Tales of the Dragonfly

Award Winning Romance Suspense, Wounded Warrior Romance and New Adult Romance

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Teachers, Students, Parents Are Scared To Death: Secretary Devos And President Trump Push To Open Schools Amid COVID-19 Crisis In The USA

Educators continue talks on reopening schools amid coronavirus

President Donald Trump has spent the past two weeks demanding — often in all caps on Twitter — that American schools reopen this fall.

But America’s biggest school systems are rejecting the president across the country, with one city and county after another opting for virtual education or just a few days a week in school. And the president has little power to do anything about it.

The Los Angeles and San Diego school districts announced Monday they will start the upcoming school year with full distance learning. New York City schools will offer a mix of in-person classes and online learning. In suburban D.C., Maryland’s largest district is proposing to start the year with virtual learning. Other districts are considering just two or three days a week in the classroom, with kids continuing to learn from home the rest of the time.

Florida’s Miami-Dade County Public Schools — touted as a model by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for its comprehensive reopening plan — is offering up to five days of in-person learning, along with an online option.

But the superintendent now is casting doubt on the possibility of kids returning to classrooms on the first day of school if the city remains the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, though Florida’s new reopening plan orders the state’s public schools to reopen in August for at least five days per week for all students.

Republicans have said for decades school decisions should be made at the local and state level, and have often held the U.S. Department of Education in disdain. So even as Trump and DeVos push kids to board buses and head back to school, they can’t force the issue. Most education spending is overseen at the state and district level, and there is little the federal government can do to carry through on Trump’s demands that schools reopen and aid an economic upturn.

“We want teachers and students to be face-to-face, as much as safely possible,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), the head of the congressional panel that controls education spending, on Monday. “In some states around the nation with a virus that is out of control, we cannot simply open schools based on the statements of the secretary of education.”

Trump on Monday was asked what he would tell concerned parents who saw news that a teacher in Arizona —another virus hot spot— recently died after teaching a summer school class online. Two teachers who shared her classroom also contracted the virus.

“Yeah, the schools should be opened,” Trump responded. “Schools should be opened. Kids want to go to school. You’re losing a lot of lives by keeping things closed.”

Despite the administration’s pressure campaign, the federal workforce in the D.C. suburbs may still have kids at home for the foreseeable future.

Montgomery County — Maryland’s largest school system — could start with remote learning before gradually bringing students back in the fall.

Parents of students at Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia — one of the nation’s largest districts and a frequent target for DeVos — have been asked to choose by Wednesday either full-time online instruction or at least two days of in-person instruction.

Here’s what some of the largest school districts are planning:

New York City

Most children in the nation’s largest school system will go to school two to three days a week, city leaders announced last week. Families will also have the option to do online learning full time if they don’t feel safe returning to schools in person.

“We can make up learning for students. We cannot bring a student back who is infected and passes away,” said Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza.

Los Angeles, San Diego

Los Angeles Unified and San Diego Unified, which collectively enroll more than 700,000 students, issued a joint announcement that students will resume classes next month online with hopes of returning to physical classrooms sometime this school year “as soon as public health conditions allow.”

Teachers have ramped up their opposition to campuses reopening in the fall, with the California Teachers Association saying last week that schools are not safe to open, citing a resurgence in cases and a need for more personal protective equipment and other supplies.


Chicago Public Schools is conducting family surveys, and Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady said on Friday that schools could have “some capacity for in-person instruction” if the city keeps its cases under control, ABC 7 Chicago reported.

But a survey of Chicago Teachers Union members released last week found more than 85 percent of respondents felt they should not or might not return to work in the fall without a detailed plan and resources that guarantee safety. The union is currently negotiating with the school system on the reopening plan.

Miami-Dade County, Fla.

Parents have until Wednesday to decide on their preferred option for the fall, whether it be up to five days in school or learning online. “If the conditions on August 24th are what they are today, it would be very difficult for us to reopen schools,” Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said Monday on MSNBC

Carvalho said that, if conditions prevent them from reopening schools, they plan to provide alternatives, including continuous remote teaching and several hybrid models. “But we are ready to pivot between any one of those models, based on the medical and public health advice from local entities right here in our community,” he said.

DeVos, on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, touted the plan for having a “wide variety of approaches, but with the expectation that if you have to move to a remote instruction situation that you have full-time learning going on for all students at all times.”

Clark County, Nev.

Officials in the county, which includes Las Vegas, are considering a plan that calls for calls for in-person learning two days a week and online learning for three. Another option is online-only instruction, the Las Vegas Sun reported.

The Clark County School District board of trustees approved the plan last week for submission to the state, but it can still be altered, the newspaper reported.

Broward County, Fla.

Despite the state mandate, Broward County School District is still weighing whether to reopen classrooms when school starts on Aug. 19.

The school district’s plan has not yet been finalized, the Sun Sentinel reported, and the district and teachers union are discussing safety issues with in-person instruction.

“At this time, we do not see a realistic path to opening all district schools with 100 percent full enrollment every day as we were before we closed schools due to the coronavirus pandemic,” Superintendent Robert Runcie said last week.

Houston ISD, Texas

HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said the district is still finalizing its fall plans, but it is considering resuming classes through in person, online instruction or hybrid models. Parents are expected to get an update on the district’s plan by July 15.

Houston’s teachers union weighed in with a set of recommendations, including starting the school year online, if the number of Covid-19 cases has not yet declined for 14 consecutive days. It says educators, support staff and parents “fear reopening without the infrastructure and investment to do so safely and equitably.”

Hillsborough County Public Schools, Fla.

Superintendent Addison Davis, citing CDC guidance, announced masks will be required at all schools when classes resume Aug. 10. He said it was the “best option” to keep teachers, staff and students safe, and Davis added that they all will receive three reusable masks each, which equals to more than 760,000 masks. Parents must tell the district how their students will attend school this fall by July 17 and can choose from to committing to traditional school or distance learning.

Orange County Public Schools, Fla.

Orange County Public Schools parents are being asked to look through three options for their kids to go to school: face-to-face instruction, which is required by the state, virtual schooling through Orange County Virtual, which the district said has been around for several years, or OCPS LaunchED@Home, a new option that requires state approval but allows for parents to pick a hybrid model. Under the last option, students would follow the standard school schedule and bell times, according to the district’s website. The school board is expected to vote on a full reopening plan this week.

Palm Beach County School District, Fla.

Palm Beach County schools are looking to start the school year fully online, despite the state reopening plan.

So far no reopening plan has been formally approved by the school board, but the board is expected to vote on Wednesday on whether to approve a plan from district Superintendent Donald Fennoy.

The local teachers union and school board agreed to start school online last week, The Palm Beach Post reported.

Fennoy is recommending that schools start online for all students, “allowing for a phased return to brick and mortar in-person instruction when county health conditions permit,” according to Wednesday’s agenda. He’s also asking the board for the authority to implement the plan “as necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of students and employees.”

Erin Durkin and Mackenzie Mays contributed to this report.

Source: Politico


via Teachers, Students, Parents Are Scared To Death: Secretary Devos And President Trump Push To Open Schools Amid COVID-19 Crisis In The USA     =

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Saturday, April 18, 2020

#Win7DayBookPromo = WINNER ANNOUNCED LIVE Sunday 6pm!

Competition Time! — KYE
To enter, follow my blog adding your name in the comments. I will pick a winner on a LIVE INSTAGRAM VIDEO CHAT with host Andy Oliver. 
Be part of the LIVE CHAT – 
Follow Andy Oliver  & me

The more people who follow my blog, the more people will meet the winning author by email. 
The lucky AUTHOR will win:
⭐ One tweet per day of your book on Twitter to over 54,000 followers
⭐ One post per day of your book on three Facebook pages

⭐ One post per day of your book on my Instagram page
⭐ One post per day of your book on my LinkedIn page to over 18,500 followers
⭐ Author Interview on my blog, currently over 235,000 page views and promoted across ALL my social media platforms
I will randomly pick a lucky winner on Sunday at 6pm LIVE on Instagram!
Good Luck Everyone!!!!!!!!!


  1. Hi David!! This is so kind of you. Here’s my email:
    jopaulson@sasktel.net. Cheers and have a wonderful weekend!!


  2. Hello David and what a great thoughtful contest you are running. Wishing you & all the best of luck💕


  3. This comment has been removed by the author.


  4. Awesome competition David I wish good luck to all that enter as this is a prize truly worth winning #Win7DayBookPromo


  5. Thank you, David, for the opportunity. Comes at a great time!


  6. Not sure if I’m following you on Twitter. What’s your handle?


  7. Hi David – God bless your charitable and supportive soul – always giving back, you’re an amazing human.
    I have been following your Blog and your Twitter for several years now … here’s my email … reviews@lailadoncaster.com
    Crossing my fingers and my toes 🙂


  8. Thanks David. Yes I Like To Enter My True Story With You. My Email Address is donaldvodicka057@gmail.com


  9. DPP, I’ve been following your blog for years buddy. Happy weekend! DS


  10. Awesome David… I haven’t delved into your blog before but some rich and rewarding content here. Thank you ❤️


  11. #Win7DayBookPromo
    Look forward to reading your blog!


  12. #Win7DayBookPromo Already following you!! @joyrossdavis


  13. Hello David,
    What a thoughtful and generous spirit you are. Thank you for the shout outs and inclusions on you blogs. You deserve great success.❤️ #Win7DayBookPromo with my autobiography https://www.amazon.co.uk/Faith-Child-Patti-Boulaye/dp/1326615998


  14. #Win7DayBookPromo https://amzn.to/2qpddWy My email is michelleholland@talk21.com fingers and toes crossed and anything else I can find!!


  15. Hi David! This is awesome. Thank you for doing this. laurie@laurieholbrook.com


  16. Hi David,
    You are incredibly supportive of the Writing Community, especially the newbies!


  17. #Win7DayBookPromo. Thanks for this offer, David. it’s just one more example of your generous heart and kind spirit.


  18. Hello David, what a fab thing you are offering. Thank you so much. I’ve never won anything in my life, so let’s give this ago 😀 Thank you. Best Wishes #Win7DayBookPromo
    Vicky Parkinson


  19. Hello David, what a fab thing you are offering. Thank you so much. I’ve never won anything in my life, so let’s give this ago 😀 Thank you. Best Wishes #Win7DayBookPromo
    Vicky Parkinson


  20. Hiya mate , I hope all is well , I follow you everywhere mate , just the other night I followed you home , tomorrow I will follow you to work 😅😂😅


  21. Yes , unknown , the man without no name is Rene Costa , I don’t know why my name won’t come up ,


  22. Hi David, what a fabulous offer! I am one of your biggest fans, love your work! #Win7DayBookPromo


  23. I didn’t know that would be unknown! It’s Fleur Lind here….


  24. Hi buddy, Stephen Ainley. #Win7DayBookProm


  25. Such a fine, generous thing you are offering, David. Wish you a happy weekend. #Win7DayBookPromo


  26. This is AWESOME David!Thank you🌺
    Wishing you well🌺


  27. Hi David! Thank you for the opportunity to win some much needed advertisement!#Win7DayBookPromo


  28. Thanks for the chance!!!


  29. I think I forgotten to leave a comment before!


  30. Thank you David! Happy to add my name to your blog. Evan Knapp @MovementWhere I: EvanKnapp67 FB: @Evan Knapp/@MovementWhere and you can always reach me at WhereThereisMovement@gmail.com.
    Much & many, Evan


  31. Thanks for this David 😊
    Regards Loraine Conn


  32. Nearly forgot to do this bit David. Such a great idea and I wish everyone the best of luck. Happy sunny Sunday everyone!


  33. I forgot too – too many books to write ugh !! Good luck to everyone!!! I will still share.





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A Post About Two Hearts Unlikely Heroes – Thank you Casi McLean  | Tales of the Dragonfly

TWO HEARTS––UNLIKELY HEROES February 13, 2020 by Casi McLean Casi McLean USA Today Bestselling Author, Casi McLean, pens novels to stir the soul with romance, mystery, and a whisper of magic. With …

Source: A Post About Two Hearts Unlikely Heroes – Thank you Casi McLean  | Tales of the Dragonfly

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Free and 99¢ eBook Sale ~ March


Congrats to Danielle M!

Danielle M in California won the newsletter giveaway. I’ve mailed out all the items and she has received them. I want to thank everyone who entered.

See below for great 99 cent deals AND free ebooks!

eBooks on Sale for 99¢

Dangerous Memories

99 cents! Save $2!

Her Fake Romance

99 cents! Save $3


99 cents! Pre-order!


99 cents!

Free eBooks



Fire Me Up


A Recipe Everyone Can Use

Hand Sanitizer

I went out looking for hand sanitizer and the store shelves were empty, so I made my own with two simple ingredients. Click here to find the recipe on my blog. Stay well, everyone!

Happy Reading!



Source: Free and 99¢ eBook Sale ~ March

1 Comment

A Post About Two Hearts Unlikely Heroes – Thank you Casi McLean 


Casi McLean

USA Today Bestselling Author, Casi McLean, pens novels to stir the soul with romance, mystery, and a whisper of magic. With strong, believable heroines and delicious heroes, she tempts hidden desires then fans the flames, sweeping readers into their innermost romantic fantasies. Her fans devour her exceptional romantic suspense and adore her lovable characters. Try one story––you’ll see, hear, and feel the magical eeriness of a fateful night, believe in time travel, be mystified by supernatural, and sense the excitement of romantic suspense––but most of all you’ll want more! Lake Lanier Mysteries Series: Beneath The Lake Winner 2016 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for BEST Romantic Suspense.

Today, Casi’s crème de la crème pick is Tamara Ferguson’s


Check out the full review on Amazon:

5.0 out of 5 stars

Wow! A Terrific Military Thriller!

Wow – Tamara Ferguson does it again!

TWO HEARTS UNLIKELY HEROES is  a military, medical romance of star-crossed love and second chances. I am continually amazed at how this author captures my heart with her richly-drawn, war-ravaged characters. I feel the pain of their physical injuries and glimpse into the mental anguish torturing their souls.

In Two Hearts—Unlikely Heroes, Ferguson weaves a steamy romance then thrusts the couple into impossible situations, all while giving the reader a taste of military life.

The story begins in Afghanistan where hero, Lieutenant Benjamin Nash, discovers Air Force Lieutenant Samantha Caldwell, our heroine, lying on the side of a road with a mangled leg.

Two years later, they run into each other in Crystal Rock, Wisconsin and are once again thrust into the crosshairs of a terrorist.

Tamra Ferguson has an incredible talent that spins the reader into a nail-biting situation ultimately satisfying them with a happily ever after…but along the journey she somehow emboldens my sense of patriotism, hope, true love, and second

chances. If you love military thrillers I highly recommend this book and all of her Two Hearts series!

When Wounded Warrior Captain Samantha Caldwell Is Being Targeted By Terrorists After Killing Their Leader In Iraq, Can AFOSI Agent Captain Ben Nash Keep Her Safe?

When Captain Samantha Caldwell’s team is hijacked by terrorists in Iraq, her quick thinking results in the destruction of both the munitions they were transporting along with the attacking insurgents. But her actions come with a cost, and Samantha is injured from gunfire after sending her team running for their lives.

Assigned to the team following behind, Captain Benjamin Nash has been warned that the intel provided may no longer be accurate, and their mission may have been compromised.

When Ben comes across a severely injured airman near the road while scouting ahead and discovering the wreckage, he manages to radio for a chopper. They’ve never met, but when Samantha momentarily regains consciousness, Ben feels a strange connection once they speak.

But trouble strikes during the rescue, and this time Ben ends up shot as the chopper is preparing to depart.

Two years later, in preparation to become an AFOSI agent, Ben is sent to a training facility in Crystal Rock, Wisconsin, and the last person he expects to see is Samantha, who’s working there as an instructor. Not knowing her name or rank, Ben had been making discreet inquiries about her for several months, trying to discover if the woman who’d been severely injured had survived.

It doesn’t take long for Ben to realize that Samantha is special, and he would do anything in his power to have her. But Ben is there pretending to be an airman since he’s been sent there for other reasons besides training.

Sam is feeling the same way about Ben, but she’s avoiding him as much as possible. Although she can’t quite put her finger on why she thinks Ben is more than he appears, there would be serious consequences if she entered a relationship with someone beneath her in rank.

But everything changes when Colonel Pierce meets with Sam and Ben and discloses Ben’s actual mission. Can Ben keep Sam safe from the terrorists who’ve targeted her after she apparently killed their leader during that fateful mission in Iraq?

Despite their serious subject matter, the Two Hearts Wounded Warrior stories are all about hope, with happily-ever-after endings. This #1 bestselling series has won over twenty combined awards, including the Readers’ Favorite BRONZE (2019 & 2018), SILVER (2019 & 2016) and GOLD (2018) MEDALS in Military Fiction.

About Tamara Ferguson

Writing steamy yet sweet compassionate stories of fate that are wonderfully romantic, Tamara Ferguson is the multi-award winning, USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR of the Tales of the Dragonfly Romance Suspense Series, the Kissed By Fate Series, the Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance Series, the Daydreams & Dragonflies Sweet Romance Series and the Tales From Dragonfly Pointe Short Story Series.

If you don’t believe in the power of fate, you shouldn’t read her stories, because Tamara always writes a happily-ever-after for her heroines and heroes, since it doesn’t always work out that way in real life.

Since 2015, she has earned more than thirty awards, twenty of those for her Two Hearts Wounded Warrior romances, including five Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards with Two Hearts In Accord (2019) and Two Hearts Unbroken (2018) earning the BRONZE, Two Hearts Under Fire (2019) and Two Hearts Unspoken (2016) earning the SILVER and Two Hearts Find Christmas earning the GOLD Medal in Military Fiction (2018.) Two Hearts Surrendered was also a New Apple Romance Selection for excellence in Indie Publishing and 2018 Top Shelf Finalist. Two Hearts’ Christmas Wish is a 2017 IAN Book of the Year Finalist. And it’s the #13 BEST INDIE BOOK of 2017.

Along with the 2015 Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice Award Winner That Unforgettable Kiss, Two Hearts Surrendered and Two Hearts Unspoken were also finalists for the 2016 IAN Book of The Year. Tales of the Dragonfly In Tandem was a romance finalist in the Indie Excellence Awards, while Tales of the Dragonfly In Flight was a romance suspense winner at the Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards.

A member of the RWA, the Authors’ Billboard and the Authors’ Independent Book Network, her stories have been included in several #1 bestselling anthologies.

Since she remains a full-time caregiver for an autistic son (along with a bunch of adopted pets!), you can usually find Tammy working at home, where she spends a lot of time not completing her numerous home improvement projects, because she’s writing or helping author friends promote their books on twitter.

Find Tamara Ferguson

If you’d like to subscribe to her newsletter, she provides information about new releases as well as free books and available promotional sign ups and giveaways.
Newsletter Sign Up https://www.facebook.com/Tammysdragonfy/?sk=app_100265896690345

Join Casi’s Inner Circle and receive a FREE short story from her award-winning Destiny series … PLUS a secret gift!

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*•✰🧡🌲FREE DARK SECRETS ANTHOLOGY – 9 BRAND NEW STORIES 🧡 PLUS IT’S ALL ABOUT CHRISTMAS🌲🧡USA Today Bestselling Author Tamara Ferguson *•✰🧡🌲 🧡*•✰ –


Multi-Award Winning, USA Today &
#1 International Bestselling Author of Romantic Suspense, Military Romance & New Adult Romanc

-Writing Steamy Yet Sweet Compassionate Stories of Fate
That Are Wonderfully Romantic


Plus December Giveaways &
Books That Are All About Christmas.

Happy Reading!!



99c Sale Price

~An incredibly touching story about 2 young people who lucked out when their dates dumped them for someone else for the Christmas Dance. But after senior year they had different paths in different military branches. Will love and injuries conquer all when they meet again in 10 years. Great love story with a HEA~Wac Veteran

FREE 12/16-12/18
By Award Winning, USA Today Bestselling Authors

FREE 12/16-12/18

As the leaves fall from the trees, secrets and tragedy abound.
Featuring That Spooktacular Kiss
Will unveiling their families’ dark secrets heal two wounded hearts?

🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄
Amazon Shopping Spree Dec. 23rd!
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31 BOOKS! $400 VALUE!

Check Out The Deals!
Love Books Christmas Book Festival
The event will run until Christmas Day.

Prizes: 1 x $50 Amazon gift card*
2 x Christmas scented candles
*Open internationally.


Holiday Cheer December Romance Book Fair
Check out the great selection of Christmas Books!

Free Cookbooks and Book Bites

Christmas is right around the corner!
I hope you have a great week. xo

Copyright ©2018 Suzanne Jenkins, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Lomas Serena, Escondido, California 92029

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Copyright © 2019* *Tamara Ferguson* * Newsletter * * Dec. 16, 2019 * *All rights reserved* *
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Fall Into Romance, xp, Books & More, assorted promotional facebook & rafflecopter events or direct signup through my Facebook page and Bookfunnel.

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Source: *•✰🧡🌲FREE DARK SECRETS ANTHOLOGY – 9 BRAND NEW STORIES 🧡 PLUS IT’S ALL ABOUT CHRISTMAS🌲🧡USA Today Bestselling Author Tamara Ferguson *•✰🧡🌲 🧡*•✰ –

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#Christmas Romance Book Fair ~ #Bookish #romancebooks #mustread #OneClick #Bookpromo

Source: #Christmas Romance Book Fair ~ #Bookish #romancebooks #mustread #OneClick #Bookpromo

Sharing Iris Blobel’s #Christmas Romance Book Fair ~ #Bookish #romancebooks #mustread #OneClick #Bookpromo

~~ Romance Book Fair ~~

 6 – 20 DECEMBER 2019



Are you looking for your new favourite author? Or a read for the weekend?

We’re here to help! 

We have stories from across the world, from New Zealand and Australia, to the States and Canada – I’m sure you’ll find some European stories in there as well. Books are free or priced between $0.99-$2.99 for the duration of the promotion.

Happy shopping from all of us ♥♥
(Hover over the cover for more information and purchase link, and please check prices before you do the “oneclick”)


~~ Romance Book Fair ~~  6 – 20 December 2019 ♥♥♥ Thank you all for stopping by. we appreciate it ♥ Are you looking for your new favourite author? Or a read f…

Source: #Christmas Romance Book Fair ~ #Bookish #romancebooks #mustread #OneClick #Bookpromo

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My Girl Blog Tour | Tales of the Dragonfly

My Girl By Jacquie Biggar – Sometimes, the right decision isn’t the easiest one to make

November 8, 2019

My Girl
Gambling Hearts Book 3
by Jacquie Biggar
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Sometimes, the right decision isn’t the easiest one to make
Trish Sylvester knows her family and when they accept a week long stay
at a rustic dude ranch, she is concerned- especially since it’s at her ex’s home.
Aaron is overjoyed at the opening of his family’s guest ranch, until he
learns their first guest is his ex-girlfriend, her parents–and a fiancé.
And that isn’t the only surprise.
JACQUIE BIGGAR is a USA Today bestselling author of RomanticSuspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males and strong, contemporary women willing to show
their men that true power comes from love. She is the author of the popular Wounded Hearts series and
has a new series in paranormal suspense, Mended Souls. She’s been blessed with a long, happy
marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happily-ever-afters.

Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family
and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. She swears she can’t function without coffee,
preferably at the beach with her sweetheart. 🙂 Free reads, excerpts, author news, and contests can be
found on her website below!
Jacquie lives on Vancouver Island with her husband and loves to hear
from readers all over the world! You can also join her street team on Facebook called Biggar’s Book
$25 Amazon gift card
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!


Source: My Girl Blog Tour | Tales of the Dragonfly

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Kimmy’s Korner : The Steps to USA Today Bestseller


It’s the 4th time for me, but it never gets less exciting!!

Here’s some great information from Kim Hornsby –

The Steps to USA Today Bestseller

We made it to #88 of the top 150 books in the Nation last week, according to the USA Today Bestseller List.
Many authors have sought this title in the last few years with a targeted campaign to sell a ton of books in one week through the specific retailers that report to the publication. I once turned up my nose at the authors who banded together in box sets to offer their 10 book sets at 99 cents to cash in on this phenomena of making the USA Today Bestseller List with a deal most romance readers can’t resist.

That was years ago and now I’m one of those authors. The sad reality is that you can buy your way to the Bestseller list with either enough money or a nice deal with a big publishing company who will promote your book. The lists aren’t a true reflection of the best books, nor are they stacked with Indie authors spending advertising dollars to reach the list (money that the big publishers spend on their new releases).
It’s a game just like all advertising. That’s not to say that many of the books that reach the top 150 aren’t worthy of the accolades. In our week, there were books by investigative reporters, super megastar celebrity writers, reality show star memoirs, children’s books by beloved children’s authors, cookbooks, SAT exam guides and of course, us. We have a Box Set of 10 Christmas Romances.

How did we make it? We started early knowing if we waited until November to release our Christmas books, we’d compete with all the other Christmas Romance box sets going for the list.
In past years, I’ve started late. I also did a box set of Christmas Suspense books with an ominous cover and that did not even get close to listing.

I contacted authors mid-August and got 9 commitments to write a new novella with a Mistletoe Lodge in the story somewhere. I needed a couple of really successful heavy hitters in contemporary romance at the head of the line to pull people in. Sabrina York, Tamara Ferguson, Jen Talty, Natalie Ann all have pedigree in the genre and box set followers.
The common theme of having a Mistletoe Lodge  in each book would be our catch. That and donating to St. Jude’s which was something we did last year as well, but did not make the list. The years before we donated to Breast Cancer Research.
We knew if we launched our book in late October to get ahead of the pack, we only had two months of presales to accumulate for dumping day on Oct 21st. We didn’t have the 3 months allowed on Amazon for presales, or more, if you publish wide at Nook and iBooks. Longer presale periods are allowed over there, which is recommended if you’re hoping to make the USA TODAY list. We had 60 days before launch.
We had a cover done quickly, wrote a blurb and published as a presale with launch day October 21st, a Tuesday. We chose that day of the week because we knew USA Today tabulated sales Sunday to Sunday and sales tended to trickle late in on Monday as well as presales dropping early sometimes on a Monday night instead of a Tuesday. We needed to include those presales. Tuesday is the day.

I compiled a FREE cookbook with Christmas recipes and crafts to advertise the set, calling it by the same name with the words Cookbook at the end. 50 recipes plus additional bonus craft ideas. I put the buy links on almost every page for our box set and we included recipes talked about in our books (that weren’t finished yet.) I launched the cookbook everywhere and it shot to the top of the FREE lists everywhere.
While I set up the main ads, saving the best ones for launch week, we wrote our stories and promoted on Facebook, Twitter and BookBub. Getting a #1 BADGE on Amazon early helped. Our categories were obscure, giving us the best chance to reach #1 faster. We could see our numbers in presales and knew which ads helped the most.
Each author had contributed $500 so we had $5,000 to work with to support our book. A lot was spent on FB ads. Amazon ads weren’t all that effective, nor were BookBub ads, we found. The ROI was not good. For USA Today, you need at least 500 sales combined from B&N and iBooks (we were told Kobo didn’t count but it does, it turns out) so we spent a lot of money to try to get those sales at sites other than Amazon. Certain ads did better than others. Book Doggy had a great ROI, Robin Reads, Fussy Librarian, and some others. We found a Facebook Nook site and used that twice. Some ads that don’t allow you to post more than every two months, were used twice. Once at the beginning of presales and again launch week.
We concentrated on e ads but did make up postcards to give out at several writers’ conferences where we raffled off Xmas gift baskets. We offered Nook users bonuses on Facebook and we set up a presale bonus to try to drive sales to dump on launch day.

On launch day we loaded over 6,000 sales to our Kindle site and saw we had over 1,000 reported on Draft 2 Digital. Our biggest, most expensive ads were stacked all launch week, some days having 2 biggies. The ads went out Tuesday to Sunday, to get as many sales as possible. Sunday, all day, we were gifting books on Amazon to anyone with an email address who wanted one. Several of us attended a big FB reader party and got our gift recipients there. We just wanted to do everything we possibly could do so that if/when we didn’t make the List, we could say we tried everything.
Launch week, we started spending our own (extra) money for FB ads. Before we launched we’d set up a link on BookFunnel with nine FREE books (including a chocolate cookbook) for anyone who ordered the book in presale or bought during launch week and advertised bonuses to buy early. We weren’t beyond bribery, at all! Beautiful posters were created by our authors and we even had a terrific video!

By Sunday night, several of us had been online for pretty much 48 hours selling, promoting and giving away books.
We couldn’t figure out how to give away Nook books if the recipient didn’t have a B&N account set up and iTunes/iBooks is just about impossible to figure out even if you have the iBooks app. As well as needing a 2D cover, iBooks also will not take a placeholder book until the day you need to upload the actual book so remember to leave the book file empty at D2D! We lost a week of iBook sales just before we launched because they delisted it due to the placeholder book not being the correct book. I’d uploaded last year’s box set to hold the place and show a set of 1200 pages.

We also had contracts drawn up, giving me, the publisher, permission to use the author’s individual books until the agreed upon delisting date. Each author signed the contract and sent it back to me in case I got into any copyright problems. I sent these in to Customer Service and to Contact Us just to be safe weeks before launch. We’d heard of sales being halted for a week while Amazon straightened out copyright rights and didn’t want it to happen to us.
Then, knowing there was nothing else we could do, we waited for the list to come out. Although the official list is released Thursday, the PDF comes out Wednesday afternoon. We discovered it around 2 pm, PST and although I only checked the last 50 of the 150, and saw we hadn’t made it, I later looked at the whole list and realized that I’d been wrong. I never thought we’d do better than 100, so I only checked the bottom 50. I was disappointed to not see our title and started processing that it hadn’t worked out for us. Imagine how happy I was to see us on there at #88.


Five minutes later, I saw our title was at #88! We made it. Not only made it but were in the top 100! With roughly 8,000 sales, 1200 of them not Kindle, we’d made the list.

Our group started texting, calling, emailing, posting our happiness. It was such a great feeling. I almost cried. I texted my agent and my husband first, then the other authors.

Days later, we were still in awe that we made it. Starting early had worked in our favor. Several others in our group had hit the list with box sets earlier in the year and never without less than 10,000 sales so we weren’t sure how but we were so grateful that everything lined up and our box set landed somewhere in the middle of the pack.

Now, after a week of good sales, we have delisted on Draft 2 Digital in preparation of raising the price and entering the book into Kindle Unlimited Select to help recoup costs so we can eventually make money to send to St. Jude’s. On KU, counting page reads in a 1200 page book, will help us as will the $2.99 price as Christmas gets closer. We’re able to advertise that all authors are USA Today Bestselling, the book is a USA Today Bestseller and we’ve maintained #1 in many categories for several months, including dog breeds, medical romance, Christmas books and Christmas Kindle. Dog breeds is a category that doesn’t have a lot of bestsellers and there are a lot of dogs in our books!

It was a marketing game with $5,000. to spend. I estimate 4 or 5 of us spent an extra $100 – $200 to support the book on launch week, but I don’t have exact numbers. Some wanted to make the list more than others. I was at the top of the pack in desperation because it was a professional milestone I wanted. This is why I put the set together and dropped everything for 2 months to devote myself to this book. I pretty much ignored my own book’s launch in late September, didn’t speak to my family much for a month and was very hard to live with towards the end while we waited to hear if we’d made it.

Was it worth it? For me, it was. I hope the other authors think so too.
Writing is such a solitary profession and any time you can band together to work with others, it’s a joy. We’ve had a lot of fun on our Facebook page posting anything and everything to communicate with each other. It’s how we share information, ask questions, share ideas and feel a part of a club.
The USA Today Bestselling Author Club!

KIM HORNSBY is the bestselling Amazon Author of The Dream Jumper’s Promise, Book 1 in a Supernatural Suspense series. She lives in the Seattle area and writes stories for women about overcoming tragedy, adversity and coming out the other end.
Find her on Amazon Books.

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Source: Kimmy’s Korner : The Steps to USA Today Bestseller

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