Just a quick heads-up: I’ll be featured in author Molly O’Keefe’s The Author is… newsletter this month! It comes out Friday 1/23, and you can sign up on Molly’s home page (scroll down and look for the sign-up boxes on the right).

Molly is one of my favorite romance authors, and one of my favorite people to talk to about writing. She asked some great questions and I tried to take the opportunity to answer as candidly as possible, even when the answer made me look like someone who does not have my act together.

I’ll be giving away books, too: a copy of A Lady Awakened, a copy of A Gentleman Undone, and a copy of A Woman Entangled. So if you’ve read A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong but haven’t gotten around to my backlist, this is your chance!

If I get around to writing a “Best Reads of 2014” post, one of the books I’ll wax most rhapsodic about is Summer Chaparral, a historical romance with an unusual late-19th-century Southern California setting, featuring some marvelously assured prose and characterization from debut author Genevieve Turner.

The follow-up novella to that book, The Cowboy’s Christmas Seduction, is free on Amazon this weekend. I haven’t read it yet, but because I loved Summer Chaparral so much, I wanted to alert you all to the free promotion (running 12/27 and 12/28).

Caveat: I asked around on Twitter, and people who’ve read both books recommend reading Summer Chaparral first rather than approaching The Cowboy’s Christmas Seduction as a stand-alone. But I figure as long as the novella is free, you might as well download it and save it until you’ve gotten around to reading Summer Chaparral. Which I do hope you’ll do, because like I said, it’s one of the best romances I read this year :)

Thursday, 12/18, author Carolyn Jewel is hosting me for a giveaway of A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong plus a backlist book of the winner’s choice.

A month or so ago I saw her interview of author Joanna Bourne, and mentioned on Twitter that now I aspired to one day be interviewed by her, and she said she could make that happen. And so she did, with a slate of questions evoking my opinions on everything from The Best and Worst Things About Writing to The Suitability of Narnia as a Vacation Destination.

I had a lot of fun answering the questions, and I hope you’ll check it out!

Edited 12/6: A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong will be FREE on Amazon from Monday, 12/8 through Friday, 12/12. I know I’m sounding a little fanatical about this (please note that the post below was written at about 5:45 in the morning after I’d been up all night), but I really want people to have this book for free!!

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So. Not until I went to upload A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong did it ever occur to me that I might not have the option to just make it permanently free.

I’ve conceived of this book all along as a promo tool; a shorter work that would hopefully harvest new readers for the existing Blackshear books (and then, ideally, my books-yet-to-come). I’ve told people it would be free. I’ve explained to someone who was concerned about the lack of a print edition that I didn’t want to make a print edition you’d have to pay for when the ebook would be free.

Well, as you’ve either figured out or already knew, one does not have the option to upload a book to all the biggest ebook retailers with a beginning and permanent price of free. The only way I can get it to be free on Amazon (by far the biggest ebook retailer) is to either:

  1. Put it on one of the other sites for free, then either alert Amazon or get someone else to alert Amazon (like so much else lately, this is not quite clear to me) of this fact, and hope that it takes them a couple days to match the price, rather than three or four weeks. Given that I expect the book’s marketability to drop sharply after Christmas, I can’t take the risk of the long wait. (Yes, I’m now kicking myself for not having put the thing up in October, which would have given me plenty of time for price matching.)
  2. Commit to Amazon’s KDP Select program, which means the book is available exclusively through Amazon for 90 days (which, for a Christmas book, basically means for the book’s 2014 shelf life), and then take advantage of the 5-day Free Book Promotion that’s available to KDP Select participants.

So I’m doing the latter. I’ve priced it at 99 cents, which is the minimum Amazon allows, and I will make it free for 5 days hopefully starting Monday December 8. (Instructions tell me to click on “Manage Benefits” on my “KDP Bookshelf” in order to initiate the promotion, but right now there is no “Manage Benefits” to click on. I’m assuming this is because the book hasn’t gone live yet. I’m counting on there being a “Manage Benefits” link, eventually.)

So. I’ll be very loud on Twitter and wherever else I am about these five free days – I’m a little leery of earning Amazon’s ire by saying, explicitly, “Don’t buy my book; wait for the free days!” But I will say, please don’t feel like it’s better to “support” me by paying for the book instead of getting it free. Because, while I’m not opposed to making money, that’s just not the way I’ve thought about this book, ever. It’s supposed to be my holiday present for existing readers, and my bait for new readers who maybe weren’t willing to bite at my 7.99 standard mass-market price.

Anyway. Let’s switch gears and talk about content. I’ll actually call this a Content Advisory.

Among the plot developments in A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong is a non-intentional sex event. And hand in hand with the absence of intent goes an absence of consent.

It’s definitely on the milder end of the non-consensual sex events scale – it’s not presented as a fun sexy thing that anyone would like to see repeated; the involved parties are taken aback and aghast – but if you’re triggerish around consent, or just have a zero-tolerance policy for anything short of enthusiastic consent, this might not be the book for you.

That’s as much detail as I’ll go into here. If you need to know more in order to decide whether you want to read the book, feel free to email me at cecilia at ceciliagrant dot com, and I’ll tell you the specifics.

Today alert reader Karen alerted me to the fact that somewhere on Goodreads, the release date for my holiday novella, A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong, is showing as November 1.

This is not correct. I’m not sure how this information could have gotten onto Goodreads (I’m self-publishing the novella, so theoretically I should be the sole source for all info relating to it [though I was delighted to see someone else added the book, with cover image, to my inventory there, because now I don’t have to spend the time figuring out how to do that]), unless they saw that I said it was “coming in November,” and decided to just translate “November” to “November 1.”

So let it be noted that when November 1 comes and goes without my novella releasing, it’s not because I don’t have my act together! It was never supposed to be November 1!

I don’t have an exact release date yet. In my heart of hearts I’d like to not publish it until December, because that’s when Christmas is and I’m grumpy about holiday creep. But realistically, I know that would mean missing out on a big chunk of the holiday-novella-buying season. (Or in my case, holiday-novella-downloading season, since it’s going to be free.) So, some time in November. Maybe right before Thanksgiving. I have to do the formatting and uploading myself, and I’ve heard this often doesn’t go smoothly for first-timers, so I’m reluctant to pick a specific date and then slide past it.

Let me take this moment to say how grateful I am for everyone who’s stayed interested in seeing a new book from me after what I know is an uncommonly long lapse in publication. (For two months now I’ve had a blog post in my “drafts” folder that details some of the life-stuff consuming a lot of my energy over the past year or so, but I haven’t pressed “publish” because it feels like TMI and also because it might not be relevant. Even when the rest of my life is cooperating, I’m always going to be on the slower side compared to most writers in this genre.) I’m grateful for being visible on Goodreads, too. Even if it does make me look like I don’t have my act together. To be honest, I often don’t.

I promise Andrew and Lucy’s story will be out there soon. Just not quite that soon!

So if your teenager goes and gets a tattoo without telling you, is the offense at all mitigated by the fact that it’s a literary tattoo?

tattoo, black cat w/red scarf


(I’m curious – were these books generally well known, or are they an obscurity particular to my family?)

Christmas Gone Wrong Excerpt!

I’ve put up an excerpt from the beginning of my holiday novella, A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong. I’ll be putting up another excerpt in a couple of weeks :)