Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Reflections

Reflections are based mainly on the 2014 resolutions I made earlier this year:

2014 Resolutions

  • Weight loss - Lose 30 to 40 pounds. I did lose 30 pounds, but that last 10 pounds (making it 40 pounds lost) has been a bear to lose. I went from 191 to 161. I did make it to 159 a few months ago but it didn't last long. I probably lost a total of 100 pounds if I could count the same pounds I lost multiple times.
  • Update and Create Web Sites - Updated my author's page and my husband's art Web site. Created my Web designer's site.
  • Actively look for new clients - I didn't really look for new clients but I still found 3 new sites to create this year. One was recently and I'm still working on it.
  • Write more by writing at least two books in work in process list and finish 3rd novella in the Lana Malloy Paranormal Mystery Series - Somewhat done. I mentioned the book I had three quarters completed, and I'm happy to say I did finish that book and plan to release in in late January 2015. The second book I mentioned, "For The Love of Money" is still on my to do list. But there was something that happened that I didn't foresee at the beginning  of 2014. The Lana Malloy Paranormal Mystery Series - the first two novellas in the series was included in two different anthologies - Haunted Hearts in Enchanted Holidays and Get Out or Die in One Touch Beyond. I pulled these books from the publisher, Ellora's Cave, and I edited and added new material to these two novellas. I also wrote more on the third novella in the series and have an idea for the fourth. These I also hope to release in 2015.
So, I believe I did pretty good on the 2014 Resolutions--better than I've ever done on a New Year's resolution. Usually I make them and then they are soon forgotten.

Other 2014 Reflections

Work - I received another, although, smaller raise this year. Work has been complicated, getting used to a new system and many new personnel to train on it. I have two more to train in the upcoming year as well. More changes coming in 2015 as far as policy and procedures while changing from WIA to WIOA. Also in the work arena, I was able to go to Washington, D.C. again for an Equal Opportunity Conference.

Again, on the writing front, I have two or three more book ideas (hint--these are sequels to a book that will be published in 2015) and I made somewhat of a written goal list of the books I plan to release in the next five years--supposed to be a total of 26 or around 5 books a year. Wish me good luck on that. I write too slow.

On the home front - Lee's art is selling well and he's still a stay-at-home husband. My sons and grandsons are doing well. My oldest grandson, Patrick, was one of the captains on his high school football team. The Westies are doing well and we have a new member, Candi, a mixed yorkie/maltese breed. We are blessed. However, we lost Lee's mother the first of December 2014 and we're still handling that. Lee says he still feels numb from the loss. Time is a good healer, although, we never forget those we love who have passed, it gets easier as time goes by. I know with my parents, there's not a day that goes by that I don't think about and miss them. But it hurts much less now.

Stay tuned for the next post on 2015 Contemplation that I will post around January 1, 2015.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

Wishing all a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May your season be blessed with all the joys life has to offer. Give your friends, children, parents, and pets a hug. Love and cherish every moment spent with them.

Kim Cox

Review for Tommy's Amigo by Nancy Carty Lepri

Tommy’s Amigo by Nancy Carty Lepri is a heartfelt story about faith and friendships, and about a young boy being bullied at school because he’s Mexican. His friends, Macy, Susan and Tommy’s amigo, Diego, know that Beth and Kenny are bullying him, but Tommy is afraid to tell his grandmother or his teachers. His amigo is a tiny guardian angel who encourages him to have faith and Diego doesn’t judge him when he makes mistakes.

This book includes many lessons including not worrying unnecessarily about things before they happen because they may never happen. Have faith by giving your prayers time to be answered; as well as, how to deal with bullies. It’s also about how true friends standby you no matter what and who are always there when you need them.

This story focuses on positive ways to handle difficult situations. I highly recommend this story.

Also the Author of Tiny Angel.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday - Store Wide Sale 50% Off all Titles

Into the fray, with more sales today. BLACK FRIDAY - TWO-DAY STOREWIDE SALE - Amber Quill Press - November 28, 2014. Through Saturday 11/29/14, get any Amber Kisses, Novellas, and Novels (both "Regular" and "Extended" length) for a 50% discount*. Yes, that's 50% off*...all imprints, all genres, all authors...from now through Saturday!‪#‎ebooks‬ ‪#‎sale50‬ ‪#‎blackfriday‬
(Note: Discount applies to e-books only and does not include AmberPax Collections or books labeled "Amber Briefs" or "Amber Shorts." Books listed on our "Clearance" page will remain discounted at 75% off. Additionally, books already priced at $.99 are not included in this special sale.)
Visit us at!

Review - Dear Viking by Lori Soard

Dear Viking is a sweet romance that will pull at your heart strings. Rök Erikson’s new found Christian faith clashes with the traditions of his Viking family; he fights against falling in love with Leani as the duty he feels for his family demands he avenge his brother’s death. While Leani’s life hangs in the balance, she feels guilty for taking the life of another and places her punishment in the hands of her savior.

As Rök’s and Leani’s faith is tested over and over, Lori Soard handles these characters’ inner and outer struggles like a pro. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

On Sale - 50% Off - 3 Days Only

Amber Quill Press - Suspicious Minds
50% off in electronic format now at

In the city of Boston lies a story of revenge and hidden identity. Ryan Donatelli, posing as Thomas Randolph, sets out to avenge his sister's death, even if it means using Sam Southard's daughter to do it. After all, Ryan is sure Sam's responsible.
Natalie Southard is determined to keep her family business out of the hands of known crime boss, Nick DeMarco. After her father is killed, Natalie and Ryan are forced to run for their lives. But, will they live long enough for their hearts to heal once everything is revealed?
Genres: Romance / Romantic Suspense / Romantic Thriller
Length: Novel (58k words / 188 paperback pages)

Review quotes for SUSPICIOUS MINDS:
"5 Stars!...Will keep you reading right to the end. Kim Cox's characters are so well developed that you feel like you know them. The plot contains enough red herrings and spine-tingling chills to keep you rooted in the story."—Cathy Gladstone,
"4 ½ Daggers...This is an action-packed read with no time to catch a breath, no place to lay the book aside. There isn't a page you can afford not to turn. All the characters are vivid and alive. The plot is tight and engrossing. The ending is spectacular."—Lyn Lawrence, All About Murder
"4 Stars!...This one has a strong plot that keeps the reader guessing. It is packed to the brim with danger, betrayal, and excitement! This novel will not disappoint! Recommended!"—Debra Fitch, Huntress Reviews
"...A romantic suspense story of great intensity. Cox injects moments of passion, humor and terror at all the appropriate moments, giving the story a magnetic flow."—Kathryn's Mystery Women Reviews
...He sipped his drink, noticing her eyes shifting from one object to the other. The love seat and chair with its own ottoman matched the ivory couch. A blue-and-crimson oriental rug dominated the living room floor. Sheer white curtains covered the double glass doors leading to the dining room with a black lacquered table and chairs.
"Do you like the house?"
"Yes, it's beautiful...lovely," she said, touching his arm.
"Thank you, but I can't take the credit. My mother redecorated it last year." Ryan looked around as if viewing it for the first time himself.
"I'd love to meet your mother. She has exquisite taste."
"I have to agree. Maybe one day you will. And, if you're good, I may take you on the grand tour of the place." Ryan's face drifted close to hers. He found himself not wanting to carry on the conversation any longer. His mind was far from words at the moment.
Her black hair, like her eyes, sparkled in the light. His skin beneath the sleeve of his shirt burned where the tips of her fingers touched. She smelled like freshly cut gardenias from his grandmother's greenhouse. Her voice sounded like an angel's song.
All he thought of was kissing her. He wanted to taste her sensuous pink lips and hold her in his arms until she begged for more.
As if his thoughts scared her, she turned away.
"I-I'd be privileged to see it."
Did she feel the electricity sparking between them, too? Did she hunger for him the way he hungered for her?
He felt her uncertainty as clearly he did his own. Finally, she looked at him, and he could see the passion burning in her green eyes, and knew it was mirrored by his own. The window behind Natalie flashed with light. Their gazes clashed as the weather outside changed to a darkened, cloud-studded night. Wind whipped the bay into a frenzy of waves that slammed onto the beach behind the house.
The rumbling of thunder startled Natalie and she jumped into his arms. Her breast pushed against his chest and his defenses crumbled. His mouth covered hers as a hungry moan escaped his lips. She wrapped her arms around him, returning his kiss. He'd imagined her kiss to be sweet and full of passion, and his imagination was right on target...

Other recommendations on sale at Amber Quill Press:
Since All Is Passing  Lady Of The Two Lands  Dear Viking

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Writing Urgency

Why do I feel the urgency to get all the stories in my head written? I have no clear clue, but all of a sudden I feel this determination. Could it be my age? I am older. Or is it something else that has me excited to write again. Yes, that too.

The Journey

I’m over 50, closing in on 60. OMG!!! Where did the time go? I’m sure age has a lot to do with it. Laid off from my day job, I started back to college at 50. Some of you may have read about that in my post: College After 50. School is more time consuming than work. Who would’ve thought it? You see, unlike a job, when you go to class, the work doesn’t end there. When you get home, you still have more work to do and deadlines that have to be met. That’s similar to writing.

Lay-off and College

After the lay-off, I thought, Oh I’m going to be able to write more. Well, that didn’t happen. I think I wrote one novella, Get Out or Die and started another one, The Wedding Crasher. So, needless to say, writing took a back burner to school and most of the writing during that time consisted of essays and papers. I attended college for five years. Yes, you heard right, five. I didn’t stop at one degree; I went for a diploma and another degree part-time while working full time. So, again writing had to wait.

Beyond College

After school, my intentions were to get back to writing, insert best laid plans, but then my Web Design business took precedence with three new customers. I’m not complaining. I love creating Web sites. But again that replaced writing, because I was also working full-time. The day job is pretty stressful with a lot of pressure and responsibility, so at the end of the day I’m usually emotionally drained as well.

Publishing and Royalties

Enough excuses. I think part of the reason for my lack of writing interest dealt with the realization that royalties were not what they should be. Of course, I didn’t have very much published with two of the three books being included in anthologies. The royalties were split five and six ways. The other book (published 2001) had been on the shelves/Internet for a long time and had practically stopped selling. Newer releases and erotic books take priority with publishers. The good news is that Amber Quill Press has a new marketing strategy for the older titles, putting them on sale for $.99 and I can barely wait for Suspicious Minds to be a part of that. It only lasts a couple of weeks at a time, but that’s better than over $5 for a title that’s been published for over ten years. Rant over.

The Plan

One author mentioned that she’d learned, “the more books you have for sale, the better your sales are for all of them.” That makes sense and has just recently hit home with me. So that’s my intention, to write and publish more books. My five year plan is to have 26 books published. Are my expectations too high? Maybe, but I have ideas for that many. Some are started, some are planned out, and some are just an idea. Next year I plan to release five books, and if all goes according to plan, five every year after.


Just as I began to write again, I started hearing about self-publishing. It was actually about a year before when I first talked to a fellow author who was self-publishing. So I started researching this concept and I became very excited about it. Read my other post, Self-Publishing Research. I also posted reviews on the books I’ve read on the subject, in the Self-Publishing Research post and in another post, Book Review - Self-Publishing Books 101

It’s not a secret that publisher, Ellora’s Cave, is having problems AGAIN. This is where the anthologies were published. So, I have pulled my novellas and should have my rights back around March 15, 2015. While completing a full-length novel, All This Time, I have also updated/rewritten/expanded the first novella in my Lana Malloy Paranormal Mystery series, Haunted Hearts. This novella was previously published in the Enchanted Holidays anthology.

All This Time is slated for release in January 2015 and Haunted Hearts in late March or early April. I’m also planning to release three more books in the Lana Malloy Paranormal Mystery series in 2015: Get Out or Die (July 2015), The Wedding Crasher (September 2015) and Christmas Cruise (November 2015). Get Out or Die was also published earlier in the One Touch Beyond anthology. I plan to update, rewrite and expand it as well before its release.

Creating Book Covers

I've also created covers for these books. I've included the images below. This is another process I’m excited about.


Friday, October 03, 2014

Book Review - Loose Ends by Terri Reid

Loose Ends is the first book in Terri Reid's A Mary O'Reilly Paranormal Mystery series. This was a fun read. It has many great elements including funny and spooky. I purchased Loose Ends after reading an article Terri Reid wrote in Ditch The Publisher: 40 Indie Authors on Their Unique Self Publishing Journey, edited by Haley Sherman. I was very impressed with her article and her success in self-publishing and this series sounded like something I would love to read.

Mary O'Reilly, the main character, was an ex-Chicago cop who had a near death experience after being shot on the job, and ever since has been able to see and talk to ghost. At times, she also has visions about their death and is stuck in that time for a while which proves to be a bit dangerous since landscapes are bound to change over time.

Ghosts are actually drawn to her because of her ability. She does her best to help them move on. Ghosts can't pay for her private investigator services. That's a problem when it comes to paying the bills.

Mary is hired to solve a twenty-four year old murder of a young woman killed at a newly elected State Senator's home. Mary is pretty excited about having a paying client too. The victim's drowning was ruled an accident. Mary is hired by the senators wife because the ghost is haunting them. All circumstantial evidence points to the senator but Mary continues the investigation, feeling that the senator could have been framed.

While investigating the murder, Mary uncovers the murders of five little girls that were never solved and learns that the cases are somehow connected. As she investigates, she too, becomes a target for a serial killer who is tying up all loose ends.

If you haven't purchased this book, you're missing out. But be warned, if you read this one, you will have to buy the rest of the series because Loose Ends definitely leaves you wanting more.

Reading to do list:


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Writing and Reading Updates


As you can tell by my other posts recently, I have been reading and researching the aspects of self-publishing and I've decided to try it, so now I'm switching my focus to my own writing so that I have something to self-publish. I have at least four books to consider: my novella that's half finished with a working title, The Wedding Crasher, The Kidnapped Bride, Honeymooning on Cape Cod, etc. (many of the titles I'm considering) - this is the third novella in the Lana Malloy, paranormal suspense series; or full novels: All This time - a romantic suspense novel that is three-quarters completed, For the Love of Money - a mystery novel about one-quarter completed, or Shattered Hearts - mainstream women's fiction novel that's about three-quarters completed and it's the first book I started writing that was meant for publication. You can read the short blurbs on these at my Web site

Right now, I'm leaning toward the Lana Malloy series but the only problem is that the first two novellas are already published in anthologies. I would like to pull my novellas from the anthologies and self-publish them but I have to consider the other authors involved in the anthology and I asked myself, could the anthology be sold without my novella and I believe it can. I would not want to cause the other authors problems or be selfish, but in the end, don't we all have to do what is best for our own writing careers? So while I will finish writing the novella, I will shelve the idea of pulling the published novellas from the anthology for a couple of months until I can consider my options and the other authors' circumstances. If I could pull my novella without hurting the other authors this is what I will do. I plan to also work on the All This Time romantic suspense novel at the same time. I have toyed with the idea of dividing this book into two books but as I reread parts of it yesterday, I think that may prove to be harder than I thought.

If I could pull the novellas, I would have all the control in their pricing, and I could even put them on sale or offer them for free if I self-published them. Right now, I have no control over any part of the publishing. Plus the publisher, Ellora's Cave Blush imprint is no longer publishing books in this line except from well-known authors who want to re-release their out-of-print books. Their reasoning is that most readers who come to their site are looking for erotic romance books; however, if we submit erotic romance books they would consider publishing our books again. Sorry, not my cup of tea! I get that, and for me, that's even more reason for pulling my novellas, since it is actually a paranormal suspense with romantic elements. I'm very interested in your opinions on this subject.

My writing/reading preferences: I don't like writing regular sex scenes much less erotic sex scenes. And I don't read erotic romance. I don't have anything against those who do write erotic romance but it's just not something I'm interested in writing or reading. Some of my author friends write erotic romance and they make very good money from those--more than they do for their other writing, so I understand the draw. Some of them now write exclusively erotic romance. I read mostly romantic suspense, mysteries, paranormal, time travel, historical of all eras, and science fiction.

Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts on my dilemma or about what you think of Ellora Cave's new policy regarding their Blush imprint.


Last week, I finished reading Red Rose of Anjou by Jean Plaidy--the thirteenth book in the Plantagenet saga. This book featured King Henry VI and his wife Queen Margaret of Anjou. Whereas Henry was weak and more conditioned for a religious order, Margaret was the total opposite, very strong but overbearing in the minds of the English. Margaret being French did not help her at all. This book also deals with Henry's struggles to keep the crown, called The War of the Roses - the white rose (Yorkist) against the red rose (Lancastrians). I have one more book to read in the saga,  The Sun in Splendor. This book will give more details on the life and reign of King Edward IV and his Queen.

I've already mentioned in my last blog review that I also finished reading Self-Publishing Books 101: A Step-By-Step Guide to Publishing Your book in Multiple Formats by Shelley Hitz and Heather Hart. You can read my review of this book on this  blog or at Goodreads or on my profile page at I also have other reviews and ratings on my Amazon profile page and at Goodreads that you can read. Something you need to know about me and reviewing books, if I don't like a book, say less than a 3 out of a 5 rating, I don't bother leaving a rating or a review. Just because a book wasn't written to my liking does not make it unlikable to another reader. Now if the book was terribly written, littered with errors, I may make a comment and leave a less than 3 rating--it depends on how bad the errors were. All books have some errors. I've found many in books that were written by best selling authors. As long as it doesn't have many errors and doesn't take away from the entertainment or distracting, it doesn't really bother me if it is a good read.

What am I reading now? I just started reading Terri Reid's Loose Ends, the first book in her Mary O'Reilly Mysteries and only 99 cents at I started reading this because these are similar to books I like to write and read. What are you reading now?--I'm taking recommendations on good Paranormal Mystery books. I also recently purchased Dear Viking by Lori Soard and The Journalist by G. L. Rockey which I hope to read soon.

Most Resent Web Designs

It has been a productive year in Web Design. Actually it started the last half of last year. Since then, I have obtained three new clients. The new clients already had Web sites that I upgraded to a better, more productive design. The first, contract with last year, was Mountain International, a small manufacturing plant in Brevard, North Carolina. From their Web site: "Mountain International is a manufacturer  of custom packaging bags and protective pads, filtration, and sonic bonded fabrics, premoistened wiping cloths, and a wide variety of items made from disposable woven and durable fabrics."

This year, I contracted with American Garage to revamp their Web site. American garage basically sells flooring products for garages, manufacturing companies, gyms, etc. This has been the most complicated site I've worked on so far, creating a database with literally hundreds of products. From their Web site: "American Garage has over 50 years experience with Chemical Processing, Heavy Industry, and other specialized applications. Since every requirement is unique, our field technical representatives are available for for site visits to survey current conditions and assist in determining the correct product and application at no cost. Customer satisfaction has been an integral key to our success." Their mission statement: "When Conditions are demanding, Demand the best!"

Prime Grind Inc. was the second company I contracted with  this year. Prime Grind installs and restores all types of flooring. They worked with companies such as the Biltmore House, Grand Bohemian Hotel, Inn at Biltmore, Grove Park Inn, Forsythe Career Center, Grove Arcade, The International Civil Rights Museum, Haywood Park Hotel, Hotel Indigo, The Flat Iron Building, Renaissance Hotel, BB&T Highrise, and Clemson University Science Building. From their Web site: "Prime Grind Inc. is the one-stop shopping spot for all of your hard surface needs--from concrete to natural stones. With over 30 years of experience, PGI is considered one of the nation's leading service resources in the concrete, natural stone, and terrazzo industries."

Last, and definitely not least, I finally transformed my husband's Web site, Lee's Chainsaw Art. Lee carves statues of different sizes out of wood with a chain saw. I had been putting this one off for a long time because I had to scan a lot of photos. First my printer/scanner wasn't working so I eventually broke down and bought a new one. But I'm pretty excited about the results. If you have any advice on his site, please contact me.

Next, I'm planning the reconstruction of my own author Web site which is probably the last one that has received a face-lift and much overdue. Kim Cox Designs is the name of my Web Design business.  And I almost forgot, at the beginning of this year, about January, I added a site for Kim Cox Designs . Then I have two author clients who may want a new look. And I gladly do these for free if I feel it is time and have the time to devote to it. First, though, I would like to give a face-lift to a local non-profit charity that I know about. I was very impressed with the help they provide to the community.

Check out my Web site for prices. I want to add that if we can agree on a pre-made template without a lot of changes to that template, my prices are cheaper (in other words, more pages for less). All of the sites shown on this post were from templates purchased or found for free and I did not create these from scratch. I can but if there's already a template and you don't require a lot of format changes, it can be easier. But if you want a lot of changes to the format it can be harder with a template. With Prime Grind Inc and Lee's Chainsaw Art I used templates through Themeland purchased through my Dream Templates membership. Mountain International also came for Dream Templates though I don't remember who the creator was. American Garage was created through Wordpress and the design is from WooCommerce who has created many e-commerce designs. My own site was a free template through Templatemo.

Book Review - Self-Publishing Books 101

Self-Publishing Books 101: A Step-By-Step Guide to Publishing Your Book in Multiple Formats by Shelley Hitz and Heather Hart

Self-Publishing Books 101 is a free Kindle eBook on right now.This book is very informative and helpful and I gave it five stars; although, I don't believe this book should be the first book read on self-publishing. The mere volume of information can be overwhelming for someone just beginning to think about self-publishing. I didn't realize this, since it wasn't the first book I'd read and I'm a bit technologically inclined, until an author friend pointed out her confusion, and I will explain that statement at the latter part of this review.  That said, I think Self-Publishing Books 101 is the best of all the books I've read on self-publishing so far due to all the options and choices introduced. First, lets look at the book's contents.

Part One: Foundation for Publishing Success
This section starts out with chapters on the actual writing and editing of the book. I almost skipped over this part since I am a published author looking at self-publishing, but I'm glad I didn't. It reminded me and reaffirmed information I already knew. The third chapter is on marketing--something I've never been very good at, so I definitely found this chapter informative. It talks about areas that are important to any type of publishing and those specifically targeted to self-publishing: Your target audience (who will read your book?), keywords to use (determining which ones will give you the best results), and there's 5 steps to building your marketing platform.

Part Two: Self-Publishing Your Book
There are six chapters in this section on how to self-publish in multiple formats, but it doesn't delve right into these formats. It starts out with Chapter Four - Pre-Publication Decisions. This chapter deals with choosing your book title and has six steps for that. It really has me rethinking my current working title. I have made a list of possible titles but keep going back and forth on which one to use. I plan to use the advice in this chapter to make my final decision. This chapter also explains other decisions you have to make on pricing, your book description, and choosing a category and keywords for your book. Chapter Five - Book Cover Design 101 is self-explanatory, from what is included on the front, back, and spine to whether to design your own cover or hire it out. It also gives you Book Cover design company options. Chapter Six - Self-Publishing in Print Books is about the different options you have when going through this process. I will not go into everything this chapter includes but just suffice it to say you have many options. Chapter Seven - Self-Publishing in eBooks delves into the different platforms and if you want to self-publish directly to each platform or use eBook distributors. Again there are many options from which to choose. Chapter Eight - Self-Publishing in AudioBooks and Chapter Nine - Translating Your Book. These two areas were not part of my plan until I read these two chapters and now, these are options I think I will eventually try.

Part Three: Other Publishing Decisions
This section includes two chapters: Chapter Ten - Obtaining a Copyright and Chapter Eleven - How to Form an Independent Publishing Company. I already knew about "Obtaining a Copyright" but again it reminded me and reaffirmed what I already knew. I wasn't really interested in forming my own publishing company but after reading this section I can see the benefits and may rethink the options at a later date.

The rest of the book includes: Conclusion - Self-Publishing in a Nutshell (goes over the basic steps), an excerpt from another of their books, "Marketing Your Book on Amazon", Additional Resources, and About the Experts (about the authors of this book).

The authors of this book have a Website dedicated to helping and training authors at Training Authors. They have a free newsletter and advice, videos, and they also have books and other tools for free and for purchase from themselves or others in the publishing industry.

Back to the Confusion
My author friend knew I was researching the self-publishing idea and she was also interested and emailed me about "Self-Publishing Books 101" after she read it. Her email stated, ". . . it sounds awfully complicated . . . besides writing the book, editing, formatting and getting cover art, you have to get an ISBN or ASIN number, it needs different formats for different websites" and I wrote her back explaining that she could do as much or as little as she wanted, and that most of the self-publishing outlets provide the ISBN/ASIN for you when you use their services. Now, I admit, I didn't see the confusion at first. I had taken a two-week break from my research to redesign a Web site. So, I had to go back and reread the sections on ISBN and publishing in print books and eBooks. I think the background I have in technology also helped me understand better as well as I had read other books on the subject before this one.

When I wrote her back, I explained she could start out with Amazon's Kindle for eBooks and CreateSpace for print books first, see how well her book sells, then move on to other venues like Smashwords (a publisher/distributor service). At Smashwords she could format once and they would distribute her book to multiple online bookstores; such as Barnes & Noble, Apple iBook, etc. My author friend and I decided, she would edit for me and I would format for her. Editing my own writing isn't a strong area of mine. I also received an email yesterday from Joel Friedlander at The Book Designer, advertising Two-Way Templates from Book Design Templates, where you can format once and publish twice (ebooks and Print books). They are also offering 40% off until Sunday night for these new templates.

I can see how it can all be a bit overwhelming and confusing in the beginning. In my day job I'm responsible for training others on software, policies, and procedures in my field. Sometimes it is hard to explain to others what you know. Even in writing fiction, you know what you want to write, but getting your information across to readers is sometimes the hardest part. For the reader it may be that they are looking for specific information, but while looking at the many shelves of multiple options (like looking for a candy bar in a candy store), it's hard to find what you're looking for without your head swimming from all the choices. Most of the people I have met are hands-on learners, doing it and delving in helps us to remember what to do. So that's the best advice I can give: Make your decisions on how you want to proceed, go to the sections of this book on the step-by-step instructions and just do it. Each time the process will get easier. Or you also have the options of trading processes or hiring out the publishing process which leaves you open to just writing your books. Your options are almost limitless in self-publishing.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Writing Process Blog Hop

Thanks to Elizabeth Delisi, for tagging me in The Writing Process Blog Hop. Read about Elizabeth Delisi’s writing process here.

At the end I’ll be tagging a few other authors, so please do follow those links to their blogs and interviews.

Click on any of the book covers below to purchase them or go to my website at Kim Cox, Author.

What am I currently working on?

That’s a loaded question. ;)

Enchanted Holidays coverI’m working on two different books right now and have about eight books in different stages of completion and ideas for about three more series.  However, my main focus is on The Wedding Crasher. This book will be the third book in the “Lana Malloy Paranormal Mysteries” series. Lana is a Psychic Private Investigator who's paranormal abilities grow with each book. In the first book, Haunted Hearts,  included in the Enchanted Holidays anthology, Lana could only see, hear, and talk to her great aunt (a ghost), and she could only hear other ghosts. Blurb: Will Lana Malloy solve the twenty-year-old double murder of her great aunt and her great aunt's fiance by Valentine's Day? If she can, they'll spend eternity together; if she can't, they'll be stuck as Haunted Hearts for another year.

One Touch Beyond cover
The second in the series, Get Out or Die! is included in the One Touch Beyond anthology. In this book, Lana is faced with an angry ghost. She learns of an ability she has that makes it imperative to keep alert and stay in control at all times. During this case she learns she has two more abilities as well: she can see a person’s past life and before the end of the book, she has a premonition of her own future.

In The Wedding Crasher, my current WIP, Lana is marrying the love of her life who she met during the first case in Haunted Hearts. The night before the wedding she has a psychic dream about a wedding and at first, she’s unsure if the dream is of her wedding or someone else’s. She decides to go through with her wedding. During her honeymoon in Cape Cod, Lana has another dream about a young woman getting married, then it switches to her tied up in an old building. The next morning the woman in her dream is on the front page of the newspaper and it’s a kidnapping.  The woman’s life will depend on Lana finding her before it is too late. Her new abilities are psychic dreams and visions.

Oh well, I said that was a loaded question . . .

What makes my writing distinctive?

Authors are artists and artists have great imaginations. My husband, for example, is a chainsaw artist. He can look at a log or a piece of wood and see the art hiding there as it takes the shape of a bear, an Eagle, an American Indian, a wind spirit, or whatever it is meant to be.  I’m the same with my stories. I can have a thought about something that will soon take the shape of a story. It just has to be written.

Why do I write what I write?

That’s another loaded question.

I have many story ideas in many different genres—from a historical romance to modern day suspense and mystery, a time-travel, and paranormal mysteries. I've always had a wide range of interests, and I also read many different genres. Right now I’m reading Jean Plaidy’s Plantagenet series.  I don’t have any ideas for that time period, yet, but I’m not promising anything because I’m fascinated with this series.

Mainly, I write whatever I’m writing at the time I’m writing because that is the story that is screaming at me to be told at that time.

How does the writing process work?

I've just recently started writing again. I took a few years off while I pursued a college degree, so I’m a little rusty. But I’m back now.

Suspicious Minds cover
I’m still finding my process as it seems to differ with each book I write. With my first book, Suspicious Minds, I sat down and I wrote the whole book from beginning to end; then later I edited, researched, character developed, and whatever else the book needed. I didn’t know much about writing and just played it by ear. I really enjoyed that type of writing process but it caused many rewrites—about five full rewrites where I chopped off chapters from the beginning (about six). In the last edit, I killed off one of my main characters because he was taking the story away from my hero and heroine. I had to rewrite the whole second half of the book after killing him off.

In the books I’ve started since that time, I at least try to have a synopsis written with a general idea of where I want to go with the story. With some books I have fleshed the story out more fully with character development and outlines. The problem for me is that if I know too much about the book I seem to lose interest. Now I’m having a problem finishing the books I’ve started. I have a hard time just writing like I did in the beginning and would like to be able to cut the editor off and write through from beginning to end without editing. I think that’s why I wrote the novellas, Haunted Hearts and Get Out or Die!.  I was able to write without being tempted to edit before I completed them.  

What next?

I plan to complete The Wedding Crasher first, and then work on the romantic suspense, All This Time, a book that was three-quarters completed when I started college. There is so much information in that book that I believe it may be two books. After that, there’s a post WWII mainstream book, Shattered Hearts—the first book I ever started writing. Then there’s a mainstream time-travel, two more romantic suspense books, a historical western, and two sweet romances, and that’s not all.  That’s just the ones started. I also have ideas for a paranormal witch series, an “end of world” type series, and a science fiction book. I would also like to write more Lana Malloy Paranormal Mysteries.

And now I’d like to tag the following authors. Please visit their blogs to read about their writing processes:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Self-Publishing Research

I'm very exited at the prospect of self-publishing and I can't wait to get started. However, as with any great idea it needs to be researched. I had this idea about two years ago but I was told I shouldn't pursue it as I wouldn't be respected in the publishing industry anymore. This made absolutely no sense to me but I held off. It's not like I'm a brand new author. I have one full-length book in print, Suspicious Minds, and two novellas in anthologies: Haunted Hearts in Enchanted Holidays and Get Out or Die! in One Touch Beyond, along with a number of short stories that have appeared in different e-zines, and an adoption story that was published in True Love magazine. I also have numerous books in different stages of completion from only a few sentences to three-quarters completed.


To get started, I downloaded a few books on self-publishing. I now have a total of 15 books on the subject. So far, I've read 3 books which I will discuss them here.

The first book I read is titled, Building Your Book for Kindle which is exactly what the title states: It instructs you on how to format and upload your book to the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) site. You can get the same information with more detailed instructions directly on the KDP Web site, but get this book if you prefer to read on your Kindle Fire or Smart Phone instead of on the Internet. It's a good, easy to follow FREE ebook. Just a note that it was published in 2012 and there may have been some changes since then.

Ditch the Publisher: 40 Indie Authors on Their Unique Self Publishing Journey Edited by Haley Sherman
  • Very informative book and I took a lot of notes. One of my favorite sections was #Twenty-One: A Few Ideas to get You Started by Joseph Lallo - He gives very good examples of how to get started self-publishing: Write the Book, Get it Edited, Find a Cover Artist, and upload your book to one of the major eBook publishing sites, such as Amazon's KDP and Smashwords (a multi-distributor of eBooks). Smashwords he states is the "biggest bang for your buck" as they deliver your eBook to Barnes and Noble, Sony, Apple, and a handful of others.
  • #Fourteen: The Writing Bug by JD Nixon has a section about the pros and cons (more pros than cons) about Smashwords that was very good.
  • The best part is it doesn't cost you anything to upload your books to these sites and have them published. According to how much you charge per book, you can get from 35% to 75% of the price of your book. The section on royalties that I liked best was #Twenty: Five Places to Self-Publish Your Ebook by L.J. Sellers. She also gives a description of each self-publishing site. L.J. Sellers has written 2 articles and they are all very well written and informative. In #Twenty-Three: Investing in Your Own Ebook by L.J. Sellers, she tells you what each publish pays in royalties and exactly how much it will cost you to publish a book if you hire out for the following:
    • Editing/Proofreading
    • Cover Art
    • Formatting for the different eBook publishers
  • #Twenty-Five: Becoming a Bestseller by Terri Reid talks about how to become a best-selling author. I so enjoyed this section that I went to Amazon and bought the first book in her series, Loose Ends (A Mary O'Reilly Paranormal Mystery), and I checked out her Web site and fan blog. She is a special interest to me since the series I'm working on is a paranormal mystery.
There are many more great stories that I haven't hit on here and all are excellent stories of how each author started out, how they're making money, step-by-step instructions, and some were about what not to do. There are also amazing sections on marketing your books. This is a 200 plus page book. If you're an author thinking about self-publishing, and you haven't read this book, it is a must read and it is FREE on Amazon.

Yesterday, I finished reading SELF PUBLISHING: How To Make Money Online By Self Publishing Ebooks On Amazon TODAY! by Abraham Falls. This is another must read for authors thinking about self-publishing. It's a shorter book that I read during breaks and during my lunch time at work for two days. This is an excellent, informative book with great resources. I found it for FREE about 3 days ago but it is now $0.99 on Amazon.

Mr. Falls starts out by informing you why Amazon is the best place to start publishing your book. From there he hits on the marketing aspect of choosing a niche and using the right keywords. Chapter 3 is about the content. Do you want to write it yourself or outsource it? I was thinking, outsourcing? Why would I want to do that?But then he made a very good point. Outsourcing would be a good way to have someone research a topic for you. He also gives sources for cheap outsourcing and explains what he does.  Should you edit your own book or do should you hire an editor?

Chapter 4 covers the subject of cover art. Do you want to do it yourself or outsource it? He gives resources for both. Chapter 5 is all about Creating a Title That Sells, Chapter 6 has instruction on publishing on KDP, Chapter 7 is a more detailed chapter on marketing, Chapter 8 is about promoting within the book, Chapter 9 is about Mr. Falls' secret to success, and Chapter 10 gives you tips for long-term success. If that isn't enough, there are more resources--FREE BONUSES--to help you get started.

So, what do you think about authors who self-publish or what do you think about self-publishing if you are an author? I believe it is a great idea. I would definitely need an editor, but the rest I think I can do myself. However I would love someone to provide research information for me.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Is Spring Finally Here? Updates, Etc.


Well Spring appears to come and go each week. Hope everyone is enjoying warm weather for a change. It was pretty warm today, around 60 degrees but warmer would've suited me better. Temperatures this week have been from the 20's to the 70's. What a range! However, the heatwave is on the way, 79 degrees by this time next week.


Reading, Movies, and Ideas

Since the last time I wrote here in March, I have finished "The Vow on the Heron" by Jean Plaidy, the 10th book of the Plantagenet series, and started "Passage to Pontefract", the 11th book in the series. I have less than 100 pages out of 366 to go. I'm loving this series. I love books and movies with knights, kings, queens, etc., That leads me to one of my favorite shows right now "Reign" about Mary Queen of Scotts and Francis II, Prince and later King of France.

My son tells me that the next "House of Night" book will be the last. I've read them all except the last and the character books. I love vampires and werewolves books and movies too. Another new show this year that I have enjoyed is "Dracula"--new take on an old story. And of course I watch "The Vampire Diaries" and "The Originals" also.

What can I say, my tastes vary. I love mystery, suspense, paranormal, romance, science fiction and all of them all mixed together. Did you hear on the news about the planet they found that they say is the "twin" or at least the "cousin" to earth--only 500 light years away? They're calling it Kepler after the NASA Kepler. They say the temperature is similar to that on earth, meaning not too cold or too hot with sun and moon, and that it may have water and be inhabitable (livable).

What was I thinking when I heard about this planet? There could be a story in that. Maybe like some type or portal on Earth that can carry you to Kepler. Or have a ship similar to the Star Gate Universe (but not as fast) where families are living. Their home world was destroyed and they're traveling to this new home planet, but it's going to take 500 years, so their only hope is that their descendants will see the new world. Something like that. Just a thought. Like I need more ideas!

Writing and Web Design Business

Not much writing to report as I've been so busy with new Web design customers. Finished my own new site at Kim Cox Designs (have a new logo too) and then finished American Garage LLC Web site and I'm now working on Prime Grind Inc. and may have two more clients after I finish this one. We'll see. Regardless, I have two old sites that are in need of updating, my own author site and my husband Lee's art site. So I may be caught up with Web design before the end of the year. Regardless, I need to set a day or two a week aside for my writing.

Day Job

Oh wow, we've been very busy at the day job as well. Our 2014 planning is in process, plus new statements of work from our contracts, evaluations, and monitoring is taking on a life of its own but I should be finished with program monitoring by the end of the month. I only have work-site visits left. Of course some is ongoing with one or two a month.

That's it for me for now. I tend to get long when I get into writing. Enjoy the nice weather and hopefully it will not get cold again until next year.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Crazy Day, Crazy Weather, Crazy Dreams

I marveled in the sunshine for the last few days, thinking Spring is here at last, but today, the wind began blowing in the cold air and now there is snow on the deck. What a week it has been and it is not over yet.

Monday, I was out in the field program monitoring for my day job. It was so nice when I started my late lunch that I didn't want to go back to my office but I did. The sunshine warmed and tingled my skin as I sat in the car at a park with the windows down, breathing in the fresh air, eating lunch and reading a little of the 10th book in Jean Plaidy's Plantagenet series. Loving these books. See image to right.

Tuesday was nice but not as nice as Monday until later in the day. And even earlier today, it was downright warm about 3 p.m. It was only an hour later that the wind began blowing in the cold air and by the time I left work, I was chilly in my thin, white jean jacket.

The drive home was pretty scary with the threat of trees falling. As soon as I left the parking lot, I turned to go the back way home as I normally do, and got about a mile and had to turn around and go another way due to a large tree across the road. I drove a while and later on a different street I came upon another tree down but this time hanging on a power line. I braved it through that praying no trees fell on me as I drove under them, and yelling to the other cars, "Please don't stop under trees." Being squashed under a tree has been a fear of mine for many years.

I passed the turn off to the community college which meant only 20 more minutes and 11 miles left before I would be home. As I drove down Swannanoa River Road, I noticed the traffic light was strangely blank, but there have been times when a light was burned out and at first I thought that was what it was, until a car from my right pulled out in front of the car in front of me almost getting hit. I assume he was tired of waiting on the side road.

Then I noticed the power was out in the stores on the right. Well, duh, that's why the traffic light was out as were the next few. Thankfully, I was in the high traffic lanes and I felt sorry for those who would need to come out of the side roads, until it came time for me to make my left turn. I opted for a detour that would take a little longer. The lights were working before I came to my next left turn a little farther down the highway.

Finally, I made it home without any near misses, no more fallen trees, and no more detours. I felt safe at last when I entered my home. We ate dinner and then I felt sleepy and thought I would take a little nap. I cannot nap. I either sleep all night or at least 3 hours. This time it was the latter. I woke up about 10 and have been up ever since, but while sleeping I had the weirdest dream.

You guessed it, part of the dream was about wind blowing down trees. It went something like this. My mother-in-law had talked my husband into having the trees in our front yard, the ones that line the road, cut back about halfway their normal height. The wind was blowing so hard that they tumbled like dominoes, but didn't hit the house because they fell to one side and since they'd been cut down so far they probably wouldn't have hit the house anyway.

Also, the wind had pushed the ground up to make a hill before the fallen trees like a backhoe had dug a trench. Weird. Other parts of the dream were about a missing girl, my husband leaving for an emergency with a lady deputy sheriff (something about the Army Reserves which he was out of before we ever met, but the emergency probably had something to do with the falling trees), and then later my husband and I were ball room dancing--something Latin (note: my husband does not dance at all except maybe a slow dance).

Then I wake up, the wind is still blowing but not as hard and there is a coating of snow on the ground. I wasn't expecting that since the weather reports I had seen only said some snow on the Tennessee border counties which does not include us. It was still snowing last I looked so we will see what tomorrow holds for us and when it will warm up again. I hope this is the last snow I see until at least next winter. I am so ready for Spring, but not Summer yet.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Update and Looking Forward to Spring

Like most of the country, I'm looking forward to Spring 2014. I've had enough of the cold and the snow and I'm now thinking of sunshine and flowers. But Winter is not letting go. No yet. I'm hearing of more snow around the country but thankful that our forecasters are only calling for rain Monday, March 3, 2014.

Now for my goal updates:

As for my goal of writing on my blog at least once a quarter: Well here I am writing at the beginning of March, only two months since my previous post. So that is being accomplished right now.

On my lose weight goal, I have lost 13 pounds and I'm still watching what I eat. I'm eating more protein and less carbohydrates. For breakfast, I drink an Atkins protein shake and eat an Atkins protein bar for lunch. For supper, I sneak a baked potato or baked fries about once a month, but I mostly eat meat, beans, and green vegetables. But the exercise plan has not come to fruition. I'm not a morning person, so the get up earlier hasn't really worked out well, yet, though I still plan to do that.

As for my writing goal, I've added 18 pages to my Lana Malloy mystery novella, The Wedding Crasher, and I've researched the locations where the novella is set. I did that in about three weeks and it's been about a month since I've written on it. I do have a good reason which I will go into in the next paragrah.

On my Web designing goals, I have created my Web design page at Check it out. I have contracted with a new Web client, American Garage which is a garage flooring company in Pisgah Forest, NC. I'm in the process of creating a whole new look for them and it is taking a bit of time and is the reason that I mentioned before about putting the writing on the back burner for now. The new client came about before I was ready to pursue that and so updating my author page and my husband's art page still needs updating. But there is no complaint about new business at all.

Overall, I believe I have accomplished a lot. My day job has been very busy so far this year and left me pretty tired in the evenings, but I still try to do a little more each day. How are your New Year resolutions or goals for 2014 going? I would love to hear from you.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Reflection and Contemplation . . .

2013 Reflections:

I received a much needed raise from my day job at the beginning of 2013. I graduated from college in May, obtaining my second associates degree—this time in Web Technology.  I contracted a with new Web site client in April—a small manufacturing company in Brevard, North Carolina. But with writing there wasn’t much except the occasional blog and school assignments. I did write about five pages on a new Lana Malloy novella. I came up with a couple of new book ideas. One is a paranormal suspense and the other a science fiction—like I needed more ideas to add to my list of to-dos. Way to go, Kim! I made up for the not writing with reading. I haven’t really kept up with how many books I’ve read but I know it was more than one a month averaged out. I also lost a very good friend in January 2013. Ann Burr was like a second mother to me. She had been sick with Alzheimer’s disease and in a nursing home four hours away for the last few years. I wanted to go see her but then I didn’t because I didn’t want to remember her that way. I have missed her more than I can ever express though. I will always remember the summers we spent together before she got sick.

My husband, Lee, became a stay-at-home husband again.  Before I was laid off he stayed home and worked on his art and kept house, but then he went back to work to support me while I attended college and he continued to work for a couple of years after I acquired another job. Lee does a great job with all the cooking and cleaning. He cooks almost all our meals and he helped me a lot with Christmas dinner. He did what I like to call the grunt work. He peeled and cut the potatoes, chopped the onions and helped me shell the boiled eggs.  He kept the dishes washed so I would have room to mix and cook. I know I’m a very lucky woman. He is also starting to carve again and he has sold about 4 pieces of art in the last few months. When we get his new page up and running, he will be a very happy man.

My youngest son attained a job closer to his home. No more driving over 30 miles one way to get to work for him. I'm so happy for Travis because he had looked for something in Hendersonville for a couple of years at least. He is now the store manager at Burkes Outlet with aspirations for advancement. He works very hard and deserves success. Travis found out he was diabetic in 2013 but he has handled it well. He wasn't over weight as he had already been dieting. Now he's 150 pounds which to me is too skinny for his frame and I admit it worries me a bit. Travis is also my reading buddy and keeps me supplied with books although I probably have hundreds in my own collection that I haven’t read yet. What can I say? He has very good reading taste. For Thanksgiving, Travis and Austin invited us to Laura’s House, a restaurant in Chimney Rock where the owners' and employees' families get together in the restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner. We all had a good time there. Travis and Austin also went to Kelsey's Restaurant & Lounge Killer Theater--a 1920's Theme--in November. Travis lost his 11 year-old female Lab, Lacie, to cancer in December. He loved that dog so much. They still have their male dog, Luke, and a new cat named Dexter.

My oldest son drives a delivery truck for a tire company and was able to come to Asheville on one of his trips in October and we  to were able to have lunch together at Olive Garden but he wasn’t able to make it up for Thanksgiving or Christmas. We had planned to meet at Laura’s House Thanksgiving, but he wasn’t able to bring his sons and decided not to come. Brandon works most holidays and he has been going through a lot emotionally—a marriage separation which breaks my heart for him. He is a strong man and I know he is working through it okay. I just wish he didn’t have to go through it at all. He takes great care of his kids and they love him very much. For work, Brandon also does some beautiful granite counter top work and marble flooring work from time to time. Brandon is the father of my two grandchildren, and I’m sure they keep him jumping as well.  They all called on Christmas to wish us a Merry Christmas and to thank us for their gifts.

Bryson who is 3 thought Christmas was his birthday again because of all the presents he received. Patrick who is 16 is the captain of his school's football team. Patrick spent a few days with us during the summer. We had a good time and love having him every summer. We just wish we could see them more.

Our two West Highland White Terries are thriving. You can probably tell by the pictures I posted here and on facebook. Scooter, our male Westie, is 3 years old and Harley, our female, is 17 months.  Harley is now larger than Scooter. She weighs 18.8 pounds and Scooter weighs 18.2. She feels heavier than that but she’s not fat. She is a little longer and taller than Scooter and she is muscular. They both play very hard.

Contemplating 2014:

First of all, I would like to wish all my family, friends, and readers much success, health, and happiness for 2014 and all the years to come. I want to see my children and grandchildren more than I did in 2013, and I plan to keep my resolutions.

My New Year’s resolutions were to lose weight (which means workout more), write more books (those that are in different stages of completion), update mine and Lee's Web sites, and actively look for more Web site clients. I plan to write out my goals and making objectives for reaching those goals. I have heard that if you write them out and make a plan that you are more likely to obtain your goals.

I will need to update our Web pages before looking for more clients. I’ve been procrastinating about it for a while. I did work on mine some in September 2013 while trying to teach myself WordPress software. About the time I completed my pages, they upgraded the software and when I upgraded, it messed up everything I had done. I think I had rather create the pages from scratch. When I say mine, I have two and Lee has one. The one I really need to work on is for my Web design business (because I have never created it), but I would like to update my author’s site with a new look too. I have a couple of ideas I plan to use for my design page and Lee’s art page that I think will look better and not take as much time to create. All of Lee’s images need to be completely revamped. Most of Lee’s art images were not taken with a digital camera, so they need to be scanned and that’s what I have procrastinated about the most.

As for the writing part, I plan to start next week by rereading the book I have three quarters completed and finish writing it, and to also finish writing the novella I started in 2013. Next, I plan to finish writing “For the Love of Money”.  I will go from there with my book writing, just going down the list on my Works in Process page on my Web site. My plan is to also write in my blog more, at least once every three months. This post will be my winter 2014 post. My next post will be March or before.

The most important and most difficult part of my New Year’s resolution for me is to lose weight and workout for my health. I have gained so much weight in the last few years and need to lose 30 to 40 pounds. I weigh more than I ever have in my life, and that’s including when I was pregnant. I hate all my recent pictures and hide from the camera whenever I can. When I can’t, since I’m the one who downloads all digital photos, I make sure they get no further. I don’t think my eating is the biggest problem though I am trying to cut down on carbohydrates and eat more protein. I know I don’t get enough exercise. When I was attending college full time, I sat in class during the day and sat in the chair at home doing homework until bedtime. Then when I went back to work, I was still going to school part time. My job is at a desk most of the time, so it has pretty much been the same routine. Now, I’m done with college, so I need to start exercising. I have a treadmill and exercise weights for working out. I just need to get into a routine of using them. The plan is to get up a little earlier and exercise before work. Pray for me and wish me luck at accomplishing my 2014 goals. It's going to be hard but I'm determined to persevere.