By the way, promoting your book and successfully promoting your book are two different things. I’m not going to go into whether I’ve been successful with the following sites or not. I’ve promoted my books on two. No money lost on either, since they were free.

Here are two sites that will at least get your title seen: Clean Indie Reads (for non-sexually explicit romance novels with no “F” words) and EbookSoda.  I will only mention BookBub in passing since I haven’t used it. Their services cost, and can be relatively expensive. ‎ http://bookbub.com   These other two are free (at the moment). 

 

Clean Indie Reads utilizes Twitter and their own web page to promote your book once with a group of five to six others, but one real useful extra they offer is the continued Tweet way after your promotion time is over. They are quite generous with their attention. http://cleanindiereads.blogspot.com

 EbookSoda is a service similar to BookBub coming to us from Great Britain that sends out email blasts touting your book in a group of six to ten and sent only to subscribers who have indicated they like your genre. http://www.ebooksoda.com/

I was happy with the promotions from both, and as I said, at least it got the books out where they could be noticed. As a courtesy I subscribed to get the EbookSoda emails, and I regularly scroll through them every day, sometimes even following the link back to the Amazon page. So I figure many people also pay attention.

 

 

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  Cross by James Patterson.  Lady 52 by Jude Hardin and J.A. Konrath.

 

DARWIN’S CORNER: This shorty bulldog is a good barker. Too bad she seems to bark at invisible creatures invading our front porch. I’m not going to let it turn into the story of the boy who cried wolf, though. I get up to check (yeah, right).  Photo  by Roxanne Rix. 

This past month I’ve been immersed in a writing workshop taught by Dean Wesley Smith that took up a lot of my spare time. Because of that I decided to sacrifice my normal writing time to television viewing instead. Had to watch The Following, Survivor, Under the Gunn, The Amazing Race, NCIS, Face Off, Hawaii Five-O and all the rest.

It’s been a nice learning session (and vacation from writing). Hopefully I can apply what I learned from his course.

If you’re unfamiliar with Mr. Smith, check out http://deanwesleysmith.com , he’s got a lot of experience to impart.

So, I’ve been coasting. I could have finished my second mystery novel this month, but now it will be next month.

I also did a lot of reading.

WHAT I FINALLY FINISHED READING THIS WEEK:  Shadows in the Sun by Chad Oliver. Unearthly Neighbors by Chad Oliver. The Shores of Another Sea by Chad Oliver. (All contained in an omnibus edition called From Other Shores). And WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  Eye Spy by Tahir Shah.

Photos by Roxanne Rix. You can find my published fiction at http://amazon.com/author/gretchenrix.

DARWIN’S CORNER–

By now it seems like we’ve had this little bulldog forever. She takes walks, but she’s like no other dog we’ve ever owned. She doesn’t meander from one side of the road to the other, she doesn’t smell things, she doesn’t mark her territory, she doesn’t poop on other people’s lawns, and she doesn’t happily launch herself at the people and dogs we pass. She just walks. I”m not complaining. This is the first dog I’ve been able to walk  faster than.

 

 

 

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK: Hawaii by James Michener.  Born Rich by Janet Christian.

Books and stories by G. Rix at http://amazon.com/author/gretchenrix

 

DARWIN’S CORNER

This week as I was putting on my shoes in the kitchen, Darwin calmly picked up the one still  lying on the floor and marched away with it in her mouth just as pretty as you please. Thankfully I was able to rescue it before she took her first bite.

We’ve been feeding her that high-priced stew-like dog food in order to get some medicine down her. Now she doesn’t like her dry food. One day instead of writing about Boo Radley I’m going to write about the little bulldog we’ve started calling Dar.

 

 

Photos by Roxanne Rix.

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  A Clean Kill in Tokyo by Barry Eisler.  Grave Indulgence by William Doonan.

 

DARWIN’S CORNER

 

 

Well, we found out a couple of new things about Darwin this past week. She will chew up leather shoes. Took care of a whole pair. And yes, we shouldn’t have left them lying out on the floor to tempt her. Another thing is that she thinks the right side of the couch is her spot now. Gets real frisky if anyone else is sitting there. One more thing. She makes absolutely everyone smile who sees her. She also grunts like a little pig.

THERE’S NOTHING TO DO IN THIS TOWN

EXCEPT, there is.

This is Lockhart, Texas. Small town. Near Austin where there’s too much to do. Even I sometimes feel there’s nothing to do in Lockhart, after you’ve eaten the barbecue. But there is.

Let’s start with the free live music every Saturday morning in front of the courthouse that’s part of the farmer’s market, an entertainment in itself. Every week a folk singer or a country western outfit is out there performing for tips. Come sit on the courthouse lawn and enjoy the lovely weather. On Saturdays.

And while you’re here, bring that Black’s BBQ cup along with you and check out the pickled vegetables and fresh lettuces at Clem’s stand, the homemade dog and cat treats at Cindy’s tent, and take home fresh eggs from one of the other farmers. Every week there are about ten vendors taking up half the street in front of the courthouse across from the bank. We need more. We need more vegetable and food sellers, more artisans showing their paintings, more local writers trying to sell us their books.

But until the farmer’s market grows, there’s still the music, and the home-canned goods, the homemade soap, knitted scarves and caps, and sometimes birdhouses.

Every Saturday, unless there’s something big going on downtown, there’s the free music and the fresh air.

There’s nothing to do in this town, except this upcoming weekend March 1-2. There are go-kart races around the square. There’s a wrestling match out at the Lion’s Club. There’s a junior livestock show at the fairgrounds. There’s a Virginian TV series reunion and Texas Independence Day celebration out at the Agarita Ranch on SH 20 not far out of town. There’s music in front of Texana Lanes. And I’ve probably left something out.

Ah, the barbecue. Black’s. Kreuz. Chisholm Trail. Smitty’s. And a new trailer called Mad Jack’s selling barbecue over across from Whataburger.

 

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  The Clock Snatcher by M.G. King.

 

I write novels now that I’m retired. You can buy The Cowboy’s Baby and The Cowboy’s Baby Goes To Heaven at The Ranch Style Store on the square. You can buy The Cowboy’s Baby Goes To Heaven at Buffalo Clover on the square near the tax office. And you can buy either of those two plus Talking to the Dead Guys at Logos, which is on your way back from Black’s if you’re headed to the courthouse lawn where you’ll find that music and the farmer’s market.

Also available through Amazon.com at http://amazon.com/author/gretchenrix

Photos by Roxanne Rix

 

DARWIN’S CORNER  

 

Meet our new dog Darwin. This is Darwin’s Corner of my blog. I thought a bit about pretending to talk for her, but that would be silly. Darwin’s an American Bulldog, probably one of the shorty breeds, and they don’t do silly. (Actually, they do, but it doesn’t sound as good in print as they don’t.)

Darwin visited the farmer’s market this past Saturday. There she met John’s dog and Steve’s dog, and both dogs were quite nice to her, but when the dogs got around to the butt sniffing part of dog etiquette, Darwin sat down in a hurry. Seems she’s a smart dog. I can’t say she enjoyed her walk through the market. But someday she will (I was going to say butt someday she will, butt didn’t).

We drove out to Lockhart State Park afterwards and let her roam through the wilds of the upper level, and then down by the creek. She approves of Lockhart State Park one hundred percent. So do we. Photo of Darwin by San Antonio Great Dane Rescue staff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  Lost in a Royal Kiss by Vanessa Kelly.  Billionaire’s Apprentice by Chase Carroway.

 

Photos by Roxanne Rix.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books by Gretchen Rix can be found at http://amazon.com/author/gretchenrix

 

 

 

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  Quicksilver by Toni Dwiggins.

 

 

 

 

 

You can find ARROYO at

http://amzn.com/B0067NCEJ4.  You can find SAINTS & SINNERS in TWISTED RIXTER at http://amzn.com/B00HQ0PH1O

I set myself a challenge for January to write a short novel in just one month, something loads of writers have been able to do during the November National Novel Writing Month. I’m always in the middle of finishing a project that late in the year and have never tried this challenge.

As they like to say in Romance Writers of America, Multi-published author Dean Wesley Smith has advised all along to write in spurts during the day (or night), and not to rely on finding large blocks of time to write. But I was one of those writers who  always thought I needed a one to three hour block of time. And it has worked for me so far.

But I want to write more so I tried this challenge. And it worked.

This challenge I just completed showed me I could work better if I followed Mr. Smith’s plan.  I ranged from one hour to two hour stints and from 500 to 800 words during  the mornings,  and then I made sure I made the rest of the word count during the day or at least before bedtime.

Now I know that I can set a word count destination for the month, divide it by the days of the month and figure out how much I have to write each day, AND THEN DO IT any way I can.  I’ve got a rough draft for a short romance novel cooling its heels in my files and am on my way to finishing the next Boo Done It mystery this month. That’s two books already (rough draft only, however).

It will work for you, too.

 

http://amzn.com/B00G99P8WG

 

 

 

 

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK: Volunteers in the African Bush (Memoirs from Sierra Leone) edited by David Read Barker.  Before She Dies by Steven F. Havill.  Wounded by Lindsay Buroker.

Photos by Roxanne Rix.

 

 

 

 

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  Smith’s Monthly #2 by Dean Wesley Smith.  The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.  Mediterranean Grave by William Doonan.

http://amzn.com/B0094FBA8S

 

My newest book is a short story collection. Six stories put together from random dictionary words and my quirky imagination.

Included are Truepenny, The Taking of Rhinoceros 456, Ill Met By Moonlight, Saints & Sinners, When Gymkhana Smiles, and The Return of Truepenny.

My sister Roxanne is responsible for the title Twisted Rixter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a Kindle e-book exclusive that is also available for lending.  Get it here http://amzn.com/B00HQ0PH1O

 

 

 

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  The Violin Man’s Legacy by Seumas Gallacher.  Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller.

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