Monday, December 31, 2012

Resolving to Make 2013 Suck Less

In all fairness, I can't say 2012 entirely sucked. As far as years ago in my life, this was actually one of the better ones. Well, the first half was awesome:

1) I finally visited Europe - a few days in Germany and a few in London. One week isn't nearly enough to see everything, though.

2) I had two books published. Dare to Act came out through Ravenous Romance and "Kat" published Rock Til You Drop. I also released Pure Bliss in 2012, and wrote Bittersweet and The Girl With the Monkee Tattoo, both of which will be out in 2013.

3) I saw the Monkees in concert, about 25 years after the last time I saw them in concert.

4) I got a new job, one closer to publishing and writing that suits me.

5) I lost weight.

Of course, the drawbacks seemed to overshadow some of this:

1) Emergency gallbladder surgery. Blech! I tried my best to eat better and save it, but it didn't help. I do feel better, but I'm still learning about which foods give me trouble.

2) Having that surgery caused me to miss seeing Rush in concert. I can only hope for a spring 2013 leg in the US.

3) General meh. I become depressed easily - perhaps it's genetic. That's a story for another day.

I've done a resolution post here already, but I wish to clarify it. Many people I know are relieved to see 2012 end, and I don't blame them. In the grand scope of things, it was a bummer year. We lost some really cool famous people, and had to suffer mass shootings and all sorts of crap. The way to heal begins with small steps, however. Make an effort to be kind, and hopefully it will catch on.

As for me, in 2013 I resolve:

1) To get off my ass more and go outside. I'll take time to walk or skate during the day and eat light.

2) To not pay full price for groceries if I can help it. This year I'll conquer couponing.

3) To write and not worry about why I don't have an agent or NYC contract. Worrying isn't productive. The only way I'll get either or both is to write.

4) Save up for a return to Europe. Baby steps. If you want to help, you could buy a book. ;-)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Which of Leigh Ellwood's Books Should You Read First?

So, you like erotic romance, and haven't read any of mine yet? Welcome! If you're not sure what you should read first, I set up this handy diagram to help. Seeing ARe Cafe's infographic inspired me to try one for myself. They are quite addictive, so you know. Hopefully my books are, too.

Friday, December 28, 2012

How Readers Find Books recently release this cool infographic charting how their customers find books. For all the debate about reviews, it appears many readers surveyed do pay attention to them. Interesting.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Cover Reveal: The Girl With the Monkee Tattoo

My alter ego has a new book!

Coming soon in eBook and print: a collection of wild "tails", each with a rockin' theme. The Girl With the Monkee Tattoo will be available via Kindle in the coming weeks, and will be out in print in time for the 2013 Davy Jones Memorial Monkees Convention. I'll have a booth with author Robin Slick in the vendors area. Look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Win a $25 Gift Card from ARe, Amazon, or B&N!

I'm doing a Q&A chat at Bitten By Books right now, and giving away a great prize! You can enter here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 14, 2012

My 2012 Book Picks

I am still four books shy of my 100 book goal for 2012, and I'm seeing already that many sites and bloggers have posted their top picks for the year. Reading-wise, I was all over the map - I typically am, I'll read pretty much anything - and as I checked my Goodreads widget I was surprised to see how many books I read that were actually published this year. Owning a digital reader has helped me stay current, and my Books That Rock Us blog features mainly recently published works, so I feel good for staying on top of some things where publishing is concerned. Therefore, I feel confident I can produce a Top Picks list. It will be all over the place, too, but feel free to check out the following:

Who I Am by Pete Townshend - (my review) I found writing my review a challenge, probably because I truly enjoyed this book. It seems easier to review an underwhelming work - perhaps because we are all critical by nature. While Townshend may be perceived as flawed (and who isn't?), I enjoyed his style and his story. I don't think you have to be a fan of his music or The Who to appreciate it.

Coming Together: Arm in Arm in Arm - from my Goodreads review: Coming Together typically turns out quality anthologies, and this collection is no exception. Bear in mind, it is not for the faint of heart. Nobilis Reed brought together an eclectic crew of authors for this work. If I had to choose a favorite, it would be Teresa Noelle Roberts' piece toward the end.

Cyndi Lauper: a Memoir by Cyndi Lauper - (my review) I've always like Cyndi, and after reading this book I admire her all the more. This could well serve as a cautionary tale for anybody interested in the music industry.

Redshirts by John Scalzi - This was just a plain fun story to read. TV and reality collide with hilarious results; this was probably the most fun I had reading all year.

Taft 2012 by Jason Heller - from my Goodreads review: I am torn on the mashups, but technically this is not one - though it's published by Quirk. I liked Taft 2012, it was an interesting premise with moments of humor and a message.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer - from my Goodreads review: Interesting twist on the Cinderella tale, though only a few elements are used in the story. It's obviously set up to lead into another book, and I do look forward to reading more.

Enemies: a Love Story - The Oral History of Siskel and Ebert by Josh SchollmeyerAs I child I used to love watching Sneak Previews, then Siskel and Ebert's other show. Sometimes the discussion went a bit over my head, but at the time these shows were the only resources for previewing movies - we didn't have YouTube and trailer websites. One could say S&E truly pioneered the enthusiasm for wanting to see a particular movie. That said, I thought this was a nice, albeit brief history of their professional relationship.

The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best-Kept Secret by Kent Hartman - (my review) If you've wondered why much of the music of the 60s-70s sounds smooth, it's because the Wrecking Crew probably handled it. A great history about the industry's unsung (heh) heroes.

My Seinfeld Year by Fred Stoller - from my Goodreads review: What I found most interesting about this Kindle single is that it provides an fascinating perspective on how sitcom writing works - at least for one particular show. It is actually more competitive than I had realized, and even if you manage to get a script accepted there's no guarantee your work will survive massive rewrites. I wish this story could have been a bit longer, it left me wanting more to read.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The New Year: How I Did and How I'll Do

So we are coming to the end of yet another year. I found five more strands of silver in my hair, which isn't too bad since I have enough brown to conceal them. This morning I was looking over the resolutions made at the beginning of 2012 and, while I didn't achieve everything, I don't think the year was an epic fail:

My 2012 resolutions were:

1) Lose all the weight I gained last year, after losing 40 pounds the year before. I'm all for recycling, but this is ridiculous.

I actually did lose a significant amount of weight this year. Unfortunately, the weight loss triggered problems with my gallbladder and it had to come out. I'm feeling better now, but still watching my weight.

2) Hike and camp more. I used to love camping when I was younger, and my daughter has taken to it as well. The goal this year is four outings, even if it's to the local KOA.

Alas, time got away from me this year and we didn't get to do any camping.

3) Write two full-length works. Winning NaNoWriMo in 2011 was a big boost for me. If I can write 50K in a month, I damn sure can double that at the very least this year.

This I sort of accomplished. I had Dare to Act come out under this name and Rock Til You Drop out under another. Pure Bliss was also released, and I'm 30K into Bittersweet, the follow up to Taste This. Wordwise, it was a good year for me.

4) Get to see that show on Broadway while Alan Rickman's still starring in it. I will crawl to New York if I have to.

Didn't happen, dammit. I didn't get to see Rush this year, either, because of the gallbladder operation. However, 2012 wasn't a total loss - I did get to a Monkees show (2nd one for me, first time seeing Nez).

5) Redesign the website. Yeah, yeah...

You know, it looks fine just the way it is.

6) Be happier.

Working on it.

For 2013, I'm aiming lower. This way I won't be too disappointed and I won't have to explain my lazy ass come December. So I resolve:

1) Eat better.
2) Roller skate more.
3) Write more.
4) Read more.

Simple enough, eh?

Monday, December 3, 2012

I'm Tired

So the other day I entered the names of two people who had been on my Facebook feed, because I hadn't heard from them lately. Turns out I had been de-friended - apparently on their ends, since I haven't let anybody go in a long time. Sometimes I'll hear about how people will flip out if they've been de-friended or unfollowed, as though it's akin to shunning or disfellowship. Oddly, though, I'm not insulted, or hurt. I feel this apathy is somewhat connected to my recent social media burnout.

If you know me in my real life, you know I have worked in social media marketing for the past seven years. Before that, I worked in SEO (back before Google launched). Come next month, I will transition to a new job related to publishing. I will write and promote authors and publishers, and hopefully bring readers to the books they want to read. There will be SEO and SMO to handle, yes, but my work will be concentrated on a few sites as opposed to 30 different clients. I will finally have more focus in my work, and hopefully bring my expertise to this business and increase it.

As for social media on the personal side, the subject of the post says it all. I still use Twitter frequently as Leigh, as I find it's the best fit for me. I've been advised to do more with Facebook since it appears that readers do utilize it for book recommendations, but I find it's a struggle to talk about myself. The last thing I want is to constantly hustle people into buying books. I get turned off by authors who tweet promo every hour, so why would I do the same thing? I do admit, it's a challenge to be "on" all the time, but I do like talking with people on Twitter. Perhaps I should concentrate more on communication rather than talking at people.

Well, I suppose I'll figure it out soon enough. In the meantime, I'm trying to build strength for the new job, more writing, and the Coming Together book I'm editing. Look up for the cover and visit for the guidelines. I'd love to see submissions over the holiday!