Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Buzz of Luv Contest !!!

Wow! Between my baby being due in 4 weeks (from today) and Valentine's Day approaching there is a LOT going on in my house, in my head and on my blog!  Starting tomorrow I am hosting a very cool contest with a very cool prize.  Check out the details below!

Welcome to my
1st annual 
Buzz of Luv Contest
What is the Buzz of Luv Contest?
The Buzz of Luv Contest is a way to get buzz out (or in other words - people talking) about my new book, Second Kiss
And since Second Kiss is a teen romance novel, what better time to hold the contest than right before Valentine's Day?
Who can participate in the Buzz of Luv Contest?
Girl Teens, Boy Teens, Parents of Teens, Siblings of Teens, Pets of Teens
and anyone else who wants a really cool prize!

Do I have to register?
Yep, but its easy.  Just leave me a comment with your name
(first and at least your last initial)
and your score goal.
You can register anytime in the two week contest period.

What are the Buzz of Luv Contest dates?
The Buzz of Luv Contest will run for two weeks beginning Wednesday, January 26
and ending at Midnight (Pacific Time) on Wednesday, February 9, 2011.
I am ending the contest 5 days before Valentine's Day
so that the winner can have their Buzz of Luv prize by the 14th!

What do I need to do in order to win the Buzz of Luv Contest?
In order to win the Buzz of Luv Contest you need to create some major Second Kiss BUZZ!  
Share the link to my blog (http://www.nataliepalmerbooks.blogspot.com/)
 and tell everyone you know about my book.
Talk it,
Tweet it,
Facebook it,
Blog it,
E-mail it,
Sing it
Dance it. 
And then let me know your final score!
How do I keep score?
However you want. 
But here's how to get points:
10 points for every person you Tell about it
20 points for Tweeting about it
20 points for posting it on your Facebook Wall
20 points for each of your friends that also post about it on their walls
(go ahead, ask them to do it.)
10 points for every personal message you send about it (be it Facebook, e-mail, etc.)
20 points for posting it on your blog
20 points for becoming a follower of my blog
50 points for asking your local library to stock Second Kiss
10 points for your own ideas of buzzing about it
(as long as i approve it.)
Keep track of your points and leave your final score as a comment on
this blog by Midnight of February 9, 2011.
 along with your name and a way i can reach you.
(I have no doubts that everyone will give me an honest score.)

When will you announce the winner?
 February 10, 2011
(my husband and i had our first kiss on february 10, 2006. aaaw...)
What do I get if I win?
Are you ready for it? 
Because this is awesome!
The person who scores the most points wins:
The 1st annual Buzz of Luv
Second Kiss Valentine Package!
which includes:
A signed copy of Second Kiss
This very cute bracelet designed and created by
A few other Valentine's Day goodies that will remain a surprise!

The person who scores the most points will also win a
$20 Gift Card to Amazon.com!!!
(I'm not joking, you really do get all of that!)

So get out there and create some Buzz of Luv!!!
(have questions? just leave me a comment or email me at natapalmer (at) yahoo (dot) com)

Addendums to Contest Rules

Addendum 1:
vicki from iowa asked if it is okay that she and her daughter play as a team. to make it fair i'm opening this option up to everyone but i only have the one prize so you'll have to share. :)
Addendum 2:
okay in response to donna's comment - if you've done anything online on the BUZZ point list in the past few months you can count it. the only thing you can't count is "telling people about it" because that is more time consuming and you can't count everyone you've ever mentioned the book to in the past few months. but everything else can be counted because you can actually look at your facebook/email/blog accounts and see if you've already sent out messages about Second Kiss. And if you have, go ahead and count it. Make sense?

Monday, January 17, 2011

my famous little friend

tonight my husband, son and i all took a family car ride to the local Barnes & Noble.  the main objective for my two year old son was to play with the train in the children's section.  the main objective for me??
to see if my book was finally in. 
and the verdict is...
it was there!
it took me and my husband a while to find it.  they placed it in the general fiction and lit section
(i'm going to have to let them know its a ya fiction... or else just sneak a copy up there myself.)  
but either way it was there, all cute and humble-like amongst all those weathered b&n books. 
i felt so proud of my two little copies sitting their all camoflauged amongst the rest of the bindings.
and then i pushed the other books to the side and flipped my book around
so that the whole cover was showing
(we don't want her getting lost in the crowd!) 

here's a picture of me with my fun little work of fiction. 
(can we blame my puffy face on the fact that i'm 8 months pregnant?  pretty please???)

 i like to think about what she'll do tonight after they turn out the lights. 
will she hop off the shelf and mingle with the other books? 
or is she the type to stand off to the side and observe? 
will she unpack her things and get comfortable? 
or will she put out her best outfit with anticipation of meeting her new owner in the morning? 
who will buy her?  who will hold her and read her and tuck her into their purse to read at lunch?  
she has so much ahead of her... so much to look forward to.  so many people to touch.  
sweet dream my little friend.
and don't let the shelf bugs bite. 

Friday, January 14, 2011


i've written myself into a corner. okay, not literally, but figuratively.  i'm working on a sequel to Second Kiss.  i've  been writing it and rewriting it for months now.  i was so excited about where it was going.  i was loving the developement, loving what my main character got to experience. 
and then it happened. 
i got stuck.
all of my plots and subplots have seemed to come to a standstill.  its like i know where they're supposed to end up and that place is wonderful and moving and powerful.  but i don't know how to get there.  and the point that i'm at now is okay, but its not great.  and i'm afraid i've made one of my main characters (one of the best characters) an extra... or even worse, a member of the stage crew.  he's barely in it.  he's barely part of the show.  and that scares me because he's what i loved best about the show.  so i'm trying to pull him back in but the story isn't letting me.  i'm trying to get to the resolution but the words aren't taking me there.  i can't tell you how many times i've stared at the words on the screen and waited for them to unfold before me.  but they aren't and i'm discouraged. 
it wouldn't be that big of a deal if i could just close my laptop for a while and think about something else.  but i can't.  my brain won't stop.  i think about it anywhere and anytime i have even a second to think about anything.  how will i get there?  how will i make it work?  what is their story going to be?
but nothing is coming.  so for now i'm just... stuck.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


i hate feeling jealous.  hate it. hate it. hate it.  but sometimes, i swear, it just sneaks into my brain without me realizing whats going on. this picture is actually of my two year old son but i feel just like this when i'm jealous of someone else.  i feel inadequate and insecure and  i want to pout and scream and stomp my foot on the floor really hard.
the weirdest thing is that the moment i actually became a published author i became more jealous of other published authors than i ever had been before.  can anyone explain this to me?
i've been asked to speak to a group of young girls in my church about unity and how to celebrate other people's accomplishments.  um, pretty sure i'm still learning this.  don't get me wrong.  i try to be a kind, loving person and in general its easy for me to celebrate the success of others.  especially when they're success has absolutely nothing to do with my own ambitions.
but when someone has accomplished something that i want to accomplish (how dare they?)  i get all twisted and bent out of shape and i feel that horrible, pouty feeling taking over my brain.  
i don't do it on purpose. 
i don't wake up in the morning determined to harbor bitter feelings towards authors who have found success.  but it just happens.  why is that?
i often check out blogs of other authors in order to find inspiration from their work, to feel like i'm part of a community and to gain strength from their wisdom.  so why do i so often log off my computer feeling... (in a word) dumpy? 
i hear myself thinking things like,
"i'll never write a book as good as them." 
"they are so much more creative than i am."
or even more idiotic and child-like,
"what? she writes young adult novels too?  how dare she?" 
i received a comment the other day from a great writer/blogger (Donna Weaver you know who you are) who quoted someone that said authors struggle with feelings of obscurity.  That we feel like our hard work will never be noticed amongst the millions of other books that are sitting on the shelves. 
its so true. 
and when we're already lacking self confidence in our own accomplishments it is that much harder to celebrate the accomplishments of others.   
so i'm making a serious and conscious goal starting yesterday to stop it! to stop putting myself down.  to stop comparing myself to everyone else.  to stop feeling like i'm less of a person because someone else is succeeding.  it's pointless.  it's damaging and i'm not going to let myself be hindered by it anymore!
i'm going to monitor my jealous feelings for the next three weeks (that's when i speak to the girls in my church) and see if my insides aren't feeling more like this:

i'll let you know how it goes!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

"look at me!!!"

marketing... ug.  feels a lot like selling. and in this case i'm selling myself.  i'm not good at it, i never have been.  i tried selling security systems in new mexico one summer... i lasted five weeks and have forever since based the level of my happiness in terms of "well at least i'm not in new mexico selling security systems." 
it's not that i think that security systems are bad and i DEFINITELY don't think my book is bad! but to go around disturbing people's lives asking them if they could just take a minute to "look at me!!! PLEASE!!!"
it gives me heart burn.
when Tate Publishing accepted my  manuscript i hit the roof i was so excited.  i knew that part of the contract agreement was that they'd provide me with a marketing representative and market my book.  but what i didn't realize is that every author (new or weathered) needs to market themselves as well.  how else will your family and friends know that you have a book out there to buy?  how else will local coffee houses and book stores know that you're out there and wanting to do book events?  it has to come from YOU! (or in this case... me... ug.) 
so i have to convince all these people that i have created something that they actually want to spend money on.  and then i have to plan these book events (in my case i'm still doing book signings... which are just fancy way of saying i'm going to be sitting at this table for two hours - please come buy my book.)  and i have to look professional and confident and i need to strike up conversations with people and ask them to give me their money and... oh dear, that is so not me.  i'm not a sales person.  i'm not a marketing person.  i'm a writer!  my comfort zone is sitting on my couch with my lap top computer silently creating stories that have been looming in the back of my brain. 
so this marketing thing?  a huge step for me.  i'm largely out of my comfort zone. 
and i could use all the advice i can get!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

let's get personal

i wanted to make a post about new year resolutions because i LOVE them and am one of those weird people that actually follows up with them throughout the year.  (this may be a bit overboard but i like to put reminders on my cell phone that ring once a week with my different resolutions all year long... try it, it helps.)

but new year resolutions are sometimes extremely personal so i hesitated posting any at all.  until i realized - hello, writing a novel is extremely personal.  putting your thoughts and feelings and basically every last ounce of your soul on paper for people to read, critique and examine is extremely personal! 
and i've already done that... so this should be easy.  right?

here it goes... a highly UNCENSORED version of my new year resolutions for the year 2011:
  • teach my son (he'll be 3 in May) to use the potty and be out of diapers. (i think this is harder for me to get my head around than it is for my son.)
  • do Body-for-Life (my favorite diet and exercise plan) post baby (baby due end of February) and lose 20 pounds by June. 
  • learn how to nurse my baby effectively and do it for at least six months (i struggled with my first baby in this area but i'm determined to succeed this time!)
  • help all my cub scouts earn their achievement awards on time (yes i'm a den leader [with my husband] and i really need to get on the ball)
  • be more proactive about marketing my book (like, help more than just my friends and family know that it exists - harder than it sounds.)
  • finish book #2 and work on getting it published (it's half way done!)
  • be more open about my beliefs
  • spend more one-on-one time with my son (i mean high quality, play dough, crayons, lincoln logs, knights and his castle, pushing the train around the track - quality time.)
  • be as good to my husband as he is to me (this may be the hardest one on my list.  i really am that lucky.)
well, here i go.
wish me luck, perseverance and patience.  
happy new year!