Summer Is Imminent: MUST STOCK UP ON BOOKS!

Maybe you have an exciting trip planned — somewhere the involves white-sand beaches and turquoise waters and hot cabana boys. Or maybe you’re heading somewhere more historical involving castles and lochs and cobblestone streets and turbulent pasts.

Or maybe you’re like me and summer is just another season that passes by without you stuffing your passport into your handbag.

NO MATTER WHAT YOUR SUMMER PLANS ENTAIL, they are always more delightful if you have something awesome to read.

And may I make a most charming suggestion?

How about THREE books for ONE low price? Yes? Woohoo! Glad we’re on the same page. (Pun intended.)

Three books + one low price = winner winner, chicken dinner.

Three books + one low price = winner winner, chicken dinner.

Check out the feel-good, laugh-out-loud world of Revelation Cove. Meet Hollie Porter in Must Love Otters, and follow her madcap adventures into the sequel, Hollie Porter Builds a Raft. Though set at Revelation Cove for part of its story, F-Stop can be read as a stand-alone (Hollie and her beau Ryan are side characters in this third book).

Summaries:

Book 1: Must Love Otters – Emergency call operator Hollie Porter is saddled with a job she hates and a boyfriend who’s all wrong for her. Reaching breaking point, she cashes in a gift certificate and heads to Revelation Cove in British Columbia.

Flying solo and newly single, Hollie hopes to reflect and discover her purpose among the beautiful surroundings but instead ends up unintentionally providing comic relief for the staff and guests alike. Even concierge Ryan, a former hockey star with bad knees and broken dreams, can’t stop her from stumbling from one (mis)adventure to another.

Book 2: Hollie Porter Builds A Raft – After relocating to Ryan’s posh resort at Revelation Cove, Hollie Porter embarks on an all-new adventure as the Cove’s wildlife experience educator, teaching guests and their kids about otters and orca and cougars, oh my.

When darling Ryan gets down on one hockey-damaged knee and pops the question of a lifetime, Hollie realizes this is where the real adventure begins. It’s all cake tasting, flower choosing, and dress fittings until a long-lost family member shows up at the Cove and threatens to hijack her shiny new life. The unexpected reunion forces Hollie to redefine what family means to her and question what she willing to sacrifice to have one of her very own.

Book 3: F-Stop – Frankie Hawes is happy to shrink into the background and play personal assistant to her superstar photographer father and prodigy older brother. But when her brother breaks his leg, and her dad is off on vacation, Frankie must step up to the plate and fill in for the Meyer-Nelson wedding.

Held at the picturesque Revelation Cove in British Columbia, Frankie is more than a little nervous about playing photographer for the weekend. Other than a few snaps of canines here and there, Frankie is inexperienced, underprepared, and overwhelmed at the prospect of dealing with an incessant and irritating bridezilla who just so happens to be an old school bully.

Available now from your favorite online retailers (Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Indigo, Kobo, and Scribd). If you prefer a paperback, we’ve got you covered.

Happy summering, my friends. Send photos of your faraway adventures!

xo

New Release! It's OFFICIAL: F-STOP HAS LANDED!

Hello, fellow bibliophiles!

Wanted to take a moment to let you know that F-Stop, a stand-alone romantic comedy that fits into the Revelation Cove world, is AVAILABLE NOW, without a prescription. :) They say laughter IS the best medicine, and lately, who couldn’t use a healthy dose of laughs …

In case you didn’t read what an f-stop is in my prior post, it’s a camera term, a measurement rating used to describe the size of the opening in the lens shutter, which determines how much light gets in to expose the photograph (known as aperture). In THIS case, it’s the nickname for our lead character, Francesca, given to her by her dad, a world-renowned photographer.

Isn’t that cover ADORABLE? Click for buy links!

Isn’t that cover ADORABLE? Click for buy links!

Official summary:

Sometimes, love just clicks.

Frankie Hawes is happy to shrink into the background and play personal assistant to her superstar photographer father and prodigy older brother. But when her brother breaks his leg, and her dad is off on vacation, Frankie must step up to the plate and fill in for the Meyer-Nelson wedding.

Held at the picturesque Revelation Cove in British Columbia, Frankie is more than a little nervous about playing photographer for the weekend. Other than a few snaps of canines here and there, Frankie is inexperienced, underprepared, and overwhelmed at the prospect of dealing with an incessant and irritating bridezilla who just so happens to be an old school bully.

Enter wedding guest Sam—a childhood friend turned handsome bachelor who helps Frankie see that her black and white existence in the sidelines has the potential to snap into full high definition color. If only she’d see it. As feelings grow between the pair and Frankie juggles dealing with the business during a family emergency, Frankie begins to realize that maybe it’s time for her to pull focus in her own life.

F-Stop is the third book in the hilariously romantic Revelation Cove series, perfect for fans of laugh-out-loud romps, sweet and passionate romance that gives you butterflies, and feel-good stories with a happily ever after.

Available RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND at all your favorite online retailers, including Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Indigo, Kobo, and Scribd!

For those interested in a paperback or hardcover, you can order from Amazon OR at your preferred bookstore. Talk to a bookseller and they can help you order it right there on the spot! Folks local to me, I’ll be talking to my home Chapters location to get F-Stop (and her newly redesigned siblings) on store shelves!

Have a great weekend of READING!

xo

Looking for a fun summer read? DEAR DWAYNE, WITH LOVE, on sale for all of June!

Dear Dwayne, With Love, a stand-alone romantic comedy from Lake Union Publishing, is on sale this month for a cool $0.99. Are you a fan of The Rock? How about adorable British personal trainers?

Or maybe you’re looking for a fun story with a lot of HEART and a few laughs that will inspire you to go after your dreams without worrying what everyone else has to say about it?

Summary:

Wannabe actress Dani Steele’s résumé resembles a cautionary tale on how not to be famous. She’s pushing thirty and stuck in a dead-end insurance job, and her relationship status is holding at uncommitted. With unbearably perfect sisters and a mother who won’t let her forget it, Dani has two go-tos for consolation: maple scones and a blog in which she pours her heart out to her celebrity idol. He’s the man her father never was, no boyfriend will ever be—and not so impossible a dream as one might think. When Dani learns that he’s planning a fund-raising event where the winning amateur athlete gets a walk-on in his new film, she decides to trade pastries and self-doubt for running shoes and a sexy British trainer with adorable knees.

But when Dani’s plot takes an unexpected twist, she realizes that her happy ending might have to be improvised—and that proving herself to her idol isn’t half as important as proving something to herself.

* * *

This is a work of fiction. While Dwayne Johnson p/k/a The Rock is a real person, events relating to him in the book are a product of the author’s imagination. Mr. Johnson is not affiliated with this book, and has not endorsed it or participated in any manner in connection with this book.

Donuts and dumbbells for everyone!

To review, or not to review ... that is the question!

REVIEW, I say! REVIEW!

But Eliza, why? Why are reviews so important for authors?

One simple reason: sales. When an author reaches a certain threshold for reviews (the magic number starts at 10; at 50 reviews, even more promotional doors open), they can engage the advertising machine. Here’s how it works:

—> Readers write reviews.
—> Authors qualify for ads.
—> Ads help sell books.
—> Selling books means the author and/or publisher recover costs of producing the product (book).
—> Selling more product (books) and reaching more readers means the author/publisher can continue to write/publish books to entertain people.

Because the bottom line here is about entertaining our readers.

Sure, some authors are bathing in Benjamins in their gilded tubs, but heads up: most are not.

And getting paid for our work is not a big ask. How many people do you know will work for free? Will you? Who’d be so crazy?

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Which is why we ask for reviews. Think of it like a book report, but not the yucky, laborious things that your sixth grade teacher made you write. And if you Google “how to write a review,'“ those answers can be just as intimidating. You do not have to be an expert in the Hero’s Journey or commercial vs. literary fiction to write a great review.

Instead, think of it like this — when you finish reading a book, ask yourself:

  • Did I like this book? Why or why not?

  • What was my favorite part of the story? The setting? The dialogue? The characters?

  • Could I relate to the characters?

  • Did the story make me FEEL anything? Did I laugh, cry, want to throw the book across the room?

  • Was the mystery/romance/puzzle what I’d hoped from this kind of novel?

    A review can be something as simple as:

“I loved how the author made me fall in love with these characters.”

“This story was exactly what I needed for an escape from day-to-day life.”

“This was a great story that kept me guessing until the end. Can’t wait for more!”

See? Easy-peasy! And if you’re still not sure what to say, click on the number of stars you want to assign the book, 5 being the BEST (and 1 being the worst), and then leave a line in reference to that. Example: “5 stars — I loved it!” Boom. Done.

SO — Leaving your review — what you need to do:

Like I said, to be able to take advantage of promotions and advertising opportunities to give the book a boost when readers start to notice it, authors need reviews on the sales pages as soon as possible. This is a vital part of a successful launch.

In this case, I’m going to give you the universal link for my latest book, a romantic comedy called F-Stop. You can choose your preferred store that way:

books2read.com/u/bpKJX9 

And if you’re looking for a GREAT DEAL on three books, pick up the REVELATION COVE BOXSET (MUST LOVE OTTERS, HOLLIE PORTER BUILDS A RAFT, and F-STOP) :

books2read.com/u/3kvyXg

Next: Read the books. Then leave a review! Handy tip: The more stores you leave reviews on, the better for sales and visibility. And more sales means future books!

What does “verified” mean?

Verified means the book was actually purchased, rather than gifted through the author (or acquired through other nefarious channels). This step is entirely optional (and never feel under any obligation to do so—your review is more than enough and the most critical part). But if you PURCHASE the book before you leave your review, your review will be given a “verified” tag.

Readers take verified reviews more seriously, and other authors are reporting that Amazon has been removing reviews lately that are not verified. Every sale adds to the book's rank and makes it more likely that your favorite authors can hit their goal of reaching as many readers are possible.

Here are the steps on how to make all of this happen if you’d like to leave a review for F-STOP:
1: Click the Amazon link below, depending on your country:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Amazon AU

2: Sign in to your Amazon account if prompted.

3: Scroll down the page and click “Write a customer review.”

4: Select a star rating and leave a review (remember, it can be as long or as short as you wish. Length isn’t important in this situation).

(For non-US readers: It’s REALLY helpful if you copy and paste your review and add it to the US Amazon page too. It’s the page promoters and marketing companies look to when deciding if we’re eligible to advertise with them.)

5: If you have accounts at other online retailers, leave your review with them too. The more places you leave your review, the more impact it’ll have. Some of the stores may not allow reviews to be left yet — this happens when a book isn’t released yet and/or is still in preorder phase. If that happens, feel free to post your review on release day! Other retailers include:

  • iBooks

  • Kobo

  • Barnes & Noble 

  • Google Play 

  • Goodreads

6: You’re done!

See how easy that is? Your favorite authors thank you for your time and energy—me included!

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F-STOP IS ALMOST HERE!

But first … what the hell is an f-stop?

In photography terms, the f-stop is a camera lens aperture setting indicated by an f-number. The smaller the f-stop number, the bigger the lens opening—which seems counterintuitive, I know. For a beginning photographer, understanding that f/1.8 is way bigger than f/22 can be VERY confusing. F-stop also determines “depth of field”—you know how some photos are focused very tightly on the subject but then the background is fuzzy (also called “bokeh”)? That is depth of field.

And in contemplating the next Eliza Gordon book, I felt that the idea of lens opening and depth of field were metaphors ready for their close-ups.

I’ve done some photography, mostly as a hobbyist but then as a kids’ headshot and portrait photographer. While it was fun, I couldn’t commit the time or resources to getting REALLY good at it. And dealing with clients … any time you’re dealing with art, it’s tricky. Just like people asking me now for free books, a lot of parents had no problem in expecting I’d just hand over every single shot I’d taken. They didn’t realize that I was barely covering expenses by giving them such an affordable session fee. The camera and lenses and flashes (called speedlights, if you’re using Nikon), strobe lighting setups and softboxes and strobe umbrellas and backdrops and backdrop stands, plus my time to take the photos and then edit them later to erase their kid’s zits or bad dental habits? Yeah. Hug your next photographer. And if you or they are not a hugger, at least don’t be a jerk about their fees.

Photography is an expensive, addictive pastime. There’s always a new camera coming out; there are always beautiful, fancy lenses calling your name. The trick is to find the camera body that works for your hand, your budget, your comfort level in terms of bells and whistles, and then find three core lenses that really achieve everything you want. My favorite is my 50mm prime lens—it’s called “prime” because it doesn’t have a zoom. It’s a fixed lens. BUT I get the sharpest images with that little sweetie. I use it for everything now.

Enough about photography, Eliza. About the new book, or Why I Wrote Another Book at Revelation Cove That Wasn’t a Hollie-and-Ryan Story: First, don’t give up on me with those two. I’m sort of stuck on where I should drop them at the moment.

But Frankie—her photographer dad calls her F-Stop—she just popped into my head one day while I was undoubtedly doing something less interesting than writing. (I get the best ideas while showering! Don’t you? Why IS that?) Frankie Hawes is a young woman who’s trying to figure out her place in the world as it relates to those who’ve come before her. Sounds like an Eliza book, right?

Readers often ask writers if stories are autobiographical in any way—usually, less so than you think. I’m pretty sure your favorite thriller and horror writers aren’t sociopaths or serial killers.

But my Eliza books usually have a stripe of me in there somewhere. I’ve worked at a hotel and then (very briefly) as a 911 operator (like Hollie Porter, Must Love Otters, Hollie Porter Builds a Raft); I’ve spent some time as a writer *wink* (Jayne Dandy, Neurotica); I am a failed actress who worked at an insurance company (Dani Steele, Dear Dwayne, With Love); and now with Francesca, I get to pull my photography background out of storage and give it a solid shake.

I have a Super Awesome Up-and-Coming Project with a new publisher where the character is a housewife—something I know a little about, for better and for worse—though her other talents are something I only WISH I knew more about. *hint hint* Then the next Eliza book after that will be set in a hospital (Wish Upon a Rosie), out in late 2019. Yes, I’ve also worked in a hospital. I hate that old adage that says “Write what you know,” so I try to find settings that I know a little about and then expand from there.

Which is why I haven’t written the third Hollie and Ryan book yet. They need to go to Scotland. I haven’t quite made it there. Yet.

But when I do, I’ll be sure to take my camera.

Newsletter update ... Are you in, or out?

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Shiny new book covers

Available now!

Hello, Raftmates!

This morning I sent out my latest newsletter installment detailing info about the NEW COVERS and the NEW BOOK and a few shots from our trip to NYC for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which was fun and super crazy. I’m trying out MailerLite, which is a different email/newsletter provider than I’ve been using, since a lot of my friends use it and rave about its functionality. We shall see how that goes over the next little while.

With that said, this ALSO means I am doing a major scrub of my email list. If you received my newsletter today, then cool — you’re still on my list. If you DIDN’T receive it and you WANT to receive future emails, then please go and sign up/opt in again.

If newsletters aren’t really your thing, but you want to stay in the loop about what’s coming up for Eliza Gordon, you can always check out our closed Facebook Group called Love & Cake. Your call!

I’m looking forward to having some really cool news here shortly regarding the next Eliza Gordon release (F-Stop), a collaboration project that I think you will TOTALLY adore, and possibly even a box set of the Revelation Cove books (fingers crossed!), which would include Must Love Otters, Hollie Porter Builds a Raft, and F-Stop. Wouldn’t that be cool?!

I hope spring isn’t beating the crap out of your daffodils.

Until next time, stay afloat.

Eliza xo

Good morning from almost springtime BC!

Oh man, the SUN, you guys. THE SUN. It’s out there. The sky is blue and there are no snowflakes on my weather app—

Wait. I lied. There are snowflakes Thursday and Friday. Which will change. Because this is Vancouver. And we don’t really know what snow is. That’s one thing folks don’t get about the West Coast — everyone hears “Canada” and they think we live in igloos and ride moose to work. Well, I can tell you we do NOT live in igloos but moose ARE a very effective way to travel. (Not really. I’ve never seen a moose in real life. Just bears. And they are not effective ways to travel unless you are wanting to travel to the afterlife.)

Welcome to the new website. Not sure how often this blog will be updated, but I will try my best!

Also, if you want insider info, Join the Raft! Newsletter link is in the sidebar.

Have a great week, even if your week is filled with snowflakes. Just means you need to stay indoors and READ MORE BOOKS.

~ Eliza xo