New Year + New Friends = New Opportunities

This month I have the honor of being the Spotlight Author on the fun website “FolksTalesThings”,  a joyous, eclectic site run by my author friend, Barbara Martin. A visit to the site is like wandering among the merchandise in a great old country store and bumping into friends, old and new. I’m excited to have a featured spot in such a charming atmosphere and to have the opportunity to make new friends for Bunny and the quirky bunch of pastors’ wives in the First Ladies Club.
     As you might suspect from the characters in my books, I’ve spent much of my life in small town churches, many of those years as the pastor’s wife. My characters tend to be compilations of people I’ve actually known. Like those real people, they have struggles with their faith in good times and bad. The bad may not have been as bad as the troubles I give my fictional characters, but the strength of faith they use to surmount them is as real as real can be.
     I hope you will explore the worlds I’ve created and enjoy the thrills and chills along with the humor and warm fuzzies I provide to help balance the scary bits…and as you read, please don’t be too hard on my characters when they stumble. Many of us in the real world have scars and bruises from similar slip-ups, as well.
     To learn more about me and my books, please drop by my website http://jbhawker.com/, anytime.  And have a joyous, blessed New Year!

A Body in the Belfry Now Available in Print from Amazon

The long wait is over. Print copies of A Body in the Belfry are now available. The digital version is in pre-order from all the major dealers for release December 1.

View on Amazon

Now I’m in the crucial (and dreaded) promotion/marketing phase.

Thanks to my launch team and all my supportive fans for sharing news about my books and posting positive reviews. What would I do without you?

I am being interviewed for 30 minutes on the Rave Reviews Book Club radio show, Rave Waves, this coming Thursday, November 12 beginning at 9:00 a.m. (Pacific Time). Listen in by going to Bring on the Spotlight. You can submit questions during the live broadcast by tweeting with the tag: #RRBCBringOnTheSpotlight.  The program archives are available at http://hosts.blogtalkradio.com/ravereviewsbookclub.

I’m learning to create trailers (video snippets) for my books. The one for A Body in the Belfry is below:

Be sure to watch for next week’s blog when I interview the team writing as Maureen Kovach, authors of Sunny Side Up and other cozies featuring life on Lake Erie.

October means Halloween. Halloween means “Hollow” promotions

Hollow is free in digital format all month long in October. I have scheduled promotions on a variety of ebook sites/newsletters being sent to readers during the month.
J.B. Hawker on StoryFindsIs featuring Hollow from October 2 – 8, and you may see it featured on other sites throughout the month.

If you have read and enjoyed Hollow, but haven’t had time to post a review (Amazon, Goodreads, Kobo, or B&N), I would love it, if you would post one today.

Many of the promotion sites require a certain number of reviews or a certain star ranking to include a book, so every single good review helps.

Thank you, again, for all your support and encouragement.

Rave Reviews Back-to-School Book & Blog Block Party

Hi! Sadly, the party’s over, but wasn’t yesterday fun?

So nice of you to stop by to help me clean-up the mess. You can always tell a successful party by the after-glow you feel and the amount of clutter to clear away.

If you will grab those balloons, there, I’ll sweep up this graffiti…careful not to step in the spilled cider.

Did you hear? We have Five lucky winners of the door-prizes:

Nonnie Jules, S.M. Spencer, Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko, Robyn K,  and Shirley Harris-Slaughter will soon receive a personal email letting them know which prize each has won.  But, I was the big winner. What a blast!  I can’t wait for next time.

If you don’t want to forget what fun we had, just read my conversation with Bunny below and all the super comments from my other guests.

Thanks for coming!

[9/16/15 post follows]

Welcome wonderfBlock Party Badge(1)ul readers! I am thrilled you came to my party. I’m so pleased, in fact, that I am giving away door prizes to five (count ’em, 5) lucky guests today. Leave your comment below and tomorrow you may be notified that YOU are the winner of the signed paperback of your choice from my published works or the winner of a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate. In addition, three lucky guests will receive a digital copy (in your preferred format: Kindle, ePub or PDF) of the Bunny Elder series book of your choice.  How do you like those nifty party favors, just for showing up today?

It may still be warm where you live (here in Northern California it’s downright HOT), but September holds the promise that autumn is on its way. So, pull up that comfy wicker rocker on my shady veranda, sip some spiced cider (okay, a tall glass of iced tea may be substituted, since you asked so nicely) and settle in for a friendly visit.

Some of you may have read the Bunny Elder series books, but whether you’ve heard of her, or not, I’m sure you will enjoy meeting the woman herself.

Bunny, come on over here!

Bunny: Here I am, J.B. I was out back picking an apple from your tree. See how pretty it is?

JB: Yes, that tree is bearing a bumper crop this year. Be sure to take a bagful home with you. But, right now, look! We have company.

B: Well, hey, I didn’t see YOU sitting there. Hi, I’m Bunny Elder Banks. Would you like an apple?

JB: I thought we might have a chat and let our guest get to know a little more about you, Bunny. Would you mind if I ask you some questions?

B: Ask away!

JB: Bunny is a rather unusual nickname. Can you tell us how you got it?

B: My older sisters, Jean and Linda, gave it to me when I was about six. When my two front permanent teeth came in they were too big for my mouth. My sisters said I looked like a little bunny rabbit and the name stuck. I was more than happy to leave “Leveline” behind.

JB: I can understand. But where in the world did your parents get that interesting name?

B: I was told it was the middle name of a favorite great-aunt of my mom’s, but I never met her. I always figured my mother just made it up after hearing Chuck Berry’s song “Maybellene” and she was too embarrassed to admit it.

JB: You grew up in Northern California, is that right?

B: Yep. In a little mountain community called Clark’s Hallow. You’ve probably never heard of it, but I loved it, from its quaint old-west style downtown to the quiet lanes overshadowed by tall pines and cedars.

JB: Where do you live today?

B: My main residence is in Bannoch on the Oregon Coast. I also maintain a condo in Houston, Texas.

JB: How do you support two homes, if you don’t mind my asking?

B: My late husband, Max Banks, was a well-to-do business man and a savvy investor. He left me very well off. I’ve discovered managing wealth is a huge responsibility, but I try to use the money for God’s glory.

JB: So you don’t work?

B: Not so much work, but I do write and I’ve published a book which has gotten some nice reviews. I manage to keep busy with my writing, my church work, trips to Houston to oversee things there, and occasionally I take trips with friends or my sisters.

JB: That’s right! You had quite an exciting trip to Italy with your sister, Linda, a few years back. [This adventure is recounted in “Vain Pursuits”-ed.]

B: That was almost too exciting. Most of my travels have been much more restful…well, except when Max and I were captured by those nasty pirates on our honeymoon in the Indian Ocean. That was not restful, at all. [Read about it in “…and Something Blue”-ed.]

JB: Um, no, that doesn’t sound very nice, but tell us, if you have a place in Texas because of your late husband’s business, what made you decide to settle in Oregon?

B: I have so many wonderful friends in Bannoch. I’ve even been made a sort of honorary member of the First Ladies Club. [Bunny moved to Oregon in “Seadrift”- ed.]

JB: Is that a group of past presidents’ wives?

B: (laughing) No! In some churches the pastor’s wife is called the First Lady. The group is made up of the wives of some of the pastors in Bannoch.

JB: Your first husband, Eustace, was a pastor, is that right?

B: Eustace was a pastor, but he wasn’t my first husband. Max was both my first and last husband. Eustace was a rather unpleasant interlude between.

JB: I believe he died in a car crash, is that right?

B: Yes. Can we talk about something else? [You can read all about it in “Hollow” – ed.]

JB: Of course!  What are your plans for the future?

B: One of the first things I want to do is make certain Max really did die in that plane crash in Eastern Europe.

JB: I’m surprised. Is there any reason to think he didn’t?

B: Probably not. But his body was never found and Max’s daughter, Marki, insists she saw him alive, not long ago. It’s been bothering me ever since she told me about it. Most likely she’s simply indulging in wishful thinking, but I need to make sure.

JB: Well, that is certainly intriguing. Please let us know if you find out anything. I see that our guest has finished her drink and is ready to say goodbye. She has several more Block Party stops to make. Thank you so much for joining us, Bunny.

B: Thanks for inviting me… and thanks for the apples!

JB: Any time. Watch out for that loose step! Goodbye, Bunny.

Thanks for joining Bunny and me today at our Book & Blog Block Party.  Before you go to the next stops, be sure to leave a comment, then watch your email tomorrow to see if you’ve won. Come back, again, anytime. Look out for the loose board on that step, there.

Goodbye!

Upcoming September Excitement

We’re still sweltering in August heat here in Northern California, but September will arrive soon. Many of our California schools resume classes in the second week of August, but in my heart September remains the beginning of the year and a time for starting new programs, projects and looking ahead to my favorite holiday celebrations.

This September is living up to my expectations with two wonderful opportunities for readers and authors alike.

The first is a Facebook Event happening on September 12, for one day only, beginning at midnight EST. The event, Mystery Writers Revealed, can be accessed here: Mystery Writers Revealed

On the day of the event, dozens of participating popular & award-winning authors will be logged in for an hour each to answer your questions, tell you about our books and offer prizes. We will each offer a featured digital book for the way cheap price of 99 cents. I will be featuring The First Ladies Club .

Next, only four days later, I will be taking part in a month-long September Back-to-School Book Blog Block-party (say that three times fast!) hosted by the Rave Reviews Book Club. Many highly-regarded independent authors will be posting a special, fun blog post on their special day in September. My special day is September 16. This is a mid-week date different from my usual weekend posting schedule and I will be interviewing a very special surprise guest.

Everyone who drops by this blog on September 16 and leaves their email address will be eligible to win one of three super prizes: the paperback book of your choice from my published works, signed by me; a $10 Amazon gift certificate; or the free download of a J.B. Hawker or Jonna Hawker Turek digital book of your choice.

I’m excited and looking forward to seeing you on these special September days.

P.S.

The Midlist is running a promo of my book, Hollow, today. Check it out here .

With a little (or a lot) of help from my friends

I belong to an online support group for indie authors, and the wonderful folks who read them, called The Rave Reviews Book Club. The driving force behind this smaller, more intimate Goodreads-type group is Nonnie Jules, a powerhouse of energy dedicated to supporting and promoting her fellow authors.

This month I have the privilege of being named Member of the Month, and being a focus of social media support from the others in the group. It is a humbling experience and seems to be having an impact on the downloads and sales of my books. The Amazon ranking of my latest release, The First Ladies Club, has jumped over 600,000 places during the first week of the month.

I often read experts who say Twitter and Facebook don’t have much impact on fiction sales, but when it comes to support from other authors, they can’t be beat. At least not with such active promoters as those in the Rave Reviews Book Club.

Check them out here raveand if you like to read fresh new works, or if you are a writer who wants to network with both other authors and impassioned readers, join the group.

Paying It Forward for fellow indie author, Marlena Hand

While some of my fellow authors appeal to a vastly different group of readers than I do, Marlena Hand is tending a more similar vineyard. As she says on her website,I am a writer at heart, a reader of words, a student of life, a believer of the impossible, and a dreamer with hope. I believe in making the most of every day. I believe that purpose and reason is behind every good and bad thing that happens to us. I believe that dreams are essential to a happy and full life and, more importantly, you should never stop chasing those dreams.” 

A fellow Christian, Marlena lives her faith by her generous support of other authors through reviews, promotions and interviews on her bsouplog. A member of  the Rave Reviews Book Club, Marlena is a contributor to the popular anthology, “Rave Soup for the Writer’s Soul.

Contact Marlena on her website or via Twitter

Website: http://mylife428.wordpress.com

Twitter: @mlh42812