Monday, September 8, 2014

French Kiss


If you're on the mailing list, this is the hosting site of the short story, French Kiss, which bridges the Parts One and Two of Hockey Is My Boyfriend. If you are not, it will eventually be available as part of the complete collected version of Hockey Is My Boyfriend.
Download

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Are you on The List?


My photos are so much lamer since I started respecting copyright.

It’s autumn, back to school, cooler nights and you know what that means: hockey season! At this time of year, I’m filled with optimism that my team will have their best season ever. But that’s because they’re full of potential and haven’t yet broken my heart. I’m sure you can sympathize, since most fans experience emotional highs and lows during the long hockey season.

Ironically, I find it easier to write in the off-season, since I’m not watching hockey games all the time. And I’ve been writing and editing a lot this summer. If you have already read Hockey Is My Boyfriend, you know that there are three parts. Part One was released on July 21st. And Part Two should be released around the beginning of the hockey season, which is October 8th. I’ve got my fingers crossed—as well as my legs, toes, and eyes—that all the revisions will be done by then.

Meantime, what to read? I’ve written a short story that links Parts One and Two. If you’re on my mailing list, I’ll be sending it out on Monday. If you’re not on my mailing list, there's a place to message me at the bottom of the righthand sidebar. If you haven’t even read the book yet, what are you waiting for?

Here’s a sneak peek of the short story, French Kiss, for you. It takes place two months after Kelly arrives at McGill.

October 2004
Kelly

Kiana, my next-door neighbour, and I were walking back to our residence after a late breakfast. It was the Saturday of the Thanksgiving weekend, and our residence had emptied out. Everyone within driving distance of home had fled MontrĂ©al, and the building felt strangely forlorn.
“I feel like a loser since I have nowhere to go for Thanksgiving,” Kiana complained. But she wasn’t a loser at all; she had turned down multiple invitations because she was trying to get a big assignment completed. “It’s not like I could have gone home to Oakville anyway. My parents are in Istanbul right now.”
“No way I could afford to go home to Vancouver.” I missed my family and friends a ton, but the airfare alone would have been over $600. Besides, I had games on Sunday and Monday.
“Ahmed told me that the foreign students are doing a Thanksgiving dinner, with turkey and everything, on Monday. Did you want to go to that?”
“Actually we’re doing a team potluck after our hockey game. Since we’re all here anyway, one of the assistant coaches offered to host. I’m supposed to bring a dessert. What should I get?” No way I was cooking, but dessert was easy; I’d zip over to Provigo and buy something.
“Pumpkin pie, of course,” Kiana said. But I figured someone else would do pie, maybe even bake one. I liked chocolate desserts better.
When we got up to our floor, we could see a guy hanging out down at the end of the hallway.
“Who is that?” Kiana wondered, squinting. “Oh boy, is that Carl? I thought he went back to Ottawa.” 
Carl was the “hot guy” on our floor. Kiana, as well as half the girls here, had a crush on him. Possibly she saw this as her big chance to be alone with Carl and work her charms.
“I thought everyone else left,” I said. It felt empty enough. When we got closer, the guy turned around at the sound of our voices.
“Not Carl,” Kiana whispered to me. “But something even better. Who is that hottie?”
I sighed. “It’s my ex-boyfriend. But what the hell he’s doing here, I do not know.”


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Kisses For Everyone


Well, it’s been a month since Hockey Is My Boyfriend, Part One was born. So far, it’s been a fantastic launch. On the first day, the book got an amazing review from book blogger and hockey lover, Diane Subsits Lynch. You can read it here. I also did a fun interview about the book on the blog of my friend and fellow author, Jaymee Jacobs. Check it out here if you want to find out what I said when a hockey player proposed to me.

Most of all, I want to say thank you to all my readers. Book sales and borrows—yes, if you’re on Kindle Unlimited you can borrow all three of my books—have been amazing! After I did my taxes this year, I made a bet that in 2014 I would double my book sales from 2013. Now that the July numbers are out from Amazon, I’m elated to say that I’ve already done this. And I still have another book coming out this year. I guess I should have made the stakes on my bet higher, but I’m still getting a free lunch!

Speaking of the next book, I figured I’d have Part Two edited by now. Ha ha. But I am working hard on the revisions and the book is taking shape nicely. I’m pretty excited about it. Can there possibly be someone better suited to Kelly Tanaka than Phil Davidson? You’ll have to read HIMB, Part Two, to find out. I’ve said that it will be out in the fall, and I’m sticking to that very vague launch date.

So, what to do in the meantime? If you haven’t done so already, I am shamelessly pleading for reviews. Being raised on serials (not Rice Crispies, the story kind) I am hooked on feedback. I crave it like a hockey fan craves the beginning of the season, which is Wednesday, October 8th for anyone else who’s keeping track. Anyway, reviews on Amazon or Goodreads are much appreciated. Honest reviews, because I can take criticism. Whimper, whimper, really I can. Although if you hated my book, why are you reading my blog?

And to show how grateful I am to everyone, I have finished the short story, French Kiss, that goes in between Parts One and Two. To get this story, absolutely free, all you have to do is sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar. I will post an excerpt on my blog very soon, it’s a fun little tale about MontrĂ©al and cathartic violence. There’s also sex and hockey. Because that’s how we roll around here.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Night Romance

Where's that recipe?

Today, my book is featured on Friday Night Romance. This site has one of the sexiest landing pages I’ve seen on a book blog. I’d like to imagine myself reading a book that way: dressed in a sequinned dress with an icy martini on a Persian rug. There’s undoubtedly a guy or multiple guys admiring me as I read, because I don’t put on those false eyelashes for nothing. Am I right?

The reality would be me, lying on the couch in yoga pants and a t-shirt, reading a book. I am being admired by a cat, who is actually wondering when I might feed him, or failing that, die so he can eat my corpse like that episode of C.S.I. I once saw.

Okay, enough morbid digressions. You may be wondering how I got my book on a sexy book blog. Especially one that usually reviews paranormal and fantasy romances.

Easy peasy, the blog is written by a woman named Kelly Matsuura. See the parallels to the heroine of Hockey Is My Boyfriend? Kelly first-name, Japanese last name? Coincidence? I think not. Kelly (the real person) jokingly thanked me for naming my heroine after her! Truth was I found Friday Night Romance ages ago, noticed the similarities and decided that when I finally published this book, I would approach her.

So although Kelly Matsuura does not read hockey romances, she does like multicultural heroines, and here we are. I confess that my heroine isn’t really that Japanese—much to the disappointment of Dave Vanderhauf. (That’s an in-joke. You have to read the book to get it. Chapter 35? Anyone? Anyone?)

So, promotional lesson learned: make sure your book heroine has a similar name to a cool blogger. Check out Friday Night Romance here.  


Monday, July 21, 2014

Launch Day!

Is that a rocket in your pocket?

Well, today is launch day for Hockey Is My Boyfriend, Part One, and so far it’s been fabulous, darlings! I just looked at the latest sales numbers and my book is already in the top 100 of sports fiction on Amazon. I’ve even made a sale on the brand new Kindle Unlimited. Woohoo, catnip for everyone. Well, everyone who’s sitting on my desk as I write this.

However, I got even better news late last night. From my personal research (aka obsessiveness) there are only a few book bloggers who review hockey books regularly, and the best one is Diane Subsits Lynch. Diane sincerely loves hockey and reads most of the hockey fiction that comes out. She was nice enough to feature How The Cookie Crumbles on her blog when it debuted. This time out, being slightly more organized, I was able to offer her an advance copy for review.

Earlier this week, I had expressed my nervousness about sending the new book out in the world. So imagine how I felt when Goodreads let me know that Diane was currently reading the book. Breathe in, breathe out.

But Diane loved the book! Her review completely blew me away. I’m trying to be cool, but this is actually my first review on a real book blog and I’m absolutely ecstatic. As an indie author, it’s more challenging to get publicity and this begins my launch on such a high note. Being a pro, Diane also cross-posts her review on 18 different platforms, including Goodreads and Amazon. Phew!

But why take my word for it? Check out the review on  Diane’s Book Blog here. And check back with her regularly for more hockey book reviews!

And most of all, thanks to all my readers for their support while I was endlessly editing and for making this launch day a big success.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Only One Sleep Left!


Whew, Hockey Is My Boyfriend, Part One will launch tomorrow. And just in time, since I have completely run out of questions to ask myself. So this is the last Q & A session. This is the last time I will ever interview myself—much to the relief of everyone, including me.

Q: When can I buy this book?
A: Well, I have uploaded it and Amazon says it will be available in 12 hours, which would be midnight tonight. So exactly on July 21st, which is the birthday of our heroine, Kelly Tanaka! Of course, the Zon is little unpredictable, so it could be live right now, or not until tomorrow morning. I will post the link when it's live.

Q: Who will like (y)our new book?
A: People who like to read about hockey and/or relationships, but like a dash of realism. Also any of my friends and family who want to remain so.

Q: How will you be celebrating the publication of your third book?
A: To celebrate I am going to be eating cake and possibly drinking something with fruit and tequila. Maybe I’ll replay a hockey game to get into the spirit. I can choose between the Olympics and a whole DVD of World Junior Hockey Championships I got on sale. Then, I’ll start editing Hockey Is My Boyfriend, Part Two.

Q: Any last words, Mel?
A: Buy the book! You’ll enjoy it and you’ll be keeping me in cake.



Saturday, July 19, 2014

Drive Me Crazy


Woot, only two days left until the launch of Hockey Is My Boyfriend, Part Two.
I’m very excited, mainly because I can finally stop asking myself questions. People around me are starting to whisper and give me pitying glances. More than they do normally.

Q: So Mel, in a sentence, what is the book about?
A: This book is essentially about first love. That time of life when you search for meaning in every word or action. When just the touch of someone’s hand sends your body into overdrive. That crazy mix of hormones and emotion, where everything is so important and dramatic. 

Q: That was more than a sentence. You seem to be speeding down Memory Lane in a Ferrari.
A: Yes, and now I must go and take a cold shower. Speaking of cars, here’s another excerpt. Kelly is confiding in her most practical friend, Charmaine.  
Charmaine shook her head. “You’re asking the wrong person. I know nothing about relationships. I do know I could never go out with a guy like Phil.” 
“What does that mean, a guy like Phil?” 
“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to insult you.” Charmaine peered at me to make sure I wasn’t offended. “I only meant that I could never date him because he’s so out of my league.” 
“Why not? You’re cute and really smart. What more could a guy want?” 
She started to giggle nervously. “Phil is so good-looking and experienced with women. Dating Phil would be like learning to drive in a Ferrari—way too much car for a beginner.”