Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New eBook releases 11/26 - National Book Award winner Walter Wangerin and free historical romance

In today's eBook releases, Walter Wangerin Jr. follows up this summer's re-releases of The Book of the Dun Cow and The Second Book of the Dun Cow: Lamentations with the all new conclusion to the Dun Cow trilogy, and Laura Parker's mysterious The Masqueraders series makes its eBook debut with a limited time free offer.

The Third Book of the Dun Cow: Peace at the Last picks up with Pertelote, the widow of Chauntecleer the Golden Rooster, now shouldering the heavy mantle of leader of the Animals. Desperate to keep her band safe, Pertelote is travelling blindly as she seeks refuge.

Two other groups of Creatures are making their own journeys through the perilous land. Deciding whether they are friends or foes is only one of the dangerous decisions Pertelote must make. When the disparate bands of Creatures converge on a hidden crater high in the dangerous mountains, they make a monumental discovery that may finally mean an end to their trials and tribulations.

Whether you've been following the saga of Chauntecleer and Pertelote and their battles against evil from the beginning or are a new fan, The Third Book of the Dun Cow: Peace at the Last is an integral addition to your collection. And if you haven't started the series yet, pick up The Book of the Dun Cow this Friday for just 99 cents for all readers.

Laura Parker's historical romance series, The Masqueraders, is a quintet of titles of secret identities, masquerade balls, and forbidden romances. In Caprice, Hadrian Blackburne returns to London after being thought killed in action at Waterloo. Bored to tears by the staid London society scene, he misses the spy games of Persia, where he was a master of intrigue. His interest is only piqued when a ravishing, veiled beauty sweeps into Regency London on a cloud of exotic mystery.

Who is this Princess Sultana el Djemal? Hadrian must know, even if playing the game of love could cost him body and soul.

For a limited time, Caprice is free for Kindle and iOS readers! And if you can't get enough after discovering Princess Sultana's identity yourself, remember there are four more books of romantic intrigue to keep your busy over the long weekend.

If you want to find out about our latest free and discounted books, including our big Cyber Monday sales, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter! We promise not to share your e-mail with anyone else, and only e-mail 1-2 times a month with the latest news and deals in Diversion eBooks.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Nonfiction Pre-Orders

We're excited to announce that pre-orders are officially available for two upcoming nonfiction books, written by women who are at the top of their fields.

Available December 3rd, legendary author Patricia C. Wrede will release her first book on writing, aptly titled Wrede on Writing. A soon-to-be indispensable guide for writers at all stages and across all genres, Wrede begins with basic how-to's before advancing to topics on character development and worldbuilding, giving you the tools you need to not only begin your book, but to finish one as well.

Already have a finished book? Before Wrede was a full-time writer she had a day job too, in finance, and gives practical advice to writers on managing money, from royalties to determining the financial potential of your next project.

Wrede on Writing is available for pre-order on the iBookstore and will be available for all devices on December 3rd. And if a writer is on your holiday shopping list, Wrede on Writing will also be available in paperback. The perfect gift!

Looking ahead to the new year, many of us are already planning on New Year Resolutions that involve losing weight and getting fit. Women's fitness pioneer Kathrine Switzer will be re-releasing her bestselling book Running and Walking for Women Over 40, completely updated with the latest developments in shoes, clothing, injury prevention and nutrition, in addition to Kathrine's personal advice on motivation and finding time to exercise safely and comfortably. Specifically designed for women over forty, Running and Walking for Women Over 40 is a guide for every woman looking for a fun, easy and economical route to fitness and health.

Running and Walking for Women Over 40 is available for pre-order on the iBookstore, and will be available for all devices on January 14, 2014 to help you make this year's resolutions successful!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New eBook releases 11/19 - Lush Romance and Stunning Thrillers + Kindle Fire giveaway

This week brings an exciting mix of new and backlist titles from two bestselling authors.

Raine Cantrell, who recently re-released eight of her historical western romances in eBook format is back with an all new book, exclusive to Diversion Books. The Homecoming is the story of Matt Coltrane as he returns to his Texas farm at the end of the War Between the States. Finding his land ravaged by scavengers as part of a Reconstruction land grab, Matt bitterly turns his back on civilization, determined to live alone. His plans are upended when Laine Ellis, the only woman he's ever loved, is threatened. Despite the odds against them, Matt swears to protect her and his land. Laine and Matt must struggle in the face of old enemies and new challenges to bring their dreams to life as an entire country strives to put itself back together.

Thriller readers have five eBook debuts to choose from, by bestselling author Ian Slater. Slater's stories may have been written in the seventies and eighties, but read as if they were ripped from today's headlines. Environmental disaster springs from transporting oil down the North American west coast in Firespill, a debate that still rages today. A heavily armed populace feels the government has overstepped its bounds in Battle Front and Manhunt. In Sea Gold, it's a race against time as adventurers, thrill-seekers, and treasure-hunters are all desperately searching for oil under the waves as a violent storm approaches. And in Forbidden Zone, dark secrets of the Nazis are revealed based on terrifying and little known information about Hitler's plans for a terrifying superweapon.

The celebration of the two year anniversary for Mark Cuban's How to Win at the Sport of Business continues, and the prizes just keep getting better and better! In addition to the Goodreads paperback giveaway, and the Facebook eBook giveaway, the Diversion Books blog prizes have expanded to include a KINDLE FIRE for one lucky winner! Enter here!

Monday, November 18, 2013

2 years of winning business advice!

This week marks the two year anniversary of the publication of Mark Cuban's How to Win at the Sport of Business. It's time to celebrate!

Monday, November 18-Wednesday, November 20th, you can:

Purchase the eBook for just 99 cents!
Enter to win a paperback copy on Goodreads!
Enter to win an eBook on Facebook!
Or...enter to win one of three eBooks right here on our blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for joining our celebration, and don't forget to spread the word!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bridget Jonesization by Jenny Gardiner

Peanut M&Ms inhaled: 220 count
Time exercised: 40 shameful and half-hearted minutes
Words written on my latest manuscript: Big. Fat. Zero.

            Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap.
            Another day, another 24 hours of feeling like that quasi-slothful and not particularly successful character Bridget Jones, whose diary iconized a generation of young women and helped us all feel just that much better for being very average. I mean why not? Bridget Jones was entirely loveable thanks to that very attribute of not being very driven to succeed. She had a notion of maybe sometime getting around to it, but we loved her for her half-assedness, really.
            With the release of Helen Fielding's novel Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, the follow-up to her wildly popular novel Bridget Jones's Diary, many of us who were influenced by this novel might feel it's time to pause for self-reflection, just as Bridget did so successfully  obsessively throughout the course of the book. After all, it's been a while. Life has changed. We've all grown older. We've evolved. One would hope so, after nearly 15 years. Hell, I've got a dog as old as that book (although granted, she's not doing so well).
            When Bridget Jones's Diary was released, I was in the thick of raising young children. It was perhaps the first book I'd read since college, entrenched as I'd been in the quagmire of child-rearing. And it was revelatory to me. None of this Ethan Frome nonsense, no forced reading of Oh Pioneers! with a test on Friday and a term paper to follow. This was, to paraphrase an old chestnut, not your English professor's novel. No, sir. It was, on some glorious level, mindless yet compelling blather, and so much fun. With such an empathetic character. Who couldn't relate to a woman who couldn't control her eating, her drinking, and, for that matter, her life? Bridget Jones was so perfectly flawed, she was charming.
            It wasn't long until I was inspired to begin writing myself. I'd always assumed I would a write a novel one day (after all, my math skills would only get me through counting on my fingers, so I had no other options), but I guess I needed to have lived a life for a bit to have grist for the mill. And I discovered that Bridget’s voice, and the voice of similar “Britspeak” heroines, matched my own real-life voice: smart alecky and alarmingly honest (one could argue merely impulse control-flawed truthfulness). It was a match made in heaven.
            Alas, timing matters, doesn't it? And with the ridiculous success of Bridget Jones came a greedy publishing industry, intent on capitalizing on this newfound genre, tritely named "chick lit" and thus bound for the history books into the crapper of the book world. 
            "Chick lit," sneered "true" writers of literary masterpieces.
            "Garbage!" They would smirk, disgusted at such drivel on the printed page, until then reserved only for more highbrow (and occasionally deadly dull) matter.
            It seems the genre was trivialized down to a level of disrespect usually afforded a small-town stripper.
            It didn't help that that greedy publishing world was pumping out pathetic drivel, slapping a campy cover on it and labeling it "chick lit", hoping to appeal to gullible women desperate for a similar novel. Call me crazy, but doesn't this sound a little bit like another hugely successful novel of recent history? The Bridget Jonesization -- or would that be the Fifty Shadesization -- of a genre. What publishing companies tend to do with something that hits big is copy it until it's dead and buried.
            And killed indeed is what they did with the chick lit genre. Within a year, inside the publishing world, the term chick lit was about as toxic as a bottle of strychnine, and if you wanted to publish a novel that dared smack of anything chick lit-esque you were doomed and might as well have returned to waiting tables for a living. It didn't matter that what was horrible about the chick lit that the industry was putting out was the generic framing they erroneously saw as their winning ticket, as book after book came out with the same tired theme: single-girl-in-the-big-city-with-crap-job-credit-card-debt-out-the-wazoo-lousy-cad-boyfriend-wise-sage-gay-best-friend-and-all-would-be-resolved-when-the-nice-guy-next-door-swoops-in-on-his-charger-and-fixed-it-all.
            Readers were wise to this slapdash marketing tactic and stopped buying all the lousy books that had flooded the market. But what that meant was that only a small handful of authors who slipped in under the wire and achieved success in the genre are now the only ones considered by the New York publishing world to be "entitled" to publish the only novels they're still willing to call "chick lit." Which is funny, as somewhere in the reading public there are those who love chick lit in the broader sense: the strong voice, the humor, the overarching theme that does have some meat on it, a protagonist who is flawed but you want to root for her. You want her journey to succeed. And she doesn't have to be 21 years old in Manhattan. She can be fifty and wrestling with mid-life issues in Dubai. She can be newly-divorced and facing dating in a digital world. She can be as individual as each woman is, not that superficial prototype that was rightly disdained by readers and hence publishers. Even though chick lit was evolving, growing up with its writers and protagonists, the industry had already closed up the castle drawbridge and was pouring boiling oil on any potential invaders below.
            In the meantime, I'm grateful that independent publishing has enabled writers to find an audience despite the roadblocks thrown in the way by traditional publishing. While I might find it a bit annoying the next time a "sanctioned" writer of chick lit publishes a novel to a hailstorm of "bravo! It's about time we have a chick lit novel out!", I'll gladly put books out myself and let my audience find me and my chick lit-inspired novels. No matter what we call these quirky stories about women told through first person narratives, in the age of independent publishing there's now a chance for unknown writers to digitally stand shoulder-to-shoulder with giants like Bridget Jones.

Jenny Gardiner is the bestselling author of Winging It, Where the Heart Is, and Slim to None. She enjoys writing in multiple genres, though so-called chick lit will always have a special place in her heart.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

New eBook Releases 11/12 - The Munch Mancini Mysteries

A unique spin on the cozy mystery is rereleased today in eBook format - The Munch Mancini Mysteries by Barbara Seranella.

What makes a cozy mystery? According to the experts at Cozy Mystery List, the main ingredients of a cozy mystery include a woman who is an amateur sleuth in a small town setting where all of the characters know each other. She is often friends with or in a romantic relationship with a police officer or someone else who has insider access to police reports. The victims are often not-so-nice people riddled with vices and may even have brought their deaths upon themselves.

The Munch Mancini mysteries are set in the opposite of a small town - they're set in the gritty underbelly of Los Angeles. At their heart is Miranda "Munch" Mancini, an ex-junkie trying to make good as a top notch auto mechanic. But she can't escape her past, as friends, family, and even enemies from her hard-living days turn up on her doorstep, either desperate for her help or - gulp - dead.

Munch is drawn into the world of amateur sleuthing in No Human Involved when she is the lead suspect in her abusive father's death. Munch knows she's innocent, and works with her old contacts in ways the police never would be able to in order to catch the killer before he strikes again.

Throughout the series, Munch continues to improve her life, growing from rough and tumble auto mechanic to a respected member of the business community. But she never forgets where she came from, and uses the connections - both platonic and romantic - she's developed with various LAPD officers to continue to help her old friends who've fallen on hard times themselves.

The seven book Munch Mancini series is available today for all eReaders. Check them out, in addition to the other chilling mysteries and thrillers from Diversion Books.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Book Birthday - The Indie Way!

This week Diversion Books author Francine LaSala is celebrating the one year anniversary of the publication of The Girl, The Gold Tooth, and Everything. She's stopped by the Diversion Books Blog to share what's changed in the last year and how she's seen her book grow.

Here's one of the greatest gifts of indie publishing, whether you publish with a smaller press, like me with Diversion Books, or on your own: Out of the box marketing! You can't always get away with it in a larger house. Large print-driven presses have a standard system for marketing, with the main goal being to move as many units out of the warehouse as possible, in as short a time as possible. For that reason, if a book does not take off in the first several months, it's dead in the water.

Not so with small presses and other independent publishing, of which so much is digitally based. In this environment, a book is not expected to take off right out of the gate. It is given time to grow. Consider a newborn. While a new colt or kid can stand up and walk within minutes of birth, and start fending for itself soon after, a newborn human develops in phases. A newborn baby grows and becomes stronger every day, with a grand celebration at the one-year milestone. Think of your book in those terms and it only makes sense to celebrate The Book Birthday!

Last year, around this time, The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything was born. It entered the world with a somewhat soft launch, a few interviews here and there conducted to announce that it was out there and available. Reviews started coming in slowly, and, slowly, the book began to grow.

During the infancy of the book, I also began to grow-- as a marketer. I branched out and made new friends. I joined wonderful, supportive Facebook writers' groups. I built a strong Twitter following (then lost most of it to a virus, then started to rebuild it). I learned how to retweet for others. To share good news wherever I could for author friends. I even launched a live event with author pals Samantha Stroh Bailey and Meredith Schorr called BookBuzz--a fun, meet-and-mingle "social" between authors and readers at a bar in NYC, which was sponsored in part by Diversion Books. I participated in online group promotions, and started to see my sales numbers grow.
As the first year in the life of Girl came to a close, I chatted with Mary Cummings and Angela Craft, Editorial Director and Marketing Manager at Diversion Books respectively, about doing something grand for Girl's 1st Birthday. I had seen other indie authors do this kind of thing, and I was sure with Diversion behind me, we could create an unforgettable Birthday Bash.

Did we ever!

I started a Facebook Event and Angela and I reached out to bloggers to advertise our 99 cent sale. That, followed by a week of interviews and reviews fueled the fire. Guests posts energized the effort, and also provided the virtual publishing universe with something it always needs: Content. Engaging content, helpful advice, which can be shared and re-shared long after the party ends:
Sad. Scary. Tragic. (But Funny!) - How there can be humor in even the most tragic plots
Having a Threeway...Indie Style - 3 authors chat up creative marketing tips
Teamwork and the Indie Author - We're all in this together - how to help each other!
Writing in a Tsunami - Why there are no excuses why you can't write!

I tell you all this because whether you're an indie author, small press, or even a large publisher reading this, I think there's value in not giving up on your book. You need to keep being creative in how you spin it. You need to keep trying to sell it, without "selling" it. But as long as you're behind it, you can help it thrive.

Did it work? The morning of November 1, The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything ranked about 97,000 in overall Amazon.com Kindle sales; at its peak this week, it hit the #100 mark.

Put as much creativity and love into the marketing of your book as you do in the writing of it. You may be surprised at the magic you can do!

FRANCINE LASALA has written nonfiction on every topic imaginable, from circus freaks to sex, and edited bestselling authors of all genres. She is now actively taking on clients for manuscript evaluations, editing services, copywriting (covers, blurbs, taglines, queries, and more), website and blog creation, and developing kickass social media campaigns. The author of novels Rita Hayworth’s Shoes and The Girl, The Gold Tooth & Everything, and the creator of The “Joy Jar” Project, she lives with her husband and two daughters in New York. Follow Francine on Facebook and Twitter.

There's still time to enter the Goodreads Giveaway for The Girl, The Gold Tooth, and Everything, as well as purchase it from your favorite eBook retailer for just 99 cents! Hurry before this deal goes away for another year.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

New eBook Releases 11/5: The Road Out of Hell - True Crime

Explore the dark side of human nature with this week's backlist re-release from New York Times bestselling author Anthony Flacco (Impossible Odds: The Kidnapping of Jessica Buchanan and Her Dramatic Rescue by SEAL Team Six).

The Road Out of Hell: Sanford Clark and the True Story of the Wineville Murders reveals not only
the horrors of Gordon Stewart Northcott's killing spree in northern California from 1926-1928, but the ways that his only surviving victim - his nephew Sanford Clark - rose above his traumatic past.

Held captive by his uncle and forced to participate in the murders, Sanford Clark carried tremendous guilt with him for the rest of his life. But he was able to rise above the trauma and help gain a shred of justice for Northcott's victims, testifying at his uncles trial which led to the man's conviction and execution. He went on to lead a productive life, serving in WWII and being a devoted husband and father. Flacco's dramatization constructs a riveting psychological drama about Sanford Clark, and ultimately a redemptive story about one man's remarkable ability to survive a nightmare and emerge intact.

This week the birthday bash blog tour for Francine LaSala's The Girl, the Gold Tooth, and Everything continues! Make sure to follow Francine on Twitter and Facebook, as well as Diversion Books, for the latest reviews, interviews, and guest posts. You can purchase it for your favorite eReader for just 99 cents, or enter the Goodreads giveaway for a paperback copy.

If you're looking for more free and reduced eBook deals, don't forget to sign up for the Diversion Books monthly newsletter! The next issue is this Thursday and will be filled with exciting deals and new releases for every reader.