Friday, January 25, 2013

Look Mom, I Made A Town!

And it's called...
That's Coffee Creek, Montana, a location I selected because I liked the sound of the name and the images it evoked for me. So, since Montana is on the southern border of Alberta, where I live, I talked my partner Mike into taking a road trip with me. We headed south and eventually ended up here:
Getting close, I thought, all excited. Only. When we arrived at the handful of buildings that constituted Coffee Creek this was the highlight. Look closely. It's abandoned, I think:
My heart sank. Then rose again. After all, I'm a fiction writer. I could fix Coffee Creek! And that's what I did. I totally re-vamped it, and even moved it a little closer to the mountains and ranching country (because real-life Coffee Creek is actually in a farming area). Nothing against the real Coffee Creek, but my fictionalized Coffee Creek is awesome. It has a topaz-colored creek running through it (hence the name Coffee :)), a charming cafe called the Cinnamon Stick and a librarian and a postmaster who used to be married, but now have a schedule so they never run into one another. I even have a map, thanks to my friend Rolf Stengl who took my sketch and made this:
And now, after all that hard work of mine, I'd like to officially invite you to Coffee Creek, Montana, and to the first of my 4-book series: Remember Me, Cowboy.
To celebrate the launch, I'm giving away the entire six book Harts of The Rodeo series published in 2012. To enter, just go to my website and follow the easy instructions. Now I'm off to create another town... Cheers, CJ Carmichael

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Like a lot of people, I make goals for myself every January. Personal goals and writing related ones. Some of these writing goals are within my control, such as, I will write XX pages a day or update my webpage every XX months. Other goals are more what I call aspirations and mostly beyond my control. I will be a New York Times bestselling author or one of my books will be turned into a movie (I especially like this one).

A few years ago I was researching an author who was speaking at my writers' group. I noticed on Amazon that one of her books I'd read had over 350 reviews. 350! Seriously. I've only ever had a handful of reviews for my books on Amazon, maybe 6 or 12 at the most. I thought to myself that, even though all her reviews weren't good, to have hundreds of reviews on Amazon was a sign of success, and I immediately established that as one of my aspirations.

Well, in mid 2012, Harlequin offered one of my backlist books for free Kindle and Nook download. Very cool! Over the months, I've been racking up the reviews. As of today, I have 148. Not quite 350, but I'm getting there. Almost all the reviews are good. Like the author I researched, I do have a couple zingers. Such is the life of an author :)

I'm still thrilled that 148 people were moved enough by my story to take the time and post a review. I'm feeling a little bit successful.

Cathy McDavid

P.S. - if you're interested, the book COWBOY DAD is still available for free. Here's a link to the Amazon. Go check out the reviews for COWBOY DAD.