Catching up ~ Reviews, interviews & fun stuff


I realized yesterday that I haven’t added a word to my blog since May 31st. Not a good way to get people to come again. Sorry folks. I’ve been so busy and so much has happened in June already and it’s only the 11th!

First off I got that second review posted. Zee wrote such a wonderful assessment that I felt terrific for days after. Below find both the link to Sherry Gloag’s blog and the review itself. I think it’s worth checking the blog out. There are some really terrific reviews on there if you’re looking for summer reading ideas. My review isn’t very long:

5 out of 5 stars!
http://sherrygloagtheheartofromance.blogspot.com/2011/06/zees-review-of-hermes-online-by-rose.html

Have you ever been through a bad break up that leaves you feeling empty and undesirable? If you have then you can certainly relate to Vivienne, our protagonist, in Hermes Online. It was bad enough that Vivienne caught her long time boyfriend cheating on her but she was floored when her now ex-boyfriend accused her for his indiscretion because she is dull in bed. I know, the nerve. As you can imagine, Vivienne is feeling quite bad and her confidence is all but lost. Only the love of a good man can take away that level of pain, and thankfully for Vivienne, her journey will end in the arms of the man of her dreams.

Anderson completely won me over early on in the novel. First, I love the format of the book. There is a lot of email correspondence between Vivienne and her mystery man, and even some instant message and Skype calls. Anderson makes it so easy to follow the dialogue that I never once felt lost or confused as to who was doing the talking, and was able to enjoy the story unfolding without any interruptions. I was also very amazed at the story itself. There is a huge (but not unrealistic) transformation between Vivienne at the beginning of the novel and the person she grows into by the end of the book. I love that Vivienne, although scared, took risks. Sometimes when women get hurt, it is easy to be angry and bitter and never take anything more than a calculated chance, but Vivienne did the opposite, refusing to stay in her miserable state when she finally found a man worth taking risks for. Vivienne is a strong, well rounded heroine, and I enjoyed reading about her journey very much.

I will warn that as with many Siren novels, there is a bit of steam to this book. But, as a romance novel reviewer, I find that seduction scenes just aren’t satisfying if the emotional component of the story is missing, but Hermes Online definitely has all aspects that make up a fantastic can’t-put-it-down novel. Hermes Online gets my highest rating, 5 of 5 stars, and is guaranteed to set this summer on fire!

That was extremely cool. I love the thought of my work setting the summer on fire.  🙂

Secondly, last time I posted I mentioned my good friend S had a soon to be posted interview on Jocelyn Modo’s blog.  http://jocelynmodo.blogspot.com   (Again I am posting both link and actual interview. I recommend checking out her thought-filled blog for her well-considered book suggestions.)

One of my author friends suggested I give the character interview a whirl and sent me to one she’d done for her story’s hero. I’d never heard of such a thing at the time but followed her link and read what her guy had to say outside the pages of his book. All I can say is — What fun! You find an interviewer, in my case Jocelyn, and she interviews your fictional guy or gal. It works like this – they ask general questions and your guy or gal answers as if they’re sitting across the desk. This call and response writing was a blast. As I got into S’s head, I found it fascinating to hear my leading man’s side of the story.

S’s interview –

Welcome to Meta Modo. Uh…do you prefer S or…?

S:Yes,  S is fine for now.

So S, tell me a little about yourself.

S: (chuckles) I’m rather dull actually.

Dull? That’s not what I’ve heard. Rumor has it you’re quite the sexy man.

S: Careful, you’ll make me blush. (He grins) Well, let me see. I live and work in Chicago. I’m an architect there. I have a dog named Roscoe…

Are you currently in a relationship?

S: I hope to be soon. I’ve met an amazing woman online. We’ve only spoken through email though I hope in time her comfort will grow enough to allow for chat. I sense she’s been hurt badly in the past and is most likely afraid of being hurt again because she tends to hold back… I’d love to talk with her in real time instead of waiting for emails to go back and forth.

Oh? What is it that makes her an amazing woman?

S: Her extremely intelligent mind. To me the most sensual attribute a woman has is her mind. V is different from just about anyone I’ve ever known. She’s lovely. No, more than that. She’s both artist and art. In those emails she chooses her palette of words carefully and paints her descriptions with such precision. Because of that detail, I see every inch of her in my mind’s eye, I see every action she describes. More than that, I see the wildly sensuous creature she is inside.

Care to expand that thought?

S: I’m a man as any other. (His green eyes sparkle) Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy all the physical gifts a woman cares to share as deeply as I enjoy returning the pleasure. Honestly Jocelyn, it’s a struggle to think of anything else some days! To me, a sensual woman’s detail-oriented mind is absolutely fascinating. It draws me in and ignites all else.

Along those lines, what ignites you?

S: (He laughs) I think you’ll get a blush out of me yet Jocelyn.

An example then – the perfect tinder to ignite the fire.

S: It would have to be kissing to begin. The kisses themselves are the smallest bits of tinder – warm sweet lips that deepen and encourage mindless abandon to follow. I’ve read your writing, you know the sort of kisses I’m speaking of.

I do. What else goes onto your pyre?

S: (his smile widens) When lips and hands can no longer contain themselves, they roam eager to touch all they can. They may grasp or nip, palms may fill, mouths may suckle… each small sensation laying tinder down for the conflagration to come. A slow undressing comes next, inch by inch revealing what smoldering kisses and warm hands have wrought. Smooth skin takes on a blush of excitement, soft nipples get hard, pupils dilate, pulse quickens and breathing comes in shallow pants. Fully uncovered now, shows silken thighs glistening while man has become steel. When lovers come together to create this fire their bodies and minds change, this is true alchemy.
Hands and lips explore unhindered now and heat and scent come in shimmering waves. Thus begins the need to devour, the need, yes need to consume the offering the other has deliciously laid before you so you may lick and taste and raise the heat even more. Fingers and tongues explore. Every bit consumed is given back and when mind and body join, the pyre ignites.  Only then are the lovers swept up in the firestorm, only then do they rise like the phoenix to be reborn in each other’s arms.

Wow, it’s warm in here.

S: Thanks for this opportunity Jocelyn. If you think of anything else don’t hesitate to email. (The smile lights the green fire in his eyes).

🙂 I like S even more now and sorta wished there were more questions. The more questions, the more I learned about him. How weird is that? I’m the one who wrote him into being.

***

There have been surprising and noteworthy things popping up in the past week and a half. For example at another author’s suggestion, I signed myself up for Google Alerts. The Google feature is programmable to what you’re looking for. Anyone can use it for anything. For authors, theoretically speaking, it’s a notice sent by Google telling you whenever your name or book title comes up. What a farce! I’ve never seen Rose Anderson come up and I know my recent interviews etc have been online. I do, however, know when every single Hermes brand purse goes on sale. LOL

So after being alerted that countless handbags, clutch purses, and pocketbooks were going on sale for the past few weeks, I went searching online for Hermes Online by Rose Anderson myself. What a windfall!
I’ve mentioned before how my book is selling around the world now. I wasn’t prepared for just how many places. Last week for kicks I took some screen captures. For anyone not knowing what that is, say you’d like to save an entire screen view of whatever it is you’ve found online. (In this example my Amazon.com page in Japan) I first open a blank Word document or Publisher page, then returning to my internet find, I do this:

  1. Press CTRL (control – bottom left keyboard button) and PRTSC (print screen – in the general area of top right on your keyboard)
  2. Go to your blank document or Publisher page and right click your mouse for Paste
  3. You should have the entire web page (and your desktop view) in miniature right before your eyes. Save as you would any document.

I do this in Publisher because I can then trim my extraneous desktop stuff from the picture. The finished project looks like this, only clearer:

Now how fun is that? I couldn’t stop myself! To date I’ve found forty-nine instances of my book online, and thirty-two of those are from sites in other countries. I plan to arrange as many on a page as I can to save paper, then print them out to keep in a scrapbook. I don’t see myself ever doing that again, but Hermes Online is my first published book.  I’m a proud of this hard won accomplishment enough to want to look back and remember what a thrill it was to see my book selling for Eur 10.99,  £10.26,  Rs 714,  HK$140,  Nok 144,  kr118, ¥1342 and many more world currencies.

***

Another thing that’s been fun as well – my first load of promotional goodies from Vistaprint came. All these things are for promoting Rose Anderson. How fun! I’ve become sort of like Pavlov’s dog every time Vistaprint sends me another hard-to-beat offer. I have to laugh at myself but its not crazy to create these things. Here’s why — Recall I mentioned in an earlier post that my bookplates were to be part of two really nice gift baskets. The same conference compelled one happy attendee to create a  youtube video and it really made me happy to see it. Avid readers really do collect these promos. Happily too. I’m sure now that the happy people who won the gift baskets were thrilled to get my lovely bookplates after all. Now that I know these things are appreciated I’ll find more ways to promote like that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRPSVjvCyvw
My order through Vistaprint has taken forever to get here because I paid the cheapest postage rate possible (in this case for the proverbial slow boat from China). But slow or not, I absolutely love the goods and get such a kick out of making them. Good times. 🙂 Another author friend compared the Vistaprint order to Christmas.

So far I’ve gotten two hats, three t-shirts, three key rings, two pens, and a stack of postcards of my book cover which I can only assume are for signing at author venues. The back is blank which makes it just look like a slightly smaller, very shiny version of my cover. And that’s good because it makes for broader usability (just what useability remains to be seen). As far as collectable author promotional items go, I can’t imagine any fan of my books wanting my bookcover postcard to actually be used as a postcard to send in the mail. At least I don’t think they would. I really don’t know what the postcards are for! So far, I’ve given away one shirt, one hat, two pens and two key rings.

I didn’t order everything they have (the company has hundreds of products), but the past few offers coming my way have stirred my imagination. An author friend of mine told me she saw her sales jump 80% (80 %!!) after she started leaving business cards everywhere she went. OK, that works for me. I ordered business cards too. But there’s more…  In the past three weeks I ordered Vistaprint’s ceramic mug with my cover on it for my husband  🙂 because he wanted it. Earlier today, in response to one of their free offers, I ordered the car door magnet and banner (both are the smallest choices of what the company offers). I’m envisioning a table somewhere in the future with me sitting there signing books for fans of my writing. Of course I’ll have to have a banner saying who I am for people passing by who don’t yet know me, and of course I should have a magnetic sign sticking to my car door, right? LOL  My author friend uses every last thing Vistaprint has with promoting potential and she’s very happy. As long as they’re free (only small postage costs) I say why not?

With a few orders yet in the mail, I see now how the company works. It’s actually pretty ingenious giving away these freebies and free-to-buy-in-the-next-48-hours deals they have. To check out, Vistaprint has you go through pages of stuff branded similarly to whatever it is you’ve just put your name on to order. Through that dangling carrot of a feature, I’ve found gift coupons. I can realistically see filling out a Rose Anderson coupon and offering a free read or an ebook copy of my books. I see it working like this — A goodie bag or gift basket goes off to a conference and in it is one of my coupons. The winner of the bag or basket, then contacts me with the number written on it and I send them a download. It sounds relatively easy doesn’t it? It might very well be a better promo than a pen.

This company is lots of fun to create with. They have regular free offers for pens, t-shirts, and other items and all of these have a limited number of their stock photos to design with. Here are three I’ve taken advantage of in the last two months (what’s on the pen (see larger pink box just below)is also on the t-shirt. The print is too small to read here):

I did upload my cover for the coffee mug (scroll down to see it) and another Waterhouse picture for a hat. I’m not too crazy about the hat. It looks better on the computer than up close but is still nice quality. Next to impulse shopper purchases (cough), customer uploaded pictures are how Vistaprint makes money and after doing that three times I can tell you this would get pricey over time.

Then I found the stock roses templates. That horse is now out of the corral!! Coincidentally the rose is also my name in picture form! How could I not use it? LOL This lovely and infinitely useful stock template is going to work out great and Vistaprint has most likely made a customer for life.  What you see here are (in this order) my car magnet (lol even thinking about it makes me smile), my business card(soon to be any and everywhere I can think of), my new pen with the larger view just below(very cool slogan huh?), my husband’s coffee cup, and my new idea for a key ring.

So that’s a glimpse into my fun marketing goodies. The nice thing about the company is you can create your stuff, then just store it for a while in your account. I have other things, a better design for a hat, a book bag, and some note cards waiting in the wings. I’ll put these and the banner and poster on another time.

So now you’re wondering what the heck I’m going to do with this stuff? I’m going to be a part of that new author promotion group I mentioned in a previous post — Bookworm Bags. My promos will join other items from new authors and go to conferences and other reader venues. My name will get out there and interest in my books will grow.  🙂  Slow but sure.

About ~RoseAnderson

Rose Anderson is an award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and delights in discovering interesting things to weave into stories. Rose also writes under the pen name Madeline Archer.
This entry was posted in Past Posts - you'll never know what you'll find and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Catching up ~ Reviews, interviews & fun stuff

  1. Bree Younger says:

    Congrats on the great review. And those are some really cool things you got for promo. I haven’t even thought about that kind of thing yet. lol!

  2. Thanks! Making promos is a blast Bree. Seriously, try Vistaprint. The free stuff is really useful for those author give-aways and only cost postage (though I am sure they don’t lose money by offering them)

  3. This is certainly a superb article. Thanks a ton for bothering to summarize all this out for all of us. It really is a great help!

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