I’m not much of a gambler. I don’t quite get the appeal of laying out my hard-earned cash on the off-chance there will be more of it because of some lady named Luck. Vegas holds little appeal for me and I can’t remember the last time I bought a lottery ticket. I guess I just don’t think I’m a lucky person; everything I’ve ever earned took so damn much work.
But last week, I gambled. I spent a little money (just under four figures, for those who are interested) blew on my dice, and threw them across the table with my eyes closed. Well, I not exactly. But I did upload a novel to several sites and became what is known in our industry as “an indy author.”
I self-published Space In His Heart.
This, my friends, is what I’ve lovingly called “the astronaut book” — my first manuscript that for quite some time has been, well, lost in space. Then, a few months ago, my husband woke up and said those five words that terrify and thrill and mesmerize and, occasionally, infuriate every woman who ever had a husband.
Honey, I have an idea.
And, as it turns out, this was one of his better ideas. My husband suggested that the time was right for me to self-publish the astronaut book. I admit I was skeptical at first — this was my first manuscript, though it had been heavily revised over the years and actually contracted by Pocket Books to be my second book. But in 2003, I pulled it from consideration when tragedy struck NASA and we lost the space shuttle Columbia, an eerie coincidence that mirrored the suspense in the book and stunned my friends and neighbors here on the Space Coast of Florida.
Sure, I’d been dying to dip my toes in the swirling waters of self-publishing, but only with the right story. Only with a book I would be every bit as proud of as those I’ve traditionally published. Did “the astronaut book” meet that criteria? Would the story hold up a decade later? Would the writing be strong? Would it reflect my voice, my style, and, most of all, would these characters and this premise appeal to my readers?
I started reading with a skeptical eye…and finished with a teary one.
As much as I hate to say this, my husband was so, so right.
Before self-publishing, of course, I had some work to do. I revised the story to make it relevant to the present day, and I polished and edited until I felt that it read as well as any book I’ve ever written. Then I shared the story with beta readers, who agreed I had a winner. I hired a copyeditor (Anne Victory – amazing!), professional proofreader and formatter (Amy Eye – and, boy, does she have a good one!) and one of the most talented cover artists in our industry, Kim Killion of Hot Damn Designs. (The blistering cover speaks for the quality of her work!)
I really believe that Space In His Heart is everything I want a book with my name on it to be — emotional, romantic, sexy, scary and fun — and the reaction from readers after just one week is confirming that. Readers are telling me this is a “feel good story” that kept them up all night and left them cheering and crying and wanting more. Oh, and the Navy fighter pilot-turned-astronaut hero? Hawt.
Christi Snow, a reviewer with www.smittenwithreading.com, gave it an A+(what more could an overachiever ask for?) and said, “This is easily one of the best books that I have read this year and will definitely be making my top reads of the year. I HIGHLY recommend that you pick this one up. If you love contemporary or romantic suspense, I truly think that you are going to enjoy reading this book. Trust me on this.” We do, Christi!
Honestly, I don’t think I can adequately explain what this response has meant to me. These characters — the first two ever born in my imagination — have always been dear to me, but to have Deke and Jessica loved so much is a thrill beyond anything else I’ve experienced in this business. I always thought this one was a winner, I was just a little afraid to take the risk.
The moral of the story: listen to your husband! Kidding! Let’s not go crazy. The moral is maybe we should gamble once in a while…you never know what could happen!
All right, you know what’s next! The commercial! The blurb! The links! And, yes, there are trading cards!
You MUST read Space In His Heart! It’s available in every e-format (print version will be out in the next two weeks) for only $3.99 – a full-length, never-before-published romantic suspense with a smokin’ hot astronaut hero and the spin doctor who sends him straight to the moon!
Jessica Marlowe is an ambitious PR superstar who has been given the task of “making America fall in love with space” for her client, NASA. Her brilliant idea to pick one super-sexy astronaut and make him “the face of space” thrills her client, but doesn’t appeal to Commander Deke Stockard, her chosen rocket man. Deke wants no parts of this lame PR blitz, especially when he’s in charge of the safety of the next launch…and some very questionable things are happening behind the scenes. But he can’t ignore orders, nor can he ignore Jessica’s sexy, sassy spirit and style. Before long, their highly-charged working relationship turns intimate…but will their love survive a threat of sabotage that could spell the end of the space program?
But of course I’ll give one away! In fact, I’ll give away three today! Just leave a comment and let me know the biggest gamble you’ve ever taken and how it worked out for you. Oh, if you’ve read Space In His Heart already, you’re still entered…this will make a wonderful Christmas present for a friend.