Category Archives: Ramblings

Janus 14-15

Janus was the Roman god of gateways and beginnings. He had two faces, but on him they were a good thing. One face looked back, contemplating the road just traveled, and the other face looked forward, dreaming about the future.

Kiss Me Goodnight cover

Kiss Me By Moonlight

2014 was a good year for me. It saw the release of two mainstream romances, the Kiss Me series, easily two of the best stories I’ve ever written. Critics loved them, though they didn’t sell very well. Oh well–they were a labor of love, and I remain devoted to Lacey and Dylan. Their story made me laugh and cry, and their journey was equally heartwarming and heartwrenching.

2014 saw the launch of my own small press, Lost Goddess Publishing. At present, I’m keeping it small. I’ve taken on two other authors to publish, and that means I’ve transitioned to editor as well as writer. I don’t think that job is for everybody, but I turned out to be surprisingly good at helping authors flesh out their stories. And I’m a whiz with commas. I wasn’t always able to claim that title. Working with Nicoline Tiernan has been great. (No, she’s not me, but she is one of my closest friends.) Her writing and her style have evolved a lot in the past year. If you like MM and haven’t picked up Tristan’s Lover yet, you’re really missing out. I’ve also begun an occasional blog series called Dirty Grammar, where I discuss grammar while using examples from adult scenes.

Tristan's Lover 5002014 also saw the first of my backlist returned to me. Loose Id returned Re/Bound to me. I tightened it up a bit, mostly tinkering with the ending to make that last scene work better. It finally clicked, and the Amazon reviews for it skyrocketed from 12 to 30. As it’s available for lending on Kindle, it’s not available for sale through other venues. It was briefly nominated for the Golden Flogger award until the person who nominated it (who runs the conference) discovered it was originally published in 2012, and so it was disqualified. Ah, well. It was an honor to have been briefly nominated. Re/Bound is one of my favorite novels, and I’m just happy people are enjoying it.

ReBound-FJM_Low_Res_500x750Janus also looks forward, so here’s what I have planned for 2015–

January-February-March will see the launch of my new menage series, Dragon Kisses. Right now it’s a trilogy, but my beta readers have used strong language to indicate the series should continue. The premise behind it is science fiction-ish: Five humans wake up one morning to find they’ve been transported to a world where dragon shifters (Zmaj) keep humans as sex slaves. They feed on human sexual energy. Book 1 is told through Cassie and Niall’s eyes. We get to know the new world and the dragon culture. Both Cassie and Niall fall in love with the dragons who claimed them, and of course they balk at the idea of being sex slaves. The menage part comes from my scientific mind: There’s no way a 600-pound dragon can shift into one person. That ignores the law of conservation of mass. Six-hundred pounds can shift into 4-5 humanoid shapes, and so each dragon shifts into 3-5 aspects. The aspects may have separate bodies, but they function as one person. It’s quite an interesting concept that I hope you’ll come to enjoy as much as my beta readers did.

Book 2 follows Arabella, who is captured when a rival group of dragons raid the human settlement next to Zmaj. She has amnesia, and though Tobin initially lies to her about their relationship, they eventually fall in love–and that puts them both in danger from the Inamanida King, who treats humans as disposable flesh. This story also follows Jonathan, a man who was born on Zmaj and finds his world turned upside down when it’s revealed that his biological father was a dragon. Not only does he have to contend with coming of age and becoming a shifter, but he must deal with Laurel–the woman he likes who is terrified of dragons.

Book 3 brings all those storylines together. Arabella and Tobin are in Zmaj, where they’ve fled. Attack from the Inamanida is imminent. Not only do they want revenge on Tobin, but they want to destroy the Zmaj warriors who are protecting the few humans on the planet. Laurel is forced to confront her fears and her feelings for Jonathan. Cassie and Niall’s lives are put on the line as well. I meant for this to be the conclusion of the story, but some things happened that I hadn’t foreseen, and it leaves things open for more to the stories.

2015 will see the return of five Siren-Bookstrand titles to me. Some will be revised and re-released. Others will go away forever. Lettting Go should come back to me in February. As my first published novel, it hold an extremely special place in my heart. It will go away for a couple of months as I get ready to relaunch it. I’ve already done a lot of revisions to make it fit my original vision, and I’ve added parts in response to readers who’ve written me about it. I’ll also get back Hanging On, Irrepressible Force, Tomorrow Cries (under another name), and Two Masters for Samantha. I’m pretty sure I’m getting some Loose Id titles back–Re/Paired and perhaps the Oasis series (though there may be another year on that contract.)

2015 will also see the third book in the Doms of the FBI series finally come out. I’ve been sitting on that one for two years because, as I’ve realized, writing while under the influence of a concussion isn’t the best idea in the world. It’s been majorly overhauled, and at last I have the story I want. Call me picky, but you’ll be glad for that when you finally read it! I’ve already begun brainstorming book 4 in that series. Amy will finally get her happy ending.

Best Wishes for a Happy New Year! I hope it’s the best one yet!

Love, Michele

Switching Sides

Becoming an editor has been a curious and interesting journey. I have the requisite skills–a BA in English and a MA in Literacy were just a start. I’ve worked with some fantastic editors over the past five years, the length of time I’ve been involved in the publishing world. I’ve learned loads from them, and I’ve put those skills to use.

As a writer, I have waited anxiously for weeks to receive manuscripts back from an editor, and when I got them, I’d tear into them zealously. Some edits I’d cringe at–especially if they required difficult decisions–and other times I’d marvel at my editor’s brilliance.

As an editor, I waited anxiously for my authors to send back each round of edits so I can see what kind of magic they worked.

Now that I’ve been on both sides of that coin, I can truly understand and appreciate the teamwork that goes into helping each manuscript reach its full potential. It’s an exciting adventure, and I’m enjoying every step.

Kitchen Accomplished

The kitchen repairs are finally finished! We used this opportunity to upgrade the kitchen. I’ve never had a nice one before. In our last house (800 square feet), we remodeled the kitchen, but everything we put in was salvaged from my mother’s old kitchen. It was nicer that what was originally there, but not our style. To jog your memory, here’s the before/after side-by-side.

After
After
Before
Before

We extended the counter on that side of the U, adding cabinet on the other side of the drawers. Additionally, we found a bonus cabinet that opens on the dining room side. Previous owners had paneled over it. With the money we saved doing the work ourselves, we were able to afford granite countertops, which were a huge upgrade from Formica-covered plywood with painted molding on the edges. The back splash, we also found, was a sheet of Formica (originally fire-orange and painted over.)

In the ‘before’ photo, you see we had a pink-and-white kitchen, which wasn’t by choice. Underneath all that white paint, we found beautiful oak, and so we refinished (and reconfigured) the cabinets.

Lastly is a full picture view, including the new lighting, which was a pain in the ass to install. Whoever originally wired the house just ran wire across the attic with no thought to rhyme or reason.

20141009_054627 The old ceiling was a white-painted lattice with florescent lighting hidden behind plastic panels. The whole thing might have looked cool in the 90’s, but it ended up being a giant bug-catcher. We had to re-wire after we found 24 outlets on one circuit (maximum is supposed to be 6.) This does explain some of the electrical problems, like why we lose power in half of our bedroom and not the other half.

It’s not a huge kitchen (and we’re missing the panels for below the sink), but we like it. Twin #1 picked out the backsplash to match the counter and the stain on the cabinets. We put a lazy Susan in the right corner where there had previously been half a cabinet. The other half had been boarded over. I don’t understand why people board over cabinets. I like having the extra storage space!

It wasn’t horrible to live through this repair. We had use of our kitchen most of the time, and it’s gorgeous now. BTW–when I say “we,” I mean “the wife.” As she says, I’m good at writing, so I should stick to that and leave the fixing stuff to her!

 

 

Ragweed and Crap

From: http://www.meriter.com/wordpress/?p=2677
From: http://www.meriter.com/wordpress/?p=2677

In our first house, we lived across from a corn field. We had neighbors on either side, but nobody lived behind us. Someone owned the eight acres our backyards overlooked—someone who’d bought land “up north” to retire on. It was full of trees, weeds, and rotting/rusting farm equipment parts. It was also in kind of a crappy area. The houses had all been vacation shacks at one point. Two doors down, they didn’t even have heat. In the winter, they relied on a wood burning stove. I don’t know how they did it. Winters in mid-Michigan can be brutal.

We used to throw our dog poop over the back fence. Grass clippings also found their way back there. I didn’t feel guilty about it. Nobody lived there, and all the neighbors did it. That’s where we originally got the idea.

Fast-forward about 5 years. The retired couple build a house high on a hill. We knew it was there on winter nights because that’s the only time we could see evidence of a house. About a year or two before we moved (we’d lived there 11 years), the guy asked us to stop dumping crap in his “yard.” He actually asked everybody, so we didn’t take it personally. His wife wanted to walk the property, so he was going to clear trails. We thought it would be good to finally get to know our neighbors.

Okay, no problem. We stopped dumping, and Wife even helped him clear out some of the weeds and brush wrapped in rusted and rotting farm equipment. He found engine parts and a mattress as well (not ours.) Once it was clear…nobody walked. His kids visiting from college didn’t even ride their 4-wheelers there. (Why would they when there was a perfectly good corn field across the street?)

I’d be pissed if I spent two weeks working my ass off and my significant other never got her ass out of the house. I don’t think I ever once saw her leave except by car. We never met.

That summer, a fresh crop of ragweed grew in all the areas he’d cleared. We’d never had it before. It looks like it couldn’t survive pounds of dog poop (everybody had dogs) and grass clippings (everybody had big yards.) So not only did we lose our dump, but we gained something that killed our allergies from April-August. Was this karma? I wonder…

 

TV Club/Super Fun

The teacher’s lunchroom is a loud place where lots of voices compete for attention and many conversations happen at once. Since I spend all day in that atmosphere, I like my duty-free 25 minutes to be a bit quieter. And so a couple friends and I broke off and started eating in an out-of-the-way classroom once each week. At the time, Super Fun Night was on, and we all liked the show. We’d fire up the Hulu and watch the previous week’s episode.

If you haven’t seen Super Fun Night, you missed out. Rebel Wilson is HILARIOUS. I liked all the characters. They were quirky and fun, and not what you’d expect. They look like real people, people I would actually know and hang around with. And they didn’t follow the usual trope–she ends up with the cute guy in the office. They brought on Nate Torrence, who was perfect for her character.

It was a cute show. The humor was campy, and then it would have a punch of extra smart funniness. The musical numbers at the end were the sprinkles on my cupcake.  I’m not sure why they showed the episodes out of order. It made for some Huh? moments. Anyway, like most shows I really like, it was canceled.

So Eric, the guy you’ll find in the dedication to several of my books because he’s that friend who knows everything and has everything, started looking for another show to watch. He put on Parks and Recreation for a while, but we’d already seen most of those episodes. Then he hit on It’s Always Funny in Philadelphia. (It was his Hulu account, so he got to choose.)

My wife watches that show. She says it’s hysterical, but I could never get through an episode. We have very different ideas of what’s funny. I tend toward the obvious, clever, or pun-oriented. She thinks Battle of the Network Stars is classic TV. Since I didn’t really have much of a choice during TV Club, I gave it a chance…again. Did I like it? I honestly don’t know. Parts were funny. Parts were ridiculous. Parts were shocking. Most episodes left me feeling either dirty or violated, which isn’t something I expect from a TV show. Since I sometimes like feeling dirty or violated, I am mostly just confused.

Really, I just wish Super Fun Night was back on. Rebel Wilson, please don’t go away!

Photo credit: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/sites/default/files/2013/10/super_fun_night.jpg

Heroes that Don’t Make the Cut

Last night the twins had a sleepover at the grandparents’ house, so Wife and I watched a movie she’d taped. (I’m back to calling it taped even though it’s a DVR. I’m old-fashioned that way.)  It had Kate Hudson and that guy from the Office one of my former 8th graders was ga-ga about a few years ago, John Something. I misread the description and thought it was about a woman whose best friend is getting married, she gets drunk, and falls into bed with the best man. I’m a sucker for a romantic movie (shocker, I know) so I thought it would be sweet. There would be some reason they couldn’t/shouldn’t hook up that they’d overcome, or they’d try to hide it to not derail the wedding–whatever trope, I was up for it.

NOT with your best friend's fiance!
NOT with your best friend’s fiance!

Imagine my shock when she fell into be with the groom. I spent the entire movie hoping she’d come to her senses and fall for John Something (who turned out to be HER friend, not the groom’s). But she didn’t. In fact, she explored her feelings for the groom further. The movie tried to vindicate her by showing the best friend (Kate Hudson) as a shallow person. Here’s the thing: the duo had been best friends since childhood. When you stay friends with someone that long, then they’re NOT actually shallow. You’re both getting something good and productive out of the relationship. So that portrayal didn’t work. Also I just like Kate Hudson too much to think she’s an asshole, even when she’d playing someone who is a little self-absorbed.

Anyway, the groom stays engaged. He stays Hudson until the end of the movie. At one  point, the best friend (no, I don’t remember names) told him to leave his fiance, and he refused–because his wealthy father would get upset. I hate cheater movies. I kept telling Wife this, but she’s an eternal optimist, which I love, but this movie didn’t deliver. Nobody was vindicated. Not only did Hudson find out (she had been cheating on the groom, but that’s totally beside the point. You don’t screw your best friend’s fiancee/boyfriend/lover/significant other for any reason!), but when she confronted them, I was on her side. This was the first movie where I wasn’t on the side of the heroine or the hero. They were both douchebags and deserve each other, and when they each cheat on the other, they can’t claim shock. That’s how they hooked up in the first place. Cheaters always cheat.

John Something left after trying to get the hero and heroine together. He moved to another country. At one point, she follows him and he confesses that he’s always been in love with her. She goes back to her main douchebag. Idiot. Then it ends with the Hudson character showing up where John is. Seriously? He’s the only one with sense. He’s not going to go for her–she was unfaithful too. At least I’m hoping, because that’s the only happy ending left.

In the end, the movie (Something Borrowed) became another Pretty in Pink–a romantic movie with the wrong ending. Instead of learning from her folly and choosing Duckie (John), she chose the rich, ball-less, unfaithful douchebag. I need to cleanse my palate with something sweet, something that has characters I can believe in–something that has the right ending.

It’s Hailing Hail

My car, getting damaged. That's hail in July.
My car, getting damaged. That’s hail in July.

We had a storm a couple of weeks ago that kicked ass. I love storms. I love watching them. I love when they happen at night, and I get to sleep through them. Well, not really sleep. The dog is afraid, so I have to get up and reassure her that everything’s okay. Twin #1 is also freaked out by them, and she sometimes climbs into bed with us. Since she’s almost grown and the dog already sleeps with us in a queen bed, it doesn’t quite work out.

The back of our house overlooks water, so we have a fair amount of glass. The kids had been out on a lake with their friend’s dad, and they came home just in time. The storm started within fifteen minutes. We stood near the big bay in the back of the front room, watching the sky turn black. Wind and rain came first, and we started hearing the thunk of hail. I’ve seen hail before. They’re little chunks of ice that melt soon after the storm. Well, not this time.

Hail in hand
This was the average size. We found larger and smaller pieces.

Wife said, “Wow. That’s golf ball size.”

I said, “Let’s move away from the window.” Since almost the entire back of the house faces west–which was where the storm came from–we couldn’t really get away. I herded the family into the living room and pulled the drapes. The 8-foot slider in that room was under the patio roof, so I felt it would be a bit safer. Then I heard a crash, and another, and another. The storm didn’t last long, but it caused lost of damage. Three of the four windows in the bay were broken–both panes. We went outside to find the golf ball description inadequate. They were easily twice that size. The cars were dented as well. We’d turned the garage into a work space this summer to work on the kitchen repairs, so the cars were in the driveway. A squirrel who lives in a tree in our yard (Ballnut–his name is another story) came down, all wet and bedraggled, shook his head at us, and stared. I swear he blamed us.

All the neighbors were out. We’ve lived here 4 years, and it wasn’t until then that we met some of our neighbors. The drains in the street were clogged, so we worked together to clear them so the flooding could abate. Lots of people had broken windows on their houses and/or cars. We were all thankful that nobody was hurt. So in addition to having to redo the kitchen due to a leaky dishwasher, we’re replacing windows. And the dents in the cars? I’m calling them mini bird baths.Hail and windows

Kitchen Update

Apparently it’s best to look for new insurance companies when your claim is denied–site unseen–and closed out. I spent the better part of last week researching insurance companies and getting quotes. My email exchange with the rep who had two first names bore fruit. He reordered the claim reopened. They sent an adjuster to the house to look over the damage. He confirmed we definitely had grounds for a claim. He took measurements, computed figures, and got back to us Monday with an estimate.

Under the cabinets is now wood floor instead of subfloor
Under the cabinets is now wood floor instead of subfloor

Did you know they pay for a contractor to do the work even when you say you’re going to do it yourself? $20/hour. I have a Masters degree and I’m pretty sure I don’t even make that much money. It just does not pay to go into education. (If you have loved ones pursuing a degree in education, then encourage them to do something else with their talents. But I digress.) Wife has been working on the floor. She had to pull back some of the original floor, dry or replace the subfloor, refinish the original flooring, put it back down, and then she had to extend the flooring under the cabinets. If this happens again, we want it to flood the floor, not seep into the subfloor. Her work is to the right.

The adjuster confirmed that our flooring is original, which makes it almost 30 years old. It looks great, but we can’t find stain to match, meaning the entire floor needs to be stripped and refinished. On the plus side? The color we used for the dining room (floorboards running vertically) which matches the color by the front door is available, so we only have to refinish the kitchen area. My kitchen currently looks like a tent city in a dump.

IMG-20140624-00282

On the plus side, we’re saving so much money doing it ourselves, that we’re going to be able to replace the pink and white laminate countertop. I don’t have anything against laminate, but the pink is a bit much. The backsplash is pink, and the cupboards are painted white. It’s a dollhouse kitchen, and I’m not a dollhouse kind of girl. (Okay, maybe I sort of am.) I don’t know what we’re going to choose, but I want enough money left over to redo the backsplash too. Just not subway tiles. I don’t get the subway tile trend. It looks like a gas station bathroom, and that’s not a look I want in my kitchen.

We’re also refinishing the cabinets, which are oak under that horrid white paint that shows every single fingerprint from my dirty kids. The basement (finished) is also in need of repair. When the kitchen is finished, I’ll post more pictures!

 

Here are some pictures of the basement:

IMG-20140624-00287
Basement ceiling
IMG-20140624-00285
Basement floor

Insurance, Take Two

There’s been more drama on the insurance front. After having my claim denied because there may or may not have been mold–Wife is telling me that what I thought was black mold was actually felt paper that had disintegrated. I wasn’t aware that FELT paper was used under flooring. My bad–I filled out one of those form contact things for my insurance agent. You see, my representative (Brian) never calls us back. Ever. We’ve been trying to review our policies for the past several years, and he’s always in meetings or unavailable. My interpretation of that is either 1) his office staff sucks (which I don’t think is the case) or 2) he has bowel problems. He might want to see a gastroenterologist. My uncle is an awesome one. Everybody likes getting him poop-themed gifts. I guess when you choose that major, you know you’re going to put up with a certain amount of shit.

Anyway, I wanted to look up my claim to see how they wrote it up, but it was GONE. Erased. Nonexistent. Since my agent’s picture was on the left side of the screen, taunting me with his Glamour Shots portrait, I decided to tell Brian that I wasn’t pleased and that I was shopping elsewhere for insurance. I spent the majority of this week researching and giving my information to various companies in exchange for quotes. Did you know they don’t actually let you read the policy until you buy it? There should be an Angie’s List for that–a place where people can scan and upload their policies (blocking out personal information) so we can truly comparison shop. I guess transparency only applies to panties and bras.

I was going to print out the emails just so I could black out the personal information (because I thought the effect would be cool), but I opted to do the old-fashioned cut-and-paste.

So here’s the response I got from a guy with two first names. Since it was backward and I didn’t notice it was separated with a comma until later, I addressed it to his last name on accident. He’s got to be used to it, right?

I’ve received your e-mail you recently sent the agency regarding the outcome of your homeowners claim.  I am sorry to hear that you are dissatisfied with Allstate.  Unfortunately, insurance does not cover this type of incident.  Insurance is for accidental damage that occurs suddenly or within a short period of time.  Mold growth and damage caused by mold isn’t something that occurs suddenly.

 You have an excellent Allstate homeowners policy, one that is actually not sold to new customers any longer.  The renewal of your policy is “grandfathered” because you purchased it so long ago.  The most common types of covered losses or accidents are Fire, Smoke, Windstorm and Hail, Falling Objects, Vehicles, Vandalism, Burglary, Lightning, and Freezing of Plumbing.  The policy includes other types of financially devastating losses as well.  However, the definition of whether something is covered is not based on the tenure of the policy, previous claims history, or financial status.  If you’d like a complete copy of your insurance contract sent to you, let me know.

 Insurance policies sold by different companies will vary.  However, regardless of what insurance company you choose, coverage for damage done by mold is seldom included.  My hope is that you will continue to use Allstate for your insurance needs.  I truly do appreciate the business you have done with us. 

 Sincerely,

[Two First Names Guy]

Customer Relationship Manager

Hickman Agency, Inc.

Allstate Insurance Co.

Please note: Allstate may be sending you an e-mail survey. Your input is important to me.  I know your time is valuable and my hope is that you will complete the survey and be able to give me a score of 9-10 “completely satisfied.”  If you are unable to provide me with a 9-10 please contact my office to discuss how I can better improve my service.  Additionally, if at any time you would like a policy review, Please do not hesitate to contact me.  Thank you for your business!

I did notice the irony that he’s offering a policy review, something we’ve been trying to get for months. Nice email, but a few inconsistencies. We’d called about the water damage. The next email is my response.

The mold was light, sparse, and easy to remove. It’s a non-issue, and it’s gone. The water damage was none of those things. We are still dealing with the repairs and unexpected costs incurred. I would like a copy of the policy, as was already promised and not delivered, and I would like to know what features were “grandfathered” in. I have spent the last 4 days researching other companies and speaking with representatives. I have even found savings through State Farm and other companies. I am on the cusp of making a decision, and I will weigh any data you send.

Okay, that was me when I wasn’t tired or cranky from spending way too many hours doing crap I didn’t want to do. Here’s what I sent at 10:10 pm (and for me, that’s staying up extra late.)

Let me reiterate: the damage is from WATER from a leaky dishwasher hose, NOT mold. We said this to your rep, but it appears they leapt for a non-issue to get out of delivering on much-needed help. In 15 years, we’re taken care of all other issues ourselves. We reached out to insurance only when we became desperate, and that’s when Allstate decided to screw us over. They were NOT there when we most needed them. (And I’ve seen mold spring up overnight. Given the way the hose leaked when the repair person tested it, the leak could have been less than a week old.) An investigation was not conducted, but a snap decision was issued. We have photos of the damage that nobody wanted to see. This is not the way a reputable company conducts business. I am not happy at all with the unprofessional handling of this case.

That’s me being very mean. If you listen closely, you can hear the snarky side of my “teacher voice” coming through. Today, we got a call. They’re sending someone out to assess the damage. Oh–the person on the phone was very courteous, but she asked why we waited two weeks to file a claim. We didn’t wait two weeks. We waited a week because we tried to dry it out and fix it ourselves. And because Wife didn’t want to deal with the insurance company. She asked the size and number of fans and heat lamps, and how long did we leave them on?  I said: A week.

So tomorrow someone actually visits. We have the invoice from the dishwasher repair person, photos he took, photos I took, and all the damaged wood, cabinets, subfloor, and drywall. Good thing they called before trash day–tomorrow! The only problem? Since they denied the claim, we went ahead with repairs. The floor is almost finished. The cabinets have been stripped so they can be sanded and refinished. The countertop hasn’t fared so well during construction, but we’ve replaced those before. Besides, I hate what we currently have. It might have wowed people in 1987, but so did the fact that I had long, naturally curly hair.

They made no promises, and neither did I. I’ll let you know how it goes and whether I change insurance companies.

In the midst of all this, I’m working on final edits and formatting for Master Eddie’s Sub. And if you haven’t picked up Kiss Me By Moonlight, you are missing out!

 

 

Pity Purchases

Image
Follow that link…

Lately I’ve seen a lot of posts about writers dying or in the hospital with an appeal to buy their books to show support. I don’t think it’s insensitive of me to question this practice. I’m not the most “with it” person, but none of these appeals have been attached to people I’ve heard of. Their success seems to be completely tied to their illness or injury. Are they even legitimately ill?

And more importantly: Would you buy the book if the writer wasn’t experiencing publicized unfortunate circumstances?

Pity purchases seem to be the trend, and I find it disgusting. Lots of people experience tragedy. Many writers get sick, break bones, get into car accidents, find cancer, or worse. Almost none of them publicize it. Asking for pity purchases lacks integrity. Two years ago, I suffered a horrible accident that left me unable to write. It took all my concentration and energy to make it through each day. I took a 4-month break from writing because focusing on my day job was all I could handle. I didn’t post my problem or ask for pity purchases. I didn’t even talk about it until I had recovered.

If the only way you can sell a novel is by putting it out there as a pity purchase, you need to get out of the writing business. Your “success” is fleeting, lasting only as long as Facebook keeps your meme/message alive. I could use a boost in sales–I still need to replace my windows and doors. We all would welcome more people buying and reading our work. However I don’t want that to happen through pity. I want it to happen because people like my books and tell others about them. Cancer runs in my family, and I’m going to tell you right now that if I get cancer, I’d want you to donate to a research charity. Buying my books won’t cure me, and pity doesn’t cheer me up.