Reader’s Parlor: An interview with super reader Kathy Heare Watts

Why should authors get all the glory? If it wasn’t for readers, most authors wouldn’t be writing. Today kicks off a new feature called Reader’s Parlor in which I interview readers. My first guest is “super reader” Kathy Heare Watts, who reads 700 books a year. She writes reviews under the handle Redrabbitt, and was recently named an Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer!

Please welcome Kathy Heare (pronounced “hare” like the rabbit) Watts.

Cara: What do you like to read?

Kathy: I am rather eclectic in my reading, about the only thing I won’t read is horror and true crime.  I can go from reading a sweet clean romance to the next book being explicit erotica.  Some days, I want to get into a long drawn out story that will take me all day, and other days, I am in the mood for maybe tackling a couple of novellas.  It is all contingent on what is coming due with ARC books.

No matter what, there isn’t a single day that goes by that I don’t read.  If I have company, traveling, or appointments, I may only get a few chapters in and other days, I will read and review a couple of books.   I write a review for every single book I read and leave reviews at Amazon, BN, Goodreads, which links to my Facebook page, plus I note it on Pinterest and send out a tweet and tag the author.   I joke, my business hours are from about 10:30ish am to about 3:30 am.  I am a night owl, and I read until I go to bed.

Cara: Why do you read? What do you enjoy most about reading?

Kathy: Reading has been a lifesaver for me.  I am one of those people that suffers depression in the winter, better known as SAD.  For some reason, since I started reading every single day, I am not affected.

My mother taught in private school and would tell her students that “readers are leaders.” I have always loved reading and can get lost inside a book.

I love getting into a story, the mystery, the characters, the interaction, and even a sci-fi or fantasy can take me away with the images author details in a story. I find reading a great way to continue learning as an adult.   I watch no television at all.  I read an average of six or more hours per day, averaging two books per day.  From the time I get up until I go to bed, I have the computer on, checking email, Facebook, and reading. I prefer to write a review as soon as I finish a book.

Cara: What do you love to see in a story? What are your pet peeves?

Kathy: I want a story, even a fantasy or sci-fi, to have a sense of believability and consistency.  That also goes for an erotic story, and trust me; I had read stories that I had a headache afterward from rolling my eyes and saying, “Nope, not happening!”

Believe it or not, I catch what some people might consider silly things.  If you tell me the person is in the Marines and then later you have them in the Army, I notice.  I want consistency in the characters. I’ve even caught changes in names or spelling of the characters within the story.  I guess if I care enough to buy the book, read it and review it, I want the author to care enough to keep things straight too.  One author told me I needed to re-read her book when I complained about the doctor in the story because she had them as a Pediatrician and other times as an Obstetrician.  They are different fields.

Cara: What’s on your TBR list right now?

Kathy: That list honestly changes from day to day.  I read ARC for a large group of authors and a couple of publishers.  I keep not one, but two calendars, several lists, and I often check to see what is coming up, what I need to get read, and who is next in line, based on release dates  As a list-maker, I find great satisfaction in marking items off as complete.  I have my 2018 calendar already with books for January and February marked.  I know there is another anthology in January around the 2nd week.

Hunted By The Cyborg by Cara Bristol for January 9th
Mountain Rose by Cheryl St. John by January 15th
2 for Caryl McAddo January 15th & 23rd
2 for Lauren Marie in January whenever I can work them in

Cara: When you’re not reading, what do you like to do?

Kathy: My husband and I love to go antiquing, we have even taken trips with this as our main intent.  When we travel, we spend many hours in antique stores.  Just this past summer, we took a trip to Missouri to see our son and his family, and we bought a large tote to put the various items we found in it.  I love that I don’t have to work and enjoy cooking and baking.  I also find such joy being around my grandchildren; they help keep me young.

Cara: If you could meet one fictional character, who would it be and why?

Kathy: Oh my, I guess I would love to be there in the barn with Avery listening to Charlotte and Wilber, along with the other animals conversing.

I’m sure I read the story more than eight times as a child, then introduced it to my children, and now my grandchildren.  I have more than one version of Charlotte’s Web as a movie too. The live version is my favorite.

Quick five:

Ebook, print or audiobook: Ebooks

Your favorite place to read: In front of the computer

Number of books you read in a year: Over 700, all with a review

A favorite childhood book: Charlotte’s Web

Favorite beverage while reading: Water

Kathy Heare Watts

 I am 59 years young and have been married for 41 years to the love of my life, Steve. We are blessed with 3 children and 10 grandchildren. Our two daughters are here in TN, and our son is military and in Missouri.  I was an Army brat, so I lived many places including MD, WV, AZ, NC, CO, Germany twice, and TN. We live in Sevierville, TN which is at the Foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Besides reading, I enjoy cooking, antique shopping and spending time with family.  I have two feral female cats (both spayed) that I can pet now.  I laughed never thinking about their names until I was calling them one morning, Smoky and Bandit.

Facebook | | Redrabbitt’s Books & Reviews | Goodreads  | Twitter @heare2watts | Tumblr|  Instagram

 

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Bracing for a whirlwind 2018, what I expect this year…

As I write this, I am sitting in the calm before the storm.  2018 is showing every indication of being a category 5 hurricane.

I had high hopes this year of writing/publishing only four, maybe five books. You know, cutting back? Taking it easier. Right away, plans have changed. I got invited to write for the Intergalactic Dating Agency series, and it’s such a good segue to my Alien Mate series, I couldn’t turn it down. So that will add three (yes, three) books to my lineup.

Complicating the book release schedule will be several out-of-town trips. In 2017, my husband I didn’t take a vacation at all, but we’re making up for it this year.

So here’s the schedule as it will roll out:

  • January 9 – Hunted by the Cyborg (Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance 6) releases.
  • Mid-Feb – March – Vacation in London & Norway
  • March 12 – Rescued by the Cyborg (Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance 5.5) releases. This was my story in Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2. I’m releasing it as a single title. It’s a prequel to Hunted ( Cy-Ops 6), so it’s book 5.5.
  • May 15 – Alien Attraction (Alien Mate 2) releases!
  • May – vacation in New Orleans
  • July – Alien Mate 3!
  • July – Daughter’s Vegas wedding and my 25th wedding anniversary
  • Sept. – Mastermind marketing conference in Houston
  • Fall 2018 – Intergalactic Dating Agency books to release.

In between  the release dates will be preorders, BookBub deals (hopefully!) and known and unknown special events & promotions.

My goal is to double my newsletter subscriber list by year end and increase my BookBub following by a third.

I hope to decrease blogging. Ha ha ha. I say that every year.  But, this time I mean it!

Speaking of blogging, I have a new blog feature: Reader’s Parlor in which I will interview real, live readers. Beginning tomorrow, January 4, Reader’s Parlor will post every Thursday.

I will also continue Authors In Space, a Saturday feature in which science fiction romance authors show off their home offices or (non) office writing spaces. (If there’s an SFR author whose office you’d like to see, leave me a comment, and I’ll contact him/her.). Backlist to the Future has been discontinued.

And, the fourth Friday of every month is reserved for Freebie Friday, my monthly no-catch prize drawing.

Anyway, I’d better go batten down the hatches.

Oh, one more thing…Did you know I recently started a private Facebook group for readers & fans to hang out? You can find Chat with Cara here.

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2017 in review: a surprising renaissance year…my best ever….

The year in review blog is my annual report to myself. Compiling and analyzing the data give me insight and direction to move forward. 2017 was a pivotal year for me.

It was a surprisingly great year. I’m calling 2017 the renaissance year. After hitting a three-year earnings plateau from 2014-2016, book sales took a quantum leap, earning 42% more than the previous three years. What makes it surprising is that I had expected a significant decrease in annual sales/revenue.  I had braced for the year of the Titanic.

I was so convinced  I wouldn’t earn in 2017 what I did in previously that I cut back on my quarterly tax payments to the IRS, and now I’ll probably be hit with tax penalties for underpayment.

A brief historical analysis: although I’d sold more books in 2016 than 2015, I  had to work harder in 2016 to earn the same amount as the previous year. And by the 4th quarter of 2016, sales began to drop. Sales declined every month until February of 2017 when they pretty much bottomed out.

Then I had seven record-setting sales months in a row. It was an e-ticket ride.

The turnaround demonstrates how unpredictable the book business is. I hadn’t predicted the downturn, and I didn’t foresee the upturn. (That doesn’t mean there wasn’t a reason for the sales slump, which I address at the end of this blog). When I saw sales begin to slide, I tried a lot of new things and worked my ass off to reposition myself. I spent more on advertising than I ever have and took a marketing training class. While those endeavors helped, what mattered the most was the books themselves. Some books get more attention than others, and I happened to have some attention-getters this year.  But it wasn’t random. I had a strategy for what I wrote & released and when, and the strategy worked.

So, this is the year that was….

Brand new titles published – 4

 Backlisted books re-released – 4

Loose Id had previously published the Breeder series. The rights reverted to me, and I re-released them.

Words written in 2017 – 229,376 

 Other highlights

  • Hit the USA Today bestseller list for the 2nd time (Pets in Space 2).
  • Doubled my newsletter subscription list organically
  • Got three BookBub featured deals (yes, this did contribute to my earning’s success)
  • Completed Nick Stephenson’s Your First 10K Readers online class (which contributed significantly to doubling my newsletter subscriber list)
  • I made Stranded with the Cyborg permafree and did two big promotion campaigns
  • Participated in two charity projects, Authors in Pink, in which I donated 10% of October proceeds from Terran to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, and Pets in Space 2, which donated 10% of the first month’s proceeds to Hero-dogs.org, which provides service animals to veterans.
  • I started a new Facebook reader group, Chat with Cara, for fans of my books

Blogging Highlights

(I blog, therefore, I am)

  • Though you probably can’t tell it from looking at it, I completely changed my blogging strategy (after taking Nick’s class), which led to the increase in my newsletter subscription rate.
  • I started three new regular features: Backlist to the Future, a Throwback Thursday for guest author books; Authors in Space, photos of science fiction romance authors’ offices/writing spaces; and Freebie Friday, a prize giveaway on the 4th Friday of each month.
  • Blogs posted: 226
  • Blog hits/page views: 66,746/84,685 (an average of more than 5,500 visits per month)
  • Total lifetime hits/ page views (2011- 2017) – 580,042/886,717

Newsletter

  • Newsletters sent – 32
  • Subscribers: doubled
  • Implemented a regular newsletter schedule
  • Implemented an autoresponder campaign for new subscribers

Instagram followers – 900, an increase of 514 over 2016’s 386.

BookBub followers – 765, an increase of 732 over the 33 at the start of the year

Some final words

In the summer of 2017, in the middle of my e-ticket ride, I analyzed my book sales history. I wanted to know why sales had declined so much in the 4Q2016/1Q2017. Was it something I had been doing (that’s always my first assumption)? Was it a change in the market? What?

Historically, book sales do decline in the 4th quarter with the holiday season. October is the last good month in which to publish. November gets iffy, and December is the dead zone.

So, a 4th quarter slump is to be expected. But there were things that I did that made it worse.

It was a real head-thumper when I figured it out. Duh. I know that I need to publish one book per quarter to maintain my income level. But in 2016, my 4th quarter book (published in October), was an anthology. Authors do not make money on anthologies. By the time the proceeds are divided among 8, 10, 12 or more authors, the revenue is nominal. What I had expected, was a rise in sales on my other SFR books. I don’t know how the other authors fared, but I saw no sell-through as a result of being in the anthology. And that was my only new book in the 4th quarter of 2016.

But I hadn’t made the connection until the summer of 2017, so I committed to a second one because it was such a warm & fuzzy project (fun stories & a portion of the proceeds benefitted US veterans). And guess what? Same results! Because I didn’t have “my own book” in October, 4th quarter revenue declined (BTW, the contract did not allow authors to publish their own books during the anthology release period). This time, I did see a small sell-through on my other books, but not enough to make up the difference. However, what saved the fourth quarter  was getting a BookBub deal on Breeder in September and another BookBub on an old spanking romance in December. The sell-through from BookBub meant that I ended the year with a bang instead of a whimper.

Another contributing factor to the downturn in 2016 and the upturn in 2017 was that in the 4th quarter of 2016  I “went wide.”  Previously, I had bounced between Kindle Unlimited and “going wide.” I’d put books into KU, I’d take books out of KU. In the 4th quarter of 2016, I committed to going wide, did not review the KU contracts, and uploaded the books to the other sites. It took a while to build an audience at the other sites to replace the lost KU revenue, but it did happen. It took about six months. I’m now growing my readership at the other sites.

What hit home this year was the necessity to keep my eye on the ball. To make strategic decisions, weigh opportunities against potential and historical results, but also give a plan time to work. I have to make smart decisions, but also take risks. What goes up, will come down, but what drops, can go back up. I just have to stay on top of my game.

Coming tomorrow, Jan. 3: plans for 2018

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Charlee Allden designs her office to spark creativity #AuthorsInSpace #SFR

By Charlee Allden

My office was a major selling point back when I bought my townhouse ten years ago. It is a strange little flex space between the main part of the house and the garage with lovely French doors that open onto my patio. I was downsizing at the time, but one thing I didn’t want to downsize was my creative space. It was the first room in the house to get paint on the walls. I covered up pale blue with the more creativity boosting warm, earth tone shades of gold and orange and hung some of my favorite inspiring prints on the wall. In most of my house I prefer a clean uncluttered look, but not so in my office. It’s organized and functional but there is color and “stuff” everywhere. It is all part of letting my creativity spark and jump and make new connections.

The edges of my shelves are lined with miniature Star Trek spaceships for fun and signs sending words of wisdom into my brain every time I look around. Behind them, deeper on the shelves, you’ll find a testament to my writing journey and my love of the craft of writing–books on everything from editing to plot and structure. I have an embarrassingly messy little book case with even more of my writing and research books. I should really clean it up and get e-copies of everything!

The irony of the space is that I no longer do much writing in my office. Oh, I still do a lot in the space, but once I start writing, everything else melts away and all I need is my ancient HP-mini and a place to plug in when the power gets low.

Charlee Allden Bio

Charlee Allden is a long time fan of love, adventure, and happily-ever-after. She writes sexy science fiction romance and is the author of the Arena Dogs series.

Website  FacebookTwitter

Stealing Mercury Blurb

Stealing Mercury is the first Arena Dogs novel—a  sexy, intense, new series that introduces readers to an enslaved race, engineered by The Roma Company to fight and die in gladiator-style arena games.

In Stealing Mercury, Samantha Devlin is hired to pilot a courier ship, when she discovers her cargo is actually three Arena Dogs condemned to death for daring to fight for their freedom. Mercury, their leader, and Lo, his emotionally broken arena-brother, challenge all her notions of honor, loyalty, and love as she discovers just how much she will risk to keep them…and herself alive.

US: Kindle  Nook  Kobo  iBooks 

Kindle Int’l  AU  UK  CA

See the offices of other SFR Authors

Charlee Allden Tasha Black |Cara BristolM.K. Eidem | Grace Goodwin |  Susan Grant | Laurie Green | Rinelle GreyA.M. Griffin | Kyndra Hatch |  Michelle HowardPauline Baird Jones | Eve Langlais |  Alexis Glynn Latner | Sue Lyndon |  Charmaine Pauls|  Sabine Priestley | Rebecca Royce |  Veronica ScottJessica Subject | S.E. “Susan” SmithCarol Van Natta | Anna Zaires

 

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Backlist to the Future: Warrior Wench by Marie Andreas, #Kickass #Heroine

By Marie Andreas

This book started out as a graphic novel idea. I even had the first scene storyboarded. Alas, my artistic skills wouldn’t have cut it ;). I still think it would make a great graphic novel—or fast-paced Anime movie. This book means a lot to me as it was one of my first NaNo books and was a blast to write. Literally—things often blow up in this book. It’s a love letter, in a fashion, to all the great SF adventures I read as a kid—but with a kick-ass-take-no-prisoners woman in charge instead.

Warrior Wench blurb

Vaslisha Tor Dain is a mercenary starship captain with a few simple rules: A good ship is better than a great man, in case of confusion always err on the side of blowing someone’s head off, and never fall for a telepath or a member of her crew.

All of those are about to bite her in the ass.

Vas’s life takes a turn for the worse when she comes back to her crew after what should have been a two week pleasure trip to find out she’s actually been gone a month and has no memory of missing time. Her beloved ship, The Victorious Dead, has been sold for scrap and its pieces scattered throughout the galaxy. In addition, there are unmarked ships blowing apart entire planets and the Commonwealth government can’t, or won’t, stop them.

And that’s just her first day back.

Vas has to fight her crew, the Commonwealth, and a mysterious cadre of warrior monks to get her ship back and save a universe that may not want to be saved.

Excerpt

The droid’s sharp rap on the door lead to muffled swearing in two different languages. Which told her two things: they’d found Deven, and he wasn’t gambling for money.

Her second-in-command had many appetites.

She stepped around the droid and added her own pounding to the door. “Deven, it’s me. Get your ass out here.” She paused, and added, “Clothed. Get your clothed ass out here.” Better to be safe. He preferred stark naked.

An increase in the swearing signaled his acknowledgment of her command. The door swung open and a curvaceous blonde stumbled out of the room, a dazed glow on her face. Obviously, Deven had been the one making the extra cash in this scenario.

Her second-in-command was next through the doorway, looking as fresh as if he’d had time for an hour-long sonic shower before he dressed. Tall and exotic looking, Deven seemed to glow himself as he came out of the room. His standard issue flight suit looking like he’d had it been personally tailored to fit his body like a glove. He’d always been good looking, but he seemed different now. She shivered. Maybe absence did make the heart grow fonder. However, it certainly wasn’t going to make her break her rule about getting involved with a member of her crew. Or a telepath.

Deven’s sharp green eyes glinted with mild amusement at whatever he thought was going on in her head. Then he smiled and pulled his dark hair into a ponytail at his nape.

She hated him for always looking perfect. No matter the situation, Deven stayed calm, clean, and relaxed. Somehow she was sure he did it to piss her off. Maybe that anger could chase off whatever other unhealthy feelings were going on in her head.

“We’ve got a problem, a job, and a missing crew.” She didn’t wait for him to respond before she marched toward the casino floor.

She didn’t hear his steps, but the powerful presence at her side told her he’d caught up.

“You were supposed to be here two weeks ago.”

“Yes.” A two-foot-tall Jerlian in a permanently wrinkled suit, sloshed synth-cohol on her boots as he tried to hug her knees. Had Skrankle not already managed to ruin said boots, she would have seen how far she could kick a Jerlian on a low-grav planet. Instead, she took two steps around him and moved toward the exit.

“You didn’t call.”

“No, I didn’t. My being late has nothing to do with you or our next job. Can we move it, please?” She didn’t want to discuss her recent travels, and certainly not in the middle of a casino. Nothing had happened. She was just late. There just wasn’t a reason to talk about it. She squashed the tiny voice that said she needed to talk about it.

“Vas saying please? Now I know something is wrong.” Deven pulled up short before the casino exit.

It would take a week to get off this rock if her entire crew decided to be this chatty about her private issues. “I don’t ask what you’re doing,” she said and held up a hand. “I don’t want to know. I’m not going to tell you what I was doing. We have a job and we have a ship. Do you want to earn some money on your feet for once or not?”

“Ouch, got me.” The smile he flashed caused two nearby women to swoon as Vas and Deven left the casino.

Buy link:  AMAZON

Marie Andreas bio

Marie is a fantasy and science fiction reader with a serious writing addiction. If she wasn’t writing about all of the people in her head, she’d be lurking about coffee shops annoying innocent passer-by with her stories. So really, writing is a way of saving the masses. She lives in Southern California and is currently owned by two insane cats.

When not saving the general populace from coffee shop shenanigans, Marie likes to visit the UK and keeps hoping someone will give her a nice summer home in the Forest of Dean.

Visit Marie at Marie Andreas

♥  ♥  ♥

This week’s Backlist to the Future is the last one. The feature will be discontinued in 2018, to be replaced by Reader’s Parlor, in which I interview readers about their reading habits, likes & dislikes ~ Cara

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The reading order of the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance series…

Some readers have asked what order they should read the  Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance series.

I want to emphasize that each book of the cyborg romance series is a standalone with an HEA, no cliffhangers. Each book is a complete story; you don’t have to read the previous books to enjoy any of them; you can read them out of order. Promise.

That said, there is  a chronology to the books, and time moves forward as the series progresses. For instance, up until Book 3, Carter Aymes, the director of Cy-Ops was an “ordinary” human. But in Captured by the Cyborg, he becomes a cyborg. A few years later (in romance novel time) he finally becomes the hero and gets in own book in Hunted by the Cyborg.

Finally, I’d like to mention that there are six main books (novels) and two “half books”  (novellas), sandwiched between the main ones.

If you were to read them in chronological order, here’s the lineup:

Stranded with the Cyborg (Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance 1), Brock Mann and Penelope “Pia” Aaron. The only thing worse than being marooned with your nemesis is falling in love with him.

Married to the Cyborg, (Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance 1.5), Brock and Pia have a second romantic adventure. This FREE story is only available  to newsletter subscribers.

Mated to the Cyborg (Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance 2), Kai Andros and Mariska. His mission: infiltrate the terrorist cell. Get the intel. Get out. Don’t fall in love.

Captured by the Cyborg (Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance 3), Dale Homme and Illumina. He’ll do anything to keep her safe, even take her captive.

Trapped by the Cyborg (Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance 4), Sonny Masters and Amanda “Manny” Mansfield. Her cyborg partner is everything she dislikes—and everything her body wants.

Claimed by the Cyborg (Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance 5), March Fellows and Empress Julietta of Xenia. To love him required only one thing—surrendering an empire.

Rescued by the Cyborg (Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance 5.5), Guy Roarke and Solia. When a cyborg’s haunted past and a Faria’s clouded future collide, will love be enough to save them? This book was originally published in Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2 in Oct. 2017, but will be re-released as a single title in March 2018.

Hunted by the Cyborg (Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance 6), Carter Aymes and Beth O’Shea. He dedicated his life and wealth to rescuing others. Will his new love be the one person he can’t save? Hunted by the Cyborg is currently available on preorder, with a release date of January 9, 2018. Preorder buyers will receive a FREE bonus story, Cyborg Attraction, with Hunted by the Cyborg on release day.

Hunted by the Cyborg blurb

Billionaire Carter Aymes, director of Cyber Operations, a covert cyborg force, devotes his wealth and time to saving lives, rescuing hostages and other victims from desperate situations. His ultimate mission is to hunt down and eliminate Lamani, the alien terrorist mastermind, before he conquers the galaxy.

When Carter hires Beth O’Shea, a vulnerable yet courageous woman with connections to his past, their attraction is immediate and strong, but he knows getting involved with her is a bad idea. He’s her boss, and he has way too many classified projects to risk letting someone get close.

Rejected by the progenitors who cloned her, Beth is determined to live a normal human life, beginning by getting an ordinary job with a security firm. But, from the start, she questions the extraordinary secrecy surrounding the organization. She can’t help but wonder about the tall, muscled, larger-than-life director who gave her a chance when she desperately needed one. Could he ever be romantically interested in a woman like her, in a clone?

When Beth is attacked, they both realize how short and tenuous life is, and their mutual attraction becomes too powerful to resist.

As their relationship heats up, so does the urgency to capture Lamani before he can unleash a stealth weapon at a critical planetary Summit meeting. With time running out, Carter discovers that stopping Lamani may require sacrificing Beth’s life.

Will Carter be able to rescue her, or will his new love be the one person he can’t save?

Early birds get the freebies!! Preorder Hunted by the Cyborg now and get a BONUS sci-fi romance, Cyborg Attraction on release day, Jan. 9. Cyborg Attraction will be at the back of Hunted by the Cyborg. After release day, new book files without the freebie will be uploaded to vendor sites.

Universal buy link ~ GooglePlay buy link

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Author & military wife Kyndra Hatch toys with different writing spaces #AuthorsInSpace

By Kyndra Hatch

There is one constant in my life, and that is moving. In the 15 years I’ve been married, we’ve moved 10 times. And, wouldn’t you guess it, we’re about to embark on our 11th. So, when Cara asked if I’d like to write a post about my writing space, I wasn’t sure how I’d do that. My writing space is all over the place! And changes yearly in some cases. My current writing space in New York is so temporary that I’m not even sure it counts. Why do we move so much? My husband is in the military. This moving thing isn’t slowing down in the foreseeable future.

So, where do I write? Typically wherever my chair ends up. I have a brown La-Z-Boy rocker that I studied in as a child. My parents gave it to me when I went to college and it has been with me ever since. It’s old, somewhat ratty, and creeks and squeaks louder than a railcar, but I can’t sit anywhere else when I’m writing. When I first started writing in 2007, I did try out my husband’s computer desk. That did not last long. I needed a laptop so I could sit in my chair.

How about a tour of my writing spaces over the years? It was fun going through tons of photos to find these. So many memories!

These first two photos are my writing space when we were stationed in Florida. Oh, right, did I mention my husband and I are avid toy collectors? Any time we are in some place for more than a couple years, we unpack the collection. So, that’s the Transformers, G.I. Joe, and Voltron collection in my first ‘office’ space. We called it ‘The Reagan Room.’ Not because we lean any certain way politically, but because Ronald Reagan was president in the 1980s and there was some weird but amazing toylines that came out during that period.

Then we moved on to DC. I could never figure out the best spot to be in that house. We unpacked the Star Wars collection there and I wrote in “The Star Wars Room” often, but found it too distracting. I was too busy looking at the toys and finding that some were missing, which led my mind wondering where they are, which storage unit they might be in, and that just wasn’t helping me stay on track. So, I moved downstairs in front of the TV.

We also couldn’t seem to get organized, so lots of things ended up in my chair all the time. Kitty couldn’t resist and I didn’t always have the heart to kick the old soul off. There are so many pictures of her sitting in my chair that I think that’s really all I did while we lived in DC, take pictures of the cat.

Then we moved down to Alabama. We kept all the toys packed up. In fact, we haven’t unpacked them since DC and that was three moves ago. My chair ended up by the fireplace and it was a real nice place to write.

After only eleven months in Alabama, we moved to Nevada. Holy goodness, it was so hot there I just wanted my chair to be in the coolest place I could find in the house. Kitty ‘helped’ me often.

On to Upstate New York! The joke is that they felt like we needed a wardrobe change, so they moved us from the hottest place to the coldest place. Upstate New York is a complete 180 from Nevada. After a couple of long summers of simmering heat, I am enjoying the cold. And one of my favorite things in the world is snow. There is a giant patio window, the perfect place to park my chair and watch the snow come down. The perfect place to write!

Kyndra Hatch bio:

Kyndra Hatch grew up with a fascination for science fiction and a deep interest in ancient civilizations, a combination which fuels her active imagination. After twelve exciting years as an archaeologist, Kyndra has decided to take a break from her career to have more time with her husband of fifteen years. She pursues a passion for writing and has discovered her works have a decidedly science fiction romantic flair. She is an active member of the SFR Brigade and her debut story, “The Stranger,” won the 2014 SFR Galaxy Award for Outstanding Debut Story.

Kyndra also writes science fiction, horror, and dark humor short stories as L.K. Hatchett.

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Aliens in the Barn

Bazin and three other Beryllians crashed landed on Earth years ago. Stranded due to a rookie mistake, it is a sore issue among them. Finding solitude in a human’s abandoned construct, he hopes against hope to be reunited with his bond-mate one day.

Miaxa has traveled thousands of light-years to find her missing mate, only to find he has befriended an organic and is even living in some organic structure. Even more disturbing is how flammable everything is on this strange planet. And Bazin has the audacity to toy with her? She should just kill him and be done with it.

Alexander Maddox has a special job with the government involving aliens from another world. The ones living in his barn were unexpected. Misunderstandings a daily occurrence, he is sure his resident aliens will be the death of him. A life in pieces collection of the Maddox family’s everyday life with their alien residents.

Amazon Barnes & Noble |  iBooks |  Kobo

* * Comments on Facebook are awesome, but if you leave Kyndra a comment here as well, she’ll know you visited! * *

See the offices of other SFR Authors

Tasha Black |Cara BristolM.K. Eidem | Grace Goodwin |  Susan Grant | Laurie Green | Rinelle GreyA.M. Griffin | Kyndra Hatch |  Michelle HowardPauline Baird Jones | Eve Langlais |  Alexis Glynn Latner | Sue Lyndon |  Charmaine Pauls|  Sabine Priestley | Rebecca Royce |  Veronica ScottJessica Subject | S.E. “Susan” SmithCarol Van Natta | Anna Zaires

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Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card in the Freebie Friday drawing ~ Holiday edition! #FreebieFriday, #Giveaway #SFR

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Hanukkah just ended, Christmas is right around the corner, and New Year’s is on the way.

In celebration of the season, this month’s Freebie Friday drawing is bigger and better than before! Answer a simple question and enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card! You have until Sunday at midnight to enter. The winner will be notified and announced on  Tuesday, Dec. 26.

♥ ♥ ♥

I’ve been nominated for “Favorite Sci-fi Romance Author” in a Facebook poll by Spunky N Sassy. If I’m one of your favorite SFR authors, would you cast a quick vote? VOTE HERE. Thank you.

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Backlist to the Future: The Chaos of Luck by Catherine Cerveny, #scifirom

By Catherine Cerveny

When I originally wrote THE RULE OF LUCK, I never expected to write a sequel. Never. Ever. Sure, I daydreamed about what might happen to the characters after the first book ended and even imagined a few scenes, but nothing concrete. I figured I had my one great idea and I was all set. Time to move on to another project, and consider what I wanted to write next.

When The RULE OF LUCK sold as part of a two-book deal with an option for a third, I suddenly had to take the random scenes I’d imagined and turn them into something more. Not just more, but turn them into an entire book! And I had to do it in six months! It was a dream come true, and a nightmare.

I’d never written a sequel before. What did I know sequels? Absolutely nothing. Less than nothing. I honestly didn’t think I could do it, and if I did, would it be as good as the first book? Could I maintain the same level of action, adventure, and romance? Did these characters have any story left in them?

Well, they did, I did, and it is. I love THE CHAOS OF LUCK. Know how when you watch a rom-com and you wonder if the characters will still be together in the weeks and months after the movie ends? In THE CHAOS OF LUCK, I got to answer all those questions for myself. I was able to explore my characters, their relationships, and see if they could survive the challenges I threw at them.

I also had another chance to play around in the future society I’d created in the first book. My approach to science-fiction is of the “golly, gee-whiz, that’s so awesome” mindset. I know my science isn’t completely accurate, but it sounds cool and seems plausible, and I loved monkeying around that world. Getting to expand on it was so much fun, it didn’t even feel like work.

Chaos of Luck Blurb

Mars, the terraformed jewel of the TriSystem, is the playground for the rich and powerful. A marvel of scientific engineering, the newly colonized world offers every luxury. For the first time in human history, the picture perfect life is possible.

Felicia Sevigny’s come to the Red Planet for a fresh start. She’s brought the tarot cards that have been her family’s trade for generations but is hoping to leave the rest of her troubled past behind.

Felicia wants to believe that Mars will also be a clean slate for her and Alexei Petriv, notorious leader of the Tsarist Consortium, but her cards keep predicting something even darker and more insidious is ahead. Something that could mean the end, not just for her and Alexei, but for the entire TriSystem — and all of humanity.

Chaos of Luck Excerpt

He brushed a thumb over my cheek and across my lips as if memorizing the contours of my face before he kissed my forehead. “I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

Then he let me go, turned on his heel, and left the shop. The Consortium chain-breakers fell into step behind him. And I was left with nothing but a sharp ache of loneliness that wasn’t going to go away any time soon, a gut feeling Alexei didn’t want me to investigate, and an appointment who tripped through the door staring wide-eyed after Alexei and carrying—gods help me—another dog.

Amazon

Catherine Cerveny bio

Catherine Cerveny was born in Peterborough, Ontario. She’d always planned to move away to the big city but the small town life got its hooks in her and that’s where she still resides today. Catherine is a huge fan of romance and science fiction and wishes the two genres would cross paths more often.

Website Twitter |  Goodreads

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BookBub! Get Irresistible Attractions for FREE…2016 finalist for best BDSM romance #spanking

Squee! I got a BookBub Featured deal on Irresistible Attractions (Rod and Cane Society 6). You can get it for free from your favorite ebook vendor:

Universal download link

Irresistible Attractions was a 2016 finalist for a Golden Flogger Award, Best BDSM Book of the Year by the BDSM Writer’s Con. Before I wrote sci-fi romance, I wrote spanking romance. The Rod and Cane Society six-book series is about a secret organization of men who spank their wives/girlfriends to maintain discipline.

The blurb:
College student Hannah Laurie works nights for a cleaning service. Among its clients is the Rod and Cane Society, an organization of domestic discipline practitioners. As she cleans the mansion headquarters, she becomes fascinated by the idea of being spanked. One evening, she surrenders to the impulse to try out the equipment in the secret disciplinary chamber.

Billionaire cybersecurity magnate Jordan Bevy, Rod and Cane’s disciplinary proctor, ensures the rules of the organization are followed to a T. Using the disciplinary chamber for personal pleasure is strictly forbidden. But when he catches the shy little cleaner girl trying out the equipment, what’s a fellow to do but bend the rules and give her a hand?

Everything seems like fun and games, until their relationship deepens and their respective worlds collide and clash. Can a lowly cleaner girl ever find acceptance in her boyfriend’s monied world?

♥ ♥ ♥

I submit books to BookBub monthly, hoping to get a Featured Deal. This is my third BookBub this year. If you’d like to be notified of future deals, please follow me on BookBub.

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