2-Day-Only Sale on 6 Sexy Romances!

A group of romance-writing friends and I teamed up to bring you a special collection of contemporary romance books. Every single one is on sale today and tomorrow. If you enjoyed Wanderlust or Asking Angelina, you’ll love this wonderful mix of sweet, sassy and spicy. Grab ’em quickly before they go up to their regular price!

 

Fast Friends

$0.99
Stacy knew when you found a good man you latched on and didn’t let go. She wasn’t about to follow in her mama’s footsteps. So when her drunken one stand with the hotter-than-hell bad boy rocker threatened to become a repeat, she should’ve run; fast and far. Alcoholic bass-playing Rio wasn’t a recipe for happily ever after.

But when Rio’s tragic past is revealed and his walls start to crumble Stacy has to decide if the bad boy might be the one person she needs to guard her heart against or if he’s exactly what she’s been waiting for.

Sweet Spot
$0.99
Former marketing whiz Kennedy Lowell knows bartending isn’t her destiny. After derailing her life to epic proportions in one fell swoop, though, she’s content with the easy refuge of pouring drinks and keeping to herself. But the arrival of her sexy new boss and two wannabe friends who won’t take no for an answer throws Kennedy into a tailspin. Add the temptation of a homey new bakery desperately in need of a marketing genius and Kennedy begins to wonder if easy is all it’s cracked up to be.

 

Incredulity
$0.99
Callie Fletcher, a widowed Texas court reporter, is content with her life as it is… until she meets Dominic Jaxson, a handsome, wealthy, old-fashioned Texas cowboy. A beautiful Austin sunset turns into a dreamy romantic fairy tale, but one Monday morning, after a lovely weekend away, Dominic appears on Callie’s courtroom docket as a defendant charged with murder.

Callie’s world comes crashing down when she finds out that Dom has been keeping a huge secret, and that secret leaves her in a bind, both professionally and personally. In her journey to find the truth, Callie discovers more about herself than she’d ever imagined possible.


The Modern Girl’s Guide to Office Romance

$0.99

Jason Carver thought he had life figured out, but after his divorce, he feels lost. When he accepted a job offer in New York, he had no idea that Kira Clark, his new office manager, is exactly what he’d been looking for. Now, he just has to convince her that even though he’s her boss, they’re perfect for each other.

Kira learned early on that life doesn’t always have a happy ending. Now she’s on the wrong side of thirty, a widow, and raising her teenage daughter alone. Romance and love are the last things on her mind. But despite her trying to keep things strictly professional with her new boss, Jason manages to sneak past her defenses one sweet, disarming gesture at a time.


Wanderlust

$0.99

Monica Prescott, writer and world traveler, has everything she wants … except a man who’s free-spirited enough to join her for a life on the road. But when she bumps into Jason, the guy who broke her heart in college, she lets him think she’s engaged. It wouldn’t take much to fall for him again–and that’s one road she doesn’t want to go down.

Jason is everything she’s not and doesn’t want to be. He’s settled down in snowy Chicago and focused on his high-powered desk job, while Monica longs for foreign shores and sunshine. But the more time she spends with Jason, the more she starts to question her career and lifestyle.

Monica has two weeks before a new assignment starts in Bangkok, and time is running out for her to make the biggest decision of her life.   

 

 

Sweet Dreams
$0.99
Jen is the clumsy, bug phobic, music loving owner of Sweet Dreams Café in the small town of Maple Grove. When she unexpectedly finds herself in an elevator with Jacob Walker, A-list actor and sexiest man alive, she catches her breath, smiles politely, and wishes him a good day.

A month later, Jake shows up at Sweet Dreams to order a coffee and blueberry muffin to-go from Jen herself. The two form an unlikely friendship over coffee and conversation while he films on location.

Knowing Jake won’t be in town forever, Jen keeps her attraction and her feelings for Jake to herself. She knows once he finishes filming he will leave, and life will go on as usual … Or will it?

 

Get a free review copy of Asking Angelina!

Sorry, I’m no longer looking for reviewers for Asking Angelina.

Please join my mailing list so I can let you know about the next review opportunity!

askingangelina-dawson-ebookfull-5x8

If you’d be interested in writing a review of Asking Angelina,

and posting it on either Amazon or Goodreads on or around November 1, 2015 (the launch date), please sign up below, and I will send you a link to pdf/.mobi files right away.

Lauren Prescott has just been assigned to write the raunchy sex advice column, “Ask Angelina,” at the fashion magazine where she interns. Only problem? “Angelina” is the voice of experience, and at the age of twenty-two, Lauren is still a bona fide virgin.

Her best friends Joey and Krista offer to help her, but their advice soon has Lauren looking at Joey in a whole new light. To complicate matters, the magazine is bought out by a handsome Italian playboy, who wants to send Lauren to Italy for Fashion Week—and who may want to be more than just her boss.

Whisked from Minneapolis to Milan and suddenly in the middle of a love triangle she never expected, Lauren will to have to stop playing it safe if she’s going to get what she wants—But if she goes too far, she may lose everything she truly cares about.

A New Cover Quadrupled My Earnings

Apologies for the clickbait headline. It’s true, though: my per-day income from Wanderlust has gone up more than 4 times since I commissioned a new cover for it about a month ago. Not huge sales, mind you, but steady ones. For now, as the unknown author of a single book, I’ll take it.

Here’s the background. Before I published the book, I commissioned a cover from a graphic designer and got this:

cropped-book-cover-v71.jpg

 

It was … okay. The designer was very nice to work with, but it wasn’t really all that inspired or professional looking. So I took the basic text and came up with this:

Wanderlust new logo

Oh, much better! I loved the photo, the heart in the coffee (coffee is a recurring theme in the book), the artsy sepia tone. Dozens of people told me how much they liked it. I was very pleased with myself, and this is the cover Wanderlust launched with. Even before it launched, it had something like 18 reviews on Goodreads with an average rating of 4+ stars. I took out ads (totalling about $50) in several venues popular with romance readers and figured I was good to go.

And then … crickets.

Well, not complete crickets. I sold 28 copies and had 6 borrows over the first week. But since it was on sale for $0.99 for the first four days, each of those sales was worth only about $0.35. I made a total of $22.68 the first week, at which point things dropped off almost completely.

Umm, okay.

But hey, a single book by an unknown author can’t be expected to hit the bestseller lists straight out of the gate. No problem—I got to work on my next book and just kept my fingers crossed.

Over the rest of February, I had exactly 2 sales and 2 borrows. Terrible. I couldn’t figure it out. The book had good reviews. People liked it. It should have been selling a bit more than that. So I tried another $0.99 promotion in mid-March (promoted with ads from Fussy Librarian and BKnights) and had a grand total of … 3 sales and 1 borrow. My per-day income from the book was $.65/day.

For a book that now had 20 reviews and 4+ stars on Amazon, this was a disaster.

I had one more promotion planned for the week of April 6: a Goodreads giveaway. I wasn’t expecting sales (it was a giveaway, after all) but I knew it was a good opportunity to get a lot of eyeballs on the book and I wanted to make it count. So I humbled myself to ask for feedback on KBoard Writer’s Cafe about why it wasn’t selling. (You can read the entire thread here if you like). Pretty much down the line, everyone agreed that my lovely cover was ALL WRONG for the genre.

Pivot.

Thanks to that KBoards thread, I found Christa Holland of Paper & Sage Designs and asked for a rush cover. Within a few days, I had this:

wanderlust-dawson-ebook-5x8web

I timed the first day of the Goodreads giveaway to coincide with a free day on Amazon. The results were good enough that I kept it free for three days, at the end of which it had been downloaded 3795 times. It hit #10 and #11 in the free categories for women’s fiction>romance and contemporary fiction>romance, respectively, and briefly made it into the top 100 of all free books. Finally, I had my eyeballs.

In the 29 days since the giveaway started, I’ve sold 12 copies and had 50 borrows, and my per-day earnings have gone up to $3.10.* Okay, it’s not going to put my kids through college, but now I feel like I’m closer to where I should be as a new author with a single, decent book. I haven’t had any new reviews on Amazon, but I did get a couple new reviews and several new ratings on Goodreads, so I’m confident that at least a few people are actually reading the free copy they got.

Now, I’ll never know for sure to what extent it was the giveaway/free days and to what extent it was the cover change that got the ball rolling, but given how few sales I made at the $0.99 price point, even with good advertising and solid reviews, I suspect the book wouldn’t have gotten nearly as many free downloads with the old cover.

Lessons learned—get feedback, go pro.

And now—on to Book #2!

*Since my borrows outnumber my sales significantly and because the amount that Amazon pays authors per borrow changes from month to month, this is an estimate based on the last known borrow rate.

On Dealing with a Bad Review

Wanderlust got its first 1-star review today on Goodreads, and … I don’t really care. Seriously, a year ago, even just a few months ago, I would have had to curl up in bed for the rest of the day, drinking my husband’s whiskey, beating myself up for writing the world’s worst book and wondering how a total stranger could be so cruel. Today, I thought, “Oh, well,” and wrote another chapter of my next book.

Secrets (so far) to withstanding sucky reviews:

1. Write a good book. If you have real faith in your book, the opinions of random strangers won’t mean all that much.

2. Find the right audience. Before it launched, I sent review copies to dozens of bloggers who *like* sappy contemporary romances. I got about 20 reviews, most of them very positive. This gave me the confidence that there’s an audience out there who will love it.

3. Think about the things you don’t like that other people do. I don’t like steak, sushi, or pepperoni pizza, but plenty of people do. That’s cool. There’s no moral value here, just different tastes. We can still be friends.

4. View the review as a rite of passage. Any worthwhile author gets crappy reviews from time to time. The Great Gatsby has 239 one-star reviews on Amazon. Watch out, F. Scott. I’m right behind you.

How about you? Any tips on getting past bad reviews, rejection, or criticism?

A Sneek Peek at Thea Dawson’s New Book

 Photo (c) Guilhem Vellut, 2014
Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo. Photo (c) Guilhem Vellut, 2014

So I was about 15K words into a new book. If you’ve read Wanderlust, you’ll remember that Monica was feeling pressure from her family to settle down because her younger sister, Lauren, was beating her to the altar. This new book is about how Lauren met her now-fiancé. There’s a love triangle involving Lauren and two very attractive men, an unexpected assignment to write a sex column, a trip to Milan, and, naturally, some very good coffee.

And although I’m still going to write it, I’m doing a pivot turn and suddenly writing something else. Why? I was reading the reviews of Wanderlust (I know, I know, authors shouldn’t read their reviews—but how can you not?), and I was struck by how many people went out of their way to say they liked the supporting characters, especially Chip and Steven. Someday, I’d love to do an M/M romance about Steven and Patrick, but I’m not sure I’m ready to tackle that yet.

But Chip, on the other hand … hmm, straight-talking, no BS, charismatic, all around good guy Chip. I began to think there might be a story about him and how he met his wife, Katie. In Wanderlust, she appears only as a photo that Chip shows Monica, but I was pretty sure she had a story behind her.

As it happens, the cherry blossoms are starting to come out here. After a long, drab winter, we suddenly have these beautiful pink and white clouds everywhere. Cherry blossoms, of course, are one of the quintessential symbols of Japan, and they always remind me of the years I lived there. And a couple of weeks ago, I was driving around town, admiring the first buds that were starting to show …

… and quite suddenly, I knew what Chip and Katie’s story was.

I couldn’t wait to start writing it, so I put Lauren’s story aside for now and began on this one. This scene (still a bit rough) takes place in Tokyo, where Katie’s brother Ashton lives. Katie is there for a visit when Ashton’s best friend from high school, Chip, shows up rather unexpectedly. For reasons that will gradually be revealed, Katie loathes Chip, but is doing her best to be polite to him for her brother’s sake. Ashton has thrown a party to introduce Katie to his friends.

“And you must be Katie, the much-adored little sister!” the beautiful Indian woman said in a lightly accented voice, taking Katie’s free hand in both of her own. “My name is Litya. I have two older brothers, but even between the two of them, I doubt they say as many nice things about me as Ashton says about you!”

Katie blushed. “It’s nice to meet you, Litya. How do you know Ashton?”

“We met through an ex pat group that trains for marathons.”

“So you’re a runner?”

“Hardly,” Litya laughed cheerfully. “More like a trotter, trotting behind all the serious runners. I just go to meet people and drink beer with them afterward.” Katie took a moment to study her. She wore a heavily embroidered salwar kameez in a flattering shade of dark pink. Her silky black hair spilled over her shoulders in dark waves. Thick eyebrows arched over her large eyes like wings. The eyes themselves were  surprisingly light, an almost coppery brown. Katie was almost inclined to give Chip a pass; he could hardly be blamed for being attracted to her.

“Doesn’t sound like a very serious marathon group if they’re drinking beer at the end of practice,” Chip said.

Ass, thought Katie immediately. Lighten up.

Litya just laughed. “We’re in Japan. Everything is an excuse to drink beer!”

Katie smiled, thinking of all the enkais and after-work bar hops with her co-workers. “And what brings you to Japan?” she asked.

“I am a process engineer. I work for a company here that makes microchips, computers, that sort of thing.” She waved her hand dismissively. “I understand you are teaching English? That must be fascinating!”

Katie laughed a little. “I enjoy it and it’s a lot of fun, but I don’t know that it’s fascinating. Being an engineer sounds a lot more interesting.”

Litya leaned in confidingly. “So boring, you have no idea,” she said in a stage whisper. “But they pay me a lot. Golden handcuffs, you know.” She smiled ruefully. “But this boy—” she drew away again and rested a hand gently on Chip’s muscular bicep, “—he has been telling me that you grew up together.”

Katie glanced at Litya’s slim fingers and carefully manicured nails. Surely this lovely woman hadn’t been taken in by Chip’s smarmy attitude and shallow good looks? She glanced back to Litya, who removed her hand and moved it toward Katie’s tray with an apologetic smile. “May I?” she asked.

“Dozo.” Katie pushed the tray forward as Litya took a kappa maki roll. Katie refused to meet Chip’s eyes as he reached for one as well.

“So the two of you grew up together?” Litya said again.

Katie and Chip glanced at each other. “Ashton and I became friends our first year of high school,” said Chip. “Katie was the pesky little sister.”

“And Chip was the bad influence,” added Katie with a viperish smile.

Litya raised an eyebrow in a way that made Katie slightly uncomfortable. “I see you each have very clearly defined roles. Interesting. So, Chip, will you be joining Ashton and Katie on their trip?”

Chip shook his head. “No, Ashton’s going to let me hang out here for a bit, then I’m going to go visit a friend in Hiroshima for a few days.”

Litya nodded. “Katie, I understand you and Ashton should be in Kyoto by the end of the week. I may be there at the same time, so make sure Ashton gets in touch with me. I have to be in Osaka for a conference next Monday so I thought I might do some sightseeing in Kyoto beforehand. If I won’t cut into your brother-sister time, I’d love to catch up with you there.”

“That would be lovely,” Katie said. Litya was charming, and it would be fun to get to know her better.

“And Chip, I’ll give you my number in case you’d like a guide while you’re in Tokyo.” From somewhere in the folds of her glittering tunic she produced a small business card and handed it to Chip, who nodded his thanks and put it carefully in his pocket.

Katie suppressed an eye roll; Litya might be charming and intelligent, but she clearly had terrible taste. Chip was handsome; ridiculously handsome even—even Katie would admit that. But could Litya really not see what a schmoozy, arrogant ass he really was? And of course, with beautiful women like that throwing themselves at him, it would go straight to his head and just make him worse—

We expect to have this book on the market sometime in May. Right now, it’s tentatively called Tanabata, after the Japanese Star Festival, which celebrates the reunion of two separated lovers. But I’m not sure if I’ll keep that title. If you have a better idea, by all means, leave them in the comments below!

Hot & Bothered! A Taste of Wanderlust

I just heard about the Book Boyfriends Cafe’s Friday blog hop, and I couldn’t wait to join in! This week’s theme is sexual tension, and we’ve been asked to share a scene that will leave you (I hope) hot and bothered. So here goes!

Wanderlust new logo

 

Background: Jason and Monica are freshmen at college who have recently fallen in love, both for the first time.

The weather had been unpredictable, sunny one moment, hailing or storming the next. We’d seen the skies start to get darker, but we’d been dawdling on the quad after lunch, holding hands and flirting.

Then the skies opened up, and within a minute we were both soaked to the skin. We ran hand in hand to my dorm room, which was closer than hers. By the time we got there, we were both laughing and shivering and soaking wet. My roommate had a lab that afternoon, and of course, my first thought was that we had the room to ourselves for at least a couple of hours.

“Let’s get you out of those wet things before you catch cold,” I suggested.

She saw right through me, of course, and laughed. “Uh huh. Is that what you’re worried about?”

I unzipped her hoodie and peeled it off her. “Your health and safety are my top concern,” I said, smiling.

“Right!” She laughed again, but in that moment, I knew it was true: sure, I hoped this would end up with something sexy, but it was more than that. Her well-being really was my top concern.

I stepped back. “Okay, out of those wet things. I’ll put everything in the dryer downstairs and you can have a t-shirt.” I rummaged around and found a t-shirt and a halfway clean towel.

She looked surprised, and maybe a little disappointed, but she peeled off her wet clothes while I turned my back. By this time, we’d done almost everything except actually have sex, but she still wasn’t comfortable being undressed in front of me, which I found both sort of ridiculous and sort of adorable. I changed into shorts and a dry shirt myself, grabbed our wet clothes and a few quarters and took everything down to the laundry room.

When I got back, she’d slipped into my bed, but the t-shirt was on the floor and I could just see her bare shoulders peeking out from under the comforter. She’d spread the towel over my pillow. I looked at her wet hair fanning across it. “You look like a mermaid.”

She smiled. “I can do things a mermaid can’t do.”

“Like what?”

She shrugged and smiled suggestively. “You’ll have to come closer so I can show you.”

I sat down at the edge of the bed. I lifted a corner of the towel and dried her face a bit. “I hear you mermaids are dangerous. You could lure me to my doom with this beautiful hair of yours.”

She laughed. “The point is I’m not a mermaid. Lie down and I’ll show you.”

“I bet that’s what all you mermaids say,” I said, slipping under the covers. I put my arms around her naked body and kissed her. She was still shivering and I held her tightly. “Someone needs to warm you up.”

“Someone is warming me up,” she replied, her voice husky.

I nuzzled her neck. “So what can you do that a mermaid doesn’t?”

“Let me show you,” she whispered.

… If you’d like to read the rest, you can find Wanderlust on Amazon.

Aeroplane Media Press Takes Off!

Such an exciting day here at Aeroplane Media Press! We released our first book today, Thea Dawson’s Wanderlust. It’s live on Amazon and has already picked up several very nice reviews. (You can see even more reviews on Goodreads).

We’re taking advantage of Amazon’s Kindle Select program, which basically means that Wanderlust will be exclusive to Amazon for three months. During that time, we’ll experiment with different sales tactics and see how it does with the Kindle Unlimited borrowing program. After that, we’ll make it available on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes and anywhere else that floats our boat.

Although it’s a little bit soon to be dropping very many hints, I can tell you that Thea expects to have a second book out sometime in the spring. This one will focus on Wanderlust heroine Monica’s younger sister Lauren as she negotiates the attentions of two very attractive—but very different—men.

I encourage you to join our mailing list so you’ll be among the first to hear about it!

Wanderlust by Thea Dawson 

 

Get a Free Review Copy of Wanderlust!

Wanderlust is now on the market, so we’re no longer giving away review copies. If you’d like to hear about upcoming review opportunities, please sign up for our regular mailing list

Wanderlust  by Thea Dawson

If you’d be interested in writing a review of Wanderlust,

and posting it on either Amazon or Goodreads on or around February 10 (our estimated launch date), please sign up below, and AMP will send you a link to a pdf file right away.

Please sign up only if you’re serious about writing a review. By signing up, you give AMP permission to contact you 2-3 more times with polite reminders about the review and where/when to post it. You will not be added to our regular mailing list, so those are the only times you’ll hear from us.

(If you’d like to be on the regular list and hear about new books, promotions and other events, please sign up HERE.)

“So much for destiny. This was more like fate’s idea of a practical joke.”

Monica Prescott, writer and world traveler, has everything she wants … except a man who’s free-spirited enough to join her for a life on the road. But when she bumps into Jason, the guy who broke her heart in college, she lets him think she’s engaged. It wouldn’t take much to fall for him again—and that’s one road she doesn’t want to go down.

Jason Moretti has a job he hates, and he’d like nothing better than to tell his boss to shove it. Then he runs into Monica, the girl he never got over. Thinking she’s settling down with a wealthy fiancé, he reinvents himself as an ambitious career man in a desperate bid to impress her.

Old feelings start to resurface, but Monica has trust issues and Jason doesn’t like risks. To top it off, Monica is leaving for Bangkok in two weeks—and she won’t be back anytime soon. Time is running out for them to come to terms with the past and embrace their wanderlust.

Review Wanderlust, by Thea Dawson

Wanderlust  by Thea Dawson

If you’d be interested in writing a review of Wanderlust,

and posting it on either Amazon or Goodreads on or around February 10 (our estimated launch date), please sign up below, and AMP will send you a link to a pdf file right away.

Please sign up only if you’re serious about writing a review. By signing up, you give AMP permission to contact you 2-3 more times with polite reminders about the review and where/when to post it. You will not be added to our regular mailing list, so those are the only times you’ll hear from us.

(If you’d like to be on the regular list and hear about new books, promotions and other events, please sign up HERE.)

Get your copy of Wanderlust here:

“So much for destiny. This was more like fate’s idea of a practical joke.”

Monica Prescott, writer and world traveler, has everything she wants … except a man who’s free-spirited enough to join her for a life on the road. But when she bumps into Jason, the guy who broke her heart in college, she lets him think she’s engaged. It wouldn’t take much to fall for him again—and that’s one road she doesn’t want to go down.

Jason Moretti has a job he hates, and he’d like nothing better than to tell his boss to shove it. Then he runs into Monica, the girl he never got over. Thinking she’s settling down with a wealthy fiancé, he reinvents himself as an ambitious career man in a desperate bid to impress her.

Old feelings start to resurface, but Monica has trust issues and Jason doesn’t like risks. To top it off, Monica is leaving for Bangkok in two weeks—and she won’t be back anytime soon. Time is running out for them to come to terms with the past and embrace their wanderlust.