Coming Home is now available!

Coming Home – sisters, sibling rivalry, and a ghost – now available!

Loving your sisters is easy. Liking them is the hard part

I’m so excited! Coming Home is now live and ready for you to start reading! Paperback versions will be out within a day or two but here’s where you can get your ebook right now!  Don’t wait! I’ve been (im)patiently waiting to introduce you to my Skatt sisters – Brenna, Cat, Kayleigh, Maggie and Dory.

Amazon Amazon UK Amazon.ca
iBooks Kobo Nook

Loving your sisters is easy. Liking them is the hard part.

After her cheating husband destroys her career, Brenna has nowhere to go but home.
Home means her four sisters in the tiny Northern Ontario town with no Starbucks and well-meaning townsfolk who know her every move. Every mistake.
And Brenna is making more than a few mistakes. From falling asleep at the local bar to hooking up with her niece’s boyfriend, Brenna’s life is giving the town a lot to talk about.
Her sister Cat wants nothing to do with her. Content living in the family home with the ghost of their mother, Cat’s left a trail of broken hearts and failed marriages on the road to Brenna’s ex, Seamus Todd. Brenna’s return brings back old insecurities and unanswered questions for Cat.
Sibling rivalries, old grudges and a least one knock-out, drag-down kitchen fight ensue as Brenna and Cat are forced to live under the same roof.
And to make it worse, Brenna’s not the only one coming home.

A Tale of Two Sisters

Three Days until Coming Home is Available!

I posted this the last time around (Coming Home is a re-release; same story, but a complete revision of the original novel) and it’s still relevant. 

Coming Home- A Tale of Two Sisters

My book Coming Home, is about two sisters learning to like each other.  Growing up, Brenna and Kat’s different personalities, interests, wicked sibling rivalry, and of course being in love with the same boy made living under one roof almost unbearable.  I had the same problem with my sister when I was younger except the loving the same boy.  Let’s just say the boys she was interested in – ewww!

kris and IMy sister and I resented each other from the get-go.  It didn’t help that she was adopted, so there was a lot of resentment about me being the ‘natural’ daughter and from her being the ‘special, chosen’ one.  I honestly don’t know how my parents survived those years.  Kristi and I were constantly at each other’s throats and did our best to get the other in trouble.  And to top it all off, our birthdays are only a week apart, so there was the added stress of having to share our birthday parties!

But there is a happy ending to our saga.  Like Brenna and Kat, it took a crisis to have Kristi and I find our way back to each other.  As we got older, and more mature, our relationship did improve enough to allow us at least be in the same room together without fighting, although there are a few stories of flying mashed potatoes during family dinners. I think it helped being an hour’s drive away from each other.  We weren’t exactly friends, but we were at least friendly and my parents were grateful.

But it took my sister getting divorced to really lead us back to each other.  Kristi endured almost twenty years with a real…let’s just say my former brother-in-law was not a nice person and leave it at that.  When I found out what she had gone through, without me knowing anything – well that was a real wake-up call.  Sisters should be there for each, no matter how volatile the relationship may be.  I’m sad that it took Kristi going through such a traumatic event to bring us back together, but forever grateful I got my sister back!

Loving your sisters is easy.

Liking them is the hard part.

Coming Home available April 11

Coming Home – Release Day in Five…

Five More Days until Coming Home is available!!

Here’s the new cover!  Isn’t it pretty?

Loving your sisters is easy. Liking them is the hard part.

After her cheating husband destroys her career, Brenna has nowhere to go but home.
Home means her four sisters in the tiny Northern Ontario town with no Starbucks and well-meaning townsfolk who know her every move. Every mistake.
And Brenna is making more than a few mistakes. From falling asleep at the local bar to hooking up with her niece’s boyfriend, Brenna’s life is giving the town a lot to talk about.
Her sister Cat wants nothing to do with her. Content living in the family home with the ghost of their mother, Cat’s left a trail of broken hearts and failed marriages on the road to Brenna’s ex, Seamus Todd. Brenna’s return brings back old insecurities and unanswered questions for Cat.
Sibling rivalries, old grudges and a least one knock-out, drag-down kitchen fight ensue as Brenna and Cat are forced to live under the same roof.
And to make it worse, Brenna’s not the only one coming home.

Available ebook and print everywhere, April 11!

Pre-order your copy now!

Fantastic Fonts

Who knew Fonts could be so Fascinating?

The end is near for my revisions of Coming Home, and yes, I’m getting a bit bored with it. This is a project I thought I could whip together in less than a month. The book was written – heck, it was published! How hard could it be to get the rights back, get a new cover, and get it back out there under the Three Birds Press imprint? Sure, I was going to have a quick run-through, make a few minor changes…

Let’s let one of my critique partners look at it.

Letting Nita loose with it has been both a blessing and…well just a blessing. But this is why it’s taking so much longer.

And will be so much better than the original.

I’ve changed the point of view from first person to third. There was quite a bit of telling with the original story – now I’m showing you how it is, coming home to your sisters. The story is the same, as well as the characters (although I’ve done some name changes) but looking back, I think I’ve re-written most of the book.

This is a good thing. But it’s taken a lot longer than expected.

But that’s not why I’m posting today.

Today is all about Fonts

And if you’re not a writer, especially independent authors, this post will have no meaning for you.

I was happily doing a last check of Coming Home before I send a chunk out to specially selected people for one last look through when I decided to add an email to the story. Adding email or text, anything interrupting the body of text is always fun – what spacings to use, what font, size…

That was sarcasm. It’s not fun.

Sidenote: All of my frustrations and hair-pulling could be avoided by hiring someone to professionally format my books. But that’s an extra cost that could be used somewhere else, and I’ve done a good job with my books so far.

Because I’ve been neck-deep in revisions for…a while…decided to check with the gods of google to see what the best font would be for this email.

There are SO many different fonts available!

I had no idea. Not being a designer, or having any inclination to design, I’ve never considered the variety available. I have my list of fonts on Windows; there are some fun ones I like on Canva.

And there are some fonts better for publishing than others.

Within a few moments, I learned that a serif is the little tags on the edge of letters. Sans serif fonts are best for titles and chapter headings; serifs work well for the body of text.The little tags, or legs on the letters help the letters flow together and improves readability.

I had no idea about that!

In case you’re interested, some of the best, most popular fonts for publishing are

  • Garamond (for thrillers)
  • Minion
  • Caslon (non-fiction)
  • Sabon (romantic fiction)
  • Utopia
  • Georgia
  • Helvetica

For titles and chapter headings, these work well

  • New Gothic
  • Steelfish
  • Aargh
  • Baskerville

Well, that changes things! I had already gone through and selected my chapter fonts – a mixture of Wide Latin and Century Gothic. The body of my book was in Constantia, which if you notice, isn’t anywhere on the list.

After some careful research and a lot of playing around with the fonts on my PC, I just finished changing the font of the book, from Constantia to Georgia. Garamond was nice but didn’t do it for me. I would have liked Sabon, but downloading a new font seemed complicated for a day that was supposed to be spent finishing revisions. If you’ve done it and it’s not that bad, please let me know!

I also changed the chapter headings to Baskerville Old Face, and Candara, which is tag-free and looks nice.

WordPress doesn’t have those fonts available for my blog, so you’ll have be patient until I post the first chapter to check it out for yourself. I hope you do that – I’ll have the cover, first chapter and pre-sale info available on Friday!!

Like everything in my life as an independent author, this morning has been a learning experience, something new to add to my arsenal of what I need to know to self-publish. Now, when I read a book I’ll be paying special attention to the font. And I subscribed to the newsletter for InDesign Skills, for info and special tips needed to make my books look just right. What will tomorrow bring?

Can you tell I’m procrastinating? I just wrote a blog post on fonts! Now, off I go to finish the revisions for the day!!

 

 

Going back to Coming Home

Coming Home has come home to Holly

Picking a Favourite

For writers, books are like children – it’s impossible to have a favourite.

When my kids ask who my favourite child is, I always tell them I love them equally and for different reasons.

I feel the same way about the books I’ve written. I love Unexpecting because it was my first published and because of the secondary characters, Cooper and Emma and Brit. I love Absinthe because of the friendship of the women, and the twist at the end (which was fun to write!) I love Charlotte because I found I love writing action sequences, and I love Dragon for my kids.

 

 

I love Coming Home because…

And there lies the problem. Coming Home is the black sheep of my book family. I love it but…

…it has issues.

The History

Coming Home was published in 2013, by Etopia Press. The first time one of my books had been sold to a publisher, which helped validate my new attempt at a writing career. I loved the story – five sisters who grew up in a tiny little town in Northern Ontario; two of which loved each other but really never got along.

I still love the story. I love the characters and the interactions and the fight scene between… (oops, spoiler!)

I dedicated the book to my sister, because after she left a tumultuous marriage, I felt like I was getting my sister back in my life. Not only getting my sister back, but finding a new friend. Coming Home has a lot of personal meaning for me and I was ecstatic when I sold it to Etopia.

Last year, I starting working on finding my brand and all those fun marketing things that authors now need to deal with. I had covers re-did, changed some things around; I’m an independent author/publisher now, so I can do that! 🙂 I looked at Coming Home.

I couldn’t do a thing with it. I couldn’t change the description on-line, drop the price for a sale, change the cover (which doesn’t really fit with my others). My hands were tied, which wasn’t a nice feeling after doing everything myself for the last 4 years! So I started wondering what I could do. Coming Home never really sold well for Etopia. It’s mainly a romance publisher, and my book isn’t a romance. Plus, there was the edit problem when it first came out…

I’m not about to trash Etopia because they are lovely people. But let’s just say I was never really happy with the final version of the book. 

And now…

Long story short, I got the rights for Coming Home back from the publisher! And I’m about to re-release it into the world, under my Three Birds Press imprint.

New cover – same title

Same story – complete overhaul

I wrote Coming Home at the beginning of my career and I have to admit, I’m a MUCH better writer now! I’m almost finished the revisions – I’ve changed the POV from first person, to third, which is a bit of an undertaking. With critique partners now. Sending it to the editor next week. Cover reveal next week, and pre-order date.

I can’t say how much I’M IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK!

It’s like the first time, all over again. It’s getting excited about a scene or a line of dialogue in the middle of the night, rushing to wake up to begin working on it. I can’t wait for people to read it! I’ll have to do a giveaway. In fact, I’m so happy with my changes that I want to offer a copy (paperback or ebook) to anyone who read the other version, just so they can see how much better it is! (Corinne, are you out there?)

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. This is why my blog has been neglected. This is why I had to push off any thoughts of a book tour for The Best Worst First Date because it’s not ready! This is why my daughter is mad at me because I won’t work on her Dragon book! Coming Home has consumed me. I planned for a week of quick edits, a read-through by one of my crit partners which has now turned into two months and counting of daily re-writes of chapters. Cutting – I’ve cut so much! But it’s so much better for it.

I hope I’ve gotten you excited about it, too. Because you’ll be able to read it soon! 🙂

 

Tell me what you think of me – Reviews!!!

happy catI am one happy cat this morning!!!

I got reviews! And I’m putting them here for everyone to see because I can!!

It might be sad how happy and excited getting a review makes me. I know authors aren’t supposed to read them, but come on!!  Who can resist??

Here’s what I got today for Absinthe!!!

from Two Children and a Migraine

This was such a great fun read.  Although I have to admit I have been missing out on some girls night out lately, I am thankful that I have not ran into the drama that these ladies went through.  Without a doubt this is a great reminder of what can happen when some cocktails are included.  Sometimes it may be good, but more often then not that is not the case!  Those it is a great reminder that secrets will always come out so it is really better not to keep them.

and from Chick Lit Plus

Well. All righty then. This book was…wow. Where to start? This is all positive thinking, by the way! This story was juicy, unpredictable and the ending literally caught me with my mouth hanging open. Though it started just a little slow for me and I wondered if I could get a hang of the narration since all four friends get their chance at the POV, I quickly caught on to each women and was hooked. I really don’t want to say much and give anything away, because I truly was blindsided by the ending. It was, for lack of better words, awesome! Please, go get your copy!

4.5 stars

Plus I got one for Coming Home!

This one is a tough one to write up. I enjoyed the plot and the characters. However, there was a feeling of “fractured” characters. In one moment they are normal and reasonable and the next moment they are off the wall, unbelievable caricatures.
Brenna, one of five sisters, comes home after being gone for 14 years. Her return is instigated by her husband’s betrayal. With nowhere to go, she goes home, even though she has never felt like she has belonged at home and even though she is not sure how her sisters will receive her. Things seem to go fine for the first hours she is home but then, little by little, things go wrong and she finds herself kicked out of one sister’s house and into the house of the sister she has never gotten along with.
Emotions, memories, hurt feelings, all come into play with each of the sisters and their interactions.
Like I said before, the plot was a good one. I did enjoy that. I found myself laughing at some of the sisterly interactions (I am one of four sisters myself so some of these things struck a note with me). However, I would be remiss if I did not also let prospective readers know that there are four very explicit sex scenes. No, I’m not a prude. I just think a reader should know going into a book that this might be a component. I know these particular scenes would keep me from recommending the book to quite a few people to whom I normally recommend books. If you are into reading explicit, raunchy sex scenes, then you won’t mind. But if you’re not into that, I would stay away. Sometimes less is more.
Someone mentioned numerous grammatical errors and typos. I actually didn’t find that many. There are some and I’m sure one more read through by the right person would have found them. They are there and I did notice them but they were not as distracting in this work as in others.

So here’s my plea: reviews are SO important for indie authors. It’s difficult enough to get your book noticed in the sea of amazing authors, and when you finally do, having (positive) reviews on Amazon and Goodreads is so important in helping a reader decide to take a chance on your book. So I’m asking nicely – if you have read one of my books, please please please take the time to write a review for me.  And those who have, and do, THANK YOU.

I even found this if you’re unsure how to go about it

 Customer Review Creation Guidelines

To create a Customer Review, you must have used your account to purchase any item or service on Amazon (free digital content doesn’t qualify toward this requirement).

Tips on creating a great review

  • Include the “why”: The best reviews include not only whether you liked or disliked a product, but also why. Feel free to make comparisons with related products or services you’ve experienced.
  • Be specific: Your review should be relevant to the product or service you’re reviewing and focus on specific features or your experience. For video and image reviews, we recommend that you write a brief introduction.
  • Not too short, not too long: Written reviews should be at least 20 words and are limited to 5,000 words. The ideal length is 75 to 500 words. Video reviews have a 10-minute limit, but we recommend 2 to 5 minutes to keep your audience engaged.
  • Be sincere: We welcome your honest opinion about the product or service. We do not remove reviews because they are critical. We believe all helpful information can inform our customers’ buying decisions.

Thanks to all!!!

Holly xo

 

Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder

Absinthe Doesn't Make the Heart Grow Fonder

Absinthe is available NOW!  Buy yours now and get a free ebook!!!

I’m very, very excited!!  Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder is available NOW in print from Amazon.  Right now!  Before the Feb 17 release date!!

You can buy it NOW!  Right NOW!  Go ahead – click right HERE!

And if you do – if you click right now and buy your copy of Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder and then send me proof that you did – I’ll send you an ebook copy of either Unexpecting or Coming Home!  Today Only!  As a special pre-Valentine Day treat!

Sound good?

Loving your sisters is easy.  Liking them is the hard part.

Loving your sisters is easy. Liking them is the hard part.

Sometimes things don't go according to plan

Sometimes things don’t go according to plan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four friends head out for a night of dinner, drinks, dancing…more drinking…

Secrets come out

And something bad happens

Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder – available in print now

Pre-order your ecopy now!!

 

Monday Musings – Wanting Control

 monday-musings

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB from Should be Reading that asks you to muse about one of several “bookish” questions… or, you can just ramble on about anything you like that pertains to books! Go ahead–it’s fun!

My Monday Musings haven’t always been on the subject of books.  A lot of time they are; what I’m reading as well as what I’m writing.  I might not follow the guidelines for it, but I like having my own forum to talk about writing and reading.  So here’s this week’s ramble.

Wanting Control for Your Fate as a Writer

Loving your sisters is easy.  Liking them is the hard part.

Loving your sisters is easy. Liking them is the hard part.

I’ve written quite a few posts about self-publishing.  I first published my novel Baby! Baby? Baby?! using a Do-It-Yourself publishing company.  I was idealistic and naive; they were a big company looking for profits.  Never a good fit.  I was lucky enough to have my second Book, Coming Home picked up by Etopia Press, a small independent press focusing on ebooks.  Because of my unhappiness with the DIY company, I’ve re-released Baby! with a new cover and title (Unexpecting)to take control of the book and so far I think it’s a good decision.

Self-publishing is all about control.

To fully understand where I’m coming from in theMaking Friends debate whether to self-pub or not, I have to confess to having an alter-ego: my day job is writing erotic romance novels under the name Anna Ellis.  I have self-published 10 books already and will have 2 more ready by the time this blog is posted.

Holly Kerr can call herself an indie author but Anna Ellis really knows what’s the self-publishing world is about.

And because of this, I’m debating what to do about my next book, Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder.

It is incredibly difficult to get noticed by agents and published.  Yes, it can happen, and does, but the slog to get there is tough and full of rejections.  The feelings of pride and validation when you do get picked up is worth it however.  There’s nothing like it.  But signing away your book to a publisher means giving up your control, and that control can be a heady thing.

bio JossI recently read the biography of Joss Whedon (which I talked about last WWW Wednesday).  Some might be aware that because of his creation of the Buffy universe and numerous other television shows, I revere this man as a god.  He’s it for me.  If I was answering one of those if you could have 5 people living or dead sitting at your table questions, he’d be #1 on me list.

Note to self: that might be an interesting blog post!!

In his biography, Joss Whedon was discussing his decision to think outside the box during the Writer’s strike of 2008? and produce his own webshow – Dr. Horrible’s Sing- Along.  (It’s pretty cool, but I won’t go into it now)  He said a comment that hit home with me.  It’s a long quote and he’s talking about the studio system in Hollywood but the remark “…there is a difference when you can just go ahead and do something.”

That’s what it’s like in self-publishing.  If I want to write a book and publish it, I can.

Of course, I have to make damn sure it’s a good book, properly edited and formatted with a good cover!  And here lies the problem with many books that are self-published –  a lot of writers don’t do that.

But let’s not consider them right now – the few out there that give the rest of us a bad name.  Let’s assume everyone who decides to self-publish is able to produce a professional- quality book with the writing skills to back it up.  The control to be able to do that it is amazing.

You – the author – is solely responsible for the cover, the final edit (after getting it professionally edited, of course), the formatting, the release date, the prices…everything. And it feels really good to do it yourself.

At least for me it does.  So there’s my dilemma – do I want the validation of being published by a traditional publishing company or an indie press or the control of doing it myself?

Stay tuned to find out what I decide to do and if you have an opinion, please let me know!!!

Blog tour Stop for Coming Home- Interview with Booklover Sue

Only 2 more days to go on my blog tour!  Where did this month go?

For today’s stops, Coming Home is featured on Cheryl’s Book Nook  and I’m interviewed for Booklover Sue

Loving your sisters is easy.  Liking them is the hard part.

Loving your sisters is easy. Liking them is the hard part.

Coming Home
Author: Holly Kerr
Publisher: Etopia Press
Pages: 495
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Format: Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

Loving your sisters is easy. Liking them is the hard part.
Brenna Ebans always wanted more than what Hill n’Valley could give her, so it seemed a simple decision to follow her black-sheep sister Dory’s footsteps and leave Hill n’Valley in her rearview, hoping to locate their missing father. Leaving her sisters and her first love Seamus was harder than she thought, but she’s made a life for herself inVancouver, started her career at a prestigious law firm, and has found the man of her dreams. But when she finds her husband Toby in a compromising position at work, she loses both her love and her job, and has nowhere to go but home.

Youngest sister Cat has remained in Hill n’Valley, leaving a string of broken hearts—and ex-husbands—in her wake. She’s happy living in the family home, with the ghost of their dead mother to keep her company during the day, and her latest conquest—Brenna’s old boyfriend, Seamus—to keep her warm at night. And she’s less than thrilled to hear about Brenna’s return.

But when tragedy strikes, it brings their father back to Hill n’Valley, and the sisters will have a lot of issues to resolve…

Let’s learn a little about Holly Kerr:

What is your writing environment?

I prefer to work in the mornings, and when no one is around.  I have a desk set up in the corner of my living room, right by the window which is often a distraction!  I need a drink beside me, usually tea or Pepsi!

han and leiaWho is your perfect hero/heroine and why?

I’ll do hero, but I can’t think of just one.  He would be flawed, a reluctant hero and a bit of a smartass.sawyer

Like Han Solo, or Sawyer from Lost, or Rupert Campbell- Black, from Jilly Cooper’s books.  Strong and tough with a soft spot.

Top 3 things on your bucket list?

Jump out of a plane. Preferably with a parachute and strapped to someone who knows how to use it

Get a tattoo

Get certified for scuba diving and see some really cool stuff under water

How did you get the idea for this particular novel?

I like the idea of big families, probably because I don’t come from one.  I have tons of aunts and uncles and cousins, but only one sister, and we never got along. So it was easy to write the disagreements and resentment between Brenna and Kat.

What is your favorite scene in your new release?

The fight scene between Kat and Brenna!  The one where they get physical.  It was so much fun to write!

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I love to spend time with my kids; I like to go to movies, read, work in my garden and run.

What would you consider a perfect date?

A date?  I haven’t dated in so long!  It would have to involve food, because I love to cook and am a bit of a foodie.  And I would have to laugh a lot.

What is one interesting fact about you that readers don’t know?

Argh!  It’s hard to tell what people would think is interesting!  Okay – so I was obsessed with Beverly Hills 90210 in the 90s and really wanted to be Kelly Taylor.  Read my blog – you’ll see!http://hollykerr.ca/monday-musings-want-kelly-taylor/

 When did you know you wanted to be a writer

As soon as I could print the alphabet.  I had all these stories in my head and they needed to come out.

What is your writing process?

I need to plan things out in my head, imagine the scene and then write it.  I guess that makes me a planner, doesn’t it?  It’s hard for me to sit down and come up with something off the top of my head.  I’m more easily distracted if I do it that way!

If you could be anything BUT a writer, what would you be?

That’s tough, because I don’t want to be anything but!  I was pretty happy working at the bookstore. And I guess I’d like to do something in landscaping.

What are some of your all time favorite books?

Pride and Prejudice.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows.  Jilly Coopers’ Rivals.  A.C. Crispin’s V.

There’s really no connection between them!

What are you working on now and when can we expect it to be available?

I am working on a book called, Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder and it asks the question, how far would you go for a friend.  I’m hoping for it to be out this fall.