Tag Archive | Jaye Garland

Garbage Day, Mani-Pedi’s, and a guy named Kane

J Logo 75I find it quite appropriate today to be blocking out huge chunks of time for various life events all geared toward me moving forward. Suddenly, my world is full of a whole lot of uncommitted hours. Hours that are meant to be reserved for my Writing Life.

And how, you ask, is that working out for me? So far, so good. But, it’s only been two days since I’ve officially retired, so this new lifestyle is a monstrous work in progress.

Wouldn’t you know? Captain Bulldog has already blessed me with a chore he’s done the past several years. I’ll now be setting out the garbage for our weekly collections. Yeah, retirement is that glamorous. Ha!

Don’t think I haven’t been savagely protecting my newly earned ‘free time’. I do have my To Do List, starting with eliminating my house from an upcoming episode of Hoarders. Don’t judge, okay? A woman can only do so many things in any given day.

I had my priorities in order this past year, but things got away from me due to the day job, chairing my home chapter’s annual writing contest, and getting my debut novel published. Those things took the lion’s share of my time. Maintaining a semblance of family relationships sliced the remaining hours. So, keeping the house on the Better Homes and Gardens best dressed list had to go, along with regular mani-pedi and hair appointments.

What are the three top items on my new To-Do List?

  1. Write my own stuff: stories, blogs, and do a few critiques and edits along the way
  2. Get healthy: cut out junk, fix healthy meals, and exercise
  3. Reclaim the house: purge, organize, and clean

See that last item on number two? That’s where a guy named Kane comes into play. I signed up at the gym near my subdivision and he’s the trainer who will be guiding me along my Get Healthy Schedule. My goal is to get back into my size 10 blue jeans by this summer’s RWA national conference. It going to be a challenge, but I’m determined to be the very best I can be—even at this late stage of my life. Never too late, right? RIGHT.

Wish me luck. I’ll post updates every so often.

Amazon Best Seller? Yes, No, Maybe!

J Logo smThere seems to be quite a bit of confusion and misinformation floating around in Cyberspace about what constitutes a Amazon Best Seller. I made the list, for a few weeks in August and September of 2013, but my #46 was in just one section of the entire market–not the overall list. I managed to capture a screen shot of my debut novel on the Time Travel Romance list. Yea, me! As proud as I am about reaching that marker, the purpose of this post isn’t about me or my book’s ranking. It’s about not diluting the pool of authenticity on these lists.

Think of it like this. In 2010, an earlier version of my book made the finals in a very prestigious contest, but it didn’t win first place. The acquiring editor ranked it in first place, but another industry professional ranked it lower. I suppose I could tweak my promotion efforts and say that I’m an ‘Award Winning Author’ because of the editor’s ranking, but that wouldn’t be the full truth. And, to say that my book won, when it actually didn’t, would take away from the book that did take home first place. Authors that claim they’re Amazon Best Seller’s, when they’re not, works the same way. What are the specifics of making that list?

It’s quite simple, really. If your number is 100 or less in any one category, you’re an Amazon Best Seller in THAT CATEGORY, only. If your number is 100 or less in OVERALL BOOKS, then you’re an Amazon Best Seller, period. And, to be sure, books that are downloaded at FREE do not count as SOLD books–even though the ranking looks good–they are not included as a best-SELLER. Get it?

Anyone can check the status of a book on Amazon. They tell you how it’s selling if you scroll down the page. Look for the current rank. If it’s on a specific genre’s Best Seller’s List, you’ll see something like this:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,688 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

So, this particular book ranks as an Amazon Best Seller in Regency for both Books and Kindle eBooks, but it’s not an Amazon Best Seller because the overall rank at #4,688 which is greater than 100. Next, we have an example of a true Amazon Best Seller. Notice that the OVERALL and PAID ranking is #5 and Amazon tells you that, right up front. This particular book is also ranked #1 in three categories. This author has true bragging rights, and I’m sure we all strive for such grand stats.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

As proud as I am of my debut novel, THE 25th HOUR, I cannot claim it’s an Overall Best Seller. But, I’m thrilled to have made the list in my genre. Here’s a link to the screen shot of my #46 (folks, that’s less than 100 by 54 points. WooHoo!) and I’d love to make that with all my books.

#46 Amazon Best Sellers in Time Travel Romance 08-28-13

Thanks for your support!

Jaye

D-Day for Jaye, or “How to Rediscover Yourself While Walking”

J Logo 75A friend of mine started eating vegetarian and walking/running over a year ago. She’ lost some weight, feels a lot better, and has rediscovered herself. I’ve been supporting her from the sidelines all this time. Yes, it occurred to me that I should begin a good health routine, too. My immediate response was always the same, “I’m too busy. I’ll start as soon as [fill in the blank] project is done. Then I’ll have time for planning my meals and a good exercise routine.”

Quite recently, my niece signed up with a work out plan where she works. Apparently, they have a gym and coaches in the facility. How wonderful for her! I’d take advantage of that if we had those facilities at my day job. Yes, I’m sure I would. Really. (Says the person who’s frittered away more than one gym membership.) Did I mention that I hate going to the gym?

Okay, since that’s not an option, and there will always be [fill in the blank] project that needs my attention, just when did I honestly believe I’d make time for myself? Right, never.

Well, no magical fairy dust is going to descend upon my shoulders and ‘poof!’ I’m fixed. I knew it was time I got my rather large rear-end in gear, dusted off my expensive walking shoes, got out there and started walking. Yeah, like the Nike ad says, “Just do it.”

Today is Sunday, October 27, 2013. It’s just after 1 pm, and I’m sweating. I just finished a 45 minute trek around my neighborhood, and I feel fabulous. But, there’s a big difference today in me feeling fabulous about starting my good health routine than any other time I’ve made this same commitment. Today, the motivation to do this every day, if even for a few minutes, floated in front of my eyes like an apparition of things to come if I didn’t keep this up. You checked the date, right? It’s almost Halloween.

Boo!

Boo!

Yeah, most of the neighborhood has their Trick or Treat lawn decorations out, and it was fun seeing all the different displays. Some were cute, some were downright spooky. The one that got my attention like no other was this one. Go ahead. Click on the picture for a really good look. I dare you.

Hello? Are you talking to me?

Damn Skippy, he was. Gulp!

Okay, I got the message. If I don’t take care of myself, I’ll be a bag of bones and dust. Then where will all those awesome [fill in the blank] projects be if I’m not here to finish them?

That picture got me to thinking. Since I’ve always been a bit of an explorer, I should take a picture of something on every walk that inspires me. Each day would be a brand new discovery. It could be anything and I could create an Inspirational Walking Blog. Every day, I could upload another picture and share what I’d found. Not only would that help me stay motivated, but doing the blog would be my own little accountability partner. Commitment. Yeah.

The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. So, I’m starting with my new best friend. I’ve named her Daye. Kind of like D-Day for Jaye. Get it?

Okay, I’ve created a place where you’ll find my accountability page of pictures and comments. I promise, I’ll update it at least once a week. You’ll find it here on my website under the Back At The Ranch tab. It’s called Walking With Jaye.

A Job Well Done!

The Category Coordinators for the 2013 Lone Star Writing Competition.

The Category Coordinators for the 2013 Lone Star Writing Competition.

The fabulous crew for the 2013 Lone Star Writing Competition. Category Coordinators, standing L-R: Patti Macdonald, Historical; Emmly Jane, Contemporary Series; Jan Nash, Inspirational; Shauna Allen, Young Adult, Jane Carver, Erotic Romance; Ruth Kenjura, Single Title; and Jennifer Bray-Weber, Webmistress. That’s me, Jaye Garland, Contest Chair, at the podium presenting their Challenge Awards. (Busy taking pitch appointments so not in the picture was our Paranormal Coordinator, Robin Haseltine, who is now editing for Entangled. Unable to attend was Sarah Andre, Romantic Suspense.) Great job, ladies. We couldn’t have done it without you! ♥

Jaye’s ‘Moment of Fame’

J Logo 75I’m a newly published author, and an awesome thing happened yesterday which will be fodder for my writer’s soul to keep me grinning for the next few months.

Captain Bulldog (aka: Hubby) and I were at O’Hare Airport in Chicago about to catch our flight back home to Houston. We had just moved into the queue for the 2nd Group to pass through the last check point before boarding. A petite flight attendant got in line right behind us. Captain Bulldog, never being one to not notice a pretty lady, questioned her about having to stand in line. She laughed and guaranteed that she belonged in Group 2, just like us—no special privileges for flight attendants heading home.

That’s when the pretty flight attendant noticed the bouquet that I cradled in crook of my left arm as if the flowers were a precious sleeping baby. She said, “What beautiful roses. Is it your birthday or something?” I grinned and replied, “No, it’s not my birthday, but a very good friend and one of my critique partners, Pamala Knight, gave them to me Saturday evening in honor of publishing my first novel. Pamala lives in Chicago and I’m in Houston, but we both belong to The Lalalas, an online critique group, so we got to see each other while I was in town.”

Well, the pretty lady ‘ooh’ed’ and ‘aah’ed’ that I had written a book and she was so excited to meet a real author. At that point, C.B. reached into his travel bag, produced one of my bookmarks, and handed it to her. (I’m telling you, it was as if he’d been doing that his whole life. I was astounded at how quickly he reacted.) The flight attendant handed me a pen, right then, and asked if I’d sign the bookmark. (Picture me; experiencing my first autographing to someone I’d never before met. Oh my!)

THE 25th HOUR

THE 25th HOUR

I asked her name. It was the same as my sister’s so I knew I’d need to get the spelling correct. She grinned and said it was with just one “n”, Diane. (Sis uses two n’s.) I asked Captain Bulldog to turn around, handed the bouquet of roses to Diane, and then used Dear Hubby’s back as a hard surface on which to write, and signed the bookmark. At this point, I began to notice the crowd behind us was now paying attention to our conversation much like that old commercial “When EF Hutton talks, people listen.” I did my best not to lose my composure. Hubby’s grin said it well enough for the both of us. LOL!

So, on to check in. As I stepped onto the plane, I was waylaid by the crunch of people just inside the galley next to the captain’s cabin. The two flight attendants noticed my dozen roses, still cradled in my arm, but I now viewed them more like a trophy. “Is it your birthday?” I grinned. Big time, grinned. “No, a friend gave them to me.”Then, Diane’s voice from three people behind me yelled, “She published a book! The roses are for her book!”

That’s when the line went Full Stop. No forward movement. The two flight attendant’s eyes sparkled like tree lights at Christmas. They both asked several questions at once about my book. Not wanting to hold up the people behind me, and knowing the attendants were at work, I told them I’d give them bookmarks as soon as I found my seat.

The Roses from Pamala Knight, and they made it home in great shape. LOVE!

The Roses from Pamala Knight, and they made it home in great shape. LOVE!

The lady who had been listening to my original conversation with Diane back in the airport yelled, “May I have one, too?” Still grinning, I nodded “Yes!” to her and moved along. That lady turned out to be Michelle.

As I found my seat, I thought, OMG! Was this really happening? I felt light-headed, but somehow, I held it together. Danged if I’d let myself pass out and miss my ‘moment of fame’. Ha!Before the flight took off, I found Michelle in her seat and she was already searching Amazon on her cell phone for my book title. My seat mate, Elena, wanted a bookmark as well. Oh my! And, once all three flight attendants: Cindy, Janet, and Bosiana (pronounced, Bo-Shawna, and she’s from Poland!) had served refreshments and were taking a short break, they finally got their questions answered about how I came up with the story, the setting, and how long it took to write. And, they each got their signed bookmarks.I ask you. How much fun can a debut author have in one day? I mean, really? LOL!

So, if you ever need a bump in your publicity, just book a flight and get in line with a dozen roses. But, keep those bookmarks handy!

It’s HERE! My debut novel is AVAILABLE. :)

Debut Novel by Jaye Garland THE 25th HOUR

Debut Novel by Jaye Garland
THE 25th HOUR

Good gracious, I’m over-the-moon excited. Here’s the link where you can buy the eBook,  http://tinyurl.com/oqzhqm3, or simply click on the book cover!

Chased through time by her father’s murder, Houston architect Sheridan Wells unwittingly ‘erases’ herself and hurtles back to 1877 Wyoming Territory, to the moment that changed her family’s history forever—to the source of her father’s wealth—wealth the villain swears is his.
Heart locked by guilt, widower Alexander Reed, a War of the Rebellion hero-turned-rancher, attempts to disprove the transient woman’s story, labels her a charlatan and intends to dismiss her, but his precocious daughter has already claimed Sheridan as her new mother.
When the villain renews his quest for wealth and vengeance, Sheridan and Alexander must combine forces to defeat the crazed killer. This time, and no matter the cost—Alexander vows to protect his family. Will Sheridan’s stalker claim his due, or will she find sanctity within the family of her heart…before the window of time fades forever into the 25th hour?