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Monday, July 23, 2012

Resorting to Promotion

I know we authors are supposed to promote our books at every opportunity. We're supposed to put forth the impression that we and our writing are the greatest things since sliced bread. I know this, and yet I just can't seem to do it. Why? I've given this a fair amount of thought and the best excuse I can come up with goes back to the way I was raised. When I was growing up, bragging on oneself about anything was a punishable offense. It was in poor taste and not tolerated. Plain and simple. We were supposed to downplay our own accomplishments and give credit to others for theirs. That lesson took hold, maybe a little too well. And so, here I am, an author who absolutely cringes at the thought of self-promotion. But now it's time I step outside my comfort zone. My book has slipped into oblivion, my numbers the lowest they've ever been. So, with apologies to dad and mom, the following is the opening scene from Angel in the Rain, a blatant promo. To anyone who hasn't read my book, my hope is that you haven't dismissed it without giving it a try. Hey, it's the greatest western historical romance since sliced bread! (how was that? too over the top?) : /

Chapter One

West Texas – Spring, 1880

The moment she stepped from the stagecoach, cold chills skittered over Evangeline’s skin. She saw nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing that should have made her uneasy in the least. So, why did she feel as though someone had just stepped on her grave?

The Agave Flats relay station looked much the same as a dozen others she’d seen since leaving the train three days ago—a crude blend of rough-hewn wood and adobe, flanked by knotty-poled corrals, standing in the middle of an empty landscape.

“Thirty minutes, ma’am, if you want to stretch your legs,” the stage driver called.

She forced an answering smile. If she “stretched her legs” much more, she wouldn’t be able to fit them inside the coach. With each interminable stop, she found it harder to tamp down a growing feeling of unease. She needed to be home.

A station attendant led away the horses, amid a swirl of dust. Evangeline looked down and slapped at the grit clinging to her fine, fawn wool traveling suit. Aunt Nelda would have a conniption if she could see her standing there without gloves or even a parasol to protect her ladylike pallor from the harsh southwestern sun. She heaved a breath and turned her back to the warm, grit-laden wind.

That’s when she saw him.

Nerve endings jolted when she spotted the dark figure nearly blending into the shadows of the relay station. The man stood with a shoulder braced against the outside wall, his thumbs hooked on the edge of a low-slung cartridge belt. One booted ankle anchored over the other. His relaxed pose stretched dark trousers taut over a long, muscled thigh. The black hat riding low on his forehead hid all but his chin and sardonically quirked mouth. His very posture exuded arrogance and something more. Something so darkly compelling it bordered sinister.

She knew he was staring at her. Right through her, in fact. Though the hat brim concealed his eyes, his gaze raked her with the impact of a physical touch.

Being stared at by men was nothing new to Evangeline Clayton. A woman traveling alone was a magnet for every rouĂ© along the pike, and she’d received her share of suggestive winks and leers during the train ride west.

Somehow, this man’s veiled inspection affected her more, probed deeper, as if he knew her very thoughts. She sensed a coiled energy behind his indifference, like a cat poised to pounce. And she had an eerie feeling that she was his prey.

“Miss Clayton?”

The driver’s voice tugged at her. With reluctance, she turned her back on the enigmatic stranger.


“Just wanted to tell you, there’s coffee inside, if you want to step in out of the wind while we change the horses.”

“Thank you, Mr. Stewart. I just might do that.”

Evangeline watched the driver walk away and worried the inside of her bottom lip between her teeth. Tiny tingles continued to chase up and down her back.

Abruptly, the sensation vanished. She turned, knowing she would find the man in the shadows gone.


Angel in the Rain is vailable at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. More buy options are available on my web site.

Happy reading!


  1. Hey Devon!
    I'm with you on the self-promo thing. I absolutely hate it. I am a shy and quiet person, and trying to "sell myself" is way way way outside my comfort zone. Every time I post anywhere about my books, I cringe. Even when someone else posts about my books, I cringe.
    Good luck with your book, and your WIP. Angel in the Rain is a fabulous story. I wish there was an easier way for our books to be seen.

    1. Hi Peggy!
      When I do the posts for the CK blog, I don't even remember to stick in a plug for myself. Only did it with the very first post because the topic was related, then... nothing.
      Thanks so much for the good luck wishes and the compliment on Angel! I've been quiet a lot lately because I'm pouring all my time into finishing the next book. I know getting more out there is the best thing I can do for myself at this point.
      I wish you continued success with your Yellowstone series! Thanks for stopping by. :)

  2. I hear you, Devon. My parents raised me the same way. I'd say it's a Southern thing, but Peggy appears to be afflicted, too. :-D

    ANGEL remains one of the best western historical romances I've read this year. I'm in awe of your ability to tell a good story and put readers right inside the characters' heads. And that bad-boy hero Rane? Delicious! :-)

  3. Kathleen, I do think it's a southern thing, and I'm pretty sure it stopped with our generation.

    This thing with Angel has always had me scratching my head. It just lays there while everyone around me is selling like hot cakes, and with the same genre. I've gotten nothing but good reader feedback, yet it just doesn't sell. Nothing I can do but move on and hope for the best with the next one.

    Thank you so much for stopping by. Your comment about Angel put a smile on my face, which I badly needed today. :)

  4. I love Angel in the Rain. I've read the book several times because it's a favorite of mine. Wonderful story.
    Teresa R.


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