Tuesday, January 30, 2018

FAOM: One Last Thing for January

It has been a fantastic month here on Ups, Downs, Ins & Outs with Kelly Lyman - the January Featured Author of the Month (FAOM). It has honestly been a blast getting to know her through both parts of her interview, her book (because yes, I do feel you can get to know authors to a certain degree through their writings), her guest post, and by following her on social media. As it inevitably does, time marches on and the days remaining in January are down to just one more, which means our time with Kelly as our main squeeze is very nearly up.


But there is one last thing that we really, truly, must do before the page on the calendar turns. After all, two special someone’s are patiently waiting to find out whether they’re the luck ones who will be receiving a free copy of Lyman’s The Petticoat Letters from the FAOM Giveaway that has been running all month.

Before I do announce who those winners are I want to thank everyone who entered. The Petticoat Letters is a wonderfully rich tale that I was happily surprised by - I love historical romance and have rather high expectations for the genre. In fact I very rarely rate a book (on Goodreads, Amazon or other vendors) with anything over 4-stars, but I was more than happy to give The Petticoat Letters a coveted 5-star rating and review after I finished reading it! Its been about a week since I completed my reading and I still find myself occasionally lost in thought over various things that happened in the story, or daydreaming about what may be coming next for the main characters: Nora Bishop and Alex Foster.

It really was that good.

I suppose I should tell you all who will be getting those free copies now, right?

Okay, okay. It is truly my honour to announce the winners of the January FAOM Giveaway are: 
Cassandra D. and Amanda F

I wish them the warmest of congratulations and a very happy reading!

Didn’t win a free copy? That’s okay - you can get a copy of The Petticoat Letters by Kelly Lyman today for less then $5.

Until next time friends, happy reading to you!!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

FAOM: A Few Words From the Author (the Sorta-Interview-Part-3)

In Her Own Words.... A Guest Post by Kelly Lyman 

When I was first asked to write a guest post I was thrilled. And excited. And anxious (only in the best way possible). However, when I sat down at my computer to type the words, my mind went blank.


And for a writer, a writer who has been asked to compose a guest post, well...a blank mind isn’t a good thing. 

Then it hit me. That lightbulb moment. I’ll use gifs. Seriously though, I was asked to write about my thoughts, feeling, process, etc. of releasing my debut novel. In a nutshell, I had/still have ALL THE FEELS.

At first, I was all kinds of excited. Jumping up and down, telling everyone I knew, popping the champagne bottles, throwing confetti...you know, typical stuff.

Then the edits came. I admit, there were times during the editing process where I had those feelings of “My 11-year-old could write this better...”

But then I’d read his writing and take a deep breath. In all honesty, there were plenty of times where I truly didn’t think I was good enough. That my idea, plot, writing, etc. were awful. But, I have the BEST people in my life. People who ground me. People who encourage me. It is entirely too easy to fall into the comparison trap in this business (actually, in any area of life) so when those negative feelings started to arise, I would quickly shut them down. I did my best to focus on my story. On my writing. On my voice. Because there is only one me. And hopefully, someone out there (not including my mom) will enjoy it. And because I have the best critique partner around, she would constantly remind me of the same sentiments whenever I doubted myself (because let’s be real, in this business, writers are always doubting themselves. Always.)

After the pep talk, and several rounds of edits, there was pretty much a loooooong wait. I admit, I was a tiny bit bored.

Within this “season” of waiting, my family of six went to Disney World in Florida. And while we were away in the magical kingdom, my publisher sent me an email. Finally, I had a release date!

And because my book was going to be released first in ebook, things were now going to move quickly. Very quickly. Like, a month away from release quickly.

Once I got over the shock (I think I was in line for the Tower of Terror when I received the news...’cause you know, when in line for about 45 minutes at some point one will check their email in case there is any news from one’s publisher), I set to work on market/promotion. And then I waited, and waited and...yep...waited for release day like a kid who is waiting for Christmas morning...or one who is in trouble so they keep pacing...both totally fit how I was feeling at this point in time.



AHHHHHHHHHH! I was up waaaaaayyyy to early...or perhaps I didn’t actually fall asleep. And nervous. And excited. And scared. And, and, and...I experienced ALL THE FEELS. But, since I am a mom of four, breakfast had to be made. Lunches had to be packed. Kids had to make the bus. Laundry needed done. But after all that, my two best friends came over and surprised me with roses, champagne (there’s an actual mark on my kitchen ceiling from the cork being popped!), and took me to lunch. It was awesome.

And after lunch, I picked up my son early from school because he came down with the stomach bug...so...yeah...the stomach bug does not care about your book release day. Just sayin’.

Aside from my wedding day and the birth of each of my kiddos, it was the BEST DAY EVER. The best week ever. You see, I had been pursuing this publishing dream for eight years. EIGHT YEARS. And it was finally happening. My book, the book of my heart, was published. It was on Amazon, BN, iBooks, Smashwords, Kobo.

I still get giddy.

I know I’m not a house hold name (expect in my own house. “Mom!”...which really is the best ever) but I had found a dream and went after it. I was rejected more times than I can count. BUT, it only takes one yes. Just one.

Now, with one book under my belt, I’m continuing on. And guess what? I’m in the process of drafting Book 2 in my Rebels of the Revolution series, and all those feelings are happening all over again. The excitement. The self-doubt. The thrills. The worry. It’s a never ending cycle. But it is a cycle I don’t mind being on.


So there you have it. A few words from Kelly Lyman herself about what if took and how it felt to release her debut novel The Petticoat Letters. 

Before I say goodbye... have you entered the giveaway yet? There are only a couple days left and I would hate for anyone to miss out on their chance to win a copy of this truly wonderful book. 

And did you see the review for The Petticoat Letters? Check out the review here and my addendum to it here. (Apparently one post for a review just wasn't enough for me 😲 ) 

And now... 

Till next time, Happy Reading Everybody!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

FAOM: An Excerpt and Some Thoughts

A little earlier today I shared my review of The Petticoat Letters with you all here on the blog. If you missed it you can find it here. In that, I talked a lot about the main character Nora Bishop, about my perception of her personality, her situation and the story. I only briefly mentioned her male counterpart Alexander Foster.

I adore both of these characters.

Nora is a woman worthy of admiration in any time period, during the late 1700’s in colonial America – she’s exceptional.

And Alex? Every time he’s on the page I find something more to like about him.

 “Battle, Nora. We are about to engage in battle. Hurry up!”

“What are you going to do?” I said, standing up. My heart raced as fast as some of the horses I spied.

“I’m going to head south with the rest of the Rangers and three other companies of the Virginia Continentals. We’re going to flank the British on the right.”

“I don’t give a damn about battle tactics! You mean you’re going to fight.” Hysteria rose in my voice, and I wrung my hands in front of me. Perspiration dotted my forehead. The only person I felt safe with in the camp was leaving me. What happened if he died? What would I do? How would I get home?

“It’s war, Nora. Of course I’m going to fight.”
-       The Petticoat Letters, excerpt from chapter 5

He’s courageous, strong, stubborn, intelligent, and has a sense of humour that comes out occasionally in bursts of dry wit and salacious quips. He’s honestly a good man doing what he thinks is right and I couldn’t help but truly like him.

 “Petticoat letters? I like it. You know, it isn’t everyday a woman has something she wants to give me that’s up her skirts,” Alex said, grinning wide again.
-       The Petticoat Letters, excerpt from chapter 17

Fairly often when I’m reading, especially if I know I’m going to do a write up about the story, I’ll jot down notes to myself while I read. Sometimes I find I have a lot to say about the “bad guy” in books. Not so for The Petticoat Letters. One line pretty much sums up my feelings on him this time.

Have I adequately illustrated how much I love this book? Yes? No? Here’s one last thing then, because it so rarely happens.

So please don't miss your chance to win an e-copy of the book in our January FAOM Giveaway - enter here.