Sara’s Promise – Book Release Blog Tour & Giveaway

I’m so happy to present you this new release today! Deanna is a great, bestselling author, and a wonderful person.

Her new book is Sara’s Promise. The cover looks absolutely gorgeous. Plus, there’s a Giveaway!!!

Sara’s Promise – Deanna Lynn Sletten

 Book Release Button Saras Promise

Book Description:

 

Do you believe in soul mates?

 William Grafton had the perfect life with his lovely wife, Sara, and two teenaged children. But one day his perfect forever was shattered when Sara died suddenly, leaving him alone to raise his children and wonder how he would ever get through life without his soul mate. Five years later, he finds himself looking into a familiar pair of blue-green eyes that remind him of Sara. The woman is the exact opposite of his late wife, yet he finds he is drawn to her. But after a few strange occurrences, he begins to wonder–are these just coincidences or has his Sara come back to him as she once promised in the form of this new woman?

Annie Paxton doesn’t believe in soul mates or fate. She had watched her father die of a broken heart after her mother passed away and has since cast away any fairy tale ideas of love. Then she meets the man who has been haunting her dreams and she begins to see love in a whole new light. But her dream man is still tied to his deceased wife, and Annie doesn’t know if he will ever be able to break away from his past. As strange occurrences unfold, Annie wonders if William could ever truly love her for herself and not for the traits that remind him of Sara.

 Were William and Annie brought together by fate, coincidence or by Sara keeping her promise?

***

SarasPromise_SmashwordsSize

 Book Excerpt:

     During dinner, Sara felt the pressure in her side begin to grow again, but she said nothing. As she loaded the dishwasher, William came into the kitchen to tell her that he and Sammy were going to the driving range to hit a few balls. He didn’t notice how flushed she looked as they rushed out the kitchen door. Only Sammy looked her over twice before reluctantly following his dad.

     Sandy tried one more time to get her mom to agree to allow her to get her nose pierced, but Sara raised her hand in warning and shook her head.

     “Not tonight,” Sara told her. Angry, Sandy stormed up to her room, the words “I hate you” rushing down the stairs at Sara before Sandy slammed her door. But by now, Sara didn’t care. She put the last of the dishes in the dishwasher and practically crawled to the living room sofa, and dropped onto it. The pain had become unbearable again, even worse than it had been before, and she felt completely drained. She was pale with bright spots of red on her cheeks, and her breathing had become increasingly labored.

     This was how Sammy found her when they came home, curled up on the couch, her blue-green eyes glassy in her stark white face. William had gone directly into his den to work, but Sammy wanted to see if his mom was feeling better. Seeing her this way frightened him, and he ran directly to his father’s den.

     “Mom’s really sick. You have to come,” he said, his eyes wide with fear.

     William looked up from his drawing board, frowning in confusion. Sara was fine at dinnertime, surely Sammy was exaggerating. “I’m sure your mother’s fine,” he said calmly. “She’s probably just tired.”

     But Sammy wouldn’t listen to his dad’s excuses. “She’s been sick all day, and she’s really sick now,” he insisted. “Come on!”

     William had no choice but to follow his son into the living room, and when he got there, the site of Sara’s pale, limp form unnerved him.

     “Sara?” he asked gently, crouching down beside the sofa. She turned to him but said nothing. He placed a hand on her forehead and pressed lightly. She was burning up. Panic swelled inside him.

     “I hurt,” Sara said weakly, but the pain was so overwhelming, even talking was excruciating.

     William had never seen his wife so sick before. For one long minute he wavered, debating what to do. Sara took care of them, not the other way around. When Sandy had her tonsils out at age six, it was Sara who’d sat beside her hospital bed all night. When Sammy fell off the swing set when he was three and lay unconscious, it was Sara who had calmly rushed him to the emergency room. She handled all the colds, flus, and illnesses. She was the one who doled out the medications, kept the children’s shots current, and handled all doctor, dentist, and orthodontist appointments. He felt completely lost.

Buy Sara’s Promise on Amazon in Kindle, Paperback and on Barnes & Noble Nook

http://www.deannalynnsletten.com/p/saras-promise.html

 About Deanna Lynn Sletten:

Deanna 9Deanna Lynn Sletten writes women’s fiction novels that go beyond the basic romance novel. Her stories dig deeply into the lives of the characters, giving the reader an in-depth look into their hearts and souls. Deanna has also written one middle-grade novel that takes you on the adventure of a lifetime.

Deanna started her writing career in the early 1990s writing articles for parenting publications and local newspapers. Over time she transitioned to writing for blogs and websites and was a contributing writer for the women’s website, She Knows. In November 2011, she changed course and put all her energy into novel writing and hasn’t looked back since.

Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her northern Minnesota home with her beautiful Australian Shepherd or relaxing in the boat on the lake in the summer.

Connect with Deanna:

Blog   http://www.deannalynnsletten.com

Facebook    https://www.facebook.com/#!/DeannaLSletten

Twitter     https://twitter.com/DeannaLSletten

 Goodreads   http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/555634.Deanna_Lynn_Sletten

Amazon Author Page  http://www.amazon.com/Deanna-Lynn-Sletten/e/B00683SQYK/

Giveaway!

In celebration of Deanna’s new book release she is having a giveaway! Leave a comment on this site to have your name entered in the drawing for one of four prizes: Two $25 Amazon Gift Cards and 2 paperback copies of Sara’s Promise. Be sure to include your email address so we can contact you. You can enter at each site of the blog tour for more chances to win! Giveaway starts December 10th and ends December 17th at midnight. Winners will be contacted December 18th after noon.

Follow the tour schedule here: www.deannalynnsletten.com

My 5 star Review of ‘Fallen Men’, by Brian O’Hare

I love reading, and love even more to find a good story and help spreading the word about it. That’s why I review books here, on Amazon and on Goodreads. I’m truly glad that Amazon is [apparently] not going to forbid me of doing that… (read more here)

(*I’ve just joined Readers Favorite’s Review team, so in the future my reviews may also been there too)

I  finished “Fallen Men”, by Brian O’Hare yesterday, and really liked it.

Even though it talks about three Catholic Priests, I don’t believe it can be simply defined as “religious fiction”. It’s way more than that.

It’s more a study of how faith can both save or destroy you. Of how morality and honesty are relative concepts depending on one’s point of view or interests at the moment. It’s also a study of how depression can lead to unthinkable decisions.

Brian O’Hare has talent to describe people and situations without boring the reader. He can also make you enter the characters’ thoughts so you are deeply into the situation with them. And he creates real people, defected, sometimes weak, sometimes strong people. Priests, lay people… they are all real in a way you can relate to them here. And about Father McGennity… Boy, I know a Father really similar to him. Well, the truth is, Fathers are men, and men come in all sizes and kinds; O’Hare presented it greatly in this story.

I thought the way the forbidden relationship was presented was both tender and disturbing, which was perfect  for the story. The gray areas that can surround even a Father’s life were very well described, even with Father Dan, and his black or white view of the world.

As a Catholic myself, I must say that I can relate much more to Father Dan than to Father Ray. What Ray did was inexcusable to me and even though the surroundings (internal and external) might help explain in some level his actions, I still believe his mission as a priest was exactly to avoid temptations at all costs. In my Parish we have amazing examples of Fathers so I may be too biased in my opinion… But I still believe he should have been better. I would prefer at all choices to be publicly accused as Father Dan, of following the Church’s Laws to the end than as Ray.

I may sound too harsh, but the priesthood path is not for the faint of heart. It means an entire life of dedication to others and the Church. The Parish is your family, and God must be in your thoughts at all moments. Sure Priests sin too, but to an extent… Mortal sins in a Father shake the Church’s core. I can understand some falls, but Ray fell too much for me.

You see, O’Hare’s great skills as a writer are still making me think so passionately about Ray’s story… All the moral dilemmas stay with you long after finishing the reading. And that’s what makes me say this book is a must read. It doesn’t matter your religion or even if you believe in anything… Fallen Men is an excellent, well-written story that raises great questions and gives a lot of food for thought.

Find out more about Brian on his blog: http://brianohareprofessor.blogspot.co.uk

 

A NEW [and better] official response from Amazon regarding its Review Policy for Authors!

It seems to be every author’s biggest concern lately that Amazon has been removing reviews according to their new guideline. Said guidelines, according to some emails received and shared by authors, indicate that Amazon considers authors to be direct competitors of other authors, and therefore, not allowed to review their books.

It was really heartbreaking to imagine that my opinion wasn’t wished by the big retailer now that I’m an author. I mean…I’ve been writing reviews on Amazon for a while, and have lots of helpful votes. Does Amazon really wanted me to give up reading since I started writing? It really didn’t seem right…

Well, instead of keep thinking and moaning about it, I decided to ask them directly. I emailed them today, and received a different answer, that I’ll share with you. This answer seems logical and straightforward enough to calm me down. I’ll even post a review on Amazon later today of a book I finished yesterday.

If some of you continue to receive the other formal response (the one that states they are not even going to explain their policies and that you should not go further into the matter or your account will be removed!!), as Robert Chazz Chute [hilariously] wrote on his great blog post, we’ll have to assume that Todd is still on the loose! 😀

But seriously, since what I was told today makes sense, I prefer to think that Amazon has rethought and that this is the [New] official response about our right to review other authors! Let’s see…

So, here are the emails:

Me:

—————
11/13/12 09:47:06
Your Name: Renata F . Barcelos
Comments:I’ve been reading authors talking about Amazon new Review Policy, and that some of their reviews are being removed… I don’t want to believe that Amazon would take arbitrary actions like forbidden authors of writing reviews just for being authors themselves.

However, I’m afraid of posting reviews on Amazon now, and unwillingly cross some sort of new line here… So, I want to know for sure if I can review books on Amazon, whatever category they are in or if I should refrain from posting reviews on Amazon altogether and posting just on Goodreads and my blog.
—————

Amazon:

From: Amazon.com Customer Service
Subject: Your Amazon.com Inquiry

Hello Renata,

Thank you for your inquiry regarding what is acceptable for reviews.

We try to encourage our customers to give their honest opinions on our products while staying within our guidelines. As a retailer we are interested in cultivating a diversity of opinion on our products. Part of that is allowing our customers to air their honest thoughts on items they have received. Here’s a link to our guidelines for reference:

http://www.amazon.com/review-guidelines/

I hope this helps. We hope to see you again soon.

Thank you for your inquiry.
Best Regards,

Amazon.com
Your feedback is helping us build Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company.

Since this was such a generic answer, I wasn’t at all satisfied… so I asked again:

—————
Hi,

Thanks for answering so quickly, but I’m afraid my doubt persists…

As an author published through KDP, I’m still not sure if I fit in this part:

“Sentiments by or on behalf of a person or company with a financial interest in the product or a directly competing product (including reviews by publishers, manufacturers, or third-party merchants selling the product”

So, just to clarify it completely: even being an author and having books published on Amazon, can I still review other books, no matter in which category they are?

Sincerely,
Renata
—————

Their final [and most important] answer:

Hello Renata,

You can review other books as long as you do not review your own book, or promote your book within your review.

I hope this helps clarify and relieve your doubts. Have a great day.

Thank you for your inquiry.
Best Regards,

Amazon.com
Your feedback is helping us build Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company.

Now I guess I can click the ‘Yes’ answer to their question: ‘Did I solve your problem?’

Related articles

Author, please read this and NEVER EVER publish without professionally editing your book!!

When I first published Mean: A Psychological Thriller Novelette”, I was young and naïve. Okay, it was only four months ago, but when it comes to the publishing world, it’s more than fair to say I was like a child.

I’ve learned more than I could have imagined since June. With the help of several wonderful authors from the amazing Indie Community, I learned about editing, formatting, publishing, marketing, etc. Of course there’s a lot more to learn—learning is a never-ending job, thank God!—but I now know enough to get me started.

When I finished “Mean”, I hurried to publish, because I was too excited about the idea. I thought it was ready. I had asked a friend to look at it—he called himself an editor, so I believed in his powers…—and then went over it again myself. “Perfect,” I thought. Ha! Presumptuous little foul, Renata!! 😀

Well, the truth is, “Mean” was NOT ready. It had typos and grammar glitches. I, however, had no idea. Friends and strangers bought it. Then, I did a KDP Select Free Promo and hundreds of people downloaded it! I was happy and confident.

Then, I saw my first review. On Goodreads.

I remember that day clearly, a Sunday, when my fantasy world crumbled into pieces. Martha Bryce—who is now a dear friend, but who I wasn’t familiar with at the time—reviewed it as an excellent story, but in urge of an editor. Boy, was I devastated…

I opened my book again and saw what she was talking about. I was so embarrassed, I took it off Amazon and wrote to Martha, thanking her honesty and explaining I had taken it off and was hiring a new—serious—editor. She was the most amazing friend, helping me with edits, and re-reading the book once it was—really, this time—done. Then, she rewrote her review, and I finally republished “Mean”. Since then, the good reviews keep piling up, and I’m so absurdly grateful for that.

Martha Bryce became a friend and my beta-reader, and that’s why she was the first one to readMy Sore Hush-a-Byeand deserved so many words of gratitude on the Acknowledgments page.

The point is…I committed a terrible mistake, but life was easy on me about it. It could have been a disaster. I could be finished as a writer right then.

Thank God I had a good story, otherwise I’d still be crying. And “My Sore Hush-a-Bye” would never see the light of day, or would have to be published under a pen name.

I’m telling this story for two reasons.

  • First, to plead…no, to BEG authors: NEVER publish a book that has not been professionally edited!! Never ever!! It can ruin your career, and gives a bad reputation to all self-published writers..

And by ‘professionally’ I don’t mean ‘expensive’. There are good, affordable editors (I can recommend mine, just contact me if you want, okay?) or even ask a friend to help you (better than the one I described here in my tale 😀 Someone good, if you’re lucky enough to know anyone like that). Go to pred-ed.com, an amazing site where you can find good info before hiring someone. But most important of all: LEARN. You’ll never be able to know if your editor is doing a good job if you know squat about grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

  • The second reason is to prevent a future disaster. I understand that most people who download a free book nowadays, with the amount of free possibilities, will maybe not even read it, or will read it months after downloading… So, you see my point, right?

There are hundreds of people out there with a terribly edited version of my novelette on their Kindles. I asked Amazon twice to inform customers about my new, improved edition. I explained the changes in detail, but never heard back from them. Therefore, I decided to do it on my own.

So, if you have a copy of “Mean: A Psychological Thriller Novelette” bought or downloaded for free BEFORE JULY, 23rd, please, please, pretty please contact me before reading it, and I’ll replace your file with the improved edition ASAP. I’ll even send it in any format you prefer (Epub, Mobi, PDF, etc.). And I’ll apologize and thank you endlessly while doing it, be sure.

Summing it up: If you want to be a serious writer, take your time to make your book the best piece possible. Do not ask people to buy your book if it’s not exhaustively edited. Don’t treat your final readers as beta-readers—that’s not what they signed for when buying your book.

 **Be sure that I’ve learned my lesson. “My Sore Hush-a-Bye” is absolutely, completely, professionally edited. I’ve spent countless hours editinghunting mistakes like a bloodhound with rabbits, or a pig with truffles. I, my editor, and my beta-reader went through my novel time and again (and again, and again, and again…) correcting to guarantee that my readers will have the best work I can provide for their money and time. (Thanks in advance to you all, by the way! 🙂 )

My last KDP Select Promo – Time to move on

From September 07 to September 08, my book “Mean: a psychological thriller novelette” was free to download on Amazon. I’m still a little tired after the marathon.

It was my last KDP Select Promo, since I won’t renew  with the program.

When you enroll your book on the program, you cannot sell o send for free your e-book anywhere else than on Amazon. Paperbacks are okay, but digital editions are exclusive. The two advantages you have in return are Amazon Prime lending programme and the 5 days free promo.

I haven’t got many borrows during my 90 days in the program. Well, I believe not many Amazon Prime members would use their only monthly borrow with a 50-page novelette, so that was expected… Maybe it works better for full length novels.

The free days gave me exposure. At least three reviews came from people who download it on free days. However, it’s preventing me from submitting my book to reviewers, (and I sure want to do that), to promote giveaways and simply to sell it wherever I want. So it’s done for me. Time to move on.

My 90 day period ends on September 18th, and I can’t wait. I have dozens of prospect reviewers to send my book to, and plan to publish through Smashwords.

I’d like to thank everyone who helped me during my promo days, spreading the word in any way. Also, a special thank you to all people who downloaded ‘Mean’. I truly hope you enjoyed it.

If at least some of you take the time to leave a review, I’d be more than thankful. Never forget how much you can make an author’s day with a simple review.

Authors: is your book going to be Free this Friday and/or Saturday? Let’s cross-promote!

As you may know (since I can’t stop bragging about it :D) my book Mean, a psychological thriller novelette is Book of the Month on e-thriller.com, with other two amazing books.

To celebrate I decided to use my two last promo days this week. It may be the last chance to grab your free copy, since I won’t renew with KDP Select program.

Mean is going to be free to download on Amazon from September 07 (Friday) to September 08 (Saturday).  Mark it on your calendar:

To help spread the word, I’d love to cross promote with you, fellow author, who’s going to offer your book free on the same day. Since my book is a thriller, I thought of  other thriller books to promote together, but other genres can apply.

So, if you want to join me on it, use the contact form bellow, and let’s work together!

PS – Dear readers, please remember to ‘like’ the books you download for free, and maybe leave a review if you have the time… It makes an author’s day!!

‘Mean’ featured as Book of the month on E-thriller!

 

I’m thrilled to announce (okay, pun intended!) that Mean, a psychological thriller novelette, was chosen as Book of the Month on E-thriller. Thank you Charlotte Waller, the reviewer, and all E-thriller crowd!

I’m in great company there, as you may check: www.e-thriller.com. If you’re looking for a good thriller to read, that’s the place to go.

Read the great review my novelette received:

 A Chilling and Captivating Novelette – Review by Charlotte Waller
Despite being a novelette, Mean by Renata F. Barcelos is captivating from the very first sentence. It starts off with the reader being let into the chilling mind of Cassandra Connelly, hinting at the deep but downright scary thoughts to come.
The unique style of writing makes this thriller even more exciting, as Cassandra could well be talking to the reader themselves. We soon find out that the whole story is her side of the conversation with her therapist and because the reader is seeing the whole thing through Cassandra’s eyes, it makes it even more chilling, especially as she has the urge to kill someone.
This mystery person who has angered Cassandra is only revealed at the end, keeping the reader literally on the edge of their seat. There are hints here and there as to who this person is, and you might not be as surprised at the end when all is revealed.

So, what are you waiting for? Go pick your copy and see for yourself if Mean is truly a Chilling and Captivating Novelette. (And please, leave your own review on Amazon and/or goodreads– I’ll truly appreciate it!)

 

Amazon reviews (thank you very much, reviewers!):
4.0 out of 5 stars Kept me turning pages…, September 2, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

finished this well written short read in one sitting. Ms. Barcelos gives the reader insight into a multi-layered character who has ample reason to be mean. Looking forward to the intriguingly titled, “My Sore Hush-a-bye”.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mean Thrills!, August 5, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: MEAN: A psychological thriller novelette (Kindle Edition)

Mean is a great little novelette. A young woman starts to see a psychologist because she is worried that her meanness is going to drive her to commit murder, a murder that she hopes the psychologist can guide her to avoid committing. The murder that the young woman feels compelled to commit, however is not random but specific to a person who she feels is responsible for having ruined her life. As the story unfolds, more details of the young woman’s horrific past are revealed, building to a carefully constructed crescendo of calculated madness. This is a compelling, well written read and a true psychological thriller!

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark Psychological Thriller, July 27, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: MEAN: A psychological thriller novelette (Kindle Edition)

MEAN by Renata F. Barcelos is an enjoyable dark psychological thriller novelette told from the point of view of an angry female patient who is seeing a psychiatrist and planning to kill somebody. The reader is left guessing as to who the intended victim is until the last few pages. I must admit it surprised me. Very good and quick read at only 50 pages, but there are a few editing issues with the work that need correcting. I have since been advised that a revised version is posted and the errors have been fixed. Still I enjoyed it overall.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark but interesting, July 21, 2012
By
C Liset (Miami, FL USA) – See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: MEAN: A psychological thriller novelette (Kindle Edition)

This novelette kept my mind constantly shifting trying to figure out who she wanted to kill. Without spoiling it, I’ll tell you that is something new for me. The way that she addresses you as if she were talking to you… I enjoyed it.