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No One Can Say We Don’t Go Balls-Out At Work

  • October 24, 2011

Sometimes I struggle to come up with a topic to blog about. Those of you who have been with me from the beginning probably remember the good old days when I blogged about my ____ or my _____ or other. In other words, when I shared my embarrassing moments funny stories with you. I know this blog has been sort of focused on my book lately, and I feel bad that my posts aren’t always of a humorous nature. This blog is called funny in the ‘hood, after all.

But sometimes, if I’m lucky, blog posts practically write themselves and my fingers fly across the keyboard because the words are coming out so fast I can barely keep up.

This is one of those times.

I work with some really great people who are not only smart, and helpful, and kind, they’re a freaking laugh-riot.

Seriously, these girls are a comic gold mine.

So when Kendra walked in the other day with a half-eaten container of cheese balls and announced, “My girls wouldn’t eat these so I brought them in for us” I should have known it was about to become one giant, collaborative stand up routine.

First of all, we fell on those balls like rabid dogs. With a sales pitch like Kendra’s who wouldn’t? We couldn’t get our fingers covered in day-glo cheese fast enough, despite that fact that it was, like, 9:03 a.m.

We’ve been eating these balls all week and I decided to document the hilarity via a series of quotes scribbled hastily on post-it notes and stuck all over my desk. I took several high-quality photos with my BlackBerry, too.

You’re welcome, Internet.

Here’s what the jar looked like a day or two after Kendra brought them in. Add a diet coke and you’ve got the breakfast of champions.

“Did you know they’re gluten free? Says so right here on the jar so it must be true. There are 832 balls in the jar and there’s 2% dietary fiber per serving,” Kendra informed us. “Probably no one should eat that many,” I pointed out.

“I don’t know if I can handle balls for breakfast,” I said. Karen tried to sell me on them. “They go really well with coffee.”

The lid to the jar makes a handy plate.

“The inside of my mouth is starting to hurt from sucking on all these balls,” Kendra said. “My fingers are getting so messy,” Jess added.

By Thursday, I was wondering how we were going to get all these balls eaten. “I don’t know if I can look at these balls one more day,” I said.

Look, they’re everywhere.

Kendra: “We’ll be fixed in our goal, flexible in our approach.”
Me: “What? Where the hell did you hear that psychobabble?”

There are vampire-boys roaming the employee cafeteria. There’s free coffee, tea, and, occasionally, all the krispy kremes you can stuff in your piehole.

And an almost bottomless container of balls.

Top that, world.

Kendra keeps me updated on the whole Demi/Ashton situation. I can’t tell you what ______ is, but I know if Demi’s getting too skinny or if Ashton has a love child (he totally does).


  • October 23, 2011

The offspring drew two names this morning and the recipients of a signed paperback copy of On the Island are Jody and Lyn!

Thank you to everyone who shared the news about my book. I really appreciate it!

And to Lyn and Jody – I’ll get your books mailed out tomorrow, ladies 🙂


On the Island – Now Available in Paperback!

  • October 21, 2011

Happy Friday everyone!

On the Island is now available in trade paperback.

See the little box above? If you pull up the Amazon listing for On the Island, scroll down a bit and you’ll see that underneath the Kindle edition it says paperback. Click on it and it will take you to the listing for the book. Want to head over to Amazon now? Click here.

If you’d prefer to read the book electronically, you can choose the Kindle option. If you don’t have a Kindle you can still read the ebook by downloading one of these free reading apps.

If you’re a NOOK user, you can by the NOOK book here.

I’ve got two signed copies of On the Island to give away and Matthew and Lauren are *dying* to draw more names out of a hat. Here’s how to enter: share this on Facebook by copying and pasting the link into your status update or by using the little share button thingie, mention it on your blog, tweet it, or e-mail the news to someone and copy me in (my e-mail address is [email protected]). You’ll automatically be entered to win, but please leave me a comment here or on Facebook so that I don’t miss anyone. You have until midnight Saturday night, and winners will be announced by noon on Sunday. Copies will be hand-delivered if you’re local, or mailed as soon as the post office opens on Monday.

I also have a new author page on Facebook. If you get a chance, please stop by and “like” me. And if you’re on Goodreads click here to send me a friend request. Goodreads is a wonderful place to discover new books and new authors.

I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who has bought the ebook of On the Island. I truly appreciate the outpouring of support I’ve received since the book was released. I’ve made a lot of new friends and every time a reader sends me an e-mail to tell me how much they liked the book, I totally squee! I count my blessings. I want to give an extra-special thank you to those of you who have chosen On the Island for your book club selection. I am honored.

I’m grateful that so many of you have connected with T.J. and Anna. After spending 18 months with them I’m having a hard time letting them go, but it’s getting easier because I’ve got brand new characters to keep me busy.

Covet. Fall 2012.

What if the life you wanted, and the woman you fell in love with, belonged to someone else?

Have a great weekend everyone, and thanks for stopping by!


Tracy’s Shit List

  • October 14, 2011

You know what I haven’t done for a really long time? Announce to the mighty interwebs things that have pissed me off.

1. Claire’s Boutique. Yeah, hi. I’m *not* sorry for almost knocking over that rack of earrings with my ass. Make your freakin’ store bigger or limit the number of middle schoolers wandering around inside. Your choice, Claire’s.


The Power of an Informative Review

  • October 13, 2011

As a debut indie author, I depend heavily on reader reviews. The more reviews I receive, the more likely a reader is to take a chance on me, especially if the reviews are positive.

A favorable review is a helpful tool for prospective readers. It gives peace of mind and lets them know ahead of time what kind of reading experience they can expect to have. When I buy a book on Amazon, I pay attention to not only the number of stars given, but more importantly, what the reviews say about the book. I want to know if the book is well written, with fully developed characters and a plot that is fast-paced and engaging.

But sometimes I need more from a review. I have an ever-shrinking amount of time to read these days, so if I’m on the fence about choosing a book, I read the reviews carefully, looking for not only the positive attributes of the story, but also answers to any questions I might have. The question is usually, “I’m not sure if I’ll like this book due to _______.” Sometimes it’s because the genre may not be one I usually read, and I’m looking for a review to sell me on it. Maybe it’s because I’m not sure if I’ll like the subject matter or premise. Sometimes it’s because I’m skeptical of the recommendation become I’ve been burned by the source too many times (I’m looking at you People Magazine). Reading a book’s reviews to see if any of these questions are answered will usually make or break my decision to buy it. A favorable review is a wonderful tool, but I’ve come to realize just how important informative reviews are. This type of review goes beyond whether the reader liked the story, and examines in more detail why they decided to read the book.

I’ve received several informative reviews for On the Island. One of them was from Raven. She wrote:

“I was hesitant to buy this book but after reading all the reviews I decided to read it. I started reading it last night & read until my eyes wouldn’t stay open. I stopped because I didn’t want to miss a word of this book. During the night I woke up several times thinking about the book…couldn’t get it off my mind. I just finished the book and I can honestly say I haven’t read a book this good in so long. What they endured on the island was so real. I loved TJ & Anna. I can’t wait for the author’s next book although I don’t know how she can top this one. If you haven’t read this book, read it, you won’t be disappointed.”

The reason I like this review so much is twofold: for one, it’s a wonderful review that brought tears to my eyes when I read it. I didn’t know who Raven was, but I greatly appreciated the fact that she read On the Island and then took the time to leave a review. What I also liked was that she was honest. She didn’t know whether or not she wanted to read the book (unanswered question: Will I like this book?). She used favorable reviews to help her decide, and she wasn’t disappointed. But the other thing I like about this review is the fact that she admitted she wasn’t sure if she wanted to read it. She was hesitant. And yet not only did she take a leap of faith and read it anyway, she liked it. A lot.

I know that potential readers who read the product description for On the Island might have some questions. The premise is very easy to have pre-conceived notions about; it’s a desert island book with a teacher and her much younger student. They’re probably thinking, where in the world is the author going with this? Will I want to go there with her?

I understand this hesitation, and I’m happy to report that those who have read the book know that I didn’t take the storyline anywhere they didn’t want it to go. They were surprised at how invested they became in the characters. Some of them have reached out to me to ask about a sequel because they want more T.J. and Anna.

I also received this review from heath1005.

“i was very reluctant to read this story, didnt know if i was going to like the premise of the old trapped on a deserted island relationship, especially with the age difference between the characters. i am soooo very glad took the chance though because this story was so much more. i never once thought about the age difference, just the characters. i believed this to happened due to the great amount of detail that went into this book. i found myself feeling as though i was right there with t.j. and anna and felt every triumph defeat and love that they went through during their ordeal on the island. i really loved that it was not all romanticized and perfect especially during the 2nd half of the story. i would highly recommend this story to anyone looking for a great love conquers all story!”

The reason I appreciate these reviews so much (disclaimer: I appreciate ALL my reviews, and I’m grateful to anyone who takes the time to leave one) is because they are answering questions potential readers probably have, too. And they’re answering them in a positive way. It’s like they addressed the elephant in the room and said, “Yes, the elephant is there but you won’t care and you should totally read this book.”

Last weekend, Raven reached out to me via e-mail. In her message, she elaborated a bit more on her decision to purchase On the Island. She told me it took her about 3 weeks to finally decide to download it, and she reiterated again how glad she was that she did. She said she wasn’t sure if she wanted to read a book about a teacher and a student (which I totally understand, because at one point I thought I was TOTALLY CRAZY for writing one). She said she adored Anna and T.J., and if I hadn’t already guessed, she loved the book. Frankly, her e-mail made my entire day.

Raven and heath1005 have done something for On the Island that I couldn’t do myself: they’ve provided a positive and, more importantly, an informative review that will greatly assist other readers in deciding whether or not they want to read On the Island.

As a debut indie author, you can’t ask for more than that.


P.S. I’m waiting patiently for the paperback version of On the Island to go live on Amazon. I thought it would be out there by now, but it’s not. I’ll let you know as soon as it shows up 🙂

What I’m Working On Now

  • October 9, 2011

Some readers have written me to ask whether or not there will be a sequel to On the Island and the answer, unfortunately, is no.

Contemporary romance
Coming fall 2012

Women’s fiction
Coming fall 2013

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