This Goes to 11

At the beginning of the month I got tagged by the marvelous Girl Wizard.  The deal is that the taggee shares ten somethings about his/herself and then tags five people.  But here's what I'm going to do---since I'm wrapping up my September Blog-Blitz (today's the last day to get Three Daves for only 99 cents in Kindle, Nook, eBook and ePub) I'll list a factoid about myself as revealed in each guest post from the blitz.  And instead of tagging, I'm giving out cookies!  

Since I did eleven guest posts, you get a bonus factoid:

1.  In summers during college, I sold concert T-shirts at Poplar Creek, an outdoor music theater in the Chicago suburbs. 

2. I have a large Teddy bear named Gibb, after John Cusack's character Walter Gibson in The Sure Thing

3. If ever I start a band, I shall name it Brother Kitty...and we shall play punk rock. 

4. I still think Charlie Sheen is cute

5. I can't bring myself to fade to black

6. If this writing thing doesn't work out, I'm going into T-shirts

7. My favorite pastimes include making mix "tapes" and quizzes

8. In high school I dated a guy with a big Betamax

9. I'm a sucker for a pretty book cover

10. The fictional campus in my book is modeled after my alma mater, Eastern Illinois University.  Go Panthers!

11.  I enjoy being forty+

And now I'd like to pass out cookies to each of my illustrious hosts.  THANK YOU Julie B., Jennifer Lane, Jen Daiker, Jennifer DeLucy, Carol Oates, Michael Di Gesu, Alex J. Cavanaugh, M. Pax, Lisa O., Karen G., and Hannah Downing for sharing your blogspace and wonderful followers with me.

I had a blast and am excited to have met some new eFriends as part of the deal.  And guess what---we even set a record over at Alex's place for most comments on a guest post!  So hooray to all of you fabulous commentators too.  

If you're still hankering for a tour, you're in luck!  Elliot Grace kicks off his tour for his newly released novel, South of Charm, on Monday.  I'm excited to tell you he'll visit here on October 24. :)

Next month I'll also introduce you to Feather Stone, who's debut novel, The Guardian's Wilchild, was just released this Tuesday!  


In which we age like a fine wine...

So, the end of my blog blitz coincides with the beginning of the countdown to Hannah Downing's 30th Birthday!  She's throwing a Birthday Blogastravaganza and lucky, lucky me gets to kick off the celebration.  So grab your pointy hat and your noisemaker, and head on over to wish HD a big HB.

Today's the Author! Author! Blog Bounce
but open to ALL authors.


In which we explain ourselves...

Hey there, everyone.  Happy Wednesday!  I'm over at Karen G's place today, Coming Down the Mountain,  where the two of us discuss the joys of Central Illinois...seriously.


In which we develop book covers for judging...

I'm switching gears today and not talking about the 80s in my guest post over at the Omnific Publishing blog.  I'll simply give you a little insight into the cover development process and be done with it.  Promise

So tell me the truth, how much does cover play into your book selection process?  Do prettier covers make their way more easily to the top of your to-be-read pile?  Or have you ever decided against reading a book because you didn't like the cover?

While you're here, why not hop on and hop along with the Meet an Author Monday blog hop hosted by Lisa Sanchez, romance author?


In which we go on a trip...

I'm double dipping in Blogville on this fine Friday.  First, I'm over at the Wistful Nebulae with a quick trip in a time machine back to the 80s to prove I don't need no stinking iPhone.  Please stop by to help me out!

Next, it's time to turn in our essays to Professor DiGesu for his

What I Did on My Summer STAYcation

I'm a fan of off-season travel, which means my family doesn't do many summer vacations away from home. Usually the kids and I venture out during summer break to do a hundred and one local things, but strange weather all summer long---a cold, icky June and then blistering hot July---made even day trips unappealing.  So for my "assignment" I'll share with you a small project I did this summer to make the little plot of land I've been entrusted with a bit more vacation-like. 

With both my children now officially teenagers, it was time for the clunky wooden playset in the backyard to come down, leaving me with this lovely square of dirt.

So I added an iron gazebo:

Dug in a pea gravel path and planted lillies, iris, clematis, and boxwoods:

Gave it a finishing touch with a birdbath 
(the birdies seem to lourve this new hangout)

And in midsummer, we even got some blooms:

But just wait 'till next year.
The flower show should be spectacular. :)


In which we test your metal...

Hey!  I'm over at Alex J. Cavanaugh's today---yes, the Alex J.!---and we've cooked up a super fun head-bangin' quiz for ya.  So, please come on over.

Today's the Author, Author Blog Bounce!  
All authors are welcome to join & hop along.


In which I crack myself up...

Yo, the Blog Blitz continues, and I'm over at Michael DiGesu's In Time... today serving up on-liners. I'd love to see you there. :)  Thank you to all of you who've been following me around!  I didn't realize blitzing was going to be so much fun. Kinda reminds me of pub crawl. 


In which I get rated R...eh, maybe NC 17...

Before I start talking dirty, guess what happened---I hit 200 followers!   My 200th follower is Tony VanHelsing (who I'm going to assume is a descendent of you-know-who, and if anyone knows differently do not tell me).  To celebrate this milestone, how about I put Three Daves on sale for only 99 cents in Nook, eBook, ePub, and even Kindle until September 30th. ;)

For today's feature post, visit Irish beauty Carol Oates.  This talented author and I discuss Adult versus Young Adult and where the line gets crossed.


In which I say Superman twice...

Please join me at Jen #3's (the marvelous and talented Jennifer DeLucy) as we inspect Dave #3, or as I like to call him, Big D...

Thursday is the Author! Author! Blog Bounce.  

Authors hop on and Readers hop along to meet some cool authors and discover new reads.  The Bounce is hosted by Omnific Publishing, but ALL authors are invited to join.  


In which we meet someone exciting and fun---and a little scary...

No, I'm not talking about Jen Daiker, although she does have the exciting and fun down. ;)  AND she's my hostess with the mostest today at her marvelous Unedited Blog where I introduce you to Dave #2. 

The Meet an Author Monday blog hop is on!

This is an opportunity to see what's up w/ authors around the blogosphere - meet new writers and catch up with those you already know.   All authors are invited to hop on and hop along. And now, bring on the dancing bunny!


In which we meet insecure writers and a cute boy

>>>If you're here for the Blog Blitz, stop #2 is at Jennifer Lane Books Blog<<<
>>>Meet David and choose his 1980s doppelganger.<<<

Welcome Insecure Writers!  What a brilliant idea Alex had, eh?  You'd think insecurity would end the moment a writer's manuscript gets accepted for publication, wouldn't you?  But no, as it turns out, it merely opens up the gate for a whole new slew of them. 

The highest post-publication insecurity for me has been self-promotion.  Everything about it is just so diametrically opposed to my natural grain.  What I've found is that I can't do it...or at least I can't tell myself I'm doing it.  Rather than thinking of it as as "Buy my book, buy my book, buy my book" I have to think of it as "Hey, you might enjoy this."  I mean, I wrote the thing because I wanted to read it, so maybe someone else will like it too, right?  And if I don't tell them about it, who else will?

But the thing is, writers can't do it all by themselves, which brings me to insecurity #2---Asking for help.  I've got a couple cool things happening with my book this month and wanted to make my best effort to spread the word, so I had to scrunch up that part of me that just haaates to impose on anyone else and shove it into a corner.  I put on my big girl pants and asked other bloggers for guest spots at their places.

And do you know what?  The reception was warm and wonderful and enthusiastic!  The Blog Blitz list on my sidebar is evidence of that (any names look familiar? ;)).  So that's my advice---when you need help, set your insecurities aside and just ask.  The worst that can happen is someone says no, and I think you'll be surprised by how infrequently that happens.

And now, to prove to you how comfortable I've become with the not self-promotion, I think you might enjoy looking at some pics of cute 80s boys...go on, go on...

I'm linking this post up with this week's, Author! Author! Blog Bounce hosted by Omnific Publishing.   

Authors, click on "Get the Code Here" to get the link. Copy and paste that link in your blog post. Then hop right on and add your blog url to get added to the list. Readers, bounce from blog to blog and meet some great new authors and maybe find some new books to read.


In which we learn the story behind the story

Hey, today is stop #1 of my Blog Blitz over at A Tale of Many Reviews:  A bit of insight into the inspiration behind Three Daves.

A Tale of Many Reviews is hosting a paper book tour.  Reviewers can sign up here


Hehe, Look What a Little Whining Gets You...

So, I'm sure it's purely coincidence that Amazon finally got the new cover up today---the very day I went on a rant to and about them---but would anyone mind terribly if I did that thing where I blow on my knuckles and rub them on my sweatshirt?  Thank you all so very much for your supportive comments and Devo song singing. :)

Anywho, new cover's up on Kindle, but it looks like I get to Grrrr a bit longer about the paperback...

Amazon's a Jerk!

And I have no patience.

For anyone who's interested in getting the new Three Daves cover on Kindle...stay tuned.  It appears big, giant, "cutting edge" Amazon has trouble with the simple things, like changing a book cover.  Grrrrr.  I'll report here once it's up. 

Be warned authors, for all it's market dominance, Amazon's not the speediest rabbit in the hutch.  Here's the miffed message I just sent them (with zero expectation of getting any sort of response at all from the behemoth):

I don't personally have a seller account with you, but my publisher does.  I'm contacting you regarding an issue with my book for sale on Amazon - Three Daves by Nicki Elson. The book got a new cover as of September 1, and my publisher submitted the new cover art to Amazon first thing Thursday morning, yet the old cover is STILL showing.  I could understand it taking 24 hours to get your act together (no, actually I can't---you're a HUGE on-line company & should be able to handle a simple cover change in a matter of minutes) but we're getting into the ridiculous stage now. 

Barnes and Noble was perfectly accommodating with my Nook sale/cover reveal so what's your deal, Amazon? Is it wrong for a customer to expect a little responsiveness and support in exchange for your cut?


Write a Post Help a Dog - Ends today!

Thanks to Anne Gallagher and the Golden Eagle for info on this great program for pups.  It ends at midnight EST today!

Pedigree is resurrecting its insanely successful Write a Post, Help a Dog program. In 2010, 391 bloggers wrote about the program; with each post, Pedigree donated 20 lbs of its Healthy Longevity dog food to shelter animals. In all, 7,820 lbs of food was donated to two shelters renowned for their care of senior dogs: Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in San Francisco and Castaway Critters in Harrisburg, Pa.

How you can help in 2011

Simply spread the word about Write a Post, Help a Dog 2011 and once again Pedigree will donate 20 pounds of food for each blogger's post.

Please include the following information in your post (feel free to copy and paste from here):

  • The Write a Post, Help a Dog program is aimed at raising awareness and food for the more than four million dogs that wind up in shelters and breed rescues each year.
  • For each blog post mentioning the Pedigree Foundation from now until midnight ET on September 3, Pedigree will donate 20 pounds of its new dry Pedigree recipe food for dogs -- its best recipe ever -- to a shelter, because every dog deserves leading nutrition. 
  • The Pedigree Foundation -- a 501 (C)(3) nonprofit organization is committed to helping dogs by providing grants to shelters and rescues and encouraging dog adoption. This year the Foundation has already raised more than $376,570 against its goal of $1.5 million to carry out its work to fund grants that not only help shelters operate, but to further shelter innovations.
The Pedigree Foundation depends on charitable contributions from individuals to carry out its mission to help dogs find loving homes. In addition to writing a blog post, here's how you can help:


Let the Festival of Excitement Begin!

Well, it's September 1st, and I can finally tell you my exciting announcements! 

First...Three Daves has a brand a new cover!!!

The truth is, I was never completely in love with the last one.  I thought I was, but it turns out I was just lying to myself.  It did a fine job of conveying the three guys and giving an 80s feel, but it was missing femininity and didn't quite capture the fun atmosphere of the story.  Months and months after the book came out, I was hit with cover-remorse, and this is one of the reasons I'm so happy to be with a small publisher---they listened, they understood, and they designed an awesome new cover!  Ah, but don't worry about  the boys---they're very happy in their new position on the back:

Second...the Three Daves  
Kindle*, Nook, eBook, and ePack are 
only 99 cents all month!
(* as of post time Amazon doesn't quite have their act together and is still showing the OLD cover.  To be safe, if you want the new cover for sure, I'd hold off on buying the Kindle until the new cover is showing on the Amazon site.  Stupid Amazon.  Thanks for the tip, Fabulosity

Check out other school-themed titles on sale this month at


Third...to celebrate I'm throwing a Blog Blitz!

All month long, I'll be skipping around the blogosphere to do guest posts and have some fun with gracious hosts, including three Jens to each host a Dave!  Along the way you'll be subjected to an 80s Hair Band quiz, one-liners, and me coming clean on a few matters.  As soon as I get my act together, I'll post the schedule and links on my sidebar.  In the meantime, check out this brand new weekly blog hop for authors!  You can get more details at the Omnific Publishing blog

Okay, can I take a breath now?