Monday, February 28, 2011

E-Books and February Sales

To tie into L Diane Wolfe's post today -- where she asks three authors (including me!) -- to discuss the publishing options facing authors today, I thought I'd talk a bit more about my e-book experience so far.

February is almost over, and this month's sales of The Hating Game are almost at 2,000 on Kindle alone. Hopefully, by the end of the day, they will have topped it! Given that February's a short month, I'm thrilled with the number of copies people have bought. A massive thank you to everyone who has supported my debut novel so far and fingers crossed it continues. So far, total Kindle sales since December 1 have almost reached 4,000 (half of that generated this month!).

The great thing about e-books is that they don't need to fight for shelf space. There are no returns -- once an e-book is up, it's there for good -- which means e-books have more of a chance to succeed for a longer period of time. And, as I mentioned over at L Diane's, e-books don't face distribution issues that smaller presses like the one I'm published with often run up against.

Putting out the e-book before the paperback has proved to be a successful strategy. Strong sales figures means the book now stands a bigger chance of getting into stores, and word of mouth generated by e-book publicity has helped drive pre-orders. Not only that, but when the paperback launches next week, it will already have a plethora of reviews, since any review written for the Kindle version automatically appears on the paperback listing.

And on that note, if you're in the UK and you'd like to win a paperback copy of The Hating Game, head on over to Chick Lit Reviews!

Happy Monday, all!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mega Bookosity

As I've mentioned once or several thousand times, to celebrate the launch of The Hating Game paperback on March 9, I'm having a launch week! Why limit the fun to one day when you have all week to celebrate?!

During this week, I really want to say thank you to everyone in the blogosphere, Twitter, Facebook and beyond who has helped The Hating Game so far. To that end, I'm holding an epic book giveaway each day from the 7th of March to the 11th!

My original list of books included the following:

The Dating Detox, by Gemma Burgess
eSquared, by Matt Beaumont
Over You, by Lucy Diamond
Like Bees to Honey, by Caroline Smailes
Wasted, by Nicola Morgan
The Dresskeeper, by Mary Naylus
Without Alice, by DJ Kirkby
From Notting Hill with Love... Actually, by Ali McNamara
Naked in Knightsbridge, by Nicky Schmidt
50 Ways to Find Lover, by Lucy-Anne Holmes

And now, thanks to the ongoing generosity of authors and bloggers, I'm happy to add the following titles!

Circle of Friends, Book V: Heather, by L. Diane Wolfe.

Notes from Nadir, by Lisa Maliga

Hands on the Hips, by Jhon Baker

Follow the Cowherd Boy, by J.A. Joshi

A Heart to Mend, by Myne Whitman

And! These wonderful people have donated the following:

Through the Eyes of a Hurricane, by Tracy A Spaine, by Tracy
The Nanny Diaries, donated by Theresa Milstein
Be Careful What You Wish For, by Alexandra Potter, donated by Len
Brilliant, by Rachel Howard, donated by Jennifer Hoffine
Love in the Present Tense, by Catherine Ryan Hyde, donated by Corinne
The O Henry Prize Short Stories, donated by Ann Ormond
TBD, donated by Deniz Bevan

UPDATE: Jen Daiker has donated a copy of The Hating Game by me!

Make sure to visit the week of the 7th when I'll be drawing winners every day! A big thank you to everyone who donated (and there's still loads of time, if you have extra books on your hands).

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Literary Sub-Genres - A Shedload of Fun!

Sure, it may not sound like a barrel of laughs, but if you could create a new literary sub-genre, what would it be?

In my recent interview with the lovely Glynis, I pointed out that I'd like to write wine-lit. Set in vineyards, wine cellars, vats... following the character development of a grape. Here's a sample blurb:

For Grimskill Grape, life is one sun-drenched day after another, hanging out on his vine of choice and ripening robustly. But everything changes when Grimskill is suddenly plucked from his familiar world; his spirits crushed when he's rudely stamped on then thrust into a dark cave to ferment. Will Grimskill adjust to his new life and accept his role as part of the greater good, or will he struggle against decomposition -- and fate?

(Please do not take the above paragraph as indicative of my blurb writing skills, ha!)

What literary sub-genre would you like to create?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What's It All For, Anyway?

No, you haven't stumbled upon some kind of existential angst due to the intake of way too much wine (yet). Since I was a bit of a grump yesterday, I've decided to focus on the positive aspects of blogging.

Before I get to that, though, a few things: there's still time to throw your hat in the ring to win a signed copy of the The Hating Game and help me name that character!

And if you're an author, reader, crusty rooster or smelly guinea pig (don't ask) and you feel like donating a new or used book for my great book giveaway, just comment anywhere or email me (talliroland AT I'll be posting the list of donors on Friday -- thank you!

Final bit of news: the wonderful Glynis Smy has interviewed me over at her blog!

Phew. Okay, I'll keep this short. We all know why we blog, anyway.


(Yes, that was intentional.)

Seriously, thank you! For everything! :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ten for Tuesday: Things I Hate About Blogs

As you can tell, this post will be all sweetness and light. Hee!

But before I get to the grump, I want to say thanks to the people who kindly offered to donate books for my epic week of giveaways from March 7-11, in celebration of the paperback launch of The Hating Game! I'll be updating the giveaway list on Friday, so feel free to let me know if you have any books you'd like to add to the giveaway.

You all know I LOVE blogging. But there are some things that make me reach for the wine (again)! I may not get to ten, but here are my top bloggery peeves:

1. If you have more than one blog under your profile, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD make sure your writing one is clearly identified so I don't have to click around aimlessly looking for something writing related.

2. I like funky toolbars and widgets as much as the next computer obsessive, but there are some blogs with so many add-ons that they crash my browser. I'm not joking. It takes me at least five minutes to leave a comment sometimes.

3. LOOONNNNGGGGG extracts of your lovely writing. It might be better than Hemingway, but I really don't have an hour to spend admiring it. (I know that sounds bitchy, I know. I'd like to have an hour to admire it. But I don't.)

4. Pop-up word verification boxes. I hate word verification, but I had to turn it on after spammers started attacking. But those pop-up boxes are the worst, and I can't tell you the number of times I'd already closed the window and moved on before realising... oops! I think the best thing to do is to embed the word verification into the page.

5. Comment links at the top of the post, not the bottom. Now I know this is something that's controlled by the template, but I REALLY hate searching around for the little thing to click to comment! If it's right at the end of the post, that's easy enough...

6. Giant headers. For those of us with Netbooks, this means we have to scroll waaaaay down to reach the post.

7. 'Followers' box half-way down the page. I want to follow you! For goodness sake, don't make me hunt for it!

Hmm, I seem have run out of steam! :)

So tell me, am I being persnickety? What are your bloggery peeves?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Books, Books, Booooks! And a Celebration!

Looking at my calendar, I was slightly stunned to see that the paperback version of The Hating Game launches two weeks from this Wednesday (March 9th)! Eep!

Lots of people have asked me what I'm going to do to launch the paperback. Well, the short answer is... not as much as the ebook launch. Publicity is rolling along thanks to everyone's support of the ebook, reviews are still coming in, and everything's going quite nicely! Some wonderful people will be posting interviews with me on their blog, too -- I'll keep you posted on that.

I want to use my launch week, from March 7-11, to say thank you to everyone who has tweeted, Facebooked, blogged, liked or had anything to do with The Hating Game... basically, anyone who reads this blog!

Each day during the week of my launch, I'll be giving away a minimum of two books -- possibly more! Since I am the Queen of Rubbishiosity when it comes to remembering other people's contests and such, all you need to do to enter this one is just be a follower! Let's make it easy, shall we? :)

I've read and enjoyed each of the following books, and I'm sure you will, too!

The Dating Detox, by Gemma Burgess
eSquared, by Matt Beaumont
Over You, by Lucy Diamond
Like Bees to Honey, by Caroline Smailes
Wasted, by Nicola Morgan
The Dresskeeper, by Mary Naylus
Without Alice, by DJ Kirkby
From Notting Hill with Love... Actually, by Ali McNamara
Naked in Knightsbridge, by Nicky Schmidt
50 Ways to Find Lover, by Lucy-Anne Holmes

If any authors would like to donate ebooks/ books as prizes, drop me a line or a comment! I will add a little blurb about your book and a link to your blog/ site to the bottom of a future blog post before the giveaway.

Happy Monday! Hope you drop by two weeks from today to see who has won some wonderful books.

Friday, February 18, 2011

From Arse to Zorba

Thank you to everyone who chimed in with their character suggestions yesterday! If you haven't yet, there's still time - I'll be choosing the winner next week.

So hey! It's Friday! I've had Eggs Benedict and a double espresso for breakfast, and I'm happy to report that I am finally going to see The King's Speech this evening (albeit in Leicester Square, which is the congregation point of all screaming teens from the suburbs). Still, I'm excited TO BE LEAVING THE FLAT!

Oh, a big thanks to Ellen from Pink Tea and Paper for her lovely review of The Hating Game. Yay!

Big news today from the A to Z Team: we have more hosts to help bring in even more participants for the April challenge. This year I'm taking part in the A to Z Challenge and am honored to be one of the hosts. The others are Arlee Bird, Alex Cavanaugh, Candace Ganger, Jen Daiker, Jeffrey Beesler, Stephen Tremp, and Karen Gowen. Have you signed up yet? Click the photo on my sidebar to join the fun!

What is the A to Z Challenge?

It’s blogging a letter of the alphabet every day the month of April (with Sundays off for good behavior.) It begins April First with the letter A and ends April 30 with the letter Z. Get in the habit of blogging on schedule and meet loads of new bloggers!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Name That Character!

Thanks to everyone who came by yesterday to see my entry for Nicole's blogfest!

If you have 'liked' my Facebook page, you may have seen that I'm holding a contest to name one of the characters in my upcoming novel, Watching Willow Watts. I've had some fantastic suggestions so far and I thought I'd give my blogging buds a chance to get involved! If your suggestion is chosen, you'll get a signed copy of The Hating Game and my undying gratitude!

The character: an old, rather crotchety woman who is a former UK film star. She fled the industry years ago to live in the peace of the countryside, and she's now a recluse.

Any and all suggestions welcome! Have a great Thursday, everyone.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Getting to Know You...

Today, I'm taking part in Nicole Ducleroir's Bernard Pivot blogfest!

Without further ado, here are my answers to the man's iconic questions.

What is your favorite word?
Level. It's just so... balanced. On all counts.

What is your least favorite word?
Smear. Need I even explain? *shudder*

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Do I need to be honest here? Erm... okay. Control. Yes, I said it. I like being in control, people!Where's my whip?

What turns you off?
Being controlled!

What is your favorite curse word?
Shit. I like that you can say it quickly, or drag it out: shhhhhhhit.

What sound or noise do you love?
I love the bird-song of chickadees.

What sound or noise do you hate?
The screeching brakes of double-decker buses. I swear that sound haunts my sleep.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
What profession haven't I attempted? Um... sommelier.

What profession would you not like to do?
Rubbish collector! Ugh....

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
White or red?

So there you have it! Visit Nicole's blog to see the list of other participants. Thanks, Nicole!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Yeah, I just made up that word. It describes my sad state of affairs these days -- not just with blogging, but computing in general. Yesterday my trusty little laptop had a bit of a fit. I got that sorted out, only to have my Internet connection go bonkers!

Up and down, all around -- God, it was like chasing a buzzing mosquito and boy, would I have loved to smack it around some. Every time I tried to post a comment, the connection would drop off and I'd lose the comment. This had been happening on and off for the past few weeks, but last night it did my head in!

ItalicAll this to say, it's been a right some trying time (as they would say in my neck of the Canadian woods). Thank goodness Valentine's Day was in there, along with some strawberry infused champagne and lovely yummy cake. Then, there was lovely news that The Times article, previously published in January, had made its way into the Ottawa Citizen -- along with a photo of moi! It was so cool to be told by some of my best friends who live there that they'd seen my picture in the Sunday paper.

Also -- it's less than a month to the paperback launch of The Hating Game! The week of March 7th, I'll be hosting a par-tay extraordinaire, giving away lots of stuff to say a big THANK YOU!

Please bear with me as I attempt to have a smackdown with my Internet connection and comment on blogs again! Happy Tuesday!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hot Heroes and Sally Clements!

Happy Valentine's Day! I'm thrilled to have the wonderful Sally Clements here today -- on the launch of her new romance, Bound to Love! I'll turn it over to Sally now; have a romantic day, everyone!

Hi Talli, thank you so much for having me as your blog guest today, its’s great to be here!

Around the middle of February is the traditional ‘thinking about what constitutes a hot man’ time, carefully disguised by a flurry of marketing. It’s impossible to get through the door in Tesco’s without knocking over the huge cardboard display touting love and flogging cards.

And when you do, it’s straight into everything heart shaped (which costs twice as much as the same product in a round packet, and will be in the bargain bin by the 16th).

Anyway, in my estimation, Valentine’s Day is for thinking about the ideal hero – and mine?

Well, he’s tall, dark and handsome, but that’s a given. He’s got a grin to die for. He’s also strong and lean, smells delicious, and has a deep, sexy voice. And he’s naughty, with a fine line in snappy dialogue, that leaves women flustered, blushing and all out of kilter.

It’s all about new love, when you can’t really tell if he’s serious or kidding, when you don’t know if he’s stepping forward to speak or kiss you, when the mere thought of brushing up against him in the shed (it’s happened…in my first book, Catch Me A Catch, doing the laundry is an exciting experience!!) is enough to make your heart thunder like a freight train.

In my current release, Bound to Love, released on today as one of Embrace Books’ launch titles, my security expert hero Jake Forrester, is such a man.

When he finds himself tied up in an abandoned lighthouse with a feisty redhead and has to undo her bindings with his teeth – well, he manages heroically!
So – in praise of my ideal hero – I leave you with some pictures, hope some of these inspire you all!

Sally’s website :
Catch me a catch is available here or from here, or here.
Bound to Love e book: &
Bound to Love print: &

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bookish Delights

Happy Friday! Since it's almost the weekend, I'll keep this short and sweet, and share a few of my recent and upcoming reads.

Gemma Burgess's A Girl Like You came today in the post. I can't wait to start reading.

Tamsyn's Murray second book in the Stunt Bunny Series, Tour Troubles, is a fantastic read for kids (and adults!). I have a bunny crush on Harriet!

As research for my next novel Watching Willow Watts, I've just started reading Goddess, a fantastically detailed, journalistic account of Marilyn Monroe's life, both on and off the set.

And from two blogging buddies:

The Bear with Two Shadows, by Roland Yeomans.

Birthright: The Arrival by Nicole MacDonald - an entertaining tale with kick-ass heroines!

What are you reading?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Truth Thursday

Taking a page from the wonderfully spunky Jen Daiker's blog, today will be a Truth Thursday. Also in homage to Jen, I'll be using Twitter hashtags for random things. Here we go!

I ate a whole packet of Red Twizzlers in half an hour this week. Oh yes I did. #imapigandidontevencare

I'm high on paint fumes right now. #anditfeelssogood

I hate Justin Bieber with a vengeance. #theonetimeineverbragaboutcanada

I haven't brushed my hair yet today. #thankgodforshorthair

Any truths to confess? Oh, apparently the Vatican is taking confessions via iPhone now... if you want to take it a step further!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Guest Blogger: Angelina Rain

Today is a day to celebrate! Angelina Rain is here -- a new anthology featuring one of her stories is out now! So... with plenty of champers and sparkling water all around, I hand you over to Angelina.

Why I Write
When I discovered reading, I didn’t just discover books. I discovered my passion. Reading was something that pulled me away from my boring life and threw me into a world I wasn’t familiar with.

When I wanted adventure, I would read romantic suspense, and when in need of love, contemporary romance would take a lead. When I would find a new author, I would read everything she/he ever published.

Soon enough, everything started to look the same. All James Patterson novels revolved around a serial killer. All Sandra Brown characters were the same. All Iris Johansen novels ended the same way. And all Janet Evanovich jokes were repeated.

I needed to read something different. I started coming up with my own ideas, my own plots and characters. They were in my head, entertaining my bored with life mind. But those stories wanted to be told and shared, so I had to write them. I wrote around thirty short stories and three novels in about two years. And then I put it all away. I didn’t start writing again until last year. Now I’m on my second publishing contract and my first short story, “The Problem with Love Spells”, (part of the “Indecent Encounters” anthology) is out TODAY!

Angie’s Fun Facts: When my mother was pregnant with me, she had severe insomnia and was addicted to books. She would read a book a night. You see, I was a reader before I was born.

Indecent Encounters
A Ménage Anthology, including “The Problem with Love Spells” by Angelina Rain
Sometimes a woman needs more than a lover… Independent, lustful ladies find pleasure and intrigue with more than one man, from a scandalous vacation in Australia, to a forced seduction at a cabin in the woods. A witch needs to break a shameful spell, and an older woman slakes her sexual needs with two younger men. Cougars purr with unrequited desire and werewolves compete for the love of their mate. Satisfaction is just a sigh away as a surgeon bends the rules for her patient, and an over-stressed boss finds more than a little peace with secret admirers. Find out what wicked delights await you with Indecent Encounters.

The Problem with Love Spells
When you’re cursed to live your whole life unloved, can you really be held responsible for casting a love spell? When Gretchen realizes that her love spell went wrong, her only option is to reverse it before too much damage is done. However, when she wakes with a werewolf and a vampire in her bed, she learns that even reversing a love spell could have its consequences.

~*~ GIVEAWAY ~*~
Angelina Rain is giving away one free copy of “Indecent Encounters” and it could be yours. All you have to do is comment or ask a question (she will answer it in the comments). One lucky winner will be announced on Feb 11th on Angelina’s blog. Leave your e-mail address so Angelina can e-mail you if you win.

Thank you, Angelina, and congratulations!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Getting Laid

The other day, I asked Mr TR if he thought I was laid back. He laughed, and I stomped off in indignation.

It's hard to hide from the truth.

Okay, so I'm not laid back. But really, have you ever met a writer who is? To test out my theory that writers are, in fact, the antithesis to laidbackness, I've devised this handy three-question survey.

So! Are you a laid-back writer? If you answered A on the first one, B on the second, or A on the third, it's pretty certain you're not. Drink some wine! Results will be shared in the future.

Monday, February 07, 2011

I'm in Lurve

Look at that! I'm in love, and it's not even Valentine's Day. And the object of my affection is not Mr TR.

No, I have fallen for a brand new, shiny idea: my next novel, Watching Willow Watts, about a small-town girl who is catapulted to stardom after her YouTube video gets millions of hits. I'm in that honeymoon phase, where everything seems to be positively brimming with potential -- before you realise your beloved can't stop cracking his toes or terrorizing the neighbours with growling snores (oh, wait -- that is Mr TR).

As I sat down today to finally start plotting WWW, it struck me that as excited as I was, I'd forgotten how to plot the darn thing.


So, I thought I'd share my steps back to writing redemption. I'm NOT an expert (obviously), but asking these questions really helps me clarify what I want my novel's overall structure to be.

What does my protagonist think she wants?
What will stand in her way?
What will she learn and how will she change by the end?
Initially, Willow thinks she wants the stardom that's thrust upon her. I'll raise the stakes by making her whole village dependent on her fame, along with a sleazy agent with a dodgy contract; a crotchety busybody who's determined to bring her down; and the return of 'the one that got away' who can't relate to the new her. In the end, she'll learn that she doesn't need to pretend to be someone else to be happy.
Of course there are a zillion blanks to be filled in, but if I can just figure out the answers to those three questions, it makes adding the details much easier.

How do you get your relationship off on the right foot? By writing a synopsis first -- or just plunging right in?

Friday, February 04, 2011

Got an Ingrown Toenail?

Woo! It's Friday! This is a good thing for several reasons:

1. After two continuous weeks of painters scraping, swearing, burping and doing God knows what else right outside my office window, my tolerance is at an all-time low.

2. So is my brain power.

3. I can drink wine (more wine!) without having the it's-a-weeknight guilt factor that's a hang-over from my working days.

4. I can write lame blog posts.

Since there's obviously not much happening over here, I'd like to direct you towards places where there is actually a bit of intellectual stimulation. At Alexia Chamberlynn's blog, I'm talking about the first thing I did when I work up on my novel's Kindle release day. I'm sure you're dying to know!

Over at India Drummond's blog, she's got a great idea lined up to help promote her coming novel, Ordinary Angels. I've read the book and it's fantastic -- with one of the hottest male protagonists ever -- so scoot over and check it out.

Catherine Ryan Howard, author of Mousetrapped, recently wrote an article on her e-book publishing experience. It makes for some fascinating reading (and even mentions my novel The Hating Game - thanks again, Catherine!) and has since been picked up by the Irish Publishing News and The Bookseller.

And finally, if you're not signed up to the A-Z Blogging Challenge, there's still plenty of time!

There's lots going on the blogosphere these days, so if you or anyone you know is having a contest, has a novel coming out... has an ingrown toenail... or whatever, feel free to mention it in the comments below. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

What's Hiding in Your Closet?

Since Amazon sales rankings are consuming about 99.9% of my brain these days (the other .1% being wine, of course), I got a good laugh out of this video. Thanks to India Drummond for sending it my way!

My Internet connection is a bit moody these days, so I apologise for not returning comments as swiftly as usual. Have a great Wednesday, everyone!