Helen visits Anna…

Dear Elvira

Wow! Welcome back to Anna’s world. It’s been another amazing week for me! Book 3 in my Fab Five series from LazyDay Publishing, The Road To His Soul, was released and is already getting 5 ***** star reviews, I received a new cover for my Aug. 3 release, Remember Our Promise, from Rebel Ink Press and I was told the paperback version of Sunny’s Love is almost ready for release!! What a fantastic week in Anna’s World! I held a contest at my release party to get ideas for titles for the next Fab Five series book, and the winner actually was a tie…there were two winners, Ginger Ring, with The Road To Paradise, and Jennifer Zander Wilck, with The Road Not Taken. You will most likely see these titles in the near future…

And today, the amazing Helen Ogrodnick, is back with another new Rebel release! If you’ll remember, Helen had her first book published a few months ago at the tender age of 77. She has now had her 78th birthday and is still writing. Her second release from Rebel Ink Press, Dear Elvira, is doing great and she has another one coming out this summer.

She’s going to let us have a sneak peak at Dear Elvira and I, for one, can’t wait to read this one.

Blurb:

Matt Joplin is a small town boy who moved to the city after graduating from high school in small town Texas. Fortunate to land a job at the city newspaper, Matt developed close friendships with some of the other employees and was asked to join their bowling team. At the lanes he met an older gentleman and his granddaughter, a family whose values made a lasting impression on him. 

When Matt’s given a special assignment by his editor, the nature of which was to remain a secret, Matt and two colleagues are sent to a nearby town to cover an breaking story and Matt decides he wants to use his job to make a difference in the lives of people less fortunate than him.

And then there’s the matter of a certain girl…

See what I mean? Sounds like a winner. If you haven’t had a chance to check out Helen’s blog, I encourage you to take the time to stop by. Here’s the link: http://helentherebel.blogspot.com/

And here are the links to purchase Dear Elvira:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dear-Elvira-ebook/dp/B00CTC6KX8

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dear-elvira-helen-ogrodnick/1115320547?ean=2940016615677

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-dearelvira-1185383-149.html

Be sure and check out Helen and her books!

I want to wish everyone a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend as we remember those who gave their lives in the line of duty, and others who’ve passed from our lives.

To all the 2013 graduates, best of luck to all of you as you end one phase of your lives and enter into the next one.

Until next week, when Jess Hunter will be my guest. In case you didn’t know, Jess is the younger brother of author Sable Hunter, and he’s writing now. He’ll be here to answer some questions and to tell us about his new release. You can’t miss that!

Love,

Anna 🙂

Rebel Ink Press

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THE ROAD TO HIS SOUL…The drama and romance continues…

copy-of-theroadtohissoul-largest.jpg

Oh…my…gosh…this has been one crazy week in Anna’s World! I don’t even know where to begin…

I received edits for three different books and…

I completed all of them, believe it or not.

I worked on blog interviews, the lovely Ginger Ring hosted me on her blog Thursday. We chatted about cougar worthy men, chocolate, writing, and my upcoming release, The Road To His Soul. You can check it out at http://www.gingerring.com. I did an interview with another friend of mine, Erica Bayne, who is a fellow Rebel author. I have the distinct honor of being her very first interview and I am so excited about that! Her blog link is http://imitationsoflove1.blogspot.com/ and my interview with her is now live.

Let’s see, what else did I do? Oh, yes, I did a review for another author friend of mine, Penelope Jones. I finished the final read-through on Book #6 in my Fab Five series, The Road To Forever, and submitted it. I’m also working on the latest addition to Anna’s collection.

And last, but certainly not least, I signed THREE new contracts!!! On Monday, I signed two contracts with Rebel Ink Press, one for a novella, A Woman Like Her, which is the sequel to the novella, If You Love Me, and the other for A Holiday Hideaway, a Christmas novella. On Wednesday, I signed the contract for The Road To Forever with LazyDay Publishing! The most exciting thing about these three contracts is that in signing them, I completed a personal goal I had set for myself the day I signed my first contract. My goal was to have twelve signed contracts in twelve months. Guess what? I now have twelve signed contracts and it’s only been nine months!!! Yes, I’ve been very busy, and loving every crazy minute of it!

The first ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) review is in for The Road To His Soul and it’s a 5 star! ***** You can read the review on Goodreads! http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17790529-the-road-to-his-soul and while you’re there, be sure and add the book to your TBR list! This is the 3rd book in my Fab Five series. In this book, I mention the name of a friend of mine, a country singer, John Adam Murph, and one of his love ballads, Don’t Forget Me, becomes the love song for the main couple in the book. For more about JAM, go to his website, http://www.johnadammurph.com/ where you can listen to his songs and buy a CD if you’d like.

On Wednesday, May 22, LazyDay will release, The Road To His Soul. I promised a teaser and a teaser you’ll get. The book will be available on Amazon, B&N, and AllRomance.com, as well as http://www.lazydaypub.com.

I’ll post the links on my buy links page here on this blog, as well as on my website,  http://www.annakristellromance.com/140839533 and on my Facebook and Twitter pages as soon as they become available.

Without further ado, here’s the blurb and an excerpt from The Road To His Soul.

Blurb:

Another ‘Fab Five’ drama and Lizzie’s family isn’t out of the woods yet. This time her son is causing the problems.

 Colt Hart and Kendyl Durant have been dancing around a relationship for years. When Colt decides he is ready to give up his days as a player for a serious girlfriend, he finally makes his move, knowing that once he begins a relationship with his sister’s gorgeous blonde friend, there will be no turning back. Also deciding it’s time to think about his future career plans, he leaves his carefree job to accept his dad’s offer to join the family’s advertising agency.

 But the night before his first date with Kendyl he arrives at Rex’s office to tell him of his career decision, only to find his dad being put into the back of an ambulance after suffering what appears to be a heart attack.

 Blaming himself because his dad has been burning the candle at both ends, Colt believes that if he had accepted his dad’s offer sooner, the heart attack might not have happened. He asks Kendyl to be patient with him. He wants her, but the business has to come first right now. He has to make it up to his family and keep the business going while his dad recuperates. But how long will Kendyl wait?

 When they finally get together, the two lovers immediately enter into a sensual relationship. But Colt is called to Texas on business time and time again, and temptations await him there. Kendyl begins to doubt that he will ever be able to commit to her completely, heart and soul. When she decides to give him a wake up call by calling it quits, she hopes to turn things around.

 Will it backfire on her and end things for good, as Colt is pursued by other women? Or will he stop dragging his feet and put the ring on Kendyl’s finger?

Excerpt:

Colt took the stairs rather than the elevator, hoping to blow off some steam before he faced Kendyl. Finding a chair near the door, he watched for her as he thought about everything that had taken place that evening. He had been so happy as he drove to his dad’s office earlier. He had anticipated the joy on his parents’ faces when he told them his news. He had also looked forward to the romantic evening he had planned for Kendyl. Believing she might be the girl for him, Colt had carefully seen to each detail. Now he had to tell her the plans had changed, drastically, and he had no idea when he would be able to reschedule their date.
He looked up in time to see Kendyl rushing in the front door of the building. Rising from his chair, he went to greet her. On impulse, Colt pulled her into his arms hugging her tightly. She responded, speaking gently to him. “I’m so sorry, Colt. I’m here, for you and your family, whatever you need.”
“You’re so good in a crisis, baby. I remember how you took charge in the kitchen the day Caleb was killed. Thank you so much for being here for us.”
“I’d do anything for your family, you know that.” Looking up at him, she smiled. “I’d do anything for you.”
Colt smiled down at her gratefully, gazing into her deep blue eyes.
“Colt, I’ll understand if you want to postpone our date tomorrow night. You all have a lot to deal with right now.”
Looking at her pretty, angelic face, he replied, “I think that’s what we’re going to have to do. I’ll take a rain check, though. Problem is, I just don’t know how soon. I’m going to have my hands full, taking a crash course in advertising for the next few months.”
Kendyl laughed and when she did, her blue eyes sparkled. “I’ve waited for you to ask me out for a long time, Colt Hart. I think I can wait a little longer.”
“Let’s go outside.” He took her hand and led her to a secluded corner outside the building. Leaning down, he kissed her gently. As his hazel eyes met her shining blue ones, he saw something he had never noticed before. He kissed her again, more deeply. 
The beautiful blonde girl in his arms responded, melting against him. When he released her, she looked up at him, unable to speak. Kendyl had longed for Colt’s kiss for a very long time. But the feelings it awakened in her were like nothing she could ever have imagined. Finally, she found her voice and shakily said, “We’d better get upstairs.”
“Yes, you’re right.” He took her hand. Together they walked silently to the elevator.

Don’t forget to grab your e-Book copy of the book on Wednesday!!!! Until next time, thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

Love,

Anna 🙂

John Adam Murph…The Man and His Music

Jam

Hello and welcome back to Anna’s World. I’d like to take a moment and wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all my readers and especially to my own Mom, Patty Kalb, in Plano, TX.

This week it is an honor for me to welcome my friend, John Adam Murph, also known as JAM to his friends and fans, to Anna’s World. If you’ve been following this blog or my Facebook page, you know that John and one of his love ballads, Don’t Forget Me, are mentioned in my upcoming release, The Road To His Soul. This is the third book in my Fab Five series from LazyDay Publishing and will be available in e-Book format on May 22nd at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com and AllRomance.com

In the story, the hero Colt and heroine Kendyl have been attracted to each other for some time, but have only recently begun to do something about it. As they enter into a relationship, Colt must spend time away from his new love, time and time again, as he travels on business for this family’s business while his dad is recovering from a heart attack. On one of his trips, he is introduced to the music of John Adam Murph, and immediately takes a liking to the song, Don’t Forget Me, as the words portray the relationship he has with Kendyl. He plays the song for her when he returns home and they decide from that day forward, this is “their” song.

I met JAM about five years ago, on a social media site for country songwriters, musicians, and fans. At that time, I was dabbling a little with lyrics and thought it might be a good place to make contacts. When JAM told me he would be performing at the Linton Music Festival in Linton, IN that Labor Day weekend, I made plans to attend, since it wasn’t far from where I lived. My husband was ill, so my daughter accompanied me. We spent some time that day with John and his band members, and he gave us both an autographed CD. We fell in love with his music. When I got home and played the CD for my husband, he also became a fan. Over the years, we kept in contact through the social media, and when I got my first publishing contract, JAM was one of the people I contacted to let him know my good news. He was happy for me, and while writing The Road To His Soul, I was listening to John’s CD, when it hit me how perfect Don’t Forget Me would be as the love song for the couple in the book. I contacted him to ask if I could mention him and his song in the book, and immediately he replied, “Of course you can. Anything I can do to help.” That’s John. Simply stated. Always willing to help. He told me he had a new CD out and he mailed me a copy. Before long, I became friends with his marketing manager, Kurt Liebetrau, another just super nice guy, who has helped me with some book marketing along the way.

Who is John Adam Murph? I’m going to post his BIO, so you can see for yourself who this man is and learn a little about his music.

Listen to the love song of Colt and Kendyl:

Don’t Forget Me

another JAM

BIO:

John Adam Murph (JAM) is no stranger to the stage. At age 5 he caught the ear of kindergarten music teacher Mike Davis in a small town in south Alabama. Davis took JAM under his wing, pulling him out of class and staying after school to rehearse song after song – all different styles ranging from Vegas show tunes to Hank Williams Sr. At age 6, with permission from JAM’s parents, Davis entered JAM in his first talent competition. At the ripe old age of 6 JAM had his first victory under his belt. That was it, the passion for song and stage was in his blood. Continuing to perform and work with Davis for the next 2 years, JAM was about to endure one of the many things that shaped him as a songwriter and a vocalist. Pain.

It was early one spring morning. JAM was listening to music and singing away in his room when his mother asked him to come out she needed to talk to him. He came out and sat down on the fireplace. JAM’s mother informed him that Mike Davis, his beloved music teacher, had been shot in the head and killed in a hunting accident. Devastated, JAM gave up singing. Despite the support of his family and the community rallying around him, he was done singing. Still with the love of music pumping through his veins, he picked up a pair of drum sticks and buried himself in percussion.

JAM’s family relocated to Georgia. During this time, JAM was becoming quite a drummer, winning several drumming competitions in trap set etc… At 12 years old JAM could not resist the urge to sing again. He continued drumming, playing in several different bands. Then JAM picked up a guitar and the song was on. Listening and playing several different styles of music, JAM realized that country music told real life stories. Stories that were told by good and bad and singers like George Jones, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings and others. Their ability to deliver these lyrics was astonishing to JAM. JAM started writing, playing, singing and laying the foundation for his future.

At the age of 14, he started playing honkytonks and nightclubs around Atlanta. Because he was not yet old enough to be on the bar scene, the club owners would make JAM go and sit in the kitchen between sets. Growing up so fast, JAM decided to take a break from music to pursue a business opportunity in Montgomery, Alabama.

After a while JAM could not ignore his passion for the song and stage. JAM put a band together in Montgomery immediately breeding success playing clubs everywhere, festivals, fairs etc…JAM won several “battle of the band” competitions earning opening spots for artists such as Jo Dee Messina, David Allan Coe, Steve Azar, Nashville String Machine and so many more. JAM was also the only unsigned artist to ever headline Zoo Fest. JAM was making noise down in ‘Bama and Nashville started to take notice.  A prominent producer in Nashville contacted JAM and asked him to meet. After the meeting JAM pulled up roots and moved to Nashville.

Immediately after getting to town, JAM was in the studio making music, and damn good music. JAM’s songs started turning the heads of Nashville’s most successful songwriters. JAM started writing with many of them. JAM was selected for CRS (Country Radio Seminar) “Nashville’s Next Big Thing” category. JAM inked a management deal with Nashville veteran Judy Seale of JSI Inc. JAM entertained the 911 first responders at the Brooklyn, NY fire department, literally singing for his supper. Playing shows all over the globe, JAM has sold out concerts in Sweden, Denmark, Holland and Switzerland. JAM’s patriotism and support for the military has taken him to Iraq seven times with artist such as Charlie Daniels, Darryl Worley, Lonestar, Mark Chestnut, Cheley Wright, Filter, etc.. The new record is done!

JAM is jerking country music up by the roots and shaking the pop off!


You can find out more about John and listen to his music, or order a CD on his website: http://www.johnadammurph.com/
“Like” his Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/fansofJAM?fref=ts
Follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/johnadammurph
I’d like to thank John and Kurt for their help in this venture of mine and thank both of them for being guests on my blog.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about JAM. Check out his website. Next week, I’ll give you a sneak peek into The Road To His Soul, so stop back by. Until then, stay safe and have a great week.               Love, Anna

Marketing Tips from Kurt Liebetrau

Kurt professional

Welcome back to Anna’s World. This week, it is my pleasure to introduce you to a friend of mine, Kurt Liebetrau. Kurt is the Marketing Director for John Adam Murph, rising country star. I’ve talked about JAM in the past, both here and on my Facebook page. He’s mentioned in my soon-to-be-released, The Road To His Soul, which is Book #3 in my Fab Five series. May 22 is the big day! John has allowed me to use his name and one of his love ballads, Don’t Forget Me, as the theme song for the lovers in the book, Kendyl and Colt. Perfect song for their storyline, and when you read the book, you’ll understand why.

 

Today, Kurt’s going to give us some marketing tips geared towards authors. Since meeting Kurt through John, he’s often helped me out and when I asked him if he’d take time out of his busy schedule to do an interview for my blog, he immediately said yes. I found his suggestions to be very helpful and I hope you will too. Let’s see what he has to say!

 

 

Anna: Wow, welcome to my blog, Kurt. I finally cornered you long enough to get you to spill some marketing secrets for all my author friends and me. First of all, why don’t you tell my readers a little about yourself, what you do, what type of experience you have?

Kurt: I grew up in a small town in Michigan and have lived on or near the water most of my life. I lived in Daytona Beach for 21 years and moved to Huntsville, Alabama and am living on the TN River.  Needless to say, I love anything outdoors; fishing, hunting, four wheeling, scuba diving, surfing, skiing, cliff diving, caving, etc.  If I’m outside; I’m happy, if I’m on the water; I’m in love.  I started in the direct mail and marketing business in 1984. I have owned several direct marketing firms over the years and have seen quite a shift in marketing efforts over the years but most significantly within the last five years with the rise of social media.

Anna: Lots of marketing background, just what we need around here. As you know, we Indie authors have to do a lot of our own marketing. Our publishers market for us, but in order to be successful, that’s not enough. We have to really dig in and find new and exciting ways to bring the readers to us. I use the social media, along with blogging to spread the word about my books. I, along with other people, tell everyone we know, I pass out bookmarks, I’ve planned some book signings for later this year, but I’m sure there are ideas we haven’t even thought of. Do you, as a marketing expert, have any suggestions for us?

Kurt: Social media is an excellent tool to spread the word.  Being in front of your readers as much as possible is very important, especially using different mediums such as Facebook, Twitter, Email, Website, etc.  Make sure your website is mobile friendly.  Here are ten musts for social media marketing:

1. Respond to every comment — Seems simple enough. Someone’s taken the time to engage with you; they deserve your attention. But when you get busy it’s easy to let those things pile up and go unanswered. If you don’t have time to personally reply to every Facebook comment or tweet, at least like/favorite them.

2. Make sure your website is social-friendly — Does your website make social sharing easy? If not, download one of the plug-ins that enables share buttons (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, G+, etc.). Don’t make someone have to do extra work to share your latest book release or blog post.

3. Customize your social profiles — No one wants to follow THE EGG on Twitter. And a big, bland Facebook header image isn’t doing you any favors either. So really take the time to add compelling profile images, background images, bios, etc. Oh, and don’t forget to put something in the “About” section on your Facebook Author page.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in the real world — Your family, friends, and existing readers are the ones who can help you spread the word early on. Don’t be shy about asking for some sharing, engagement, and retweet love.

5. Don’t confuse your personal profiles with your author profiles — When you’ve got a personal Facebook profile, an author page, multiple Twitter accounts, and everything else — it’s easy to get confused about where you’re posting new content. Make sure to double check that your latest Instagram photo of your new book cover is going to your author page and author Twitter feed. It’s not rocket science to fix a mistake, but it’s a bit of a pain — and kind of embarrassing too.

6. Reward frequent interaction — Offer prizes or have a “reader of the week” title for people who regularly interact with you through social media and share your content.

7. Post consistently — Don’t disappear for months at a time. You don’t necessarily have to tweet or post something on Facebook every day (though it never hurts!) — but avoid long dormant stretches. It conditions your readers to forget you.

8. Remind people to follow you via social media — Use your book covers, bookmarks, your book signing,  and your email newsletter to tell folks where they can find you on social media.

9. Have a conversation —

Don’t just promote your latest release non-stop. Engage with other folks you admire. Ask for your fans’ opinions. Show them your goofy side. Tell them a secret.

10. Don’t autopost everything —

There are tools you can use to post a single update to multiple channels — Facebook, Twitter, etc. — with the push of a button. But people who follow you on each platform want to get a unique experience in each place. So while it’s ok to use the autopost method occasionally, try to make an effort to give each of your social media audiences a little something different.

Anna: These days, you’re the marketing director for country artist, John Adam Murph, also known as JAM. Tell us a little about what you do for JAM as far as marketing.

Kurt:  It’s been a pleasure to be the marketing director for John Adam  Murph. The first thing we did is to completely redo his website: johnadammurph.com  then we created a new Facebook band page.  Having JAM in front of his fans as much as possible through social media is extremely important to us.  With every new release or live show we create an event and hype it up as much as possible. Although keeping fans updated is important, getting new fans is even more important.  With likes, sharings and retweets, we are able to accomplish this.

Anna: Since John so graciously allowed me to use his name and his love ballad, Don’t Forget Me, in my upcoming release, The Road To His Soul, I’ve probably driven you crazy posting on your facebook wall and sending you PM’s. I have to say, you’ve been very sweet and patient with me. Now’s your chance to talk about JAM on my turf. Tell us all about this guy, who is not only a great singer, but a wonderful person, as well. I’ll be dedicating a post to him soon on this blog, just before the book releases, but I want you to tell us a little “backstage” info that we won’t hear from him.

Kurt:  JAM is a father of four beautiful children, three boys and a beautiful girl. His oldest, Caleb “CAM” who is 15, is becoming quite the phenomenal guitarist, following in his Daddy’s footsteps!  JAM has a heart of gold and would be the first person to give you the shirt off his back!  Most girls dream of that…he’s quite the “eye candy” as my friend Kim says!  He truly is the entire package, from his songwriting, to his vocals, to his heart for the troops.  He’s been over to Iraq seven times to play for the troops through the Stars for Stripes foundation.  He has a memory that I’ve never seen in anyone and is borderline genius.  His music speaks for itself and will stand up to anyone out there!

Anna: Yes, he’s one-in-a-million, that’s for sure. I’ve know JAM for about five years and he’s just a super guy! Thank you so much for taking time out to chat with me today, Kurt. I’m looking forward to having you stop by the release event on Facebook for The Road To His Soul to help me out like you did the day my first book, Crossroad to Love, was released. It’s been a pleasure to sit down and pick your brain about marketing. (Not like I haven’t done it before, but this time I’m sharing your insight with my blog readers.) Now, I’ll let you go so you can finish your day’s work and hit that favorite fishing spot, like I know you want to. You’ve found the perfect balance between work and play, something many authors have yet to find.

Kurt: It’s my pleasure Anna, and best of luck to you and your fellow authors as well as your readers. I hope I have given someone some insight to this world of social media.  Fish On!!!  JAM On!!!

Thanks for visiting Anna’s World today. Feel free to leave a comment or a question for us. Next week, I’ll be doing a feature on JAM and his music, so you’re not going to want to miss that!!!!! Until then, have a fabulous week!

Love,

Anna

Kurt having fun!!!Kurt's pic