Monday, November 21, 2011

The Most Beautiful Book Cover Is....

As you know I participated in a book beauty pageant last week, and, today, we have our winner. Please give a round of applause for Moonlight on the Nantahala.

About the book: Edward Caulfield was not a simple man. Losing his wife early in their marriage he continued to live his life as a shrine to her. In his twilight years he encountered a troubled young woman. There were lessons to be learned from each other. With the spirit of his deceased wife by his side Edward Caulfield left behind a legacy in his words to ease a troubled heart.

About the author:Micheal, born in 1953, is an American author. His writing genres include Fiction, Horror, Thriller and Paranormal. Micheal has been writing for several years. In the past he concentrated on Romantic Poetry. In recent years he has focused on writing Fiction and Paranormal stories.

His book titled "Ghosts of the North Carolina Shores" has been published by Schiffer Publishing Ltd. Micheal also published the eBook "The Black Witch" which is the first of a series on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Micheal has over thirty years of investigating and collecting stories of the paranormal. He is the lead investigator for the Smokey Mountain Ghost Trackers of Western North Carolina.
He served his country as a United States Marine during Vietnam. He is a native North Carolinian. He lived in the Chicago area in the past and furthered his education there. He served the community as an Emergency Medical Technician while living there. Micheal currently resides in the mountains of North Carolina along with his wife and his Boxer he fondly calls Dee Dee.

Find Micheal online at:

Check out his books on Amazon at:
The Black Witch
Ghosts of the North Carolina Shores
Moonlight on the Nantahala

Monday, November 14, 2011

Details on the Holiday Book and Cook Blog Hop

It looks like we're going to do this. I'm so excited because I love holiday cooking and, this time of year, many people, myself included, are looking for recipes.

The blog hop will go live December first and here's how to participate.

1.Pick a holiday recipe. Appetizers, side dishes, entrees, cookies, cake, pie etc.... anything holiday is good.

2.Post it on your blog the first week of December and link back to the blog hop anchor post which will be on this blog.

3. Email me at mccleodwrites AT gmail DOT com with your post link.

4.I will link everyone (and you can too if you want, we are a loosey goosey blog hop, anything goes so long as you have a recipe). By the way, if anyone knows a good linky tool to use, let me know!

5.Spread the word. The more the merrier and the more traffic the hop will generate. There's been a lot of enthusiasm, but we need more people to breathe life into this hop.

I will post reminders on Twitter and the various places I mentioned the hop so, hopefully, you won't forget! Consider writing your post, scheduling it to post and just coming back to pick up the back link when it goes live.

Some promo ideas...

Put a marketing twist on it...Make sure you book cover and blurb with buy link are visible. Either on the side bar or within the post.

Tie your recipe to your book if it makes sense. I plan to make the rather tenuous connection between love potions and my molasses crackle top cookies. Goodness knows those cookies have worked their magic on lots of people!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

When Books Enter Beauty Pageants...You Gotta See This!

I've had several news and reviews go live recently and wanted to highlight where I've been around the web. (This is a polite way of saying, I need votes. Lots and lots of votes.)

    First up...I'm in an indie book beauty pageant hosted by Shannon Mayer. Love Potions is up against some pretty stiff competition. Please go vote (hopefully for Love Potions) could win a ton of books. There are some amazing covers....indie authors have come a long way.

    Then I have an interview up on Rage, Sex and Teddybears. There's mention of Eeyore and how you should never squander the magic in your life.

    There was a lovely review of Love Potions from Behind the Rows. "McCleod takes a fun look into the world of fantasy and adds a big heap of sexy."

    My Kindle Author interview also went live and I talk about the check that finally allowed me to believe I was a writer.

    Last, but not least, I interviewed thriller author Patricia Rasey and she's giving away copies of Love Potions (scroll down to find the giveaway).

    Thursday, November 3, 2011

    Talking with Trailblazer Patricia Rasey

    Patricia Rasey and I have known each other since the early 2000s.She was already an award-winning writer whereas I was banging away on my first manuscript. Being the class act she is, she didn't run screaming or block my email address when I started asking her questions about writing. 

    Things you should know about Patricia Rasey? She writes phenomenal thrillers (hence the award-winning) and she knew over ten years ago that ebooks would change the publishing landscape. She has been a trailblazing inspiration to me and I want to share that with you. Read on to learn more about her work and how you can win a copy of my novella Love Potions.

    You got your first e-reader how long ago? I still remember it actually. It was huge compared to what is available now!

    I got my first eReader back around 2000. It was called the Rocket eReader. Let me tell you, the that thing was heavy compared to today’s readers. I was first published in 1999 with Deadly Obsession and I was thrilled and intrigued about this new technology. Even then I knew this could get huge if the price on the Readers came down (the Rocket started at $499), and they made them a bit smaller and easier to tote around.

    What e-reader are you using these days?

    I actually have a few. Sorry, I am a techno junkie. I went from the Rocket to the eBookwise reader. A little lighter, but much cheaper. I still have the eBookwise Reader, and it probably works. Just haven’t picked it up in years. 

    From there, I purchased the Sony eReader. It was still a bit pricy, but I loved the eink and it was no longer a shiny surface with a bad glare if you tried to read outside. So much easier to throw in your purse and so much lighter. 

    Then I purchased a NOOK. I loved the new thin reader and the fact I never had to hook it to my computer to order a book. And yes, I now have a Kindle. I still use all three of the last purchases. Gee, can I justify a Kindle Fire next? Not sure my husband will spring for that if I have an iPad already—and yes, I do read books on their iBook app as well.

    Have ebooks and publishing evolved as you thought they would? What do you think is next?

    Yes, I knew it would eventually get to where it is today. When I first published in eFormat, no one knew what that was. I would tell people I have an eBook out and they would ask’ “Can I listen to it in my car?’ Stephen King released a short in eBook format only—and then suddenly the technology started taking off. 

    What I really hadn’t anticipated, but am not surprised, is how many authors have jumped ship from their publisher to put out works on their own. I am not surprised, though…not when and give you monthly payments of up to 70% of your book price. Publishers will have to up their percentage on eBook sales to keep this from happening more. Just a year back or so and self-publishing was such a dirty word. Now it’s termed Independent and it the direction of things to come. Of course there are still obstacles like some reviewers still look down on these books, but that will get better as well as time goes and more and more Independent make sure they get their work edited and get great covers.
    I know you've worked with publishers in the past. Do you think your work will be purely Indie or will you be partnering with publishers too?

    I haven’t decided yet. My biggest share of my books is still with my publisher. However, they price them to high to compete with today’s market. So where my ranking is concerned with my indie books, my publisher books are not even coming close to those sales. It would make sense for me to pull them, get new covers and put them out much cheaper. But then you lose paperback and there are still those who prefer paper.

    What has your Indie author journey been like?

    Wow, I guess the hardest part for me is getting my name out there. You are suddenly completely on your own, dependent on word-of-mouth, reviews, and advertising. It can get expensive. But nowadays—your publisher doesn’t do anything to market you either. So do you do it all yourself and make 35% (which is my publisher’s % they pay me) or do I do it all myself and make 70%?

    What is your next project?

    LOVE YOU TO PIECES comes out in December. I plan to go radical with my promotion to get my name out there when my newest book comes out. I’m keeping that under wraps for now, but let’s just say I hope to start getting my books in the hands of a lot of new Kindle buyers the first of the year. It’s all about name recognition.

    You're giving away copies of Love Potions in your latest newsletter. (Yay!) What do readers need to know about entering?

    Yes, Michelle, I am giving away 2 copies of your book, LOVE POTIONS, on my newsletter. All people need to do to qualify is sign up to my newsletter (top of my links page), then to read the latest copy of my newsletter on my site since it will be too late to get that one via email. But it has your book’s blurb and the newsletter contest in it, just scroll down a bit. Then just send me an email: patricia @ and let me know you want a copy of LOVE POTIONS. Note this is a Kindle copy only giveaway, though.     

    Thank you for taking the time to interview me, Michelle. I appreciate you having me. For your readers to learn more about me or my books, go to my website and please like me on Facebook.