Posts Tagged With: be still

Returning the favour (ft. Tania L Ramos)

One of my favourite WordPress Authors, Tania L Ramos (and yes, when I say her name, I do say the entire thing and roll the R), has been sweet enough to plug my as-of-yet unpublished book on her blog! I thought it was only fair to plug her book back on mine.

So first of all, go check out her blog. Secondly, listen to me ramble about her book for a second.

I read Be Still (her book) over the summer, and I really enjoyed it. I had some trouble getting into it at first, because it’s a romantic drama, and my usual genre is, well, hardcore fantasy. But I fell in love with the characters, the ending was heart-warming and fantastic, and I was even able to overlook the fact that there weren’t any dragons. So props to Tania L Ramos for that. (I even roll the R in my head! I need to stop doing that.)

Be Still also holds the distinction of being the first (and thus far, only) book I’ve reviewed where the author actually sent me a physical, signed copy of the book. That was a really cool feeling — that someone is so invested in getting my opinion that they’re willing to send me one of their books that they’ve bought and paid for themselves. It was like Christmas in July. It was awesome.

If you’re interested in reading Be Still in the next little while, I’m given to understand that you might even be able to get it for free! The ebook version, that is, not the print version. Only I am special enough for this honour! Muahahahaha. Anyway, here’s a quote on the subject from Tania L Ramos’s blog:

And to ring in this holiday season, please visit my website www.BeStillNovel.com to receive a free Kindle download of Be Still. Or contact me to receive a signed paperback copy of my book for $10 plus $3.95 shipping, or buy two books and get one free.  Don’t forget, books make great holiday gifts.

And that’s about all the time I have for cross-promotion, as I have a project due today and I’ve already spent the last hour blogging instead of working. Bad Michelle!

Oh yeah, and since I’m talking about other bloggers and how awesome they are, I should mention Andrew Toynbee, who invented an award — The Most Helpful Blogger Award — and nominated me for it. Woo!

Unrelated image of the day:

Unrelated video of the day:

This is a … really weird video. It’s painfully catchy and adorable, and yet at the same time horribly depressing. So … enjoy?

Categories: Blog-related, Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Guest Blog Post: Tania L Ramos + Giveaway!

Remember that blog tour I mentioned I was taking part in? Well, the day has finally arrived! Today we have with us Tania L Ramos, author of the adult romance/drama Be Still (click here for my review). She’s an extremely talented author who I met over WordPress, and she’s here to share some thoughts with us about how to set realistic, achievable goals.

So here’s what you need to do if you want to be awesome:

1. Read the guest post. I really enjoyed reading it, and I think you will too.

2. Enter the giveaway! Go to Tania’s Facebook page and find the “Blog Tour with Michelle Proulx, Post Comments Here” post (should be easily spotted). Leave a comment saying that you read this blog post, as well as your email address. Then you will be entered for a chance to win a softcover copy of Be StillFor free! Woo!

3. If so inclined, you can also check out Tania’s website. There’s lots of information there about her, her book, etc. Do it!

And so, without any further ado, Tania’s guest post!

Tania L Ramos, author of Be Still

Hello friends of Michelle Proulx and thank you for following my blog tour.  My name is Tania L Ramos, author of two books titled, “When I Thought I Was Tough,” and most currently, “Be Still.” By day I am a registered nurse in a recovery room.  By night I punch away at my keyboard and put on my author hat.  Currently, I am a marketer, publicist, and social media novice all for my most current book.  Most importantly, I am an independent  author and that has been the scariest part.

Like so many others, I dreamed of being published and getting paid for what I love to do.  Then I discovered that was like saying I wanted to be an award winning actress in Hollywood.  Well, I had my fifteen seconds of Hollywood fame when I played (in a non-speaking roll) a paramedic for several episodes of the television show E.R.  I was never discovered and, so, I went on into my role of being a real medical professional then chose to  start writing during a very bleak period in my life.  That bleak period is a whole other story, one of those Hallmark television after-school specials.

With my time off I wrote my first novel.  I thought I would have been happy at that, but all that did was spark a great fire for the desire to be an accomplished author.  What is accomplished? I had a few goals in mind went I  decided to independently publish, “Be Still.”

Goals:

1. Have a professional looking book (accomplished)

2. Have a book signing (accomplished)

3. Reach a rank of less than 1,000,000 on Amazon (accomplished…for a few hours)

4. Have a book party (accomplished)

5. Have a book trailer up (accomplished)

6. Have an author video interview up (accomplished)

7. Do a blog tour (in process of being accomplished)

8. Sell 250 book by August 31,2012 (short about half, but there’s still time)

My guest post today is about having goals and making them realistic. Sure, I would love to be a NY Times Best Seller and have a company pay me to write instead of investing my own money to write, but it takes baby steps.  There are many authors out there who started out self-published and eventually won out the big publishing houses, but even those authors would say they had to first pay their dues. Never, or at least rarely, do things come without working at it first.

I have paid over $6,000 into being published. And I do not mind saying that. There are many authors who refuse to reveal numbers, but I’m here to state the truth, so other authors going this route know they aren’t alone. Over $6,000 in publishing and at least another $2,500 in marketing and publicity.  I have tried it all.  I made a commitment to put any money I make back into marketing or into publishing my next book.  I didn’t expect to  make a profit, but wouldn’t scoff at it should that happen.  I am a relatively unknown author and have prepared myself to pay my dues.

I set goals first off, and placed them on a blackboard in bright shiny colors to see every morning.  The list above are just some of my goals, there are many more: send out a press release, create a Facebook fan page, start using Twitter, etc.  Every day I set out to complete one task and called it an accomplishment.  I celebrated every minor milestone such as hugging the woman who had no clue who I was but bought my book at the mall anyways.  What was all the hubbub? Someone who didn’t know me from Eve bought a book! To me that was a major ordeal. When I sold my first ten books I shouted for joy and posted it to every social media outlet I could.  Again, it wasn’t the 250 by August, but it was a milestone on my way to the bigger picture.  I celebrate everything so nothing too small can ever be a disappointment.

A few weeks ago I did a book signing at High Desert Oasis Used bookstore’s grand re-opening event.  I sold one book.  Just one.  I called it a bonus day.  You know why? The guy who bought my book met me at the mall the  week before and promised he would show up to the bookstore for my signing event. And he did.  That was one of the most special books I have sold yet.  And still, I only sold one book that day.  It wasn’t so much the sale as knowing he came back to see me because he was very curious about the book. Milestones.

This blog tour has been such a huge ordeal for me.  I didn’t know many people before writing my book.  In fact, I could name all my friends on one hand.  I’m socially awkward and a great savant at being perpetually recluse.  Thusly, I write.  So creating a book tour took so much time and emotional energy.  I had to start networking, start putting myself and my emotions out there, and start speaking up.  Some of you may empathize.

I was turned down by five people whom I invited to join my blog tour.  I was psychologically devastated and emotionally mortified.  But in between all those rejections were acceptance replies. I told myself I would do the tour even if just one person accepted.  Just one.  I had five people accept.  Instead of wallowing in devastation I celebrated my accomplishment.  FIVE PEOPLE ACCEPTED.

Not only am I hitting milestones and accomplishing goals, but I’m changing who I am.  I can talk to people about my book.  And conversely people are asking me questions.  I have joined clubs and volunteered to do speaking events.  People are contacting me now.  But everyday, I still create and reach for goals.  Today I am coming to you from Las Vegas, Nevada where I am working on another goal: research, video and photos of the Extraterrestrial Highway for my next book (based on aliens for young adults).  There is always a goal…

I feel like a superstar and so should you in every minor and major accomplishment. Hug the lady who buys your book and has no clue who you are. Let them know they are superstars in your world.  Rejoice in the person  who remembers who you are and comes back.  Be delighted if only one person accepts your request to host a blog tour, but jump to the sky if you get five.  Take a picture of the moment you sell ten books, twenty-five, fifty and finally hit your goal.  Never, never, never look at a goal as missed but look at it as an extended journey.  Books are forever.  It may take twenty years to hit a goal, but don’t forget to shout out loud on the day you hit that mark.  Never lose sight of your dream, because nobody else can dream it for you.  And when you reach that goal, after the celebration, make a new one. And if you can’t be among the stars…write about them.

–Tania L Ramos

Did you enjoy the guest post?

Sound off in the comments below!

And don’t forget to check out her blog tour stop yesterday at DavidMcGowanAuthor.com. Tomorrow she’s posting a video blog on Youtube, so stop by her Youtube channel to see that!

Categories: Blog-related, Self Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Be Still — Book Review

Me with my copy of Be Still!

The Book

“Be Still”

The Genre

Romantic Drama

The Author

Tania L. Ramos. This is her second novel, which is self-published through iUniverse. Check out her blog and her website for more information!

The Plot

Plastic surgeon Jack Silver thinks his life is perfect – until he loses his daughter and wife in a series of tragic events. A decade later, Jack discovers that he is dying. He desperately wants to reconnect with his estranged son Travis, but Travis wants nothing to do with his father. Enter Dr. Christina Amity, Jack’s protégé and dear friend, who strives to help father and son work out their issues before Jack’s disease claims him. But even as Christina and Travis grow closer, Jack finds himself inching towards death, drawn by what he thinks is the spirit of his dead wife. Will Jack make peace with his son before he rejoins his wife and daughter in the afterlife? Will the emotionally-damaged Travis ever find love? Read Be Still to find out!

The Review

Let me start by saying that, despite the genre of this book being the polar opposite of what I usually read, I really enjoyed Be Still. The plot was engaging and well thought out, the characters relatable and believable. It’s a tragic story that’s at the same time uplifting, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes the romance/drama genre.

I’m going to be honest, I wasn’t the hugest fan of Jack Silver. He basically gives up on living after his wife dies, withdrawing from the world and from his son, all of which really irked me. I have a hard time connecting with parent characters who emotionally abandon their children. At the same time, I totally understand why he did what he did because his plot arc was beautifully written, so even though I didn’t really like the character, Tania still got me to sympathize with him.

On the other hand, I loved Travis and Christina. Their romance is sweet, and realistic, and flawed, because when does love ever go smoothly? I actually found myself caring more about Jack because I was seeing him through Travis and Christina’s eyes, and it was bittersweet because their shared grief over his impending death is one of the things that brings them together.

I quite enjoyed Tania’s writing style. It flowed nicely, and it was very easy for me to lose myself in the story. One criticism I would make is that the description sometimes got a little flowery, but for all I know that’s the norm for this genre of writing. It certainly didn’t detract from the story, it just made me pause and think, “Goodness, that’s a lot of adverbs”.

The Rating

4 out of 5 stars, plus an “Awww!” factor of 8 puppies.

Remember that blog tour I mentioned?

If you have an excellent memory, you’ll remember that I’m participating in a blog tour next week – the blog tour of Tania L Ramos, to be specific, aka the author of Be Still! Whoa. Crazy coincidence, right? Anyway, here’s a reminder of the blog tour dates:

July 19 – http://katherinenader.tumblr.com

July 20 – http://nerdybookreviews.wordpresscom

July 21 – http://freebies4myfamily.blogspot.com/

July 22 – http://davidmcgowanauthor.com/

July 23 – https://michelleproulx.wordpress.com/ ((ME!))

July 24 – http://www.youtube.com/user/tramossnvvc/videos ((video blog))

Tania is also holding a sweepstakes right now, which can be viewed on her Facebook page. Basically, for every 100 books she sells by August 30th, she will donate a copy of her book to a high school of the winner’s choice. It only works for U.S. schools (something about foreign policy), and she promises to donate a book even if she doesn’t hit the 100 books sold mark. And if you’re poor like me and don’t want to buy a copy, you can still go to the Sweepstakes tab on the Facebook page and enter anyway.

So come back next Monday for my leg of the blog tour!

Tania will be writing a guest post about … about … okay, we really don’t know yet. If you have any ideas, sound off in the comments! She’s a self-published author, so maybe you have some questions you’d like her to answer? Just relay them in the comments section here and I’ll forward them to her.

Cute and addictive game:

http://www.silvergames.com/nyan-cat-lost-in-space

Categories: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Oh snap! I’m in a Blog Tour!

So fellow author and blogger Tania L Ramos has cordially invited me to participate in her upcoming blog tour. Woot!

The blog tour is to promote her recently self-published novel Be Still, which you can find out more about via her website. Here’s the lovely image of her cover:

I read it, and despite it being the polar opposite of the genres I usually read, I really enjoyed it. It’s a modern, romantic adult drama about a man slowly dying who wants to join his wife and daughter in the afterlife, but can’t die peacefully until he’s resolved his issues with his living son.

For people who don’t know, a blog tour is basically the internet version of a book tour. Instead of flying all around the country doing interviews and promoting their book, the author does it online instead. So at each of the stops along the blog tour, Tania will be doing an interview, or the blog’s author will post their review of the book (which is what I will likely be doing), or there might be an “interview” with one of the book’s characters, etc. Sounds cool, right?

Oh, and did I mention there will be a free giveaway of the book at each stop on the blog tour? Now you’re interested! Mwahaha. Seriously though, it’s worth stopping by just to enter into the contest. Who doesn’t love a free book? Nobody, that’s who.

Anyway, here’s the schedule for the blog tour:

July 19 – http://katherinenader.tumblr.com

July 20 – http://nerdybookreviews.wordpresscom

July 21 – http://freebies4myfamily.blogspot.com/

July 22 – http://davidmcgowanauthor.com/

July 23 – https://michelleproulx.wordpress.com/ ((ME!))

July 24 – http://www.youtube.com/user/tramossnvvc/videos ((video blog))

Tania is also holding a sweepstakes right now, which can be viewed on her Facebook page. Basically, for every 100 books she sells by August 30th, she will donate a copy of her book to a high school of the winner’s choice. It only works for U.S. schools (something about foreign policy), and she promises to donate a book even if she doesn’t hit the 100 books sold mark. And if you’re poor like me and don’t want to buy a copy, you can still go to the Sweepstakes tab on the Facebook page and enter anyway.

Here’s some cute to get you through Monday:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-CkMBr4Ga0

Categories: Blog-related | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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