Hell-Emma’s plan is simple yet impossible: trick the Devil to save God.
What she doesn’t count on is the devotion and, well, humanity she finds in Jason; the spirit, hidden compassion, and raw sex appeal within the Devil; and the vulnerability of her own heart. With the help of two unlikely allies, she’ll wage the battle for Heaven. But will Emma be sidetracked by a new sort of heaven along the way?
What’s truly more dangerous? Falling from Heaven, or falling in love?
Debra Anastasia has twisted a fast-paced tale of intimate relationships with literally universal impact. Rich with humor and electrified by attraction, this novel offers a playfully off-beat take on the good and evil that make up the world.
If you’d like a shot at winning a signed paperback of CRUSHED SERAPHIM, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Need it NOW, or want to put it on your wish list? You can find CRUSHED SERAPHIM at Amazon US, Amazon UK, or Barnes & Noble.
Hey, look! I’m the featured author in the Countdown to Winter signed paperback giveaway (see the Rafflecopter link at the bottom of this post or click here to enter) today. Huzzah!
NOCTURNES by Kendall Grey
NOCTURNES contains 511 F-bombs, 81 well-endowed male chickens, 65 girl kitties, 58 Richard the Lessers, 10 C-U-Next-Tuesdays, and a plethora of other colorful words and phrases that would deafen your virginal mother’s ears and make her bust out her “Shame on you!” finger. If you’ve been tuned in since the beginning of the Hard Rock Harlots series, you know the drill. The sex is extreme, the language is graphic, and the story is over the top. Prudes and under 18s need not apply.
WARNING: NOCTURNES addresses serious topics such as alcoholism, prostitution, and cheating. If you’re looking for a barrel of laughs or sunshine and rainbows, this is NOT the book for you.
Rax Wrathbone is the dirty rock star you love to hate. The filthy fantasy slithering through your bed sheets. The serpent in your lady garden. The snake bite in your panties that keeps you sweating all night. He. Is. Sex.
And he’s no good. For anyone.
After a nasty breakup with his best friend and their band’s drummer, Rax is flying solo for the first time in years. Who needs the drama of commitment when the line for your humping booth spans three city blocks? No, groupies and liquor are far finer company than relationships, and they don’t leave bruises after they’ve had their way with you. At least not lasting ones.
Rax’s new adventures as an alcoholic, guitar-slashing one-man show are going along swimmingly until the only woman who’s ever brought him to his knees shimmies down a pole back into his life. Eve doesn’t abide excessive drinking, she has sex with strangers for a living, and she can’t remember Rax’s name to save her life.
She’s perfect in every way.
Now, if he could just get sober long enough to forget his past and convince Eve he’s worthy of her future…
If you’d like a shot at winning a signed paperback of NOCTURNES, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Need it NOW, or want to put it on your wish list? You can find NOCTURNES at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo.
Today’s featured author in the Countdown to Winter signed paperback giveaway (see Rafflecopter link at the bottom of this post to enter or click here) is the lovely S.L. Jennings…
NIKOLAI: A DARK LIGHT NOVELLA by S.L. Jennings
We met Nikolai in The Dark Prince (Dark Light #2). Now learn his story…
Two centuries ago, I clawed my way into a world of immorality, filth and destruction. A world seething with secrets and lies, both mortal and immortal.
Complete and utter Darkness.
But there are rules. Rules that control the balance of nature. And if broken, it could destroy everything I’ve ever known. It could destroy me.
I am Nikolai Skotos, son of Stavros and Delia, and brother of Dorian, the heir of the Dark throne. I am one of the most powerful Dark forces to have ever walked this earth.
And I once was lost.
Now, I’m about to give it all up for the girl that found me.
*Recommended for mature readers only due to scorching hot sex scenes, explicit violence & Niko’s deliciously naughty potty mouth.
If you’d like a shot at winning a signed paperback of NIKOLAI, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Need it NOW, or want to put it on your wish list? You can find NIKOLAI at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo.
Today’s featured author in the Countdown to Winter signed paperback giveaway (see the Rafflecopter link at the bottom of this post or click here to enter) is my dear friend and heart-mind-and-soul twinsie, Eliza Gordon. :-)
MUST LOVE OTTERS by Eliza Gordon
Hollie Porter is the chairwoman of Generation Disillusioned: at twenty-five years old, she’s saddled with a job she hates, a boyfriend who’s all wrong for her, and a vexing inability to say no. She’s already near her breaking point, so when one caller too many kicks the bucket during Hollie’s 911 shift, she cashes in the Sweethearts’ Spa & Stay gift certificate from her dad and heads to Revelation Cove, British Columbia. One caveat: she’s going solo. Any sweethearts will have to be found on site.
Hollie hopes to find her beloved otters in the wilds of the Great White North, but instead she’s providing comic relief for staff and guests alike. Even Concierge Ryan, a former NHL star with bad knees and broken dreams, can’t stop her from stumbling from one (mis)adventure to another. Just when Hollie starts to think that a change of venue doesn’t mean a change in circumstances, the island works its charm and she starts to think she might have found the rejuvenation she so desperately desires. But then an uninvited guest crashes the party, forcing her to step out of the discomfort zone where she dwells and save the day … and maybe even herself in the process.
If you’d like a shot at winning a signed paperback of MUST LOVE OTTERS, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Need it NOW, or want to put it on your wish list? You can find MUST LOVE OTTERS at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo.