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Posts tagged with: Christmas stories

Fangirl Friday – Early Christmas edition

HFC_Web
HOME FOR CHRISTMAS by Lizzie Shane Only 99 cents!
All she wants this Christmas is to get home and put this disastrous year behind her, but when Samantha Whitney boards her flight to Chicago she finds the man in the seat next to hers is none other than Jase MacGregor, her first love who shattered her heart last Christmas Eve.

All he wants this Christmas is a second chance with the love of his life, but if Sam’s frosty reception is anything to go by, it’s going to take more than a few hours at thirty thousand feet for Jase to win back her heart.

When a blizzard cancels their connecting flight, it looks like neither of them is going to get their Christmas wish, but with the help of a little holiday magic Sam and Jase may be able to find their way back home. But only if they do it together.

51yashW6a+L._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_Christmas Revels – last week on sale for 99 cents
Four novellas of Regency love, laughter, snow, miracles, and murder from four historical authors, including Ruby sister Louisa Cornell’s Holt award winning story.  
 

Free Reads Revisited

Happy day after Thanksgiving! Let’s talk Christmas!  

Back in February 2011 my free read, Holiday Hostage went live. It’s been available for way over a year with close to 100,000 downloads. What did the experience teach me? I don’t know. Did offering a sample of my writing drive my sales up? Not sure. Would I do it again? Haven’t decided. 

Thanks for stopping by.  

No! Don’t go! There’s more. 

It was a rush to have well over 50,000 copies downloaded in the first few month alone. How many of those have actually been read? Again, I don’t know. Of the samples actually read by readers, how many truly liked the story? I wish I knew. Or maybe I don’t. If anyone in fact did read it, did they buy one of my other stories? Yes. Two people that I know of. One hated both (I know – why did she buy my book if she disliked my free story – can’t answer that – I’m no psychologist). But one person liked the free story and loved the purchased story. Or she felt sorry for me and was being super kind. Either way, I’ll take it. 

From speaking with other authors who have offered free reads, the consensus seems to be that it is a double-edged sword. Here’s my take on free. Cheap people, me included, will download something free. Because, well, because it’s free. Why not? What do you have to lose? I’ve done it myself. My mother does it. We come from a long line of cheap (I mean thrifty) ancestors. On Ancestory.com just type in the keyword cheap. Thems m’ people. We dine on Costco samples, clip mass coupons and download free books to our shiny e-reader that we bought on clearance. 

Here’s my theory: spacenut333 who loves to take long walks on the beach, travel exotic places collecting souvenir snow globes, and who reads futuristic sci-fi has downloaded my free story and hates it because she doesn’t like contemporary romantic comedy. Or she doesn’t think I’m funny. Her cat that she reads aloud to doesn’t think I’m funny either. And spacenut333 and her cat collectively send me death threats via an Amazon review. Not a fan. I get it.  

My next theory is mine and mine alone. It’s not 100% accurate or scientifically proven. Stay with me. If you get something for free, you don’t appreciate it as much as if you pay for it. Unless your grandmother gave it to you. Why? I don’t know. Maybe people are afraid to admit in a public forum that they paid good money for a book they don’t like. They got suckered by a pretty cover and a flowery blurb. Mostly, if you’ve got money on the line, you’re probably going to investigate before buying. You’ll read the first chapter and/or check out the reviews and not buy a contemporary romantic comedy if you really like steampunk or fantasy. 

Lastly, after years of toiling in customer service, I think people in general are more apt to complain than compliment. Hence my many 1 star reviews, with lovely comments like “wish I could rate it lower”. Add the anonymity of the Internet… 

I can only hope that of the thousands of copies of Holiday Hostage that were downloaded, some people actually read the story and enjoyed the read and will give me another shot to entertain them in the future.  

How ‘bout you? What’s your take of free reads? Love ‘em? Hate ‘em? Anyone found a “must read” author from a free story?

Holiday Kisses

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and what reader doesn’t love curling up with a great holiday themed book? I know I do. I’ve devoured several since Thanksgiving and my kindle has a few more loaded for those times when I can catch my breath, sit and enjoy.

I love reading historical Christmas themed stories. I don’t care where they’re set, in time or place.  I love learning the traditions of other lands and the life style of people during past periods.  Is there anything more romantic that a carriage ride through Victorian England on a snowy eve with the Duke of your dreams pulling your hand from your furry muff and warming it next to his heart? Or, cozier then a family hunkered down in a cabin on the plains of Kansas, stringing popcorn and Indian corn garland for the Christmas branch and sharing the Christmas story?  I so admire the authors that research and write these stories.  Keep them coming.

I’ve read quite a few contemporaries too.  Some have been totally inspirational and sweet.  They pulled at my heart strings, made me choke up and most had a valuable lesson to be learned.  Others were just fun and promised a romantic holiday again with a strong, handsome and good man.

A few of the contemporaries bordered on silly, using Santa’s Village or some variation of as the setting and every character was named after the big man’s reindeer or had elf like traits.

The one type of Christmas story I haven’t read is one with a futuristic setting. I haven’t seen one and wonder why? It sure would be interesting to see the future through the eyes of another. If you’ve read one, please let me know.

My latest novel, In The Presence of Evil, is set during the holiday season. It’s a romantic suspense and yes, there are murders. The heroine and hero do triumph however and, in the end, spend a happy holiday. But,  the goodwill of this season and inspired by my holiday good reads has me itching to try my hand at penning a traditional holiday tale.  Normally, I surround myself with music and scents and visual aids (like pictures of villains, Glocks, and clenching couples) when writing my novels. Why not take advantage of the world now, right?

So do you have a favorite Christmas read and has it inspired you to pick up the pen?

Ps: IMHO A few great reads are; The Christmas Shoes, The Christmas Dog, So This Is Christmas (an anthology featuring our own Hope Ramsey) and  An American Christmas. Happy reading!

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