Waiting for a Girl Like You
by Gina Conkle
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
(Two stories in one Book)
Proper Care and Feeding of a Broken Heart
Bookstore clerk Abbie is off-the-charts nervous her first night moonlighting in a sex-for-hire job. If she only kept her mouth shut…but nothing goes as expected, including the intense blue-eyed surfer who walks through her door. Mark wants to work out a few kinks —and leave the lifestyle for good. Past mistakes still haunt him, but sweet Abbie turns Mark’s plans upside down, and two broken hearts discover honesty is the hottest aphrodisiac.
Anything But Safe
Former trophy wife Jennifer wants to thrive again, but when her new life hits a speedbump, her unlikely hero is rough working man AJ. The woman he rescued is out of his league, but the two together are magic. Jennifer smooths his hard edges, and when she’s with AJ, her true, quirky colors show. A surprise threatens to derail the two who quickly learn…love is anything but safe.
Anything But Safe
Hot sun beat down on the rest of the world. It was August. Standing under the pepper tree, AJ was a tall, cool drink of water. Stained coveralls didn’t put her off nor did his tattoo and the rough cadence of his speech. Under the gruff exterior was a real man with a good heart. He visually devoured her every time they’d crossed paths around town, and last night was no exception. But, could she be content with a sex only fling?
“Well, that’s a relief.” Faint sarcasm edged his last word.
His steady gaze never wavered. “I thought you might be going in a different direction.”
She cocked her head. “Did you think I was about to give you the ‘let’s be friends’ talk?”
“I thought you were about to give me the ‘let’s hook up for sex only’ talk.”
“Oh AJ,” she said around hiccups of laughter. Her cheeks burned. She shook her head, a little dazed. “I…I don’t know what to say to that.”
“It’s not the first time a woman like you propositioned me.”
Eyes rounding, she laughed at the absurdity. “I’m not propositioning you.”
“Good because my answer would be no.”
She’d come for lunch and conversation of the talking variety. A kiss or two was more than welcome, but they needed to slow down, let things simmer. AJ’s forbidding frown told her some of Hidden Valley’s well-shod women had dallied with him, and he was having no more of it. The town was an eclectic mix of gated communities, small farm-to-table co-ops and wineries. A lot of working class people had lived here long before it was hip.
Hurt bloomed in her chest at the idea of any woman taking advantage of AJ’s goodness. Or his body. His past was likely more colorful than hers, but his flat out refusal to hook up intrigued her. He’d messed around in the past. What made him change his mind?
The Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author I Didn’t Know Before by Gina Conkle
- It usually takes 5-6 books in one subgenre before you experience “success”
Brand-wise it’s best to stick with one romance subgenre and build up readers. This wisdom came from an author with respectable sales in Regency romance. Yet how did I start? I published a Viking romance with one publisher and was on the verge of publishing a Georgian romance series with another. You can’t get more different than axes versus ballrooms.
To mix things up, I recently wrote two hot contemporary novellas and self-published them in one book (Waiting for a Girl Like You). Self-pub experts questioned that logic: “Gina, why didn’t you publish the novellas separately?”
My quick answer: I wanted to give people buying the book more to read.
Not the savviest business idea. But, I love books, and I love sharing books. I wanted readers to have a little something extra from me. I also love a challenge. Writing steamy contemporary romance gave me an opportunity to move out of my comfort zone. Still…lesson learned which brings me to the next item.
- Have a marketing plan for each book
I learned this one the hard way. You might think, “Self-pub authors need that but not traditional authors.” Here are a few things to consider. Traditional publishers are stretched thin on PR. They pitch multiple books to bloggers. Marketing budgets are slim to none. At the end of the day, it’s your name on the cover. What are you going to do about it?
First, I’d say, have your next book in the pipeline. Nothing sells books like more books readers love. But, you need a marketing plan. Start small and simple. You’ll get better and go bigger as you learn.
Really, there are two sides to being an author: the creative writer side and the business side.
- Find your balance with social media
I’m currently reading Deep Work by Cal Newport. He makes great arguments about intense focus creating work that resonates. I know what he means about going deep into your work. I’ve had sublime moments writing. It’s powerful.
The author cautions us on the dangers of social media. He claims so much connectivity has us delivering shallow material (i.e. always checking email, Facebook, listening twitter chime on your phone). On one hand, he’s right.
I wasn’t on Facebook until I became an author. I said to someone, “What’s with asking people to like you? Is this high school?”
But, an interesting thing happened when I was about to sign my Georgian romance series (Midnight Meetings). The deal came down to two publishers. One of the editors wanted to talk to me. I understood. I was an unknown. Then, my agent clarified, “She wants to make sure you won’t be a turtle.”
Basically, they wanted someone who was comfortable being accessible to readers via blogs and social media. And I thought all I needed was a website!
That was 2013. Eventually Pinterest sucked me in. I enjoy Pinterest. Twitter and Facebook eventually grew on me. So did blogging…it played into my marketing plan for a Viking book. I wrote a summer blog series “How to Eat Like a Viking” where I grew veggies Vikings ate and cooked Viking meals. My family ate the food and it’s all documented for my die-hard Viking fans. My blog followers grew almost 50% from doing that series.
I’ve also made some unsmart social media moves, trying to be all over the place. What happens? You spread yourself thin and your writing time shrinks.
Find your balance with social media, but writing comes first, which is why I hope you’ll enjoy Waiting for a Girl Like You. It’s an outside-my-comfort-zone subgenre of hot contemporary romance. I didn’t have a marketing plan for the book, and I’m probably giving away too much by putting two novellas in one book (and giving away a free short story Listening to Her, https://www.instafreebie.com/free/pVnGx), but there you go.
I’m sharing what I’ve learned lately and my new challenges. What about you? Please tell me in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Gina Conkle writes Viking and Georgian Romance with a new dip into hot Contemporary Romance. She grew up in southern California and despite all that sunshine, Gina loves books over beaches and stone castles over sand castles. Now she lives in Michigan with her favorite alpha male, Brian, and their two sons where she’s known to occasionally garden and cook.
Social Media Connections:
Buy Links for Waiting for a Girl Like You by Gina Conkle
The book will be on sale for $0.99.
Gina Conkle will be awarding an Amazon Kindle Fire 7” to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.